expressions with thing and emphatic stress

Last week in my A.1 English class at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas I’ve learnt two things to improve my English vocabulary and speaking. The first thing was expressions with the word ‘thing’ like: in-thing, it’s just one of those things, one thing lend to another, the good thing is, the thing about, … The second thing was about what words are stressed when you speak. We also did some exercises.

Vocabulary: Expressions with thing

Ex. 1 Choose the best word or phrase to complete the sentences.

1 A/one thing led to another.
2 I’ve always had a/the thing about football.
3 I don’t know why really, it’s just one of those things/one thing.
4 It’s a/the good thing we’ve got quite a big house.
5 It’s a/one thing of the past.
6 Bratz are one/the in-thing these days.
7 They’re just plain ugly, for a/one thing.

Ex.2 Match the expressions with thing 1-7 in exercise 1 to the following definitions a-g.

a be very interested in. [2]
b events happened, but I won’t explain why. [3]
c fashionable or popular. [6]
d I can’t explain. [1]
e it no longer exists. [5]
f it’s fortunate. [4]
g this is one reason. [7]

Ex. 3 Complete the sentences with one of the expressions from exercise 1.

1 It’s ____a good thing____ I can take time off work because it means I can travel to away matches.

2 I really don’t like travelling by train. There is no real reason, I guess it’s just ____one of those things____.

3 To start with I just worked 9 to 5, but then ____one thing lend to another____ and now I’m doing more than ten hours overtime a week.

4 I really can’t understand how 1970s fashion got to be ____the in-thing____ again. It’s horrible!

5 I never go jogging. I think it’s really boring, ____for one thing____, and it’s supposed to be really bad for your knees.

6 I’ve always ____has a thing about____ butterflies –I’ve loved them since I was a child.

7 When I was younger I used to love rugby, but I completely lost interest and now it’s ____a thing of the past____.

Pronunciation: emphatic tenses

1 Correct the factual mistakes in the sentences (highlighting the stressed word …)

A: A gnome is the spirit of a dead person.
B: It’s a ghost, not a gnome.

1 A: An auto-mobile is the signature of a famous person.
1 B: It’s an autograph, not an auto-mobile.

2 A: A hobbit is something we do in our spare time.
2 B: It’s a hobby, not a hobbit.

3 A: Blade runner was a film that starred Michael Douglas.
3 B: It was Harrison Ford, not Michael Douglas.

4 A: Kermit was a pig in The Muppet Show.
4 B: It was a frog, not a pig.

5 A: Giorgio Armani is a famous Japanese designer.
5 B: He’s an Italian designer, not a Japanese one.


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