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 English Topics and Tips

Vocabulary Lesson: imply v. infer

Even native-speaks get confused by this difference!

imply (that) = to suggest something is true without saying it

A: “You should get a new hairstyle.”
B: “Are you implying that I look messy?”

“Adam implied he would lend me the money, but when I needed it, he said no.”

“You did say you would help me move house on Sunday! I didn’t imply anything!”

Grammar Lesson – making suggestions

There are many ways to make suggestions. We will look at making suggestions with should and could. One is much stronger than the other!

should – use should + base verb when you REALLY think it is a good idea to do something – you are telling the person what to do

“You should visit your mother more. She’s getting very old.”

Office expressions – Part 2

Here are some more office expressions you can start practicing!

touch base = make or renew contact with someone by phone, email or face-to face

“Let’s touch base after the Christmas holidays so we can start the planning.”

“I am going to touch base with an old colleague to see if she is interested in the sales manager’s position.”

Speaking lesson: interjections

Interjections are short little sounds such as oh!, um…, or huh?

We mainly use them in speaking.

They have no grammatical connection within a sentence.

In writing, we often use an exclamation mark (!) after an interjection.

Hey John, are you coming? Hurry up!”

A: “Do you want to go to New York for the weekend?”

B: Um“, I’d like to, but I don’t have any spare money at the moment.”

Office expressions – Part 1

These are expressions you may hear in many English-speaking offices.

going forward = make a positive plan for the future

“During our meeting, we decided that going forward we need a more strategic social media campaign.”

Going forward, our sales team must communicate with customers more regularly.”

action + something = make it happen (means the same as ‘do it’)

Grammar lesson – ‘as (adjective) as ever’ v. ‘as usual’

These show continuous behavior, but there is a difference in how you apply them.

as busy/aggressive/lazy as ever = the person always shows this characteristic, it is his/her normal behavior.  It can be a positive or negative adjective.

Tom is as busy as ever. He works 7 days a week.

My secretary is as efficient as ever. I never have to ask her to do anything twice.

Grammar – too v. very

The ‘adverbs of degree’ very and too can be confusing, so let’s study the difference!

Look at the two sentences. How are they different?

A: It is very hot.
B: It is too hot.

A is a simple statement – It’s HOT! In this sentence, ‘too’ is the same as ‘really’.

However,  B shows difficulty.  For example, it may be  so hot that people are getting sick (heat exhaustion).

Phrasal verbs with TELL

tell someone off: express unhappiness or disapproval with another person in a strong way

“I told my son off for lying to me about stealing the money.”

“I was really upset after my manager told me off for not including her in the meeting.”

tell on someone: report bad behavior (usually used by children)

“If you don’t do your homework, I’ll tell on you.”

Vocabulary Lesson = stale v. spoiled

Both of these adjectives describe a negative condition of food, but there is a big difference between them.

stale (adj) = food that has gone hard with time…like bread or cake.

“Can you buy some fresh bread for breakfast on the way home? The loaf we have is stale.”

spoiled (adj) = food is unfit to eat….like over ripe fruit or meat, or milk that has gone sour.

Phrasal verbs with THROW

throw out/away = put something in the garbage or get rid of it

‘Canadians don’t throw out plastic containers; they recycle them.’

‘Did you throw away the leftovers from last night’s dinner? I wanted to eat them for dinner.’

‘I need to clean the fridge and throw out the old food. It smells terrible.’

throw out = remove someone from a place either by force or by law.