1. The early bird catches the worm.

2. Everything comes to he who waits.

3. Man cannot live by bread alone.

4. Half a loaf is better than no bread.

5. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

6. It’s never too late to learn.

7. The pen is mightier than the sword.

8. Words don’t hurt like sticks and stones.

9. The best things in life are free.

10. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

11. Seeing is believing.

12. Appearances can be deceptive.

13. Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

14. The penny-wise are pound-foolish.

15. When in Rome do as the Romans do.

16. To thine (=your) own self be true.

17. He who hesitates is lost.

18. Look before you leap.

19. Two heads are better than one.

20. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

21. Once bitten, twice shy.

22. Third time lucky.

23. Ignorance is bliss.

24. Knowledge is power.

25. Tomorrow is another day.

26. Tomorrow never comes.

Word Stress: Verb to Noun Shift

(A) Sometimes two words look the same, but have different meanings and are pronounced differently (homographs).
Example: TEAR

  1. VERB – tear-tore-torn: to cause a split or break in paper, clothes, etc. It rhymes with BEAR, PEAR, WEAR.
  2. NOUN – a droplet of water coming from the eyes when crying. It rhymes with DEAR, FEAR, GEAR, HEAR, NEAR, YEAR.

(B) Some words of two syllables can change from a verb to a noun by shifting (moving) their word stress, though the written form remains identical.

  1. “We want to progress as quickly as we can. There’s a lot of work to get through.” 
  2. “You’re making slow progress. You need to make a bit more of an effort.”
  1. VERB – to advance, to improve: PRO’GRESS – the stress falls on the second syllable.
  2. NOUN – a general improvement, taking steps in the right direction: ‘PROGRESS – the stress falls on the first syllable.

Note that the mark [ ‘ ] goes before the stressed syllable. 

Exercises – Interactive Material

  1. WORD STRESS  Words in context. Interactive, links to news stories, audio clips. Hot Potatoes format.
  2. STRESS MONSTERS  Space Invaders Game. Identify the stressed syllable. New Headway Advanced, OUP.



He took her hand. She took his money.


He took a lover. She took exception.


He took leave of his senses. She took advice.


He took fright. She took him to the cleaner’s.


He took to drink. She took a holiday.


He took his life. She took up ballroom dancing.


The Railway Wagon 

One of the most famous thought experiments in ethics is “the runaway wagon”. It aims to clarify how we should distinguish right from wrong.

Here is the scenario with two well-known variations.
A runawaywagon is hurtling down a track. In its path are five people who will definitely be killed unless you, a bystander, flip a switch which will divert it on to another track, where it will kill one person. Should you flip the switch?

The runaway wagon is hurtling down a track where it will kill five people. You are standing on a bridge above the track and, aware of the imminent disaster, you decide to jump on the track to block the wagon. Although you will die, the five people will be saved. Just before your leap, you realise that you are too light to stop the wagon. Next to you, a fat man is standing on the very edge of the bridge. He would certainly block the wagon, although he would undoubtedly die from the impact. A small nudge and he would fall right onto the track below. No one would ever know. Should you push him?



The Violinist

One day you wake up in hospital. In the nearby bed lies a world famous violinist who is connected to you with various tubes and machines. To your horror, you discover that you have been kidnapped by the Music Appreciation Society. Aware of the maestro’s impending death, they hooked you up to the violinist. If you stay in the hospital bed, connected to the violinist, he will be totally cured in nine months. You are unlikely to suffer harm. Nobody else in the world can save him, as only your organs and bodily fluids are compatible with his. Do you feel any obligation to stay connected?

The Cavers

An enormous rock falls and blocks the exit of a cave you and five other tourists have been exploring. Fortunately, you spot a hole elsewhere and decide to let “Big Jack” out first. But Big Jack, a man of generous proportions, gets stuck in the hole. He cannot be moved and there is no other way out. The high tide is rising and, unless you get out soon, everyone but Big Jack (whose head is sticking out of the cave) will inevitably drown. Searching through your backpack, you find a stick of dynamite. It will not move the rock, but will certainly blast Big Jack out of the hole. Big Jack, anticipating your thoughts, pleads for his life. He does not want to die, but neither do you and your four companions. Should you blast Big Jack out?
Source: as previous citation 

cave - Visual Dictionary Online

Adjectives and Adverbials – Word Order

Positions of Adjectives/Adverbials

Click on the links below to go to the corresponding website with grammar analysis and online exercises.

  Adjective Order (click here)









Order of Adverbials (click here)

Beth swims
in the pool
every morning
before dawn
to keep in shape.
Dad walks
into town
every afternoon
before supper
to get a newspaper.
Tashonda naps
in her room
every morning
before lunch.

Adverbials: “BBC Learning English”

Online Exercises

1. Rebuild the sentences “Drag and Drop” (Hot Potatoes Format)

2. Rebuild the sentences “Position of Adverbs”  (New English File 4)

3. Rebuild the sentences “Adjective Order” (Headway Advanced)

4. Multiple Choice “Order of Adverbials”

5. Space Invaders Game “Adjective Order” (New English File 4)

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