No Sweat!

no sweat!

With this week’s sports/tennis theme and the negatives included in our grammar lesson, there was only only one logical choice for this week’s expression:

No sweat!

Sweat, of course, is our perspiration, or what our body releases when we are exercising. If we are sweating, our body is working hard. Therefore, if there is “no sweat,” something is easy, or does not take very much effort.

If I was playing tennis against a friend and she was teasing me about how she is a better player than me, she might say:

  • I’ll beat you, no sweat!

The expression can be used in situations that are not related to sports or physical activity as well. For example, if I had to take an easy test, and my friend asked me if the test was difficult, I could say:

  • No, it was easy! No sweat!

****************

Have you heard this expressions used in any other ways?

Tennis Commercials | ESL Listening Comprehension

This week, I found a couple fun, short, and interesting tennis-themed commercials. Transcriptions are included after the videos. That said, you don’t need to understand the words at all to understand the first video! Enjoy!

Transcription: With Vizzavi, you can e-mail all your friends at once. By [your] phone or PC. Register at vizzavi.co.uk. Vizzavi, pass it on.

Transcription: Ever have a really cool dream? I’m having one right now. I don’t want to be disturbed. And I won’t. Because before I went to sleep, I set this. Now my iPhone knows not to ring, unless it’s important. Because disturbing this, would just be…wrong.

 

How to talk about the French Open (in French!)

Quite frankly, I always confuse the backhand and the forehand in English. So, I am going to cut myself slack as far as that is concerned (Let’s take a moment to note that fluency does not equal perfection in any language!) But still, the French Open is  upon us, Wimbledon is just around the corner, and I’ve got in my first round of tennis for the season. Yes, my thighs are very aware that I hadn’t played since last summer ended. But I digress…Revenons à nos moutons!

I know I’ll be playing tennis a few more times this summer, and probably adding a few more ping-pong-filled days to my agenda as well. Thus, I thought it was down-right time I looked up a bit of vocab in French. And since the work has been done, I thought I would save you that step. You, you lucky learner, you, just have to practice.

Besides what you’ll see on the list, you’ll of course need to know how to say your numbers so that you can compter les points: zéro, quinze, trente, and quarante. You’ll also want to know when two players reach quarante/quarante, or une égalitéand when one player has l’avantage.

Take a look. Review the list. Then check out the French-language Youtube Channel below to access 18 tennis videos to test your comprehension….and improve your game. And then please, please go check out Serena Williams speaking French at the Roland-Garros French site. There’s no “en Paris,” but “à Paris,” but hey, she can talk about her cheese and wine, right? The website is full of other French-language articles and videos, of course.

tennis.vocab

 

Quand est-ce qu’on va jouer ensemble?

French Open Listening Comprehension | ESL

Hello, again. I am truly ready for tennis talk this morning, because I played for about two hours with some friends last night! For today’s listening exercise, I have found and transcribed a video about six of the top players at this year’s tournament. Before watching the video, review some of the key vocabulary and the questions. Then, watch the video without looking at the transcription first. If you have some questions left, look at the script while you watch again.

Vocabulary

  • to keep an eye on = to watch, to pay attention to
  • a comeback = a new effort to win or succeed after being close to defeat or failure
  • an upset =  when a person, who was expected to lose, wins
  • a round = a step of the tournament
  • the final = the last game in a tournament, the game which determines the champion/winner
  • to be seeded = to be ranked for a tournament, so that better teams/players meet in the later rounds
  • rank[ing] = a position among the other players; a position in a society, organization, group, etc.
  • Quotability = his ability to be quoted/say things that receive attention -this is not a word found in the dictionary-
  • in a row = one after one, with no break in between
  • to stun = to shock, to surprise

Questions

  1. What did Rafael Nadal come back from this year?
  2. Why does David Ferrar have a good chance to reach the final this year?
  3. Has Ernest Gulbis beat Nadal this year?
  4. How many matches has Serena Williams won in a row (without losing any in the middle)?
  5. What is Sharapova’s biggest challenge in the tournament?
  6. Why were people surprised that Sara Errani made it to a final last year?

Video Clip

Transcription:

When the French open begins on Sunday, here are six players you should keep an eye on.

Rafael Nadal has won the French Open seven times in eight appearances. And after his comeback this year from knee injury, he’s been nearly unbeatable, losing just twice in eight tournaments. His top rivals’ best hope may be an early round upset.

David Ferrar is probably the best player never to reach a Grand Slam final. This may be his best chance to do it. He’s playing on his favorite surface and won’t face Nadal, who has won 16 straight against Ferrar on clay, before the final.

