English for Everyone

<b>English for Everyone</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Slang and Colloquial Expressions

Easy on the eye: good looking.
e.g. I say, your girlfriend is easy on the eye.
Act your age: behave yourself according to your age..
e.g. You’re almost an adult. Come on, act your age, and stop behaving like a spoiled brat!
Go: attempt.
e.g. Have a go at doing this on your own.
Easy mark: a likely victim.
e.g. If you are so unsuspecting, you may become an easy mark for swindlers.
Bazillion: a great number of.
e.g. The national debt is now in bazillion dollars, and the Congress needs to do something about that.
No way: not at all.
e.g. “Are you going to give him a hand?” “No way; he’ll be on his own.”
Beat: broke, no money.
e.g. Without a job, we are beat, no copper and no bread.
Chip on one’s shoulder: a grudge against.
e.g. She still has a chip on her shoulder: your infidelity some years ago. 
Ace someone out: win out over someone.
e.g. I plan to ace him out in the first round of the competition.
Ask me another: I don't know.
e.g. "Does your daughter want a baby?" "Ask me another!"
No two ways about it: no other alternative.
e.g. The man had to file for bankruptcy; no two ways about it

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Slang and Colloquial Expressions

Slang and Colloquial Expressions

Spread oneself: spare no expense.
e.g. The farmers' market has many good stuffs, but don't spread yourself.

Standing on one's head: doing something easily.
e.g. It's no big deal! I can do it standing on my head.

Put one's feet up: take a break; rest.
e.g. I'll call it a day. I'm going to put my feet up.

Put one's shirt on: wager everything.
e.g. We have to put our shirt on this project; we've no other option.

Make a dead set at: very determined to.
e.g. He made a dead set at getting that house on the market.

Jolly well: most certainly.
e.g. "Do you want another drink?" "Jolly well!"

Long in the tooth: very old.
e.g. "How old is he? " "I don't know, but he's long in the tooth

Keep early hours: go to bed early.
e.g. If you want good health, keep early hours.

Look alive: hurry up.
e.g. Look alive! We don't want to miss our flight.

Make it snappy: be quick.
e.g. Common on, make it snappy! We don't have all the time in the world!

Hold one's horse: wait a minute; not immediately.
e.g. Dinner is ready, but hold your horse; wait for the host to come down!

In good nick: in good condition.
e.g. If I were you, I would buy this car; it's in good nick.

Talk through the back of one's neck: talk nonsense.
e.g. Look what he's doing: talking through the back of his neck.

Tall order: a challenging demand.
e.g. To finish the project in a week is certainly a tall order for me.

In a jiffy: soon.
e.g. The manager will see you in a jiffy.

Stand to reason: be logical.
e.g. It stands to reason that the Mayor should resign now that he has admitted his wrongdoing.

Shoot: speak out.
e.g. "I've something I'd like to say to you, but I'm afraid. . ." "Shoot!"

In the picture: informed.
e.g. Thank you for putting me in the picture; now I know what's going on.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Learning Grammar - NOUN

Learning a new language is never easy, especially if you want to master it. In some languages, there is no grammar; the written language is simply a reflection of the spoken language; in others, there are grammar rules to follow, and the English language is one of them.

Knowing the rules of grammar does not mean that you will become a good writer, but it will certainly help you avoid bad writing. In addition, knowing the essentials of grammar may give you the following advantages:

  • Avoiding grammatical errors
  • Providing clarity to your writing
  • Giving credibility to your readers
Knowing grammatical terms is essential for effective writing because these grammatical terms provide a common language for discussing and talking about what is good and effective writing.

Knowing grammar basics means knowing the eight parts of speech in English words and writing:


A noun names a person, place, or thing.

A noun can be singular (referring to only one) or plural (referring to more than one). Generally, you make a singular noun plural by adding an “s”; however, some nouns do not follow this general rule:

e.g. enemy becomes enemies

e.g. goose becomes geese

e.g. hero becomes heroes

e.g. sheep remains sheep

Some nouns are countable, e.g. books, while some are not, e.g. hunger.

A noun can be possessive (indicating ownership).

e.g. Tom and Jerry’s house (NOT Tom’s and Jerry’s house)

e.g. Jesus’ sayings (NOT Jesus’s sayings)

e.g. the bottom of the page (NOT the page’s bottom)

e.g. the characters of Star Wars (NOT Star Wars’ characters)

From the above, a possessive noun is applicable only to a person, and not a thing.

A noun MUST AGREE with a verb in a sentence, that is, a singular noun requiring a singular verb, and a plural noun requiring a plural verb. A singular verb in the present tense generally needs an “s”; of course, there are exceptions, such as the following:

e.g. The data indicate (NOT indicates) that there is a strong demand for this type of goods. (data is the plural form of datum.)

e.g. The criteria for selection are based (NOT is) on the recommendations of the trustees. (criteria is plural)

e.g. Human rights is an important issue in this country. (singular: human rights treated as a single unit and thus requiring a singular verb)

e.g. Human rights are ignored in many parts of the world. (plural: human rights considered individual rights of people)

e.g. Four thousand dollars is a lot of money to me. (singular: a monetary unit)

A proper noun names a specific person, place, or event, e.g. Tom Cruise, Chicago, and World War I.

A proper noun is always capitalized, e.g. The Great Depression (BUT an economic depression).

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

A Better and Happier You in 2019

A Better and Happier You in 2019

There is an old Latin axiom: “nemo dat quod non habet” — meaning, one cannot give what one does not have.

If you don’t have the wisdom to know your real self, you won’t have the wisdom to understand others, especially who they are and what they need. In order to understand others to have better human relationships, you must first and foremost have the wisdom attained through asking self-intuitive questions throughout your life.

Then, with mindfulness, you observe with a nonjudgmental mind what is happening to you, as well as around you. Gradually, you will be able to see things as what they really are, and not as what they may seem to you: anything and everything in life follows its own natural cycle, just as the day becomes night, and the night transformed into dawn. With that wisdom, you may become enlightened, which means you begin to know your true self—what you have and what you don’t have, and you were created to be who you are, and not what you wish you were or want to become. Knowing what you have, you can then give it to others. It is the giving, rather than the receiving, that will make you become a better and happier you in 2019.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau