segunda-feira, 9 de outubro de 2017

Expressions about time

You run into a friend on the streets and then you start babbling about everything. After a while, it finally hits you that your friend is not in the mood for talking and actually seems to be about to cry at any moment. Thats when you turn to him and ask in a worried way: Did I catch you at a bad time? What happened? - when you catch someone at a bad time that means youre attempting to talk or interact to them at a time thats inconvenient for them. Maybe your friend just went through a very stressful event like a breakup, a dismissal from work or even the death of a closed one, and here you come rambling on about unimportant things.

And speaking of friends, one of these days I met a friend by chance on the bus. We decided to hang out at the movies because it had been a long time since our last night out. We went to the beach from there and then again back to the mall. It was such a pleasant time we had together we didnt even notice how late it was. Time simply flew while we had fun. - When you say time flies it means it passes very quickly, especially when youre having fun.

Monday morning and youre just acting like a real couch potato watching TV 24/7. Your mother approaches you in a way that only mothers would and start telling you to get out and get a job. She says: youve got too much time on your hands. You need to have more responsibilities and pay your own stuff! - when you have too much time on your hands, it means that you have too much free time and not enough things to do.

Its the weekend and you go to a friends house for a barbecue. Youve been waiting forever for this day to come and it is finally here. So you dance, you sing, party with your friends, catch up a little bit and of course you enjoy all the food. When its time to go back home, here is what you tell your friend on the way out: I had a whale of a time at your barbecue. Will you be hosting another one next weekend? - When you have a whale of a time, it means you have a great time or you do something really fun.

Thats all for now. Talk to you next time!

domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Como dizer SABE TUDO, SABICHÃO em Inglês?

In Portuguese, we have the term sabe-tudo to refer to someone that seems to know everything about any given topic, but makes an irritating point of demonstrating their knowledge to others. In English, that is how we call the know-it-all.

So imagine that in your classroom there is this one student that keeps raising his hand for all the questions and opportunities to show off his knowledge. Sometimes he doesnt even know that much about the topic but keeps making obvious statements just to boost his own ego. You think that affects the quality of the class and even delays your learning process.

One day you cannot take it any longer and impulsively address him by calling him, among many things, the most irritating know-it-all. What you did not expect though was that he would be so good at talking back. And in the middle of such an intense name-calling, he calls you a know-nothing, which is really easy to understand if you think of it as the opposite of a know-it-all. In other words, someone that is a completely ignorant, uninformed, or unknowledgeable person.

There is one last expression with the word know which is know-how. So picture yourself at your work environment when your boss approaches you to move you to a new role you are not confident with. Here is what you tell her: I do not have the know-how to do this job, sorry. When you say that, you are saying that you do not have the knowledge of how to do something.

That is all for now guys. Talk to you next time!

terça-feira, 15 de agosto de 2017

Talking about family

The vocabulary I am proposing today goes beyond the degrees of relatedness (mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, nephew). There is much more to it. Expressions like close-knit family or immediate/extended family for example. Do you know what those mean? Lets get started. 

If in your family the people are always close and look to support each other, you have a close-knit family. Actually that term is used to describe any kind of group that has a supportive attitude, not only blood relatives. As for the immediate family, those are the people that represent your closest relations in the family that usually include a persons parents, spouses, siblings, children. The extended family is everybody that extends beyond the nuclear family, such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. 

If I asked you who you take after in your family, would you know how to answer? I personally think I take after my mother more than my father. That is because I resemble her in appearance. If I thought I only had the same behavior as hers, I could also say I take after my mother. So if you take after an older relative in your family, you are basically saying you look or behave like them. Truth is we all have something in common with everybody in our family. So if you and your family have the habit of talking all the time and too loud for example, you can call it a family trait. Leave us down in the comment section what your family trait is, or maybe something that runs in your family.

But wait, to run in the family? Yes, if many people in the family have the same quality, passion, ability, disease, etc, you can say it runs in the family. For example: A love of the outdoors runs in the family. 

