Angela Boothroyd

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’.   What are transition words?   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 […]

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 […]

Beware of German-English false friends!

Today’s post is from Angelika Davey of Angelika’s German Tuition & Translation. Angelika teaches German and also offers proofreading, interpreting, and translations from German to English and from English to German. She talks to us here about those pesky German-English false friends, and lists some common examples. Over to Angelika 🙂 “As a German teacher […]

Idiom: parrot-fashion

To do something parrot-fashion is to memorize or repeat something without thinking about it or understanding it. A parrot is a talking bird and ‘parrot-fashion’ means ‘like a parrot’. British and Australian informal English. Examples of use: 1. He learnt it parrot-fashion. 2. Some people think that conjugating verbs parrot-fashion is not the best way […]

Infographic: How to learn English

This interesting infographic from Kaplan shows some of the different ways people learn English. You can see that many of the people who took part in this survey say that TV programmes, films, and music help them learn. What do you think is the best way to learn English? How to learn English via Kaplan […]

Pronunciation resources for learning English

English is spoken in more than 60 countries and it’s estimated that it’s used by more than 1 billion people. There are many varieties, accents and dialects of English, and learners generally learn to speak it in the accent in which they’re taught, or in the particular accent they prefer. I asked readers on another […]

3 tips for staying motivated when learning English

In many ways it’s easier to stay motivated when you’re an independent English learner because you are in charge of your learning, and you are deciding what you’re going to learn, and when, and how. But even when we love doing something our levels of motivation naturally go up and down. Some days, nothing can […]