Tuesday, 17 November 2009
We're organizing a hen party for Luiza this weekend. She'll love it!
(a party for women, happening only before getting married)
Mary is not a trustworthy person, she always lets the cat out of the bag. (reveal a secret)
Could you give me a hand? I can't use this computer. (help)
I had the answer to that question as it was on the tip of my tongue. (I knew the answer for sure)
I have butterflies in my stomach. (I am very nervous)
When my mother saw what I had been doing, I got egg on my face. (to be made to look stupid)
The show was so crowded that people were shoulder to shoulder from the beginning to the end! (in close proximity; side by side)
John said he was about to get on stage, so I said to him: "Break a leg!" (good luck)
You cannot hand that report to your boss. It is a dog's dinner. (messy, not properly done)
The main step is to be young at heart. ( still feel young)
Monday, 16 November 2009
Idioms with animals
Have ants in your pants- to not be able to keep still because you are very excited or worried about something:
She's got ants on her pants because she's going to a party tonight.
Be busy as a bee- be very busy or very active.
She's as busy as a bee,always going to meeting and organizing parties.
Have butterflies (in stomach)- to feel very nervous,ussually about sometinhg you are going to do.
She has butterflies in her stomach as she walked out onto the stage.
Monkey see, monkey do- silly or unintelligent people tend to copy each other's actions.
Our one-year-old is saying bad words now. I told my husband, "Monkey see, monkey do!"
Monday, 9 November 2009
In the blink of an eye, he was gone!(extremely quickly)
His parents footed the bill for his course's fees.(to pay an amount of money for sth)
From the top of my head, all I can think of is my next holiday.(the first thing that comes to one's head)
I have a gut feeling this is going nowhere.(I can sense it)
She asked me how I was with a twinkle in her eye.(having a cheerful expression)
Phillipe had decided to stay on as a student, but now he has other/bigger fish to fry.(to have sth else better or more important to do)
I am in the doghouse - I broke Sara's favourite vase this morning.( someone is annoyed with you and shows their disapproval)
Never look a gift horse in the mouth! (be ungrateful for what you are given)
I've been working like a dog. (to work a lot)
Now that the relationship is over, he is as free as a bird.(to be absolutely free)
I think I will wait in here till the cows come home.(for a long time)
Sunday, 8 November 2009
an old bat – an unpleasant old woman. She's an old bat!
as busy as a bee – If you are as busy as a bee, you are very busy indeed.
like a fish out of water – If you are placed in a situation that is completely new to you and confuses you, you are like a fish out of water. On my first day at that s chool, I felt like a fish out of water.
As John hurt her feelings, Kelly's giving him the cold shoulder.(She is ignoring him.)
His youngest son was the apple of his eye.(The person who someone loves most and is very proud of.)
My stepfather and I, we just don't see eye to eye.(We don't agree.)
They are set to meet head to head in next week's final.(When two groups of people face each other directly to decide the result of a disagreement or competition.)
Waiting in line is a pain in the neck. (Somebody or something that bugs you, annoys or bothers you.)
Regarding the students' results, the weight is all on my shoulders.( To have full responsibility for something.)
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Ingenious (not "ingênuo" which means naive) - good at solving problems, inventive, creative.
Recipient (not "recipiente" which means container) - a person who receives something.
E.g.: This latest cut in government spending will affect income support recipients and their families.
Push (not "puxar" which means pull) - to press upon or against (a thing) with force in order to move it away.
Resume (not "resumir" which means summarize) - an activity resumes when it starts again after a pause.
E.g.: Normal services will be resumed in the spring.
Improve (not "improvisar" which means improvise) - to make something better.
Misery (not "miséria" which means poverty) - great unhappiness.
Intimacy (not "intimação" which means subpoena) - a close friendship or sexual relationship with someone.
Fake (not "faca" which means knife) - not genuine.
Pasta (not "pasta" which means briefcase) - food made from flour, eggs and water, hard when dry and soft when cooked.
Lend (not "lenda" which means legend) - to give something to somebody or allow somebody to use something temporarily.
Legend (not "legenda", which means subtitle) - a story from the past that may or may not be true.
Comprehensive (not "compreensivo" which means understanding) - that includes everything or nearly everything.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
sensible (not "sensível", which means sensitive) - reasonable, practical, and showing good judgment; E.g.: Moving house seemed like the sensible thing to do.
actually (not "atualmente", which means currently) - in fact or in truth;
comprehensive (not "compreensivo", which means understanding) - covering completely or broadly;
genial (not "genial", which means brilliant; terrific;) - favorable to growth or comfort; E.g.: The sunshine today is genial.
disillusion (not "desilusão", which means disillusionment) - (verb) to free from illusion;
compromise (not "compromisso", which means commitment; appointment;) - an agreement in an argument in which the people involved reduce their demands or change their opinion in order to agree;
gratuity (not the quality of being free of charge) - tip, an amount of money given to someone;
propaganda (not advertisement) - false information spread in order to influence people's opinions;
relapse (not "relapso") - "recaída, recidiva, de volta a tempos ruins".
