I – EXPR – Few / A Few / Little / A Little

Few / A Few / Little / A Little

While all of these expressions mean a small amount of something, the exact meanings in context vary.

Little and a little are followed by non count nouns.  Few and a few are followed by plural nouns.

A littleSome but not much, generally a positive connotation
LittleAlmost no, almost nothing, generally a negative connotation
Very littleAlmost no, almost nothing, generally a negative connotation
A fewSome but not many, generally a positive connotation
FewAlmost no, generally a negative connotation
Very fewAlmost no, generally a negative connotation

 I have a little money saved up.    (I have some money but not a lot)

 I have little money saved up.   ( I have almost no money saved up)

I have very little money saved up.     ( I have almost no money saved up)

The engineer has a few ideas on how to improve the design.   (The engineer has some ideas but not many)

The engineer has few ideas on how to improve the design.  (The engineer has almost no ideas)

The engineer has very few ideas on how to improve the design.    (The engineer has almost no ideas)

OTHER – Make and Do

 Do or Make Explained

The French verb “Faire” translates to both “To Do” and “To Make” in English leading to the two being misused.   They have similar meanings but generally have one key difference.  “To Do” something is to perform an action while “To Make” is to create something. 

“To Do” is used to express daily activities or jobs. Notice that these are usually activities that produce no physical object. ‘Do’ means to take action or complete a job or task.

Some expressions using do are:

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Male” buttontext=”Play”] do homework [/responsivevoice]

do housework

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Female” buttontext=”Play”] do the ironing [/responsivevoice]

do the dishes

do a job

do the sewing

do the shopping

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Male” buttontext=”Play”] do errands [/responsivevoice]

do the groceries

I’m not doing anything today.

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Female” buttontext=”Play”] He does everything for his mother. [/responsivevoice]

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Male” buttontext=”Play”] She’s doing nothing at the moment. [/responsivevoice]

Important Expressions with ‘Do’

There are a number of standard expressions that take the verb ‘do’. These are standard collocations (verb + noun combinations) that are used in English.

do one’s best

do good

do harm

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Male” buttontext=”Play”] do a favour [/responsivevoice]

do business

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Female” buttontext=”Play”] do up your coat [/responsivevoice]

do without

well done

over done

under done

“To Make” is used in the contexts of constructing, building, and creating.

Some expressions using make are:

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Female” buttontext=”Play”] make food [/responsivevoice]

make a cup of tea / coffee

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Male” buttontext=”Play”] make a mess [/responsivevoice]

make a noise

make room

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Male” buttontext=”Play”] make a decision [/responsivevoice]

[responsivevoice voice=”US English Female” buttontext=”Play”] make an appointment [/responsivevoice]

OTHER – Commonly confused words

COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS

ACCEPT – EXCEPT

ACCEPT – to receiveHe accepted the Nobel Prize.
EXCEPT – to take or leave outI like all of the pizza toppings except anchovies.

ADVICE – ADVISE

ADVICE – (noun) recommendations about what to doMy grandmother had great advice for making home-made bread.
ADVISE – (verb) to recommend somethingMy father advised me to take a car repair course.

AFFECT – EFFECT

AFFECT – (verb) to influenceLack of sleep affects your productivity.
EFFECT – (noun) the result, (verb) to accomplishThe effect of the change in policy was a longer school day. 
They effected the changes based on the survey results.

BARE – BEAR

BARE – to uncover, nakedIn the winter, trees are bare.
BEAR – to carry, to put up with; also the animalThe cat will only bear the dog’s attention for a short while. 
The bear ate honey from the beehive.

CITE – SIGHT – SITE

CITE – to quote or documentMake sure you remember to cite where you found the information in your report.
SIGHT – visionHe was in awe at the sight of the sunrise over the ocean.
SITE – position or placeThe construction site is dangerous.

CONSCIENCE – CONSCIOUS

CONSCIENCE – sense of right and wrongThe student’s conscience kept her from cheating on the test.
CONSCIOUS – awake, awareShe was conscious of the example she was setting for her students.

INTERESTED – INTERESTING

INTERESTED  – wanting to learn more about somethingI am interested in space exploration.
INTERESTING – attracting attentionThere is an interesting documentary on space exploration on TV.

ELICIT- ILLICIT

ELICIT – to draw or bring outThe teacher tried to elicit the correct answer from the student.
ILLICIT – illegalThe paparazzi took illicit photos of the celebrity.

