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Language learning, science, and art...

‘Merry Christmas’ in European languages (map)
The following map shows how to say (or rather write) the equivalent of “Merry Christmas” in (official) European languages. Countries are (...)
© Les Cunliffe -
Irregular English verbs: -aught and -ought
A large class of irregular English verbs are characterized by having /ɔːt/ in their pronunciation in the past tense and past participle. (...)
December 9, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Household debt in Europe by country (map)
There is a worrying tendency among households in European countries to spend more than they can earn. The following map shows the average (...)
December 8, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps
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© Les Cunliffe -
Irregular English verbs: bleed, feed, lead…
A common pattern among irregular English verbs is characterized by the change in pronunciation /iːd/ → /ɛd/ in the past tense and past (...)
December 7, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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‘Translate to’ vs. ‘translate into’ in English
It is sometimes hard to tell whether to use “to” or “into” in English, and I am afraid learners have to learn that by heart in most but (...)
December 4, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
© Les Cunliffe -
Articles before possessive ’s
Students who are unsure whether to use the definite or the indefinite article before a noun often try to camouflage this by using (...)
December 2, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Milk consumption in Europe in liters per year per capita
There seem to be vast differences in milk consumption among European countries, and if you live in one of the countries shown below, I (...)
December 1, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps
© Les Cunliffe -
Splitting phrasal verb and preposition (particle) in English
Why do we say “he let her down” but not “he looked her after”? It has nothing to do with the fact that the first sentence expresses (...)
November 28, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Number of McDonald’s outlets per capita in Europe by country
Last week I published a map of the number of vegetarian restaurants per 1 million inhabitants in Europe, and I thought it would be (...)
November 24, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps
© gunnar3000 -
‘His doing’ vs. ‘him doing’ – possessives and gerunds in English
Traditional grammarians will sometimes try to convince you that it is wrong to use the form object pronoun + gerund (e.g. “him doing”) (...)
November 23, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
© gunnar3000 -
‘Consumer’ vs. ‘customer’ in English
English learners sometimes confuse the words “consumer” and “customer”. Although they look similar and the distinction is not important (...)
November 22, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Map of ‘vegetarian friendliness’ (number of vegetarian restaurants) in Europe by country
I originally wanted to create a map showing the percentage of population following a vegetarian diet, but it turned out it was impossible (...)
November 17, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps
The horror of the German Foreigners Registration Office
I am not German, but being a citizen of another EU country living in Germany, I never had to deal with any German authority for foreigners (...)
November 16, 2014 – Jakub MarianBlog
© gunnar3000 -
‘Block’ vs. ‘bloc’ (vs. ‘blog’) in English
Ok, the “blog” part of the title was a joke; most people know that blogs are websites like this one used to publish articles (usually (...)
November 12, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Map of income taxes and social security contributions by country in Europe
Imagine you are an average-wage worker in your country. Do you know what percentage of the money your employer has to allot to you every (...)
November 10, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps
© gunnar3000 -
‘Right side’ vs. ‘right-hand side’ in English
The expressions “right side” and “right-hand side” (and, correspondingly, “left side” and “left-hand side”) are interchangeable in most (...)
November 9, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
© Les Cunliffe -
‘Half five’, ‘half seven’, ‘half ten’… what does it mean in British English?
The standard way to tell the time when it’s X:30 is “half past X”. For example, 5:30 is “half past five”, 7:30 is “half past seven”, and (...)
November 5, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
Map of the results of PISA student assessment studies in mathematics, reading, and science in Europe
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) organized by OECD is one of the most reliable wide-scale standardized student (...)
November 3, 2014 – Jakub MarianMaps, Mathematics
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‘Hearable’ vs. ‘audible’ in English
Adjectives expressing the ability of a thing to be perceived using a sense are often derived from a root that differs from that of the (...)
October 31, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
© Les Cunliffe -
Irregular English verbs: ring, sing, drink, shrink, sink, stink
There is a small class of irregular English verbs that follow the pronunciation pattern /ɪŋ/ → /aŋ/ → /ʌŋ/ in the past tense, two (...)
October 29, 2014 – Jakub MarianEnglish
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