Friday, December 23, 2011
It's been a long break, because I've been sick, my kids have been sick and things have been very busy. In honor of these unfortunate events, I found an idiom exercise for you online. Finally, a new English exercise!
Please visit this page: http://www.idiomconnection.com/medical.html#BQ
Read through the medical idioms, add them to your own vocabulary list, practice them, and complete the quiz at the bottom of the page.
When you feel comfortable with the idioms, write a story or dialog using 10 of the idioms from the list. Email your story or dialog to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're already a student with us, you can do this as an additional tutored exercise, otherwise you can send us the exercise and test our tutoring for free! A qualified native speaker who is a tutor for Virtualingua will check your work and reply to you personally with corrections, suggestions and further learning tips.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
1. Definitely not all differences between British and American English were mentioned in the article. Do you know some more in vocabulary, pronunciation or grammar?
2. Do you strictly use one form of English in your speaking and writing? Do you use British or American English (or a mix) and why?
3. Are there variations lik this in your native language, either in regions of one country or in different countries where your native language is spoken?
Now here's a little treat for your hard work...a song about "tomaytoes" and "tomahtoes", "potaytoes" and potahtoes". Enjoy!
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
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Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay
Please interpret/describe what you think each child is like and email your description to email@example.com
A tutor will check your writing and send it back to you with comments and learning tips! Do this as tutored exercise or test our tutoring for free today!
Friday, September 16, 2011
A Boy Named Sue-Johnny Cash
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My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue."
Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sue."
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.
Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me "Sue."
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is 'Sue!' How do you do!
Now your gonna die!!"
Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.
And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the name that helped to make you strong."
He said: "Now you just fought one hell of a fight
And I know you hate me, and you got the right
To kill me now, and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But ya ought to thank me, before I die,
For the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye
Cause I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you "Sue.'"
I got all choked up and I threw down my gun
And I called him my pa, and he called me his son,
And I came away with a different point of view.
And I think about him, now and then,
Every time I try and every time I win,
And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him
Bill or George! Anything but Sue! I still hate that name!
1. What do the words in bold (booze, bust, brew, cuss, ought to, get all choked up) in the song mean?
2. Are there other words in the song that are new for you? If yes, which ones?
3. What was the worst thing that the singer's father did?
4. What was the singer's plan for revenge (Rache)?
5. Did he carry out his plan? What did he do?
6. Why should he thank his father?
7. Extra Credit: Do some research online about Johnny Cash and send me a short biography.
Friday, August 12, 2011
What's your opinion on changing language? Do you think there should be some kind of regulation or movement to protect a "pure" form of language? Or do you think it is completely normal and maybe even desirable for language to change with the times? Write to us with your opinion (send it to firstname.lastname@example.org) and get feedback from a live tutor! If you're a student with Virtualingua already, do this as one of your tutored exercises, if not, test our tutoring for free!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
These are not always easy questions to answer. This blog is here to help!
Watch this video from Focus Online, then answer the questions and complete the task below. Send it to your Virtualingua tutor directly as a tutored exercise, or if you're not a student with us yet, send it to us here: email@example.com Try our tutoring for free!
Questions about "Small talk muss nicht sein":
1. What questions or topics did the man ask or talk about that were not necessaryin the first call?
2. When is it appropriate to use small talk? When shouldn't you use small talk?
3. What was better in the second phone call?
4. Now it's your turn: write a phone call about a topic of your choice using small talk correctly.
Talk to you later!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Graffiti, or street art, in Dresden in front of the Militärhistorisches Museum
I know it's criminal, but I get a kick out of graffiti, the creativity that goes into it, the different techniques and the messages it spreads. In Dresden there is a long-established street art scene with a number of artists with distinct styles. It seems that in my home area in Michigan there is also a growing street art scene. Below is an article about some new tags seen in small-town Michigan. Before you read, think about these questions:
1. Is there a lot of graffiti or street art where you live?
2. What's your opinion on graffiti?
Then, read the article and answer these questions:
1. What do the new tags in Mt. Pleasant depict?
2. How many are there?
3. How can this crime be punished?
4. How can this crime be punished where you live?
5. There are, unfortuanately, some grammar, spelling and vocabulary errors in this article. Can you find them? Can you correct them?
