All About Winter


Photo by M.Yanez

Officially the winter starts on Friday, December 21st, 2019.  However this early snow storm has definitely kicked off the winter season here in Raleigh! 

If you are staying warm in your home and looking for a way to practice English, take a look at these older posts in our ESL blogs that are about the winter season.


Winter Season



Besides the following blog entries, don’t forget the “Holidays” Page on the top menu bar – it has videos and activities for all the holidays in the Year (including Christmas  )


All About Fall


(image via Wikimedia Commons)

Over time, the ESL blogs have posted many interesting posts about the fall season and recurring events that happen in the fall.  Each of them teach you something about fall but also help improve your English. 

Please take a look. 


Fall Season 

Seasonal Events

Fall Holidays 

Ways to Say Goodbye

One of our ESL supervisors is leaving this week, so we are saying goodbye to him. We have many ways to say goodbye in English.

Formal Goodbyes

Waving Goodbye

By George Eastman House [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Goodbye. – Maybe you learned to say “goodbye” when you are leaving, but it is really very formal. Most Americans do not use it every day because Americans are generally more casual.

Farewell. – This is a VERY formal way to say goodbye. You will not hear it often, and you might never use it. It sounds like something people say in old movies.

Take care. – People often use this phrase at the end of an email. We sometimes say it in conversation when we think that we will not see the other person for a long time.

Have a good day! – This is very common. We use it in conversations and at the ends of emails. It is the most common of all the formal goodbyes. When someone says, “Have a good day,” you can respond with, “You too!”

Casual Goodbyes

See you later! – When you finish a face-to-face conversation, you can say, “See you later!”

Talk to you later. – When you finish a telephone conversation, you can say, “Talk to you later!”

Later! – When you finish a text message conversation, you can say, “Later!” You can also use this in response to “See/Talk to you later!”

Bye! – This is probably THE MOST COMMON way to say goodbye. It’s short, it’s easy, it’s casual – everything Americans want in a conversation. We use it on the phone, in person, and in text messages. We use it with friends, family members, coworkers, bosses, and clients. We often use it after some of the other expressions in the list.

  • Have a good day!
  • Thanks, you too!
  • See you later!
  • Ok, bye!
  • Bye!

Bye-bye! – Very young children say, “Bye-bye,” and adults say it to children. When adults use “bye-bye” with each other, it can sound strange. However, in the southern United States, you will hear adults use “bye-bye,” and it is fine.

Have a good one. – This is a very relaxed way to say goodbye. When you use this expression, you mean, “Have a good day,” or, “Have a good week.” Some people find this phrase annoying or silly. They think you should say “week” or “day” instead of “one.”

So long. – “So long” is an old way to say goodbye. Not many people use it now, but you may hear it or read it.

Slang Goodbyes

Catch you later! – This is a super relaxed way to say, “See/Talk to you later.” It is extremely casual and reminds me of a surfer.

Toodles! – This is a funny way to say goodbye. It sounds like something a woman might say, but probably not a man.

Peace!/Peace out! – These expressions come from 1980s/1990s hip-hop music culture. Some people say them now, but most people do not say them in a serious way. They sound old, like when your dad tries to use words that are cool, but he doesn’t sound cool.

See you later, alligator! – The correct response to this is, “After a while, crocodile!”

Goodbye Body Language

High five!

High Five By Ingorr ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Different cultures use their bodies differently to say hello and goodbye. Here are some ways Americans use their bodies to say goodbye (hello is similar).

  • We raise a hand to wave. This is common when you are far away or in motion. It is also common for people who don’t like to touch others.
  • We shake hands. This is a formal way to say hello and goodbye. We use it with people we don’t know well, and we use it in professional situations.
  • We high five. This is a very informal way to say goodbye. Young people high five more than older people. Older people might high five a child who does not want to give a hug.
  • We hug. Americans usually hug friends and family. Some Americans are comfortable hugging people they don’t know well, but usually only when they have some sort of connection. For example, if you introduce your boyfriend to your best friend, they might hug because YOU connect them. If you meet someone for the first time and feel like you have known the person forever, you might hug when you say goodbye because your conversation made you feel connected.
  • We kiss (but not much). Americans don’t kiss people they don’t know. We don’t kiss strangers on the hand, on the cheek, or on the mouth. We rarely kiss friends. We only kiss family and romantic partners.



