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Teacher Paul 10 Aug, 20:00
📨 A very valuable file I've found recently - "Longman Communication 3000 list" which contains the 3000 most frequently used words. Some description from the file itself:

~ "The Longman Communication 3000 represents the core of the English language and shows students of English which words are the most important for them to learn and study in order to communicate effectively in both speech and writing."

~ " … by knowing this list of words, a learner of English is in a position to understand 86% or more of what he or she reads."

~ "… they (words) have the added information about relative frequency in spoken and written language."

Yes, knowing how frequent a word is in spoken or written language is a nice idea, but in the 1st place, the file contains a very extended core #vocabulary which covers nearly every sphere of life, except, of course, specific areas like botany or welding. Confident knowledge of the words in the list definetely upgrades a student to speaker. Yes, not a native one, but most of average native Joes/Janes don't use half of the 3000, as a rule.

Teacher Paul 6 Aug, 08:55
💠 This week's portion of #diamonds

🕐 to be a ticking time bomb

Self-explanatory, the only thing one has to remember/recall that it's not {ticking time} + {bomb}, but {ticking} + {time bomb}. Although by default it means an explosive device, I've seen it used equally for figurative reasons, i.e. describing situations, conditions, persons etc.

🔥 inherently dangerous to be unprepared

Of course, one can simply say "it's very bad not to be ready". Both variants mean quite exactly the same, but the impression they make is way different.

🔈 the most talked about issue

Or "subject". Again, it's all about the way one wraps their message: it's possible to say "people like to talk about alcohol", and it's another look and feel if one puts it like "alcohol is the most talked about subject", or "crime and violence have been the most talked about issue for the last 50 years".

📲 to sit and wait for the phone to ring

"Thank you for the interview, we'll definetely call you back", lol. A very relevant allegory describing one's state of indecisiveness, naive faith, overextended trust, etc.
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🔥 1
Teacher Paul 1 Aug, 08:21
The number 1 word for any person with the experience of being involved into any sorts of contemporary institutionalized learning of English is "to discuss". Dull as it may sound/look/feel, it's undeniably important and necessary.

The funny thing with this word, however, is this: if you explore those traditional sources of knowledge like m-w.com, dictionary.com, or even etymonline.com, you'll get the general, 'primeval' idea of smth close to "break an object to pieces through words" - I've put that too roughly, but still.

So, the funny thing is that in this word, "discuss" we definitely have the prefix "dis-" which means, generally, "away", "apart", and the stem "cuss". "Cuss" is a twisted form of "curse", historically. And what do we get in the end, having broken down "discuss" - "not to curse"? "uncurse"? "politespeak"? "to talk things over respectfully?"

Well, maybe, until there appears another function of the "dis-" prefix which is "profoundly", "utterly" (2 fancy words for "completely", actually): to discern, to dissect, to dissever. (When a head is cut off from a body, it becomes 'a severed' head).

So, in the end, the meaning of "discuss" is still multiverse: either being "uncurse", or "cursing to its extremity", or the (boring) default meaning of "breaking smth down with words", it's still all true.

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🍔 1
Teacher Paul 30 Jul, 16:43
Just a handful of useful phrases this time.

1. "Are you sure you want to make this your problem?"

A pretty emphatic way of saying "I don't think you should get involved in this matter", sounds super natural (meaning, 'very natural') and fits many situations.

When you rephrase it as "You certainly don't want to make it your problem", the verb "to want" is not really used in its default meaning of "to have a desire", it's rather like "you definetely shouldn't", "it's better for you if you don't", like in the example - "Stop cursing in public, you certainly don't wanna have troubles with the police".

2. "Go to your room until forever".

Funny as it is, "until forever" is also super useful as a substitute to "for good" or even "till the end of time". Of course, it's possible to reverse "until" into "since" - "As long as I remember him, he's been an alcoholic since, like, forever".

3. "Like there is no tomorrow".

