English Language Lessons

Tips and training suggestions for learning English as a foreign language.

Archive for December, 2012

Idiom of the week – Go through the roof

Posted by englishlessons on December 26, 2012

Definition:

increase to a very high level

Examples:

Construction costs have gone through the roof, so it will cost more than we expected to finish this building project.

It has been very hard to find qualified workers in this field. Consequently, salaries have been going through the roof.

Note: This idiom can also be used to refer to rising anger. For example: When he found out his son had wrecked the car, he went through the roof.

Picture it:

Picture something rising as high as the roof line of a building.

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Common Writing Mistakes for ELL (English Language Learners)

Posted by englishlessons on December 21, 2012

It can be challenging to find your own mistakes in an email or an essay for a test like the TOEFL or TOEIC.  

The mistake below is covered in Writing in English – Intermediate+, an online, interactive program that helps you write clear, concise, and correct English.

Writing In English - Intermediate+TOEFL Skill Builder

Writing in English – Intermediate+ has interactive charts for adjective + preposition combinations in English followed by scored practices with immediate feedback.

Mistake Correction
  1. He is married with Rita.

  1. He is married to* Rita.

*This adjective + preposition combination can also be used in another way. When someone chooses to spend a lot of time at work, we say, “He is married to his job.”

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Idiom of the week – Bottom out

Posted by englishlessons on December 17, 2012

Definition:

hit the lowest level

Examples:

Some experts predict that housing prices have bottomed out and will be rising in the future.

Looking back, I realize that our relationship bottomed out last year. Since then, it has been steadily improving.

Note: Variations on this idiom include: “hit rock bottom”

Picture it:

Picture reaching the lowest point, a place where it is not possible to go down any further. The expectation is that movement will be upward from this point.

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Idiom of the week – A sea change

Posted by englishlessons on December 10, 2012

Definition:

a major change or transformation

Examples:

The huge increase in the number of people working part-time without benefits represents a sea change in employment in this industry.

The popularity of smart phones and tablets has meant a sea change for companies in the PC business.

Picture it:

Think of changes in the ocean like the currents or the tides that have widespread effects.

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Idiom of the week – A recipe for disaster

Posted by englishlessons on December 3, 2012

Definition:

be extremely likely to have unfortunate consequences

Examples:

Raising interest rates when the economy is just recovering sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Taking the twin toddlers shopping when they missed their naps is a recipe for disaster.

Picture it:

A recipe is a list of ingredients and steps that, if followed, will produce a dish of food to enjoy; in this case the recipe is a combination of circumstances and actions that, if completed, are predicted to produce negative consequences.

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