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New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! A New Year's resolution is a tradition that, according to Wikipedia, is common in the Western World. People make promises to themselves to "continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life at the start of a new year."


It's the first day of 2019.  -We should do New Year's resolutions.

Caption 2, New Year's Resolutions: Lele Pons & Hannah Stocking

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Often friends and family will discuss their resolutions for the upcoming year.


My New Year's resolution is to just keep going at the gym.

Caption 7, Ashley Tisdale: Happy New Year!

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This resolution will probably be easier to keep, since she has been going to the gym already and it´s just a matter of continuing to go.


Every day, I am gonna do one thing I have never done before. That, my friends, is my New Year's resolution.

Captions 9-11, New Year's Resolutions: Friends

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This, on the other hand, might prove difficult. It may be hard to even think up practical things that you've never done before. Even more likely, you'll just forget your resolution because of regular routines!


All right, my New Year's resolution is to learn how to play guitar.

Caption 29, New Year's Resolutions: Friends

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This too may prove to be difficult, since learning to play a musical instrument requires a lot of time and patience.


I don't really make any New Year's resolutions anymore because I learned early on that when I did, I never really followed through with the resolution.

Captions 2-4, Ashley Tisdale: Happy New Year!

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According to statistics, most people fail in their resolutions. Apparently, you are more likely to achieve your goal if you take smaller steps towards achieving it, rather than trying to make a large change in one go.


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the "New Year's Resolutions" episode of Friends, it's pretty funny! And if you have made a New Year's resolution (or plan to), be sure you try to accomplish it in small steps rather than all at once— you'll be more likely to attain your goal. Best wishes in the new year from all of us at Yabla!

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Pop Music Instruments in English

A few lessons ago, we discussed the names of classical music instruments in English. Let's take a look today at the English names of some of the most common musical instruments used in pop music.


We already discussed the piano in the classical instruments lesson, but there are also a number of other kinds of keyboard instruments that are used in pop music. As a general term, they are simply called keyboards. A person who plays keyboards is a keyboardist.


I spoke with Andrew, who plays keyboards in INXS.

Caption 26, INXS: Pat Monahan about recording Beautiful Girl

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The Hammond organ is a popular vintage organ that is still much-loved in pop and jazz music. Other popular electronic organs from the 1960s, which were produced cheaply by companies such as Farfisa in Italy and Vox in the UK, are often referred to as electronic organs.


Scott Ellaway, who is now a successful conductor, loves to come here and play the organ.

Captions 19-20, Euromaxx city: A Visit to Oxford, England

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Another popular keyboard instrument that began to be widely used in the 1970s is the synthesizer. It's often referred to casually as a synth.


Because the synth especially really grounds it into a modern sound.

Captions 54-55, Making Tracks: Stu Cullen and Samuel Blair's Musical Journey

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Probably the most important instrument in rock music, especially in heavy metal and punk rock music, is the electric guitar. Generally, a person who plays guitar is called a guitar player or a guitarist. In some bands, there is a rhythm guitarist, who mainly just plays chords, and a lead guitarist, who usually plays the guitar solos.


In the film, we see Queen's lead guitarist, Brian May.

Caption 29, Bohemian Rhapsody: Six Facts about the True Story

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On the bottom end of the harmonic spectrum, we find the bass guitar or electric bass, and the acoustic upright bass, also called a contrabass. A person who plays bass is called a bass player or a bassist.


My main instrument is bass guitar.

Caption 11, Bee and Flower; Interview

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Let's look now at the beat, an important element in most forms of pop music, with the drums at the forefront. A person who plays the drums is a drummer or a percussionist.


My dad's an incredible percussionist.

Caption 10, Bruno Mars: Electronic Press Kit

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I bet Garth Brooks would take you as a drummer next time he tours.

Caption 68, Ask Jimmy Carter; Interview with Phil Collins

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Of course, brass instruments have always played a role in pop music, but the most common horn in pop music is probably the saxophone. A person who plays the saxophone is a saxophone player or saxophonist. The trumpet is also a popular horn instrument, and it's played by a trumpet player.


Trumpets were all screaming, saxophones were blaring.

Captions 17-18, The Rolling Stones: Living In A Ghost Town

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Let's not neglect a major aspect of pop music that makes it possible to play so loudly: the amplifier. There are amplifiers made especially for specific instruments, such as a guitar amplifier, a bass amplifier, and a keyboard amplifier. Vocals, horns, and other acoustic instruments are usually amplified through a microphone, or just "mic" (pronounce like the name "Mike") for short. All of these instruments are usually amplified on larger stages through a PA system. This term is an abbreviation of "public address system," as they were originally developed for speaking to large crowds.


Try turning a quarter of an inch closer to the microphone, please.

Caption 5, Ask Jimmy Carter: Interview with Angelina Jolie

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the videos above relating to musical instruments. You can also search for the names of the instruments and find other videos. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in English using these musical instrument words, then compare what you both came up with.

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Classical Music Instruments in English

In last month's October edition of the Yabla English Lesson, we discussed the Performing Arts, one of which is music. Let's take a look today at the English names of some of the most common musical instruments used in classical music.

The piano is one of the main instruments in western musical traditions, and many musicians who specialize in other instruments and singing are often required to learn some basic piano skills. This is because of the piano's large range, from deep bass to high treble, which allows it to cover all of the ranges used by orchestral instruments. The piano is also important for musical composition, and many works for orchestra have been composed using the piano. A person who plays the piano is called a pianist or a piano player.


Well, when I write songs, I sometimes will write it on a piano.

Caption 27, Bee and Flower: Interview

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Warren Beatty's a good pianist.

Caption 71, Chevy Chase: talks about his acting life

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The violin also has another common name in English: the fiddle. This term is usually more casual and used especially in country, folk, and bluegrass music. A person who plays the violin is called a violinist or a fiddler.


Good. Did you mind if I play the violin? -No, go right ahead.

Caption 10, Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Cunningham Heritage

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So, I picked up an instrument that was called the fiddle.

Caption 17, Sigrid: An American in Italy

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Of the remaining bowed string instruments, the viola is played by a viola player. The cello, actually short for "violoncello," is played by a cellist. The double bass—also called the upright bass or acoustic bass—is the deepest of the string instruments. It's played by a bassist, or double bass player, upright bass player, etc.


I'm Jasmine Beams. I'm from Milwaukee and I play viola.

Caption 9, Making Tracks: Dewayne Everettsmith & Jasmine Beams musical journey

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I grew up playing the cello.

Caption 10, Justin James: Booking Submission Video

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And did you take bass lessons when you were young?

Caption 12, Bee and Flower: Interview

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The highest of the woodwind reed instruments are the clarinet and the oboe. The clarinet is played by a clarinetist and the oboe by an oboist, although "clarinet player" and "oboe player" are fine too. The deepest is the bassoon, played by a bassoonist, or bassoon player.


