Category Archives: Word of the Day

Word of the Day: Finish and End Up

I don’t know about other languages, but these two verbs  can be easily confused in


Very often, we  see this kind of mistakes:  We missed the bus and finished taking a taxi .

So what is the difference between these two verbs? How can we use them?

♥ End Up

– if you end up somewhere, you eventually arrive there, even though you did not originally intend  to go there.

Many of his friends ended up in prison for different crimes

– if you end up  doing something or end up in a particular state, you do it or get to that state even though you did not originally intend to.

We missed the bus and ended up taking a taxi

I f the crisis continues, we will end up with millions and millions of unemployed

♥ Finish

-If you finish, or finish something you are doing, producing or dealing with, you reach the end of it, so there is no more for you to do, produce  or deal with .

I’ve just finished doing the ironing

When we finished eating , we left

– When a  course, film, sale, etc finishes , especially at a planned time, it ends

The course starts in September and finishes in May

The good news is that both verbs are followed by gerund so, you see, here you can not make a mistake.

See how the following sentences are translated

Have a look at these quotes now and pay attention to how these two verbs are being used. Which quote do you like best ? Why?

Source: Collins Cobuild

Confusing Words

Can you tell the difference between  farther and further or especially and specially? Do you know for certain when to use arrive in or arrive at?  Which one is American English at the weekend or on the weekend, math or maths? Is it think of, about, in or on?? Do you have problems using and/or pronouncing weigh, weighed and weight? You are pretty certain you know how to use boring and bored, but  does it work the same for stressed and stressing?  If these questions have raised serious doubts, then this post is for you. 🙂

Click on the picture if you want to go straight to the section

I sometimes have to remind my students  I’m not a walking dictionary !!  I honestly believe what makes a good teacher is not how many words  he knows in the dictionary or whether he knows a  given idiomatic expression. I don’t  think knowing what “stuck in a rut” means makes you a good  or a bad teacher. I firmly believe a good teacher is the one who loves his work and is able to transmit his love for what he does to  his students  and  is able to keep them motivated  whenever  they want to give up. I  have learned that being a good teacher is not teaching to those who want but to those who don’t.

Although initially English is not such a difficult  language to learn, it cannot be argued that for some students it is easier than for others. Take for example , a native speaker of Dutch or German  and a native speaker of Japanese or Russian. Obviously, German and Russian are closely related to English whereas  Japanese or Russian are completely unrelated so I’m sure   you can draw your  own conclusions in this matter.

Very often students tend to systematically makes mistakes with a given word either in its pronunciation or in the way it collocates with certain prepositions, adjectives …etc and we cannot forget here the issue of false friends which causes so many problems and, trust me,  sometimes funny misunderstandings, like in Spanish, the false friend “embarrassed ” and “pregnant”.

To help my students and readers of this blog overcome  these difficulties, I have created a new section in this bog called CONFUSING WORDS. I hope it’s helpful!

Word of the day: Dream Of/About, Get Married/Marry

Although my favourite expression in class is ” It is very easy”, there’s no point in denying English prepositions are hard to learn, if you can ever say you learn them. I don’t know about other languages but Spanish students seem to consistently make mistakes when using prepositions after these two verbs. Let’s study them:



  •  marry somebody (no preposition required)

Please, marry me !! he said

I married a person I am still in love with

  • be/get married to somebody. (not with)

She used to be married to my brother

I got married to my childhood sweetheart


  • dream about sth /sb when you are sleeping

Last night I dreamt about the exam

  • dream of  you are awake, you think about something pleasant you would like to happen .

I have always dreamt of visiting Japan

She had this romantic dream of changing the world

Hope it helps!! 🙂

 A little quiz , perhaps?
She dreamed ___becoming a chef.


I dreamt ___ you last night.


I married__ Alex because I love him.


I got married __ Peter in Asturias (Spain)


Blog de Cristina is also on Facebook .

Word of the day: Go on Holiday or Go on Holidays?

Happy, happy Monday!  Today is my son’s birthday, 15 years  in this world and every minute of it making me feel the proudest mum on earth. Lucas , I love you to the moon and back!!.

I have had lots of English teachers in my life so I wouldn’t know who to blame, if any, for some of the mistakes I ‘ve made  when teaching English. Some of these mistakes I have been correcting over the years and  as about the others, I´ll let you know as soon as I spot them. The truth is that  one is never aware  what  one is saying is wrong  until suddenly the penny drops.

When I first began teaching, like 24 years ago, I believed that as the teacher I always had to be perfect and know everything there is to know about English. At the beginning , when my students asked me to translate into English a word I didn’t know I’d make one  up and if I made a mistake sometimes I would cover it up.My only excuse is that I was 23 and my students were much older than me.  When I realised that I was not a machine but a far from perfect  human being , only then did I begin to enjoy what I was doing and only then did my lessons begin to get better , mainly because I was enjoying myself and finally putting all my heart into it.

♥Going on Holidays was one of my mistakes. It is easy for a Spanish student to make this mistake as we translate as Ir de Vacaciones and we use the plural here. But speakers of British English use (be/go) on holiday or return/get back from holiday

I met my husband while I was on holiday in Cuba

I am going on holiday next month

Speakers of American English use (be/go) on vacation

♥The plural Holidays is used with the/my/your etc

During the summer holiday(s) my son is going to work in a shop.

She doesn’t want anybody to know where she is going for her holiday(s)


♥By the way, do you know what a (BrE) bank holiday/public holiday (AmE) is ??? An official day when banks and most businesses are closed.

In Spain ,12th October is a bank holiday.


Word of the Day: Roast and Baked

Hope you are having a great week!! I can’t complain!! Apart from a visit to the hospital and another one to the doctor to have my wrist bandaged I can say that , all in all , it’s been a great week so far.

I understand  you might be a bit tired of reading about food , but that’s what I am teaching and that’s where my  brain is focused right now. In fact, I have just found a video in youtube to add to the growing list of food related posts. Keep poted !!

Today I just want to point out the difference between these two words which are very similar and therefore raise doubts

♥Both are adjectives

♥Both  mean cooked in the oven

Baked is used for bread, cakes and most sweet things, and also fruit and vegetables.

♥Roast  means cooked with fat, and is used especially for meat and potatoes.