Using ‘some’ ‘a few’ ‘a lot’

We use ‘some/few/a lot when describing a quantity we can’t count like flowers in a meadow of clouds in the sky. We also use them when we don’t need to be accurate, for example “I made some cakes.”

They are useful when making a comparison for example:

She had a few colds last winter but this winter she had a lot.

‘A lot’ can be shortened to ‘lots of’

Watch the video lesson here’s: LINK TO LESSON

Here are some more examples:

I’ve been to the theatre a few times this year.

A few of the girls had long hair.

Last year I had a few grey hairs. Now I have a lot.

We only had a few figs on the tree last year but this year we have lots (a lot).

I would like some cherries.

Would you like some wine?

Some of the women wore hats.

I saw lots of poppies in the meadow.

Would you like some bread?

WEATHER IDIOMS

We English must appear to speak in riddles! It’s because we use so many idioms especially weather idioms.

Watch the lesson first and then look at the explanations below.

LINK TO LESSON ON WEATHER IDIOMS

I’m Under the weather: means that I’m not feeling very good. Very well.

I’m snowed under: I’m snowed under with work. I’ve got lots and lots of work to do.

Wall to wall sunshine: A beautiful sunny day with hardly any clouds in the sky.

The heavens opened: It suddenly started to rain very heavily

It’s raining cars and dogs: It’s raining heavily.

Every cloud has a silver lining: something good always comes as a result of something bad. Eg. I missed my bus but I saw an old friend.

I’m as right as rain. I’m feeling great.

I’m on cloud nine: I’m really happy.

Now the same passage WITHOUT the idioms:

I’ve been very busy this week and a bit poorly. Not very well.

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and so I decided to take the day off and go for a walk.

So I packed my picnic and off I went.

I’d just sat down when it started to rain very heavily and I got very wet (drenched).

But, while I was sheltering from the rain I made a new friend.

Now I’m feeling fine and very happy.

It’s not much fun written like this !

That’s why we use idioms. It’s for effect.

MAKE! English Idioms using ‘MAKE’

We use the word ‘make’ in its different forms VERY often and it is very confusing. I hope this video lesson and the notes below will help you to understand.

LINK TO VIDEO LESSON

Make a killing. This has nothing to do with violence! It means to make some money fast!

Make your mouth water: when you see food that looks delicious, it majkes your mouth water.

Make your blood boil: when something or someone has made you very angry you say that it ‘made my blood boil’.

 

Make up you mind: to make a decision. When someone is very undecided we say ‘make up your mind’

 

Make eyes at: this is a mild sort of flirting! It’s like eyes meeting across a crowded room. If you like someone you may ‘make eyes at them’

 

Made my day: when something happens that makes you really happy. If you see a friend that you haven’t seen for a long time. If your boss praises you or gives you a rise. If you bump into a celebrity. It ‘makes your day’.

 

Makeup: makeup can be a noun. It is a collective noun for beauty products like mascara and lipstick. ‘I put on my makeup every morning.’

Make-up: when two people have quarrelled they can ‘make-up’ and become friends again.

 

Make from scratch: when you make something from basic materials. For example ‘ I made a cake from scratch’ means I used flour and eggs and butter. I didn’t use a cake mix.

 

Make the bed: it is what you do every morning. It means to straighten the bedclothes.

 

Make a call: to hone someone

 

Make it in time : to get somewhere in time. Eg. ‘I hope I get to the airport in time ‘ can be said like this: ‘ I hope I make it to the airport in time.’

 

Makeover: this usually applies to females. It’s similar to a car having a service! It refers to having a giving our makeup and hair, and sometimes our clothes, a completely new (and hopefully better) look!

There are more but these are the most common.

Tenses

Present. Past. Future

I am making. I made. I am going to make /I will make

You are making You made. You are going to make/ You will make

He/she/it is making. He made. He/She/It is going to make

We are making. We made. We are going to make.

They are making. They made. They are going to make.

Learn more Verbs. Breakfast English

Some less common verbs today like ‘peck’ and ‘reach’ .

THE LESSON

Peck

A bird pecks at its food.

A kiss on the cheek is called ‘a peck’

PAST:

I pecked

He/she/it pecked

They/Us pecked

Reach

You must reach for the moon if you want to succeed.

I can’t reach the box because it is too high.

Getting an A* in English is within your reach.

PAST

I reached

You reached

He/she/it reached

We / they reached

Take

Please take this letter to the Post Office for me.

Take it to the cashier.

I am going to take the dog for a walk.

You must take your turn in the queue.

PAST

I took

You took

She/He\It took

They/Us took

Play

I am in the play at the theatre.

Will you play a game with me?

Stop playing with your food.

He is playing football tomorrow.

PAST

I was

She/he/it was

You were

They were

We were

Ride

I’m going for a ride on my bike.

She is riding her bicycles.

He is at the Riding Stables.

PAST

I rode

She/he/it rode

They rode

We rode

Swing

I want to go on the swings.

She is swinging very high.

It was a really cool swinging party.

The swinging 60’s

PAST

I swung

He/she/it swung

We /They swung

To play.

Present: I am playing

You/she/he. Is playing

They/we Are playing.

PAST

I played

She/he/it played

They played

We played

.

Using ‘This’ and ‘That’

THIS and THESE

This is singular These is plural.

These and this are used to talk about things which are near in place or time.

Examples:

“Is this your book?”

“Are these your shoes?”

“Do you like this music?”

Or when making a phone call:

“Hello, this is Judi.”

THAT and THOSE

That is singular. Those is plural

That and those are used to talk about things which are not near to us or happened I; the past.

For example:

“Is that your house over there?”

“Did you see that film last night?’

“Who told you that?”

Or when making a phone call you could say, “Is that Michael?”

“Are those your shoes under the chair?”

“I like those flowers in that garden.”

CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE VIDEO LESSON

Yesterday. Talking about the past. Passato Prossimo

This post links with the narrated video (in English) on my channel:

Yesterday was a beautiful day.

In the morning I visited Preggio.

Preggio is fifteen minutes from Castel Rigone by car.

I parked (left) my car in the centre and walked around the town. The streets were narrow and shaded.

It was cold so I left the town and walked into the countryside.

A very large dog ran towards me.

He became my friend for the morning.

The countryside was very beautiful.

The view was incredible.

It was possible to see for miles and miles.

The roads were covered (carpeted) with leaves and fir-cones.

I collected some fir cones for my garden.

I walked for many kilometres and then returned to the town.

The walk was very good for my heart and legs because there were many hills to climb.

I said goodbye to my friend, the dog and got into my car.

I like Preggio very much and will return in a few weeks for the Chestnut Festival.

Here is the Italian translation for Italian learners.

Ieri il tempo era molto bello. Stamattina sono andato visitare a Preggio. Preggio è quindici minute da Castel Rigone in auto.

Ho lasciato la mia macchina al centro e ho passeggiato un po’ per la città.

Le strade erano strette e ombrose.

Erano freddi sono uscita dalla città a piedi e nella campagna dove il sole splendeva.

Una cane grande verso di me. Era il mio amico per la mattina.

La campagna era bellissima. La vista era incredibile .

Si poteva vedere per chilometri.

Gli alberi erano molto colorato.

La strada era coperta di foglie e pigne.

Ho raccolto alcune pigne per il mio giardino.

Ho camminato per molti chilometri e poi tornata in città.

La passeggiata era buona per il mio,cuore e le gambe perché c’erano molte colline da salire.

Ho detto arrivederci la mia amica, al cane, e sono entrato a nella mia macchina.

Mi piace Preggio molto e ritornerò in poche settimane per la Sagra delle Castagne