British English Language Consultancy – more

Language error of the day – “I put clocks on the Christmas tree.”

Meaning in the mind of a non-Dutch-speaking listener:- "I put ornamental fake clocks on the Christmas tree." (Perhaps they are made of paper. Or maybe they are real clocks. Perhaps something to do with counting in the New Year. Ah - maybe they are fake clogs!) Meaning in the mind of the Dutch speaker who … Continue reading Language error of the day – “I put clocks on the Christmas tree.”

Language error of the day

"I USE MY HANDY NUMBER." Meaning in the mind of the German speaker who speaks this:- "I use my mobile phone number."   Meaning in the mind of a non-German-speaking listener:- "I use the number that I have, which is a useful or easily-available number." (It's probably some kind of phone number.)

The word “after”

The word “after” requires 2 pieces of information. … and after supper, I went to bed.  ✔︎ … and after I ate supper, I went to bed.  ✔︎ … and after eating supper, I went to bed.  ✔︎ … and I went to bed after supper.  ✔︎ … and I went to bed after I … Continue reading The word “after”

Words that can be surprisingly difficult to hear

Some words can be difficult to hear if the vowel in them has been reduced to a “schwa” (the final vowel in the word “better”). The following words are often spoken in full, but they are often spoken with a schwa sound instead . . . .

Asking Questions

This post is written with upper-intermediate and advanced learners of English in mind. In this post I look at the type of construction used in English for constructing the majority of questions. I refer to this type of construction as the “Question Construction”, and other grammar constructions as “normal grammar”. The Question Construction causes a … Continue reading Asking Questions