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What is a Free Demo Class, Anyway?

Free Demo Class

You may have seen this button on the Ginseng homepage and wondered, what is a "free demo"?  What happens if I click this button!? Is it really FREE? Are there any strings attached? What happens next? Well, let me see if I can help to answer your questions!

We think our classes are pretty great, but you can't know that this is true unless you try one out, right?! That is where a free demo class comes in. 

Demo is short for demonstration, which means we are showing you something. You might go for a demo, or a test drive, at a car dealership if you're thinking about buying a car, or you could get a free demo of a new computer software that your company is considering buying.

 A "demo class" at Ginseng is a short, 30 minute sample of an online class class. You get to meet one of our teachers, see some of our fancy materials, and check out the follow-up emails we'll send you. 

So, what happens when I actually click that button?

When you click on this button, you will need to fill out a short form and then I will get an alert from you. But wait, who am I?! Great question.

Sarah Hi!

My name is Sarah, and I work for Ginseng. It is my job to help you with pretty much anything that you need from our online English school! You can ask me anything you want about our school, and I will do my best to help you out!

When I receive your free demo request, I will e-mail you to set up a time to video chat 📹 to learn more about what you are looking for. We can talk on Skype, Google Hangouts, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facetime—you name it!



I'll ask you questions about yourself, like:

  • Where are you from? 
  • How long you've been studying English?
  • Why is learning English important to you?
  • What part of English do you want to study the most? 
  • What time is good for you to have classes?

(It's ok if you don't know, or even if you just want to study EVERYTHING!)

It is up to you to choose what you want your free class to be about. It can be focused on just about anything English, such as pronunciation, grammar, writing and conversation! We will also talk about what times are good for your free class.

After we speak, I will talk to our team here at Ginseng and find you the best online English teacher for your educational goals, and your availability.

But wait, is it really free?

Yes!  Your 30 minute demo class is completely free. If you like what you see, we would love for you to share Ginseng English with your friends, and maybe even sign up for a class or two!

Ok, Now you've got me curious...

Great! So, take a moment to click the "request demo" button and fill out the form.  Soon, you'll be hearing from me! Who knows, we might even become friends! 


3 Steps to Studying with Ginseng

Studying with Ginseng is easy! Click the FREE DEMO CLASS button to request your demo. Then you will get an email from one of our staff to schedule your class. Then just log in and meet your teacher!

Request Demo Class Meet Ginseng Teacher Schedule First Class!
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If have any questions about Ginseng, e-mail me at

My name is Sarah and I have 8 years of experience working with international students studying in the United States, most recently at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I share your passion for adventure, and am currently traveling through Asia as part of the Ginseng English Anywhere tour! 



Describing People in English


Describing People in English

In this post we introduce over 40 vocabulary words for describing people in English, along with 6 sentence frames to use them in. The first three sentence frames are basic (level A1). The other three are a little more advanced (level A2-B1). All of the vocabulary is basic (levels A1 to A2). (If you don't know what A1 and A2 and B1 and B2 mean, learn about the CEFR!)

Note: Reading this article in English will be difficult for A1 and A2 students. We will soon translate this article into many different languages!

What is a Sentence Frame?

Sentence frames are a really useful way to learn how we speak English. A sentence frame is a sentence with an empty slot that many different words can go in for many different situations. For example, if you learn the sentence frame I feel [ADJECTIVE], you can make hundreds of different sentences. All you need to do is learn a new adjective that fits in that slot: I feel hungry. I feel tired. I feel angry. I feel sick. At a basic level, sentence frames are a great way to learn English!

Frame #1 - Basic Sentences for Describing People

The first three sentence frames we will look at are simple sentences. One of the most common ways to describe people is with adjectives: tall, short, fat, skinny, pretty, handsome, ugly. To use these common adjectives in a sentence, try this frame:

The man is [ADJECTIVE].

The man is tall. The man is fat. The man is ugly. The man is in shape. These are all good sentences in English. 

It is important to know that The man is another slot that you can change. The woman is tall. My friend is tall. My dad is tall. Jane is tall. She is tall. You can put any person in that slot.

