quarta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2015

Qual a diferença entre LIE & LAY?

Alguns aspectos da gramática inglesa podem inspirar dificuldade para qualquer estudante de Inglês. Eu falo isso porque a diferença entre lie e lay, por exemplo, pode confundir a fluência de qualquer falante da língua, inclusive o do próprio nativo. E a gente sabe que quando uma dúvida atinge até alguns nativos desatentos é porque a coisa deve ser realmente confusa.

Mas eu não quero começar assustando ninguém. Com prática e bastante exposição, uma dúvida que antes parecia insistente passa a ser eliminada de forma natural e sem maiores esforços.

Vamos começar pelo verbo TO LIE. Sendo o verbo mais conhecido e usado entre os que eu vou apresentar em seguida, o verbo to lie é o verbo regular mentir: TO LIE - LIED - LIED.
1) Don't lie to your parents.
2) He lied to me when he said not to have cheated on me.
3) She's lied since the very beginning of our relationship.

A confusão começa a ser mais perceptível quando você descobre que o verbo TO LIE também é o verbo IRREGULAR deitar-se; reclinar-se; etc: TO LIE - LAY - LAIN. Veja os exemplos:
1) I like to lie on the floor for a few minutes to straighten my spine.
2) She lay on the bed and slept.
3) The dust has lain undisturbed for years.

E finalmente o vebro TO LAY, que também é irregular e significa pôr (como nas expressões pôr ovos, pôr a mesa, depor armas): LAY - LAID - LAID. Veja os exemplos:
1) Albanian PM sets deadline for opposition to lay down arms. (CNN)
2) How many eggs does a chicken lay per day?

Qual a diferença entre BESIDE e BESIDES?

Alguns estudantes conhecem as palavras BESIDE e BESIDES, mas usam as duas palavras de forma indiscriminada. Outros estudantes infelizmente não estão sequer atentos ás diferenças dessas duas palavras e acreditam que o s ou a ausência dele no final delas se dá talvez a um mero descuido do falante ou escritor. Mas sim. Esse s faz toda a diferença. Vamos conhecer os dois usos!

Beside sem s atua apenas como uma preposição e significa "next to". Veja esses dois exemplos:
A house beside the sea.
She sat beside her friend.

Besides com s pode ser usado tanto como preposição como advérbio. Como preposição, besides significa "in addition to" ou "apart from". Veja só esses dois exemplos:
What are you studying besides English? (in addition to)
Who was there besides John (apart from)

Como advérbio, besides significa "well" ou "furthermore". Veja esse exemplo:
He was scruffy and badly prepared. Besides, he turned up late for the interview.

terça-feira, 29 de setembro de 2015

Expressions with the word BESIDE

You're the boss of a big company and one day you have to do what any boss is supposed to do soon or later: hire a new employee. Out of many candidates there's someone you've known for a while and have a relationship that goes beyond business. So what should you do? Hire him for personal reasons even though you've interviewed other better skilled people?

While discussing that issue with some of your business partners, you finally decide what's the best thing to do in that situation and here's what you say: I know he's a nice guy and he's closer to me than any other candidate, but that's beside the point. I have to be professional here and hire the one whose profile fits better for this company.

When you say something's beside the point, you're saying that it's in no way connected to the subject that is being discussed. So even though you pointed out the reason why you were having a hard time trying to decide whether or not to hire that known person, you think that shouldn't be connected to your decision.

Now keep pretending you're the boss of a company. You opened places for new managers and have received many resumes. Among all those hundreds of resumes, one of them attracts your interest. Like many other bosses, you want to search that candidate's history before calling him over for an interview. So you look for his last job experience and get the phone number from his last boss. Then you ask him why he's no longer working for him and whether or not he'd recommend him to you.

What you got as an answer doesn't make you very happy though. Despite being apparently your best choice, that candidate didn't write a pretty story in his last job. He didn't get along with most coworkers, would always call in sick and get late for work, get into many arguments with clients and the list could go on and on. So here's your reaction: Too bad that guy has a black mark beside his name. He seemed to have everything to make it here.

When you have a black mark beside your name, it means there's something negative associated with you. Talk to you next time. Take care!

domingo, 27 de setembro de 2015

short notice/advance notice

I covered an expression with the word notice on the previous post and what happened was that I've come across two other expressions with the same word that are very important to learn. So I thought I'd write a second post covering them too.

I used to have a private teacher who wasn't very good at making appointments. He was very busy and every time he would have sort of a gap between his other duties, he would fit me into it and call me at a moment's notice. When you do anything with very little advance notice, with just a little bit of warning, you're doing it at a moment's notice. You can also use the expression "on short notice", as in "she called the meeting on such short notice that we had no time to prepare". I would always ask my teacher not to do such an inconvenient thing and instead call me with advance notice. As you can imagine, when you do something with or on advance notice, you do it with some kind of notification that something is going to happen or is expected before it actually happens.

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

o que significa a expressão "to sit up and take notice"?

I watched a horror movie one of these days that didn't give me much of a hard time trying to recover from flashbacks. But I remember one time when I was much younger and had the brilliant idea of watching The Grudge. You might think that's not the scariest horror movie around these days, but for a 14-year-old I wouldn't be so sure. After watching it, the slightest noises coming from in and out of the house would cause me to sit up and take notice and I had the hardest time trying to fall asleep. But wait, what do I mean by sitting up and taking notice?

When you do such a thing, you become alert and pay close attention. So every time a cat would walk on the roof of my house for example or anything made of wood would crack, I would sit up and take notice. You can become alert like that for many other reasons. Just imagine how horrifying it would be if you were home and heard some sharp noises of a possible shootout right outside of your house. You could say: a gunshot caused everybody at home to sit up and take notice. That's all for today. Take care!

sábado, 26 de setembro de 2015

O que significa "Achilles' heel"?

Imagine you know a man of few words. He's always very calm and you're pretty sure even though you've known him for a long time, you've barely seen him get mad. Even in the most stressful situations, he's always giving people lessons on how to remain calm. But then somebody asks you: is there anything that upsets him? What's his weakness?

And here's your answer: If you want to make him mad, just mess with his kids. They are his Achilles' heel. But wait, Achilles' heel? What does that mean? If Achilles sounds familiar to you, that's because you may have heard of the story of a man in Greek mythology who was killed when he was injured on the heel. That was the only part of his body where he could be harmed. So when you talk about someone or something's Achilles' heel, you're referring to their weak point, a fault that might cause them to fail.

One of these days I read a headline that read something like this: Hacker found Apple's Achilles' heel. We all know how big and intimidating Apple is. When a hacker can finally find its weak point, it's like finding the only place in someone's body that can kill him once it's harmed. I hope that helped. Talk to you next time!

sexta-feira, 25 de setembro de 2015

expressions with the word HEEL

If you stop to look for expressions with the word heel, you'll understand the dilemma I went through while trying to collect the best ones to write this post. They're too many. If by the end of this post I think it's a good idea to write a second post with other expressions with the same word, I'll let you know. Just stick around!

Have you ever been in love? But really really in love? I'm asking you this because there's a certain difference between being in love and being head over HEELS in love with someone. When you're head over heels in love with your boyfriend or girlfriend for example, you can't even sleep well at night because it's hard to keep your loved one off your mind. That's more common at the beginning of a relationship and if you're in that situation right now, don't find it weird if people are avoiding you. You are probably very annoying. =D

Okay. One good thing to understand about that expression is that its essence is "to be head over heels". I would say that's an expression to be used when you want to emphasize something. In the previous example, I wanted to emphasize how deeply in love someone is, so I included "in love" at the end of the expression, as in "They're head over heels in love with each other". But what if I wanted to emphasize something else? That is very possible. Take this example as a proof: when she was finally head over heels in debt, she cut up all her credit cards. When you're head over heels in dept, for example, you're deeply in debt. Very easy, huh?

