lesson 84

English Course Online 84

Today’s Focus:

  • Vocabulary related to construction
  • Grammar point: General order of adjectives

1/ Sentence Practice

I think that it is a good idea to work from home and the good thing about finishing the extension is that it will add value to the house.

If you add up all the time you waste commuting to and fro from the office and, not forgetting, the exorbitant cost of public transport, it’s a win-win situation.

I am going to build the walls with grey concrete blocks once I have smashed the old redbrick path in the garden and poured in the liquid foundations. The ground is fairly firm and there is no need to pile driving the ground. Parts of the inner city are built on clay and the wet winters and dry summers cause the expansion and contraction of the earth which leads to subsidence.

We live in a densely populated housing area and I am of the firm belief that we if fix up the house it is a good investment.

If I stick to a certain square footage I can bypass the arduous task of getting planning permission.

Although, I will still have to respect the building regulations.

Have you seen that decrepit old house on the corner it would appear that the council is about to evict some squatters as the property is condemned?

The place was boarded up a few years ago after a compulsory purchase order was served on the owner.

The squatters always manage to squeeze in through a hole in the wall. That horrible structure does not blend in with its surroundings.

So what do you plan to do for the interior?

I want to use some solid materials which are not likely to scratch or crumble, many synthetic products are too fragile and they chip too easily.

The colour and the texture I will leave up to you. If you like we can go and visit a DIY store next weekend.

I know you like that opaque mineral flooring that is all the rage something with specks in it and for the ceiling, we can put up some wooden covering.

Once I have put down a reinforced concrete base, we can buy some coloured mineral powder that just needs to be watered down and spread out. It dissolves very easily and does not leave crumbs, in fact, it has a smooth plastic texture.

I can borrow an electric cement mixer from our neighbour. He owes me a favour, as I am always lending him something.

How much do you estimate that the whole thing will cost? I know you are good at that kind of stuff.

I would say that the P.V.C. doors and windows were going to be the most expensive items. I will ask a couple of local firms to put in quotes but we will probably end up buying them ready-made.

So give me a ballpark figure.

I would say that 15,000 pounds should cover it as I intend to do all the work myself. That is with the exception of the plumbing that is. Do you think that it’s worth looking at Solar panels? They say that they are cost-effective and that they add value to the house? I don’t see how. It is always, either rainy or cloudy and they are not very discreet.

Why not? there is always some kind of exhibition of renewable energy products at the store. We kind find out more on Saturday and ask someone to come round and give us a quote.

So do you think that your uncle can give us that kind of money?

I think so. He was talking about, at least, three times that figure.


2/ Vocabulary Practice

  • to add value to
  • to add up
  • the time you save commuting
  • to and fro
  • exorbitant cost
  • win-win situation
  • which leads to subsidence
  • I can bypass
  • arduous task
  • planning permission
  • to block
  • the building regulations
  • decrepit old house
  • to evict some squatters
  • the property is condemned
  • to concentrate
  • compulsory purchase order
  • to blend in
  • they chip too easily
  • the texture
  • I will leave up to you
  • DIY store
  • opaque mineral flooring
  • wooden covering
  • to put down
  • reinforced concrete base
  • to spread out
  • to water down
  • smooth plastic texture
  • crumbs
  • to borrow
  • electric cement mixer
  • to council
  • dense
  • to dissolve
  • DIY
  • to estimate
  • How much do you estimate?
  • local firms
  • fragile
  • grain
  • grind
  • pile
  • P.V.C.
  • quotes
  • ready-made.
  • to smash
  • to speck
  • to squeeze
  • to scratch
  • to crumble
  • stiff
  • synthetic
  • bypass
  • to demolish
  • to dwell
  • to evict
  • housing
  • inner city
  • populated
  • structure
  • surroundings
  • to board up
  • to be boarded up
  • to come out
  • to fix up
  • to end up
  • ready-made
  • a ballpark figure
  • to put in
  • to put up
  • with the exception of
  • the plumbing
  • it’s worth looking at
  • Solar panels
  • they are cost effective
  • renewable energy products
  • to give us a quote
  • commuter belt
  • home sweet home


3/ Grammar Practice

4/ Practice Quiz

Complete the quizzes below.

  1. Today’s comprehension interactive video: 
  2. Today’s sentences drag and drop: 
  3. Today’s grammar fill in the right words: 

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