How to Write a Good Paragraph in English

When you are learning a new language, you have to learn more than vocabulary. You have to learn grammar and pronunciation, too. You also have to learn something more difficult. Especially in writing, you must learn how people in the culture communicate. In some cultures, people communicate very directly, and in other cultures, people do not say exactly what they mean. Both styles of communication are fine if they are used in the correct culture. However, using the wrong style for the culture can cause a lot of confusion and frustration.

In writing, Americans are usually very direct. If you come from a culture that is also very direct, this will be easy for you. If you come from a culture that is not very direct, you will need more practice. Most students learn American writing style easily once they understand how we do it.

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

The easiest way to explain how to write a good paragraph in English is with a hamburger (which is also very American). A hamburger has:

  1. a top bun (bread)
  2. meat and toppings (lettuce, tomato, cheese, ketchup, pickles, etc.)
  3. a bottom bun

The bread is important for holding the sandwich together, but the reason you eat a hamburger is for the stuff in the middle. A good English paragraph also has three parts:

  1. an introduction or topic sentence
  2. support
  3. a conclusion

The introduction and conclusion are important for writing a complete paragraph, but the most important part is the support in the middle. Let’s look at all three parts of a good paragraph a little bit more.

Introduction/Topic Sentence

Usually, you will write a paragraph about a specific topic. Your teacher will ask a question, or you will read a prompt (a sentence or question to help you think about ideas for a paragraph). Your first sentence should answer the question very directly or make a statement about the prompt very clearly. Here are some examples of prompts and topic sentences. For each prompt, I will show you a few possible topic sentences.

  • prompt: Do you think all American school children should wear uniforms to school? Why/why not?
    topic sentence: I think all American school children should wear uniforms to school.
    topic sentence: I don’t think all American school children should wear uniforms to school.
    topic sentence: I think American school children should be able to choose their own clothes for school, not wear uniforms.
  • prompt: Do you agree with the saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”? Why/why not?
    topic sentence: I agree with the saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
    topic sentence: I don’t agree with the saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
    topic sentence: I agree that two wrongs don’t make a right.
  • prompt: Describe one of your heroes.
    topic sentence: One of my heroes is ___________________.
    topic sentence: ___________________ is my greatest hero.
    topic sentence: I think ___________________ is a good example of a hero for me and for other people.

In each of the examples, we see a very clear answer to the question or prompt. Now the reader knows what the paragraph will be about. We are prepared to read more. The next step is to explain or give reasons for your answer.

Support Sentences

After you give your answer in the topic sentence, you need to elaborate (give more information). Many prompts will say something like:

  • Why/why not?
  • Explain your answer.
  • Describe…
  • How…
  • What should you do?

These questions are asking you to give reasons, statistics, or stories to show why you chose your answer. You should write 2-4 support sentences. Here is an example:

  • prompt: Do you think all American school children should wear uniforms to school? Why/why not?
    topic sentence: I think all American school children should wear uniforms to school.
    support 1: Children should be free to focus on their school work and not have to worry about their clothes. If children wear uniforms, then they will not waste time thinking about their clothes or comparing them to other students’ clothes.
    support 2: Wearing uniforms makes all children equal in school because they cannot show off their family’s money by wearing designer clothes. This helps children see each other as equals, so they can work together better.
    support 3: If children wear uniforms, then parents and teachers do not have to worry about a school dress code. All students will obey the dress code easily, and teachers can focus on their job.


The last part of a good paragraph is the conclusion. This is one final sentence to end the paragraph. When you end a phone call, you don’t just stop talking. You always take a moment to say good-bye. A conclusion is similar. There are a couple of ways to write a conclusion. The easy way is to repeat the idea from your topic sentence.

