If you have kids out of school this week, or just have extra time for yourself, here are some places to go – to see more of Boston and MetroWest, have some family fun, and practice your English:
- Swan Boats at the Boston Public Garden
Now open for the season
GPS: 4 Charles Street, Boston
- Watch the Runners in the Boston Marathon – Monday April 15
It starts in Hopkinton and goes through MetroWest along Rt. 135
- Patriots Day Activities – Monday, April 15
- Spring Carnival – Pinefield Shopping Center, Framingham
Thursday-Sunday April 18-21, Rides, Games, Food
- Garden in the Woods – Now open for the season
GPS: 180 Hemenway Rd, Framingham
- Danforth Art Museum – Now re-opened in Framingham Center
Free open house – Sunday, April 14th Noon to 4pm
GPS: 14 Vernon St. Framingham
- Vacation Week Activities at these museums:
- Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Story Telling, Art projects, more
- Boston Children’s Museum
Special Story Telling events April 16-20
- Franklin Park Zoo
Special talks with the zookeepers April 15-19
- Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston
Special activities April 16-19
- Discovery Museum in Acton
Special activities, including Tinytropolis April 15-20
- Animal Adventures in Bolton
- Ecotarium in Worcester
- Boston Museum of Fine Arts
- Cambridge Science Festival – Now through April 21
250 events – in Cambridge, and around Boston
- Big Apple Circus – now through May 5th
At the North Shore Mall in Peabody
GPS: 210 Andover Street, Peabody
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston
Special day for visitors named Isabella on Wed. April 17th. (It’s free for Isabellas every day)
Take a virtual tour of the museum
GPS: 25 Evans Way, Boston
- Society of Arts & Crafts
Small, free museum in new home at …
GPS: 100 Pier 4 Boulevard, Seaport area of Boston (next to Ocean Prime restaurant)
- Rotary Club Craft Fair – Sat. April 20th from 10-4
At Keefe Tech High School in Framingham
More than 100 crafters
- Lots more to find on…
If you don’t know how to pronounce someone’s name, or you have difficulty repeating their name, here is some help.
One good place to listen to the common pronunciation of many names is YouGlish.
- Type in the name (first name or last name)
- Choose “US” to see only videos using American English
- Below the video, you can change the speed to “slower”, to listen more carefully
- Listen to the name pronounced as part of several videos
Try to pronounce these names by yourself, and then try them in YouGlish, above:
Elijah, Genevieve, Zachariah, Reynolds, Holmes
Finally, if you would just like to hear the pronunciation of a lot of common names, you can try these:
- books to borrow and read – to yourself or your kids
- music and movies
- videos on learning English
- and so many more free resources
Beginning on Tuesday, April 9th, there will also be a Bookmobile, that will bring a piece of the library to neighborhoods, schools, and other places all around the city. On Tuesday morning at 8:30 in front of the Memorial Building (City Hall), there will be a little celebration for the bookmobile’s first day, with some snacks until 10:00. Later that day, the fist places that the bookmobile will visit will be:
- Woodrow Wilson School
- Brookdale Senior Community
- Carmel Terrace Senior Community
- Framingham YMCA
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.
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.
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…
- 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
|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?|
- 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 Say: Yes, she like. or – Yes, she likes.
- Does she have a car?
Here’s another good explanation from Woodward English: