sábado, 13 de julho de 2013

Are you in a hurry?

For living in such a hectic lifestyle, many people live as if in a marathon race. They go according to a very demanding
schedule and almost never have time for themselves. There's no doubt living like that can cause us many health issues, but that's not what we're discussing today. Actually, I'd like to give you some expressions for the times when you find yourself struggling with such hurry. And if you're just one of many busy people out there, you'll find those expressions came in handy.

Actually, the title of this post comes already with the first expression of the day: to be in a hurry. You can use that expression to tell people you can't give them the deserved attention because you're busy. Maybe you have a meeting in five minutes and run into a friend of yours on your way to work. You haven't seen him in a while and he seems to want to catch up a little bit. The problem is that you really don't have the time to do that right now and want to let him know that without being rude. So you say: I'm sorry, but I'm in a hurry right now. Can I call you later? 

After walking past your friend without giving him a bad impression, you've finally made it to work on time. Although you're glad you're not late this time, you know only part of your problems has now been solved. While attending the meeting, your boss tells you to hand him someone's contract in no time. So you ask him: Do you need it now? And he answers: I need it yesterday. Where is it? You may find it weird your boss said he needs something for the previous day since the day has already passed, but that's only a way to tell you how urgent that contract is. It is an emergency.

Do you know what to say to an ungrateful person?

When you're young and you have just entered market place, most of the times you have to start small. Starting small refers to the act of starting something from the bottom, and from there on maybe build your way up. In business, starting small can be considered a good strategy because you become able to experience new things when risks are still low. That way, you can take the chance to become more experienced before trying out something big.

But the problem with some people is that as soon as they leave college, they want to be at the highest level of an organization, a company. It becomes a problem because at the moment they realize it is not that easy they're more likely to give up the job before a chance to grow. Suppose for example a friend of yours has been looking for a job for a long time to no great avail. You then tell him you can get him a job at the company you work for and he seems to be very excited about it.

However, when he finds out the job you found him is not the job of his dreams, he gives up. You think he's very ungrateful for feeling doubt about something good that has been offered to him. So you say: I know it is not the job of your dreams but it pays good money. I'd be inclined not to look a gift horse in the mouth if I were you.

When you tell someone not to look a gift horse in the mouth, you're criticizing him for refusing to take something that has been offered.

If only...

I was watching the sitcom Friends these days, which is by the way one of my favorite sitcoms, and right at the begining of an episode I heard something that could be a great lesson for today's post. But first, let me give you some insight on what was going on before the expression came out. It started with Chandler and Monica talking about some trip they'd make in the upcoming weekend. The problem was that Rachel and Ross would be throwing their daughter's first birthday party in the same weekend as the trip and wouldn't let them miss it. Chandler, who was really looking forward to the trip, said ironically: If only she were one and had no idea what the hell a birthday was!

Chandler eventually gave in to the birthday, but what matters now is to know why he decided to use the expression If only in the beginning of his statement. If only is a very useful expression in English language because it can be used on a very regular basis. When you start a sentence with "If only", it means you wish something was different, or you're expressing regret about certain situations. For example: If only you were here / If only I had more money. If only I'd listened to you. Instead of saying "If only she were one and had no idea what the hell a birthday was!", Chandler could also have said "I wish she were one and had no idea what the hell a birthday was", but it is true that "If only" can be more emphatic. Both the expressions "If only" and "I wish" mean the same thing though. See how you can use them:

I wish I was taller.
I wish I knew the answer.
If only the sun would come out.
If only he could have explained!
Fonte: http://www.tolearnenglish.com/exercises/exercise-english-2/exercise-english-5529.php

segunda-feira, 8 de julho de 2013

Expressions with the word DOUBLE

Today we're going to be focusing on the word DOUBLE. Yes, you got it right. Double means twice as large, be it in size, amount, number or extent. If you say for example you asked a double portion at the restaurant, it means you just had it double the size of the normal one. You can also use the word double as a verb, as in "the baby doubled its weight in a year". It is pretty simple huh? So let's get to something more challenging now by learning some expressions with that word.

