How do you like your eggs?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

There seems to be a common belief that Americans start their mornings with large breakfasts. I wish that were true. My breakfasts usually consist of cereal and milk, or toast with peanut butter, or a banana, nothing too exciting. If I had a personal chef or if I went to a restaurant, I would definitely eat more in the mornings. When dining for breakfast in the US, there is one question your server will definitely ask when you order eggs: How do you like your eggs? 

Over easy? Sunny side up? Poached? Hmmmm......

This can be perplexing to foreign visitors because there are several ways to prepare eggs, so how do you tell your server exactly what you want?  It can best be explained by breakfast blogger "Dr. Breakfast" via Breakfast with Nick’s extremely detailed (with photos) post on everyting you need to know when ordering eggs just the way you like them, for breakfast or any time!

Agree with me

Monday, March 27, 2017

Isn’t it a good feeling when someone shares your views and you have similar things in common? Of course, in life, this isn’t always the case but compatibility helps us exist a little better together in this world. 

One simple way to express agreement with people in English is with “so” or “neither”. 

SO + auxiliary (helping) verb + subject (for positive statements):

Matteo loves chocolate. ——> So do I
Beth can play the piano. —-> So can I. 
My sister is a banker. —-> So is Jason. 
Marco lives in Italy. —-> So does Elisa.
Greg would like a cup of coffee. ---> So would I. 
Alice can speak French. ---> So can Andrea. 

NEITHER + auxiliary (helping) verb + subject (for negative statements):

Valeria has never seen the film Rocky. —-> Neither has Caterina
Anna isn’t coming to the party. —-> Neither is Lorie.
Andrew doesn’t have any brothers or sisters. —-> Neither does Victor. 
Edo won’t sing karaoke.  —-> Neither will Susan. 
Stefania is not an engineer. —> Neither am I. 
Judy has never eaten caviar. —->  Neither have I

I think this is a helpful blog post. Do you agree?  ;)

Nod your head. Shake your head.

Friday, March 10, 2017

You can understand many things just by observing people’s body language and facial expressions, without any speaking or listening, It’s fairly easy to detect moods (boredom, anger, happiness, for example) through nonverbal communication. 

To understand happiness, you might see someone smiling. If they are sad, they might be frowning (a frown is the opposite of a smile). A bored person might yawn. 

The English expression and nonverbal way of showing agreement is to nod (your head). You lower and raise your head slightly and briefly as a signal that you agree or understand. Conversely, turning your head from side to side indicates refusal, denial, disapproval, or disbelief. That is to shake your head. 

To conclude, even though it’s nonverbal communication, the actions still have names: 

Nod your head  ——> indicates YES
Shake your head —-> indicates NO

Robert nodded his head to indicate that he heard the question. 

Sara shook her head when the waiter asked if she wanted more coffee. 

Choose, chose, choice

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Knowing the correct use of choose, chose, and choice is a common confusion English learners have. 

Choose - (verb) to make a choice or selection
Chose -  (verb) the past tense of choose.
Choice - (noun) the act of choosing; a selection

- Davide couldn’t choose whether to attend Harvard or Yale University. - verb
- Edoardo chose to buy a home in the countryside because he loves nature. - verb, past tense of choose
- Lisa made an excellent choice by buying an electric car. - noun

The problem may be that chose and choice sound very similar, though chose is the past verb and choice is a thing, a noun. 

- In chose, the “s” is pronounced like a “z”; Click here for the correct pronunciation of chose

The key to getting it right is memorization, so try your best and you’ll always make the correct choice

Made of, made from, made with

Thursday, January 5, 2017

How do you know which prepositions go with certain words? For example, “depend on” and “consist of” are fixed phrases. "On" always follows "depend"; "of" always follows "consist". Sometimes it's hard to remember these combinations.

Today’s post talks about make, meaning to manufacture, create or prepare. Make (past tense "made") requires three different prepositions (of, from, or with), depending on the process or materials used.

Use made of if you can identify the material used to make something (the material has not changed):

Ted’s new chair is made of oak wood.
The bride wore a wedding ring made of platinum.
The warmest sweaters are made of wool.

Use made from if the oroginal material has been changed into something completely different in the manufacturing process.

Paper is made from wood.
Wine is made from grapes.
Cheese is made from milk.

Last is made with, when there are multiple materials or ingredients used to produce something and we want to talk about one of them. (If something is made with one main material, use made from.)

Beer is made with yeast.
Nancy’s jam is made with the freshest apricots.
Lisa’s new computer is made with the fastest processor.

To sum up:
Made of = material has not changed
Made from = the material has been changed (we can’t see it anymore)
Made with = when a product is made using many elements and we describe one of them

Put in your two cents

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Are you the type of person who willingly offers opinions and suggestions? Maybe you know people like that.

An English expression that conveys a humble way of giving your opinion (sometimes without being asked for it) is to offer or put in your two cents.


- It's just my two cents but I believe the Green Bay Pakcers football team is the best in the world.
- I have an idea but I’d like to get your two cents.
- I’ll give you my two cents if you really want to know what I think.

This phrase came from the original English idiom to put in my two pennies worth which has been shortened to just my two cents.

This is a way of offering your opinion and saying it is only worth two pennies. It represents a modest way of giving your opinion because you are valuing it at only two cents.

Kitty Corner

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Are you good at giving directions? Can you accurately explain how to find locations in English? Here are some important verbs and prepositions when giving directions:

turn left
turn right
go straight ahead
go past
at the corner of
next to
on the left
on the right

Rather easy, right? You can help a lost person by giving clear directions, or maybe some kind stranger will help you one day. (How are your comprehension skills?)

One location word that is a little bit unusual, but very helpful, is kitty-corner. It has other forms too, like kitty-cornered, cater-cornered, cater-corner or catty-cornered, and they all describe the same thing: two things that are located across from each other on opposite corners; to be situated diagonally opposite.

For example: The office building is kitty-corner from the movie theater.

Did you think this post was about kittens? ;)