Colin

My name's Colin and I'm from London. I've been teaching English in Italy since 1992 and I still love my job! Despite knowing the Italian expression "Mogli e buoi dei paesi tuoi", I married Tiziana in 2002. We live relatively peacefully with our son and cat.

Author Archives: Colin

try: try doing vs. try to do

try: try doing something vs. try to do something If you think that no one cares whether you’re alive or not, try missing a couple of payments. Se credi che non interessi a nessuno che tu sia vivo o no, prova a saltare un paio di rate. ✓ If it stops working, try switching it off and on… Read More »

this: ✓ this big/long/tall = grande/lungo/alto così ✗ big/long/tall so, big/long/tall like this

this big/long/tall = grande/lungo/alto così big/long/tall so, big/long/tall like this If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. Se avessi saputo che sarei vissuto così a lungo, avrei avuto più cura di me stesso. – Eubie Blake ✓ The fish that got away was this big. ✗ The fish… Read More »

average: ✓average ✗ medium, middle

average medium, middle Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Le grandi menti parlano di idee; le menti mediocre parlano di eventi; le menti ristrette parlano di persone. – Eleanor Roosevelt ✓ The average number of students per class is twelve. ✗ The *medium/middle* number of students per class is twelve. Il numero… Read More »

anymore: ✓ anymore, any more ✗ more

anymore, any more more No one goes there any more. It’s too crowded. Non ci va più nessuno. E’ troppo affollato. – Yogi Berra ✓ She doesn’t play any more. ✗ She doesn’t play *more*. Non gioca/suona più. When we say that someone did something in the past but doesn’t do it now or that something was true… Read More »

especially vs. specially

especially vs. specially People are still very uncomfortable with the idea that humans are not a specially created species. La gente trova ancora molto scomoda l’idea che gli umani non sono una specie creata appositamente. – Greg Graffin ✓ This wine is especially good. ✗ This wine is *specially* good. Questo vino è particolarmente buono. Especially can mean… Read More »

actually = veramente, in realtà (≠ attualmente)

actually = veramente, in realtà actually ≠ attualmente They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. Dicono sempre che il tempo cambia le cose, ma in realtà le devi cambiare tu. – Andy Warhol ✓ The presentation was so boring that I actually fell asleep for a few minutes. La presentazione era… Read More »

quite: ✓ quite ✗ enough

quite enough A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Una bugia ripetuta abbastanza spesso diventa verità. – Vladimir Lenin ✓ He’s quite tall. ✗ He’s *enough* tall. E’ abbastanza alto. We use quite to say that something is true to a fairly large extent. It is less emphatic than very. We only use enough to say that… Read More »

conscience vs. consciousness

conscience vs. consciousness A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. Una coscienza pulita di solito è segno di memoria cattiva. – Steven Wright ✓ I must have lost consciousness for a few seconds. ✗ I must have lost *conscience* for a few seconds. Devo aver perso coscienza per qualche secondo. Your conscience is the… Read More »

what: ✓ what ✗ which

what which I can’t tell you what your purpose is. That’s got to come from you. Non posso dirti qual è il tuo scopo. Quello deve venire da te. – Adrian Grenier ✓ I don’t know what subject to study at university. ✗ I don’t know *which* subject to study at university. Non so quale materia studiare all’università.… Read More »

because of: ✓because of ✗ for

because of for Non-drinkers say too many die because of alcohol; they always forget how many more are born because of it. Gli astemi dicono che muoiono troppe persone per l’alcol; si dimenticano sempre quante persone in più nascono grazie ad esso. – Anon. ✓ I couldn’t understand him because of his accent. ✗ I couldn’t understand him… Read More »