Words of the Week: Health

It’s pretty cold here in London and everyone’s health is at risk, it seems like everyone in the city is ill. It’s nothing serious of course, just a cold or the flu but it’s everywhere. Just this morning on the tube somebody sneezed on the back of my neck…this was not pleasant. But it got me thinking about the vocabulary a student might need to use in order to describe their cold or flu. Check out the words, idioms and phrases below for help describing your ailment. Pay careful attention to how they are used and if there’s anything you don’t understand, just click on it for a definition.   “I’m a bit under the weather.” = I’m a little bit ill. “I’m on the mend.” = I’m getting better. “My head is killing me.” = I have a terrible headache   I can’t stop sneezing                       coughing                       vomiting / throwing up     I feel dizzy            weak             nauseous             constipated             much better now   I have  a headache                a stomachache                a sore throat                a fever / a temperature               diarrhea                a blocked / runny nose   So if you’re feeling a little under the weather, get out there and use these handy words / phrases to let people know. But please try not to sneeze on anybody’s neck on the tube…that’s just disgusting. If you’d … Read more

Words of the Week: 9 Phrasal verbs

Ahhhh Phrasal verbs. We all love them but in my experience a lot of students in the school are scared of them. DON’T BE!!! They’re just like any other piece of vocabulary. Check out some of the highlighted words below, can you think of any phrasal verbs that you could replace them with, that have the same meaning? I rang someone. I collected my parents. I wrote his number on a piece of paper. I asked her to go on a date with me. I ended the phone call. I started a new hobby. I stopped doing this habit because it was disgusting. I went on a date with her. We have a very good relationship.   If you’re not sure, have a look at the highlighted phrasal verbs in the story below:   I called Joan up yesterday to ask her out. When I was finished, I hung up. We decided to go out on Friday night, I told her I would pick her up from her house at 8:00. When I arrived, I rang the doorbell and she answered with a cigarette in her hand. I told her that I had recently given up cigarettes because I hated the smell. She blew the smoke in my face and said she had recently taken up smoking because she loved the smell. We left and I drove us into town. I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant but luckily I had taken it down on a piece of paper which was in my pocket. When we got to the restaurant, the waiter showed us to our table. We had a beautiful dinner and we got on really well but at the end Joan told me she was really interested in going out with my brother. We never went out … Read more

Word(s) of the Week: Giving Advice

As an English teacher, I find myself giving a lot of advice to students. This week, I have decided to look at a few different ways / phrases for giving advice. Check out the examples below. Please leave me any comments if you have any questions.   (1) Modal verbs: – You should call your mother, you haven’t talked to her in ages. (Meaning: in my opinion, this is a good idea) – You shouldn’t go outside without a coat, you’ll catch a cold. (Meaning: in my opinion, this is a bad idea) – You have to see the new Batman film, it’s amazing. (Meaning: This is very strong advice, not an obligation) (2)  Hypothetical conditionals: – If I were you, I’d give her a piece of my mind. (Form: If I were you, I’d + verb) If I were in your position, I’d call her up this second. (3)  Phrases: – That shop assistant has given you the wrong change again. you should give her a piece of my mind. (Meaning: I’m going to tell her exactly what I think about this situation) – Oh it’s not a big problem, don’t lose any sleep over it. (Meaning: Don’t worry about it. It’s not important) (4) Other ways: – Why don’t you give her a call when you get home. (Form: Why don’t you + verb) – Just give her a call. (Meaning: This is the imperative. It is quite an informal suggestion. The intonation here is quite important so that it doesn’t seem like an order) So my advice to you is to get out there and give some people some advice, even if they don’t want it. You should go and find people who you think need advising and just go for it. If I were you, I’d give … Read more

Words of the Week: Body Parts Idioms

Idioms, we all love them but their not always easy to understand. One way to help you learn them is to group them in some way. Today, we’re going to look at idioms related to body parts. Some of the meanings are quite clear and obvious but others can be slightly less easy to figure out. The important thing when using idioms is to make sure you get them 100% correct, even one incorrect word in an idiom can change everything.   (1) Hand – Can you give me a hand?  (Meaning: can you help me?) – Do you need a hand?  (Meaning: Do you need some help?) – I know London like the back of my hand. (Meaning: I know London extremely well) (2) Foot – I really put my foot in it last night. (Meaning: I made a big mistake and said something I shouldn’t have) – Don’t worry, the company is going to foot the bill. (Meaning: The company is going to pay the entire bill) (3) Head – I’m going to head off. (Meaning: I’m going to leave now) – I’m heading to the shops, do you want anything? (Meaning: I’m going to the shops) (4) Arm – I’d give my right arm for a glass of water. (Meaning: I’d do anything for a glass of water. I really want one) – He paid an arm and a leg for that car. (Meaning: He paid a lot of money. It was very expensive) (5) Leg – Don’t worry, I’m only pulling your leg. (Meaning: I’m only joking. I’m not being serious) – Don’t put anything heavy on that table, it’s on its last legs. (Meaning: It’s quite old and will break soon) (6) Face – You need to face the facts, you’re just not handsome enough for … Read more