Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dialogue of the Day: Buttercup

Bread and butter

Many idioms are inspired by food

The script for this programme

(Feifei and Finn bump into each other at the supermarket)

Finn: Hello Feifei. I didn't know you shopped at this supermarket too. 

Feifei: Hi Finn. Usually I don't. But it's close to the office and I have to rush home to welcome an important guest. 

Finn: Who is it? Someone I know?

Feifei: No, it's my landlady. She's coming to collect some of her post and… well, I want to make her like me because next month, the contract on my flat is due to be renewed and she might want to increase the rent.

Finn: Yeah, I see what you mean. So you'd better butter her up then!

Feifei: Butter? Oh, yes. But I'm a pretty bad cook. If I baked a cake it would probably be horrible! 

Finn: No. I don't mean butter for a cake. In English, when you say you'll 'butter someone up', you mean you'll be especially nice to them in the hope they'll do something good for you in return. 

Feifei: Oh, I see. So I'll be nice to her and pay her compliments so that she likes me and keeps the rent low. I'll 'butter her up'! But isn't it a bit insincere?

Finn: Well, it can have a negative connotation, yes. Let's hear some examples of how to use 'to butter someone up' or 'to butter up someone', which is today's expression in The English We Speak.
  • Johnny: I was very impressed with your presentation, Mrs Beany. You are really intelligent and perceptive and…
    Mrs Beany: Don't waste your time buttering me up, Johnny. I'm not raising your salary anytime soon.
  • The director was always ready to butter up Angelina Jolie. He knew she was looking for her next role and he wanted her in his movie.
Feifei: Oh, look. It's 6pm already. I'm very late. I might not be on time to meet my landlady and she'll be angry with me. She's a very busy woman.

Finn: Yeah, well, then you are in a jam!

Feifei: Jam?!

Finn: In English, when you say someone 'is in a jam', you mean they are in a difficult situation – but that's a different kind of jam!

Feifei: All these expressions about food!

Finn: I know. We have a huge appetite for food expressions. But let's leave some for another day. Bye!

Feifei: Bye!

Talk About English


Better Speaking is all about how you can become a fluent, confident speaker of English. In the programmes we hear from learners of English from around the world and also from someone who specialises in teaching speaking, trainer Richard Hallows. Better Speaking is presented by Callum Robertson.

Can't open go here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/webcast/tae_betterspeaking_archive.shtml 

Episode 1 
We hear several learners describe what they find difficult about speaking English, and Callum and Richard discuss the link between confidence and fluency.

Speaker logo Listen online       Download mp3 (3.5 MB) 

Episode 2 
Callum and Richard hear a clip from Korean football manager Pak Han Suk, and discuss ways you can improve your fluency in English.

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Episode 3 
Callum and Richard hear a clip from the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. They also discuss different ways you can practise and improve your English pronunciation.

Speaker logo Listen online       Download mp3 (3.7 MB) 

Episode 4 
Callum and Richard hear a clip from Greek businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou and discuss different ways that you can organise what you say. 

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Episode 5 
Callum and Richard listen to a clip from an interview with the successful Icelandic singer, Bj√∂rk. They discuss the best ways to learn English vocabulary, and some ways you can sound like a native English speaker. 

Speaker logo Listen online       Download mp3 (3.3 MB) 

Episode 6 
Callum and Richard listen to an interview with a former Wimbledon champion, Conchita Martinez. They discuss ways that you can hesitate in English and the very important 'er' sound in pronunciation.

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Episode 7 
Besides being one of motor racing's greatest stars, Michael Schumacher is also a very good speaker of English. Callum and Richard discuss the importance of using contractions and also varying intonation while you speak.

Speaker logo Listen online       Download mp3 (3.7 MB) 

Episode 8 
How does Iman Abdulmajid's life as a model conflict with her Muslim upbringing? Callum and Richard listen to a clip of Iman talking about this tension, and discuss ways that learners can increase their range of vocabulary.

Speaker logo Listen online       Download mp3 (3.7 MB)
Episode 9 
This week, Callum and Richard discuss how we can use phrases like I think and I feel to give our opinion. They also talk about natural ways of agreeing or disagreeing in a conversation.

Speaker logo Listen online       Download mp3 (3.6 MB)
Episode 10 
The pop band ABBA achieved global success with dozens of hits in the 1970s. But how successful were the band members at speaking English? Callum and Richard listen to an interview and discuss different ways that you can be vague in English.

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Episode 11
Steffi Graf is one of the most successful tennis players ever, but is she a successful speaker of English? Callum and Richard listen to an interview with the star and discuss how she manages to sequence what she says.

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Episode 12
In this final episode of Better Speaking, Callum and Richard look back at the previous programmes and discuss some of the main ways you can improve your English speaking.

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11 Rules of Grammar

11 Rules of Grammar

You can reach more bravely into the scary world of sentence construction and accurate communication if you are armed with grammar guidelines. These 11 rules of grammar will help you become a champ at selecting words and punctuation.

Key Rules

1. Use Active Voice

Every human language starts an active sentence with the subject, or the "doer." In English, the verb (what's being done) follows the subject. If there is an object (the receiver of the action), it comes after the verb. The formula looks like this:
S+V+O. This rule is the foundation of the English language.
Here are some examples:
  • Mary walked the dog.
  • The dog liked Mary.
  • I did not like the dog.

2. Link Ideas with a Conjunction

Sometimes you want to link two ideas with a second S+V+O combination. When you do, you need a coordinating conjunction. The new formula looks like this:
Coordinating conjunctions are easy to remember with an acronymic mnemonic device:
  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

3. Use a Comma to Connect Two Ideas As One

FANBOYS are used when connecting two ideas as one in a single sentence, but don't forget the comma.
For example:
  • I do not walk Mary's dog, nor do I wash him.
  • Mary fed her dog, and I drank tea.
  • Mary feeds and walks her dog every day, but the dog is still hyperactive.

