Brit it! - Blog o brytyjskiej kulturze i języku Brit it! - Blog o brytyjskiej kulturze i języku Brit it! - Blog o brytyjskiej kulturze i języku


Future tenses review

20 czerwca 2018, środa,

Are you ready for a grammar blog? Today I would like to discuss the very confusing future tenses in English.  Students rely very heavily on the key word ‘WILL’ as if it is the only future tense marker and a one-stop fix-all for all your future needs.  But imagine my students’ shock when I tell them that it is statistically not even close to being the most common future form.  The rules about how and when to use English future forms are extremely murky and a source of confusion for many people who learn English.  So let’s have a quick review of them.

© Mat Wright, British Council

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Is that English or not?!?

11 czerwca 2018, poniedziałek,

English is spoken all over the world and this has created a lot of varieties and accents in English. However today I would like to discuss the interesting phenomenon that occurs sometimes when what you are hearing may sound like English words but the words in context seem incoherent and make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever. This can happen as a result of speakers using highly specialized jargon, sophisticated slang and English that has become a pidgin or creole language. I am going to discuss 2 that I have had direct contact with, namely Cockney Rhyming Slang and Sierra Leonean Krio.

Two young men walking down the street © Mat Wright, British Council

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Why grammar is so twisted. Subjunctive mood.

4 czerwca 2018, poniedziałek,

I like to freak out my mid-level students by telling them that English is so weird we can even use verbs in the past tense to talk about the future!!  If I had the car tomorrow I could go to your party! This makes students and even English speakers who have never studied English academically really stop and think – why is this happening? How is this possible?  It all comes down to understanding one particular linguistic concept: The Subjunctive Mood.

© Mat Wright, British Council

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Some basic facts about the Commonwealth of Nations

28 maja 2018, poniedziałek,

Have you ever wondered why Australia and New Zealand keep a British flag on their countries’ flags or why Queen Elizabeth II appears on Canadian money? Do you wonder what relationship India and South Africa have with Britain in the modern world and why English is so widely spoken around the globe?  Well to understand the long historical ties between these countries one needs to know the long and complicated history of the British Empire.  In modern times the common history of these countries carries on in the friendly relationship maintained through what is known as the Commonwealth of Nations, or formerly, the British Commonwealth, the topic of today’s blog.

Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting in London, 18 April 2018. Published under CC BY 2.0 license; source: flickr.com

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“We don’t have Coke. Can it be Pepsi?” – English Eponyms

21 maja 2018, poniedziałek,

It happens quite often that a particular company is not satisfied with simply being a market leader.  They want to crush their competition so dramatically that the name of the product itself gets intrinsically tied to the company brand name.  That is to say that the brand name becomes the name of that product universally.  This is called an eponym in linguistics and we’ll be looking at some of the most popular examples from both sides of the pond.

Escalator. Published under CC0 Creative Commons license. Source: pxhere.com

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Royal Wedding Protocol

14 maja 2018, poniedziałek,

In a few short days, on May 19th, billions of people around the globe will watch as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot. Weddings in the British Royal Family always attract global attention and are a symbol of royal decadence and lavishness.  They are also heavily steeped in tradition and protocol. In this week’s blog we will look into some intriguing facts about British Royal Weddings.

Published under CC2.0 Creative Commons license. Author: Mark Jones; Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org

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The Mystery of English Articles

7 maja 2018, poniedziałek,

I was talking to a student named Bartek after a lesson one evening about a flat screen TV that I was interested in buying.  He was quite knowledgeable and talked me through all the pros and cons of the different models.  Finally he told me the best value for money based on my financial budget.

At the next lesson I was chatting with the group before the lesson and I told them: “On the weekend I bought a flat screen TV.” I was quite proud.  Then Bartek arrived just on time and I said to him, “Oh hey, Bartek, on the weekend I bought the flat screen TV.”  Now these two sentences look almost completely the same but they differ by only a single word.

“I bought a TV”

“I bought the TV.”

What is even more interesting for me is that these two sentences could conceivably be translated into one sentence in Polish.

Image Credit Jonah Sparks http://bit.ly/2erV6MH

Image Credit Jonah Sparks http://bit.ly/2erV6MH

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