English everyday – go on then

Christmas is coming, the adverts are getting fat, please put some money in Tesco’s hat. What I’m interested in is the last scene where the daughter asks: Daughter: Dad, d’you wanna turkey sandwich? Dad: Oh go on then.   So what does ‘go on then’ mean? Does the Dad want a turkey sandwich? Or not?Continue reading “English everyday – go on then”

English everyday – racist words

Did you know it’s offensive to use the word Jap to refer to Japanese people? It might seem like a useful shorter word but actually it’s now considered offensive. There is a long list of ‘ethnic slurs’ on Wikipedia that shows many words that are offensive about people’s nationality or ethnicity or race. So theseContinue reading “English everyday – racist words”

English for parents – tantrum

The day is going so well, you’ve been to the park and had a lovely lunch, then suddenly, your toddler wants another ice-cream which you won’t give him, and you’re in the middle of tantrum city. Tantrum is the word for the sudden crying, screaming and angry behaviour that 2-3 year olds often go through,Continue reading “English for parents – tantrum”

English for parents – vomit

My little pumpkin friend here is not very well. He is vomiting, throwing up, chundering, being sick, puking, spewing, barfing. Poor thing. Today is not about Halloween but about vomit.  Children usually say I feel sick, or I feel like I’m going to be sick. Or, I’m going to throw up. Too late, I threwContinue reading “English for parents – vomit”

English for parents – number two

What’s a number two? When you’re potty training it’s that thing you definitely don’t want to end up on the floor, the one it’s the hardest to train and the smelliest. Poo. ( less commonly in the UK, poop) With children you can ask, do you need a poo? Do you want to go numberContinue reading “English for parents – number two”

English for parents – wee and pee

There are about a million ways to talk about going to the toilet in English. There a different verbs to mean going to the toilet, lots of different words for what comes out, and even a few different words for the room and the toilet itself. When you begin potty training, or toilet training, yourContinue reading “English for parents – wee and pee”

English for parents – Dad and Papa

The majority of English native speakers call their father Dad, or Daddy, and there’s not a lot of variation wherever people live in the English speaking world. Papa is beginning to become more fashionable with new Dads, who think it’s softer and more friendly than Dad. Like Mum and Mama, Dad and Papa are thoughtContinue reading “English for parents – Dad and Papa”

English for parents – mum, mom, mam

It is true for almost every language in the whole world that the word for mother starts with a ma or mu sound. (Apart from the Georgian language, but there must be an exception) In most of Britain Mum is commonly used, and younger children say Mummy. In Wales, Northern England and Ireland Mam isContinue reading “English for parents – mum, mom, mam”

English for parents – wait please

Actually English speakers hardly ever say ‘wait please’. We’re more likely to say ‘wait a minute’, ‘wait a moment’ or something else entirely. More formally – if you’re making a business call or dealing with a customer: Just a moment, please Please wait a moment. Would you mind waiting a moment? Please hold (only usedContinue reading “English for parents – wait please”

English everyday – Talking about disabilities

This post is going to address how to talk about people with disabilities. A simple rule to follow is ‘person first’. So it’s good to say: A person with autism. A person who has Down’s Syndrome. A person with depression. A person who has epilepsy.  A person with a mental health illness. Don’t say: anContinue reading “English everyday – Talking about disabilities”