Phrase of the day: would’ve thought

Last Wednesday evening, I took a train from Preston back home to London. As we were nearing Euston station, I left my seat and went to wait near the door. A mother and her teenage daughter were already there, and…

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Phrase of the day: It’s not as though

I had two conversations last night which featured this chunk. The first one was with a friend who was moaning about a culture clash in the Paris office he often visits. Leaving his house at 5.30 in the morning to…

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Phrase of the day: What’s not to like?

We've often said that what strikes us most about the many incredibly competent non-natives we meet in our field is very rarely their grammatical accuracy! Rather than noticing the correct use of a mixed conditional or the stunning use of…

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Phrase of the day: nothing if not

Listening to a Radio 4 review programme the other day, I was struck by the description of quirky Icelandic singer Björk's new LP - Vulnicura - as "nothing if not honest". The chunk is a subtle and interesting way of…

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Phrase of the day: What’re you doing later?

Lots of very common chunks don’t get taught early enough in many course because they are seen as somehow being examples of ‘advanced’ grammar. For instance, this common question is often left out of Elementary and Pre-Intermediate courses due to…

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