A favorite English love song

Posted on 09. Feb, 2016 by in Culture

Image by jm scott on Flicker.com.

Image by jm scott on Flicker.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

To get in the mood for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday we are going to look at English love songs.

Do you have a favorite English-language love song? If you don’t yet, hopefully you will by the end of this post.

Before you begin reading though here are few musical related vocabulary words you will see in this post:

tune(s) – a slang word that means melody or song
crooner – a slang word that means male singer, who usually sings sentimental songs
serenade – music sung or played by one person to another person as an expression of love

I couldn’t possibly write about love songs in English without mentioning the singer Barry White. Barry White is known for his many romantic tunes.  Mr. White was an American singer-songwriter with a distinctive deep voice and long running career beginning in the 1960s. He sang until he died in the early 2000s. When I think of English love songs, I think of Barry White. Here are a few of his classic love songs; you will definitely want to look up these songs on YouTube if you have never heard them.

Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything
Just the Way You Are

Barry White certainly isn’t the only love song crooner out there though. If you want to find more English love songs, maybe so you can put together a romantic serenade for your Valentine, definitely check out this top-10 list of English love songs from the American music company Billboard.

Or maybe you would prefer to do something a little more original, like write your own English love song. I can help with that too!

Here are some tips I have gathered from various online sources about how to write a love song.

* Be expressive and show your passion – a love song is not subtle (subtle = delicate of difficult to understand) it is grandiose (grandiose = impressive)

* Be personal – make the love song unique to you and the one you love

* Use metaphors to express your love (Here are two Transparent Language blog posts on metaphors: http://blogs.transparent.com/english/metaphors-and-similes/ and http://blogs.transparent.com/english/make-a-metaphor/)

* Avoid clichés (If you don’t know what a cliché is – check out this post.)

* Use some rhymes in your song – rhymes make a song sound sweeter

* Tell a story in your song – hopefully your story with your Valentine will be a love story!

Whether you rely on an old classic to serenade your love this Valentine’s Day or you create your own love song I hope you have a Valentine’s Day full of love!

In closing I have a video of another classic English-language love song. I bet there isn’t a reader out there who hasn’t heard this song before…

YouTube Preview Image

Having fun with homonyms in English

Posted on 02. Feb, 2016 by in English Language, English Vocabulary

Image from http://www.funnybits.mobi/2012/11/werewolf-wearwolf-warewolf-aware-wolf.html

Image from http://www.funnybits.mobi/2012/11/werewolf-wearwolf-warewolf-aware-wolf.html

Homonyms are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently, and have different meanings. The picture above shows how a person can play with homonyms in a humorous way. The first words in this graphic “a werewolf,” is a word that describes a mythical creature that is part wolf, part man. By using the homonym ‘wear,’ in place of ‘were,’ the homonym a “wearwolf” is made. This isn’t technically a word in English, but it certainly describes the picture of a man wearing a wolf very well. Next, we have the homonym ‘ware’ and ‘wolf’ making “warewolf.” Ware is an English word used to indicate that something is for sale. Lastly, my favorite, is an “aware wolf.” This homonym phrase is made by using the word ‘aware,’ which means knowledgeable, and ‘wolf’. This is just one example of a group of English homonyms, some of which are made-up words, which are used as wordplay. There are a lot more homonyms in English and today we are going to exploring some of them.

Take a look at this sentence, which has an example of a well-known and commonly used set homonyms.

“The two women wanted to go shopping and out to lunch too.”

To, too, and two are homonyms.

One of the key features of homonyms to keep in mind is that they are words that sound alike, so when a person is speaking, the only way to know which homonym is being used is to listen to the context. When homonyms are written it is easy to see which word is being used as the spelling is different, but in spoken English knowing this can be a little tricky, especially for ESL learners.

