Lesson 1

1 – New Words From the Vocab Club

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

Nominate = to appoint or propose for appointment to an office or place. (verb)
Off-the-wall = highly unusual. (adjective)
Pare = to trim off. (verb)
Quixotic = to be foolishly impractical. (adjective)
Raft = a flat structure, usually made of logs fastened together, for transportation on water. (noun)
Stalemate = a drawn contest in which to move allows your opponent to win. (noun)
Tenacious = to be persistent in maintaining or adhering to something. (verb)

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. Read more opinions on men versus women’s role in society. The following essay was submitted by Haidilambauer.

Do power and wealth corrupt?

Yes, this statement sounds absolutely real to me. If you want to know why I think like that, just take a look around. Take a look at our world. Nowadays the one who has money, cars and all other possessions money can bring is the most successful one. The more powerful one gets, the more one wants to control everything and everyone living in the same society one does. This statement is especially true when we’re speaking about politicians. These strange beings, who see themselves as the most powerful people in the world, are very attracted to money and power. To me, people who are attracted to things like that should never become politicians. What does it take for one to become a leader? It takes faith, intelligence and also a good communication knowledge, among other abilities. If one is only interested in power, and how to get more powerful, one mustn’t choose to be a politician, because the society which is going to be led has much more needs than one’s needs for power can supply. So, this statement couldn’t be more real. To prove that it’s real, we just need to think about what kind of society we’re in living today.

3 – Comments About the Essay

Another excellent essay!  I really enjoyed reading the writer’s perspective on this topic.  Examples are clearly illustrated for us to follow the writer’s train of thought and flow of ideas.  It is another great example of the excellent writing ability of so many ESL students and their ability to express themselves so very well even on the most difficult of topics.  This was a very well done and enjoyable essay.  Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

There are no major mistakes in this essay.  In the second sentence you should say “If you want to know why I think this” or “If you want to know why I feel this way”.  These are simply the structures that are usually used.  Also, be careful of using “one”.  This is a great term but shouldn’t be used too many times in the same sentence.  Just try to use another pronoun form instead of repeating “one”.  This is hardly a serious issue however!  This is a very well written essay.  Your structure and style are easy to read and enjoyable.  Again thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and Good Luck with your future study.

Good Work Haidilambauer!!

4 – Animal Idioms

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

badger someone

– get someone to do something by repeated questions or by bothering them

I always have to badger my friend in order to make him return my computer game software.

bark up the wrong tree

– choose the wrong course of action

He is barking up the wrong tree. He accuses me of causing the computer problem but I was away at the time.

one’s bark is worse than one’s bite

– someone’s words are worse than their action

You shouldn’t worry about her. Her bark is worse than her bite and she is really a very nice person.

bet on the wrong horse

– misread the future

He is betting on the wrong horse if he keeps supporting the other city in their bid for the games.

bull in a china shop

– a person with no tact who upsets others or upsets plans

He is like a bull in a china shop so you should be careful if you invite him to your house for the weekend.

cash cow

– a good way to make money

The new business is a great cash cow. We are making a lot of money now.

cat get one’s tongue

– can’t speak because of shyness

The cat must have got her tongue. She did not saying anything at all.

cat nap

– a short sleep taken during the day

I had a cat nap during the afternoon so I would feel refreshed in the evening.

change horses in midstream

– make new plans or choose a new leader in the middle of an important activity

They have decided to change lawyers but I told them that they shouldn’t change horses in midstream.


– someone who copies another person’s work etc.

He is a copycat according to the other students in the class.

cry wolf

– give a false alarm, warn of a danger that is not there

He is crying wolf. There is no real danger or worry about the electrical system causing a fire.

curiosity killed the cat

– being too nosy may lead a person into trouble

You shouldn’t worry about what he is doing. Remember curiosity killed the cat.


– ready or willing to fight and hurt others to get what one wants

It is a dog-eat-dog world outside the father said to his young son.

donkey’s years

– a very long time

I talked to my friend for a long time because I hadn’t seen her in donkey’s years.

5 – Quiz

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

a) I’ve been up since four o’clock.  I think I’ll take a ______.
b) He only got the promotion because he’s been ______ the manager for it.
c) She may scream a lot but ______ is worse than ______.
d) I haven’t seen you since 1974.  It’s been ______!
e) Don’t tell anyone about this yet.  If we ______ now, it may be premature.
f)  What’s your response to the question?  Does the ______?
g) That man is so annoying! He always upsets others.  He’s like a ______.
h) You must be very aggressive in business.  It’s a ______ world!

6 – A History of Mother’s Day

The Origins of Mother’s Day

The earliest Mother’s Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600’s, England celebrated a day called “Mothering Sunday”. Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter), “Mothering Sunday” honored the mothers of England.

During this time many of the England’s poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called “the mothering cake”, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the “Mother Church” – the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration . People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.

In the United States Mother’s Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace.  Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother’s Day meetings in Boston, Mass ever year.

In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother’s Day. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother’s Day on the second anniversary of her mother’s death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother’s Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother’s Day. It was successful as by 1911 Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state.  President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother’s Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.

While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother’s Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May.

7 – Interesting Facts

1) The D.C. in Washington D.C. stands for “District of  Columbia.”
2) Statistics prove that deaf people live longer than hearing people.
3) One third of Canada’s population is located within 160 km radius of Toronto.
4)Construction started on the Tower of London in 1078.
5) Elizabeth I of Russia (1762) had over 15,000 dresses.
6) American Samuel F. B. Morse invented the morse code.
7) The world’s first iron bridge was built in 1782 at Coalbrookdale, England.
8) Elephants sleep about two hours a day.
9) Queen Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, practiced her own execution with an axe and block in her cell.
10) McDonalds uses beef extract to flavor their french fries.

8 – Quiz Answers

Here are the answers from section 1:

a) cat nap
b) badgering
c) her bark is worse than her bite
d) donkey’s years
e) cry wolf
f)  cat have your tongue
g) bull in a china shop
h) dog eat dog


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