Some basic phrases to learn in English

Here are some basic, yet important phrases you need to learn in order to start learning English.

What is your name? or What’s your name?

In English we contract some words and insert a apostrophe so, “what is” becomes “what’s”.

My name is Yvonne.

Just take out my name “Yvonne” and insert your own name.

How are you doing?

Let’s face it, people say this phrase as a greeting. People don’t really want to know how you are. They are just looking for a simple answer. So, don’t go into the fact that your knees are hurting or how you threw out your lower back. They don’t care.

I’m fine. I’m great. I’m okay. I’m good. (These are all good simple reponses.

Those are just a few of the beginning phrases to get your feet wet and start learning English!

Conjuctions in English

There are a few different kinds of conjuctions in English; however, I am focusing on coordinate conjunctions in this English lesson. Conjunctions are connecting words. They bind two parts of a sentence, into a single phrase within the sentence. Below is a list of the more common coordinate conjunctions used in English.


and – in addition to – I have a black and white kitten.
but – however – She is tired, but she’s unable to sleep.
or – alternative, used with either often – Do you like lobster or sushi better?
nor – used with neither – Neither Bob nor Sally want to be here today.
yet – however – Bob is a nice guy, yet sometimes I wonder about him.

Fill in the blank of each sentence with the correct conjunction.

1. Doris is hungry, ______ she doesn’t want to eat.
2. I love your beautiful pink ______ blue shoes.
3. I would like to drink either pepsi ____ coke.
4. Paul like neither cats _____ dogs.
5. Peter was first in his class,_____ he wasn’t successful.

1. but (or yet)
2. and
3. or
4. nor
5. yet (or but)

Learning cooking words in English

Here are some cooking vocabulary that you may find useful:

To bake – This is when you cook something in the oven. It is usually referring to making something sweet like a cake or pie. “Today I baked an apple pie and it tasted great!”

To cook – This is when you prepare food using heat, but not usually in reference to something sweet. “Peter cooked me a fabulous meal last night.”

Meal – This is an entire seating of eating food.
Breakfast – The meal you eat in the morning.

Lunch – The meal you eat at noontime.

Dinner – The meal you eat in the evening.

Recipe – The directions given to make a spefic type of food.

Ingredients – The various foods you need to make a recipe.

Here is an example of a simple (and I mean simple) recipe.


Peanut Butter

First take 1 slice of bread and spread peanut butter on it. Then take 1 more slice of bread and spread Jelly on it. Then put the 2 pieces of bread together and you have made a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.

Take a few minutes and write out your own recipe. Post it as a comment here if you’d like some feedback on it.

St. Valentine’s Day!

Today’s lesson is about St. Valentine’s Day! This will help you learn about American culture while increasing your English vocabulary at the same time.

Below is a passage about St. Valentine’s Day. Read it and then answer the questions beneath:

St. Valentine’s Day is on February 14th. It’s a day to celebrate love! For school-aged children, it’s a fun time. They either make valentine’s or buy them at the store. They give a valentine to everyone in their classroom and also other friends and family. A valentine is a simple card, usually with a heart and some nice phrases, like “I love you,” or “You have my heart.” Some valentines come with candy or stickers attached. Children usually have Valentine’s parties as well at school. They eat heart shaped cookies and enjoy red punch.

For adults, it’s a day where you give your sweetheart a present. Examples of presents are: a heart shaped box of chocolates, roses, other flowers, or even jewelry. It’s a great day enjoyed by all.

1. When is St. Valentine’s Day?
2. What do kids eat at a St. Valentine’s Day party?

3. What are examples of gifts that you can give to your loved one on St. Valentine’s Day?


1. February 14th.
2. heart shaped cookies and red punch
3. a heart shaped box of chocolates, flowers, or jewelry

Weather slang in English

Weather Idioms!

As promised, here are some examples of weather idioms and slang in English!

It’s raining cats and dogs – This is used when it’s raining very hard.

Come rain or shine – This is when a person does something regularly.

When it rains, it pours – This means when something bad happens, other bad things happen too.