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Motel: not "motel". It means a roadside hotel for drivers, usually having direct access from each room or chalet to a parking space.
Procurement; not "procuração" (power of attorney; proxy). It means the process of buying supplies or equipment for a government department or company.
Amass: not "amassar" ( to dent). It means to collect a lot of sth such as money or information over a period of time.
Casualty: not "casualidade" ( by chance/accident). It means victim.
Bulls and Bears: not "touros e ursos" . In the Financial world it means the optmistics and the pessimistics.
Bar: (Legal) not "bar". The profession of being a Barrister (a lawyer who has the right to speak in a higher court of law)
Deception: not "decepção" (disappointment); used when people hide the truth, especially to get an advantage.
Retribution; not "retribuição" (reward, acknowledgement, gratitude); deserved and severe punishment.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Check out the idioms below which contain either parts of the body or animals.
Why don´t you have a heart to heart with him and sort out your problems? ( have an honest conversation).
I'm pleased that you got the prize in the poetry competition, but don't let it go to your head. (don´t be too proud).
We had a whale of a time at the party last night. ( we had great fun).
I quite enjoy walking in the hill, but rock-climbing is a whole different kettle of fish. ( a completely different thing).
What other idioms can you think of with parts of the body or animals ?
Thursday, 29 October 2009
To attend - not "atender" (answer); be present at an event such as a meeting or a class;
To pretend - not "pretender" (intend); to behave as if something is true when in fact you know it is not; in order to deceive people or for fun;
Sensible - not "sensível" (sensitive); reasonable, pratical and showing good judgment;
Actually - not "atualmente" (currently); in fact; really; in reality;
College - not "colégio" (school); university
To assign - not "assinar" (sign); to choose or decide on, or give a particular job or responsability to someone.
These are the False friends that Danuza’s FCE class gathered, and we hope these are of any help to you
Pretend – not “Pretender” (intend). Pretend is to “fingir” (fool somebody)
Eventually – This adverb means finnaly / as a consequence, and not, in Portuguese "Eventualmente” (Occasionaly).
Compass – not “Compasso” (Compasses). It is a device for finding direction and that always points to magnetic north.
Dent – not “Dente” (tooth). A small hollow mark in the surface of something, caused by pressure or by being hit.
Ex: A dent in the door of a car
Intoxication – not “Intoxicação” (poisoning). Something that can get you drunk, or really happy.
Fabric – not “Fábrica" (Factory). A cloth produced especially by knitting, weaving, or felting fibers; The texture or quality of such cloth.
College – not "Colégio” (high school). Any place for specialized education after the age of 16 where people study or train to get knowledge and/or skills; University
Customs – not “Costumes” (Traditions). A section in the airport whose job is to look inside traveller’s bags to make certain they are not taking goods in a country without paying taxes
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Collar- not ''cordão'';it really means ''gola de camisa''
Condescending- not ''condescendente'';it means treating someone as if you are better or more important than them.''I hate he way he's so condescending to his staff''.
Actually- not ''atualmente''.It means in fact or really.''So what actually happened?''
Ordinary- not ''ordinário''.It means not different or special or unexpected in anyway;usual.''Readers of the magazine said they wanted more stories about ordinary people and fewer stories about rich and famous''.
Compromise- not ''compromisso''(commitment).It really means ''entrar em acordo''
Lunch- not ''lanche''(snack);it means ''almoço''
Pretend- not ''pretender''; it means to behave as if something is true when you know it's not:''He pretended (that) he didn't mind,but I knew that he did''
Novel- not ''novela'',it means ''romance''(livro)
Exquisite- not ''esquisito'';it means beautiful and well done
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
ingenuous - not "ingênuo" (naive); it means engenhoso.
library - not "livraria" (bookstore); it means biblioteca.
scholar - not "escolar" (school); it means erudito.
comprehensive - not "compreensivo" (understanding); it means abrangente, amplo, extenso.
eventually - not "eventualmente" (ocasionally); it means finalmente, conseqüentemente.
injury - not "injúria" (insult); it means ferimento, lesão.
pretend - not "pretender" (to intend, to plan); it means fingir.
