Wednesday, May 13, 2015


How many similar words can you think of for the word "gate"? Add to this list. 

  • hallway
  • portal
  • portico
  • _______
  • _______
  • _______
Did you know that Americans use gate as a suffix to refer to a political scandal or some kind of wrongdoing? We have Richard Nixon and Watergate to thank for that. 

In recent history, many scandals or controversial events have received the suffix -gate. Here are a few.  Match each with one of the scandals below. 

Former US president Bill Clinton 

Governor candidate Charlei Crist 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Jimmy Carter and Billy Carter

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
  1. Billygate
  2. Fangate
  3. Deflategate
  4. Troopergate
  5. Bridgegate

So, can you think of any local or national scandal that deserves tthe suffix -gate? Why/Why not?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Greetings, Earthlings! It's Earth Day!

We live here, so it's our job to take care of our home. What we do to make the Earth a better place for all of us is like nothing on earth.

Monday, April 20, 2015

On my own time VS In my own time

Let's explore the difference in meaning between two prepositional phrases, on my own time and in my own time. 

If I do things on my own time, it means I do things when it's convenient or when I feel like doing them.

If I do things in my own time, however, is because I have my own pace at which I do things. This pace might be slower than the majority, but it's comfortable for me.

What would each person say in the following situations?

  1. A husband responding to his wife whmao complains he never helps with the housework
  2. A student who is usually the last to complete an exercise in class.
  3. A liberal professional explaining why they didn't keep the original deadline to deliver a product.
  4. A teacher telling their students why they haven't returned written exercises they were supposed to correct two weeks ago.

Your to-do task: Think of other situations in which people would say the target sentences.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

It only hurts when it hits your pocket

As citizens we are expected to be responsible and contribute to the better good of the community to which we belong. Using common basic services - water and electrical energy, for example - frugally, is one way we act responsibly. The recent water shortages here in Brazil, and subsequently, use of geothermal plants to produce electrical energy have sent electricity bills through the roof and residents have woken up to the harsh reality: it's either you cut down on consumption or you pay three times more at the end of the month. The result, according to Brazilian news reports, is that both industrial and domestic energy consumption has registered a drop for the first time in six years. The situation of course reminds us of part of the song performed by Passenger:
Is being more frugal in water and energy use more motivated by a feeling of civic responsibility or a self interest in spending less every month?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A word so sweet

How many ways can you use the word "sugar" in a sentence?

First think of the meaning: other than a white sweetening substance, what else can the word refer to?

Here are some hints: 
  • An affectionate name for a loved one 
  • Caress or tenderness 
  • A susbstance to give you a boost of energy 
  • Sexual relations negotiated between "provider" and "client"
Use the word "sugar" in the sentences below and see if they make sense:
  1. Hey ..........., how have you been? Missed me?
  2. Who's my baby? Who's my sweeetheart? Come here and give me some ............
  3. I'm feeling a little weak. My energy is on a low - I think I need some ........... before I faint.
  4. It's not easy being a sex professional and having to work for a .............daddy.
What other words could you use instead of Sugar in the examples above?

Now enjoy this song by Maroon 5. What meaning of "sugar" do they use in the clip?