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Welcome to the Teatime-Titbits-Blog.

I will introduce you some



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0 # cHriS 2016-11-14 01:28
nice blog!
i´ll continue reading...
take care.
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0 # dave 2016-10-24 19:22
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Olympic quiz – gold, silver, bronze.

Many English phrases have colours in them, but which one! See the list of colours below and figure out which phrase they fit into.

gold grey blue x3 green red x2 silver white

1. He’s such a reliable colleague. Every once ………… moon (alle Jubeljahre) is he late for work.
2. Every cloud has a ………… lining. (Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein)
3. He was so embarrassed and went as ………… as a beetroot.
4. The news came out of the …………. (aus heiterem Himmel)
5. There’s so much ………… tape (Bürokratie) in China.
6. Your son was really as good as …………. .
7. You can tell them until you are ………… in the face (sich den Mund fusslig reden), they just don’t listen.
8. You fibber – I’ve had just about enough of your little ………… lies (fromme Lüge).
9. The grass most definitely isn’t as ………… on the other side. (Die Kirschen in Nachbars Garten schmecken immer süßer.)
10. He’s not short of the ………… matter (einiges auf dem Kasten haben), you know

An extra titbit - a little colourful rhyme you may hear to help predict the weather

“Red sky at night, Shephard’s delight.
Red sky in the morning, Shephard’s warning.” To find out more about the rhyme, check out: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/red-sky-at-night.html

1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……

1) blue 2) silver 3) red 4) blue 5) red 6) gold 7) blue 8) white 9)green 10) grey
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0 # dave 2016-10-23 18:45
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thief has got the hump on*

Crime never pays or so they say. In this case, using his loaf (seine Birne einschalten) , would have probably saved his bacon (den eigenen Arsch retten). This thief hasn’t quite got the hang of (den Bogen raus haben) the shoplifting malarkey (quatsch) yet.

10 words to help speed up your reading:

1. suspect = Verdächtiger
2. Venetian blind = Jalousie
3. To make off with sth = etw mitgehen lassen
4. To stuff sth (in sth) = in etw hineinstopfen
5. CCTV images = Fotos der Überwachungskameras
6. To attempt = versuchen
7. To conceal = verstecken
8. Alleged = mutmaßlich
9. To abandon = stehen lassen
10. To urge = auffordern

* got the hump on = ‘to have the hump on’ means ‘to be in a bad mood’. There is also the play on with the word ‘hump’ (Buckel), which can be clearly seen in the CCTV photo.

The moral of this story: ‘There’s a fool born every minute’ – ‘Die Narren werden nicht alle’.

Great start to the week.

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0 # dave 2016-10-20 04:05
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: A word in your ear – the language of talking to someone.

Whether it’s business with a colleague / boss “Can I have a quick word (in private)?_ BTW (By The Way) not ‘under 4 eyes’ - that’s Denglish). “On/off the record (sich offiziell äußern)”.

A chance meeting in the corridor “Glad I caught you/ we bumped into each other (jdn in die Arme laufen), have you got a sec/minute?”

A chinwag = chat, “Bend your ear, for a sec?”

A good old gossip (Büroklatsch) session “Between you, me and the gate-post (im Vertrauen gesagt). Did you know/have you heard ….?”

A deep & meaningful (ernstes Gespräch) “I need to talk” / “I need a shoulder to cry on”

A rant / a reprimand aka telling off / bollocking (slang = Anschiss) “Oh, Preston, in my office, & make haste, on the double / chop, chop (Beeil Dich)

It’s always good to ask first. Then a bit of ‘small talk’ (except for the boss’s rant/reprimand – just keep it shut) before getting down to the nitty gritty (=details) and issue at hand.

In various cultures, business etiquette expects varying lengths of ‘(in)/formal introductions’ and ‘small talk’ at the beginning of a business meeting?

In his book, ‘When cultures collide’, Richard Lewis sets out a chart showing the length of time it takes (as a rule of thumb) at the beginning of a meeting to get down to business (page 154 Fig. 10.1)

It varies from under 5 mins in the US, Germany and Finland, UK up to 10 minutes, Japan up to 20 mins and surprise, surprise the Spanish /Italians with up to 30 minutes (obviously killing time to wait for the stranglers (Nachzügler) to show up – only joking Pedro - Spanish friend of mine).

Happy chinwagging today.
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0 # Dave 2016-09-23 04:52
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Who are these people?

A mini teaser to close the week for you and answers below. What do we mean with the following words:
4.swotty pants
7.nosy parker
9. solicitor

1) a person who doesn’t drink alcohol.
2) a person who works/serves in a café bar.
3) a worker who is in charge of a group of other factory or building workers.
4) a student / pupil who learns hard for a test/exam.
5) a colloquial British word for ‘man’.
6) a person who tries to impress other people by showing how good s/he is at doing something.
7) a person who is too interested in other people’s affairs.
8) The word for the ‘captain of a small ship boat/ `& the ‘captain of a sports team’.
9) British Eng. a lawyer who prepares legal documents, e.g. for the sale of land or buildings, advises people on legal matters, and can speak for them in some courts of law.
10) (British Eng. slang) an offensive WORD used to insult somebody, especially a man, and to show anger or dislike. Literally means a person who masturbates.

QOTD: Too easy or too hard or just right? Have a great weekend.
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0 # Dave 2016-09-23 04:52
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native – Pitch your product perfectly.

Are you in the pitching (Verkaufspräsentation) game (Branche)? Do you have to sell the customer on the benefits (Vorteile) of buying your product/service? Here are 7 phrases which you can adapt and add to your sales pitch:

This is our latest range of (outdoor equipment)
It provides you with (ample (reichlich) space to store)
It comes in (three sizes / 2 colours etc.)
The beauty of it is that ( it reduces your electricity consumption by 20%)
This is an exciting new (product, which will really appeal to … (jdn ansprechen))
It will make a great addition to your (existing product range)
The 3 things, which I’m particularly excited about with the (name of product) are, one ……. , two ….. (don’t forget the power of “the rule of three”*)


– happy pitching.
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0 # Guest 2016-09-23 04:51
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Getting paid crossword quiz

Another crossword quiz (without the grid) about getting your dosh (slang for money)

1. This is the money you receive usually every month. (6 letters)
2. This is the name of the above, without any money taken off by the state (5, 6 letters)
3. The amounts of money, which the state takes away from our pay. (10 letters)
4. This money goes straight to the state treasury (6, 3 letters)
5. The state also takes away money to help it pay for the social system. (6, 13 letters)
6. Most people also pay into a private ……………. so they get more money when they retire (7, 6 letters)
7. This is a scheme which Germans pay into to pay for any old age health issues. (4,4,4,9)
8. This is a tax which Germans can opt out of paying if they choose to (6,3 letters)
9. After you have paid all the above you are left with your ……………. (3,6 letters), which is colloquially known as your ‘take-home pay’.
10. Most employers issue a monthly piece of paper which lists all of the above. (3, 4 letters)

1) salary 2) gross salary 3) deductions 4) income tax 5) social contributions 6) pension scheme) 7) long-term care insurance 8) church tax 9) net salary 10) pay slip
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0 # Dave 2016-09-19 05:12
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Managing Monday.

Your Monday is neatly planned out, time dedicated to work on projects, a couple of meetings and telephone calls are scheduled in. A few minutes into things the phone rings – the boss needs you to put out a fire a.s.a.p. Knowing your boss, you know you can punt (stoßen) everything else for the morning, at least.

Working for an international company, your working language is English. You grab your mobile and start sending out the texts. Here are a bunch of more informal texts you may need to send:

Standard English:
“Something (urgent) has just come up (dazwischenkommen). I can’t attend/come to the meeting today.” (of course, I’m sorry or I’m afraid wouldn’t go a miss)(wären nicht verkehrt)
Informal English:
“Sth (urgent) has just cropped up. I can’t make the meeting today.”

Standard English:
“Something (urgent) has just come up. I have to cancel our meeting today.”
Informal English:
“Something (urgent) has just cropped up. I have to call the meeting off today.”

Standard English:
“Something (urgent) has just come up. I’d rather postpone the meeting until later. I will call you when I know more”
Informal English:
“Something (urgent) has just cropped up. Let’s put the meeting off until later. I’ll give you a ring/call when I know more”.

What about a last minute text just before a scheduled meeting etc

Standard English:
“I’ve been delayed (in another meeting / in traffic). I will be there as soon as I can.”
Informal English:
“I’ve been held up (in another meeting/ in traffic). I’ll be there as quickly as I can”

Hope your Monday runs a little smoother. Dave
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0 # Dave 2016-09-16 04:29
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Jamie Oliver – eat your heart out*.

Anyone interested in cooking knows of Jamie Oliver, possibly even Gordon Ramsey. You may have even watched them chop their carrots, fry their fish and stir their sauce with speed & skill in an English version, straining to (sich anstrengen) understand and/or cringing at (etw peinlich finden) their colourful use of the English language (it could be a blog post in itself). *(sich verzehen)

But two brothers from the States make Jamie/Gordon seem like beginners in the use of colourful English. From what I can tell, however, they certainly know their onions (sein Geschäft verstehen) (excuse the pun (Wortspiel)) when it comes to cooking and come up with imaginative and creative shows and because of their ‘raw’ (couldn’t resist) cooking set i.e. their tiny kitchen, it somehow makes their cooking more achievable for the amateur/wannabe (Möchtegern).

‘Brothers Green Eats’ actually seem to want to help people to learn how to cook ‘normal’ food as opposed to creating some kind of new dish in a purpose-made studio kitchen with all the mod cons (mit allem Komfort), super sharp knives and pristine (tadellos) pans.

https://youtu.be/0gCZ0ilKsA8 Why not take an hour off (This vid’s longer than most of their vids), crack open a bottle of wine, sit back and watch the bros guide to my fav food ….. Indian? Enjoy.
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0 # Dave 2016-09-14 05:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Renaming the tenses.

Everybody hates grammar!!!, right!!!!! However hard I try to embed it in a realistic situation or introduce it in an imaginary way, you always get the groans (Stöhnen), see the eyes glaze over (glasig warden) and the bodies slide down the chair when they even sniff (hier: riechen) a bit of grammar with exception, of course, of Hans and Heidi (sorry, if you are called Hans or Heidi – no offence (Nichts für ungut!)) who let out a little “Yippy the present perfect progressive.”

Who the hell came up with the damn grammar names? They probably never worked in the trenches (hier: an der Front arbeiten) but in high towers, writing with a feather ink pen on parchment (Pergament) mumbling to themselves (vor sich hin murmeln) “I’ll confuse these foreigners, you’ll see”.

So here’s my KISS guide to the confusing English tenses:

The NOW PRESENT = the present continuous = temporary (time of speaking)
“You ARE READING this post right now” Signal words include: at the moment, now

The GENERAL PRESENT = the present simple = permanent (facts/regular activities)
“You READ Teatime Titbits posts every day” Signal words include: every, always-never,

The PAST PRESENT = the present perfect = an action or event, which started in the past and continues until now

“You HAVE READ Teatime Titbits post regularly for 3 months”
Signal words: How long, for, since, recently etc.

And the SUPER PAST = the past perfect. = a time further back in the past (than the past)

“I HAD never HEARD of Teatime Titbits before a colleagues told me about them”

Hope it helps a bit. Answers to yesterday’s quiz:

1)I’m calling 2) expected 3) hasn’t arrived 4) didn’t you? 5) ‘re experiencing

6) don’t get 7) ‘ll be 8) ‘re doing 9) ‘ll call 10) receive 11) have 12) ‘ll get
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0 # Dave 2016-09-12 05:03
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Monday

The most dreaded day of the week,
Up early again, no time to sleep,
The alarm clock beeps & then rush, rush, rush,
Hit the snooze & you’ll be on the last push. (auf den letzten Drücker sein)

Down at work, long faces all around.
“Good Morning” is a rare sound.
Fire up the computer to check the mails.
200 more than Friday without fail (ganz bestimmt).

Boss Bill wanders in at 9.05,
Giving everyone he sees the routine high five,
Why on earth he’s always so pumped (hier: gut drauf), I’ll never really know,
But maybe cos he snorts (sniffen) that ‘snow’.

Well, 3 hours to go till lunchtime,
Some food in my stomach will do me just fine,
To combat the early afternoon tiring,
I’ll do a wee (little) bit of filing (abheften).

Yet another project meeting at 3,
Another step further, I doubt we’ll be,
If the team leader is really on form,
We’ll be done at the time to go home.

Then I’ll be high-fiving everyone I see,
Leaving the office fills my heart with glee (Freude),
On my way out, I run into (jdm über den Weg laufen) Bill,
“Off home already, cheerio, Mr Hill”.

If my little rhyme made you smile, please show it to someone else. Cheers.
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0 # Dave 2016-09-07 04:22
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Answers to Tuesday Teaser.

Just a quick reminder of the questions from yesterday. 1-10 are situations you might find yourself in. How would you deal with them and what would you say? Sometimes there are, of course, different possible answers.

1) On the phone: you ask the other person to write down your company address.
Possible answers: Have you got a pen handy? / Could you just make a note of …. ? Would you like to take down the address?

2) You hand out papers to the participants of a meeting.
Possible answers: Here you are / there you go. (Please no PLEASE – typical Denglish)

3) You meet a business acquaintance. It was his birthday a day earlier.
Possible answers: Happy birthday belatedly / Many happy returns belatedly.

4) In a restaurant with a client, ask what s/he wants.
Possible answers: What are you having/taking? Have you made up your mind? (with native What do you fancy?)

5) On the phone: Your boss doesn’t want to speak to pesky caller. Get rid of him.
Possible answers: I’m afraid, Mr Smith isn’t available right now. / He asked me to ask /tell you not to call again, thank you.

6) In a formal meeting, you want to put in your two cents (seinen Senf dazu geben).
Possible answers: Excuse me, I’d like to come in here. / If I could just say …? / If I may just interject (einwerfen) at this point? VERY FORMAL.

7) You arrive at internal meeting 10 minutes late.
Possible answers: So sorry for coming late, was tied up with (beschäftigt mit) a customer. / Sorry, I’m late. Got held up (jdn aufhalten) in traffic / by Dave.

8) Your colleague asks to borrow something off you (e.g. hole punch (Locher))
Possible answers: Yes, go ahead / Yes, feel free / Yes, help yourself / If you can find it, you can have it – for those untidy ‘desk’ people.

9) You see a colleague carrying a heavy box.
Possible answers: Can I give you a hand? Here let me grab that end/side of the box.
Or you could be mean (gemein) and ask “Can you manage?”

10) At a social event in a bar, you announce you will buy in these drinks.
Possible answers: They’re on me. / It’s my round. / I’ll get this one/round in.
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0 # Dave 2016-09-06 04:42
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. What would you say? 1.

1-10 are situations you might find yourself in. How would you deal with them and what would you say? Sometimes there are, of course, different possible answers.

1) On the phone: you ask the other person to write down your company address.
2) You hand out papers to the participants of a meeting.
3) You meet a business acquaintance. It was his birthday a day earlier.
4) In a restaurant with a client, ask what s/he wants.
5) On the phone: Your boss doesn’t want to speak to pesky caller. Get rid of him.
6) In a formal meeting, you want to put in your two cents (sein Senf dazu geben).
7) You arrive at internal meeting 10 minutes late.
8) Your colleague asks to borrow something off you (e.g. hole punch (Locher))
9) You see a colleague carrying a heavy box.
10) At a social event in a bar, you announce you will buy in these drinks.

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-09-05 04:29
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Eat that Frog – Book Review.

Unless you’ve done it before (cos you lost that bet) or you spent time in France and felt obliged (sich verpflichtet fühlen) to ‘do like the Romans’ (andere Länder, andere Sitten), the prospect (Aussicht auf etw) of eating a frog is probably not that appetising for you.

That’s what the business/time management guru Brian Tracy also thought, when he titled his book – Eat that Frog - I guess it is a bit of an attention grabbing title. The basic idea behind the ‘eat the frog’ is actually very simple. Get down to do (etw. in Angriff nehmen) the thing that you dislike most (workwise) on your ‘to do list’ first thing, get it over with (bringt man es hinter sich) a.s.a.p. so that you can get on with (mit etw weitermachen) the other tasks/projects that you do actually like.

Not exactly brilliant (nicht gerade das Gelbe vom Ei) I know. Unfortunately, the book as a whole is disappointing to say the least. But I would recommend his more detailed book ‘Time Management made simple’, which has more nuggets of wisdom (Lebensweisheiten) that are easy actionable and effective.

Enjoy that frog!
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0 # Dave 2016-09-01 06:43
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native – corned beef & baked beans and f**ked.

At the meats counter in our local supermarket I often hear people pronouncing the 'corned’ by separating the word into ‘corn’ and ‘ed’. The same goes for baked beans, not at the meats counter obviously.

Thankfully I don’t hear the word ‘f**ked’ very often in a German supermarket (that was just an eye-catcher).

Did you know there are rules which determine how you pronounce the ‘ed’ at the end of a regular verb in the past?

Let’s start with the verbs ‘decide’ and ‘last’ first. We pronounce the ‘ed’ as ‘id’
Any regular verb, which ends in the ‘d’ or ‘t’ SOUND, the ‘ed’ is pronounced as ‘id’

What about ‘bake’, ‘pass’, ‘watch’, ‘wash’ and ‘drop’?
Any regular verb, which ends in the ‘k’, ‘s’, ‘ch’, ‘sh’, or ‘p’ SOUND, the ‘ed’ is pronounced as ‘t’

Thankfully, for the majority of regular verbs (with the exception of the above), the ‘ed’ is simply pronounced as ‘d’

So remember if you want to get a bottle of that new brand of Vodka ‘F**KED’, you will know how to say it correctly.

P.S. Public health warning: Guys please don’t ask a female assistant if you can’t find it.
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0 # Dave 2016-08-31 03:56
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words: sugar-coat

Let’s face it, we all like a bit of something sweet now and again, possibly even more now that again. If your mouth is now watering at the thought of a cupcake, chocolate fudge cake, or pancakes with lemon and sugar – literally sugar-coated, I apologize. (It’s just happening to me as I think of biting into a bar of Galaxy chocolate).

Just recently I’ve come across the term ‘to sugar-coat’ in a number of different places, so I thought I’d highlight (herausstellen) it today. According to: www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

‘To sugar-coat something’ means to do something that makes an unpleasant situation seem less unpleasant. “There’s no way of sugar-coating it—the report predicts a grim (düster) future for the industry.” ‘To sugar or sweeten the pill’ are idiomatic synonyms.

If you want an acquaintance (Bekannter), friend, colleague or boss to ‘do sth for you’ you have to ‘sweeten them up’ by giving them money or praising them (loben) etc. Similarly, you could also try to ‘butter your boss up’, which means to say nice things to him/her so that s/he will help you or give you something?

And if s/he ‘is like putty in your hand’ (Wachs in jds Händen sein), then everything’s sweet for you! If not, you’ll end up with sweet FA (rein gar nichts – sweet Fanny Adams or sweet Fuck All – whichever takes your fancy (jdm gefallen) at the time.)

Answers from yesterday.
1)E, 2) I, 3)A, 4)G, 5)C, 6)J, 7)B, 8) F, 9)D, 10)H
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0 # Dave 2016-08-25 04:19
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak/write like a native – politely does it 1.

In mails or on the phone, I’m sure you will have read/heard natives use the following when asking about something/for information. Often they don’t want to come across ‘too direct’ or maybe the situation is more formal.

