Tuesday, December 8, 2009

come in handy

To come in handy means to be useful and often times in an unexpected way. In general, anything can come in handy. It could be your umbrella, especially if you almost didn't take it with you and it suddenly rained. It could be your college degree if, for example, you found a temporary, lucrative position that needed someone with a degree and fast. It could also be the little bit of Spanish you learned in high school if you found yourself in a Spanish neighborhood and were able to ask directions successfully. When you use something that you already have, you can say that that thing came in handy.

like this:

A: I hear John kept you waiting for 30 minutes last night.
B: Tell me about it. It was so cold. I'm glad I had my thick scarf.
A: The one I gave you? That's great! I'm glad it came in handy.
B: Oh yeah. I would've been miserable without it. So how was the dinner with your boss?
A: It went fine. There were some French people there, so my two years of college French actually came in handy. It was great.

lucrative - something that brings in a lot of money
Tell me about it - definitely; I agree (see the Oct. 8 blog)

Alright folks, the next time you use something that you already have, you can use this expression and say, "It came in handy."

Good luck,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

come down with something

Two days ago, I felt a little under the weather and thought I was coming down with something. I went home that evening feeling cold. I took my temperature when I got home, and found out that I had a fever, so after having a nice bowl of chicken soup, I went straight to bed. I slept well and woke up feeling much better.

I felt fine all day yesterday except for a slight sore throat. I thought surely, the worst was over and that I was getting better. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning with my throat feeling worse and my voice sounding horrible. Fortunately though, I don't feel under the weather anymore, and I definitely don't think I'm coming down with something. As I told my students, my voice sounds horrible, but I feel fine.

You say you're coming down with something when you're beginning to feel horrible and you're about to get sick. When you're already sick, you can use the past tense: I came down with something.

like this:

A: How's Susan? I heard that she came down with something.
B: Yeah, she was feeling under the weather yesterday. Now she's at home with a high fever.
A: That's horrible. Everyone's getting sick these days. We're just passing it on to each other.
B: I know. I usually take extra doses of vitamin C whenever I feel like I'm coming down with something.
A: I drink lots of orange juice and get plenty of rest.

under the weather - feeling sick or very tired (see yesterday's blog)
about to - almost going to happen (see the May 27, 2009 blog)
dose - amount or strength of medication or vitamins

Being under the weather and coming down with something are very similar. However, being under the weather can simply mean you're extremely tired, while coming down with something specifically means you're getting sick. You can also be specific and say she came down with the flu or he came down with a cold.

Stay healthy, everyone, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

under the weather

I'm feeling just a little under the weather today. It started with a slight cough and an itchy throat last night. I woke up this morning feeling a little more tired than usual. As always, I refuse to say that I'm sick. ...and in fact, I'm sure that I'm not sick (yet), but I know I have to take good care of myself and make sure I eat well and get plenty of rest.

So if you haven't figured it out yet, feeling or being under the weather means feeling sick or feeling extra tired than usual. People can feel under the weather any time of the year, of course, but it's especially common in the winter when everyone around us is getting sick and there are more chances of catching a bug from someone.

like this:

A: What happened to Sally? Is she ok?
B: She was feeling a little under the weather so she decided to go home early.
A: That's a good idea. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling under the weather, but I stayed on to finish my shift; I had to stay home the next couple of days with a high fever.
B: Yeah. It's definitely wise to take care of yourself as soon as you feel a little sick.
A: Absolutely.

figure out - understand; find the answer
bug - a virus or bacteria that can make you sick
shift - work schedule; work time

Alright folks, I hope you stay healthy this winter. If you feel slightly under the weather, I hope you can stay home, rest, have some chicken noodle soup, and get plenty of sleep.

Good luck,

Monday, November 9, 2009

I've got to hand it to you.

We use this expression when we acknowledge or praise someone for a quality they have that we admire. We often say this when someone can do something that not everyone can do. For example, if a friend knows how to talk to kids, and children always listen to him, you can say, "I've got to hand it to you, man, you know how to make them listen." ...or if Tom, your coworker, gives excellent presentations, you can say, "I've got to hand it to you, Tom. Your presentations are never boring. Good job!"

like this:

A: What did you get on your essay?
B: I got a B. I heard Sally got an A+ again.
A: I've got to hand it to her. That girl can write really well.
B: I know. I usually ask her to check my homework.
A: Really? I should start doing that. I got a B minus on my essay.
B: She's always busy, though, so you have to pick the right time to ask.
A: Actually, I can also ask my friend, John, and another friend Sue, who's in college now. They both can write well, too.
B: You know, I've got to hand it to you. You have a lot of smart friends.
A: I know. ...and they're very helpful, too.

