Whose or Who’s? Possessives and Contractions

Whose and who’s are words that are often confused, even by native English speakers. Students often ask: what is the difference between ‘who’s and ‘whose’ and how do you know when to use each word? The difference is simple: ‘whose’ is the word we use to ask who owns something, while who’s is simply a shortening of ‘who is’. Contracted forms of words are rarely used in formal writing but they are often used in speech. The words ‘whose’ and ‘who’s’ are homophones, which means they sound the same. This is why the confusion arises. Continue reading

Who or Whom? How to Know Which to Use

Who or Whom? Wise OwlWhat is the difference between ‘who’ and ‘whom’ – and how do you know which to use? This grammar question has stumped many native English speakers, so it is no surprise that non-native speakers find it difficult. ‘Whom’ is used to refer to the object of a preposition or verb. But how does this work in real life? Read on for an explanation of the grammar behind ‘who’ and ‘whom’, common misconceptions surrounding the ‘who or whom’ debate and useful examples of sentences showing when to use ‘who’ and ‘whom’ – and when it is a personal choice. Continue reading

Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! Let’s Explore Wedding Vocabulary…

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement! The fifth in line to the British throne became engaged to the American actress earlier this month. The news was revealed to the media last week and has been warmly received by everyone. The union of Harry and Meghan brings Britain and America together – although they remain two nations divided by a common language! Join us for an exploration of wedding vocabulary and words related to engagements as we await the next royal wedding. Continue reading

How Do You Pronounce Hurricane Ophelia?

Hurricane Ophelia - pronunciationHurricane Ophelia arrived in the British Isles on October 16th, leaving many homes in Ireland and Wales without power and schools temporarily closed. There were violently strong winds across parts of Scotland, Wales and England as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia hit British shores from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. With so much discussion in the news about the hurricane, English language learners might have been intrigued or confused about the ‘ph’ pronunciation in the word Ophelia. Read on to find out the correct pronunciation of Hurricane Ophelia, how hurricanes get their names and how the ‘ph’ sound and letter combination works in English. Continue reading

Learn Ancient and Rare Languages in New Online Courses

Tribalingual - rarest languages courses

Have you ever wanted to talk to locals in the ancient language of Gangte? Now you can! Tribalingual is running a series of online language courses for students wishing to learn rare languages and help preserve ancient cultures. The last native speakers of a number of ancient and rare languages have been recruited to help deliver content for the courses, which will be taught via video link. Languages available to study include Ainu, a Japanese dialect, Greko, a ancient form of Greek, and Buryat, a Mongolian dialect. Would you like to study one of the world’s rarest languages? Continue reading

Is Office Jargon Annoying? It’s a No Brainer!

Office jargon is one of the most hated aspects of going to work, a new study has revealed. Business talk or office jargon are those irritating phrases that are used in a business context and regularly crop up during those tedious business meetings. Many people dislike corporate jargon but it continues to be used in many offices. From taking thought showers to touching base and leveraging synergies – let’s employ some blue-sky thinking going forward as we unpack common office jargon… Continue reading

Wimbledon EFL Lesson – Game Set and Match!

Wimbledon is here! This is one of the world’s biggest tennis tournaments and the most prestigious of the Majors, so we could not let this opportunity pass without exploring some tennis vocabulary. These few weeks of Grand Slam tennis offer a great chance to prepare a sporty EFL lesson with a traditional UK flavour. The event runs from 25th June until 16th July 2017, so grab your racket and let’s explore the traditions of Wimbledon and learn some useful tennis vocabulary! Continue reading

Exploring Vocabulary in George Michael’s Careless Whisper

George Michael - singing live

This Christmas was the first anniversary of the death of pop star and esteemed singer-songwriter George Michael, who passed away on Christmas Day 2016. As a tribute to his song-writing talent and philanthropic work we have taken one of his most famous tracks as inspiration for language learners. Careless Whisper contains many interesting phrases that are useful to English language students, so let’s consider this classic song and use George’s clever and evocative lyrics to help EFL learners get to grips with some new vocabulary and expressions. Continue reading

It’s Freezing Out There! Useful Cold Weather Vocabulary

thermometer - cold weather vocabularyAre you enjoying the cold snap? With the thermometer diving towards zero across the UK, it’s time to think about winter weather vocabulary. There are many ways to describe a cold day – certainly useful when living in a northern climate! From cool to chilly to freezing, whether the wind is breezy, blustery or gale-force – with or without a downpour – cold weather vocabulary is always handy at this time of year. Read on to explore the English vocabulary you need to talk about the cold weather. Continue reading