Now let’s take a look at some adjectives describing people that can fit into this slot:

Adjectives to Describe People in English
Word Pronunciation Definition
tall /tɔl/ greater in height than the average person; not short
short /ʃɔrt/ lesser in height than the average person; not tall
thin /θɪn/ not having lots of extra flesh; not fat
fat /fæt/ having lots of extra flesh; not thin
old /oʊld/ having lived many years; not young
young /jʌŋ/ not having lived many years; not old
in shape /ɪn ʃeɪp/ healthy and physically strong
out of shape /aʊt ʌv ʃeɪp/ not healthy or physically strong
beautiful /ˈbjutəfəl/ attractive; good looking (mainly for females)
ugly /ˈʌgli/ not attractive; not good looking
handsome /ˈhænsəm/ attractive; good-looking (usually for males)
bald /bɔld/ not having hair on the top of the head

 Frame #2 - Basic Sentences Describing Features

The next basic sentence frame for describing people in English focuses on a specific feature: glasses, curly hair, black hair, blue eyes, a mustache, a ponytail. To talk about a person’s features, use this sentence:

The woman has [FEATURE].

With this sentence frame, you can make lots of different sentences:The woman has curly hair. The woman has glasses. The woman has long hair. The woman has a ponytail.

Again, you can change the person slot as well: The man has long hair. My friend has long hair. My sister has long hair. Clara has long hair.

Here are some features (nouns or nouns with adjectives) that can fit into this sentence frame:

Frame #3 - Basic Sentences Describing Clothes

The last sentence we will talk about for describing people focuses on clothes. Who doesn’t love clothes!? Black shoes! Gray pants! Blue ties! Green skirts! But let’s make complete sentences with them. Here is the sentence frame:

The woman is wearing [CLOTHES].

And here is a list of clothes that can go into this sentence:

All of these clothing items can be used with color words to be even more descriptive. The woman is wearing black shoes. The man is wearing a yellow tie.

So, those three sentence frames, combined with this vocabulary, allow you to make hundreds of different sentences to describe people. If you are a beginner, and this is mostly new information for you, you can stop here.

But, if you know most of this stuff, and you want to learn some more advanced English sentences, read on!


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Complex Sentence Frames Describing People

The first three frames talked about nouns, features, and clothes, in that order, right? The next three frames will be used to talk about the same three things, but in a more complex way. All of the same vocabulary from the sections above can be used with the next three frames, in the same order. 

In the first three sentence frames, the main idea of each sentence was describing people. The sentences were about describing people. The thing that I want to tell you about the man is that he is tall. But sometimes we want to describe people in a sentence about something else, and the description is not the most important idea in the sentence. For example, maybe I want to tell you that the man is my neighbor, but I also want to mention that he is tall. These next sentence frames will help in situations like that. 

Frame #4 - Adjectives Before Nouns

Let’s use that example. The I want to tell you that the man is my neighbor, and I also want to describe him as tall. I can put the adjective before the noun: The tall man is my neighbor. You can also put any of the other adjectives from above into that slot.

The [ADJECTIVE] man is my neighbor.

The handsome man is my neighbor. The old man is my neighbor. The fat man is my neighbor. And again, the end of the sentence (which we call the predicate) is a slot, too, and you can put different verbs in there: The tall man likes football. The tall man is eating. The tall man has a car.

Frame #5 - Features and With

If you want to talk about someone’s features in that same sentence, we need to use the preposition with. We could say The man with glasses is my neighbor. Any of the other features can go into that same slot:

The man with [FEATURE] is my neighbor.

The man with red hair is my neighbor. The man with a mustache is my neighbor.

Frame #6 - Clothing and in 

When we want to talk about clothes, we need another preposition. Instead of with, we use in. The man in the blue shirt is my neighbor. Any of the clothing vocabulary above can go into that same slot:

The man in [CLOTHES] is my neighbor.

The man in the tie is my neighbor. The man in the grey pants is my neighbor. The woman in the red hat is my neighbor.


That's it! Study these six sentence frames and the vocabulary, and you can now make hundreds of new sentences to describe people! Check back soon and we'll have a quiz to check what you have learned!

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Rob Sheppard is the founder and Chief Executive Teacher at Ginseng. Over the past ten years, he has taught English in Taiwan, South Korea, and his hometown of Boston. Now he teaches online at Ginseng while traveling the world.