Let us not forget that family is much more than blood. You can have a friend that is not your flesh and blood for example, but is still like a sister to you. On the other hand,. there is a proverb that is used by people who imply that family relationships are always more important than friend, which is: blood is thicker than water. What about you? What side are you on? That is all for today guys. Talk to you next time!

segunda-feira, 14 de agosto de 2017

Vocabulary about shopping

Because we use the word shopping in a way that is not used in the English language some English learners tend to make the same mistake. The thing is, shopping alone in English is not the name of a place, but a verb, as in I was shopping the other day with my mom. In that way, to shop means to buy things in shops. That place where you can find a group of stores with a common area for parking is the shopping center. You can also commonly call it a mall.

At the shopping center, you can do the shopping or go shopping. You might be wondering what is the difference between the two. If I told you some people enjoy doing the shopping but most people love going shopping, would you risk taking a guess? The right answer is that while to do the shopping means to engage in a regular household activity and might involve buying food and household supplies, to go shopping means to go somewhere to buy something of any kind and therefore is a hobby or pastime for some people. It usually doe not involve food. If you want to go shopping specifically for food, you can make it clear but saying that youre grocery shopping.

If youre one of the people who love to go shopping, you certainly enjoy window shopping now and then. If you go window shopping, you just go to the mall for the sake of looking at products in store windows without buying them. Or maybe you mean to buy something, but first you need to shop around to make sure you got the best prices. When you finally know where you can get the best deal, you spend or waste your money on it. If say you spent money on something, that means you will probably make good use of it, but if you say you wasted money on something, you unnecessarily spent money on it. And if one day you spend a lot of money, either on superfluous or necessary things, you can say you splashed out. But if youre always splashing out, you might be a shopaholic. Thats how we call someone whos obsessed with shopping and might be out of control of their own expenses.

And here are a few more words and expressions you need to learn to excel at the art of shopping: 

retail therapy: the act of shopping in order to feel better
a receipt: paper proof of a purchase
a price tag: a tag which indicates the price of an item
a bargain: excellent value for an item or purchase
a fitting room: a place in a shop´where people try on clothes
get a refund: receive money back after returning an item
in cash / bar card: use cash or credit card to buy something
on sale: for sale at a reduced price
for sale: available to buy

domingo, 28 de maio de 2017

Movies Vocabulary: como dizer equipe de filmagem, elenco e enredo em Inglês?

It's possible that by now you've already established your taste for movies. There are many movie genres that you can pick from. And before I get into them, I need to say that genre is nothing but a kind or a style of something, such as music, TV show, painting, etc. But since we're discussing vocabulary about movies, here's a list of the most popular movie genres: horror, thriller, action, comedy, animation, romantic, drama, action, among others. What is your favorite movie genre? Leave your answer in the comment section down below. I would personally say that one of my favorite movie genres is sci-fi, which is a genre with stories set in the future or in outer space.

In order for a movie to be made, there are certain elements of it that must be taken into consideration. The director, who is the person in charge of making a movie by overseeing the creative aspects of it, hires the cast whereas the film crew is hired by a production company. The difference between both is that the cast are understood to be the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in film and the film crew is everyone else making the film. We actually also have the producers who are more than just part of the crew. They own a portion of either the film company or the film's intellectual property rights.

Over the past years, the way people watch movies have changed a little. Going to the movies is still one of the favorite hobbies of many people (me included), but streaming services like Netflix is molding the movie and series industry. It's undeniable that watching a movie from the comfort of your home is sometimes much more convenient than going through a lot of troubles to get to the movie theater (however big and appealing that big screen can be). The screen by the way is that flat surface that a movie is projected onto. All you gotta do is go through the list of movies available for streaming and pick the one whose plot appeals you the most. Plot is the series of event that form the main story.

That's all for today, guys. Talk to you next time!

sábado, 27 de maio de 2017


The first thing you need to do after deciding to eat out with your friends or family is to book a table. You might be finding it weird to see the word book, most commonly known as a noun, used as a verb here. But in this context, booking means to make an arrangement in advance, to eat there a particular time.