realize - not "realizar" (to carry out, to make come true, to accomplish); it means notar, perceber, se dar conta.
record - not "recordar" (to remember, to recall); it means gravar disco, gravação, registro.
legend - not "legenda" (subtitle); it means lenda.
genial - not "genial" (brilliant); it means afável, aprazível.
balcony - not "balcão" (counter); it means sacada.
anticipate - not "antecipar" (to bring forward, to move forward); it means prever, aguardar, ficar na expectativa.
actual - not "atual" (present, current); it means real, verdadeiro.
service - not "serviço" (job); it means atendimento.
tax - not "taxa" (fee); it means imposto.
lamp - not lâmpada (light, bulb); it means abajur.
intend - not "entender" (understand); it means pretender.
sensible - not "sensível" (sensitive); it means sensato.
novel - not "novela" (soap opera); it means romance (livro).
Sunday, 18 October 2009
confer - not "conferir" in the sense of "checar" (check); give authority, a legal right, or an honour to somebody;
disgrace - not "desgraça" (tragedy); embarrassment, humiliation, indignity;
particular - not "particular" as in "aula particular" (private); among other meanings: someone who is particular has very clear ideas about what they like and dislike and wants everything to be exactly as they like it; (Example: Mr. Drew is known for being very particular.)
pavement - not "pavimento" (floor); the same as "sidewalk" (USA); a path with a hard surface beside a road;
sympathetic - not "simpático" (friendly); kind to someone who has a problem and willing to understand how they feel;
ultimately - not "ultimamente" (lately); after a process or activity has ended; (Example: Technological advances could ultimately lead to even more job losses.)
valour - not "valor" (value) the quality of being very brave, especially in war
These are just a few. Let´s enlarge the list!!!!
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Friday, 18 September 2009
Friday, 11 September 2009
1 - "abacaxi" - a hot potato; a hard/tough nut to crack
2 - "abobrinha" - baloney; nonsense; rubbish
3 - "bater na mesma tecla" - to harp on about the same thing
4 - "cara-de-pau" - cheeky
5 - "ficar" - to make out
Adapted from Break the branch? Quebrar o galho? by Jack Scholes
Sunday, 12 July 2009
I only had to use my brain.
She said the past of throw was threw,
The past of grow - of course - was grew,
So flew must be the past of fly,
And now, my boy, your turn to try.
But when I trew,
I had no clue,
If mow was mew
Like know and knew
(Or is it knowed like snow and snowed?)
The teacher frowned at me and said
The past of feed was - plainly - fed
Fed up, I knew then what I ned:
I took a break, and out I snoke,
She shook and quook (or quaked? or quoke?)
With raging anger out she broke:
Your ignorance you want to hide?
Tell me the past form of collide!
But how on earth should I decide
If it´s collid
(Like hide and hid),
Or else - from all that I surmose,
The past of rise was simply rose,
And that of ride was surely rode,
So collide must be collode?
Oh damm these English verbs, I thought
The whole thing absolutely stought!
Of English I have had enough,
These verbs of yours are far too tough.
Bolt upright in my chair I sat,
And said to her "that's that" - I quat.
From : The Unfolding of Language - Guy Deutscher
Thursday, 2 July 2009
- Slightly ill.
-Something that makes you feel excited.
-Something that makes you lose interest in something.
-Take the red-eye - to take a journey in a plane that continues all night.
-To have a secret relationship with someone who is not your regular partner.
-A decision that is easy, and that you do not need to think about, used when you want to emphasize that it is really very easy.
-Relaxed and seeming not to be worried about anything.
-Difficult to imagine and very big, strange, or complicated.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
A simple example is ACTUALLY, which may remind you of "ATUALMENTE" but means "NA VERDADE", as in :
Eg: He is actually a doctor, not a lawyer.
Check out the false cognates below. Do you know what they mean in Portuguese?
Find out under: False cognates: Translations
2- COMPREHENSIVE - AMPLO, ABRANGENTE;
3- COMPROMISE - CONCESSÃO, CONCILIAÇÃO:
4- DECEPTION - ENGANO, LOGRO, ILUSÃO;
5- DISCUSSION - CONVERSA, DEBATE;
6- DISGRACE - VERGONHA, HUMILHAÇÃO;
7- EDITOR - REDATOR ("EDITOR" IS PUBLISHER)
8- EDUCATION - INSTRUÇÃO ACADÊMICA (NOT "BOAS MANEIRAS")
9- EVENTUALLY - FINALMENTE;
10 -EXQUISITE - REFINADO, DELICADO, FINO;
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Eg: He's feeling a bit off-colour today.