Now I'm going to take advantage of the recent release of iPhone 6S to cover the next expressions. Whether you're an Apple fanboy or not, you gotta admit that Apple has great marketing strategies and can make crowds line up in front of their stores just to have the pleasure of being the first ones to put their hands on a new device. If that's crazy or not, that's not what we're getting into now. Just imagine you see a headline reading this: As the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook said he feels like his competitors are on his feet. Would you say that Tim Cook is acting a little bit pretentious?

When you say something or someone is on or at your feet, you're saying that they're immediately behind, in close pursuit. Now imagine this situation: You see there's a good movie playing today and you call a friend to see if he wants to come. He says he would love to and tells you the time he's meeting you at the mall. A few minutes before the movie starts though he calls you telling you he's not going to make it because his wife wouldn't let him leave the house. What's your reaction? If you're a very honest person, you might say: Don't let your demanding wife bring you to heel!!

Just like you imagined, when you bring someone to heel, it means you're forcing them to obey you. If there's someone making you act in a more disciplined fashion, they're bringing you to heel. If that's not your case, you can say you have a mind of your own and stand your ground. That's it for today guys. Talk to you next time!

quinta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2015

maneiras de dizer "falar mal de alguém" em Inglês

I remember the first time I was talking to a guy from the USA and I was telling him that there was someone saying bad things about me at school. The problem was that I didn't know exactly how to say that. As simple as it might sound to you depending on your level of proficiency in English, when you're first confronted by something more idiomatic in English you tend to be shocked and your mind goes totally blank.

But let's try to stay focused here: what are the possible ways to say someone is saying bad things about you? Notice I've already mentioned twice the first way to express that idea in English: to say bad things about someone. If you happen to be just beginning your studies in English, that might be the first option that crosses your mind. That's the simplest and most obvious option after all. But the reason why I'm creating this post is that I've found many other ways to say the same thing. Those other less known expressions sound more natural to a native English speaker and can take your English to the next step and a higher level. Here are the expressions:

To speak ill of someone: I refuse to speak ill of any of my friends. Max speaks ill of no one and refuses to repeat gossip.

To bad-mouth someone or something: Mr. Smith was always bad-mouthing Mrs. Smith. They just didn't get along. John bad-mouths his car constantly because it is too small for him.

Run someone or something down: Please stop running me down all the time. I can't be that bad! You run down everybody who takes your old job!

domingo, 20 de setembro de 2015

Estudando Inglês com "Habits", de Tove Lo

A música foi recém lançada, mas Habits, de Tove Lo, de tão bem sucedida, parece estar nas paradas há muito mais tempo. Outro dia, fui no shopping e pude ouví-la em duas lojas diferentes. Realmente não tem como fugir. Por isso, eu resolvi abordar a música duma maneira que interessa aos amantes de música que também são estudantes de Inglês. Algumas das expressões são bem interessantes e podem ser novidades nos seus estudos. Vamos lá!

I eat my dinner in my bathtub
Then I go to sex clubs
Watching freaky people getting it on

freaky: very ​unusual or ​unexpected, ​especially in an ​unpleasant or ​strange way
get it on: have sexual intercourse
It doesn't make me nervous
If anything I'm restless
restless: not able to stand or sit or relax because you are bored or nervous
Yeah I've been around and I've seen it all

I get home, I got the munchies
get the munchies: to feel a bit hungry
Binge on all my Twinkies
binge: indulge in an activity, especially eating, to excess
Twinky: an American snack cake, marketed as a "Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling."
And I drank up all my money
drink up: To drink something completely
Dazed and kinda of lonely
dazed: very ​confused and ​unable to ​think ​clearly

You're gone and I got to stay high
high: under the effect of any drug
All the time to keep you off my mind
High all the time to keep you off my mind
Spend my days locked in a haze
haze: a state of mental obscurity or confusion.
Trying to forget you babe, I fall back down
Gotta stay high all my life to forget I'm missing you

Pick up daddies at the playground
pick up: collect (a person)
How I spend my daytime
Loosen up the frown, make them feel alive
loosen up the frown: to become relaxed
I'll make it fast and greasy
greasy: containing or covered with fat or oil
I'm numb and way too easy
numb: If a part of your body is numb, you cannot feel it.

You're gone and I got to stay high
All the time to keep you off my mind
High all the time to keep you off my mind
Spend my days locked in a haze
Tryin to forget you babe, I fall back down
Got to stay high all my life to forget I'm missing you

Standing in my play pretend
play pretend: Make-believe, imagination, role-playing
Where the fun ain't got no end
Can't go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain
to numb: deprive of feeling and responsiveness
Staying in my play pretend
Where the fun ain't got no end
Can't go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain

You're gone and I got to stay high
All the time to keep you off my mind
High all the time to keep you off my mind
Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe, I fall back down
Got to stay high all my life to forget I'm missing you

sábado, 19 de setembro de 2015

Expressões com a palavra LOOSE

Before talking about the expressions with the word loose, let us make sure you know what the word loose alone means. If you say something is loose, it means it is not firmly or tightly fixed in place. So do you remember when you were a child and from time to time you would have a loose tooth? If you don't, maybe you can remember that loose T-short you like to wear when you go to sleep. They're always the most comfortable. When clothes are loose, it means they are not fitting tightly or closely. Easy huh? So let's get to the expressions already!

If your friend was kind of loose with you at a party, what would that mean? Do you have any idea? If someone is loose, it means they are very drunk. We call loose an expression in that case because you wouldn't find that definition in a dictionary for its informal use. Everybody knows slang is not the kind of thing you usually find in a formal dictionary. So tell me: When was the last time you've been loose? Are you the kind of person who's always loose at parties and social events? Let us know in the comment section! Let's learn our second expression with the word loose!

If somebody played fast and loose with you, what would you do? Before putting any effort into trying to answer that question, put yourself in this situation: you're in a relationship and your boyfriend isn't really worried about making it work. He doesn't pay attention to what you say, never makes you a surprise, doesn't take you out, hardly ever says I love you and the list could go on and on. You've definitely had enough of his thoughtless behavior and here's what you say: I'm tired of your playing fast and loose with me. Leave me alone!

Still talking about the same expression, if you play fast and loose with SOMETHING, you also treat it without enough care. So imagine you watched a documentary about your favorite singer and it doesn't take long till you realize the film-makers clearly played fast and loose with the facts. In other words, they weren't careful enough to deliver something accurate and faithful to reality. They didn't treat it with enough attention and the result was kind of a disaster.

If you know someone who's eccentric and a little strange, you can say they have a screw loose. Those people are usually very unpredictable and can do or say things that shock people. But what if you were called a loose cannon? What would that mean? A loose cannon is a person who cannot be completely trusted because their behavior is sometimes strange or violent. If you know that a cannon is a large, heavy piece of artillery, it's easy for you to understand why someone who's always ready for a fight would be compared to it. That's it for today guys. Talk to you next time!

Diferenças entre os verbos modais MAY & MIGHT

Eu já fiz um resumo sobre todos os usos de todos os verbos modais em Inglês e você pode conferí-lo através deste link aqui. Hoje, entretanto, eu quero focar no uso de dois verbos modais muito parecidos e que expiram bastante dúvidas: MAY & MIGHT.

Antes de qualquer coisa, é importante dizer que esses verbos correspondem ao verbo poder na língua portuguesa, mas poder no sentido de possibilidade. Por exemplo: Pode chover hoje a noite. A dúvida é: se ambos passam o mesmo sentido e podem ser substituídos nesse exemplo que eu acabei de dar, como saber distinguir entre um e outro então?