  • topic sentence: I think all American school children should wear uniforms to school.
    conclusion: For these reasons, I think it’s a good idea for kids to wear uniforms to school.
  • topic sentence: I agree that two wrongs don’t make a right.
    conclusion: That’s why I think two wrongs don’t make a right.
  • topic sentence: One of my heroes is ___________________.
    conclusion: All of these qualities are what make ___________________ my hero.

The more difficult way to write a conclusion is to make the reader think more about the topic or suggest an action.


  • topic sentence: I think all American school children should wear uniforms to school.
    conclusion: If you agree, write a letter to your local school board today, and tell them that all students should wear uniforms.
  • topic sentence: I agree that two wrongs don’t make a right.
    conclusion: The next time someone does something wrong to you, think twice before you get revenge.
  • topic sentence: One of my heroes is ___________________.
    conclusion: We should all try to be more like ___________________.

The difficult conclusion is always more interesting, but if you can’t think of a really good ending for your paragraph, the easy conclusion is always correct. As you get more comfortable writing paragraphs in English, try to improve your conclusions by writing more of the difficult kind.

Paragraph Form

Finally, let’s talk about how a paragraph should look when you write by hand. Look at this paragraph.

image by WTCC instructor ecparent


  • Look at the first line of the paragraph. We start the first line a little bit into the line. This is called indenting. We indent (push in) the first line to show that it is a new paragraph.
  • All of the other lines start at the left side, and they are straight. We do not have some lines starting farther to the left or slowly moving to the right. They are straight down the left side.
  • You can see the three parts of a paragraph here (introduction, support, and conclusion), but the parts are not separated or labeled. They are simply there in the paragraph.
  • Finally, when a sentence ends, you do not need to start a new sentence on a new line. You can continue on the same line.

Your Turn

Choose one of the prompts below, and write a paragraph. Ask your teacher to check your work.

  1. What is a hobby that you enjoy? Why do you like it?
  2. Do you think that all adults should get married? Why/Why not?
  3. What is the perfect number of children to have in each family? Explain your answer.
  4. In English, we have a saying: “The early bird gets the worm.” This means that if you start something early, you will have more opportunities. Do you agree with this saying? Why/Why not?
  5. You want to plan a surprise party for your friend’s birthday. How do you do it?

Types of Families

Being Healthy is Beautiful by Army Medicine is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Being Healthy is Beautiful by Army Medicine is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This week, we are going to continue talking about families. Last time, you learned about family relationships. This week, we are going to talk about types of families. There are six different types of families we can see in our society today.

Nuclear Families

A nuclear family is two adults with at least one child. When most people think about a family, this is the kind of family they imagine. However, there are different kinds of nuclear families. Some have many children while others have only one. Some have a mother and a father while others have two parents of the same gender. Some have biological children, and others have adopted children. These are all nuclear families.

Single-Parent Families

In a single-parent family, there is only one adult who is raising children. The other parent might not be there for many different reasons – death, divorce, etc. About 25% of American children are born to single mothers.

Blended Families (Step Families)

A blended family forms when one single parent marries another single parent. For example, Sharon and her husband have 2 kids, and then they get divorced. Michael and his wife have 3 kids, and then they get divorced. Sharon and Michael get married to each other, and now they have 5 kids – 2 from Sharon’s previous marriage, and 3 from Michael’s previous marriage. They have blended (mixed/put together) two families.

Grandparent Families

Sometimes, for various reasons, a child is raised by his grandparents instead of his parents. When grandparents are raising their grandchildren without help from the children’s parents, this is a grandparent family.

Childless Families

Not all families have children. Some couples choose not to have children, and some couples are not able to have children, but they are still a family.

Extended Families

An extended family might include one or two parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and/or cousins all living together. As grandparents get older, they might move in with their adult children and grandchildren. Or if a spouse (husband or wife) dies, another adult family member might move in to help with the children. There are many reasons why a family might live together in this way.

Your Turn

Write your answers to these questions, or talk about them with your classmates.

