English Phrases for the Veterinarian (animal hospital)

Whenever my cousin goes out of town, we dog-sit (=we look after) her precious dog, Maxine. We’ve been doing this for years so Maxine is like a part of our own family.

Unfortunately, from the moment she arrived we could tell that Maxine was not herself.  That is, she was not the happy little playful dog she normally is.  So we decided to take her to the emergency hospital. Read on to learn what happened.

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Fall Folliage is Here


It’s that wonderful time of the year!  As Algerian–French author and philosopher Albert Cambus said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

Perhaps that’s why spring and fall are my favorite seasons. I love the colors of the leaves and flowers and I love the change of weather. How about you?  What’s your favorite season?

To learn more about fall (which we can also call “autumn”), click here to read my newsletter article about things we eat, see and do here in the Washington, DC area.

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205 T-shirts: A memorial for gun violence victims

I was just walking along getting some exercise and I noticed something down the road. Was it a flea market? Was someone selling clothes?

As I got closer, I could see for certain there were lots of t-shirts…but it definitely wasn’t a clothing sale.

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Jazz Something / Someone Up Idiom

It’s been very cold and rainy here lately but I’m not going to complain because if it were any colder Washington would be covered with snow. I’m not ready for snowy weather.

I decided to pop into a cafe for something warm to drink and I was really pleasantly surprised to see how the barista jazzed up my cocoa with a cute spider web. It was delicious too. The drink was served with a small pot of extra hot chocolate. Mmmmm! I will definitely go back in the coming weeks for another.

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Spring Allergies Vocabulary

Hay fever


Ahhhhh chooooo!

Spring has definitely sprung!

Spring (noun)- a season between winter and summer when plants and flowers begin to grow.

Sprung (verb: spring; the past tense of this verb is irregular – we don’t say springed): to suddenly jump or move forward.

Spring is definitely here because my allergies are killing me. That means that my allergies are really bad. Continue reading

Idiom: Beauty is only skin deep

Photo of Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o. Copyright: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Isbeauty only skin deep?

The English idiomatic expression, “beauty is only skin deep” means that a person’s inner beauty—not their outward physical appearance—is what’s most important.

In English, when we say something is “deep” we are often using the word as a metaphor to say something is important and significant. It is not just something one on the surface (superficial); it’s deeper down below.

English lessonClick here for a guided English lesson that includes an excellent video of Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o discussing her personal struggle with feeling beautiful when she was growing up.

To learn many more idioms, click here to go to the main idioms page.

Idioms with hour

hours idioms

Ever had one of those days? Sometimes Fridays can be difficult because it is the end of the week. Here are a few idioms that have the word “hour” in the. They are all related to time.

Fill-in the correct words:

1. 1. I was late for work because of hour traffic.

2. I tried to go to the doctor’s office during my hour but it was closed from 12:00 to 2:00 pm.

3. At 6:00 pm, I was ready to leave work but my boss asked me to prepare a report at the hour.

4. Finally, I left the office and met my friends at a bar but hour was already over and drinks were full priced.


Do you understand each of these idioms? If not, here are the definitions: Continue reading

International Women’s Day


Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Since the first time this occasion was celebrated (in 1911), the rights of women have improved significantly in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, equality among men and women is still a big problem. In many places in the world, women have very few rights.

What is it like in your corner of the world?

Google has created an interesting Doodle to celebrate this occasion. There are 100 women in the video and some of them are saying “Happy International Women’s Day.” Do you know any of these women? What does this day mean for you?

If you would like to see the list of all of the women in this video, please click here for the list on Google’s website.