Here is another video for your lockdown learning.

Below the exercises is the Google Doc transcript from today’s 5-minute grammar lesson. Extra teacher talk from the video not included!

Here are your online exercises:

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson. 


Today we’re going to be covering:

  1.   FROM … TO
  2. UNTIL
  3. FOR
  4. SINCE
  7.  When to use THIS, LAST, NEXT, and EVERY.
  1. WATCH this twice if it’s too quick. 

Full video transcript on ESOLMARK.COM

Today we’re going to look at more of these ANNOYING little words that you might know but sometimes get confused or mixed up.

Let’s start with the easy ones.

1. FROM … TO

We’re talking about a fixed period of time here. With a start time or date and a finish time/date. It doesn’t have to be in the past but often we’re answering questions about our lives. 

“How long did you live with your grandma?”

“FROM 1998 TO 2007.”

It can be used in the present simple if we’re talking about a routine:

“I hate my job! The hours are terrible! I have to work FROM 8 at night TO 7 in the morning. It’s exhausting!”

Or in the future, if we a talking about a plan:

“Wait a minute, Mark! You want to come and stay in my house in Madrid FROM the 23rd of June TO the 8th of August? Are you kidding me?”

“Yeah? Is that a problem? I thought you were out of the country UNTIL the beginning of August? Your flat will be empty!”

FROM and TO = start and end times/dates


UNTIL = a stop/end date/time – a preposition

“Don’t start watching the football UNTIL I get there. I want us to watch it together.”

“Really? You want me to wait? To pause the game TILL you arrive?” 

TILL = less formal but with the same meaning. 

To death do use part

3. FOR

FOR = a period of time. “So it’s okay for me to stay at your flat from June to August then? FOR 43 days?”

“Absolutely not, Mark! You can stay FOR a week at the most!”


SINCE = from a time/date in the past until now.

“It’s been raining SINCE 9 a.m. this morning. SINCE I’ve been living in Salford it feels like it’s been raining every day!”


You know this!



No, come on, Mark, you’re a professional. Explain…

Ummmm … Errrr … Hmmm…

BEFORE = (preposition) prior to the start of a thing

AFTER = (preposition) upon the conclusion of a … thing.

Sometimes the explanation is more difficult than the original words!


Same meaning for these two words, but we use 

WHILE + a verb

They are used to talk about 2 things happening at the same time.

“WHILE you’re staying in my flat can you please keep it clean?” (WHILE+YOU+verb STAY & YOU+verb CLEAN)

“That’s okay, I love cleaning. I’ll listen to music WHILE I’m scrubbing the floor.”


DURING + a noun.

“I’m looking forward to living in Madrid DURING the summer.” (I+LIVE+DURING+the summer (noun)

“Okay, students, you can start the exam. Remember no cheating DURING the exam.”

7. When to use THIS, LAST, NEXT, and EVERY. 

“Hey, Mark, do you want to meet up THIS Thursday or NEXT Thursday?”

“On Thursday. Next Thursday.”

“Errrmm. I’m confused. Please explain!”

Okay, let’s do this backwards.

LAST Thursday. The previous one. Done. Easy.

EVERY Thursday  = all Thursdays.

Easy peasy.

NEXT Thursday = (usually) refers to the Thursday of the following (NEXT) week. 

THIS Thursday = Thursday THIS week. Less than 7 days in the future.

If it’s this week we might also say ON Thursday. 

(ON is the preposition of time we use for days).

BUT!!! If you’re making plans for a job interview or you’re going on a date – check – get the exact time, place, and date.

Remember: English is confusing and the people that speak it are often as confused as you are! Good luck!

See ya later!

Cheers, mate!

MarkESOL xxx

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson – PREPOSITIONS OF TIME – USING AT, IN, ON

Here is another video for your lockdown learning.

Below the exercises is the Google Doc transcript from today’s 5-minute grammar lesson. Extra teacher talk from the video not included!