You can email Rob at

More free English Vocabulary Resources





If you spend any time on Twitter, you may have heard some funny words that all look the same: POTUS, FLOTUS, and SCOTUS. What do these strange words mean? Well, they are all acronyms. Acronyms are abbreviations, in which each of the letters represents a word. The -OTUS in these three words stands for of the United States. POTUS means president of the United States. FLOTUS means first lady of the United States (the term for the president's wife). SCOTUS is Supreme Court of the United States (the most important court in the US). 

English has many acronyms like this. Many of them began in the military. SCOTUS and POTUS were first used in the late 19th century, in telegrams. FLOTUS didn't come into the language until almost a hundred years later. VPOTUS has been used here and there to refer to the vice president, but this isn't exactly easy to pronounce, so it hasn't caught on. 

As you may know, Donald Trump is a very unpopular POTUS, and this has led to many jokes about him. In 2017, a Twitter user came up with a new -OTUS word for Trump: SCROTUS. This joke works for two reasons: first, it stands for so-called ruler of the United States, and Trump really doesn't like when people suggest that he is an illegitimate president. But the much funnier part of this joke is that it sounds like the word scrotum. You can click here to find out what that one means; this is a family website! 😂 

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The Most Common English Adjectives

Are you wondering where to start studying English vocabulary? Adjectives are a really important part of speech. An adjective is a word used to describe a noun.

It is a good idea to focus on the most common ones in the language. Below are lists of the 50 most common words in both American and British English.

50 Most Common Adjectives
🇺🇸 in American English 🇺🇸
No. Adjective
31 BAD
46 RED
50 Most Common Adjectives
🇬🇧 in British English 🇬🇧
29 BIG

Most of the most common adjectives are the same in the US and the UK (78% of the top 50 and 92% of the top 25 words appear in both lists). Notice that American is the 4th most common adjective in American English and British is the 13th most common adjective in British English. We shouldn't read too much into these simple lists, but it is interesting to note that militaryfederal, and personal all appear in the American list. Do you notice any other patterns?

That's all for now! Start studying!

If you're looking for something similar, check out the most common verbs in English.

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Parts of a Laptop

English Vocabulary - Parts of a Laptop

Today lets learn English words to talk about parts of a laptop. As you may know, a laptop is a computer you can close like a book and take with you. Larger computers that you cannot take with you are called desktops, because they sit on top of a desk. A laptop sits on top of your lap (your lap is the upper part of your legs, which is horizontal when you sit!

The part of the laptop that you look at is called the display. Display is also a verb: your computer displays pictures, videos, and websites. Some people call this a screen, too. Screen is a more general word—your TV has a screen, there is a screen at the movies—but display is better for computers. On most laptops, there is an area around the display that doesn't show pictures, like a frame. We call this the bezel. In the middle of the bezel, above the display, you probably have a webcam: a camera that you can use on the web.

The part of the laptop with the letters is called the keyboard. A board is a flat surface, and this board is covered with buttons called keys; that's why we say keyboard! In front of the keyboard is a touchpad, which you can touch to move your cursor (the arrow on your computer screen).

On the sides of the laptop (not shown in this picture) you may have many different ports to plug in your power cord, headphones, or a USB cord.

More free English resources 

Parts of a Laptop Computer

Parts of a Laptop Computer



10 Trending Words That Aren’t in Your Dictionary


Welcome to the first post in English written by Yentelman, the blogger who's been helping Spanish students with their English (and even their Spanish!) for quite a few years now. I was asked by my friends here at Ginseng English to adapt a few of my posts to English and—this being something that had been in my mind for some time— what could I say but "of course!" So, here we are. And, what am I going to talk about? Well, there were plenty to choose from but, considering the time of the year we're in, why not have a look at the most surprising words trending from 2017? (Note: You can read the original article in Spanish here). analysed the top 10 trending words in 2017. But not just any trending word—only those that are not currently included in the dictionary. We'll explain here what those events or movements were that made these words "go viral." Let's see!

