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Confusing questions with ‘like’

A lot of my beginner students seem to be confused by the use of the word “like” in questions. Let’s have a look at the examples below:
questions with like

Question 1: what’s he like?
or in other words: “what type of person is he?” or “tell me something about his personality”.
Hence, a possible answer could be “He is friendly and easy-going”.

Remember! Never answer this question starting with “he is like…

Question 2: what does he look like?
or in other words “Can you describe his physical appearance?”
To this question, you could reply “He is tall, thin and has got brown hair”

Question 3: who does he look like?
or in other words “Who does he resemble to?”
You could answer saying “He looks like Brad Pitt!”.

Question 4: what does he like?
or in other words “What are his interests / hobbies etc?”
and so a sensible answer could be “he likes swimming, Chinese food and spy-stories”

diaporama,1928-Les-jardins-du-Champs-de-Mars,Paris_largeQuestion number 1 could also be used to ask you about a city.
Look at the example below:

A:“What’s Paris like?” (“what sort of place is Paris?”)
B: “Paris is big, chaotic and expensive”

Remember that if someone wants to know your opinion about Paris, he or she would probably use the question “What do you like about Paris?” or simply “Do you like Paris?”.
Look at the following dialogue:

A: “Do you like Paris?”
B: “Yes, I love it!?”
A: “What do you like about Paris?”
B: “I like the people, cafes and walking along the Seine!”

Hope this is clear, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!:)

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Feeling hungry – Vocabulary

Alberto-Sordi-spaghetti-come-ingrassareWelcome back English language learners!

Today’s post is about feeling hungry and includes vocabulary that hopefully some of you will find useful!

It’s six o’clock, I am sitting on the sofa and ask my partner “Do you fancy a snack?”, his usual answer is “not really, why?”

Well because this the time of the day I usually start feeling peckish, meaning that I’d like to peck at or nibble on some food. I’m not craving for anything special, just some munchies*. Some peanuts or grapes will do.

I’m not hungry yet but I’m getting there and the situation, if not dealt with, could easily escalate in me being starving soon. That happens especially on stressful days at the end of which I usually feel ravenous.

[Two and a half hours later]

It’s half past height and dinner is almost ready. Fish pie and veggies on the side. A mouthwatering aroma wafts from the oven. I eat two servings and I’m full but I can’t help having another bite. And now I’m really stuffed!

Enjoy your meal!:)

*in slang you can also say that you have the munchies, meaning that you’re craving for snack food, usually because of consuming alcohol or drugs.

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Renting a flat in London – Vocabulary and tips

Hello English language students!

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Photo by Brent Danley

I’ve just moved back to London and had to face the challenge of looking for a nice not too expensive one bedroom flat in one of Europe’s most expensive cities. Flat hunting in London can be a real pain in the arse (or ass if you’re American) so I would like to share with you what I’ve learnt together with some useful vocabulary.

You might want to start by choosing the borough where you would like to live. When doing this I would recommend you to check transport facilities as London is a very big city.

Picking your area first will make it easier for you to arrange viewings with the real estate agent (or realtor in Am English). You don’t want to waste too much time running from one viewing to the next.

The estate agent will usually carry out some checks to assure the landlord that you are the ideal tenant. Therefore, you could be asked to provide references from your previous landlord/landlady to make sure there were/are no arrears in your last flat. If you’re unemployed, you could be required to pay rent quarterly or give the name of a guarantor.

Deposit scheme. Make sure the landlord puts the deposit you give him or her into a deposit scheme where your money will be kept safely until you decide to vacate the premises. A deposit usually amounts to about six weeks worth of rent.

Ask the agent about the term of the tenancy agreement and the inclusion of a break clause that will enable you to leave before the tenancy period comes to an end. You might get tired of London’s hectic lifestyle and decide to flee the country!

Council tax. Apart from paying for utilities (gas, electricity etc), you will have to pay council tax. This is to fund the services provided by the local government.

Cost of travelling. Since there are eight different zones in London, you want to check whether the savings of cheap rent in zone five might be offset by having to pay a monthly travel card to go to zone one everyday (if you work there, for instance) which would cost you £199! Not to mention the hassle of commuting long distances.

Last tip: read carefully every clause of your tenancy agreement before signing it!

Good luck! 🙂