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By heart

刊登日期: 2017.09.23
作者: Grace Tse  

It has been almost a month since the new academic year began. Most of you might have been very busy with homework and tests. What is the best way of learning which you have experienced so far? Practice, discussion and summarisation, etc.? One of the most common learning techniques is to study “by heart”. 


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Eager Beaver

刊登日期: 2017.09.16
作者: Grace Tse  

Your school headteacher is planning to run a house system to enhance the sense of identity and belonging in the school. Each of you will be allocated to one of the four new houses and take part in inter-house sports and music activities and competitions. You are asked to suggest some English names for these houses. What do you think about the following name? 

Eager Beaver House 


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Top notch

刊登日期: 2017.06.24
作者: Grace Tse  

Following a year’s hard work, students will receive their end-of-year reports very soon. On the reports, teachers will write their students’ achievements, strengths and the areas which they need to improve. What results would you expect this year? Excellent, average or poor? 

In the English language, the word “excellent” can by replaced by the idiom “top notch”. 

John is very excited to receive a top notch academic report


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Keep one’s nose to the grindstone

刊登日期: 2017.06.17
作者: Grace Tse  

Towards the end of the school year, students are busy with lots of tests and exams. How would you like to describe the efforts that you are making to achieve the best results? 

To express that they work very hard, English-speaking students often say, 

I keep my nose to the grindstone(埋頭苦幹)to prepare for my exam. 


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Lame duck

刊登日期: 2017.06.10
作者: Grace Tse  

When Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying(行政長官梁振英) made his final policy speech early this year, a South China Morning Post(《南華早報》)reporter wrote that he was showing that he was not leading a lame duck government for the rest of his term of office

If a duck is lame, it is unable to walk properly because of an injury or physical disability of one or both of its legs. Nowadays, the idiom “lame duck” is often used to describe a politician or a government that is not functioning properly in the final period of office. 


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With a pinch of salt

刊登日期: 2017.06.02
作者: Grace Tse  

A lot of people like to put salt in their food. Why? Salt can improve the flavour of food. If you eat your chips with a pinch of salt, it does mean that you have added some salt into your chips. However, the meaning is completely different if you say, 

“Some news stories on the internet are not true. We must take them with a pinch of salt.” 


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Flea market

刊登日期: 2017.05.27
作者: Grace Tse  

The Hong Kong Tourism Board(香港旅遊發展局)has listed in its website various kinds of markets for tourists who like shopping in Hong Kong. These markets are Ap Liu Street(鴨寮街), Flea Market, Temple Street(廟街)Night Market, and Chun Yeung Street(春秧街) Wet Market. While a night market is operated at night for people to buy and sell goods, a wet market sells fresh foods such as meat and fish. Since fleas are tiny jumping insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals, does it mean that a flea market is full of these insects? 


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Go Dutch

刊登日期: 2017.05.20
作者: Grace Tse  

When you go to a fast food restaurant with your friends, do you pay for them or do you go Dutch? To “go Dutch” has two meanings:(1)Each person pays his or her own expenses;(2)Split the entire bill equally among all participants. Strictly speaking, the first meaning is more accurate in its original sense. However, in practice, when people are with a big group, they prefer to split the bill evenly among themselves to avoid complicated mathematics. 


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Necessity is the mother of invention

刊登日期: 2017.05.13
作者: Grace Tse  

What is the most important invention in history? There is no definite answer. Some may say the wheel while some may suggest the light bulb. Perhaps most of us agree that the internet is the most important invention when billions of people in the world are connected by smartphones and computers. What was the driving force behind all these inventions throughout history? 

The following English proverb may tell us what made human beings produce these innovative things : 

Necessity is the mother of invention(需要乃發明之母). 


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Barking up the wrong tree

刊登日期: 2017.05.06
作者: Grace Tse  

When we see the word “barking”, we will readily associate it with dogs. Why do dogs bark? Dogs make different barking sounds when they are excited, frightened, or to give a warning. Then when is a dog “barking up the wrong tree”? 

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