Tuesday, July 31, 2012

similes: What's your complexion?

It's a good question, especially during summer holidays, isn't it? I spent a few days by the Baltic Sea this summer and whenever I go to the seaside in summer I always have the same problem... How to effectively protect my skin against those killing sun rays? Why do I have this problem? Well, my complexion is not used to being sunbathed :) I have had rather unpleasant encounters with our sun's activity and since then I have always tried not to expose myself too much to the sun.

Of course, I can't say that I am

AS WHITE AS A SHEET

... but I can say I should be careful when I go out in the sun. Anyhow, this beautiful simile means being very pale, ashen, pallid, wan; in Polish we also have a similar expression and it is 'biały jak ściana'.



A few examples from the Internet:
  • One of my friends was as white as a sheet when she came across...
  • I looked at Suzanne who was as white as a sheet.
  • I spoke to some of the workers that recovered him and his bike after the race. Apparently he was as white as a sheet.
  • I don't know if I screamed, but I know I was as white as a sheet with tears starting to...
  • She ran in to me and said I was as white as a sheet and immediately took my blood pressure.
  • Lucy a story but her daughter was lethargic, her temperature was warmer than normal, and she was as white as a sheet.       

So remember not to attempt to get exposed to the Sun for prolonged periods of time. Be extra careful when you take a plunge in the water because the skin may get badly burnt and you won't even be able to notice any warning signs. You should stay in when the Sun is at its hottest, that is from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon. And remember to stay under a shade and provide extra protection to your skin especially when your complexion is as white as a sheet :) 

My question to you:
What is your complexion? Have you ever had problems with sunbathing?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Oto, co chcielibyście znaleźć na tym blogu...

Zakończył się właśnie kolejny 'poll', w którym pytałem Was o to, jakie treści chcielibyście znaleźć na tym blogu. Po miesiącu badania, tak przedstawiają się wyniki:


Wynika z tego, że trzy pierwsze najwyżej typowane treści dotyczą
  1. English vocabulary - 41%
  2. English grammar - 33%
  3. jobs related words - 29%
Pierwsze trzy typy bardzo mi się podobają. Cały czas pozostajemy w obszarze słownictwa, co oznacza, że jednak warto zajmować się w sumie sięgającym po horyzont angielskim słownictwem. A przyznacie, że jest ono absolutnie porywające, ponieważ język angielski ma przebogatą historię swojego rozwoju i znajdziemy w nim słowa zarówno sprzed dwóch tysięcy lat, jak i 'bite' dzisiaj, niemal 'od ręki' z uwagi na fakt, że język jest żywy i nadal się rozwija, zmienia... Fascynujące!

Jesteście też zainteresowani gramatyką. To także dobra dla mnie wiadomość, ponieważ słownictwo i gramatyka to właściwie esencja sprawy :) Nie wiem jednak w jakiej postaci chcielibyście o tej gramatyce usłuszeć, a właściwie przeczytać. Nie chciałbym przynudzać gramatyką w wydaniu 'hard-core'. Może podeślecie kilka sugestii...

Trzecim wygranym jest też obszar słownictwa, tyle że zawężonego do elementów związanych z róznymi zawodami. Myślę, że też fajnie będzie się zająć ciekawymi słówkami z wybranych profesji... a jest ich sporo... Myślę, że to także bardzo rozwojowa sprawa :)

W dalszej kolejności wskazujecie na 
  • US/UK culture - 25%
  • learning tips - 25%
Myślę, że też jest to do ogarnięcia. Od kilku lat prowadzę zajęcia z kulturoznawstwa brytyjskiego, kiedyś przez chwilę także z amerykańskiego, więc w sumie można byłoby porozmawiać o tym i o owym :)

Dalej w kolejności są takie zagadnienia jak
  • English pronunciation - 20%
  • FCE/CPE related stuff - 16%
  • CAE related stuff - 12%
  • matura related stuff - 8%
  • PET related stuff - 4%

Co do wymowy, to nie jestem specjalnie przekonany, bo wchodzimy wówczas na raczej naukowy grunt. Zresztą, moim skromnym zdaniem, teoretyzowanie na temat wymowy, mogłoby raczej zniechęcić do czytania bloga... Natomiast jestem odrobinę zdziwiony zapotrzebowaniem na treści związane z egzaminami PET/FCE/CAE czy CPE..., że już nie wspomnę o maturze... Od 15 już lat przygotowuję ludzi do tych egzaminów, każdy ma swoją specyfikę, określony poziom trudności... i myślę, że warto byłoby 'obgadać' co  i jak jeśli chodzi o każdy z tych egzaminów. Fajnie byłoby podzielić się wrażeniami z każdego egzaminu. Ostatnio mój syn zdawał PET'a... i otrzymał Pass with Distinction, co potwierdza jego umiejętności na poziomie B2 :)

Tak czy owak, dzięki za udział w ankiecie. Czekam na Wasze reflekcje co do poruszonych tu kwestii. I zapraszam niebawem do następnej ankietki :)




Do you often escape into the the world of film?

It doesn't happen very often in my case. However, from time to time I may watch a good movie, especially when I know I can learn a few things from the movie. Recently I have watched a few nice ones I could highly recommend:
  1. Saint Paul directed by Roger Young
  2. The Jesus Film directed by Peter Sykes, John Heyman and John Krisch
  3. Saint John Bosco directed by Lodovico Gasparini
I really enjoyed these films and I think everyone should see them whether they believe in God or not. Anyhow the reason I am writing about film today is that I want to introduce a few words connected with movies in general.