Basically, it means "not caring about consequences" - "I couldn't fall asleep last night because my neighbors were partying hard like there was no tomorrow".

4. "Like nobody's business".

It's, like, similar to "in the best way possible", "better than anyone else" - "He was a confident, professional guitarist - everytime he was on stage he played his solos like nobody's business, noone could be better than him".

🎸 3
Teacher Paul 27 Jul, 08:01
Verbs in English are traditionally separated into 2 species: 'transitive' and 'intransitive' ones.

I keep my channel honest, meaning that I don't do 'the copywriting' thing, that is, I don't write about something that the readers can read themselves elsewhere, for example, here - http://bit.ly/2v9B7Ye. Quite a nice informative intro to the huge topic of transitive-vs-intransitive verbs in English.

Here's something interesting. One can 'enter the room' and one can 'exit the room', as we know. 'To enter/exit smth' is nothing special.

How about entering/exiting SOMEONE? Although it might seem counterintuitive, it's widely used everywhere.

The situation: the soccer worldcup, the final game, 2 teams are battling for the cup; say, the champion, team of Brance, opposed by its most fierce rival, team Frazil. After the 2 resultless halves goes the fruitless extra time, and the winner is found out via the lottery-like penalty shoot-outs; after tense dueling the winner is... the team of Frazil.

And this is the moment of saying 2 opposite things: "Enter Frazil!" and "Exit Brance!"

This enter/exit thing is applied even more naturally to more personalized kinds of sports, i.e. MMA, boxing etc.
Say, 2 fighters are meeting in the cage, Dragon vs Snake. Dragon is the current champion, Snake is trying to defeat him. Snake wins, so - exit Dragon, enter Snake.

Here "enter Snake" means smth close to "introducing/presenting Snake", and "exit Dragon" stands for "removing Dragon (from the pedestal)".

Having said that, enter @teacherpaul2018fb_bot, a means of sending your suggestions/comments about whatsover for this channel.

#grammar #announcements #tips
🆗 4
Teacher Paul 25 Jul, 17:02
"To err is human". It seems there was a problem with the display of monotype fonts which I used to highlight 'the formulas' in the last 2 posts. That is, in the desktop version of Telegram they display well, as for mobile apps, I have some doubts. So, without anything fancy, the formulas that were mentioned are:

1. noun + OF + adv +adj + noun, where adverbs and adjectives are optional

> a tune of strickingly familiar leitmotif

2. adj + OF + pronoun

> very rude of him

#tips #announcements
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Teacher Paul 25 Jul, 08:01
Another use of the little helper "OF" can be described with this formula:

adjective + OF + pronoun

It's usually preceeded by "how" or "so":

- So brave of him!
- How determined of you!

The examples above are exclamatory but one can use them more calmly, for instance:

- It was so unexpected of her that she just went straight to the boss' office and said she was fed up - she'd always been so shy.

- It'll be very brave of you if you just come up to her and say, "Alright, I'm leaving".

💭 3
Teacher Paul 23 Jul, 07:59
🗒 Another little helper has been existing all this time, its name is "OF". It has always been ready to help one sound more educated and exquisite, and the formula for that is:

[noun] + OF + (adv) + (adj) + [noun], where text in italics is optional.

It works in the following way:

a) a man of reform
b) equipment of staggering perfomance
c) a band of an outstandingly unique creativity

Sure, phrases like the above, especially b) and c) are not among those that are frequently used by revered native speakers from god-forsaken shite-holes and ghettos in, say, the UK, for example. But they're used by the literary and educated, regardless native or not so native, and they enable a user to sound distinctively elevated.

- a house of soothing comfort;
- a tune of nostalgic value;
- a book of a striking, eye-opening revelation;
- a decision of courage
- a speech of great influence (just a rephrasal of "a very influencial speech")

and so on.
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Teacher Paul 20 Jul, 12:53
This week's #diamonds:

🔸 to fabricate a completely synthetic personality

In this case the word "synthetic" means "not real or genuine", that is, "fake". So a fake account on a social media looking very realistic is a well-fabricated synthetic personality.

