Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hand in vs. Hand out


If you hand something in, you are giving something to a person of authority. If you hand something out, you are giving something to a group of people. 
Hand in = a group of people giving/ submitting something to one person  
Hand out = One person giving something to a group of people.

1. It’s a “madhouse” trying to hand out sweets/ candy to a bunch of kids at any party. They will crowd around and attack you… so it’s best to throw the sweets into the air and watch!

2. When you were at school, were you one of the responsible kids who used to help the teacher hand out the worksheets? In any class, one person can hand out the worksheets or the group itself can just pass them around, which means that each person takes one and passes the rest on. If you ask someone to hand something out for you, you can also say, “Could you please pass these out for me?”

3 Have you ever handed out pamphlets or flyers in a public place to promote anything?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Get out what you put in


This expression means that you will only benefit from something to the degree of effort that you make or put in.

1. The cold, hard fact is that when it comes to learning English (or any language for that matter) you only get out what you put in… so if you study for 5 minutes once a week, you won’t see much of an improvement in your language skills or communication.

2.  Some similar expressions to “You get out what you put in” are: “You reap what you sow”, “You are what you eat”, “No pain no gain” and “You get what you give”.

3. What you get out of any relationship is what you put into it. If you spend quality time with your family or friends, you will create memories that will last and build unbreakable relationships. This is especially true in any marriage.

4. Have you heard of the expression, “Life is what you make of it.”? It means that what you put into life is what you will get out of it. Do you feel that you have had many opportunities in life and the freedom to make your own choices? People who are constantly complaining and who are generally pessimistic don’t understand that their lives could be so much more different and happier if they made an effort to be friendlier and more accepting of other people… as well as starting to put more effort into certain areas of their lives so that they could benefit (in time).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Turn out


If something turns out well/ good, it was a success, there were good results. If something turns out bad(ly) then it was a failure or there were bad results. Turn out = the end results.
-> How come? = Why?

1.  Life seldom turns out the way you expect it to. Life has so many twists and turns, and normally you could never imagine where you will be or what you will be doing 10 years from now.

2. If you follow the instructions on a recipe “to the T” (very carefully and precisely), whatever you are cooking should turn out well.

3. Thank God that you don’t need to be a perfect parent for your children to turn out OK. Do you think you turned out OK (had a good upbringing/ education)?

4.  When a new job is much better than the old one, you can say that it turned out well for you (Changing jobs).

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cold feet

   

When you get cold feet, it means that you lose the courage to do something, because, for whatever reason, you are scared or nervous. You may be having doubts about going through with something.

1. Some people get cold feet when they are about to get married… but I never hesitated. In the movie, “Runaway Bride”, Julia Roberts has the habit of getting engaged and planning weddings, only to get cold feet at the last minute, leaving her fiancés at the altar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xD3xkxp4kg

2. A number of years ago when I was in Miami I was easily convinced to donate blood at one of those bloodmobiles (mobile blood units). They were about to stick a needle into my arm when I got cold feet and backed out (changed my mind).

3. Do you sometimes get cold feet when you are about to buy something expensive or do you ignore your common sense and buy something on impulse anyway?

4. Disney studios got cold feet recently and “…shut down production on The Lone Ranger, the Gore Verbinski-directed Western that was to star Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the title character… Disney pulled the plug [cancelled it] because of the budget.

5. I almost went to a fortune teller once but I got cold feet. I decided that it wasn’t for me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Give up


Give up: to quit/ stop trying/ surrender/ admit defeat/ abandon hope
-> Be wiped out: Be destroyed/ annihilated/ eliminated 
-> Keep on: continue/ persevere -> Moron: Stupid

1. In 1941, when the U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Harrow School to give a speech, he stood before the students and said, "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up! Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!"

2. When you want to encourage someone and tell them not to give up, you can also tell them not to throw in the towel. Do you encourage your friends to persevere and go on?

3 Another way to say “lose hope” is “give up hope”. Have you ever given up hope and stopped trying to do something? Isn’t it interesting that we can give up hope, but that God can still carry us through despite being weak?

4. In Josh Groban’s song, “You are loved”, he sings, “Don’t give up, because you are loved”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTGOAp4L680

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have to do with


Have to do with: To be relevant to/ relate to/ pertain to. What does “x” have to do with “y”? = How does “x” relate to “y”? How is “x” connected to “y”?
-> Kicked out: to be expelled/ thrown out/ removed/ asked to leave
-> Diner = restaurant

1. Are you the kind of person that joins a conversation and starts talking about something that has nothing to do with the topic at hand? I sometimes do that without realizing it.

