English Expression: Hammar out the details

English Expression: Hammar out the details

English Expression: Hammar out the details. Although this expression sounds a bit strange, it’s actually used quite often. If you hammer something like a glass cup, it breaks down into many little pieces. So, the expression means we are going to figure out all the little details.

HAMMER OUT THE DETAILS

  • to discuss something in detail in order to come to an agreement
    • So, we know that we are going to Malaga this summer, but we still need to hammer out the details.
    • The course starts this Saturday but they still haven’t hammered out the details.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expression: Hammar out the details, take a look at our other Expression Session Posta:
Expression Session: Catch someone’s eye
Expression Session: A ballpark figure

Learning and Using English Expressions

There are so many expressions in every language. Not living in an English speaking country can make it difficult to learn all of them. Here are some tips on how to learn and use English expressions.

  • Read – books and articles are full of English expressions. So, take advantage of them. Choose a book that is challenging but easy enough to enjoy. You don’t have to look up every word. Try to understand the meaning from the context.
  • Watch TV series in English – I know it can be difficult sometimes. You get home late and at the end of the day you just want to relax. Well, start watching something at breakfast or lunch time. Don’t leave it for the end of the day. Small hint – comedies use more colloquial language so it can be harder to understand. Find a story that is easy to follow and doesn’t jump around a lot.
  • Listen to podcasts – there are so many podcasts out there that are quite short. Look for ones that are 3 to 10 minutes, then work your way up to 20 minutes.
  • Try to use the expressions we post weekly in a conversation. Not having conversations in English? Think about how you could use it in a conversation in your own language. You don’t have to say it out loud, but you can think about how to use it.
  • Make a mind map! If you’re a visual learner, make a map of the expressions, separating them into categories.

Good Luck!

English Expression: Catch someone's eye

English Expression: Catch someone’s eye

English Expression: Catch someone’s eye. This expression has two meanings and eventhough they look similar, there are some important differences.

CATCH SOMEONE’S EYE

  • to get someone’s attention.
  • For this definition, ‘catch someone’s eye’ can be replaced with ‘get someone’s attention’.
    • Can you try to catch the waiter’s eye? or Can you try to get the waiter’s attention?
    • He’s been trying to catch her eye all night. or He’s been trying to get her attention all night.
  • something noticeable, usually pleasant.
    • Wow! Her earrings really catch your eye, don’t they?
    • I love the colors you have chosen for the walls. They really catch your eye.
  • If we replace the previous sentences with ‘get your attention’, it sounds as if you do not like them because they are too loud. Getting attention in this way in English is not usually seen as positive.
  • Tone can make a big difference here.

ENGLISH EXPRESSIONS

Now that you have learned about English Expression: Catch someone’s eye, have a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: a ballpark figure
Expression Session: be on equal footing

CURSOS INGLES

En la Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de la Cámara de Alava, hay clases de inglés para todos los niveles y necesidades. Ponte en contacto con nosotros para encontrar una clase para ti.

English: decimal point vs comma

English decimal point vs comma

English decimal point vs comma. Putting a decimal point instead of a comma can make thousands of dollars of difference. So, let’s make sure we get it right.

MONEY

  • In English, commas are used after every three digit position to the left of the decimal point.
  • A decimal point is a period (in US English and) or a full stop (British English)
  • The decimal point separates the dollars and cents.
  • To learn more about how to say large numbers, click here.

COMMAS

  • Just like in money, we write and say large whole numbers in the same way.
  • a comma will always indicate a separation between hundreds, thousands, millions, and so on.
  • 10,001 – ten thousand and one
    • They sent us an extra piece, so now we have ten thousand and one pieces all together.
    • There are over 3,000 (three thousand) people attending the event this weekend.

