STUDYING ENGLISH ON A MONDAY EVENING. A TRUE STORY

Well, don’t be alarmed. I’m not a nerd (1), just look like one. Actually, I was watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. By myself (=alone), with a huge mug of ice-cream - yeah, I eat ice-cream in a mug -, and a lot of nervous expectations. I just finished the fifth film and couldn’t be more excited. And to be honest, I am only writing this because a technologically challenged girl that I am, I couldn’t play the next film on my boyfriend’s Apple computer .

I recently started reading the whole series and quite frankly I’m fascinated (2). I had no idea they were so entertaining (3). I recommend them to all of you who are looking for an enjoyable read to improve your English with. Especially the first two books which are fairly easy to understand by a non-native reader and are also a good fun.

Now, what do I mean when I say STUDY? Just watch, listen, read, talk, dream, sing, or whatever other English-related (4) activity comes to mind. I don’t sit with an English Grammar book on a Monday morning, that’s for sure. I’m done with studying grammar rules and writing twenty times words and sentences in order to commit them to memory (=to memorize them). I lay on my bed and enjoy a good movie instead. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t exert myself(5) while doing so. I watch the movie in only English. If you don’t get everything you may use English subtitles but not Spanish ones. And try to pay attention to all they say, how they say it, how they pronounce it. Every little counts. You should also write down whatever you found interesting so you can go over it some other time and hopefully remember it.

As I was reading on the bus today, I couldn’t write down any interesting expressions so I’m going to offer hereafter (= en lo sucesivo, a continuación) some of my all-time-favorites. Please bear in mind (= Tener en cuenta) that I don’t always write down where I heard or read them so I cannot cite properly. Let’s just state clearly that they don’t come from me. Enjoy them!

“The story keeps changing but the main point is still the same”.

“My dad’s old room is very much the way he left it, except more faded.”

“Why the long faces?” (=Por qué estáis tristes?)

“They looked like they hadn’t had the will to live for hours.”

“You mess with the bull, you get the horns.”

- “Wow! I just felt this huge wave of affection for you!”

- “Are you sure it’s not too much bible juice?” (Wine)

- “And … the wave is gone”

Now this last one was from THE BIG BANG THEORY although I cannot remember the exact episode (=capítulo).

Now you see what I had in mind. These are just random sentences I found while reading or watching. They help me build my vocabulary but also – and most importantly – they make me sound more like a native when. Besides, if you memorize a lot of English expressions, they’ll come to mind a lot easily in a conversation and you’ll seem and feel more fluent. So why don’t you give it a try?

(1) THE FREE DICTIONARY by FARLEX

www.thefreedictionary.com/nerd

Nerd = n. slang 1. A foolish, inept or unattractive person.

2. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.

… although I personally prefer the Urban Dictionary, especially if we’re dealing with slang:

URBAN DICTIONARY

www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nerd

Pick your choice: 4. People who are smarter then you, by Rainbow_Creeper3

5. The person you will one day call “Boss”, by hunter mayo

6. Guys with IQ is higher than your weight. You made fun of them

when you were at school but you would be lucky if you get

employed as janitors in their businesses.

(Janitor = A caretaker or doorkeeper of a building. Español: Portero, conserje)

(2) To be fascinated – Some synonyms: To be amazed, delighted, mesmerized, etc.

(3) Entertaining = absorbing, captivating, engaging, engrossing, compelling, stimulating, etc.

(4) “related” vs “-related”

“English related” is a compound (=compuesto) adjective and there are many grammar rules (some of them very obscure) trying to shed some light over the matter (= Arrojar [algo de] luz sobre el asunto). It really is a complicated one, but I’ll offer this simplified rule: whether or not you should use a hyphen depends on where it is located in the sentence. If it appears before the word it modifies, you should include a hyphen: “This is an English-related book””. If it appears after the word it modifies, omit the hyphen: “This book is English related.”

Hyphen = guión; escribir con guión.

(5) CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY

www.dictionary.cambridge.org/es/diccionario/ingles/exert

To exert yourself = to make a mental or physical effort. Español: Esforzarse

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