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New English video!


My new video English 808 cafe! 

Have some coffee with me and let's learn English together :)


Click the picture to see my video!


Brain teaser!

If you have the same amount of money as your friend, how much should you give him/her so that he/she will have $1.00 more than you?

"I'm rich!"
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Are you sure?
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50 cents
Your friend has 50 cents more and you have 50 cents less.
The difference between you is $1.00


Phrasal verbs with To BE II

Phrasal verbs with To BE

We can use "TO BE" + out of when there is no more supply or stock of something.

"My printer is out of ink, I need to go to the store."

A: "I can't wait to try the mega burger at Big Bob's Burger House."
B: "I'm afraid you're out of luck, they don't sell those anymore."

"You're out of luck on the mega burger, but how about some pizza instead?"

We can use "TO BE" + in on when we know some inside information or a secret.

"Is Sarah in on our plans? Has anyone told her?"

"My father is planning a family vacation, but I'm not sure where he's going. He won't let me in on the secret."

"I'm not in on the vacation plans. They're top secret."

Phrasal verbs with To BE

Phrasal verbs with To BE

We can use "TO BE" + off when are leaving somewhere.

"I'm off now. See you next week!"

"It's getting late. I'd better be off now."
"It's 5:00! I'm off to the cafe to relax!"
We can use "TO BE" + down when someone is sad or depressed.

"William has been down since his team lost the big game."

"You look like you're down today. Did something happen?"


Helpful English - Contractions II


Today let's look at some contraction that use 3 words. 
*Please remember, these forms are used for spoken English only! We don't use them for written messages.

I shall have / I will have becomes - I'll've
"Today I'm quite busy, but I'll've time to help you tomorrow."
I would have becomes - I'd've
"I'd've gone to the party, but I couldn't leave work in time."
He/she/you would have becomes - he'd've/she'd've/you'd've
"He'd've/she'd've come to the party, but he/she had to work late."
"It's too bad you couldn't come to the party. You'd've  liked it, it was fun."
He shall have / he will have becomes - he'll've
A: "We can spend time at my house this afternoon."
B: "Won't your brother be home?"
A: "No, it's after 3:00. He'll've gone to work by now."
A: "May I take your order?"
B: "Yes, I'll've a Mega burger, fries and chocolate milkshake."



Helpful English - Contractions

I made an infographic and a video to teach some common contractions used in spoken English for the verb TO BE. There are many contractions used in spoken English so I thought I would blog about a few more...


There are many contracted phrases in English, today let's look at some contractions that use the negative 'NOT.'
can not (cannot) becomes - can't
"Has anyone seen my car keys? I can't find them."
could not becomes - couldn't
"You should put your keys in the same place every time. You also couldn't find them 2 days ago!"
did not becomes - didn't
"I didn't finish my homework yet, so I can't watch TV."
does not becomes - doesn't
"Leon isn't home from work yet. He doesn't finish until 6:00 on Wednesdays."
do not becomes - don't
"I don't have my watch on so I'm not sure what time it is."

English brain teaser

Try this puzzle in English, it's a fun way to challenge your mind to think in English. (That sounds very SERIOUS, the puzzle is meant to be silly and fun!)

I will post the answer way down at the bottom, so don't scroll down until you've guessed!


What has to be broken before it can be used?

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Answer
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are you sure?
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An egg!



English vocabulary - Affect VS. Effect

I made an infographic explaining the difference between affect and effect. I tweeted this on my Twitter account but I thought it would be a good blog post and I could give you some more examples. Here it is!


Affect is a verb

= to produce a change in somebody/something 

● How will the new rules affect you?

● My relationship with her did not affect my decision.

● Countries like Australia will be the worst affected by the global warming.

Effect is a noun

= a change that somebody/something causes in somebody/something else; a result

 The president's new policy will have long-term effects.

 You can’t have a cause without an effect.

 My friend really believes in the beneficial effects of a low carb diet.

In a basic English sentence, we write subject verb object.

Global warming affects the whole world.
(In this sentence global warming is the subject, affect is the verb and the whole world is the object.)

We will all feel the effects of global warming. 
(In this sentence we is the subject, feel is a verb and the effects of global warming is the object.) 

Some more tips for using affect and effect.