I play the clarinet. -I play the bassoon.

Caption 8, Making Tracks: A musical journey inspired by Australia

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I played the oboe in middle school band.

Caption 85, Jennifer Lawrence & Chris Pratt: Answer the Web's Most Searched Questions

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There are also several non-reed woodwind instruments such as the flute and the recorder. A flute player is called a flutist (or flautist), and a recorder player is called just that.


When I was a girl, I studied flute like many girls,

Caption 36, Sigrid: An American in Italy

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And so I started playing recorder.

Caption 44, Sigrid: An American in Italy

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Of the brass instruments, the most commonly used are the trumpet and the French horn. The players of these instruments are a trumpeter (or trumpet player) and a French horn player. In the lower registers there's also the tuba, played by a tuba player.


Oh, yes, yes, practice trumpet every day.

Caption 23, They Might Be Giants: The Seven Days Of The Week

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Lastly, the main percussion instruments used are the marimba, the snare drum, and the timpani. The person in the orchestra playing these instruments is called a percussionist.


We know where the certain snare-hits are.

Caption 27, OK Go - Needing/Getting: Behind The Scenes

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the videos above relating to musical instruments. You can also search for the names of the instruments and find other videos. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in English using these musical instrument words, then compare what you both came up with. In next month's lesson, we'll talk about the different kinds of musical instruments used in pop music!

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Right and Wrong (ragione e torto)

Le parole right e wrong sono due parole che possono farvi girare la testa! Infatti, spulciando il dizionario, noterete che sono sostantivi, aggettivi, avverbi e verbi.


In questa lezione, vedremo come dire in inglese "avere ragione", "avere torto" e altre espressioni simili.


Mentre in italiano usiamo il verbo "avere", questa espressione in inglese prevede l'uso del verbo to be (essere): to be right (avere ragione), to be wrong (avere torto, sbagliarsi). Il verbo to be è uno dei primi verbi che impariamo quando studiamo l'inglese, ma se volete ripassare la sua coniugazione, cliccate qui.

Ricordatevi dunque di non tradurre mai alla lettera "avere ragione" e "avere torto" perché "to have right" e "to have wrong" sono degli errori. 


To be right

Yeah, you're right, I don't need this.

Sì, hai ragione, non ho bisogno di questo.

Caption 51, The Office Powerpoint, Powerpoint, Powerpoint

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My Italian friend is right. We can say "lives" when we're talking about a verb.

La mia amica italiana ha ragione. Possiamo dire "vive" quando parliamo di un verbo.

Captions 40-41, Sigrid Enough is Enough - Part 3

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Se qualcuno più che "avere ragione" dice la cosa giusta, dà la risposta esatta, allora dovremmo usare un'espressione con right sotto forma di aggettivo. L'esempio che segue è tratto da un video in cui alcune persone partecipano ad un gioco chiamato What's That Word? (Qual è quella parola?) nel quale i concorrenti devono indovinare il contrario di una determinata parola pronunciata dal presentatore. Ad esempio, qual è il contrario di handsome (bello)?

Ugly. -That's right, Lisa.

Brutto. -Questo è giusto, Lisa.

Caption 28, Basic Vocabulary Describing People, Places and Things - Part 3

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"È giusto", "è coretto", "esatto" sono tutte possibili traduzioni dell'espressione that's right


False friend

Attenzione alla parola reason che potrebbe ricordavi la nostra parola "ragione". Effettivamente uno dei significati di reason è proprio "ragione", ma solo ed esclusivamente come sostanvito: la ragione, il motivo, la spiegazione e così via...

The main reason why people come to Camden is for the market, because it's got everything.

Il motivo principale per cui la gente viene a Camden è per il mercato, perché ha tutto.

Captions 22-23, My Guide to London Camden Town

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Esiste anche il verbo to reason, ma neanche in questo caso possiamo usarlo per dire "avere ragione", bensì per dire "ragionare","argomentare", "discutere":

Don't try to reason with you father, Carol.

Non cercare di ragionare con tuo padre, Carol.

Caption 6, Karate Kids, USA The Little Dragons - Part 2

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To be wrong

Come abbiamo già detto, to be wrong significa "avere torto" e "sbagliarsi". La struttura è sempre la stessa:

You're not wrong!

Non hai torto!

Caption 51, Green TV Evolution of the Whale

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Oh, I was wrong.

Oh, mi ero sbagliato.

Caption 33, Chicago Bulls Kid Picasso - Part 2

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Ma "sbagliarsi" è anche sinonimo di "fare un errore"; in questo caso in inglese useremo la parola mistake (errore) preceduta dal verbo to make (fare):

I made a mistake five years ago, but I've paid for it.

Ho fatto un errore cinque anni fa, ma ho pagato per questo.

Caption 54, Sherlock Holmes The Case of the Cunningham Heritage - Part 4

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Esiste un altro modo per dire to be wrong e si usa principalmente quando interpretiamo qualcosa nel modo sbagliato o quando fraintendiamo qualcuno:

Don't get me wrong. I like Paris, but I like the country better.

Non fraintendetemi. Mi piace Parigi, ma la campagna mi piace di più.

Caption 16, Parts of Speech Question Words - Part 4

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Speriamo che questi esempi vi tornino utili nel vostro percorso di apprendimento della lingua inglese e che possona servirvi come spunto per approfondire le parole right e wrong

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The Literary and Performing Arts

Last month we started learning about different kinds of Visual Art: architecture, ceramics, conceptual art, drawing, painting, and sculpture. Let's continue today with the Literary Arts and the Performing Arts.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines literature as "writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest." This does not usually include news journalism or technical writing, but usually includes poetry, drama, and fiction and non-fiction prose. A person who creates literature is usually called an author, a dramatist or playwright, a poet, or simply a writer.


By the year 2050, the whole literature of the past will have gone.

Captions 1-2, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: BBC TV Movie

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The author Dave Eggers wanted to have a location that was accessible from the streets.

Captions 14-15, Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.: Learn about this fun shop in Brooklyn, NY!

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The next category of types of art is the Performing Arts. Merriam-Webster defines this as "types of art (such as music, dance, or drama) that are performed for an audience." 


Dance as an art form, simply defined as "the art of dancing," is usually referring to contemporary dance and ballet, but may include figure skating, synchronized swimming, and some forms of gymnastics. A person who designs a dance performance is called a choreographer.


The inspiring story of a boy's struggle against the odds to become a ballet star.

Captions 20-21, Visit London: Top 10 London Musicals

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I came to America to become a professional dancer.