After answering these questions, please send your results to firstname.lastname@example.org A native English speaking teacher will correct your answers, give you language tips and send your work back to you. If you are a student with us currently, you can turn this in as a tutored exercise, if you are not yet a student with us, send us your answers and see how you like our tutoring service!
View the Morning Sun page (and this article) here.
NEW: Sesame Street characters tagged in Downtown Mt. Pleasant
Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2011
By RYAN BERLIN
Sun Staff Writer
Bert and Ernie have made their way from Sesame Street to Mt. Pleasant.
Graffiti artists have been tagging a number of areas including both the park system and several downtown buildings.
“It looks like someone is having a little bit of fun,” Mt. Pleasant Police Public Information Officer Jeff Brown said.
“From what I have seen it looks like a stencil but we don’t know who it is...We don’t have any suspects yet.”
Bert and Ernie were found on three different buildings downtown, The Brass Cafe and Saloon, 128 South Main St., LaCross Glass, 309 West Broadway, and at the Broadway Health Services Center on 114 West Broadway.
As inoffensive as spray painted Sesame Street characters are, damage has still been done.
“Whether you like it or not (there is) still damage to their building,” Browne said.
“They have to go and paint it so there is a cost to the individual who they do it to. Iif they put it on anything there is a cost to fix it and bring it back to the way it was.”
Browne understands artistic expression however he believes there is a time and place for it, the streets isn’t it, he said.
The tagging falls under malicious destruction of property which if the cost of damage is under $200 to fix it is a 93 day misdemeanor.
Mt. Pleasant Police are going on foot patrol around areas they believe will be target.
“Also our night patrol and day shifts (are going) to give extra attention to where we think it will go up next and hope to catch him,” Browne said.
“So we have our guys out looking, they are all aware of it. We have some areas that we are targeting and they may hit next.”
Browne is also going to be on the lookout for suspicious things, “Like a guy carrying around a Bert and Ernie stencil,” he said jokingly.
Mt. Pleasant citizens have had mixed emotions on the matter, with a majority of those who commented on our social network page not being very offended or upset.
“Wonderfully artistic! This street art has an impeccably classic art-deco style that focuses on true originality and the inner meaning of our favorite childhood memories,” Jalen Gilbert said.
Stacee Wright thought it was a lot cuter and better than what she normally sees on the High Street Railroads.
Brandon Bogart agrees, ”Better then pot leaves or vulgar language”
Not everybody however cared of the graffiti.
“Graffiti is graffiti, regardless of what is being drawn. As long as I draw cute and fluffy things on my crime spree, does that make it better,” Chad Hill said.
In addition to the police, park rangers are also going to be on the lookout for taggers.
Millpond Park and one of the river bridges have fallen victim to Bert and Ernie.
“We are pretty fortunate,” Brown said.
“Most of the people are pretty good about cleaning it up pretty quick. In my mind they are really good about covering it up, which is important. As a rule of thumb the faster you cover it up the better because you don’t know what they’re tagging it for.”
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Pre-1: Before you read, think about what you already know about this topic. Write a summary of what you already know in English!
During and after reading, answer these questions:
1. What are the symptoms of an EHEC infection?
2. What is special about the current strain of EHEC?
3. How is this bacteria spread?
4. What can you do to avoid an infection with this bacteria?
Read the article here: http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/05/critical_hours_for_e_coli_outb.html
Sunday, May 1, 2011
1. To which two stories does the author compare the royal wedding?
2. How is the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton similar to these stories?
3. What are some things about the royal wedding that served as reminders of Prince William's mother, Princess Diana?
Send your answers to us at email@example.com
Some reading tips: This article is a very high level of English, if you have trouble with it, read it and just try to understand the main points. Some words and phrases may be new or difficult for you, but try not to get stuck on them. First, pull out the main ideas, then you can read it again for detail, and when you read a third time you can look up individual words or phrases in the dictionary.
By MAUREEN DOWD
In the ’70s, feminists found her insipid, waiting in the ashes for her prince. But they didn’t give her enough credit.
Teaming with the spirit of her dead mother, Cinderella cleverly rescues herself from servitude, conjures up her own glittery makeover and then saves the prince from the same torment she endured living with her hideous stepsisters.
