New Year’s Week in Boston

There will be a large number of special events in Boston to celebrate the new year.  Most of them are part of First Night Boston.  Here’s a Full Schedule

  • Blink light and music show – every 30 minutes from 4:30-10:30pm, every night through Jan 1st
  • Ice sculptures – at Quincy Market, Copley Square, and other places 

Pick Up

Don’t Say Say This
Pick it up the pencil.
or Pick up it.
Pick up the pencil.
or – Pick the pencil up.
or – Pick it up.
I’m going to pick it up my daughter. I’m going to pick up my daughter.
or – I’m going to pick my daughter up.
I’m going to pick up her/she. I’m going to pick her up.

Remember

  • to pick up is a “phrasal verb” (a two-word verb).  The most common meanings are:
    1. To lift something/someone from a surface
      Ex: He picked up his book.
    2. To meet someone and take them with you.
      Ex: I have to pick up my kids after school.
  • You can pick something up – or – pick up something
    Ex: Pick up the package.  or  Pick the package up.
  • But – You can only use a pronoun in the middle – between “pick” and “up”
    You can Pick her up or Pick it up.
    Incorrect: Pick up it. or Pick up her.
  • Also, Don’t use the noun and its pronoun together.
    Pick up the phone. – or – Pick the phone up. -or- Pick it up.
    But NOT: Pick it up the phone.
  • There are some other meanings of this phrasal verb too.
  • You can see pick up used as part of a conversation in many examples from YouGlish below.  You can press the Next Track button   to see another example.

Visit YouGlish.com

Can My Phone Understand Me?

  Smartphones can listen to you speak, and display your words.  So can iPads and computers.  If your phone can understand you, other people will probably understand you.

Practice your speech on iPhone or iPad

  • Open the Notes App    and create a new note     
  • Press the Microphone icon next to the Space Bar on the keyboard
  • Start talking – and see what words are shown
  • Are they the same words that you spoke?  If not, try again.

Practice on Android phone or tablet

  • Install the Google Keyboard app from Google Play
  • Then open your email app, or use a free notes app like Evernote
  • Press the Microphone icon next to the Space Bar on the keyboard
  • Start talking – and see what words are shown
  • Are they the same words that you spoke?  If not, try again.

When your phone can understand you, you can use your voice for … email, text messages, Siri questions on iPhones (“Hey Siri“), Google searches (“OK Google“), Alexa, and more.

Google Translate

On iPhones or Android phones, you can also use the Google Translate app (Android; Apple) for this.

  • Make sure the language is set to English
  • Press the microphone button and start speaking

The Little Prince – In Levels

 The Little Prince is a very famous and popular book written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  You can read – and listen to – the book for free in one of three English levels.   How many English words do you know?  

  • Choose Level 1 if you know about 300 to 1000 English words
  • Choose Level 2 if you know 1000 to 2000 words
  • Choose Level 3 if you know more than 2000 words