2.  In Time Magazine’s article, “What Condoms Have to Do with Climate Change”, it argues that with the Earth’s population now sitting at roughly 6.8 billion, “… simple arithmetic will tell you that the bigger the global population becomes, the harder it will be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…” Can you connect the dots (find the logical connection)?

3. I was just reading a blog post titled, “Our circumstances have nothing to do with our happiness.” It goes on to say, “Sick or healthy. Rich or poor. Thin or fat. Tall or short. Curly haired or bald. None of it matters when it comes to waking up happy every day. What does matter is gratitude and perspective.” http://mgerber.blogspot.com/2011/11/our-circumstances-have-nothing-to-do.html. Do you agree, or do you think that our circumstances will inevitably affect whether we are happy or not?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Live up to


Live up to: To meet or correspond to someone’s expectations or standards. To live or act in accordance with. To be good enough.
-> Hype: The excitement and interest caused by advertising or propaganda.

1.  Some people feel that they can’t live up to their parents’ expectations of them. They study the career their parents want for them… they try everything, but it is not enough. Do you remember the song, “Perfect” by the group, “Simple plan”? Some of the lyrics say, “I try so hard to make you proud… Never going to be good enough for you… sorry, can’t be perfect.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fr_ai5Szps

2. Have you ever watched a movie that didn’t live up to the hype? Sometimes there’s a lot of publicity and hype surrounding a movie, but in the end it’s a letdown (disappointment). An example for me is the movie “Million Dollar Baby” with Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank.

3. Do you think that Barack Obama is living up to his peoples’ expectations? Do you think it’s his job to fix an economy that was broken since before he became president?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Have in mind

   

If you have something in mind, you are thinking about something. You may have an idea or a plan. When you ask someone what they have in mind, you are asking them what they are thinking… for their opinion.

1. A few things to have in mind when deciding to study a new language are: How practical or useful it will be to your life, how much time you are willing to dedicate to studying it, how you will get enough practice and how it may impact your career.

2. When planning a trip abroad/ overseas, what are some of the things you should have in mind or take into consideration? Do you focus on economizing, safety, adventure, language, relaxation, meeting the locals, shopping or fun?

3. Seeing penguins is definitely not what most people have in mind when they think of Africa, but because of the cold Benguela Current that flows from Antarctica past Cape Town in South Africa, there are sizable colonies there that are easy to see.

4. What do you have in mind for New Year’s? Is there anywhere in particular you’d like to be?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Go away


Go away: to leave, disappear or... to go on vacation.

1. When you’re busy with something and don’t have time to chat, don’t you just wish that some people would go away and leave you in peace?

2. Some problems simply go away with time, while other problems will never go away on their own… you have to “face the music” and deal with them proactively. Do you agree with the following statement: “Problems that go away by themselves come back by themselves”?

3 Here is a melancholic yet catchy song, “Go away” by the band “Eisley”: “So go away, go away and leave me on my own”. When you tell someone to go away, you are telling them to leave you alone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl5IX-zMaKw

4. Do you usually go away during your vacations/ holidays or do you stay in your own city – either at home relaxing or going out and doing activities? Usually my financial situation determines whether I can go away on vacation or not.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keep track of


If you keep track of something, you are keeping a record. You are staying informed about something.

1. How do you keep track of expenses? Do you use Excel, Microsoft Money, an iPhone application, a piece of paper… or do you take mental notes?

2.  To keep track of my students’ classes, payments, material covered etc, I use Google Calendar and Google Documents. They are simple yet effective tools to help with my organization.

3. Is it possible to keep track of your English learning progress? Is there a way to objectively measure your learning, or is it subjective? Do you rely on other people to tell you whether your English fluency has improved?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Add up


If something doesn’t add up, it simply doesn’t make sense. It’s not logical. There seems to be an error or a mistake. Something is wrong.
*If you win something by a landslide, you win it convincingly/ easily and by a long way: Ex, “A landslide victory”.

1.  Sometimes, when people give you a long excuse with conflicting details that just don’t add up, they are probably making up (inventing) the story. From that point on, I take whatever they say “with a pinch of salt”, meaning that I don’t take everything they say seriously.

