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Friday, January 17, 2020

How to use become, get and turn correctly

The words ›become‹, ›get‹, ›go‹ and ›turn‹ are not always used correctly. We've listed some phrases which are wrong and some which are correct. Always use a good dictionary if you're not sure.



The word ›get‹ is very common in spoken English, ›become‹ is more formal. German native speaker sometimes use ›become‹ in an incorrect way.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Countable vs. Uncountable Nouns

1. Countable nouns

Most of the nouns are countable. You can combine them with numbers, e.g one, two or three. Here is an example:
  • one pencil
  • two pencils
  • three pencils
  • four ...

2. Uncountable nouns

These nouns cannot be combined with numbers.
  • water
  • butter
  • coal
  • money
  • salt
  • iron 
If you want to express a quantity, you have to use a special phrase e.g. a glass of water.

Note:

Some nouns can be either countable or uncountable. We recommend to use a good dictionary to find out whether a noun is countable or uncountable or both.
Here is an example:
hair – hairs
  • You've got some hairs on your T-shirt. (There might be 5 or 6 of them.)
  • Your hair looks lovely. (Here you think of the hairstyle.)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Thursday, January 9, 2020

An exercise in reading and comprehension




---

Preparation task

Match the phrases (a–h) with the times (1–8).

Times Phrases

...... 2.30 p.m.


...... 6.25 p.m.


...... 12.00 p.m.


...... 12.30 a.m.


...... 7.45 p.m.


...... 3.55 p.m.


...... 9.15 a.m.


...... 1.40 a.m.


a. Twelve noon
b. Half past two in the afternoon
c. Quarter past nine in the morning d. Five to four in the afternoon
e. Quarter to eight in the evening
f. Twenty to two in the morning
g. Twenty-five past six in the evening h. Half past midnight


Task 1
Answer the questions with the words in the box.


1. Which day of the week does the yoga class take place?....................................
2. How many classes can you take for £10?....................................
3. What time will the class end?....................................
4. What kind of clothes do you need to wear to the class?....................................clothes 
5. What do you need to send to Sam if you want to join?....................................
6. When should you book if you want to join?....................................

Task 2
Are the statements true or false?
1. Sam Holden is the yoga teacher.
2. The yoga class is once a week.
3. The class is at lunch time in room 7.
4. You need to bring yoga mats to the class.
5. The class can’t take 22 people.
6. You need to call Sam Holden if you want to join the class.



---

Answers:

























Originally provided to you by the British Council.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Year's Eve




The Meaning of New Year's Traditions

From ancient times, people have welcomed the new year with rituals to attract good fortune. Here's a sampling.

New Year's Eve, with its emphasis on romance and indulgence, might seem like a totally secular celebration. But underneath all that glitter and sparkle is an ancient holiday with deep spiritual roots. For centuries, and in similar ways, people have been observing the end of one year and the beginning of another.

Ancient Romans celebrated with six days of carousing that would probably be familiar to us today. St. Boniface, a missionary from England who visited Rome in 742, was appalled at how the Romans celebrated Kalends of January, as the New Year was called, with "dancing in the streets, heathenish cries, sacrilegious songs, tables laden with food and women wearing amulets and offering them for sale."

A Time of Rebirth
Because the Winter Solstice is the turning point of the year, beginning the lengthening of days, it has long been viewed as the birth of the year--by pagans celebrating the return of the Sun, and by Christians welcoming the birth of the Son of God. The days between Solstice and the New Year are a magical, luminous time period, when anything is possible. In England, the Twelve Days of Christmas were considered omen days which could be used to predict the weather in the coming year. In Scotland, no court had power during these days; and in Ireland, tradition held that if a person died during the Twelve Days, he or she went straight to Heaven.

In ancient Babylon, the days between the Winter Solstice and the New Year were seen as the time of a struggle between Chaos and Order, with Chaos trying to take over the world. Other cultures (Hindu, Chinese, Celtic) also viewed this as a time for reversing order and rules-celebrants would change roles with servants or dress in costumes for a time until order was restored.

Starting Fresh
While each culture's New Year celebration has its own flavor, there are certain common themes. The period leading up to New Year's Day is a time for setting things straight: a thorough housecleaning, paying off debts, returning borrowed objects, reflecting on one's shortcomings, mending quarrels, giving alms. In many cultures, people jump into the sea or a local body of water-literally washing the slate clean.

