Video Lesson: Rain! Words & Expressions

All new! Watch this video (less than 5 minutes!) of a few words and expressions related to rain.


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See ya: 9 ways to say goodbye

Last week, the school where I teach in-person closed, and everyone at the school – teachers, staff, and students – spent several days celebrating and saying goodbye (and also being a little sad!).

Whether formal or informal, there are many ways to say ‘goodbye’ in English. Here are just nine!

1. bye / bye bye

“Bye” – This obvious shortening of “goodbye” can be used with anyone across any social situation.

“Bye bye” – This is a bit more informal and should be used with people you are familiar with. In pronunciation, the words are often (but not always) blended together: b-bye.

2. see you (ya) / see you later

More on the informal side, “see you,” “see ya,” and “see you later” are quite common among friends.

3. later

Very informal! “Later” is a shortening of “see you later.”

4. take it easy

Also informal, “take it easy” is a way of saying “have a nice day,” as in “don’t work too hard.”

5. have a nice day

Exactly like it sounds, “Have a nice day” is more formal way of saying “goodbye” and great to use when patronizing a shop or in business.

6. it was nice to meet you / see you (again)

“It was nice to meet you” and “It was nice to see you (again)” are great ways to say goodbye to some one you don’t know well. This works for business and social situations.

7. I’m out

Very informal! “I’m out” is a way of saying “I’m leaving now.”

8. take care

“Take care” is said when you likely won’t see someone for a while. It’s a general expression and is safe to use with anyone (although it’s slightly more formal than some other expressions here).

9. good night

Obviously, only used at night! While “good evening” and “good night” refer to more or less the same time of day (in general, after the sun goes down), “good night” cannot be used as a greeting in place of “hello”; it can only be used in place of “goodbye.”

 


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Brrrr! 7 Winter Weather Words

Even though spring is technically here (well…in the Northern Hemisphere anyway!), that doesn’t mean that winter weather has said goodbye. Read on for seven useful winter weather phrases.

snowed in

This phrasal verb is used when you cannot leave (usually your house) because there has been too much snow.

We went on vacation in the mountains but we didn’t realize it was going to snow the whole weekend…we got snowed in! It was ok though; we watched lots of movies.

bundle up

This is another phrasal verb that is used when you put on warm clothes – like a jacket, hat, gloves, and a scarf – to go outside. (The verb “bundle” alone means “to tie or wrap things together.”)

It’s really cold outside! Be sure you bundle up!

shovel (a noun and a verb!)

Yes, “shovel” can be a noun and a verb!

Do you have a shovel? I need to shovel the driveway so we can pull the car out of the garage.

(snow) flurries

A “flurry” of something is a small swirling group – like a “flurry of wind.” But “snow flurries” are when it is snowing, but not extremely heavy. This is a generic term, often used by weather reporters, for “it’s snowing.”

The news says to expect snow flurries this weekend, but that it will only be an inch or two.

(to) lose power

In this expression, “power” means electricity. When the weather (or some other problem) causes the electricity to stop, we say that we have “lost power.”

We lost power three times during the snow storm. It took an entire day for the electric company to get it back on.

(to) stoke (a fire)

One of those English verbs that are soooo specific, “to stoke” is to add fuel to something or to otherwise get it to grow. “To stoke” is usually used with the noun “fire,” but “to be stoked” or “to get stoked” is a slang expression that means extremely excited.

We had to stoke the fire a lot or it would die in the windy weather.

wind chill

This expression refers to when the wind or other weather conditions make the temperature feel colder than it actually is.

It is going to be 10 degrees today, but with wind chill it will be below zero!


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How do I say it nicely: Giving polite feedback

Sometimes in school or work, or even between friends, we are asked to give feedback on a project, assignment, work-related item, or more casual things. In more formal settings, giving specific feedback on why something is good or bad can be helpful for your classmate or co-worker. Often it is difficult to give this feedback, especially if it is of a more critical or negative nature.

One way to express critical feedback politely is to “soften” it with certain words, asking open-ended questions, and being specific.


If someone asks you for feedback on something, but you after seeing / reading /hearing it, you’re confused:

I’m a little unclear about what / who you’re talking about here…

-or-

This section where you explain […] seems a bit out of place…

-or-

I was really interested to know more about….!

When you are specific about what exactly confuses you, it helps the person seeking feedback to know exactly what needs work.


If you have a suggestion, ask an open-ended question:

I’m a little unclear about who you’re talking about in that part. How can you explain this person more clearly?

-or-

How does this part fit in? How can you make it clearer?

-or-

The part where you talk about….is really engaging! What would happen if you moved it closer to the beginning?

Open-ended questions leave it up to the writer to evaluate what choices they have and how they want to use them (or not).


When you have a positive comment, be specific about what you liked:

Instead of “that was so good!”, try:

Your description of the place was so lively / clear / detailed / etc. I really felt like I was there!

-or-

Everything was very clear and easy to follow. I knew exactly what was taking place and who was involved. That made it really easy to follow.

 

What other feedback situations give you trouble? Leave me a comment!


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Reporting Language

What happens when you’re writing something – say, a writing assignment for a class – and you have to introduce words or ideas that someone else said or wrote?

You need…

Reporting Language!

Reporting language (or reporting verbs) are used in writing to introduce outside sources to your reader. Whether you are quoting or paraphrasing someone else, you need to introduce it by naming the outside source, and perhaps even his or her credentials or occupation.

For example:

Anthropologist Reginald Smith argues,“Globalization causes unemployment for American workers.”


Author’s last name + a reporting verb

OR

A generic term like “researchers” or “studies” + a reporting verb


Reporting verbs are used to report information in the present tense (as in newspaper articles), like these:

argues
claims
states
contends
says
counters
writes

 

Examples of reporting language:

Smith argues, “…..”

Miller contends that “….”

Studies show….

Researchers claim…

Important!: Reporting language is about conveying the information from your source and not expressing judgement. Reporting verbs are generally neutral.

(FYI: This post does not cover methods of citation, such as APA or MLA, but academic writing does generally require following a proper citation method.)


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