A resposta mais simples é: enquanto MAY implica uma possibilidade maior, MIGHT indica uma certa incerteza. Ou seja, trazendo mais uma vez o exemplo que eu acabei de dar acima, você vai optar entre may e might dependendo do grau de certeza que você tem de que vai ou não chover. Se houver uma possibilidade maior, talvez porque você já olhou pra o céu e notou a formação de algumas nuvens negras, você diz: It MAY rain tonight. Se sua suposição inspirar mais incerteza, talvez porque além de você não ter visto nenhuma previsão do tempo não há sinal nenhum de que vá chover, você usa o verbo modal might, como em: It might rain tonight.

Mas uma coisa eu tenho que confessar, por mais que isso vá ofender a alguns entusiastas gramaticais. É que eu tenho notado um certo uso descuidado e indistintivo desses dois verbos modais entre os nativos. Esses dois verbos meio que agem como sinônimos em muitos dos casos.

MAS CALMA. Eu estou falando apenas do uso desses verbos modais no sentido de possibilidade. Como nós também podemos usá-los no sentido de permissão, como em: May I go to the bathroom?, eu preciso esclarecer a mesma dúvida: qual a diferença entre may e might nessa situação? A resposta é um pouco mais simples: "Might I go to the bathroom?" também é possível. A diferença fica no tom de formalidade. Might soa ainda mais formal que may, apesar de que may já tem uma sonoridade formalizada. Se fôssemos organizar alguns verbos modais no sentido de permissão numa escala do menos formal para o mais formal, teríamos algo parecido como:

Can I go to the bathroom?
Could I go to the bathroom?
May I go to the bathroom?
Might I go to the bathroom?

sexta-feira, 18 de setembro de 2015

men make houses, women make homes

Before I start talking about today's topic, take a look at the title. Do you understand the message it conveys? If you don't, maybe you still don't quite understand the difference between home and house, words that are known as synonymous but not quite.

Before I tell you the difference between both, here's what the expression from the title means: While men are usually the ones who build houses and acquire houses for their families (I know that's changed lately with women taking over work market), women are usually the ones in charge of turning the houses into homes. In other words, giving the house a special meaning and making it the place where you can find comfort, love, safety, etc.

Let's not get into the discussion of whether or not that's true in modern society. Let's focus on the expression and how home and house differ. But I believe that after explaining you the real meaning behind that expression, now you can also understand the difference between those two verbs. But in the case you can't, here's another quick definition:

1. House describes a particular type of building.

2. Home is the place where you live and feel that you belong to.

Compare the following:

'Most people in Britain live in semi-detached houses.'
'We’re going to buy Emma a doll’s house for Christmas.'
'The Houses of Parliament in London are visited by 50,000 people each year.'
'I’ve enjoyed living abroad for the last six years, but it’s time for me to go back home now!'
'We were at home in bed when our car was stolen from outside the house.'

'These children need a good home and we are in a position to give them one.'

And before I forget, there's an awesome song that goes by the title of "a house is not a home" that couldn't explain better what a house and a home are. Many awesome singers perform that song, but here's my favorite one:

quinta-feira, 17 de setembro de 2015

maneiras de dizer "de nada" em Inglês

Logo nas nossas primeiras aulas de Inglês, nós aprendemos que a maneira correta de responder a alguém que diz thanks/thank you é "you're welcome". Não tem nada de errado com isso. De fato, a maneira mais comum de dizer de nada em Inglês é essa. Porém, como em qualquer outra linguagem, a língua inglesa pode ser um pouco flexível ao que se refere a respostas tão padronizadas como essa. Então se você está cansado de dizer sempre you're welcome e talvez queira dar um ar novo e menos entediante ao seu Inglês, dá uma olhada nessa lista abaixo. Você pode substituir o tão famoso "you're welcome" por qualquer opção abaixo sem medo algum:

1. You're welcome.
2. Don't mention it.
3. Not at all.
4. No problem.
5. That's all right.
6. That's okay.
7. It's my pleasure.
8. Sure.

expressões com a palavra sweat

Just like Portuguese, we associate sweat with effort and work. Not that you have to necessarily sweat to show people you're working. Sometimes your work doesn't involve any kind of physical effort, but as a way to show you've been working a lot, you say something related to sweat.