  1. What makes a family – blood or love?
  2. What are some of the reasons people choose to adopt a child?
  3. Should homosexual couples be allowed to adopt children? Why or why not?
  4. Are your grandparents still alive? Did you meet them?
  5. Which type of family do you have now? Which type did you have when you were a child?
  6. Would you live with your parents after getting married? Why or why not?
  7. Who should take care of old people? Why?
  8. Describe a typical family in your country.
  9. Do you think married couples should have children? Why or why not? What do you think of married couples who choose not to have children?
  10. Is it okay to have more than one spouse? Would you like to be in this kind of family (as a spouse or as a child)?

Family Relationships

“The holidays are coming up.”

Americans say this before Thanksgiving. When we say “the holidays,” we are talking about all the special days at the end of the year – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve. “Coming up” means coming or happening soon. We spend a lot of time with our families during the holidays, so this week, we’re going to learn what we call our relatives. By the way, “relatives” is a general word we use for people in our families. All of your relatives are related to you.

Immediate Family

Your immediate family is very closely related to you. Immediate family includes parents (mother and father), siblings (brothers and sisters), and children (sons and daughters).

Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you know this family? Barack, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha Obama are immediate family.

Malia and Sasha are sisters. They are the daughters of Barack and Michelle.

Michelle Obama is the mother of Malia and Sasha. She is the wife of Barack.

Barack is the father of Malia and Sasha. He is Michelle’s husband.

Barack and Michelle are the parents of Malia and Sasha.

Immediate family can also include these people:

  • half siblings – A half brother or half sister shares one parent (mother or father) with you, but not both. Maybe you have the same father, but different mothers, or you have the same mother, but different fathers.
  • step siblings – A step brother or step sister has different parents from you, but one of his/her parents is married now to one of your parents. For example, Brian and Kate have different parents (different mothers AND different fathers), but Brian’s mother is now married to Kate’s father. Brian and Kate are step siblings. Brian is Kate’s step brother. Kate is Brian’s step sister.
  • step parents – A step mother or step father is not your biological parent, but is married to one of your biological parents.
  • step children – A step son or step daughter is not your biological child, but you are married to one of the child’s biological parents.

Extended Family

Your extended family is outside of your immediate family. It includes:

  • aunts
  • uncles
  • grandparents
  • grandchildren
  • cousins
  • great-grandparents (great-great-grandparents, etc.)
  • in-laws
  • and more

Here is a short description of each family member’s relationship to you.

  • aunt – the sister of your father or mother/the wife of your uncle
  • uncle – the brother of your father or mother/the husband of your aunt
  • grandmother – the mother of your mother or father
  • grandfather – the father of your mother or father
  • grandparents – your grandmother and grandfather
  • grandson – the son of your son or daughter
  • granddaughter – the daughter of your son or daughter
  • grandchildren – your grandsons and granddaughters
  • cousin – the son or daughter of your aunt/uncle
  • great-grandparents – the parents of your grandparents
  • great-great-grandparents – the parents of your great-grandparents (for each extra generation, add another “great”)
  • in-laws – the family of your spouse/the spouse of your family
    – The mother of my husband is my mother-in-law.
    – The husband of my sister is my brother-in-law.
    – My husband’s family are my in-laws.

Your Turn

Make a family tree to show the relationships in your family. Use this tree to start, but add more relationships and names. Ask your teacher for help if you need it. Then show the tree to your class and talk about your family. You can say:

  • I have ___ sisters and ___ brothers. Their names are…
  • My parents are ______________ and ______________.
  • My mother has ___ sisters and ___ brothers. My aunts’ names are…, and my uncles’ names are…
  • I have ___ cousins.

Tell as much as you can!

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

Food Idioms

For ESL levels 4 and up

By user “FotoDawg” ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In the past, we have talked about idioms related to time, money, and health. Today, we’re going to talk about 10 idioms related to food. Read the idioms, their definitions, and the example sentences. Then discuss or write your answers to the questions at the end.

