Idioms with 'see'

As far as I can see = according to my understanding
As I see it = in my opinion
Do you see what I mean? = do you understand?
To have seen better days = to be less attractive than before
I’ll see = I might
I see what you mean = I understand
Let me see = I’m trying to remember
Seeing is believing = proof is needed
Seeing things = having a hallucination
See someone off = to go with someone to where they will begin a journey
See someone out = to go with someone to an exit
See something through = to do something until the end
See the last of = to see for the last time
See through someone = realise that someone is trying to deceive
See to something = to deal with
See to it that = make sure that
See you later = goodbye
So I see = that is obvious
When you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all = they are all alike
You see = I told you so
Glad to see the back of someone = to be happy when someone leaves
Wouldn’t be seen dead with = too embarrassed to do something
See eye to eye = to agree
See red = to become very angry
See the writing on the wall = a sign that something bad may happen
See which way the wind blows = to postpone a decision until one has more information
Wait and see = to wait for a result
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5 Ways to Teach Your Children English

English is quickly becoming the go-to language around the world to break free of language barriers that would otherwise hinder conversation and understanding between people. For this reason, it’s a good idea to teach kids to speak English early on in life, before they’re fully invested in your native tongue and are still open to associating two different languages with objects, people, etc. The older kids get, the harder it is to understand a second language. The best way to teach your kids English is to use a variety of different methods and completely immerse them in the language so that over time it becomes second nature.

1. Flashcards - Flashcards are helpful when learning any new language because they form a connection between the picture, number, or letter on the flashcard with the actual English word. They also make it easy to quiz kids so that you can monitor how much progress they’re making.

2. Apps - Smartphones make learning anything easy, languages included. You can download a variety of different apps that allow kids to play games, take quizzes, and listen to audio clips that will teach them everything from correct English grammar and punctuation to word pronunciations to how to count numbers and recite the alphabet.

3. Computer games - Playing English-teaching computer games makes learning English fun because kids think of it more as a game and less as a language lesson. Many games let kids progress in levels as they progress in their understanding of the language, making it an interesting way to challenge kids to get better at speaking and understanding the language.

4. Hire an English speaking nanny or au pair - By hiring a nanny or an au pair that speaks English to watch your kids you expose them to not only the language, but many times also the culture, giving kids a more comprehensive understanding of the language, the food, and the customs. Because they will spend the majority of their days with the nanny or au pair they’ll be able to learn the language more quickly than if they were just learning from a book or online resource.

5. Listen to different things in English - Listening to books on tape, radio stations, television shows, and movies are all great ways to inundate your kids in the English language. Visual cues can help them associate words with the corresponding pictures, conversations can help kids understand social interactions, and books on tape can help your kids hear a sentence in their native tongue followed by the English variation of it, allowing them to piece together the connections between the two.

By immersing your kids in the English language in as many different ways as possible you increase their chances of learning the language quickly and understanding it more than if they were only exposed to one way of learning.

This is a guest post by Monta Fleming. Monta the mother of three children serves as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance. She is a regular contributor of “nanny jobs”. You can get in touch with her at montafleming6Atgmail dotcom.
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Idioms with 'take'

Can take it = to be able to tolerate pain or trouble
I take it = I assume
It takes one to know one = you are the same as the person you describe
Take after someone = look like someone
Take it from me = believe me
Take it from there = carry on without supervision
Take it or leave it = accept or refuse something
Take it out on someone = direct one’s anger at someone else
Take off = suddenly succeed
Take one back = to remember the past
Take on the appearance of = to look like
Take someone for someone else = mistake one person for another
Take someone in = allow someone in one’s home
Take someone up on something = to accept an offer
Take something back = to withdraw a statement
Take something in = to understand
Take something over = to take control
Take something upon oneself = accept responsibility
Take something up with someone = to discuss a topic
Take to something = to come to like it
To be taken aback = surprised
Take cover = look for protection
Take effect = to happen
Take it easy = relax
Take off one’s hat = admire
Take one’s medicine = accept unpleasantness of one’s own making
Take sides = support one party in a dispute
Take someone for a ride = cheat someone
Take someone to one side = talk to someone privately
Take someone’s mind off something = to distract someone
Take someone’s place = to replace someone
Take steps = take action
Take the place of something = act as a substitute
Take the floor = stand up to speak or dance
Take up arms = to become involved in a conflict
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Idioms with 'talk'