You get the idea - You know what I mean, right? (see the July 24 blog)

Alright folks, the next time you want to tell a friend they've done a good job, start with I've got to hand it to you, then tell them what you admire about them. For example, I've got to hand it to you. You know how to tell a joke. ...or You really know how to cook. ...or You're a very adventurous person. You get the idea.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

when it comes to

When it comes to that is another way of saying "when we talk about that" or "when we consider that." That can represent any topic or situation. For example, you can say when it comes to politics, I never know what to say, or he can tell you anything when it comes to sports, or when it comes to her grades, she gets very serious.

like this:

A: I need to open a savings account. I should start putting money away for my future.
B: I need to do the same. I'm so bad when it comes to saving money.
A: I'll have to watch my spending, though. I waste a lot of money on lattes and junk food throughout the day.
B: I usually make tea at home and bring it with me, and I don't eat much junk food. But I'm a huge movie junkie. I have a hard time controlling my spending when it comes to buying DVDs, especially if they're on sale.
A: It's really tough controlling spending when you're obsessed with something.
B: I know.

junkie - addicted; obsessed
obsessed - crazy about something

Alright folks, what do you enjoy most when it comes to travel or when it comes to parties? You can say when it comes to travel, I enjoy taking photographs or meeting people or ... When it comes to parties, I love trying a new dish or a new dance or ...

Make sentences that make sense to you, and practice.

Good luck.

Monday, October 26, 2009

That's a no-no.

That's a no-no means it's not allowed or it's prohibited. Driving drunk, for example, is a huge no-no; cheating on an exam is another major no-no. If you do something that's a no-no, there are usually consequences--meaning, you could get in trouble. You could get arrested when you drive drunk or you could get kicked out of school if you get caught cheating.

If you work in an office, some managers don't allow workers to surf the web while working. If this is the case at your job, you can say, "Surfing the web is a no-no at work; the boss gets very upset when he catches one of us on the Internet."

like this:

A: I just got a ticket for parking in front of a fire hydrant.
B: Why did you park in front of a fire hydrant? Didn't you know that's a huge no-no?
A: I did. I was barely in front of it--well, maybe except for my back bumper.
B: Well, the cops can get very picky when it comes to fire hydrants.
A: I know. I thought I could squeeze in there. I'm definitely not doing that again. What if I ignored the ticket and pretended like I hadn't seen it.
B: I wouldn't do that. That's another big no-no. You could get in more trouble. You're actually lucky they didn't tow your car away.

kicked out - expelled; forced out
barely - almost not
picky - strict (in this context)
when it comes to - when we're talking about
tow a car - remove a car from a space using a tow truck

Alright folks, think of a few things that are not allowed at your workplace or your house and make sentences using it's a no-no. Then you can pretend you had no idea they were not allowed and say something like, "You know what, I had no idea wearing sneakers at work was a no-no." or "Did you know leaving dog poop on the sidewalk is a no-no?"

Good luck!
the small guide site and The small guide To Improving Your English

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's a must.

We say something is a must when it is required that we do it. In other words, we have to follow the rules otherwise we won't get what we need. For example, we can say that getting a driver's license is a must if you want to drive, or taking the TOEFL is a must to enter most U.S. universities.

like this:

A: Do we have to do a project for this class? I don't know if I'll have time to do one this semester. I have such a busy schedule.
B: Yeah, unfortunately. The professor said it's a must in order to pass the course.
A: Great! I have about 5 huge papers to write, this project, and I have to design a Web page for a small company. Plus, I have to keep working. It's going to be a busy semester.
B: You get to design a Web page? That's awesome!
A: Yeah. That's also a must. I'm going to enjoy doing it. I just wish I didn't have to do it this semester.
B: Well, good luck. I'm sure you'll be able to do it. You always do.
A: Thanks. I hope so, too.

Alright folks, think of a few things that are requirements for you right now: your exams in school, saving money for rent, getting a visa, finding a job, etc. Make sentences about why they are a must, and say them out loud for practice.

Good luck!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tell me about it.

When someone complains about something: "Living in New York is so expensive," or "It's so difficult to find a job these days," or "It's so hot outside," and you agree, you can say Tell me about it. Saying tell me about it means that you think and feel the same way. It also says that you relate and may be in the same situation, yourself. So if you are having a difficult time in New York because it's not a cheap city to live in or you are looking for a job and can't find one or you've just been outside and you know how uncomfortably hot it is and you hear one of the statements above, you can say Tell me about it.

like this:

A: That exam was so difficult.
B: Tell me about it. I think I may have failed it.
A: Yeah? I hope I didn't. I spent a lot of studying for it.
B: I think most of the test was taken from the lecture. Unfortunately, I spent a lot of time studying the textbook.
A: I did the same thing. It's so difficult to keep up with her lectures. She speaks so fast.
B: Tell me about it. I take notes with my laptop, and I type pretty fast. I still have a hard time keeping up.

keep up - stay current; not fall behind

Alright everyone, enjoy the weekend. Speak as much English as you can. Come back for another lesson on Wednesday.

Have fun.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

knock yourself out

On our last blog, we learned how to say "be my guest" when someone asks to borrow or use something that is ours. Similarly, we can also say knock yourself out although this is more informal and is used mostly with friends. Knock yourself out also means "Sure, go ahead" or "Sure. Help yourself."

like this:

A: Is that your laptop?
B: Yeah. Do you need to use it?
A: Can I? I just want to check my email.
B: Sure. Knock yourself out. I don't need it right now.
A: Thanks. I'll be quick.
B: No problem.

Alright folks, don't forget to practice. ... and the next time you're hanging out with friends, look out for chances to say knock yourself out.

Good luck,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Be my guest!

You tell someone to be your guest if you approve of their using something that is yours. This expression is similar to "Sure, go ahead," or "Sure. Help yourself." Tell someone, "Be my guest," when they ask to borrow your laptop or use your restroom or change the T.V. channel, etc. ... and you are completely fine with it.

like this:

A: I forgot to bring my dictionary. Can I use yours?
B: Sure. Be my guest.
A: Thanks. I just need to look up a couple of words.
B: No problem. Oh, is that your highlighter?
A: Yeah. Do you want to borrow it?
B: Can I?
A: Of course. Be my guest.

look up - find information as in a dictionary or a phone book

Alright folks, the next time you want to say it's ok for someone to borrow something of yours, just say, "Be my guest."

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

spread yourself too thin

You spread yourself too thin when you are so busy that you barely have time to take care of yourself. In other words, you have so much to do that you find yourself not having enough time to sleep, eat or even just take a rest. The result is often extreme stress and exhaustion, which could result in some physical ailment. When you notice a friend so busy they seem like they're spreading themselves too thin, you might want to offer some advice: "Don't spread yourself too thin. Remember to give yourself time to rest."

like this:

A: Hey John! I haven't seen you in a while. How's it been?
B: I've been really busy. I started working part time, and this week we have exams.
A: Are you eating well, man? You look like you've lost some weight.
B: Well, sometimes I don't even have time to eat.
A: Don't spread yourself too thin, man. You have to take care of yourself.
B: I know. I'm actually thinking of cutting back my hours at work this week.
A: You should. I spread myself too thin last year, and I ended up getting an ulcer. You have to watch it.
B: I know. I'm going to start taking breaks, and I'll try to schedule in some workout time.
A: Awesome. Good idea. Alright, man. Talk to you later.
B: Take care.

ailment - sickness
cut back - reduce; decrease
ulcer - stomach pain caused by stomach acid irritating the lining of the esophagus
esophagus - the long tube that takes food from your mouth to your stomach.
workout - exercise
hiatus - absence; break

It's good to be back after a three-week hiatus. Honestly, I felt like I'd been spreading myself too thin, which is why I decided to take a break from blogging. Now, I've caught up with my other projects and will do my best to keep up with our quick lessons twice a week. So spread the word, and keep coming back.

See you soon.
Joe Yu
from the small guide site and The small guide To Improving Your English

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's up to you.

When you tell friends that something is up to them, you're telling them to make the decision. You say this expression to let other people decide what to do either because the decision doesn't matter much to you or you just don't want to be the one to decide. For example, if you're about to watch a movie with friends and you don't mind watching any of the available choices, you can say, "It's up to you guys. I really don't mind watching any of these." One of your friends can then decide which movie to watch and hopefully, everyone will be happy with it.

like this:

A: What time do you want to meet up this weekend?
B: It's up to you. My schedule's flexible this weekend.
A: What about at noon? ... so I can sleep in.
B: That sounds good. I can run some errands in the morning if I wake up early.
A: Alright. Let's meet at noon, then we can check out the farmer's market on Union Square before we head over to Tim's place.
B: Sounds good. Should I bring some beer or something?
A: It's up to you. We can always run to the store if we need anything.
B: Ok. See you Saturday then.
A: Later.

meet up - meet to spend time together
sleep in - wake up late
run errands - do a list of things outside the house such as go to the post office, the bank, etc.
check out - see; examine
head over - go to

Alright, everyone. As far practicing, it's really up to you. But I think you should.

