Friday, 22 November 2013


Here you can read an inspiring article about the tragic assassination of  the 35th President of the United States.

On 20 January 1961, in his Inaugural Address, John F. Kennedy had pledged to support liberty, commit to allies, avoid tyranny, aid the underprivileged throughout the world, and strengthen the Americas. He had challenged  Communist nations to engage in a dialogue with the United States to ensure world peace and stability. This speech is best known for the words: “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.”

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


William Shakespeare is on a cold streak (=a period of time when desired outcomes rarely seem to occur. Constant disappointment). He is writing for Philip Henslowe,  owner of  The Rose, a theatre whose doors are about to be closed by cruel creditors, but he has got a nasty case of writer's block. To tell the truth, he hasn't written much of anything recently. Thus, he finds himself in quite a bind (=in a difficult situation) when Henslowe, desperate to avoid another round of hot-coals-to-feet application, stakes The Rose’s solvency on Shakespeare's new comedy, "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter."  The problem is, "Romeo" is safely "locked away" in Shakespeare's head, which is to say that not a word of it is written. Meanwhile, the lovely Lady Viola is a passionate theatre-goer - scandalous for a woman of her breeding (=good social background) - who especially admires Shakespeare's plays and William himself. Unfortunately, she is about to be sold as property into a loveless marriage by her mercenary father and shipped off to a Virginia tobacco plantation. But not before dressing up as a young man and winning the part of Romeo in the embryonic play. Shakespeare soon discovers the deception and goes along with it, using the blossoming love affair to inspire his muse. As William and Viola's romance grows in intensity and reaches its inevitable culmination, the farcical comedy about Romeo and pirates transforms into the timeless tragedy that is  Romeo and Juliet. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013


Phrasal verbs are mainly used in spoken English and informal texts. They  consist of a verb plus a particle (preposition, adverb). The particle can change the meaning of the verb completely, e.g.:
look for = seek (look for her ring)
look up = consult a reference book (look a word up in a dictionary)
look forward = anticipate with pleasure (look forward to meeting someone)

The particle is placed either after the verb or after the object.
Write down the word. / Write the word down.
If the object is a pronoun, however, the particle has to be placed after the pronoun (object).
Write it down.
There are no rules that might explain how phrasal verbs are formed correctly - all you can do is look them up in a good dictionary and study their meanings.

Here you can find a list of the most common phrasal verbs, with meanings and examples.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Here and here you can find a detailed analysis of this beautiful Shakespearean sonnet.

Saturday, 9 November 2013


Today I've decided to post a humorous and informative article  which  focuses on the influence of  the Bard of Avon on everyday speech.
It was written by the British journalist Bernard Levin for The Times  newspaper. I hope you'll appreciate it!

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare 'It's Greek to me', 
you are quoting Shakespeare;
if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning,
you are quoting Shakespeare; 
if you recall your salad days,
you are quoting Shakespeare; 
if you act more in sorrow than in anger, 
if your wish is father to the thought, 
if your lost property has vanished into thin air, 
you are quoting Shakespeare; 
if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, 
if you have played fast and loose, 
if you have been tongue-tied, 
a tower of strength, 
hoodwinked or in a pickle, 
if you have knitted your brows, 
made a virtue of necessity, 
insisted on fair play, 
slept not one wink, 
stood on ceremony, 
danced attendance (on your lord and master), 
laughed yourself into stitches, 
had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, 
if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -- 
why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; 
if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, 
if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, 
if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, 
if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, 
if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, 
then -- to give the devil his due -- if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; 
even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, 
if you wish I was dead as a doornail, 
if you think I am an eyesore, 
a laughing stock, 
the devil incarnate, 
a stony-hearted villain, 
bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, 
then -- by Jove! 
O Lord! 
Tut, tut! 
For goodness' sake! 
What the dickens! 
But me no buts -- 
it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

Thursday, 7 November 2013


I hope you will enjoy the following video lessons  -  they are both entertaining and helpful to improve your colloquial English! 

Friday, 1 November 2013


"November always seemed to me the Norway of the year"
Emily Dickinson

Here  you can download a PDF  presentation of the American poetess.