Food Idioms & Proverbs

Let’s face it! We all LOVE food! And when we’re not eating, we like talking about food. In the English language there are thousands of expressions with food. Today we’re going to learn a few of the most common proverbs and idioms related to things that we eat and drink. A proverb is a simple, …

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20 Common mistakes in English

Learning English can be difficult and making mistakes is a normal part of the learning process. Remember, all students make mistakes. The reason for making a mistake is usually one of the following: because you haven’t learned the grammar rule, due to lack of practice or because you are trying to translate directly from your …

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What’s the difference between Adjectives & Adverbs?

ADJECTIVES describe people, things or animals. The house is BIG. My grandfather is OLD. We have a NICE, NEW, RED car. ADVERBS describe HOW an action is done. He read the book QUICKLY. She plays the violin BEAUTIFULLY. She drives SLOWLY and CAREFULLY. In many cases, adverbs are formed by adding -LY to the adjective: …

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Tips on learning English during the quarantine

Millions of people around the world are confined to their homes in an attempt to decrease the spreading of the Coronavirus. This gives us all many hours to spend on learning new things.  And it’s a great time for improving our English level!  Here is a list of tips on how to do this:

  1. TIME: Whether you use our website or our APP, the important thing is to dedicate at least 30-40 minutes a day.  If you dedicate even more time, that’s fantastic! Try to do it the same time every day. Having a routine will make it easier to stick to. You can start with our elementary level and work through our whole course in order or if you have a good English level already you can skip around to different units. Do our exercises at the end of each unit. They are self-correcting so you can see your results immediately and check your progress.  

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English Abbreviations and Acronyms

The English language is filled with abbreviations and acronyms used in order to save time and space.  Nowadays they are even more popular with the use of mobile phones and tablets. An abbreviation is a shortened word that sometimes ends with a period.  For example hr. is the abbreviation of hour. An acronym is the …

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Is learning English easy or difficult?

Many people believe that English is a difficult language to learn but is it really? When you compare English with some of the other most spoken languages in the world we can see that there are difficult things about the English language but there are also some very simple aspects.

What makes English difficult to learn?

Spelling: The spelling of English words is particularly difficult because the English alphabet has only 26 letters yet there are 44 sounds. For this reason English has phonemes which are 2 or 3 letters working together to represent a sound. For example, in the word “light” the letters “ght” together make a sound.

Pronunciation: Learning the pronunciation can be quite challenging for new learners. English is not a phonetic language like Spanish. In Spanish you pronounce a word the way it is spelled. In English, we often pronounce a word differently than it is spelled.  For example: THROUGH and THREW are pronounced the same, while DOUGH and TOUGH have very different pronunciations. The only way to master the pronunciation is through practice, lots of listening and trying to imitate the native speakers´ way of speaking.

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40% of English words have cognates in Spanish (False Friends)

Learning English for Spanish speakers can seem quite simple at first because as much as 40% of English words have cognates in Spanish.

Cognates are words that sound similar, have similar spelling and have the same meaning in the two languages.  Examples of cognates are: teléfono-telephone; persona- person; invitar-invite.

However, there are many words called FALSE COGNATES or FALSE FRIENDS. In the case of False Friends, the English word sounds like a word in Spanish but the two words do NOT have the same meaning. Here is a list of FALSE COGNATES with translations of the words in Spanish and English:

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Learning a language after 18 years of age is infinitely more difficult. Why is this?

Small children learn languages more easily and more quickly than adults do. Starting to learn a foreign language when you are over the age of 18 is infinitely more difficult than if you start as a young child or better yet, a baby. Why is this?

Babies start to pick up on sounds of a language while in the womb. They listen to the “song” of the language(s) being spoken around them, the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech, which linguists call prosody. If you hum a sentence in English the sound of that is the prosody. If someone then hums a sentence in Spanish, Russian or Chinese the prosody of each language will sound different. Of course, babies that are exposed to more than one language while in utero, and thus more than one prosody, have a head start on being bilingual or even trilingual later in life.

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English expressions about time

The time is here! Set your clock and get ready! Today’s post is about expressions and idioms related to TIME. The following list contains some of the most commonly used English expressions regarding the passing of time with explanations and examples to make them clearer.

AGAINST THE CLOCK– in a hurry or with very little time.
They are working against the clock to have the house ready for the guests arriving Saturday.

A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT– something that comes too late and isn’t worthwhile economically.
Yesterday we bought a used car after searching for weeks. Then today my uncle said we could have had his, but that it needs repairs. A day late and a dollar short!

AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR– something that happens at the last minute, almost at the end.
The opposing team scored a goal at the eleventh hour and won the game!

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER– it is better to do or have something late than not at all.
We wanted to give her the birthday present at her party but it wasn’t delivered until 3 days later. Well, better late than never!

DONKEY’S YEARS– for a very long time.
He’s been living in Spain for donkey’s years! It must be 30 years now!

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