Caption 3, Another 7.4 Earthquake: Hits Japan

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Music is described by Merriam-Webster as "the art or skill of creating or performing music," although Wikipedia describes it more interestingly as "an art form whose medium is sound and silence, occurring in time." A person who performs music is a musician (or named after the instrument they play, such as a pianist, violinist, or guitarist). A person who writes music is called a composer or songwriter


So you write music as well, as in literally "write music?"

Captions 36-37, Bee and Flower: Interview

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This is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was an Austrian musician and composer.

Captions 9-10, English Grammar in Use: Past Simple

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The last form of the performing arts is theater, defined by Merriam-Webster as "dramatic representation as an art or profession." Clearly, this extends beyond works performed in theaters to all forms of acting, which may also include any of the other performing arts of dance and music. Although theater and filmmaking encompass many kinds of work, the main performing artist is called an actor or actress, though it is usually best to refer to all genders of such performing artists simply as actors.


You're a repertory theater actor, you're expected to do everything.

Caption 14, Ask Jimmy Carter: Interview with Richard Gere

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the videos above relating to art forms and professions. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in English using these art words, then compare what you both came up with.

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The Visual Arts

The arts are basically divided into three different categories: the Visual Arts, the Literary Arts, and the Performing Arts. Of course, there are art forms that combine the different categories—as well as art that is very difficult to categorize at all—but let's stick to the basics!


Today we'll focus on just the Visual Arts. The first type of art in this category is architecture, which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as "the art or practice of designing and building structures, and especially habitable ones." The professional title of a person who creates architecture is an architect.



California's central coast is a gorgeous stretch dotted with Spanish architecture.

Captions 2-3, Travel + Leisure: Weekend Getaway, Santa Barbara

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The next type of art in the visual arts is ceramics, defined by Merriam-Webster as "the art or process of making ceramic articles."  Works of art made of ceramic are also called pottery. You call a person who makes ceramics a ceramicist or a studio potter.



The most popular pieces, I would say, are the ceramic pieces.

Caption 17, New York City: Little Shop of Crafts

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The next type of art in the visual arts category is drawing, which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as "the art or technique of representing an object or outlining a figure, plan, or sketch by means of lines". 



So it's kind of a messy drawing, but it really helps to start to think of ideas.

Caption 27, Creative Space: What does an Interior Designer Do?

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A person who draws might be called a "drawer," but this is usually a person (such as a draftsman) who makes plans and sketches of machinery or structures, or a person who "draws up" or writes legal documents. Most visual artists use drawing as part of their skill set, if not as a finished product, then as a way to sketch out ideas.


Now we come to painting, a field practiced by painters, which is probably the traditional art form that most people think of when they think about art. It's simply defined in the dictionary as "the art or occupation of painting."



When I do an oil painting, it takes me a week or a month.

Captions 15-16, Creative Space: An Artist's Studio

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Next comes photography, practiced by photographers, which has many aspects that are not generally considered "high art," such as photojournalism for the news and commercial photography for advertising. Merriam-Webster defines it as "the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (such as film or an optical sensor)."



This rule applies to film-making, photography...

Caption 2, Filmmaking & Photography: The Rule of Thirds | What Is It?

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The next type of visual art is sculpture, a field practiced by sculptors, and defined by Merriam-Webster as "the action or art of processing (as by carving, modeling, or welding) plastic or hard materials into works of art."



She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor.

Caption 4, Alessia Cara: Scars To Your Beautiful

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The last form of visual arts is conceptual art, which Merriam Webster defines as "an art form in which the artist's intent is to convey a concept rather than to create an art object." A person who practices this art form is a conceptual artist. In the United Kingdom, conceptual art has come to mean any contemporary art that does not use the traditional skills of painting or sculpture. Since conceptual art may take the form of an installation, or a form that is not easily sold (in the way an object like a painting or sculpture can be sold), most conceptual artists live from art grants and other forms of financial support.


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the videos above relating to art forms and professions. Find a tandem partner in your class and make up some sentences in English using these art words, then compare what you both came up with.

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In quanti modi possiamo dire "tornare" in inglese?

Quando usiamo il verbo "tornare" di solito intendiamo il fatto di essere diretti al luogo da cui si era partiti o da cui si era venuti, ad esempio se torniamo a casa dal lavoro. Oppure, usiamo il verbo "tornare" (e il suo sinonimo "ritornare") per indicare l'azione di andare nuovamente in un luogo in cui si è già stati, per farvi ritorno.

In inglese, questa differenza viene espressa attraverso l'utilizzo di almeno tre forme verbali diverse.

To return

Il verbo to return ricorda per assonanza il nostro verbo "tornare" e in effetti è la prima voce ad apparire come traduzione in diversi dizionari. Inoltre è il verbo che possiamo usare in entrambi i casi sopracitati:

I hope he returns  home soon.

Spero che torni (ritorni) presto a casa.


We often return to the city where we met for the first time.

Torniamo spesso nella città in cui ci siamo incontrati per la prima volta.


Return è anche un sostantivo e oltre al significato di "ritorno" ha anche quello di "reso" di un oggetto che abbiamo acquistato. Inoltre, è anche un aggettivo, come in questo caso:

Hello. I would like to get a refund for the return flight.

Salve. Vorrei ottenere un rimborso per il volo di ritorno.

Caption 18, Luana and Austin The Flight Cancellation

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Adesso vediamo la differenza tra due phrasal verbs che apparentemente possono sembrare due sinonimi, ma che in realtà si distinguono per una caratteristica ben precisa.


To go back versus to come back

La scelta di uno piuttosto che l'altro dipende dal luogo in cui si trova chi parla.


Nel caso di to go back, chi parla di sicuro non si trova nel posto in cui vuole o deve tornare. In questo esempio siamo in un appartamento a Berlino e una delle ragazze dice che Thomas deve tornare a Londra:

I've been spending a lot of time with Thomas, but this week he has to go back to London for a few days, so I won't be seeing him.

Sto passando molto tempo con Thomas, ma questa settimana lui deve tornare a Londra per qualche giorno, quindi non lo vedrò.

Captions 10-11, The Apartment The Date - Part 3

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Nell'esempio che segue, Rita e Kathy stanno conversando durante un viaggio in treno verso Princeton e dal momento che non si conoscono usano la forma di cortesia. Una delle due viene dal Minnesota:

So, when do you go back to Minnesota?

Allora, quando torna in Minnesota?

Caption 52, Parts of Speech Question Words - Part 2

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Se invece chi parla si trova esattamente nel posto in cui vuole o deve tornare, allora userà to come back.


Se ho finito di lavorare e sono già a casa diro:

I came back from the office at 6:30pm.

Sono ritornato dall'ufficio alle 18:30.


Anche nell'esempio che segue, chi parla si trova ancora nel posto in cui vorrebbe tornare: 

All in all, this is definitely one of the coolest places I've ever been to and I can't wait to come back here next year.

