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Tuesday the 31st of March, 2009
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CAN I TAKE YOUR PLATE?

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Good morning.

Today we look at another question from one of our readers.

Dear Matthew, Thanks for your informative and useful Daily Vitamin. Sometimes I remember that 5 years ago I was working in a restaurant in England. However I've never known if when I was asking "Can I take your plate?" I was saying it correctly and properly. In Spanish, the correct expression would be: ¿Puedo retirar los platos de la mesa? I hope it may help other people too. Thanks for your fantastic work! Enric Gómez Mas.

First of all, thanks for your question Enric. Yes, I think the phrases "Can I take your plate?" or "May I take your plate?" sound fine. Another possibility is "Would you like me to take your plate?"

If you are pretty sure that everyone at the table is finished, you could say "May I clear your table?"

The clients can then answer affirmatively (Yes, thank you) or negatively (No, not yet. I'm still eating).

I hope that answers your question Enric. If anyone has any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Enjoy the rest of your day!



Monday the 30th of March, 2009
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SCUBA DIVING

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Good morning. I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Do you know what scuba-diving is? It is the sport of swimming underwater with special breathing tanks that you carry on your back. In Spanish it is generally translated as submarinismo.

Example 1:
He loves to go scuba-diving off the coast of Hawaii every summer.

The word scuba is actually an acronym than stands for self contained underwater breathing apparatus.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a nice day.



Friday the 27th of March, 2009
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FALSE FRIEND: COMPROMISE

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Good morning.

Today's word is: Compromise (noun)
(La palabra de hoy es: mutuo acuerdo)

It means: an agreement made between two or more people in which each side gives up some things they want so that both sides are happy at the end.
(Significa: un acuerdo entre dos o más personas en el cual cada parte cede algunas cosas para que las dos partes estén satisfechos al final.)

Example 1:
After a lot of negotiation, the two sides finally reached a compromise.
(Después de mucha negociación, por fin las dos partes llegaron a un mutuo acuerdo.)

Example 2:
In order for a marriage to last, both husband and wife must be prepared to make compromises.
(Para que un matrimonio dure, tanto el marido como la mujer tienen que estar preparados para llegar a acuerdos mutuos.)

NO significa lo mismo que la palabra compromiso en castellano. "Compromiso" normalmente se traduce como obligation (noun) u obliged (adj.).

Example 3:
I didn't want to buy a gift for my boss, because I didn't want him to feel obliged to buy me one.
(No quería comprar un regalo para mi jefe porque no quería que sintiera el compromiso de comprarme uno a mí.)

Si tienes preguntas sobre el contenido de esta Essential Weekly Vitamin, por favor usa el foro en la sección Daily Vitamin Plus! en nuestra página web.

Have an excellent day and a great weekend!



Thursday the 26th of March, 2009
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STATE-2

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Good morning.

Today we look at some more expressions that use the word state in them.

Expression 1: a state of affairs

Meaning: a situation

Example 1:
The President could no longer ignore the state of affairs, and he finally admitted that there was an economic crisis.

Expression 2: the state of play

Meaning: the stage that has been reached in a dispute or process which has not yet been completed.

Example 2:
What is the current state of play in the peace talks?

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Remember that tomorrow we will send the Essential Weekly Vitamin for Spanish-speaking students of English.

Enjoy your day.



Wednesday the 25th of March, 2009
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STATE-1

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning.

Following up from yesterdays Daily Vitamin about the difference between state and status, today and tomorrow I'd like to look at a few expressions that use the word state in them. In all of these expressions, the meaning of state is "condition."

Expression: to be in a state (informal)

Meaning: to be or to become very excited or anxious.

Example 1:
He is in a real state about his final exams next week. I can't believe how nervous he is!

This expression can also mean that a place is very dirty or untidy.

Example 2:
Matthew: David. What a state this room is in! Please clean it up right away!
David: Okay papa...I'm going.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

I hope you have a good day!