Zak Washington's Guide to England - Title graphic.

Free libertarian English language and alternative guide to British culture

section title for Zak Washington's Guide to England with the words Lesson Eight

In LESSON 8 you will learn about dependant prepositions.

We will explain which prepositions are used with which verbs

Next, we will explain some typical grammatical rules and standard practices. 

Finally, students will practice with communication activities, quizzes and games.

Image of British Culture: Vintage Reliant Robin three wheel vehical from the early 1970s.

Vintage British Reliant Robin three wheel vehical from the early 1970s.

Zak Washington's English Adventure story - English language learning programme - Title graphic.

Zak Washington, the corrupt English teacher, is too lazy to work at the language school, so he is taking his group of students to visit a ‘cultural’ place of interest. Today we are going to…..


Zak Washington in front of a row of London terraced houses.


Student instructions for the next activity

ZAK WASHINGTON: A very good morning to you students! We’re on the way to meet a foreign gentleman who is going to be staying with me for a couple of days. His name is Ali Fred.

FRANÇOIS: Ali Fred. Where’s he from?

ZAK WASHINGTON: He’s from the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia.

FRANÇOIS: Hey isn’t he famous? He’s the son of Raji Fred, the most important businessman in the country! And he’s going to stay with you? He’s supposed to be marrying Lady Winthorpe, the Queen’s niece (SP: sobrina IT: nipote) ! He can’t come and stay with you! Don’t you live in a disgusting (SP: asqueroso IT: schifoso) house, with a lot of dirty hippies?

ZAK WASHINGTON: Shut up! They’re not hippies, they are respectable people, and they all wash regularly.

FRANÇOIS: But he’s going to be staying in that disgusting place ...with those dirty friends, and the filthy[1] rubbish... and the drinks... and those girls....and....

ZAK WASHINGTON: Hold on. Hold on [2]! He is coming here because he wants to learn about how to live and speak as the English do. I’m merely going to show him real English culture… or the lack (SP: la falta de IT: la mancanza di) of it. It’s not my fault (SP: culpa IT: colpa) if English people are dirty and disgusting. It’s not my fault if England is a nation of fat people. It’s not my fault if English people are always drunk, or violent, have bad teeth or eat horrible food… I’m just offering a genuine reflection of how the country really is. So shut up!

[1] Filthy (SP: inmundo IT: sporco) (adj.) like dirty, unclean or disgusting, but worse! Can be used to describe places, people, senses of humour, clothes etc. Note that the phrases filthy rich and stinking rich don’t mean ‘millionaires who don’t wash’ but rather, ‘very, very rich people’, or people who are rolling in money.

[2] (to) hold on is a synonym of to wait. Very useful for the telephone. ‘Just hold on one moment and I’ll put you through.’

(On the telephone.)

ZAK WASHINGTON: Hello. Is that Ali Fred?

ALI FRED: Yes, hello, it is me.

ZAK WASHINGTON: This is Zak Washington here.

ALI FRED: چ٭⅏₳æ₻⁇


ALI FRED: þÿἶﻵﭨﭨйↇ

ZAK WASHINGTON: …tonight I’m taking you to see my very good friend Lady Forbsworth.


ALI FRED: ⁂ῤᾂ٣ۯ'Lady٭₳⅏æ₻

Essential English vocabulary infographic. British Slang expression chart 6. By Language Unlimited
 Graphic of old TV linking to student's English language video tutorials channel with words ‘Click to Subscribe’

ZAK WASHINGTON: He doesn’t seem to remember that he’s religious. He doesn’t seem to remember anything at all. My flatmates Ruby and Georgina have spent the whole afternoon putting vodka into his tea. They have told him that it is a ‘Traditional English Refreshment’… and, of course, he has never tasted alcohol before, so he doesn’t know what it is. He has drunk loads of (SP: un montón de IT: un sacco de) it. When I left the house he had a girl on each arm, a gin and tonic in each hand and he was smoking from a silver pipe whilst telling dirty jokes…. Welcome to England!


