Pamper

Do you know the English verb “to pamper“? Read the conversation below. Can you guess the meaning?

Brenda: You worked so hard on that project. You should take a rest.

Jill: I’m going to pamper myself tonight. I’m going to have a long bath, a glass of wine, some nice chocolates and an early night!

Does it mean:

a) to make someone feel comfortable with special treatment

b) to make someone feel comfortable with alcohol

c) to stay in

d) to drink alcohol in the bath

The answer is below!↓

two white towels

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Answer: a) to make someone feel comfortable with special treatment

[Easy English Blog] Starting I Talk You Talk Press

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I started I Talk You Talk Press five years ago with two friends. We have all taught English for many years in Japan. We always told our students to read English, because we believe reading is a very important part of English learning. Some of our students listened to our advice and read graded readers. Other students didn’t. They said they didn’t have time, or graded readers were too difficult.

So, we started writing original stories for those students. We knew our students’ English levels, so we wrote stories they could understand. The students were happy that we wrote stories for them. Sometimes, they recommended the stories to other students too. We were also happy that our students enjoyed our stories and were reading in English.

One day, we thought, “if our students enjoy our stories, maybe other English learners will enjoy our stories too.” So we decided to publish our stories as graded readers. Before we started, we spend a year researching publishing and graded reader levels. Then, we started publishing our stories in 2013. We published them on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Apple. Now, people all over the world are reading our stories. This makes us very happy. Our students are also very happy. We ask them what kind of stories they want to read, and they give us feedback about our stories. They feel special, because we write the stories for them!

Now, I Talk You Talk Press has 60 graded readers. We plan to publish a new one every month. This keeps up busy, but we enjoy it. 🙂

Heather@ I Talk You Talk Press

Gabble

Do you know the English verb “to gabble“? Read the conversation below. Can you guess the meaning?

Terry: Did you understand George’s presentation?

David: No. He was so nervous, he was gabbling. I couldn’t understand anything he said!

Does it mean:

a) speak slowly

b) speak clearly

c) speak quickly and not clearly

d) speak quickly and loudly

The answer is below!↓

black microphone

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Answer: c) speak quickly and not clearly

Polyglot

Do you know the English word “polyglot“? Read the conversation below.  Can you guess what it means?

Franz: How many languages can Maria speak?

Kath: I don’t know, but I heard she is a polyglot.

Franz: Wow! I’d love to be a polyglot!

Does it mean:

a) a person who speaks one language

b) a person who speaks two languages

c) a person who speaks several languages

d) a person who doesn’t like languages

The answer is below!↓

abstract alphabet arrangement away

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Answer: c) a person who speaks several languages

[Easy English Blog]Exercising at work

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I like sports and exercise, but recently, I haven’t been making the time to exercise. At first, I thought I had no time to exercise, but now I realise this is an excuse. I can make time.

I sit at a desk for most of the day. This is not healthy. When I’m working, I concentrate, and I forget to take breaks. Sometimes, I don’t move for three or four hours. So, I decided to change. I have a set of weights next to my desk. Every hour, I stop working, and take a break. I use the weights, or I stretch. I do this for about 5 minutes. It is a short time, but if I work for 9 hours, I exercise for 45 minutes a day.

It also helps me to work better. After taking a break, I feel refreshed. I am going to try to make this routine a habit. Sometimes, when I am concentrating, I forget to stop and take a break, so perhaps I should set an alarm. I can use the timer on my phone to make sure I do 5 minutes.

Now I wonder, if I can make time to exercise, what else can I make time to do?

[Short Story] Salt and sugar

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Wanda graduated from cooking school and got a job in the kitchen of a new café in her town. She was very happy. She has been working in the café for 6 weeks. She likes her job. The café is new and very small. The café belongs to Gregor. He makes coffee and looks after the customers. Wanda does all the cooking.

Wanda thinks Gregor is very nice, but he is also a tough boss. He wants everything to be perfect.

Today Wanda is having a very bad day. She has been in the kitchen since 6am. Last night, she broke up with her boyfriend. She was very sad so she went to visit her friend Janet. They drank a lot of wine.

Today she feels very ill. Why did I drink so much? I feel terrible, my head hurts and I went to bed so late! I am so tired!

Today Gregor is very excited. “Wanda, we must try very hard today. Look at the man sitting by the window. Do you know who that is?”

Wanda looks at the man. “No. I don’t know him. Who is he?”

“His name is Anton Wesley-Brown. He writes about food and restaurants for the newspaper! If he likes the food here, he will write a good report about this café!”

Wanda understands. Gregor wants the café to be a success.

But why today? Why did this restaurant critic come today?

Gregor goes out of the kitchen to talk to the customers. It is only 11:15 so there are not many people in the café. Most people are drinking coffee and eating muffins and cakes.

Wanda is busy making salads. Today’s special is very simple – a grilled pork chop, with cream and mustard sauce and salad.

I could have cooked something wonderful if I had known that man was coming. No, maybe not. Not today. I am too ill to cook.

Gregor comes back into the kitchen. “Mr Wesley-Brown wants the pork chop!”

“OK,” says Wanda. She takes a pork chop from the refrigerator. She reaches up to the shelf and takes down the seasonings. She sprinkles salt and pepper on the chop and puts it under the grill. She makes the sauce and puts salad on the plate.

When the meal is ready she puts it out near the door of the kitchen. Gregor hurries over and takes the meal to Mr Wesley-Brown.

Wanda turns back to the kitchen. She stares at the counter. Why is there brown sugar on the counter? I used salt, pepper, mustard. I didn’t use brown sugar. There is the pepper and the mustard. Where is the salt? Oh, no! I put brown sugar on the pork chop! Mr Wesley-Brown will hate it! Gregor will be very angry! I will lose my job!

Wanda doesn’t know what to do, so she keeps on working. She finishes all the food preparation. It is almost noon and many customers are coming in for lunch. It will be a busy day.

Gregor comes into the kitchen. “Wanda! Mr Wesley-Brown wants to talk to you.”

The restaurant critic comes into the kitchen. “This is Wanda. She does all the cooking,” says Gregor.

“I know you are very busy,” says Mr Wesley-Brown. “But I just have one question. Did you put brown sugar on my chop?”

Wanda looks at the floor. This is it, she thinks. I am going to lose my job. Gregor will fire me.

“Ur, yes,” she says.

I will have to explain, she thinks. But Mr Wesley-Brown is speaking.

It is a very good idea. The chop was very tasty. I like the way the sugar turned to caramel under the grill. Keep up the good cooking.”

He smiles and goes out. Gregor looks very happy.

Wanda smiles too and goes back to work.

I will have to have a hangover more often, she thinks.

[Easy English Blog]Soup season

appetizer bowl bread breakfast

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I love soup, especially warm soup on a cold evening. Now that the nights are getting cooler, I make soup quite often. My favourite kinds of soup are sweet potato, mushroom and onion; tomato, onion, spinach and mushroom; and carrot, onion and mushroom. As you can see, I like mushrooms!

It only takes me five minutes to make the soup. That’s because I don’t actually make it. I chop the vegetables, put them in my soup maker and switch it on! I wait 20 minutes, and then I have smooth and hot soup!

I bought my soup maker about 4 years ago, and it is the best kitchen item I have ever bought. It was cheap too, only about 4,000 yen. I can also make smoothies in the soup maker, which is great for breakfast.

This season I’m going to try experimenting with different flavours of soup. I wonder what I will try next…something with mushrooms in it, I’m sure! 🙂