IELTS – Using the Present Simple for Habits, Facts, and Telling Stories – English Lesson


Hello my name is Frank this is Frankly
Speaking. These are English lessons for learners at all levels if you are an
elementary learner I suggest you go into the YouTube settings and lower the speed
of the video. If you’re more advanced learner, you can skip through some parts
of the video because this lesson is about the present simple it’s quite easy
but we will discuss it in a more complex way for higher-level learners. Let’s
start. First, before we move into the the grammar of this something I want you to
keep in mind: if you’re a student who wants to improve your level improve your
scores and IELTS, or TOEFL, FCE, CAE, etc these are some things I suggest you keep
in mind when you when you’re communicating in general: Is the speech
that you’re making, is it complex, or is it simple? Are you giving more
complicated answers longer answers with more interesting information or are you
giving very simple answers? If I ask you where do you live? When you just say “I live
in Tokyo,” maybe that’s a simple answer. Another
thing to keep in mind is: are you speaking in a dynamic and flexible way
or are you being repetitive? If I ask a few questions from you and you answer
them using the same verb forms, the same vocabulary, then you’re being repetitive
this is not good if you’re aiming for a high score in any of the big tests like
IELTS. So you should try to be dynamic, be flexible and give a lot of variety when you’re speaking. The third thing I’d like you to
keep in mind is: are you speaking accurately? That means, are you making a
few mistakes or are you being inaccurate or making a lot of mistakes? Okay.
Keep these things in mind throughout this lesson and throughout other lessons
and in general when you’re communicating an idea. Okay let’s get started. So we’re
gonna start this with a bit of MFP. So you know, MFP is Meaning, Form, and
Pronunciation. If you’re higher level English speaker
you might just skip through this part and go to the short questions or just
look through and see if there’s anything you forget. So we’ll start with MFP first.
After going through that, we’ll look at some short answer – some questions that
you would answer in a short way. Then I’m going to talk about the present simple
with telling stories and then we’ll go into some longer answer – some questions
that expect longer answers. And finally for this lesson we’re going to look at
an IELTS speaking part two: that’s one where you need to speak on your own for
between one and two minutes. So let’s get started with some meaning, here. Look
at this photo and what I’d like you to do is try to think of maybe three things
you can say about this photo using the present simple and focusing on habits
and facts. Okay. I’d like you to pause the video. You don’t need to write these down
but if you want to you can just pause the video and think of three statements
you might say about this picture and focus on habits and facts. Okay we’ll
give you about 10 seconds. Okay, so what we have here is two people
in a kitchen and they’re cooking at the moment so let’s see what could you say
about this. What can you say about this picture using just present simple and
focusing on habits and facts? Here are some simple ideas you might give. You
might say they cook together every weekend, the walls of their kitchen are white, they enjoy cooking together. These are all present simple sentences and
these are simple ideas, uh, Elementary level, you might be using some sentences like
these now. Some more complex ideas with more difficult language in them: you
might say cooking is a difficult skill to master but it’s a great way to bring
people together, or cookware like pots and pans come in different sizes
and a trained chef knows exactly what to use – sorry – when to use the right tools
in the kitchen. In this case you can see all of the cookware around the kitchen
and it’s a comment about these people and a comment about cooking in general
so this is a good observation to make about a picture like this. Okay, so looking at
meaning we’re first going to focus on habits and facts. Starting with habits:
what are habits? Habits are actions that we do routinely. That means we do it at
some frequency. These actions might be frequent – we do them frequently – like,
maybe once a day or every hour, like I wash my hands every hour, or I
take the bus once a day. Some of these actions might be infrequent – we do them
infrequently – like once a month or every time I see my aunt and uncle. When
do – for example – when do you go to your hometown?
I go to my hometown every time I see my aunt and uncle, or when do you play cards?
That’s better. When do you play cards? Every time I see
my aunt and uncle, we play cards together Habits are also actions that happen at a
specific time every day or once a week when do you wake up? At 8 a.m. When do
you go to bed? At midnight. Okay. These are all habits we have. Then we have facts.
Facts are statements that are always true for example if you’re describing
places or objects you would be speaking in facts, with facts. If you’re describing
nature and instinct – for example, bears hunt small animals – that would be nature
or instinct depending on how you see it. The sky is blue. That’s nature. Facts
about people or countries, like Usain Bolt is the fastest runner. Or countries: Japan
is in Asia. And, also, facts include your feelings and opinions any time you say I
think or I feel or I am sad those are feelings and opinions: “I agree with you”, “I
disagree with you.” Those are facts and we use the present simple for those. All
right, form, I’ll fly through this quickly if you are
a lower-level learner please pause the video to look at the information carefully.