Sometimes you find yourself in a situation that whatever you do, you'll never succeed. That's maybe because you're in a double bind. You know what that means? Suppose that you're a woman struggling with a very difficult decision to make: working or staying at home taking care of the children? To make it worse, you notice that whatever you do, society will always judge you because after all, if you leave your children to go to work, people will say you're neglecting your family. On the other hand, if you decide to stay at home, they'll label you as a non-achiever. Pretty hard, right? So, while talking to a friend of yours, you can say something like this: I don't know what to do. I'm in a double bind. Whatever I do, there will always be bad results.

There's also a very easy expression with the word double that can be very related to drunk people. You know that when people drink too much, their perception of things can become very messed up. One of these symptoms is seeing double. Maybe one of your friends or yourself might have been through a situation where you can't be really sure if people have suddenly gotten a twin or if you really need to stop drinking. Of course, seeing double does not only happen when you're drunk. You can see double if you're too sleepy or if you simply have some eye disease. The thing is, you can also use that expression in a figurative way to try to say you're really confused.

Do you have a topic you find almost impossible to understand? People usually say that trying to understand the laws of Quantum Science is not for everybody. I don't know about that because I'm really not involved in that area. But if by any chance I had tried to read a book on Quantum Science and miserably failed to understand it, I could say that "a book on Quantum Science is written in double Dutch". When you say that something is written or spoken in double Dutch, you're just saying it is really impossible to understand it. It is about a language or speech you're really not used to. Maybe you think your Math teacher speaks in double Dutch, or the lecture you last attended was given in double Dutch.

Well, that's it for today guys. Maybe I'll provide you with some more expressions with the word double in a different post very soon. There are still plenty of them. Stay tunned!

Short story: expressões com a palavra TONGUE

Maria has been an English student for four years now. At the very beginning of her studies, she thought the hardest part in English language was to learn how to pronounce words correctly. There were certain words in special that caused her a lot of troubles speaking, especially the ones with the th sound like through or thought. She couldn't really get her tongue around words like those.

In her first English class, her teacher asked her to introduce herself to her classmates. She was so nervous that, as a slip of tongue, instead of saying she was fourteen, she said forty. After noticing everybody giving her such puzzled look, she started to stumble for words on the tip of her tongue. Of course all of that set tongues wagging in her classroom. Her teacher, on the other hand, did everything possible to calm her down.

Today, after overcoming most part of her pronunciation issues, she feels like words or phrases containing the th sound just roll off the tongue very easily.

get your tongue around/round something
to pronounce a difficult word or phrase

a slip of the tongue
a mistake you make when speaking, such as using the wrong word

be on the tip of your tongue
if something you want to say is on the tip of your tongue, you think you know it and that you will be able to remember it very soon

set/start tongues wagging  (informal)
if something that someone says or does sets tongues wagging, it causes people to talk about them

roll/trip off the tongue
if a word or phrase trips off the tongue, it is very easy to say

Fonte: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/

sábado, 6 de julho de 2013

Você sabe o que significa one-night stand?

If you're single, maybe you'll understand very well what I'm about to say. I'm not saying it happens to all single people, but some of them have really no problem whatsoever hooking up with a different person everyday. If for example you usually have several sexual relationships that last no longer than a single night, you can say you've had many one-night stands. A one-night stand is what you can have for one single night with someone you barely know, but it is not always the case. Maybe you've been with the person several times before, but the relationship is not based on anything more than a series of one-night stands. It's not a serious relationship. It is a purely sex-based relationship.

