The verb ‘make’ in phrasal verbs


Stage 9 Stage 10 Stage 11 Stage 12 What’s the difference between a phrasal verb and a prepositional verb? When we use a prepositional verb, we are using the preposition in its normal, literal sense (e.g. ‘I am looking up at the ceiling‘; ‘the dog jumped over the wall’; ‘he put the coffee on the …

‘AS’ AND ITS MANY USES


Stage 8 Stage 9 Stage 10 The word as has various meanings. Here are some of the most important ones: • It can be used to indicate two actions or events occurring at the same time. In this case, its meaning is similar to when or while. E.g. «As I was driving to work, I …

No Pun Intended


Stage 13 Stage 14 Stage 15 Everybody loves a good joke. Or even a bad one sometimes. But we all love to laugh at something, even if you are laughing at the joke teller in a mocking way instead of at the joke itself. One of the best kinds of jokes, but often one of …

Idioms lost in space


  With all of the interest in space at the moment, it might be a good time to look at some idioms that involve space and interplanetary bodies. English has many sayings that include space, the planets and the heavens in general. Let’s have a look at some of them now.   Download Exercise   …

«Phrasal Verbs with ‘Put’»


Stage 9 Stage 10 Stage 11 Phrasal verbs: the two words that are guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of English students everywhere. But phrasal verbs, although they can seem difficult, should cause you no fear, and should be treated just like any other vocabulary word we learn. Let’s break it down first. Download …

«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 …

«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 …