Hello everyone,

In English, there are different expressions that we use to mean 'we are going to sleep'.

You can say these when you are going to sleep for the night and wake up in the morning:

(to) hit the sack
-this is a common expression which is a “fun” way to say “go to bed”
-maybe, many years ago, while people were working, they would take a break and sleep on a real sack!

A father to his son:
“It's time for you to hit the sack. You have school tomorrow morning.” 



(to) hit the hay
-this is a common, “fun” way to say "go to bed"
-”hay” is found on a farm, and maybe, people used to take breaks and sleep while they were working on a farm, or maybe, poor people used hay to sleep on
 - these days, they expressions means “go to bed for the night”

“I have to work early tomorrow, so I'm going to hit the hay. I'll see you tomorrow morning.”

(on a farm)

"Hitting the Hay"

(to) go beddy-bye

-this is less common that the others and is a “cute” way to say “go to bed”
-this sounds like the person is a small child
-you can say this to someone if you want to tease them or joke with them and pretend that they are a “little child”

“Are you going beddy-bye now? It's only 10pm! Ok, good night.”

(to) catch some Zs

-this is a “cool” way to say “going to bed”
-this is usually said by young people or young adults
-In English, the letter “z” represents the sounds we make when we are sleeping
-this usually means that you have stayed up very late and will only go to bed for a short time

“It's late. I'm gonna go catch some Z's. “

Catching some Z's
(in the cartoons)


There are also different expressions to say
take a nap”:

take a snooze
-this is common (but not as common as “take a nap”)

“I'm going to take a snooze before the party tonight.”

take a siesta 
-this is not common, but maybe you will hear it
-”siesta” is a Spanish word which means “nap”

“I like to take a little siesta on Saturday afternoons.”

In Britain, you may also hear people say, 
"forty winks". This means to take a very short nap, usually when you are on the bus or subway, etc.

“I couldn't sleep last night and I am so tired. Maybe I can get forty-winks on the bus ride to work.”

Can you think of any other expressions in English that mean “go to sleep”?

Post them as a reply to this blog post and I will correct them for you.

I'm going to take a snooze after this blog post...

Happy English!

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Gerry ( ;)

Hello folks, 

Here is your idiom of the nite:

to Step Up

Actually, 'to step up' can have slightly different meanings, but they are all usually related to "increasing" something (usually a level). 

*If someone 'steps up', it means they are increasing their acceptance of more responsibility in their lives and expecting a greater performance from themselvesMost often, this happens during a crucial point in time. 

For example:

A father talking to his son:
Well, my son, you are 18 years old now. You are an adult and it's time for you to step up and take more responsibility in your life...you must get a job.

My boss made me the head of our group at work. It's time for me to step up and show everyone how skillful I am at leadership. 

*A common phrase is, "...step up to the podium...". A 'podium' is like a 'tall box' that people stand in front of during a speech or presentation (see below for a picture and example of a podium).

*'Step up' can also mean to increase your speed

You are working too slow; step it up!

*If people 'step something up', it means they increase its level

For example: 
The factory stepped up production during the months before Christmas.

There are more uses of 'step up'. If you want, you can reply to this post and write some example sentences, and I can check them for you...

If you want to 'step up' your English study, subscribe to my Youtube channel for free English tutoring videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6I25RQpdR4SuVEwcoyZ4tg

Happy English!

Gerry ( ;)

                 a podium  ---->
"Please, step up to the podium and  receive your award!"

A person standing behind a PODIUM

Happy Independence Day!

Today, July 4, marks the day that the United States of America declared their independence from England, forming an independent country in 1776.

To be an 'independent' country, means that a country is no longer 'dependent' on another country. Being 'dependent' means that someone replies on someone else to make decisions for them.

independent = not dependent

...so, 'in-', which is a prefix, must mean 'not'...and it does! ('In' can also can mean 'in'). Actually, 'not' can take the form: im- or ir- too.

We can see this in other words:

im-, in-, ir- = not

---> impossible = not possible

---> insane = not sane

---> irrational = not rational

Do you see? Many times in English, the definition of the word can be known by paying close attention to the type of letters inside!

These groups of letters are called 'roots'. 

A root is a part of a word from one language that is used in another. 

Many English words are made up of old Latin and Greek roots which come from ancient Latin and Greek words.

A prefix is a type of root.

All prefixes are roots, but not all roots are prefixes. Most English words have a main root, but not all have a prefix.

Actually, the word 'prefix' HAS a prefix ---> 'pre-'.

pre- = before

This means that prefixes come before the other letters in a word which means that prefixes come at the beginning of a word. Do you see? The roots inside a word gives meaning to that word. The prefix 'pre-' gives definition to the word 'prefix'. If you didn't know the meaning of 'prefix', but you knew the meaning of 'pre-', then you could guess the meaning of it as being 'before-something'.

A suffix is a type of root that goes at the end of a word (-tion, -er, etc.). I will discuss suffixes and main roots in a future post.

There are many other prefixes in English.

co-, col-, com-, con-, cor- = together, with

coworker = together + work ---> a person you work with


Other prefixes (and roots):

auto- = self

mobile (self + move)

autobiography (self + life + write)
= life
= write, draw

ab-, a-, abs-, au-
= away from

abnormal = away from normal


inter- = between

national = between + nations ---> between countries

Now, let's look at the word 'independence' again.

Did you know that sometimes, English words can have more than one prefix? 

The word 'independence' does!

It has two prefixes and one other main root:

'in-' = not
'de'- = remove (descend, decaffeinated, etc.)

main root:
-pend- = to hang

-ence- = noun

Here, if someone is “hanging”, they are experiencing a challenge, so this means they have a “problem” or a 'difficulty”. So, 'depend' = 'remove + the hanging (difficulty)' or 'remove the problem because someone will help you'.

However, 'independence' = 'not remove the hanging' – so this means that people who are independent must solve their difficulties themselves.

There are many many more roots, prefixes, and suffixes in English. Studying them will help you improve your vocabulary, so...Stay tuned to my blog for more posts on roots and vocabulary!

Happy independence Day!

Visit my website to study more roots:

Subscribe to my Youtube channel – free weekly English tutoring videos:

Happy English!


Gerry ( ;)