English around us

A world of words

Shakespeare’s words

Shakespeare’s influence on the English language is present in the many phrases we still use, some of them invented by the playwright. Here are some collected by The Independent on … Continue reading

23/04/2014 · Leave a comment


  The feeling of being happy: full of enjoyment and pleasure. (of a condition or situation) lucky.  feeling, showing, or causing pleasure or satisfaction. (of words or behaviour) suitable.  having … Continue reading

20/03/2014 · Leave a comment


“A person who accepts and pays out amounts of money risked on a particular result, especially of horse races.” People in the UK and Ireland usually bet on all sorts of things… but this time many of them felt outraged when the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power has … Continue reading

05/03/2014 · Leave a comment


What is Shrovetide? Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football is a game played in the Derbyshire town of Ashbourne every Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Unlike a conventional football match this game … Continue reading

04/03/2014 · Leave a comment


“A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. “Selfie” was named as word of the year by … Continue reading

03/03/2014 · Leave a comment


“Invictus” , Latin word for “unconquered” , is a short Victorian poem by the English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). Invictus Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods … Continue reading

06/12/2013 · Leave a comment

Celeb tutors

Despite their huge posters in shopping centres and bus shelters, they are not film stars or supermodels. They are the “tutor kings and queens” in Hong Kong, those super teachers … Continue reading

10/10/2013 · Leave a comment


A type of aircraft that does not have a pilot but is controlled by someone on theground. A male bee. A low continuous noise that does not change its note. Drones – or unmanned aerial vehicles -are playing an increasingly important role in air … Continue reading

07/10/2013 · Leave a comment

Borrowed words

Words taken  from another language. Alligator, sheep, trekking, zombie . All of them are words which English has taken from other languages. Have a look and find out which languages are those. 70 … Continue reading

02/10/2013 · Leave a comment


A film or television show made in the style of a documentary to make invented events seem real. “Modern Family” has been awarded leading comedy in the recent Emmy Awards for the fourth time. This series, which is presented in … Continue reading

23/09/2013 · Leave a comment

Our shared journey

The BBC has been teaching English for 70 years. In this video, learners from around the world talk about their shared journey. What about you? Why did you start to … Continue reading

11/09/2013 · 1 Comment


People using the social networking site, Twitter, in a particular place. “Researchers have been analysing the Twitter traffic in London, to identify which languages people are tweeting in. English still … Continue reading

07/06/2013 · Leave a comment


A small but useful piece of practical advice. Yes, exams are coming. Have a look to some useful revision tips:  Don’t overdo it. Everyone revises diferently. Take breaks. Make a … Continue reading

03/06/2013 · Leave a comment


A word or phrase expressing love or affection. Everybody has their favourite terms of endearment to tell their love.”Chouchou” is Carla Bruni’s; ” babe” is Samantha Cameron’s; and “honey”  Michelle Obama’s, … Continue reading

31/05/2013 · Leave a comment