Saturday, September 21, 2013

Using Visual Language

Have you ever noticed how some words or phrases in English bring up a visual image?

English is an expressive language and we have many ways of getting a point across. Perhaps the most powerful way to get a point across is to use a phrase with a strong visual element. Here are five examples:

1 "It took my breath away"

"The sight of the Grand Canyon was so amazing that it took my breath away!"

Can you imagine seeing the Grand Canyon and being so mesmerised that you can't breathe? What a great expression this is!

2 "Torture"

"Sitting through Professor Droneworth's three-hour lecture was torture!"

The lecture was not only boring, but it was equivalent to being tortured, perhaps in a Medieval dungeon!

3 "The Green Light"

"After much persuasion, my boss finally gave us the green light to go ahead with the project."

Here is one for business English usage. Imagine your boss holding up a traffic light. And it's green!

4 "A breakthrough"

"Scientists have made a breakthrough in the fight against Cancer."

Imagine scientists trapped in a locked room and they're bashing the door, trying to get out. Finally, they break through the door! Our example sentence has even more visual imagery with the word 'fight'. Scientists are 'fighting' Cancer. This is great, expressive language.

5 "My lips are sealed"

"I won't tell anyone your secret. My lips are sealed!"

Imagine having sealed lips. Any secret would surely be safe!

So here we have seen five examples of visual imagery in language. There are many more; these are just to give you some inspiration.

Use these and any other examples you find to become more expressive and therefore a better conversationalist!

Friday, September 06, 2013


The reading web app now has a notes section. Just like the main app, it can be viewed on mobile too!

Also, and unfortunately, some of the activities developed in HTML5, including the reading app, will not work in Chrome if you refresh the page. This is a problem with the current version of Chrome and will be fixed when they update Chrome in a couple of weeks. If you face this issue, please try using Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer instead!

New Quiz: YOUR and YOU'RE

There is another new quiz on Road to Grammar on the topic YOUR and YOU'RE - many learners - and even native speakers - mix up these two ...