Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

V.7.3 - Colloquial language

Understanding Conversations

Average: 3.3 (25 votes)


Fred is being invited by his buddies (friends) Jeff, Nicole, and Selina to go to a soccer game. It has been a while since the four have had an opportunity to spend time together. Read their conversation then answer the questions below:

Jeff : Hey Fred, have any plans tomorrow? Nicole, Selina, and I are all going to watch Manchester United play Chelsea in London. We have an extra ticket. You interested in tagging along?

Common Abbreviations

Average: 4 (12 votes)

 Have you ever come across a random group of letters in a conversation or in a text and wondered what they mean?

Sometimes in English, we shorten words or phrases for convenience.

This has become even more common since we began using text messages and emails to communicate.

In each of the sentences below, do you know what the abbreviation stands for?

Can you think of any others?

Which is the correct meaning for each  abbreviation?

English Slang Words

Average: 3.6 (21 votes)

Sometimes you may find yourself hearing words in the street that you haven't seen in your English text books before.

Confusingly, you may only hear these words in one country! In fact, slang can be specific to a country, a town or even a specific group of people.

Below are some of the most common slang words or expressions that you may hear in an English speaking country.

Just put the word/words into the sentence you think they might belong to.

Danny's Reading: English Expressions

Average: 4.3 (19 votes)

Best of British English

Average: 3.4 (8 votes)

Here is some vocabulary that is very common in Britain, but rarely used in other countries. Have you heard these words before? Read through the sentences below and see if you can decide which vocab. goes in which sentence.

Cheers!

Lesson by Caroline Devane

Why Do We Say 'Make no Bones about It'?

Average: 3.8 (17 votes)

To Make No Bones About Something

Meaning:

To say clearly what you think or feel about something, however unpleasant or awkward it.

To make no bones about something means to say something in a way that leaves no doubt, or to have no objection to it.

Why do we say 'get the upper hand'?

Average: 3 (10 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: 3.1 (9 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.

Chat up lines

Average: 3.2 (17 votes)

A chat up line (or pick-up line in America) is a humourous phrase that someone says to start a conversation with a person they are attracted to.

Chat up lines are an essential part of British pub culture, often used by men and women alike to compliment or start a conversation with someone they are interested in.

They are also, absolutely hilarious!

So here's a fun lesson which contains some of my favourite chat up lines, but with one word missing.

Can you choose which word goes in each one?

Animal Similes – Intermediate Level

Average: 2.5 (15 votes)

How hungry are you? As hungry as an elephant? A wolf? A bear? In this exercise I’m going to introduce you to some expressions using animal similes.

Firstly, match the animals with their definitions.