Nel complesso, questo è sicuramente uno dei posti più belli in cui sia mai stata  e non vedo l'ora di ritornare qui l'anno prossimo.

Captions 28-29, Cabrinha Kiteboarding on the Cook Islands

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Voi dove vorreste tornare? Esercitatevi a formulare delle frasi con questi tre verbi, e ricordatevi sempre di fare attenzione al luogo verso il quale vi state dirigendo.  

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Fall, Autumn, and Indian Summer

The weather where you live may be different, but with cooler temperatures and rains, summer is already showing signs of being over. Summer officially ends on August 31st, so let's talk today about the season that comes after summer. 


The most common American English name for the season after summer is fall. The word possibly came from Old English or Old Norse into British English. By the 20th century, it had fallen into disuse in Britain. 


The fall is my favorite season in New York.

Caption 10, Caralie and Annie: Get to Know Each Other

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Spring is long gone, and summer's over, and we're ready for fall.

Captions 36-37, Food Talk with Sigrid: Simple Summer Vegetables

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Third, we have fall, or you could say autumn, when the leaves turn golden.

Captions 21-22, Lydia Explains: Weekdays, Seasons and Months

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The other English word for this season, as you can see in the last caption above, is autumn. This is the standard British English word for the season. It's also common in American English, though a bit more formal than "fall."


The Changing of the Guard happens throughout autumn and winter,

Caption 27, In London with Lauren: Buckingham Palace

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It's the end of October, so we are in the middle of autumn.

Captions 4-5, Sigrid: Pumpkin Season

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Meanwhile, autumn has painted its colors on the Alps.

Caption 21, The Last Paradises: Realm of the Golden Eagle

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The last caption does not mean that the season is literally taking up a brush to paint. It's metaphorically describing how in autumn, the green leaves of the trees change color to orange and gold!


Some years we get lucky and have a few weeks in fall (or autumn) when it's warm and sunny. This is commonly called Indian summer in English. Nobody knows where this phrase really came from, but other languages also have a name for this phenomenon. In many European languages, it is called "old woman's summer," and in some South American countries, it is called "little summer."


You're like an Indian summer in the middle of winter

Caption 27, Katy Perry - Thinking Of You: Behind The Scenes

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the Lydia Explains video to learn more about seasons. You can also find more videos by searching for "autumn" and "fall."

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Summer Sports and Gerunds

There are a lot of sports that are best enjoyed under a summer sun. Many names of sports are gerunds, which means the noun came from the verb, usually ending in "-ing." So you have the sport "surfing," and to make a verb for it to describe participating in the sport, you add the word "go": you "go surfing."


With some sports, the noun does not end in "ing," such as the sport golf. In this case, you can "play golf" or "go golfing." With some sports, such as tennis, you can "play tennis." But it's incorrect to say you "go tennising."


Let's take a look at summer sports today and figure out afterwards which of those have noun gerunds, and whether the noun gerunds carry over into the related verb or not.



When you throw a frisbee, part of your spirit flies with it.

Caption 6, Movie Trailers: The Invisible String

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I found myself traveling around the world windsurfing.

Caption 12, Justin James: Booking Submission Video

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I'm not a scuba diving instructor yet.

Caption 1, Job interviews: Mr. Alan Hint monologue

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Caveman Skatetech delivers a very armchair appreciation to the sport of skateboarding.

Captions 1-3, Caveman Skatetech: Desert Vol 1

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It is also a popular recreational area for boating and other water sports.

Caption 36, The Last Paradises: America's National Parks

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If I'm in a kayak or a canoe, I have to be careful because if I move too much, then I can tip over.

Captions 53-55, Sigrid explains: The Tipping Point

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This effect is very important in sports like tennis, soccer, and golf.

Caption 30, Science: Surprising Applications of the Magnus Effect

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Sport name           Non-gerund verb        Gerund verb
Boating                   (none)                          Go boating, canoeing, kayaking
Diving                     (none)                          Go diving, scuba diving
Fishing                    (none)                         Go fishing
Frisbee                    Play frisbee                 (none)
Golf                         Play golf                      Go golfing
Skateboarding        (none)                          Go skateboarding
Snorkeling              (none)                          Go snorkeling
Surfing                    (none)                          Go surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfings
Soccer                    Play soccer                  (none)
Tennis                     Play tennis                   (none)


Note too that with some sports, you can use a non-gerund verb to describe playing the sport: "I golf badly, I dive well, I fish very well, I skateboard like a pro, I can snorkel, and I can surf." But other sports require you to have a helping verb: "I play frisbee, soccer, and tennis." 


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch some of the videos above for more references to summer sports.

Continua a leggere

Let's have fun. Divertirsi in inglese

Esistono tanti modi per divertirsi e ognuno di noi ha la propria idea di divertimento che dipende principalmente dai nostri interessi e dalle nostre esperienze. Possiamo divertirci trascorrendo una giornata al mare, possiamo divertirci restando a casa per una maratona di serie TV o possiamo divertirci ad imparare una nuova lingua guardando tantissimi video. Quanti modi ci sono in inglese per parlare di divertimento o per dire che ci si sta divertendo tanto? Scopriamolo insieme!



In inglese, la parola che usiamo per parlare di “divertimento” è fun. Questa parola è sia un sostantivo sia un aggettivo e viene utilizzata per descrivere qualcosa di piacevole e (per l’appunto) divertente da fare, qualcosa che ci rende felici.

it's always a really fun day when we get to work together.

è sempre un giorno davvero divertente quando ci mettiamo a lavorare insieme.

Caption 33, Katie Holmes About family, beauty and Olay

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L'esempio successivo è un'espressione molto ricorrente nella lingua inglese che possiamo usare quando stiamo per fare qualcosa che siamo sicuri ci piacerà parecchio: 

Wow! This is gonna be so much fun.

Wow! Questo sarà molto divertente.

Caption 16, Blippi Cool Science Experiment for Kids - Part 1

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A differenza di fun, funny è solo un aggettivo e si usa per descrivere quelle situazioni, persone o cose che fanno ridere o sono buffi. 

She is literally sarcastic, she's funny, she's all over the place.

Lei è veramente sarcastica, è divertente, è dappertutto [è un vulcano].

 Play Caption


You know, it's funny that you ask that.

Sai, è buffo che tu me lo chieda.

Caption 30, Two and a Half Men Dead from the Waist Down

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Divertirsi con il verbo to have

Chi non ha mai ascoltato o ballato l'iconica canzone degli anni '80 Girls Just Want To Have Fun di Cyndi Lauper? Se fun vuol dire "divertimento/divertente", to have fun vuol dire "divertirsi". 


