Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Five Great English Expressions to Know: February, 15th, 2012

1. What people will do for their pets.
Other examples
What mother’s will do for their children!
What Coach Shane will do for his English students.
The expression means that people will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING for their pets. Or their children. Or their loved ones^^
You would do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to do what? Learn English? Keep your girl/boyfriend? Buy that new car?

2. My dog is so demanding. He always expects me to ~~
Other examples
My mother is so demanding, she always expects me to ~~
My boss is so demanding, s/he always expects me to ~~
My husband/wife is so demanding, s/he always expects me to ~~
If someone is demanding, it means that they are always asking for something, telling you to do something or expecting something to be done/given/served to them^^ Is there anyone who is demanding in your family? Who? Why? What is that person “always” demanding?

3. Creature comforts
Some examples
My favorite creature comfort is my blanket^^ I use it when I go to bed and I use it on the couch when I watch TV.
My favorite creature comfort is my espresso machine!
My favorite creature comforts are my remote control, HD TV and mini-fridge stocked full of beer^^
Creature comforts are the niceties that we have to make our lives more comfortable. Many times creature comforts are luxury items like 3D HD TVs and limousines. But sometimes they are just an old, favorite T-shirt, or a comfortable recliner in your living room.

What are your favorite creature comforts?

4. Only if it’s in the pet’s best interest.
Some helpful explanations and examples
Only if it is truly good for the pet. Only if it is truly best for the pet’s livelihood.
If your dog is too fat, should you have your dog get a tummy-tuck?
If your dog has cancer, should you let your dog get cancer treatment?
Of course, if it is in your dog’s best interest, then you should. But sometimes “euthanasia” is in the dog’s best interest. The same for humans. If I were 79 years old and very ill with cancer, I might not want to have surgery—I might prefer to die. So I might ask my doctor or my family to “kill” me. In this case, we can say “death is in my best interest.” For humans, we call this “assisted suicide”. For pets, we call this “putting to sleep”. “Putting your dog to sleep is in its best interest.” However, some people are against euthanasia—especially on humans. In their case, they don’t say “assisted suicide”, they usually say “mercy killing”. Killing has a very cruel nuance to it—more so than suicide.

5. These days, pets have many surgical solutions.
Some points to think about
Instead of “solutions”, what can you say? One word would be “options”. Another would be “choices”. Some students want to say “selections”, but that word won’t work in this situation. Although solutions—options—choices—selections all have a similar meaning, sometimes you can only make word certain word combinations. 
Here’s an example:
Surgical options/choices. GOOD. Surgical selections…STRANGE^^
Clothing choices/selections. GOOD. Clothing options…STRANGE^^
How can you learn WHICH combinations are okay? My recommendation is to buy a collocation dictionary. They show you which words match with other words. At first, the dictionary is a bit confusing, but after you practice with it, it gets easier to use. Eventually, it’s fun to use^^

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