Once, twice, …

I bet you said “three times” just as most people, including native speakers, say. Surprise, surprise, there is another word you can use. True, some think that it’s old fashioned and yet it still appears in books and articles. Therefore there’s no harm in learning “THRICE”, which follows on nicely from “once” and “twice”. ProbablyContinue reading “Once, twice, …”


ALRIGHT, I’m ALWAYS repeating myself about this but please don’t forget that: alright – one “L”. When writing formally, it is better to use the full form, “all right” always – same rule, one “L”. But no, it’s not short for “all ways” Other common “AL” words with one “L” are: although altogether almost Use the language All theseContinue reading “Good to be ALWAYS ALRIGHT!”

Getting high on PETRICHOR

This island rock was dry and the trees were thirsty because the last time it had rained was a few months ago. However, the weather forecast for Wednesday 21 August was rain, maybe even thunderstorms. While I just love the sound of thunder and watching the lightning in the sky, what I was really lookingContinue reading “Getting high on PETRICHOR”

Talking about the BELLY

Interestingly, some students don’t agree that BELLY, stomach and tummy have the same meaning. I’m not qualified to discuss biology or anatomy but I can tell you that in spoken English you can safely use any of these 3 words in everyday conversations. Once you know the word belly, it’s easy to learn these connected wordsContinue reading “Talking about the BELLY”

What do you THINK / MEAN?

“WHAT DO YOU THINK?” and “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?” are not the same, folks. Whether you are discussing the latest Big Brother episode or your company’s new advertising strategy, if you want to know your friend’s or colleague’s opinion, then ask, “What do you think?“ On the other hand, if someone says something you disagreeContinue reading “What do you THINK / MEAN?”

Make friends with a CACTUS

Think of hot, dry summers or desert lands and somewhere in the picture you will see a CACTUS. August on the rocky island of Malta might remind you of a desert climate but that’s not why I’m writing about this plant. Forming the plural of words in English is not always a simple matter ofContinue reading “Make friends with a CACTUS”


Malta has a population of four hundred THOUSAND (400,000). There were THOUSANDS of people at the Isle of MTV concert in June. You will notice that in the first sentence there is no “s” at the end of thousand but there is an ”s” in the second. Why? Look carefully and you should understand the rule.Continue reading “THOUSAND / THOUSANDS”

cc … mm; ll … nn

The original title of this language tip was “Spelling (1)” but that is drier than a Maltese summer. On the other hand, “cc … mm; ll … nn” is more eye-catching so  just let those eyes read on. ACCOMMODATION MILLENNIUM You know their meaning but please, watch out for the spelling of these two words. AsContinue reading “cc … mm; ll … nn”

Adam Smith by D. D. Raphael

My promise to you: When I finish reading a book, I’ll share 3 words that I find interesting. Today’s words come from a slim volume about the philosopher and economist, Adam Smith. Here they are: INDUCEMENT – Those of you working in sales know that the more you sell, the more money you take homeContinue reading “Adam Smith by D. D. Raphael”