Metaphors: Language That Bites Back!

What is a metaphor? A metaphor, put simply, can be defined as a phrase which says one thing but has a different, more emphatic meaning. Where does the word originate from? Metaphor derives from the Greek word Metapherin, translated as Transfer. Hence, it makes sense that the meanings within metaphorical language can in fact be transfered into something different. Lets clarify the above and take a look at the following example: 1. My brother is my rock. Literally speaking, this sentence would translate as “My brother has all the qualities of a rock. He is hard, rough, solid and even, lives on the ground”. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Hmm… Somehow, I’m not entirely sure that is what the speaker meant”. Going back to the importance of ‘Transfer’, we can now attempt to get a better idea of what example 1. means metaphorically. Perhaps what the speaker really meant, was that their brother is not ‘hard’ physically, but rather ‘mentally’. If this is the case, their brother must be someone who is reliable. Someone they can depend on. Maybe their brother is also brave, or strong etc. etc. Aha! Now I get it! Lets look at a second example: 2. Our last family vacation was a taste of heaven. For most readers, two peculiar words which stand out in the sentence above are ‘taste’ and ‘heaven’. So, where is ‘heaven’? Have the family been there in the past? How did they taste it? Is ‘heaven’ even eadible?! Let’s slow down. Instead of focusing on these details literally, lets start thinking metaphorically. First, what do we know about ‘heaven’? For starters, it is an extremely religious word, however, it is often associated with things that are ‘heavenly’. That is, things of natural beauty and purity. These could also translate as … Read more

Phrasal Verbs With ‘Go’

GO OVER– to re-examine or review Harrison spent the first 45 minutes of class going over yesterday’s homework. GO DOWN– to worsen in quality or stop working After experiencing a number of technical errors, the company’s network finally went down. GO FOR– to sell for a certain price My Rolex watch is currently going for $4,000 on eBay. GO AHEAD– to happen as planned Luckily, the soccer match went ahead despite the terrible weather. GO INTO– to become involved in or pursue a career in Abigail went into teaching at the age of 23. GO AFTER– to try to get or obtain I recently went after this one job in Hollywood. Unfortunately, my acting ability is dreadful. GO AROUND– to spend time doing something Tim and Toby used to go around eating candy as children. GO BY– to assume or use as a reference Going by American standards, British accomodation is of an extremely poor quality. GO THROUGH– to experience an unpleasant situation or period of time Poor Daniel! He’s gone through so much this past year. *Remember that phrasal verbs are subject to changes in tense, the same way other verbs appropriately change their form. (Examples adapted and altered from ‘English Phrasal Verbs in Use Advanced’, McCarthy & O’Dell)

Grammar Lesson: Future Continuous

What will you be doing this time next year? Where will you be studying? We use the Future Continous to express an action or something that will be happening at a precise moment in the future. While certain sentences in the Future Continuous are relatively accurate, others might be wild predictions. Furthermore, because we are referring to a specifc moment in time, future time references are essential when fluently producing Future Continous forms. The basic consturction when forming the Future Continuous is as follows: Future Time Reference + Subject + ‘Will Be’ + Main Verb + ‘-ing’ + Object Lets review the following examples. 1. This time next week, we will be shopping in London. 2. In 2020, people will be buying smaller houses. 3. Tomorrow afternoon, Jessica will be taking her driving test. 4. They will be putting the children to bed at 8.30pm. All of these examples match the grammatical rule listed above. All except for sentence 4. Here we can see that the Future Time Reference has been applied at the end of the sentence. This is perfectly acceptable when using the Future Continuous. Consider the following: 5. We’ll be getting married in March. 6. In March, we’ll be getting married. 7. In three years time, I’ll be studying Medicine. 8. I’ll be studying medicine in three years time. In both sentence pairs, the use of time reference is grammatically correct. Where you would like to place this reference is up to you!

Verbs with Prepositions

Whatever your level, prepositions are extremely important when learning English. Did you know that ‘of’, ‘to’, ‘on’ and ‘in’ are some of the most widely used words in English? Probably not! Most verbs preceding a preposition are followed by a noun. This is just one simple tip which can help you in remembering how to apply them. account for (to explain) The country’s poor economy accounts for a high increase in unemployment. come from (to be born somewhere) I come from England but live in America. apply for (to seek employment or admission) Having graduated from Univeristy, Jacob is currently applying for several jobs. approve of (to support) I do not approve of his wreckless driving. arrived at (to decide) After hours of thought, Jesscia finally came to a decision. talk to (to speak with) James is always talking to John. look for (to search) I’m looking for these jeans in a 30″ waist. listen to (to actively hear) Charlie enjoyed listening to hip-hop. plan on (to arrange) Next summer, we’re planning on visiting San Diego for a few days. wait for (to be patient) They missed the bus and were forced to wait for the next one. belong to (to own) This dog belongs to me. Next time you’re in class, check you’re course book for any verbs with prepositions and try to apply them with your own examples!

Grammar Lesson: Future Simple

There are two grammatical forms to express the Future Simple when using English: Will and Be + going to. Despite their similar nature, each of these forms can be used to express different meanings or intentions. Will used to express a promise. More often than not, we make promises. Whether we keep these promises is a story altogether. Either way, the language used to make promies usually takes the form of Will + Base Verb. Note that we usually contract the form of I Will to I’ll This is used for all personal pronouns. i.e You’ll, He’ll, We’ll. I’ll always love you. Don’t worry, I’ll wear my helmet. I’ll call you when I arrive in Washington. Next season, we’ll watch the San Francisco 49ers, I promise. Will used to express voluntary actions or behavior Take a look at the following sentences: Speaker 1: I’m starving! Speaker 2: Not to worry. I’ll make you a sandwich. Speaker 1: The trash can is full. Speaker 2: No problem. I’ll take it outside. In both situations, we see Speaker 2 resolve a minor problem or complaint by actively volunteering to do something. Once again, the grammar remains the same: Subject + Will + Base Verb + Object. When using this formula, for both making promises and voluntary behavior, remember that it is also possible to use the negative form of ‘Will’- Won’t. This allows us to express things in the near future we ‘will not’ do. I won’t do anything dangerous when I visit New Zealand. (Promise) I most certainly won’t do the dishes after supper. It’s your turn. (Voluntary Behavior) Be + going to or Will used to express a prediction. For guesses about the future, it is appropriate to use both Will or Be + going to + Base Verb. Tom … Read more

Noun Bank

Nouns are everywhere. No matter how hard you try to avoid them, they are simply inescapable! Today, we’re going to look more closely at some of the different types of nouns and their particular function. Common Nouns: Common Nouns often refer to ‘general items’, ‘types of people/places’ and everyday ‘things’. For instance, if I am walking through San Francisco I can observe a huge number of Common Nouns. sandwich dog car hat coffee sweater Proper Nouns: Proper Nouns refer to the specific name of a person, place or thing. An easy way to identify Proper Nouns is through the fact that they begin with a capital letter. Nike EC San Francisco Mary BMW New American English File Collective Nouns: Collective Nouns are relatively easy to recognize. They refer to a specific group of people or things. Usually, the people who form Collective Nouns are doing something alongside other members of the same group. In terms of grammar, this group then becomes singular, and the Collective Noun makes use of singular verb forms and pronouns. community choir staff team school class Verbal Nouns: Verbal Nouns are those which orginally stem from a verb, taking on all the properties of an ordinary noun. Verbal Nouns are often formed through a range of different suffixes, which are added on to the base form of the orginal verb. to arrive (v.) – arrival (n.) to swim (v.) – swimming (n.) to decide (v.) – decision (n.) to reassure (v.) – reassurance (n.) to fly (v.) – flight (n.) Compound Nouns: Compound Nouns consist of two or more words and are formed by merging two separate nouns, in order to create a new lexical form. While some compound nouns may be hyphenated or completely adjoined, others may not. desktop haircut alarm clock hairbrush credit card … Read more