2. The Bush administration’s claims that there were WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq don’t add up. Even though it turns out that the intelligence (information) was faulty, many people still believe it was a good idea to go in and take the former dictator, Saddam Hussein, out of power.

3. There are many things about the theory of evolution that just don’t add up. It’s fairly logical, but there are many inconsistencies. For example, in a very recent article in the online “Harvard Gazette”, Harvard researchers have found that “rather than increase over time, the value of beneficial mutations in a cell decreases”: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/06/it-doesnt-add-up/

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drive (someone) crazy

   

If something drives you crazy, it irritates or frustrates you. Similar expressions: to drive (someone) nuts/ bonkers/ bananas/ up the wall. 

1. It drives me crazy when I buy something that costs $20.05c, for example… and the person at the cash register makes me break another bill instead of forgetting about the extra 5c.

2. Doesn’t it drive you up the wall when someone asks you a question and then doesn’t listen to your answer? Are you a good listener or are you easily distracted?

3. One of my “pet peeves” (things that commonly annoy you) is finding any kind of liquid at the bottom of the trash can. It drives me bananas! Here is a list of some peoples’ common pet peeves: http://www.pppeeves.com/. Here are some examples from the site: (1) Noisy eaters (2) Anyone – male or female- who says “We’re pregnant” (3) Conspiracy theories (4) When somebody turns off the lights when you are still in the room (5) People who don’t remove the stickers from their new electronics.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Go back


To “go back” is to return. It could be that you are going back to where you came from, or to a previous situation.
Shut up:
Keep quiet / Take off: when a plane leaves the ground
Comfy:
Comfortable, Comfiest: most comfortable

1. When you have to start again, you “go back to square one”. When you have worked so hard and have come so far, it is frustrating to have to start all over again.

2. If you could go back in time and relive any moment or period of your life, which would it be? Would it be your childhood, your high school days… or maybe a significant event?

3 Do you remember how E.T. wanted to go back home? One of the famous phrases from the 1982 science fiction movie that everyone remembers is, “E.T. phone home”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyFijjikkeM

4. When life or any situation becomes complicated and you need to simplify things, we say that we need to “go back to the basics”. We need to look at the fundamentals.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bite off more than (you) can chew

If you bite off more than you can chew, you take on more responsibilities than you can manage/ deal with. You are trying to do more than you can handle. You are attempting much more than you may be capable of doing.

1. Do you ever land up (arrive at a final point) in trouble because you are ambitious and commit to too many things at the same time? You may be biting off more than you can chew if you are not able to fulfill your commitments… or if you don’t have time for other important priorities. 

2.  Do you think the US Government is overextending itself financially (obligating itself beyond a limit) by being involved in other countries, to the point where the federal budget is allocating too much to defense, for example? Are they biting off more than they can chew, or is this spending well within their resources?

3. If I had to schedule English classes with everyone who contacted me, I would be biting off more than I could chew, because I only have 24 hours a day. I need to eat, sleep, watch TV series etc. I would be overextending myself… so I have to set a limit on how many hours I teach a day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

End up


To “end up” means exactly that: the end result, the final conclusion, what happens in the end. The final consequence. Often it is used in a negative way or has a negative finality to it. It can also be to arrive at some place or a moment in your life.
* To mean well: To have good intentions. 
*Verb forms: Mean/ meant/ meant. I guess: I think

1.  If you live above your means, spending more money than you earn, then you will no doubt end up in debt. Do you regularly use your credit card to your advantage or do you end up in a situation where you have bitten off more than you can chew so that you don’t have the means to pay back your credit card installments?

2. Many students of mine ask me how I ended up in Brazil. Sometimes I give the long story and sometimes the short one. Everyone has a story to tell. How did you end up in the job that you have? How did you end up where you are in any particular situation in your life?

3. When I start eating a bag of chips or a container of Pringles, my intention is to eat just a little… but, like most people, I end up eating the whole lot (everything).

Monday, October 10, 2011

At odds with

   

If you are at odds with someone, it is a diplomatic way of saying that you disagree with them or don’t like them for some reason (in the general sense). You have conflicting ideas or goals. You can also be at odds about something specific.
* Wipe out: A phrasal verb meaning to destroy/ eliminate/ get rid of


1. If you are at odds with someone, you don’t “see eye to eye” with them, you are not “on the same page” or you are “at loggerheads” with them. Don’t you think the phrase, “Why can’t we all just get along?” is oversimplistic? …or do you really think that it is possible, as John Lennon sang about, for the world to live as one?