1. Antifa


OK, as some of you may know—or may have already noticed—I'm a Spaniard. And this term, antifa, is fairly well-known in my mother tongue, as it has the same meaning, and is quite trendy as well. The Antifa movement in the USA, though, is slightly different from the one in Spain. It is a conglomerate of several anti-fascist (hence anti-fa) groups, with no formal organization nor official leader. With the antifa movement being quite active and on the rise in my home country, we Spaniards tend to believe that Anglo-Saxon countries are not so keen on them. Quite the opposite, the antifa movement is quite active overseas, and is composed of people from different ideologies, mainly anarchists, socialists and communists, but there are also liberals and social-democrats among their ranks. An odd mixture, tbh.

The main reasons for this trending word in 2017 were the numerous violent protests and demonstrations carried out during the summer in cities such as Charlottesville, Phoenix and Berkeley. The first one was particularly infamous due to the brutal confrontations between Antifa and white supremacists. Donald Trump has also been known to talk a lot about Antifa. So, there's another good reason for this word to be trending in 2017, just like our next word...

2. Covfefe

Trump Covfefe Tweet

Now, there's this term I absolutely love in the English language: brain fart. That is NOT our next trending word, but it does accurately describe this and other statements from the current U.S. president. Donald Trump's famous tweet was published on May 31, 2017, and it immediately became the trending word of the moment. Half of Twitter and journalists from all over the world couldn't make up their minds as to whether it was a joke or he had really meant to send some obscure message to the reptilian government in the shadows.

Even the famous Merriam Webster dictionary—frequent fact-checker and internet troll to The Donald—was left speechless for once (see Tweet to the right).

To this day, we still don't know what the heck Donald Trump meant to say with that word. The most likely explanation is that covfefe was a typo of coverage (negative press coverage is a common phrase), but instead of clarifying, the president’s press secretary cryptically said “a small group of people know exactly what he meant.” Anyway, it was worth it if only for the LOLs.

3. Cuck

Short for cuckold, this term has clearly pejorative and negative connotations. A cuckold is a husband who has been cheated on. The word stems from a 13th century poem, and is derived from cuckoo, the well known bird you can find in the clock of the same name. It wasn't until 2014 that the shortened cuck started getting popular on the Internet, too as an insult aimed at a certain type of male.

Here I intended to include a pic for cuck, but it just so happens that cuck is also a porn subgenre, and my safesearch was not enabled...

Here I intended to include a pic for cuck, but it just so happens that cuck is also a porn subgenre, and my safesearch was not enabled...

According to Michael Adams, professor of linguistics at Indiana University, shortening the term so it rhymes with fuck makes it more visceral. According to Adams, the name makes reference to a man "who’s timid, deferential and lacking in toughness and conviction […] it says you’re an unnatural man, someone who can’t stand for himself […] He’s inadequate, unable to hold on to what’s his."

Donald Trump is again behind cuck becoming one of the top trending words in 2017. This is a word that you might want to avoid using. It has become the insult of choice for members of the so-called Alt-Right (another one of the most looked up words), a political group composed of racists and fascists.

4. Despacito

Yep, kids. The title of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's song is the fourth word in this list. I guess it was because of the version with that tool Justin Bieber in it. Yeah, I know I should now include the song's video-clip and all that, but I can't be arsed. I'd rather you guys listened to a couple of my favourite versions of the song. Cue video!

You may not find the definition of despacito in an English dictionary, but it translates to slowly.

5. Fidget spinner

Can you believe these things existed as far back as 1993? You wouldn't guess, judging by how recently they have become the most sought-after toy in 2017. Who knows why. Truth is, fidget spinners have become so popular among kids (and adults!) that many education institutions have decided to ban their use in class. Fidgeting is moving around restlessly, like many kids do when they’re bored at school. These spinning objects were sold as toys that can help kids to focus by using up their nervous energy.

Fidget Spinner

6. Hygge


A post shared by Calzitalia (Brescia-Italia) (@calzitalia_brescia) on

Am I an influencer yet?

No, when we talk about hygge we are not talking about the latest IKEA chair or wardrobe. This one's a Danish word, used to describe a special feeling or moment as cozy, charming, or special. Look it up in Google Images and you'll likely start puking rainbows.