🔸 an artificial limitation

Depending on what one means, this one can stand for 2 very related concepts:
1. Something opposite to "a natural limitation", i.e. human inability to fly; and an artificial limitation could be one's "I can't do it" belief.
2. A made-up, fake limitation which is not a limitation at all and mustn't exist as such. For example:
"Seriously, boss, there's no such law that forbids checking social media at one's workplace, those limitations that you're imposing are completely artificial".

🔸 to aid one's infiltration

Another way of saying "to help someone infiltrate". But it can be used as a pattern for other expressioins.
to aid one's something
to aid his promotion
to aid her recuperation
to aid our escape (from smth)
and so on.
💎 3
Teacher Paul 18 Jul, 10:01
Little helpers like "thus" and "hence" are of great assistance helping to save time and space and enabling a speaker to sound more educated.

Say, one's asked why they're wearing dark glasses in the evening. Of course, they could start saying things like "You see, I have sensitive eyes, so my doctor told me to wear dark glasses", and that'd be alright, one would be understood, but that's a little too long and book-ish. One's better be using smth like this:

- "I've got sensitive eyes, hence the glasses".

That's it, no need to use many words noone will hear.

"Thus" and "hence" can look similar but they play differently. "Hence" usually describes something relating to the moment of speaking and onward:

"They're not going to pay their debt, hence the baseball bats that you see right here".

belongs to something of the past and/or conclusion:

"We failed to reach them, thus the situation stays unsolved".

Would be strange to say, "I've got sensitive eyes, thus the glasses". But it would be OK to rephrase it into "I was diagnosed with sensitive eyes, thus I had to buy dark glasses".

And of course, "thus" and "hence" can be (in most of the cases) substituted with "so" and "therefore", but believe it's wonderful to be able to say roughly the same idea in 4 different ways.

👏🏻 3
Teacher Paul 14 Jul, 18:20
📖 I've written a post about Native vs Non-native speakers of English and why I think this concept must, in a sense, go. Although I've tagged it as #longread, it's really not - just up to 500 words.


In future I'll post articles like that from time to time, roughly - once per 1…3 weeks.
🌐 4
Teacher Paul 10 Jul, 17:45
This week's #diamonds:

🍑 an achievement not to be sniffed at

Except for the obvious meaning ("to take air in through one's nose"), "to sniff" has this meaning: to speak in an unpleasant way, showing that you have a low opinion of something.

🍏 an incorrectly placed responsibility

An alternative way of saying "We chose the wrong person to do this".

🌶 to publicly malign someone

This may happen to 'the wrong person' above - they can be publicly critisized and accused heavily and intensively of all sins. With only difference that usually, by default, "to malign" means "to speak evil" unjustly.
🍏 1
🌶 1
Teacher Paul 7 Jul, 17:00
🔸 to receive the full definition of an apology

A very fancy way of saying that you've heard "I'm really sorry" and it sounded believable PLUS some actions were made to compensate the damage done.

That leads to another example of what it's like when prepositions work together:

✏️ to make it up for someone

So we can write smth like:

"She wanted to make it up for me so hard that she bought me a new laptop; now, I don't know how about you, guys, but to me that looks like a full definition of an apolopy"

#diamonds #expressions
Teacher Paul 5 Jul, 17:21
When you need to introduce some unpleasant sounding initiative which is still necessary, you may use this intro:

📜 I know it seems harsh, but...

..."I think we must reduce our staff, otherwise we won't stand a chance against other competitors on the market", or

..."giving the HR chief manager the reprimand is the only choice we have, otherwise he won't learn from his mistakes the way he has to".

✏️ 2
Teacher Paul 3 Jul, 07:58
☝🏻 Crazy people don't know they're getting crazy, they think they're getting saner.