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

leave it up to someone

When you leave something up to someone, you are giving that person the responsibility and you are trusting that person to do the job. That something can be any activity; it can be planning a party, writing a letter, talking to your parents on your behalf, finding a cheap plane ticket, anything. You are basically telling this person to take charge, and you believe that he or she will do a good job.

You can also tell a friend to leave something up to you, which means you're telling your friend not to worry and that you will take care of business.

like this:

A: I want to stay in New York longer, but I don't think my parents would agree.
B: Just tell them why you want to stay longer. I'm sure they'll understand.
A: I don't know about that. They were pretty adamant that I go home after this semester.
B: Why don't you leave it up to me. Sometimes, it helps coming from a friend. I'll make them understand.
A: Oh, thanks. I appreciate it. I think they'll listen to you. ... So what are you guys having for dinner?
B: Well, John's in the kitchen making something. It's his turn to cook, so we're leaving it up to him.

adamant - strongly insist

Alrighty folks, what sort of decisions or activities do you trust to others? Do you trust someone else to pay the rent or do maintenance on your home or talk to clients? You can say, "I leave that up to my roommate (or my landlord or my business partner)."

Don't forget to practice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

come to think of it

We say come to think of it when we are reminded of something--a fact or something that we have to do. If a coworker mentions that he's going downtown and this reminds you that you also need to go downtown to pick something up at a store, you can say, "Come to think of it, I do need to head down that direction. Do you mind if I come along?" Sometimes we use the phrase, "which reminds me" to mean the same thing.

Come to think of it is also used when we are reminded of a fact that is contrary to what we originally thought. For example, you're telling someone about a store, which you think is on Spring St., but in fact, it's not on Spring St., but a block from it. If someone challenges you because this person knows for a fact that the store is not on Spring St., and you realize your mistake, you can then say, "Actually, come to think of it, you're absolutely right. It isn't on Spring St. It's on Prince, like you said."

like this:

A: Did you hear about what Sam did at the party last night? He got up on the table and started yelling at people. He was so wasted.
B: Wait a second. Sam wasn't there last night. I was at the party all night.
A: Oh. Actually, you're right. Come to think of it, I saw Sam at another party the other night.
B: How much did you have to drink last night?
A: Not much. I was just a little confused. That's all.
B: Are you sure? Come to think of it, I think I saw you dancing on the table.
A: Ha. Ha. very funny.

contrary - the opposite
wasted - very drunk (in this context)

Ok folks, I hope you get to use this expression in the next few days. You can use it to make an excuse. "Come to think of it, I do need to get home early. I have a lot of homework to do."

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

up for grabs

If something is up for grabs, anybody who is interested in it can try to take it. This can be anything. For example, if there are leftover cookies after a party, they are usually left on the table and are up for grabs, which means anyone who wants one can have one. In another example, if a job opens up in your department, it's usually posted for everyone to see, which means it's up for grabs for anyone who is qualified and who wants it.

like this:

A: I hear the lottery jackpot now is ten million dollars.
B: So no one has gotten the winning ticket yet?
A: Nope. It's still up for grabs.
B: I think I'll stop by the store and buy one. You never know.
A: Exactly.
B: So did your son make the cut on the school baseball team?
A: I don't know yet. I'll find out when I get home. There were still two spots that were up for grabs yesterday, so he was keeping his fingers crossed.
B: Well, I hope he gets it.
A: Thanks.

opens up - becomes available
make the cut - be selected (for a team or some kind of group)
keeping his fingers crossed - hoping for the best (see July 20 blog)

Alright folks, the next time you bring some candy or chocolate to school, and you want to share it with your classmates, you can announce, "This is up for grabs, everyone. Help yourselves!"

Good luck!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'll let you in on something.