  • to have a bun in the oven – to be pregnant
    – Did you hear about Emily? She has a bun in the oven.
    – Angela told me that Susan told her that Katie said that Cindy has a bun in the oven.
  • to butter someone up – to be extra nice to someone for selfish reasons (because you want something from them, or because you don’t want to be punished)
    – Teenagers often try to butter their parents up before asking for money.
    – When my son starts to butter me up, I know that he has done something bad.
  • cup of tea – something you like (usually used negatively to say you don’t like something)
    – Country music is not my cup of tea.
    – Kyle tried to watch that movie, but it wasn’t his cup of tea, so he turned it off.
  • nuts about something/someone – to like something/someone a lot
    – I’m nuts about my husband.
    – Celia is nuts about Justin Bieber.
    – James is nuts about nuts!
  • in a nutshell – in short/in summary/simply
    – (How was your vacation?) In a nutshell, I went to ten countries in two weeks and they were all delicious.
    – (How was the movie?) In a nutshell, it was terrible.
    – I like my teacher for many reasons, but in a nutshell, I think she’s cool.
  • to put all of one’s eggs in one basket – to put all your hope and resources into one plan or idea
    – Jeremy invested all of his money in one company, and he lost it all. It wasn’t smart of him to put all his eggs in one basket like that.
    – I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket at the casino, so I played five different games and lost all of them.
    – I’m putting all my eggs in one basket with this company. I hope it’s successful.
  • to sell like hotcakes – to be so popular that many people buy them
    – Beyonce’s new album is selling like hotcakes.
    – When it rains, umbrellas sell like hotcakes.
    – The concert tickets sold like hotcakes, and I didn’t get one before they sold out.
  • to spill the beans – to tell a secret
    – Emily accidentally spilled the beans about having a bun in the oven when she said she couldn’t drink any wine.
    – Heather spilled the beans to Whitney about her surprise birthday party.
  • to spice things up – to change something boring or routine to make it more interesting or exciting
    – If your writing is boring, you can spice things up by writing different kinds of sentences and using descriptive words.
    – I’ve been wearing the same five outfits for months now. I like the clothes, but I need to spice things up. Maybe I’ll get some new shoes or jewelry.
  • to take something with a grain of salt – not to take something totally seriously because it might not be true (because the person who said it is biased or not reliable)
    – Uncle George tells great stories, but you have to take them with a grain of salt because  they aren’t always 100% true.
    – When you read something on the internet, it’s wise to take it with a grain of salt and do more research before you believe it.
    – You should take all parenting advice with a grain of salt because people have strong opinions, but every child is different.

Your Turn

Answer these questions with your classmates, or write your answers:

  1. Do you know someone who has a bun in the oven now? Who? Tell us about her.
  2. Have you ever buttered someone up? Why? What did you want from them? Did it work?
  3. Tell us something that is not your cup of tea (types of music, musicians, movies, fashion, etc.). Do other people like it?
  4. What are you nuts about?
  5. Finish this sentence with one word: “In a nutshell, I think my teacher is _______________.”
  6. Have you (or someone you know) ever put all of your eggs in one basket? What happened?
  7. Think of product in the U.S. that would sell like hotcakes in your country (a product that does not exist in your country now). What is it? Why would people like it?
  8. Tell about a time when you or someone you know spilled the beans. What was the secret? Whom did they tell? What happened?
  9. Is there an area of your life in which you would like to spice things up? Ask your classmates for suggestions.
  10. What have you heard or read recently that you took with a grain of salt? Why didn’t you trust or believe it completely?

Telling the Date

For all ESL levels

Americans write and say dates differently from people in other countries. Do you know how to write and say dates correctly?

How to Write the Date

Americans always give the month first, the day second, and the year last. There are several different ways we can write it.

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

image by WTCC instructor ecparent

  • March 27, 2016
  • March 27th, 2016
  • 03/27/2016 or 03-27-2016
  • 3/27/16 or 3-27-16

You can use a slash (/) or a hyphen (-) between the numbers. There is no difference. When you write the name of the month, you must use a comma (,) after the date.

