English Practice

1 – New Words From the Vocab Club

Our Daily Vocab Club has learned seven new words this week. Here are the seven new words:

Utensil = a useful tool often found in a kitchen. (noun)
Agency = an establishment engaged in doing business for another. (noun)
By-and-by = before long. (adverb)
Compatriot = fellow countryman. (noun)
Drawback = an objectionable feature. (noun)
Escalate = to increase. (verb)
Farcical = to be ridiculous. (adjective)

The EnglishPractice Assistant is now shipping. Thank you to
all who finished your 60 words. When new students are done, they
will get a link to the new software!

Click here to visit the Daily Vocab Club
and learn more about our new words!


2 – Student Essay

EnglishPractice welcomes your essay submission! Please visit the site to read other excellent essays.  The following essay was submitted by An Ya Hui.

I am a girl who become very shy when I meet a boy who attracts me. I even do silly things because I am so nervous. I remembered one day I was in a bookstore and looking for a book. I was very concentrated until I realized the boy who I adored was standing in front of me. I pretended that I didn’t see him and stared at one book’s cover for seconds. Finally I decided to leave. I just walked for one step and then I hit piles of books next to me hardly and the books kept falling down with loud noise. That’s the most embarrassing moment that I have had.


3 –
Comments About the Essay

Thanks for sharing your embarrassing story with us!  This is a nice essay and one which I’m sure many people can relate to.  It’s always nice when we hear about someone’s personal experiences and feelings.  Again thanks for sharing this and I hope things went more smoothly after that!

There are a few points you should be careful with.  In the first sentence you should say “becomes” in order to agree with the noun “a girl”.  Also be careful of the word “hardly”.  Many students have difficulty with this word.  Remember that “hardly” means “not very much”.  I think you may want to simply say “hard” in this sentence.  This is a common mistake.  This is a nice essay, thank you for sharing it with us.  Good Luck with your future study of English!

Good Work An Ya Hui !!


4 – Body Idioms

In our continuing look at idioms we will try some popular idioms involving parts of the body.  Study these and then try the exercises that follow in Section 5.  We will continue our look at idioms in the coming weeks.

behind one’s back

– when one is absent or without one’s knowledge, secretly

He doesn’t like people who talk behind his back.

cold shoulder

– unfriendly treatment of a person

The office staff gave me the cold shoulder when I did not go to the going away party.

get under one’s skin

– bother, upset

She is beginning to get under my skin with her constant complaining about the noise.

jump out of one’s skin

– be badly frightened, be very surprised

I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw my girlfriend at the movie theater with someone else.

neck and neck

– equal or nearly equal in a race or contest, tied

The two horses were running neck and neck until the end of the race.

off one’s chest

– tell something to someone so it doesn’t bother one anymore

I talked to my friend for a long time and was able to get my problems off my chest.

pain in the neck

– an obnoxious or bothersome person or event

The customer is a pain in the neck and is always complaining about something.

scratch one’s back

– do something kind and helpful for someone in the hope that they will do something for you

If you scratch the supervisor’s back he will help you when you need help.

shove something down one’s throat

– force one to do or agree to something not wanted or liked

The workers were angry because the boss tried to shove the new regulations about uniforms down their throats.


– only on the surface, not having any deep or honest meaning

I believe that the speaker’s interest in the environment is only skin-deep.

stab in the back

– say or do something unfair that harms a friend or someone who trusts you

My friend stabbed me in the back even after I made an effort to help him get a job.

to the bone

– entirely, to the core, through all layers

He was wet to the bone after staying out in the rain for two hours.


5 – Quiz

Study the Body Part Idioms in Part 4 and then complete the following sentences with the correct idiomatic phrase.  Answers are in section 8.

a) I was given the ______ for not helping to pay for the birthday gift.
b) Don’t worry about how you look.  Beauty is only ______!
c) I almost ______ when I saw that horror movie!  I was very scared.
d) We’ll have to plan the surprise party ______, so she doesn’t know.
e) I’ll help you if you help me.  ______ and I’ll scratch yours.
f)  The candidates were ______ until the final vote was counted.
g) That barking dog is really ______!
h) That man is a very bad person.  He is bad ______.


6 – Green Tea

Green Tea has long been valued in China for its miraculous medicinal properties for the maintenance of good health. It has been said in China “it is better to drink Green Tea than take medicine”.

Green Tea has been receiving much attention lately.  As a result, we now have many medical reports and studies by accredited institutions concluding that Green Tea does contain many healthful and healing properties.  Drinking Green Tea has been shown to provide the human body with numerous health enhancing components.  Green Tea contains a very high value of Catechin polyphenols that have antioxidant properties that are known to fight against cancer.  In addition, Green Tea provides Polysaccharides, Flavonoids, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C (there’s more vitamin “C” in one cup of green tea than in an orange), Vitamin E, R-Amino Butyric Acid and Fluoride in it’s natural state.

Green tea has higher values of medicinal properties than other teas, because of the special way in which it is dried.  This traditional drying technique prevents the tea from the negative effects of fermentation. The now widely recognized health benefits of Green Tea have been mentioned in many newspapers and journals including CNN, USA Today, New York Times, Chinese Daily News, Journal of  National Cancer Institute, numerous US Universities and Research Centers.  Some of the findings that have been established are:

GREEN TEA can help reduce the risks of esophageal, (the tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach) skin and many other forms of Cancer, mainly by its highly significant antioxidant properties.
GREEN TEA can help to lower cholesterol and cuts the risk of stroke in men. (American Medical Association).

GREEN TEA can help suppress and reverse aging, and refreshes the body with it’s high Vitamin B content that helps the human body better deal with stress, and release more energy.

GREEN TEA can help restrain the growth of various bacteria that cause disease.

GREEN TEA can help stop cavities because of it’s rich Fluoride content present in it’s natural form, and can help prevent bad breath.

GREEN TEA helps constipation.

The report of the National Cancer Institute about the Cancer preventing abilities and Cancer fighting components of Green Tea has added new life to the market trend of this precious commodity, Green Tea.  We know that people all over the world are discovering the amazing benefits of this fresh and all natural health product, making it the most popular health product of all time.  More and more people who have in the past relied on expensive man made anti-oxidant products are finding it very economical to switch to all natural, and flavorful Green Tea. The fact is, today world wide tea consumption is surpassed by only one other beverage, and that beverage is…. you guessed it! Water.


7 – Interesting Facts

1) King Edward VIII of England acted in films.
2) Rats’ teeth are sometimes worn as earrings in Cameroon.
3) Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian.
4) Cockroaches have a high resistance to radiation.
5) The first pressure cooker was demonstrated in the 1600’s.
6) Some lizards change color in response to their moods.
7) The true shape of the earth is an oblate spheroid.
8) The holes in swiss cheese are created by carbon dioxide gas.
9) Everyday, blinking causes the eye to be closed for about 1/2 an hour.
10) Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.


8 – Quiz Answers

Here are the answers from section 1:

a) cold shoulder
b) skin deep
c) jumped out of my skin
d) behind her back
e) You scratch my back
f)  neck and neck
g) getting under my skin or a pain in the neck
h) to the bone


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One Response

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