Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lesson 351--talking about rain

I am sorry that this post is a little late  For many reasons, I just didn't get it done in time.  I had planned to do a lesson on  interesting science words, but then I looked out my window and realized how hard it was raining.

So probably some rain expressions would be useful.
Everyone know the old classic
"It's raining cats and dogs."

However, we really don't use that one any more.  Here are some more useful expressions that you are likely to hear.
  1. It's really coming down out there.
  2. It's raining heavily.
  3. I've never seen so much rain.
  4. It's just like the days of Noah's Ark.
  5. I might need to take a boat to work.
  6. It's really raining.
  7. It's pouring.
  8. You'll get soaked to the bone.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lesson 350--A great expression for crazy.

Out to Lunch
I have already taught you some expressions for crazy, but I think you need another one.  One of my favourites is the phrase "out to lunch".  This is great because the in a different context, this would mean exactly what it says.


A:  Where's Mr. Johnson?
B:  Oh!  He's out to lunch.
A: Please let him know I stopped by.
B:  Absolutely.

Mr.  Johnson is out to lunch and after he has eaten he will return.  However, if we use the phrase in a slightly different context, a person or a plan is described as being crazy or sheer lunacy.


I can't believe we are following that person.  She is completely out to lunch.

There is no way that plan will work.  His idea is so far out to lunch I don't know what to say.

Everyone though Gregory was out to lunch when he spent all that money on a car.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Lesson 349--talking about schedules

English has lots of ways to say that we are late.  My two favourite are behind schedule and playing catch-up.  Both of these expressions can be used when we are not on schedule.


I was late for work this morning and have been playing catch-up all day.

Greg was two weeks behind schedule and his boss was very unhappy.

The product launch was way behind schedule and there was a lot of tension in the office.

Because Marion was always playing catch-up with her projects, she was fired.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lesson 348--an expression with lead

Monday's lesson (347) was an interesting one.  It got me thinking about related expressions that I should teach you.

one thing led to another

This expression is used when we want to explain that a bunch of things happened to lead to some conclusion, but that we are not going to explain all of them.  We are going to edit the chain of events and just tell you what happened in the end.

*remember lead is an irregular verb


Johnny met Irene at a party and one thing led to another and now he and Mary have broken up.

We started talking and one thing led to another and now we are seeing each other.

I wasn't planning on going out last night but I met a friend for coffee and one thing led to another....and now I have a massive hangover.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lesson 347--Chain of Events

The goal of English Chunks is to teach you chunks of English that you can go out and use immediately.  Hopefully, you find these phrases useful.  Today's phrase is no exception.  Today's phrase is:

Chain of events

The meaning of this phrase is that a bunch of events are linked together.  One event causes the next one, and that event causes the next one after that.


I told one lie and that chain of events got me fired from my job.

His actions started a chain of events that led to the start of a war.

If we examine the chain of events, we will find who is responsible.
What is the chain of events in the following crash?  Feel free to write your answer in the comment section.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lesson 346--Important Expressions

There are times when you aren't paying attention.  Usually, like my students, you are paying attention to your phone or your computer.  Other times you aren't really paying attention to anything in particular.  We have some great expressions in English to explain that.  They include:

staring into space


zoning out

Examples using the phrases

Daren's parents yelled to get his attention when he started daydreaming.

"I'm sorry.  I zoned out for a moment.  What did you say?"

Mellissa thought her boyfriend was listening to her but actually he was just staring into space.

"Stop daydreaming and focus!" the teacher yelled.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lesson 345--Canadian Vocabulary

Being a patriotic, I sometimes feel it is important to teach you words or phrases that are uniquely Canadian.  I don't know if this word is only used in Canada, but I am sure it fits in with our culture of hockey.

rink rat = a person who spends a lot of time at the hockey arena.  They could be watching games, playing games, even working there.  If you are looking for them, the first place you would look is the arena.


Jimmy is such a rink rat.  He's always at the arena even when he isn't playing.

Those rink rats never go home.