Phrasal verbs with ‘Break’


Stage 9 Stage 10 Stage 11 Stage 12   What’s a phrasal verb? It’s a phrase containing a verb and normally either an adverb or a preposition. Today we’ll be looking at phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘break.’   Download Exercise   The first phrasal verb we will discuss is ‘break down.’ It has …

“English Collocations”


Collocations are not quite the same as idioms.Whereas idioms are understood to represent a more standard meaning (e.g. ‘round the bend’ = mad; ‘fed up’ = depressed; ‘touch and go’ = uncertain; etc.), collocations are words that have been paired (or grouped) together through continued use. These words have become friends, if you like, and …

“Adjectives Made From Nouns By Adding A Suffix”


This week we are going to look at making adjectives from nouns. There are many ways that we can form adjectives and one of these ways is by adding a suffix to a word. Or in other words, putting some extra letters on the end of an existing word. So let’s have a look at …

“Rhetorical Question”


What is a rhetorical question? It is a figure of speech that native speakers often use in conversations or presentations. The purpose of a rhetorical question is not to obtain a response, but to implicitly assert or deny a particular point that one is making. In other words, a rhetorical question ‘is asked to make …

“Similes and Metaphors”


This month’s blog is about similes and metaphors. A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things using words such as “like” or “as”. Metaphors resemble similes, but they suggest a comparison between two things without using connecting words such as “like” or “as”. We use similes and metaphors a …

“Cockney Rhyming Slang”


You may encounter Cockney Rhyming Slang and its many variations mainly in England and Australia. It is not very common in the US. The origins of this form of the language dates back to the early 19th century. It was originally used by traders so they could talk to each other without their customers understanding …

‘Synecdoche’ and ‘Metonymy’


‘Synecdoche’ and ‘metonymy’ are not words that one often hears. Yet we are presented with examples of both of these intriguing literary devices on a regular basis. Synecdoche is the use of part of a thing to represent its whole or, conversely, using a whole to represent a constituent part. The former is called ‘microcosmic …

“The Irish Expressions”


Let’s start with the most popular expression in Ireland; “what’s the craic?” This means “what is going on?” or “how is it going?”. The word ‘craic’ is Irish for ‘fun’ but we use it in this context to ask somebody how things are or what is happening. We generally use it to greet a person, …

“Suffixes”


There are two main types of morpheme in English: ‘free’ morphemes and ‘bound’ morphemes. ‘Free’ morphemes can be used on their own, in much the same way that a main clause makes sense on its own (whereas a subordinate/dependent clause does not). For example, the definite article ‘the’ is a morpheme as well as being …

“How To Do Compositions”


When you are doing a composition you should plan it beforehand and then take your time when writing it. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to rush through it and not pay enough attention to what you are writing. Remember that you are learning a new language and it is quite different …