Could you possibly ……… tell me?
Do/would you mind ……… telling me? = Haben Sie was dagegen
I was wondering if/whether/what …? = Ich frage mich
Do you happen to ………… know …? = Hier. Wissen Sie zufällig
I don’t suppose you ………..know …..? = Hier. Wissen Sie zufällig

Imagine you meet someone and would like to find out about their work. You could use the ‘direct’ question form:

‘Direct’: “What line of business are you in?”
or you could add on, let’s say, “I was wondering” to form an ‘indirect’ question,
‘Indirect’: “I was wondering what line of business you are in?”

I’m sure you’ll agree it sounds a whole lot for formal/polite and appropriate for the situation. Check out some other questions.

Direct: What is your ETA in Düsseldorf?
Indirect: Would you mind letting me know what your ETA is

Direct: Which company does Dave work for?
Indirect: Do you happen to know which company Dave works for?

Direct: What did you earn in Q2?
Indirect: Would you mind telling me what you earned in Q2?

Direct: I can’t find Dave anywhere. Where’s he disappeared to?
Indirect: Don’t suppose you know where he’s disappeared to?

What becomes clear is the grammar of the ‘indirect’ question changes. Put simply the ‘indirect’ question form goes like this:

““I was wondering what line of business you are in?”
Indirect add on “I was wondering ..” + question words “what line of business …” + normal sentence structure “..you are in”? When the helping verbs are ‘to be’ ‘to have (got) they just swap places with the pronoun (you)

Direct: “What time is it?”
Indirect: “Do you happen to know what time it is.?”

More often than not the direct question will have a ‘do/ does/ did etc’ as helping verb in the direct question. In the indirect question you simply miss it out.

Direct: “What part of town do you live in?”
Indirect: “I was wondering what part of town you live it?

Unfortunately, I don’t really see or hear many Germans actually in particular use the phrases “Do you happen to know …?” and “I don’t suppose you know …..?” (unless they are really advanced and spent time abroad).

Even if they sound strange to German ears – it’s music to our ears. Try them out!!!!

Have a great Thursday.
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0 # Dave 2016-08-12 05:30
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Yorkshire Airlines.

Ever been to Yorkshire? – the land of flat caps (Schiebermütze), ferrets (Frettchen) and whippets according to the ‘traditional’ picture of Yorkshire.

As Yorkshire people we often have to take ‘gibes’ (Spöttelei) from the rest of the UK as they ask about the well-being (Wohlsein) of our flat caps, ferrets and whippets in a put-on (aufgesetzt) Yorkshire dialect. They (the Southerners) often end with the comment ‘it’s grim (grauenvoll) up North’.

Speaking of dialects, for most of the rest of the UK / world, Yorkshire sounds akin to (etw ähneln) ‘old’ English with our words like ‘owt’ , ‘nowt’ and ‘summat’, which actually derive from Old English meaning anything, nothing, something. For a more detailed explanation check out, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire_dialect

Why do I ask? Apart from the language barrier, it is a beautiful part of the world with lots to see and do – think York, the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors, the small coastal towns like Robin Hood’s Bay, eat delicious fish & chips, yummy (lecker) scones, drink perfectly brewed ‘Yorkshire’ tea. Check out http://www.yorkshire.com

Take a flight with say Jet2.com to Leeds/Bradford but not with ‘Yorkshire Airlines’, The little clip is a spoof (Parodie) ad, which makes fun of Yorkshire and its folk. Enjoy your little excursion to ‘Yorkshireland.’ https://youtu.be/IJFq2jhgQT8

Any guesses for where I’ll be next week?
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0 # Dave 2016-08-11 04:40
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: How to talk to anyone: 92 little tricks for big success in relationships.

Book of the month: How to talk to anyone: 92 little tricks for big success in relationships by Leil Lowndes.

You often come across books with amazing titles, which promise YOU the world. You buy excitedly, read expectantly, wait with bated breath (etw mit Spannung erwarten) for the world and realise pretty soon, you’ve been duped (betrogen werden)!

I think it won’t happen here, it really does do what it says on the cover. Even your more sociably well-equipped and seasoned (erfahren) communicators can pick up some tricks and tips from the book.

Leil touches on body language and creating a good first impression at the beginning of the book before moving onto small talk tips to help us keep our conversation ‘partners’ spellbound (fasziniert) by our mastery of (Beherrschung von) conversation.

I love how she embeds her tricks in stories to make them more engaging and memorable, not to mention giving them all distinctive unforgettable names.

I thought, I would present one from the book, entitled ‘parroting’. It’s probably the simplest method to keep people talking and doesn’t involve much ‘thought’ on your part. Like a parrot does, simply repeat part of the last thing your partner said. What happens, the person ‘gets going’ (loslegen) again. Here’s a simple example I made up:

Wife: “My parents called earlier today.”
Husband “Parents.”
Wife: “You know, they’ve been on holiday for a fortnight”
Husband: “Holiday”
Wife: “Yes, I told you – Greece, remember?”
Husband: “Oh yes, Greece”
Wife: “They had a whale of a time (eine großartige Zeit haben), hotel great, weather superb, the only thing was, there were too many Brits.”
Husband: “too many Brits!?”

I think you get the picture and as you can see that ‘conversation’ could go on for hours. Having tried this out many times, I can vouch for (für etw bürgen) its effectiveness. BUT don’t overuse it, like in the above example, simply sprinkle it into (einstreuen) your conversations and watch your partner enjoy being centre stage (im Mittelpunkt stehen).

Happy parroting!!!!!
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0 # Dave 2016-08-10 04:12
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: The super short story of a shitty decision.

Once upon a time Dave went shopping for a new used car (gebrauchtes Auto) and happened upon (zufällig auf etw stoßen) a local dealership (Autohaus) of dubious (zweifelhaft) character. Undeterred (nicht abgeschreckt) Dave went in, walked around, stopped to stare longingly at a car and was immediately jumped on by a fast talking salesman.

“Ahhh, yes excellent choice, Beamer (BMW), can’t go wrong there – German quality and she purrs (schnurren) – like a dream, fancy a spin? (Bock auf eine Spritztour?) er ……… - I’m Steve – nice to meet you”

“Dave, likewise, er, go on, hell why not?” “Coming darling?” Dave shouted over.

“No, I’ll give it a miss (etw bleiben lassen), are you sure ……..?” Steve interrupted

“Jump in. Dave. Here, catch, let’s see what she can do.”

Half an hour later & Dave was grinning like a Cheshire cat (bis über beide Ohren grinsen). I knew that grin, Dave was gonna pull the trigger. I hate his snap decisions (spontaner Entschluss). I couldn’t talk him out of it (jdm etw ausreden) Steve made sure of that. I had sussed Steve’s game out (Ich bin dahintergekommen), unfortunately Dave hadn’t, as gullible (leichtgläubig) as ever!

“I’ve got a great feeling about this car, darlin“

My gut instinct (Bauchgefühl) told me Steve had Dave over a barrel (jdn in der Hand haben).

And we drove happily ever after !?!?! I wish!!!

A week later the engine conked out (den Geist aufgegeben). It turned out (herausstellen) that the 100,000 on the clock (Kilometeruhr) was actually more like 550 000 before Steve had fiddled with (an etw herummachen) it.

Dave, the mug, (Trottel) was no longer as happy as Larry (überglücklich), but as sick as a parrot (extreme enttäuscht).

The moral of this story:”All that glistens isn’t gold.” !!!! (Es ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt)

Answers from yesterday:
1) d 2) f 3) a 4) i 5) c 6) h 7) j 8) b 9) e 10) g
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0 # Guest 2016-08-09 04:12
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Crimes in the News.

1-10 are list of (names of) crimes, which often come up in the news. A-J are the translations. Can you match them up?

1) manslaughter a) Schwere Körperverletzung
2) assault b) Steuerhinterziehung
3) GBH c) Betrug
4) burglary d) Totschlag
5) fraud e) Diebstahl
6) arson f) Überfall
7) mugging g) Sexuelle Belästigung
8) tax evasion h) Brandstiftung
9) theft i) Einbruch
10) sexual harassment J) Raubüberfall

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-08-08 04:43
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: in, out, up and over

The weekend is fantastic to talk in what I call ‘verb and friends’ (in grammar speak – phrasal verbs).

There is a ‘stop/stay in’ meaning to stay at home and not ‘go out’ to a pub, club, restaurant or party and there’s a ‘stay or stop out’ meaning not to ‘go home’. We commonly talk about stopping/staying out until the early/wee hours’. Bet you didn’t know that a person who does this can be mockingly (spöttisch) called a ‘dirty stop-out’ and I didn’t know it’s a ‘dirty stay-out’ in American English until I was recently corrected by an American.

Similarly, if you ‘stop/stay in’ you can decide to ‘stop/stay up’ late (go to bed late) or you drop off (fall asleep) on the couch while chilling out (BTW – there’s no ‘chill in’ – ALTHOUGH maybe I’ve just coined a new English phrase (einen Ausdruck prägen) – “I chilled in at the weekend” meaning I meditated!

What’s more you can choose to ‘eat in’ (at home) or ‘eat out’ (in a restaurant/friends etc)’ depending on what turns you on (anturnen) at the time – but we’ll not go there now.

After a long night out or an early morning home, you need to ‘catch up’ (nachholen) on some sleep so we sleep longer, get up later which we call ‘to lie in’ or ‘have a lie in’ (ausschlafen). But please don’t mix it up with ‘to sleep in’ in British English, because it can also mean the same as ‘oversleep’ (i.e. verschlafen). “I forgot to set the the alarm clock and slept in/overslept”. Hope you didn’t sleep in this morning!!!

QOTD. 1. What do you think of my new phrase ‘to chill in’ – (only positive comments please) and 2. Did you get a lie-in at the weekend?

Happy start to a new week – your Teatime Titbiter.
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0 # Dave 2016-08-05 04:00
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Fluency MC

Have problems remembering your irregular verb forms, check out this vid and accompanying text. Happy sing along!


Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters!!!!!!
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0 # Dave 2016-08-04 04:02
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: 10 telephone phrases for that more ‘informal’ call.

1.I’ll pop you through (verbinden) to Mike, then.
2.Can I just run the account no. by you (wiederholen) again?
3.You don’t happen (zufällig) to have his mobile number, do you?
4.Bear with me (Sei geduldig) a sec, I’ll just fetch (holen) her.
5.Can you just jot down (etw kurz notieren) this ref. no, please?
6.Have got a pen handy (griffbereit)?
7.Do me a favour and double-check (nochmals prüfen) the date, would/will you?
8.He’s tied up (beschäftigt sein) in a meeting at the mo.
9.I’ve been trying to get hold of him (erreichen) on his landline (Festnetz) number all morning.
10.Tell her to give me a call/ring/bell* when she gets back in.

*more colloquial
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0 # Dave 2016-08-03 04:06
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Bored at work – here’s what to do!

Everyone has aspects of their work that are dull (langweilig) and dislike or possibly even hate doing. We procrastinate (aufschieben) until we can’t leave it any longer, swear at the computer, whinge (jammern) about the boss before reluctantly (widerwillig) getting down to it (mit etw anfangen) and getting it done. Grin and bear it.(in den sauren Apfel beißen)

Imagine, on the other hand, your whole job was dull all of the time, what would you do? Complain to your superior (Vorgesetzter), ask for a transfer (versetzung), pull sickies all the time (krankfeiern), resign (kündigen).

One French guy decided to go the full hog (aufs Ganze gehen) – take his company to court (etw vor Gericht bringen).

I’ve put together a short list of 10 words to help you to read the text:

to claim = aussagen
to make sb redundant = jdn entlassen
tedious = langweilig
compensation/damages = Schadenersatz
to be due (money) = fällig sein
menial (task) = niedere Tätigkeit
to relegate sb to doing sth = zuschreiben
to be deprived of sth = von etw gebracht warden
to allege = behaupten
defamation = Beleidigung/Rufschädigung


Answers tomorrow
1) US/BE 2) BE/US 3) BE/US 4) BE/US 5) BE/US 6) BE/US 7) US/BE 8) US/BE 9) US/BE 10) BE/US
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0 # Dave 2016-08-02 04:00
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Who needs a spellchecker!!!!!!!

Write like a native – But which native? The following spellings are British (BE) and American (US) – can you tell the difference? In the answer section mark BE/US or US/BE in the correct order as the spellings appear. A few EASY ones to get you started!!!!

1) center / centre
2) favour / favor
3) instalment / installment
4) cancelled / canceled
5) programme / program
6) sceptical / skeptical
7) inquiry / enquiry
8) license / licence
9) check / cheque
10) tyre / tire
Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-08-01 04:18
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Books for English learners.

Summer hols over? Are you thinking of getting serious about improving your English? What about a language course starting in September?

Here are 5 books, which I would recommend to buy to help you learn.

1.English Grammar in Use aka Murphy’s grammar book after the author Raymond Murphy. Cambridge University Press. The English Trainers/students bible available at different levels from beginners to advanced. The grammar aspect is presented on the left hand page (English only!!!) and exercises on the right hand page with ‘answers page’ at the end. Ideal for self-study.

2.English Vocabulary in Use. (for all levels). Cambridge University Press. Similar to Murphy’s, the vocab. is divided into ‘topics’ and presented on the left hand page (English only!!!) and exercises on the right hand page with ‘answers page’ at the end. Ideal for self-study.

3.If you want to focus on a special skill in English (ranging from Emails to telephoning) or a particular business sector (from accounting to telecommunications industry) these short course series ‘English for ....’ by Cornelsen should do the trick (den Zweck erfüllen).

4.Keynote series – TED Talks with DVD. A fantastic range of books from Intermediate to Proficient. Cross skill learning but where ‘listening’ takes the lead. Learn on your own or in a group but is also ideal for self study.

5.Language Activator – the world’s first production dictionary by Longman. Takes a bit of getting used (sich daran zu gewöhnen) to at first, but ideal, especially for the more advanced learner, who would like a practical reference book.

Hope I have been able to give you a bit of inspiration/insight into what to invest in.

Have a great start to the week.
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0 # Dave 2016-07-29 04:01
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Slang up your Friday: 24 words you don’t wanna hear thrown in your direction.


I know a lot of people don’t like swearing and using bad language. Understandably so! However, like it or not, it is also part & parcel (ein fester Bestandteil von) of any language and often commonly used even by people you wouldn’t expect to hear it from.

So at least be aware of these 24 words, even if you never plan to use them:
show-off = Aufschneider
poser = Angeber
square / bore / stick-in-the-mud = Langweiler
smart-arse / clever dick = Klugscheißer
stuck-up = hochnäsig
cocky = arrogant
bossy = herrisch
pillock / plonker = Idiot
prick* / dick* / knob* = Blödmann (’prick’, ‘knob’ and ‘dick’ mean penis too)
shithead / dickhead / knobhead = Arschloch
bugger / sod = Arschloch / Scheißkerl
wanker / tosser (Brit) / Jerk off (U.S) = Wichser
slag = Schlampe

QOTD. So how many of them, did you already know?
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0 # Dave 2016-07-28 04:11
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: 20 phrases to give your presentation a backbone.

Introducing the topic:
I’m going to talk about ….
I’ve divided /split my presentation up into 5 parts:

First & foremost (zuallererst), I’d like to give you an overview into ….
Secondly, I’ll investigate / look into (untersuchen) …..
Next, we’ll concentrate / focus on
After that, I’m going to consider / deal with (sich mit etw befassen) ……
Finally, I’ll draw/present my own conclusions (seine Schlüsse ziehen (aus etw))

There is a handout (in front of you) on

Dealing with questions:
If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the Q&A section.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at any time.

Introducing each section:
So let’s start with / jump into
Moving onto
I’d like to draw your attention to (Ihre Aufmerksamkeit auf etw lenken)
This leads me to (das bringt mich ..)

Referring backwards and forwards:
I mentioned (erwähnen) earlier about
I’ll say more/come back to this point later.

That concludes my talk
That brings me to the end of my presentation

If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them now
Thank you for your attention.
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0 # Dave 2016-07-27 04:17
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Up your Game – Five a day.

Do you want to raise your register when speaking English, to have the ability to flip between conversational and formal English whenever required?

Here are your 5 randomly chosen formal words for today.

1.‘Issue’ has different meanings, here are two of them that you may need in your work:

A) = topic/subject = an important topic that people are discussing or arguing about a = “This is a key/sensitive/controversial issue”. = (Streit)Thema / Frage

B) = problem or worry that somebody has with something = “Money is not an issue.” = Problem/ Belang

2.‘To reflect’ = think about = to think carefully and deeply about something = „She was left to reflect on the implications of her decision.” = nachdenken

3.‘To garner’ = to get = to obtain or collect something such as information, support, etc. other synonyms include gather, acquire. = “All the information that we garnered has been kept on file.”= sammeln/gewinnen

4.‘To vow’ = to promise = to make a formal and serious promise to do something “She vowed never to speak to him again”. = schwören

5.‘To pursue’ has different meanings, here are two of them that you may need in your work:

A) to do something or try to achieve something over a period of time = “We intend pursue our goals with determination (Entschlossenheit) = etw verfolgen

B) to continue to discuss, find out about or be involved in something = to pursue legal action = “We have decided not to pursue the matter.” etw weiterverfolgn

Answers from yesterday:
1) F 2) J 3) G 4) H 5) I 6) E 7) C 8) D 9) B 10) A

Here's my motivational thought for the day:

"Vow to yourself, you're gonna pursue your goals, hopes and dreams with all you've got - W.I.T. - whatever it takes - ALWAYS."

Now go do it and have a great day!
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0 # Dave 2016-07-26 04:41
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Know your weather words.

How good is your weather vocab? Match up the weather word with the German translation.

1) scorching a) schwül
2) overcast b) herrlich
3) downpour c) drückend heiß
4) blustery d) windig
5) drizzle e) kühl
6) chilly f) brütend heiß
7) sweltering g) Regenguss
8) breezy h) stürmisch
9) glorious i) Nieselregen
10) muggy J) bedeckt

As an ice-breaker, what about starting with one of these to get the balling rolling?

Positive: glorious, gorgeous (wunderschön), splendid (großartig) weather, isn’t it?
Negative: miserable, awful (schrecklich), shitty weather, isn’t it?

Answers tomorrow

1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-07-25 04:22
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Where’ve you been or where are you going?

I guess it about half way through the summer holiday season as we come to the end of July.

QOTD. Where’ve you been or where are you going?

This question is a mine field of possible grammar issues? Let’s talk about the first part – “Where have you been?” You will immediately recognise the ‘Present Perfect’ and wonder why not “Where were you”? It is also possible to use the ‘simple past’ as the holiday is over.

However, we are asking about a RECENT happening – “I’ve been to Greece for a fortnight!” N.B. A typical German mistake: “We’ve been to Greece 2 weeks ago”. Here again the regular past “We went to Greece 2 weeks ago” is correct because you used a ‘past phrase: 2 weeks ago’.

Part 2. By now I guess you have made up your mind, booked most things and are ready to go, we can say then that it is ‘arranged’, so we use the present continuous for the future “We’re flying off to Greece on Friday for a fortnight”. If on the other, you still haven’t fully booked everything and are still ‘planning’, you could answer in a number of different ways

“We’re going to fly to Greece in September.” = ‘going to’ for future plans
“We may/might fly to Greece in September.” = may / might for future possibilities.”
“We’re thinking of flying to Greece in September” = ‘think of doing’

So back to you Teatime Titbiters: Where’ve you been or where are you going?
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0 # Dave 2016-07-22 04:34
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Pissed (Warning: bad language)

One language?!?! Check out this conversation between a Brit & an American.

