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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ESL Student Blog: Weather-Related Small Talk

What’s a better way to begin a conversation and get it going than talking about the weather? It’s the safest and most neutral of topics (unlike politics, marriage or religion, for example, which are rather controversial). Some possible conversation starters may include the following:

It’s a beautiful/lovely/gorgeous day, isn’t it? Not a cloud in the sky!

We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather this winter, haven’t we?

Can you believe this weather? These balmy days in the middle of winter?!

It’s freezing cold today!

The weather couldn’t be nicer, could it?

They’re calling for 10 centimeters of snow on Sunday.

If it’s not too cold or too hot, you can talk about a recent record rainfall or storm fast-approaching. There’s always so much more: humidity, haze, smog, high winds, UV index, cloudiness, or windchill.

In his humorous post of weather forecast for 2010, Christoph Niemann makes many more observations about the weather and how it affects people. Slush puddles in January, spontaneous umbrella purchases in March, people nagging about the heat or whining about the cold in April are all so true! Even real-estate hunt in May is weather-related. And socks and sandals in September is hilarious!
 
Christoph Niemann is so right: without talking about the weather, we might experience a conversational drought (while getting a haircut or riding in a taxi, for example)!
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:51 PM   1 Comments  Add Comment

Saturday, January 02, 2010

ESL Student Blog: New Year, Fresh Start - Collocations With ‘New’ and ‘Fresh’

The new year is here and it’s an opportunity to have a fresh start - to start something again (such as renewing a gym membership and using it regularly; how about that?).
 
‘New’ and ‘fresh’ sometimes have the same meanings. Yet, they’re commonly combined with different words:

new baby/location/version/technology/moon/release
 
but

fresh snow/produce/paint/footprints/wound/memory

‘Fresh’ can have additional meanings (other then ‘new’) as well. Below are a few examples of those and their opposites:

fresh vegetables - canned/dried vegetables
fresh water - salty water
fresh breath - bad breath
fresh air - stuffy air
fresh bread - day-old/stale bread
fresh shirt - worn shirt
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 9:44 PM   1 Comments  Add Comment



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