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Baseball Idioms

   Baseball is one of the most popular sports in the United States.  The baseball team in Boston is the Red Sox.  They play their first game of the 2019 season on Thursday, March 28th.

There are many expressions – ‘idioms’ – used commonly that come from baseball A few examples:

  • Someone who is “on the ball”  is a person you trust to get something done.  They are knowledgeable and responsible.
  • Someone who “strikes out” fails at something (there are other meanings too).
    For example: He asked for her phone number, but he struck out.
  • If you “Go to bat” for someone, it means that you help or support them.

If you know the rules of how to play baseball, it can really help you to understand these idioms better – and also to watch a game on TV, or even better, at the baseball park.

Synonyms

A synonym is a word that has the same, or almost the same, meaning as another word.
Synonyms for “cold“:  chilly, icy, frigid, and frosty.
They are good to learn because:

  • They improve your vocabulary
  • They make your speaking and writing more interesting (not always using the same words)
  • They make your speaking and writing more clear (closer to what you really want to say)

One good place to find synonyms is Thesaurus.com   A ‘thesaurus’ is a synonym dictionary.  Type in a word such as delicious, or enjoy, and they will show you several synonyms – with the most common synonyms listed first.  You can also check the pronunciation and definition for each of these words. (It’s important to check the definition for words that you don’t know.)

There’s a popular thesaurus that’s part of the Dictionary.com App – available for free for IOS and Android.  After you install the app, you can switch to the thesaurus to find synonyms.  There’s also a special tab for English learners, with more explanation.

Here’s a basic list of synonyms for almost 100 very common English words.

Google Images as Your Dictionary

    There are some good, regular dictionaries for English language learners – including the Learner’s Dictionary, which explains 100,000 words and phrases in simple language, with sentence examples, and pronunciation.

However, there are many times when some pictures will help you understand a word better, and more quickly.  Perhaps the easiest way to see a word in pictures is with Google Images.  Here are some examples of words that are easier to understand with a picture, or a set of pictures…

Animal Idioms

  • Night owl –  A person who is more awake/active at night
  • Early bird – A person who is more awake/active earlier in the morning
  • Scaredy cat – Someone easily frightened by something
  • Average bear – An average/typical person
  • Get off your high horse – Stop acting like you’re better than other people
  • Busy bee – A person who is very active/busy
  • Social butterfly – A person who likes going to lots of parties and other social events
  • Fish out of water – A person who feels uncomfortable in a new place or situation
  • Eager beaver – Someone who is very enthusiastic and works hard
  • Sitting duck – Something/someone unprotected – easy to attack
  • Cold turkey – Stop doing something very suddenly (He stopped smoking cold turkey.)
  • Stool pigeon – An informant – someone who acts as a spy and reports to someone else (often the police)
  • Hornet’s nest – A situation that could produce a lot of trouble, anger

Yes/No Questions with ‘Does’

Don’t Say Say This
Does she has a car?
Does she have a car?
Does your father has an appointment? Does your father have an appointment?
Does he goes to Boston every Tuesday? Does he go to Boston every Tuesday?
Does the milk smells ok? Does the milk smell ok?
Does she likes pizza? Does she like pizza?

Remember

  • Present Tense – Use when something happens in the present in a usual/regular way.
  • Base Form of a verb – Same as the infinitive, without the ‘to’
    • Examples of base verbs: go (not – goes, going, went); like, have, do, eat, work, play
  • For he/she/it in present tense – Pronounce the sound of the S at the end of most verbs
    • He cooks every night.  She goes there often.  It looks good.
  • BUT – for questions, use the base form of the main verb
    • So… She has a new dress.    But… Does she have a new dress?
    • She goes to school every Tuesday.    But…  Does she go to school every Tuesday?
  • Answering these yes/no questions
    • Does she have a car?
      • Yes she does.  (or – Yes, she has a car.)
      • No she doesn’t.  (or – No, she doesn’t have a car.)
    • Does she like pizza?
      • Yes she does.  (or – Yes, she likes pizza)
      • No she doesn’t.  (or – No, she doesn’t like pizza.)
      • Don’t SayYes, she like. or – Yes, she likes.

Here’s another good explanation from Woodward English:

Maple Sugaring Season

  With cold nights and warmer days, late February is the beginning of maple sugaring season in Massachusetts. Maple syrup is made in many sugar houses in and near MetroWest.  You can visit a sugar house and get a tour explaining how maple syrup is made – and usually taste/buy some fresh delicious maple syrup or other maple products.

Places to visit:

March – In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

This is an old expression about the month of March – how the weather is cold and unpleasant at the beginning of the month, and then warmer and more comfortable at the end.

Here’s a children’s story about it:

Try reading it out loud to your child (or just yourself).  It’s good practice.
You can also  buy the book here, or borrow it from your library.