Let's take a look at a few words:
  • credits - a list of people who contributed to a movie; Polish: napisy końcowe
  • tear jerker - a very emotional movie; Polish: wyciskacz łez
  • silent film - it's a movie without words; Polish: kino nieme
  • animations - it's creation of cartoons; Polish: animacje
  • sequel - a continuation of a movie; Polish: ciąg dalszy
  • western - a film situated in the west; Polish: western
  • debut - it's a movie's first public appearance; Polish: debiut
  • celebrities - famous people; Polish: znani ludzie, celebryci
  • edit a film - it's about making changes and corrections before the film is released; Polish: edytować, przygotować
  • dubbed film - it's a film with a separate sound track that is added to the original movie because actors read the script in a different language; Polish: film z dubbingiem
  • close-up - it's a situation when while shooting a film a cameraman records things and/or people from a close distance; Polish: zbliżenie
  • special effects - these are illusions created for movies; Polish: efekty specjalne
  • acting - it's a profession of performing in films; Polish: gra
  • subtitles - these are translations of a foreign-language film which appear at the bottom of the screen; Polish: napisy
  • location - it's a site where a movie is filmed; Polish: lokalizacja
My question to you:
Do you often escape into the world of film? What films would you recommend? Why?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A teraz trochę gramatyki... :) ... i piszę po polsku :)

... no i zgodnie z zapowiedzią piszę dzisiaj po polsku, żeby nie było, że nie docieram do tych, którzy nie bardzo czują się jeszcze na siłach czytac moje posty po angielsku, albo chcieliby - zachęceni polskim postem - wypowiedzieć się w kwestiach wspaniałego języka angielskiego po polsku :)


Zapraszam więc do postudiowania sześciu super fantastycznych zdanek angielskich sprawdzających trochę gramy, trochę słownictwa. Ćwiczenie jest bardzo proste, jedyną rzeczą jaką trzeba zrobić, to wybrać dobrą odpowiedź :) i odpowiedzieć na jedno, kilka lub wszystkie pytania w swoich komentach, na które nota bene zawsze czekam z niecierpliwością :)

Uwaga... lecimy :)

1. There is a narrow ... through the park.
a. road
b. street
c. way
d. path

2. ... children from our town will spend their holidays in the UK this year.
a. Two hundreds
b. Two hundreds of
c. Two hundred of
d. Two hundred

3. The way she dances ... . However, she doesn't care about that and always enjoys herself at the parties.
a. is always laughing at
b. is always laughed at
c. is always laughed of
d. is always laughing of

4. I did try to call him last week but his number was ... all the time.
a. vacant
b. occupied
c. emplyed
d. engaged

5. You will have to ... if you want everyone to hear your words.
a. speak up
b. stand up
c. give up
d. get up

6. Our town is famous for its ... castle. Many tourists come here every year to visit it.
a. elderly
b. aged
c. ancient
d. antique

No to zapraszam :) Jak będę miał Wasze odpowiedzi, to potem skomentuję dlaczego odpowiedzi są takie, a nie inne. Postaram się wyjaśnić gramatykę i leksykę pojawiających się w tych zdankach problemów. W ten sposób mam nadzieję, że każdy czegoś się nauczy, a ja będę miał radość z wyjaśniania. I piszcie, ponieważ nie jestem taki straszny, jak niektórzy sugerują :)



Saturday, July 28, 2012

How are you today?

...because I am quite fine :) although this weather is really hard to stand. In the morning my outdoor thermometer recorded 36 degrees Celsius. This is going to be another day of scorching heat although weather forecasts said we would have heavy rains... As for now I have noticed none of these :(


Anyhow, I want to say that I am

AS RIGHT AS RAIN

This is a great simile in English, which means being completely well or wealthy, which in Polish means być w najzupełniejszym porządku.

A few examples from the Internet:
  • I jut take a pill a day and am as right as rain.
  • I usually have 2 weeks of IV and am as right as rain but this cough is just odd.
  • Shower upon waking in the morning and I am as right as rain with no sign of a cold anymore.
  • God bless. Just got out of debt and I am as right as rain!
  • But don't worry it is not a long term sickness that I have picked up, I am as right as rain today and am raring to go.
  • ...after a good night's sleep, I am as right as rain again in the morning.    
My question to you:
What do you do to be as right as rain after a quarrel, a disagreement, etc.? 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are you a teetotaler?

I know it's a holiday season and people generally indulge themselves in all kinds of pleasures including drinking alcohol... This is why I want to talk about

TEETOTALERS

today... Who is this? Well, it's just a person who never drinks alcohol. (Listen to how this word is pronounced.)


Have you ever tried not to drink anything for a longer period of time? Why?

Why shouldn't we drink alcohol? Well, there are many reasons why we should avoid it.

First of all, it affects your body and mind. Thus, after a few glasses of an alcoholic beverage your walking and talking are debilitated. You start saying things you would never say. You say things you don't mean. While those physical effects will disappear overnight, the mental ones may last much longer... Is it worth it? Excessive drinking will surely lead to a hangover next morning and a thumping headache. If you drink regularly, you slowly become addicted... You age prematurely, you have circles under your eyes and your skin becomes dry. I guess it's common knowledge that alcohol also destroys your liver, which is the cause of thousands of deaths each ear. Why do people drink? Alcohol is the source of all evil... sooner or later you will find yourself down in the dumps unless you really stop and think whether it is really worth drinking at all... To tell you more, drinking often leads to various cancer types, usually liver and mouth cancer. Besides, you risk developing chronic pancreatitis (zapalenie trzustki) and diabetes (cukrzyca). What is more, when you drink regularly, you develop all sorts of depressions, which may then turn into serious mental health problems and you start experiencing hallucinations and delusions. But, as I have already said, this is just the tip of the iceberg... Why? The most painful side-effects are work and family problems, which usually lead to isolation and depression. Heavy drinkers simply withdraw from 'normal' life, ruin their relations with the ones they should love and suffer from all sorts of phobias, a fear of going out being one of many examples.

