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Out of the Blue

"Yesterday I got an email from an old friend out of the blue!" I got an unexpected email, from an old friend. The email came suddenly, I was surprised.

Can you guess the meaning of out of the blue? When something happens suddenly, unexpectedly (we are not prepared for it) we say it happened out of the blue. This idiom comes from rain storms that happen unexpectedly. The blue means the sky, when the sky is blue there are no clouds so we don't expect a rain storm to happen very soon. Usually the sky fills with dark clouds so we have a warning that soon it will rain, we can prepare. We don't prepare for rain if the sky is blue, so if it begins to rain quickly we are not prepared, we get wet! If the clouds and rain came out of the blue sky, we are surprised.

Here are a few more examples:

"Last week when I was walking in the park a bicycle came out of the blue and almost hit me!"

"I was sitting at home this morning when out of the blue my sister called me and gave me tickets to the Tokyo Giants baseball game tonight! What a nice surprise!"

I was watching a soccer game when a ball came out of the blue and...
(This was not expected!)
Has anything happened to you out of the blue recently?

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Sweetener (root word practice)

We looked at the word "captivate" before and practiced using the root of the word to help us learn and remember the meaning of new words. Sweetener is another word that I have used with my English students lately and it is a good example of using the root word technique that we studied. The word sweet is also easier and more common so this a good example to use.

I like to cook, and while I was looking at some new recipes I saw a sweetener called "stevia" that seemed to be popular. I did some research and I found that it has been used in Canada and America recently, but it has been used in Japan for more than 30 years! When I asked my students if they have heard about stevia we talked about sweeteners. "What is a sweetener?" 

We know the meaning of the adjective sweet already, it describes a taste. "Sugar and honey are sweet."

It can also be used as a noun, usually a plural noun, to mean candy(s). "My dentist said I eat too many sweets!"

Sweeten is a verb that means :to make something sweet. "Many people use sugar to sweeten their coffee. Black coffee is too bitter for most people."

So now we understand sweeten, how about our new word sweetener? Let's look at some other verbs that have "er" added at the end and see what they mean.

In baseball, the person who throws (pitches) the ball is called the pitcher. The person who hits (bats) the ball is the batter and the one who catches the ball is...? That's right! The catcher. And not only for people, the machine that dries our hair is a hair dryer, the machine that mixes (blends) our food and drinks is a blender.

What do you think a sweetener does? It makes things taste SWEET!!!!!

When we use sweetener we are most often talking about one that has fewer calories than sugar. An artificial (not natural) sweetener.

I sweeten my coffee with LOVE!!!

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

๐Ÿ“š 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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