Sunday, 7 April 2013

How to be successful?


I believe we all ask ourselves this question sooner or later. What does it take to be successful in life? Does it mean to be famous and renowned? Does it mean to be happy and satisfied with your life? Is it needed at all? My students created a presentation answering this question: "How to be successful in life". They presented it at the contest of translators which was held between several Universities of Russia recently. To my mind, they managed to answer the question about the key to success in the best possible way. So here is their explantion to the topic and at the bottom of the page is the presentation itself. The persmission to use their materials for this blog was kindly given to me by the creators of the presentation. I hope you will enjoy and will find advice useful to follow in order to reach your goals and become succcessful in life.

"How to be successful in life"
  • This question concerns every person nowadays.  A lot of people believe they are successful. It’s interesting that those who are wealthy, popular and powerful don’t consider them to be prosperous. But those who are not…think they are successful. Why? Have you ever thought about it?
  • According to the survey which took place in Russia this winter 60% of respondents consider themselves  successful. Moreover, 41% of them are “absolutely satisfied with their life” and 19% are “almost successful”. We decided to find the key to success. And we did it.
  •  There are a number of components of being successful. We would like to share them  with you.
  • Passion – You should have a great passion for what you do. Do it for love, not money. If you do it for love – the money comes anyway. If you do it without free will, you will never be happy or  successful in your business and life.  As Emerson said “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”. 
  • Practice – Nothing comes to you easily. You should practice every minute you have and work at self-improvement. You should expand your possibilities and develop your skills. Practicing will make you stronger.
  • Focus – Don’t fritter away.  Every day is a barrage of suggestions, concepts and proposals. Most get lost in the shuffle and too many are forgotten. But one remarkable idea is going to spread, change the world. This idea can be yours if you focus on the right one. Focus on one idea at a time.
  • Take your time -  We as economists realize nowadays that time is the main resource that you can invest into your success. We shouldn’t waste our time - we should allocate it rationally. 
  • Persistence -  Be persistent! Don’t be afraid to fail. A failure is just an experience which makes you stronger. Never give up. No matter how many times you fall, it's important how many times you get up. Anyway you should be able to move on. 
  • Dream - Every day is another chance to make your dream come true and take small steps to realize it.  Dream. Never give up dreaming. Dream until your dreams come true. Make the plan of achieving your dream and follow it step by step. Just a simple word can lead you to great success. 
  • Believe in your success – You are perfect, you are successful right now. Believe in it. Believe in yourself and there will come the day when others will have no choice but to believe in you. Believe in yourself and stand for your dream. Even in the midst of difficult times you need to maintain confidence that  you can achieve what you want. Don’t take very much to heart if someone says you'll  fail.
  • A fresh start. If something goes wrong YOU can always have a FRESH START.  You have your own way to success. 
This is how we see the way to success. You can follow it, or not. You should understand that everybody have their own ways. You should realize what you really want and listen to your heart. But still never loose your face.
Thank you for your attention!

http://prezi.com/sfejlhiynuwn/how-to-be-succesful-in-life/


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Pretty as a picture



Hello dear learners of English! Greetings to all those who are enchanted by the beauty of this wonderful language and want to always improve. I decided to write a couple of posts on adjectives. Let’s see how it goes.
To begin with I would like you to have a look at this task and make guesses about the right answers.
Which of the phrase (s) can finish the sentence correctly?
A ….as cold as ice.
B….. cold as ice.
C …..as small as a cupboard.
D…… small as cupboard.

The correct answer is – all phrases but D are correct. If you thought B is incorrect as well, than I would like to give you a quick explanation why you are wrong. As explained in Practical English Usage by  Michael Swan: “We  use the structures as….as… in a lot of traditional comparative expressions: as cold as ice, as black as night, as hard as nails, the first as can be dropped in these expressions in an informal style”.
You see that sometimes even when we think we know it all we actually don’t. It is great to always be able to learn something new.

Recently I came across a wonderful song by an Australian singer Lenka which can help you  practice this construction in a fun way with music. I am a fan of music, remember?
So while listening to this song, please fill in the gaps with the words you hear.


"Everything At Once"

As sly as a ……., as strong as an ……
As fast as a ……., as brave as a ……...
As free as a ……., as neat as a ……
As quiet as a ……, as big as a …….

All I wanna be, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything

As mean as a ……., as sharp as a ……
As deep as a ……., as dark as the ……
As sweet as a ……., as right as a …….
As long as a ……., as ugly as a …….

