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Teacher Paul 19 Nov, 11:54
💠 to be left out during the decision-making process

A situation when, for instance, someone's opinion isn't considered during an important process of deciding what to do or/and what not to. Usually, an undesired position for most people, unless one doesn't want to bear responsibility, which is also possible.

The question, however, is: is there a difference between "making decisions" and "taking decisions"?

✅ Yes, there is.
❎ No, there isn't.

✅ 1
Teacher Paul 16 Nov, 20:54
The correct answer in the previous quiz was:

✅ All these exams are putting ⚪️ unnecessary pressure on students.

That is, no article. "Pressure" is definitely an uncountable noun, "2 pressures" can't exist (unlike "2 kinds of pressure"). So although "putting an unnecessary pressure" may sound smooth, from the grammatical point of view, there's no article with this word.


Choose the correct option:

📋 One day all innocent victims will be ……………… .

🔴 revenged
🔵 avenged

#quiz #vocabulary
🔴 3
🔵 4
Teacher Paul 15 Nov, 15:00
📨 Sometimes we can be about to do something but right away we have second thoughts.
What do we say when we don't do this 'something' now but still want to get back to it somewhen later?

There's a nice way to put it:

📝 OK, not now... Let's save that for a better day".

Of course, it's possible to replace

- "that" with "this";
- "better" with "more proper"
- "day" with "time" (or "later") and probably
- "save" with "keep", sometimes

It's alright to do all kinds of synonymous alterations and substitutions.

All in all, it's a good option instead of "OK, not now, (let's do it) later".

✔️ 3
Teacher Paul 14 Nov, 15:00
💠 to accelerate the flow of time

A more intelligent way to say that one wants their time to fly faster, or as a substitution to the "to kill time" expression.

And the direct antonym to "accelerate" is "to decelerate". So it's possible to say "I'd like to decelerate the flow of time" meaning "let's keep it slow, lets take our time".

🕰 2
Teacher Paul 12 Nov, 15:00
💠 those of lesser intelligence

A not-so-polite way to refer to that type of individuals whose mental abilities leave much to be desired. What's interesting here is the simple yet very versatile formula:

noun/pronoun + OF + (adjective) + noun

Using it one can describe many things in a compelling way. I wrote about it before.

✔️ 3
Teacher Paul 9 Nov, 11:30
The correct answer in the previous quiz was

✅ It's the 3rd time that I've had the pleasure 🔴 of meeting him.

We can say "I'm pleased to meet you", or "It's a pleasure to meet you", but when we introduce "have" it changes to "to have the pleasure of sth".


Choose the correct option:

📋 All these exams are putting ……………… unnecessary pressure on students.

🔴 the
🔵 an
⚪️ -

#quiz #grammar
🔴 1
🔵 7
⚪️ 4
Teacher Paul 8 Nov, 17:10
The doctoring doctor
doctors the doctor the way
the doctoring doctor wants to doctor the doctor,
not the way the doctored doctor wants to be doctored.

Tongue twisters are believed to be a great tool to build one's articulation and fluency, and indeed - if one knows a dozen of them and is able to recite them superfast, there's definitely something special about this person's speaking skills.

The thing is, however, that tongue twisters are... not natural. They're a great exercise, but what exactly do you exercise with them? Your ability to use S and TH sounds interchangeably in a sentence? Or is it your being able to say a sentence super-fast, using only the words which start with the W sound? Where in real life would you face such challenges?

Basically, nowhere. Tongue twisters may help one build impressive articulating skills which, however, aren't that much demanded in a realistic conversation.

What IS realistic, however, is poetry, in any of its forms (verses, lyrics, rap lyrics, etc). It's usually rhymed, rhythmical, thus engaging and fun to read; and it strengthens your fluency and articulation using natural phrases, those that you do use, not some unrealistic examples like "she sells sea shells on the seashore".

It doesn't mean that tongue twisters must be thrown away. The main idea is simply to understand what an exercise actually teaches, and what it doesn't, in order not to have ungrounded expectations.

🤔 3
Teacher Paul 2 Nov, 11:30
#quiz #grammar The correct answer in the previous quiz was

👉🏻 Wow! There are so many places to visit in Mogadishu that I 🌻 cannot decide where to go.

The thing is here that with the verbs of perception (see, hear, smell) and the mind (understand, decide, remember) CAN is used, as a rule. If one said "I'm not able to decide" it'd mean "I'm functionally/mentally not able to come up with a decision", it'd sound like a mental condition or something close to that. This is why we always say "I can't hear you" and not "I'm not able to hear you" because the latter would rather mean deafness.


Choose the correct option:

📋 It's the 3rd time that I've had the pleasure ………………… him.

⚫️ of having met
🔴 of meeting
🔵 to meet
⚪️ from meeting
⚫️ 1
🔴 5
🔵 1
Teacher Paul 31 Oct, 18:00
There's the phrase - "as a matter of fact", and there's another one which looks similar but it's not - "the fact of the matter".

