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Friday the 29th of January, 2016
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PHRASAL VERB FRIDAY: TO CALL (SOMETHING) OFF

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Welcome to the last lesson of the week AND the last lesson of January! We are ending the month with the phrasal verb TO CALL OFF (something).

Definition: to cancel something that was planned.

Example 1: They called the BBQ off because it was going to rain.

Example 2: They were engaged, but they called off the wedding two months ago.

It is also often used with the police and military when an assignment is stopped.

Example 3: The lieutenant called off the troops once the area was declared safe.

Example 4: The police called off the search party after they couldn't find the missing person.

As you can see, this phrasal verb is SEPARABLE and TRANSITIVE.

That's all for this week. We will see you on Monday for more lessons. Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday the 28th of January, 2016
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THEME THURSDAY: WORDS FOR BUSY ('TIED UP')

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Happy Thursday to all of you! Today we continue our theme for January: words for being busy. This week we are looking at the words TIED UP.

Definition: kept occupied or engaged.  

Example 1: I wanted to come over sooner, but I was tied up at work.

Example 2: On Fridays I'm always tied up in a meeting so I can't have lunch.

Example 3: I tried calling but it rang and rang, and no one answered. Maybe the phone lines were tied up?

Example 4: I couldn't go to his birthday party because I was tied up finishing my reports.

There are other definitions of TIED UP, but today we are focusing only on its use to describe someone or something that is busy. For other definitions, click on the link below to see the online Cambridge Dictionary.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/tie-sth-up?q=tied+up+


That's all for today! Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day.


Wednesday the 27th of January, 2016
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WORDY WEDNESDAY: 'GET RID OF' + ZIGGURAT BLOG POST

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Happy Wednesday, everyone!

For Wordy Wednesday, we are looking at a phrase used in a Ziggurat Blog post from last year.

Our student, Santi, wrote a book review about The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. Santi's review was impressive, and so was his use of English! We noticed that Santi used the idiom TO GET RID OF (something) twice in his review, and we thought that this expression would make a great Wordy Wednesday post.

We first looked at this idiom in March 2006. Below is the link to that lesson:

http://www.ziggurat.es/es/lecciones_ingles/index.asp?id=552

Definition: to remove something that you do not want any longer.

Here is how Santi used this expression in his review:

Example 1: Nombeko, her boyfriend... and his angry girlfriend must get rid of the bomb, but it will not be so easy.

Example 2: But will she be so clever as to get rid of the bomb she has developed?

To read the rest of Santi's review, click on the link below.

https://zigguratenglish.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/the-girl-who-saved-the-king-of-sweden-by-jonas-jonasson/

Thank you, Santi, for your excellent review and for providing us with today's Wordy Wednesday content. Reading (and writing) in English is a wonderful way to improve your skills!

To read more on the Ziggurat Blog, click here.

https://zigguratenglish.wordpress.com

Have you read a book in English that you love? Let us know which book you recommend on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

Have a great day!


Tuesday the 26th of January, 2016
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TENSE TUESDAY: ZERO CONDITIONAL

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Hello and welcome back to The Daily Vitamin! For Tense Tuesday, we are looking at the Zero Conditional.

The Zero Conditional is used to talk about things that are generally true or things that are always true. It follows this format:

IF + subject + present tense, . . . (then) subject + present tense

Here are some examples of how to use the Zero Conditional to talk about things that are always or generally true.

Example 1: If you are French, (then) you speak French.

Example 2: If it's cold outside, (then) people wear warm clothes.

Here is one in the negative form.

Example 3: If you don't have a car, (then) you use public transport.

Remember that there are several types of Conditionals in English. Last year we looked at the First Conditional. Click on the link below to see that lesson.

http://www.ziggurat.es/es/lecciones_ingles/index.asp?id=2588

We will cover the Second Conditional next week, so make sure to check back for that lesson.  

That's all for today. As always, thank you for reading!

Remember that if you read The Daily Vitamin, (then) you improve your English. That is definitely a Zero Conditional because it is a statement we think is always true. ;-)


Monday the 25th of January, 2016
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MISSING MONDAY: TO APOLOGISE ___ + ING/INFINITIVE

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the first Daily Vitamin lesson of the week! I hope that you enjoyed your weekend.

Today's Missing Monday has two words: the preposition that comes after the word APOLOGISE, and the infinitive or gerund that comes after the preposition. Let's see if you can complete both parts of the sentence below.

Sentence: He apologised [___] [___] my glasses.

Hint: The second word is some form of the word BREAK. It could be a gerund or it could be a bare infinitive (without TO).

Give us your best guess on Facebook or Twitter. We will provide the answer later today.

Thanks for participating!