For example, imagine you're a college student struggling to turn in your final papers. Everybody knows how difficult those are and when somebody asks you how they're progressing, here's what you say: those papers really have me sweating. I don't think I need to go into details about that one because it is pretty simple to understand. Let's go to our second expression then.

Still talking about putting a lot of effort into something, imagine you're still in that previous situation I suggested. Instead of saying what you said, here's another option: I'm working up a sweat to make sure my final papers are ready on time. Again, to work up a sweat means to work a lot on something, give your best effort to get it done.

I've shown you different ways to use the word sweat meaning effort and word, but now I'd like to provide you with a way to use the word sweat meaning a different thing: trouble. So, pretend you have someone in your class that's always trying to defeat you by spreading gossip about you. You don't really care for what she's doing because you know everybody knows you well enough to the point of knowing all the gossip is a bunch of lies. So here's what you say to your friend when he asks you what you're going to do about it: I can handle it. It won't cause me any sweat. If you want to understand that, just replace the word sweat for trouble and there you have it. Talk to you next time!

quarta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2015

expressões com a palavra wound

The first expression I want to talk about with the word wound is "to lick somebody's wounds". Before I get into it, let's try to understand its literal meaning. When an animal like a dog is injured, they lick their own wounds to make them better. So imagine you saying that you're licking your wounds. How can that make any sense if you're not literally licking your wounds? That would be very disgusting by the way.

The good news is that people aren't licking their wounds yet. When you hear someone saying that, it simply means they're recovering from a defeat or a rebuke. So imagine you were at school one day and on your way back into the classroom, you trip over and fall in front of the whole school. Of course they don't miss the chance to laugh at you and make as much fun as they can. You're not the kind of person who takes jokes that well, so you spend a few days at home before getting up the courage to face your classmates again.

After a while and a lot of advice, you go back to school and decide not to let criticism and bullying get to you. Here's what you say to your friends when they ask you if everything's alright: After all that humiliation, I'm back to school to lick my wounds. But what do you mean by that? In other words, what you said was basically that just like an animal licking their wounds to make them better, you're doing your best to recover from hurt feelings.

And here's our second expression: rub salt in a wound. Now bear with me: Can you imagine how painful it would be to literally rub salt in your wounds? If you don't know what the verb rub means, here's the meaning: move one's hand or a cloth repeatedly back and forth on the surface of (something) with firm pressure. So imagine you and all of your friends went to a party except for Tommy. He wasn't invited to the party. The day after the party you meet up with him and one of your friends starts talking about the party and how fun it was. Of course that's not a good idea. Tommy was very unhappy about being left out and even a little bit angry at all of you for leaving him aside. So when your friend starts mentioning all the fun things you did at the party, here's what you say: C'mon dude. Don't rub salt in the wounds by letting him know how enjoyable the party was.

The example must've made the expression a whole lot easier. But in case you haven't understood it yet, rubbing salt in your wounds basically means to deliberately make someone's unhappiness, shame or misfortune even worse. That's all for today. Take care!

estudando a música Young Folks, de Peter Bjorn and John

Esta música é ideal para se aprender novas expressões e phrasal verbs. Abaixo você terá a letra e, logo após os versos que contém os phrasal verbs e as expressões que nos interessam, você encontrará explicações e, se muito necessário, as traduções. Eu evito as traduções porque eu não considero a melhor forma de se adquirir vocabulário novo. Além de causar dependência, pode tornar esse processo bem mais longo e árduo.

If I told you things I did before
Told you how I used to be
Would you go along with someone like me
GO ALONG: to accompany [someone]. Can I go along? If you're going to the party, can I go along?
If you knew my story word for word
WORD FOR WORD: in the exact words; verbatim. - I memorized the speech, word for word. I can't recall word for word what she told us.
Had all of my history
Would you go along with someone like me

I did before and had my share
It didn't lead nowhere
I would go along with someone like you
It doesn't matter what you did
Who you were hanging with
HANG WITH: to spend or waste time with someone. - Dave spent the afternoon hanging with Don, and neither one got anything done. I'm going down to the corner and hang with the guys.
We could stick around and see this night through
STICK AROUND: to remain nearby. - I think if you’ll stick around, you’ll get a seat sooner or later.

