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Hot and cold - learning opposites

This song by Katy Perry "Hot n Cold" is a fun way to learn some words and their opposites. The chorus (main part that repeats through the song) is the best way to learn opposites. Before we listen let's practice 2 phrasal verbs that are also part of the chorus.

break up

 to come to an end (often a relationship)When celebrities break up it is always in the news.

make up (with somebody)

to end a disagreement with somebody and become friends again

Why don't you two kiss andmake up?

Summer blog schedule has started! 3 new posts each week.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

English idiom week - You can't win them all

Can you guess the meaning of today's idiom?

"I rushed to the store as soon as I heard they were having a 50% off sale on my favorite jeans! I was too late though, jeans in my size were all gone. Oh well, you can't win them all."

you can't win them all

is used to express sympathy after you or somebody has been disappointed about something
"It was a good game and we tried our best. You know what they say, you can't win them all."
= sometimes there is disappointment, but it is natural. You can't win every time.

A: "I asked Jennifer for a date but she said 'No.'"
B: "It's okay my friend there are plenty of girls out there, you can't win them all."

English idioms - Know the score

Of course score is sometimes used as a verb to mean to win points or goals in a game or competition.

"Lionel Messi has scored again!"

The score can be a noun that means the number of points or goals that each team or player has in a game or match.

"The final score was 3 -2."

For today's idiom score means the real facts about a situation. This meaning of score is used with the, and someone knows it. Know the score means know the real facts.

"I hate leaders who know the score in private but who lie to the public to try to look better."
= leaders who know the facts but don't share them with their people.

"Sorry Jim, I can't pay you until the job is finished, you know the score."
= After the job is over I can pay you, but you understand this (situation).

"20 minutes late for gym class! 50 push ups, you know the score!"

English idioms - shoot the messenger

In football if you want to score a goal, you have to shoot! Shoot is a verb often used to talk about sports events and games.


 in sports

 (in football ( soccer ), hockey, try to kick, hit or throw the ball into a goal or to score a pointshoot (at something)He should have shot instead of passing.(especially North American English)shoot somethingAfter school we'd be on the driveway shooting baskets(= playing basketball ).

This weeks idiom is don't

shoot the messenger.

"My boss got angry when I reported our poor sales figures for last year. I said it's not my fault, please don't shoot the messenger!"

(don't) shoot the messenger

to blame the person who gives the news that something bad has happened, instead of the person who is really responsible.

"Hey, Hey, Don't blame me! I'm just telling you what happened!"

All helpful definitions from 

English idiom - Kick the habit

Kick the habit

kick the habit = stop doing something that is bad for you that you have done for a long time

A: "Hey Kyle, do you have an extra cigarette?"
K: "Sorry Adam I don't smoke anymore. I kicked the habit 6 weeks ago and I feel great now!"

In the news:
Click link for news story

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English idioms - Fly by

The World Cup is over already. It seems like it just started! The World Cup flew by!

Fly by is an idiom that means time went quickly. We often use the expression time flies in English to mean that time goes fast, especially if we are doing something that we enjoy. In fact another common expression in English is ~ "Time flies when you're having fun." If you're doing something you enjoy we often feel it the time comes soon when we have to stop.

"We were playing soccer in the park this afternoon. Time flew by so quickly that it was dark before we knew it!

If I'm reading a good book time flies for me. When does time fly for you?

I was talking with an old friend over a coffee and soon it was 9 o'clock! Time flew!

*This week we’ll learn some idioms using words that we may have heard during the World Cup tournament. A new idiom every day this week! Check back tomorrow :)

English idiom - Use it or lose it! With VIDEO

I want to re-post a video I made that I think is very helpful for language study!
Please enjoy :)

Each VS Every with FREE worksheet download! #2!

Each VS Every FREE practice worksheet download! #2!

Download the FREE practice worksheet here!

Each VS Every with FREE worksheet download!

Each VS Every FREE practice worksheet download!

Download the FREE practice worksheet here!

Idioms with place

Germany won! Congratulations to my Germany readers :) Germany is first place! (1st place)

Yesterday we learned some other ways to use place, today we'll learn the idiom: All over the place

This idiom has 2 meanings

1- everywhere
"Starbucks has become very popular in Tokyo. New cafes are opening all over the place."
= There are Starbucks cafes everywhere now.

2- not neat; not well organized
"Your desk is a mess! You've got files all over the place. How can you find anything?"
= Your desk is unorganized, it must be difficult to find a specific file.

Learn English - 3 Phrasal verbs with 'UP' VIDEO

Here is an English video I made last year. Watch it and learn 3 phrasal verbs that use the preposition UP!

English idioms - Actions speak louder than words

Actions speak louder than words

Actions speak louder than wordsWhat you do is more important than what you say.

A: "I'm going to join a gym and get in shape!"

B: "You have said that to me every summer for 3 years. Don't tell me what you are going to do, show me. Actions speak louder than words."

*I won't believe it until I see it. Your words don't have meaning (you said the same thing every year for 3 years but you didn't DO anything!)
Actions speak louder than words

In the news HEADLINES

Click the headline for full English news story!

World Cup vocabulary - Upset - 3 uses

We may hear the word upset used as a noun to describe one team surprisingly beating another. Today let's learn 2 other forms and how we can use them.


(in a competitiona situation in which a person or team beats the person or team that was expected to winIn the NEWS
This 'upset' is a noun


 [not before noun]upset (about something)upset (that…)unhappy or disappointed because of something unpleasant that has happenedThere's no point getting upset about it.I understand how upset you must be feeling.She was upset that he had left without saying goodbye.In the NEWS
This 'upset' is an adjective


upsettingupsetupsetto make somebody/yourself feel unhappy, anxious or annoyed
upset somebody/yourselfThis decision is likely to upset a lot of people.Try not to let him upset you.Don't upset yourself about it—let's just forget it ever upsets somebody that…It upset him that nobody had bothered to tell him about upsets somebody to do somethingIt upsets me to think of her all alone in that big house.