When you let someone in on something, you let that person know what's on your mind. This can be anything: a secret, a future plan, your school project, ... You're telling someone a piece of information that is usually not widely known. For example you can tell your friend, "I'll let you in on our plans for the summer, but don't tell anyone because they're not final yet." You can also say, "Don't let anyone in on this problem before we find a solution." This means don't tell anybody until we figure out what to do with the problem.

like this:

A: We might go to the Florida Keys before the end of the summer.
B: Really? That's awesome!
A: Yeah. My parents have been keeping it a secret, but my dad let me in on it last night.
B: Why have they been keeping it a secret?
A: Because we're in summer school, and we might lose concentration on our classes.
B: Oh. I guess that makes sense. You must be excited.
A: I am. It's actually a surprise for my sister's birthday. So my dad told me not to let her in on the secret. So don't say anything.
B: Don't worry. My lips are sealed.

My lips are sealed. - I won't reveal the secret.

Alright folks, let us in on your plans for the future. You can type in a comment below or go back to our webpage and send us an email.

Have fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's in store for you?

What's in store for a person is what that person will experience or encounter at some point in the future. We usually use this expression when we don't know exactly what will happen or when we don't want to specify. If a friend is moving to a new place, you can ask, "So what's in store for you when you get there?" You're basically asking if your friend knows what to expect when he arrives at his new town. If he isn't sure what to expect exactly, he can reply, "I'm not sure yet, but I'm excited to see what's in store for me when I get there." In this case, he may have a friend there who has already found him a job and an apartment. He isn't sure what kind of job or apartment it will be, but he's excited about the possibilities.

like this:

A: So what's in store for you when you move to Alaska?
B: I'm not exactly sure yet, but I'm excited. I've always wanted to live there.
A: Do you have to find a job when you get there?
B: Yeah. I'll probably work in the fishing industry for awhile until I find a writing job.
A: Well, don't forget to bring your winter coat with you, and stay away from the bears.
B: Oh definitely. I know what's in store for me if I come close to one of those grizzlies.

So what's in store for you when you finish your English course or when you've mastered English? You can say, "I'll find a new job where I can speak English everyday," or "I will continue practicing and studying English," or you can say, "I'm not sure what's in store for me yet, but I will definitely try to use English as much as I can."

Don't forget to practice. Good luck!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

a dime a dozen

A dime a dozen is the opposite of our last lesson--hard to come by. If something is a dime a dozen, it's found everywhere. You don't have to look hard for it. Using our examples from the last blog, if a clean public restroom is hard to come by, then dirty restrooms are a dime a dozen, which means that most restrooms that you go into are dirty. Similarly, if a good worker who provides good customer service is hard to come by, then horrible, mean store workers are a dime a dozen.

As with hard to come by, anything can be a dime a dozen: a type of car you see most on the road, a kind of store you see on a particular street, or pedestrians who don't follow traffic signals. When you don't have to look hard to find something because it's everywhere, it's a dime a dozen.

like this:

A: I'm looking for a nice map of the U.S. that I can use in my class. Do you know where I can get one?
B: Yeah. Those are a dime a dozen. Just look for one of those book vendors near subway stations, and they usually have all kinds of children's books, as well as various types of maps.
A: Really! I usually just walk past them. I'll check them out next time.
B: Yeah, you should. I just bought a nice appointment planner from one of those vendors.
A: Really? They have those, too?
B: Oh yeah. They're also a dime a dozen, and they're usually cheaper than at a bookstore.
A: Wow. I'm going to have to do some shopping on my way to work tomorrow.

hard to come by - difficult to find (see August 10 blog below)

Alright everyone, look around and name five things that are a dime a dozen in your neighborhood. In my neighborhood, Chinese fast food restaurants, funeral parlors, cats, laundromats, and convenience stores are a dime a dozen.

Have fun!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

hard to come by

If something is hard to come by, it's rare or difficult to find. This means it's not ubiquitous, and you often have to look for it. This can be things or types of people or personalities. For example, you can say a clean public restroom is hard to come by when you are walking around town. Similarly, when you come across a mean worker at a store, you can comment that good customer service is hard to come by nowadays. You usually use this phrase when you notice that something is rare and that sometimes, you wish there were more of it.

like this:

A: Thanks for watching our kids last night.
B: No problem. They're so studious. I was surprised. Well disciplined kids are so hard to come by these days.
A: Thanks. We told them they were supposed to do their homework before bed.
B: So how was your friend's party?
A: It was great. We had a lot of fun and the food was fantastic. My friend had been a little worried because she'd had a string of bad caterers.
B: Really, my friend said the same thing. It sounds like good caterers are hard to come by these days.
A: It seems like it. I wonder why.

rare - not common
ubiquitous - seen everywhere; very common
come across - encounter; meet
mean - not nice; not kind
nowadays - these days
studious - someone who studies hard
caterer - someone who prepares and serves food for a party

Alright folks, keep this expression in mind the next couple of days, and when you find yourself looking for something that is rare--a good movie, a cheap plane ticket, a helpful person on the street--you can comment that it's hard to come by.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

happen to + verb

You've seen this phrase here before. (See the July 27 blog.) I forgot to take it off my list and didn't realize that I'd written about it already until I started entering it in the blog site. So here it is again in another version of the same explanation and another chance for you to practice.