So, present simple form: affirmative, we might say I have a large television in
my room so the verb is in infinitive form. She wants to go shopping, or brown
bears are dangerous. Negative: I don’t have a large television, she doesn’t want
to go shopping, brown bears aren’t dangerous.
Okay. So we have affirmative: I have a large television. Negative: I don’t have a
large television. Question form with the same information: Do I have a large
television? I guess. Does she want to go shopping? And are brown bears dangerous?
These are three present simple sentences but they they have something different
about them. In the first two we have the structure of an any verb except “to be”: the last sentence about brown bears. And each one is using the verb to be and in
those the negative is a little bit different from the others as is question
form. Okay let’s look at structures for the affirmative ones: we have subject +
verb + predicate. Predicate just means the rest of the sentence about the subject.
So, for example, I have a large television in my room. The subject is “I” the verb is
“have” the predicate is this information about the subject. Now if you use “he
she or it” you need to add an S or sometimes an “es” at the end of the verb.
For example, she wants to go shopping. in negative form, we have
subject + don’t or doesn’t + verb + predicate. So the subject in the first
sentence “I” “don’t have” and the predicate is “a large television” if it’s
“I you we or they” we use “don’t” or “do not” if the subject is “he she or it” we use
“doesn’t”. Now, question form is do or does + the subject + the
verb + the predicate, so in the first question here: “do I have a large
television?” we have “do” the subject is “I” the verb is “have” and the predicate is “a
large television”. So, do I have a large television? With “I you we and they” we use
“do” but if the subject is “he she or it” we use “does”. Okay I have a little exercise
for you here I’d like you to find the mistakes in these sentences, so, if you
will, please pause the video and write these down. Write them correctly or you can do
it by speaking and in about 10 seconds I’ll show you the answers. Okay so let’s look at these: I not have,
no, I don’t have or I do not have any sisters. Number two: my room has big
windows. Three: I am twenty years old four my friend has a cute dog. And five:
my sister has three children. Hopefully you got all of them correct but maybe
you made a mistake with have and has or in the negative maybe you forgot don’t
or you used doesn’t be careful all right let’s move on to pronunciation generally
the pronunciation of the present simple is quite easy, but when you add an S at
the end of a verb – and when do we do that? We do that when we use he she or it. When
you do that, the pronunciation of the S can be the sound of a normal s sound or
it might be the sound of “zzz” similar to the sound of a bee. Let’s look at some examples and why we
do this: so starting with “sss” we do this with words that end in unvoiced consonants.
Unvoiced means you don’t use your voice – your voice, sorry –
when you say these sounds. So if you place your fingers on your neck here you
shouldn’t feel any vibration when you say these sounds, for example. Or you
don’t use your voice in these sounds, you use your mouth only. When you use your
mouth and not your voice in these unvoiced consonants then you’re going to
add the S as a sound. So, for example, the sound is unvoiced and some similar some
words that end in that are: Next we have
this symbol here: it’s the sound of a th sometimes. There are two sounds for “th”
but in this case, this is an unvoiced sound you make it just with your tongue,
some air, and your teeth, like this. It’s almost silent so it sounds like maths,
baths, moths. Okay those are unvoiced sounds – unvoiced consonants – sorry. Now the
sound “zzz” is made with, you guessed it, voiced consonants
well when words end in voiced consonants some voiced consonants. These
are sounds that you can feel your throat vibrating with, but you use your
throat with a sound so this sound these words then become: This is the other sound that we make with some
“th” words. This one is unvoiced but this other one is voiced the most common word
that you might know with this is mother. You should feel vibration here. Mother. So
we’ve got: Let’s move on to some short answers here.
Now these are questions that require some short answers. For example, I have
here some questions about habits and facts and I’d like you to answer these
with some short answers. So I’ll give you ten seconds. Please pause the video and
answer these questions in your own words and use the present simple when
necessary. Okay I’ll give you ten seconds. Okay.
All right, now, we’re going to look at some example answers but these answers
are going to start being more simple at first, so I’ll answer numbers 1 2 & 3
with more simple answers and by the end the questions 4 5 & 6 will be more
complex so I’ll show you what I mean by simple and complex. First question: That’s a simple answer.
Next question: how often do you visit the dentist? I try to visit the dentist at
least twice a year. This is a little more complex.
