When you think of the Netherlands, what do you picture? Do you think of tulips, windmills, bicycles, and canals? Or do you think of the Dutch masters and van Gogh? Did you know that about 1% of English words come from Dutch, and that there are many Dutch loan words in English? A couple of them may surprise you. Check out the most popular Dutch loan words below! Aloof Aloof comes to English from the Middle Dutch word lof, which means a windward direction. Nowadays, we use the word aloof to talk about someone who is cold or [...]
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The weather is all around us. The weather has a big impact (effect, influence) on our daily lives. Is it raining? Then you should bring an umbrella. Is it hot and sunny? Then you can wear shorts. This is why knowing some easy weather words is so important. We've written about weather words once before, but there are so many weather words to talk about! This week, we decided to talk about some more easy weather words. Hopefully after this blog you will be able to talk about the weather comfortably (easily, with no problems). Mostly Sunny / Mostly Cloudy [...]
Do you know how to quote (cite) someone in your writing- whether in business, academia or in informal situations? Knowing how to use quotation marks – these -> “….” can help you write clearly and talk about what other people have said. They're an extremely useful part of writing, so it's important to know how to use quotation marks correctly. Whether you're a student who is learning about quotation marks for the first time, or a native speaker who wants a refresher (to review, learn again) on how to use quotation marks properly, keep reading to find out how [...]
We all have ideas about how things should be done. Sometimes our ideas differ from others and that's ok! What's important is that we have effective ways of exchanging ideas in English. Do you have some ideas that you'd like to communicate (express yourself, talk) to people? Do you like someone else's idea? Or do you disagree with someone, perhaps? Here are some phrases that can help you say what you think in a positive, constructive (helpful for everyone) way. I Couldn't Agree More Did someone propose (suggest) a great idea in a meeting? Or did a friend come up with a fantastic (great, wonderful) plan for the [...]
We all have secrets. There are simply some things that we don't like talking about that we would much rather keep to ourselves (not tell anyone). However, it can be very therapeutic to talk about our secrets with a close friend or family member, so it's important to know how to talk about secrets in English. Secrets aren't always meant to be shared (talked about), but it can be a good feeling when they are! Here are some phrases we use to talk about secrets in English. Divulge a Secret When you finally tell someone a secret, you can use [...]
Here at Bespeaking, you know we love our idioms. They're both a great way to express yourself and fantastic for immersing yourself in a language. English is full of idioms, and some of the most common ones you'll hear are idioms from Greek mythology. The Ancient Greeks had an enormous influence on society as we know it today. It was the birthplace of Western civilization, and therefore, also left us with some pretty great idioms. Here are some of our favorite idioms from Greek mythology: Achilles Heel Do you have a weak spot? Some part of your [...]
I love going grocery shopping. There are so many different kinds of food in the grocery store (supermarket). I really enjoy seeing all the different fruits, vegetables, and snacks that are available. There is so much variety in the aisles (rows of shelves that hold the groceries). Going grocery shopping in English is easy for me, but when I want to go grocery shopping in a foreign country, it can be difficult. If you don't know the names of certain (specific, special, exact) foods, they can be hard to find (or ask for them!) in a store. It can be [...]
How often do you go to the movies? Or when was the last time you went to the movie theater? Because going to the movies can be so expensive, I don't go that often. I only tend to go to the cinema when a movie that I really want to see is out. I then treat it (think of it) like a night out: I'll go out for dinner, get some snacks at the movies, and maybe go for a drink afterwards. If you like going to the movies, here's some English vocabulary for going to the movies you [...]
Have you ever heard the phrase "the ties that bind?" It's used to talk about the connections that people have that keep them together, such as how siblings (sisters and brothers) know each other so well because they have the shared experience of growing up. But thinking of the phrase "the ties that bind" is a great way to remember the root word lig. The root word lig comes from Latin and means to tie or bind something. There are many words in English that use the root word lig, and many of them talk about relationships, responsibilities, and [...]
While fall (autumn-UK) is back-to-school time and parents are running around getting their children's school supplies in order, every Monday seems to be "back-to-office" time for adults. Since we’ve already covered some back-to-school vocabulary in Easy English, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about office supplies vocabulary this week. A lot of office supplies and school supplies are similar, if not the same, so they're all very useful words to know. If you've been wondering what that “thing” on your desk that makes holes in paper is called in English, for example, check out some [...]
It's that time of year again! It's time for kids to go back to school. At this time of year, lots of stores have back-to-school sales (special prices). Teachers may send home lists of school supplies (things you need to do a job) that students need. Because it's back-to-school time, we put together some back-to-school vocabulary for you. I always love back-to-school time. It's the beginning of fall, which is my favorite season. People go back into a routine (set schedule). And I can start wearing sweaters again! What do you like about back-to-school season? Notebook (lined/blank) At [...]
Are you a fitness junkie (addict, do a lot of sport)? Do you like spending your spare (extra) time at the gym getting fit? If you do, then you may need some vocabulary when you go to a fitness center: gym English. It took me a long time to enjoy fitness. I could never find a sport I liked, but I finally have, and I've been really enjoying working on my fitness during the week. It's so satisfying (a good feeling) to see yourself getting stronger (building muscle, losing weight). Whether you're already a gym bunny (gym rat, [...]