DECIMAL POINT

  • Anything left of the decimal point is considered to be the whole number.
  • Anything right of the decimal point is called the fractional number
  • This number can be pronounced as:
    • three hundred twenty-one point four five.
    • Three hundred twenty-one and forty-five hundredths

ZERO

  • When using a decimal point, the fractional number zero will be pronounced as ‘oh’.
  • The decimal point will be pronounced as ‘point’.
    • 32.06 – thirty-six point oh six
    • 4.305 – four point three oh five

COMMON MISTAKES

  • In Spanish and many other European languages, the comma and the decimal point are in the opposite positions which causes many problems.
  • So, if you are translating documents, make sure you know which country is going to read the article.
US, UK, ChinaSpain, France, Germany, etc
123,456,789.00123.456.789,00

ENGLISH VOCABULARY

Now that you have seen English decimal point vs comma, have a look at our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: large numbers
Vocab Rehab: Micromanage

In addition to our posts here, follow us on Instagram and Facebook @blogglish to take weekly English quizzes.

English numbers

Large Numbers in English

Numbers in English. I’ve been speaking Spanish for almost 20 years and I still do math in English. But, it is really important to know how to say and write large numbers. One zero can make a complete difference.

HOW TO SAY LARGE NUMBERS IN ENGLISH

  • 0,50 – fifty cents
  • 561.00 – five hundred sixty-one. (British English: five hunder and sixty one)
  • 2,000.00 – two thousand
  • 972,000.00 – nine hundred seventy-two thousand (British English: nine hundred and seventy-two thousand)
  • 9,000,000.00 – nine million
  • 289,000,000.00 – two hundred eighty-nine million (British English: two hundred and eighty nine million
  • 3,000,000,000.00 – three billion

COMMON MISTAKES

DECIMAL POINT

  • Use commas to separate a set of three numbers.
  • A decimal point is used to separate the dollars and the cents.
32,001thirty-two thousand and one
32.001thirty-two point oh oh one

DOLLARS AND CENTS

  • Say dollars before saying the cents or else it can be confusing.
$65,300.06 sixty-five thousand, three hundred dollars and six cents
$65,306.00sixty-five thousand, three hundred and 6 dollars

SINGULAR AND PLURAL

  • we don’t say millions with a specific amount.
400,000.00€four hundred thousand euros
four hundred thousands euros
  • use an ‘s’ to talk about less specific amounts of money
  • when it is a specific number, use a before the number and no ‘s’ on the amount.
Millions of euros are spent every year on street cleaning. a million euros are spent everyear on street cleaning.
Hundreds of billions of dollars are made by pharaceutical companies every month.a hundred billion dollars are made by pharmaceutical companies every month.

English Vocabulary

Now that you have learned about Large Numbers in English, take a look at our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: Micromanage
Vocab Rehab: Lateral Thinking

English Expressions: ballpark figure

English Expressions: ballpark figure

English Expressions: ballpark figure. So many expressions in English come from sports, and this one comes from one of my favorites – baseball. As you can see, a ballpark in baseball (and in most sports) is vast (very big). So, if I ask someone for a ballpark figure, I am asking for an estimation, not something small, precise and exact.

BALLPARK FIGURE

  • An imprecise estimate of what something might cost or any other number.
  • An inexact number
    • Can you tell me how m any people are coming – just a ballpark figure.
    • There are about 250 people coming, but that’s just a ballpark figure. If you want something more exact, I can tell you tomorrow.

A BALLPARK ESTIMATE

  • This expression has the same meaning as ballpark figure.
  • An inexact number.
    • Can you give me a pallpark estimate of how much this new bathroom is going to cost us?
    • At least 5,000€, but that’s a ballpark estimate. It all depends on how much we are changing and so forth.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expressions: ballpark figure, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:

Expression Session: be on equal footing
Expression Session: add fuel to the fire

Cursos Inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de la Cámara de Alava, tenemos cursos de:

  • Business English
  • Preparación de exámenes de Cambridge
  • Preparación de examenes de Oxford Test of English. Somos un centro examinador de Oxford.
  • General English
  • Online and face to face.
English Vocabulary: Micromanage

English Vocabulary: Micromanage

English Vocabulary: Micromanage. Is your boss or your mother a micromanager? They are more common than you think! Click here to read an article from Harvard Business Review to see if you are a micromanager.

MICROMANAGE

  • to control every little detail of a situation
  • to be controlling
    • My parents are trying to micromanage ever decision I’m making and it is difficult to do anything.
    • She has a hunch that her new boss is going to be micromanaging every project.
    • It sounds like your boss doesn’t trust you and that’s why he is micromanaging the situation.

MICROMANAGER

  • the person who tries to control every detail of a situation.
  • a controlling person
    • Every since he got the promotion he has been acting like a micromanager and no one is happy about it.
    • I think my older brother likes being a micromanager and is always asking me where I am going and why.
    • They say that children who grow up in homes with micromanagers are incapable of making their own decisions later in life.

B1 B2 C1 C2 ENGLISH VOCABULARY

Now that you have seen English Vocabulary: Micromanage, take a look at our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: Lateral Thinking
Vocab Rehab: Setback

English Expressions: be on equal footing

English Expressions: be on equal footing

English Expressions: be on equal footing. In a perfect world, we would all be on an equal footing. This means that we would all have the same opportunities and no one would have an advantage. Sounds pretty good, right?

BE ON EQUAL FOOTING

  • to be in a situation where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.
  • when people do not have advantages over others.
    • All schools, public or private, should be on an equal footing.
    • We celebrate International Women’s Day in order for women to be on an equal footing as men in all areas of life.
    • It’s not fair to play against someone so much younger than you. You are not on an equal footing.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expressions: be on equal footing, have a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: fuel to the fire
Expression Session: let your hair down

Cursos Inglés

En la Escuela de Idiomas de Cámara de Comercio de Álava, tenemos cursos para todos los niveles y necesidades.

At the Escuela de Idiomas at the Alava Chamber of Commerce, we have classes for all levels and needs.

  • Business Classes InCompany o online
  • Cambridge, Oxford, EILTS, EOI exam prep
  • General English
English Vocabulary: Lateral Thinking

English Vocabulary: Lateral Thinking

English Vocabulary: Lateral Thinking. Why do we always try to solve problems using the same solutions when we know they won’t work? Most of us think of solutions we know and so it is very difficult to get to a different solution and think outside the box. Lateral Thinking is one way to do this.

LATERAL THINKING

  • Solving a problem by thinking about it in different and original way
    • By using lateral thinking, we can see our problems from a different perspective.
    • Most jobs today are looking for people who know to use lateral thinking to solve problems
  • It is also referred to as Horizontal Thinking
    • In order to solve the puzzle, you need to use horizontal thinking instead of the usualy vertical thinking.
  • To watch an interesting video about Lateral Thinking, click here

ENGLISH VOCABULARY

Now that you have read about English Vocabulary: Lateral Thinking, take a look at our other vocabulary based posts:
Vocab Rehab: setback
Vocab Rehab: hunch

English Courses

In the Alava Chamber of Commerce, we have classes for every level and need. We offer:

  • General English classes
  • Exam Preparation for Cambridge, EOI, Oxford, EILTS, etc
  • Business English
  • InCompany personalized classes
  • online and face-to-face courses available.
English Expression: fuel to the fire

English Expressions: fuel to the fire

English Expression: fuel to the fire. Do you know someone who only likes to make a bad situation worse? We all know someone like this. This expression is for them!

ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE

  • To make a bad situation worse.
    • My daughter was already angry and then her sister came and added fuel to the fire by making fun of her.
    • She showed up late to the interview and, to add fuel to the fire, she wasn’t dressed appropriately.

PUT/THROW FUEL ON/TO THE FIRE

  • Put or throw can also be used in the expression and it has the same meaning.
    • My boss told me I couldn’t have a raise and, to put fuel on/to the fire, he said I have to work late tonight.
    • Don’t throw fuel on the fire! She is already upset about what you said, so just leave her alone.

English expressions

Expressions in any language are an important part of that country’s culture and the way they express themselves. Not only that, expressions form a large part of English Language tests. At Bloglish we offer a range of B1, B2, C1 and C2 expressions to prepare you for the both.

