English as a beauty
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If you luxuriate /lʌɡˈʒʊə.ri.eɪt/, you get great pleasure from something, especially because it provides physical comfort. Example – There’s nothing better after a hard day’s work than to luxuriate in a hot bath. 
If you are endowed with something, you have a particular quality or feature. Example - Some lucky people are endowed with both brains and beauty.
If a quality is unflagging, it never becomes weaker. Example - He thanked Tom for his unflagging energy and support.
Yesterday I was browsing through my books at home and came across a cute explanation of a man's age in one of them. The author was describing his new acquaintance who was "on the elderly side of middle age". I find this fantastic ability of the English language to explain almost anything in flexible ways really cool. I mean, someone who is 35 and someone who is 53 are middle aged people, but the latter would be, again, on the elderly side of middle age. Brilliant😉
Educated guess is a guess that is made using judgment and a particular level of knowledge and is therefore more likely to be correct. Example - I think our partners will sign the contract next week. That's my educated guess (=грамотна оцінка/припущення).
If someone is infallible, they are never wrong, failing or making a mistake. Example - Even some of the brightest minds of our country may not be infallible.
If you can't swear to something, you are not sure if it is true or not. Example - I think Paul lives in Harrow Street, but I can't swear to it (=не можу заприсягтись).
In Britain, grass roots are ordinary people in a society, movement or organization. Example - The Prime Minister depends for his support on the grass roots of the Party.
If you are floating on air, you are very happy. Example - Karol was floating on air when she heard the news.
Did you know a cool English word “expergefactor”? Well, I did not. Till now. It turns out that an expergefactor is anything that wakes you up. This may be your alarm clock, a milkman or a delivery van. So, if something wakes you up you can say with lots of anger in your voice: ‘Damn you, expergefactor!”😁

Today is the New Year’s Eve, and I would like to wish you all the best in the upcoming 2020. I am planning to surprise with many cool things next year, and I do hope you will keep following my stories. See you in 2020, friends!🎅
Dear friends,
I am glad to be welcoming you on my channel in the new year of 2020. Thanks for staying with me for almost 16 months now. I have been deriving much pleasure from trying to show you (maybe even teach you!) some fine things and peculiarities that the English language has to offer. After taking stock of this channel and of how I’ve been managing it so far, I have came to a conclusion that I have been making some mistakes while along the way. First, I’ve been trying to post new words and expressions on a daily basis, which seems like a lot to me now, since I understand that it normally takes some time to absorb and process them. Second, some of those words and expressions might not represent the most useful word combinations you might be using in your everyday English. Having realized this, from now on I will be trying not to overload you with material by publishing posts every 2-3 days, so that you get some time to process the data. At the same time, I will try to explain rules and new words in the most comprehensible way, providing numerous examples. Last but not least, I will try to keep in you in the picture of the latest developments in English, so that you can keep abreast of your potentially international colleagues/friends/partners. So, there will be plenty of things to come in 2020. Stay tuned!
In my first post of 2020 I would like to address one of the most annoying grammar issues in English – collective nouns. By raising the following question I would like to invite you to a journey of collective nouns (for instance, police, government, none of the students, a herd of cows, etc.) to be undertaken within the next several posts.

Try to answer the question - Which option is correct – A great number of people want to visit Paris – or – A great number of people wants to see Paris?
Tricky, isn’t it? The rule is – with such words as “a/the majority of, a number of, a lot of, a plenty of, all of, some of” and a plural noun we use a plural verb. So, the option “A great number of people want to see Paris” is correct.
However, with such words as “any of, each of, either of, neither of, none of” and a plural noun we can use a singular or plural verb. For example, sentences like “Neither of the French athletes speaks English” and “Neither of the French athletes speak French” or “I don’t think any of the candidates is strong enough” and “I don’t think any of the candidates are strong enough” are equally correct.
Note, that a singular verb is preferred in written English.

P.S. I also encourage you to recommend my channel to your friends or colleagues who might also find it useful. Thank you!
Reading books in English means encountering multitudes of sometimes funny and unexpected expressions. So, let me get you acquainted with one such expression, namely, hen’s teeth. This idiom means that something is very difficult to acquire or to come by. While reading a superb book on history of translation (“Is that a Fish in Your Ear?” by David Bellos), I came across one sentence that contained this expression. It goes like this – Translations from English are all over the place; translations into English are as rare as hen’s teeth.
I guess this idiom makes perfect sense. Have you ever seen a hen with teeth?😁
Let me go back to collective nouns. Using the words “per cent” is not an easy task, as it might look first. After “per cent”, if no noun or a singular noun follows, we use a singular verb. Example – An inflation rate of 2 % poses a big threat to a growing economy.
Around 10 % of the forest is destroyed each year.

