Category Archives: Language & Terms

The Seven “Steps” of English

English is infamous for (famous for, but in a bad way) lots of confusing phrasal verbs. So today I’ll try to explain one set (group) of common phrasal verbs using “to step.” Many of these phrasal verbs with “step” have … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on The Seven “Steps” of English

Talking About Losing Weight in English

If you ate too much over the holidays, you may be looking to (trying to; hoping to) lose weight. Find out how to use a few common expressions in English such as “to slim down” and “to drop a few … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on Talking About Losing Weight in English

Age Before Beauty, Pearls Before Swine

Americans love surveys (questions asking people’s opinions). For example, I recently saw a magazine survey in which Los Angeles was voted the second rudest (insulting; not very nice) city in the United States. (“Only second?” I asked myself.) Now, being … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on Age Before Beauty, Pearls Before Swine

Has the CAPTCHA Gotcha?

“Gotcha” is an informal way in English of pronouncing the words “got” and “you” together. But what does it mean when we say “Got you!” or “Gotcha!”? And what does it have to do with CAPTCHA? GOTCHA We say “Gotcha!” … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on Has the CAPTCHA Gotcha?

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

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on December is the Time for Running

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

Posted in Language & Terms, Life in the United States | Comments Off on Helicopter Dads and Snowplow Moms

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

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on The Oxford Comma

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

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on You’re a Nut!

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

Posted in Language & Terms | Comments Off on You Got Under My Skin

Are You Woke?

Over the past year, one of the most popular buzzwords, or fashionable words, used in the media (news, TV shows, etc.) is “woke.” You probably know the word woke as the past tense of the verb “to wake” (to stop … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms, Life in the United States | Comments Off on Are You Woke?