As pretty as a …….. hanging from a fixture
Strong like a …….., strong as I wanna be
Bright as …., as light as …….
As hard as ……., as grand as a ……..

All I wanna be oh, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything
Everything at once
Everything at once, oh
Everything at once

As warm as the ……, as silly as …….
As cool as a ……, as scary as the ……
As hot as ….., cold as ……
Sweet as sugar and everything nice

As old as ……, as straight as a …….
As royal as a ……., as buzzed as a ……
As stealth as a ……, smooth as a glider
Pure as a ……….., pure as I wanna be

All I wanna be oh, all I wanna be, oh
All I wanna be is everything
Everything at once

Did you manage to find the expressions with as….as…. and without the first as that were mentioned above? I hope so. Have you had fun while listening to the song? I hope it will help you remember the expressions better. Good luck with learning!
The answers are here:
 http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/lenka/everythingatonce.html

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

You are amazing



Hello dear all! I hope everyone is doing fine and you are ready to learn some English. WE all feel happy or sad once in a while. Sometimes we don’t know the words in English to express how we feel. In my opinion, it is very important to know several adjectives which will help you to express your feelings. So today I am going to introduce you to adjectives with positive meaning and to these with negative meaning. I hope you will be able to make a good use of them.

Positive meaning adjectives:
Great – великолепный, превосходный, замечательный
Pleasant – приятный
Pleasurable - доставляющий удовольствие; приятный
Lovely -   красивый; очаровательный; прекрасный
Amazing - удивительный; поразительный; изумительный
Magnificent - великолепный; блистательный; роскошный; изумительный
Marvelous - чудесный; прекрасный
Beautiful - красивый
Pretty – красивый, привлекательный, симпатичный
Handsome – красивый, привлекательный (о мужчине)
Attractive – привлекательный
Ravishing – восхитительный; очаровательный; обаятельный; упоительный
Stunning - восхитительный; замечательный;
Awesome – классный, замечательный, отличный, превосходный
Terrific - волнующий; замечательный
Sublime – потрясающий, впечатляющий, величественный, совершенный
Outstanding – исключительный
Gorgeous - божественный
Wonderful – удивительный, восхитительный
Cool - классный
Eye- popping - потрясающий; сногсшибательный
Fantastic - изумительный; потрясающий
Hilarious – прикольный, смешной, забавный
Breathtaking - поразительный, захватывающий, потрясающий.
Tasty - вкусный
Delicious – очень вкусный, изысканный, прелестный
Negative meaning adjectives:
Terrible - ужасный
Horrible – ужасный, противный
Nasty – противный, мерзкий
Awful – ужасный, Страшный, отвратительный
Disgusting - отвратительный
Appalling - ужасающий; ужасный; потрясающий; отталкивающий; отвратительный
Horrifying – ужасающий; приводящий в ужас; шокирующий
Ugly –   безобразный; уродливый; неприятный
Abominable – ужасный; безобразный; омерзительный; отталкивающий;
Repulsive - отвратительный
Detestable – отвратительный, отталкивающий, мерзкий
Unpleasant - неприятный

Idioms meaning “to be happy”:
1) To be on cloud nine – быть на седьмом небе (to be in a state of blissful happiness) Example: The newly-weds seemed to be on cloud nine.
2) To be walking on air – to feel happy and excited because of a pleasant event that makes you feel as if you are floating.  Example: Sophie has been walking on air since her painting won the first prize.
3) To be in seventh heaven – to be extremely happy. Example: Every time she wins a match, she's in seventh heaven!
4) To be over the moon – to be very happy. Example: When she heard that she passed the exam, Caroline was over the moon!
5) To jump for joy – to express happiness through excited movements and gestures.Example: The player jumped for joy when he scored the winning goal.
6) To be tickled pink – to be very pleased about something. Example: Jane was tickled pink every time she heard compliments from colleagues.
7) To paint the town red – to go out and enjoy a lively evening in bars, night-clubs, etc. Example: To celebrate the victory, the team's supporters painted the town red.
8) in raptures - delighted or very enthusiastic. Example : Caroline is in raptures about her new apartment.