DESERT – DESSERT 

DESERT – a waterless, empty area; to abandon someoneThe Sahara Desert is in Africa.
DESSERT – the sweet course of a meal, usually at the endMy favourite dessert is blueberry pie with ice cream.

ITS – IT’S

ITS – of or belonging to itThe dog lost its collar in the woods.
IT’S – contraction for it is
It’s a beautiful day today.

LIE – LAY

LIE  – to lie down (a person or animal); to tell a falsehoodI have a migraine, I’m going to lie down for an hour.
LAY – to lay an object downI lay out my clothes the night before to save time in the morning.

LEAD – LED

LEAD – a type of metal (rhymes with bed)Lead paint is dangerous.
LEAD – (verb), to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort (rhymes with need)Let me lead the way through the maze.
LED – past tense of “to lead”He led them out of the maze.

THAN – THEN  

THAN – use with comparisonsJohn is shorter than Sally.
THEN – at that time, or nextWe will go to Disney then to Lego Land.

THEIR – THERE – THEY’RE

THEIR – possessive form of theyTheir car is blue.  They own a blue car.
THERE – indicates locationThe car is parked over there beside the tree.
THEY’RE – contraction for “they are”They’re driving to Florida next week.

THROUGH – THREW – THOROUGH – THOUGH  

THROUGH – by means of; finished; into or out ofCarmen walked throug the door as the bell rang.
THREW – past tense of throwPeter threw the ball to the dog.
THOROUGH – careful or completeThe scientist made a thorough examination of the results of the experiment.
THOUGH –  however; neverthelessThe movie was popular though it didn’t win any awards.

TO – TOO – TWO

TO –  towardLet’s jog to the store.
TOO –  also, or excessivelyI want to go, too!
TWO –  a number (2)We need to buy two loaves of bread.

WHO – WHICH – WHOM

WHO – subject pronoun, referring to a person or personsWho is going to answer my question?
WHICH – pronoun, replacing a singular or plural thing(s); not used to refer to personsWhich coat is yours?
WHOM – used as an objectTo whom should I send the letter?

THIS – THAT – THESE – THOSE

THIS – used to refer to a person or object that is near to youThis is my desk.
THAT – used to refer to a person or object that is farther from youThat is your desk over in the corner.
THESE  – used to refer to a multiple people or objects that are near to youThese are your ID and access cards.
THOSE – used to refer to a multiple people or objects that are farther from youThose storage cabinets are for the IT department.

B – Dates and Celebrations

MONTHS OF THE YEAR / LES MOIS DE L’ANNÉE

Januaryjanvier
Februaryfévrier
March mars
Aprilavril
Maymai
June juiln
Julyjuillet
Augustaoût
September  septembre
Octoberoctobre
Novembernovembre
December décembre

DAYS OF THE WEEK / JOURS DE LA SEMAINE

MondayMon.lundi
TuesdayTues.mardi
WednesdayWed.mercredi
Thursday  Thurs.jeudi
FridayFri.vendredi
SaturdaySat.samedi
SundaySundimanche

HOLIDAYS / FÊTES

New Year’s DayLe jour de l’An, le nouvel An, le Premier de l’an
Valentine’s DayLa Sainte-Valentin
Family DayJournée familiale
Saint Patrick’s Dayle jour de la Saint-Patrick
EasterPâques
Good Fridayle Vendredi Saint
Easter MondayLe lundi de Pâques
Mother’s Day Fête des mères
Victoria DayLa fête de la Reine
Father’s DayFête des pères
Saint-Jean BaptisteLa Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Canada Day  La fête du Canada
Labour DayLa fête du Travail
ThanksgivingL’Action de grâce
HalloweenL’Halloween
All Saint’s DayLa Toussaint
Remembrance DayLe jour du Souvenir
Christmas EveRéveillon de Noël
Christmas DayLe jour de Noël
Boxing DayLe lendemain de Noël
New Year’s Everéveillon de Nouvel an

Examples

first centuryle premiere siècle
twentieth centuryle vingtième siècle
January 8, 2020le 8 janvier 2020
March 1, 1996le 1er mars 1996
New Year’s Day is on January 1st.Le jour de l’an est le 1er janvier.

