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Canadian Pronunciation

Canadian Pronunciation

Generally, Standard Canadian pronunciation is very similar to Standard American pronunciation, especially in Ontario.  As time goes by, and Canadians watch more American TV and movies, Canadians everywhere are beginning to sound more like Americans

There are some variants, however:

The most famous difference is what is known as 'Canadian raising', which raises the onsets of diphthongs before voiceless consonants, as in house, about, mouth, louse, lout andout.   

You can listen to how some of these words are pronounced here: http://www.yorku.ca/twainweb/troberts/raising.html.  However, this feature which distinguishes Canadian English from American English is undergoing a change which could erase this difference.

Some Canadians pronounce cot the same as caught and collar the same as caller

The i often comes out differently in fife and five, knife and knives, life and lie, light and lied, in bite and in bide, in price and in prizes, rite and ride, and in rite and rye.  Most British and American speakers would use the second vowel sound only.

Many Canadians also will turn t sounds into d sounds, so Iron Maiden will seem to be a "heavy-meddle" band and the capital appears to be "Oddawa".  

There are a few words for which Canadians have varying pronunciations.  For example: ate, bade, been, drought, economics, khaki, leisure, lieutenant, missile, program, quinine, schedule and sterile.

In Quebec, the accent is an interesting combination of Jewish and French influence. 

Don´t forget to see the link:

See you !! 


American and British English

Spelling differences between American and British English.
-or vs. -our
American British
color colour
favorite favourite
honor honour


-ll vs. -l
American British
enrollment enrolment
fulfill fulfil
skillful skilful


-og vs. -ogue
American British
analog analogue
catalog catalogue
dialog dialogue


-ck or -k vs. -que
American British
bank banque
check cheque
checker chequer


-ense vs. -enze
American British
defense defence
license licence


-ze vs. -se
American British
analyze analyse
criticize criticise
memorize memorise


-er vs. -re
American British
center centre
meter metre
theater theatre


-e vs. -oe or -ae
American British
encylopedia encylycopaedia
maneuver manoeuvre
medieval mediaeval


-dg vs. -dge (or -g vs. -gu)
American British
aging ageing
argument arguement
judgment judgement


American British
jewelry jewellery
draft draught
pajamas pyjamas 
plow plough
program programme
tire tyre

Spelling of verbs

-ed vs. -t
The first category involves verbs that use -ed or -t for the simple past and past participle.   Generally, the rule is that if there is a verb form with -ed, American English will use it, and if there is a form with -t, British English uses it.  However, these forms do not exist for every verb and there is variation.  For example, both American and British English would use the word 'worked' for the past form of 'to work', and in American English it is common to hear the word 'knelt' as the past tense of 'to kneel'.

Base form American British
to dream dreamed dreamt
to leap leaped leapt
to learn leareded learnt

base form vs. -ed
The second category of difference includes verbs that use either the base form of the verb or the -ed ending for the simple past.

Base form American British
to fit fit fitted
to forecast forecast forecasted
to wed wed wedded

irregular vs. -ed
The third category of difference includes verbs that have either an irregular spelling or the -ed ending for the simple past.

Base form American British
to knit knit knitted
to light lit lighted
to strive strove strived

So what does tall his mean for learners of English?  In the beginning, unfortunately, it means a lot of memorization (or memorisation) and of course, a few mistakes.  For spoken English, the differences are barely audible, so forge ahead and don't be too concerned with whether a word is spelled 'dwelled' or 'dwelt'.  With written English, however, if you are unsure about the spelling, better to ask your teacher or look the word up in the dictionary and see what the experts say.

See you people ! 


“GAS” é “gás” ou “gasolina”?


[gás; gasolina]

He couldn’t pay the gas bill.

Ele não conseguiu pagar a conta de gás.

A palavra gas, do grego khaos, “caos”, foi inventada por Jan Baptista van Helmont (1577 – 1644), físico e químico de Flandres. Em inglês americano, gas também é gasolina, abreviação da palavra inglesa gasoline (US). Em inglês britânico, gasolina é petrol (UK). A mesma diferença continua em expressões relacionadas. Por exemplo: the gas station (US) e the petrol station (UK) para “posto de gasolina” ou the gas tank (US) e the petrol tank (UK) para “tanque de gasolina”.

Gas, em inglês, é também o gás produzido dentro do corpo humano, que os britânicos também chamam de wind (UK), “vento”. To pass gas (US) ou to pass wind (UK) significa “soltar esses gases”.

