Sunday, January 19, 2014

See, Look Or Watch Quiz

1I can  a fly in your eye.
2I can't  any stars. It's too cloudy.
3My kids like  movies at home.
4We couldn't  the TV news. It was too gruesome.
5 the sunset while I drank my coffee.
6Do you want to  the photos from my holiday?
7Stop  the clock.
8Did you  the rainbow this morning?
9They  the house all night but nobody entered or left.
10 this part, just coming up! It's hilarious.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Time Collocations Quiz

1He arrived exactly at 11am,  on time.
2What do you do in your  time?
3We couldn't finish because we  time.
4If we take this short cut we'll  some time.
5 time, and now doth time waste me. (Shakespeare)
6There have been several burglaries in the  weeks.
7The Internet was developed in the  century.
8They have no time. They work  dusk.
9You'll forget it  by.
10Can you  for me this weekend?


Sunday, December 22, 2013

What's the difference between "wish" and "hope"?

The answer is that the verb wish is used in a variety of different ways and hope cannot be used as a 'stand alone' verb in a sentence, other than in the expressions 'I hope so' or 'I hope not.'
Let's look at wish first of all.

wish is also used when you wish that something were the case or you would like it to be the case even though you know that it is impossible or unlikely. In this sense, the verb which follows wish has a past tense inflection. Thus we have:
'We wish you could be here.'
'He wished he hadn't said that, for Fiona was terribly upset.'

Wish, as in 'wish to', is also sometimes used as a slightly more formal alternative to 'want to'. So we have:
'They were very much in love and wished to get married as soon as it could be arranged.'
'I don't wish to see him ever again,' she said, five months after they were married.'

Now let's take a brief look at hope. We speak of people's 'hopes for the future' and hope normally signals future intentions. If you hope to do something, you want to do it and intend to do it if you possibly can.
Like wish it can be used with to, plus infinitive. So we might have:
'I hope to be a millionaire by the time I'm thirty.'

However, when a new subject is introduced, hope must be followed by a clausal construction. Thus, we would find:
'I hope (that) she'll like these flowers.'
'Her mother hoped (that) Judith would become a doctor, but her heart was always set on the stage.'
'I hope (that) you won't think me rude, but that red dress that you're wearing definitely doesn't suit you.'


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Do Or Make?


1What do you  for a living?
2Have you  your homework yet?
3Have you  a decision yet?
4Amber  badly in her geography exam.
5The children  a mess in the kitchen.
6We are having guests tonight, so please  your bed.
7I only  one mistake in my English test.
8I'd like to ask you to  me a favour.
9My husband  the grocery shopping.
10Please excuse me while I  a phonecall.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Collocations

What is a collocation?
A collocation is two or more words that often go together. These combinations just sound "right" to native English speakers, who use them all the time. On the other hand, other combinations may be unnatural and just sound "wrong". 
Look at these examples:
The fast train (NOT the quick train)
I like fast food (NOT quick food)

Why learn collocations?

  • You will have alternative and richer ways of expressing yourself.
  • It is easier for our brains to remember and use language in chunks or blocks rather than as single words.
  • Your language will be more natural and more easily understood.

How can I learn collocations?

  • Be aware of collocations, and try to recognize them when you see or hear them.
  • Treat collocations as single blocks of language. Think of them as individual blocks or chunks, and learn strongly support, not strongly + support.
  • When you learn a new word, write down other words that collocate with it (remember rightly,remember distinctlyremember vaguelyremember vividly).
  • Read as much as possible. Reading is an excellent way to learn vocabulary and collocations in context and naturally.

Types of Collocation

There are several different types of collocation made from combinations of verb, noun, adjective etc. Some of the most common types are:
  • Adverb + Adjective: completely satisfied (NOT downright satisfied)
  • Adjective + Noun: excruciating pain (NOT excruciating joy)
  • Noun + Noun: a surge of anger (NOT a rush of anger)
  • Noun + Verb: lions roar (NOT lions shout)
  • Verb + Noun: commit suicide (NOT undertake suicide)
  • Verb + Expression With Preposition: burst into tears (NOT blow up in tears)
  • Verb + Adverb: wave frantically (NOT wave feverishly)
Check our COLLOCATIONS CORNER and learn some expressions every week.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crossword Puzzle about Soccer

Across:

2.round object you kick
4.another word for footballers
6.competition prize
8.item of clothing
10.name of the game

Down:

1.number of players in a team
3.another word for trophy
5.football players wear these
7.everywhere on earth
9.group of players

Answers:1.eleven;  2.ball;   3.cup;   4.players;   5.shorts;    6.trophy;   7.world;   8.shirt;   9.team;    10.football