Still talking about the term, people don't necessarily have to be single in order to have night-stands. If you're married, but still have secretly one-night stands with somebody else, you're simply cheating on your partner. Some cheaters, after getting caught by their partners, may want to try to explain what they've done by saying something like this: It's you I love. She was just a one-night stand. As you can see, if you call someone a one-night stand, you're just saying he or she means nothing but a person you once had sex with.

2 maneiras de dizer o verbo persuadir em Inglês

If you're trying to get someone to do something or to think the way is more convenient to you, you're doing nothing but persuade. You can call yourself persuasive if you have the power to persuade people, get your own way. If you're the victim here, you must have been through the experience of dealing with someone very persuasive in your relationships. They sometimes lie to you, but turn things around by making you believe they didn't really do anything wrong. In English, you can simply say that someone persuades you, but there are more specific ways of saying the same thing depending on the situation. So let's move right into it.

Sometimes you can find yourself in the middle of a discussion, and you're very desperate to prove your point of view right. If you have the ability of persuading people, you can talk them around to your point of view. That's very common among influential people. Their point of view may not always be the best, but by their power of persuasion, they make it look like it is. The same way, suppose you get into some sort of problem and now you have nobody but yourself to get out of it. You can then talk your way out of the problem. In other words, you can use the power of your words to convince people you're innocent or maybe even a victim. That way, you can escape from being punished. Children are pros at doing that.

Como digo em Inglês: Fazer arrodeios num assunto?

I'd like to use a very easy word to talk about a phrasal verbs that can be very useful in our everyday conversations. The word is TALK. It can be one of the very first words that a student comes to learn in English language. It only becomes a problem if we get stuck in its very basic meaning, which is to communicate or exchange ideas, and forget TALK can also be used in a variety of ways.

Let's suppose you once had a teacher that was a little bit of a "know-it-all', that is to say, she knew about everything and made a point to show it off. The problem is that everytime she was supposed to talk about a specific subject, she would never focus on it. Instead, she would get distracted by other subjects related to the first one and never got to the point. You thought it was very frustrating because after so much talking you didn't even remember what the main point was all about. While talking to one of your classmates about it, you ask him if he feels the same. He replies: I don't even pay attention to what she says anymore because I know she will get around the subject but never get to the point. If you see people getting around a subject, it means they're speaking indirectly about it. Maybe they get easily distracted while talking or they simply don't know the subject in depth.

quarta-feira, 3 de julho de 2013

Using figurative collocations with the word heart

You must already know that heart is very often related to feelings and emotions. Although we all know that the only thing it really does is pump blood through one's body, people tend to give it a much deeper meaning. And that's good. After all if it wasn't for that, there wouldn't be so many expressions and figurative usage in our speaking. And that's exactly what we're touching on today.

For example, when we say that someone doesn't have a heart, it doesn't mean he's been waiting for a heart transplant. It just means the person is not kind and doesn't care much for others. The same way, if you say that someone has a very kind heart, you're just saying he's a very good person. In the case you see someone acting like a jerk, showing no respect at all for others, you can simply ask: Have you no heart?

If there's some girl you're trying to get and then eventually you finally succeed, you can say you stole her heart. The same way, if during your relationship with her you end up hurting her feelings, somebody can say you broke her heart. Those are very common ways of using the word heart to refer to real feelings. But let's cut the easy part and get to something more challenging.

Let's talk about emotions that can literaly cause some excitement in our heart. For example, when you feel such a strong emotion, bet it from joy or sadness, you may feel like your heart is jumping out of your chest. Let's say you did an interview in a big company and have been waiting for the answer since then. One day you get a call from your interviewer saying you've passed the test and now you're part of the campany staff. While telling a friend about how you felt at the very moment you heard him saying that, you say that your heart missed a beat with such joy.

Sadness is something that can also be attached to the heart. When you're very depressed, you can say your heart aches. Maybe your heart is aching because your heart desires someone you can't have. Maybe you're so sad for not having the person you love that you feel the need of pouring out your heart to one of your friends. That is to say, opening your heart.