Há outra expressão com a palavra gas usada por todos os falantes nativos do inglês – someone or something is a gas -, que significa que alguém ou algo é muito engraçado. Por exemplo: This film is a real gas. / Esse filme é muito engraçado. A expressão vem do óxido nitroso, ou gás hilariante, muito usado como anestésico a partir do século XVII pelos dentistas e pelos médicos em cirurgias de pequeno porte.

See you people !!

What´s QUEUE in English ?

British English



In the United Kingdom people stand in a queue for the bus.

No Reino Unido as pessoas fazem fila para o ônibus.

Queue é uma das palavras mais importantes da língua inglesa e representa um conceito sacrossanto e enraizado no povo e na cultura – fazer fila. A palavra queue vem de um termo francês do século XVI usado para indicar uma insígnia em forma de rabo de animal nos brasões heráldicos. O termo era baseado na palavra latina cauda. A palavra queue, no sentido atual de “fila”, vem do século XIX. O conceito de formar fila – to queue up – é considerado sagrado no Reino Unido e nos países da Comunidade Britânica de Nações. Não é aconselhável furar a fila – jump the queue. Queue é uma palavra tipicamente britânica. Em inglês americano, usa-se a palavra line, e nos Estados Unidos esse hábito saudável também é muito respeitado.

See you people !


Modal Verbs

Modal verbs: CAN, MAY, MIGHT, COULD

.A: I see it’s raining again.
B: Yes, but it’s still early. It can may/might/could clear up later.
A: I was planning to go to the sea.
B: Well, the weather couldn’t may not/might not be so bad down there. It’s often better on the coast.
A: Yes. Actually, if I go, could I borrow your new camera?
B: Yes, you could can/may. But be careful with it, please.

Expressar permissão
  • can ou may são usados para formular um pedido polido ou dar/negar permissão. May é mais formal do que can.
    • Can/May I open the window, please? – Yes, of course you can/may. / No, I’m sorry, you can’t/may not.
    • You wanted to borrow my printer. OK, you can/may.
  • could pode ser usado em pedidos, mas não é usado para dar/negar permissão.
    • Could I look at your map, please? – Yes, you can/may (could).
    • I’m sorry, but you can’t (couldn’t) park here. This is private.
Expressar possibilidade e incerteza
  • may/might/could (mas não can) expressam que algo é/será possivelmente o caso.
    • A: The phone’s ringing.
    • B: It may/might/could (can) be for me. I’m expecting a call. [Esta ligação pode/poderia ser para mim...]
    • A: How much will the repair cost?
    • B: I don’t know. But it may/might/could (can) be quite expensive. [Isso pode/poderá ser bastante caro.]
  • may/might not (não can’t/couldn’t) expressa que algo possivelmente não é o caso.
    • A: The phone is ringing. Aren’t you going to anwer it?
    • B: It may/might not be for me. Perhaps it’s for you. [= É possível que a ligação não seja para mim.]
  • Mas:
    • A: Look, the postman’s coming with a big parcel. Are you expecting something?
    • B: No, it can’t/couldn’t be for me. I’m not expecting anything. [= É impossível que o pacote seja para mim.]

Halloween !!

History of Halloween, like any other festival's history is inspired through traditions that have transpired through ages from one generation to another. We follow them mostly as did our dads and grandpas. And as this process goes on, much of their originality get distorted with newer additions and alterations. It happens so gradually, spanning over so many ages, that we hardly come to know about these distortions. 

At one point of time it leaves us puzzled, with its multicolored faces. Digging into its history helps sieve out the facts from the fantasies which caught us unaware. Yet, doubts still lurk deep in our soul, especially when the reality differs from what has taken a deep seated root into our beliefs. The history of Halloween Day, as culled from the net, is being depicted here in this light. This is to help out those who are interested in washing off the superficial hues to reach the core and know things as they truly are. 

'Trick or treat' may be an innocent fun to relish on the Halloween Day. But just think about a bunch of frightening fantasies and the scary stories featuring ghosts, witches, monsters, evils, elves and animal sacrifices associated with it. They are no more innocent. Are these stories a myth or there is a blend of some reality? Come and plunge into the halloween history to unfurl yourself the age-old veil of mysticism draped around it. 

Halloween history is one of religious traditions, sacrifices and folklore. While it seems strange to understand the motivation of these ancient actions, it is good to know the roots of our current practices of Halloween.


Idiomatic Expressions!!

