There are a surprising number of commonly used idioms that contain the verb ‘pull’.
1.  If you accuse someone of pulling your leg, you mean that you believe they are teasing you by saying something that isn’t true. If we think that someone is teasing us in that way, we might say ‘Pull the other leg/one!’, or even the longer version ‘Pull the other one – it’s got bells on!’. This shows that we don’t believe them. She’s just pulling your leg – she doesn’t really expect you to do all the cooking. You have a pet lion? Pull the other one! 2. We use ‘pull’ in several idioms connected with people making an effort and doing what they should do. If someone pulls their weight, they do their share of the work and if you pull out all the stops, you make as much effort as possible to ensure that something is successful or impressive. Anyone who doesn’t pull their weight will have to leave the project. They pulled out all the stops to make sure the president enjoyed his visit. 3. On the other hand, if som…


How to understand native speakersUnderstanding native speakers is something many language learners struggle with. Whenever I learn a new language, I get a bit of a shock. I learn a lot of vocabulary and a lot of grammar. And then, when I’m ready to go out there and speak, I realise how little I actually understand. How is that possible, I think. I’ve been working so hard, I know so many words, I can even read newspapers in the language. But I can’t actually understand what people are saying to me! I’m sure you’ve been faced with a similar situation in the past. And don’t worry – you’re not the only one. Being able to understand native speakers is something that comes with practice. There are specific things you can do to make it happen, and I’m about to share them with you. Understand how letter combinations sound togetherSpeech is, of course, made up of words but, ultimately, it’s just a string of letters and sounds combined together. Those letters and the sounds they make blend together…

Tips & Tricks for Taking the IELTS Test

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is designed to measure your ability to use English in an academic environment. It tests all four skills and is most commonly used for college, school or university applications. Candidates get a score between 1 (non-user) and 9 (expert user) for each section. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections. Certificates have a recommended validity of two years.
Reading üRead graded readers every chance you get in order to build up your reading speed and pick up lots of passive vocabulary (no dictionary). üKnow the format! Don’t underestimate the difficulty of this section simply because you’re an avid reader and you feel like the Reading section is the last thing you need to spend time preparing for. üBe aware that all the information you need to answer the questions is included in the text – you do not need to have any prior knowledge of the theme. If you are unsure o…

Top tips for passing the FCE (First Certificate in English)

Understanding the exam itself and knowing how to tackle each of the papers is crucial for success. Below are our top tips for passing the FCE. 1.Familiarise yourself with the structure and timing of the exam 2.Understand exactly what is being tested in each part of the exam. 3.Never leave an answer blank 4.The FCE tests your language skills as well as your language level 5.Don’t panic if there’s a text about an unfamiliar topic Use of English Multiple choice cloze üRead the text first, ignoring the gaps, in order to have a general understanding of it üPay close attention to the words before and after the gaps. üWhen you’ve finished, read through the text with your answers to check that it makes good sense.
Open cloze

Top tips for passing the CAE (Cambridge Advanced English)


üOne of the most important things to bear in mind when tackling any of the tasks in the reading paper (as well as the listening paper) is that the texts will contain distractors. These are words or phrases that are similar to or even synonymous with words or phrases in the question (or in the wrong answers) which might lead you to choose the wrong answer. They are there to ensure you are paying attention to the whole text and not just looking for words that match between the questions and the text. üBefore answering the questions, skim-readthe text to get a general understanding of its content. üMake sure you read both the questions and the options and underline key words and phrases. üWhere possible, try to work out the meaning of unfamiliar words from the context, but don’t waste time. You should only spend about 12 minutes on each of the CAE reading tasks.
Use of English üRemember, correct spelling is important in this part of the exam.