A storm is brewing – This is when a person is getting very mad and they might have an outburst.

Snowed under – This is when a person has too many things that they are doing.

Under weather – This is when someone is sick.

Cloud nine – When someone is very happy!

Learn Weather in English!

Here’s more basic vocabulary to learn in English – weather phrases. For this post I’ll stick to the basics, but tomorrow I’ll add some weather slang!


The weather is beautiful – This means the sun is shing and the the tempature is great!

It’s windy – The wind is blowing pretty strongly.

It’s sunny – The sun is out shining with very few clouds.

It’s cloudy – Lots of clouds out.

It’s hot!

It’s cold!

It’s warm.

It’s cool.


Here’s a fun and easy activity you can do in order to reinforce the vocabulary you just learned. Double click on the picture and print out the weather symbols. Then cut out the boxes and now you have instant weather flashcards for you to practice with!

Times of the day in English

Do you want to learn the times of the day in English?

Whether is midnight, noontime, afternoon, morning, mid-morning, it is helpful to know what words apply to what times. These times are not in stone and some people may think differently, it’s just something to help you visualilze.

early Morning – 4am to 7am
morning – 7am – 10am
mid-morning – 10am – 12pm
noontime – 12pm – 1pm
noon – 12pm
afternoon – 1pm – 3pm
mid-afternoon – 3pm – 6pm
evening – 6pm-9pm
night – 9pm until 4am or so.
midnight – 12am

You don’t have to know all of the ‘mid’ times, but they can be helpful to remember as some people might use them.

Read this dialog that took place on the telephone and answer the questions afterwards…

Fred – Hi Betty! How are you doing? Do you wanna go to the park today for a picnic?
Betty – Sure Fred. That’s really nice of you to invite me. What time do you wanna go?
Fred – How about noon?
Betty – That’s a bit early for me. Can we go in the mid-afternoon? Say 3pm?
Fred – I don’t think I can. I have a doctor’s appointment at that time.
Betty – What about in the evening when the sun has set? We can meet for a late dinner at 6pm.
Fred – That sounds great, but I can’t stay out until midnight because I need to go to bed early.
Betty – No problem, we’ll keep it on the short side.
Fred – See you then, bye!
Betty – bye.


1. What time of day did Betty and Fred decide to meet?
2. Why couldn’t Fred meet at 3pm?
3. Why are they meeting at the park?
4. When did Fred want to meet in the beginning.
5. What time a day is 12pm?


1. 6pm
2. He had a doctor’s appointment.
3. To have a picnic.
4. 12pm
5. noon or noontime

Family words in English

Learning the names of different relatives is useful in English. You can practice this by making your own family tree and then telling yourself or a friend (if you have one 😉 ) the relationships between the people in your family.

Here are some useful words to learn:

Below is a diagram of a pretend family tree. See if you can answer the questions about the family tree.1. Who is Peter’s Wife?
2. Matthew is Brian’s _______.
3. Doug is Samatha’s _______.
4. Who is Brian’s Grandfather?
5. Who is Matthew’s sister?


1. Pauline
2. Uncle
3. Husband
4. Peter
5. Samantha

Greetings in English!

There are so many different ways to greet people in English. There is the simple “Hello.” The friendly, “Hi!” or the extremely casual “Hey!” Then you can go to the opposite spectrum and say, “How do you do?” A lot of Americans would look at you funny if said that. Most would probably say in response, “I’m fine, thanks.” However, the correct response is “How do you do?” I guess that shows that Americans don’t use that greeting very much.

Other phrases you can use are, “What’s up?”, “Waz up?” or “How’s it going?” These are used with people you know pretty well. With people you don’t know as well, you can ask, “How are you doing?”

And for saying “Good-bye”, you can say that or, “bye”, “see ya”, “see you later” or to really young kids you can say, “bye-bye.” If you have close friends you can say, “later” or “laters.”

As you can see, there are tons of options in Enlish for greetings and for saying goodbye. Just be careful not to tell your grandma, “Waz up?”