Alcohol has ruined so many lives... so many families... Why don't you think this over and try to avoid alcohol at all cost as drinking always gradually leads to nothing more but severe deterioration of all spheres of your life... 


My question to you:
Do you have a different opinion on drinking?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Who is the wisest in your family?

Today I wanted to start a new series of my posts under the heading SIMILES. What is a simile? A simile is a figure of speech in which you  compare two dissimilar things by using the words 'like' or 'as'. The English language knows quite a few similes which can be used in your everyday conversations to express your ideas in a more expressive, more poetic way :)

Today, we'll be looking at the following simile:

AS WISE AS AN OWL

This one is very easy to understand for Polish people as we have exactly the same simile - mądry jak sowa, so the simile can be used to describe someone who is very clever.


My question to you:
Who is the wisest in your family? Why?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Have you prepared your last will yet?


Let's talk about

EXECUTORS

today... Who is an executor? It's a person who carries out orders in a will. In other words, it's a person who makes sure that whatever the dead person had put down in his/her will is done in accordance with that will. In Polish we call such a person: wykonawca testamentu, or wykonawca woli. (Listen to how this word is pronounced.)



My question to you:
Is it a good idea to leave your last will? Why? Why not?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Is the job of a pathologist interesting?


Let's talk about

PATHOLOGIST

today... Who is a pathologist? To put it simply, it's a doctor who examines a dead body to find out how the person died. Polish: patolog. (Listen to how this word is pronounced.)

Why am I babbling about pathologists today? Well, the other day I was watching one of the programs on Discovery Channel about this famous Doctor G, who is a pathologist. The job she does is really interesting although very difficult in many respects.


Being a pathologist can be really interesting unless you are squeamish... Do you know any pathologists? Would you like to become one?


My question to you:
Do you think the job of a pathologist is interesting? Why? Why not?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What to take into account to choose the best spouse ever?


Let's talk about

SPOUSES

today... Who is a spouse? Well, it's just your husband or wife :) In Polish we have a beautifully sounding word for this - 'małżonek' (he) and 'małżonka' (she). (Listen to how this word is pronounced.)


Now, what are the things you would say one needs to take into account when looking for a spouse? Take a look at the following list and choose your top three giving your brief justification :)

  • a sense of humor
  • intellect
  • empathy
  • devotion
  • romantic nature
  • taste in books/films, etc.
  • attractive appearance
  • moral values
  • maturity
  • social background
  • educational background
  • financial security
  • professional prosepcts
  • anything else?
Yeah... the decision to choose just three is tough. But let's just try to have a nice conversation on this topis. I guess you either have already found your spouse, you are looking for one or you will be looking for one soon :) Thus, this topic is important for everyone, isn't it?

My question to you:
What to take into account to choose the best spouse ever?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A sunny aloha from...

...Władysławowo :)

I know, I know... I should be greeting you like this from Hawaii, not from Władysławowo :) But you know what? I love this place!


We have come here today and... Oh man! How I missed the Polish Baltic sea! Last time I was here was a few years ago as we thought we needed a break from the sea and went to Slovakia to explore the High Tatras :) Now, I know that I love the sea more!

Just for those who have never been to either Władysławowo or Poland... Władysławowo is beautifully situated by the gorgeous Baltic Sea in Pomeranian Voivodship. It has a small sea port and is really popular with tourists!


View Larger Map

It's really a great place to be not only for its magnificent location but also for its great atmosphere, great beaches, good fish and lots of entertainment. Even those stalls with often "Made in China" trinkets add to the place's charm.
 
So... if you are still thinking of a nice place to go in Poland, come to Władysławowo. It's been my third time here and I think that out of many places I have already visited on the Polish seaside Władysławowo has something that makes me come here again and again :)

Why am I recommending the Polish sea? The reasons are many... Don't you like walking across the noisy stones of a harbor, jogging along the beach in brisk morning air, taking photos across the coast? Isn't it lovely to leisurely walk and admire the sun-set with nothing but contentment in your mind? Wow! The sound of those waves crashing against the stones... The wind that seems to be taking all your worries away... You feel like in paradise... 
Now... there is nothing more I can do but leave you with this wonderful poem by Wordsworth (1770-1850):

By the Sea...
IT is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven is on the Sea:
Listen! the mighty being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly.
Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouch’d by solemn thought
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year,
And worship’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

My question to you:
Which holiday destinations would you recommend and why? 

Friday, July 20, 2012

The best way to get rich...?

Let's talk about

MAGNATES

today... Who is a magnate? To put it simply, it's a person who is very wealthy and powerful, especially in business or industry. (Listen to how this word is pronounced.)


Who are the top three magnates in Poland? According to this source, these are:
1. Jan Kulczyk with his assets worth PLN 8,9 mln
2. Zygmunt Solorz-Żak with his assets worth PLN 8,5 mln
3. Michał Sołowow with his assets worth PLN 5,5 mln

Hmmm... Wouldn't it be nice to join this team of Polish magnates? How? I guess I am not the first one who poses this question... I think you can get rich in three ways:
1. You can get rich through a career.
2. You can get rich through investing.
3. You can get rich through saving money.

