Blog

Jan
29

4 Great Idioms to offer useful advice!

Using idioms, or figurative speech, is a sure way of sounding more like a native English speaker and is key to learning English to a high level. So here are some idioms all about giving advice. 1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – With the words “bite” and “chew” you might be thinking that […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Apr
18

Difficult to pronounce

Have you ever tried to say a word, and you just couldn’t say it properly? Many words are hard to pronounce. In this list, you can see some of the English words that are the most difficult to say. clothes The e is silent. February You must pronounce both r‘s: Feb-roo-a-ree, not Feb-yoo-a-ree. athlete Make sure there are only two […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Feb
22

The Oscars are here!

With the Oscars coming up on Sunday let’s have a look at some classic American movies that give insight into American culture. Here is a list of four famous American movie quotes that everyone should know: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Roy Scheider in Jaws (1975). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gciFoEbOA8 Da Dun. Da Dun. The movie JAWS […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Feb
08

Five Colour Idioms with the colour, Black

What associations do you have with the colour black? Perhaps negative things like, death, eternity, evil, mourning, or not at all and perhaps it’s your favourite colour!! Let’s see the meaning of the following five idioms: 1. Blackmail (someone) Meaning: to extort or take money from someone by threatening him or her Sample Sentence: The photographer tried […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Nov
30

Winter Weather Expressions

British people are famous for loving to talk about the weather. The Spanish like to chat about the weather too but as the climate in the UK is fairly unpredictable perhaps it gives us more to talk about! Winter is a great time to talk about the weather in English because we have lots of interesting […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Nov
11

The commute!

If you get frustrated by your daily commute to work, be thankful you are not David Givens of California. A few years ago, in a competition to find America’s longest commute, he was discovered to drive  372 miles (598 kms) every day just to get to his I.T job in San Jose! Luckily, most of […]

By Patrick McGloin | News/Working In English
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Oct
26

False Cognates (False Friends)

There are several words in Spanish that are similar in English, but have a different meaning. Here are a few examples: actually is similar to Spanish actualmente; however, actualmente is better translated with e.g. currently, as actually actually means in reality. Confusing, eh? embarrassed is not the same as embarazada. A translation for embarrassed could be apenado. In some situations it can be embarrassing to be embarazada, i.e. pregnant! realize should not be […]

By Patrick McGloin | Spanglish
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Oct
13

Worst jobs!

Most of us find Monday mornings hard. After the relaxation and pleasures of the weekend, having to pull ourselves up out of bed and get ourselves to work is never fun. However, don’t complain about your job too much because it could be a lot worse! Here are some examples of jobs that would make Monday mornings […]

By Patrick McGloin | News/Working In English
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Jul
21

Hesitation Fillers

You must have often heard about how important it is to be able to formulate your thoughts clearly and coherently when speaking in English, isn’t that right?  It’s nearly as important, though, to know what to say when you have a pause in the middle of a sentence. You might not be as fluent as […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Jul
13

Funny English Idioms!

We get it, idioms are weird, and often have nothing to do with their literal meaning. But here is a list of ten of the funniest English idioms and how to use them!   The lights are on but nobody’s home– used to describe a stupid person Example: She really has no clue- the lights […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Jun
30

Seven most used Idioms

You’ve been studying for years now and you find yourself talking to your Irish friend. You tell him you’re going skiing next week and he says “Have fun and break a leg.” My god what a friend you think!!! You don’t understand why your good friend would want you to break a leg Well don’t […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Jun
15

Can you hear the difference?

Ever been stopped by a stranger and asked what language you speak? How frequently have they guessed the correct language on the first try? And how good areyou at telling the difference between languages? The “Great Language Game” is a fun way to try and figure out just that! The game increases in difficulty the longer you […]

By Patrick McGloin | News/Working In English
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Jun
08

The Confusing World of Hoping, Expecting, and Looking Forward to

Sometimes one word in a certain language can mean a number of different things in English. Of course, having multiple English words for just one word makes it very difficult for English learners. One of the best examples is ‘hope’, ‘expect’, and ‘look forward to’. To make things worse, ‘hope’, ‘expect’, and ‘look forward to’ […]

By Patrick McGloin | Spanglish
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Jun
01

English Pronunciation

This short film is based on an archival sound recording taken from the 1945 Linguaphone series ‘English Pronunciation – A practical handbook for the foreign learner. Videos like this one lend learners a visual link between a vocabulary item and its meaning. The words in this video feature vowels and their various sounds in the […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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May
25

New Research Found Babies Are Natural Lip-Readers

Have you ever tried lip-reading? It turns out the answer is yes, even if you didn’t know it. Babies often stare at people; it’s just one of their adorable qualities. But it turns out they aren’t just staring, they are studying language. Research from Florida Atlantic University has shown that babies quickly transition from relying […]

By Patrick McGloin | News/Working In English
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May
18

TOP 10 common mistakes that Spanish speakers make in English- Part II

6. Directly translating a prepostion. Prepositions are tricky because they often change a lot between English and Spanish. Here are some specific examples of confusing prepositions. A Spanish speaker may say, “It depends of” instead of “It depends on”A Spanish student might say, “Call to someone” instead of “Call someone” (in English there is no preposition […]

By Patrick McGloin | Spanglish
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May
11

TOP 10 common mistakes that Spanish speakers make in English.

While English is – supposedly – an easy language to learn (maybe), every native speaker of another language has his or her issues. Today and next week we’re looking at the common mistakes that native Spanish speakers make when trying to learn English. So next time if you say or hear “She has eyes blues”instead of “She has blue eyes” you […]

By Patrick McGloin | Spanglish
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May
04

10 Interesting Facts about the English Language

Have you ever wondered what the little dot on top of an ‘i’ is called, or what the only two words in the English language that end in ‘-gry’ are? No? Well, get ready, because you are about to! In the English language, …   … the shortest word containing all five main vowels is […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Apr
27

People Make Better Decisions in Their Non-Native Language

Are you terrible at making decisions? Ponder over it in your second language to get to the solution! A recent study by Boaz Keysar has found that people make unbiased decisions when they are thinking in their second language.  “We know from previous research that because people are naturally loss-averse, they often forgo attractive opportunities,” […]

By Patrick McGloin | News/Working In English
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Apr
20

“Going Green” Idioms

Today we’re “going green” with the focus on color idioms. Green is considered one of the basic colors and is one that is associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth in Western/American culture according to this beautiful graphic. Check out the following five green idioms! (1) (to be) green with envy Meaning: very envious Sample Sentence: I was […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Apr
13

How to remember difficult English Spelling

Do you struggle with English spelling? You’re not alone. English, for various historical reasons, has borrowed words from many other languages. As a result, its spelling and pronunciation is a bit… all over the map! Unfortunately, English doesn’t have a simple list of rules to follow that helps you pronounce any new word that you may […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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Apr
04

False Friends!

Se denominan false friends (falsos amigos) o false cognates (falsos cognados) a las palabras que por escribirse de la misma forma (o parecida) en español son confundidas, pero que en realidad en inglés significan otra cosa. Por ejemplo, “conductor ” en inglés no significa conductor, sino que se refiere al director de la orquesta o […]

By Patrick McGloin | Spanglish
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Feb
11

10 Inspirational Quotes!

Even though most of us will agree that it is more and more important to speak English in it can be difficult to remain optimistic when the journey feels like a never-ending road trip with countless ups and downs. So to ‘animarte’ the following quotes are a simple reminder that learning another language opens our minds […]

By Patrick McGloin | Language In Action
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