“I mean, he was pissed” American.
“At work? What did the boss have to say about it – working under the influence and all that?” Brit.
“What are you talking about, I mean he got very angry” American
“Well you didn’t say that.” Brit
“Yes, I did – ‘pissed’ means angry.” American
“Where I come from ‘pissed’ means ‘drunk’, you know as in drunk too much alcohol” Brit
“No shit – you’re BSing (bullshitting) (jdm verscheißern) me, right” American
“If BSing me means “having you on” (veräppeln) then I’m not!” Brit
“So how do you guys say ‘pissed’?” American
“Pissed off” Brit
“Well, I’ll be fucking damned (Ich fass es nicht) ! – you learn something everyday’ American

Have a great weekend. Dave
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0 # Dave 2016-07-19 03:38
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. He/she/it is …… 1.

Any ideas what we mean in English when we say that a person or a thing is …

1) a clock-watcher
2) henpecked
3) a godsend
4) a stickler
5) a conman
6) double Dutch
7) knackered
8) skint
9) famished
10) a stick-in-the-mud

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-07-18 04:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Have a break, quit your job for a Pokémon Go tour.

Pokémon Go is all the rage (ganz in Mode sein) at the moment, but who would have thought anyone would actually hand his/her notice (die kündigung einreichen) in to go on a Pokémon Go tour? (see BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/36814165/man-in-new-zealand-quits-his-job-to-play-pokemon-go-full-time)

According to (Laut) the article, Tom Currie says the upsides are the travel and meeting loads of people. Indeed, it is very common for young Aussies (Australians) & Kiwis and increasing Brits, Irish and Canadians to go on a so-called ‘gap year’ (ein Jahr aussetzen) usually between school and starting college/university or work.

My biggest regret is that I didn’t !!!!!! Once you have to knuckle down (sich reinknien) and join the rat race (Hamsterrad), it is very difficult to break out again.

One could argue, quitting a job as a barista is easier than a more ‘professional’ job. Nonetheless, quitting is quitting. Kudos (Hut ab!) for plucking up the courage (sich ein Herz fassen und etw. tun) to take such a brave decision.

QOTD If you could take a year off work / sabbatical, what would you do?
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0 # Ralf 2016-07-15 16:30
Yes, I confess - I'm a fan of the teatime titbits on XING.

Unfortunately the British gouvernment and the European Commission are not participating in this relaxing blog.
They will miss something!
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0 # Dave 2016-07-15 04:53
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Team GB’s trip to Brexit.

Team GB is set up and raring to go with a new one in the driving seat, Theresa May. Their journey will take down the long road to Brexit (wherever that may be – satnav f**ked up).

It could be a rough ride with many potholes. Not to worry thinks Theresa, Boris will go forth, repair the bumps and the whole thing will be a smooth run.

Beware EU, the team GB buses have set off, with David Davis giving directions (unfortunately, EU funds pot for new satnavs has just run out) and heading for a bus stop near you. Of course, there is no ETA (still no satnav) so don’t be surprised if you see nothing for yonks and then they all arrive at once.

Join the Team GB journey, get on the buses and have a great singsong “the wheels in Brussels go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels in Brussels go round and round without Team GB.
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0 # Dave 2016-07-14 04:17
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tip on Thursday: Two words to tell them apart.

‘Permanent’ and ‘temporary’ are 2 words to keep in mind when talking in the ‘present’ in English.

‘Permanent’ is for facts, regular habits and routines. We use the present simple.

Fact: “I live in Münster and work for XYZ company.”(fact/doesn’t change)

Habit: “I (usually) play football twice a week.”
(often with adjective of frequency ‘Always 100% – never 0%’

Routine: “I get up at 6 a.m. and drive to work at 7a.m. every morning.”
(often with ‘how often’ = Key words: every, once, twice, three times)

‘temporary’ is for something happening over a short period of time. We use the present continuous.

“I’m staying in Leipzig and working on a project with XYZ company this week.”
(often using the word ‘this’ to get across the message of short period of time and then changes again – also today, this morning, this week, this month, even this year)

“At present I’m working on an important project.”
(with ‘NOW’ words/phrases – now, at the moment, at present, currently)

“Look, a man is peeing in the bushes over there.” (sorry for the example!!!)
(often used after ‘look’ & ‘listen’ to talk about what is happening right now)

German speaker often overuse the present continuous by saying:
Incorrect: “I’m living in Münster and working for XYZ company.”
Correct: “I live in Münster and work for XYZ company” (see above)

Incorrect: “I’m (usually) playing football twice a week.”
Correct: “I (usually) play football twice a week.” (see above)

Incorrect: “I’m getting up at 6 a.m. and driving to work at 7a.m. every morning.”
Correct: “I get up at 6 a.m. and drive to work at 7a.m. every morning.” (see above)

Don’t worry, there are other rules to watch out for but they can be for another post. Hope it helps.
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0 # Dave 2016-07-13 04:10
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words: Call centre cock-up or stitch-up.

Just the other day I made enquiries (Recherchen anstellen) with an insurance company, which will remain nameless about insuring my car with them – a little birdy had recommended them to me – I shot the birdy (only joking!!)

It all turned out (herausstellen) to be false alarm (no bargain (Schnäppchen) in sight) so when the lady said she would send the offer out I thought to myself “that’ll be one to file (etw abheften) in the bin” – as my father always says.

A few days later the post arrived. For some strange reason I opened it instead of filing it straight in the bin – serendipity? (glücklicher Zufall) It turned out to be a contract backdated to the date I called them with the enquiry.

Spitting feathers (hier: Wütend) and a few phone calls later (backwards and forwards – as these things always go) I finally found out who had originally dealt with me and that it was probably the guys in ‘B’ town, who had got the wrong end of the stick.(etwas völlig verkehrt auffassen).

Comforting (tröstlich) I thought. But, of course, I still had to write them an email to cancel the contract – to add to the time wasted on the phone. Why on earth couldn’t they fix the problem they had got me into in the first place is beyond me? (Es geht über meinen Horizont hinaus)

Imagine my horror, a few days later, when I received a letter of cancellation from my current insurance company backdated, of course. “Shit, it’s Saturday, can’t do jack shit (nichts) about it” more feathers as well as the accompanying ostrich (Vogel Strau?) coming out of my mouth.

Monday, I finally get through to my insurance to find out that I had to write to them to confirm that I wanted to renew my contract to the same terms and conditions (Bedingungen), otherwise there’s nothing they can do. At the time of writing both companies have acknowledged receipt (den Empfang bestätigen) of my mails, but I’ve received no written confirmation as yet, am I out of the woods? (aus dem Schneider)

Call centre cock-up (Pfusch) or stitch-up (abgekartetes Spiel)? Big fuck-up to the detriment of (zu jds Nachteil) the customer and hassle (hier: Mühe) it takes to get out of something like this simply beggars belief (es ist unfassbar). They can set up a new contract as quick as a flash but when it comes to undoing a mistake, the bureaucratic shutters come down (bei jdm geht die Klappe runter) and the consumer is left to his own devices(auf sich allein gestellt). Was it a simple mistake somewhere in the process or is there method in the madness?

QOTD Have you ever experienced anything like this?

Answers from yesterday.

1) cool 2) red 3) quick 4) old 5) thick 6) good 7) light 8) fresh 9) stubborn 10) easy
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0 # Dave 2016-07-13 04:09
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Know your comparisons.

Here are 10 comparison phrases that are common in English e.g. ‘He’s as ……… (mad) as a hatter.’ Try to fit the correct adjective below in the correct comparison phrase. Answers tomorrow.

1)Considering it was his first pitch, he was as ……… as a cucumber.
2)When I did my first pitch, I went as …….. as a beetroot and fluffed my lines (den Faden verlieren).
3)DHL deliver as ……….. as a flash.
4)That data is as ………… as the hills, haven’t you got any more up-to-date?
5)I really think he’s as …………. as two short planks. (i.e. stupid)
6)He’s a fantastic apprentice (Azubi) – he can read my mind, as …………. as gold, he is.
7)Thanks, I can manage, the parcel is bulky (sperrig) but as ………… as a feather.
8)Get a good night sleep, you need to be as ………… as a daisy for tomorrow.
9)I wish he’d change his mind. He’s as ………… as a mule once he’s made up his mind.(sich entscheiden)
10)This quiz was as ………… as pie.

stubborn cool easy old good quick light red thick fresh

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-07-13 04:08
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: The words I (almost) forgot.

Have you ever lived abroad for a long time? If so, have you ever experienced those moments when you heard a word or phrase in your native tongue and you say to yourself ‘I haven’t heard that for yonks (ewig)’?

This happened to me 5 times yesterday during the footy game France v. Portugal while listening to the BBC commentary – coincidentally they are all words, which you could use at work too. This morning, I thought I’d share them with you.

sloppy = lacking care or effort work = schlampig
to get (any/no) joy = be unsuccessful = kein Glück haben ‘Any joy getting through to (erreichen) Michael’?
to get a rocket = to be reprimanded/ told off = eine Zigarre verpasst bekommen
gaffer = boss = Chef
cracker = very good = Knaller also ‘You did cracking work on that project’

QOTD Do you know the words and have you ever lost your last mother tongue (counting out in a drunken stupor (im Vollrauch))?
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0 # Dave 2016-07-08 03:53
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: That explains everything.

Something to soothe (jdn trösten) your souls this Friday morning. Follow this link to find out the ‘truth’ about Brexit.

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0 # Dave 2016-07-07 03:50
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday tip: Deutsche Welle in English.

Like you can read the online newspaper www.thelocal.de to get the latest German news in English, you can watch news items/short documentaries in German and then in English to help you train your listening skills.

Here’s a recent example, with the sentencing (Urteilsverkündung) of Oscar Pistorius in South Africa:
German version: https://youtu.be/I3ydiy2EhPw
English version: https://youtu.be/XYC3q7i7sS0

Great for brushing up (etw wieder auffrischen) on your crime English!
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0 # Dave 2016-07-06 04:27
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Email Mastery – ‘helfen’

Writing mails in English brings a whole bunch of difficulties with it, register (formal/informal), grammar, intercultural aspects.

In my PDF book – Mini Mail dictionary (German-English), I’ve collected some (72 to be precise) of the most important ‘words’ you may need to help you write mails, which you can be sure are correctly formulated and can also speed up your writing (copy & paste).

Every now and again I will choose words from the book to give you a helping hand with your mails – what better to start with than the word ‘helfen’:

Formal: to assist / (to offer/give sb) assistance.
E.G. Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter (Angelegenheit).
Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further assistance. = weiter behilflich sein

Neutral: (to) help
E.G. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.
Please contact us if we can be of any further help. = weiter behilflich sein

Informal: to help sb out / to lend/give sb a hand
E.G. Cheers for your help/for helping us out with this.
Give me a shout if we can be help in any way.

Give them try – today!!!!!!

Answers from yesterday

1) for 2) at 3) with 4) for 5) to 6) to 7) no preposition 8) of 9) of 10) for11) on 12) to, for 13) for 14) in 15) to
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0 # Greg 2016-07-05 13:11
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0 # Dave 2016-07-05 04:24
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Playing with prepositions.

1-10 are all sentences where the preposition is missing after the adjective. Do you know which preposition fits in best? In one no preposition is necessary – but which one?

1) Dave is due ........ promotion next month.
2) The boss is very angry ........ the delay
3) Sorry, I’m afraid, she’s busy ........ another client.
4) Do you think he’s really fit ........ the job?
5) It’s all subject ......... confirmation
6) He’s responsible ........ the Managing Director
7) We’re well behind ........ schedule.
8) I’m well aware ........ the dangers of such a joint venture
9) The project is actually ahead ........ schedule
10) I’m responsible ......... the sales department.
11) We’re dependent ........ our suppliers delivering on time.
12) I’m very grateful ........ Michael ........ his help.
13) Is Thursday 3p.m. convenient ........ you?
14) VAT is already included ........ the price.
15) Everyone is entitled ........ 30 days paid leave a year.

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) ….. 3) ….. 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) ……. 8) …… 9) …... 10) ……
11) …… 12) …… 13) …… 14) …… 15) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-07-04 04:14
4 July is not only Independence day in US (a mere minor issue (Thema)) but also the start of year 3 in 2016. Confused?

A wonderful book by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington offers you a very simple way to achieve more by literary dividing the year into 4 years. And why?

Normally people and companies set goals and targets (Ziel setzen) for a full year (Jan –Dec). The goals and targets should push you and at the same time be achievable but the timeline is long. What happens over the long, long 12 months, after the euphoric kick off in January, you set off on your journey to December maybe reaching some stage targets and missing others and in the rush to the end the year, the months of October, November and December are often manic (fieberhaft) to make sure you reach your aims. And if you miss some, than you’ve (actually) failed – a whole 365 days wasted – you could say.

Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington ask us to imagine you had 4 (years) x 12 weeks in one year. You set targets which will ‘push’ you. A month (in normal year) becomes a week, a week (in normal year) becomes a day and the mad rush to reach the goal happens 4 times a year – everything is more compact, intensive, the finishing line more within sight, do you think you could actually achieve more overall?

I read(listened) to this book in year 1 (at the beginning of ) 2016 and said to myself I’ll give it a shot (es versuchen) in year 2 2016 – it worked wonderfully!!! I didn’t achieve all my goals but that’s ok because you can add a little extra to the next (12 week) year and try again. However, the authors encourage you to learn to be ‘accountable’ (verantwortlich sein) to yourself and to constantly keep score along the way (something I didn’t really do to the letter (etw genau nach Vorschrift machen)).

What’s more, at the end of every 12 week year, there’s conveniently a week (week13 if you like) to celebrate, reflect, take stock (über etw Bilanz ziehen) and take a break, recharge the batteries ready for the next year.

Naturally, sceptics will always cry “It’s the same as setting annual goals and dividing it down to monthly ones etc”. I don’t dispute (abstreiten) that. Nevertheless, the whole concept shouted at me “Just try me out”. I did and it worked.

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0 # Guest 2016-07-01 04:28
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Oh, how I missed you-ads.

If you’ve followed Teatime Titbits for a while now, you’ll probably know my feelings about the deterioration (Verschlechterung) in today’s British terrestrial TV channels and the programmes they now deem (meinen) entertainment.

Thanx to the EM, I’ve been pretty much forced to turn the goggle box (TV) back on to watch the live games and then it happened.

“Oh how I missed you British adverts.” Aside from the footy, some (not all) of the adverts are the only decent thing on British TV.

Just the other night, I chuckled (schmunzeln) my way through the breaks with the 2 (these were the only ones I could track down (ausfindig machen) online) following ads. - Let’s face it I didn’t get many laughs from England!!!!!!!

One for Hotels.com

N.B. In British English ‘soldiers’ are also strips of toast, which we typically dip into the egg yolk of boiled eggs.

One for Aldi football grandma

N.B. the man next door is a famous footballer and today a BBC pundit (Experte) Robbie Savage.

So for a bit of fun on Friday – give us your verdict (Urteil)

Which one do you prefer? Hotels or Aldi
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+1 # Dave 2016-06-29 04:35
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Cheers: the language of thanking.

Aside from the word ‘sorry’, the (2nd) most powerful words in any language is a sincere (herzlich) ‘thanks’. I’m sure that now many different variations spring to mind (jdm spontan in den Sinn kommen) of how to thank somebody – how many could you come up with (sich einfallen lassen) off the top of your head (ohne lange nachzudenken)?

I’ve put together a list of 8 phrases and I’m sure if I was to rack my brain (sich den Kopf zerbrechen) for some more time there could be one or two more. Here goes.

Thank you for (verb+ing) replying so promptly.
(Many) Thanks for (verb+ing) calling me back.
Thanks a million for (verb+ing) doing me the favour.
Thanx for (verb+ing) getting back to me so soon.
Cheers for (verb+ing)
Ta for (verb+ing) helping me out. (You saved my bacon = jdm den Arsch retten)

N.B. (Nota Bene = Anmerkung) Notice how they start in a more formal tone and end in a more informally.

The phrase ‘I (do) really appreciate it/your help’ etc. is a very common add-on.

BTW (By the way – Übrigens) ‘be grateful/thankful’ are also both used to request/ask for sth e.g. We would be grateful/thankful, if you could send us information about your basic e-mail seminar.

So Teatime Titbiters as my Mum always used to (and still does) “Mind your Ps & Qs” meaning always say please and thank you and behave in the most polite way you can.

Cheers for reading this post, please like it down below.
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+1 # Dave 2016-06-28 05:46
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser – The odd one out.

Which one of the following words doesN’T describe the England football team’s performance last night against ICELAND.

1) lacklustre = glanzlos
2) embarrassing = peinlich
3) awful = schrecklich
4) disgraceful = erbärmlich
5) spineless = willenlos
6) amateurish = amateurhaft
7) clueless = ratlos
8) ridiculous = lächerlich
9) pathetic = jämmerlich
10) bollocks = Scheiße

Here’s a clue. We lost 2-1. Answer: It was a trick question - none of them.

Thanx to all of you, who commented on my Brexit post. My fear is, like Michael said, that because the ‘out’ campaign focused too much on ‘immigration’, some now use it as an excuse to ‘attack’ foreigners.

The Queen once described 1992 as the ‘annus horribilis’ (horrible year). With the Brexit and Engxit, this has been my ‘septimana horribilis’ (horrible week).

Is my amateurish attempt at Latin correct?
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0 # Dave 2016-06-27 04:31
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Dave’s rant: The writing was on the wall.

Well, well, that was a turn-up for the books (diesen Tag werde ich mir im Kalender rot anstreichen (see dict.cc)). I didn’t write (anything) this on Friday because I was literally gobsmacked - speechless – simply couldn’t get my head around (verstehen) the result of the Brexit vote.

Now that the dust has settled (Nachdem sich der Staub gelegt hat) little I have to say, although unexpected it was more a case of hoping and not knowing. I have always known about the deep-rooted (tief verwurzeltes) anti-EU sentiments (Gefühle) in the UK but I didn’t realise that so many people felt so strongly that they would entertain the idea of (es andenken, etw. zu tun) leaving.

What now?! That’s the million dollar question at the mo. Petition, repeat Scottish referendum, Northern Ireland to leave the Union (UK) too. Wow, how things can change in day?!

Whichever way it goes, as a positive person, I always try to look for the silver lining (die positive Seite sehen*) – the EU machine, sits up, takes notice, takes a good long look in the mirror and realises it has to reinvent itself (sich neu erschaffen) as an institution to ‘serve and not govern (regieren)’.

As the title of Alan Deutschman’s book goes,‘Change or Die’. Are you reading this Brussels?

*from the proverb (Sprichwort) ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’= ‘Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein’.
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0 # Dave 2016-06-23 04:13
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: IN, OUT, SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT

Growing up I always remember the song Hokey Cokey by Black Lace and the accompanying little dance (see vid up to 40 sec is enough and listen carefully to the lyrics), https://youtu.be/BbUWw8PJf1M.

They are the inspiration for today’s title - at the beginning of the song: “in, out, shake it all about”. It reminds me in a weird (bizarr) kind of way of the Brexit referendum today in the UK.

You are probably sick to death of hearing about it (don’t worry that’s nothing in comparison to what the Brits have had to endure (ertragen)), but I couldn’t let it go without a mention.

Over the last few months ‘remain’ camp i.e. (d.h.) stay ‘in’ and the ‘leave’ camp, have been doing battle to ‘convince’ (überzeugen) Joe Bloggs of what is right for their future.

The rhetoric has been very emotionally charged and seems to be more based on theory. In reality I don’t really think many (if anyone) can really say hand on heart what the future brings – especially not Joe Bloggs.

Which way is it going to go – ‘in’ or ‘out’? One thing is for sure, if Joe Bloggs does vote‘out’, it will certainly ‘shake it (the EU) all about’ and possibly even be the beginning of the end of Brussels.