Do the talking = be spokesperson
Idle talk = gossip or useless conversation
Know what one is talking about = an expert
Now you’re talking! = what you are saying is relevant
Small talk = polite conversation
Talk back to somebody = to be rude
Talk down to someone = speak to someone as if they were less important
Talk of the town = everyone is discussing it
Talk someone into something = to persuade
Talk something over = to discuss for a long time
You can talk = you are not in a position to criticize
Money talks = having money is an advantage
Talk shop = talk about one’s job
Talk through one’s hat = talk nonsense
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Idioms with 'throw'

Throw a party = organise and pay for a party
Throw oneself at somebody = try to gain someone’s love by showing it openly
Throw one’s weight about = to use one’s authority or power
Throw something in = add something as an afterthought
Throw something together = make something hurriedly
Throw up = to vomit
Throw someone in at the deep end = to face a new situation in its most difficult aspect
Throw a spanner in the works = to disrupt
Throw caution to the winds = behave with extreme thoughtlessness
Throw good money after bad = waste money in an attempt to recover previous losses
Throw in the towel = surrender
Throw money at = continue to finance a loss-making venture
Throw money away = waste money
Throw out the baby with the bath water = lose something useful when getting rid of something apparently useless
Throw something in someone’s face = keep reminding someone of something they would rather forget
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Academic Writing - Task 2 (Model answer)

A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honour, kindness and trust, no longer seem important. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Today value systems seem to have shifted from one extreme to another. Whereas in the past personal qualities were important, today people are valued according to their assets such as flashy cars and luxury houses as well as the position they hold in society.

As society has become competitive and people struggle to survive in a world with limited resources, values that bound communities together in the past when life was simple are disappearing. In a drive to make a profit and gain an attractive salary, ambitious, career-oriented individuals have no time for solid old-fashioned values. Having a kind or honourable personality is often regarded as a weakness in today’s power driven society and assertive or aggressive people often push for what they want rather than maintaining loyalty to a single person or an organisation.

This is not however true of all societies. In some developing countries such as India and in some religions like Buddhism human qualities such as compassion and honesty are promoted. These types of internal characteristics exist even today despite the fact that these people live in poverty and are regarded as a measure of a true human being.

How a person has been brought up and what values are given priority varies among individuals. The influence of advertising and consumerism adds pressure to people’s value system while competitiveness challenges a person’s sensitivity in favour of materialism and a false sense of superiority due to the acquisition of wealth. Although material wealth is a sign of a person’s financial success it does not necessarily reflect their human nature.
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Idioms with 'time'

Ahead of one’s time = an idea or invention that is advanced
All in good time = as soon as it is appropriate
Any time = it is not necessary to say 'thank you'
At one time = at some time in the past
Do time = serve a prison sentence
For the time being = meanwhile
From time to time = occasionally
Have no time for somebody/something = to have a strong dislike
In good time = with time to spare
In one’s own time = at whatever rate suits one
In one’s time = at some time in one’s past
Long time no see = if you haven’t seen someone in a while
Make good time = travel more quickly than expected
One at a time = singly
Take one’s time = do something slower
Time after time = repeatedly
Time flies = time passes quickly
A stich in time saves nine = correcting a small fault prevents a bigger one later on
At the same time = simultaneously
Behind the times = old-fashioned
Fall on bad times = become poor
Have the time of one’s life = enjoy oneself
High time = it’s about time
In the nick of time = just in time
Kill time = do something while waiting
There’s no time like the present = it is better to do something now
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Idioms with 'touch'

Finishing touches = the final details
Get in touch with = to contact
Keep in touch with = to maintain contact
Lose touch with = unable to communicate with
Lose one’s touch = lose the ability to do something
Out of touch with = not in communication with
Touch down = to land
Touch somebody = to create an emotional response in somebody
Touch something up = to make small improvements in the appearance of something
Touch upon something = to mention something briefly
Midas touch = to be able to financially succeed in whatever one does
Touch bottom = to reach the lowest point
Touch wood = with luck something will happen/not happen
Wouldn’t touch something/someone with a bargepole = to avoid completely
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GrammaTube - lesson about the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous

GrammaTube - lesson about the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous

Many students of English have trouble with the difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous. We use both to relate a past action to the present but the present perfect simple suggests a completed action whereas the present perfect continuous suggests that the action is not yet completed.

