Word of the Day: baffle

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It’s baffling, but this is the first time that I really feel like I need a garden!

If you baffle someone, it means that you puzzle them, or make them a bit confused. When you’re baffled, you are surprised or taken aback. It means that the situation or person is strange and has made you stop and think.

You can describe something or someone as baffling. For example: his behavior is baffling.

Have you got any questions? Are you baffled? Leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!

Grammar Mondays: modals 6

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The modal may is used to express two things: politeness and possibility.

In terms of possibility, it can replace might, though might is more commonly used than may in this context.

More often, school children learn that may is used for good manners. For example, rather than using the modal can when asking for something, use may:

  • May I have another cookie please?
  • May I go to the bathroom? (A child asking at school.)
  • May I leave the table?
  • May I? (Said simply when it is obvious what the question is, for example, when you’re indicating that you’d like to offer your help.)
  • How may I help you? (If you’re a shop assistant speaking to a customer.)

Do you have any questions? Leave them in the comments, or email me directly!

Friday Idiom: under the weather

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« I’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I don’t think I’ll make it to your party. »

« Josh can’t come to school today because he’s a little under the weather, I’d like him to rest. »

If you’re feeling « under the weather » it means that you’re not at your best. Use it within a sentence when you’d like to tell someone that you’re not feeling well. It generally means you have a cold, and isn’t used for more serious illnesses.

Parenting and entrepreneuring: episode 3

I’ve decided that I’m going to change the name for what I call « my son taking care of himself while I work. » I’m going to call it: free play time.

Why? I think the name works better, it makes me feel better, and honestly? It’s really not so bad for him. Child specialists the world over toot the advantages of free play time for children. So why not call our Wednesday mornings that?

Our kiddo spends basically all of Wednesday morning playing on his own. At the moment, I’m pretty sure he’s drawing something. Maybe ten minutes ago he was playing with his toys, and before that, he got himself a banana to top up his breakfast. It’s 10am and he hasn’t even asked for TV or the tablet yet! I’m sure the time will come, but so far, I’m impressed.

So what’s the point of this post? Don’t feel guilty for letting your kids play alone! There is nothing wrong with your child spending time using his or her imagination and inventing games for him/herself. In fact, it’s good for them. It helps them become more autonomous, develops the imagination and shows them that they’re not the center of the universe.

To me, this last point is super important. My kid needs to understand that when I’m on a call, he has to be quiet, he can’t talk to me unless he’s « dying » and he needs to figure things out for himself. It may sound harsh, but he has to learn how to wait. Patience is a virtue, right?

I opened my business so that I could spend less time at work, make my own money (more than what I was making previously) and spend more time with my family. However, I didn’t open it to become a stay-at-home mom. There is nothing wrong with being a stay-at-home parent, but it’s a different ball game.

So, if you have to work, forget feeling guilty. Organize your day so you can set aside family time, but when it’s your work time, guilt has no place. Your company is important, your well-being is important, and your kids need to learn to respect that; it’ll serve them in the future.

Word of the Day: remote

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Okay

Okay, for this word, there are at least a couple of useful meanings.

Remote, as per the definition above, means far away and/or secluded. So, we might say that a person lives in a remote part of the world. That could be a village in the mountains somewhere, an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or in the middle of the woods somewhere in Canada!

Another meaning for the word remote is the thing you use to change the channel on your TV! Technically, it’s called a remote control. Can you guess why? That’s right! It’s because you change the channel remotely, ie., from far away! Of course, most of the time, we just say: « Pass the remote. » Everyone will know what you’re talking about, you don’t generally need to add the « control » part.

Have you got any questions? Have you got more examples? Drop us a line!

Grammar Mondays: modals 5

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Might reflects possibility. We use this modal if we are unsure that something will or will not happen.

For example, if you’re unsure of your plans for the evening, you could say: I might go out, but I’m not sure.

If you’re unsure if you’d like to go out, you could also say: I might not go tonight, we’ll see.

Whether you use the affirmative or negative form is really up to you and how you want to spin your sentence. Do you want to emphasize that you might NOT do something (you’re leaning towards no)? Or that you might do something (you’re leaning towards yes)?

Give it a try, and don’t forget, if you have questions, give us a shout!

Friday Idiom: cut corners

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Cutting corners is often tempting, but also often leads to disasters. Whenever you try to save time by either not putting in a full effort, or by omitting some seemingly unimportant details, it will come back and bite you!

A few examples of cutting corners:

  • Not taking the time to properly proofread a document.
  • When you don’t document your work well.
  • Ignoring the basics when you learn a new skill.

So, don’t cut corners!

Word of the Day: essence

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The essence is really the most important aspect of something. It is what makes it it.

You can talk about essence when describing a very important feature of a problem, a team, the core goals or raison d’être of a company or school.

You will find many more examples on the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary online: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/essence?q=essence

  • The essence of the matter is that we must show our good will.
  • Its ability to make you feel is the essence of this painting.
  • The essence of drama is conflict.

Word of the Day: sharp

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Of course, many people already know that sharp means: having a cutting or piercing edge. But, it’s interesting to note that we can also use the word in other ways.

A couple more definitions include but are not limited to: sudden and rapid, for example, a sharp increase; clear and definite, as in, the mood is in sharp contrast to last year.

I particularly like the definition from our word of the day: quick to understand, notice or respond. You can use this word to describe a person whom you consider to be particularly clever and quick-witted.

Any questions? Leave them in them in the comments and we’ll get back to you!