And we don't care about the young folks
CARE ABOUT: to hold someone or something dear; to prize someone or something. - I really care about you. I care very much about my family.
Talkin' 'bout the young style
And we don't care about the old folks
Talkin' 'bout the old style too
And we don't care about their own faults
Talkin' 'bout our own style
All we care 'bout is talking
Talking only me and you

Usually when things has gone this far
People tend to disappear
No one will surprise me unless you do

I can tell there's something goin' on
Hours seems to disappear
Everyone is leaving I'm still with you

It doesn't matter what we do
Where we are going too
We can stick around and see this night through

todos os usos de todos os verbos modais em Inglês (resumo)

Eu procurei na internet algum resumo prático em relação aos usos de cada modal verb para minha próxima aula, mas tive dificuldade de achar algo mais enxuto. Por isso, eu decidi fazer o meu próprio artigo. Eu colhi os exemplos de outros websites, mas vou apresentá-los duma maneira que, em Inglês, chamaríamos de straightforawrd.

1. Can
habilidade: She can speak French very well.
capacidade: We can see the lake from our bedroom.
possibilidade: It can happen to anyone.
permissão informal: can I go with you?
pedido informal: can you help me?

2. Could
habilidade: He could swim when he was a child.
capacidade: I could see that she was nervous.
possibilidade: it could be better.
permissão formal: Could I borrow your other car when I'm in town?
pedido formal: Could you answer me this question?

3. May
permissão: may I help you?
possibilidade: she may know the answer.
ações e acontecimentos possíveis no futuro e no presente: they may visit their parents on Friday.

4. Might
possibilidade mais remota: she might not be interested.
ações e acontecimentos possíveis no futuro e no presente: Peter might call me later.

5. Must
obrigação: The doctor said you must stop smoking.
dedução: he must be at home now.
proibição (quando usado na negativa): you must not shoot this place.

6. Should

conselho: you should carry some cash, but not much.
obrigação; everybody should wear car seat belt.
dever; what should we do?
probabilidade: she should be back tomorrow.
lembrança de um dever no presente ou no futuro: I should wuite to my friend who's living in Chile.

obs.: OUGHT TO é a versão mais formal de should. Os usos são os mesmos, entretanto.

7. Will
ações futuras: will all the family be in the wedding?

obs.: SHALL é a versão mais formal de will. Os usos são os mesmos, entretanto.

8. Would
tom polido às perguntas: wouldd you pass me the salt, please?
ação habitual no passado: wehn I was a child, I would go to the beach every summer.

stereotypes of students in a typical classroom

I was reading an article on different types of personalities in a typical classroom and was shocked by how much of a cliche people can be. I say cliche because it doesn't really matter where you are and which school you're in, chances are you'll end up with the same typical kinds of classmates. And if you stop to think better, you may fit in one of the categories I'm about to mention.

Before I start though, I want to say that my real intentions with this is not to make fun of people or ridicule them - I think the beauty of us human beings is in the differences after all -. What I actually want to do is to introduce you to an array of personalities that will provide you with brand-new vocabulary. And as a reminder, the article that inspired me to write this can be found here: http://teaching.about.com/od/pd/a/Personality-Types-Of-Students-In-A-Typical-Classroom.htm

To start our list, I wanna talk about the kind of student that should never be missing in a classroom: class clown. It's very easy to understand what's their role in class: like any clown in the world, their main goal is to get laughs from their classmates and often their teachers. Some off these guys are actually very funny, but it's very often to find people that try to be funny all the time and all they get is to be referred to office often.