In the NEWS

This 'upset' is a verb

All definitions from

English vocabulary - stroll (another word for walk)



to walk somewhere in a slow relaxed wayPeople were strolling along the beach.

Read this short news story about president Obama's stroll in Washington. 
(Remember we learned the idiom "Walk in the park" here!)

Obama’s stroll is no walk in the park for Secret Service
President Obama took a walk Wednesday – but not just any stroll on the South Lawn of the White House. He went outside the safety of the White House complex to chat with normal people on the streets of downtown Washington.
And with Obama’s unusual departure from the bubble, the men and women of the Secret Service who are responsible for protecting his life faced a period of heightened alert.


a group of buildings of a similar type together in one placea sports complexan industrial complex (= a site with many factories)

departure from the bubble = leaving the safety of the White House where the environment is controlled and without risk. 


if a feeling or an effect heightens, or something heightens it, it becomes stronger or increases
 intensifyTension has heightened after the recent bomb attack.

English Idioms - Sweating Buckets

Today's idiom is "sweating buckets" and I have been sweating buckets since the beginning of June. Maybe you can imagine already that this idiom means to sweat a lot. Buckets can be used to collect water, and often in an emergency. When a boat (a small boat) is filling with water this is a problem, the boat could sink. We use a small bucket to take the water out of the boat. (It is called a "bailing bucket")

Another problem is if we have a leak in our roof or ceiling and water is dripping down on the floor. When this happens we usually use a bucket to collect the water.

These are both problems and the feeling is that there is too much water. If we are sweating a lot the feeling is usually not good, and we are uncomfortable so we use bucket to say it's too much.
"It's so hot today! I'm sweating buckets!!!!!"

How about you? Are you sweating a lot this summer? Are you sweating buckets? I am!!!

(This blog has been re-posted. It was first published in July 2012)

Advanced English weather word "humid" + pronunciation!

Sometimes it's easy to confuse the different forms (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) of words that are part of the same group. We have been talking about the weather, so today I want to practice using the noun and adjective form of a word that we use to describe the condition of the air. The words are:


 adjective *This form the most common for me to use in conversation :)
(of the air or climate)warm and dampThese ferns will grow best in a humid atmosphere.The island is hot and humid in the summer.


the amount of water in the airInstruments constantly monitor temperature and humidity.high/low humidity70% humidity

When we pronounce these words the HU has a HYU sound like VIEW. Listen to the audio for help making these sounds.

humidity - noun - "The humidity is high today, it feels so warm outside."

humid - adjective - "It's very humid today."

*Humidity describes how much water is in the air or how wet the air is. So the the opposite of humid is simply DRY. The weather can be hot and humid (uncomfortable) or cool and dry (comfortable - for me!)

"It's very humid today! Drink lots of water!"

Tell us about where you live! Is it humid or dry. Which season has the nicest weather? Leave a comment below!

Talk about the weather in English

Here are some simple adjectives to describe the weather. With pictures!
A: "How's the weather today?"
B: "It's sunny!"
A: "How's the weather today?"
B: "It's cloudy."
A: "How's the weather today?"
B: "It's very windy!" *We can use different words with windy to show how strong the wind is.
B: "It's a little windy." OR "It's really windy!"
It's raining
A: "How's the weather today?"
B: "Unfortunately it's raining. My baseball game was cancelled."
It's snowing
A: "How's the weather today?"
B: "It's snowing! We can build a snowman!"

Too easy? Tomorrow we will learn some advanced weather vocabulary!

Do you use vending machines?

I live in Japan. In Japan there are many vending machines around, many many many vending machines! 

What's a vending machine?

vending machine is a machine which sells items like snacks, drinks, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. to customers automatically, after the customer inserts money or credit into the machine.

Click the link below for audio pronunciation
Vending machines most often sell soft drinks.
How about your country? Are vending machines common? Do you often use them? What do you buy? What would you like to buy from a vending machine?

Click the image below to read a news story about 8 interesting vending machines, what they sell and where you can find them! *Hint - Read about each machine, the stories are short, and look up any new words until you can understand and enjoy each story! Take your time and have fun!

Learn English with a news story - World Cup and technology

Are you watching the World Cup? Many people around the world are watching the World Cup, and this year the games are being video taped more than ever! Read this news story about Sony and the use of High Definition in Brazil!

Other Tech - Sony, who is supporting official FIFA broadcaster HBS, has installed more than 224 high-definition (HD) cameras which will capture more than 2,500 hours of sport during the tournament – more than ever before. And this will also be the first time some World Cup matches are captured in the ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K format, which is roughly four times the resolution of current HD TV. Plus of course a number of mobile apps and customized content delivery from various Social Media networks as they have created official FIFA hubs


install somethingto fix equipment or furniture into position so that it can be usedHe's getting a phone installed tomorrow.The hotel chain has recently installed a new booking system.




6 [often passive]capture somebody/something on film/tape/canvas, film/record/paint, etc. somebody/somethingThe attack was captured on film by security cameras.


the power of a computer screen, printer, etc. to give a clear image, depending on the size of the dots that make up the imagehigh-resolution graphics


hub (of something)the central and most important part of a particular place or activitythe commercial hub of the cityThe kitchen was the hub of family life.a hub airport (= a large important one where people often change from one plane to another)

All definitions from:

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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