English Idiom “Blow” from Happy English NY

Michael Idioms

Blow is an interesting word which has some idiomatic uses. The standard meaning is of course the movement of air. You can blow out the candles on your birthday cake or listen to the wind blow on a stormy day. As slang, blow also means to leave. Here are some examples: Well, it’s getting late. I think I’m going to blow. (You can say this when you are at your friends house, for example) Why don’t we blow this joint. There is no action here (You can say this when you are at a bar which is very quite. Joint means bar and action means excitement) As an idiom, you can blow your money. This means to loose or spend a lot of money and this has a negative nuance. If you blow your money, you are usually not in a good situation. Gloria blew all of her money in Vegas playing blackjack. Ted blew the money from his paycheck at the bar, so he has no money left for the rest of the week. You can also blow your cool. This means to become upset or angry. Fred blew his cool when someone scratched his new car My boss …

Hang Out! One-Point American English Idiom Lesson

Michael Slang Leave a Comment

Hang out means to spend leisure time doing nothing in particular. When you spend time relaxing at home, in the park or with friends, you can use “hang out.” There are two structures. You can hang out with someone or you can hang out somewhere. Here are some examples I am hanging out with Fred on Friday. Do you want to join us? I can’t hang out with you tomorrow, I have to go to school Johnny is hanging out at Brad’s house tonight It’s a beautiful day. Let’s hang out in the park Where do you like to hang out? Leave a comment and let us know! If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

Make Up Your Mind – Happy English Idiom Lesson

Michael Idioms 1 Comment

When you make up your mind, it means you decide something. You can make up your mind [to do something] or [about something]: – I made up my mind to go skiing this weekend. – Did Kenji make up is mind about the car? I made up my mind about lunch! I’m having pizza! How about you? If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

Using Casual “Like” For Informal English

Michael Conversational Phrases 2 Comments

I worked a lot last week. I think I was in the office like, 65 hours all together. So when I got home last night I was like, so tired. I feel asleep on the sofa with my clothes on. When I woke up it was like, 5:00am. My roommate was up as well. He was like, “Why are you up so early?” I explained my situation. Like is used in a variety of ways in casual, English conversation. Today, I’d like to show you a few examples of how we use like in this way. Have a look at the paragraph above, and then check out this English lesson. We use like to mean “about.” This like is usually followed by a brief pause. I think the boss is like, 65 years old. It’s like, fifty minutes from NYC to Boston by plane. What a fat dog! It must weight like, 30 pounds! We also use like before a little, so, or too (etc) + adjective to emphasize and draw the listener’s attention to the adjective. This like is also usually followed by a brief pause. I was like, so tired last night that I fell asleep with my …

Four Money-Related Idioms With Make

Michael Confusing Words Leave a Comment

My cousin Suzy has a good job, and makes a living doing computer work. She moved to Manhattan two years ago, but she soon found it hard to make ends meet living alone there, so she decided to get a roommate to help pay the rent. Her roommate makes money in sales, so she can afford half of the rent. The problem is that the apartment is not big, so they have to make do with living in a small space. For today’s free English lesson, I want to show you four English phrases related to money that use the word make. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check out the lesson. Make money means to earn or get money. It has a positive nuance of earning a good or high profit: Lori makes a lot of money selling stuff on eBay. It’s hard to make money working as a musician. Momo made money in the stock market and bought a nice house. Make a living means to earn money to live and support oneself and/or a family. We often use a gerund (VerbING) or as + noun after make a living: Jack makes a …

How Not To Use Ain’t – Conversational English Lesson

Michael Idioms, Slang 1 Comment

In this paragraph I am going to use the word ain’t. Ain’t is considered to be non-standard English, but since it shows up in a lot of pop songs and English movies, I thought for today’s lesson, I would show you what it means and how it’s used. If you ain’t heard of this word, I can understand it because is ain’t a usual word that you will see in a typical English lesson. But as many of my readers know, Happy English ain’t a typical English lesson and I ain’t got no plans to make it one! Ain’t was widely used in the 18th century, and these days it can be found in informal English conversations. Many people feel that it is not a valid English word, despite how much it is used. The word ain’t is a contraction of am not, are not, and is not. Ain’t is for every subject. Thus, you can say: I ain’t interested in football. We ain’t interested in football. He ain’t interested in football. It’s also possible to use ain’t in a yes/no question Ain’t we going to the beach today? Ain’t he supposed to be wearing a seatbelt? You like my …

How To Use “Do Me A Favor” Meaning – English Phrase Lesson

Michael Conversational Phrases Leave a Comment

The phrases Do me a favor and Can you do me a favor? are very useful in everyday conversational English. Whenever you need a person’s help, and you want to ask them for help, you can use one of these phrases before you say your request. Saying Do me a favor and Can you do me a favor? makes your request less direct, and is also a signal to let the listener know that you are going to ask them for help. Here are a few examples: In the office Bob: Hey Jack. Can you do me a favor? Jack: Sure Bob, what’s up? Bob: I want to move this table to the back of the room. Can you help me? Jack: Sure. Let’s do it! On the telephone: Jen: Hello? Dan: Hi Jen. It’s me, Dan. Jen: Oh Dan. I’m glad you called. Do me a favor. Tell your sister that I wasn’t able to find the makeup she asked me for. I tried to call her but the line is busy. Dan: Ok, I’ll let her know. At the department store: Cashier: Ok, your total is $35.40. Will that be cash or charge. Customer: Charge please. And can …

3 Ways To Use “Give Me A Break” – English Idiom Lesson

Michael Idioms 5 Comments

As an idiom in English, the phrase give me a break has three different meanings and uses. For today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at this common and very useful idiom. By the way, the pronunciation is Gimme a break! Check the audio file below. First of all, we use give me a break to mean “I don’t believe you!” or “That can’t be true!” When someone says something that sounds unbelievable or untrue, you can say, Give me a break! Here are a few examples: Bob: I heard that someone jumped off the Empire State Building with a parachute. Joe: Give me a break! The security in that building is too tight for such a stunt. Ted: Joe said that he saw Johnny Depp at the diner on 6th Ave. Jen: Give me a break! I doubt any movie star would eat at that crappy diner. We also use Give me a break! when someone is bothering us. In this case it means, “Stop bothering me, please!” or “Ok, that’s enough!” Jack: Are you finished yet? I want to watch TV? Jane: Jack! Give me a break! I told you I am studying for an important exam. Go …

Practical English Lesson: How To Order A Sandwich In NYC

Michael Conversational Phrases 5 Comments

Everybody likes a good sandwich. They are portable, tasty, and generally not very expensive. However, a lot of people have trouble ordering a sandwich in a deli here in New York. Well, don’t worry. Today I’m going to show you how to order exactly what you like. Most sandwiches have three components. First, we have the main ingredient(s) such as meat and/or cheese. Next, is the bread. There are several types of bread including rolls and heroes. Finally, there are the extras, like lettuce, tomato, pickles, and condiments, such as mustard mayonnaise (or just mayo), salt and pepper. So, now that you know the parts of a sandwich, here is the pattern you’ll need to follow when ordering: Can I please have [main ingredient(s)] on [type of bread] with [extras & condiments]? For example, Clerk: Next! Michael: Can I please have roast beef and cheddar cheese on a roll with lettuce, tomato, mayo, salt and pepper? If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!