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P.1 - Adult

Your English Questions of the Month

Average: 3 (5 votes)

Here are the best questions readers of our free newsletter sent to us  last month.

All questions were answered by our teacher, Tim from EC Brighton English School.

Why do we say 'get the upper hand'?

Average: 2.8 (35 votes)

To Get The Upper Hand

If you get the upper hand, you take a dominant position.

There is still some question as to where this saying comes from, but it is generally acknowledged that the phrase originated from American children in playgrounds.

In order to determine who gets first choice of player for their teams when playing baseball, one team captain grabs the bat at the bottom, and then the other captain takes hold above the first’s hand.

Why do we say 'excuse my French'?

Average: 2.5 (37 votes)

Excuse my French

This phrase is used in conversation when someone swears or curses, and is a request for forgiveness for using taboo language.

Of course, both the speaker and the listener are very much aware that whatever was said was in English and not French.

The expression originates from the 19th century, and was used literally.

What I mean is...Passion

Average: 3.8 (11 votes)
Danny Danny's been teaching English at EC for 10 years.

Email Danny!

10 Quick Preposition Questions

Average: 3.7 (24 votes)

Learning prepositions is not easy! There are so many rules and exceptions to follow. The best option is look at how prepositions are used in full sentences rather than looking at them on their own.

The more time you spend reading, listening and speaking English, the easier it becomes to use prepositions

Minnie Driver

Average: 3 (7 votes)

Today we are going to focus on vocabulary. I’ve written a list of words and their definitions above the article. All you need to do is decide which word completes which gap.

Listening: Teachers' Argument

Average: 3.2 (9 votes)

I chose to use this song for this week’s lessons due to the title. Of course, in reality, teachers never argue...ever. However, there is a massive difference to this lesson. Instead of filling in missing gaps, I’m going to give you some words and you need to find the synonyms (the words with the same meaning) in the lyrics. Good luck!
Lesson by Caroline

Advanced Level – Fantastic Phrasal Verbs!

Average: 2.9 (27 votes)

English has many two-word verbs, made up of a verb and a small word like at, in, on, up. Two-word verbs (phrasal verbs) are very common in an informal style and used by native speakers constantly!

Double Negatives

Average: 3.4 (19 votes)

A double negatives is two negative words together in the same sentence. If these two negative words are talking about the same subject they cancel each other out and the sentence becomes positive:

"I am not going to pay no bills" = I am going to pay some bills.
"She can't make friends with nobody" = she can make friends with somebody

Message from teacher James at the Thai/Burma border

Average: 2.6 (7 votes)

Hello everyone,

It’s teacher James here writing from the Thai / Burma border amidst floods and fighting.

For those of you who didn’t know I took some time out from teaching with EC Brighton English language school to come to work with Burmese refugees.

Essentially I am on a 3 month placement with the objective of training the Burmese refugee teachers how to best approach the difficult job of teaching English with little or no resources to hand (see pics of classrooms).