Let’s put this one to bed and other English idioms.

Posted on 28. Aug, 2014 by in English Language, English Vocabulary

Image "Another Bed Jump" by Gregory Tonon on Flickr.com

Image “Another Bed Jump” by Gregory Tonon on Flickr.com

How are you feeling? Sleepy? If you are, then this probably isn’t the post for you as I’m going introduce a number of expressions and phrases with word ‘bed’ in them. So, reading this might make you even more tired.  But if you are wide awake and ready to learn some new English phrases you have come to the right place!  If you do get tired while reading about these bed-related idioms, wait until the end of the post to take your nap :)


Here are some commonly used English expressions and phrases with the word ‘bed’ in them:


a bed of roses = an easy life or a life of luxury

Example: James has been laying in a bed of roses ever since he won the lottery.


to be in bed with somebody = to be involved with someone (or a company) in a way that others don’t trust

Example: Our competition for the city contract accused us of being in bed with the mayor, but we have had no contact with him at all.


to bed down = to put something or someone to bed

Example: We bedded down the horses in the stables right before the storm hit.


Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. – This is a proverb that suggests going to bed early and waking up early is good for success.

Example: My grandmother always said, early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, but she grew up on a farm and always had to wake up early. I like to sleep in and I think I am still pretty successful!


to get up on the wrong side of bed = to be grouchy, cranky, or upset

Example: Did you get up on the wrong side of bed this morning? You are in a really bad mood.


to put (something) to bed = to complete something and move on

Example: We are going to put this argument to bed once and for all; let’s look up the answer on Google right now.


you made your bed now you have to lie in it – This is an expression that is used when trying to tell someone they have to accept the result of their actions, even if they are unpleasant.

Example: You decided not to study last night and you got an F on the test; don’t complain to me, you made your bed now you have to lie in it.


To finish off this look at phrases with ‘bed’ in them, here are a few English names for different types of beds that you might want to also add to your vocabulary.



bunk bed

Murphy bed

sofa bed


A trip to Chicago – what to see?

Posted on 26. Aug, 2014 by in Culture, Travel

Image "Chicago River" by Bert Kaufmann on Flickr.com

Image “Chicago River” by Bert Kaufmann on Flickr.com

Let’s take a trip to Chicago! Chicago is the third most populated city in the United States (New York City is first, Los Angeles second). There are 2.7 million people who live in Chicago and around 46 million tourists (international and American) visit every year. Even if you aren’t counted as one of these tourists this year, you can get a taste for what visiting this city would be like by reading this post.


Chicago is in the Midwest region of the United States, in the state of Illinois. It is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes on the border of the United States and Canada. Chicago is known for its freezing cold and windy winters. (One of the nicknames for Chicago is “The Windy City.”) It is also known for its hot humid summers. No matter what time of year you go to Chicago though, there is plenty to do.


One place you will definitely want to visit if Millennium Park. This park is full of art, sculptures, amazing architect, and great gardens. “The Bean,” a large bean-shaped sculpture (pictured below), is in Millennium Park, and is a must see landmark in Chicago. It is a great photo op.


Another must see landmark in Chicago is the Wilson Tower (formerly called the Sears Tower).  This building is 1,353 feet (412 meters) and 102 floors tall. It was once the tallest building in the world. If you go all the way to the top of this building you will get a great view of the whole city. Also near the top, you can also step outside the building into a glass box and look directly down on the city of Chicago, but only if you aren’t afraid of heights.


If you like museums than you are going to like Chicago, because there are a lot of museums in this city.  From the Art Institute of Chicago, to the Museum of Science and Industry, and many more – there is something for everyone.


For those who like to shop, Chicago is known for its shopping district called “The Magnificent Mile.” Here there are a lot of high-end (or expensive) shops, but you can probably find almost anything you are looking to buy in this mile of shops.


There are a lot of universities to see in Chicago, too. Just walking around the campuses of these famous universities is likely to make you feel smarter. You will definitely want to check out University of Chicago, DePaul University, and North Western University, but there are at least a dozen others that you can visit too.


If you happen to be in Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day, you won’t want to miss the city’s famous St. Patrick’s Day parade. In fact, you won’t be able to miss how the city turns the Chicago River GREEN in celebration of this day! (See a picture of the Chicago River turned green above.)

Power English

Posted on 24. Aug, 2014 by in English Language

Image "Dumb Muscle" by Pascal on Flickr.com.

Image “Dumb Muscle” by Pascal on Flickr.com.

Informal English is fine to use when talking to your friends, family, or traveling as a tourist, but what about when you really want to make a good impression on someone or when you are using English for business? These are times when you will want to use more formal English, or what I call, “power English.”

Let’s take a look at how you can make your informal English more powerful for use in business and formal interactions. In all of the examples below, you will see that a simple or basic word in English is upgraded to a more formal word to make a more powerful statement. Learning some of these more powerful words will help make your English more formal for times when this is necessary.


Informal English transformed to “Power English”:


I got your message.  —> I received your message.

I asked for this on Tuesday.   —> I requested this on Tuesday.

I need some help.  —> I require your assistance.

We’ll talk about this later.  —> We will discuss this at another time.

James needs to get in touch with the manager.  —> James needs to contact the manager.

Pam has to put off the meeting another day.   —> Pam needs to postpone the meeting another day.

Please make sure the report is turned in by 5pm.   —>  Please ensure the report is submitted by 5pm.

Can you give me your phone number?   —> Can you provide me with your phone number?

Let me know when you are leaving.  —> Please inform me when you are leaving.

The other team needs to say they are sorry for us to move forward.   —> The other team needs to apologize for us to move forward.

Can you tell me why you made this choice?  —> Can you explain why you made this decision?

Today we are going to talk more about the up coming merger.  —> Today we are going to elaborate on the upcoming merger.

How are we going to fix this problem?  —> How are we going to solve this problem?

The deal has been called off.  —> The deal has been cancelled.

Here is a summary of the transformations that took place in the sentences above. The informal words are listed first and their formal, more powerful, synonyms are next.

get/got = receive/received

ask = request

need = require

put off = postpone

talk about = discuss

get in touch = contact

turn in = submit

give = provide

know = inform

say sorry = apologize

tell why = explains

talk more about = elaborate

fix = solve/resolve

call off = cancel

Can you think of any other simple informal words that have more formal or powerful synonyms, if so add them to the list!