This is another extract from the book, “The Infatuations” by Javier Marias. In a few words, it helps you understand the meaning of OVERHEAR. It happens so often, doesn’t it, that without wanting you hear what other people are saying – on the train or bus, queuing up to pay at the supermarket, sitting patientlyContinue reading “OVERHEAR /EAVESDROP”


Birthdays, work meetings, appointments with the doctor or dentist – so many things happening in our lives that it is easy to forget. What can we do to REMEMBER all these important dates? If at work you are important enough to have a personal secretary, he/she will REMIND you when it’s time for the nextContinue reading “REMIND me if I don’t REMEMBER”

An American vampire wants to PALAVER

The man above comes up to you on the street. What is your reaction? He says he wants to chat with you. You have some free time so do you stop to PALAVER? Who knows, the conversation might be as interesting as his appearance! Use the language Do you palaver with strangers sitting next to youContinue reading “An American vampire wants to PALAVER”

An American vampire is involved in a CITIZEN’S ARREST

When the law is being broken the police should take action.  If the crime is serious enough, then we also expect them to arrest the guilty person. However, what if you witness a crime, the police are not around but you are in a position to make the arrest yourself? Then you can carry outContinue reading “An American vampire is involved in a CITIZEN’S ARREST”

Not thrice but TRICE

If you remember, a few weeks ago I wrote about the English word for “3 times”, which is “thrice”.  Do not confuse it with today’s word, “TRICE” (without an “h”). “Trice” is often found in the phrase “in a trice”, meaning “in a very short time”. For example, when your boss next asks you forContinue reading “Not thrice but TRICE”

Lance Armstrong – FAMOUS and INFAMOUS

For those of you who don’t know, Lance Armstrong is a cancer survivor who won cycling’s hardest event, the 3-week Tour de France. Not once, not twice, not thrice but seven times! This was a man who was very close to dying, yet made it into the record books. Quite rightly, he became cycling’s most FAMOUSContinue reading “Lance Armstrong – FAMOUS and INFAMOUS”

Visa application: Name of SPOUSE

In my last post, we spoke about “sibling“, a word which can mean either “brother” or “sister”. Today I’m giving you another useful word, SPOUSE. This can be used instead of “husband” or “wife” and is commonly found in official situations. When you apply for a passport or visa or even when opening a bankContinue reading “Visa application: Name of SPOUSE”