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.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Know the Differences

Momentary: lasting only a moment; momentous: important with great consequence.

e.g. There was a momentary flash in the sky after a heavy thunder.

e.g. The Senator made a momentous decision to run for President of the United States.


Flair: talent; flare: fire.

e.g. She has a flair for public speaking.
e.g. There's a flare in the garbage room; we'd better call 911.


Pole: a long stick; poll: a survey.

e.g. See if you can push this back with this pole.
e.g. According to the poll, which candidate won in the debate?


Miner: a person who works in the mine underground; minor: a child.

e.g. My grandfather was a miner, and he did not like his occupation.
e.g. He is a minor, and therefore his testimony will not be taken seriously.


Could denotes potentiality; might suggests possibility.

e.g. Don't play with the knife; you might accidentally hurt yourself.
e.g. Could you close the window, please?


Exhausting means making one very tired; exhaustive means very thorough, covering a lot.

e.g. To remove all the books from this room is exhausting work.
e.g. This is an exhaustive inquiry, covering every aspect of what happened.


Fewer: used for items that can be counted; less: for items that cannot be counted.

e.g. Fewer people came to the meeting today than yesterday.
e.g. We have less money to spend on this trip than we used to have.


Real: an adjective; really: an adverb.

e.g. The firefighter was really brave when he saved the child. .


Anxious: worried; eager: impatiently desirous.

e.g. He was anxious about his future.

e.g. The children are eager to open their Christmas presents.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, January 6, 2017

Colloquial Expressions

Learning a language takes time and effort, especially if it is not your first language. Even if it is your mother tongue, you still need time and effort to master it. Language is forever changing. What is currently popular may be replaced by something else in years to come, and the use of slang is a strong testament to that. Colloquial expressions are often acceptable in informal writing. The more you learn, the more you will know when to use them or not to use them in your writing or speaking. 

Talk nineteen to the dozen: talk incessantly; talk too fast.
e.g. You were talking nineteen to the dozen; I just couldn't make hear or tail of what you were saying.

Gumption: common sense.
e.g. If you've some gumption, you 'll understand the difference between this and that.

Have a load on: very drunk.
e.g. He looked as if he had a load on.

Not born yesterday: not as naive or foolish as you think.
e.g. Don't give me all that nonsense. I was not born yesterday.

Pop the question: propose marriage.
e.g. Did he pop the question on Valentine's Day?

Taken short: in need of urination.
e.g. I was taken short, and I rushed to the bathroom before I could finish the talk..

Stay put: remain in position.
e.g. Don't move! Just stay put! I'll come and get you out of the hole."

Right-down: utterly.
e.g. The man is right-down insane!

Fork out: pay
e.g. Well, everybody has to fork out $30 for the farewell present to the boss.

Walk: disappear.
e.g. I don't know how and where those documents had walked

Go under: fail.
e.g. I am sorry to say that all your proposals have gone under.

Stephen Lau