Thursday, April 30, 2015

Expressions with Face

Straight Face

When your face shows no emotion, especially when you are trying not to laugh, you keep a straight face.

Don't laugh, try and keep a straight face or she will know you are joking.

His new hairstyle is so awful that I found it hard to keep a straight face.

Lose Face

When you lose face you feel you have lost the respect of others because of something you have done. You feel embarrassed when you lose face.

He didn't understand the lecture but he said he did because he did not want to lose face in front of his classmates.

He lost face when his much younger brother took the test and did better than him.

Long Face

You have a long face when you look sad.

What's happened to James? He has a long face this morning.

"Why the long face?" "I had some bad news."

Egg on your face

You have egg on your face when you get caught doing something wrong. It's an embarrassing situation.

The President had egg on his face after journalists found out he was lying.

The company has egg on its face after its new product turned out to be faulty.

Face it

You face it when you accept the truth, usually about something unpleasant.

Face it, unless we start making a profit soon we will go bankrupt.

I have to face up to the fact that I'm getting too old for nightclubs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today is April 22nd - Earth Day

Today's post celebrates Earth Day. Read the text and then do the short comprehension activity. Let's save the planet!

What do people do?
The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.

Public Life
Earth Day is not a public holiday and public life, with regard to transport schedules and opening hours for schools and businesses, is not affected.

The April 22nd Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

Symbols used by people to describe Earth Day include: an image or drawing of planet earth; a tree, a flower or leaves depicting growth; or the recycling symbol. Colours used for Earth Day include natural colours such as green, brown or blue.

The “Earth Flag”, which was designed by John McConnell, has been described as a “flag for all people”. It features a two-sided dye printed image of the Earth from space on a dark blue field, made from recyclable, weather-resistant polyester.

Activity - Decide whether the following statements are TRUE or FALSE

  1. A lot of activities take place outside
  2. Some people petition their government about ecological problems
  3. The celebration of Earth Day began in the 1960s
  4. The recycling symbol is not the only image used for Earth Day
  5. The "Earth Flag" is made out of blue cotton
The answers
  1. True
  2. True
  3. False. It began in 1970
  4. True. 
  5. False. It is made of recyclable weather-resistant polyester

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Silent Letters in English

In English some words have silent letters. This means that how a word is pronounced and how it is spelt is different. We write the silent letter when we spell the word, but it is not heard when we speak.

Here are some examples. The red letter in each word is silent.

Silent B

The lift is broken, we'll have to climb the stairs.

A baby sheep is called a lamb.

Silent C

There's a strong scent of flowers in the garden.

The final scene in the movie was exciting.

Silent D

My English lesson is on Wednesday.

I had a sandwich for lunch.

Silent G

I've never been to a foreign country.

The dog gnawed on a big bone.

Silent H

You can hear your echo when you shout in the cave.

I can only play a few chords on the guitar.

Silent K

I don't know what to do next.

I hurt my knee playing football.

Silent N

Autumn is my favourite season.

My brother is a journalist, he writes a weekly column in the local newspaper.

Silent P

She's studying psychology in university.

Make sure you get a receipt when you buy your new shoes.

Silent T

Please listen to what I tell you.

We applied for a mortgage so we can buy a new home.

Silent U

Would you like a biscuit with your coffee?

Guess who I saw yesterday?

Silent W

I'll wrap her birthday presents tonight.

We were looking for you in the wrong room.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Feeling happy? Great! Learn some new expressions to tell the world!

How are you feeling today? I hope you are in a good mood. Here are seven idioms we use to show we are happy.

On cloud nine
Extremely happy when something wonderful happens.
She's been on cloud nine since she found out she is pregnant.

Like a dog with two tails
To look and be very happy.
Was he pleased? He was like a dog with two tails.

Full of the joys of spring
When you are energetic, cheerful and happy.
James must have had some good news, he's full of the joys of spring today.

To be happy as Larry
When you are as happy as Larry, you are, of course, very happy. But who is Larry? No one is certain but it is believed that 'Larry' refers to an Australian boxer called Larry Foley (1878 - 1917) who after receiving a large payment after winning a fight was described in a newspaper as being 'happy'. Somehow this description stuck and is now used all these years later.
My daughter was as happy as Larry with her birthday present.

On top of the world
You are on top of the world when you feel wonderful.
I've been feeling on top of the world since I started doing yoga every morning.

Over the moon
This idiom isn't used so much these days because it is considered a cliché (an overused, unoriginal expression), but it means to be delighted.
The team captain said he was over the moon with their win.

In seventh heaven
Bliss; to be so happy it feels like you are in heaven.
I was in seventh heaven when I landed my dream job.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

In a dog eat dog's important to speak English!

How many of you know the English expression raining cats and dogs, as in, 'I'm not going outside, it's raining cats and dogs'?
It means, and no one seems to know why, raining very heavily. The other strange thing to notice about this expression is the amount of English learners who know it. Perhaps it's because it's a fun, simple and easy phrase to remember?
As we recently posted some cat expressions, tooday we introduce you to some other expressions featuring the animal that makes up half that idiom - the dog.
Here are some well-known dog expressions.


Very tired.

He was dog-tired after working a double-shift.

She's said all nurses are dog-tired by the end of the day. It really is a tough job.


When a situation is dog-eat-dog, it's very competitive in a cruel and selfish way.

Working on Wall Street is dog-eat-dog.

Banking is a dog-eat-dog industry.

Let sleeping dogs lie

You let sleeping dogs lie when you choose to not talk about things which have caused problems in the past. It's also used to not try to change a situation because it might cause problems.

He never talks about his ex-wife and we never ask about her, it's better to let sleeping dogs lie.

Can we just let sleeping dogs lie? I don't want to discuss the matter any further?

Work like a dog

To work very hard.

She worked like a dog all day to finish the report before the deadline.

I worked like a dog all weekend painting my parents' house.

to be like a dog with a bone

This, mostly British expression, means to refuse to stop talking or thinking about something. To not give up.

When it comes to talking about politics, he's like a dog with a bone.

Don't get into a discussion with her about environmental issues - she's like a dog with a bone.

to be like a dog with two tails

To be very happy.

He was like a dog with two tails when his team won.

She'll be like a dog with two tails when she finds she's been promoted.