Now, let's look at each way a bit closer. How to get rich through a career? Well... First you need to choose the best education path for you and you need to excel at what you do. You need to become a real professional by knowing your area of specialization like the back of your hand. Then you need to find a good employer and thrive! Of course, finding a good employer is connected with choosing the right location. If you stay in a little village, I guess, you won't have as many options as if you went to London or New York :) Once you have a good job, you will grow professionally, and you will become a valued employee, which gives you then more opportunities to seize with other employers who will be willing to pay you more just to have you :) Doesn't it sound nice?

What about getting rich through investing? Easy! First you need to invest money in your education and obtain valuable degrees so that you become a valued professional in your discipline. You can also invest money in the stock market provided you first invest in the know-how of stock market playing. It's also a good idea to invest in real estate. These are considered rather stable assets and can usually guarantee nice returns on your investments :) If you have some sixth sense or if you can invest in good research or if you have your spies here and there, you can learn about which land is worth buying in areas with potential to grow soon. Once  you have this information, just invest and wait for this land's value to increase over time... A piece of cake, isn't it?

How about  getting rich through saving money? This seems to be the hardest way as people would generally like to make money quickly and without too much effort :) Adopting this way of getting rich means that when you get your salary, you must not spend it. You just put as much money aside as possible and then you fight your temptation in order not to touch this money :) It's very hard, I know it way too well! Of course you need to find a good account for this money and then watch the money grow. This way of getting rich also requires that you make your monthly budget and make sure you never go over it. This is really tough. But as they say: Where there is a will, there is a way :)


My question to you:
What is your way of making money?









Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back at home!

Home sweet home! There's no better place than home! Yes, I'm back and happy to have returned home safe and sound! It's true my family and I had a great time out there in the capital of Germany but if I am to be honest, the city was not the best place I have been to... In fact I am happy to be saying this as I had had my idealized picture of Germany for a long long time. Now, I know exactly what Berlin really is like. I guess it wouldn't be very polite to talk about my feelings here so let me just say, what I have already said in one of my comments to posts, that Berlin, IMHO, is just a fraction of what, say, London, Brussels or Paris could offer...

Of course, the city itself makes a good impression. I loved the fact there was no traffic! Can you imagine Warsaw having all roads passable? When I was going to the airport down Al. Krakowska... I spent 30 minutes to cover the distance of only 4 km. Isn't it a disaster?


Anyway, we were staying in Potsdamer Inn, which was a nice place to be as the hotel was very well located and we had very easy access to the city center by the Berlin underground system.


Our nearest metro station was Bulowstrasse :)
I have to say that I really liked the underground system. It is clear and well organized although I really prefer the London Tube. The metro in Berlin is a bit boring and colorless when you come to think of the Tube.

The buses in Berlin are also a very good means of communication although I preferred the metro. Both the trains and the buses run according to their schedules so you can really rely on their punctuality. There are just yellow trains everywhere, the stations are not so attractive, the lines don't have nice names and you always have to look for those dry U2, U7, S46 etc. signs.

Speaking of the metro, what I also liked were the blue 'U' signs indicating the station's location clearly and some of them had nice ornamental entrances like Stadmitte... I was also a bit surprised that there was so little street entertainment in Berlin's central areas. It was just dull... For instance, the place near the Branderburg Gate, which is one of the most famous landmarks was almost lifeless with just tourists wandering around with dissatisfaction painted on their faces... We could see just one guy selling some funny device for shampoo balloon making and two other guys pretending soldiers...


No music, no clapping, no street entertainment... You just arrive at the place and ask yourself the question: Is this all? Besides... almost nobody wanted to take pictures with the soldiers... The atmosphere was a bit disappointing... Anyhow, we were able to enjoy ourselves in Berlin's restaurants and cafes :) as well as in some of the city's museums and churches, especially on the Museum Island... We also enjoyed one of the boat trips on the Spree river although the audio played during the trip was absolutely factual and blunt and it was a challenge to listen to all the numbers, dates and the like...

I remember my trip on the Thames. it was very vivid and full of legends and stories. It was a pleasure to learn about the history of the river's banks :)

Ok, ok... I may sound a bit of a grumbler, but I want to say that I really enjoyed my stay. What I'm trying to do here is to analyze and compare what I have experienced visiting all other cities in my life. I hope it's kind of natural to study your trips and you can't really avoid making comparisons, can you?

I am absolutely aware of the fact that each and every city has its pluses and minuses, including London :) In spite of this, I just feel I need to leave some feedback on my stay in the German's capital :) still trying to keep the right balance between the good and the bad sides of the city :)

Alright, just to end this longish post on a positive note :) let me say a few things about two other things I really liked about Berlin. First, I want to mention the best place, IMHO, in Berlin which is called Checkpoint Charlie. This is a great place which marks one of the best known crossing points between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Being at that point made me feel really sorry for all the people, who like me had to live under the Russian regime without any prospects of growth, freedom, development, etc. I visited the nearby museum and got to know of all the dramatic stories of people trying to illegally cross the paralyzing border. The place is really worth recommending, especially to East-European visitors to Berlin.

Last but not least I liked street name signs. I guess it's impossible to get lost in Berlin. The system is very clear, the names are visible and you always know where you are. This is something that really makes your walking tours a pleasure.

And finally rickshas... I felt like in Łódź! They seem to be as popular as the metro, the bikes or the buses there! Rickshas are a great alternative when you don't feel like walking too much and still want to have a breath of the city :)
Just to recap... the visit was really interesting. I finally found out what it is like to be in Berlin :)

My question to you:
Leave your opinions on Berlin, share your own experiences.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Still in Germany...

...and still having a great time...

However, it's my last day here although my return flight is late at night :) And I am not going to waste this time! Now I have realized that to familiarize yourself with such a great city as Berlin you need to spend at least a year here :) 

Berlin ist großartig!