Speaking fluent is the biggest dream of any English student and reaching it, is not as easy as it looks!
I suggest to all my students to dive into Idiomatic Expressions, so that they can improve their English and get more interested in it.Check out this chart below:

Expression / Slang



To smooth somebody’s feathers
Somebody is nervous about something and you calm him/her down.
Josh was absolutely furious and I tried to smooth his feathers.
Mum’s the word!
Keep a secret and don’t tell it to anyone.
I’m leaving my job, but please, mum’s the word!
Second hand book
When a company purloins money from its cashbook.
George’s company has a second hand book, I’m sure about it!
…as the monkey said…
This expression is used to refer to somebody’s words.
As the monkey said life is not easy!
To hit below the belt.
When somebody is deceived by another person.
Gary and Blair worked together, but Gary hit Blair below the belt by selling the company.
God forbid!
You’re asking God to protect you against bad things.
I’m getting my driver’s license and God forbid I don’t pass!
That’s the limit!
When a situation has already carried too far.
My roommate doesn’t clean his room and the house when it’s his turn. That’s the limit!
To mingle (with)
Get together in a group.
Go to the party and mingle with the guys!
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
When everybody cries because an emotional situation.
Sarah was leaving the company and that day there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Rent boy
When somebody pays a boy in order to have sex in return.
Julius is a rent boy and he’s always busy.
Long time no see!
This expression is used to show happiness when people who don’t meet for a long time, see one another again.
Bryan, how are you?!
Long time no see! I think 20 years, no?

Queen Anne is dead!
To show that a situation is over. It is beyond repair.
Sue’s marriage was difficult but queen Anne is dead. She’s divorced now.
To follow somebody’s nose.
It means that you have to follow your instincts.
She followed her nose and found out that John was double crossing her.
It’s no laughing matter!
It means that the situation is not a funny one, but a serious one.
Claire is ill Barbra and it’s no laughing matter!
That rings a bell!
It means that you have already heard that subject or situation before.
She’s always complaining about her life. That rings a bell!
Here we go again.
When a situation happens regularly.
Oh Gosh!! Here we go again! Heather and her jokes!
Good riddance!
When a situation or a person goes away from one’s life and she/he is thankful for it.
My ex-husband finally left me. Good riddance!
To round up the cattle.
When somebody gets his/her stuff and go away.
I’ve got to go and let me round up my cattle.
At the eleventh hour.
Somebody does something at the last moment possible.
I’m always doing my researches to the university at the eleventh hour.
To leave no stone unturned.
Somebody asks for explanations and sometimes he/she fights, speaks out loud and other things like these.
I couldn’t believe that, but she left no stone unturned and made me feel uncomfortable.

Say no more!
Somebody is asking another person to say no more words.
Say no more! I’ve already heard enough.
It’s no great shakes!
It means something is not very interesting or exciting.
She had her hair painted but it’s no great shakes! It makes no difference.
What’s in it for me?
It means somebody wants to know what the advantage is, if he/she takes part in it.
Okay guys, I’ll do what you want but what’s in it for me?
…with the best will in the world…
It means that you have good feelings about something but it’s bigger than you.
I would help you with your Math test but…with the best will in the world…it won’t be possible.
Need I say more?
Somebody is asking another person if he/she has to tell more about a situation.
Need I say more? She’s not your friend. She is always telling you lies.
Says who?
Somebody is asking another person who said that something has to be that way.
They say you have to get a health diet. Says who?
You know what?
It means you are confirming something you’ve already said.
I’m going to travel to Bali and you know what? If I have the chance I’ll stay there.
Mr. Know-it-all.
Somebody who thinks he/she knows everything about all subjects.
Okay, Mr. Know-it-all, what’s next? You’re going to invent the cure to the cancer.
Bursting at the seams.
When something is too much.
There were people bursting at the seams at the concert last night. It was very crowded.
Wake up and smell the coffee.
Somebody has to face a situation.
Wake up and smell the coffee, your job is over.
Just like that!
When something happens unexpectedly.
And just like that Bob left me, waiting at the church door…
Out of spite.
When somebody does an action purposely, intentionally.
She cried out of spite. She didn’t feel sorry about that.
Good for you!
Somebody wishes you have a good time with your choices.
Good for you! Now you’ve got a new job you can start your university.
To cross the line.
When somebody cross the limits in a situation.
She has just crossed the line when she flirted my boyfriend.
Where’s the fire?
Somebody is asking you why you are in a hurry because of a situation.
Josh, where is the fire? Calm yourself down and make it clear.
To be a doubting Thomas.
Somebody has to see something to believe it.
I’m a doubting Thomas, I don’t use to believe people easily.
A flying visit.
A fast visit to a friend.
I believe that flying visits are fantastic, you see your friends and you don’t disturb them
To have somebody on.
When somebody makes fun of somebody.
Mark was having me on when he told the joke.
Source: Whatchamacallit? – Brezolin, Adauri – Disal.