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving

November 28: Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, and has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.
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We are having Thanksgiving at our house. 
My whole family is coming. 
My parents bought a turkey. 
It weighs 30 pounds. 
It takes a long time to cook. 
My Mom wakes up early to cook the turkey. 
I clean the house with my Dad. 
The house smells good. 
We help Mom in the kitchen. 
I peel potatoes and carrots. 
My Dad makes pumpkin pies. 
My Mom cooks squash. 
I help my Mom make stuffing. 
I mix the bread and spices. 
We make good stuffing. 
It goes inside the turkey. 
We put on nice clothes. 
I set the table. 
My Dad carves the turkey. 
My Mom makes the gravy. 
Our relatives arrive. 
We say "thank you" for all we have. 
We eat and eat. 
It is a good Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Useful Phrases for Business emails

Here are some business email and letter phrases. In this list we look at how to make requests, complain, apologize and give bad news.

making a request:

Could you possibly … ?
I would be grateful if you could … 
I would appreciate (it) if you could …

agreeing to a request 

I will be happy to …
I would be delighted to …

apologizing:

Sorry for the delay in replying.
I apologize for the delay in replying.
Please accept our/my sincere apologies.

giving bad news:

Unfortunately … 
I/We regret that …
I/We regret to inform you that …
I am afraid that I must inform you of/that …

complaining:

 I would like to complain about …

I/We wish to draw your attention to … 
I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with …
I would appreciate your immediate attention to the matter.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How to Sound Intelligent

Here is a humorous text about looking smart produced by WikiHow:

Sometimes when you're having a conversation with someone or a group of people, you may stop and wonder if you sound king to a group of people that you are trying to impress, such as adults or during a presentation of some sort, and sometimes while you're just with your friends and that dreaded awkward silence occurs right after you've said something. If you've noticed this happening often, these tips may help.

1. Believe you are intelligent. This will give you healthy self-esteem, confidence, and an overall charismatic body language. When you have this tone, the other person will have the impression that you are intelligent.

2. Always think what you are going to say before you say it. Coming out with something you haven't thought through could not only make you sound stupid, but could potentially get you in a lot of trouble if what you have just said is insulting or offensive to whoever you are speaking to.

3. Look through a thesaurus. Think about words you say all the time and find alternatives. Look for less often used words, though don't use words you don't understand. If someone asks you what it means and you don't know, you're just going to sound stupid.

4. Avoid using blank words; over-usage of the words 'like, um, uh' etc. isn't a good idea when you're trying to make yourself sound intelligent. These are reminiscent of words used by people who do not have a clue what they're talking about or are unsure of what to say next. They will not make you sound clever in the slightest.(Don't be afraid if you accidentally use one; if you panic it's just going to make you look stupid.)

5. Use words that aren't actually a part of the English language (or whatever language you happen to be speaking). For example, instead of saying 'that's wonderful', try 'C'est magnifique'. Using French (or any other foreign language) makes you sound as though perhaps you have taken the time out to learn another language. However, don't overdo it and use foreign languages sparingly.

6. Try to keep the use of slang language down to a minimum. Overuse of slang terms might not make you sound stupid to your peers, but it may make it more difficult to talk to older people.

7. Use the correct pronunciation of words. Missing out letters may make you sound lazy and incapable. For example, the correct pronunciation of February is "FEB-roo-er-ee", there is no "yoo" sound.

8. Speak clearly and steadily. If you speak too fast, no one will understand and you will look like a fool. However, if you speak too slowly, people will get sick of hearing your droning voice pretty quickly, so go with somewhere in the middle.

9. When talking to someone over the internet (e.g. MSNAIM, etc.), do not use abbreviations for everything. Try to type out the entire word. It's not that much more effort to type out the word "two" as opposed to typing "2", now is it? This will make you seem smarter and show people that you know how to spell properly, a quality all intelligent people take pride in. Don't worry, even if you can't spell, at least give things a go. You can always look in a dictionary or use spell-check if you get stuck.

10. Use proper grammar. You don't have to sound pretentious, but grammar is essential. There's nothing like a grammatical slip up to make you sound like a blundering idiot. If you do slip up, there's no shame in correcting yourself. And if someone else corrects you, thank them. This will most likely counteract any doubts of your intelligence they might have had, unless it was a very basic grammatical construction. The two most common mistakes people generally make occur with subject/verb agreement and the use of "good" and "well". Get those down and you should sound fine.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Building blocks that blink, beep and teach

Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.

Ayah Bdeir is an engineer and artist, and is the founder of littleBits and karaj, an experimental art, architecture and technology lab in Beirut.

