Thursday 6 September 2018

British English Word of the Week: faff (noun, verb)

Stop faffing about and read this!  Here's a British English word that doesn't get into the textbooks, but that is widely used and understood all over the UK.

faff (noun) - nonsense, busy activity that doesn't achieve anything

In a phrase: a lot of faff / a bit of a faff / a big faff

In a sentence: 
It's just a bit of a faff to get everything set up for the meeting.

The whole thing is just a big faff and I can't wait for it to be over.

faff about / faff around (verb) - waste time, appear to be busy but without achieving anything, make a fuss

In a sentence:
I can't get anything done while you're faffing around, either help me or go away!

I meant to start work early but I just ended up faffing about.

"What are you doing?"
"Not much.  Just faffing around on the Internet."

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Word of the Week: by the skin of your teeth

Definition: when you do something and you only just succeed or nearly fail.

Synonyms: closely, almost, more or less.

Examples: - I succeeded the test by the skin of my teeth.
-     I avoided getting hit by the car by the skin of my teeth


Friday 18 March 2016

Word of the Week: to feel under the weather

Definition: to be or feel ill.

Synonyms: diseased, sick, unhealthy, run-down

Examples: - I got cold, I am feeling under the weather
-                                              -You are working too much, that is why you feel under the weather


Thursday 3 March 2016

Word of the Week: to hit the nail on the head

Definition: to say exactly what explains a situation or problem.

Synonyms: right on, straight out, precise.

Examples: “-Are you disappointed because you could not take your exam?

-                                                  Exactly, you hit the nail on the head.”


Saturday 27 February 2016

Word of the week: to kill two birds with one stone

Definition: to succeed in achieving two things in a single action

Similar phrases: A win-win situation, the best of both worlds.

Examples: - I will go to the restaurant and drop this letter off at the post office on the way; that way, I'll kill two birds with one stone.


Friday 19 February 2016

Word of the Week: to make a long story short

Definition: telling something briefly, coming to the main point

Synonyms: to shorten, abbreviate, summarise

Examples: To cut a long story short, I got the job.

Leave out the details, make this long story short.


Tuesday 27 October 2015

Top 5 Free Apps for Learning English

Do you want to progress in the language of Shakespeare or simply refresh your memory on some English?
Here is a list of the best applications, a good way to improve your English ANYTIME, ANYWHERE and for FREE!

1 - Duolingo

This application is having great success by using the language of computers to teach you English. Thousands of teachers are even using it to enhance their lessons. Accumulate points with your correct answers, practice your mode against the clock and reach the next level. According to Duolingo's founder Von Ahn, getting to the end of the app corresponds roughly to level B2 ("Advanced User") in the European Framework of Reference for Languages. Funny and addictive!

2 - Memrise

Memrise allows you to learn languages and vocab with more 300,000 courses and over 200 languages available. Each course is presented in three stages: discovery of the subject, memory and revisions. Memorisation is performed also through "mems" - mnemonics offered by the Internet. The review phase is based on the skills acquired by the user or not: you review only uncompleted points. You can also customise your own courses with many multimedia flashcards and adapt the app to your personal learning style. In addition to being a complete solution, this application is really fun.

3 - Learn to speak English

The official free  app, “Learn to speak English” is a serious too for learning to speak English especially, with 8,000 audio files. This app will help you achieve your goal with many features and functionalities such as click, listen and repeat, or a record and play back tool. Different English categories are available: the basics, business, grammar, pronunciation, etc.

4 - LearnEnglish Podcasts

Learning by listening is what this app offers. With 40 episodes and over 20 hours of free listening about a large choice of themes, LearnEnglish Podcats offers an original way to learn everyday. Note that on the website, in addition to Podcasts, you will find some others topics including Listening, Learning tools, Games or a section for Kids.  A complete reference offer!

5 - FluentU

FluentU is an innovative app offering online immersion using real-world video content that's entertaining and current. All captions are are subtitled and translated.  Handy: to learn an in-context definition along with example sentences, just click on the word! And as the icing on the cake, every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they're learning with the same video. On the program for you are music videos, commercials and TV Shows.