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


Gems at the UK seaside

17 września 2018, poniedziałek,

With the summer not yet officially over, I’d like to share with you some of the gems of the British seaside. It’s not too late to pack your swimsuit and sunglasses (oh well, and maybe an umbrella too) and take the first flight to the UK to unwind for a couple of days on some sandy and/or pebbly beaches.
Czytaj całość »


Idiom: To have something ‘in the bag’

5 września 2018, środa,

Meaning:  It’s absolutely certain to happen. It has been guaranteed.

Czytaj całość »


Idiom: practise what you preach

29 sierpnia 2018, środa,

Meaning:  If you tell people what is right and moral then you should also hold yourself to the same standards. In essence, don’t be a hypocrite and DO as you recommend for others.

Czytaj całość »


Fashion not for everyone

28 sierpnia 2018, wtorek,

A gigantic bow on the neck, a veil stretching to the ground, a plastic basque. Do we need the so-called haute couture at all?

Alexander McQueen retrospective show “Savage Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City | 2011 wesley chau/Wikipedia

Czytaj całość »


Too Shy to Speak English?

27 sierpnia 2018, poniedziałek,

Do you blush at the very thought of having to speak English? Do you dread the idea of making a mistake while speaking to a native speaker? Then this blog post is for you. Read on to find out what you can do to get rid of your anxiety when speaking English.
Czytaj całość »


London Underground (is it really underground?!)

20 sierpnia 2018, poniedziałek,

Some people truly love it while others truly hate it. Some just ignore it, treating the Tube as simply one more way of getting from point A to point B. It’s eccentric, old, smelly, sooty (ok, it used to be like that), stifling, enigmatic and spellbinding (I’m afraid the list of adjectives describing the London Underground is endless…). Whether you live in London or just visit it for a couple of hours, you’re bound to use it. If you think the Tube is just another system of rails and trains located underground just give it a go and keep reading to find out more about this absolutely fascinating transport system.

  • One date: 1863. The world had never seen anything like that before. That was when the Metropolitan Underground Railway opened in London. The very first time in history people could travel longer distances underground. Of course there were no electric trains yet so steam locomotives were in use. And steam means smoke, soot and pollution. So a ventilation system was installed and you can still see some of its elements at the Baker Street station.
  • One more number: 55. Number of tube stations? No, there are 270 stations. Number of passengers who use the Tube every day? Nope, it’s about 5 million. Surprise, surprise, 55% of the London Underground is …. actually over ground.
  • Harry Beck. Thanks to this gentleman we can buy today a whole array of souvenirs with the Tube map. Ok, he probably didn’t think about all those mugs, bags and magnets while designing it back in 1933. To be honest, it’s not a real map since it doesn’t show real distances between stations. We should rather call it a diagram. At first the design was rejected and considered to be too radical but it finally made its own way to Londoners’ hearts. Reproduced ever since 1933 it’s one of the London icons. It’s hard to imagine Beck was paid peanuts for his design …
  • Giving birth on the Tube? It doesn’t sound very appealing, I know. But it turns out it’s sometimes inevitable. The London Underground takes pride in having 3 girls and 2 boys born there! I wonder if the kids will have a free transport pass for life.
  • Busking places for talented artists. The Tube is not only about transport but also about art. There are 39 busking pitches across the stations where licensed performers can give their shows. As a passenger you can enjoy professional music played on your way to work/ next landmark. Stay tuned and keep your eyes wide open – some buskers become world-famous stars. Ed Sheeran used to sing his songs on the Tube as well!
  • The shortest distance between the Tube stations? It’s only 260 metres and the journey goes from Leicester Square to Covent Garden. Still, you have to pay a standard fee of 4.60 pounds. Well, maybe you should consider a short walk?
  • Flora and fauna of the Underground. Let’s face it – not only people travel on the Tube every day … Insects and bugs find their homes there as well. Mosquitoes living in the tube tunnels had to adapt to unique living conditions and are genetically different from their cousins living elsewhere. They are ‘so distinct that they can no longer interbreed with other mosquitoes!’ *

So the next time you top up your Oyster card and hop the Tube train look around carefully – maybe you’ll discover more London Underground mysteries?


** My knowledge (and inspiration) comes from: Andrew Martin ‘Underground Overground’ and a fantastic guided tour across the London Underground (thank you, Fiona!)



Idiom: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

8 sierpnia 2018, środa,

Meaning: Don’t be judgemental or critical of a present.  (It comes from the practise of checking the age of horses by looking at the length and quality of their teeth.  So if someone gave you a free horse, you shouldn’t ‘inspect it.’)

Polish meaning: darowanemu koniowi nie zagląda się w zęby



In Defence of Business English

6 sierpnia 2018, poniedziałek,

I used to be very sceptical of courses that purported to teach business English.  Even a long time ago when I had ‘only’ 10 years of teaching experience I wrongly believed that the English language was just that – a uniform language and who would possibly have the audacity to categorize and separate certain lexis of English and call it somehow ‘different’ from English itself? I admit that I was wrong and I would like to discuss the authenticity and merits of business English.

Czytaj całość »



The Passive Voice

30 lipca 2018, poniedziałek,

Oh yeah! It’s grammar time! Today I would like to talk about teaching the passive voice to students and most importantly the utility of focusing on the ‘WHY?’ instead of the ‘HOW?’  In learning the passive voice students will naturally ask their standard question: Do people really use this form? I believe it is very important to go over the various times when the passive voice is preferable to active voice so that students have a better understanding.Passive Czytaj całość »


Are You Ready to Get Pumped?

16 lipca 2018, poniedziałek,

I have been going to the gym ever since I was a teenager.  I don’t do it with any intentions of getting huge like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson but I do enjoy challenging myself and maintaining a relatively good standard of strength. Recently, it occurred to me that there is a certain jargon in the gym that only the initiated will understand. The necessity of a unique lexicon for a particular activity is similar to other hobbies such as fishing or Yoga or professional careers i.e./ law or medicine. Today let’s look at the words and phrases you may hear in the “Iron Paradise” – The Gym!

Published under CC0 Public Domain license. Source: pxhere.com

Czytaj całość »