Ci sono altre parole che insieme al verbo to have assumono lo stesso significato di to have fun, come ad esempio to have a ball. Ball vuol dire sia "palla" che "ballo", ma non viene mai tradotto letteralmente nell'espressione to have a ball:

When the joint starts jumpin' I'll have a ball

Quando il locale comincerà a saltare [riempirsi] mi divertirò un mondo

Caption 40, Penny Short Film - Part 2

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A blast, in senso figurato, vuol dire "uno spasso, uno sballo", come ad esempio quando diciamo the party was a blast! (la festa è stata uno sballo!). Quindi possiamo usare l'espressione to have a blast con il significato di "divertirsi":

So we have a blast working together.

Quindi ci divertiamo tantissimo a lavorare insieme.

Caption 66, On Deck with Lucy Fashion Blogger Ava Improta

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Un'espressione molto semplice e diffusa è to have a good/great time, letteralmente "avere un buon/fantastico momento", ma più semplicemente, è un altro modo per dire "divertirsi un mondo, divertirsi tantissimo":

I'm here, here to go surfing and party and have a good time.

Sono qui, qui per andare a fare surf e fare festa e divertirmi.

Caption 21, Todos Santos Beach On the Beach with the Boys

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Last but not least (ultimo, ma non meno importante), anche il verbo to enjoy, oltre a "piacere" e "godere", può essere usato per dire che ci si diverte nel fare qualcosa, o più semplicemente per augurare buon divertimento a qualcuno: Enjoy your holidays! (buone vacanze!).

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Flowers in Springtime

Spring and summer are the times of year that most flowers bloom in the Western Hemisphere. Let's take a look today at some of the more common types of flowers you'll come across in English. 


This incredible variety of shades of purple lupines are springing up everywhere.

Captions 25-26, New Zealand: 100% Pure New Zealand, Home of Middle-earth

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The Lupine (often spelled "Lupin" in British English), with its beautiful purple flowers, has become a problem in New Zealand, because it is not a native plant and has spread rapidly throughout the country.


If you come in June, you can see the roses.

Caption 11, Jessica: Brooklyn Sites

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The rose has been linked since ancient times to love, so it's the standard flower for people in love to give each other as a present.


This brief, rich time is crowned by the blooming of the alpine rose.

Caption 10, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

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The alpine rose is a kind of rose that is found in the mountains of central and southern Europe.


Anticipating the second her ears would open like lotuses...

Caption 15, White House Poetry Jam: Joshua Bennett

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The lotus flower is usually pink in Asia, and yellow in North America. It is considered a sacred plant in some eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.


And who can believe that a kind of rhododendron is growing in the Alps as well?

Caption 12, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

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There are over a thousand kinds of rhododendrons. It's the national flower of Nepal.


There are Easter lilies and other flowers everywhere.

Caption 67, Holidays and Seasons with Sigrid: Easter

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The Easter lily is found most often in Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. In Ireland, a badge shaped like an Easter lily is worn during the Easter holidays in remembrance of people who died fighting for Irish independence.


Beside the red carpets shines the deep blue gentian.

Caption 13, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

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There are many different kinds of gentian, which usually have blue flowers. Some kinds are used medicinally or as a food or drink flavoring. 


Dream if you can a courtyard, an ocean of violets in bloom.

Captions 4-5, Prince. When Doves Cry

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Violets are often—but not always—a shade of purple that is also called violet, but there are also blue varieties. People sometimes invent rhymes that start with the line "Roses are red, violets are blue..." 


As did the queen of the Alps, the edelweiss.

Caption 18, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

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The edelweiss is usually found in the mountains of Europe. 


So much for them daisy chains.

Caption 37, Diane Birch: Valentino

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"Daisy" is a common name for several different kinds of flowers, which if strung together in a garland, are called "daisy chains." But the term "daisy chain" is also used as a technical term for connecting things, such as computers, ropes for climbing, and even a kind of fishing lure!


Further Learning
Find out more about different kinds of flowers on English Wikipedia or Simple English Wikipedia. You can start by looking up some flowers from this list: daffodil, dahlia, hibiscus, jasmine, marigold, morning glory, pansy, petunia, tulip, sunflower, and lavender.

You can also go to Yabla English and find more videos that use the word "flower" or "flowers" to see the different ways it is used by native English speakers. 

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All about "run"

Let's take a look today at different idioms, or slang expressions, that are based on the verb "to run" and its noun version, "run." The primary meaning of "to run" is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "to go faster than a walk; specifically, to go steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant in each step." But there are a lot of other uses for this handy word whose meanings are meant as a figure of speech.


It's no secret that the both of us are running out of time

Caption 30, Adele Hello

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It just was a movie that didn't end with all the pizzazz that it should have because they ran out of money by the end.

Captions 70-71,  Ask Jimmy Carter: Interview with Robin Williams

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To "run out" of something means that you will soon have no more of something left. The phrase "to run out of gas" literally means that your car will soon have no more gas. But it is also a figure of speech meaning that you are getting tired and have very little energy left. "I wanted to finish my homework, but I ran out of gas."


In the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on.

Captions 1-2, Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven

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The phrase "in the long run" means over a long period of time, or eventually.


Yeah, she'd stay there till her blood ran cold.

Caption 22, Krayolas: La Conquistadora

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The saying "blood runs cold" means that somebody gets very frightened and fears for the worst.


And wonder runs in the family.

Caption 14, Selena Gomez: Ramona And Beezus

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If something "runs in the family," it suggests that some kind of illness is inherited in a family or some kind of behavior is seen in a family, as if it were inherited. 


I was running late and I decided in order to make up the time, that I was gonna speed my car.

Caption 30, Drivers Wanted: Pizza Delivery

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To be "running late" does not necessarily mean that you are literally running—although people do often run when they are late—but simply that you are late for something like an appointment. 


Further Learning
See if you can guess the meaning of the following figures of speech using "run." The answers are at the very bottom of the page, so you can check them afterwards.


A. to get off to a running start
B. to make a run for it
C. to run a fever or temperature
D. to run a tight ship
E. to run around in circles
F. to run into a stone wall
G. to run someone ragged


You can also go to Yabla English and find more videos that use run, running, ran etc. to see the different phrases used by native English speakers. 









A. to start something, such a project, very quickly and efficiently
B. to escape something, whether literally by running or any other means
C. to have a fever or a high temperature
D. to supervise very effectively and efficiently
E. to be inefficient, wasting time
F. to be stopped from making progress
G. to exhaust somebody by giving them too many tasks

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La parola news

Se cerchiamo la parola news in un dizionario italiano, questo anglicismo figura come sostantivo femminile plurale (le news di oggi) e indica informazioni recenti fornite da un notiziario radio o televisivo. Nonostante il significato sia identico a quello che il sostantivo ha in inglese, la grossa differenza sta nel fatto che in inglese news è usato sempre al singolare. Ce lo spiega molto bene Sigrid con questo esempio:

It sounds like it's plural, but it's singular. The news is bad or the news is good.

