<![CDATA[English Expressions YES! - English Expressions Questions & Answers *BLOG*]]>Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:10:01 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Ask Gerry your English Questions...]]>Fri, 07 Oct 2016 21:11:45 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/ask-gerry-your-english-questions<![CDATA[Separating Phrasal Verbs]]>Fri, 09 Sep 2016 17:41:44 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/separating-phrasal-verbs When speaking, native English speakers use phrasal verbs a lot and often do not even realize it. For any English-learner to improve their conversation skills, learning how to use phrasal verbs is important.

Today's post is about two different kinds of phrasal verbs:
*inseparable phrasal verbs (the main verb and preposition cannot be separated)
*separable phrasal verbs (the main verb and preposition can be separated by an object)

There is not much to say about inseparable phrasal verbs because they cannot be separated. You must use them as they are written. For example, 'come up', which means 'to suddenly arise', cannot be separated. 

A meeting came up, so I have to stay at work late.

Separable phrasal verbs are transitive, which means they take an object, the noun that 'receives the verb'. The object can separate the phrasal verb, but only for some verbs. 

For example, 'drop off', which means 'to deliver something or someone to a specific place', is a separable phrasal verb. In the example below, notice how the object, 'Mary' can be used after or in-between this phrasal verb:

We will drop Mary off at home after school.
We will drop off Mary at home after school.

Also notice that if a pronoun is used, the phrasal verb must be separated. It is also important to note that this happens most of the time when speaking English. Therefore, in the example above, if the pronoun 'her' is used instead of 'Mary', then the phrasal verb must be separated:

We will drop her off at home after school.

We will drop off her at home after school.

She turned him down!

Another example is the phrasal verb 'turn down' which means 'to refuse an offer'. This phrasal verb is separable, so if the pronoun is used, the phrasal verb must be separated:
Nathaniel asked Samantha to marry him, but she turned him down. 

Nathaniel asked Samantha to marry him, but she turned down him. 

There is no way to know which phrasal verbs are separable and which are inseparable...you have to learn and remember!

One way to do this is to get a simple ebook that lists the most common phrasal verbs. You do not need to know all phrasal verbs because there are too many for you to ever use them all.
Most native English speakers use the same phrasal verbs over and over again and these are the phrasal verbs with different meanings.
<![CDATA[ASK GERRY your English Questions HERE - September 2016]]>Wed, 31 Aug 2016 05:28:40 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/ask-gerry-your-english-questions-here-september-2016 Hello English-learners!

Ask me your English questions here! Grammar...speaking...listening...whatever you want!

Also, visit my Youtube Channel!

Gerry (  ;)
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<![CDATA["Do it"...don't "say it" - Idioms]]>Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:56:55 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/do-itdont-say-it-idioms Hi Everyone!

As we all know, it is much easier to say things than to do things. However, many of us would still rather use our words than use our actions. 

In English, we have some idioms that describe such a situation where people say things that they cannot prove because they do not take action. 

Here are a few of them:

Talk is cheap
-this means "talking is easy to do so people will talk a lot to make themselves feel or look good"
-this is often said when someone makes a commitment but the other person does not really believe them until they take action
-or it is said when someone expresses their opinion but does not prove it

A: I'm the best at this video game!
B: Yeah? Well, talk is cheap, so let's play!

A: I am going to buy you a new car!
B: Hey, talk is cheap. I will believe that when I see a new red car in the driveway.

Action speak louder than words
-this is less of an idiom and more of a collocation, however, actions cannot "speak", but in English, we often use "speak" to mean "communicate"
-here, louder means "more believable" or "more convincing" - "convincing" means it can change your mind / opinion

A: I love you!
B: Well, actions speak louder than words. You should show me that you love me. 

Put your money where your mouth is
-this is most often said when someone claims to be better at something than someone else or when someone wants to challenge someone who made a claim in a competion
-this implies that people want to wager or bet money and compete in a challenge - the winner of the challenge will take the money, yet, when this idiom is used, it rarely involves money

A: I am the best at this video game!
B: Yeah? Haha, ok, put your money where your mouth is...let's play!

"Put your money where your mouth is!"

"You say you care about the environment, but you still drive a car! Put your money where your mouth is...walk to work instead."

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Happy English!

Gerry ( ;)
<![CDATA["going to SLEEP" - Expressions]]>Wed, 13 Jul 2016 21:19:34 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/going-to-sleep-expressionsHello 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, this expression 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 than 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 ( ;)

<![CDATA[Using Phrasal Verbs - SET UP]]>Sun, 10 Jul 2016 20:08:40 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/using-phrasal-verbs-set-up There are many phrasal verbs in English and improving your speaking skills often means learning and studying them. This can pose a challenge because there are so many of them! However, do not fret (this means, 'do not worry'), because there is hope! Most native English-speakers use the same phrasal verbs over and over again, so to improve your English speaking, you really only have to know a portion of the phrasal verbs that exist.

One of the most commonly used phrasal verbs is:

                     set up

This phrasal verb is common most likely due to the fact that it has many definitions and uses.

...to Set Up can mean:

*to establish as an organization, business, etc.

A group of students in my class set up a new study club. 

They set up a new business selling used vintage clothes.

setting up a new business


*to assemble; to physically connect / put together

They set up their new home theater system. 

setting up electronic equipment


to put into power

The rebel forces took control and set up a new president and a new government. 

setting up a new government


*to arrange for someone to be blamed for something (this is also called 'to frame someone')

The criminals set up the innocent man for the crime.  

setting someone up for a crime 
by putting evidence in their room 
(this is also called 'planting evidence')


Do you know any other uses for the phrasal verb 'set up'?