QOTH: Your German referendum! If Germany had the same referendum, how do you think Germany would vote – in or out?
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0 # Dave 2016-06-21 19:56
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Perfection. What we can learn from the England football team part 2.

Maybe you remember part 1 last week, this post ISN’T A RANT (Schimpftirade) ABOUT FOOTBALL either.

Everybody suffers from perfectionism to a certain extent, but at the end of the day, I’m sure that those of us who are able to keep their need for perfectionism in check are the ones who ultimately succeed the most and don’t get (too) stressed in the process.

General George Patton once said “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

How to combat perfectionism? I can only speak for myself – COMMITTED URGENCY! And my Teatime Titbits blog is my therapy. I know that people take time out (our most precious commodity (Gut) today) in their daily routine to read my posts. That means – responsibility, pressure to produce and come up with the goods (es bringen).

I could spend hours poring over (über etw nachdenken) the post, thinking about the best wording, trying to make it the best ever. Are the grammar / spelling / punctuation / translation always top notch? (erstklassig sein)

NO way, but I produce content so that whenever the Teatime Titbiters community check my blog there is some new content and HOPEFULLY something, even if it’s only 1 titbit, the ROI makes it worthwhile.

And in this day and age, the mantra is “SPEED TRUMPS PERFECTION” - a quote I recently heard somewhere


Answers from yesterday:
1) for 2) for 3) up to 4) with 5) at (over) 6) on 7) in 8) up 9) by 10) at

1) GETTING BACK = writing back, getting in touch, answering, replying
2) DOABLE = feasible, viable, possible
3) OK = give IT the go-ahead/green light, allow, approve
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0 # Dave 2016-06-20 18:22
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser – two for the price of one.

There’s a mail below. You Tuesday Teaser comes in two parts. 1. Fill in the correct preposition. 2. How many alternatives can you think of for the words in CAPITAL letters.

Hi, Mike

How are you doing? Thanx ….. the mail and sorry ….. not GETTING BACK any earlier but I’m ….. (x2 prepositions) my ears ….. work.

I’ve looked ….. your proposal and it looks DOABLE. I’ll pass it ….. to my boss for her to OK IT. I’ve already put ….. a good word for you so it should just be a formality (Formsache). I’ll be seeing her on Tuesday so we’ll hopefully get all the preliminaries (vorbereitende Maßnahmen) tied ….. ….. Friday….. the latest.

Take care


Answers tomorrow
1)….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… 8) …. 9) ….. 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-06-19 19:14
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Motivational Monday – Elon Musk – Inspirational person

If I surveyed (befragen) 100 Joe Blogs (Max Mustermann), if they had heard of Steve Jobs, I would probably hard-pressed (unter Druck sein) to find anyone, who didn’t know of him. If I asked them about Elon Musk, the likelihood (Wahrscheinlichkeit) of them not knowing of him is, I guess, probably higher.

Many pundits (Experten) compare Elon Musk with Steve Jobs in many ways not to mention their foresight (Weitblick), drive (Tatendrang) and leadership methods.

Unfortunately, Steve Jobs was taken away from this world far too early it’s anyone’s guess what he still could have achieved. Fortunately, Elon Musk is still a live and kicking (gesund & munter) … ass (in den Arsch treten) when it comes to challenging, outwitting (überlistend) and outplaying the biggest players not only in one but 3 sectors – energy, cars and space.

His motivation is saving mankind by reducing our addiction (Abhängigkeit) to carbon fuels by going outside the envelope (über die Grenzen hinausgehen) in the fields of solar (panel) technology, the electric car and finally looking to find a place for the human race to find a home in space and he’s still only 44.

Make this your choice book of the week and marvel (bestaunen) at Elon Musk – 100 years from now, he’ll be the modern day Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller and the like pioneers who moved humanity forward.

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
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0 # Dave 2016-06-16 18:59
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: A tale of two brains.

Great little clip for Friday. Would you believe it, my wife told me about it? Cheers darlin’. https://youtu.be/3XjUFYxSxDk

Have a great & hopefully sunny weekend.
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0 # Dave 2016-06-16 03:57
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Englisch am Arbeitsplatz survey: “An app a day, keeps Dave at bay.”

Maybe you recognise the original ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ – my play on words ‘keeps Dave / or insert the name of your English teacher/trainer at bay’(jdn fernhalten)

Today’s post is a call to action (Aufruf zum Handeln) (that’s why I’m sending it as a ‘chairman’s’ message to all members of the Xing group ‘English am Arbeitsplatz’) to post their favourite(s) – English learning app for the benefit (Nutzen/Vorteil) of everyone else.

Please don’t think ‘everyone will know this – a lot probably won’t! Here’s my tip for the group. ‘Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus’ – download it, simply type in words and off you go. What’s more it also offers a ‘word of the day’, which you receive daily to your phone.

All you peeps who haven’t had the courage (Mut haben) to leave a comment, this is your chance to get involved in the community and help others. You GUYS make the community what it is – get more involved – get more out!

Have a great Thursday.

For all your business English needs, join our community ‘Englisch am Arbeitsplatz’
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0 # Dave 2016-06-15 03:43
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Randomsome.

‘Randonsome’ is a word I created just for this type of post. So often I pick up words, phrases, idioms, and think, are great for my Teatime Titbits, but where? So my randonsome posts are just that - some randomly chosen stuff, which I wanted to share.

Below my next 5 randonsome phrases:

1.They didn’t have a clue (keine Ahnung haben) what we were talking about.
2.We have to do this – it’s a no-brainer (Das versteht sich von selbst / Selbstläufer)
3.Can you elaborate a little more on that? (auf etw näher eingehen)
4.I don’t dispute (bestreiten) (your enthusiasm/expertise etc).
5.We dropped the p(rice) bomb and it didn’t go down well (Das ist nicht gut angekommen)

QOTD. Which word or phrase is new for you & your favourite?

Answers from yesterday.

1)tenterhooks, H 2) screw, E 3) spanner, I 4) nail, A 5) spade/spade, J 6) axe, C
7) drill, F 8) tools, B 9) hammer, G 10) tacks, D
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0 # Dave 2016-06-13 19:54
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser – tools of the trade

Hopefully a bit of a toughie teaser today with common phrases LOOSELY around the topic of tools. You have to fill the gap with the correct word from the list at the bottom (nail – spade) and then match with the correct German translation. N.B. no. 5 has two answers.

To help me gauge the difficulty of my teaser, I’ve come up with a measurement of toughness. As my blog is called Teatime Titbits, where better to find a measurement – the weakness or strength of a cuppa (cup of tea) based of how long you let it brew (brühen).

I now proudly present you the scale:

1.‘Where was the teabag’ = weak = easy quiz
2.‘Aaah that hits the spot’ = in the middle = average quiz
3.‘Stewed brew’ = strong = tough quiz
4.‘My god, hairs on chest* cuppa’ = somebody left the teabag in = difficult quiz

*men feel the hairs on your chest growing and women start growing hairs.

Please give me your feedback below:

1.He’s on ……………….. waiting for the results. A) den Nagel auf dem Kopf treffen
2.He’s got a ……………….. loose. B) die Arbeit niederlegen
3.That really threw a ……………….. in the works.C) (Stellen) streichen
4.You’ve just hit the ……………….. on the head. D) kommen wir zur Sache
5.Call a ……………….. a ……………….. E) ein Rad abhaben
6.Siemens are to ……………….. 500 jobs. F) jdm etw einbläuen
7.I I always try to ……………….. it into them. G) ausarbeiten
8.The factory workers just downed …………….. . H) wie auf glühenden Kohlen
9.We were able to……………….. out a good deal. I) Sand ins Getriebe streuern
10.So, let’s get down to brass ……………….. . J) die Sache beim Namen nennen

Nail axe spanner drill tacks tools spade tenterhooks hammer screw spade

Answers tomorrow
1)….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… 8) …. 9) ….. 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-06-13 19:53
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Monday Motivation. What we can learn from the England football team.

THIS ISN’T A RANT (Schimpftirade) ABOUT FOOTBALL before you think I’m going to rant on about ‘what a shame they only drew (unentschieden spielen)’.

In the dark hours of Saturday night and a couple of beers, it was a mini disaster for me as my team actually dominated and played better than I’ve ever seen an England team play EVER but didn’t put the game to bed (den Deckel draufmachen) in the first half. The Russian equaliser (Ausgleich) in added time (Nachspielzeit) made it feel like a defeat. It was indeed a huge blow (Rücksclag) but in the light morning hours as I write this post, it doesn’t seem that dire (schlimm).

After the game all the pundits (Experte) and players were naturally frustrated and disappointed (enttäuscht) but were quick to point out (auf etwas hinweisen) the positives from the game. In interviews the players used phrases like, “we won’t dwell on (sich mit etw aufhalten) it”, “we’ll pick ourselves up”, “dust ourselves down (sich den Staub abklopfen)”, “take stock (Bilanz ziehen)” but “put it behind us” and “take away all the positives and look forward to our next game”.

And so it is in life & business, set-backs (Enttäuschungen) are simply part & parcel of (ein fester Bestandteil von etw sein) life - life is a great teacher (unfortunately not my words – heard it somewhere). Yes, there are maybe positives (in abundance = Überfluss) but what lesson is life wanting to teach you. An English proverb says ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ (Auf Regen folgt Sonnenschein), our job after a set-back is to try to find it!!!!!

As for England, be more clinical in front of goal, damn it!!!!! (sorry for that)
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0 # Dave 2016-06-10 04:09
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Lufthansa’s Intercultural Awareness.

Good morning everyone, good morning Friday,

if you haven’t already seen the ad “Everyone’s Fanhansa”– just take a look and feel free to comment below. https://youtu.be/FD9UTBWo51w

QOTD: What’s your take on the ad? And Do you think a British or German ad company made it for Lufthansa?
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0 # Dave 2016-06-08 20:11
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Language of Footy

Normally I would ask Teatime Titbiters, who aren’t interested in the beautiful sport to hold their horses (sich zurückhalten) and bear with me (Hab Nachsicht!). Today on the other hand, I’m not going to. Today is footy pure.

It may sound very clichéd to some but a good working knowledge of football matters, results and predictions (Vorhersagen) are a great tool for striking up conversation (mit jdm ein Gespräch anfangen) in many countries.

With the European Championship in France just around the corner, here are 15-ish (zirka) important footy phrases for you!!!:

Part 1. The Group Stage.
England was drawn in Group B with Russia, Slovakia and Wales
The first game is against Russia on Saturday .
The game kicks off at 8 p.m. (GMT – Greenwich Mean Time) at 9 p.m. (CET – Central European Time)
England scores (a goal) and goes a goal / 1 up.
England is leading 1-0 (0 = pronounced‘nil’) or
Russia is losing 1-0 or goes a goal / 1 down
Russia pulls a goal back or equalises.
England scores again and goes ahead.
England beat Russia 2-1 (final score) or maybe
Russia comes from behind again and draws level.
The game ends in a draw or England draws with Russia 2-2 ( can be pronounced 2 all)
The top 2 teams go/get through to the next round.

Part 2. Knockout Stages include - the last 16, Quarter/Semi-final and Final.
The games can go into extra time and a penalty shoot-out.
The winner gets through, the loser goes out / gets knocked out.

QOTD: Who’s gonna win, what’s your prediction?!!!!!
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0 # Dave 2016-06-07 18:07
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Language of negotiations – Quick Vid

Train your negotiating game – try watching this 4 minute video simulating price negotiations. Here are my top 15 items of vocab to help you along with the vid. BTW start at 34 secs to save yourself from the shitty opening music & pics:

to conduct this negotiation = Verhandlung durchführen
to have the authority to = (alle) Vollmachten haben, etw zu tun
to outline = etw zusammenfassen
discount = Preisnachlass
to resolve a problem = Problem lösen
fair enough = schön und gut
delivery = Lieferung
to turn sth down = etw abweisen
terms = Bedingungen
commit to = sich zu etw binden
to consider = überlegen
wholesaler = Großhändler
mark-up = Preisaufschlag
competitive = Konkurrenzfähig
competitor = Mitbwerber

What’s more, as a learning vid, there are also some usual ‘meetings’ English:

Let’s get down to business.
Let’s talk about ….. / be clear …..
….. to be on the table (offer)
Just let me finish
Can I just come in here

Answers from yesterday.

1) break 2) sleeve 3) driving 4) tape 5) eyes 6) arm 7) stops 8) record 9) ball 10) gatepost
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0 # Dave 2016-06-07 03:18
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser – Phrases at work.

From the following 10 well-used phrases, a word is missing – fill in the gap with the correct one. Answers tomorrow. Good Luck.

1.I haven’t told him yet, so …………… the news gently.
1) say 2) break 3) spread

2.If you ask me, they’re keeping something up their …………… .
1) jumper 2) jacket 3) sleeve

3.What exactly are you …………… at?
1) talking 2) speaking 3) driving

4.I’ve heard the red …………… over there is outrageous.
1) herring 2) tape 3) letters

5.I’m up to my …………… in work.
1) ears 2) eyes 3) nose

6.Go on then, you’ve twisted my …………….
1)finger 2) nose 3) arm

7.OK, we’ve gotta pull out all the…………… to get this one finished on time.
1) buttons 2) knobs 3) stops

8.Look, off the ……………, this all thing stinks to high heaven.
1) record 2) recorder 3) tape

9.So Dave would you mind getting the …………… rolling today with ….
1) stone 2) ball 3) rock

10.Between me, you and the …………… , I don’t like the new boss very much.
1) pillar 2) door 3) gatepost

1) ….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… 8) …. 9) ….. 10) ……
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0 # Dave 2016-06-05 20:36
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: 5 principles, laws and rules you should know about.

We are surrounded by and affected by rules & laws - for good or for bad. Here are 5, which are pretty handy life hacks:

‘Pareto – 80/20 principle’ states that 80% of the results come from just 20% of the work. Great life hack so long as you can put your finger on what the 20% is.

‘Parkinson’s law’ states that work will always take as long as the time available for it. Check out this great article on how to take advantage of this.

‘Rule of three’.
I first came across this when I attended a ‘Presentation Seminar’ by Hawkins Consulting and was introduced to it. The idea being that words/ideas often come in groups of three & as such seem somehow more powerful & are easier to remember. It crops up (auftauchen) everywhere (once you know about it) like in speech writing/ marketing etc

E.G. the ‘rule of three’ in (olympic) sport = bronze, silver, gold or in history ‘Veni, vidi, vici’ or more info: http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/rule-of-three-speeches-public-speaking/

A ‘rule of thumb’ is a practical method of doing or measuring something, usually based on past experience rather than on exact measurement.

‘Murphy’s or Sod’s law’.
On a slightly less serious note, there’s always ‘Murphy’s law’ or the more colourfully named ‘Sod’s law’, which both basically mean that ‘whatever can go wrong, will go wrong’. According to (Laut) Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sod%27s_law ‘Sod’s law’ is used in the UK, though in North America "Murphy's law" is more popular.
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0 # Dave 2016-06-03 04:16
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: www.effingpot.com

Same language, British English & American English, right?!?! My arse or sorry should I say ass?

The above mentioned, a peach of (tolle) a webpage is for Americans, who decide for whatever reason, they want to get to know British English better.

Here are just 10 highlights from the topic area ‘Slang’ (COPIED & PASTED – I couldn’t have done a better job):

1.All right? - This is used a lot around London and the south to mean, "Hello, how are you"? You would say it to a complete stranger or someone you knew. The normal response would be for them to say "All right"? back to you. It is said as a question. Sometimes it might get expanded to "all right mate"?

2.Arse - This is a word that doesn't seem to exist in America. It basically means the same as ass, but is much ruder. It is used in phrases like "pain in the arse" (a nuisance) or I "can't be arsed" (I can't be bothered) or you might hear something was "a half-arsed attempt" meaning that it was not done properly.

3.Bang - Nothing to do with your hair - this is a rather unattractive way of describing having sex. Always gets a smile from Brits in American hair dressers when they are asked about their bangs (Ponyfrisur).

4.Bender - I used to go out on a bender quite frequently when I was at university. Luckily bender doesn't only mean a gay man, it also means a pub crawl or a heavy drinking session.

5.Chuffed - You would be chuffed to bits if you were really pleased about something.

6.Doddle - Something that is a doddle is easy.

7.Faff - To ‚faff’ is to ‚dither’ or to ‚fanny around’. If we procrastinated when getting ready for bed, as kids, our Dad use tell us ’we were faffing around’.

8.Fortnight - Two weeks. Comes from an abbreviation of "fourteen nights". Hence terms like "I'm off for a fortnights holiday" meaning "I am going on a two week vacation".

9.Give us a bell - This simply means call me. You often hear people use the word "us" to mean "me".

10.Grub - Food. Similar to nosh. I remember my Dad calling "grub's up", when dinner was ready as a kid. A grub is also an insect larva. Not usually eaten in England.

This was great fun, a trip down memory lane for me – I think, I’ll do it again sometime! Trust me, there are a lot more words to go. Why not check out the site for hours of side-splitting laughter (zum Totlachen)?

2 QsOTD as it’s Friday. How many did you already know? Which do you like best?

P.S. Did you know that ‘effing’ is a swear word that many people find offensive that is used to emphasize a comment or an angry statement; used instead of saying ‘fucking’?

In this week’s extra Titbit, I’ll explore more ‘effing’ synonyms of varying degrees of vulgarity. Wanna see go to: www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits or sign up for the free weekly newsletter:
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0 # Dave 2016-06-01 19:51
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Don’t use these words in an interview, or else!!!!

Ever had to attend an interview in English or at least in part? Unless you are one of those freaks of nature (Laune der Natur), who don’t seem to get fazed (beunruhigt) by anything, you are nervous during an interview as it is and then added to that, speaking in a foreign language – nerve-wracking (nervenzerfetzend).

So imagine then you even have to remember not to say some words for fear of how the HR bod (Typ) & whoever else might interpret them. And yet just that is the core message of an article, which I read in ‘Business English, but was originally published in the British newspaper: Independent

I’ll endeavour (sich bemühen) to give a brief résumé (Zusammenfassung). Check out the list:

NERVOUS: They don’t want to hire sb who lacks confidence (kein, zu wenig Selbstvertrauen haben). Advice: ‘Just fake it (vortäuschen) till you make it’.

SALARY (Gehalt) etc: Not in the EARLY stages – raises a red flag (für jdn ein Alarmzeichen sein). They want an applicant, who aligns with (etw zu Eigen machen) the company mission and values (Werte(vorstellung).

WEAKNESS: Don’t voluntarily (Freiwillig) talk about weakness or mistakes, only if to show improvements.

NEED: Their needs not yours. You are looking for a long-term career NOT a job.

PERKS (Vergünstigung) & BENEFITS (Extraleistung): Don’t mention you are attracted to perks – see above.

TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE: No negative language especially concerning current or previous employers/bosses. Even if invited to by interviewers, don’t fall into the trap (reinfallen) to bad-mouth (über jdn herziehen) anyone.

FINE: is too vague, overused (überstrapaziert) and colloquial – may even be perceived as (empfinden als) dishonest and dismissive (abweisend, abschätzig).

SORRY: used as a filler to seem more polite. Use too much, may be perceived as too passive & indecisive (unentschlossen).

ACTUALLY: by prefacing (einleiten) with ‘actually’ you could be seen to be saying the interviewer is wrong.

Wow – what a list. The top 6 seem plausible enough in my humble opinion (bescheidene Meinung) but the last 3 seem somehow far-fetched (weit hergeholt) and nitpicking (Korinthenkackerei)?

When working with clients on interview training, I recommend the book ‘The interview question and answer book’ by James Innes and try to model their ‘pitches’ based on the advice & examples given.

QOTD. What’s your take on the list?

