What are you after?

Brain Logo
Answer to last week’s post

First of all, we’ll follow up on last week’s blog post. One of the most prominent experts on English, David Crystal, writes in his book ‘The Stories of English’ that three-fourths of the people who use English are non-natives. So Marta, you were close, but it looks like Asia had the right answer this time.

You’re the expert

This week, we’re going to let you be the expert on English usage. Here’s a sentence I heard from a university student recently. It was in the evening and we met while we were walking home after working and studying all day:

        ”I’m after my lessons, so now I can relax.”

Well, I think we know what the student meant – that now it’s the evening, and there are no more lessons for him to attend. But this is not really the best way to say this. The phrase “To be after…” actually means something different. In the sentence,

        ”The police are after the robbers.”

the police are trying to catch or get the robbers. That’s something completely different from being finished with something.

So the question is, what would be the best way for the university student to rephrase his sentence? Write your answer as a comment to this blog. Show us that you’re the expert!

The non-natives have it…

globeWhere do the majority of English speakers come from?

It’s no secret that a lot of people in the world speak English. One estimate is that 1.5 billion people do, either as their mother tongue or as a second or foreign language.

But where do they come from? Most speakers of English today don’t come from Britain, the USA, Australia, Canada or other countries where English is the first language. Counting everyone who has a basic command of English, there are now more non-native speakers than native speakers.

But can you guess what the percentage is? How many of the people who speak English learned it as a second or foreign language? Leave your answer as a comment below, and we’ll give the answer in our next blog post.

What proportion of English speakers today are non-native speakers?

+++a. Slightly more than half
+++b. About two-thirds
+++c. About three-fourths
+++d. About 90%

Top 5 Places to Visit Sometime in Your Life

For today’s post we’ve picked 5 places we believe everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Can you tick any off your “to do” list already? Or maybe you want to share your top places with us?
Feel free to add to this list!

5. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu_Picchu

Our number five is this high mountain Inca settlement, also called “The Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu is situated 2430 m above sea level and is mostly reconstructed. Fancy a hike?

4. Kilimanjaro,  Tanzania

Kilimanjaro

Kilimangaro is Africa’s highest point, and the highest free-standing point in the world. And number four in our ranking.

3. Iceland

Iceland

Number three goes to Iceland for its natural wonders and fascinating, unpredictable nature.

2. The Great Wall, China

GreatWallTower

We decided to give The Great Wall of China second place. Apart from being a masterpiece of a fortification, it is the only man-made creation visible from space. But if you’re not planning to go that far – visit it in China.

1. Taj Mahal, India

Taj_Mahal

It’s hard to believe this amazing building has never served any practical purpose other than to look impressive. And it does.

So, now we want to hear from you. What are your top five places you haven’t been to yet, but would like to visit? Post a comment below!

Back to school

Girl drawing back to school
First days of school…

It’s the first full week of September, and that means school is back in session. The beginning of school means something different to all of us. For most people, it probably brings back memories of our own first days of school – a combination of excitement about seeing friends again and reluctance to say good-bye to summer. For parents, it might mean seeing your child go off to school for the first time, or moving up to a higher grade.

For us teachers at GoEnglishGo, the beginning of the school year is an exciting chance to meet new students, and a challenge to help our students meet their learning goals!

What does the beginning of school mean to you? Let us know by leaving a comment for this blog. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

And we hope you’ll join us at GoEnglishGo when we begin our online courses in October!