This post contains a selection of YouTube videos that explain in a clear way how to use the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous.

Grammar can be one of the most difficult skills to develop in English but it is without doubt the key to progress throughout your learning. A good grammar base will help you to write properly and speak in English, hence improving communication with other people.

Introduction to the present perfect tense and its uses

Link to the video on YouTube

The present perfect by JenniferESL – first part

Link to the video on YouTube

The present perfect by JenniferESL – second part

Link to the video on YouTube

The present perfect by JenniferESL – third part

Link to the video on YouTube

The present perfect by JenniferESL – fourth part

Link to the video on YouTube

The present perfect by JenniferESL – last part

Link to the video on YouTube

How to form and when to use the present perfect simple with regular verbs

Link to the video on YouTube

How to form and when to use the present perfect simple with irregular verbs

Link to the video on YouTube

The present perfect continuous explained with American accent

Link to the video on YouTube

The present perfect continuous explained with British accent

Link to the video on YouTube

Learn the differences between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous

Link to the video on YouTube
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Artwork by Pino (student)

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Artwork by Pino (student)

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Idioms with 'way'

By the way = incidentally
By way of = via
Go a long way to = be very helpful
Go one’s own way = act independently
Go out of one’s way = take trouble to
Have one’s own way = do whatever one wants
Have it both ways = have the advantage of two mutually exclusive options
In a way = in one respect
In somebody’s way = obstructing someone
Lead the way = go first
Lose one’s way = become lost
Make way for = move aside and leave room for
There are no two ways about it = there is no doubt
In a bad way = a critically ill person or a poor state of a thing
In a big way = enthusiastically
Look the other way = ignore on purpose
Meet somebody half way = agree to a compromise
Mend one’s ways = change one’s bad behaviour
Out of harm’s way = in safety
Pave the way for something = make something easier or possible
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The truth about immersion - Do you really need to live abroad to master English?

I would like to ask you something: Have you ever heard this advice?

”Do you really, REALLY want to learn English? You want to master it just like you master your native language? Then go and study/work in an English speaking country for at least a year, so that you can be completely immersed in the language!”

That sounds like pretty good advice, perfectly valid and reasonable. You want to fully immerse yourself in English? Then move and live in an English speaking country... right?

Some years ago I had the same way of thinking, but eventually I realized that I was very wrong. If I tell you that living abroad is the only option you have to fully immerse yourself in English, then I wouldn't be helping you; I would be limiting your options.

Here's the thing: Living abroad as an exchange student or even moving the U.S., Canada, Australia, etc. is a very gratifying and enriching experience that I would recommend to everyone. If you have the chance of doing it, then go for it; you will not regret it!

However, it's a fact that very few people have the money and/or the opportunity of doing something like that.

So what happens when YOU want to learn English extremely well, but going abroad is impossible for you right now? Would that mean that the sweet elixir of English immersion would be absolutely out of your reach just because you are condemned to living in your homeland?

Would that mean that you would have to look down and settle with taking classes and courses in English (that you don't even like) for years and years with the dim hope that maybe... someday... you'll be able to kind-of-understand the CNN channel, the New York Times newspaper and the lyrics of The Beatles' songs?

Blegh... not even close. Just because you are living in a country where the only English you ever listen to comes from touristic guides DOESN'T mean that you can't experience an immersion similar to living in the middle of Seattle. The key is to understand how to do it.

Total immersion is the most powerful (AND fun) tool you can use to learn and eventually master a language. After all, being immersed 24/7 in our native languages for decades are what allowed you and me to master them so freaking well. I mean, we master out native tongues so well that we even think in it!

You can experience this same power WITHOUT having to travel or living in an English speaking country. All you need to do is, first, realize something that... well, is actually plain common sense, but it's frequently crossed out and ignored in the academic world of language learning:

Languages DON'T happen on a patch of land on the other side of the world.

