Tuesday, 2 February 2016

As clear as mud!

If you buy bread from a baker's where do you buy your cakes? That was the question today and it unearthed a minefield of complexity!

Cakes are found in cake shops. How pragmatic we are in Blighty! However a person who makes cakes professionally is a pastry chef. And a pastry is not a cake! It's all those dry sweet things that we tend to call Danish pastries although they look and taste the same as French ones! And as for a croissant....well that's a croissant, of course.

What's your favourite English dessert/cake/pudding?

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Quirky, Quintessential British-made

The word teasmaid, although it should be spelt teasmade, came up today while we were talking about household appliances. And I was wondering whether they are still made today. So I checked it out and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk9MWD_hyys

Monday, 11 January 2016

No cheesy cheese please

There was a lot of talk about cheese in today's session which got me to thinking about adjectives to describe cheese.

By adding -y to some nouns you can create an adjective e.g

salt - salty
pepper - peppery
spice - spicy
garlic - garlicky

Although cheesy means 'like cheese in taste, smell, or consistency' it can also mean cheap and of low quality!

Check out http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cheesy for a more detailed definition.

What's your favourite cheese? How would you describe it?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Notes on the session

New words

Today I learnt a new word - bore-out which appears to have similar symptoms to a burn-out but for different reasons. You might be interested to read more about it here http://www.bigapple1.info/file/Diagnose%20Boreout.pdf

New words creep into the English language constantly and you can keep up with the latest ones in this blog http://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/category/new-words/

I rather liked this entry which fits in well with our discussion about women in our all-female group today! 

she shed noun informal a garden shed owned by and equipped for a woman
Is this the ultimate sanctuary? Rise of the SHE shed as more women demand an oasis of calm at the bottom of the garden away from the chaos of family life 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

a + gerund

Today we focused on the word  'a training' which in fact does not exist in English in this form. None of the ' a + gerund' forms exist; much to the despair of my French speaking students who were convinced it was an English term. So just to set the record straight:

'a training' is a training course
'a jogging' is a tracksuit
'a parking' is a car park or a parking place
'a smoking' is a dinner jacket or tuxedo

Can you add any more?

Sunday, 11 October 2015

What're yer gonna do?

Here is the feedback from today's session. There were an number of points about the use of tenses; past, present and future.

One hot tip to take away from today is that you shouldn't use 'will' for talking about future plans.
Use the 'going to' form instead. Many songs use the shortened form 'gonna';  heavily influenced by our friends across the big pond - the dear Americans.

What are your plans for this week?