Melting Pot

Hey guys!!
Sometimes, to understand a language, you have to know about its history and how it was created and developed throughout time and here we have a brief story about it. And off we go!!

More than 500 years ago, English wasn’t spoken in North America. American Indians had their own language, such as the Inuit (Eskimo), the Aleuts in Canada, and the Aborigines in Australia and the Maoris en New Zealand.

The English people arrived and established their settlement, right after that, other peoples came with their habits, their idioms and their different cultures.
The United States of America has the biggest mixture of cultures in the world, it’s called “Melting Pot”, a well-known American expression.

At the beginning of the colonization there were English, Irish, French, German and Scandinavian. Afterwards, Italian, Jew, Chinese, Japanese and Russian arrived.

The reasons which brought the newcomers to North America were: hard economic condition in their origin countries, the Gold Rush and later, Religious Persecution, what is the case of the Jew people who left Russia and other countries between 1880 and 1910.

And the most recent American citizens are from Spanish language, they come from México and other countries from Central and South America.

The Modern English language results from a great mixture of these peoples. Check out, for instance, where some words below come from:

Exit, Circus, Video - Latin

Psychology, Telephone, Cinema - Greek

Biscuit, Garage, Restaurant – French

Piano, Concerto, Spaghetti – Italian

Hamburger, Kindergarten - German

Guitar, Tango, Banana - Spanish

Tomato, Potato, Tabacco – American Native Language

Curry, Bungalow, Pyjamas - Indian

Interesting, isn't it?


How do you say " CLOTH" in english ?

Hi people !!  Let´s talk about pronunciation, it´s very important for your English !

I hope you like !

As palavras “CLOTH” (tecido, pano), “CLOTHE” (vestir) e “CLOTHES” (roupas; vestuário) têm muito pouca coisa em comum além da mera semelhança ortográfica. “CLOTH” é substantivo e pode ser usado em construções do tipo “A (PIECE OF) CLOTH” cujo significado é “um (pedaço de) pano” ou na formação de outras palavras como, por exemplo, “TABLECLOTH” (toalha de mesa) e “DISHCLOTH” (pano de prato). A forma plural é “CLOTHS”. “CLOTHE” é verbo, significa “vestir” e não é, como pode parecer, a forma singular de “CLOTHES”. Na hora de pronunciar essas palavras, lembre-se de que o “TH” em “CLOTH” é igual ao de “THINK”, mas o de “CLOTHE” é o mesmo de “THAT”. Embora não pareça, a pronúncia mais comum de “CLOTHES” é idêntica à do verbo “CLOSE”. Ou seja, não pronuncie a letra “E” e diga /klou z/, sem medo de errar. Como você pôde perceber, o “TH” não é o de “THINK” nem o de “THAT”.

See you !!


See X Look X Watch

Do you know how to use these words ?
It is very common to have problens with the verbs "SEE", "LOOK" and "WATCH".  

When these verbs are related exclusively to vision, it is easy to understand the difference between them.  

"SEE"  describes an involuntary action, while " LOOK " denotes a voluntary action. "WATCH",   also describes a voluntary action but assumes that something is happening or is about to happen.  

These differences are presented in the examples. 

  • My grandfather can see very well without glasses.
  • Look at this picture that Mary sent us.
  • It was just amazing to watch that man work.
  • You look fantastic! (appear)
  • My mother looked all morning but couldn’t find it. (search)
  • I’ll be seeing my boss tomorrow at 10:30 am. (meet)
  • Rebecca watched TV with her mother. (view + TV)
  • We saw a great movie at the Cinemark last night. (view)
  • I see what you mean. (understand)
  • I think you should see a doctor. (visit for consultation)

See you people !


Differences in Grammar ( American and British English )

 Present Perfect x Simple Past

In American English the Simple Past can be used with already, just and yet but in British English, it´s a little bit different.

Let´s see:


I have already given her the present.

I´ve just seen her.

Have you heard the news yet ?


I already gave her the present.

I just saw her.

