Author Archives: Dr. Jeff McQuillan

Brrr . . . Give me a Hot Toddy!

It’s not snowing here in Los Angeles, but it’s pretty chilly (cold). It’s dipped down to (reached the low temperature of) 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius)! I need to keep warm, and since it’s winter, I’m putting aside my coffee … Continue reading

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December is the Time for Running

For many Americans, December is the month for running, so here’s a quick look at some of the ways we can use the verb “run” in English. It’s a busy month of running errands (making short trips to complete tasks) … Continue reading

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Where We Get Our Thanksgiving Turkeys

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, a group of mostly English citizens who were among the first to settle (move to and live) in what is now the northeastern U.S., held a three day celebration for a bountiful harvest. … Continue reading

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American Cities Named After Americans

Because America is a relatively new country compared to many nations, many of the names we have for our cities and towns come from famous Americans in the past 200 years. For example, Houston, Texas, is named after Sam Houston, … Continue reading

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Helicopter Dads and Snowplow Moms

Raising children (helping them grow up) isn’t easy. It’s even harder if you’re a helicopter or snowplow parent. Let me explain. Lately (recently), Americans have been talking about different ways of parenting (bringing up or raising children) that’s very different … Continue reading

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A Visit to Joshua Tree National Park (Video)

Last week I had the chance to visit one of the most beautiful national parks in California, Joshua Tree. Watch this short video and learn a little about this amazing place. It’s like going on vacation with me, but without … Continue reading

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The Oxford Comma

This is a comma: “,”. It’s a very useful punctuation mark (things like periods (.), quotation marks (“), and explanation points (!)) in English and in many other languages, but it can also be a source of confusion. The Oxford … Continue reading

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You’re a Nut!

If someone calls you a “nut,” is that an insult (a disrespectful thing to say)? Probably. A nut is a type of food that has a hard outer shell or covering that you remove to eat what is inside. Peanuts … Continue reading

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A Visit to the Nixon Library

Presidential libraries are places where many of the documents and possessions of American presidents are kept after they leave office (stop being president). These libraries usually have museums that tell you the story of that president and what he did. … Continue reading

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You Got Under My Skin

Here’s another strange idiom in English: You (or someone/something) got under my skin. There are two ways we use this idiom. The first way is to indicate that someone or thing is irritating you, bothering you, doing something that you … Continue reading

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