B – Geography

COUNTRY NAMES / NOMS DE PAYS

Country NamesLes noms de Pays
United States Les États Unis 
GermanyL’Allemagne
England L’Angleterre
Great BritainLa Grande Bretagne
AustraliaL’Australie 
New ZealandLa Nouvelle-Zélande
Canada Le Canada
MexicoLe Mexique
VenezuelaLe Vénézuela
BrazilLe Brésil
BoliviaLa Bolivie
ArgentinaL’Argentine
AlgeriaL’Algérie
FranceLa France
Spain L’Espagne
BelgiumLa Belgique
ItalyL’Italie
GreeceLa Grèce
PolandLa Pologne
ChinaLa Chine
JapanLe Japon
IndiaL’Inde
SwedenLa Suède
NorwayLa Norvège
Ireland L’Irlande
ScotlandL’Écosse
PortugalLe Portugal

CONTINENTS / LES CONTINENTS

AfricaAfrique
AntarticaAntarctique
AsiaAsie
Australia  Australie
EuropeEurope
North America Amérique du Nord
South AmericaAmérique du Sud

OCEANS / LES OCÉANS

The Pacific Ocean l’océan Pacifique
The Atlantic Ocean l’océan Atlantique
The Arctic Oceanl’océan Arctique
The Indian Oceanl’océan Indien
The Southern Ocean l’océan Austral

GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES / CARACTÉRISTIQUES GÉOGRAPHIQUES

An oceanUn océan
A seaUne mer
A lakeUn lac
A pondUn étang
A creek Un ruisseau
A wetlandUne zone humide
A riverUne rivière
A streamUn courant
A canal Un canal
A GreenbeltUne ceinture de verdure
A hillUne colline
A cliffUne falaise
A valley Une vallée
A bayUne baie
A mountainUne montagne
A canyonUn canyon
A beach Une plage
A volcanoUn volcan
A desertUn désert

B – Office Objects

A computer/ Un ordinateur 

Files / Des dossiers 

The envelope / Lenveloppe 

Computer screen  / Un écran d’ordinateur 

Keyboard / Un clavier 

A mouse / Une souris

A stapler / Une agrafeuse

Paper / Papier

Pens / Des stylos

Pencils / Des crayons

A bottle of White-Out / Une bouteille de voile blanc

A hole-punch / Une perforatrice

A recycle bin / Une corbeille

A trash can / Une poubelle

Tape / Ruban

Rubber Bands / Des élastiques

A coffee machine / Une machine à café

A refrigerator (fridge) / Un réfrigérateur (frigo)

A microwave / Un micro-onde

Highlighter /

Notepad/notebook /

Paperclips /

Scissors /

Binders /

File folders /

Paper cutter (guillotine) /

Software (word processor, spreadsheet, email, video conferencing, accounting…..) /

Microphone /

Headset /

Webcam  /

Desk lamp /

A telephone / Un téléphone

A printer / Une imprimante

A shredder / Un déchiqueteur

A laptop computer /

A tablet /

B – Office Furniture

Offices / Des Bureaux

Office cubicles / Des bureaux à aire ouverte

Students at their desks/ Des apprenants assis à leur bureau 

A chair / Une chaise 

A desk top computer/ Un ordinateur

A telephone / Un téléphone

A conference room / Une salle de conférence

Filing cabinet / Armoire de classement

A shredder / Un déchiqueteur

A printer / Une imprimante

A bookcase / Une bibliothèque

A coat rack / Un portemanteau

A lamp / une lampe

A white board / Un tableau blanc

A bulletin board / Un babillard

Scanner /

Photocopier /

Desk /

Meeting table (conference table) /

Computer monitor

 A laptop computer /

A tablet /

B – Feelings

Sad / Triste

Angry / Fâché

Stressed / Stressé

Happy / Heureux

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Nostalgic / Nostalgique

B – Introductions

INTRODUCTIONS / SE PRÉSENTER

Hi / HelloBonjour
How are you?  Comment allez-vous?
Fine, thank you.Bien, merci.
I am fine.Je vais bien.
And you?Et vous?
What’s new?Quoi de neuf?
What is your name?Comment est-ce que vous vous appelez?
My name is, Fred. Je m’appelle, Fred.
Where do you live?Où est-ce que vous habitez?
I live in Montreal, Quebec.J’habite à Montréal, Québec.
It is a beautiful day today.C’est une belle journée aujourd’hui.