I used “try to” visit and “at least” twice a year. Where do you usually go shopping? I
mostly go shopping with my parents but sometimes I go with friends. A little
more complex. I’ve got “mostly”, I mostly go shopping and “sometimes” I go with
friends. These are both frequency adverbs and you use them with the present simple
and I’m also using “but” here to connect 2 ideas. Next one what are some devices
you own? Now this
is much more complex than how I answered number one Next one: how many family members live
with you? this is more complex and I’m using
“although” here, again, connecting two parts or two different ideas with a connector
and finally who is your best friend? Right. Maybe five is more complex
than six I’d say but this is also a good answer. We have some specific vocabulary
for when you’re talking about friendship: old classmates, hang out. All right
Okay let’s talk about the present simple and telling stories. We use the present
simple to make stories more interesting especially when the story has a surprise
ending. Now for this I want you to imagine that I’m back here somewhere
sitting at a table in this cafe. This is not me. All right, let’s see, Okay so I’m going to first tell the story
using the the typical past simple, past tense way of telling a story. For example: Okay that’s one way to tell a story that happened in the past.
It’s fine. It’s good. Maybe it’s not so interesting
for the person listening if you tell the story that way so I’m
gonna tell the story a different way, using present simple to make it a little
more interesting. Okay, there are some past simple in this, past simple verbs in this, but it’s not
entirely past simple and I’ve used the present simple to interest you – it’s like
you’re in the story with me while I’m telling you this story and it makes
telling stories a lot more interesting and also shows that you have a higher
English level because this is not something that elementary students
usually do. Alright so with that in mind telling a story using present simple
makes a story more engaging, interesting for the listener. It’s more casual, it’s
more conversational, it’s more typical of the way we speak to each other in
English. And it’s more focused on the story as a whole instead of on each part
if you use the past simple and you say “yesterday I was in a coffee shop, I sat
down, I opened my phone, I was looking through Instagram.” it sounds like you’re
telling me about all of these actions but when you tell a story using present
simple, you are putting me in the story. It’s more focused on the story, not on
each part of the story. Okay now we’re at the long answers part of
the of the lesson, so these questions require longer answers. Now I’m
going to give you some time to practice speaking or writing down the answers
that you would give for these questions but before we do that
I would like you to consider something, and this is, hopefully, this will be
useful for you when writing your answers now when we need to give a longer answer,
sometimes people run out of things to say. You don’t know what to say next. And
people ask me “what is an easy way to extend my answers?” and the easiest way
that you can extend your answers is to think of easy questions to make the
answer longer. For example, number one is talk about your daily routine. If you
just say at 8:00 a.m I wake up. “At 10 a.m. I go to work at 11 a.m. I have
lunch at 2 p.m. I have a nap” it’s very repetitive it’s very simple
and you’re only focusing on the time and the action. So I’d like you to think about
who – who do you do the action with? who do you go to work with? – what – what do you do
for work? For example. Or what school do you go to? – where – where are you going?
where do you do the action? When do you do it? Well if you’re saying the time
you’re saying “when” but maybe you want to be more specific: I go early to school between August and May but in the summer
I wake up later than 6:00 a.m. Why let’s do “why” first. Why do you do
certain things? At 6:00 p.m. I go to the gym because I want to get fit, I want to
look good. And – how – “how” can be: how do you do it?
like how do you get to school? Or how do you get to work? Or it can be: how many?
how much? Like, how many people do you go with? How much time does it take you to
get there? How big or small something is. If you’re describing your school: how big
is your school? How small is it? Or how long is your journey? You know there’s
lots of questions that you can – let’s say sub-questions – you can answer in these.
Alright so I’ll give you – can just pause the video, answer the
questions, and try to come up with good long answers that use complex ideas and
use the present simple especially. Okay. All right. For the last part here is
IELTS practice. If you are doing IELTS, this is great, if you’re not doing IELTS,
this is also useful for you. You don’t need to be doing IELTS to do these kinds of
tasks. They’re really very very useful. The tasks are made for you – for
you to be forced to speak for a long time so you have, basically, a task with
some sub-questions in them. This one is describe a day of the week that is
special to you and you should say what you do that day, who you spend time with,
why this day is particularly special, and talk about an experience you’ve recently
had on that day. So you have “what” “who” “why” and an experience. So maybe you can use
the present simple to tell the story Okay, you have some time so pause the
video take some time to answer the question. Okay hopefully you found this video
useful. If you wrote a nice IELTS part 2 answer you can copy it into the comment
section and we’ll take a look at it and see how complex or simple it is. And
just keep practicing and check out my next video coming soon. All right. Thank
you very much! Bye bye!

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