There's also the motivated kind of students that regardless of their learning abilities will surely try their hard to overcome any struggle by studying really hard. Those students can be called nerds very often and sometime can be bullied by their friends because they're always the teacher's pet. They're very eager to learn after all and teachers love that. Of course they don't have to be necessarily a bunch of suck-ups, but when they are, they can be very annoying and will certainly get away with anything.

If there is the motivated students, there should also be the unmotivated. That can be very frustrating for the teacher sometimes, because the unmotivated student may have great potential, but refuse to turn in the simplest assignment. The reason for that to happen may simply be laziness, but the source of that laziness may also come from personal reasons at home. Maybe they don't have the necessary parental support to be successful.

Natural leaders, as the name itself suggests, are the ones with very good social skills. They don't have to be necessarily the smartest kid in classroom, but their enthusiasm to start any project or maybe their charisma are responsible for making people look up to them.

Nerds, just like a motivated student, are very eager to learn and try their best to be always the number one student in class. But unlike an average motivated student, they have above average intelligence and therefore can easily pass every subject with ease. They are quirky sometimes and physically immature for their age, not to mention they are often very fixated on a specific interest, which makes them very easy target for bullies.

Quiet as a mouse - I guess in my first years of school I used to be extremely quiet. I was very selective with friends and would make it hard for the teacher to know how well I was learning - because I would never participate in class. This kind of students are withdrawn and it's very rare for them to get into any kind of trouble.

terça-feira, 15 de setembro de 2015

at cross-purposes: o que isso significa?

Imagine this: you're talking to a classmate of yours about an assignment you've been working on and there seem to be a lot of misunderstandings. The thing is, when you're in the middle of a major discussion, you two find out you're talking about completely different things. It's like you're speaking two different languages. So here's what you say: We're discussing at cross-purposes. I know you have different points of view, but let's try to focus here.

So here are a few combinations you can use with the expression "at cross-purposes": talk at cross-purposes, work at cross-purposes, discuss at cross-purposes. Those are the kinds of things you usually do with other people and can therefore be in complete disharmony with them. Have you ever worked with somebody that seems to be disturbing you more than helping? You can say you and that person are working at cross-purposes. You may have different goals that are interfering with each other. In the case of a discussion, for example, maybe there's the encounter of opposite viewpoints. That's it for today. Talk to you next time!

o que significa "to have a charmed life"?

Do you know anyone in your social circle that seems to have pretty good fortune in life, not only professionally or personally speaking, but in every single aspect of life? You can say they have a charmed existence. That's something you say to define somebody's existence whose main aspect is luck. They never seem to encounter problem, danger or misfortune (or at least they seem not to).

You may not know anybody whose luck is so big, but if you stop to think of people that seem to lead "perfect" lives, or at least the kind of life that society judges as ideal, those are celebrities. Who never dreamed of making so much money, being popular and so beloved? We know that those people are only human despite giving the naive some sort of idea they're different, but we can all agree they lead a life that's out of reach for the great majority. Celebrities have definitely a charmed life. Just keep in mind that having a charmed life is not only being rich. You can say you have a charmed existence if, for instance, you're a very healthy person and has never had anything other than minor colds.

So here's our second expression: hand something to somebody on a silver platter. Have you ever heard of this one? So imagine you have a very wealthy friend who turns out to be a very annoying spoiled brat - a spoiled brat is someone, usually a kid, who has everything they want and will cry their heads off till they get it. He's actually not been a kid for a very long time, but has never worked in his entire life and never had to. In other words, he's never had to put any effort into getting anything. Everything has always been handed to him on a silver platter.

If you want to have a better idea of what that expression means, just take a look at the picture of a silver platter on the top of this post. Can you imagine how much of a spoiled person someone would be if they were literally handed anything on a silver platter? That's crazy, right? Of course you don't have to take the expression to the letter. You can use it to talk about anyone who's always had it easy, who gets things without work or effort.

One more thing - this one for my faithful readers: I've been very absent lately, I know. I've had some personal issues and had to be focused on something else. But I'm back at full steam with great ideas. Stick around!