A TURN-ON / TURN-OFF
Eg: Her smile is a real turn-on, but her bad breath is a real turn-off.
Eg: He went to L.A. on the red-eye from New York.
Eg: I think he's two-timing me.
Eg: The first question in the Math exam was a real no-brainer.
Eg: My wife is so laid-back.
Eg: Basketball players in the United States get mind-boggling sums of money.
Do you know what they mean?
Check your answers on 2 July
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
It´s time to test your readiness for college-level reading. In each of the following exercises, choose the word that best completes the sentence.
1-"Knowledge humanizes mankind, and reason inclines to mildness; but prejudice__________every tender disposition." (Montesquieu)
(A)eradicate (B)deprecate (C)abet (D)placate (E)pervert
2-Describing an argument as "sophistical" means that you believe it is___________-that is, misleading and false.
(A)jocular (B)specious (C)judicious (D)obsequious (E)conventional
3-Careful observation of popular culture as presented in the mass media reveals that many songs, movies, and television programs are ___________, teaching the values of society through entertainment.
(A) complicit (B)inscrutable (C)didactic (D)acerbic (E)titillating
*Selected from Word Fest by Philip Geer Check out the correct answers under: College-level reading.
Saturday, 13 June 2009
bike (get off / get on); buses ( get off / get on); cars ( get out of / get in); horses ( get off, get down from / get on , get up on); lifts ( get out of , get off / get in); planes ( get off / get on); ships ( get off / get on)
What do you say when you´re in a hurry and want to get in the elevator? How about? "Hold it! Going up! Going down!" or even "Wait for me."
Adapted from "Como não aprender Inglês" by Michael A. Jacobs
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Selected from Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson
Have you been able to work out the meanings?
*I´VE GOT THE GIFT OF THE GAB - 2
*I WAS TICKLED PINK - 3
*MY LIPS ARE SEALED - 4
*I GOT HOT UNDER THE COLLAR - 5
*IT SLIPPED MY MIND - 1
Some peeple said that. Now you write:
number 1 next to the person who forgot something
number 2 next to the person who is good at talking
number 3 next to the person who was very amused at something
number 4 next to the person who has promised to keep a secret
number 5 next to the person who became angry and excited
Sunday, 31 May 2009
The word like has become increasingly popular over the years. Now it is one of the most used words in all of English, particularly conversational English. It is extremely useful if you know how to use it properly.
Use 1 - Like meaning "I´m thinking about what to say" (similar to tipo in Portuguese).
Do you think you and Janet are going to get married ? don´t know...Like...I want to, but then again I´m kind of scared, you know ? Usual position: Almost anywhere.
Use 2 - Like ("be like") for reported speech or thought.
You broke up with her? Wow. How did she take it? She was like "What! After all I´ve done for you?" Usual position: After subject pronoun.
From "Como dizer tudo em Inglês Avançado" by Ron Martinez.
Do you use "like" a lot? Can you think of other uses of "like"? Apart form the ones above, there are 6 more! Check them out on 9 June.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
As David Wilkins observed many years ago, "Without grammar little can be conveyed; without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed." The single most important task facing language learners is acquiring a sufficiently large vocabulary. We now recognise that much of our 'vocabulary' consists of prefabricated chunks of different kinds. The single most important kind of chunk is collocation. Self-evidently, then, teaching collocation should be a top priority in every language course.
ODD ONE OUT
One verb in each line does not collocate with the noun. Cross out the one which does not fit.
1 - accept, act on, disregard, follow, ignore, make, solicit, take
2 - come up with, do, expect, get, require, supply
3 - build up, close down, set up, put off, take over, wind up
4 - deal with, do, examine, ignore, reject, respond to
Adapted from "Teaching Collocation" by Michael Lewis
Check the answers on 27 May
SPELLING THE WORDS RIGHT
As mentioned below all the words listed had been misspelled. I wonder if anybody bothered to check the right spelling of those words. They are sure very tricky words to spell. Let´s look at the right way to spell them: (the right one in red)
supercede -supersede - conceed - concede - procede - proceed - idiosyncracy - idiosyncrasy concensus - consensus - accomodate - accommodate - impressario - impresario - rhythym - rhythm - opthalmologist - ophthalmologist - diptheria - diphtheria - anamoly - anomaly - afficianado - aficionado - caesarian - caesarean - grafitti - graffiti
How was that? Did you get everything right?
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Just as a quick test, see if you can tell which of the following words are mispelled.
supercede - conceed - procede - idiosyncracy - concensus - accomodate - impressario - rhythym - opthalmologist - diptheria - anamoly - afficianado - caesarian - grafitti
In fact, they all are. So was misspelled at the end of the preceeding paragraph. So was preceding just there. I am sorry. I´ll stop. But I trust you get the point that English can be a maddeningly difficult language to spell correctly.
From Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson
Do you sometimes have trouble spelling in English? Do you use any strategies to help you spell better? Share your thoughts and tips with us.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
COMMEMORATE - Only very important people and dates are "commemorated" in English. For example, a statue can commemorate a person, or a celebration can be held to celebrate the independence of a country. Otherwise, in English, it's simply "celebrate".
EX: The statue was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the writer's birthday.
RENOVATE - The word renovar in Portuguese simply means "to make new again", but renovate in English is mostly used to talk about making an old house or building look new again.
EX: They had trouble renovating the ancient temple.
ENCHANTED - When someone is encantado in Portuguese, it usually means that they are very pleased, but in English when someone or something is enchanted it or they are under a spell or haunted by spirits.
Ex: They say the forest is enchanted.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
"Pode apostar!", "Garantido!"
"Are going to the party tonight?" "You betcha!"
"Sem chance!"; "Nem pensar!"
"Do you think she´ll let you go?" "Fat chance!"
OH LORD!/GOOD LORD!
''Good Lord! What happened?"
GIVE IT A REST!
"Dá um tempo!"
"Oh, give it a rest! I´m sick of listening to this!''
"Azar o seu!"
"I know you don´t agree with me. Tough luck! I really don´t care."
Selected and adapted from SLANG by Jack Scholes
Which of these do you ever make use of ? Looking forward to hearing from you. ;)
Monday, 4 May 2009
> "As a matter of ____, the woman who was burnt at the____ wasn´t a witch at____.
> "When he saw his daughter was unharmed, he breathed a sigh of ___."
> "Got to get___now. I´ve got a train to ____."
Half a century ago J. Firth famously stated that "You shall know a word by the company it keeps". Eventual recognition of the truth of this statement has led to the publication of better and better collocation dictionaries and the creation of hugely useful on-line, corpus-based collocation samples which can be used to learn about "strong collocates". (Strong collocates of a given word are words that very often co-occur with this word in a kind of chunk knwon as a "frequent collocation" - e.g., commit is a stronger collocate of crime). To give another example the following words were thrown up by the free collocation sampler on the Collins Cobuild website when we typed in a certain preposition as query word: years, all, control, take, victory, again, weekend, handed, head, shoulder, win, world, place, and, here, days, dispute, controversy, row, time, presided, concern, came, counter, turned, bent and run. Can you guess what preposition we were interested in? If so, your chunk knowledge for this preposition is at least fairly good.
*Over - e.g., over (the...) years, all over, control over, over again, over (the...)weekend... .
Selected and adapted from Teaching Chunks of English by Seth Lindstromberg and Frank Boers.
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
For example, did you happen to know that....?
assassinate - Unlike Portuguese, only presidents and other very important people get
"assassinated." Otherwise, it´s murder, not "assassination."
Example: Four presidents have been assassinated in US history.
propaganda - It isn´t "advertising" as it means in Portuguese, but it is public relations material sent out by political parties or a government - and has a negative connotation.
Example: Some old cartoons have a lot of propaganda in favor of the war.
notorious - Notorious mostly means "noteworthy" or "famous" in Portuguese, but in English it only means "famous for something bad."
Example: He´s notorious for being late.
vanity - Vaidoso in Portuguese is a good thing, meaning someone who looks after him or
herself. However, in English it means someone who thinks too highly of himself. The same goes for the word vanity.
Example: Her boyfriend is so vain. Every time he passes a window he looks at his own reflection.
Adapted from "Como dizer tudo em inglês" Avançado by Ron Martinez, 2006
But I can tell you what advanced language for learners of English is not: It isn´t what native speakers usuallly consider advanced. When Americans, for example, study "advanced" vocabulary in the United States, they learn words such as firmament, errant and replete - words which for their relation to Latin origins are relatively easy to Brazilians. Or we learn "advanced" terms like callow, prevaricate and abeyance, which may not seem familiar to Brazilians, but, for that matter, aren´t very familiar to the majority of native speakers either.
Instead, what seems to be advanced to a high-level Brazilian learner of English would probably seem simple and common to most native speakers. To reiterate a term cited above, a Brazilian would know the meaning of replete with, but would most likely be unfamiliar with the terms packed with or chock full of . The former maybe useful in certain written or formal contexts, but it the latter terms which are most familiar and used by the majority of fluent speakers of English.
(Selected from "Como dizer tudo em inglês avançado" by Ron Martinez, 2006)