Prepositions of time – when to use IN, ON and AT. Again, small words = big problems.

But no more. Spend 5 minutes watching this and never make a mistake again! Maybe…

Here are your online exercises:


Today’s video Google Doc transcript

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson. 


Today we’re going to be covering:

  1.   Prepositions of time basics
  2. When to use IN.
  3. When to use ON.
  4. When to use AT.
  5. Sentence structure.
  6. When to use THE
  7.  What to do when you’re not sure = ABOUT, AROUND, SOME TIME

Another easy one today. Here it is – the simple rules

  1. If you are talking about a large amount of time – use IN.

If you are talking about a day – not part of a day – use ON.

If you are talking about a specific point in time – use AT.

That’s it. Done. Let’s all go home. 

We’re going to make it EASY. After watching this video you will never get IN, AT, ON confused again. Hopefully.

Sometimes it’s the little words that are the most confusing, so let’s take a few minutes to go through it.

  1. When to use IN. 

When we’re talking about prepositions of place we say, “I’m in a field. I’m in Manchester. I’m living in England.” You’re in a place. In the middle of it.

It’s the same with time. If we’re in the middle of some period of time we say in:

I’m going on holiday in July. 

A day in July, but not a specific day. It could be July 1st, it could be 15th July, it could be the end of July.

I either don’t know, or it’s not important. Then it’s the same if we’re talking about the past:

I moved to London IN 2018.

It was one day IN 2018 – it’s really not important when. 

All periods of time we use IN:

Centuries: 100 years – we’re living IN the 21st century.

Shakespeare was born IN the 16th century. He was born ON April 26th 1564.

Decades: 10 years – I used to love going to raves IN the 90s. (1990s)

Any period of time: years, a year, a month, weeks, seasons, the future, the past, or even parts of the day.

He usually goes for a jog IN the morning, then works IN the afternoon and sometimes IN the evening.

We use IN if we’re talking about every night, every morning or every afternoon. We use ON if it’s a specific evening or night.

I want to visit Australia IN the future.

I can’t get up IN the morning, I’m too tired!

  1. ON – Use this for days.

I play football ON Sunday.

Some people say,

 “I play football on Sundays.”

Both are right. Both mean you play football every Sunday. 

If it’s just one time you’d say:

‘I’m playing football on Sunday morning.” 

Present simple for habit; present continuous for future plan.

Use ON for any specific day. On your wedding anniversary, on New Year’s Eve, on July 4th. We use ON for part of a SPECIFIC day as well.

What are you doing ON Friday night?

  1. When do we use AT?

We use AT for a specific time and for holidays when we don’t say the day.

“I’ll meet you AT quarter past eight.”

“Oh, that’s too late! I have to go to work AT 8 o’clock!”

We also use AT for named times of the day:

Midnight (12:00 am)

Midday (12.00 pm)

Dawn (sun rise)

Dusk (sun set)

Or at work or college you might have fixed times:

I’ll get a drink AT break. (AT break time)

I saw him AT lunch time.

We also use AT for the days when we have longer holidays: Christmas, New Year, Easter, Eid, Divali.

I usually go to my parent’s house ON Easter Sunday, but next year I’m going to Scotland AT Easter.

Another interesting use is we say AT the weekend.

‘My flatmate stays at her girlfriend’s place at the weekend. I hate being alone AT the weekend.’

In America they say ON the weekend. This is wrong. I don’t need to explain this! No!

6. When to use THE

The holidays (Easter, Summer, Christmas)

The 1980s (a decade)

The 1600s (a century)

The future/the past (I want to develop an App in the future.)

The weekend

The moment

The morning, the afternoon, the evening – but NOT usually – night or night time. 

‘I work IN THE morning, I watch Netflix IN THE evening and I sleep AT night.’

At night = general – all night

IN THE night = when you are talking about time of the night time. When you are awake usually. 

You can use either so don’t worry too much about this!

‘I wake up in the night, so I feel rough in the morning.’