Now that you have seen English Expression: fuel to the fire, take a look at our other Expression Session Posts:
Expression Session: let your hair down
Expression Session: back to back

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: setback

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: setback

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: setback. What you say can have a major impact on how the conversation continues. Instead of telling your boss that there will be a delay or that you have a problem, say that you had some minor setbacks.

SETBACK

  • something that delays a process or prevents progress from happening.
    • It’s just a minor setback. We should have the internet up and running in no time.
    • Production costs are causing major setbacks for our company.

COLLOCATIONS FOR SETBACK

Collocations are words that go together. I highly recommend learning vocabulary with their collocations as you need to learn not only the definition, but how to use the word properly.

ADJECTIVES THAT COLLOCATE WITH SETBACK

  • temporary / initial
  • big / major / serious / severe / minor
  • unexpected
  • economic / financial / military
    • They were planning on opening another office next year, but they are experiencing some economic setbacks.

VERBS THAT COLLOCATE WITH SETBACK

  • experience / suffer
  • receive / dealing with
    • It has been a rough week at work because we are dealing with a number of setbacks.

PREPOSITIONS THAT COLLOCATE WITH SETBACK

  • to
  • for
    • The company is going to suffer setbacks to their future plans for growth.

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary

Now that you have had a look at B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: setback, take a look at our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: hunch
Vocab Rehab: fun vs funny

B1 B2 C1 C2 ENGLISH CLASSES

If you are looking for an English class that meets your needs, please contact us at the Alava Chamber of Commerce (Camara de Comercio, Alava)

English expressions: let your hair down

English expressions: let your hair down

English expressions: let your hair down

English expressions: let your hair down. We often associate someone with their hair tied back to be uptight (tenso/nerviosa) and someone who LET’S THEIR HAIR DOWN to be fun and flexible. Which one are you?

LET YOUR HAIR DOWN

  • to allow yourself to behave freely and have fun
    • The thing I enjoy most about Carnival is that you can really just let your hair down for the weekend and have fun.
    • She’s really looking forward to letting her hair down at the wedding.
  • often used when you want to tell someone to stop being so serious.
    • Carol, let your hair down and enjoy the evening.
    • Can we please just let our hair down today?
  • To criticize someone who is too serious.
    • He can never just let his hair down for one night.
    • Why can’t the bosses let their hair down for the Christmas party?

English Expressions

Now that you have learned English expressions: let your hair down, take a look at our other Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: back to back
Expression Session: shed light on something

English Courses

In the Cámara de Comercio de Alava (Alava Chamber of Commerce) we have a series of classes designed for adult learners.

  • Business English classes (online and face-to-face)
  • Exam Preparation classes (EOI, Oxford, Cambridge)
  • General English
    • Maintain your level with an advanced C1/C2 course
    • Learn English to travel, communicate and for enjoyment
English Vocabulary: hunch

B1 B2 C1 English Vocabulary: hunch

B1 B2 C1 English Vocabulary: hunch. Have you ever had that bad feeling about something but didn’t know why? Maybe you just couldn’t put your finger on it. We could also say, you had a hunch.

HUNCH

  • to have a feeling about something without having any evidence or reason for that feeling.
    • I have a hunch that he’s lying to me.
    • I have a hunch that she may be pregnant.

ANOTHER MEANING FOR HUNCH

  • to lean forward with your shoulders and a rounded back.
    • Ballerinas are taught to stand tall and straight and not to hunch.
    • People have neck problems because they are always hunched over their phones.

English Vocabulary

Now that you have learned about B1 B2 C1 English Vocabulary: hunch, take a look at our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: jeopardize
Vocab Rehab: fun vs funny

Cursos Inglés / English Course

En la Cámara de Comercio de Alava tenemos cursos de todos tipos.

  • Business English – cursos online y presencial
  • Cursos de preparación de examenes Cambridge, Oxford y EOI – cursos anuales y intensivos
  • General English – aprender inglés en un ambiente relajado y a tu ritmo

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English expressions: back to back

English expressions: back to back

English expressions: back to back. Learning expressions in English is just as important as learning basic vocabulary. Maybe you won’t be using the expressions, but your native counterparts will! So, it’s important to know what they are referring to. This is a perfect example. This is how we say ‘seguido‘ in English.

