Saturday, 26 September 2009

Probably the most famous binomial is rock and roll. Why is rock and roll a binomial? Because it has two terms coordinated by a conjunction. In this case, the two terms are both verbs. The terms in binomials, however, can also be two nouns, two verbs, two prepositions, two adverbs or any mix of all the above. Also a binomial can occur with any conjunction, including but and or, and not just and.
Another important thing to know about binomials (and trinomials) is that it is a fixed expression with a fixed order. In other words, it would sound strange to say "I love roll and rock." Portuguese also has binomials such as vira e mexe, altos e baixos, indas e vindas, but they are not nearly as common as they are in English.
To discover the right/best way after making mistakes : Through trial and error
In today´s world: In this day and age
Maintain obedience in society: Keep law and order
Oferta e demanda: supply and demand
The basics for living: food and shelter
Can you think of any others?
Adapted from Como dizer tudo em inglês Avançado by Ron martinez

Friday, 18 September 2009

Dialogue 1: A: What´s your name?
B: My name is John
Dialogue 2: A: What´s your name?
B: John
Which one sounds more natural to you? Dialogue 1 or dialogue 2? Of course dialogue 2 sounds more friendly, conversational and simply more natural. That´s not to say that dialogue 1 isn´t correct or even possible. (And that´s the way many students still learn.) But the linguistic phenomenon represented in dialogue 2, the omission - or ellipsis - of unnecessary information is one of the areas which are key to spoken fluency.
Match the dialogues:
1 - You´re Brazilian, right?
2 - I wasn´t hurt because
I was wearing my helmet.
3 - How do you like this table?
I made it myself
4 - Oh, I have an idea! We can get there faster
if we take the tunnel.
5 - Yes, I know what you mean. The Internet
is a source of stress sometimes, but
it also helps a lot of people.
a - Good thing.
b - Good job.
c- Good thinking.
d - Good point.
e - Good guess.
Adapted from Como dizer tudo em inglês - Avançado by Ron Martinez

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