I often write about false friends and various other confusing words for learners of English. But one of my recent French lessons reminded me of a word that often confuses Anglophone learners of French: magasin. Continue reading
I briefly considered the word catchphrase today. Continue reading
I spent a little time in the classroom yesterday, correcting a test. One of the exercises required the students to finish the sentence Is the climate cold, or… with one of three options. One was …is it too hot? and another was …is it multicultural?
Obviously the correct answer was …is it too hot? But one student asked if …is it multicultural? could be right too. And of course it wasn’t, but then I thought: It also kind of is. Continue reading
I was wondering this morning why we say once and twice as alternatives to one time and two times in English.
It’s one of these things learners of English find it hard to remember to use. Partly it’s because there’s no greater pattern at work, as for every other number after one and two we just say three times, four times etc. It’s also because most other languages use the equivalent of one time and two times.
So why does English have to be awkward, once again, and not just use one time and two times? Continue reading