EC London English Language School


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(very) Useful English every month – Issue 27 June
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Dear Laercio Venturini,

My word, how the world changes. Yep – today is the day that we are sure to one day call ‘The day we received issue 27 of English in your Inbox‘. Anyway, it’s supposed to help you learn English – which is your cue to get cracking. You know what comes next – competitions, articles, your questions. Bang.

The EC Team

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EC Toon
What I Mean Is…
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Why Do We Say? Word Origin
Top English Learning Tips
Top 5 lessons
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5 Sunny Idioms
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EC Toon: Joke

This month let’s take a look at the word ahead. In the cartoon go on a head means put on, but this what we can mean by ahead:

  • in a forward direction: "Go ahead"; "The boat moved ahead slowly"; "The train lurched ahead".
  • at or in the front: "I see the lights of a city ahead"; "The road ahead is wet"; "Staring straight ahead".
  • toward the future; forward in time: "Look ahead and think about what may happen in the future".
  • ahead of time; in anticipation: "If you pay ahead (or in advance) you receive a discount"; "She likes to plan ahead".
  • to a more advanced or advantageous position: "A young woman sure to get ahead"; "Pushing employees ahead"
  • to a different or a more advanced time (meaning advanced either toward the present or toward the future): "Moved the appointment ahead from Tuesday to Monday"; "Pushed the deadline ahead from Tuesday to Wednesday"
  • leading in a competition: "The horse was two lengths ahead going into the home stretch"; "Ahead by two goals".

What I mean is…

Danny Danny has been teaching English with EC for over 9 years.

Danny – He’s getting up there.

Email Danny!

I was woken up at five thirty this morning by my two-year-old son Jake digging his fingers under my eyelids and yanking them open with a cheerful ‘g’morning!’ Groaning, I crawled out of bed, climbed to my feet, and swayed as the grandmother of all hangovers whacked me with a wooden mallet right between the eyes. My bones ached, my muscles ached, bits of my body which I didn’t even know existed ached. As I straightened up, my spine made a sound not entirely unlike a football rattle in the hands of Barcelona’s number one supporter.

Now, there are two very strange things about all the above…

First of all, I didn’t have a hangover. I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since New Year’s Eve, so unless I now get hangovers six months after drinking, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the feeling of being put through a mangler had nothing to do with alcohol poisoning.

The second strange thing was my wife’s complete lack of sympathy. As I stood there moaning and whining, she simply gave me a smile and a shrug, and said dismissively…

"You’re getting old!"

I didn’t take it too well. After telling her firmly to get knotted, get out of my face and get lost, I went downstairs, sank into my favourite armchair and sulked for a bit.

"’You’re getting old’, indeed!" I said to myself, voice full of outrage. "How dare she?"

And then I realised that I was talking aloud to myself, and not only using the word ‘indeed’, but using it in outrage at the end of a sentence… and that I had a favourite armchair…and I started getting my nose out of joint about the whole thing. What if I was getting old? When had it started, and how had I missed it? I’m normally quite observant, but maybe part of getting old is not realising that you’re getting old…

I decided to give it some serious consideration. In fact, I made a mental checklist…

Was the music that I used to get a kick out of when I was a teenager much better than music nowadays? Yes it was. And, by extension, was today’s music mostly rubbish, where the guitarist only played the same three chords, and you couldn’t understand four out of every five words the vocalist screamed, and you’d have to listen six or seven times to be able to get the message, only you couldn’t be bothered because it was rubbish anyway? Um…yes.

Did I more often than not find myself looking forward to a quiet dinner with friends on a Saturday night rather than getting down to some serious partying in some rowdy, smoky nightclub? Well…yeees but…

Did I sometimes look at certain members of the next generation and think to myself that they really needed to get their act together? Uh-huh. Did it really get my goat when people didn’t say please or thank you, or give any indication that they had been raised to be civil? Uh-huh again.

And finally, did I sometimes find myself rambling on and on about something so trivial and inconsequential that my intended audience rapidly diminished to nobody? Well, if you’ve read this far, you already know the answer to that one…

I sighed with relief. I was getting older, definitely, but I wasn’t getting old, if you get my drift…

Because, you see, my music actually was better than some of the stuff you hear nowadays. Go to any disco or nightclub, and you’ll notice that the songs that the people really get up and dance to are the golden oldies.

And the reason that I prefer a quiet dinner to a night on the town is because of the company…the people I have dinner with are the same people I used to go to nightclubs with anyway, and with good company, it doesn’t matter where you are.

Manners are manners. It’s not an age thing.

As for rambling on and on and on about nothing in particular…well, this article is aimed at learners of English, and there are at least ten expressions using ‘get’ peppered throughout this text. Question is…did you get them?


I’m not getting old. The world is getting younger.

And now it’s twenty-five minutes past two in the afternoon. I’ve been awake since five thirty, so I’m off to get some shut-eye…

See you next month.

Do you have any messages for Danny? He’d love to hear from you:

Email Danny

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