Suona come se fosse plurale, ma è singolare. La notizia è cattiva o la notizia è buona.

Play Caption


Oltre ad indicare notizie trasmesse da TV, radio e simili, news è usato anche per parlare o raccontare delle novità, che possono riguardare noi e chi ci sta intorno:

Carly. -Hey, I heard the news. Congratulations.

Carly. -Ehi, ho sentito la novità. Congratulazioni.

 Play Caption


Se qualcuno ci racconta che qualcosa di bello sta accadendo nella sua vita, noi potremmo rispondere con That’s great news! (Questa è un’ottima notizia!).

We would be very pleased to offer you the position, and we're wondering, are you still interested? That is wonderful news! Yes, I most certainly am!

Saremmo molto lieti di offrirti la posizione e ci chiediamo, sei ancora interessata? È una notizia meravigliosa! Sì, lo sono, naturalmente!

Captions 12-14, Business English Starting on a New Job - Part 1

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Ecco un altro esempio dove si vede chiaramente che news è un sostantivo usato nel singolare:

The good news is, it's already started.

La buona notizia è che abbiamo già iniziato.

Caption 66, Nature Preservation The Story of Bottled Water - Part 2

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Ripasso: completare il dialogo, scegliendo fra risposta a o risposta b

person 1: I have some great news! 

person 2 : a) What is it?

                 b) What are they? 


person 1: I'd like to watch the news.

person 2 : a) What channel are they on?

                 b) What channel is it on?


person 1: My sister just had a baby.

person 2: a) I know. Good news travels fast!

                b) I know. Good news travel fast!


Answers: a,b,a

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Nationalities, Part II

In Part II, we are going to continue to talk about the names of some major countries, the main languages they speak, and the adjectives used to describe somebody from that country. Usually, the noun for the language spoken is the same as the adjective for somebody who resides there. For instance, in France, the French speak French. But there are also exceptions: In the United States, most Americans speak English. Note too that in English, unlike many other languages, even the adjectives are usually written with a capital letter.


Let's start off with two countries whose nationalities end with -ian or -ean:


Off the coast of Queensland, Australia, it is one of the richest ecosystems on the planet.

Caption 3, Greenpeace Australia Pacific: Eyes On The Reef

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One third of mammal species lost in the world are Australian.

Captions 56-57, BBC Planet Wild: Alien Animals

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And what about North Korea?

Caption 41, Jimmy Kimmel: Kids Answer "What is the Best Country in the World?"

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I know a little Korean. Let's try it.

Caption 10, Hemispheres: The Amazing Cell Phone

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And next some countries whose nationalities end with -ese:


You do know that in China it's not going to be a problem.

Caption 23, ABC Science Online: An interview with Douglas Adams

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There's a large Chinese population in London.

Caption 8, London: Multicultural Britain

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You came with a friend from Portugal to the United States?

Caption 13, Groucho Marx: You Bet Your Life

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While speakers of Spanish and Portuguese can often understand each other.

Caption 55, TED-Ed: How languages evolve

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The Netherlands presents a special case: 


He has been told he has a long lost cousin in the Netherlands.

Caption 7, Naish Kiteboarding TV The Real Stig

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The Dutch came sharing coleslaw and cookies.

Caption 8, The History of English: American English

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So while the Netherlands (usually with the definite article "the") is the proper name of the country, it is still often called Holland—although strictly speaking, Holland is only a region of the Netherlands. There is also the term "Netherlandish," but this does not usually refer to the language. It's an art history term used to refer to the northern part of the Low Countries in the 16th and 17th centuries.


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and find more videos that use some of the following country names, dominant languages, and nationalities. You can also see a more complete list of countries, their people, and their languages here.


Country               Language          Nationality
Australia               English               Australian
Brazil                    Portuguese        Brazilian
Chile                     Spanish             Chilean
China                    Chinese             Chinese
Egypt                     Arabic                Egyptian
Hungary                Hungarian           Hungarian
Italy                       Italian                  Italian
Japan                   Japanese             Japanese
Korea                    Korean                 Korean
(the) Netherlands  Dutch                   Dutch
Portugal                 Portuguese         Portuguese
Russia                   Russian               Russian
United States        English                 American


Thanks to you all for reading this, keep up the good work! If you have any good ideas for lesson topics, please email them to us at newsletter@yabla.com, and you can tweet us @yabla.

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Nationalities, Part I

In today's lesson, we are going to talk about the names of some major countries, the main languages they speak, and the adjectives used to describe somebody from that country. Usually the noun for the language spoken is the same as the adjective for somebody from that country. For instance in France, the French speak French. But there are also exceptions: In the United States, most Americans speak English. Note too that in English, unlike many other languages, even the adjectives are usually written with a capital letter!


Let's start off with two countries whose names have only one syllable


And where would I like to go? That's easy: France.

Caption 8, Parts of Speech: Question Words

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People speak French in France, and as noted above, the adjective for something from France is also "French." One of the few national adjectives in English that is not standardly written with a capital letter is in the term "french fries." This is what is called a "misnomer" or mistaken name, because so-called french fries probably came from Belgium or Netherlands! 


He was throwing french fries at you?

Caption 38, 7-10 Split: Short Film

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And on to the Greeks in Greece, who speak Greek: 



...especially those who were considering going to Greece.

Caption 15, Job interviews: Mr. Alan Hint monologue

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"K" is a very old letter. It comes from the Greek letter "kappa."

Caption 12, The Alphabet: the Letter K

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There are a lot of countries whose languages and nationalities end in the letters -ish. Note that the adjective for somebody from Britain is "British," but they usually speak "English" in the form of "British English":


The day after Christmas is called Boxing Day in Britain.

Caption 38, Christmas traditions: in the UK

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We also drop the letter "r" at the end of words in British English.

Caption 29, British vs American: English Pronunciation Lesson

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And on to Spain, where the Spanish speak Spanish: 


I should speak in Spanish because Custo Barcelona is a Spanish designer.

Caption 13, New York Fashion Week: Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA take over

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Here I am in Southern Spain in the height of summer

Caption 2, Tara's recipes: Delicious Fruit Salad with Greek Yoghurt

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and find more videos that use some of the following country names, languages, and nationalities. You can also see a more complete list of countries, their people, and their languages here.


Country          Language          Nationality
France             French                French
Greece            Greek                  Greek
Britain              English                British
Denmark          Danish                Danish
Finland             Finnish                Finnish
Poland              Polish                  Polish
Spain                Spanish              Spanish
Sweden            Swedish              Swedish
Turkey               Turkish               Turkish

Continua a leggere

Giving your opinion: come esprimere la propria opinione in inglese

Prima o poi tutti coloro che imparano una lingua straniera si troveranno davanti alla sfida di esprimere la propria opinione. Essere in grado di condividere la propria idea in una conversazione è fondamentale affinché questa conversazione si svolga in maniera corretta ed efficace. 