Languages happen in a meter and a half radius from you, more or less.

English doesn't happen in the U.S., New Zealand, Singapore or Guyana.

English happens in YOUR eyes and in YOUR ears.

English DOESN'T happen in national space. English happens in your personal space.

How to create your own “universe in English”

Being fully immersed in English implies that you have to live in such a way that the immense majority of the content that enters through your eyes and ears is in English.

I'm not talking about content about learning English, in English. I'm talking about real content IN English. Material created for and by natives. And not just any kind of content in English for and by natives, but content that you enjoy and that you would devour if it was in your native language.

Nowadays, thanks to technological wonders like the all-mighty Internet, media players like the iPod and SmartPhones like the Samsung Galaxy allows you to emulate a complete immersion environment in English wherever you are.

For this reason, wherever you happen to be living in right now is irrelevant. As long as you have access to audio and video in English (most of it is free thanks to the Internet) and the technology to play it (computer, MP3 players, etc.), then you have all you need to receive the power of immersion.

Have you ever wondered why is it that a lot of Latinos, Spaniards and other people from other parts of the world that move to the U.S. Or Canada CANNOT understand or express themselves fluently in English even after years of living in the country? Even if they've taken and keep taking “intensive” English classes? (4 hours a day of studying grammar rules is “intensive”, sure... but it's not effective).

Their English is bad because they create a bubble in their native language; a fortress full of content and activities in their native language, where English is FAR from welcomed and is forced out at all costs. These expats:

- Only watch television and movies in their native language; NEVER in English.

- All their music is in their native language or is “lyric-less”.

- All their reading, both for learning and for leisure, is in their native language. Just the thought of trying to read something in English makes them cringe.

- They only communicate and hang out with their circle of mother tongue speaking friends, but only use the spare English they know when they have to go to the bank, to the post office, with their doctor, etc.

As a result they manage to maintain a high level of understanding and expression in their native language ... but because they have almost no contact with the English language, their skills in it don't improve. Even worse, they deteriorate more and more each day.

But this sad situation brings good news! You can apply this same “bubble principle” for immersing yourself in English. All you have to do is to invert the order; create your own personal bubble in English in the middle of the native language world you have to live in.

Image Bubble

Image from h.koppdelaney

Creating your own personal universe in English requires that you make a bigger change in your life: You need to change the language of your existence from your “native language” to “English”. This means that everything you do every day, as far as your own personal circumstances allow you, will be in English.

You like listening to music? Then delete all your native language music from your iPod and switch it with music in English.

Crazy videos on YouTube and documentaries on the Discovery Channel are entertaining to you? Then watch videos in English only and use the SAP function of your TV to change the language of your documentaries to English.

Do you spend hours and hours playing computer games? Then stop using patches for your games and play them using interfaces entirely in English. If the game has audio in English even better.

Change the language of the interfaces of the programs you use on your PC and of your cell phone to English.

Change your email accounts, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and others to English.

If you enjoy reading novels, comics, or technical material, then read all those resources in English only, unless strictly necessary (like if you have to complete an assignment for university, for instance).

If you are going to do something out to have some fun, do it in English. No excuses.

You check the news every day? See if there are English versions of the pages where you check the news.

… I think you get the idea.

Is it easy to make this change? No; we all have pieces of entertainment in our native language that we simply love and are very attached to. Changing them for entertainment in English that we can't understand really well (or at all!) is not that fun... but it really is worth the effort if you want to master English to the same level that you master your native language, and fast.

This is why it's indispensable that you focus on consuming and decoding content in English about topics you love. Because seriously, who can stand studying a generic and aseptic textbook about topics you don't even care just because using it to learn English is supposed to be a MUST? And also for months and months? Pfftt, screw that.

It's true that not every activity we do every day is in English, or the people we share them with daily. In these situations you can almost always find a way to inject English, even in the form of having music in English or a movie in English playing in the background while you do whatever you need to do.

4 free online resources to start forging your own universe in English

1. YouTube - The number one video portal of the Internet grows wildly every day. Did you know that one whole hour of content is uploaded to YouTube every second?! And I bet you can guess the language of the majority of videos that are uploaded there... eeyup, good old English.

