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English Titles (Mrs, Miss…) – when to use them?

The titles Mr., Ms., Miss, and Mrs. can be difficult for English learners. Here is an explanation:

(mister) Mr. = married or single man

(missus) Mrs. = married woman

Miss = unmarried woman

Ms. = (pronounced /mɪz/) used for a woman when you do not know if she is married. Can also be used for a divorced woman.

Vocabulary lesson – loan v. borrow

Is there a between between loan and borrow? Yes, a big difference! Look at these sentences:

Lisa: “James, can I borrow your dictionary?”
James: “Of course, I am happy to loan it to you.”

In sentence 1, does Lisa have a dictionary? No.
Does she need to use a dictionary? Yes.
Who owns the dictionary? James.

In sentence 1, Lisa is doing the action – borrowing. Lisa will take the dictionary.

Vocabulary lesson – click v. clique

Clique is a French word that we use in English, but click and clique sound similar.

click (n) = make a short hard sound.

/klik/ – the “i” sounds like it does in it or India

“The briefcase clicked open.”

clique (n) = a small group of people who do not want others to join their group

/klɪk/ – the “i” sounds like it does in cheese or see

Vocabulary – commonly misspelled words

Some words in English are more difficult to spell than others.  Here is a few:

misspell (v) – One of the most misspelled words is misspell!  Just add the prefix -mis to the word spell, and you’ll have it right!

embarrassment (n)– Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve spelled this wrong before! 2 rr + 2 ss is the formula!

grammar (n) – Many people make the the second ‘a’ in this word into an ‘e’.

Slang words for a PARTY

bash: We’re having a bash this weekend. Want to come?

do: I’m thinking of having a do for my 40th.”

shin-ding: Want to go to a shin-ding at Todd’s place tonight?

Vocabulary Lesson: rather

rather (adv) = shows that you want one thing more than another thing.

It is another way to say ‘prefer’.

“Would you like some juice, or would you rather (have) some water?”

“I would rather live in Vancouver than Toronto.”

Vocabulary lesson – attitude v opinion

attitude (n) = the feelings you have about a person or thing

“James has a bad attitude at work. I think he needs to find a new job.”

“It’s important to have a good attitude toward the future. Why not be positive?”

opinion (n) = your ideas or beliefs about a subject

“What is your opinion on the American government?”

Vocabulary Lesson: British v American English

When learning English, it is important to understand the type of English you are learning.

There is a big difference between British English and American English spelling.  Is it colour or color, centre or center, analyze or analyse, favourite of favorite??? It can be confusing, but the key to speaking and writing English well is to be follow one set of rules.

2 things to note:

Vocabulary lesson – remember v. remind

remember (v) = keep something in your memory

“I have to remember where I’m parking or I won’t find the car later!”

“Ted’s father never remembers his birthday.”

remind (v) = make someone think of something

“I always have to remind my husband what night to put the garbage out.”

“Sydney reminds me of Vancouver at times.”

Ways to say YES and NO in English

Sometimes English speakers say yes and no in ways that may not be clear.

Here are some examples:

“Would you like to see a movie?”


“Sure.”…”Why not?”…”Let’s do it.”…”Certainly.”…”I’m in.”…”You bet.”…”Good call.”


“I’m ok.”…”I’m alright.”…”I’ll pass thanks.”…”I’m fine for now.”…”Maybe another time.”