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How to 'correct mistakes made by others'

Average: 3.5 (13 votes)


This weekend I was unfortunate enough to find myself at a party which, to be honest, was not the kind of party that I would normally be seen dead at. Truth be told, the only reason that I went was because my wife wanted me to go. I am, of course, the boss in the family, but only because my wife says it's okay. Anyway...

Why do we say 'Barking up the Wrong Tree'?

Average: 3.6 (15 votes)


Meaning: Following a dead end path; Being totally wrong about something you believed to be true.


When using dogs in a foxhunt, the dogs would sometimes corner the fox in a tree and then proceed to bark up at the fox. Barking up the wrong tree, where there is no fox, is a pointless exercise.

Why do we say 'Bob's your Uncle'?

Average: 3.4 (76 votes)


This expression is  mainly used in Britain. It is often used immediately after a set of simple instructions and roughly means the same as '... and it's as simple as that!'

How to say 'I don't want to'

Average: 3.4 (27 votes)


A couple of weeks ago, I made the mistake of mentioning to a health-nut friend of mine that, with summer well on its way, I might possibly, perhaps, just maybe...

Why do we say 'Beat about the Bush'?

Average: 1.9 (205 votes)


No. Not that Bush.

Why do we say 'Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining'?

Average: 2.8 (488 votes)

"Don't be unhappy that your boyfriend broke up with you - every cloud has a silver lining".  What does this idiom mean?


Every cloud has a silver lining means that you should never feel hopeless because difficult times always lead to better days. Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass overhead and block the sun.

How to 'Give your Opinion'

Average: 3.4 (40 votes)


John Stuart Mill was a member of British Parliament  between 1865 and 1868. He is perhaps most famous for his controversial essay titled ‘On Liberty’, in which he says...

Why do we say 'Three Sheets to the Wind'?

Average: 1.7 (289 votes)


'Don't drink too much tonight, you were three sheets to the wind last weekend.'

This expression is used to describe someone who is drunk to the point of being unable to stand up straight. The ‘sheets’ here refer to the sails of a windmill rather than bed linen. Windmill operators used to add or remove the number of sails according to the strength of the wind.

Disagreeing Politely

Average: 1.5 (171 votes)


Coming from a teacher, it may sound strange to hear me admit that, when it comes to grammar, I just don’t have that much time for it!

Affect vs.Effect

Average: 1.6 (839 votes)

Affect is a verb, although very rarely it can be used as a noun. Effect can be a verb or a noun, so it's  to get them confused.

Try using them like this:

Effect (noun)

A thing that has happened.
'Watching his favourite team lose had little effect on Julian'.

Effect (verb)

To bring about change.
'We will effect changes to business policies from next year'.