It seems there's no direct translation for this term in English (there isn't one in my mother tongue either). We'd be speaking about a feeling, a sentiment or emotion. It is this lack of an exact definition and the association of the word with nice thoughts and ideas which made this a top trending word in 2017. Why? Because some sly marketing experts realized they could capitalize on this word to sell Americans basically everything, from wine to self-help books, wool sweaters, age treatment oils, idyllic holidays and even dog leashes.

7. Smize

You NEED to be Tyra Banks, otherwise it's not the same.

You NEED to be Tyra Banks, otherwise it's not the same.

This is a portmanteau word created by supermodel Tyra Banks and meaning "smile with one's eyes". There's even a Wikihow guide on how to do it.

The thing is, it was actually 2009 when Tyra coined the term. Why, then, has this become a trending word in 2017? Easy: by the end of July 2017, the model introduced her 18-month-old toddler into society. Up to that point, the kid had been left outside the spotlight. So Tyra came up and said that her baby already knew how to smize, and it promptly went viral. You can see for yourself in the video below.

Yeah, I know. The kid in the pic appears to be more stoic than Steven Seagal in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. But he is smizing! He's smiling with his eyes! For fuck's sake, can't you see?

Meh, who am I kidding. I wasn't able to look away from that dress either.

8. Turnt

An example of teenage slang that shows the influence of social networks and everything social-media related on youngsters today. This term is used to express great excitement, anticipation or enthusiasm for an upcoming event. It is, allegedly, a variant of turned. Even though it first became popular in the music world around 2013, it's been this year when teenagers have really adopted it as their own and made it a trending word.

9. Vax

giphy (1).gif

Short for vaccination, this expression has been widely used in 2017, the year when the so-called anti-vaxxers have finally exhausted the patience of many governments in Europe and around the world, who have started fining those irresponsible parents who decide not to vaccinate their children.

Using unfounded and outlandish arguments such as the one in the gif above ("vaccines cause autism in children"), the anti-vax movement is behind the recent outbreak of diseases such as measles, mumps or polio in many countries who had successfully managed to eradicate them long ago. This link will take you to a detailed map of the evolution of these diseases, so you can see what I'm talking about.

Just so you know, I don't usually discuss my beliefs openly on such topics as religion, politics, sports or adding chorizo to paella. But I'll be crystal clear this time: If you are an anti-vaxxer and my comments offend you, I don't give a frag. 

10. Welp

Let's get this over with already, shan't we? The last top trending word of 2017 is another teenage slang term you can frequently find in that new agora of culture and knowledge: Twitter (yes, I'm being sarcastic). It is said that welp is the oral way of expressing what is implied by a shrug. Actually, it is just an informal synonym for well when conveying surprise or shock at something, as well as an interjection to start a conversation or introduce a new sentence. For example:

"Welp, what have we here? "  Star Wars reference nº 4,815,162,342

"Welp, what have we here?Star Wars reference nº 4,815,162,342

Its use is becoming more and more popular, to the point that Merriam Webster (yes, the guys who bust Trump's stones) is thinking about including the term among their pages. However, until that happens, it is still little more than internet slang, even if it's older than most people are aware of.


So that's it. I hope you liked the post and, just in case… is there a word you have been reading or listening to a lot this year which has not been included here? Any you've been using a lot lately while not being sure if you're pulling a Donald Trump? Don't be shy and let us know!

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Parts of a Bike

English Vocabulary - Parts of a Bike

As you probably know, bike is a common short word for bicycle in English. Let's build our bicycle vocabulary by learning English names for parts of a bike!

The place where you sit is the seat, just like at the movies or in a car. You put your hands on the handlebars. Notice that this word is a combination of two other useful words: handle (something you hold in your hand) and bar (a long straight piece of metal). You put your feet on the two pedals.  

The word bicycle actually means two (bi-) wheels (cycle). The rubber part of the wheel that touches the ground is called the tire. The thin metal pieces that connect to the middle of the wheel are called spokes.

The pedals connect to the rear wheel with a chain and many different circular gears. All of this is held together on a metal frame, the red part in this picture.

More free English vocabulary resources

Take a look at the different parts of a bike in English!

Take a look at the different parts of a bike in English!