The person on the other side of the line might need to ask you how many people will be in your party. And now we have another common word being used as something else. When it comes to reservations, a party is just a group of people who arrange to eat together. They need to get that information in advance because if it's a party of 5 people, for example, they'll be setting the table for five people. (when you set the table, you arrange it)

So let's suppose you and your family have gone through the process of booking a table and have finally made it to the restaurant. The moment you all sit at the table, you're handed the menu. The menu is nothing but a printed list of meals that a restaurant serves. There are some kinds of menus. A set menu displays a list of dishes you can order together. It can include a main meal, a starter and dessert, all for a set price. Let's not forget that most restaurants have "today's specials", which are extra dishes cooked on the day that are not on the main menu. The drinks menu shows the soft drinks and alcoholic drinks that the restaurant can provide you with. And if the restaurant is a little bit fancy, you can get a wine menu.

I've previously mentioned some of the parts of the meal, such as starter, main course and dessert. But we need to get to know them better. A starter is the first course of the meal, which basically consists of small portions of food, served either hot or cold. You might want to skip this course if you're not very hungry. Then we have the main course, which as the name suggests itself, it's the main part of the meal. They're medium to large portions of food, which may or may not be served with vegetables. Then we move on to the side dish, which is a small portion of food you eat with a main meal. Side dishes are often shared with other people eating at the table. And finally we get to the dessert, which is the last and maybe most beloved part of a meal, especially by children. I say that because it is typically consisted of a sweet dish, such as cake, pudding or ice-cream. If you don't like sweets, you can alternatively ask for a savoury dish, which includes for example cheese and biscuits instead.

It's not a great part of our culture here in Brazil, but in places like the United Stated it's important that you leave some tip before you leave the restaurant. A tip is a small sum of money given to restaurant staff, for good service. And that's about it for a good night out at the restaurant. Talk to you next time!

terça-feira, 23 de maio de 2017

O que significa CARPOOL ou CARPOOLING?

No Brasil, essa prática infelizmente ainda não é tão popular. Mas em lugares como Inglaterra e Canadá, fazer rodízio de carona entre pessoas que fazem os mesmos percursos diariamente é tão comum que existem sites dedicados para promover esses encontros. Os motivos são variados, mas os principais sao a preocupação com o meio ambiente e a redução de gastos.

Em Inglês, nós chamamos esse fenômeno de CARPOOL. É preciso entender essa palavra duma maneira mais estruturada porque ela tanto serve como substantivo como verbo. Veja a palavra aplicada como substantivo:

Another mother in our neighborhood joined our carpool. [Outra mãe em nossa vizinhança entrou para a nossa carona solidária.]
By joining a carpool, people can save money and reduce stress.[Ao participar da carona solidária, pessoas podem economizar dinheiro e reduzir o estresse.]

Agora veja a mesma palavra sendo utilizada como verbo:

Mothers should carpool the children to school. [Mães deveriam dividir o carro quando levarem seus filhos para a escola.]
Driving carefully and keeping the vehicle in good repair are very important issues when carpooling. [Dirigir com cuidado e manter o veículo em bom estado são questões importantes quando estiver dividindo o carro.]
Let’s carpool to work? I could save some gas money. [Vamos dividir o carro até o trabalho? Eu poderia economizar um pouco a grana da gasolina.]

Há um canal no youtube dum host americano muito famoso chamado James Corden que faz uma versão karaoke de carpool. Seus passageiros são celebridades da música. Dá só uma olhada nesse vídeo com a cantora Adele:


sábado, 29 de abril de 2017

Speaking about Easter (a little too late)

Before anything else, it's important that we understand Easter itself. That is one of the most important christian holidays that celebrates and honors the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You must be familiar with the story of Jesus, son of God, dying and then coming back to life again. Jesus was killed by crucifixion, which is basically to be hung on a cross and left to die. That is why some Christians wear crucifixes on necklaces or have them hanging on a wall.

