Home is where the heart is

The difference between house and home can be a bit tricky, but here at Cambridge dictionary  you have some sound explanations with examples.

Are any of these expressions with house and home familiar?

  1. To be on the house
  2. To feel homesick
  3. To drive something home
  4. To get on like a house on fire
  5. To be safe as houses

One for the books

Yesterday was World Book Day so it’s an opportune moment to take a look at some expressions related to the word ‘book’.  Whether you are a bookworm, who loves reading for pleasure, or whether you have to hit the books to revise for some exams, take a minute to check out the following expressions and you’ll be in my good books.




  • Never judge a book by its cover– Never judge on appearances.
  • Take a leaf out of —-‘s book– Try and behave like the person in question.

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Let’s hit the ground running!

To be fair this is probably how most of us feel about Mondays.

To mark yesterday’s marathon in Valencia I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some expressions using the word run.  If you’re one of the lucky few who hit the ground running on Monday mornings (start the day with energy) instead of crawling out of bed when your alarm clock’s snooze button threatens to go on strike, you’ll have no problem committing these eight expressions to memory.

The expressions I have chosen are either ones that I have seen in FCE papers or are the ones I feel are most commonly used, therefore you are more likely to come across them or be able to use them yourselves.

1) Run in the family- If something runs in the family it is something that you have in common through different generations.  It could be related to appearance, a big nose, or personality or quality, lateness.

2) Run out of something- When you have no more of something left.  A shop can run out of a product. You can run out of steam when you have no energy left.

3) Run something by somebody- This is when you tell somebody about something, often information.  It is commonly used to get somebody to repeat something, “Run that by me again.”

4) Run of the mill-  This is used to describe something ordinary.

5) Run over-  This is when you drive over something or somebody.

6) Run round like a headless chicken-  When you are very busy you might do this.  As you can imagine, a chicken with no head is not the calmest of creatures!

7) Run like clockwork- when everything goes to plan or works very well we can use this phrase.

8) Run riot-  When a teacher leaves a classroom, certain misguided students may feel it is appropriate to run riot ie. behave badly and inappropriately.

Wish you were here?

As it starts to finally get cold in Valencia, why not start thinking about holiday lingo?  It’s as good a time as any!

Whether you prefer camping al fresco or dream of luxurious 5 star hotel resorts, you need to make sure you’ve got the right words and collocations.  I decided to take a look at online mindmapping to organise some of the vocab.  You can take a look here: Basic holiday vocab mindmap


Anyone for chips and fish?

Anyone for chips and fish?

As you might have noticed by now English can be a bit particular with its rules even when they don’t really make much sense.  This link is great for looking at words that go together, but only one way round.  We tell our children to put their shoes and socks on for example, something which can prove tricky for logically-minded children on the Autistic spectrum.  However, it is what it is and it’s a case of learning them I’m afraid.

Try reading ‘The curious incident of the dog in the night time’ for a view of the world through the eyes of a child with Aspergers.


You’ll soon be sporting a better vocabulary

You’ll soon be sporting a better vocabulary

So on this day, February 9th, in 1895 Volleyball was invented.  This got me thinking along the lines of sports and vocabulary.  Espressoenglish offers sports vocabulary in context, useful for talking about Olympic sports.  You can also find sports and health phrasal verbs on this American English site as well as other handy hints and tips.