Let’s take a look at some common English homonyms so you can familiarize yourself with these for when you hear them in the future. Remember these words SOUND alike when spoken, even though some LOOK very different when written.

ate – eight
aisle – I’ll
be – bee
bight – bite – byte
buy – by – bye
cent – scent – sent
cite – sight – site
dew – do – due
ewe – you
eye – I
fir – fur
for – fore – four
hi– high
idle – idol
knot – not
knows – nose
knew – new
maid – made
meet – meat
or – oar
poor – pour
praise – prays
rain – reign – rein
read – red
road – rode
seas – sees – seize
sew – so – sow
tea – tee
their – they’re – there
ware – wear – where
way – weigh – whey
weather – whether
won – one
you’re – your – yore

Here are some fill in the blank sentences in which you have to try and figure which homonym goes where. These shouldn’t be too hard to figure out if you pay attention to the context.

1.    Did you __________ that _________dogs are allowed in the park? It’s not a dog park.
no – know

2.    We didn’t ________ any whales in the __________.
see – sea

3.    There is no need to ______ scared of a little bumble __________.
be – bee

4.    I can’t wait to _________ Beyoncé when she is ________ in concert.
here – hear

5.    ___________ are you ever going to _________ that ridiculous shirt?
wear – where

6.    James _________ that book with the _______ cover for class.
red – read

7.    My mother __________ the horse down the ___________ to the neighbors for help.
rode – road

8.    We ________ dinner at _________ o’clock.
eight – ate

9.    You can call this a paddle ________ an __________; they are the same thing.
oar – or

10.    I’m sorry my _________ isn’t very good, can you read what source they _______ on this web_________.
site – sight – cite

Scroll down for the answers.










1.    know, no
2.    see, sea
3.    be, bee
4.    hear, here
5.    Where, wear
6.    read, red
7.    rode, road
8.    eight, ate
9.    or, oar
10.    sight, cite, site

Atlanta City Tour

Posted on 28. Jan, 2016 by in Uncategorized

Tour Atlanta with the City Pass.

Tour Atlanta with the City Pass.

We’ve already introduced Atlanta on the blog in writing, so now we’re taking a video tour of this famous southern city. Check out some of the city’s most famous attractions in this short video.

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“Atlanta is the capital of the southern state of Georgia. Our tour begins with a walk through Centennial Olympic Park. The city hosted the Summer Olympic Games back in 1996.

Visitors to Atlanta may want to pick up a City Pass, which grants you admission into five different places of interest. Included on the list is the World of Coca-Cola, a museum dedicated to the world-famous company. The tour starts by seeing a collection of Coca-Cola ads from all over the world. You can also take a photo with the polar bear mascot. Moving on, there’s lots more Coke memorabilia to see. In the Milestones of Refreshment exhibit, you can learn about the history of the company. Next, at Bottle Works, you can see how Coca-Cola is made and bottled. In The Vault of the Secret Formula, the recipe for the famous drink is supposedly stored. You can’t see it, but there are plenty of fun, interactive things to do. Finally, you can sample Coca-Cola drinks from all over the world.

Our next stop is the Georgia Aquarium. This is the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere and was the largest in the world until the one in Singapore surpassed it. There are tens of thousands of fish and other sea creatures here. Some are big, some are creepy, and some are just weird. You’ll see turtles, beluga whales, penguins, sea otters, octopus, and Japanese spider crabs. The highlight just might be the Ocean Voyager tunnel, which has over 6 million gallons of water and thousands of fish. Here you’ll see plenty of manta rays, and also a variety of sharks. This is the only institution outside of Asia that has whale sharks. There’s lots more to see here, including a bunch of different kinds of jellyfish. An afternoon at the aquarium is great, especially on a hot summer day in Atlanta.

You can also take a tour of CNN, the Cable News Network. Walking tours of the studios last almost an hour and leave every ten minutes. You’ll see live broadcasts going on, and get a glimpse into what it’s like in a real newsroom.

Finally, we visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This museum is dedicated to the achievements of the civil rights movement in the United States, along with other human rights movements around the world. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions here, so check the website to see what’s going on. There’s more to see in Atlanta, but we’re out of time for now!”