When is a Chicken a Kitchen?

Well, never, of course. But these two words are quite often confused by English-language learners. It makes sense really. The two words obviously sound similar, and that’s particularly true for speakers of languages which don’t make such a distinction between the ch (/ʧ/) and k (/k/) sounds. And of course it’s logical to create an association between the two things: where else are you going to keep your chicken?

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Right to the Heart

Affairs of the heart are always complex; I think that goes without saying. The English language has a few words which demonstrate this complexity. Bittersweet is a fairly straightforward, literal one. Another similar word is poignant, meaning evoking a keen sadness and regret. Even that definition doesn’t quite convey all of its connotations, as it refers to a nostalgic, gentle kind of sadness. It’s not exactly positive, but it’s a soft, contemplative type of sadness. Continue reading

Capital Idea

One of the most common corrections an English-language teacher has to make is when a student uses a lower-case letter instead of a capital letter.

For a language you need to use a capital letter.

When you’re talking about a nationality you need to use a capital letter.

A person’s name always begins with a capital letter.

You have to start a sentence with…etc. etc.

Mistakes with capital letters are common and understandable.

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