BACK TO BACK

  • When things occur one after the other without any breaks or interruptions.
    • I have two exams on Monday back to back.
    • Baskonia has had back to back victories in the Euro League
    • I can’t meet you until late on Friday because I have to doctor appointments back to back and I don’t know what time I’ll finish.
  • The literal meaning of back to back is to be sitting close together with your backs touching and looking in opposite directions.
    • I asked the kids to sit back to back with their eyes close to start the game.
    • The sisters stood back to back to see who was taller.
    • Sometimes we do exercises in pairs at gym class and we either face one another or stand back to back and pass the medicine ball to each other.

English Expressions

Now that you have learned about English expressions: back to back, have a look at our Expression Session posts:
Expression Session: shed some light on something
Expression Session: call it a day

English Vocabulary: fun vs funny

English Vocabulary: fun vs funny

English Vocabulary: fun vs funny

Post bilingue. English Vocabulary: fun vs funny. One of the most common mistakes in English is the difference between fun and funny.

Uno de los errores más comunes en inglés es la diferencia entre fun y funny.

FUN / DIVERTIDO

adjective / adjetivo

  • Someone who is enjoyable to be with / Alguien con quien es agradable estar
I always have such a good time with him. He’s so fun. Siempre me lo paso muy bien con él. Es tan divertido.
Her friends are so fun and creative. Sus amigos son muy divertidos y creativos.
  • Something that gives enjoyment or pleasure / Algo que da disfrute o placer
We had such a fun time at the concert.Nos lo pasamos muy bien en el concierto.
There were lots of people there and really
fun music.
Había mucha gente y la música era muy divertida.

noun / sustantivo

  • An uncountable noun / Sustantivo incontable
  • Meaning enjoyment or pleasure / Que significa disfrute o placer
Have fun tonight!¡Diviértete esta noche!
She said it was fun.Ella dijo que fue divertido

FUNNY / GRACIA, GRACIOSO, DIVERTIDO, RARO

adjective / adjetivo

  • Someone who makes you laugh or makes jokes / Alguien que te hace reír o bromea
Kelly is so funny. She is always making jokes.Kelly es muy divertida. Siempre está haciendo bromas.
I know everyone like that comedian, but I just don’t find him funny. Sé que a todo el mundo le gusta ese cómico, pero a mí no me hace gracia.
  • Something that makes you laugh or is humorous / Algo que le haga reír o tenga humor
John always loves telling funny jokes.A John siempre le gusta contar chistes divertidos.
I don’t think it is funny when someone falls. No me hace gracia cuando alguien se cae.
  • funny can also mean something strange, surprising or uncomfortable. / divertido también puede significar algo extraño, sorprendente o incómodo.
Wasn’t is funny how he introduced himself 3 times? ¿No fue gracioso cómo se presentó 3 veces?
There’s something funny going on in that house. Algo raro pasa en esa casa.
We need a new oven. It’s making funny noises. Necesitamos un horno nuevo. Hace ruidos raros.
I feel a bit funny about taking money from him. It doesn’t seem right. Me siento un poco raro por aceptar dinero de él. No me parece bien.
  • to feel ill / sentirse mal o raro
I can’t go tonight. My throat is feeling a bit funny. No puedo ir esta noche. Me duele la garganta.
My stomach feels funny. I think it was something I ate. Mi estómago se siente raro. Creo que fue algo que comí.

COMMON MISTAKES WITH FUN AND FUNNY / ERRORES COMUNES CON FUN Y FUNNY

As you can see, funny and fun can both mean divertido in Spanish. This is where most mistakes are made. We do NOT use funny to say enjoyable. As you can see in the examples below, in Spanish the translation of the two sentences are the same, but the meaning in English is different. Remember, funny can sometimes mean strange and this is what it sounds like in English.

