Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Great English expressions you should know^^

I can’t get enough ~
If you can’t get enough of something, it means that you want more and more and MORE! There could NEVER be too much! You love it~

I can’t get enough of her loving~
I can’t get enough chocolate~

I could never get enough money~~
I could never eat enough chicken~
I could never do enough shopping~~

Please give us some examples of your own^^

To turn A in…to tell on A
Both of these expressions are very similar. They both me to INFORM someone in authority (power) like your mom or the police that A has done something wrong.  The difference is basically to whom are you informing. If we “turn A in”…it almost always means “to the police”. And, “to tell on A” almost always means you are telling your mom or the teacher^^ So, for a serious crime, you should inform the police—you should turn the bad person in. If your little sister lies or steals your pencil, you don’t need to turn her in, but it’s fun to tell on her^^

When was the last time you “told on someone”? Have you ever turned anyone in?

Lost his temper
Shane lost his temper. Shane got mad/pissed. Shane flew off the handle. He blew a gasket. He lost his cool. He blew his top! He went ape! He went ballistic~ He hit the roof/ceiling. He went out of his gourd! He flipped out.

They’re all the same. Do you have many expressions like this in your language? What sorts of things make you lose your temper?

Bad drivers make me lose my temper.
My boss makes me lose my temper.
Too much nagging makes me lose my temper.
Loud kids make me lose my temper^^

When you lose your temper, how do you calm yourself down?

In many dictionaries, these words have the same meaning, but in daily American English, we use them differently.

When we say “pathetic”, we mean “despicable” or “vile” or “sordid”. It’s a VERY negative word. When we say “pitiful”, we usually mean “dismal”, “inadequate” or “wretched”. If something is pitiful, its condition is very bad. Finally, when we say “poor” we usually mean “lacking”, “needy” or “very unfortunate”. Something that is poor deserves our compassion.

Test time: Which word is best?
An injured puppy…
The people living near Fukishima that refuse to leave…
Children wanting to have plastic surgery…

Are we still on?
This short, simple expression means “Are we still going to meet?” We use this expression to CONFIRM that a promise/plan that we made with you has NOT changed.

We’re still on for Friday night, right? You haven’t changed your mind.
Are we still on Friday? Nothing came up?
Are we still on for next week? Has there been a change in plans?

Remember, because of the word “still”, this expression is used to confirm an already established plan!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Five more English words/expressions/patterns YOU need to know^^

Boast about
To brag about, to show off

Actually, those three verbs are slightly different. Boasting about things is okay, but bragging can be very annoying to other people. And if you show off, your intention is to make other people jealous!

My son got a job at IBM^^ (Boasting—that’s okay^^)

I got all ‘A’s in high school and went to Harvard. Where did you go? (Bragging…this guy is a little annoying, no?^^ You want to say “Shut up!”)

Check out my new Gucci handbag! There was only ONE imported to Korea. I have it^^ Isn’t it nice? (OH! SHUT UP! I hate you!!!—this person is showing off!)

There’s more to A than just B.
If you want to do “A” well, then you have to study/learn/do more than only “B”. 
“B” is not enough if you want to do “A” well.

There’s more to delicious spaghetti than just a good sauce.
There’s more to learning English than just grammar.
There’s more to driving than just steering and braking.
There’s more to being a chef than just cooking food.

Some people think raising a dog is easy. But there is SO much to do. You have to feed it, clean it, walk it, take care of its fur, take it to the vet…there’s more to raising a pet than just loving it^^ Can you make your own example?

Famous for…infamous for
Are you famous for anything? Is your hometown famous for something? What is your country famous for?
I’m from Wisconsin in the United States. Wisconsin is famous for milk and cheese. Our milk and cheese is really delicious^^ 

“famous for” is easy—what about infamous for? To be “infamous” means to be famous in a bad way!!
America is infamous for obesity. It is one of the fattest countries in the world. America’s infamous fast-food is one reason so many Americans are obese.

Can you make an example of “infamous”? Are you infamous for anything? Good luck and BE honest!!!

