Interesting English 21.05.17

Welcome to my first edition of Kim Griffiths English Interesting English

Hello! I’m Kim.

I’m a qualified English teacher and I’ve been teaching for the last 23 years. I thought it would be useful for English (as a second language) learners to have a blog / magazine with a variety of English tips, expressions, vocabulary and more which they can read weekly and to be able to improve their level, maintain the level they already have or to practice their English using the useful links I post to articles, reference pages and videos.


  • A Roald Dahl quote.
  • Make and do.
  • Business English – telephone.
  • A study tip.
  • Daydreaming topic – flight hand luggage.
  • Social language – describing coffee.
  • Entertainment- subtitles and video listening practice, Notorious.
  • Kim’s Madrid life article – A Pottery Fair, an interview and basic Vocabulary.
  • “Feed your mind” video talk from Monica Lewinsky on TedTalks.

A Quote

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Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was a writer of childrens books.

Have you heard of The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda. All of these have been made into very successful movies. He also wrote the adult books The tales of the unexpected.

This quote shows the warm heartedness which was so characteristic of his writing and is in my opinion a very good point – it is hard to shine on the outside when you don’t feel happy inside.

If you would like to learn more about Roald Dahl and his stories click here.

Make and do


Make and do can be a problem for native speakers of Spanish since in Spanish it is the same word – hacer. There is a trick which can help but it isn’t 100% true, because there are many exceptions. Do is more usually an activity, whereas make is to produce something or cause a result.

I do the cooking to make the meal. I do my hair (the action of styling or arranging it) to make a good impression.

One, among many, exception to this is to  make a phone call.

And speaking of phone calls…

Work Business English


These are the 4 most common phrasal verbs we use with the phone.

Here are the verbs in example sentences.

  •  Your phone is ringing. Go pick it up
  •  Hold on please, I’ll put you through to the sales department.
  • Hello, yes this is sales…. you want to talk to John? Hold on I’ll put him on…(Hey!John telephone for you!) Hello this is John speaking.

A Study Tip

A Tip = is a little idea/comment to help you.

This tip may seem obvious but from my own experience of studying Spanish I end up leaving my notes and books all over the house, and in my different bags, where I just happen to put them down.

Where do you keep your English notes?

It is a good idea to keep them all in one place always so you can find them easily and not waste time searching before you start studying.

If I have to look all over the house to find my notes I often just get lazy and then don’t even bother to do it!   (*bother = use the energy.)  So no looking and no studying!


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Your carry-on bag or hand luggage is the bag you don’t check into the airplane ✈️ luggage hold (*luggage hold= area in the plane where the suitcases are placed, and  inaccessible to passengers).

Obviously, my hand luggage is as large as possible since I carry all these things with me ready to use during my flight! Hehe

Social English


How do you take your coffee? = How do you like your coffee?

  • Black = no milk or cream.
  • With a drop of milk = with just a little milk.
  • White/with milk = with half coffee, half milk.
  • With cream.
  • With sugar.
  • Roasted = the coffee beans are roasted (cooked at a high temperature) before they are ground (made into a powder).
  • Mellow = with a smooth flavour.
  • Strong = strong flavour of coffee.
  • Weak = not a strong coffee taste.
  • Iced = hot coffee then poured over ice to make it cold and served with the ice.
  • Ground = powdered coffee not in the whole bean.

Click here to see a more in depth article on coffee types

Entertainment, Video and Listening


Not all videos on YouTube have subtitles. Some have automatically generated English subtitles which often have a few mistakes. Check the caption or subtitles buttons to find out. Sometimes there are perfect English subtitles and even more languages.


I recommend watching Notorious, which is full on You Tube and has English subtitles. It is a thriller with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Click here to go to the full Film on You Tube

Kim’s Madrid Life

Last week I went to a Ceramics Pottery Fair in Plaza Comendadoras, Madrid.

It is called La Feria de la Cacharreria.  If you speak Spanish here is a good article about it (in Spanish) and lovely photos.

It was lovely to see so many colours and different varieties of pottery. Some were very delicate and others heavy cooking pieces. Some plain and others were real works of art. The fair is on each year in the long bank holiday weekend of Saint Isidro in May.

I go each year and always buy something. This year I bought the salt pot which Maria Naharro of  the Alfareria Naharro Pottery showed me in this short interview I had with her.  On YouTube there are subtitles and the full transcript in the information about the video.

Click here to go to the interview on You Tube where you can see the full transcript and subtitles if you like.

Here is some more vocabulary about basic pottery pieces:

Click here to watch the vocabulary video on YouTube

Feed your mind


This talk (with subtitles and transcript available) by Monica Lewinsky is on TEDTALKS.

Click here to watch the video on TedTalks and use the transcript and subtitles.

I didn’t know much about Monica Lewinsky, just all the gossip when suddenly she was everywhere in the media as a young woman having an affair with Bill Clinton, the married President of the U.S.A. I didn’t know anything about her personality or any of the facts.

After watching her talk about cyber, internet bullying and how those times affected her life totally, I applaud (*cheer and clap hands)  her for standing up and talking and making the viewers think about something we may not consider unless we are unlucky enough to have it happen to us.  She also mentions what we can do to fight against cyber-bullying.

This talk is very good!

Have a good week and see you next Sunday morning!

Please leave your comments in the box below with any recommendations or questions you may have.

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Best Wishes,


About Kim Griffiths

Hello, I'm Kim. I'm a qualified English ESL teacher with a CELTA A qualification and I have over 25 years of experience teaching English to non-native speakers. I love teaching! I also write about English, sing jazz, paint and make things.

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