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Incredible English sentences

This is rather difficult: try and understand these English sentences. They are grammatically correct, yet they might give you a headache.

 

difficult

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Madeleine Albrigt Interview

Jon Stewart, the host of the popular Daily Show, interviewed Madeleine Albright, and it is excellent. And not only because she introduces the American audience to interesting aspects of Czech history.

Her book – Prague Winter – is a long but fascinated read. Not just for Czechs, but for everyone who is interested in Czech history. It’s nice to listen to her summary of the historical events in this interview.

See also her TED talk:

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To Do list

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To Do list (also spelled to-do list) is a basic productivity tool to help people keep track of what they need to do in order to be finished with their work.

As you proceed through your to-do list, you check off the things you have done. That is why it is sometimes called a “checklist”. While to-do list is usually very specific (you created it based on what you need to do), checklist can be quite general (as in: checklist of moving into a new house), designed to help you realize what you need to do in a certain situation.

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Three little jokes in English

If English is not your first language, understanding jokes can be particularly difficult. They often use homophones (words that sound alike) or double meanings. Still, it’s good to practice, because practice makes perfect. So let’s look at three of them today, very simple ones.

Many of the jokes have a question-answer structure:

What is the longest word in the English language?
SMILES: there is a mile between the first and last letters!”

You might remember we talked about this type of jokes already.

Now let’s try a joke that has some double meanings:

Why couldn’t Cinderella be a good soccer player?
She lost her shoe, she ran away from the ball, and her coach was a pumpkin.

Remember, coach is both a horse-drawn carriage and a athletic instructor or trainer. And ball can refer to both the sport equipment and the dancing.

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This one I did not know Smile It’s good to know that when casually pronouncing, the H at the beginning of a word is often silent.

Q: What do you call a hippie’s wife?
A: Mississippi.

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Below or Bellow

These two words are mixed up quite often, especially since the spelling is very similar – single L or double L makes all the difference. Usually, you want to write the word with one L:

below (česky: pod, dole)

And then there is the word that many people do not even know but they misspell below (see above Smile). Unfortunately, most spell checkers will not correct it, since it is a real word.

bellow (česky: řvát, křičet, bučet)

  • to make a noise like the deep roar of a large animal
  • to shout in a deep voice

I hope this will help you to spell below correctly even if the spell checker will allow you to use bellow as well, not knowing what you wanted to say.

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How not to translate

Well, this is embarrassing (trapné) . And probably irreversible (nenapravitelné) since they need to get going as soon as possible…

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There are many fails (selhání, trapas) like this one concerning translations or phone conversations.  My two favorite are these:

A cake ordered over the phone: “Please, write Welcome on it!”

“As you wish.”

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This is a sign somewhere in Asia. The owner, not knowing English, used an online translation service. But they were out of luck that day…

You can find more funny translations at Engrish Funny.

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US and UK English–three main differences

US and UK

It’s true. Here is a table to better remember some of it:

British English American English česky
chips fries hranolky
crisps chips brambůrky, čipsy
football soccer fotbal
American football football americký fotbal

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