Archives for August 2014

Idiom: blow the cobwebs away

To blow the cobwebs away (or clear away the cobwebs) means toget some fresh air and exercise so that you feel refreshed and can think more clearly.   Examples of use: 1. Come on. A nice brisk walk by the sea will blow the cobwebs away! 2. I went for a run to blow the […]

Phrasal verb: witter on

To witter on is to talk in a long-winded* way about things that are not very important. This expression is informal British/UK English.   Pronunciation of ‘witter’:  /ˈwɪtə(r)/   *long-winded (adjective) – using too many words or tediously long   Example sentences: 1. I wish you would stop wittering on while I’m trying to work! […]

100 English superlatives

  A superlative is the form of an adjective or adverb that’s used to show that someone or something has the extreme or unsurpassed level of a particular quality – more than anyone or anything else. We use superlatives when we’re comparing more than two items, people, and places etc. We use the comparative form […]

A little guide to English prefixes

  A prefix is an affix – a group of letters – added to the beginning of a word, or before a word root, to make another word In the word ‘unhappy’, ‘un-‘ is a prefix. In the word ‘rewrite’, ‘re-‘ is a prefix. If you understand the meanings of English prefixes this can help […]

Collective nouns

  Collective nouns are nouns which refer to a group or collection of people, animals, or things. They’re followed by either a singular verb or a plural verb. The use of a plural verb is more common/more acceptable in British/UK English. And the use of the singular verb form is more common/more acceptable in the […]

Improve your English: adjective order

Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns. They’re often called ‘describing words’. For example, the words ‘beautiful’, ‘big’ and ‘yellow’ in the image description above are all adjectives. English adjectives come before the noun. As with other languages, adjectives in English are usually used in a specific order. However, there are no rigid rules […]

Improve your English: transition words

transition (noun) passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) From Latin transire ‘go across’ or ‘pass over’.   Whatever your goal or purpose for your writing – whether it’s to explain, inform, entertain or persuade – you need to express yourself fluently, and you need to present your readers with […]

9 cat idioms

  Do you have cat idioms in your native language? I have two young cats at home and while I was watching them playing and having fun together the other day, I realized there are many idiomatic English expressions relating to cats. Here are nine of the most common ones…   ♦ let the cat […]