Remember that the noun “effect” often will follow an article (“an effect,” “the effect”) or an adjective (“negative effect,” “positive effect”).  
"Rising oil prices will have an effect on nearly everyone."
Affect is most commonly used as a verb so it can be used in the past (affected), future (will affect) or continuous (BE affecting) form. [Effect is most commonly used as a noun so these forms are not used.]
"This new software is affecting the performance of my laptop."
"A few people lost their jobs in the bad economy, but luckily my company was not affected."





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English preposition help - ON the bus...

I made an infographic to answer some of my students questions about prepositions and vehicles (buses, cars, trains planes etc.) I thought it would also make a nice blog post where I could give some more examples.


IN a bus is also possible -
"I saw a strange man in the bus last night."
But ON is the most natural.
"I forgot my umbrella on the bus."
"I met a famous actor on the plane!"
"I read the newspaper on the train every morning."

Here are some recent news headlines using the more natural ON.

High schoolers react to fire attack on bus 

San Francisco Chronicle













Everyday English - Idioms with the word Dog V


Let’s look at idioms this week that talk about 'DOGS'

Work like a dog

"I have to guard the sheep."
This idiom comes from a time when dogs weren’t often pets, but usually had to work very hard to earn their food. This expression means to work very very hard!


“My team at the office had to work like a dog this month to prepare for our year end final report. We are all so tired!”

"It's been a hard month, we worked like dogs!"


Everyday English - Idioms with the word Dog IV


Let’s look at idioms this week that talk about 'DOGS'


Every dog has its day

"I got a new car! This is really my day today!"
This idiom means that everyone will get a chance at some time or have an opportunity to be great. It comes from a time when dogs were thought of as very low animals. So even though you are low now, you will have a chance someday, even for only one day.

“You didn’t make the soccer team this season but keep practicing! Every dog has its day.”


Everyday English - Idioms with the word Dog III


Let’s look at idioms this week that talk about 'DOGS'


You can’t teach an old dog new tricks


This idiom means it is difficult to make someone change the way they do something. Especially  when they have been doing it the same way for a long time. It is much more difficult to teach an old dog than a puppy.

“You want to teach your grandfather to use a computer? He is 84! You can't teach an old dog new tricks, you know.

"You want to teach him how to use a computer? Good luck!"

Everyday English - Idioms with the word Dog II


Let’s look at idioms this week that talk about 'DOGS'


Barking up the wrong tree


This expression is when someone has the wrong idea and they are wasting their time. Dogs often like to chase cats or other animals that will run up a tree. If the animal escapes the tree but the dog doesn’t realize it, he keeps barking even though the tree is empty. We say he is barking up the wrong tree. His idea is not correct, he is wasting his time.

“He had nothing to do with the robbery - the police are really barking up the wrong tree this time.”


"I think the police are wasting their time with him."

Everyday English - Idioms with the word Dog

Le'ts look at idioms this week that talk about 'DOGS'

Let sleeping dogs lie

This expression is used to advise against actions that might cause problems. If things are fine right now, we shouldn’t change them if we think there is a danger that things may become worse.

*The idea is that if a dog is sleeping and we wake him up, he may become angry. It's better to let him sleep.

Jill: “Should I ask the boss if he's upset at my coming in late in the mornings?”

Jane: “If he hasn't said anything about it, just let sleeping dogs lie.” = If the boss didn’t say anything you shouldn’t mention it, there is no need to mention it.

"Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie."

Helpful English practice - Phrasal verbs with UP / DOWN pt. 2

Phrasal verbs with UP / DOWN

pt. 2


stand up
“We have to stand up when our national anthem plays.”

"After a long flight I like to stand up and stretch my legs."

sit down
“After it’s finished we can sit down again.”


turn (something) up
“I can’t hear the TV. Can you turn it up a bit please?”

"Can you turn it up a little louder please?"

turn (something) down
“It’s too cold in here. Can you turn down the air conditioner please?”


Can you think of any more phrasal verbs with UP or DOWN? There are many! Try and use the new phrasal verbs in your own sentences :)

Learn 50 common English phrasal verbs! + Lots of real examples!

📚 Learn  50 common English phrasal verbs  What is a phrasal verb? ~ In English, a phrasal verb is a combination (mixture) of ...

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