In some towns in Italy, I've been told, you have to watch out for falling objects, as people shove their old sofas, chairs and even refrigerators out of their windows on New Year's Eve. In Ecuador, people make dummies, stuffed with straw, to represent the events of the past year. These "ano viejo" effigies are burned at midnight, thus symbolically getting rid of the past.

Whatever preparations are made, most traditions teach that they should be completed before midnight on New Year's Eve. According to British folklore, you should not sweep on New Year's Day, or you will sweep your good luck away, or take anything out of the house-even trash. You only want to bring new things in to insure abundance in the coming year. If you must carry something out, be sure to bring something else in first, preferably a coin concealed outside the previous night. As this medieval poem reminds us:

 
Take out, then take in
Bad luck will begin
Take in, then take out
Good luck comes about
Rituals (and Underwear) for Good Fortune
Everything you do on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is freighted with significance for the future. The American custom of spending the night with the one you love and kissing them at midnight insures that the relationship will flourish during the coming year. In Rio de Janeiro, more than a million people gather on the beaches on December 31st to honor Yemanja, the Yoruban "Mother of the Sea," who brings good fortune.

Even the color of underwear Brazilians wear on the first day of the new year has meaning. Pink brings love, yellow, prosperity; and white, peace and happiness.

The pig is the symbol of good luck in Vienna, Austria. Pigs are let loose in restaurants and everyone tries to touch them for luck as they run by. In private homes, a marzipan pig, with a gold piece in its mouth, is suspended from a ribbon and touched instead. In Greece, it's customary to throw a pomegranate wrapped in silver foil on the threshold, to spread the seeds of good luck for an abundant year.

In Spanish-speaking countries, people put twelve grapes into their wine or champagne class at midnight. The grapes represent the months of the old year and the new one. At the stroke of midnight, after toasting each other with the wine, people eat the grapes as quickly as possible, making a wish on each one.

Food and Money: Ensuring Abundance
As everything has significance on New Year's Day, the first person to cross your threshold after midnight brings luck to the household in the British Isles. In Scotland, the best possible "first-footer" was a tall, handsome, dark-haired man, who brought gifts of whisky, bread, a piece of coal or firewood, and a silver coin. He entered in silence, and no one spoke to him until he put the coal on the fire, poured a glass of whisky for the head of the house and wished everyone a Happy New Year. In France, the children knock on their parents' bedroom door, pretending to personify health, abundance and joy, which the parents welcome.

Food eaten on New Year's Day is said to affect the quality of the coming year. The ancient Romans exchanged bay and palm branches hung with sweets, dates, figs and gilded fruits. The items hung on the branch expressed hopes the new year would be sweet, fertile, and prosperous.

Neapolitans still wrap dried figs in laurel leaves and exchange them as a kind of insurance of abundance for the coming year. They also make confections of caramelized dough and tiny almond pieces, so the year will be sweet.

The Piedmontese eat little grains of rice which represent money. The traditional Umbrian New Year's cake, made of almonds, sugar, and egg whites, is shaped like a coiled snake, probably to represent the way snakes shed their skin to renew themselves, just as people leave behind the old year and embrace the new. Italians also serve lentils, raisins, and oranges, symbols of riches, good luck, and the promise of love.

In the American South, it's traditional to eat cornbread, cabbage, and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. The peas symbolize coins or copper money, the cornbread gold, and the cabbage green or folding money.

A Japanese New Year's custom is the money tree: pine and cypress branches placed in a vase, and decorated with old coins and paper pomegranates and flowers. Old coins (with holes in them) are strung on colored threads in the shape of dragon and put at the foot of children's beds. This is called "cash to pass the year." It is supposed to be saved and not spent. However, money is given as a gift, usually in red envelopes.

Although many of these customs may seem like superstitions, they all stem from a similar belief: by ending the old year with respect and beginning the new one in the way we would like it to begin, we establish our intentions for the new year. Whether we gather together to watch the ball drop in Times Square or set off firecrackers at midnight or clink champagne glasses with our loved ones, we are acknowledging an important transition and welcoming a fresh start. May your New Year be rich with all of the blessings you desire.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Friday, December 27, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019

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Welcome to English at LERNFORUM Chur.  Lernforum is mainly engaged in teaching English and training in smaller, personal groups for every English language need. Nearly all of us are native speakers of English and have a passion for what we do.

Word of the Month

Holy

(adj): Sacred, divine, blessed.


Holiday: a holy or festive day; a day off, vacation (also sacred)


Expressions: Holy Cow! Literally true in India.

Ex: Holly Mackerel! Delicious, healthy and full of mercury.

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