10 Most Common Grammar Mistakes English Learners Make
In this fab video from mmmEnglish we learn about the 10 most common grammar mistakes that English learners make. How many of them have you corrected?
Practice Conditionals (PDF)! If… Promises of God
Learn English through Bible study and brush up your knowledge of conditionals with this FREE printable worksheet that focuses on the promises of God.
This worksheet is free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share it widely!Practice Conditionals (PDF)! If… Promises of God
Prepositions of Place and Time – Common Collocations
Do you know when to use on, at, and in?
Improve your use of prepositions in English with our helpful infographic!
Idiom of the day – What am I like?
The English idiom ‘What am I like?’ is a rhetorical question (one we don’t need anybody to answer) that we ask ourselves out loud when we do something a little bit silly – usually in a public place. It has the same sort of meaning as when Homer says ‘Doh!’ in The Simpsons.
For example, at the supermarket you have paid and you’re walking away from the checkout, when the customer behind you calls you back and tells you that you’ve left a potato on the bagging area. You hurry back and collect your errant potato. To cover your embarrassment you say quickly, ‘Oh, thank you! Thanks. What am I like?’ The other customer smiles, but there is no need for them to reply. For example, we wouldn’t hear an exchange like this:
A – Hey! Excuse me! You’ve forgotten a potato.
B – What? Oh no! Thank you. Thanks so much. Oh, what am I like?
A – Well, it seems that you are rather forgetful, careless, and possibly living in a world of your own.
B – Er, thanks again.
We say ‘What am I like?’ in situations where we potentially look silly or odd in a public place. It puts a voice to our feeling of foolishness and awkwardness, and acknowledges publicly that we have done something ‘unusual’ and that we know about it – we are aware of it. To say nothing would be to create an unreal situation where there is an elephant in the room – an unacknowledged error or problem. This would be very uncomfortable for the typical English person, who tries to avoid awkward public situations. Making a joke about it – and making ourselves the butt of the joke – lightens the mood and takes the heat off – making it seem less awkward.
The typical English response to ‘What am I like?’ would be to smile and perhaps say ‘No problem’ or ‘Yes, I’m always doing that too!’ (showing empathy) if you are feeling more friendly. In any case, phatic (non-essential) communication – also called ‘small talk’ – eases the awks!
Note: this is not an investigation into your true nature: ‘What am I like?’ It’s unlikely we would ever need to ask this question about ourselves, unless we had lost our memory, or we were particularly vain and wanted to hear people eulogising us! In our version, we put more stress on ‘like’ and the intonation is downward at the end, rather than up, as in a normal question.
Other times when you could say ‘What am I like?’:
See if you can use this idiom in your daily life today! Leave a comment to tell us how you used it!
When do we use passive voice in English?
Not sure? Then download these handy notes (PDF) and find out!
Image: Benjamin Child
In this podcast we explore using the popular song Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran in an English class. We look at the use of tenses in the song – especially past simple, used to/would + infinitive, and present perfect.
Download free MP3 lesson: Using Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran to Teach English Grammar (12MB, Google Drive)
You can watch the video for Castle on the Hill below and read the lyrics here:
The questions that I wrote on the board:
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