Como puedes ver, funny y fun pueden significar divertido en español. Aquí es donde se cometen más errores. NO usamos funny para decir agradable. Como puede ver en los ejemplos siguientes, en español la traducción de las dos frases es la misma, pero el significado en inglés es diferente. Recuerda que funny a veces puede significar strange y así es como suena en inglés.

wrong / mal:Thank you for such a funny time. Gracias por un rato tan divertido.
correct / correcto:Thank you for such a fun time. Gracias por un rato tan divertido.
wrong / mal:It was funny skiing this weekend.Fue divertido esquiar este fin de semana.
correct / correcto:It was funny skiing this weekend.Fue divertido esquiar este fin de semana.

Can something be fun and funny? / ¿Algo puede ser fun y funny?

It is true that sometimes something can be fun and funny. Maybe the something funny happened while skiing. In order to use funny properly in that sentence, we need to tell the funny story. For example: It was funny when I fell on top of that really attractive man while skiing this weekend. If not, the sentence ‘It was funny skiing this weekend’ sounds like it was strange, not ‘divertido’.

Es cierto que a veces algo puede ser divertido y gracioso. Puede que ese algo graciosa ocurriera mientras esquiábamos. Para utilizar funny correctamente en esa frase, tenemos que contar la historia divertida. Por ejemplo: Fue gracioso cuando me caí encima de ese hombre tan atractivo mientras esquiaba este fin de semana. Si no, la frase ‘It was funny skiing this weekend‘ suena como si fuera extraña, no divertida.

English Vocabulary

Now that you have seen English Vocabulary: fun vs funny, take a look at our other Vocab Rehab Posts:
Vocab Rehab: Jeopardize
Vocab Rehab: Venture

English Expressions: Shed light on something

English Expressions: Shed light on something

English Expressions: Shed light on something. Are you going around in circles in a meeting or with your family on a whatsapp group because the person who has all the answers in not responding or is going to arrive late? Stop the needless conversation and simply say, let’s wait for Susan to arrive so she can shed some light on this situation (because we are currently in the dark!).

SHED LIGHT ON THE SITUATION

  • to clarify a situation by providing more information or explanation.
    • We have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow so hopefully she will shed some light on the treatment plan he will have to follow.
    • Now that Jim has shed some light on the situation, let’s start planning the event.
  • like most good expressions, changing your tone of voice can show if you are upset with someone and expecting an explanation for their actions.
    • Your teacher said that you didn’t go to school today. Do you want to maybe shed some light as to why you didn’t go?
    • Would you like to shed some light on the fact that you didn’t turn in the report on time?

THROW/CAST LIGHT ON THE SITUATION

  • Both cast and throw can be used in this expression in place of shed.
  • They both have the same meaning and there is no difference.
    • Thank you for casting some light on the matter. Now I understand.
    • The boss just threw some light on the reason for the change, however, I still don’t agree.

English Expressions

Now that you have seen English Expressions: Shed light on something, take a look at our other Expression Session Posts:
Expression Session: Call it a day
Expression Session: Tie up loose ends

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: Jeopardize

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: Jeopardize

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: Jeopardize. You may be familiar with the common game show, Jeopardy, but do you know what it means and how to use it?

Jeopardize (US) / Jeopardise (UK)

  • This is a difficult work to pronounce: /ˈdʒep.ə.daɪz/. Have a listen to the pronunciation here.
  • to put something at risk of being harmed or damaged
    • By not turning in the documents on time, he really jeopardized our chances of getting the grant.
    • She’s the one who jeopardized their relationship by not being honest.
    • Are you really willing to jeopardize everything that you worked for?

In jeopardy

  • To express that something is in a state of risk or harm, we use the phrase ‘In jeopardy’
    • Thousands of jobs are in jeopardy if the company decides to close.
    • If the animals are left outside in the cold they will be in jeopardy of dying.
    • They may be in jeopardy of losing their house if they can’t make the payments.

B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary

Now that you learned B2 C1 C2 English Vocabulary: Jeopardize, take a look at our other Vocab Rehab posts:
Vocab Rehab: Venture
Vocab Rehab: Used to

Cursos inglés

At the Cámara de Comercio, we have classes for all levels and needs. Contact us at idiomas@camaradealava.com