2. My wife and I are at odds as to whether we should allow our daughter to draw on herself or not. Which side of the argument do you support?

3. Google and China have been at odds about various censorship issues, including China blocking Youtube. They obviously disagree with Youtube showing politically sensitive material. Turkmenistan, Iran, Libya and Tunisia are amongst other countries that have also been at odds with Youtube at one time or another.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pay off


If something “pays off”, you see the result/ benefit of hard work or any effort.
Red rover: In this game, kids form two opposing lines and attempt to "break through" each others’ line


1. The many hours I spent trying to understand pieces of texts and songs in Spanish, with the help of an English-Spanish dictionary, definitely paid off when I went to live in Central America. I found that I had a good base of vocabulary to draw on.

2. “What you put in is what you get out”, “You reap what you sow”, “A penny saved is a penny earned”, “Practice makes perfect” and many such expressions, talk about the worth of putting effort in now, because it will pay off later.

3 The share price of the company “Apple” is now sitting at about $377. 37. Apple’s share price in December of 1980 was just $2.75. If you had invested in Apple at that time, 30 years ago, then your investment would have paid off many times over by now.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Have (your) head on straight


If someone “has their head on straight”, they are sensible, down-to-earth and rational. They think clearly and make good decisions. A variation of the expression is, “to have your head screwed on right”.

1. Unfortunately, Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson didn’t have their heads on straight. They had difficulties with substance abuse (drugs) and, in Amy’s case, later with alcoholism which lead to her death. Michael Jackson’s personal physician didn’t have his head screwed on straight. He administered MJ a lethal dose of propofol along with lorazepam, diazepam and midazolam which caused MJ to enter cardiac arrest (have a heart attack). At the moment that physician is on trial (in court) for the death of MJ. 
2.  
- You need to get your head on straight and think about your priorities.
- Just let me finish watching this Rugby match and then I’ll go out to buy some diapers, ok?

3. My English students have got their heads on straight. Although for most of them English is not an urgent necessity in the here and now, they are investing in their future. We need to make good decisions now that will benefit us in the future. We “reap what we sow”.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Play to (someone/ something)


If you “play to” someone you are behaving, performing or doing something in a way that pleases people and gets their approval or convinces them. To “play to” can also be to appeal to, especially in satisfying a need that someone has.

1.  As an English teacher I play to peoples’ need to learn English in a global community; where English is becoming more of a “must” rather than an option. In doing so, I remind and focus my students on their objectives and how English is so important to their future.

2. If you tell someone exactly what they want to hear, you are playing to their sense of insecurity and might be giving them an inaccurate idea of their ability. We need to be honest in our opinions when people ask for them, otherwise we will just be flattering them, which is not sincere.

3. When any politician is running for office; whether it be for President, Mayor, Governor etc., they play to peoples’ hopes and dreams - and many times make some promises that they will probably not be able to fulfill. Everyone wants a change in the right direction, and so we vote for the person who we think will bring it to us.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Handed (something) on a silver platter

   

If you are handed something on a silver platter, you didn’t have to work hard to get it or put much effort in.
* Pay your dues -> to pay your debts/ what you owe someone.


1. Bill Gates has 3 children. I think that they will be handed everything on a silver platter. They will not need to worry about opportunities in life. They’ve got it made. If someone is born into a rich family, we can say that they were “born with a silver spoon in their mouth.”

2. Do you remember when you had to go to a library to do research? Well those days are gone… these days everything is handed to us on a silver platter on the internet. With the advance of the World Wide Web, information is served to us on a silver platter.

3.Would you like to be handed everything on a silver platter or would you prefer to become successful though blood, sweat and tears (hard work)? They say that if you work hard for something you’ll appreciate it a whole lot more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blow over


If you are waiting for something to blow over, you are waiting for it to pass, just like the winds carry a storm away and it passes. We talk about difficult situations or circumstances blowing over, especially any kind of conflict.
Parcheesi: A board game originally from India, also known as Ludo in the UK, Parchís in Spain, and Parqués in Colombia.


1. When all of the unrest (conflict) in Egypt, Libya and Syria has blown over, I’m sure they will be safe places to visit as a tourist.

2. When someone is angry – whether it be your husband, wife, boss, parents etc. – you might want to wait for the situation to blow over and for them to calm down before you speak to them. Patience is a virtue!