YouTube is huge. Whatever you like: Comedy, video games, documentaries, technology, music videos, cartoons, Vlogs, tutorials... finding tons of videos in English about the topics you are passionate about is almost certain.

You might NOT have access to complete TV series in English (through paid services like Netflix) and have NO movies with English audio in your collection, but if you have the Internet, you have YouTube. If you have YouTube you have enough videos in English to keep you busy for like, 17 lifetimes :D

2. Simple English Wikipedia - Did you know that Wikipedia has a version written in simple English? If you don't have a high enough level of English yet you can use this resource to search for information about topics that you might be curious about, all written in a simpler and easier to understand English. But of course, eventually you want to graduate into using the normal English wikipedia!

3. IN ENGLISH - I know what you are thinking (DUHRR? GOOGLE??!! ORLY?!!), but it's still worth mentioning here because:

Saying “but I don't know where to find content in English boo hoo” is no excuse not to build your very own immersion environment. Just think about a word or phrase in English that describes content you'd like to find, like "nintendo", "iPhone apps", "personal development", "weird colorful birds in Argentina" or whatever crosses your mind.

The great majority of content you'll find thanks to Google, like podcasts, videos and articles are free.

4. Podcasts on iTunes - If you have iTunes installed on your PC you can use it to find a whole lot of free podcasts in English about several topics.

All you have to do to start downloading like crazy is to go to the lower-right corner of the iTunes Store screen. You will find a sphere with the flag of your country; click it, search for the sphere with the U.S. or Canada flags on it and select it. By doing that the iTunes store will change region and you will be able to see what podcasts in English are available!

And now that you are in iTunes go ahead and change the language of the interface to English, will you? ;D

This is just the tip of the iceberg; the current amount of existing content in English on the Internet and other mediums is... in practical terms, infinite. All you need to do is to have some initiative, search for resources in English about stuff that you really like, and devour them like there's no tomorrow.

Of course, mastering English has other aspects to it too, like searching words you don't know in the dictionary and eventually making friends with natives so that you can practice your “speaking” with them. But if there's one aspect that's essential in the process of mastering a language is immersion; living and breathing the language you want to master.

So... that's it.

Go on. Start living in English!

Guest post written by Santiago Madrigal, native Spanish speaker, English and Japanese self-learner, and author of

Tell me, has this article been useful to you? Do you have any Spanish speaking friends struggling to learn English that might benefit from information like this? If so, then it’d be awesome if you could refer them to
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Idioms with 'work'

Go to work on something/set to work = begin working
Have one’s work cut out = have a difficult time overcoming something
Out of work = unemployed
All worked up = excited/anxious
Work of art = anything that requires craftsmanship
Work off = get rid of by exercising
Work out = come to a successful conclusion
Work-out = physical exercise
Work something out = solve a problem
All in a day’s work = within one’s duties
Dirty work = criminal activity or unpleasant work
Donkey work = routine tasks/unskilled work
Nasty piece of work = very unpleasant person
Throw a spanner in the works = sabotage
Work like a dog = work very hard with little reward
Work something to death = force something to work too much
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Idioms with 'word'

Keep one’s word = keep a promise
Break one’s word = fail to keep a promise
Famous last words = so you say!
Have a word with somebody = talk briefly to somebody
Have the last word = make the final comment in an argument
In a word = in conclusion
In other words = putting it another way
Somebody of few words = somebody who says little
My word! = exclamation of surprise
Not in so many words = not exactly
Operative word = significant word
Put in a good word = recommend someone
Take the words out of somebody’s mouth = guess what somebody else is about to say
Take somebody’s word for it = believe someone without question
Word for word = exactly as spoken/written
Words fail me = unable to find words to express a feeling
Actions speak louder than words = deeds are more effective than talk
Word of mouth = using the spoken word
Eat one’s words = regret what one has said
Exchange words = argue/quarrel
From the word go = from the start
Man of his word = someone trustworthy
Not get a word in edgeways = unable to interrupt someone who is talking continuously
Just say the word = say what you need
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Village Life

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