Here is the third video in the series Learn English Pronunciation with ZakWashington video. We explain the most important concept if you want to speak British English like a native speaker. You will also learn the phonemes and the symbols of the International Phonetics Alphabet (IPA)

Zak Washington London street scene
Miner's strike in Britain 1980s Coal mine with policemen
London cockney rag and bone man in East End street.
Infographic exercise for EFL ESL TEFL TESOL TESL English language classes. Discussion on British culture: Housing, squatting and homelessness in Britain
Graphic of answer button


What is a squat? What are the arguments for and against squatting? Do they exist in your country? What kind of people normally live in these type of places? Is there a problem of homelessness in your city? Where do the homeless sleep? How do they survive?


In London there are an estimated 70,000 homeless people and the town council has 100,000 empty flats and houses. In the E.U. there are 11,000,000 empty houses and 4,100,000 homeless. Discuss.


Imagine that you find yourself homeless, jobless, friendless, penniless [1] and without a family. How would you feel? What could you do to reconstruct your life? How would you begin? Is there a solution to the homeless problem? Does giving homeless people money help?


[1] Penniless (adj.) without money, literally without a penny (the smallest British coin.) ‘We both ended up penniless after the divorce.’

Section title graphic with the words: 8.2 Vocabulary Dependent Prepositions
Photo of British culture: street graffiti with the slogan 'there is no hope for a civilization which starts each day with an alarm clock'

Dependent prepositions differ from phrasal verbs. They are verbs or adjectives that are always followed by the same preposition, without a change of meaning. Sometimes there are two or three possibilities, but usually only one.


Complete the following exercise with a partner, speaking to him or her only in English.

‘I can’t wait to become fluent _______ English. I’m a little bit jealous _______ Ahmet because he never seems to worry _______ talking in front of the others. He’s so popular _______ the girls of the group, who seem very interested _______ him. Whenever I speak to them they make fun _________ me and boast[1] ________ how good they are ________ English. Personally I don’t think that their fluency differs _________  mine. In fact, I think that Maria’s level is similar _______mine.’

‘Let’s not spend all day arguing _______ this. I’m tired ________ all the competitiveness between you lot. Why can’t you just be content  ________ what you’ve got. You’re never going to be satisfied ________ the level of English that you have. We are not capable ________improving much in ten days. What does it matter if you’re good ________, bad ________, excellent ________, or completely hopeless________ speaking another language. In a few years we could all be married ________ different people, be responsible ________big families, and be completely bored ________ our lives. Life is too short to waste. C’mon! Let’s live it up and enjoy ourselves!’

‘What do you think of Ali, this new student from the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia?’

‘He seems OK. Good and bad really. Gentlemen of the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia have some very positive characteristics. They are very generous ________ friends and helpful ________ people who want something. At least, he’s been very nice _______ us since we met him. He seems quite fond[2] ________ Sophie and Maria too.’

‘Yes, he seems keen [3] ________ them. Maybe he wants to get married ________ both of them! Men from the The Free People’s Republic of Zangonia are not as rude ________ people as Londoners are. People here are very suspicious ________ foreigners. Especially our teacher and his crazy friends. Last night I was completely ashamed________ their behaviour and frightened ________ how we are all going to end up. We should be really angry ________ them.’

‘Yeah, but it’s fun isn’t it?’


[1] To boast  to speak very proudly about what you can do and your abilities. e.g. ‘I am the greatest poet who has ever lived!’ ‘He’s always boasting_____ the number of girlfriends that he has.’

[2] Fond (adj.) having affection or a liking for someone or something special. ‘Our trip to London brings me fond memories.’ ’They’re fond______ going to the nudist beach on holiday.’

[3] Keen (adj.) very interested, enthusiastic or wanting to do something very much. Similar to fond. ‘I’m a keen stamp collector.’ ‘Really? I could never be so keen____something so boring.’

Answer Key  button with link to answer sheet page
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Section title graphic: 8.3 Vocabulary. Dependent Prepositions game


Students should now get into two teams. (Larger groups can divide themselves into smaller pairs of teams.) One team will be Team Ape, and the other Team Baboon.

 - Each team will use the questions in the list below to ask the other team. You must cover up the other team’s questions.

 - Two points will be awarded for each correct preposition.

 - If the first attempt is incorrect, a second attempt can be made. This will be worth one point only. There will be a fifteen second time limit for each answer.