Anyhow, I am still thinking of you.... my dear blog visitors, followers and random guests :) 
Here you go with another multiple choice exercise for today... Just choose the right answers :)

1) I wanted to go to Mary and look for the key there but it turned out I ... as my wife had the spare on her.
a. needn't have gone
b. did not need to
c. needn't to go
d. did not need to go

2) I do realize how expensive it is going to be, ... .
a. but my brother do not
b. but my brother does
c. but my brother does not
d. neither does my brother

3) I know I ... but I did not feel like doing that.
a. must have helped her
b. could have helped her
c. should help her
d. ought have helped her

My question to you:
What are the most problematic areas of studying English for you? Why?
Looking forward to your valuable comments and answers to this exercise!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Greetings from Germany!

Guten Morgen aus Deutschland!



It's been a few great days in Berlin. There are so many great places that are really worth seeing. In the picture you can see the Pergamon Museum. the location is just wonderful as the museum is located on the Museum Island. What can we see there? Well, lots of things... I think that original-sized monumental buildings are top-notch!  


Let me suggest another simple multiple choice exercise today... Just choose the right answers :)


1) The meeting was ... and very boring!
a. time-wasting
b. time-consuming
c. time-using
d. out of time

2) After the movie was released, the main ... was its excessive use of violence.
a. discussion
b. speaking
c. conversation
d. talking

3) By the time Paweł get here, the movie ... .
a. will finish
b. is going to finish
c. will have finished
d. is finishing


My question to you:
Is there any particular grammar/lexical aspect you would like me to explain?
Looking forward to your posts!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What about some grammar?

Guten Morgen aus Deutschland!



Yeah... I'm still here and I'm growing more and more hungry for the city of Berlin! In the picture you see typical German cuisine called Weisswurst, which - literally translating - is white sausage. It's a traditional Bavarian sausage made from minced veal and fresh pork bacon, usually served with a Pretzel and beer! :) Rather rich...

Anyhow, in spite of the fact I am on holidays, I still don't want you to neglect your English! :) BTW, I would die without English here!


Let me suggest this simple multiple choice exercise today... Just choose the right answers :)


1) Our neighbors aren't polite and ... particularly quiet!
a. neither they aren't
b. either they aren't
c. nor are they
d. neither did they be

2) Little Ralph is so knowledgeable. He can talk about ... subject that comes up.
a. whatever
b. whenever
c. wherever
d. whoever

3) Before you enter the triathlon, please bear in ... that you're not as young as you used to be!
a. thought
b. question
c. mind
d. opinion


My question to you:
Have you been to Germany? What interesting things can you tell about the country? Which cities/regions would you recommend? Why?
Looking forward to your posts!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Greetings from Berlin!

Grüße aus Berlin! Wir haben eine tolle Zeit hier!
(Is my German correct?)


Yes! This time I am writing from the capital of Germany! Why from here? Well, we are here on holidays! Why Berlin? Well, my son had been learning German for two years now (last year with our neighbor who is a great great teacher of German) and a few months ago he had an idea he wanted to test his language skills in Deutschland :)

So here we are... My son is speaking German wherever he can and passes for a German kid as his accent is really cool. Myself, who am trying to speak some German and am told by people's faces something like "Don't you speak English better perhaps?" And my wife, who is absolutely at ease with English...

Anyhow, Berlin is a really great city and I am surprised we hadn't been here before... There are so many attractive place to sightsee and so many things to do. Our itinerary is packed with activities. 


My question to you:
Where are you now? Are you on holidays? What are you doing?
Looking forward to your posts!

Friday, July 13, 2012

words that begin with ex: extricate

A warm 'Hello' from Warsaw!


I'm spending this day in Warsaw before I take off to Berlin. It's the beginning of my holiday time and I am so happy to announce another ex- word today:

EXTRICATE 

Why do I want to talk bout this word? Not only is it interesting but also very useful in my context today. But let's first try to explain the word... What it means is to release, to untangle, to free or - in other words - to remove or set free sth or sb with difficulty... In Polish I would say it is wyplątywać, uwalniać, wyciągać kogoś/coś... 

What do I have to say in this context?
Nothing much to be honest :) I just wanted to say that it is often so hard to extricate oneself from all those job related confines... But this is the day! I am beginning my holidays and it makes me so happy and free! My family and I will finally spend a few days here and there not thinking about work and everyday duties! It's such a pleasure to leave your hometown to be elsewhere... sightseeing, talking, walking, taking pictures, and just recharging batteries before another tough year.

A few examples from the Net:
  • She hasn't been able to extricate herself from her legal problems.
  • I finally managed to extricate myself from the tight jacket.
  • In less complicated cases, it is possible to extricate the casualty without actually cutting the vehicle...
  • Reward for helping to extricate Sir John Franklin, his ships, or their crews from the ice.
  • How to extricate yourself from a difficult situation in the workplace? 
My question to you:
Do you find it difficult to extricate yourself from work/studying? Have you ever been extricated from a trap?   
Looking forward to your posts! 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hello on a Thursday! Don't you feel like trying some grammar and vocabulary today? Well, I do ;)

 


Try to rack your brain (pogłowić się) over this simple multiple choice exercise... Just choose the right answers and leave them in your comment to this post :)

1) ... reaching the summit, the first thing they did was to raise their national flag.
a. When
b. The moment
c. On
d. As soon as

2) Don't throw it away, maybe ... people will need it.
a. another
b. others
c. different
d. other

3) I suggest ... there next week.
a. us to go
b. we went
c. for us to go
d. that we should go


My question to you:
Where are you going on holidays this summer? Why there?
Looking forward to your valuable comments!

words that begin with ex- exempt

 Another EX- word today! Let's take a look at this amazing word:

EXEMPT

It's the middle of the month and it so good to be on holidays and exempted from your duties. Are you exempted too? Ok, ok, let's just define the word if still haven't figured out what it means... :) The Polish language translates it as uwalniać, zwalniać but this beautiful word also operates as an adjective and means zwolniony, uwolniony, wyłączony, and as a noun to refer to a person who has been exempted from sth, i.e. osoba zwolniona. In English we could define this word as to excuse sb or sth from a duty, and even from payment, to free sb from an obligation...