Did you heard the news yet ?

Have x Have got x Do

In British English it´s possible to use Have got or Have to express the idea of possession. In American English it´s normal to use more DO in questions.


They have got two computers.

Have you got a computer ?


They have / have got two computers.

Do you have a computer ?

Next time, we are going to see more about British and American English.

See you !


Abbreviations in Instant Communicators.

Hey, talking about working out, I think I've got a rubber tyre, lol!

But today I'm here to talk about abbreviations in instant communicators such as MSN, ICQ, GOOGLE TALK and many others.

When we're talking about this kind of communication, abbreviations are quite used and we also have abbreviations in our language.Can you remember some of them?

Vc = você

Tc = teclar

Ñ = não

Xau = tchau

And many others, remember?

And right above you all people are about to discover some of these abbreviations in English, and next time you have a chat on line with a friend, who lives overseas, try to use them!

And here are some of them:

AFAIK = As Far as I Know.
AFK = Away From the Keyboard.
AKA = Also Known As.
ASAP = As Soon As Possible.
ASL = Age, Sex, Location.
BBL = Be back later.
BBS = Be Back in a Second.
BCNU = Be Seeing You.
BFN = Bye, for now.
BRB = Be Right Back.
BTW = By The Way.
CU = See you [later].
CYA = See you.
FAQ = Frequently Answered Questions.
FYI = For Your Information.
GTG, G2G = Got to go.
HTH = Hope This Help.
IAE = In Any Event.
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion.
IMO = In My Opinion.
IRC = Internet Relay Chat
KINDA = Kind of adv. somewhat, a bit, moderately (slang).
LOL = Laughing Out Loud.
MOFO = Mother Fucker.
MORF = Male or Female.
NFW = No Fucking Way.
NP = No Problem.
NRN = No Reply Necessary.
OIC = Oh I See.
OMG = Oh My God.
OTOH = On The Other Hand.
PPL = People.
PVT = Private.
R = are.
ROTFL = Rolling on the Floor Laughing.
THX = Thanks.
TIA = Thanks In Advance.
TKS = Thanks.
TTYL = Talk To You Later.
U = you.
4 = for.
2 = to.

Isn't is interesting?!
See ya all later!!!


Do you like working out ?

Do you have a nice " six pack" ?  Well, maybe you are thinking what a hell is a " six pack ", but in english a boy or a girl who has a " six pack"  means that he has a " barriga de tanquinho" , so if you want to have a "six pack" you have to work out very much !!

And we also have:

Rubber Tyre or Muffin top : que são aqueles malditos pneuzinhos.

Well-toned body, toned body, buff body, healthy body: corpo sarado.

Get ripped:  ficar sarado.  ( depende sempre do contesto da frase !!)

Get into shape: entrar em forma.

Keep fit: manter a forma.

In a good shape: em forma.

Couch potato: preguiçoso.

So, let´s work out !!


Vocabulary Building

Hey ya guys!

That's my turn! My friend Lamarck has already posted some very interesting topics. I have to confess,  I get mixed sometimes with these f@#$%* prepositions! lol.
But I'm here today to talk about Vocabulary Building. In my life, I've already had some brilliant students, grammatically talking, but when they have develop a speech, they get lost because they don't know different words, they've just focused on grammar. That's why today we're gonna have a chat about it. Some of my students are always curious when the subject is food. How they can say "mandioca" or even "inhame" in English, it's very funny sometimes!
Now we're gonna see the "berries family". And I wanna suggest you to try to create mental sentences using these words.]
 Merrian Visual Dictionary

Merrian Visual Dictionary
See ya later and I hope it can help you!

AT x IN x ON

Prepositions of Time and Place, it´s very easy !
Take a look:

horas = AT TEN O’CLOCK
período do dia = AT NIGHT
fim de semana (BrE) = AT THE WEEKEND, feriados = AT CHRISTMAS AT EASTER etc.

períodos do dia = ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON
fim de semana (AmE) = ON THE WEEKEND

estações do ano = IN THE WINTER
anos = IN 1998



ponto (geralmente locais públicos) = AT HOME, AT SCHOOL, AT THE BUS STOP, AT THE AIRPORT, AT A PARTY, AT WORK etc.
endereço completo = AT 138 CHESTNUT ST., AT 90 BURNHILL RD., AT 179 PARK AVE etc

transporte público = ON THE BUS, ON THE PLANE, ON THE SUBWAY, ON THE TRAIN etc.