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Leap year

刊登日期: 2020.03.06
作者: Grace Tse  

If you have a look at this year's calendar, what date is the last day of February ? It is the 29th of February. While the month of February normally has 28 days, this year's February has 29 days. This extra day is called a leap day and this year, 2020, is called a leap year. 


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Wash one's hands of

刊登日期: 2020.02.21
作者: Grace Tse  

The outbreak of novel coronavirus, which originated in China, is affecting at least 27 other countries around the world. To prevent the spread of this outbreak, the World Health Organisation has recommended some basic protective measures. One piece of their advice is to wash our hands frequently. 

If we add the preposition "of" after "wash one's hands", the entire phrase will become an idiomatic expression with a new meaning. 


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Walls have ears

刊登日期: 2020.02.07
作者: Grace Tse  

Several years ago, a news channel in Europe reported,“In the smart city of Santander the walls have ears.”Did the walls in this Spanish(西班牙)city have“real” ears? Researchers planned to use acoustic infrastructure to improve the lives of Spanish people. For example, this smart system could measure the noise levels on the streets and change the traffic lights so that an ambulance could get to the hospital faster. Although some people were concerned about privacy, researchers responded that no personal conversations would be recorded. 


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Play cat and mouse

刊登日期: 2020.01.17
作者: Grace Tse  

Around this time, we see a lot of red and golden decorations inside and outside the shopping malls all over Hong Kong. Some express auspicious Chinese phrases while some are beautifully crafted ornaments in the shape of a cute animal. All of these remind us that the Year of the Rat or the Year of the Mouse is coming very soon. 


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Pour oil on troubled waters

刊登日期: 2020.01.10
作者: Grace Tse  

According to scientists, an oil spill in the sea is one of the worst forms of pollution. Oil cannot dissolve in water and forms a thick layer in the water which suffocates fish and stops marine birds from flying. In 2004, a hurricane toppled an oil rig into the Gulf of Mexico(墨西哥海灣)in the USA. The oil is still leaking and it is the longest ongoing oil spill in USA history. 

What is your understanding of the expression “pour oil onto troubled waters”in the following sentence? Did John make the situation better or worse? 


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A new lease of life

刊登日期: 2020.01.03
作者: Grace Tse  

Happy New Year ! Did you achieve your last year's New Year's resolution? Whether you have accomplished it or not, it is now a good time to reflect on the previous year and look at the beginning of the year of 2020 as a new lease of life. 

A lease is a contract by which you pay money in order to use a flat, a vehicle, or a service for a specified period of time. Thus, a new lease of life suggests that a new period of life, like a property, is given to you once again. 


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Santa Claus

刊登日期: 2019.12.13
作者: Grace Tse  

Christmas Eve(24th of December)is approaching. While Catholics attend Midnight Mass(子夜彌撒)to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, children hang Christmas stockings up to await Santa Claus to fill them with gifts. 

What is your image of Santa Claus? It is deep rooted in people’s minds that Santa Claus is a jolly old man with a white beard and white hair, and dressed in a red suit with white fur trim. 

In fact, this grandfatherly image was developed in the United States. In 1822, Clement Clark Moore wrote a popular poem for his children. 


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Take the bull by the horns

刊登日期: 2019.12.06
作者: Grace Tse  

What are the differences between a bull and a cow ? A bull is the mature male of the species “cattle”. It is more muscular and aggressive than the female of the species, the cow. The bulls typically grow horns. If they see you as a threat, they may injure you. When farmers want to control a bull, they will grab its horns and then pull it to the ground. 


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Comfort food

刊登日期: 2019.11.29
作者: Grace Tse  

We all know that food is an essential thing because it provides human beings with the nutrients and energy to grow. Food is not only necessary for our body's health but also beneficial to our mental well-being. Thus, some people take “comfort food” to make themselves feel better when they are in a bad mood. The authoritative Oxford English Dictionary added a definition for this modern term in 1997: 


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Shrinking violet

刊登日期: 2019.11.22
作者: Grace Tse  

Flowers are often used to describe people's personalities. What does a flower say about you? Which flower will you choose to represent you? What does it mean if someone says that you are a shrinking violet? 

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