Note that in this situation, it's strictly "saner", not "more sane".

🏥 2
Teacher Paul 2 Jul, 07:58
Sometimes you need to refer to something that 'people say' about something or somebody, meaning, basically, gossips or rumors. So, instead of using "people say that you are...", or a very official "you are said (by people) to be...", use a slightly bookish, but useful formula:

👉🏻 Rumor has it (that)...

For instance:

- "You're trying to save the situation the best you can, but rumor has it that you're not the person to lead the survivors, people don't see you as their leader", or

- "Although rumor has is that she's an ex-con (a former convict), I still trust her, she's already proved herself extremely worthy of being here, in our team".

🙊 3
Teacher Paul 1 Jul, 07:55
✍️ A rat will always lead you to its hole.

Like any other proverb, this one has many spheres of application. Too numerous to bring up examples, but still:
- "Do not accuse him publicly now, don't show that you know what he's done; wait and he'll lead you to the one he works for - a rat always leads you to its hole".

🐀 4
Teacher Paul 30 Jun, 08:30
Everybody knows #expressions like "to give up smoking". That's a little basic already. Something proficient starts to happen when you add a preposition to preposition:

- to give up on smth/smb

"I know you started this season unsuccessfully, your injury was surely one of the reasons, but don't give up on youself, you're a great player"
, or

"The person has been missing for 5 days already, but I suggest we don't give up on finding her".
Teacher Paul 29 Jun, 13:45
For a situation when it's about bringing relief to someone in pain by doing a very drastic kind of action (we all know what we're talking about, don't we), there's an expression:

- to put someone out of one's misery

For example, speaking of a wounded enemy, "He's the enemy but he's in pain, I think we should put him out of his misery".

Can also be used figuratively, of course, when it fits the context.

- "The boat's too old, you know; it's time we put it out of its misery and by a new one."
- "His new business is not taking off, I believe he should put it out of its misery and move on to something else".

The level of formalilty and register here is more than average. This expression is a little bookish, too. Still, it always adds to a speaker's reputation when used. It's just good to be able so say something more ethical than "I think we have to kill him".

And one should never use "to kill" when speaking of a pet. That's a completely wrong word to use when there's an aged and/or sick animal which is a part of the family. It's even strange to use "to kill" here. If/when it's necessary, use

- to put to sleep

"Unfortunately, your dog is very old now, she's suffering, I'm afraid the only choice we have is to put her to sleep".

And yes, pets are "he" or "she", whereas a non-domesticated wild animal is (generally) still "it".

✔️ 2
Teacher Paul 27 Jun, 07:50
I understand that some of the respected subscribers may already know the below presented, but still, there's no harm in reviewing. Two puns, the 1st one is borrowed, the 2nd one I composed myself (although I suspect it had already existed before):

1. Which genre of music are baloons afraid of? - Pop music.
Do you get it? POP music! Don't you like popping baloons with a needle?
I heard it in one of the vids by Annoying Orange, a Youtube channel. Very long time ago.

And, proceeding, the next one:

2. Which genre of music does a lake love to the bottom of its heart?
Do you get it? THE BOTTOM. LAKE. WATER.
It's Rock music. Meaning, rocks. That drown when thrown into a lake.

OK, I can even continue:

3. Which genre of music do birthday gifts like the most?
Get it? Birthday gifts, you add something to them.
It's RAP MUSIC. Get it? - "rap" = "wrap". You wrap gifts, don't you.

4. Which 2 genres of music lovers love the most?
OK, that requires knowledge of some secondary meanings of common words.
The 2 genres are Jazz and Rock-and-roll.
Both of these names used to mean, back in the day, the process of having sex.

And so on - Trance, Metal, Death Metal, Classical music, etc. Puns are possible almost everywhere.

It's said that one of the criteria of really understanding a language is understanding jokes in it. Even if they're a little specific like jokes in English are sometimes.

#humor #history
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