What do I have to say in this context?
Well, I'd like to focus here on a few other phrases with the word EXEMPT. One of my favorite phrases is to be exempted from taxation (zwolniony z podatku), which actually never happens... Too sad. Another one is to be exempted from a liability (być zwolnionym ze zobowiązania), which is quite a nice thing when you were to perform a task you did not necessarily want to perform but you were obliged by a contract... Wouldn't you agree that this word is really nice?

Let's take a look at a few examples from the Net:
  • If you were exempted from this requirement when you applied for settlement, you must now pass a test or take an ESOL course before applying for naturalisation...
  • According to the official guide, the 14 services which will be exempted from payment of tax include lending of books...
  • The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra was exempted from Military service in WWII.
  • Four Delhi University colleges were exempted by the Delhi high court on Monday from reserving 27 per cent of their seats for...
  • What type of documents will be exempted from access?                 
My question to you:
What have you been exempted from recently?

Looking forward to your valuable posts impatiently!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

words that begin with ex- excel

Another EX- word today! Let's take a look at this amazing word:

EXCEL

Hello! Hello! I have a really awesome word for you today guys! The word always evokes positive emotions in me when I use it or when I hear it :) Well, what does the word mean? In English we can define it as a verb which means to be talented, to surpass, to do things better than somebody else, to do things very well, to be extremely good at something. Beautiful, isn't it? In Polish we could translate this word as prześcigać innych w czymś, przewyższać innych po jakimś względem, odznaczać się jakąś umiejętnością, wyróżniać się w robieniu czegoś. What is more this great word is also used in one more fantastic context... You may also use the phrase to excel yourself to do sth. This phrase means przechodzić samego siebie... 

What do I have to say in this context?
Yes! There is one thought that keeps drilling my brain now! Jesus excelled himself to redeem our souls! What better examples can you think of? Actually, all His life Jesus excelled everybody else in giving His love, showing His patience, being a grand role model to all! If all people, whether they believe or not, could only be like Him, what a wonderful world we would live in!


Let's take a look at a few examples from the Net:
  • Grange has excelled in the creation of exquisite French furniture...
  • Rotor Bike Components of Madrid have for years excelled in CNC machining, initially designing, prototyping and producing...
  • She excelled in all sports and won...
  • She excelled in the new sound medium in films which arrived at the close of the 1920s.
  • He excelled in a pressurised, corporate environment that required high levels of business development and relationship building.
  • He excelled himself yesterday so is probably sleeping it off today!
  • He excelled himself at the Championships, clocking the fifth fastest time in ...          

My question to you:
What do you excel in? What was a situation you excelled yourself to do something?

Looking forward to your valuable comments impatiently!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The best words to describe physical appearance!

How often do we find ourselves in situations when we need to describe someone's physical appearance? I'd risk saying... quite often. We may not even be aware of this, but we look around and see people and even if we don't say things aloud, we think about someone's looks. We try to describe people... Today I want to suggest a few nice words you may find useful when describing someone's looks.

 

Let's take a look at them:
  • he is tall - jest wysoki
  • she has long hair - ma długie włosy
  • she is of medium height - jest średniego wzrostu
  • he had crutches - był o kulach
  • he was on the short side - był raczej niski
  • she had a humped back - była przygarbiona
  • he is petite - jest drobny
  • she walks with a limp - utyka
  • he was fat - był gruby
  • she has a tattoo on... - ma tatuaż na...
  • he is rather plump - jest raczej korpulentny
  • he has a thick moustache - ma gęste wąsy
  • she is just obese - jest zwyczajnie otyła
  • he has a goatee beard - ma hiszpańską bródkę
  • he is of average build - jest średniej budowy ciała
  • he has a scar on... - ma bliznę na...
  • she has full lips - ma pełne usta
  • she is so slim - jest taka szczupła
  • he is as thin as a rake - jest chudy jak szczapa (dosł. chudy jak grabie :))
  • she has an upturned nose - ma zadarty nos
  • he is skinny - jest chudy (wychudzony)
  • she has a spotty face - ma krosty na twarzy
  • he is very muscular - jest bardzo muskularny
  • her face has wrinkles - jej twarz ma zmarszczki
  • he is stocky - jest krępy
  • her complexion is ruddy - jej cera jest rumiana
  • she has sallow complexion - ma ziemistą cerę
  • she has a hourglass figure - ma kształtną figurę
  • she wears a wig - nosi perukę
  • she has shoulder-length hair - ma włosy do ramion
  • he has a cre-cut - ma fryzurę na jeża
  • he has a mohican hairstyle - ma irokeza
  • her hair is unkempt - jej włosy są nieuczesane
  • he has receding hair - łysieje
  • she has a parting on the left - ma przedziałek po lewej stronie
  • he is bald - jest łysy
  • she has a fringe - ma grzywkę
  • he has straight hair - ma proste włosy
  • she has curly hair - ma kręcone włosy
  • she has plaits - ma warkocze
  • he has raven hair - ma krucze włosy
  • she has dyed her hair - ufarbowała włosy
My question to you: 
What do you look like?

Monday, July 9, 2012

The best words to describe weather?

