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ESL Student Blog
Language points (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciaton) that are worth noticing for ESL students around the world.

Friday, April 24, 2009

crash or crush?

Another pair of confusing words, either mispronounced or mistaken meaning-wise. a in 'crash' is pronounced /æ/ (as in 'cat') while u in 'crush' is pronounced /ʌ/ (as in 'but').
 
If something crashes, it causes destruction or damage on impact, or fails to work:
 
The helicopter crashed into the building.
My computer suddenly crashed, and I lost all the unsaved data.
Many Americans remember October 24th, 1929, the day when the stock market crashed.
 
Common related expression - crash course - intensive training that is done in a short period of time:
 
To play a dancer in the movie, the actress had to take a crash course in belly dancing.
 
If something is crushed, it’s pressed or squeezed hard until it loses its shape:
 
The teacher accidently stepped on the chalk and crushed it. There is now a lot of chalk dust on the floor.
 
Susan crushed 2 cloves of garlic and added them to the sauce.
 
Common related expression - have a crush on - feel a strong attraction to someone:
 
Amy has a crush on her brother’s tennis coach.
 
Choose: crush, crash, crash course, have a crush (or their forms)
 
1. His foot was badly ____ when the motorcycle ___ into the guardrail.
2. Right after her son’s birth, Roberta went through a ___ in breastfeeding.
3. David always blushes when Robin walks by. Obviously, he ___ her.
4. Can you ___ some ice for the cocktails, please?
5. The shopping cart rolled down and __ into a wall.
 
Answer Key:
 
1. crushed, crashed
2. crash course
3. has a crush on
4. crush
5. crashed
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 6:40 PM   1 Comments  Add Comment

Sunday, April 05, 2009

ESL Student Blog: Egg Dishes - What’s Your Favourite?

Eggs are so versatile that there is hardly any culture that doesn’t enjoy them in one way or the other. Below are some popular ways to eat this protein-rich food:
 
A soft-boiled egg is an egg cooked (boiled) for about 3 minutes. It has a runny yolk.
 
A hard-boiled egg is an egg cooked (boiled) for about 5-6 minutes. It has a solid yolk.
 
A sunny-side-up egg is an egg that has been cracked onto a frying pan and fried on one side only (taking care not to break the yolk).
 
An over-easy egg is fried on both sides with a yolk left intact. No mixing of the egg white is the yolk is necessary.
 
A scrambled egg is done by beating the yolk and egg white together, pouring the mixture onto a frying pan and stirring frequently until it sets.
 
A poached egg is an egg simmered in water without its shell. This egg has a runny yolk and is usually used in a very popular North American dish called Eggs Benedict.
 
Eggs Benedict are poached eggs served on top of a toast along with bacon or smoked salmon and holandaise sauce (made of butter, egg yolks, lemon juice and seasonings). This is an all time breakfast favourite in restaurants and eataries as well as the biggest ever challenge for cooks who try to recreate this dish in their home kitchens (poaching eggs does take some practice).
 
Other local egg favourites include omelettes and their variations - frittatas with various toppings or fillings.
 
Are you hungry yet?

Try an exercise on Eating and Cooking Eggs here.

POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 1:27 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Wednesday, April 01, 2009

ESL Student Blog: April Fool’s Day Vocabulary

People tell jokes all the time. But April the 1st is intended for practical jokes - tricks that require some physical action (rather than just telling funny stories).
 
Examples of typical practical jokes can be putting salt in a sugar bowl, tying two shoes together or taping the hook of a telephone to the handset (so that the phone will keep ringing even when picked up).

TV or radio stations may broadcast false news stories on that day; these are called hoaxes. If you hear about apartments for sale on the moon or flying penguins, these are definitely hoaxes!

A gullible person is easy to trick, fool, dupe or put on. S/he is easily taken in by what you make him/her to believe. If s/he falls for your joke, s/he suspects nothing wrong.

Example: Kevin called his wife Laura and pretended he’s a municipal worker. He tried to make his voice on the phone unrecognizable. He told Laura that the city is doing infestation of the household pests (cockroaches, ants, etc.) in their area and asked her to empty all the kitchen cupboards in an hour.

Laura didn’t recognize her husband’s voice on the phone and started emptying her kitchen cupboards. She fell for it (believed the story was true) and was completely taken by it. Laura is definitely gullible.

Don’t be particularly trusting on that day. And if you decide to pull a fast one (play a trick) on someone, make sure it’s harmless. ...And do remember to keep a straight (serious) face!
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:17 AM   0 Comments  Add Comment



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