Ernest Gulbis is the most dangerous, unseeded player in the draw. He said so himself. The ultra-talented 24-year-old has made a ferocious comeback this year, twice nearly beating Nadal. He has top-ten talent, and top-three quotability.

Serena Williams has lost just three times in the past year and has won a career best 24 straight times heading into Paris. Then again, she won 17 in a row last year, before being shocked in the first round by Virgina Razzano.

Maria Sharapova, the defending champion, has a Serena problem. She’s lost to Williams the last 12 they played, including 17 of the last 18 sets. Good thing she won’t face Williams before the final.  Sharapova has won 25 straight against everyone else.

Sara Errani stunned tennis by reaching the final last year after never before beating a top-ten player. She’s continued to stun, playing well enough to back up her top-ten ranking, but she continues to struggle against the sport’s best.

Answers

  1. What did Rafael Nadal come back from this year? Rafael Nadal came back from a knee injury.
  2. Why does David Ferrar have a good chance to reach the final this year? He has a good chance of reaching the final because he is playing on his favorite surface, and he would not have to meet Nadal until the final.
  3. Has Ernest Gulbis beat Nadal this year? No, but he nearly (almost) beat him twice.
  4. How many matches has Serena Williams won in a row (without losing any in the middle)? Serena has won 24 times in a row. (You could also say she has a 24-game winning streak.)
  5. What is Sharapova’s biggest challenge in the tournament? Sharapova has difficulty when she plays against Serena Williams.
  6. Why were people surprised that Sara Errani made it to a final last year? Sara Errani had not beaten (won against) a top-ten player before making it to last year’s final.

*******************

I’m actually using this video in one of my classes today, since we are talking about exercising and ways to stay active. Perfect timing!

Some, Any, No, and Every | ESL Grammar

Good morning! Did anyone guess this week’s grammar lesson based on yesterday’s theme introduction post?

Today, we are talking about the difference between some, any, no, and every. Sometimes students do not pay enough attention to these words, preferring to focus on the “hard things,” like verb tenses. That would be a mistake! Using these small words correctly will make a big difference in how well your English sounds, because these words are used very often. And once you understand these four small words, you will be able to use all of the following words correctly as well.

  • some, somebody, someone, somewhere, something
  • any, anybody, anyone, anywhere, anything
  • no, none, nobody, nowhere, nothing
  • every, everybody, everyone, everything

Today, we will concentrate on the four basic words of every, no, any, and some, and tomorrow, we will practice using all of the words above. So, let’s get to work!

Every

every esl

Every is probably the easiest to understand. Every means all. It is usually used in positive sentences, but can also be used in negative. Let’s look as some examples:

  • Did you win every game?
  • I won every game!
  • I did very well in my tennis match, but I did not win every point.
  • You didn’t win every point, did you? That’s almost impossible!

Some

some esl

Some is  used to mean a part, or portion. It can be used with countable nouns (usually two or more), but it is not specific! It is used when the speaker does not know or does not need to use an exact number. Notice that in the photo above, the quantity in the circle is blurry, or not clear.

Some is used in positive sentences, so if not is used, some is not used. Some is often used in questions when an unknown quantity of an item is being offered or asked for. Here are some examples:

  • Some of the people who were watching the match left early, but some people stayed until the end.
  • I watched some of the French Open matches yesterday, but I did not see all of them.
  • Did you spend some time watching tennis yesterday?
  • Can we have some more tennis balls, please?
  • Would you like to play some tennis this week?

Any

any esl

I usually tell my students that they can think of any as meaning at least/even one or even a little bit. Any, like some, is not specific amount, but can be used with countable and countable nouns. The main difference between some and any is that any is used in negative sentences. The exception to that is in questions that imply if.

I did not win any games. = I did not win even one game. = I lost every game.

More examples:

  • I do not have any ping pong paddles.
  • Did you bring any tennis balls?
  • She doesn’t have any tennis shoes with her, so she can’t play with us.
  • Do you see any people using the ping-pong tables?

No/None

no none esl

No and none are the opposite of every, or zero, or not any. Because no or none means not any, they are the only negative word we need to include in our sentence. This difference between no and none  is that none is a pronoun, so it can replace a noun and/or be the subject in a sentence. With no, you must have a separate noun or subject in your sentence. None can be used with singular or plural verbs.

  • I won no games yesterday. = I did not win any games yesterday.
  • Question: How did your games go? Reply: None of them went well.
  • None of my friends play tennis.
  • I have no friends that play tennis.
  • Question: Are there any rackets on sale? Reply: No, there are none on sale.