In questa lezione parliamo di alcune delle (tante) formule usate in inglese per esprimere un pensiero, un punto di vista, o anche semplicemente per rispondere a qualcuno che chiede un nostro parere.  


Esprimere un'opinione

In una conversazione informale, se vogliamo esternare un pensiero in modo deciso possiamo usare il verbo to think (pensare, credere):

I think she's the best pop star in the world right now.

Credo che in questo momento sia la pop star migliore del mondo.

Caption 14, I Blame Coco Fans Q&A - Part 1

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Anche il verbo to feel (sentire) e l'espressione I have the feeling that (ho la sensazione che) possono essere usate per introdurre un discorso: 

I feel that I'm leading a healthy and happier lifestyle and I think it has really impacted my surfing and my performance.

Sento che sto conducendo uno stile di vita sano e più felice e penso che abbia davvero influito sul mio modo di fare surf e sulle mie prestazioni.

Captions 15-16, peta2 Interviews Vegan Surfer Tia Blanco

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Se immaginiamo che una cosa sia o possa verificarsi in un derterminato modo, possiamo ricorrere a due verbi per esprimere in modo meno convincente e sicuro il nostro pensiero: to guess e to suppose, che in italiano corrispondo a immaginare, supporre, ipotizzare, presumere. 

She studied economics at university, although I guess I could be wrong.

Ha studiato economia all'università, anche se suppongo che potrei sbagliarmi.

Captions 24-25, English Grammar Lesson English Sentence Structure - Part 8

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All'inizio di una conversazione, specialmente quando stiamo spiegando qualcosa o stiamo dando istruzioni a qualcuno, possiamo usare la locuzione avverbiale frasale first of all (prima di tutto):

So first of all, I just want to say that, um... you can't wear jewelry in the lesson.

Dunque, prima di tutto, voglio solamente dire che, ehm… non potete indossare gioielli durante la lezione.

Captions 7-8, Karate with Anne-Marie Episode 2: The Vamps

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L'avverbio first (primo) può essere usato anche da solo con lo stesso significato di first of all. In italiano diremmo "prima di tutto", "per prima cosa", "in primo luogo", eccetera. Come vedrete in questo esempio, Mike Myers elenca due motivi per cui sta presentando Sir Sean Connery alla platea e per introdurre il secondo motivo usa second (secondo):

Well, first, I'm a huge fan. Second, Sean Connery's portrayal of James Bond is obviously the inspiration for Austin Powers.

Be', in primo luogo, sono un grande fan. In secondo luogo, il ritratto di James Bond di Sean Connery è ovviamente l'ispirazione per Austin Powers.

 Play Caption


L'espressione as far as I'm concerned (per quanto mi riguarda) può essere usata sia in conversazioni formali che informali, come ad esempio in questo episodio del film "Flying" in cui Leah puntualizza a Robin (protagonista del film) che quest'ultima non è mai stata e mai sarà un membro della squadra di ginnastica artistica: 

As far as I'm concerned, you're not a member of this team.

Per quanto mi riguarda, tu non sei un membro di questa squadra.

Caption 46, Dream to Believe aka Flying - Part 7

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Gli avverbi furthermore e moreover (inoltre, per di più, tra l'altro) sono spesso usati per aggiungere ulteriori informazioni a quanto già detto, come nel video di Noam Chomsky, uno dei più grandi filosofi e commentatori politici del nostro tempo, nel quale spiega come le persone stupide a volte sono proprio quelle che purtroppo hanno in mano il futuro dell'umanità:

Furthermore, they're backed by major concentrations of power.

Inoltre, sono sostenuti da grandi concentrazioni di potere.

 Play Caption


Altre due espressioni che possono essere usate in qualunque tipo di conversazione sono in my view e in my opinion:

but in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party Conference in October.

ma a mio avviso dovremmo puntare ad avere un nuovo Primo Ministro al proprio posto all'inizio della Conferenza del Partito Conservatore ad ottobre.

Captions 58-59, Brexit David Cameron resigns as UK votes to leave

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Now in my opinion, your work experience section is the most important section of your CV.

Ora, a mio parere, la sezione dell'esperienza lavorativa è la sezione più importante del vostro CV.

Captions 31-32, Business English Curriculum Vitae - Part 1

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Essere d'accordo

Quando condividiamo pienamente le stesse idee e opinioni di altra gente, vogliamo mostrare la nostra approvazione e il nostro consenso, pertanto usiamo il verbo to agree (essere d'accordo). Attenzione! Mentre in italiano diremmo "sono d'accordo con te", in inglese agree non è mai preceduto dal verbo to be (essere). Quindi la nostra risposta sarà I agree with you. Possiamo usare il verbo to agree anche all'interno della frase I couldn't agree with you more (non potrei essere più d'accordo con te/con quello che dici).


Un'espressione molto informale usata spesso come risposta affermativa è fair enough:

Another really good idiom is: "fair enough!" which means: "I agree with what you've just said."

Un'altra frase idiomatica davvero buona è: "d'accordo!" che significa: "Sono d'accordo con quello che hai appena detto".

Captions 41-42, English common phrases - Part 1

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A volte, se rispondiamo con fair enough, vogliamo far capire al nostro interlocutore che comprendiamo il suo punto di vista, ma che non lo condividiamo appieno:

I am sorry I cancelled my plans with you at the last minute, but I really had to help out my mom. -Fair enough.

Mi dispiace di aver disdetto il mio appuntamento con te all'ultimo momento, ma dovevo davvero aiutare mia madre. -Va be'/Fa niente/D'accordo.


Percepite anche voi un po' di delusione in questa risposta? 


Esprimere disaccordo

Prima di dichiararci in disaccordo con qualcuno, potremmo semplicemente ritrovarci a voler esprimere un parere personale negativo, qualcosa che non ci convince del tutto:

I'm not sure people understand irony in this day and age.

Non sono sicura che la gente capisca l'ironia di questi tempi.

 Play Caption


It goes without saying that (va da sé che) basta trasformare una frase da affermativa a negativa per esprimere disaccordo. Se quindi  nel primo esempio di questa lezione abbiamo la frase I think she's the best pop star in the world right now, se non siamo d'accordo basterà aggiungere don't

I dont' think she's the best pop star in the world right now.

Non credo che in questo momento sia la pop star migliore del mondo.


Altre espressioni che possiamo usare per esprimere disaccordo sono:

I don't agree with you/ I disagree with you (non sono d'accordo con te).

I don't think so (non penso proprio). 

I am afraid this is not quite true (temo che non sia del tutto vero).

I take a different view (ho un'opinione diversa/la penso diversamente).