Idioms which mean “to be sad, unhappy”
1) To be out of sorts - to feel a bit upset and depressed. Example‘You look a bit out of sorts today’.
2) To feel blue - to  feel unwell, mainly associated with depression or unhappinessExample: He was feeling blue these days, something was bothering him.
3) To feel off colour - to be not quite at one’s best, to feel slightly ill. Example: “She’s a little off colour today because she was up very late last night and had too much to drink!.”
4) To be down in the mouth - to look unhappy, discouraged or depressed. Example: You look a bit down in the mouth.  What's the matter?
5) To be down in the dumps - to be depressed or feeling gloomy. Example: Alex has been down in the dumps since he failed his exam.
6) heart sinks - to feel very unhappy and despondent. Example: My heart sank when I saw the amount of work waiting for me.
7) to be under the weather – to feel not very well. Example: You look a bit under the weather.  What's the matter?
8) get out of bed on the wrong side to be ill-tempered from the start of the day. Example: Ann was under the weather the whole day- she must have got out of bed on the wrong side.
Now to get back to happy mood after discussing “being under the weather” and “ off colour”  I would  like you to listen to this wonderful song. I hope you will feel encouraged to learn more English after listening it. And whenever you are down in the mouth- listen to it and you will be tickled pink.

It’s amazing- Jem
Do it ……. , you know who you are
You feel it in your ……….
And you're …………………. and ……………….. At first, wait, won't get it on a ……………
You’re gonna have to work for it
……………….   and …………… And I know ‘cause I've been there before
……………………………..on the doors with rejection
And you'll see ‘cause if it's …………………….to be
Nothing can ………………………..  to deserving your dream It's ……………………, it's ……………………..
All that you can do
It's…………………………….., makes my ………………….sing
Now it's up to you …………………………………..  , now frustrations in the air
And people who don't care
Well, it's gonna get you down And you'll fall, yes you will hit a wall
But get ………… on your feet
And you'll be ……………………  and ……………… And I know ‘cause I’ve been there before
……………………………..  down the doors, won't take no for an answer
And you'll see ‘cause if it's …………………. to be
Nothing can ……………………….to deserving your dream It's………………………., it's …………………..
All that you can do
It's……………………………….., makes my ……………………..sing
Now it's up to you Don't be…………………, don't be ……………………
Don’ t let your dreams ………………..away
…………………………………  using your gift
…………………………………. has a gift Never give up, never let it die
……………………… your instincts and most importantly
You've got nothing to lose
So just go for it It's………………..  , it's ………………..
All that you can do
It's…………………….  , makes my ……………………. sing
Now it's up to you It's………………….  , it's ……………………………
All that you can do
It's…………………….., makes my …………………….sing
Now it's up to you

Monday, 14 January 2013

Weather idioms and songs


Hello again, friends. Nice seeing you here. Today we will continue talking about the weather. I have some idiomatic expressions to suggest which contain words from the “weather” vocabulary in them. Sadly enough many of us know only one weather idiom which is “it’s raining cats and dogs” and it means “it is raining heavily” (for those who might not know it). Probably all of us have learned it at school at some point and it got stuck in our head. Truth to be said- this very expression is not frequently used by native speakers nowadays. There are many more idioms which are not so known to learners but more widely used by natives. Let us look at some of them:

1) Fair-weather friend = someone who acts as a friend when times are good, and is not there when you are in trouble, is called.
Example: I thought I could count on Bill, but I've discovered he's just a fair-weather friend.
2)   Come rain or shine = under any circumstances. Example: Don’t worry, I will be there come rain or shine.
3) For a rainy day = for a time when you will need it. Example: I am saving money for a rainy day.
4) To shoot the breeze = to talk casually about this and that. Example: we sat around the table drinking tea and shooting breeze.
5) To take a rain check = to be unable to do or buy something now but willing to do it later. Example: Thanks for inviting me to lunch, but I am busy today. Can I take a rain check?
6) Under the weather = feeling somewhat sick. Example: I had to stay home today instead of joining my friends for a picnic. I felt a bit under the weather.
7) To steal someone’s thunder = to take the credit or receive praise for something someone else did. Example: He did all the hard work and Mary just stole his thunder and got the appreciation of their co-workers.
8) To be snowed under = to be a lot of things to do and to be unable to cope. Example: With the 'flu epidemic, doctors and nurses are completely snowed under.
9) To chasе rainbows = to try to get something you will never obtain. Example: She's trying to get into Oxford, but I think she's chasing rainbows.
10)To rain on someone’s parade = to spoil someone’s plans. Example: (check the song № 6 in the Best Weather Songs list)
Weather topic is depicted in the songs as much as it is in the idioms. Here is the Top 10 Weather Songs List. Some songs have many words on the topic in their lyrics, others just a few – but all the songs are nice and I hope you will enjoy them. When listening to the songs please pay attention to the words and expressions on the topic weather. And one more thing – I really like Glee TV show – so if the song also has a Glee version – I will mark it in brackets.
Have fun with English!
Top 10 Weather Songs.
1) “Singing in the rain” 
2) “Walking on sunshine” (+Glee version)
3) “Somewhere over the rainbow” (+ Glee version)
4) “It’s raining men” – Geri Halliwel
5) “Rain is a good thing” – Luke Bryan
6) “Don’t rain on my parade” – Barbara Streisand (+ Glee version)
7) “Baby, it’s cold outside” (+ Glee version)
8) “You are my sunshine” - Johnny Cash
9) “Let it snow” – Dean Martin (+ Glee version)
10)I love the rain- The Real Tuesday Weld 