Parts of a Shoe

English Vocabulary - Parts of a Shoe

Next up in our Ginseng English series Parts of a... is shoes! Do you know the names for the parts of your shoes? Read on and you soon will!

Three parts of a shoe actually have the same names as parts of your body. The toe is the part of the shoe where your toes are. The heel is the part of the shoe where your heel (the back of your foot) goes. The third one is a little less expected. The part on top that comes from the inside is called the tongue! Your foot doesn't have a tongue of course, but this part of the shoe looks a little like a tongue! 👅

On top of the tongue, the strings that you tie together are called the laces. Finally, the part on the bottom that touches the ground is called the sole of the shoe.

Other free English vocabulary resources

English Vocabulary - Parts of a Shoe



Parts of a House

Across the world, everyone has some kind of home, though they all look very different! This post will describe the parts of a typical American house.



Parts of a Car

Basic English Vocabulary - Parts of a Car

Welcome to the first post in a new series on basic vocabulary from the Ginseng English Blog: Parts of a... Today, let's look at some useful vocabulary for the outside of a car!

On a car there are four tires, two front tires and two rear tires. Front and rear are useful words when we talk about cars. A car has two bumpers to protect you in an accident: a front bumper and a rear bumper. Above the bumpers are lights. There are headlights at the front of the car, and taillights at the rear of the car. On each side of the car is a side-view mirror, to help you see behind you. Inside the car is a rear-view mirror, too.

What other car vocabulary do you know? What do you want to know? Comment below!

More free online English posts

English Vocabulary - Parts of a Car


Basic Geometry Vocabulary


Basic Geometry Vocabulary

Basic geometry vocabulary

Rob from Ginseng English recently took a trip to Shanghai and recorded a lesson on geograph—err, geometry vocabulary. Take a moment and have a look!

Geometry Vocabulary List

Vertical (adj.) - positioned up and down rather than from side to side; going straight up

Horizontal (adj.) - positioned from side to side rather than up and down; parallel to the ground

Diagonal (adj.) - not going straight across or up and down

Beam (n.) - a long and heavy piece of wood or metal that is used as a support in a building

Post (n.) - a piece of wood or metal that is set in a vertical position, especially as a support or marker

Narrow (adj.) - long and not wide

Wide (adj.) - extending a great distance from one side to the other; not narrow

Free Vocabulary Resources

If you're trying to improve your English vocabulary online, check out these other free vocabulary resources from the Ginseng English Blog:



British Bad Words


British Bad Words

One of the most interesting and difficult things about learning a new language is learning which words are bad, and how bad they are. If you learn English, for example, we have the words crap and shit. Both have the same meaning, but shit is a much stronger word. Your mom might tell you not to say shit, but most people don't mind crap.

A recent article at British newspaper The Indepedent describes a survey that was done by the British government's Ofcom (of + com = office of communications). This office decides what language is okay to say on TV. In the UK some language and content is acceptable after 9:00, when most kids are not watching, but not okay before that.

In the survey, they asked 200 people to rank bad words. Different rankings were mild (not bad, okay for kids), medium (maybe okay on TV before 9:00pm), strong (mostly okay on TV after 9:00pm), strongest (never okay before 9:00, generally okay after).

Here's the full list (sorry Mom! 🙊)

If you like this, check out these other great English posts!




British Bad Words



Most Common English Verbs

Verbs are some of the most powerful words in a language. If you want to know which words to study first when you’re learning English, this list of the 30 most common verbs is the best place to start!



Language Learning Quotes

Learning a new language isn’t always fun and easy. Sometimes, it can be exhausting, frustrating and even infuriating! Here are some inspirational quotes about learning a new language that will hopefully cheer you up and might even remind you of why you’re learning a new language in the first place!


Review of Participles


Review of Participles


Participles (or participial adjectives) are verbs with -ED and -ING endings that can work like adjectives, describing people and things.

 -ED participles (past participles) usually describe how we feel, as in, "I feel exhausted."

-ING participles (present participles) usually describe things that make us feel that way, as in, "That hike was exhausting."


If you found this Ginseng English tip helpful, please share with #ginsenglish and follow @ginsenglish on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Also, consider signing up for our online English courses! 



Review of English Participles Card