3 When any kind of service in the city stops because people have gone on strike; for example: the employees at banks, schools, universities, hospitals, bus drivers etc… the only thing you can do is wait for it to blow over and hope the strike will end sooner rather than later.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Give it a shot


If you “give it a shot”, you try something to see if it will work or if you might like it. Usually we say this to someone to motivate them to try something… or we say this when we are going to try something that might be difficult for us. You can also say, “Give it a try”.
-> UPS = United Parcel Service (delivery of mail/ parcels)
-> A battering ram is a "machine" used to break down doors or walls.

1. I had never enjoyed the idea of eating raw fish (sushi), but then recently I decided to give it a shot. I must say that I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would!

2. Have you ever taken a risk with a business idea or given it a shot and applied for a job at a company that you thought might be impossible for you to work at?

3. We have a very common expression in English: “If at first you don’t succeed… try and try again”. We say this to people to encourage them. You could also say, “Why don’t you give it another shot?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Keep tabs on


If you “keep tabs on” someone or something, you are watching or observing them attentively so you know what is happening at all times. You may be keeping a record (most of the time a mental one). You stay up to date with what it happening. To “keep track of” someone/ something is a similar expression.

1.  Some boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives keep tabs on their hubby (partner) by calling them on their cell phone frequently to see where they are and what they’re doing. Some people even hire a private investigator if they are suspicious of their partner and think they are up to no good.

2. Did you know that Google has many ways to keep tabs on your internet activities? They will target you with specific ads (advertisements) because they know your preferences based on the sites you visit. Also in your Gmail account, when you read each email, you might have noticed that there are ads that are based on the content of the emails you send and receive.

3. There is a device called “CarCheckup” which when installed in any car allows you to keep tabs on anyone’s driving habits: the speed they drive, when they break or accelerate suddenly, etc. It works by GPS so you can also see where someone has been. People are using it to keep tabs on their teenage kids or on their elderly parents.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sneak up on

   

If you “sneak up” on somebody, you get closer without them knowing because you move quietly or without being seen. If a situation, deadline or date sneaks up on you, you didn’t see it coming… it’s a surprise because you hadn’t been thinking about it or aware of it.

1. When a lion stalks its prey (victim), it needs to sneak up on it before it charges and chases it down (pursues it). The lion needs to get as close as possible to have an advantage.

2. When you see a friend in public do you like to sneak up on them and surprise them?

3. “Before an elite team of U.S. Navy SEALs executed a daring raid that took down Osama bin Laden, the commandos were able to silently sneak up on their elusive target thanks to what aviation analysts said were top secret, never-before-seen stealth-modified helicopters.” – abcnews.go.com

4. My birthday always seems to sneak up on me because I don’t give it much importance… sometimes I only realize the day before that it’s my birthday. Has that ever happened to you before with special days such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rub it in


If you “rub it in”, you make a bad situation worse by commenting on it or reminding someone about it. We often do this when we tease people in a fun way. The full expression is: “To rub salt in a wound”.

1. Calvin and Hobbes are standing in the pouring rain waiting for the school bus. Calvin talks about how comfortable and warm he would be if he were still in bed. Hobbes doesn’t have to go to school with Calvin and rubs it in by saying that he was going to get back into the warm, cozy bed.

2.  
- In the last Soccer World Cup, South Africa didn’t make it to the round of 16.
- I know… please don’t remind me.
- Weren’t they beaten by Uruguay and eliminated? The goalkeeper got 

  a red card…
- Now you’re just rubbing it in… Everyone knows it was a bad call 

  by the referee.
- Wasn’t the score 0-3?

3 A conversation on Skype:
[17:12 PM] Frank Degenaar: Hey Amauri, how are you doing in Finland?
[17:12 PM] Amauri Holanda: It’s freezing... I can’t feel my toes it’s so cold, even with
                                         2 pairs of socks on!!
[17:13 PM] Frank Degenaar: Well, today I went to the beach and worked on my tan...
                                          And you? Did you go ice fishing?
[17:13 PM] Amauri Holanda:  LOL! Stop rubbing it in! No… I’ve been doing some research
                                          for my doctorate… on things you’ll never understand.
[17:14 PM] Frank Degenaar: Yeah, I know… now you’re rubbing it in! I know… I’m just a
                                          simple English teacher :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tick (someone) off


If you tick someone off you make them angry/ mad.
To hold a grudge: to not forgive someone
To get (someone) back: to take revenge, to give someone a taste of their own medicine.