Watch the video and learn about it:
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Quiz

(from the British Council) 
A. What day is Halloween?
1.  1st  October
2.  31st October
3.  1st November
B. Where does Halloween come from?
1.   America
2.   Ireland
3.  England
C. Where does the name Halloween come from?
1.  Hello Ween (“ween” is the name for a ghost)
2.  It’s the name of an old Celtic leader.
3.  All Hallow’s Eve
D. What did people do traditionally for Halloween in the past?
1.  Sing and dance all night.
2.  Light fires.
3. Dress up in costumes and make a noise.
E. What did people think happened on Halloween?
1.  The souls of the dead came back to Earth.
2.  Wizards and witches came out to do magic.
3.  It was the end of winter.
F. Why did people put a lantern outside their house?
1.  To frighten evil spirits.
2.  To be friendly to the spirits.
3.  To see while they had a party.
G. What is Halloween lantern made from today?
1.  A potato
2.  A turnip
3.  A pumpkin
H. What is a pumpkin?
1.  A fruit
2.  A vegetable
3.  A tree
I.  At Halloween, we play a game called “Trick or Treats”. What are “tricks”?
1.  Money
2.  Spiders
3.  Practical Jokes
J. What are “treats” (from “Trick or Treats”)
1.  Money
2.  Sweets
3.  Cakes


A.2   B.2   C.3 (The day before All Saints’ Day) D.3   E.1   F.2   G.3     H.1    I.3    J.2   

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Difference between "like", "as" and "how"

Strictly speaking, the word like is a preposition, not a conjunction. It can, therefore, be used to introduce a prepositional phrase ("My brother is tall like my father"), but it should not be used to introduce a clause ("My brother can't play the piano like as he did before the accident" or "It looks like as if basketball is quickly overtaking baseball as America's national sport."). To introduce a clause, it's a good idea to use asas though, or as if, instead.
  • Like As I told you earlier, the lecture has been postponed.
  • It looks like as if it's going to snow this afternoon.
  • Johnson kept looking out the window like as though he had someone waiting for him.
In formal, academic text, it's a good idea to reserve the use of like for situations in which similarities are being pointed out:
  • This community college is like a two-year liberal arts college.
However, when you are listing things that have similarities, such as is probably more suitable:
  • The college has several highly regarded neighbors, like such as the Mark Twain House, St. Francis Hospital, the Connecticut Historical Society, and the UConn Law School.
Now, look at the use of HOW:

John asked me how I felt. 

I told Jason how excited I was. 

You'll notice that in those two examples the word "how" introduces a noun clause that is following a verb related to communication: 

He told me how... 
I asked him how... 
We argued about how... 
They explained how... 

However, you've got to make sure there is a subject and a verb after "how." Examples: 
(a) ...how I feel. 
(b) ...how I solved the problem. 
(c) ...how I knew. 
(d) ...how it works. 

If you put an infinitive with it, it's a phrase, not a clause. Examples; 

He told me how to change a tire. 
He asked me how to write an essay. 
He didn't know how to explain everything to his father.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (Tá Chovendo Hambúrguer 2) picks up where Sony Pictures Animation's hit comedy left off. Inventor Flint Lockwood's genius is finally being recognized as he's invited by his idol Chester V to join The Live Corp Company, where the best and brightest inventors in the world create technologies for the betterment of mankind. Chester's right-hand-gal - and one of his greatest inventions - is Barb (a highly evolved orangutan with a human brain, who is also devious, manipulative and likes to wear lipstick). It's always been Flint's dream to be recognized as a great inventor, but everything changes when he discovers that his most infamous machine (which turns water into food) is still operating and is now creating food-animal hybrids - "foodimals!" With the fate of humanity in his hands, Chester sends Flint and his friends on a dangerously delicious mission, battling hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, apple pie-thons, double bacon cheespiders and other food creatures to save the world again! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nothing can stop me now

(Mark Holman)
Soundtrack From the film "Planes"

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Feel the passion ignite me
Feel the bond inside me
Won't let this life
Just pass me by

Can't stop a revolution
Come back being a hero
Take back control
And here I go

Today I've gotta make a change
Straight to the top of my wing
Got the spirit so much more
A better dream worth dying for

Nothing Can Stop Me 
Nothing Can Stop Me Now

All I need is the horizon
Can reach, I'll keep trying
Awaking by
Is so alive

Today I've gotta make a change
Straight to the top of my wing
Got the spirit so much more
A better dream worth dying for

Nothing Can Stop Me 
Nothing Can Stop Me Now
Can Stop Me Now