Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Idiom of the day - Jam Tomorrow

This idiom is used to describe the situation when people promise good things for the future that will never come.

- “Don't worry everything will be fine because we are going to win the lottery tomorrow”
- “Be seriously will you, you always promised jam tomorrow”

Be very careful when using this idiom as it is specific to the north of England! While it might be known in all parts of England it is not widely known in other English-speaking countries.

It is very important when learning English to use the assistance of a professional native speaking English teacher, the kind of teacher you can find at the online English school www.SmartLanguageSolutions.com

Monday, 24 August 2009

Idiom of the day – Paddle your own canoe

To paddle your own canoe is used to describe when someone does something without the help of others.

“John, if you want to open your own business you are going to have to paddle your own canoe, I don’t think anyone will help you.”

The idiom “paddle your own canoe” is an American English idiom, English speakers in the UK, Ireland, Australia, & New Zealand don’t use this idiom as part of their language! In fact some people may not fully understand its meaning!

This is why it is so important to learn English from a professional native speaking teacher, the kind of teacher you find at www.SmartLanguageSolutions.com

Friday, 21 August 2009

Slang of the week – Sloth Cloth

A sloth cloth is a slang word used to an old tee-shirt worn while hanging around your home.
It is also a tongue twister! Try saying repeatedly and fast.

“I knocked on my friends door and when he answered it I was shocked to see him wearing a food stained sloth cloth”

Be careful when studding English slang, using slang incorrectly can cause a lot of problems, always check slang with your native speaking professional English teacher at www.SmartLanguageSolutions.com

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

IELTS – Speaking Module

The IELTS speaking test is about 10 to 15 minutes long, and has three parts.

The test is a one to one interview, just you and the examiner.

Part one
The examiner will ask you about something familiar such you, your family, country and so on.
We recommend that you use this part of the test to relax and get over any nerves you may have.
Listen to the examiner, and only answer the questions that you are asked.

Part two

You will have to talk for about 2 to 4 minutes. The examiner will give you a topic and one minute to prepare a small talk. The topic the examiner will give you will be based on your personal experience.
We suggest that you don’t just list off the words in the question that that examiner has given you.

Part three
This section is a two way discussion, not a question and answer. The examiner will ask you questions broadly linked to the topic you spoke about. You should give long coherent answers. Give reasons for your answers!

There are many self teach books for the IELTS which are very good. However you will need the input of a professional native speaking English teacher who can help you with your speaking and listening.
Smart Language Solutions (www.smartlanguesolutions.com) is the online language school who can help you.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Word – Ahead

Ahead is an adverb, and has a number of meanings.

In English we use ahead to describe the position of being in the front:
John is ahead in the race at the moment (John is leading the race)

Move something to a different time in the future:
We need to move the start time ahead by a day from Monday to Tuesday.

To move in a forward direction:
The queue moved ahead slowly

When learning a new word it’s important to check all the meanings of the word. Above are just a few of the meanings of “ahead”!
Learning English is fun, but it is best to learn with professional native English speaking teachers.
You can learn English online at www.smartlanguagesolutions.com

Monday, 17 August 2009

Phrasal Verb – Make Up

Make Up is used in English to describe the situation when people reconcile.

John and Mary have been friends for a long time, but they had a row last week, I really think they should make up.

Of course the phrasal verb Make Up has more than one meaning and you should be careful when using it, in fact it best to learn English from a professional native speaking English teacher, which you can do at Smart Language Solutions.


Friday, 14 August 2009

Some Mispronounced words

Some Mispronounced words

In English we do not have a system of accenting our vowels. This can lead to problems when pronouncing words.

Here are some words that are commonly mispronounced:

Utmost – mispronounced as – Upmost

Wasn’t – mispronounced as – wadn’t

Yolk – mispronounced as – yoke

Suite – mispronounced as – suit

Nuclear – mispronounced as – nuclar

Close – mispronounced as – clothes

Be careful when learning new words! Its good to learn English with a professional native speaking teacher. You can do that with Smart Language Solutions

Learn English on line at www.SmartLanguageSolutions.com

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Slang Word – Dohment

Dohment is the moment you realise you did something stupid in the past.
“Oh my, I just realised I booked my flight for the wrong day, I will have to rebook”

In standard English a dohment, can also be called the moment when something “dawns on you” or when “the penny drops”.