Just in it for the buck
To be “just in it for the buck” means that “you are only interested in making money.” Why do you buy stocks? Because you are just in it for the buck. That is no problem. But what about this:

A: You raise so many dogs.
B: Yeah, I’m just in it for the buck.

That guy (B) probably does not really care about the health or quality of life for the dogs he sells. He is a TRUE businessman. If you are in business, most people accept that philosophy—“just in it for the buck”. Like Al Gore and his global warming...

But nowadays people are starting to change.

My dream is to have my own English teaching business. But I don’t have enough money to start it, yet. So I have to work at an institute. I love my teaching and my students, but, to be honest, I am only at my institute to make money. I’m just here for the buck. As soon as I get “the buck”, I will leave and start my own English institute!! Don’t tell my boss, please~~

Signature smile
Somebody’s signature something—a distinctive object/comment/gesture that identifies someone.

Michael Jackson and his signature moves…
KFC and its signature Colonel Sanders…
McDonald’s and its signature Ronald McDonald…
Bugs Bunny and his signature carrot…
Shane and his signature bald spot…
Mercedes Benz and its signature mark…
Colorado and its signature mountains…
Paris and its signature Eiffel Tower…
Italy and its signature pizza…
Jim Carey and his signature expressions…
Dracula and his signature teeth (fangs)…

What other examples can you give us?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Five more English words/expressions YOU need to know^^

A good Samaritan
A nice person, a person who takes care of other people, someone who thinks of others before thinking of himself

Are you a good Samaritan? The familiar story comes to us from the bible. We should all try to be good Samaritans. If we were, the world would be a MUCH nicer place.

Think of some people in history who have been good Samaritans. Tell us who they are and what they did^^

It’s bad enough you A, do you have to B?
“A” is bad, but “B” is worse!

Picking your nose is bad enough, but do you have to fling the boogers?
Drinking beer is bad enough, but do you have to burp?
It’s bad enough you smoke, do you have to blow it in my face?

Can you think of other examples of this pattern? Good luck^^

Bumped into
This means to meet someone by chance…sometimes it is good, but sometimes it’s bad!

I bumped into my boss at the video game arcade.
I bumped into my boyfriend when I was walking with John.
I bumped into an old high school buddy of mine.
I hope I bump into Stephen King when I go to Maine. (Stephen King is a famous horror story novelistJ)

Who was the last person you bumped into? Who would you LOVE to bump into? Did you ever bump into someone you didn’t want to see—an ex or a boss or a teacher…?!!

Bash into
To crash into, to smash into, to bump into (but very hard).

If you are driving and you bump into another car, there is usually no damage. Maybe a little scratch or tiny dent. However, if you bash into something, there is probably broken glass and a big dent. You probably will not be able to drive your car after that. The “ash” part of the word actually refers to the sound of breaking glass. I hope you NEVER bash your car into something.

We also say BASH when we talk about hitting someone. I am going to bash you in the face!

There is also political bashing—when we are severely criticizing a politician in public—sometimes without merit.  The result is the destruction of someone’s reputation. With the upcoming elections, there is a lot of candidate bashing among the rivals. 

Another meaning of bash is party. I had a great birthday bash last year. In this case, bash means a very lively and exciting party. Would your 70 year old grandmother have a birthday party or a birthday bash? Usually a party, right?!!

A coward, a yellow belly, a chicken, a fraidy cat, a scaredy cat, a lily liver!

Someone who easily scares or who is very timid is called “yellow”—originally yellow belly! Why yellow belly? Yellow historically has been used to signify betrayal and cowardice. Jews were given yellow stars in Nazi Germany (they betrayed Jesus). In Spain, during the Catholic Inquisition, traitors had to wear yellow clothes. The belly includes the “guts”. If someone has guts—that means they are brave and courageous. So, by adding yellow, we get the opposite meaning. Does that make sense?

We are ALL cowards at some time or another. When do you feel “yellow”?!

I feel yellow when I see a cockroachL
I get yellow when I have to see my bossL