The Grimms’ version doesn’t end with any Disneyesque pablum about Happily Ever After. It finishes with a gory Hitchcockian wedding scene featuring two vengeful birds from the grave of Cinderella’s mother: as the bridal party leaves church, the white doves fly from Cinderella’s shoulders to pluck out the eyes of the wicked stepsisters.
Those unsisterly sisters messed with the wrong girl.
In real life, however, many of our Cinderella brides have taken tragic turns — from Jackie Kennedy to Grace Kelly to Carolyn Bessette to the doe-eyed Diana Spencer.
Yet the power of the fairy tale was vividly illustrated once more with the luminous wedding of comely commoner Kate Middleton to a charming Prince William, and a hypnotic new film adaptation of “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Brontë’s gothic take on the Cinderella story.
The enduring fable is a female version of “The Odyssey.” Our heroine, starting with a family disadvantage, faces hypocrisies, cruelties and obstacles on a perilous journey to a thrilling new world, and uses her wits and integrity to triumph.
The newly christened Duchess of Cambridge only had to rise above a middle-class background, the hydra-headed press beast and Will’s understandable hesitation about marriage.
But her task is herculean: to help save a stiff-necked monarchy sent into a shame spiral by Diana’s humiliation and confessions.
A central element of the stories of Cinderella, Jane Eyre and Charlotte Brontë herself was a mystical connection to a mother who died too young. And that was certainly present at Westminster Abbey, but this time the bride lamented the mother-in-law she would never know.
Diana complained that Camilla Parker-Bowles crowded her out of her marriage to Charles. And Camilla (not a wicked stepmother) was in the congregation for William’s wedding as she had been for Diana’s 30 years ago.
But for the throng who turned out to see the Dress and the Kiss, Diana was the more palpable presence, hovering over her sons and Kate.
Prince William chose to have his wedding in the same cathedral where Diana’s funeral was held. He and Harry walked down the same long aisle where as heartbroken boys they followed behind their mother’s coffin.
The first hymn sung at William’s wedding was the last one sung at Diana’s funeral. Kate wore Diana’s sapphire engagement ring and Diana’s older sister Sarah wore the diamond earrings Diana wore at her wedding. Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, remembered by all for his rant against the royal family at her funeral, was seated not with the Windsors but, like the rest of her family, with the Middletons.
You could sense a collective prayer among the spectators that Kate, with her Cinderella coach, Cartier tiara and satin slippers, was not a lamb being led to slaughter. Many assured the invading celebrity journalists that Kate was older and more grounded than the virginal and high-strung 20-year-old who married an older man who loved another woman.
Jane Eyre is not as lovely as Kate Middleton. Charlotte Brontë, who never felt attractive herself, wanted to show her sisters that a plain heroine could be just as compelling as a beautiful one.
Poor little Jane also has a wedding, wearing a beautiful white dress and veil, to the wealthy man of her dreams. When the wedding is shattered by the news that there’s already a Mrs. Rochester, Jane listens to her former master’s anguished explanation about his mad, vampirish wife in the attic.
He begs her to stay and be “my comforter, my rescuer.” When a dazed Jane goes to bed, she looks out the window and sees the moon start to blaze as if “a white human form shone in the azure, inclining a glorious brow earthward. It gazed and gazed on me ... it whispered in my heart, ‘My daughter, flee temptation.’ ”
Jane answers, “Mother, I will,” picks up her slippers and flees Thornfield Hall.
In the end, after Rochester has been widowed and mutilated for his sins, Jane returns. She rescues her dark prince even as he rescues her.
When Rochester first meets Jane, he calls her a “curious” sort of caged bird, “a vivid, restless, resolute” one.
When she returns and sees him blind, with one hand gone, she describes him as a “caged eagle, whose gold-ringed eyes cruelty has extinguished.”
Now on a footing of equality, because she has inherited money and is less dependent on him, and he has lost his mansion and sight and is more dependent on her, they release each other from their cages.
Reader, she marries him. It’s a bare-bones ceremony with only a parson and a clerk present. There’s no coach or tiara. But it’s very much a Cinderella ending.