Dohment is a combination of the words Doh and moment.
Doh is the phrase used by the cartoon character “Homer Simpson” when he makes a mistake.

Be careful when using slang, if you are not sure, don’t use it.
Take lessons with professional native English speaking teachers at Smart Language Solutions.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Phrasal Verb – Name After

This phrasal verb describes when a child is given the same name of someone in their family or some other famous person, even songs!

“My name is George, I was named after my father who is also called George.”

“My name is Nikita, I was named after that Elton John song from the 80’s, I’m a girl and my parents didn’t know Nikita was a boys name!”

Its very important to learn English correctly! The best way is with a professional native English speaker.
Learn English online with Smart Language Solutions.


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Question Tags

In English when we want to continue a conversation we can put a question tag at the end of a sentence.
The purpose of the question tag is to invite the person who we are talking to reply to us.
“You agree with me, don’t you?”

Question tags are easy to construct, if the base sentence is positive, then the question tag is negative and if the base sentence is negative then the question tag is positive.

We construct the question tag using the auxiliary verb from the base sentence and invert it:

It isn’t a nice day, is it?
You have my pen, haven’t you?

If there is no auxiliary verb in the base sentence then use do/does/did:
The school closes at 5PM, doesn’t it?
You eat meat, don’t you?

Remember when learning English, it’s very important to take lessons with a professional native speaker teacher.
Join us online to learn English in small groups or one to one with Smart Language Solutions.


Monday, 10 August 2009

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

In English we class our nouns into countable and uncountable.

Countable nouns are nouns we can physically count:
5 Apples
2 People
7 Books

Uncountable Nouns are nouns we can’t physically count:

Money is an uncountable noun!

Some and Any

We use some in positive sentences with uncountable and plural nouns:
There is some water in the pool
There are some apples in the kitchen

We also use some when we ask for and offer things:
Can I have some rice please?
Would you like some books to take home?

We use any in questions and negative sentences with uncountable and plural nouns:
Is there any electricity in the house?
There aren’t any people at the party.

How much/many

We use how much with uncountable nouns:
How much rice is in the pot?

We use how many with countable nouns:
How many people were at the party?

Learn more English as a foreign language at smart language solutions

Friday, 7 August 2009

IELTS Listening section

If you are taking the IELTS, the first task of the day is the 30 minute listening test.

There are four parts to the listening test.

Part One: this will be a conversation between two people, the theme of the conversation will either be a social or semi official format.

Part Two: this will be a talk by a single speaker and it will be a non academic situation.

Part Three: this will be a conversation between a number of people, the theme will be academic or course related.

Part Four: this will be a university type lecture.

Before the recordings you will have a chance to see the ten questions for each recording, each recording is then played one time only.

So the key to passing the listening test is:

Read the questions and understand them.
As you listen to the recording make notes on the answer sheet about each question.
Then take the full ten minutes after the listening to transfer your notes onto the answer sheet!

As practice try listening to UK, US, and Irish talk radio online, these are great sources to “tune” your ear to native speakers.

Here are some stations:

BBC: http://bit.ly/jyJte
RTE: http://bit.ly/hjEQN
Newstalk: http://bit.ly/GaMAt
Air America: http://bit.ly/2WIK2
KUDO: http://bit.ly/hDX48

Of course its very important to work with a professional English teacher who will support you in your learning.
That’s why we suggest you contact us at www.smartlanguagesolutions.com and we will support you in your learning.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Pronouncing Regular Past Tense Verbs

To review, we all know that to form the written regular past tense we must do the following.

If the verb ends in “e” add “d”
Live = Lived

If the verb ends in a consonant + “y” change the “y” to “i” and then add “ed”
Cry = Cried

If the verbs ends in a vowel and a consonant (except) “w” or “y”) then double the consonant and add “ed”
Stop = Stopped

For all other ending add “ed”
Fill = Filled

However, the sound made when we pronounce the regular past tense is not just “d”.
A lot of English learners don’t realise that there are three distinct sounds used in English for regular past tense verbs, and they are “d”, “id” and “t”.

Listened has the “d” sound at the end

Boasted has the “id” sound at the end

Laughed has the “t” sound at the end

To find out which regular past tense verbs have which sound at the end is best done by learning English with a professional native speaker English teacher!

Learn more English for free at www.smartlanguagesolutions.com and click free stuff!