1. Doesn’t it tick you off when a taxi driver takes advantage of you and takes you on an unnecessarily long detour so that he can make extra money?

2. I got really ticked off last year during the Soccer World Cup when the referee gave the South African goalkeeper a red card for a foul that he didn’t actually commit. I am South African, by the way… otherwise there would have been no reason to get ticked off!

3. Does it tick you off when someone cuts in front of you in any line – whether you are waiting to buy a movie ticket or buying coconut water at the beach?

4. It ticks me off when my internet goes down (service is interrupted) and there’s no apparent reason, because I really depend on it. Two weeks ago I had no internet access at home for 2 days… and only later did I discover that it was because they were servicing the power lines for the newly constructed buildings across the street. Aaargh!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tightly wound


If someone is “tightly wound”, they are stressed out and may overreact very easily. They may be very tense, anxious and highly reactive. It is difficult for someone who is tightly wound to relax.
* Tad = a little

1.  If you are tightly wound because of prolonged periods of stress (especially at work) it’s easy to get frustrated about small things that ordinarily don’t irritate you or even explode.

2. If you are burning the candle at both ends and not getting enough sleep for days on end, you will probably be tightly wound and moody (easily irritated).

3. Someone who is tightly wound may get offended easily, especially when people don’t treat them the way they expect. Are you defensive, just waiting to put someone in their place if they are rude to you?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Live off

   

If you live off someone or something, you survive using that person or thing or with their help.

1. Many people live off the land by eating and using what they find - fruit that grows naturally or hunting animals that are natural to that specific area. Do you have the survival skills to live off the land?

2. What is the maximum age where people should stop living off their parents and get a job?

3. Senior citizens are elderly people, many of whom have retired and live off a pension.

4. If you win the lottery and put that money in the bank, it is possible to live off the interest.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Out of sight out of mind


“Out of sight out of mind” is an idiomatic expression which has a literal meaning… so basically if you don’t see someone or something, you normally forget about or don’t think about them or it.

1. When we haven’t seen our old school friends after so many years, we seem to forget that they even exist. Out of sight out of mind. Well… that was until Facebook and other social networks came along (appeared).

2. Many times we suddenly get the urge (desire) to eat something only when we see it… so it may be a good idea to put all of those unhealthy snacks in a place where you don’t see them every day… out of sight out of mind.

3Have you ever seen the inside of a favela/ shanty town/ slum? Often we never get to see abject poverty and the poor living conditions that so many people live in… and rarely do we even think of underprivileged people. As they say – “Out of sight out of mind”.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stand behind


If you stand behind someone or something, it means that you support or endorse them or it. You guarantee the performance or worth of someone or something.

1. The German government is standing behind its controversial biofuel, saying that it was sticking with the biofuel E10 despite major problems. "We need to reduce our dependency on oil," the Environment Minister said after the meeting with oil company representatives, and automakers. E10, which contains 10 percent ethanol, is safe for 93 percent of all cars registered in Germany - yet, despite it being cheaper than regular gasoline, many drivers have refused to buy it fearing that it will damage their engines. In Brazil the mandatory minimum blend (mix) of Ethanol (from sugarcane) has been set at 25% (E25) since 2007.

2. Many of Muammar Gaddafi’s officials who stood behind him and who were called “Gaddafi Loyalists” have already defected to the former rebels in Libya or are fleeing Tripoli and other cities. Did they seemingly stand behind him because they were intimidated or fearful for their lives or perhaps were promised money and power?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Shoot


When someone asks if they can ask you a question, the response that always comes to mind is “shoot”, which is a more casual way of saying, “Go ahead and ask your question” or “say what you want to say, I’m listening”.
*Betty Crocker is a brand name, which is especially famous for their chocolate brownie and cake mixtures which come in a box.

1.  
- I was watching a movie last night… and there were some phrases I didn’t understand… can I ask you some of them?
- Of course… shoot!

2. 
- There are so many questions I would like to ask you… I don’t know where to start!
- Shoot.
3. 
- Before I make my final decision, I’d like to ask you just two more questions.
- Ok… shoot.

4. 
- Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?
- Not at all… shoot.

5.  
- You can ask me any question. Anything about anything.
- Ok… here’s one you’ll never know….
- Shoot.