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Showing posts from May, 2009

How do you say "mais ou menos" in English anyway?

The expression "more or less" is very popular with Brazilians when they want to express the idea "mais ou menos". But is that how we say it in English? Are there situations when we use other expressions?

Running a googlefight on some of the expressions, here is what I came up with:

so-so: 562000000 results X more or less: 146000000 results

kind of: 86500000 results X more or less: 152000000 results

not really: 155000000 results X more or less: 152000000 results

Doesn't help much? Well, we'll have to find examples to make things clearer.

The thing about conditionals

One of the trouble areas for English students from intermediate level up is the use of conditional sentences. More than learning the formula, e.g.

[If + clause in present simple, main clause in future tense]

If Rio is selected to host the 2016 Olympics, it will bring a lot of investment to the city and benefits for the population.

The problems come up when we have mixed conditionals,or when we make reference to a past action which conditioned the result of the present:

If the U.N. had imposed sanctions on North Korea more than two years ago, when their nuclear testing program was still a rumor, then they would not be scrambling to think of how to punish the beloved Leader, Kim Jong-Il.

Having said that, here is an interesting situation - which of these sound more "correct":

If Fran and John got married, they would have lived in Australia forever.

If Fran and John got married, they would be living in Australia forever.

If Fran and John got married, they would have been living in Au…

the Gaggle

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How I feel about Twitter

The latest online social "trend" is called twitter. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, a twitter is a short high sound or a state of excitement. Tell you what, the video explains it much better.

The station's alive with the SOUND OF MUSIC

How did they do that?