Easter is always celebrated on a Sunday in March or April, therefore its date changes every year. And speaking of the holiday itself, Lent is the period of about 40 days that comes before Easter. Some Christians take this time to prepare for the holiday and give up some specific foods as in preparation for Easter. Some may even fast for a few hours. If you don't know what fast means as a verb, that's when people don't eat anything at all, whether by religious or non-religious reasons. And since we're going backwards in time, there's another really famous celebration, especially here in Brazil, that comes right before Lent. That's Carnival. Our Carnival is the biggest one in the world, so I probably won't have to bother explaining what it is.

Back to Easter, it's common to hear about something called the Passion. We may even watch some movies or plays titled the Passion of the Christ or simply the Passion. Passion is a very known word in its literal meaning, but when it comes to Easter, we're actually referring to the suffering and death of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died and was put in a tomb, which is basically a place where you put a dead body, Jesus got to be compared to a lamb, a very present symbol of Christianity, because He died for our sins like an innocent animal would. That was a sacrifice and sacrifices are basically difficult things someone might do for the sake of themselves or other people.

quinta-feira, 6 de abril de 2017

Vocabulary related to Bullying

After watching 13 Reasons Why, which is a Netflix original series, I decided to cover some of the words and expressions related to bullying. That happened because the series approaches bullying, sexual abuse, suicide and many other things. So why not?

Since we seem to have adopted the word bullying in our own language, it clearly explains itself. What you may not know though is that we have the word bully as a noun and a verb. If you bully someone, for example, you may threaten to hurt them, force them to do something, beat them up, attack, harass, intimidate them, make fun of them, scare them, spread rumors about them, tease them, etc. Therefore, you're a bully.

You can easily tell who's a bully in a classroom by their behavior. Behavior is what we call a particular way of acting. If you have a behavior that may be described as abusive, disrespectful, bossy or threatening to others, especially to the weaker, you're likely to be a bully. And spotting a bully in a classroom is just as easy as finding a target. A target is usually someone of few words that don't seem to fit in quite easily, may have their possessions taken, personal belongings damaged and faces social exclusion. Many teachers and authority figures sometimes choose to turn a blind way to those behaviors and only stand by. Both expressions to turn a blind eye and to stand by mean to ignore something and pretend not to see it.

Tolerating an unpleasant and difficult fact like bullying is managing to accept it even though you do not like it. That's not the way to go. Alright, guys. See you next time!

domingo, 2 de abril de 2017

Vocabulário relacionado a April Fool's Day

I'm a few hours late, but I still think it's important to talk about yesterday, April 1st, also known as April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day. Although it's not a public holiday in any country, people celebrate it by playing practical jokes, tricks and hoaxes on each other. I'm not here to do any of that, so don't worry. But I want to cover some of the words related to that day, which by the way will come in handy on other days of the year. So stick around!

I mentioned the terms "practical jokes", "tricks" and "hoaxes" before. And maybe you're still confused by the meaning of them. So, here's a quick explanation: practical jokes are any kind of trick played on someone as a way to make them look foolish, which makes sense if you consider we're talking about April Fool's Day. Speaking of which, fool or foolish refer to a person who's silly, stupid or unwise; the difference is that fool is used as a noun, whereas foolish is an adjective. Back with the kinds of jokes, we also have "hoaxes". Hoaxes are also a trick, but in this case it is usually a trick planned to deceive a large group of people. If you take a look at the picture below on my blog, you'll see an example of that. There is what it seems to be an accident with a subway car broken through and surfaced on the square in front of the town hall, in Denmark. But in reality, it's just a hoax staged to fool people around.

