Friday, 26 February 2010

Classified advertisements

Classified advertisements advertise jobs, accommodation, services, the sale of products etc. Depending on the city and type of media, short-hand terms are often used. This is due to the limited space available and helps reduce the cost of placing an advert.

Can you make out the short-hand terms in this ad for vacancies?

3 perm posns. avail in our mod. off. Exp. in office duties an adv. Poss. of trng for right applicants. Oppty. for advancement. Refs nec. Contact G. Peterson by ph.

Written in full this would be:

3 permanent positions available in our modern office. Experience in office duties will be an advantage. Possibility of training for the right applicants. Opportunity for advancement. References necessary. Contact G. Peterson by phone.

How about this one for a flat to let?

N.London, f/f for n/s, 2 bdrms, a/c, ch, wm, £900 p.m excl. bills

North London, fully furnished for non-smokers, 2 bedrooms, air condition, central heating, washing machine, £900 per month excluding bills

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Can you spot what’s not quite right with this story?

There was a paws as the cat jumped threw the window and court a mouse. Eye saw the hole thing and herd it two from the stares this mourning. Of coarse I don’t no wear the mouse is write now. I have too weight hear four the cat two leave so I can fined it!

It’s full of ‘homophones’ – words which sound the same as another word but the spelling and meaning are different. e.g. red (colour), read (a book - past tense)

So you would eat a sweet and stay in a hotel suite. You can sail on a boat and view the clothes on sale. You will check your mail (correspondence) on-line and not your male (human).

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

American versus British English spelling and vocabulary

In terms of writing there are some words that are spelt differently in American English and British English. For those taking IELTS exams both types of spelling are acceptable. Here are a few examples.

American spelling: labor, color, favorite, neighbor, center, theater, gray, airplane
British spelling: labour, colour, favourite, neighbour, centre, theatre, grey, aeroplane

Similarly, there are some vocabulary differences in British English and American English. Here are a few examples.

British English: autumn, flat, lift, holiday, queue, rubbish, secondary school, shop, pavement
American English: fall, apartment, elevator, vacation, line, garbage, high school, store, sidewalk

An American peanut butter and jelly sandwich might sound a bit unusual but not if you recognize that the 'jelly' is 'jam'.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Welcome to's blog

Welcome to's blog. I'm the Creative Director of this learning site so I have designed the courses with the help of other experienced and qualified teachers, having you, my students in mind. Hundreds of you already know me and my teaching style with a board and marker and I'm delighted to have taught so many of you coming from remote areas in the Asian and African continent and guided you through difficult language exams towards your dream of studying in an English speaking country. Now, with the aid of technology, you'll be able to enjoy my on-line classes from anywhere in the world and I'll be able to provide you with instant feedback.

This blog will be used to provide students with informal English language information (such as grammar and vocabulary tips), advice and ideas whether you're a beginner or an IELTS candidate. We'll also be reporting any new developments on the site as it evolves to meet your learning needs and our teaching experiences with our international students.

All the best,
Miranda Hoplaros

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Want to learn english but don't have time to attend classes

ExpressTeach offers online courses on learning to speak, listen read and write in English. Courses are offered according to your current level of ability in speaking and writing in English, from:

To find out more about learning English online, please visit the ExpressTeach website.