Improve your English with a personal Bitmoji Avatar

Here I am again, telling you to close those textbooks! Pause that English lecture! Step outside the normal way that you have been learning! Here I am again, telling you to learn outside the box with me, and outside what … Continue reading

Active VS Passive Listening

It’s another day and another new skill to review and improve! Welcome to the 2nd activity in the final week of my August Learning Plan! I cannot believe we are almost finished! Time has flown by, hasn’t it? If you … Continue reading

Gerund vs Infinitive – Part 1

Hiii everyone!! I got this amazing invitation from Jennifer to be here contributing to the blog and your learning and I am sooo excited for it. Why? Because I was/am Jennifer’s student just as you are, so as an ESL learner, I am sure we have a lot to share on this journey of learning English.

Let me tell you a bit of my own journey…Last year I lived in San Diego for almost 10 months and it was the best time of my life (if you’re thinking about going for an exchange year, I encourage you to do it! You won’t regret it, actually you won’t want to go home haha). When I moved, I already knew a few things in English and I started school at a High Intermediate level. I could understand and read well, but I couldn’t speak and that was my main goal: to speak the best I could, with the least accent possible (I warn you from the beginning: You will always have an accent and that’s fine, it shows your identity). I got to Proficiency level, then I decided to take a TOEFL preparation course and, later, the test. Besides school, I lived with a host family whom I loooove ♥ and I’m certain they had a huge contribution to my learning. Ok, let me cut to the chase (idiom: to focus on what is important; to skip the unnecessary part) and go to what really matters here..

I chose GERUNDS for today’s post so we can kill two birds with one stone (idiom: when you solve two problems at one time): 1) clarify a topic commonly confused or misunderstood and 2) write for week 3 of #AugLP.

As you all might know, a gerund is the “ing” form of the verb, but how is it used? What part of speech or functions does it fit under? Well, this varies by the context. The gerund is used as a noun and it can fit the subject or object position.

  • As subject: when it’s in the beginning of a sentence working as the subject of the verb (verb MUST be singular)

Eating is the best thing to do in Italy.
Living abroad is a good way to learn a new language.

  • As a direct object: when complementing the verb directly

I love running by the sea.
I consider littering a serious crime.

  • Preposition + gerund: after every preposition that is followed by a verb, the verb comes in its gerund form

After waiting for 45 minutes, it was finally my turn to ride the roller-coaster.
I always feed my dog before going out.
I don’t know much about selling stocks.
I congratulated her for passing the exam.

  • As a subject complement: the subject complement can be a noun, an adjective or a pronoun that describes the subject. Between the subject and the complement there must be a linking verb (most common one is the verb to be).

My favorite activity is swimming.
The best tip for a good performance on a test is sleeping well the night before.

  • As an object complement: just like the subject complement, the object complement gives more detail to the object by describing it with a noun, pronoun or adjective.

I found the student sleeping during the class.
I had issues getting used to the blog editor.

The last part I consider the hardest to associate since there is no rule, only memorization and practice. But, seriously, with practice it starts coming naturally and you will not find it challenging anymore.

  • Verbs and phrases always followed by the gerund: the list below contains the most common verbs and phrases for this category
    • admit
    • advise
    • avoid
    • be used to
    • can’t help
    • can’t stand
    • consider
    • deny
    • discuss
    • dislike
    • end up
    • enjoy
    • feel like
    • finish
    • get used to
    • give up
    • go on
    • have difficulty
    • have problems
    • have trouble
    • imagine
    • it’s no use
    • it’s worthwhile
    • keep
    • look forward to
    • mention
    • mind
    • miss
    • recommend
    • quit
    • spend time
    • suggest
    • understand
    • waste time
    • work at

Besides that, there is still more specific content comparing the use of gerunds and infinitives, which is going to be discussed on a future post, part 2.

Let’s practice???

Create examples about yourself using each of the cases we’ve studied for the gerund and let me know more about you!! Does it sound good?? :))

Overall, I hope this post has been helpful so far and feel free to get in touch with me or Jennifer for any questions or explanations. Don’t forget to practice!!! Have a nice week, guys!

August Learning Plan’s Week 1 Review: Reading

Congratulations on finishing week number one of the August Learning Plan! Last week you discovered your reading level and reviewed some helpful tips to improve your reading via English Club, as well as practicing and improving your skimming and scanning skills!

Week #2 has officially started! That means you only have 1 more day to sign up for the first Group conversation class, happening on Tuesday evening (PDT time!) and should be thinking about your Instagram/Youtube video challenge and looking forward to the pronunciation post coming later this week! However, I wanted to give you the links to week #2’s files in a quick post, so here they are…

Activity #1
English Club is a favorite learning resource of mine, and I have recommended the site to many students along my teaching journey. They have a very useful quiz to test your reading level, as well as links to different tips and resources to practice and improve. Start by taking the reading test here: Then, click the READING tab to browse their resources!

Activity #2
Scanning is the skill you have the opportunity to practice and improve in the second activity. Access the file here:
Not only will you improve reading skills, you’ll be exposed to new vocabulary and have access to a helpful vocabulary building website (& already made lists!) When you need to get specific information in a text, particular answers to a question, or certain pieces of data/details, scanning is the way to do it!

Activity #3
To practice skimming for main ideas, you can click here:
In this post you will read an article about Employee motivation, and will skim (read quickly) to try and understand the general concept of the article. Remember, you don’t need to understand it all, just the key points. If you’re ever in a situation that you need to read something very quickly (think academic tests, meetings, cram sessions) then this is the activity for you!

1) explore some of the different areas on English Club, and complete some of the many practice exercises.
2) explore more of my vocabulary lists (& others) on Quizlet, and don’t forget to practice with the 6 different learning exercises, I like “Space Race!”


What was your favorite activity? Which helped you the most? Did you complete any of the EXTRA learning resources and practice activities? I’d love to hear from you, and hear about your progress, so don’t hesitate to comment below or send me a message!

Happy Studying! ♥

Please share this post with someone you know that wants some English reading practice!

Phrasal Verb Friday: Summertime!

Happy Friday! ♥ It already feels like summertime here in Tucson, 106° today, and even hotter earlier this week; however, the first official day of summer is this Sunday, June 21. The summer solstice is just a few days away, so … Continue reading

Past Perfect Progressive to Draw Conclusions

Although the title may seem a little daunting (seemingly difficult, overwhelming), you draw conclusions, or say why things happen all the time. You are probably doing this to yourself, in your head, not to mention in your native language, but after today’s post, that’ll … Continue reading

Simple Past vs Present Perfect vs Present Perfect Progressive

Hey! Happy Hump Day!  I haven’t written much this week (or should I say, “I didn’t write much this week.” ?) but be prepared for some exciting stuff coming your way through the weekend! Today is just a quick post … Continue reading

8 Benefits of English (Language) Exchange

As you read the title, you may be thinking that the benefits of a language exchange partner are obvious, right? You get to practice speaking, which leads to improving your fluency. Ok, blog post done. However, let me specify here that … Continue reading