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

Study more phrasal verbs on my FREE English-learning website!

Visit Youtube and subscribe to my Youtube channel and study more phrasal verbs!

Happy English!

Gerry ( ;)
<![CDATA[Idiom of the Nite: "Step Up..."]]>Thu, 07 Jul 2016 03:47:36 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/idiom-of-the-nite-step-upHello 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
<![CDATA[Happy In-de-pend-ence Day! Prefixes and Roots (and some suffixes)...]]>Mon, 04 Jul 2016 17:25:32 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/happy-in-de-pend-ence-day-prefixes-and-roots-and-some-suffixes
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 ( ;)

<![CDATA[“Happy...” Days - Happy Canada Day!]]>Fri, 01 Jul 2016 19:40:05 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/happy-days-happy-canada-dayHappy Canada Day everyone!

Today marks the day, July 1, 1867, that Canada enacted their Constitution Act and was officially born as a distinct country (still apart of the then-British Empire).

So, we say, “Happy Canada Day!”

Actually, English-speakers add “Happy...” in front of many holidays or special days to mean:

Happy   (special day)  !”   =   “I hope you enjoy   (special day)   !

For example, we say this for holidays:

New Year's Day ---> "Happy New Year!"
(you can say this for the New Year's Days of all cultures)

Easter ---> “Happy Easter!”

Ramadan ---> “Happy Ramadan!”

Passover ---> “Happy Passover!”

Thanksgiving ---> “Happy Thanksgiving!”
(you can say this for the Thanksgivings of all cultures)

Halloween ---> “Happy Halloween!”

Mother's Day ---> “Happy Mother's Day , mom!”

Father's Day ---> “Happy Father's Day, dad!”

Children's Day ---> “Happy Children's Day!”


However, for Christmas, we say:

Merry Christmas!

In North American culture, “Merry Christmas” is very popular and traditional, however, some people become angry and offended if they hear it. Instead, these people prefer to say a “generic term”. This means it is a term that can be used for many holidays and there is no need to even identify the holiday. They simply say:

“Happy Holiday!”
 (you can say this for any holiday...it's generic)
"Happy Holidays!" (for periods of holidays)
(you can say this for any holiday...it's generic)

We can also do this for periods of time that have just begun:

summer ---> “Happy summer, everyone!”

winter ---> “Happy winter!”

mid-term (a break at school) ---> “Happy midterm!”

going back to school ---> “Happy back-to-school!”

last day of school ---> “Happy last-day-of-school!”

vacation ---> “Have a happy vacation, everybody!”

...and of course:

birthday ---> "Happy Birthday!"

Even the expression “Happy Days” is used. It means “memorable periods of our lives”. “Happy Days” was even the title of an old t.v. show that was extremely popular in the 1970s.

“Do you remember high school? Oh, those were happy days!”

Can you think of another holiday or special day where people say, “Happy...” before it? 
Or, do you have a question? 
If so, you are invited to post a reply!

Visit my Youtube channel and SUBSCRIBE!

Visit my website for free English listening exercises!

Happy Canada Day! (again)

Happy Your-Country's-Day-when-it-is-its-birthday!

Happy English!


Gerry ( ;)

<![CDATA["I bet..." - making casual predictions]]>Mon, 27 Jun 2016 21:48:21 GMThttp://englishexpressyes.com/english-expressions-questions--answers-blog/i-bet-making-casual-predictionsHi all,

There are so many idioms and expressions in English, and one that is often overlooked, yet used quite often in North America is I bet...”
(In the United Kingdom, its equivalent is "I reckon...")

'To bet' means to wager. 'To wager' means to put down money on a prediction that you made or on a probability of something happening. If your prediction comes true, you win money. If it doesn't come true, you lose the money you put up. Of course, this is used as an idiom, and idioms do not really mean what they say, so this is not how we usually use "I bet..."

As an idiom, when someone says, I bet...” it means they make a casual prediction about something.

We can use this for things we predict will or will not happen in the future:

I bet my favorite soccer team wins the game tonight.”

I bet she arrives late again! She is always late.”

We can use this for things we predict that are true in the present:

I bet mom has finished cooking dinner. Let's go to the kitchen.”

I bet you're tired. Let's go to bed.”

We can use this for things we predict did or didn't happen in the past:

I bet you didn't do your homework.”

I bet you forgot my name!”

We also use I bet! when we want to agree with someone in a sarcastic way. Notice the use of the exclamation mark to denote emotion. 

A: She only likes expensive gifts.
B: Yeah, I bet!

For this definition, we can use I bet! alone, or we can repeat the verb and pronoun in the original statement:

A: He wants more candy.
B: Yeah, I bet he does! (here, the stress is on 'does')

We also say, I bet!” when we do not believe someone and we want to disagree with them. It is said sarcastically in this situation.

A: I am a rich business owner. Let's go on a date.
B: Yeah, I bet! No way!

We also say, You bet!”

You bet!” is said as a cute, fun way of saying “Yes!” when someone asks for something.

A: Can I have another beer, please?
B: You bet!

We also say, You bet!” when someone understates a (perceived) fact (this means they state a fact casually) and we want them to say it more seriously. So, we confirm what they said very assertively.

For example,
A: You are very beautiful.
B: You bet I'm beautiful!

A: Ew! It's really hot outside!
B: You bet it's hot outside!

I bet you learned something new and I bet you will use "I bet..." in your next English conversation.

I bet you think I'm a smart teacher now.

I bet you enjoyed this blog post on 'I bet' so much that you will visit my Youtube channel and subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6I25RQpdR4SuVEwcoyZ4tg

Happy English!

Gerry ( ;)