The phrase happen to conveys coincidence or some kind of information that is unexpectedly true. We usually use happen to when the person we are speaking to does not know a piece of information that is useful to him or her.

So if you're talking to someone who needs a carpenter and who doesn't know that you are a carpenter, you can tell him that you happen to be a carpenter and that perhaps you can help with the project that he's doing. In another situation, you go to someone's house after a huge party, and this person has a lot of leftovers that wouldn't fit in the fridge. You can help her get rid of her leftovers without wasting them by saying, "Well, I happen to love leftovers. I can take some of them home with me."

like this:

A: So how are you getting along with your new neighbors?
B: It's going well. Their kids happen to be the same age as ours so they're starting to hang out now.
A: That sounds good. Does the wife work outside the home, too?
B: Yes, she does, and she happens to take the same train as I do, so we sometimes walk to the station together.
A: That's awesome. It's nice to have neighbors you get along with.
B: Totally.

convey - communicate; say; mean
leftovers - extra food
get rid of - dispose; throw away
hang out - spend time and have fun together

That's it, folks. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Have fun!

Monday, August 3, 2009

no wonder

When you wonder about something, you want to find out some information about it. For example, if you say, "I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow," it means you don't know what the weather forecast is for tomorrow, but you want to find out. No wonder is sort of the opposite because you don't need any more information. In fact, when you say no wonder, it means you already know the reason or the explanation for something. No wonder is similar to "that explains it" or "that explains why ..."

So if your friend looks tired, and you find out that he had been studying all night, you can then say, "No wonder you look so tired." Sometimes, no wonder is used negatively to place fault on someone, especially when you're angry. For example, if someone lost an important game, and you know it's because he doesn't like to practice, some people might tell him, "No wonder you lost. You never practice." This is, of course, not a pleasant thing to say.

like this:

A: I had no idea he works two hours away. No wonder he leaves his house so early.
B: Yes, he's the president of some company.
A: I wonder why they don't just move closer to his workplace.
B: Well, they like the neighborhood and the school district.
A: They're such a nice family. I never see them on the weekends, though.
B: They have a house in the country. They usually spend the weekends there.
A: Oh, no wonder I never see them.

Alright folks, find opportunities to use no wonder. Remember, it's important to practice as much as you can.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

not my cup of tea

Your cup of tea is anything that you like or enjoy doing. It can be a characteristic or a quality; it can be an activity, a thing or someone's personality. Usually, this phrase is used in the negative. So you usually say that something is not your cup of tea, and you say this to express that you simply don't like it and usually for no other reason.

So if someone invites you to go bowling, and you turn down the invitation simply because you don't like going bowling, you can say, "I'm sorry. Bowling is just not my cup of tea." You can say this about anything you don't like. Perhaps a particular food is not your cup of tea, or skinny dipping or people being loud in public or amusement parks may not be your cup of tea. Anything that you'd rather not partake in can be described as not being your cup of tea.

like this:

A: I'm so excited about the trip to the Grand Canyon next month.
B: I'm not. I love the Grand Canyon, but I just don't like hiking.
A: Oh, I'm especially looking forward to that.
B: Not me. Walking for hours in the hot sun is just not my cup of tea.
A: I think we're going to start walking in the early morning, so it shouldn't be too hot.
B: I hope so. I'm not too much of an outdoorsy person, but I am looking forward to partying in Vegas.
A: Not me. I'm sure I'll enjoy walking down the Strip, but drinking and gambling are definitely not my cup of tea.
B: Well, at least there's something for everyone on this trip.
A: That's for sure.

bowling - a fun activity where you roll a heavy ball down a lane to knock down some pins
turn down - say no to an invitation or a proposal
skinny dipping - going into a pool or the ocean completely naked
partake in - participate in; have; use
outdoorsy - (slang) someone who enjoys being outdoors and doing outdoor activities
that's for sure - I completely agree.

Alright everyone, try to use this phrase in the next few days. There should be plenty of opportunity to do so.

Good luck!