Do you like swimming?: How to form questions in English

by Liz Walter Questions are a basic part of our conversations, but they are quite difficult in English. Many students make mistakes with them. Here are some basic rules to make your questions correct. Let’s start with questions that have a simple answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For all verbs except ‘to be’, we use do and …

Continue reading Do you like swimming?: How to form questions in English

New words – 28 September 2020

boreout noun [U] /ˈbɔːr.aʊt/ extreme tiredness and depression caused by being bored at work over a long period of time Unlike burnout, boreout can be caused by there being no work or too little of it (rather than being overloaded with it), which can have an adverse impact on an employee’s psychological well-being. Although there …

Continue reading New words – 28 September 2020

Are idioms that use ‘black’ and ‘white’ offensive?

Our blog posts about idioms are some of the most popular ones for our readers. Recently, we’ve posted two about idioms that use names for colours – the first one was Seeing red and green with envy, followed by Black sheep and white lies. One of our readers commented on the second post: she wondered …

Continue reading Are idioms that use ‘black’ and ‘white’ offensive?

Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)

by Kate Woodford This post takes a look at a group of phrases that we use when we talk about the future. Some of the phrases that we use when we talk about our future plans and ideas simply mean ‘at some time in the future’, (without mentioning a particular time), for example at some …

Continue reading Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)

I’m hoping to become a vet: talking about our future lives

by Liz Walter It is common to ask young people about their hopes and plans for the future. This post looks at some words and phrases you can use to respond to such questions. We often use the general phrases I’m hoping/planning to … or I’d like to … : I’m hoping to become a vet. …

Continue reading I’m hoping to become a vet: talking about our future lives

How was your day? (Phrases for asking about someone’s day)

by Kate Woodford On one thread of this blog we look at the words and phrases that people use in daily conversation in particular situations. This week, we’re considering the things that we say – especially the questions that we ask – when we see someone we know well at the end of a day at …

Continue reading How was your day? (Phrases for asking about someone’s day)

When no one was looking, she opened the door: Using narrative tenses

by Liz Walter Everyone tells stories. We do it every day, even if it’s just telling our family that we met an old friend in the supermarket. English exams often ask students to write anecdotes or descriptions of past events. An important part of telling a story is using the right tenses because they show the …

Continue reading When no one was looking, she opened the door: Using narrative tenses