The uniqueness of humans?


Millenials -the trials and tribulations of Generation Z

10 tips to learn new English vocabulary

I’m from Mexico and for me studying a new language here in Edinburgh wasn’t easy at the beginning!  Every time I wanted to learn a new word I was trying to memorize it but that wasn’t helpful at all!!  So here are 10 tips that I used to improve my English vocabulary, hoping it will be useful for you:


  1. Try to read every day in the new language (books, newspaper, magazines, etc)
  2. When you identify an unfamiliar word, try to understand the context and then verify the definition in the dictionary
  3. Every time you want to know the meaning of a word, try to use the new language dictionary so you can learn more synonyms
  4. Make a vocabulary diary where you can write the new words and try to read it at least once a day
  5. Create sentences with the new words, write them in post-its and paste them in your room, so you can look at them constantly
  6. When you learn a new word, try to identify if the word can be used as a noun, adjective, verb or adverb, to learn more than one way of using the word
  7. Be curious!!! Every time you don’t know the meaning of a word ask or search for the meaning
  8. Play games that make you use new words
  9. Try to write your favourite songs, this is helpful because every time you sing the song you will remember the meaning!
  10. Dividing words also can help to understand the meaning, for example: Bagpipes=Bag-Pipes

Post by: Mariana Candas

English idioms

What’s an idiom? For a student of English as a second language, it’s something similar to a nightmare. How else can you describe an expression whose meaning has nothing to do with the meaning of its individual words?!


I’m an advanced English student from Spain, so I know first-hand how difficult it is!  From one confused learner to another, I’m going to help you understand some idioms that include plants and flowers:

1. Actually I wasn’t born with green fingers. My plants die quickly.

o   Green: colour

o   Fingers: on the hand

o   Green fingers?


NOOOO! Here’s the definition of “green fingers” by

Green fingers: “considerable talent or ability to grow plants”

Now we can understand the first sentence: in other words, I’m not a great gardener.


2. I have heard he is pushing up the daisies.

o   Push up: move with force to a higher place

o   Daisies: flowers

o   Pushing up daisies?


NOOOO! The definition of “pushing up daisies” by

Pushing up daisies: “dead and buried”

So, the meaning of the second sentence is: he’s dead!!!


3. After 40 years in the company, they put our supervisor out to pasture.

o   Put somebody out: to inconvenience somebody

o   Pasture: grass

o   Put someone out to pasture?


NOOOO! Totally different:

Put someone out to pasture: “to make somebody retire”

It’s clear, isn’t it?

Business Phrases in English

Venture English Business students have listed these 15 phrases as being some of the most important to know in the Business environment.  Hoping this could be useful for you!

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1. A rule of thumb: a personal principle, a gold rule
A good rule of thumb is not to spend more than you have

2. To put it in a nutshell: to summarize the main facts clearly
Let me put the problem in a nutshell

3. To hear it on the grapevine: to hear news because the information has been passed from one person to another
I heard on the grapevine that she was pregnant, but I’m not sure about it

4. A show of hands: means that people raise their hands and vote if they agree with a measure to be taken
Can I have a show of hands for the new plans?

5. Red tape: excessive bureaucracy
Cameron pledges to cut red tape for small business

6. To get the wrong end of the stick: to misunderstand
Her friend saw us arrive together and got the wrong end of the stick

7. Wrap this up: you’ll say a few more things and then the meeting will end
I’m going to wrap this up by saying that I’m very grateful for your assistance

8. To be on the same/a similar wavelength: to think in a similar way
I didn’t need to discuss things in detail because we found we were on the same wavelength

9. Slack off: work lazily
She doesn’t like her new position, and so she has been slacking off recently

10. Be in hot water: be in trouble
He found himself in hot water over his speech about human rights

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11. Can’t make head or tail: to fail to understand anything
We couldn’t make head or tail of the French film, it was impossible to understand

12. To beat around the bush: to avoid coming to the point
Don’t beat around the bush, just tell me how much it´s going to cost.

13. Get the sack: be fired
She got the sack when her mistake was discovered

14. Call it a day: to stop working
I’m tired, let’s call it a day

15. To keep someone in the loop: to keep someone informed
Thanks for the update.  Please keep me in the loop about what happens in the next few days