Tag: English


What will be 2015’s most popular language?

Everyone seems to have a favourite language, for one reason or another. However, it is impossible to have hard data on this matter since this preference is very subjective. Bab.la is a sister site to OxfordDictionaries.com, and the bab.la Language World Cup was launched in 2013 to find out which are the favourite languages of […]

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language learning

Does learning a language have to be boring?

I once knew of a young guy in his mid-twenties who was a former college baseball pitcher. He was obsessed with being fit and was always working out. As an outgrowth of his obsession with being fit, he eventually came to the conclusion that what was most efficient and convenient for him diet-wise was to […]

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From teaspoons to tea-sots: the language of tea

Tea was first imported into Britain early in the 17th century, becoming very popular by the 1650s. The London diarist Samuel Pepys drank his first cup in 1660, as recorded in his famous diary: ‘I did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I had never drunk before’. The word tea […]

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Ten things you might not have known about the English language

Hey, English speaker! Congratulations. You speak a language that straddles the globe like nothing before. Statistically, English is unlikely to be your first language and you are likely to be from an educated background. Again, congratulations. Here are ten things that you may not have known about this wonderful language of ours: 1. It is […]

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hatched chicken

Can you complete these phrases?

How well do you know common English phrases? Give our quiz a try and see if you can fill in the blanks.

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Coleridge’s way with words

Why should we commemorate Coleridge’s death date, July 25? The obvious reason is his high status as a poet, but a better one might be his exuberance as a wordsmith. As a poet, after all, he is widely known for only two relatively short works, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and ‘Kubla Khan’. While […]

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French flag

Quiz: French words no longer used in French

Read the paragraph below; even if you don’t think you speak French, you’ll probably understand exactly what is being said… Imagine a rather bijou little hotel tucked away down a Parisian cul-de-sac, the kind with a rather louche air of faux decadence where the ensuite has a bidet and every night there’s a cabaret in […]

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I or me

Quiz: ‘I’ or ‘me’

Do you always know when to use I and when to use me in a sentence? Test yourself with our quiz. Find out more about how to use I and me.

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