English phrases for describing elections
How can you describe what happens in an election in English? Here are some phrases to help you talk about them.
People cast their votes for their preferred candidates in an election. Most candidates belong to a political party. In the United States, the two main parties are the Republican...
What's the difference between "problem", "trouble", and "issue"?
The words "problem", "trouble", and "issue" are very close in meaning. What's the difference bewtween them? The answer is quite complicated, actually! Let's look at the meaning of each word and some of the ways that they're used:
The meanings of "problem", "trouble", and...
The hard parts of understanding English conversation
This week, I met up with the blogger Adir Ferreira from Transparent Language Brazil. He was on his first trip to the U.S. and came to New York for a few days.
In our conversation, Adir mentioned that this was his first immersion experience in English. Although he had studied English for...
How sure should I be when I say 'I believe ~'?
A reader emailed me this question:
Can you help me with "I believe" please? – which I'm sure suggests that "I'm not entirely sure about what I'm going to say", but at the same time, is it based on my knowledge or experience.
When I say "I believe...
The three types of language learner
Yesterday, I shared a theory of mine that people learn English for a few reasons:
- to get a job
- to get into school
- to make friends or relationships
- to travel
- because they like the feeling of accomplishment
As I started to think about it a little bit more, I realized that it's even more basic...
How do you use 'can' and 'could' correctly?
A PhraseMix reader asked this:
Please tell me which verbs can be used with "could"? In the present past as well as future...?
"Can" and "Could" are tricky because you can use them for a few different purposes, and the rules are different for each version.
"Can" and "Could" for ability
None of these things will happen if you speak English badly.
If you try to speak English and make a mistake, none of these things will happen:
- No one will point and laugh at you
- You won't lose your job.
- The townspeople won't chase after you with torches.
- You won't be locked up and thrown in jail.
- The love of your life won't dump you.
- You won't be...
What's the difference between "under", "below", "beneath", and "underneath"?
What's the difference between "under", "below", "beneath", and "underneath"? These words are all similar in meaning, but figuring out the differences between them can be a little tricky. First, it's helpful to know how common each word is:
Are English speakers changing the way they speak for you?
Have you ever noticed that it's a lot easier to understand someone who's speaking directly to you in English than a conversation between two other people?
I have this problem when I visit my in-laws in Japan. If I'm riding in the car with my wife and her mother and they're speaking Japanese to...
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These are 10 situations which haven't been turned into PhraseMix lessons yet, mostly because I couldn't think of a good way to illustrate them. Enjoy!