‘Do you? I sleep like a baby at night.’

7. What to do when you’re not sure = ABOUT, AROUND, SOME TIME

When someone asks you a question and they want a specific time or date and you don’t know you use one of these phrases:

About – for time

Around – for time, dates, months, years

Some time – dates, months, years


‘Hi Mark, sorry I’m late. When did you get here?’

‘Oh, no worries. I only got here ABOUT ten minutes ago. I got the bus ABOUT midday.’

‘How long have you been living in Longsight?’

‘Errmmm, AROUND two and a half years. I think I moved in SOME TIME in the autumn. Yeah, kids were knocking on the door trick or treating. It was AROUND Halloween time I seem to remember.’

That’s all we’ve got time for!

IN (BIGGER TIME PERIODS)Centuries, Decades, Years, Months, Weeks, Seasons, past, future, holidays, parts of the day
ON(DAYS & PART OF DAYS)Monday etcHolidays & specific days The weekendFriday afternoon
AT(TIME, PARTS OF THE DAY AND SPECIAL DAYS)Time,Named parts of the day: midday,Holiday times – not days: at Easter, at Christmas


MarkESOL xxx

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson – PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE – USING AT, IN, ON

Here is another video for your lockdown learning.

Below the exercises is the Google Doc transcript from today’s 5-minute grammar lesson. Extra teacher talk from the video not included!

Prepositions of place – IN, ON and AT. Small words = big problems.

But no more. Spend 5 minutes watching this and never make a mistake again! Maybe…

Here are your online exercises:


Today’s video Google Doc transcript

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson. 


Today we’re going to be covering:

  1.   Prepositions of place basics
  2. Talking to Mark on the phone
  3. When to use IN.
  4. When to use ON.
  5. When to use AT.
  6. In hospital / at the hospital
  7.  On the bus? In a car?
  9. The first thing to say is: I’m not going to try to explain BETWEEN and NEXT TO by typing and speaking.

I would have to do it like this:

Where is the potato?

Carrot POTATO spinach

Yes, potato is BETWEEN carrot and spinach.

Where is the potato now?

Brocolli POTATO

Yes, potato is next to broccoli – or potato is ON THE RIGHT OF broccoli. 

No, no, no, no. Today we’re going to look at REAL LIFE prepositions that we use for places.

We’re going to make it EASY.


After watching this video you will never get IN, AT, ON confused again. Hopefully.

  1. Imagine you are talking to me on the phone. You are lost. You are worried. You need me to give you a lift. Then your phone rings. I’m calling you, “Hi, mate. I’m waiting at the cafe.  I thought we were going for a coffee and some cake! Hurry up! Where are you?”

You need to tell me where you are so I can come and find you.

Are you ON a mountain?

Are you IN a mountain?

Are you AT a mountain?

These PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE are very little words but VERY IMPORTANT if I am going to come and find you!

In this case, they mean EXACTLY THE SAME as when we use BASIC prepositions of place.

‘Hi, Mark. I’m on the mountain.’ I AM ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN.

‘Hi, Mark. I’m in the mountain.’ I AM INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN. In a cave?

‘Hi, Mark. I’m at the mountain.’ I AM STANDING AT OR RIGHT NEXT TO THE MOUNTAIN.


In general, we use IN for BIG places, ON for smaller and AT when we want to be very specific.

  1. IN = we use this when you are IN somewhere BIG or really INSIDE somewhere:
  1. INSIDE – My wallet is in my bag. My phone is in my pocket. Oh! No! It isn’t! I left my phone in the classroom.
  2. You’re inside a room – ‘I’m in the bedroom.’ You’re in a lift.
  3. A building – ‘I’m in a hotel.’ ‘I’m in the Trafford Centre.’ This gets confusing because we also say AT. (more in a minute!) In this case, you’re INSIDE these buildings. ‘Sorry, I can’t speak, I’m in class!’
  4. A big space. In a field. In a park. In space? ‘I’m in a rocket. Look up in the sky. I’m in space! I’m near the moon. I’m going to Mars.’
  5. A city, town or neighbourhood. ‘I’m in New York.’ I’m in Shiraz. I’m in Cheetham Hill. Is it a big place? Is it a small place? Where IN the world are you? Are you in the countryside or are you in a big city?
  6. Transport where you are INSIDE: He’s in a taxi. She’s in her car. They’re in a plane / a helicopter / a boat 
  7. BUT NOT A BUS!!!!!

