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How often do you exercise your mind?
25-04-2016

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Joseph Addison There are many ways in which you can keep your brain fit. – challenge yourself. Try out new experiences and provide your brain with new information and stimuli. – switch up the things you normally do – try to use your left […]

Expressions with “Finger”
06-02-2015

There are, obviously, many idiomatic expressions that use the word finger, but I’ll show you the ones I think are most commonly used. Here’s my Top 10 list. 01) To have a finger in every pie: this one is used to talk about someone who’s very influential because he’s involved or has influence in many different […]

Review: Past Perfect
05-01-2015

Here’s my third piece of review, and it’s a good one. The Past Perfect is an interesting verb tense. It does not happen alone. It comes together with the Simple Past. As the saying goes, they go together like a horse and carriage Look at this sentence: “When I got home, my wife left for work.” In this sentence […]

Review: Zero Conditional
01-01-2015

Conditional sentences are sometimes confusing, so I am going to try to make them as clear as possible to you, reader. Let’s start with the first one. It’s called zero conditional. You only use the present tense in this time of sentence. “If you don’t eat, you get sick.” “If you eat a lot, you put on weight.”  As you can probably […]

Review: First Conditional
29-12-2014

Hello again, dear reader, The first conditional is one of the most common in the English language. We use the simple present after if and the simple future in the next clause. “If I get home early, I will do my homework today.” As you can see, the first conditional is used to express a future action that depends on another […]

Numbers vs Periods & Hyphens
13-11-2014

Hi, dear reader, The title of this post might sound puzzledly mathematical, but its content does not require prior knowledge of advanced calculations. In English, periods and hyphens are frequently used when numbers need to be set to paper: Periods:  Periods are used to separate the number from its decimal ($ 3.35) . This period […]

Confusing words: all together vs altogether / aid vs aide
05-11-2014

Hello, dear reader, Here are two pairs of words that are often confused. What is the difference between altogether X all together and aid X aide ? Well, they are really different: Altogether  is an adverb that means completely, totally. “His latest business plan for the second trimester is an altogether new approach to our deficit problem. All together means […]

Golly Gee Whillikers
04-04-2014

Relax, my dear readers. This blog is still in English. The title of this post is just to illustrate that sometimes you will come across some really odd words in English.

Review: Will vs Going to
04-02-2014

Hi, dear reader, As the year is coming to an end, I think it’s high time we reviewed some of the basics about English grammar. First, I would like to talk a little about the differences between using will and going to when talking about the future. Basically, what you should know is: Use will when you want […]

Forget “have”!
22-08-2013

One of the most recurring mistakes among Brazilian learners of English is to use “have” when they want to express the idea of “exist”. And, believe me, it’s a mistake that can kill your English! So, let’s just remember: we use “there +be” for this. Let’s take a look at these sentences. The first ones […]

Learn Words about Soccer
08-07-2013

Even though there has been many protests on the streets in Brazil, they are not necessarily  against our beloved national sport. We love soccer, and this post is meant to help learners talk about our most popular sport. In English, there are many specific words one should learn to be able to talk about soccer […]

Pronunciation Tip #5
21-06-2013

What do the words “numb,” “thumb” and “debt” have in common? Well, they each have a silent “b.” Yes, we do not pronounce the “b” in these words, and that has been another pronunciation challenge for us Brazilian speakers of English. So, in order to help you identify more words in which the “b” is […]

There to Be X Have – The Difference
20-06-2013

I usually hear the question “Have homework today?” many, many times. All teachers do, and it sounds really bad because it is incorrect, but what`s wrong with it? Why do English learners make this mistake over and over? In English, we do not start a sentence with the verb have when we mean exist. We have […]

What is “AIN´T”?
13-06-2013

Casa Thomas Jefferson´s Teacher Magda, in her post about the contraction “ain´t”, mentions that the contraction is not generally found in any textbook. “Ain´t” is very informal and typically spoken on the streets. So, here´s Magda´s tips about it: Ain´t can mean “doesn’t” in the following case:  She ain’t no brothers or sisters. = She doesn’t have […]

Moving Beyond the Intermediate Plateau
11-06-2013

I started learning English really young. When I finished my English course, my dad decided to send me to Australia for a year so that I could become more independent and responsible. Little did we know that I was far from being a competent speaker of the English language. The first months were challenging, but […]

What Do Good English Learners Do?
31-05-2013

What do successful language learners do? Well, some years of experience in the classroom have taught me that there are some characteristics and habits that do help a person acquire a language. But what are they? Can you name a few? I am sure you must have thought about studying a little on regular basis […]

Using Digital Tools to Boost Learning
20-04-2013

One of the great challenges of learning a language is remembering what we learn. One of the great advantage of being a 21st language learner is that you find many tools to help you keep track of what you learn and share with your teacher and classmates. One strategy that you can use to help […]