In one of his comments, Philipp wrote: P H You sum up the British position perfectly. Economic and cultural integration is wonderful but, do we want to become part of a federal Europe? Well, the answer is clearly no from the UK. I am yet to be convinced that much of the rest of Europe … Continue Reading

Happy holidays! (Merry Christmas?)

Brace yourselves! The “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas” argument is coming! :) Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which, in Western Christian Churches, is held annually on 25 December. For centuries, it has been the subject of several reformations, both religious and secular…

Song lyrics challenge

Here are some excerpts from different songs. For each excerpt, there are two things to do: Guess the missing word or words. Tell who the song is from.

Fish expressions

There are lots of expressions with the word “fish” in English and today we are going to have a look at some of them.

Which preposition to use with “corner”? At, in, or on?

In the Confusables series, we talk about English words and expressions that are easily confused with one another because of similarities in spelling, pronunciation, and/or meaning. This is a question I am commonly asked by my students. Even if there seems to be quite a bit of variation in usage, I think understanding the difference … Continue Reading

How to encourage someone who is trying

Let’s learn some English expressions that you can use to encourage someone who is trying, working, or doing a good job. Here are some scenarios to help you use the right expressions in the right situation…

“On the list” or “in the list”?

In a comment, Azadeh said: Today I have been sluggish which is strange for the middle day of the week and alongside all the things in my to-do list. Which was shortly followed by this comment from Hassan: Shouldn’t it be “on my to-do list”? To which I answered: What can I say… what can I … Continue Reading

University library or universitarian library?

I recently received an email from a friend, which contained the following sentence: I’m busy with my new job at the Law universitarian Library… Is this correct? The short answer is, “No, it isn’t.” The long answer is, “No, it isn’t, but…”

Borrow or lend?

I quite often see my students confuse “borrow” with “lend”, but they really shouldn’t! As you will see, the difference between “borrow” and “lend” is simple and clear. Let’s look at a simple scenario: You have bought a new TV and now you don’t have enough money to pay your rent. So you ask your … Continue Reading