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on May 1, 2011, on page WK10 of the New York edition with the headline: Who Married Up: The Women or the Men?.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I couldn't resist posting this, I found these photographs quite breathtaking. First of all, they are mesmerizing, since I love old buildings, but secondly, they make me very sad. Detroit was a booming city in the early 20th century, now this fantastic city is falling apart. Personally, I am interested because I come from Michigan and my grandmother grew up in Detroit at the time that it was at its best. I wish I knew more about her youth in the city!
Do you know of any areas in Germany or your home country like this?
Do some research on Detroit and tell me about its good times and its bad times. What caused the shift?
Send us your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org! You'll get an answer with corrections from a live tutor.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Below is a review of the book "Look Me in the Eye!" by John Elder Robison which came out a few years ago. I came across this book last summer while I was on vacation and got it because the cover intrigued me. I've also worked with autistic kids and am curious to learn more about this condition. This book was definitely a good choice! It is a truly fascinating and impressive story of one man's life with autism. John also has a new book out, "Be Different", also on the topic of autism. It describes how he processes the world using lots of examples and gives tips for handling differences in behavior and sensory processing for autistic people and the people around them.After you read the review below, answer these questions:
1. What is John's family like?
2. Who is John's brother?
3. Why did John write this book?
4. How did John learn that he is Aspergian?
5. Would you like to read this book? Why or why not?
6. What was the last book you read? Can you tell me something about it?
A Story of Autism, Hope and Rock 'n' Roll
By Lisa Jo Rudy, About.com Guide
Updated May 13, 2008
"Look Me In the Eye"John Elder Robison
You Should Write a Memoir
Interestingly, Robison decided to write his memoir at the suggestion of his famous brother. Burroughs explains in a forward that each time he did a signing for Running with Scissors, he was approached by readers interested in learning more about John, the brother with Asperger syndrome. Finally, says Burroughs, "I said to [John], You should write a memoir. About Aspergers, about growing up not knowing what you had. A memoir where you tell all your stories. Everything. About five minutes later, he e-mailed me a sample chapter. 'Like this?' was the subject line of the e-mail. Yes. Like that."
Aspergian - Backstage with KISS
As it was, Robison just happened, through a series of lucky accidents, to wind up designing special effects systems first for Pink Floyd and then later for KISS. He rode the rock and roll wave and was right there for the sex, drugs and music. Luckily for Robison, being "Aspergian" also meant a complete lack of interest in sex or drugs, and instead, an engineer's fascination with rock and roll.
In addition to telling a heck of a good story, Robison does a fine job of explaining what it means to think like a person with autism.
In a sample entitled "One with the Machine," he describes an affinity with his special effects and lighting systems that many families living with AS will find familiar. "You've designed it and built it, and now you've become a part of it. It's come alive. Electricity is its food, and you are its brain. You have become one with the machine." Of course, not all "Aspergian" kids are lucky enough to become one with the entire KISS special effects board, but even a Lego Mindstorm kit can become an extension of self to a child on the spectrum.
The later chapters of the book become more analytical and less narrative, with a readership of adults with Asperger syndrome in mind. Robison explains his relationship with small talk, describes his marriage and his connection with his son and discusses the tools he's used to build social skills and a level of "normalcy" with which he's comfortable.
In the end, his take on himself is tremendously encouraging - both for parents and for young adults with Asperger syndrome:
"I'm not defective. In fact, in recent years I have started to see that we Aspergians are better than normal! And now it seems as though scientist agree: Recent articles suggest that a touch of Aspergers is an essential part of much creative genius."
Robison seems to be very open in communicating with his readers. If you're intrigued, you may want to visit him online -- either at his "official" website or at his blog. You can find both at www.johnrobison.com.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
1. What is Mr. Ott's job?
2. What projecs has he worked on?
3. What does he claim to be able to do?
4. Do you think his claims are true? Would you like to try his concoctions?
The Sorcerer of Shaken and Stirredfrom the New York Times
By JEFF GORDINIER
Published: March 15, 2011IT is not unusual for a bartender to offer you something that’s supposed to make you feel good. You might say that’s what the job of making cocktails is about: delivering a brief splash of bliss.
But Alex Ott sees himself as much more than a bartender, and when he talks about making a drinker feel good, what he has in mind tends to be something more specific and lyrical than your run-of-the-mill lightness in the head and looseness in the limbs.