Sometimes, you will see instructions for writing the date that look like this:


The M means month, the D means day, and the Y means year. If a website or form asks for a date like this, you should use two numbers for the month (01, 09, 11, etc.), two numbers for the date (07, 10, 29, etc.), and four numbers for the year (1982, 2016, etc.).

Sometimes the instructions look like this:


Do you see the difference? In this case, you only use the LAST two numbers of the year – 82 (not 1982) or 16 (not 2016).

When you write the date in _ _ / _ _ / _ _ _ _ format, it is VERY important that you write the MONTH first and the DAY second.

How to Say the Date

Americans usually do not write “st,” “nd,” “rd,” or “th” (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) on the date, but we ALWAYS say it. If you write, “3/27/2016,” you say, “March twenty-seventh, twenty-sixteen” (you can also say, “two thousand-sixteen”). Here is how we write and pronounce all the dates.

**We only add -st, -nd, -rd, and -th to the pronunciation of numbers in dates.**

photo by WTCC instructor ecparent

photo by WTCC instructor ecparent

  1. first
  2. second
  3. third
  4. fourth
  5. fifth
  6. sixth
  7. seventh
  8. eighth
  9. ninth
  10. tenth
  11. eleventh
  12. twelfth
  13. thirteenth
  14. fourteenth
  15. fifteenth
  16. sixteenth
  17. seventeenth
  18. eighteenth
  19. nineteenth
  20. twentieth
  21. twenty-first
  22. twenty-second
  23. twenty-third
  24. twenty-fourth
  25. twenty-fifth
  26. twenty-sixth
  27. twenty-seventh
  28. twenty-eighth
  29. twenty-ninth
  30. thirtieth
  31. thirty-first

When we say years, we usually say the first two numbers together and the last two numbers together. If the year is 1982, we say the first two numbers – nineteen – and the last two numbers – eighty-two.

  • 1980 – nineteen eighty
  • 1776 – seventeen seventy-six
  • 1430 – fourteen thirty
  • 2016 – twenty sixteen

If there are zeros in the middle of the year (2002), the rules change a little. Here is how we say 2000 years:

  • 2000 – two thousand
  • 2001 – two thousand one
  • 2002 – two thousand two

Here is how we say other years:

  • 1903 – nineteen oh three
  • 1409 – fourteen oh nine
  • 1207 – twelve oh seven
  • 1804 – eighteen oh four

Your Turn

Write and say the answers to these questions (search the internet or ask your teacher if you don’t know):

  1. When were you born?
  2. When did the United States become an independent country?
  3. When did Princess Diana die?
  4. When was Barack Obama born?
  5. When is Thanksgiving this year?
  6. When will Americans elect the next president?
  7. When is the last day of your class?
  8. What is today’s date?
  9. What is an important date in your life (wedding, birth of a child, when you moved to the U.S., etc.)?
  10. When was the last time you took a vacation?

Slang Words for Money

Money by Andrew Magill

Money by Andrew Magill, on Flickr

Americans have many different words and expressions to talk about money. If you’re interested in idioms related to money, here is a great post. This week, I’m going to give you some slang words for money.

What’s the difference between idioms and slang?

Idioms are expressions – usually more than one word – that have a specific meaning. When you see an idiom, maybe you understand all the words, but they don’t make sense together. For example, maybe you understand the words, “make” and “killing,” but when you see the phrase, “make a killing,” you don’t understand the expression. That’s an idiom. “Make a killing” means to make a lot of money.

  • Cindy made a killing when she sold her grandfather’s clock.

Slang words are usually just one word, maybe two. Sometimes they are normal words that have a different meaning, like “cool.” “Cool” normally means a little cold, but as a slang word, it means good or interesting. “Broke” is another slang word. Normally, it is the past tense of the verb, “break,” but as a slang word, it is an adjective that means not having any money.

  • Cindy spent all her money on designer clothes, and now she is broke.