These are by no means all the songs about weather, there are many more. Feel free to add more in the comments please.
Here is the link to the playlist of the best Weather Songs i chose - if you have anything to add - please feel free to write in the comments :)


Whatever the weather




Good time of the day to all those who are passionate about learning English. How is it going for everyone? I hope your day is as bright and sunny as it can be. And today I would like to talk about the weather. We all know the rhyme about the weather which we learned at school:
Whether the weather is fine,
Or whether the weather is not,
Whether the weather is hot,
Or whether the weather is cold,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.
The idea of the rhyme is that no matter how changeable the weather is – we will still be happy with it. The weather topic is a rather popular topic of conversation in Britain. There are many explanations of this fact. The first and the simplest explanation is just that it is a safe topic to talk about which does not touch upon personal life of people. Secondly, the weather in the UK is so changeable that people like to talk about it and mention how it was minutes ago and how it is now. There are also explanations about how many different topics used to be considered inappropriate for delicate female ears some long time ago and the weather was one of the few topics which was not risky or inappropriate to discuss. Generally, British people are very polite and respectful, so discussing anything personal has often been frowned upon. When asked “How are you” they never start going about their problems or getting emotional. Therefore, discussions about the weather are considered to be the easiest topic to be sociable and friendly without getting into emotional distress. No matter what reason, the result stays the same, the weather is a popular topic of conversation. So we can’t leave it unnoticed and today let’s learn some vocabulary which will help you sound nice and knowledgeable in this topic J
Learners of English can be confused about what can be discussed about the weather. Usually they have very few words in their active vocabulary to be able to sustain a decent weather talk. Let’s try change the situation by enlarging the weather vocabulary.
Cold weather:
Chilly  = прохладно, зябко
Freezing = холодно (при температуре ниже 0)
Cool = прохладно, но приятно
Brisk= свежо
Frosty = морозно
Blizzard = метель, снежная буря
Snowdrifts = снежные заносы, сугробы.
Thaw = оттепель, таяние
Slush = талый снег, слякоть
To melt = таять
Warm/hot weather:
Muggy = сырой и теплый, душный
Stifling = душный
Scorching = очень жаркий, знойный
Boiling = очень жарко (обычно негативно)
Mild = мягкий, умеренный
Heat wave = период сильной жары
Draught = засуха
Wet weather:
The wet weather scale:
Damp àdrizzle à pour down (verb)/downpour (noun) à torrential rain à flood
Damp = влажный, сырой
Drizzle = мелкий дождь, изморось
Downpour = ливень, Проливной дождь
Shower = ливень
Torrential rain = проливной, ливневый дождь
Flood =половодье
Thunderstorm (to thunder) = гроза
Lightning = молния
Hail (hailstones) = град
Talking about the sky:
Clear (clear sky)/not a cloud in the sky = ясно, на небе ни облачка
Cloudless = безоблачно, ясно
Sunny = солнечно
Overcast = покрытый облаками
Cloudy ´= облачно
Mist and fog:
Haze/hazy = туманный, подернутый дымкой (usually caused by heat)
Mist/misty = туманный, мглистый (often on the sea, or caused by drizzle)
Fog/foggy = туманный (quite thick associated with cold weather)
Smog = смог (mixture of fog and pollution, smoke +fog)
Wind:
Breeze (gentle breeze) = легкий ветерок
Blustery = ветреный
Windy = ветреный
Gale = сильный ветер, шторм
Hurricane = ураган
Have a look at a common weather talk and notice how the words from above are used there:
The talk in the  last link is more colloquial. 
I hope you were able to add new words to your active vocabulary and from now on the weather talk will be as enjoyable for you as any other topic.
Have fun with English!