4. ON = on as a basic proposition means ABOVE + TOUCHING. The cat is on the table. The elephant is on the car. Or ON TOP of the car. An elephant can’t get IN a car, unless it’s a very big car. 

But Mark, we don’t care about ELEPHANTS! Come on, hurry up!

  1. Ok, elephants. ‘I’m riding ON an elephant.’ It’s a type of transport you get ON. You’re on top of this big animal. You’re ON a camel. On a horse. You don’t want to be INSIDE a horse. It has to be on.
  2. All things you ride. So you ride a donkey. You ride a bike. You don’t drive a motorbike – you ride it. Put one leg over and get ON. On a skateboard, on a scooter.
  3. ON A BUS! You want rules but just remember this one. THIS IS THE CRAZY ONE! The bosses of the English language say it’s ON  because you step ONTO a bus,  or because 100 years ago a bus didn’t have a roof. So you were on top of it. 
  4. You also step onto a PLANE, a TRAIN, a BOAT. So you can say, ‘I’m on the tram.’ Or you can say, ‘I’m in the tram.’ You get ON it. You sit IN it. Both are fine. A car you get in. Don’t say, ‘I’m on my car.’ People will think you are sitting on the roof. Weird. Dangerous!
  5. Roads. You can be on a road. ‘I’m on Langworthy Road. The cafe is on the right.’

5. AT = an exact position or a place.

  1. An exact position. Where are you on the road? I’m AT the traffic lights. Where are you in the supermarket? I’m AT the checkouts. I’m AT the back of the cafe. I’m AT the bar. I’m AT the playground in the park.
  2. At home. At work. At college. Here you’re saying you’re AT a place. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the bedroom, in the garden or standing ON the roof. The where you are is AT HOME. It’s the same at work, you can be inside or outside the building but you are AT WORK. At the beach.
  3. At for a specific location. At 38 Dickenson Road, at the Eiffel Tower. I am sitting at my desk. At = right next to it. At the bus stop not ON the bus stop or IN the bus stop.
  4.  Hospital. Now this one is a little confusing. You are IN hospital when you’re IN a bed. You’re at the hospital when you are visiting or working there. They mean very different things!


MarkESOL xxx

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson – Using Will & Won’t for the future

ESOL Lockdown Learning – will & won’t

Here are some more practice exercises for your English language lockdown learning.

Below the exercises is the Google Doc transcript from the 5-minute grammar lesson. Extra teacher talk from the video not included!

Future Simple

The simple future has two forms:  will and be going to

Generally we use will for promises and instant decisions.

We use be going to for future plans or when we are 100% certain.

Negatives and Questions

To make the negatives, use won’t (will not) or isn’t/aren’t going to

To make the questions, move one word forward from the statement to make a question: He is going to bed. -> Is he going to bed? You will marry me. -> Will you marry me?


Today’s video Google Doc transcript

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson. 

Using WILL and WON’T for the future.

Today we’re going to be covering:

  1.   What’s the difference between ‘will’ and ‘going to’ for the future?
  2. When do we use WILL and WON’T?
  3. Making offers
  4. A promise
  5. Making predictions
  6. How to make statements
  7. How to make negative statements
  8. Making questions
  1. What’s the difference between ‘will’ and ‘going to’ for the future?

The first thing to say is – DON’T WORRY. BRITISH PEOPLE DON’T CARE ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE! They really don’t. Examiners care. English teachers care, and if you want to have perfect fluent English – you should care too!