Examples from yesterday’s post

Yesterday’s post used many of the words that contain some, any, no, and every. Here are couple examples that used only the root words:

  • I would also like to play badminton during the summer, but I don’t have any of the equipment.
  • Are there any other racket sports that you would play or would like to try this summer?
  • I am trying to find some time to play with friends this week.

Practice Exercise

Practice time! Fill in the blank with the correct word. Choose between every, some, any, and no/none. Answers are found below.

  1. To be a good player, you have to practice ________ week.
  2. Do you have ________ friends you can practice tennis with?
  3. My friends play ping-pong, but I do not have ________ paddles, so I can’t play.
  4. I saw ________ people playing ping-pong at the park yesterday.
  5. I enjoy playing ________ type of sport.
  6. There are ________ courts available.
  7. ________ court is being used.
  8. ________ of the ping-pong tables are open right now.
  9. Would you like ________ time on the court?
  10. There are not ________ paddles left, so you have to wait until the next game.

Answers

  1. To be a good player, you have to practice every week.
  2. Do you have any friends you can practice tennis with?
  3. My friends play ping-pong, but I do not have any paddles, so I can’t play.
  4. I saw some people playing ping-pong at the park yesterday.
  5. I enjoy playing every type of sport.
  6. There are no courts available.
  7. Every court is being used.
  8. None of the ping-pong tables are open right now.
  9. Would you like some time on the court?  Would you like any time on the court? is also correct.
  10. There are not any paddles left, so you have to wait until the next game.

To summarize all we have learned, review the following image. For a larger view, click on the image.

every.no.some.any.infographic

Thanks for stopping by. See you again tomorrow. Have a great day!

Tennis and Other Racket Sports | ESL

tennis racket and balls

Good morning, everyone! How are you doing? Did anyone spend time watching tennis this weekend?

a clay tennis court at the French open
a clay tennis court at the French open

The French Open, one of the four most important professional tennis tournaments,* began last week. The top four tennis tournaments are called “Grand Slams.” Of the four tournaments, the French Open is my favorite because it signifies* that beginning of summer. I also like that the players play on clay courts. The qualifying rounds* started on Tuesday, May 21st, but the tournament started yesterday.  Yesterday, I watched a great match* between Venus Williams and Ursula Radwanska. Both players gave it their all,* but Ursula Radwanska  won. No one can say it wasn’t a fun match to watch! I am hoping to be able to watch a few more good matches this week.

When there is a large tennis tournament, and I am able to watch it on the television, I always feel inspired* to play tennis myself. I haven’t played tennis since we moved to Montreal, but I took my racket* out of storage and am trying to find some time to play with friends this week. I don’t think we’ll find a free clay* court,* so we will probably be playing on a hard surface court somewhere in the city.

badminton rackets
badminton rackets

Lately,* I have been playing more of another racket sport–ping pong (or table tennis). During the winter, we went to a restaurant/bar that had a table on Sunday nights. If the weather is nice, we play outdoors* at a park that has free ping-pong tables. You have to bring your own equipment (paddles* and balls), but since the equipment is so light, it is easy to pack them and take them anywhere you are going.

I would also like to play badminton during the summer, but I don’t have any of the equipment. Are there any other racket sports that you would play or would like to try this summer? Squash? Racquetball? Does anyone have suggestions for where to play racket sports in Montreal?

See you tomorrow with a theme-related grammar post!

Vocabulary/Expressions

  • tournament: a sports competition or series of contests that involves many players or teams and that usually continues for at least several days
  • signify: to be a sign of something, to mean something
  • qualifying round: the matches you have to play to pass to or move into the tournament
  • match: a game (made up of two to three sets for women, three to five for men)
  • to give your all: to try as hard as you can, to try everything to reach your goal
  • inspire: to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create
  • racket: (look at photo above) a piece of sports equipment that is used to hit a ball or other object in games like tennis, badminton, squash, etc.
  • clay: a heavy, sticky material from the earth that is made into different shapes and that becomes hard when it is baked or dried (photo of clay court above)
  • court: a large flat surface that is shaped like a square or rectangle and that is used for playing games like tennis and basketball
  • outdoors: outside, not in a building
  • paddle: the small racket used for table tennis (ping-pong)

To Have Deep Pockets

deep pockets (jeans with money in pockets)

If someone has “deep pockets,” it means that they are rich, or have a lot of money. We can use the expression to describe people, companies, or even projects with a high level of funding.

For example:

  • “Gatsby must have deep pockets to throw a huge party every night!”
  • “The company can provide many benefits to its employees, because it has deep pockets.”

Now, give it a try!