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0 # Dave 2016-05-31 20:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: UP your English.

Do you want to raise your register when speaking English? If so, this is just for you. Below there are 5 formal words with a (less formal) synonym, an example phrase and the translation.

1.To refrain = to stop ((yourself) from doing sth) = Please refrain form talking during the speech = unterlassen/zurückhalten or ‘Please refrain from smoking’ = Bitte das Rauchen einstellen

2.To pledge = promise (to give or do sth) = ‘The government pledged their support for the plan.’ = versprechen

3.Repercussion = consequence/bad result of (an action or event that may happen some time afterwards). ‘The collapse of the company will have repercussions for the whole industry’. = Auswirkung

4.To grasp = to understand = ‘She was unable to grasp how to do it.’ = begreifen

5.To allude to = to refer/touch on = to mention something in an indirect way The problem had been alluded to briefly in earlier discussions = Ein Thema berühen

Answers from yesterday.

1) Human Resources 2) ad 3) applicant 4) c.v. + covering letter 5) submit 6) attend 7) fulfil 8) experience 9) accomplishment 10) strength 11) weakness 12) job description 13) superior 14) lack 15) impression 16) perk 17) negotiate 18) terms & conditions 19) contract 20) take somebody on
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0 # Dave 2016-05-31 20:47
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser – language of job applications.

Today is another crossword puzzle without the crossword grid, just 20 clues about job applications. Good luck. Answers tomorrow.

1.The department in a company, which is responsible for hiring. (5, 9 letters)
2.An article/announcement placed in a newspaper/internet that invites people to apply for a position. (2 letters)
3.A person, who applies for a position is known as an ………… . (9 letters)
4.two documents which make up a job application. 2 letters (British English) & (8, 6 letters)
5.A formal word meaning ‘to send/hand/give in’ and collocates with ‘application’ i.e. ‘to …… an application’. (6 letters)
6.A formal word meaning to ‘go to (an interview)’. (6 letters)
7.The aim of the interviewer is to find out if you ‘………’ the company’s requirements for the position. (6 letters) (British English spelling)
8.They ask questions about your previous ‘……………..’ in this field. (10 letters)
9.Another word for ‘achievement’. (14 letters)
10.A word which means that what you are good at. (8 letters)
11.The opposite of no. 10. (8 letters)
12.It sets out your remit and task at work. (3,11 letters)
13.Formal words for your direct boss. (8 letters)
14.A particularly nervous applicant could ‘………..’ confidence in him/herself. (4 letters)
15.An applicant who seems to tick all the boxes, ‘leaves a good ……...’. (10 letters)
16.A word, meaning anything you receive aside from the salary e.g. car = (4 letters)
17.You try to reach an agreement with your employer (about your salary) by formal discussion. (9 letters)
18.Your salary, working hours, bonuses etc are all part of the ……….. , which both sides have to agree to. (5, 3, 10)
19.What do the employer & new employee sign when both parties agree to 18? (8 letters)
20.A colloquial phrase meaning to employ sb/give sb the job. It’s a phrasal verb e.g. to put something off(4, 8, 2)

1)….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… 8) …. 9) ….. 10) ……
11) ….. 12) ….. 13) ….. 14) ….. 15) ….. 16) ….. 17) ….. 18) ….. 19) …..
20) ….. .
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0 # Dave 2016-05-30 03:53
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Inspiring people: Jim Rohn

As a motivational start to the new week, here are 5 quotes from the ‘Grandfather’ of motivational speakers, the late (verstorben) Jim Rohn, who also mentored the motivational guru Tony Robbins.

“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.”

"Miss a meal if you have to, but don't miss a book.”

“Whoever renders service to (jdm einen Dienst erweisen) many puts himself in line for greatness - great wealth (Wohlstand), great return, great satisfaction, great reputation (Ansehen), and great joy.”

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

The final one changed my life forever, if you can find ways to do it, you will reap the rewards (den Lohn ernten).

“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

P.S. The latter (letzte) explains the philosophy and the mission behind my daily blog ‘Teatime-Titbits’ – ‘break time is your time’ so work on yourself & your English during your breaks.
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0 # Dave 2016-05-24 04:53
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Write like a native: Fill in the gap

You have a good British friend in the UK who works for a company in the same sector as your company and you usually meet at least once a year at the annual trade fair in Essen. This year’s is just around the corner, you mail your friend to catch up.

1. Fill in the gaps with the most suitable word(s)/phrase and put the verbs in the correct form

Hi Dave

How are you 1) ………………? Just thought I’d 2) ……………… to update you on things. First & 3) ………………, we’re doing 4) ……………… fine. Matthew’s 5) ……………… like you wouldn’t believe – He’s gonna turn 5 in September. Doesn’t time 6) ………………?

I’m doing my best to get all the trade fair prep out of the way – every year the same shit. This time thought I have the 7) ………………… pain that the auditors are constantly 8) …………………… me about the books.

Have you guys got a 9) …………………. at the fair this year? I remember you saying your CEO was 10) ……………………. missing this year as a cost 11) ……………. measure. Maybe not such a bad idea, they’ve 12) ……………………. the prices again this year – it’s a complete 13)……………………..

Keep me 14) ……………………., Dave

Take care


to bug / to drop sb a line / rip-off / to fly / to contemplate / foremost / post / added / booth / just / cut / to keep / to up / to grow

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… 8) …. 9) ….. 10) …… 11) ….. 12) ….. 13) ….. 14) ….. .
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0 # Dave 2016-05-23 04:33
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: “Too short …..

if only I’d had more time”, is a common answer to the question “What was your weekend like”?

During the working week, you never get around to doing (dazu kommen, etw zu tun) everything you want, plan, or even have to, so things stack up (aufstapeln) and you put off (aufschieben) to the only available time you have – yep, the weekend.

You make a mental note or write a ‘to do list’ of all those things, not forgetting the usual weekend activities you hold dear (lieb und wert halten) and voilà you get a (over)packed weekend.

Your Saturday starts and flies by and before you know it Sunday evening knocks on the door and Monday morning all too quickly throws you back into your work/home life stress.

“Too short, if only I’d had more time …. I would have mowed the lawn (Rasen mähen), completed my tax return (Steuererklärung), spent more time with the kids” ……, the list is endless.

If only people could get the grammar right. It’s clear what they want to say, but achieving such a complicated grammatical structure on the fly (spontan/auf die Schnelle) is tricky.

So here’s a quick refresher:

“If only I had had more time, I would have done …..” breaks down to:

If + past perfect (had had) = would have + past participle (done) (3rd verb form)

This is the 3rd conditional form and is used to describe ‘impossibilities’ because it deals with the PAST – so it is impossible for this to happen.

“If only I had had more time (I DIDN’T) = I would have mowed the lawn (I COULDN’T because I didn’t have the time to fit it in).

QOTD: Practice makes perfect – write down for yourself 10 things you would have got done, if you had had more time?
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0 # Dave 2016-05-19 16:51
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Health & Safety gone OTT*.

Health and Safety (Gesundheitsschutz und Sicherheit) has its place, don’t get me wrong! But all too often we hear of new rules and regulations conjured up (herbeizaubern) by some well-meaning (gut gemeint) bureaucrats, who seem to have nothing better to do with their time.

This latest story from the UK initiated the usual slap (Klaps) on the forehead (Stirn) and rapid head shaking, when I heard about it. I’m not gonna give anything away, just click on the link:
http://news.sky.com/story/1697882/university-bans-risky-mortarboard-throwing and watch video and make up your own mind.

Here’s just a little vocab tip. A&E means Accident and Emergency. It is a part of a hospital where patients go/are delivered with A&E injuries etc.

From above *OTT = over the top.

QOTD. What ludicrous (lächerlich) health & safety issues (Themen) do you have to contend with (mit etw fertig warden)?

Have a great weekend.

P.S. My extra Teatime Titbit this week offers you the ins and outs (excuse the pun (Wortwitz) of the word ‘f**K’ check out on FB/teatimetitbits or simply sign up for the free weekly newsletter at
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0 # Dave 2016-05-18 16:25
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Language of solidarity. COME ON YOU REDS!!!!!!!

By being ‘BIG’ & ‘boisterous’ (laut) about my team – Liverpool FC, for those of you who don’t know, it makes me vulnerable (angreifbar) especially when they lose and people think a tad (ein bißchen) of Schadenfreude (YEP an English word – now) is on the menu. However, being English and having lived in Germany for 20 years ish, it’s all like water off a duck’s back (Es prallt alles an mir ab).

Obviously it’s a big night for the ‘Reds’ tonight as they play against Sevilla in the Europa League final in Basel. Is it a clash of the Titans? Certainly not. David against Goliath? More likely as Liverpool are the clear underdogs!!!

Anyway to the point – imagine if you will, you are with me and would love to see Liverpool (and Kloppy) win – you could Facebook me @ www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits :

Good / (best of) luck
All the best tonight
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for LFC. ( Ich drücke die Daumen)
I’ll be cheering for Liverpool too. (anfeuern)
Come on you REDS!
Or my personal fav – ‘Solidarity Bro – I’m with you!!!’

Tomorrow, you may feel compelled to (sich veranlasst sehen zu) do one of two things – congratulate me or console me (Trösten). Simple really: either ‘commiserations’ (and please drop the ‘oh pecker up (Ohren steif!), there’s always another year’ shit ) or YEEEEEEEES, YEEEEEES, YEEEEEEEES, you little beauty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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0 # Dave 2016-05-18 15:42
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday words. Synonyms!

English is easy and difficult at the same time, I’m sure you’ll agree. On the one hand, we only hand ‘the’, which makes things a hell of a lot easier – ask any learner of German.

On the other hand there’s the huge volume of vocabulary that you could learn. Then there’s the formality of the word – formal/informal/slang etc. The list goes on! I think, phrasal verbs are the trickiest of all.

E.G. – all the following mean approx the same - ’we need/expect’ & ‘we trust’ you to send the goods a.s.a.p.

We rely on you shipping the goods a.s.a.p.
We depend on you shipping the goods a.s.a.p.
We count on you shipping the goods a.s.a.p.
We bank on you shipping the goods a.s.a.p.
Phrasal verbs are generally used as a more informal alternative. In a formal mail you could paraphrase with “We trust/are confident you will send the goods a.s.a.p.” as an example.

For more help synonyms, you could turn to:


QOTD- What do you find the most difficult about English?
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0 # Dave 2016-05-16 19:33
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Long Weekend Rant.

Another long weekend is over, back to the grindstone* (Zurück in die Tretmühle) but hey just another week and a half of toil (Rackern) and then there’s Corpus Christi to look forward to – another 4 days if you play your days right.

How blessed am I to live in Germany? Year in, year out, May comes around, and offers us a month of respite (Ruhepause) after the slog (Maloche) of Jan-April and ushers in (einleiten) a welcome slowdown to the summer hols and before things hot up again in the last quarter.

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes wonder what a year could be like if we could space out the days a little more evenly. I realise I am talking about moving religious days and thus an impossibility and I certainly don’t mean to offend (verletzen) anyone.

That said, just imagine!!!! What about a couple in Oct/November or maybe more in the summer holiday to save us having to use up all our holiday days then?

QOTD where would you put Ascension / Whitsun and Corpus Christi?

*To have/keep/put one’s nose to the grindstone = work hard for a long time without stopping (hart and lange arbeiten)
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0 # Dave 2016-05-10 19:52
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words. Yiddish

When listening or reading particularly American English you may often come across Yiddish words.

‘Yiddish is a Germanic language, originally spoken by the Jews of Central and later Eastern Europe’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiddish_words_in_English

I reduced the list from Wiki to a Top 10. So here goes with the ‘Top Ten Yiddish words” in English.

1.bagel: a ring-shaped bread roll made by boiling, then baking, the dough

2.chutzpah: pronunciation IPA* (hʊtspə) or hutspa (Dave’s version) nerve, guts, daring, audacity, effrontery *International Phonetic Alphabet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_English

3.dreck: worthless, distasteful, or nonsensical material

4.glitch: a minor malfunction

5.kosher: correct according to Jewish law, normally used in reference to Jewish dietary laws; (slang) appropriate, legitimate

6.nosh: snack (noun or verb)

7.schlep: to drag or haul (an object); to walk, esp. to make a tedious journey

8.schmuck: (vulgar) a contemptible or foolish person; a jerk; literally means 'penis'

9.shtick: comic theme; a defining habit or distinguishing feature

10.spiel or shpiel: a sales pitch or speech intended to persuade

Answers from yesterday

1) Joneses 2) Harry 3) jack 4) John 5) frank 6) Joe 7) Mick 8) dick 9) Cheshire 10) Larry
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0 # Dave 2016-05-09 21:06
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Know your names?

1-10 are phrases with ‘names’ see below, which you often heard in spoken English. Can you match the name with the correct phrase.

Mick Joneses Larry Dick Frank Cheshire Joe Harry jack

1) We had to buy a new flat screen to keep up with the ……………… .
2) No fence, No alarm, do you want every Tom, Dick and ……………… entering the place?
3) I know absolutely ……………… shit (nothing) about that.
4) Where’s Dave? I think he’s just gone to the ……………… (US) / bog (Br.) (toilet).
5) I like Dave, he so ……………… , he gives it to you straight.
6) Cameron has to convince ……………… Blogs (Br) / Blow (US) that Brexit is bad for him.
7) Oh leave him alone, stop taking the ……………… (ey) (out of him).
8) You really hurt her feelings, you ……………… head (Br.slang)
9) The meeting must have gone well, he came grinning like a ……………… cat.
10) He’s as happy as ……………… since he joined the new company.

Answers tomorrow
1)….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… . 8) …. . 9) ….. . 10) …… .
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0 # Dave 2016-05-08 19:59
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Monday Motivation 5 quotes I wish were mine!

After the long Ascension Day (Himmelfahrt) weekend, a tad (ein bisschen) of extra motivation probably wouldn’t go amiss (ware nicht verkehrt). So here are another 5 that I wish were mine – psst I’m still working on coining (etw prägen) my very own. Watch this space:

1.“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better” Jim Rohn

2.“The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest is to respond. But the hardest is to initiate” Seth Godin

3.“In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich” Henry Ward Beecher

4.“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit” Harry S Truman

And my favourite for today for last from the prolific (produktiv) ‘quote maker’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

5.“The reward of a thing well done is having done it”.

QOTD Which is your fav?
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0 # Florentina 2016-05-04 19:15
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0 # Dave 2016-05-03 19:58
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Write like a native: linking & referring.

When writing a mail or preparing a presentation, linking and referring phrases can come in very handy.

‘AT FIRST’, they start with phrases like ‘FIRST & FOREMOST’ and ‘REGARDING’ and ‘FINALLY’ they ‘CONCLUDE’ with phrases like ‘CONSIDERING/GIVEN’.

The phrases aren’t rocket science and I’m sure you’ve come across most of them before, but they allow you to broaden (erweitern) and vary your language when you write your mails or the script for your presentation. To get the full list in a free PDF, please visit the my website:

Have a great (long) weekend.

Answers from yesterday:
1) hole punch 2) sheet 3) to file 4) ring binder 5) paper clip 6) stapler 7) ruler 8) drawing pin / thumbtack or tack 9) Sellotape / Scotch Tape 10) eraser / rubber
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0 # Dave 2016-05-03 04:35
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Office items crossword & Most useful English word EVER.

Do you work in an international team and the language is English? Do you ever stumble on the simplest of English words for office items. Today’s 10 clues.

1)You use it to make holes in a paper = (4, 5 letters)
2)Another word for a piece of paper = (5 letters)
3)What you do with hole punched papers etc. to store them (away) for the future = (4 letters)
4)What (office item) could you put/store them in = (4, 6 letters)
5)You use this to keep papers LOOSLY together = (5,4 letters)
6)You use this to keep papers together more permanently = (7 letters)
7)You use this to measure and draw a straight line = (5 letters)
8)You use this to attach something to a notice board (British English) = (7 & 3 letters). Extra point if you know the US name.
9)You can use this transparent tape to stick paper to e.g. a wall etc = sellotape (9 letters). Extra point if you know the US name.
10)You use this to delete a mistake in pencil (American English) = (6 letters) Anyone for the British name?

Not to worry though, even if the seemingly simplest of vocab. don’t come to mind at once, you can always revert back to (auf etw zurückgreifen) the most useful word(s) in the English language: thingy, thingummy, thingamabob, thingamajig (Dingbums) and point in the direction of the thing.

Answers tomorrow
1)….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… . 8) …. . 9) ….. . 10) …… .
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0 # Dave 2016-05-01 16:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Commiserations.

Dear Teatime Titbiters, I guess we really can’t complain when it comes to public holidays in Germany – having said that 2016 seems to be a particularly bad year, think May Day and the Xmas/New Year period.

We have the upcoming bank holiday marathon to look forward to with the accompanying days off in between. Don’t fall into the trap of saying “We’ve got Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) off and then I’m taking the bridge day off”. It will only be followed with a bemused look.

Instead try “I’m taking a long weekend off, we’ve got Ascension Day off and then I’m taking the Friday off too.”

So why the headline ‘commiserations’, in the case of May Day, we have drawn the short straw in this case, because Britain has a bank holiday today.

However, with Ascension Day and the Friday in mind, as we say “he who laughs last, laughs longest.”

If you still haven’t downloaded the PDF with all the German public holidays on then please follow this link:


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0 # Dave 2016-04-28 17:55
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Food on Friday: Full English Breakfast.

As you well know everyone bashes (etw schlechtmachen) British food, rightly or wrongly. My usual counterpunch (Gegenschlag) is ‘we are working on it’. If you are on business/holiday in the UK, there are a number of ‘specialities’ to know about. In my Food on Friday series I thought I would tuck into them (sich etw schmecken lassen) for you.

Let’s start with brekky. It can be a little tricky, with a limited choice of ‘continental’ or ‘(Full) English’ breakfast. Funnily enough the ‘continental’ doesn’t really resemble a breakfast you find on the ‘continent’, with the exception of bread in the form of toast, butter and jam.

Anyway, on to the real hero of today’s post: the FEB!

The main ingredients: bacon (fried or grilled), egg (fried or scrambled (Rühreier) or sometimes poached (verlorene Eier), sausages (fried or grilled).

Optional extras depending on the hotel: tomatoes (fried/grilled or tinned), hash browns (Rösti) (fried or grilled), black pudding (Blutwurst) (fried or grilled), baked beans, fried mushrooms and fried bread and/or toast – the former (erstere) has fallen out of grace (in Ungnade fallen) in these days of healthy eating.

Speaking of which, if you are gonna indulge (sündigen) in such gluttony (Schlemmerei), I would always recommend the fried versions – not healthy, but a damn lot tastier.

BTW, if you travel to Scotland, the Full Scottish Breakfast (and why not indeed), often offers you fried Haggis (gefüllter Schafsmagen) and tattie cake aka. potato cake.

In an Irish breakfast, their potato cake is also called boxty or farl. Check out recipe:

If your mouth isn’t already watering profusely (stark) then check this short film by ‘Anglophenia’ https://youtu.be/rmieAqTG1wI

FYI, Whenever, I can I tuck into bacon, fried egg, sausage, hash browns & baked beans with toast.

QOTD. What would your FEB consist of?
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0 # Dave 2016-04-27 20:24
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Hotly debatable - UP your English.

Meetings often involve discussions and possibly lead to heated debates on some matter of importance. Here are 1 + 7 UP your English terms to help you keep up with the natives and allow you to add your two cents (seinen Senf dazugeben) (BTY – that was no. 1).

1. to ‘advocate sth’ means that you support sth e.g. “I don’t advocate the use of funds in such a way.”

2. to ‘oppose sth’ means that you are against sb/sth e.g. “I bitterly oppose the use of money in that way”.

3. to ‘contend / maintain sth’ both mean that you say sth is true, especially used in an argument e.g. “I would contend that your thinking is flawed on this point”.

4. to ‘dismiss sth’ is to decide that sb/sth is not important and not worth thinking or talking about e.g. “The suggestion should not be dismissed out of hand” (= without thinking about it).

5. to ‘digress’ or more colloquially ‘fly/go off at a tangent’ is when you start to talk about sth that is not connected with the main point of what you are saying e.g. “Stick to the point, please, you’re digressing/going off at a tangent again”

6. to ’play devil’s advocate’ is when a person expresses an opinion that they do not really hold in order to encourage a discussion about a subject e.g. “Cut the BS, Dave, you’re just playing devil’s advocate to test the waters. (das Terrain sonderien)”
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0 # Dave 2016-04-26 19:16
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words. Sedentary & Serendipity.

Here’s a two for the price of one. Two wonderful words and two TED vids thrown in for extra value.

One place I love to go to for quality content is www.ted.com, where I watch a mini marathon of presentations without really looking for anything in particular. It’s the best way, it’s amazing the amount of serendipitous (happening by chance in an interesting or pleasant way) discoveries I make along the way.

Take the other day for example, I happened upon “Why Sitting Down Destroys You” | Roger Frampton | TEDxLeamingtonSpa https://youtu.be/jOJLx4Du3vU

Most of us have a sedentary (=in which you spend a lot of time sitting down) job and even lead sedentary lifestyles on top. Roger successfully entertains AND gives us that little poke (Stoß) and prod (Anstoß) to get us off our posteriors, bottoms, bots, rear ends, backsides, arses – so sit up & get viewing.

Back straightened, pillow behind the back I moved onto “ The 5 rules of Serendipity (=the fact of something interesting or pleasant happening by chance)
for Entrepreneurs by Morry Morgan https://youtu.be/Eeev3-1hPBY

This reminded me of how much in my life happened ‘serendipitously’ – maybe call it luck, fate, law of attraction – whatever, I am a big believer.

My becoming the moderator of the Xing community ‘Englisch am Arbeitsplatz’ happened totally serendipitously. I was already a member and had posted my Teatime Titbits there quite often. One day I checked my email spam box to see if anything important had inadvertently (versehentlich) landed there and, lo and behold (siehe da), there was a message from the then main moderator of the group Judith Torma, saying she would like to stand down (zurücktreten) and would be looking for a replacement. The rest as they say is history.

Sorry for the blatant (offensichtlich) plug (positive Erwähnung) – if you are not reading this on the ‘Englisch am Arbeitsplatz’ why not pop by, join up, join in and see where our growing English community will take your English in the coming years?

QOTD – Do you believe in serendipity?

Answers from yesterday:
1) woods, d) 2) tree, j) 3) bush, g) 4) birds, a) 5) leaf, c) 6) woods, i) 7) grass, f ) 8) bee, b) 9) fly, e) 10) grass, h)

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0 # Dave 2016-04-25 18:26
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. A walk in the woods.

1-10 are phrases connected with the woods, which you often heard in spoken English, but the main ‘wood word’ is missing and one of them below. A-J are the translations. Can you match them up?

fly bush leaf bee birds tree grass (x2) woods (x2)

1) I was in your neck of the ……….. 2 days ago. a) 2Fliege mit einer Klappe schlagen
2) We’ve been barking up the wrong ……….. . b) fix Idee(n) haben
3) Stop beating about the ……….. . c) sich an jdm/etw ein Beispiel nehmen
4) It’ll kill two ……….. with one stone. d) Ecke/Gegend
5) You should take a ……….. out of her book. e) Mäuschen spielen
6) We’re not out of the ……….. yet? f) Thema ist vom Tisch
7) The takeover got kicked into the long ……….. . g) um den heißen Brei herumreden
8) He’s really got a ……….. in his bonnet. h) Schiebe es nicht auf die lange Bank!
9) I’d love to be a ……….. on the wall tonight. i) über den Berg
10) Don’t let the ……….. grow under your feet. J) auf dem Holzweg sein

Answers tomorrow
1)….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… . 8) …. . 9) ….. . 10) …… .

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0 # David Preston 2016-04-24 18:11
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: BRIT TV live online for FREE

Great news for the Teatime Titbiters who enjoy British terrestrial TV. Just the other day during a conversation, a friend of mine told me about www.filmon.com, where you can watch British TV live online for free. Brill!

Are you into Corrie, the X factor or simply some interesting documentaries? Have a go and happy viewing.

Nice one, cheers.

My mate.

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0 # Guest 2016-04-21 19:34
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday If the Prince can use it, so can I. Dave’s rant.

Two rants in one week is probably not healthy but sometimes you have to go with the flow and let it out.

Before I go any further, please check out this short video of an interview with Prince William. http://news.sky.com/video/1681747/william-on-being-told-off-by-queen

Seen it? The Prince used the term to ‘get a bollocking’ in the interview. He could have used the more formal ‘to be reprimanded’ or maybe a commonly used ‘telling off’ but no he used the b-bomb. In this case, especially with the story he was telling and the severity (Ernst) of the telling-off, it absolutely acceptable because a mere ‘a stern (ernst) telling-off’ just isn’t the same.

What f**ks me off is that many people criticise the use of bad language/swearing (fluchen) in public, especially in certain more ‘professional’ situations. I am the first to admit (zugeben) that I have a tendency to drop the F-bomb in training sessions, knowing full well that I will feel the eyes of some burn into my soul like a blowtorch (Schweißbrenner).

But, on the other hand, it wouldn’t be authentic if I couldn’t be myself and allow myself the odd slip of the tongue here and there. If I effed and blinded (herumfluchen) the whole way through the sessions, filling every second sentence with such obscenities, then that wouldn’t be authentic either and certainly unacceptable – cos it’s not me and after a while I think even the ‘thick skinned’ participants might start raising their eyebrows, at least.

I wonder if William will actually get another reprimand, - no too polite, stern telling -off, not strong enough – Yes a BOLLOCKING from Lizzy when he gets home.

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0 # Dale Crawford 2016-05-16 13:17
A valid point is raised here, namely the use of "Colloquial" words. I have often offended our cousins from across the pond by utilising swear words when "Motivating" them, but many (especially the older former Military guys) do warm to the use of such expressions. Instead of using "Bollocking" I often tend to soften it by using "Rollicking" it means basically the same thing but tends to raise slightly fewer eyebrows. As Dave rightly states being authentic is especially important you should never compromise who YOU are :-)
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0 # Dave 2016-04-20 20:00
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Many happy returns Your Royal Highness.

Today the Queen has reached the grand old age of 90 and she still seems to be going strongly. I wish she would give me her secret potion (Zaubertrank).

In his book, ‘Winners: And how they succeed’. Alastair Campbell wrote extensively about the Queen and what makes her stand out as a leader/winner. She’s a person of service, who dedicated her life to guiding her country and its people through thick and thin. It certainly opened my eyes up to her leadership prowess. (Können)

She will be a tough act to follow (einen schweren Stand haben) and who would really want to step into her shoes. It seems inevitable (unvermeidlich) that Prince William will be tasked (jdn beauftragen) with continuing her legacy (Erbe), but can he?

In an interview with the BBC (watch video - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36086291) William gave his take on (zu etw Stellung nehmen) his role and that of the Queen.

If you ask me, he will do an even better job because he’s a lot more down-to-earth (bodenständig) and will transition the family into a more ‘normal’ family in a similar way to the Royals in the Netherlands, Sweden etc.

That certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but to survive as an institution, change will happen come what may.

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0 # Dave 2016-04-19 20:26
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Abbreviating Britain.

Every country on planet earth uses abbreviations to shorten names, expressions and the like. Unfortunately, this makes life more difficult for foreigners, who come across them in their daily interactions with the country and culture.

Reading British media or watching British news programmes is an obvious starting point and offers you a whole host of abbreviations. Here’s your starting 10:

1. VAT is short for Value Added Tax or (MwSt)
2. NHS is short for the National Health Service (staatlicher Gesundheitsdienst)
3. UKIP is short for United Kingdom Independence Party. A fringe party, which advocates (befürworten) Britain’s exit (Brexit) of the European Union (EU).
4. CPS stands for the Crown Prosecution Service. (Staatsanwaltschaft)
5. SNP is the Scottish National Party, which is currently the strongest political party in Scotland especially since the Scottish referendum.
6. OAP is an old aged pensioner (Rentner).
7. GP is a general practitioner i.e. doctor. (Allgemeinarzt)
8. SAS is short for the British special forces – Special Air Service
9. COBRA stands for ‘Cabinet Office Briefing Room A’ and is the place where the British PM (Prime Minister) meets with all his/her important ministers, advisors, military, security services MI5 domestic intelligence agency / MI6 foreign intelligence agency etc. in times of a crisis.
10. G.C.S.E stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education, which are the exams British school children do at the age of 16. They receive a grade from A-F in each subject they take. On a C.V. (curriculum vitae = Lebenslauf) you see for instance 8 G.C.S.E grade A-C in German, French etc. In the past they were simply known as the O’levels (ordinary). To this day the national exams at the age of 18 are known as A’levels (advanced)

Answers from yesterday:

1) C 2) F 3) J 4) A 5) D 6) E 7) B 8) I 9) G 10) H

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0 # Dave 2016-04-18 19:32
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Remember the reminder!

1-10 are list of verbs which link up with A-J nouns. Together they make up a list of collocations, which are commonly used in reminders. Can you match them up?

1) to draw a) your account
2) to balance b) our invoice
3) to be c) your attention to our invoice
4) to settle d) payment
5) to receive e) this e-mail/letter
6) to disregard f) accounts
7) to overlook g) your records
8) to effect h) our thanks
9) to check i) payment
10) to accept J) overdue

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… . 8) …. . 9) ….. . 10) …… .

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0 # Dave 2016-04-17 19:17
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Back from Britain. Dave’s rant.

Having lived more or less half of my life in Germany, going back ‘home’ is always an emotional roller coaster (Wechselbad der Gefühle). On the one hand a feeling of excitement and nostalgia to meet family members, (old) friends and visit my teenage haunts. On the flip side, when I’m in Germany, I often look at ‘home’ through rose tinted glasses, which unfortunately soon crack once I’m there. Let me explain.

I left Britain for good more or less in 1995 as an immature, unworldly and unwise 24-year-old, who was used to England, the good & the bad and accepted it as the way it is. Going back 20 years on, a little more mature, worldly and wise, I have a chance to compare Britain with other countries, most obviously Germany.

For me Britain still has a lot going for it (beautiful countryside, it’s mostly friendly /open people, more service oriented businesses to name but a few). From my perspective, however, Germany offers a far better quality of life than Britain does and probably the highest in Western Europe.

So what am I ranting about (sich über etw auslassen) today? It really gets my goat (es geht mir auf den Zeiger) when Germans down their own country and I hear it often. WHY on earth (warum um Gottes willen) would they?

Pissed off with the politicians, try British politics and politicians – have you ever seen a session in the Houses of Parliament /Lords? It resembles a kindergarten. Angry about job market, at least the German government often does its bit to ‘help out’ when the economy/companies tank (zusammenbrechen) – think after the crash. Paying too much tax, at least you get services in return – cutbacks (Kürzungen) in the UK are reducing public services to the bare minimum. Worried about (increasing) crime? Well, I’m not naïve enough to say there aren’t any difficult areas in towns and cities in Germany but I feel a lot safer walking the streets in Germany than in Britain.

The list goes on! Dear Teatime Titbiters, we have a lot to be grateful for that we live and work in Germany. Trust me, the grass isn’t always greener on the side. (Die Kirschen in Nachbars Garten schmecken immer süßer).

QOTD What’s your take on it?

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0 # dave 2016-04-07 03:56
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Just my bloody luck.

Those of you that have followed my daily English blog for a longer time now will know that I’m a staunch (loyal) Liverpool fan (non footy fans please bear with me (gedulden Sie sich) for a moment). What you didn’t know is that I also like Borussia Dortmund. My two favourite teams in the world go into battle against each other tonight in Dortmund and next Thursday in Liverpool.

And as fate (Schicksal) would have it, I’m traveling back to the UK later today for an extended weekend and travelling back to Germany on Wednesday evening. As a result, I am missing the return leg (Rückspiel) back in Liverpool too. Having said all that, I guess getting a ticket would be nigh on (nahezu) impossible both in Germany as well as back in England. But nonetheless, how unlucky is that.

Teatime Titbiters, I know you don’t really wanna hear my sob story (rührselige Geschichte) and so I’ll get to the point. “Who’s GONNA (going to) win?” or should I say “who’LL win?” Which question is actually correct the ‘GOING TO’ or the ‘WILL’ form?

Well, both are right. ‘GOING TO’ and ‘WILL’ are both used if you want to ‘predict’ sth in the future. The subtle difference is that by using the ‘GOING TO’ form you are making a prediction based on the situation NOW – that you know, feel, can see etc.

e.g. “Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain.” (not it will rain)
(We can see that it is going to rain from the clouds that are in the sky now)

e.g. “I feel terrible. I think I’m going to be sick.” (not I think I’ll be sick)
(You feel terrible now!)*

To transfer to this situation, you could say:

“I think Liverpool is GONNA win.” (Not I think Liverpool’ll win”)
Because we know/see Liverpool is playing well in the Premier League whereas Dortmund isn’t.

Or simply a prediction “I guess Liverpool’LL win”.

Back to reality, it’s too close to call for me. Naturally though I hope for a Liverpool victory.

QOTD: Do I walk alone in my prediction?

*many thanx to the English learners’ grammar bible ‘English Grammar in Use’ by Raymond Murphy for the examples used (Cambridge University Press) ISBN 3-12-534084-5

P.S. No posts until Mon 18. April. Take care, Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Simon 2016-04-06 21:31
Once you enter in the word home remodeling, a directory of keywords are going to be pulled up to suit your needs that are related to the profiles of users who listed home remodeling among their interests.
There is also players within the field too, but the giants remain leading the pack.
facebook ads ad set Campaign hierarchy chart in word: https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads is attempting
to drive using this design simply because they want to create Facebook.
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0 # dave 2016-04-06 04:08
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wednesday Wonderful Words. The BRAIN at work.

As we all know the BRAIN is a brilliant thing and to celebrate this, I’ve collected 5 phrases with the BRAIN at work.

Imagine, if you will, anycompany, in anyplace, which does anything. Mrs Anyboss calls together her anyheads (of departments) to BRAINSTORM an anyconcept/project.

“Welcome. First things first, let’s BRAINSTORM and BRAINDUMP them on the flipchart. Then we can get into the nitty gritty (ans Eingemachte gehen) afterwards. Anyone volunteer (Freiwilliger) to write anyideas up?” announced Mrs Anyboss.

“Thanks, Mr anymanager, o.k. then who’s gonna get the ball rolling?”

Mr anymanager: “Why don’t we …anyidea?”
Mrs Anyboss: “Nice one, write it up, please”.
Mrs anymanger: “We could always …. anyidea?”
Mrs Anyboss: “Yep pop that one up”.
Mr anymanger: “What about ….. anyidea?”
Mr anyothermanger: “Hmmm, isn’t that like … anyidea?”
Mrs Anyboss: “No, it doesn’t matter right now, we’re just in the BRAINDUMPING stage. So crack on (weitermachen), up it goes.”

Anyminutes later
Miss anymanager: “I’ve just had a BRAINWAVE (Geisteblitz), I reckon (glauben) we should … anyidea?

Mrs anyboss: “Well, I think that draws our BRAINDUMPING session to a close. Anymorethoughts?”

Anyhours later.
Anyboss: “Hey guys, we’ve got a hell of a lot done in this session. Anyassistant will send the minutes (Protokoll) with the ‘to do list’ around to you anytime soon.”

Anyboss: “Thanx a million for your help – hope you’re not too BRAINDEAD (hier: Erschöpft) and can get back to BRAINWASHING our employees and customers alike that we ARE experts in anything (at all).”

Anymanagers roar with laughter, clap, pat eachanyothermanagers on their backs, give eachanyothermanagers a high five (jdn abklatschen) and shout in unison (im Sprechchor rufen) “Yes, we can.”

The End.

Answers from yesterday:
1) f. 2) i. 3) d. 4) b. 5) g. 6) a. 7) j. 8) e. 9) h. 10) c.

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0 # dave 2016-04-05 04:00
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser. Know your characteristics 1.

1-10 are list of characteristic words. A-J are the translations. Can you match them up?

1) ambitious a) eingebildet
2) approachable b) freimütig/ehrlich
3) assertive c) herrisch
4) candid d) durchsetzungsfähig
5) caring e) entschlossen
6) conceited f) ehrgeizig
7) dependable g) fürsorglich
8) determined h) fleißig
9) diligent i) zugänglich
10) domineering J) zuverlässig

Answers tomorrow
1) ….. 2) …. . 3)…. . 4) ….. 5) …... 6) …... 7) …… . 8) …. . 9) ….. . 10) …… .
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0 # dave 2016-04-04 05:34
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: 5 + 1 books to work on your passion and reach financial freedom.

I guess many of you are getting back into work after the Easter break. Hope you had a great break!!! However, after some time off, there always the sobering thought (ernüchternder Gedanke) – ‘back to the grind (Plackerei) tomorrow’.

Is it your dream job? Do you feel satisfied or do you long for the freedom of working on your passion and on your own terms (nach jds eigenen Bedingungen)? If so, here are 5 books that may inspire you to grow that seed.

I would start by reading the book ‘Crush it’ by Gary Vaynerchuk to get you inspired, allow you to open up your mind to what is possible. Next I would suggest reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki & Entrepreneur Revolution by Daniel Preistley to get a deeper insight into the entrepreneurial mindset.

Then I would move onto ‘$100 Startup’ by Chris Guillebeau and finally ‘Life leverage: How to get more done in less time’ by Rob Moore and as an extra bonus book: ‘Free Marketing: 101 Low cost and no-cost ways to grow business’ by Jim Cockrum; which does just what it says on the cover – worth every penny in GOLD.

As Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

If this list inspires you, why not check out my ‘TOP 20 books for 2016’ on my webpage:

Today’s QOTD is actually a call to action (Aufruf zum Handeln). I’m always on the look-out (Ausschau halten nach) for new titles. Please, leave any suggestions below or, better still, share them on FB – www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits

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0 # Dave 2016-04-01 04:48
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday: Lost in translation.

One rainy winter day (practically every day in Münster) I decided to take my energy packed 4 -year- old to the local Burger King – no !!!!!! for him to let off some steam (sich austoben) at the indoor play area – and for me to get in a sneaky (heimlichen) Long Chilli burger, naughty but nice in a Burger King kinda way.

Anyway to the point, Dave. I was happily munching on (mampfen) my burger when I noticed the following sign:

“Nur für Kinder bis 8”
“Only for kids until 8”

I tried to burst out into laughter (tricky with a mouth full of Long Chilli), nearly choked (ersticken) and I guess you can imagine what happened next. No more info!

Needless to say, I promptly (umgehend) got up (after cleaning myself down) and quickly ran to Matthew (the energy packed 4 year-old) and said “You’ve only got an hour left, then it’s Daddy’s turn.”!!!!

Don’t believe me? Check out the Burger King, Steinfurter Strasse, Münster. If you’re not in the area have a look at the piccie on Facebook (click above).

GOTD. Seen any ‘Lost in translation‘ signs lately?
P.S. GOTD – Are you Burger Kinger or Maccy D’s (UK slang) aka McDonalds?

Answers from yesterday:
1) responsibility 2) predecessor 3) applicant 4) decline 5) turnover 6) works council 7) resign 8) commission 9) since 10) superior.
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0 # dave 2016-03-31 04:31
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday Teaser: Business Crossword Puzzle

Have you ever seen a crossword puzzle without the crossword puzzle grid – of course not …… yet! Presenting live on stage the first ever (don’t have a clue (keine Ahnung) if it’s true) crossword puzzle without the GRID.

I realise the headline is misleading (irreführend), but WTH what the heck (scheißegal), it got your attention, didn’t it? So here goes. 10 business English vocab. clues. Answers tomorrow.

As usual, please DON’T publish/post the answers, it’ll spoil the fun for the rest.

1) having the job or duty of doing sth (at work) (11 letters)
2) a person who did your job before you. (11 letters)
3) a person who applies for a position in a company. (9 letters)
4) synonym of ‘to fall’ (used especially when describing trends) (7 letters)
5) the total amount of goods sold by a company during a particular period of time (8 letters)
6) a group of employees who represent all the employees in discussions with their employers (2 words: 5 & 6 letters)
7) more formal ‘to quit your job’. (6 letters)
8) You are paid according to the amount you sell – Fill in the gap ‘You work ……. ‘ (2 words: 2 & 9 letters)
9) Fill in the gap: I’ve been with the company ……….. 2000. (5 letters)
10) The person in your company who is in charge of you. (8 letters)

Answers tomorrow
1) ……. 2) ……. 3) ……. 4) ……. 5) ……. 6) ……. 7) ……. 8) ……. 9) ……. 10) …….

QOTD: Was that too easier, too difficult or just right?
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0 # dave 2016-03-30 04:11
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: An Easter email mess-up.

As the company English go to expert, everyone and their dog comes to you to give their mails the once over (etw kurz muster) before sending them. Unfortunately, your main customer is your boss. A ‘No f**king way boss, go & do your own language course’ is understandably out of the question.

Regrettably (bedauerlicherweise) the Easter break gave him ample (genugend) time to reinvent English and now you have to pick up the pieces (eine Situation wieder normalisieren). Here’s the mail to a British Sales Rep, who the boss knows well and is on first name terms with (sich duzen).

“Dear Dave

How are you? I hope you have spent a beautiful Eastern? We travelled to the East Sea for a few days. The weather wasn’t good. It rained many.

I’m writing to inform you that I will at the 15th May travel to London for our Q2 meeting? I please you to collect me at Heathrow (BA 123) at 8.30 a.m. and then we can drive to the office.

Should you have any queries, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Best Wishes.


How many mistakes did you spot? What about formality, could you reword/phrase it in a better way? Please check my webpage http://www.teatime-titbits.de/index.php/teatimetitbits-pdf for a sample version.
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0 # dave 2016-03-29 05:38
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: A quote a day, helps us work, rest & play.

Teatime Titbiters – back to the grind (Maloche) after a great longer weekend. I do love inspirational/motivational & funny quotes (Zitate) and often make a note of the best ones in my journal or keep as a screen saver (Bildschirmschoner).

As you know, I do post some quotes every now and again, particularly on Mondays to (re)motivate myself and maybe one or two of you may appreciate (etw zu schätzen wissen) this too.

Here’s one Aristotle prepared a long time ago:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit”.

An evergreen, don’t you think?

A great source of such quotes is to follow: https://twitter.com/thedailylove. Mastin Kipp, who is the founder of www.thedailylove.com. posts quotes daily and there’s always a nugget of wisdom (Lebensweisheiten) not far away.

If you want to find out more about Mastin, why not check out the following interview vid with Marie Forleo, with the inspirational title ‘How to live your purpose’?: https://youtu.be/FQ7AzXUVeyU

QOTD: Can you share a quote with us (in English, please)?

Hope your week starts well.
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0 # dave 2016-03-24 05:55
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday tip: 5 YouTube channels to turn on to.

I wish all Teatime Titbiters a great Easter, wherever you might be and whatever you might do. If you have a bit of ‘YOU’ time, there’s nothing on the box (TV) or you’re at a loose end, I’ve put together a list of great YouTube channels you might want to discover over the hols.

1. Evan Carmichael – One of my favourite features of his channel is the ‘Top 10 rules for success’ of famous people vids. He puts together the rules, taken from short clips of the famous person, giving an interview or sth like that. I highly recommend starting with the Will Smith film: https://youtu.be/bBsT9omTeh0 . Inspirational.

2. Londonreal – I’ve talked about LondonReal before in my blog, but that’s because it’s so damn good. Great interviews with inspirational/exciting people. As they can last over 45 mins, it’s also excellent training for your English. Here I recommend starting with Daniel Priestley (Australian born entrepreneur) and author of 3 superb business books including his latest ‘Oversubscribed: How to get people lined up to do business with you’ – Exceptional book. https://youtu.be/UU1aNGB-4J0

3. Marie Foleo – US business women and creator of Marie TV. Here’s a heart- pulling interview with ‘Pencils of promise’ founder Adam Braun. https://youtu.be/pG53tqz3jNY

4. Project Life Mastery – Stefan made his money throw ‘Kindle’ publishing and his internet based platform Project Life Mastery – giving help, advice & providing online training courses on how to make money on line. He is a big believer in goal setting and happily talks about his yearly goals and gives month by month progress reports. Why not check out the vid „My 2015 Year In Review: Successes, Failures & Lessons Learned”. https://youtu.be/iy0tKvu6g9A - disciplined.

5. FitLifeTV – If you enjoy health life hacks, this is a great channel for you. ‘Can Turmeric replace exercise?’ is a bit of an eye-opener: https://youtu.be/yiW5dhlKLQY


QOTD. Which channel did/do you prefer the most?

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0 # dave 2016-03-23 04:41
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: If money were no object*.

Easter is just around the corner – any plans? Off on a short break, a holiday or simply chilling out at home, practising geocaching with eggs in the garden.

BTW if you want a free PDF list of all the German public holidays in English, just follow the link:


Now just close your eyes for a sec. Imagine, you had more money than you could eat, you owned a private jet, complete with pilot, where would you jet off to?

Any grammar savvy (clever) bods (people) out there will recognize the so-called 2nd conditional structure. It is used to talk about sth that is ‘imaginary’ or ‘unreal’ now! A common example is ‘If I won the lottery, I would buy a Ferrari’ = you haven’t won it unfortunately, but let’s imagine you did.

Quick review on how to build the sentence. Maybe try to remember it as a mathematical formula:

If + past tense form** = would + infinitive form of verb

“If money were no object, I would jet off to Oz (Australia).”

So back to my QOTD, where would you jet off to, if money were no object?

*Wenn Geld keine Rolle spielen .......
**It’s got nothing to do with the past, it’s just used as a way to ‘distance’ us from ‘reality’

Answers from yesterday:
1). H 2). C 3). F 4). A 5). J 6). B 7). E 8). G 9).D 10) I.

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0 # dave 2016-03-22 04:56
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser: Business collocations.

1-10 are list of common verbs. A-J are list of common nouns. Put them together and you get a collocation. Can you match the correct verbs & nouns to make 10 business collocations? Please DON’T publish/post the answers, it’ll spoil the fun for the rest.

1) to take a) resources
2) to get b) our views
3) to break off c) results
4) to allocate d) our best
5) to split e) our thanks
6) to air f) negotiations
7) to express g) our cards on the table
8) to put h) steps
9) to do i) our options open
10) to keep J) ends

Answers tomorrow
1) ……. 2) ……. 3) ……. 4) ……. 5) ……. 6) ……. 7) ……. 8) ……. 9) ……. 10) …….

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0 # Dave 2016-03-21 05:13
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: How to succeed at emailing.

In my extra post (for newsletter subscribers only) entitled ‘How to succeed at emailing’, I wrote about starting mails to people you know well and are on first name terms with (mit jdm per Du sein).

In essence (im Wesentlichen), it boiled down to (auf etw. hinauslaufen) two extremely simple points, which many seemingly ignore when writing mails.

1.Ask ‘how are you?’ or phrase of that nature.
2.Engage in (sich an etw beteiligen) a bit of PERSONALISED small talk.

Let’s imagine your ENGLISH colleague/business contact (NOT BRITISH in this precise situation) is a sports fan:

“Hi, Dave. Hope you are fine? Congrats on the grand slam* on Saturday.”

Teatime Titbiters, it’s a case of ‘I know you know but are you doing it?’ For most Brits, a short ‘Hi’ and a little PERSONALISED ‘small talk’ before getting down to business is taken for granted (etw. als selbstverständlich ansehen).

*Most (British) sports fans will know that England beat France to win the Rugby 6 Nations championship (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France & Italy). England won all 5 games and as such won the additional title of grand slam winners.

QOTD. How are you on this Monday?

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0 # dave 2016-03-18 04:35
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday. Babbling

I’m sure you’ve heard about the language training company ’Babbel’, but did you know that ‘to babble’ in English actually means to talk quickly in a way that is difficult to understand. A marketing cock-up (Pfusch)?

Sorry, I’m really not here to knock the guys (über jdn/etw herziehen) from Babbel, on the contrary, I’m all for anyone, who tries to make language learning fun and accessible (erschwinglich) for everyone!!!!!!

‘Talking’ is obviously an important part of cultures because there are so many words connected to it. Here’s a few I prepared earlier.

Take for example ‘to chatter on about sth’ means to talk continuously about things that are not important or interesting. Replace ‘chatter’ with an animal with long ears and which has lots of sex – as hearsay (Hörensagen) would have it - ‘rabbit’ of course, you have a colloquial synonym. A person, who is like this can be said to ‘talk the hind legs off a donkey’

Then you can ‘be/go/keep & bang on about sth’, which means you talk in a boring or complaining way about something.

Do you know what you call sb, who likes talking? He/she is ‘talkative’ and a ‘chatterbox’ (particularly children) if they talk too much. If someone ‘talks nineteen to the dozen’ i.e. talking without stopping, they could be called in a rather derogatory (abwertend) way ‘motor mouth’.

Finally, ‘put a sock in it, will you?’ is one of the many common phrases thrown in the direction of a motor mouth to make him/her be quiet.

Now for the fun bit – Teatime Titbiters, please post as many ‘please be quiet’ phrases as you can think of and see how many we can come up with. Due to the sensitive nature and the possibility of plenty of ‘naughty’ words, please post on www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits and give me a ‘like’ while you are at it.

Dig deep, can we get over 10? Have a great weekend!!!!

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0 # dave 2016-03-17 14:43
Check out today’s EXTRA Teatime Titbit:

'I'd forget my head, if it wasn't stuck to my shoulders' is a common phrase out of my mouth. Guess what, it completely slipped my mind that today is Paddy Day. Shame on me!

Having spent 3 years cooped up (eingepfercht) with 2 Northern Irish guys at Aston University, I can't believe I forgot to forewarn you. Now that I've set that to rights (In Ordnung bringen) I can get back to work.

PS I highly recommend calling off all your previous plans, call up a few friends and head down to the nearest Irish Pub. The craic (Gaelic=Spaß) will be grand tonight. Sláinte (Gaelic= Prost)

PPS Don't blame me for any headaches or feelings of tiredness you may suffer from tomorrow!!!!
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0 # Dave 2016-03-17 05:39
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday tip: 24 ½ phrases for agreeing & disagreeing.

Do you have discussions in English at work? Do you often feel you’re language is somehow limited to a few phrases? Then this post might just give you a helping hand to take up a few more and to help you widen (ausweiten) and vary (wechseln) your language.

I’ve divided the list into 5 categories from ‘agreeing’ to ‘disagreeing’ with ‘agreeing tentatively’ (zögernd) ‘being non-committal’(zurückhaltend) and finally ‘expressing reservations’ (Zweifel ausdrücken). Click on Teatime-Titbits-PDF on this page.

So Teatime Titbiters, here’s the QOTD based on the following article:


Do you agree that swearing (Fluchen) should be outlawed (verbieten) in public?

Who’s gonna get the ball rolling?

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0 # dave 2016-03-16 04:40
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Write like a native: Your register.

According to http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com ‘register’ means the level and style of a piece of writing or speech, that is usually appropriate (angemessen) to the situation that it is used in.

In layman’s terms (allgemeinverständlich), if you read sentences like the following:

1.We are writing to enquire about* (sich nach etw erkundigen/anfragen)...
2.With reference to (mit Bezug auf) your enquiry of 8 May.

The register is formal and, therefore, your answer should match that register. Easier said than done, right.

Tip 1. Use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ and no shortened versions i.e. we’re writing
Tip 2. Use more formal words where possible e.g. ‘enquire’ instead of ‘ask about’. Maybe start making your own lists of formal and less formal synonyms.
Tip 3. Maybe sounds a little obvious, simply copy & paste your partner’s writing

What about:

3.Thank you for your inquiry concerning in-house training.

More ‘neutral’ and common standard for non-native writers of English.

And finally:

4.Just writing to ask about your in-house training.

Of course, more ‘informal’. If you know your partner (very) well and are on first name terms (jdn dozen), start to move into ‘informal’ correspondence. However, this can be as equally tricky as the ‘formal’ version for non-natives.

Tip 4. Always try to mirror! If you are happier/more at ease with (sich wohl fühlen) a less formal style – that’s fine, but don’t force it on to somebody (jdm etw aufzwingen) – wait until they offer, otherwise it could backfire (nach hinten losgehen).

*In British English people sometimes distinguish between ‘enquire’ and ‘inquire’, using:
‘enquire’ for the general meaning of ‘ask for information’ e.g. “I called to enquire about train times.” and
‘inquire’ for the more particular meaning of ‘officially investigate’ e.g. “A committee will inquire into the allegations.”

However, you can use either spelling in either meaning. In American English ‘inquire’ is usually used in both meanings.

Thanx Oxford English Dictionary, again!

Answers from yesterday:

1)G, 2)H, 3)J, 4)B, 5)D, 6)A, 7)E, 8)F, 9)C, 10)I

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0 # dave 2016-03-15 04:57
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser: What’s what?

Hi, everyone, here’s the first SPEED quiz. I think the quiz is pretty easy but has some useful phrases for your everyday English. For a bit of fun, post how fast you got the answers, no cheating though and be honest – my BS (bullshit) radar is very effective.

1-10 are list of common ‘What’s’ phrases. A-J are the German translations. Can you match them? Please DON’T publish/post the answers, it’ll spoil the fun for the rest.

1) What’s he up to? A) was hat …….. damit zu tun?
2) What’s he on about? B) Worauf willst du hinaus?
3) What’s up? C) Wie schätzen Sie die Situation ein?
4) What are you driving at? D) Um was handelt es sich?
5) What’s it (all) about E) Wo drückt es dich denn?
6) What’s (blah, blah) got to do with it? F) Was kommt heute Abend in der Kiste?
7) What’s on your mind? G) Was hat er vor?
8) What’s on the box tonight? H) Was will er sagen?
9) What’s your take on it? I) Was will er damit andeuten?
10) What’s he insinuating? J) US wie geht’s?
Br. = What’s the matter? =Was ist los?

Answers tomorrow
1) ……. 2) ……. 3) ……. 4) ……. 5) ……. 6) ……. 7) ……. 8) ……. 9) ……. 10) …….

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0 # dave 2016-03-14 04:19
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Monday Motivation: Quote of the Day.

‘Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today’

If you read last week’s Tuesday Teaser, you probably got the meaning of this adage straight away. If you didn’t or don’t know - the ‘put off’ bit is a phrasal verb and means to postpone sth (etw verschieben).

This is for all those, who procrastinate (aufschieben) out there. I have stuck the phrase on my computer screen. Just gives me that little reminder that what I put off, may even never get done, forgotten about in the ‘to do as-long-as-my-arm list’ (new word!!!!). Good luck.

BTW. If you have a minute or two spare, why not watch this video https://youtu.be/pAZOR60-TV0 with Tai Lopez and pay particular attention to the part around 7mins. 56 on. I can also highly recommend the book he presents – The one thing by Gary Keller.

Question Of The Day: When do you procrastinate?

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0 # Gertrud 2016-03-14 12:45
Sometimes I procrastinate my gym lesson what´s bad for my body. But I try to change that!

Best regards
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0 # dave 2016-03-11 04:56
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday – 5 Funny English Phrases

It probably won’t come as any surprise when I officially say, on record, that English is a funny language. Here are 5 funny phrases, which I want to share with you today.

Before reading the examples and explanations, maybe you wanna have a go at figuring out what the phrases mean yourself first. An easy one to get us started:

1.Fire away!
2.to go swimmingly
3.to go pear-shaped
4.to pooh-pooh sth

Now for an example:

1.Ok, thanks for waiting, I’ve now got a pen. Fire away!
2.Everything was going swimmingly and then it all went pear-shaped!
3.That Mike, he just pooh-poohed everything. What’s he f**king up to? (Was hat er vor)
4.I just don’t get what he’s on about (was will er sagen), it’s all double Dutch to me.


1.Used to tell sb to begin to speak e.g. give you info. (on the phone) or ask a question (in a presentation)
2.Without any problems or difficulties.
3.Things go wrong.
4.to say that a suggestion, an idea, etc. is not true or not worth thinking about
5.speech or writing that is impossible to understand, and that seems to be nonsense.
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0 # dave 2016-03-10 06:23
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday tip: Up your intercultural awareness.

The adage (Sprichwort) ‘small world’ has never been as true as today and I’m convinced (überzeugt) the future will make the world even smaller.

Nationalities and cultures are now getting thrown together in business meetings, visits, deals, partnerships etc. without much ‘cultural’ knowledge except for the well-known & deeply entrenched (tief verwurzelt) stereotypes. Is it any wonder then why all of the above often break down, leaving all parties scratching their heads as to why it didn’t work out?

From the title, you know where I’m going, ‘intercultural awareness’. Your awareness of the other values (Werte), customs (Sitten), behaviours and the like could be the game changer. Business meetings and visits run smoothly and successfully, deals are closed and partnerships are made, flourish (blühen) and bring about great benefits for both sides.

Would it not then be a useful tool to add to your ‘toolkit’ and worth the ROI of spending some time preparing for that meeting, visit, in advance?

The British based company Kwinessential has put together a free tool http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-profiles.html that you could quickly read over to get the lowdown (Info) on the etiquette, customs and protocol guides for the country you are going to be visiting. What’s more they have even developed an app called International Business Etiquette App.
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0 # Dave 2016-03-09 07:14
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words. Randomsomes

Randomsome is a made-up word, which means ‘some random’ words/phases. Here are another 5 randomsomes I thought you may find interesting to add to your arsenal:

1. to teach sb the in & outs of sth e.g. “In the working in phase we have to teach the new apprentices the in & outs of the job” = jdm zeigen, wo es lang geht

2. It was a blessing in disguise = Es war schließlich doch ein Segen

3. fully-fleged e.g. “He passed the final exam and became a fully-fleged doctor.“ = vollqualifiziert

4. lull e.g. “There’s been a marked lull in the fighting since the ceasefire“. = Flaute/Ruhepause

5. (I’m afraid)* I couldn’t go along with that = Ich kann dem nicht zustimmen

*Very commonly used to soften the blow (abmildern) of saying NO.

Answers from yesterday:

1)up, 2)out, 3)along, 4)after, 5)up, 6)off, 7)for, 8)up, 9)up / with, 10) up

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0 # Dave 2016-03-08 06:21
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser: Know your phrasal verbs .

By way of a short explanation, a phrasal verb is a verb followed by a preposition i.e. -on, off, etc. They often replace a more ‘formal’ verb.

Below there are 10 sentences and then the equivalent phrasal verb sentence with the preposition missing. Can you put in the correct preposition? They start easy and get harder.

1.Can you collect me at 6pm?
Can you pick me …………… at 6pm?

