Monday, January 01, 2018

2018 is the year of the DOG - Here are 4 idioms with "dog!"


Happy New Year! 2018 is the Year of the Dog


In honor of the year of the dog let's 
learn 4 English idioms with "dog!"
(These are posts that I collected from my 2013 dog idiom series!)


Let sleeping dogs lie



This expression is used to advise against actions that might cause problems. If things are fine right now, we shouldn’t change them if we think there is a danger that things may become worse.

*The idea is that if a dog is sleeping and we wake him up, he may become angry. It's better to let him sleep.

Jill: “Should I ask the boss if he's upset at my coming in late in the mornings?”


Jane: “If he hasn't said anything about it, just let sleeping dogs lie.” = If the boss didn’t say anything you shouldn’t mention it, there is no need to mention it.

"Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie."


Work like a dog



This idiom comes from a time when dogs weren’t often pets, but usually had to work very hard to earn their food. This expression means to work very very hard!

“My team at the office had to work like a dog this month to prepare for our year end final report. We are all so tired!”

"It's been a hard month, we worked like dogs!"


You can’t teach an old dog new tricks


This idiom means it is difficult to make someone change the way they do something. Especially  when they have been doing it the same way for a long time. It is much more difficult to teach an old dog than a puppy.

“You want to teach your grandfather to use a computer? He is 84! You can't teach an old dog new tricks, you know.

"You want to teach him how to use a computer? Good luck!"


Barking up the wrong tree


This expression is when someone has the wrong idea and they are wasting their time. Dogs often like to chase cats or other animals that will run up a tree. If the animal escapes the tree but the dog doesn’t realize it, he keeps barking even though the tree is empty. We say he is barking up the wrong tree. His idea is not correct, he is wasting his time.

“He had nothing to do with the robbery - the police are really barking up the wrong tree this time.”



"I think the police are wasting their time with him."

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Learn to Use Reported Speech in English Conversation (video too!)





We use reported speech to share information that we heard from another person or information that we got from TV, newspaper, Internet etc.
There are two ways to talk about something that someone told us. 

1. We can quote the person. 
Cheryl said "I'm busy." 


You’ll see this way used in written English, like books or magazine and newspaper articles.

2. In natural conversation We change the verb tense 
and change the pronoun. From our example ~ Cheryl said "I'm busy." 
Change the verb tense (am changes to was) and change the pronoun (I changes to she)
Cheryl said "I'm busy." Becomes
Cheryl said she was busy.


This is the way to pass on what Cheryl said.





Here are some more examples.
 "I only have $4."
~ Mark said he only had 4 dollars. 




"I'm not worried about it."
~ Kristen said he wasn't worried about it.



If we report the speech of more than 1 person, we use the pronoun they.
"Darryl and I will stop by later."
~ Mike and Darryl said they would stop by later.


When we report what someone has told us is possible in the future the verb can becomes could
“I can go…”
“He could go…”
and if they tell us about something that is going to happen the verb will becomes would.
“I will go…”
“She would go…”

Daniel: "I can meet you at 5:30." 

Daniel said he could meet us at 5:30. 




Paul: “We can have lunch with you and your wife on Thursday.” 
Paul said they could have lunch with us on Thursday.



Brenda: "I won't be in town on Saturday." (Won't is a contraction of will not.)
~ Brenda said she wouldn't be in town on Saturday. (In this example would not is used as the past tense of will notWouldn't  is the contraction of would not.)


We also use this grammar when we talk about something that we heard from TV news, the radio or read in the newspaper or on the Internet. Even if we read the information, we still use the verb said to share what we have learned. When we report information from these sources we use the pronoun it.

"I read the paper (newspaper) this morning at breakfast and it said it was gonna rain today."


Reported speech can also be reporting exactly what someone has told you.
The newspaper said that it will be sunny all week. (It is a pronoun in this sentence that means the weather, we understand this from the adjective sunny.)

"George said Karen got a new job."

"Kathy said the new James Bond movie is great."





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Monday, December 25, 2017

Learn to use English Adjectives! - Fact or Opinion (video too!)



fact - a thing that is known to be true, especially when it can be proved
Definition HERE
Oxford Learners Dictionary


Adjectives that are facts:
color
"I'm wearing a blue shirt."

age
"I just bought a 1972 Chevy Impala."


origin (where someone/something is from)
​"French food is my favorite."

shape 
"These sunglasses are round."

size
"A big dog lives next door."







We might feel like adjectives that describe the size of something are facts but remember people can have different ideas of adjectives like big and small or tall and short. 

Adjectives like this are relative. Relative means that the word has a different meaning or a different level depending on how you compare it. Each person may have a different point of comparison or a different experience to compare it to. So The meaning of adjectives like tall and short are related to, or “relative” to each person.

An exact measurement of course is a fact.
"William is 165cm tall."


opinion - your feelings or thoughts about somebody/something, rather than a fact
Definition HERE
Oxford Learners Dictionary



Adjectives that are opinions:
cool
terrible
pretty\ugly
good\bad


When we combine fact and opinion adjectives in front of a noun, we put the opinion adjective first and the fact adjective second. 


“Richard just bought a cool red car. I'm jealous!”










“There is a terrible new restaurant on main street, I don't recommend it.”


“I saw some cool round sunglasses at the mall yesterday. They were $300.00!”

Other examples:
"Michelle is wearing a big red hat today, you can't miss her!"


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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Using the conditional IF in natural English conversation (Learn with video!)

Do you want to improve your English communication and confidence? Add the conditional “IF” to your conversation skills and open up the doors of communication! 




IF is used to say that one thing can, will or might happen or be true, depending on another thing happening or being true.



I will go to the party Friday if I have time after work.

Going to the party depends on having time after work

Sentences with If are often used with the negative forms of modal verbs (won’t, can’t etc.)

We won’t play soccer tomorrow if it rains.


~ playing soccer tomorrow depends on the weather

When the verb in the ‘IF’ clause (The part of the sentence with the word IF) is in the present tense the verb in the main clause will be in the future tense.




"If I prepare a healthy lunch at home, I'll save money.
 Eating out everyday is expensive."
The verb in the IF clause is prepare, it’s in the present tense.
The verb in the main clause is will save, this is the future tense of the verb to save.


If you make your own lunch, you will know what’s in it. Lunches that are made in convenience stores have lots of unnatural ingredients in them to make them last longer.


Ken will feel much better if he has a healthier diet.


If you eat at organic restaurants once in awhile you might find something you really like that is also very healthy!


If Josh stops eating donuts for breakfast he could fit into his old suit before our class reunion next September.



"I would eat this ice cream if I wasn't on a diet!"


"If I eat this ice cream I'll regret it tomorrow."



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2018 is the year of the DOG - Here are 4 idioms with "dog!"

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