However, in phrases where we can use % + of + plural noun, we use a plural verb. Example – 50 % of the houses need major repairs.
20 % of those interviewed admit to smoking. 
While reading this amazingly interesting book on how different food influenced the course of the human history, I came across some very instructive expressions that (in my opinion) only a native speaker is capable of coming up with. It is my deep conviction that to master a foreign language you have to read (listen to) as much as possible, preferably written (spoken) by native speakers. 

First expression is “to be not beyond the realms of possibility”. Example – It is not beyond the realms of possibility (= it is possible) that Mykola will win the competition. 

Second one is “no mean feat”. Example – Winning 3 big tennis tournaments in a row is no mean feat (= is a great achievement).

And the third one is a very special one. In order to understand it, you will need to know the context. The author of the book, Tom Nealon, writes about an organization in France that started selling lemons in Paris somewhere in the middle of the 16th century. The name of the organization was very long. To describe it, Tom used a beautiful sentence, I quote, “The name of it could have used some brainstorming”. I hope you’ve understood the subtle irony. If not, here is an explanation of the phrase – the name of organization is so vague and unclear, that you would need a session of brainstorming to understand its meaning😁
English words may be confused easily. Here is a list of some of them with examples. 

Effectaffect.

“Effect” is a noun. Example – The President’s speech had a profound effect on everyone.

“Affect” is a verb. Example – The financial crisis in Europe has affected (= has had a negative effect, impact) many countries outside Europe. 

Breathbreathe

“Breath” is a noun. Example – I need to catch my breath after running so long.

“Breathe” is a verb. Example – There is so much smog in Kyiv right now. I can hardly breathe. 

Pay attention to the difference in pronunciation: a breath - /breθ/, to breathe - /briːð/.

Councilcounsel

“Council” is a noun and means a group of people elected or chosen to make decisions or give advice on a particular subject, to represent a particular group of people, or to run a particular organization. Example – The town council is/are responsible for keeping the streets clean. 

“Counsel” is a verb and means giving advice, especially on social or personal problems. Example – My job involves counselling unemployed people on/about how to find work. 

Every dayeveryday.

“Every day” is similar in meaning to each day. Example – Mike goes to work every day.

“Everyday” is an adjective. Example – This historian knows a lot about the everyday life of the Victorian era. – Death was an everyday occurrence during the Second World War. 
At school or university we were taught the difference between the words “to say” and “to tell”. The idea was quite simple – you put “to tell” right before a pronoun (you, he, she, we, they, etc. Example – I told him the news) and you use “to say” either alone (Example – He said that he did not want to come) or before a pronoun with a particle “to” (Example – “Would you like some coffee”, Mary said to me). This rule is way too simple, and as you may have guessed, there are more things to pay attention to here.
There are more expressions that are used with “to tell”. For example, in English people “tell a lie/lies” or they “tell the truth”. The latter is a harder thing to do in life 😉.
You also “tell the difference”, when you notice a difference in quality between two things. Example – Can you really tell the difference between these two sorts of coffee?
If you know something, you recognize it or know something for sure, you can “tell it”. Example – This guy is certainly Dutch – How can you tell?
If something tells on something, it has its effect on it. Example – A very cramped schedule told on her health condition.
You can also “tell the time”. Example – Can you believe it, my daughter learned to tell the time at 5 years of age!
There are also some useful expressions with “to say”.
In English, you “say goodbye to people”. You use “to say” to state an opinion. Example – If they are late, I say we go without them.
If something “says a lot about somebody”, it clearly shows or expresses something about it. Example – The fact that Mike decided to work under such unfavourable circumstances says a lot about his will to succeed.
In the USA, they use “say” at the beginning of a sentence to express surprise or pleasure, or to attract attention to what you are about to say. Example – Say, that’s really good of you! Say, how about going out tonight?
As some of you will know, Karl Lagerfeld was a famous German fashion designer. He died almost a year ago, on 19 February 2019. Yesterday I came across an article in The New York Times titled “What happened to Choupette? Karl Lagerfeld’s cat, and rumored heir, has become a business unto herself”. My attention was drawn to the phrase “has become business unto herself”. This is a very cool and subtle expression that I really enjoy. First of all, Choupette is a cat that Mr. Lagerfeld really loved. He called her “my muse”.  The phrase “she has become business unto herself” means that this cat is now an independent actor in business, or she does her own business. This phrase reminded me of another expression that I found in a book on Poland’s history. In one of its chapters its author was speaking of Polish nobles living in the 17th century who “were law unto themselves” (самі собі закон). English never ceases to surprise me and, what’s more important, to enrich my vocabulary. Have a nice day everyone!
If you start digging deep into the English language, you will find lots of interesting and what’s more, unexpectedly strange words. Here are some of them. 

Zwodder is a drowsy and stupid state of mind. You can say something like “I am in a zwodder now”. If you ever decide to egrote, you will pretend being sick in order to avoid work. For example – I don’t want to go to work today. I think I will egrote.
A very useful phrase😁