British Bad Words

Comment

British Bad Words

British Bad Words

One of the most interesting and difficult things about learning a new language is learning which words are bad, and how bad they are. In English, for example, we have the words crap and shit. Both have the same meaning, but shit is a much stronger word. Your mom might tell you not to say shit, but most people don't mind crap.

A recent article at British newspaper The Indepedent describes a survey that was done by the British government's Ofcom (of + com = office of communications). This office decides what language is okay to say on TV. In the UK some language and content is acceptable after 9:00, when most kids are not watching, but not okay before that.

In the survey, they asked 200 people to rank bad words. Different rankings were mild (not bad, okay for kids), medium (maybe okay on TV before 9:00pm), strong (mostly okay on TV after 9:00pm), strongest (never okay before 9:00, generally okay after).

Here's the full list (sorry Mom! ๐Ÿ™Š)


If you like this, check out these other great English posts!

ย 

ย 

ย 

Comment

30 Most Common English Verbs

Comment

30 Most Common English Verbs

Check out the 30 most common verbs in the English language! Learn these verbs first to make the most of your new vocabulary.

Note that verbs that act only as auxiliaries and modals (such as can and will) have been removed from the list. Verbs that act as both auxiliaries and main verbs have been left in. Data for this table came from the Corpus of Contemporary American English.

Infinitive Present Past Perfect
to be am, is, are was, were been
to have has, have had had
to do do, does did done
to know know, knows knew known
to think think, thinks thought thought
to go go, goes went gone
to get get, gets got gotten
to say say, says said said
to want want, wants wanted wanted
to see see, sees saw seen
to mean mean, means meant meant
to let let, lets let let
to make make, makes made made
to come come, comes came come
to take take, takes took taken
to look look, looks looked looked
to thank thank, thanks thanked thanked
to tell tell, tells told told
to put put, puts put put
to like like, likes liked liked
to talk talk, talks talked talked
to need need, needs needed needed
to believe believe, believes believed believed
to give give, gives gave given
to try try, tries tried tried
to call call, calls called called
to find find, finds found found
to feel feel, feels felt felt
to happen happen, happens happened happened
to ask ask, asks asked asked

Comment

A Dime a Dozen

Comment

A Dime a Dozen

Time for another English idiom! Today's idiom is "a dime a dozen," which means very common. 

As you may know, a dozen means 12. We use this word frequently to talk about buying things:

a dozen eggs:๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš๐Ÿฅš

a dozen donuts: ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฉ

a dozen roses: ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒน

And a dime is a coin worth $0.10 in America: 

Dime
 

So, if something costs a dime for a dozen, it's really cheap, so it must be really common. This is a metaphor, though, so it isn't literal. Here are some examples: 

Beach towels are a dime a dozen in Florida.

Many people think old baseball cards are valuable, but they're a dime a dozen.

Cell phones used to be for rich people only, but now they're a dime a dozen.

ย 

Comment

Ginseng English in See CHANGE Magazine

Comment

Ginseng English in See CHANGE Magazine

 
 

SEE Change Magazine, a magazine about social entrepreneurship, recently published an article about Ginseng Impact. 

Teaching English ought to be a mission-based field. We should be at the cutting edge of social innovation, but instead itโ€™s coffee conglomerates and cosmetics companies doing the most innovative social impact work. Iโ€™d love to see that change, and Iโ€™d be really happy if Ginseng can be a part of making that happen.

Head over to their website to read more about social enterprise. Click here to learn more about Ginseng Impact.

Comment

Comment

See Eye to Eye

Do you have any friends, coworkers, or family members who you really understand and agree with? In English, you can express this with the idiom see eye to eye. Here are some examples:

  • My wife and I are a great match, we really see eye to eye.
  • Jerry and his boss see eye to eye so they work well together.ย 

It's also very common in the negative:

  • My parents and I don't see eye to eye about a lot of things, so we fight a lot.ย 
  • The relationship didn't work because we didn't see eye to eye on some important issues.ย 
IMG_0467.PNG

Comment

Comment

Collocates with Summer

It's summer in Boston! โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ–

Let's take a look at some of the words that are most common after summer. Remember, a collocate is a word that is often used with another word.  Focusing on collocation is a very good way to learn common English phrases and expressions. 

Hare are some of the most common words after summer: 

IMG_1403.PNG

Comment

Comment

Borrow and Lend

Our earlier post on take and give was really just an introduction to these harder two words: borrow  and lend.  

Borrow is like take, but when you borrow something, you give it back later. I can borrow your pencil now, and give it back to you when I am finished. 

Similarly, lend is like give , but when you lend something, you take it back later. I can lend you my car now, and you can give it back to me tomorrow. 

Take a look at the the grammar in this picture. 

IMG_1294.PNG

Borrow 

Let's start with borrow. There are two common ways to use borrow.  The first works just like take:

Carlo is taking a pen from Kate. 

Carlo is borrowing a pen from Kate.  

Notice the preposition from. A person borrows a thing from another person. Another way to use from is with the possessive form. The pen belongs to Kate. It is Kate's pen. So we can also simply say:

Carlo is borrowing Kate's pen.  

Lend

 Many people make mistakes with borrow. Many people say Please borrow me a pen. But we can not say borrow a person! The word here is lend. Notice that the grammar for lend is exactly like the grammar for give:

Carlo is giving Kate his pen. 

Carlo is lending Kate his pen.  

We can also move the indirect object (Kate) to the end of the sentence with both lend and give :

Carlo is giving his pen to Kate.

Carlo is lending his pen to Kate.  

What you can say

In daily life, the useful sentences you may want to use are these: 

May I borrow your ____?

Could you lend me a ____?

DO NOT SAY Can you borrow me a pen.  


If this helped you, check out these other grammar posts:

ย 

ย 

ย 

Comment

Comment

Give and Take

Today let's have a quick look at two very common verbs in English: give and take.  

The meaning is simple. I have something, and I want you to have it so I put it in your hand. I give it to you. You take it from me. 

But the grammar is a little more difficult. Look at the sentences in the picture:

IMG_1104.PNG

In the first sentence, Juana is giving Jim some aspirin. The word give is tricky because can have two objects, a person and a thing. The objects here are Jim  and some aspirin. The thing that you give, aspirin, is called the  direct object. The person who you give it to, the one who receives the action, is called the indirect object, is Jim

We can put the indirect object just after the verb or at the end of the sentence, using to. Look at the two sentences:

Juana is giving Jim some aspirin.

Juana is giving some aspirin to Jim. 

Take is much simpler. It doesn't really have an indirect object, but you can use the preposition from to indicate the person who is giving, like this:

Jim is taking some aspirin from Juana.


If you like this post, check out these other grammar tips:

Comment

Happy Father's Day

Comment

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads in the world! How do you say Dad in your language? In most languages it's something like papa, but some of these are very different! 


If you like this, then check out these other posts from our blog

Comment

This That These & Those - Demonstrative Pronouns

Comment

This That These & Those - Demonstrative Pronouns

In our post earlier this week, we discussed this, that, these, and those as demonstrative determiners. As we discussed, determiners are words that come before nouns to tell us some important information about those nouns. Demonstrative determiners give us information about the quantity and location of the nouns, remember? If we say "this apple," we know that there is one apple, and it's right here, but if I say "those apples," it usually means many apples, and they are over there.

This That These and Those - Demonstrative Determiners

Today, let's look at another, similar way to use those four words: this, that, these, and those. We can also use these words without a noun after them. For example, we can say, "This is a hammer." Here, this doesn't go before the subject of the sentence; it is the subject of the sentence. It works takes the place a noun and represents the thing, the hammer. Words that stand in place of a noun are called pronouns. So in these sentences, thisthat, these, and those are called demonstrative pronouns. See the graphic below for some more examples.

One more time, if they come directly before a noun, this, that, these, and those are called demonstrative determiners. If they replace a noun, acting as a subject or object, they are called demonstrative pronouns.

Notice that the meanings are the same for demonstrative determiners and demonstrative pronouns. This and that are both singular. These and those are both plural. This and these are both for things that are close. That and those are both for things that are over there.


If you like this, check out these other grammar charts:

Comment

Comment

Silent N Words

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about some words with a silent B at the end. There is a similar pattern that can be tricky for student. These words end with the letter N, but you never pronounce that N. Take a look:

SIlent N Words
damn /dรฆm/ v. to condemn to hell
condemn /kษ™nหˆdษ›m/ v. to judge guilty
limn /lษชm/ v. to draw or describe
hymn /hษชm/ n. a religious song
column /หˆkษ’lษ™m/ n. a decorative pillar
solemn /หˆsษ’lษ™m/ adj. serious or earnest
autumn /หˆษ”หtษ™m/ n. the season after summer

Share the graphic! 

Comment