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Have something done
19-09-2016

It is common to hear things such as “I cut my hair / I washed my car / I repaired my car”. Brazilians might understand what you mean, but probably a native speaker of English would be surprised. Let me tell you why: we only say these things when we actually did them. So, did […]

Have something done

by Danielle Botelho

It is common to hear things such as “I cut my hair / I washed my car / I repaired my car”. Brazilians might understand what you mean, but probably a native speaker of English would be surprised. Let me tell you why: we only say these things when we actually did them. So, did you cut your own hair? Did you wash your own car? Did you repair it by yourself? If so, it is totally appropriate! (And  by the way, congratulations, you are a very skillful person!) Because of our busy life, we usually do not have the time or the skills needed to do all the things that we need to do. This is the reason why we end up using the service industry. How do we say things then? We say that we had the service done and that’s it! We use the verb ‘to have‘/’to get‘ (in whatever verb tense you want to say) + object + past participle. Check some examples:

I had my hair cut

I got my car washed

I had my car repaired

I had my teeth checked

I had my suit cleaned

So, try to keep this in mind next time you talk about something you did or had done for you. Did you already know about this? Or was it surprising? Tell us about it, leave a comment!

Tags: Brazilian Speakers of English / english grammar / englishpractice / englishtip /


About Danielle Botelho


Knock, knock. Who’s there?
15-09-2016

You may have heard one of these jokes in movies or series, they are a “call and response” type of joke. It starts when one person pretends to knock on a door and the other person (supposedly inside the fictional place) has to ask “who is there?” and the fun of it consists in having […]

Knock, knock. Who’s there?

by Danielle Botelho

You may have heard one of these jokes in movies or series, they are a “call and response” type of joke. It starts when one person pretends to knock on a door and the other person (supposedly inside the fictional place) has to ask “who is there?” and the fun of it consists in having answers that suggest two or more meanings, with similar sounding words or multiple meaning words (also known as pun). It is an exercise of pronunciation for those learning the language because sometimes we pronounce something in a certain way and in order to understand the joke we need to try different ways until the sentence makes sense. Not to mention when there is a cultural aspect included, like a song, for instance. Check the examples below:

1. Knock, knock

   Who’s there?

   Shelby

  Shelby who?

  Shelby coming round the mountain when she comes

2. Knock, knock
   Who’s there?
   Iva.
   Iva who?
   I’ve a sore hand from knocking!

3. Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Dozen.
Dozen who?
Dozen anybody want to let me in?

4. Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Harry.
Harry who?
Harry up, it’s cold out here!

5. Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Adore.
Adore who?
Adore is between us. Open up!

6. Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Lettuce.
Lettuce who?
Lettuce in it’s cold out here.

7. Knock, knock

   Who’s there?

   A broken pencil

   A broken pencil who?

   Nevermind, it is pointless

8. Knock, knock

   Who’s there?

   Cows go

   Cows go who?

   No, silly. Cows go moo!

9. Knock, knock

   Who’s there?

   To

   To who?

   To whom.

10. Knock, knock

     Who’s there?

     Nanna

     Nanna who?

     Nanna your business

11. Knock, knock

     Who’s there?

     Etch

     Etch who?

     Bless you

Which is the funniest in your opinion? Next time you meet your colleagues try to tell some them some jokes and have fun with the language!

Tags: english / englishpractice / pronunciation / thomastogo / vocabulary / words /


About Danielle Botelho


Tongue twisters
12-09-2016

Tongue twisters are challenging phrases that contain many hard to pronounce syllables or alternation of similar but distinct phonemes. They can be a used as a kind of word game because the speakers usually cannot articulate properly the words in a fast and clear manner, causing confusion and good laughs. They are also a good […]

Tongue twisters

by Danielle Botelho

Tongue twisters are challenging phrases that contain many hard to pronounce syllables or alternation of similar but distinct phonemes. They can be a used as a kind of word game because the speakers usually cannot articulate properly the words in a fast and clear manner, causing confusion and good laughs. They are also a good opportunity for pronunciation practice. Take a look at some of them:

If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?

She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.
The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure.
For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore
Then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells.

Betty Botter bought some butter
But she said the butter’s bitter
If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter
But a bit of better butter will make my batter better
So ‘twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter

Three levels for tongue twisters about “witches”:

Basic

Three witches watch three Swatch watches. Which witch watch which Swatch watch?

Intermediate

Three switched witches watch three Swatch watch switches. Which switched witch watch which Swatch watch switch?

Advanced

Three Swedish switched witches watch three Swiss Swatch watch switches. Which Swedish switched witch watch which Swiss Swatch watch switch?

Dr. Seuss liked to play with words and his books contain lots of rhymes and tongue twisters. Here is a part from his book “Fox in socks”:

New socks. Two socks. Whose socks? Sue’s socks. Who sews whose socks? Sue sews Sue’s socks. Who sees who sew whose new socks, sir? You see Sue sew Sue’s new socks, sir. That’s not easy, Mr. Fox, sir.

So, which one is your favorite? Which ones are easy and which ones you could not say even trying many times? Let us know on the comments!

Tags: culture / english / fun / practice / pronunciation / vocabulary / words /


About Danielle Botelho


April is poetry month
18-04-2016

This year, Americans and Canadians are celebrating their 20th and 18th anniversary of National Poetry Month, respectively. It is a initiative from the Academy of American Poets and the League of Canadian poets to increase awareness and nurture appreciation of poetry in their countries, but everyone is invited. It involves poets, publishers, booksellers, libraries and […]

April is poetry month

by Danielle Botelho

This year, Americans and Canadians are celebrating their 20th and 18th anniversary of National Poetry Month, respectively. It is a initiative from the Academy of American Poets and the League of Canadian poets to increase awareness and nurture appreciation of poetry in their countries, but everyone is invited.

It involves poets, publishers, booksellers, libraries and schools in events, activities and actions such as Poem-a-Day, Dear Poet Project, Memorize a Poem, Start a Poem Reading Group and Chalk a Poem on the Sidewalk. There is even a suggestion to get ready for mother’s day! To see the full list of 30 ways to celebrate national poetry month click here. More information about the Canadian celebration can be found here.

Other poetry dates:

– March 14th is the National Poetry Day in Brazil

– March 21st is the World Poetry Day, declared by UNESCO

If you appreciate writing poems, we have great news for you!  April is also the month of NaPoWriMo, which is the National Poem Writing Month. It is a challenge to inspire people to write 30 poems in 30 days.

Are you ready for this enriching month? Who is your favorite poet?

Tags: culture / englishpractice / language / literature / reading / Writing /


About Danielle Botelho