Hello on a Monday! The weather here has been really awful for the last few days. It's been hot as hell with very little rain. This weather has made me think of giving you a selection of very useful words to describe weather.


Let's take a look at them:
  • it was muggy - było duszno, parno
  • there was a rainbow - była tęcza
  • we had a hail storm - mieliśmy burzę gradową
  • it drizzled - mżyło, kropiło, siąpiło :)
  • it was sultry - było parno, duszno, gorąco
  • it was foggy - było mglisto
  • there was a violent thunder - był gwałtowny grzmot/piorun
  • there was dense fog - była gęsta mgła
  • it was humid - było wilgotno
  • we had black clouds - mieliśmy pochmurne niebo
  • there was thunder and lighting - była burza z piorunami
  • it looked like rain - wyglądało, jakby miało padać
  • it was a dry day - to był suchy dzień
  • it was hazy - było mglisto
  • the weather was rainy - pogoda była deszczowa
  • there was a powdering of snow - poprószył śnieg
  • the sky was blue - niebo było niebieskie/bezchmurne
  • we had a blizzard - mieliśmy zamieć śnieżną
  • it was wet - było mokro
  • there were snow drifts - były zaspy
  • the sun was shining - świeciło słońce
  • it was windy - było wietrznie
  • it poured down - lało
  • it was calm - było spokojnie
  • it was freezing - było mroźno
  • it was breezy - było rześko
  • it was teeming down - mocno padało
  • it was blustery - wiał porywisty wiatr
  • it was bitterly cold - był przejmująco mroźnie
  • it was blowing a gale - była wichura
  • the rain was heavy - padało ulewnie
  • we had a heavy storm - mieliśmy sporą burzę
  • it was icy cold - było lodowate zimno
  • there was torrential rain - był ulewny deszcz
  • it was a cold day - to był zimny dzień
  • there were a few showers - był przelotny deszcz
  • we had gray skies - mieliśmy szare/pochmurne niebo
  • it was showery - było deszczowo/ulewnie
  • it was cloudy - było pochmurno
My question to you:
What is the weather like in your place of living? (Indicate where you are writing from!)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A thank you post to a visitor from West Molesay, UK!

This is just a thank you post to a visitor to my blog from West Molesay, UK :)



View Larger Map

I wasn't in West Molesay, but I was in Hampton Court Palace, which is in East Molesay and just 2 miles from West Molesay :)


When I was visiting the site, it was being renovated, and this is why you can see scaffolding in the first picture. But the question is... What is Hampton Court? Well, first of all it is a grand place really worth visiting. It is just 24 kilometers to the west of London, so it's a stone's throw :)

Now, to be more specific about the place, it must be said the palace was built by Cardinal Wolsey in 1515! Later, the builder gave the palace to King Henry VIII because he wanted to stay friends with the king... What a nice gift...  

Later on, in the year 1689, the palace was made even bigger by King William III and, what's important, all additions were designed by another famous British architect - Christopher Wren.

Today Hampton Court is one of many superb British tourist attractions and is open to the public. In the second picture you can part of its gardens, which are a must to see there. There is a fantastic maze which you must experience yourself!

So, dear visitor from West Molesay... if you ever decide to visit this blog once more, please tell us more about yourself and West Molesay! What's interesting out there?

My question to all visitors is:
Have you ever visited Hampton Court or the County of Surrey? What are your impressions? or Has anybody been to West Molesay?
 

Are you a punter? Be careful with the answer!

It's a holiday season, right? I've just come to think of a nice profession you may encounter a representative of when on holidays... It's a little known job of a

PUNTER

Who's the heck is this? Well, it's a person who may quite a few things on holidays... Let's start from the profession I actually had in mind when I thought of this word... It's a a person who propels a boat (a punt, to be more specific...) by poling. A punt is a type of a small boat with a flat bottom. Poling is just moving a punt by pushing a long pole against the river bottom. In Polish we call such a guy 'flisak'.



Another meaning of 'punter' refers to a person who bets on horse races. Generally speaking, it's a person who is otherwise known as a gambler. In other words, it's a person who risks money guessing the result of something. In Polish we call such a guy 'gracz'.

The third meaning of the word 'punter' that is disgraceful in the holiday context... is the one that refers to a person who uses the services of a prostitute...


Just to sum up... Enjoy your encounters with punters in the first meaning :) Don't lose your head being a punter in the second meaning. And don't be a punter in the third one.

My question to you:
Have you ever been or met a punter? Which type of punter was it?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Darmowe tłumaczenia angielsko-polsko-angielskie?

Yes. Tak. It is possible on this blog! Jest to możliwe na tym blogu!

 


Oczywiście nie mówię tutaj o wielostronicowych tłumaczeniach technicznych, medycznych czy innych tego typu. Of course, I am not speaking here about multipage technical, medical translations or any of the sort.

Jeśli jednak piszesz teraz maila, list lub zwyczajnie chcesz zapytać o coś, czego nie możesz znaleźć w słownikach, tutaj możesz pytać do woli. If, however, you are writing now an email, a letter or if you simply want to ask about something you cannot find in dictionaries, here you can ask at will. 

Ten blog został stworzony między innymi dlatego, by dać Ci możliwość zapytania o sprawy związane z językiem angielskim. This blog was created, among other things, to give you an opportunity to ask about issues connected with English.

Jeśli potrzebujesz jakiejkolwiek pomocy, bo nie wiesz jak coś wyrazić, jak o coś zapytać po polsku czy po angielsku, wystarczy, że zostawisz swoje pytanie w komenatrzu, a ja na nie chętnie odpowiem. If you need any help because you don't know how to express something, how to ask about something in Polish or English, it's enough that you leave your question in your comment, and I will readily answer it.

Dlatego, nie zastanawiaj się. Skorzystaj z tej możliwości. Nie ma wiele takich miejsc w Internecie, gdzie otrzymasz rzetelną odpowiedź za darmo :) Therefore, do not hesitate. Take advantage of this opportunity. There are not many places in the Internet where you can get a reliable answer for free.

Looking forward to your questions!

Friday, July 6, 2012

words that begin with ex- exuberant

Another EX- word today! Let's take a look at this amazing word:

EXUBERANT


Just look around... What do you see? If what you see is nothing exuberant, change the environment! Summer makes people and the living world around us more exuberant. Being with exuberant people and looking at exuberant vegetation will surely make you feel happier!

The word is an adjective and may refer to a person, and then we say the person is full of enthusiasm. It may refer to one's mood or excitement, and then we say the person is full of excitement and cheerfulness. The word may also refer to someone's character, and then it means being very energetic. But you can also use the word to talk about someone's imagination which then is lively. Finally, you may use the word to describe vegetation that is abundant and plentiful.

The Polish language translates our word as bujny, bogaty, kwitnący, obfity, pełen zycia, płodny, wybujały, wylewny, pełen entuzjazmu, pełen uniesienia, bardzo żywiołowy. 



Let's take a look at a few examples from the Net:
  • He was exuberant when he won the lottery.
  • The last of the spring flowers were exuberant in their daffodil yellow...
  • The choir team were exuberant hence, produced the best performance of their...
  • He was exuberant, frank, and friendly; his conversation was fast-flowing and flawless.
  • However, the children were exuberant and very interested in learning...
  • She was exuberant but she has now changed in a physical sense. People with depression can look...
  • She was exuberant in her claims and seemed to enjoy giving us the "real" story.
  • ...and attractive flowers were exuberant and sensual, with their bright...               
My question to you:
Are you an exuberant person? Why? Why not? Which of the people you know would you describe as exuberant? Why?
Looking forward to your valuable answers impatiently!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Did you know this?

Phew! What a day! It's so hot you can hardly breathe... And it's been so for quite a few days now... I'm even inclined to say it's blistering heat :)

Anyhow, I would like to talk about the right order of adjectives in English sentences... Did you know that when you have more than one adjective describing a noun, then you need to think of how to order these adjectives correctly?

There's no problem when you say

A NICE TABLE

Problems start when you need more adjectives to describe that table, for instance, when you are selling a table... What happens then and how to solve the 'adjective' problem?


Well, I have always used this extremely effective mnemotechnical trick:

Very Soon A Trading Ship Will COME

And how does it work? Let me explain. Just pay attention to CAPITAL LETTERS only:

V = value (expensive, cheap)
S = size (big, small, large, tall)
A = age (old, young, ancient, modern, new)
T = type (mechanical, electric)
S = shape/style (narrow, wide, oval, round)
W = weight (heavy, light)
C = color (black, red, yellow, red)
O = origin (Chinese, Japanese, Polish, English)
M - material (wooden, brick, glass)
E = end purpose (coffee, survival, cutting)

Thus, our just 'nice table' can be described as

a nice valuable big oval heavy red Chinese wooden coffee table :)

Unfortunately, it's not the end of the story... as you have noticed, the table is first described by a general (intangible and abstract) adjective 'nice'... There is another rule you have to know... All general, intangible and abstract adjectives come before 'the trading ship' :)

And finally, when you have to use some numbers... hmmm.... they always come FIRST :) So, we can expand the description of my table... and we may say something like this:

I have two nice valuable big oval heavy red Chinese wooden coffee tables :)

Are you still with me? Hope yes :)
Looking forward to you valuable comments!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

words that begin with ex- exploit

Another EX- word today! Let's take a look at this amazing word:

EXPLOIT

Are you a worker or a student? Good! I have a great word for you today... The word functions both as a noun and as a verb and is very interesting because it is a bit contradictory (sprzeczny). On the one hand it is very positive and refers to a heroic act, a great fit, an adventure, a deed, while on the other hand, it has negative connotations as it means to take advantage of sth/sb, to selfishly make us of sth/sb, to manipulate sb. However, when using this word as a verb, we may also use it in positive contexts to talk about exploiting, say, your talents. The Polish language translates our today's word as wyczyn, wykorzystywać, eksploatować, użytkować, wyzyskiwać. 


What do I say in this context?
Since the word 'exploit' can be exploited :) in many ways, let's just talk about this multi-purpose lexical item... Just think of how many great exploits you have had in your life... I have been to a few countries and had various exploits (przygody) there :) I am looking forward to new exploits in Berlin soon :) Now... to change the topic a bit... Don't you feel exploited after a whole year working hard at school or at university? I do... Why is this world so harsh and why are employees viciously exploited by their bosses? 

Let's take a look at a few examples from the Net:
  • Ella is constantly looking at new ways to exploit her talents...
  • The contractors in turn exploit their workers to keep their profit...
  • Our carefully designed development processes are effective in providing high potentials with an understanding of how to exploit their talents to the benefit of...
  • The major problem was however discovered to be that there was no avenue for Christian thespians to exploit their talents for the glory of God.
  • Provinces that have experienced economic growth and booms above their counterparts have been able to exploit their energy and natural...
  • Some foreign companies in China exploit their workers by forcing them to do overtime or underpaying them...
  • There are many others who arguably have done many great exploits in the name of the Lord, only to go off in their doctrines before their death.
  • After having experienced many great exploits in his life of faith, he looked back over his journey and...                    
My question to you:
What exploits have you had recently? Do you feel exploited at home, school or at work?

Looking forward to your valuable posts impatiently!

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