- Please consult other team members before shouting out the answer, as only the first and second answer will count and if the first two that you say are incorrect, you won’t get another chance.

 - What you need to do first is fill in the missing questions using examples of your own.

 - Your team must decide if the other teams answer is correct or not. 




elt efl esl teachers resource graphic: question sheets for students A and B - dependent prepositions quiz
zak washington's Guide to England. Learn English. Corso di inglese. Curso de inglés

(Answers on page two - bottom right-hand corner.)

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Oxford street, London street scene from the 1960s. British Culture with ZakWashington
Zak Washington's English Adventure story - English language learning programme - Title graphic.


graphic with instructions for the following activity
Aspects of British culture: photo of South London tower block



(Later in the afternoon in the squat)

ZAK WASHINGTON: A very good afternoon to you students! Here we are in a typical London squat on the twenty first floor of a tower block.     A typical English house and a typical English way to live. Let’s have a look around and learn some vocabulary. These are ashtrays. They are full. This is a collection of empty beer cans. It is indeed is an interesting and varied collection of international beer brands. The collection will be more numerous very shortly….


ZAK WASHINGTON: Here we have three punk ladies complete with piercings and tattoos.

RUBY AND GEORGINA: Hello love. Alright darling!

ZAK WASHINGTON: As you can see they are charming, accommodating girls, keen to make you foreign gentlemen feel at home.

RUBY AND GEORGINA: Come and get us boys!

ZAK WASHINGTON: This gentleman on the sofa is a representative of one of the British establishment’s most prestigious institutions…. the Rogue Rats Motorcycle Club. He is smoking what is commonly known as a ‘bong’. One can also observe an old tramp[1] asleep on the floor, two hippies engaging in intellectual discourse and a teenage runaway. Some of the apartment’s finer decorations include a genuine traffic light procured from a real English street, a one bar electric heater with some steaming socks drying in front of it. There is also a very happy-looking chap with a tea-cloth on his head who is supposedly getting married to the Queen’s niece next week.


[1] Tramp (noun) in Britain a tramp refers to a homeless, often alcoholic person, who lives in the street. This person could be male or female, and could also be known as a vagabond or a wino. Interestingly in the USA a tramp means a woman who sleeps around, has a bad reputation, or a prostitute! The homeless alcoholic American would be called a bum, which in Britain is a humorous way to refer to the part of your anatomy that you sit on. In America this body part is often called buns, or a fanny. Be careful. A fanny in Britain is a vulgar word for a woman’s.... you know. Buns in Britain mean ‘little cakes’. These little sweet cakes in America are called muffins. In Britain a muffin.... Which words in English don’t have sexual double meanings? How can I know which words are safe, and which are not? That’s a difficult question. But the intelligent student should realise that all the following words have a second, and potentially embarrassing double meaning (referring to women and their intimate parts): Pussy an affectionate word for cat; crumpet a type of breakfast food from the bread family eaten with butter; Fanny a woman’s name, common over fifty years ago; (referring to men) cock an adult male chicken; Dick a common nickname of Richard; Willy nickname of William; balls round things used for sports; ass a donkey. 

Learn English language with ZakWashington's Guide to England


section title graphic with words: 8.4 vocabulary. dependent prepositions game.


Before we start, I know that you’re saying to yourself. ‘This is getting really boring!’ It is. This means that you’re probably learning something! There’s no point in continuing, unless we can completely dominate what we’ve been taught. If we keep going on to new things, all the time, it’ll be interesting, yeah, but you won’t really learn anything. Think about those great dancers. They don’t say, ‘Oh yeah! That new step is quite difficult. Let’s get on to the next one.’ No. They practice the same step until it’s perfect... and then move on.


The basic idea is that two teams take turns, to try to work out what the dependent prepositions are, which follow these adjectives and verbs. Two teams. Two players in each. Two coloured pens. One game board per game. Every time you answer correctly, you can colour in the relevant square. When you have coloured all the squares in, add up the total. The team with the highest number is the winner.  

EFL ESL ELT TESOL TEFL English language teacher resource and materials: Prepositions board game


English language lesson board game to teach Dependent prepositions
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