Aprilsnar 2001.png

Another word for a practical joke is a prank. A prank call by the way is a telephone call in which the caller lies to or tricks the person they called. Those calls are usually made to strangers and the point is to cause confusion or anger. If you're someone who likes to play pranks or maybe make prank calls, you're a prankster. Some people are a prankster's favorite targets on April Fool's Day because they are easily deceived. in English, you can call people like that naive or gullible. And finally to wrap this all up, we have the spoof stories, which are fake stories presented as though they were real. Alright, guys. That's all for today. Talk to you next time!

terça-feira, 29 de novembro de 2016

Inglês Favorito Podcast #6: Car vocabulary

Before getting into collocations for cars, it's good that we learn about the parts of it. Face this as though we took a car apart to figure out some of its pieces. And here are the parts we're going to see: headlight, windshield, handle, roof, trunk, steering wheel and brake light. Is there any word you haven't heard of yet? If so, keep listening. So let's start with the headlight. Headlight is that powerful light at the front of a motor vehicle mostly used as a lighting source. The windshield is a pane of usually curved glass in front of the occupants of a vehicle to protect them from the wind. The handle is anything designed for holding, moving or carrying. In the case of a car, it's the part used to open the car's door. The roof is the structure forming the upper covering of the vehicle. The trunk is at the back of the car and it's a covered space for storing things in. The steering wheel is inside the car and it's basically the part used by the driver who turns it in order to make the car go in a particular direction. And finally brake lights are the red lights at the back of a motor vehicle that light up when the car is braked. To make things easier for you, I left a picture on my blog illustrating all the vocabulary we have just learned. You can see it at

So now that we've been familiarized with some of the many parts of a car, let's learn some collocations with the word car. If you don't know what a collocation is, try to think of it as only two or more words that usually go together. In other words, we're going to learn the words that sound natural with the word car. For example, what can you do with a car? You can drive it, right? But you can also travel into the country by car. But before you go on a trip like that, you need to take the car in for service, just to make sure it is repaired and ready to go. Only then you can get into the car, start the car, maybe accelerate a little but not too much and finally set off for your dream trip. But before I forget, make sure you stop at a gas station and depending on what your car runs on, such as gasoline or diesel, you can fill the tunk up.

Ok, now we're in the car on our way to a great trip. During that trip, many unforeseen events can happen, like your car breaking down in the middle of the road for example. That's bad right? That's why it's so important to take the car in for service beforehand. In a car accident, the car may leave the road, collide with a tree or another car, hit an animal. There's an expression in English involving cars that describes an accident, which is "to wrap one's car around something". For example, "She wrapped her car around a light pole. If he hadn't wrapped his car around a tree, he'd be here with us tonight." When you wrap your car around something, you drive it into something at fairly high speed. Okay, that's all for today guys. Talk to you next time!

quarta-feira, 23 de novembro de 2016

Inglês Favorito Podcast #5: FITNESS/DIET VOCABULARY (part 1)

There are many reasons for someone to want to start attending a gym. You may want to get in shape, improve your physical fitness, feel better about your appearance, or simply lose weight. If you don't understand what I just said, I'll break it down for you. When you get in shape you become healthy, strong and fit. You can achieve that by exercising frequently. Physical fitness is your ability to carry out tasks without undue fatigue. Sometimes in order to make your physical fitness better, you need to lose weight. Weight is your body's mass, which can be measured by pounds, kilos, etc. So, if you lose weight, you become thinner or skinnier, but if you put on weight, you gain weight and get fat.

If getting fatter isn't in your New year's resolutions for 2017, you need to watch your figure and cut down on chocolate and fat. Ok, now we have two new expressions here. When you watch your figure, you try to lose weight, keep fit, be careful about your diet, or, as I said before, cut down on junk food like chocolate, hamburgers, soda, etc. And when you cut down on food or some bad habit, you reduce the amount of it, you use, eat or buy less of it. So that will probably lead you to go on a diet, which means to lose weight by eating less food or specific foods. If you're really determined to be in good shape, you will want to associate a good diet to a good workout, which is what you basically do at the gym. Working out consists of a session of vigorous physical exercise or training. So, you can use it as a phrasal verb, as in: Yesterday I worked out with my friends at the gym. And you can also use it as a noun, as in: I had an excellent workout with the help of my trainer. That's all for today, guys. I'll talk to you next time!