"As a matter of fact" is synonymous to "frankly speaking", "to tell you the truth", "plainly speaking" etc. It can also substitute "by the way", "in fact", "actually".

"The fact of the matter", however, is used to introduce "the truth", the way things really are, or to say something unexpected / surprising to the listener. For example:

~ "I don't understand why we're so surprized with Keith's performance, the fact of the matter is he works here only because he's the president's son, he didn't have any expertise from the beginning".

✔️ 2
Teacher Paul 26 Oct, 15:55
#quiz #vocabulary

The previous quiz might've seemed somewhat ambiguous. But although it was generally possible to say ""the man who put the guys on the path of success", it wasn't the thing. The matter is that the sentence I introduced had the same feel and approach as many of official tests have, i.e. they offer you a number of options where some are definitely wrong, and some seem certain, but they're not; in our case, firstly, "to put someone on the path" would've been too obvious, and, frankly, it sounds a tad off. The sentence in the previous quiz checked your knowledge of this expression:

🍍 to put smth/smb on the map, meaning to make (smth/smb) famous.


Here's another choice to make, choose the appropriate word:

📋Wow! There are so many places to visit in Mogadishu that I ………………… decide where to go.

🌹 am not able to
🌻 cannot
🍀 am not capable to
🌹 1
🌻 4
Teacher Paul 25 Oct, 05:55
Another batch of interesting expressions aka #diamonds:

♠️ to reach the inevitable ugly end

This one can be rephrased with slight changes in its meaning. For example, "to reach the inevitably ugly end" would mean that "the end" was meant to be ugly; and "to inevitably reach the ugly end" would mean that the very "reaching" was bound to happen. All versions are possible, all sound nice.

♥️ a habit of pronunciation

This is an ultimate and universal explanation (and sometimes excuse) for anything that may be said anywhere. "Why do people in Puerto Rico sometimes pronounce L instead of R, and drop the S sound?" - "Well, a habit of pronunciation, I guess". And, why not, you can even explain why you pronounce something the way you do.

♣️ a daring and insightful solution

This is a post-advanced version of saying "wow, such a great solution". "Daring" roughly conveys the idea of "bold", and "insightful" offers the idea of something that's "well-thought" or "intuitively correct".

♦️ glaring loopholes (e.g. in our laws)

"Glaring" in this context means, closely, "eradiating", "shining", "looking at you and drawing your attention"; and "loopholes" generally refer to "mistakes", "inaccuracies". The latter can (and may/should?) be exploited, as a rule.

Tap the appropriate button to show which expression is most useful to you.
♣️ 1
♦️ 3
Teacher Paul 19 Oct, 07:11
#quiz #vocabulary

The answer to the previous gap filler was this:

📌 The book was presented, and the author started his speech; in the middle of it he was interrupted by the fire alarm, but after it was discovered it was false, he 🍇 went on delivering his speech.

"To go on doing smth" means "to get back what one did before"; whereas
"To go on to do something" means "to have finished one thing and proceed to the 2nd thing thing".

There's another gap to fill, choose the most appropriate word:

📋 "... having released 2 albums and still having no significant success, the band met Joey Larson who was exactly the man who put the guys on the ..................... After a few tricks Larson did, the band's albums gained listeners' attention and... "

🍏 payroll
🍇 grid
🍑 path of success
🍍 map
🍑 6
🍍 1
Teacher Paul 14 Oct, 23:02
#quiz #grammar

Choose the option that you think fits the best to fill the gap.

📋 The book was presented, and the author started his speech; in the middle of it he was interrupted by the fire alarm, but after it was discovered it was false, he ........................ his speech.

🍏 went on to deliver
🍇 went on delivering
🍑 went to delivering
🍍 went on to delivering
🍏 1
🍇 12
🍍 2
Teacher Paul 6 Oct, 07:59
​​It always feels inspiring when I find misprints in texts. Especially when one is found in an important coursebook.

🤡 3
Teacher Paul 4 Oct, 07:59
💠 Some #diamonds for the readers:

- to seek (external) validation

This one correctly describes an action when someone is insecure and expects other people to give them positive feedback, e.g.: "You're so smart!", "You're great!", "Good job! You're the best!", and so on. Without these someone feels helpless and worthless.

- to satisfy one's biological urges

Can be used to describe just a number things because "biological" is actually limited to a narrow circle of needs: reproduction, domination, free/cheap high (pleasure) etc. So, for example, an extremely down-to-earth individual's lifestyle may be described in this way: "He/she doesn't ask much of life, all he/she seeks is satisfying his/her biological urges, and everything that's of at least some intellectual value is worthless to him/her".

- to feel unplugged / to get off the grid / to become off-grid

These describe a temporary, lengthy, or permanent state of being out of The System - no cellphone, no Internet, no dependence on The System related to power, water, food, etc, or just leaving the city for a day or two to enjoy the nature without checking the news, responding to messages, and other similar activities.
📝 4
Teacher Paul 25 Sep, 07:59
English is not that complicated as many other languages in terms of politeness levels.. After all, we only have "you" for everything unlike, for example "tú", "vosotros", "Usted", and "Ustedes" in Spanish.

