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What's the difference between "lay" and "lie"?

Woman lying (or laying) down

In my lessons, I sometimes write something like this:

Your son usually sleeps in the afternoon after lunch. You want him to lay down and start to fall asleep.

When I do, I get questions like this one:

"You want him to lay down" or "You want him to lie down"? I am confused.

So how should...

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Moving from "I" to "we"

Third person and first person

When you write something in English, you have to choose which "person" you're going to write in. You can choose to write in "third person", which means that you talk about things as "he", "she", "it", "they", "that", and so on. Here's how I might write about...

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How are Canadian English and American English different?

By Emily Hitz, contributor

Canada flag

English is spoken around the world, but it sounds very different in different countries! British English and American English have a lot of differences — native speakers can hear a British or American accent in just a few words (can you?). But what...

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The first-ever PhraseMix book is coming out soon!

I'm proud to announce that the first-ever printed book from PhraseMix will be released on September 15th, 2015. It's being sold in Japan, with the title "英語はもっとフレーズで話そう" ("Let's learn English more phrasally!"). It was translated into Japanese by Misako Yoke and is being published by GOKEN...

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Phrases for talking about commonly discussed political issues

By Emily Hitz, contributor


If you’re interested in politics, you may want to try talking about them in English. However, it’s a difficult topic in any language, so the more accurate your vocabulary is, the better. Here are some words and phrases to get you started.


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How to talk about T.V. shows in English

By Emily Hitz, contributor

T.V. Remote

How much did you watch? 

An episode is a single segment of a tv show. An episode will usually last 30 minutes or an hour. Most tv shows put out one new episode each week, with occasional breaks in between.

Some weeks there isn’t a new episode,...

Phrase Lists »

English for talking about makeup and cosmetics

By Emily Hitz, contributor

Girl putting on makeup

For many people, talking about makeup is like speaking another language. If you're a fan of makeup, or perhaps an expert, you might use some of these phrases to describe the science and art of cosmetics (another word for makeup).

Things you do with makeup...

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25 ways to say "sorry" in English

By Emily Hitz, contributor


Knowing how to apologize is an important part of being polite. You probably already know "sorry", but there are many other ways to apologize in English.

Apologizing for small mistakes

Simply saying "sorry" is most common with small mistakes, like bumping...

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English phrases for car owners

White car

If you own an automobile, there are lots of things that you have to do to keep it running and in good shape. This article will teach you how to talk about those responsibilities in English.

Financial responsibilities

Most car owners have car payments that they have to make. You make car payments...

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The 11 best American English phrases to describe being drunk


For whatever reason, English speakers like to come up with creative ways to talk about being drunk. This is a review of some of the most common phrases.

Talk about someone who's a little drunk:

These are phrases to use for someone who's had a few drinks and has started to feel the effects:


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