Sometimes, slang words are totally new words. In 2015, many young people started using the word, “bae” (pronounced /bei/). It’s a word for someone you love, like honey, baby, or sweetie. “Bae” doesn’t have any other meanings. It is only a slang word.

Idioms do not change in meaning. Young people, old people, people from different parts of the country, and people with different jobs all understand the same idioms. Slang depends on your age and location. My parents do not use the same slang words that I use, and people in California use some slang words that people in New York do not use. If my parents try to use my slang words, they sound very strange.

Slang Words for Money

Now that you understand the difference between idioms and slang, here are 15 slang words for money.

  1. Bones – dollars (countable)
    A movie ticket costs like 12 bones now. (Americans sometimes use “like” to mean approximately/more or less.)
  2. Bucks – dollars (countable)
    A drink at the movies costs 8 bucks!
  3. Smackers/Smackeroos – dollars (countable)
    I took my girlfriend to the movies, and I paid 50 smackers for our tickets and snacks!
  4. Loot – money (non-countable)
    Fifty smackeroos is a lot of loot for one movie.
  5. Moola – money (non-countable)
    I might need to borrow some moola since I spent all of mine at the movies.
  6. Dough – money (non-countable)
    I don’t have any dough. I’m broke.
  7. Benjamins – $100 bills (paper money)
    I saw like 5 Benjamins in your wallet last week.
  8. Big ones – $1,000
    I spent 2 big ones ($2,000) on a new TV.
  9. Grand – $1,000
    Two grand for a TV? It must be nice.
  10. Gs – $1,000
    I wanted a bigger TV, but I only had 2 Gs.
  11. Singles – $1 bills
    I want a drink from the machine, but I don’t have any singles.
  12. One – a $1 bill
    The machine only takes ones.
  13. Five/Fiver/Five-spot – a $5 bill
    If I give you a fiver, will you give me 5 ones?
  14. Ten/Tenner/Ten-spot – a $10 bill
    Or if I give you a ten, can you give me a five and 5 ones?
  15. Peanuts – not much money
    I had to quit my job. It paid peanuts.

Vocabulary for Fall

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2013)

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2013)

It’s fall! Fall (or Autumn) officially began on September 23, at the Autumnal Equinox. Now, the rain is over (we hope) and we can expect beautiful October days. The weather in the fall is cool, not hot, not cold.

What do you do in the fall? There are many fall activities you can participate in. Let’s look at some of them.

#1. Look at leaves. (Leaf –> leaves, not leafs) Leaves change color in fall. Many people like to look at the leaves. Some people collect them in a book.

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2014)

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2014)

#2: Eat apples. Fall is the best season for apples. The best apples are at the Farmers Market. Try apple pie, apple cake, or apple butter.

#3: Go to the State Fair. You can eat a lot of new (but unhealthy) food. Try a funnel cake. Enjoy the rides at the Midway (the place where the games and rides are).

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)

Funnel cake (photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)







Pumpkins (photo by WT instructor JLN, 2014)

Pumpkins (photo by WT instructor JLN, 2014)

#4: Buy a pumpkin. Many people cut faces into pumpkins. Other people put a regular pumpkin on their porch.


(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)






#5: Go to the mountains. It takes about 3 hours to drive to the mountains of North Carolina. October is the best month to see beautiful colors.

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2013)

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2013)

#7: Go camping. Many people enjoy sleeping in a tent outside in the fall. You can make a campfire and stay warm!

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)

(photo by WT instructor JLN, 2012)






#8: Have fun! Fall is a wonderful season for crafts with your children. Enjoy the season . . . it will be cold soon!

Your Turn! Fill in the blank.

  1. Fall is a nice ________________.
  2. ____________ change color in the fall.
  3. A _______________ is a sweet food you can eat at the State Fair.
  4. The rides and games at the Fair are at the ____________.
  5. ______________ are orange and round.
  6. You sleep in a _______ when you go camping.
  7. A ______ is something you make by hand.

A little more . . .

What do you like about the fall? What activities do you do?