Saturday, 20 June 2009

Tip of the weekend: “Using slang”

As a non native speaker, it is not a good idea to use slang.
There are so many different slang words used in different parts of the English speaking world, that even for native speakers it is hard to keep up to date with the latest slang.
Slang used incorrectly sounds really bad, so unless your 150% sure of how to use the slang phrase, don’t!

Dave @ SLS

Phrasal Verb of the weekend: “Jack up”

To raise prices, very quickly and to a very high level.

“After the team won the championship they jacked up the ticket prices for next year”

Dave @ SLS

Idiom of the weekend: “Back seat driver”

A back seat driver is a person who criticize from the sidelines. It originates from the situation where someone gives unwanted advice from the back seat of a vehicle to the driver. The idiom can be used in other circumstances other than someone giving advice from the back seat of the car.

“John is such a back seat driver, he is always shouting at the team coach from the sideline”

Dave @ SLS

Word of the weekend: “Understeer”

Understeer as a noun:
This is when a car or other vehicle is unable to turn sharply and the front wheels move to the outside of turn.
“This car suffers from a lot of Understeer”

Understeer as a verb:
To describe the act of Understeer.
“I was driving home when the car understeered”

Dave @ SLS

Tip of the day: “Indefinite Articles”

There are two indefinite article, “a” or “an”, we put them before noun. “A” is used before a noun that begins with a consonant sound, and “an” is used before a noun that begins with a vowel sound.

A car
An umbrella

Dave @ SLS

Phrasal verb of the day: “Nod Off”

This means to fall asleep, usually unintentionally.
“The race was so boring I nodded off halfway through”

Dave @ SLS

Idiom of the day: “A Slap on the Wrist”

Idiom of the day: “A Slap on the Wrist”
A slap on the wrist describes a very mild punishment, however it does not mean a physical punishment.
“John has been late to work everyday this month, the boss told him off, I think he got away with a slap on the wrist”

Dave @ SLS

Word of the day: Pain

Pain is a noun.

Pain describes the feeling of physical suffering or distress, it can be caused by injury, or illness.
“After I cut my hand the pain was really terrible”

Dave @ SLS

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Writing tip of the day: Capitalize that

We use capital letters in English when we write a name

His name is John

If a person has a title we capitalize the title too!

His name is King John.

However if we write about a title in general we don’t capitalize it.

Do you know the name of that king?

Click here to read more.

Dave @ SLS

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Phrasal verb of the day: Hang Around

This phrasal verb describes when we stay somewhere for fun.

“The kids are always hanging around in the park”

Click here for more information about this phrasal verb

Dave @ SLS

Idiom of the day: “He lost his head

This idiom means to be angry and overcome by emotions.

“John lost his head when I told him that he was not allowed to go”

Click here for more information on this idiom.

Dave @ SLS

Word of the day: Café

Café is a noun.

A café is a small and informal place selling refreshments.

“Lets meet for a coffee at the café and catch up”

Click here to see more information about this word.

Dave @ SLS

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Word: Suspend

This is a regular verb.

Suspend, has a number of meaning, however in this post I want to look at two of its most popular uses.

To temporarily remove someone from their position or stop a service.
John was suspended from school for a week.
I was late this morning when the train service was suspended.

To hang an object over an open space.
The artist suspended the sculpture between the two buildings.

Dave @ SLS

Idiom: “To add Fuel To The Fire

This idiom is used to describe when we make an already bad situation worse.

“John, stop arguing you are only adding fuel to the fire!”

Dave @ SLS

Phrasal verb: “Make Up with”

"To make up with someone" means to re-establish a relationship with someone.

“John and Mary had a big argument last night, but they made up with each other this morning”.

Dave @ SLS

Writing tip: Yours Faithfully or Yours Sincerely.

When writing a business letter, there are a number of different endings that you can use. However we suggest that you use either "Yours Faithfully" or "Yours Sincerely".

When you know the name of the person you are writing to then use "Yours Sincerely".
When you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to the you use "Yours Faithfully".

Dear Mr. Smith,
Please find attached …..
Yours Sincerely

Dear Sirs,
Please find attached ….
Yours Faithfully

Yours Faithfully

Dave @ SLS

Grammar tip: Zero Conditional

The zero conditional is used to describe the result of something that is always true.

“If you heat ice it melts.”

Dave English - Teaching English online

Phrasal verb: “to pan out”

“To pan out” it means to be successful at something or for something to turn out well.

“At the start of the game it looked like we would loose, but in the end it all panned out well for us”.

Dave English - Online English teacher

Idiom: “ A Chip On Your Shoulder

This is idiom means to be upset about something that happened in the past.

“John has a chip on his shoulder because Mary was promoted over him”

Dave English

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Word: Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur is a noun.

An Entrepreneur is a person who starts, organizes and manages a business with considerable initiative and risk.

Richard Branson is a well known British Entrepreneur.


Word: Lid

Lid is a noun.

It is a removable top or cover for the opening of a jar or pot. “Can you put the lid on the pot, it will boil quicker”

It is also used to describe the maximum money that someone is willing to spend. “The spending lid on this project is £20,000”

In slang lid is a hat or helmet. “If your riding your motorbike, you must wear your lid”

Dave English

Idiom: “Put a lid on it

This idiom is used to when we want to express a way to stop spending from increasing.

“This project is too expensive we need to put a lid on the spending”

It can also be used to tell someone to stop complaining.

“John, put a lid on it, we know you are not happy”

Dave English

Phrasal verb: “to luck out”

To luck out is an phrasal verb used mostly in in America English. It is used to describe when someone is unexpectedly lucky.

“I got up late today but I lucked out when get to the office before my boss”

Dave English

Grammar tip of the day: Present Continuous as future

We all know that present continuous is used to describe an action happening now or around now, however it can also be used to express a plan in the near future.

“I am meeting John at home tonight”

We use the present continuous construction with a future time point.

Dave English

Half Mast v Half Staff

Half Mast is an expression used in British English, Half Staff is an expression used in American English.

The expression describes the situation when a flag is flying halfway up a flagpole. It is done in most countries as a symbol of mourning.

UK: “They flew the flag at half mast at Buckingham Place when Princess Diana died.”

US: “They flew the flag at half staff at the White House when President Kennedy was killed.”

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