Rain, Rein or Reign

Here are three words that sound the same way, but all have different meanings.


This is the one you are probably most used to. It is the water that condenses and falls to the earth.
What a beautiful day.  It rained a little, and then the sun came out and we saw a rainbow.


Reins are the leather straps that are used to guide a horse when you ride it.
When I was little I used to ride horses very often. One day the horse went crazy and I had to take the reins and really pull him or he would’ve ran straight into the gate.


This is a period of time when a monarch occupies the throne of a country.
The king’s reign over the country was short, but very productive to the country’s economy. 

Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That

I know you all are very serious in your English language learning, but every once in awhile it’s nice to do something fun.  So, today let’s talk about riddles!!!  Riddles are little language puzzles.  Usually a statement or question that has a double meaning.  Leave me a comment with a riddle that you have heard before and like a lot.

Here are some of my favorite riddles:

1.  It walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs in the evening. What is it?

2.  What is in seasons, seconds, centuries and minutes, but not in decades, years or days?

3.  The more you have of it, the less you see. What is it?


1.  A person.  We crawl on all fours as a baby, walk on two legs as an adult and use two legs and a cane when we’re old.

2.  The letter N.

3.  Darkness

If you enjoyed these, you can find these and other at:  http://dan.hersam.com/riddles.html

Wednesday’s Slang!

Here are some great slang expressions that I really love to use:

Get a move on!

I use this expression so much with my children that now my daughter is using it. It means that you want someone to speed up or get going.
Mom, I’m going to be late for school, let’s get a move on!

Let’s get cracking!

This means to get started doing something.
Right after the alarm rang, I jumped out of bed and yelled, “Let’s get cracking!”

good egg

This means the person you are talking about is a good person.
That little boy, Henry, he’s really a good egg. I think you should invite him to your party.

brain is fried

This can refer to using drugs, but it can also mean that you have studied or learned a lot and your brain is mentally tired.
Wow, I just took a 5 hour exam, my brain is totally fried!

7 ways to say that you understand…

Want a more creative way to tell someone that you understand what they are saying?  Here are 7 different expressions that have similar meanings to I understand.

I feel your pain

– This expression is used more when you are empathizing with someone and what they are going through.
Wow, that is terrible that your husband cheated on you, I feel your pain, my husband did the same thing to me last year. (FYI – not true.)

I know where you are coming from

– This means that you understand the situation that the person is in.
I know where you are coming from, it must be so hard to have to go through that.

I’ve been down that road

– This means that you understand the emotions they are going through because something similar happened to you.
Your daughter has chicken pox? I’m so sorry, I’ve been down that road before, it isn’t fun.

I hear you

– This is the same as the one above; it means that you understand what the person is going through.
Yup, I hear you alright. I knew that guy was bad news.

10-4 (ten four)

– This is a code that you is used on radio scanners. It means that the person has received the message and they understand what was said.

I follow you

– This means that you are following the line of conversation that is going on with you and the person who you are talking to.
Yes, I totally follow you, it must’ve been so hard for you.

Roger or Roger that

– It is used in military or aircraft aviation and means that the person receiving the message heard everything that was said.

Either/Or vs. Neither/Nor

I recently was asked when to use neither/nor instead of either/or.  The rule is pretty simple.  You use either/or when you are talking about something in a positive sense.  You use neither/nor when you are talking about something in a negative sense.

Remember either must be paired with or and neither must be paired with nor.  Below are some examples of both pairs of words.


I like neither chocolate flavored ice cream nor vanilla. (Of course, this is not true. I love all flavors of ice cream.

There are neither dogs nor cats in my house, only birds.


Either come over here and talk to me or I will go over there and talk to you.

My son is either very sleepy or just plain lazy as he just fell asleep while he was eating his dinner.



Daylight Savings Time

It’s my favorite time of the year. It’s Daylight Savings Time (DST) when we “Spring forward.” It means we’ll get an extra hour of sunlight every day. This year it will take begin on March 13th. It takes place on the 2nd Sunday of March and begins at 2am. It’s observed in the USA, Canada, lot of European countries and other countries as well.

It ends every year on the first Sunday in November at 2am, which it reverts to standard time. When we change in November, we say we: “Fall back.”

There are 2 states that don’t observe Daylight Savings Time in the US and one province in Canada. The states are: Hawaii and Arizona. Also, these US territories don’t observe it: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands. The Canadian province is Saskatchewan – most of the province does not follow Daylight Savings Time.

Why do we have Daylight Savings Time? Why do we change our clocks 2 times a year? Because it saves electricity. It gives us an extra hour of sunlight. This means we don’t need to use lights in our house, as much during this extra hour. Also, the government says that it prevents car accidents. There are fewer accidents in the daylight according to statistics.

In 2007 they increased Daylight Savings Time by 1 month, this way we can save even more electricity.

Wednesday’s Slang!

As mentioned last week, Wednesday is the day that I will highlight some American English slang.  Usually phrases that I said frequently throughout the week.

the skinny

This is information that you really want to hear about or need.
Give me the skinny about the concert!


This is a cut or bruise, when you hurt yourself, usually used with children. Or it can also mean a mistake that you did.
Did baby fall down and get a boo-boo?


Although this means a male deer, in slang it means a dollar.
Hey, can you give me a buck? I wanna buy a coke.


This means to be disappointed about something.
I’m so bummed that my package didn’t come in the mail today.

Eye, I, or Aye

Here are three words that look different, yet sound the same.

Eye – This is an easy word, that I’m sure you all know. It’s the body part that you see through. It can also be used to mean the center of something, like the center of the hurricane or eye of the hurricane.

I – Another easy one and I’m sure this was one of the first words you learned in English. It’s the nominataive singular pronoun that a user uses to talk about himself/herself. It’s also a letter in the alphabet. Another definition for it is that it can be an abbreviation for the word ‘interstate’ (or big highway).

Aye (or Ay) – This is a less used English word, unless you are a pirate or in the British Parliment. It means yes. And, like I said before they are all pronounced the same way, but usually when you hear an American say ‘Aye’, they usually say it with a fake British or Pirate accent.

6 Great Texan Sayings

Yeehaw! As many of you know, I was born and raised in Texas. I thought it would be interesting for you to read about some Texan sayings. Some of these can be heard throughout the Southern states of the USA as well. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!

nu-uh – This simply means no.
Nu-uh, I’m not going there today!

shoot – We use this word where you might use the word ‘darn’.
Shoot, I really wanted to watch the football game tonight and I missed it!

wore-out – This comes from ‘worn out’. It means to be tired.
The cowboy is all wore out from his trip across the valley.

y’all – The contraction used for ‘you all’ down in the South.
When are y’all going to come over for dinner?

fixing to – This means you are about to do something. I use this a lot and my mother-in-law always points it out.
I’m fixing to go out to the store and buy some milk.

hissy fit – This is when someone gets really mad.
Wow, did you see her throw that hissy fit last night when her husband showed up with lipstick on his collar. Yikes!