Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bite the bullet

Watch the video with the phrase 'bite the bullet' and think of your own examples. You might as well run a Google search with it to see how it's used.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cut from the same cloth

Watch and think of your own examples. You can also run a Google search to get more ideas and see how the expression is used.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Watch and think of your own examples. Run a Google search for more ideas and see how it's used.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Watch and think of your own example with the phrase. Run a Google search to see more uses.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Watch and think of your own examples with the expression from the video. Run a Google search to get ideas and see how it is used in various contexts.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Touching all the bases

Baseball is traditionally known as America's national pastime. It is part of the American spirit. Even the President gets involved and is asked to throw the first ball in the first game of the new season.

Through the years, baseball has had a broad impact on popular culture in the United States. No wonder so many expressions have actually derived from baseball terms.

It's played by two teams of 9 players each, where one of the teams throws a small round ball called a baseball, and the other team tries to hit it with a bat. Teams get points by running and touching markers on the ground called "bases". You can't score a point if you haven't touched all the four bases.

This is where the expression "touch all the bases" comes from . You can't complete a business deal before you touch all the bases. The two sides have to sit down and discuss all the aspects of the deal before they reach an agreement.

When planning on an important move, a person or a business would want to ensure safety and make sure that everything goes well. This is where you would probably say that you need to cover all your bases. That is, you have to figure out all the details and be prepared for anything that might come up along the way.

Sometimes, a friend of yours is in a serious situation requiring some action but he's doing nothing about it. What you would probably do is urge your friend to focus and take action. Then you might as well tell them, "You know what, you're completely off base if you think this problem will take care of itself. You need to step up to the plate and do something."

On the flip side, isn't it funny how easier it is to spot other people's mistakes than our own? It might be because of our ego or our impaired judgement when we're under the pressure of circumstances. But when you're the one facing a tough situation, it's like a whole new ball game. It's completely different when you have to find a solution for yourself or make an important decision, isn't it?


Now you can make your own sentences with the expressions in bold and use them in our online conversation. Make single sentences or put your ideas together and write a short story as the one above. Post them here to share with other English students.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The 800-pound Gorilla

Watch the video with the expression 'the 800-pound gorilla' and think of your own examples with it. You can also run a Google search with the phrase to get some ideas and see how it is used.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Commonly Used Idioms in American Culture

An idiom is an expression where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. Like:
"pull someone's leg" [joke]
"feel under the weather" [feel ill]

Why learn idioms?

What makes learning idiomatic language important is the fact that much of the everyday speech is based on idioms. For one thing, knowing and being able to recognize them in spoken speech will help you understand a native speaker better. Once you master them and become more fluent in English, you will be able to communicate better, as well.

Understanding idioms can be a difficult task for someone not native of America. Here are several popular idioms used in American culture, and the literal meaning behind them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Virtual Worlds

Monday, June 15, 2009

Microsoft Surface Computer

Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

This quote comes from the famous Martin Luther King's speech "I have a dream", dramatically delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement and is considered to be one of the best speeches ever given, where the key message is that all people are created equal and, although not the case in America at the time, King felt it must be the case for the future.

Watch the video and read the script here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle

"You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes.
One of the biggest problems in America today is lack of activity. We know it's good for us but avoid it like the plague either because we're used to being sedentary or afraid that exercise has to be vigorous to be worth our time. The truth is, movement is movement and the more you do, the healthier you'll be. Even moderate activities like chores, gardening and walking can make a difference. "

source: http://exercise.about.com/od/healthinjuries/a/healthylifestyl.htm


Watch this video clip on the topic of health and exercise, and then answer the questions based on what you see and hear. Transcript available, too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Interview Heath Ledger

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jennifer Aniston on Dating

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Daily English and Culture

(*you can double click any word in a post to see its meaning)