Vocabulary, grammar, idioms, pronunciation & more to help you improve your English.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
up for it
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
come to terms with something
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Way to go!
Monday, June 22, 2009
bring someone up to speed
Friday, June 19, 2009
You're up. (to be up)
There are a couple of idiomatic meanings for this expression. One is "you're awake." So you can ask if Mary is already up, and someone might reply, "No, she's still asleep." ... or sometimes, when you walk into a room, people say, "Oh, you're up. We thought you were still asleep."
The other meaning of you're up is it's your turn to do something. For example, if you're playing a board game, and it’s you’re turn to roll the dice, you’re friends may say, “Ok, you’re up.” This means you’re next to pick up the dice, roll it and play.
A: Hi Tom. I didn’t think you’d be up this early to watch the game.
B: I know. I worked until midnight last night, but I wanted to watch my son play baseball.
A: He’s the kid with the Yankees cap on, right?
B: Yeah, that’s Johnny. I try to make it to all his games.
A: How’s work?
B: Work’s alright. We’ve been really busy lately.
A: Oh, Johnny’s up next. Let’s watch this.
B: Alright. Let’s go, Johnny!
board game - a game like Monopoly or Scrabble that's usually played on a table
dice – white cubes with black dots on each side
Alright folks, the next time someone asks if you’re asleep, say “No, I’m up.” … and when you’re playing a game, you can ask, “Who’s up next?”Enjoy the weekend.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
run out of something
Monday, June 15, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
What's the deal?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
up in the air
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
get carried away
Friday, June 5, 2009
call it a day
Calling it a day means to stop doing something for today to be continued another day. This is another idiomatic expression that's commonly used. You can say it anytime you want to stop working or studying or practicing something, and you want to finish what you're doing some other day. For example, if you've been studying for a few hours and you want to stop, you can say, "I'm calling it a day. I'm tired; I'll continue studying tomorrow." Your teacher, at the end of class may say, "alright, let's call it a day. We'll continue talking about the War of 1812 tomorrow." Get the picture?
A: My mom said we should call it a day. She said we need our rest.
B: She's right. We've been studying for 5 hours straight. But we still have two chapters to go over.
A: Well, the test is not until Friday, and it's only Tuesday. We could go over the last two chapters tomorrow and do a review on Thursday.
B: That sounds good. Alright. Let's call it a day. I feel like having some ice cream. Do you have any downstairs?
A: Sure do. Vanilla and Rocky Road.
go over - study, review, take a look
Alright folks. Enjoy the weekend. I hope you get to speak as much English as possible.
the small guide site
Thursday, June 4, 2009
call it quits
This phrase is an idiomatic way of saying stop or quit usually when you are tired of doing something and don't want to do it anymore. For example, when you are trying to fix your car and you can't figure out how to do it, after a couple of hours, you can say "that's it. I'm calling it quits. I'm taking this to the mechanic tomorrow." In another example, if you are studying for an exam and it's very late, you can say "I'm calling it quits. I'm so tired. Let's continue tomorrow."
A: You know, I'm so tired of law school. I don't think I want to be a lawyer anymore.
B: Are you kidding me? You can't call it quits now. You're almost finished!
A: But what am I going to do with a law degree if I don't practice law?
B: Well, it'll look good on your resume. You have to finish school, then you can switch careers.
A: Easy for you to say. You've been thinking of going to med school since you were 5.
B: Actually, I've been thinking of calling it quits lately. It's tough on the family. I hardly see the kids anymore.
A: Wonderful! Let's call it quits on our careers together. Maybe we can open a restaurant, instead.
B: Very funny. ... Actually, that's not such a bad idea.
Alright. Whatever you do, don't call it quits if you're tired of English. Learn something new everyday, and practice as much as you can.
the small guide site
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
It's about time
Monday, June 1, 2009
It's high time
I hope you noticed that it's high time is followed by a clause. Remember that a clause always has a subject and a verb. Also notice that the verb in the clause is in the past tense even though you're talking about the present and the near future. For example, a mother might tell her teenaged son, "it's high time you went to bed." She means he should really go to bed now. The mother might also say, "it's high time you opened a savings account." She means he should really start putting his money in the bank now or the very near future.
This is similar to the structure of a second conditional clause (remember? "If I were rich" means I am not rich), as well as when you wish about the present or the future. I wish I had a boat means I don't have a boat right now. When you say, "It's high time you bought a house," it means I really think you should buy a house, and in the right context, it could also mean "I really wish you would buy a house."