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Conjunctions of Time Part II

A conjunction is a part of speech that connects words, phrases, or sentences. The easiest conjunctions to remember are "and" and "or." But there are conjunctions that do more than just connect—they give meaning to a sentence by expressing the time that something is happening: conjunctions of time.


You can easily tell if a conjunction of time is being used in a sentence because the sentence will tell you when something happens or for how long something is occurring. If you can make a "when" or "for how long" question from the sentence, and that question can be answered by the other half of the sentence, then you know that the sentence is using a conjunction of time.


In Part I, we learned about when, before, after, while, as, by the time, until, and till. Let's continue today with the remaining conjunctions of time.




There have been ravens here since the reign of Charles the Second,

Caption 9, The London Story -  Tower of London

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And I've been doing that since I was ten years old.

Caption 6, Ashley Tisdale - Thanksgiving Traditions

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Be careful not to confuse the conjunction of time "since" with the preposition "since," which means "because."


As soon as


As soon as your baby is born, you will give it to me.

Caption 41, Fairy Tales - Rapunzel 

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As soon as we showed up, the bears raced off into the forest.

Caption 8, Alaska Revealed - Tidal Bores, Icebergs and Avalanches

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You should try to ignore cyberbullying whenever possible.

Caption 4, Bob Parsons - Cyberbullies

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You can listen to Radio One whenever you want.

Caption 56, Hozier - Someone New

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The first (second, third etc.) time


The first time was a very good experience

and the second time is also a very good experience.

Captions 5-6, The Olympics - Teresa Gabriele (Canada)

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That was the third time we were in the studio.

Caption 22, MTV News - Selena Gomez Decodes Her Instagram Pics

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Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and find other sentences (not questions) that contain the conjunctions of time "since," "as soon as," "whenever," and "the first time"—or any time you care to choose! Write these sentences down and practice making questions and answers from the sentences like we did above.

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Come si dice "anch'io" in inglese?

Quanti modi conosci per dire “anche io” in inglese? Nel caso di affermazioni, un modo molto rapido e informale per rispondere “anch’io” a qualcuno che condivide qualcosa con noi è me too:


Children love chocolate. Me, too.

I bambini amano la cioccolata. Anch'io.

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So + ausiliare + soggetto

In inglese esiste un altro modo per dire “anch’io” che si forma con so più l’ausiliare più il soggetto.


So è sia una congiunzione - I’m tired, so I’ll take a nap (sono stanco, quindi farò un pisolino) - sia un avverbio - Is he studying? -I think so (sta studiando? -Penso di sì).


I verbi ausiliari sono verbi che, oltre ad avere un significato tutto loro, sono impiegati insieme ad altri verbi. In questo caso, il verbo ausiliare “aiuta” la comunicazione e conferisce alla forma verbale finale un significato specifico. I verbi ausiliari in inglese vengono usati per formulare frasi negative e interrogative.


Se l’affermazione originale ha il verbo to be (essere) come ausiliare, allora anche nella risposta useremo to be. Ad esempio, se qualcuno dice I am hungry (ho fame), in questa frase l’ausiliare è il verbo to be, coniugato alla prima persona del presente indicativo. Quindi per formulare la nostra risposta cominceremo con so, poi aggiungeremo l’ausiliare am ed infine il soggetto: so am I. 


Il verbo to be si usa anche per esprimere frasi al futuro con il presente progressivo:


I am meeting John at the airport tomorrow. -So am I.


Incontrerò John all'aeroporto domani. -Anch'io.


La costruzione so + ausiliare + soggetto vale anche nel caso in cui nell’affermazione originale ci siano altri ausiliari, diversi da to be, come ad esempio can (potere, sapere):

I can play the guitar. -So can I.
So suonare la chitarra. -Anch'io.


I can do this, can't I? -Hm... yeah, and so can I.

Posso fare questo, non è vero? -Uhm... sì, e anche io.

Caption 15, The New 3 Stooges - Hairbrained Barbers

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Facciamo adesso un esempio con would, l’ausiliare che in inglese serve a formulare frasi al condizionale:


I would like a cup of tea. -So would I.
Vorrei una tazza di tè. -Anch'io.


Ma come facciamo ad inserire un ausiliare nella costruzione so + ausiliare + soggetto se nell’affermazione originale l’ausiliare non viene espresso? Ad esempio, nella frase I take yoga classes (faccio yoga), qual è l’ausiliare? To take non è un ausiliare, bensì il verbo principale della proposizione. L’ausiliare che usiamo al presente semplice per formulare frasi interrogative e negative è do: Do you take yoga classes? (Fai yoga?). I don't take yoga classes (Non faccio yoga). 


I take yoga classes. -So do I.


Faccio yoga. -Anch'io. 


In questa conversazione tra Amy e Sheldon, Amy usa nella sua frase il verbo to believe (credere). Chiaramente, neanche to believe è un ausiliare, perciò Sheldon usa l’ausiliare do nella sua risposta:


I believe our relationship now is stronger than ever.

Credo che la nostra relazione ora sia più forte che mai.

-So do I.


Captions 61-62, Dr. Sheldon Cooper - Fun with Flags

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"Anch'io" al passato

In una frase come I travelled a lot last year (ho viaggiato tanto lo scorso anno), il verbo to travel è coniugato al passato semplice, di conseguenza non possiamo usare il do per rispondere “anch’io”, so do I in questo caso è sbagliato. L’ausiliare che usiamo al passato semplice è did, che non è altro che il passato di to do


I travelled a lot last year. -So did I.

Ho viaggiato tanto lo scorso anno. -Anch'io. 


 I ate too much yesterday. -So did I.

Ho mangiato troppo ieri. -Anch'io.


L'altro tempo verbale usato per parlare di azioni passate è il present perfect. È un tempo composto che si forma con l'ausiliare to have (avere) più il participio passato del verbo:


I have been to New York several times. -So have I.


Sono stato a New York parecchie volte. -Anch'io. 


He has just finished his homework and so have I.


Ha appena finito i compiti e anch'io.



Quando invece vogliamo dire “neanche io”, basta sostituire so con neither e continuare con l’ausiliare e il soggetto, e il gioco è fatto!


I haven't got a brother. -Neither have I.


Non ho un fratello. -Neanch'io.


L’ausiliare qui è have alla forma negativa, quindi nella risposta “neanch’io” sarà la congiunzione neither a conferire un significato negativo alla frase:

She doesn't want to go to the movies and neither do I.
Lei non vuole andare al cinema e neanch'io. 


A questo punto, possiamo riformulare il primo esempio di questa lezione usando la costruzione so + ausiliare + soggetto, e non essendoci un ausiliare esplicito nell'affermazione originale, useremo do:


Children love chocolate. So do I.

I bambini amano la cioccolata. Anch'io.


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