Have a nice holiday? Or is it "vacation"?

It's great to take some paid time off from work and enjoy the summertime, but what is that time called? British English and American English have different terms for the same concept.

For people using British English, annual leave is called "holiday(s)".  American English calls yearly paid time off "vacation".

 The differences don't stop at the name.  In the UK, full-time employees must receive at least 28 days of holiday per year. In the US, the amount of paid time off isn't regulated by law and there's no minimum amount of paid time off per year for employees.Lesen Sie hier weiter

Now try this: German/English False Friends (answers)

Here are the answers to last week's question: Do you know the correct English translations for these German words?

bekommen:  to get  (to become = werden)

die Billion:  trillion

der Chef:  the boss

die Hochschule:  the college/university (high school (American)/grammar school (British) = das Gymnasium)

die Rente:  pension/retirement (rent = die Miete)Lesen Sie hier weiter

Now try this: German/English False Friends

German and English have many false friends. Test yourself. Do you know the correct translations of these German words?


die Billion

der Chef

die Hochschule

die Rente

der See

Check your answers here next week.

Now try this: English tongue twisters (CEFR B1 and above)

For fun, sometimes our German clients enjoy testing our German with Zungenbrecher. In English these are called tongue twisters.

Here are a few of the most famous English tongue twisters for you to try.

1. She sells seashells by the seashore.

2. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of picked peppers,
where's the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

3. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if the woodchuck could chuck wood?
He would chuck, he would, as much as he could,
And chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would,
if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Visit Rachel's English for more tongue twisters and tipsLesen Sie hier weiter

Enjoy your meal!

English speakers don't have a saying like "Guten Appetit!" which they say to each other before starting to eat. If you would like to say something, "Enjoy!" or the phrase "Enjoy your meal!" are the best options. Some English speakers might also use the French phrase "bon appetit". Don't use the less formal "Dig in!" (Hau rein!Lesen Sie hier weiter

What are you going to do in 2019? (CEFR A2-C1)

It's 2019 and time to set some goals for the year, which we also call "new year's resolutions".

Use the "going to" future to talk about things you plan to do in a general way, without concrete dates and times.

For example:

I'm going to improve my English.

I'm going to quit smoking.

I'm going to lose weight.

I'm going to exercise more / do more fitness.Lesen Sie hier weiter

Now try this: word puzzle answers (Happy Holidays!)

Last week we asked you to see how many words you could find in the phrase "Happy Holidays!".

Here are some possible answers:

Words with 7 letters:  dahlias, display, happily, holiday, payload

Words with 6 letters:  dahlia, hippos, polish

Words with 5 letters:  ahold, aloha, alpha, apply, daily, daisy, dials, happy, hippo, hippy, holds, idols, loads, pails, papas, plays, sadly, shady, soapy, solid

Words with 4 letters:Lesen Sie hier weiter

Now try this: word puzzle (all levels)

Keep your English skills fresh over the holidays with this word puzzle.

Set a timer for five minutes. How many words (with three letters or more) can you find using the letters in the words below?

HAPPY HOLIDAYSLesen Sie hier weiter

Small talk: the sweltering summer

Since the weather has been in the news headlines for the past few weeks, let's have a closer look at how you can describe the weather we've been having if you need to make small talk with a business partner.

It's been a sweltering summer. The heat waves have caused a severe drought: crops, trees, and other plants are dying due to lack of water. The record-high temperaturesLesen Sie hier weiter