How to lose your Swiss accent (Starring Magdelena Martullo Blocher) PART ONE: The consonants

This is the first in a series of videos that aim to help people with a Swiss German accent to speak more like a native speaker. Please like and subscribe to my youtube channel if you would like more videos.

Watching out for “look” “watch” and “see”

Hello my dears. I hope this post finds you well. Today I’m going to write about those pesky words “watch” “look” and “see”. Literal meanings – a recap “See” simply means to use your eyes. “Look” means “to turn our eyes in a particular direction to see something”. (Cambridge) “Watch” means “to look at orContinue reading “Watching out for “look” “watch” and “see””

Some very deadly false friends …

Hello, I hope this blog post finds you well. Last week a student directed me to an article with some lovely false friends. I thought I might share the deadliest with you today and add a couple of my own. Undertaker – Unternehmer This is my favourite of all the false friends. An “undertaker” is:Continue reading “Some very deadly false friends …”

Death and Americans: present perfect simple, part II

Soooo I promised you a part two to my present perfect simple blog post. Here it is, but you’re going to have to work for it. Look at these sentences: Queen Elizabeth the second is a wonderful leader. She has been an inspiration to the people of Britain for many years. She lived in BuckinghamContinue reading “Death and Americans: present perfect simple, part II”

“I’m lovin’ it!”, or: Why English teachers hate McDonalds.

I remember exactly when McDonalds adopted “I’m loving it!” as their slogan. I was working in Cologne. It must have been in 2001 or 2002. I was just coming home after a long day of teaching stative verbs, you know, the ones you can’t put in the continuous (to be/-ing) form. The verbs that describe:Continue reading ““I’m lovin’ it!”, or: Why English teachers hate McDonalds.”

Present continuous mistakes, or: English for Tinder users

There’s no better place to find English bloopers than on Tinder. For some reason many users of this app decide to introduce themselves to potential lovers using a language which they, at best, find it difficult to communicate in. Perhaps the most misleading of these errors is the misuse of the present continuous. Let’s cutContinue reading “Present continuous mistakes, or: English for Tinder users”

Mistakes with uncountable nouns

There are some words that I see wrong so often in English texts here in Switzerland that I begin to doubt my sanity. Maybe you can say “informations”, “feedbacks”, “advices” and “accommodations” in English? No way! (A quick look in my grammar Bible brings me back to reality). You just can’t. These words are uncountableContinue reading “Mistakes with uncountable nouns”

Mistakes using “by” and “until”

Hi English enthusiasts! I’ve decided to start a blog correcting errors that I hear from students and other speakers of English as a foreign language day after day here in Switzerland. I hope you will join me on this journey into the foul swamps of split infinitives and false friends. Let’s start with that oldContinue reading “Mistakes using “by” and “until””