“I can make a cocktail that will take you back 30 years,” he said the other day. “If you tell me what you had as a child, I can take you there in one second — take you back to when your mommy tucked you in and gave you a hot chocolate. The same exact scent.”
Mr. Ott, 37, was born in Germany, and when he talks, the cadence of his voice makes him sound ever so slightly like a mad scientist in an H. G. Wells novel. “I can make you feel relaxed,” he said. “Up. Nervous. I can make you hungry. I can add ingredients that will make you spend money.” He vowed that he could free me from the agonizing aubade of a hangover. He could even, he assured me, bring about stirrings of a carnal nature.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research on 500-year-old Druidic recipes that are absolutely better than the Spanish fly,” he said.
Although you’re not likely to find Mr. Ott sporting a handlebar mustache and carving ice cubes in a bow tie — he’s more inclined to wear a San Diego Padres cap and blue jeans — he is no stranger to the mixology boomlet of the last decade. On display in his apartment near Times Square is the muddling stick he once used to smash the mint for mojitos at Sushi Samba.
He worked in outposts of that restaurant from 2000 to 2006, and during his moment in the mixology sun Mr. Ott became notable enough to appear as himself in two episodes of “Sex and the City” on HBO. A wall in his apartment serves as a scrapbook of his encounters with the likes of Uma Thurman, Ashley Judd and Luke Wilson. “There is not one person in Hollywood,” he said, “that I haven’t made cocktails for.” And while the cast of “Gossip Girl” has a habit of hanging out on his couch in the wee hours, lately Mr. Ott has phased out the standing-at-the-bar aspect of the job. Like many of his peers, he’s branching out and becoming entrepreneurial. The challenge, said Gary Regan, an author and expert on cocktail trends who oversees the Ardent Spirits Web site, is “how do you make bartending a viable career?”
“It is only over the past decade that the role of the bartender has been taken seriously,” Mr. Regan said. “It’s similar to what happened to the world of chefs in the 1970s.”
For his part, Mr. Ott has worked as a consultant and a “brand ambassador,” concocting drinks for spirits like Svedka vodka and New Amsterdam gin and mapping out the cocktail menus for scores of restaurants — most recently, in New York, at Nuela. After becoming spellbound while touring the Cincinnati labs of the scent-and-flavor maker Givaudan, Mr. Ott became a sort of roving trend-spotter for the company, scouting out bars and reporting back on what palate-stimulators seem to be on the rise. “He’s got a broad understanding of flavors and how they pair well with each other,” said Derek Elefson, a marketing expert at Givaudan. “He knows the origins of things.”
These days, Mr. Ott is even trying to help people feel good after a martini marathon. He recently teamed up with the creators of Mercy, a hangover-prevention drink making its debut this month, to figure out how to make the drink — a canned fizz of milk thistle, chamomile, B-vitamins and other ingredients — taste more mouth-watering than medicinal. To achieve that, he went with subtle traces of lemon, lemon grass, jasmine and ginger.
“The beauty of bringing Alex on, beyond the flavors, is the science,” said Dave Shor, Mercy’s chief exexcutive officer, during an interview in his SoHo office. “He understands all the chemical interactions. I wouldn’t consider anyone else.”
After years on the cocktail circuit, Mr. Ott experienced what you might call a mixologist’s midlife crisis. Getting customers tastefully tipsy was no longer enough. He found himself drawn to the sort of procedures that we tend to associate with chemists and psychiatrists — or at least sorcerers in Harry Potter novels. He began to see his customers, he said, as “individual biospheres that I could manipulate with my drinks.”
For him, sorcery begins at home. Beneath a mounted surfboard in his apartment is the nook where Mr. Ott, who studied organic chemistry during his younger years at the Braunschweig University of Technology, likes to tinker.
It’s like a dorm-room version of a laboratory, complete with a microscope, a bouquet of pipettes and a spice rack crowded with essential oils “worth about $2 million,” he claimed. He even has a gas mask. “When you work with some oils, they’re very strong,” he said. “They’ll burn your nostrils.”
