The Japanese are known for many things, including some totally off-the-wall inventions.
What do you think these inventions could be, and when would you need one?
Now watch the video and see if you were right.
Grammar question: when you are talking about an experience in the past without specifying when this experience happened, which tense do you use?
When you are talking about something that happened in the past, that is finished, and the time period has also finished, and we know when this thing happened, which tense do you use?*
Practise these two tenses in this week's song, an old classic by U2.
* Present perfect ( have / has + past participle) is what we use to talk about an experience in the past when we don't specify when it happened. For example, I've been on TV.
We also use it to talk about things that started in the past and continue until now, or sometime around now. I've worked here for 2 years.
We use the past simple (preterite) to talk about things that started and finished in the past. For example, I went to Cannes yesterday.
Today is a big day in Ireland, and in many other places around world where the Irish emigrated to. What happens today exactly? Well, parades, parties, wearing green...and a lot of Guinness drinking.
Want to know some facts about Ireland and St Patrick's Day? Read this article from the Guardian.
Well, my Dad's name was Patrick and I definitely have a lot of Irish ancestors, so I think I should also go and drink some Guinness now.
If the world were only 100 people, how would it look? How many people out of those 100 would have access to clean water, shelter and internet? How many would be overweight and how many would be malnourished or starving? How many people would control 50% of of the wealth?
Think about the answers to these questions, then watch the video. It's fascinating and quite shocking.
I speak French pretty well. It's not perfect, and I know my writing is full of mistakes, but I can watch French films without subtitles, join in the conversation at dinner and participate in a conference call.
But...I still have an accent. No one would ever mistake me for a French person. I often get comments about my accent, and I think some people are surprised that I can speak good French but haven't got rid of my British accent.
Because of English' crazy spelling, there are a lot of homophones - words which are not spelled the same but are pronounced in the same way.
Try this homophones quiz and see how many you can recognise. There's also the same quiz on a worksheet below. Contact me for the answers!
Today you've got Rihanna helping you with your English: a song that is not too fast and you can enjoy singing along to. I'm afraid the lyrics are not that useful in most real life situations, although they are very romantic. And it's always useful to know some romantic sentences in another language...
Bonus number practice! This video has been viewed 736,204,379 times. How do you say that number?
If, like me, you've been following the US Republican candidate race with horror, you'll like this video from the Simpsons, which imagines a world where all the candidates, Republican and Democrat alike, get along.
The dream sequence comes after Marge wakes up in a panic and starts hyperventilating. She tells Homer, “I can’t take it anymore! Basic manners are gone from politics.”
Homer tries to calm her down by saying that the political situation is “just like when you have a bad dream, except this is real and will probably ruin your lives.” He advises her to “visualize another America,” one in which “Republicans and Democrats and Donald Trump all get along.”
And here it is:
My blog has changed! If you're looking for my English-practice exercises, they're all still here, just look in the archives.
Catherine: blogging about learning, language, culture, France and more...