Do you remember when we use going to for the future? 

That’s right! We use GOING TO + infinitive verb = for decisions you have made before and things you are certain about:

“I’m going to phone my friend in a minute because she is going to visit me tomorrow.”

So we don’t say:

“She will visit me tomorrow.” Going to – for plans.

People will understand this statement, but it shows that you don’t understand the rules.

3. When do we use WILL and WON’T?

  1. For sudden decisions. Like in a restaurant when the waiter asks you want you would like, “Hmmm, I think I will have the chicken.” You decide instantly. In a click of your fingers. Hmmm, chicken or fish, hmmm? Yes! I will have chicken. Although, we almost always use the short version. I’LL – not the full version I WILL.
  2. “Do you want a glass of wine?”

“No, I won’t, I’m going to drive home.” It’s the same with negative statements – we always say I WON’T – hardly ever I WILL NOT.

  • Making offers – “I’ll give you a lift home in my car.”
  • A promise – “I’ll do my homework next week.” Hmmm? Really? “I’ll give you the money next week.” Do you believe that? Get evidence!
  • Making predictions – when you are guessing or thinking, “I think she will be late! She won’t wake up in time! We’ll miss the bus!” “Ahmed will pass the exam.” “Mark will give us homework again! I’m sure!” 

Statements with – WILL

subjectwillInfinitive verb Extra informationwhen
IwilldoMy homeworksoon
she/he/itwillvisither friendlater
wewillstudyin collegeIn June
youwilltryTo exercise in the parkThis afternoon
theywillgoon a dietIn the summer

We also say, I think – because we’re not sure. I think we will have a great time tonight. 

Negative statements with – WON’T

subjectwon’tInfinitive verb Extra informationwhen
Iwon’tdrinkany alcoholtonight!
she/he/itwon’ttalkher friendever again!
wewon’tbe meetingOn Wednesday
youwon’texerciseUnless I do it with you!

We also say, I don’t think + will for negative:

I don’t think he will give us any money!

I don’t think I will go to the party tonight.

Questions with – WILL

Question wordwillsubjectInfinitive verb Extra informationwhen
WhenwillItakeMy exam?
HowwillweStudy Englishthis term?
WherewillyouexerciseThis afternoon?
WhatwilltheydoIn the summer?
  • Another way of saying the negative is “I don’t think he’ll remember my birthday.” This is the same as WON’T. 
  • Shall! You can also use SHALL:

“I shall help you.”

“Shall we go for a walk?”

But that is another 5 minutes!

Bye bye!

MarkESOL xxx

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson – Using Going to for the future

MarkESOL trying to teach ‘going to’ for future in 5 minutes – Lockdown Learning!?

Here are some online exercises for your English language lockdown learning.

Below the exercises is the Google Doc transcript from the 5-minute grammar lesson. Extra teacher talk from the video not included!

Online exercises: going to for future:

Today’s video Google Doc transcript

MarkESOL 5 minute grammar lesson. 

Using Going to for the future.

Today we’re going to be covering:

  1.   Times and dates in the future
  2. When do we use going to?
  3. Making statements
  4. Making negative statements
  5. Making questions
  6. Short answers

Times in the future

This afternoon, this evening. Tomorrow morning. Tonight. ON Sunday. Saturday, next Monday. Next week.

Next month, next year. Or in June. In 2024. Next year. Or in 5 years. In 2 weeks.  In a hundred years time. In a few minutes. later.

In the future.

There are lots of different verbs and ways we can talk about the future in English. English is complicated and difficult! Arggggghhhh!

So how do we use going to make sentences or statements?

When we’re sure of what is going to happen. Plans. Things that we are sure are going to happen.

If I see a big grey cloud, I can say, “It’s going to rain.” I have evidence. I’ve seen the cloud.

I am going to eat in 10 minutes.

I’m not going to go shopping today. 

I’m going to exercise in the park later.

