Phrasal Verb Lesson – Hold on

happy-english-phrasal-verb-hold-on-2-4Phrasal Verb: Hold on

Meaning: To grasp tightly

  • Do you like to hold on when you ride a roller coaster?
  • It’s important to hold on when you ride the subway.

Do you usually hold on when you take the train?

Expect vs. Hope – Confusing English Vocabulary Lesson

Expect vs Hope - Confusing English Vocabulary Lesson

I hope we don’t get much more snow in NYC!

It’s been really cold here in New York these days. I hope the rest of the winter is not so cold. The weatherman said they are expecting the cold weather to continue for a while. I never expected we would have such cold weather. I hope spring comes quickly!

Today, let’s have a look at expect and hope. Do you know the difference between them?

We use expect when we believe something will happen. There is a logical reason for expecting something, such as a schedule, trend, or habit:

  • I’m expecting to see Jack today. He always comes to visit on Sundays. (habit)
  • Her flight is expected to arrive at 2:00. (schedule)
  • All of his movies are great, so I expect this new one to be great too. (trend)
  • We are expecting a big snowstorm tomorrow. (trend)

On the other hand, we use hope when we would like something to happen. There is an emotional reason for hoping for something.

  • I hope to see Jack today. He’s always busy on Sundays, but if he can come to visit, it would be great!
  • I hope her flight is not late. I’m so excited to see her.
  • His last few movies were terrible. I hope this one is good.
  • I hope we don’t have a lot of snow tomorrow. I need to drive to Boston.

So expect comes from what we know (reality) and hope comes from what we would like:

  • I expect the boss to be angry about this month’s sales, but I hope he doesn’t fire anyone.
  • We are expecting a snowstorm tomorrow, but I hope it is not so strong.

Now, it’s your turn. How about writing a few sentences using this vocabulary in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you! Or, click the button on the right side to leave me a voice message. If you want to leave a voice message, be sure to say your name, where you are from, and then your message!

Want to learn English idioms offline? Check out my eBook:

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Adverb Lesson – Instead of Very, Use Fairly, Pretty, Quite, & Rather

Adverbs Lesson - Instead of Very, Use Fairly, Pretty, Quite, & Rather

This winter has been pretty cold…

The weather here in NY has been quite cold recently. Usually, winters here in the Big Apple are fairly cold and snowy, but this year we’ve had pretty cold temperatures and a rather large amount of snow. I’m very tired of this weather, and hoping spring will come soon…

I’m sure a lot of Happy English readers know how to use very, but there are a few other words that you can use in your everyday English that function just like very. I’m going to show you these words today.

Fairly is the weakest of these adverbs. We use fairly before an adjective or another adverb:

  • Jack plays golf fairly well, considering he just started playing last year.
  • Jenny’s French is fairly good. I’m sure she’ll have no trouble during her business trip to Paris.

Quite is a bit stronger than fairly, and can also be used before verbs and nouns. Using quite before a verb or noun is more common in British English than American English.

  • I was quite tired last night so I went straight to bed.
  • Paul knows football quite well, so if you want to know the rules, just ask him.
  • I quite like spending time with Jenny. She’s a very interesting person.
  • It’s quite a shame that they only stayed in NYC for four nights. That’s not a lot of time to see everything.

Pretty and rather are both stronger than quite, and about the same level as each other. Rather is more formal and pretty is more informal. Like quite, rather can be used before verbs and nouns and this usage is more common in British English than American English.

  • That musical was rather boring. I wouldn’t see it if I were you.
  • The food in that restaurant was good, but it was rather expensive.
  • I rather like going to classical concerts.
  • Not seeing Jane when she came to NYC was rather a disappointment.

Pretty is only used before an adjective or another adverb. The degree is the same as rather, but again, pretty is informal.

  • That musical was pretty boring. I wouldn’t see it if I were you.
  • The food in that restaurant was good, but it was pretty expensive.
  • The view from the top of that building is pretty nice.

Now, it’s your turn. How about writing a few sentences using this vocabulary in the comment box below? I’ll review them for you! Or, click the button on the right side to leave me a voice message. If you want to leave a voice message, be sure to say your name, where you are from, and then your message!