Mr. Ott’s curiosity about the mood-altering potential of various aromas and ingredients led to an immersion in “Meaningful Scents Around the World,” a dense 2006 book by Roman Kaiser that explores the chemical properties of unusual scents and flavors, from “watermelon snow” algae in the Swiss Alps to pine resin in Italy to Cordyceps sinensis, the prized “caterpillar fungus” of China. “I was hooked,” said Mr. Ott, who became so obsessed with bark extracts and botanicals that he now owns a signed copy of the tome. “It explained everything about volatile molecules, your brain, your olfactory bulb, memories. The juices and herbs and spices that I choose come from the studies that I’ve done.
“There are people who do research and read books, and then there are people who just do cosmopolitans and sling drinks, and they know nothing about these things. They’re more entertainers. Bartenders should never be people who come up with cocktails, because they have no education.”
Told of these experiments with mood-altering potions, Mr. Regan of Ardent Spirits suggested that Mr. Ott might just be onto something pioneering. “I’ve never heard of it before, and I think it’s just fabulous,” Mr. Regan said in a phone interview. “Homeopathic remedies make all the sense in the world to me.”
The other night at his apartment, Mr. Ott sequestered himself in the kitchen and provided some examples. There was the Fountain of Youth, a whirl of Pimm’s, gin, white cranberry and cucumber that he promised had “anti-aging, anti-inflammatory” properties. There was an energy-jolter called the Tobacco Vanille, which somehow reached an accord among spiced rum, pear juice, lime juice, tobacco-infused honey, fig jam, vanilla essence and a pinch of powdered sandalwood.
Mr. Ott then decided to whip up an aphrodisiac. “I’m going to seduce you now,” he said, reaching for a baggie of loose-leaf damiana tea, known as “lover’s herb.” He brewed it in hot water, let it steep and then mated it, over ice, with an unlikely pair of partners: single-malt Scotch and a swig of German raspberry syrup.
“I’ve never done this before,” Mr. Ott said. The cocktail was delicious, calling to mind a Rob Roy by way of the spas of Sedona, Ariz. He didn’t even have a name for it. He thought it over for a few seconds and then found inspiration in a suggestive dash of French slang.
“How about I call it Little Death?”
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Here's our page on Facebook.
Of course, there will continue to be longer updates, activities and links on the Virtualingua blogs.
-Your English Tutor
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
At this time of year I start to get anxious for spring to finally come. I am sick of cold weather, gray days, snow, ice, coats, hats, gloves... The last 2 days have been sunny and just barely above freezing, I can see the snowdrops, tulips, crocusses and other flowers coming up in the garden and I can't wait to either get my hiking shoes on and get outside for a good hike or hop on my bike and take a long tour. If you're getting ready for some outdoor activities now that better weather is on its way and would like to read about a lovely area in England where you can hike, then you've come to the right place.
Here is a sample of an article about a walking group in England for you to read and
here you can follow a four-week photo essay about the Yorkshire countryside.
Personally, I am looking forward to visiting the lakes in Upper Lusatia (Lausitzer Seenland in German). There are great paths there for biking and skating. Write to us about what you are looking forward to doing this spring...do you like to hike, bike or skate? Is there a special area you like to visit to do these or other sports? Send your Virtualingua tutor an email about your outdoor plans for this spring! (email@example.com) If you are a student with us already, this counts as a tutored exercise, if not, test our tutoring for free!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
As you may have heard, there was a giant snowstorm in the last days in the United States. Chicago was hit very hard, streets, businesses and schools were closed. Read more about what happened, look at pictures and watch blizzard videos in the Chicago Herald here.
Learn more about how to talk about the weather (always a popular subject for small talk!) at the Spotlight Magazine website by clicking here.
Enjoy and happy learning!
Sunday, January 9, 2011
1. Which words from the list do you agree should be banned? Why?
2. Which words from the list do you find useful?
3. Would you add any words to this list? Which words?
After answering these questions, send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a current Virtualingua student, this exercise will be counted as one of your tutored exercises, if you are not yet a student with us, take this opportunity to test our tutoring!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Visit their page and start reading!
Monday, January 3, 2011
Below is a traditional Scottish song that we often listen to and sing on New Year's Eve.
Listen to it and read about it by following the links below.
Auld lang syne
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Information and lyrics in German from Wikipedia
Information and lyrics in English from Wikipedia