4. Use a Serial Comma in a List

The serial, or Oxford, comma is a controversial rule of grammar. Some want to eliminate it altogether while others just don't know how to use it. The serial comma is the last comma in a list, usually appearing before "and." The serial comma comes after "dog" in this sentence:
Pets R Us has lizards, dogs, and birds.
Commas separate units in a list. In the above case, each unit only has one part, so it's easy. Where people get confused is when the units are bigger, but the rule still applies:
Pets R Us has lizards and frogs, dogs and cats, and parakeets and macaws.
Notice that the serial comma comes before "and" but not the last "and" in the sentence. The "and" that follows the comma is only there because it sounds better. Grammatically, "and" is irrelevant. Only units matter.

5. Use the Semicolon to Join Two Ideas

A list of grammar rules has to include the scariest of punctuation marks. It might look funny, but don't be afraid of the semicolon; it's the easiest thing in the world to use! Say you want to join two ideas but can't figure out or can't be bothered to use a coordinating conjunction. The two ideas can be separate sentences, but you think that they are so closely connected; they really should be one. Use a semicolon.
  • Mary's dog is hyperactive; it won't stop barking or sit still.
  • My heart is like a cup of Lapsang Souchong tea; it's bitter and smoky.
  • Mary has to walk her dog every day; it is the most hyperactive dog anyone has ever seen.

6. Use the Simple Present Tense for Habitual Actions

The simple present is the tense you use for any habitual action. The things you always do or do every Tuesday are described with the simple present, which just means you pick the first form of any verb.
  • Mary likes dogs.
  • I don't walk Mary's dog.
  • Mary and I drink tea every Tuesday together.

7. Use the Present Progressive Tense for Current Action

The present progressive tense is for anything that is happening right now. All of the progressive tenses are easy to spot because their verbs always end with "-ing" and get a helping verb. A helping verb is just so we know who and when we're talking about. In the present progressive, the helping verbs are the present tense conjugations of "to be."
  • I am drinking Lapsang Souchong tea.
  • The barking dogs outside are driving me crazy.
  • Mary is playing with her hyperactive dog.

8. Add "ed" to verbs for the Past Tense

When we talk about the past, we have to add an "-ed" to regular verbs to make the second form. Irregular verbs are tricky and have their own sets of rules. Drink, for example, turns to "drank." Most of the time, though, "-ed" will do.
  • I drank a lot of Lapsang Souchong tea yesterday, but Mary didn't.
  • The dogs stopped barking two seconds ago, and I am feeling better.
  • Mary played fetch with her hyperactive dog.

9-11. Use Perfect Tenses

Practice makes perfect with the perfect tenses. Here are three rules to finish the 11 rules of grammar. If you remember these, you'll be well on your way to perfection.

9. Use Present Perfect for the Unfinished Past

The present perfect can be confusing for some, but it is one of the most important rules of grammar. When people talk about things that have already happened but consider the time in which they occurred to be unfinished, they use the third form of the verb with a helping verb. The helping verb for the present perfect is the present tense conjugation of "to have."
  • I have drunk three cups of Lapsang Souchong tea today.
  • Mary's hyperactive cur dog has bitten me three times so far.
  • Mary has walked her hyperactive poodle 100 times this week.
Unfortunately, the only way to know the third forms of verbs is to remember them.

10. Use Present Perfect Progressive for Unfinished Action and Past

When the action as well as the time is considered unfinished, the verb loads up on third form helping verbs ("to be" and "to have") and changes to the progressive form.
  • Western countries have been waging wars in the Middle East for thousands of years.
  • I have been drinking tea all day.
  • Mary's dog has been barking like crazy since it was born.

11. Use Past Perfect for the First of Two Past Actions

When two things happen in the past, we have to mark which one happened first. The one that happened first changes to third form and gets the helping verb, "had."
  • By the time I drank one cup of Lapsang Souchong, Mary's dog had barked a million times.
  • I had not yet eaten breakfast when Mary walked her dog.
  • He could not pay for lunch because he had lost his wallet.
Understanding and consistently following the basic English grammar rules will help you speak and write English correctly and with minimal hesitation.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Renewing contract of Alexandru Lionide

Student Name: Alexandru Lionide
English Name: Alex
Origin : Romania
Enrolled Date: April 11,2015
Enrolled:  3 months
Class Start: April 15,2015
Class Type: Skype Voice Class
Duration: 60 minutes
Days: Mondays - Fridays
Materials: Business English
PROMO: 3 month free from Renewing an Old students.
Congratulations!! Mr. Alex
Welcome Back Again to English Talk World Online. We are happy to welcome you  again in ETW Online. We are so happy so see you again and make a wonderful and Enjoyable English class. Learning English is not always be late you are always in the right place, Mr. Alex. Happy English Class!! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Welcome Mohammad Sharafi

Student Name: Mohammad Sharafi
English Name: Mohammad
Origin : Tehran, Iran
Enrolled Date: January 29,2015
Enrolled:  3 months
Class Start: February 09,2015
Class Type: Skype Voice Class
Duration: 30 minutes
Days: Mondays - Fridays
Materials: Business English
PROMO: 2 month free 
Congratulations!! Mr. Mohammad Sharafi
Welcome Again to English Talk World Online. We are happy to welcome you in ETW Online. We are so happy so see you and make a wonderful and Enjoyable English class. Learning English is not always be late you are  in the right place, Mr. Mohammad. Happy English Class!! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

4th of July Promo


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Friday, September 27, 2013

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