Politeness, however, can still be too huge to explain thoroughly. If I had to approach it from a practical point of view, I'd break it down into these approximate levels:

1. "Open the window, now!" - that's not just an order, that's also a super imperative command.

2. "Open the window." - that's just an order. Impolite, unless there's some specific context.

3. "Please open the window." - a normal request or a very polite or formal order.

4. "Could you open the window?" - a polite request. Note that if I said "Can you open the window?" it'd rather be a question which checks one's ability to open it, not really a request. "Can you open the window?" - "Yes, I can, but I will not".

5. "Could you open the window, please?" - a very polite request.

And after that, from the practical point of view, it doesn't make much sense to move on. Yes, there may be options similar to "If you please, could you open this window, if you have time?", etc, but they're a little redundant when it comes to daily things.

Teacher Paul 14 Sep, 17:30
💠 Several expressions which could be of some use:

♠️ generic platitude

A platitude is a phrase of, usually, moral meaning that's been overused and lost its power. "Nobody's perfect", "take it easy", "good things come to them who wait", "life is life" etc. You hear them and yes, you understand them, but often times phrases like that don't do any good and are just annoying clichés.

♥️ to stonewall somebody

Means to refuse to communicate with someone, to give someone 'the silent treatement'.

♣️ a contingency plan

There's "the plan" and "the plan B" - what to do when something unexpected or unpredicted happens. So "the plan B" can be replaced with the expression above.

♦️ a life well-lived

The expression is interesting not because of its meaning (it's plain), but the way it's built. It offers a model that one can use to express many things:
- to live a life -> a life well-lived
- to feed a rat -> a rat well-fed
- to draw up a plan -> a plan well-drawn
- to sing a song -> a song well-sung
- to cook a meal -> a meal well-cooked
- to say the words -> the words well-said, and so on.

♦️ 2
Teacher Paul 5 Sep, 17:36
"I perfectly understand the difference between Past Simple and Present Perfect"

🍏 yes, that describes me
🍎 no, that's not me
🍏 6
🍎 2
Teacher Paul 31 Aug, 17:10
💠 A batch of useful words and expressions aka #diamonds

♠️ to pigeonhole someone/smth

Generally, it has 2 main meanings
- to assign to a certain place inside a hierarchy/system, as in "Because of her communicative skills she was immediately pigeonholed as the boss' assistant".
- to put something aside, sometimes in order to forget completely, as in "Nobody knew what to do with the document, so it was pigeonholed, and noone remembered about it again".

♥️ to defeat the purpose

It means to make (or render) something sense- and pointless, not to achieve the desired outcome, as in "You've bought the laptop but have never used it much which defeats the purpose of buying it at all".

♣️ a textbook smth

As an adjective here "textbook" describes something basic, classic, thoroughly described and explained long ago, as in "She's saying she's been having very strange dreams, but, frankly, those are just textbook anxiety nightmares caused by overworking".

♦️ to deviate from instructions

Use this phrase when you want to express something that is not exactly breaking of instructions, nor is it "bending the rules", but it's more of following instructions in an inacurate way, as in "He was told to gather money in $100 dollar bills and bring it in a black suitcase, but he gathered it in all kinds of bills and brought it in a green purse; that kind of deviation from clear instructions put the hostage's life in even bigger danger".
♦️ 2
Teacher Paul 27 Aug, 09:30
The correct answer to the previous #quiz was:

~ Back in the 1960s it was believed that rock music encouraged atheism, nihilism, and purposelessness.

"Invented" is logically strange since atheism and nihilism had existed long before the 1960s; "promoted of" is just an incorrectly formed combination of the verb and preposition; and so is "advocated for", but…

It would've been totally correct to use "advocated" if there had been NO "for". Here's something interesting about "advocate":

1. It can be both a verb and noun, spells the same.
2. When it's a verb, it's pronounced "AD-vuh-keyt" and does NOT require any preposition. You advocate something. He advocates the use of firearms.
3. But when it's a noun, it's pronounced like "AD-vuh-kit", and in this case a preposition is required, but notice the difference in how prepositions a're used:
a) I want to be an advocate for the poor ("for" suggests a group of people, or some person, generally)
b) I want to be an advocate of peaceful coexistence ("of" suggests a thing or something abstract, as a rule).

The same principle about pronunciation applies to another word - "degenerate".

1. When it's a verb, it's "dih-JEN-uh-reyt". Someone's performance has degenerated. Her health will degenerate if no professional treatment is applied. But...
2. When it's a noun, when oftentimes we need to refer to someone as "a degenerate", it's "dih-JEN-er-rit". The king appeared to be a degenerate.
3. The noun's pronunciation is used when "degenerate" is used as an adjective, too. His queen was no better, she was a degenerate ruler.

However, it's not mathematical about words that end with -ate. They're numerous - http://bit.ly/2PwUzrm and though sometimes you can apply the concept described above, sometimes it either doesn't fit or simply doesn't work.