Statements with – going to

subjectTo begoing toInfinitive verb Extra informationwhen
Iamgoing toeattoastsoon
she/he/itisgoing tovisither friendtomorrow
wearegoing toStudy EnglishOn Wednesday
youaregoing toexercisein the parkThis afternoon
theyaregoing togoto PortugalIn the summer

Negative statements with – going to

subjectTo benegativegoing toInfinitive verb Extra informationwhen
Iamnotgoing toeattoastsoon
she/he/itisnotgoing tovisither friendtomorrow
wearenotgoing toStudy EnglishOn Wednesday
youarenotgoing toexerciseiIn the parkThis afternoon
theyarenotgoing togoto PortugalIn the summer

Questions with – going to

Question wordTo besubjectgoing toInfinitive verb Extra informationwhen
AmIgoing toeattoastsoon?
Isshe/he/itgoing tovisither friendtomorrow?
Arewegoing toStudy EnglishOn Wednesday?
Areyougoing toexercisein the parkThis afternoon?
Aretheygoing togoto PortugalIn the summer?

Short answers with going to

Q: Are you going to do your homework?

A: Yes, I am.

Q: Is this going to be fun?

A: No, it’s not.

Q: Is this going to happen again?

A: Yes, it is.

Things to remember!

Use the verb to be.

Use going to for things that are certain. That are going to happen.

Use the infinitive form of the verb after going to. That’s really important.

Bye bye bye!!!


Hello class! Please, introduce yourself! – Mark’s Entry 1 ESOL class – 12th & 13th September 2016

First I want you to introduce yourself like this student has on the Padlet:

Entry 1 Group 1:

QR code for this padlet


  1. Get to know your classmates

  2. Get to know the college

  3. Listening Test – Charlie XCX song, ‘Boom Clap’

  4. Diagnostic tests – Maths and English

  5. Kahoot! quiz about the news + Mark + Salford City College

Image result for angry dog

A picture of my favourite animal – a little angry dog

This is NOT my favourite sport: snowboarding:

Now another Listening Test – listen to this Charlie XCX song, ‘Boom Clap’ and fill in the missing words:

What should Mr Bean do? – Entry 1 Evening – class notes – 16th June 2016



  1. Review present simple and present continuous tenses

  2. Introduce should & shouldn’t

  3. Giving advice & Mr Bean

Today’s words:


a brain:

overweight: too heavy

A vet or a veterinarian

  • argue verb (DISAGREE)

B1 [I] to speak angrily to someone, telling that person that you disagree with them:The children are always arguing.Kids, will you stop arguing with each other?They were arguing over/about which film to go and see.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

Food I hated as a child – Entry 1 Evening – class notes – 26th May 2016

Past simple exercises:


Today’s words:

  • lift noun (JOURNEY)

A2 [C usually singular] a free journey in another person’s vehicle, especially a car:I’ll give you a lift to the train station if you like.He hitched a lift (= stood by the road and made a signal asking acar to stop and take him) to Birmingham.
Relationship words:

widower noun [C]

a man whose wife or husband has died and who has not married again

widow noun [C]

B2 a woman whose husband or wife has died and who has not married again

  • mistress noun (PARTNER)

[C] a woman who is having a relationship with a married man:Edward VII and his mistress, Lillie Langtry

toy boy noun [C]

a young man who has a  romantic relationship with an older woman:Pam turned up at the party with her new toy boy.

trophy wife noun [C]

a young attractive woman who is married to a rich andsuccessful older man and acts as a symbol of his social position

  • affair noun [C] (RELATIONSHIP)

B2 a  relationship, especially a secret one: She’s having an affair with a married man.The book doesn’t make any mention of his love extramarital affair

Food I didn’t like when I was younger:



brussel sprouts:




“What are you going to do tomorrow?” Entry 1 31st March 2016


Try making sentnces:

Slideshare PowerPoint

Online quizzes:

Today’s words:


eat with chopsticks:



British Council app for phones QR code:

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