2. He called our attention to the challenges it would bring.
He pointed …………… the challenges it would bring.

3. I’d definitely agree with you on that.
I’d definitely go …………… with you on that.

4.Who takes care of the work when you are away?
Who looks …………… the work when you are away?

5.Did you raise the question of deadlines?
Did you bring …………… the question of deadlines?

6.The meeting has been postponed until next week.
The meeting has been put …………… until next week.

7. Would you like a beer?
Would you care …………… a beer?

8. We can offer you accommodation when you come to London.
We can put you …………… when you come to London.

9. We can’t tolerate their behaviour any longer.
We can’t put …………… their behaviour any longer. (x2 preps)

10. Let’s decide who pays what later. (in a restaurant)
Let’s square …………… later

Answers tomorrow
1) ……. 2) ……. 3) ……. 4) ……. 5) ……. 6) ……. 7) ……. 8) ……. 9) ……. 10) …….

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0 # Dave 2016-03-07 06:02
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Monday Motivation. Inspirational people: Gary Vaynerchuk.

He is hard-working, eloquent (redegewandt) (with the odd swear word thrown in for good measure), very knowledgeable and a motivator.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a self-made millionaire, wine expert and social media guru, who offers an insight to his knowledge, thoughts and life in his Youtube show #AskGaryVee and an even deeper view into his hustler’s lifestyle in his new show called the DailyVee show.

Having already written 3 other stellar (herausragend) books, Crush it, Thank You Economy and Jab Jab Right Hook, he today launches his 4th. The #AskGaryVee book based on of the show.

As a big fan, I’ve already pre-ordered the Audible version and look forward to getting my lugholes (Slang: ears) around it. I would also highly recommend any (would be) entrepreneurs and business owners, not to mention anyone interested in internet marketing - this book WILL be a MUST.

Want energy boost, learn new titbits about social or simply need a kick up the butt (Tritt in den Arsch), metaphorically speaking, (bildlich gesprochen) watch on of his speeches, shows or motivational films. Here’s a link to my favourite: https://youtu.be/PIJElPStJpg

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0 # Dave 2016-03-04 04:56
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday – Spot the mistake?

Having read yesterday’s post about making appointments, here’s the test! In this short film a German employee would like to make an appointment with a British customer/colleague. https://youtu.be/zmuRyKBn12w

Unfortunately, he drops some typical cultural and grammatical clangers (Schnitzer machen) – can you spot them? Don’t worry, the presenter then points out the mistakes before they replay the story in a correct version.

So pen and paper at the ready, good luck, off you go ….

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0 # dave 2016-03-03 04:31
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native – 6 phrases for making appointments.

Making appointments is an important part of business. Here’s a bit of help if you need to do it in English. Please note that 1-4 phrases are more formal than phrases 5 & 6.

1.Does next Wednesday* suit you?
2.What date/time suits you best (next week)?
3.Is Tuesday 3p.m. suitable/convenient/fine for you?
4.What date/time is most suitable/convenient for you?
5.Are you available/free on Friday, let’s say** 9 a.m.?
6.What/how about Monday for lunch?

Saying yes.
1.Yes, Wednesday suits me fine? What time shall we say?
2.Monday, between 3 and 5 would suit meet best.
3.Yes, Tuesday 3p.m. is suitable/convenient/fine (for me).
4.Either Monday morning or Thursday afternoon would be most suitable/convenient.
5.Yes, Friday 9 a.m. sounds good to me.
6.Yes, I’ve got nothing on (etw vorhaben) then. Monday it is then. Whereabouts?

Saying no.
1.No, I’m afraid, Wednesday doesn’t really suit me (at all), Why not Thursday?
2.Unfortunately, 3pm isn’t very suitable/convenient. Shall we say 5p.m instead?
3.No, I’ve got a prior engagement/an appointment then, let’s make it an hour later? Is that o.k.?
4. No, I’m afraid, I can’t make it then, but I could make it at 11 a.m.?
5.Unfortunately, I’m really busy/running a tight schedule (voller Zeitplan)/chocka (-a-block) (rappelvoll) *** on Thursday, Friday would be better?
6.No, I can’t I’ve got something else on, I’m meeting **** Frank.

*Days of the week, months of the year are written with a capital e.g. March
**More colloquial
**** (no it doesn’t mean a bad word) we often use the present continuous form to talk about fixed future appointments/arrangements.

QOTD. Do you have any English issues (Fragen) you want clearing up (etw klären)? Write below or post on www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits.

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0 # dave 2016-03-02 04:09
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words: 6 words to sex up your job description:

It involves/entails (umfassen) dealing with processing the incoming orders.
It involves/entails looking after international key accounts.
It involves/entails taking care of all the marketing.
It involves/entails seeing to the day-to-day running of the department.

Please be aware that the verbs ‘involve’/’entail’ requires the verb ending ‘ing’ in the next verb e.g. involves ‘dealing’. This part of grammar is known as the ‘gerund’ (Gerundium).

Equally you could take out the verbs ‘involve’/’entail’ and simply use one of the other ‘verbs’ in the simple present (for facts / things that don’t change) e.g. I deal with ……

Finally, ‘deal with’ / ‘look after’ / ‘take care of’ / ‘see to’ all mean more or less the same ‘sich um etwas kümmern’

QOTD: What’s your job entail?

Answers from yesterday
1). E 2). I 3). A 4). G 5). C 6). B 7). J 8). F 9). D 10). H

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0 # Angela Schwarz 2016-03-01 07:32
Please add me to your newsletter. It's very interesting for me.

Best wishes, Angela
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0 # dave 2016-03-06 07:56
Hi Angela

No worries, but please send me your e-mail address to

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0 # Peter Fuchs 2016-03-01 06:58
Good morning Dave,

please add me to the weekly teatime titbits newsletter.
It looks really promising :-)
My email is .
Thank you in advance!

Best regards,
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0 # dave 2016-03-01 04:54
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser: Business collocations

1-10 are list of verbs, which correctly matched up with the nouns A-J make common collocations? Can you match them up correctly?

1) to express a) a conclusion
2) to raise b) your point
3) to reach c) a role
4) to make d) your opinion
5) to play e) an opinion
6) to see f) your mind at rest
7) to answer g) an effort
8) to set h) your support
9) to share i) the matter
10) to lend J) your question

Answers tomorrow
1) ……. 2) ……. 3) ……. 4) ……. 5) ……. 6) ……. 7) ……. 8) ……. 9) ……. 10) ……. 11) ……. 12) …….

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0 # dave 2016-02-29 04:51
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Monday Motivation: LondonReal

Did you watch anything decent (hier: gut) on the box (im Fernsehen) over the weekend? Were you able to find anything of interest? Are you getting more and more disillusioned with (enttäuscht von) what the public & private channels have to offer nowadays?

Even though I’m in the lucky situation that I have both German and British channels as well as a whole host of others via satellite, I rarely find anything worth watching. I’ve certainly grown out of all these reality shows and often wonder what the powers that be TPTB (die da oben) are playing at when it comes to programme selection.

Needless to say, I’m turning more and more to the internet and youtube to find things to watch. I have recently happened upon (zufällig finden) a great channel called LondonReal, which is full with longer interviews with very interesting/inspiring people.

Check out the link to the interview with the very inspiring James Ketchell, who is the only man to row solo across the Atlantic. He has also climbed Mount Everest and cycled around the world. Enjoy. https://youtu.be/SKryPwv49qE

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0 # Christine Ait-Mokhta 2016-02-28 09:51
Dear Dave,

I'd like to get your weekly teatime titbits. Would you mind adding to your list? Is there any possibility to be linked to you on Facebook and get your impulses daily via Facebook?

best regards

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0 # dave 2016-02-29 04:54
Hi Christine
Thanx for reaching out to me. For Facebook just follow the link above. To subscribe,please send me your e-mail address.
Have a great start to the week.
Take care

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0 # Anja 2016-02-26 11:01
Dear Dave,

please add me to your weekly teatime titbits newsletter.
I´ld really appreciate it.
My best mailadress is
Many thanks in advance.

Wish you a beautiful weekend!

Best regards,
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0 # dave 2016-02-29 04:56
Hi Anja

Thanx for contacting me. You are on the list. Hope you enoy the service.

Take care

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0 # dave 2016-02-26 04:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun and inspiration on Friday – Dance with the Obamas

You maybe caught this film on social or in the news, if not a treat (Vergnügen) for Friday. A fun and inspirational lady shows the Obamas how to move.

Don’t know about you but I’d be happy enough to get to 106, not to be mention be as nifty (raffiniert) on her pegs (slang for legs) as her.

Fun QOTD. Which famous person/people would you like to show how to move?

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0 # dave 2016-02-25 04:33
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday tip – switch to www.linguee.de

I have no vested interest (see yesterday’s post) in you switching your online dictionary, which I’m sure you are very happy with.

What frustrates me with other onliners www.dict.cc and the like is that an English word produces many German possibilities and it is often difficult to really know which one is the right word for the context.

www.linguee.de gives you one or two of the most common translations as well as a number of other possibilities. Wherever there is an ‘i’ next to a word, you can click on it and see examples of texts where there are translations from online texts. I find this very helpful in deciding which word is the best for the context.

What’s more, there are also even more examples underneath the main part to help you in your choice of words.

One more tip - www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com can also help you to recognise subtle differences (feine Unterschiede) in meaning and usage. Try it out, hopefully it’ll help you too.

QOTD: Which online dictionary do you prefer?
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0 # dave 2016-02-24 04:57
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words ‘vested interest’

Grexit, Brexit, who will be the nexit? The recent discussions in Brussels about Britain/ David Cameron’s proposals (Vorchlag) for ‘tweaks’ (Korrektur) to the EU have ‘vested interests’ written all over them i.e. ‘a personal reason for wanting something to happen, especially because you get some advantage from it’ www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com

Naturally vested interests play out every day, in every situation, for everyone, both privately or professionally and more obviously in politics.

Without going into all the ins and outs (alle Einzelheiten) of EU politics, I definitely scratched my head when it was agreed to pump billions to bail out and ‘save’ Greece from leaving the EU and I wonder if DC getting his way is an attempt (Versuch) to appease (beruhigen) the British people before an impending (bevorstehend) in/out referendum.

The same question always comes back to in my mind, namely, ‘Who really has a vested interest in the EU staying as one unity, not forgetting expanding?’

And like the rest of the Brits, I also wonder if Britain would be better off (es besser haben) in or out. AND what about Germany – Teatime Titbiters, where do you stand?

QOTD. If there was an in/out referendum in Germany (which you never had even at the beginning – strange is it not?!), how do you think Germans would vote?

Answers from yesterday
1) G, 2) J, 3) A, 4) F, 5) C, 6) E 7)H, 8) B, 9) D, 10) I
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0 # dave 2016-02-23 04:42
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser: Know your synonyms.

During a conversation, you react according to how you feel about what they say.
1-10 are list of words you know and regularly use. A-J are (approximate) synonyms which are possibly less well-known. Can you match the words of similar meaning up? An easy one to get you started.

1) interesting A) appalling
2) terrible B) infuriating
3) shocking C) ludicrous
4) unbelievable D) hilarious
5) ridiculous E) despicable
6) outrageous F) incredible
7) fantastic G) fascinating
8) maddening H) marvellous
9) very funny I) revolting
10) disgusting J) horrendous

Answers tomorrow
1) ……. 2) ……. 3) ……. 4) ……. 5) ……. 6) ……. 7) ……. 8) ……. 9) ……. 10) ……. 11) ……. 12) …….
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0 # dave 2016-02-22 05:18
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Bet you didn’t know ….

that yesterday marked the UN International Mother Language Day? Bet you also didn’t know that:
1.Once there were about 8000 different languages spoken on our planet.
2.Now there are only about 6500, and half of them are endangered (gefährdet).
3.In fact, every TWO weeks another language disappears (aussterben) forever!
4.Now only 10 languages make up over half the world population's mother languages. (Thanx to http://www.doonething.org/calendar/languageday.htm)

And guess which one could be seen to be to blame for the decline (Rückgang): English, of course! Naturally I have mixed feelings about this, one the one hand, I’m sure you’ll agree, it comes in handy (gelegen kommen) to have a lingua franca, which can help you make yourself understood anywhere you go.

On the other hand, every lost language is a travesty – language is culture, language is identity. Peoples end up losing both because the (grand)parents decide against passing on their native tongue in favour of encouraging (ermütigen) / forcing (zwingen) their children to learn the regional ‘official’ language as well as possibly English.

In good old Germany, believe it or not, you are not out of the woods (aus dem Schneider sein). I highly recommend a visit to the website below to find out more about the severely (stark) endangered languages in Germany.

QOTD Any guesses which ones they may be?

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0 # dave 2016-02-19 04:42
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday - Lost in translation!

In my work I often hear / read some comical things. As sad as it may sound, I write them down as examples of what not to do and share them with my clients for a bit of fun.

Years ago on a platform of the underground train station at Düsseldorf airport, there was (maybe still is) a sign attached to the luggage trolley machine.

German instructions: “Münzen in der Rückseite einwerfen” (excuse my German)
English translation: „ Insert coins in backside” ………. (Po)

Needless to say I noticed a lot of strange actions by English speaking travellers!

How would you reword the instructions? – drop answers on:


Lesson learnt, anything that has a ‘Rückseite’ e.g. book, sheet of paper, house etc in German, don’t translate it with ‘backside’.

Have a great Friday – Teatime Titbits
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0 # dave 2016-02-18 06:01
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Up your Game – Five a day.

Do you want to raise your register when speaking English, to have the ability to flip between conversational and formal English whenever required?

Here are your 5 randomly chosen formal words for today.

1. Prevalent = something that exists or is very common at a particular time or in a particular place. Synonyms: common, widespread. E.g.”The disease is even more prevalent in Latin America.”

2. To determine = to discover the facts about something; to calculate something exactly. Synonym: establish. E.g. “An inquiry was set up to determine the cause of the accident.”

3. To urge = to advise or try hard to persuade somebody to do something. E.g
“Police are urging anyone who saw the accident to contact them immediately.“

4. To pose something = A) to create a threat, a problem, a challenge, a danger, a risk that has to be dealt with. E.g.“The task poses no special problems“ B) You can also ‚pose a question‘ = (formal) to ask a question, especially one that needs serious thought.

5. To prompt = to make somebody decide to do something, to cause sth to happen. Synonym: provoke. (often read/heard in news items) E.g.“The discovery oft he bomb prompted an increase in security“
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0 # dave 2016-02-17 04:46
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words. Would you Adam & Eve it?

‘Adam & Eve it’ comes from Cockney Rhyming slang* and means ……., any guesses ‘believe it’

Would you believe that it is possible to sell goods cheaper than in the discounters like Aldi & co and make money? The company behind easyJet seems to think so and have recently opened up an easyFoodstore in North London.

It even goes one step further – every item costs only 25p. Price dumping at an extreme when you look at the comparison chart ‘The cheapest rival’ in the Daily Mail article – see link.

Here are a couple of examples from the list, to give you an idea of some of the bargains (Schnäppchen) to be had.

1.Asda (supermarket chain) Choc chip cookies = 40p
2.Sainbury’s (supermarket chain) Basics tea bags = 40p
3.Lidl Cucina fusilli = 49p

And what about this for a price difference Tesco (supermarket chain)

4. Kellogg’s variety pack of cereal = £1

Is Stelious Hajiloannou* flying by the seat of his pants (nach Gefühl und Intuition handeln) or is there method in the madness? (Der Wahnsinn hat Methode)

I wonder when the EASYsupermarket will land in street near you?


*the Cyprus-born British entrepreneur who set up easyJet

Answers from yesterday
1) D, 2) H, 3) B, 4) K, 5) F, 6) A, 7) J, 8) C, 9) G, 10) L, 11) E, 12) I
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0 # Dave 2016-02-16 03:59
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Know your Star Signs?

Whether you believe in it or not, most people know their star sign and maybe even make a point of remembering the English name for one of them ‘you-never-know-moments’ it could come in handy to know. But how many of the others do you know without asking uncle Google?

1) Aries A) Jungfrau
2) Taurus B) Zweillinge
3) Gemini C) Skorpion
4) Cancer D) Widder
5) Leo E) Wassermann
6) Virgo F) Löwe
7) Libra G) Schütze
8) Scorpio H) Stier
9) Sagittarius I) Fische
10) Capricorn J) Waage
11) Aquarius K) Krebs
12) Pisces L) Steinbock

Answers tomorrow
1) ……. 2) ……. 3) ……. 4) ……. 5) ……. 6) ……. 7) ……. 8) ……. 9) ……. 10) ……. 11) ……. 12) …….

QOTD. Are you a believer?
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0 # dave 2016-02-15 05:19
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Bye bye St. Valentine’s.

(Re)kindling (etw. erwecken) of passions, romantic bliss (Glück), a bumper Sunday for florists and then ‘UR dumped’ (jdm. den Laufpass geben).

According to (Laut)‘The Times’ newspaper there is a new service based in Canada, going by the name of ‘THE BREAKUP SHOP’.

How convenient (praktisch), a service has arrived to do the dirty work for you that you would have possibly left up to a friend or a friend of the unlucky one, if you didn’t have the balls (keinen Arsch in der Hose haben) to do it yourself. What’s more - you have to pay for it.

Not to worry, it won’t break the bank (die Spielbank sprengen) – for an email or text break up, it’ll set you back (jdn ärmer machen) a mere US $10. For telephone call, in which the ‘heartbreaker’ (person who works for ‘THE BREAKUP SHOP’) has first been briefed (unterrichtet warden) on the reasons for the split (Trennung), you’ll have to cough up (blechen) $29.

THE SHOP has carried out 30 break-ups in US, Mexico, Finland and GERMANY !!!!!! So the moral of this story is, don’t take any strange numbers guys and gals – you just never know.

P.S. One other interesting statistic for you – apparently 1,600 people applied to become a ‘heartbreaker’ – make of that what you will.
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0 # dave 2016-02-12 04:40
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday - What secrets your toast hold about you.

You know how the British love their ‘slice of toast’ for brekkie (Frühstuck), smothered (völlig bedecken) in butter/marg (Margarine) and then marmalade, jam, peanut butter or Nutella. Then for lunch, baked beans (with or without grated (reiben) cheese on top), scrambled/fried egg on toast, toasted bacon butty (Sandwich) or the post pub crawl (Kneipentour) star ‘marmite’ (Hefe-Brotaufstrich) on toast.

But did you know that how well done you like your toast, reveals (offenbaren) a lot about your character? That’s what food psychologist (never knew there was such a thing) Dr. Christy Fergusson is claiming and the Sun newspaper did a nice piece to explain her theory and for you to find out more about yourself!!!!

Amused, amazed, all agog with curiosity (voll Neugierde), find out what secrets your toast hold, check out


QOTD. A little more down to earth - what do you smother on your toast?

Answers from yesterday:

1) G, leg 2) I, eye x2 3) E, hand 4) A, nose , 5) H, hand 6) B, finger 7) J, nose 8) F, chest 9) C, neck 10) D, head
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0 # dave 2016-02-11 04:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday Teaser: Body Language 2

It’s amazing how various body parts got into so many idioms – some make sense, some sound funny – anyway here’s part 2 of the quiz.

This teaser comes in two parts. 1) Match the phrase with German equivalent
2) Match the English ‘body’ word at the bottom with the correct English phrase (1-10)

1) They haven’t got a …….. to stand on. A) Wucherpreise bezahlen
2) We don’t see …….. to …….. on a lot of things B) Mach mal Dampf
3) Can I give you a …….. with your baggage? C) Nervensäge
4) You paid through the …….. for that. D) Ich werde daraus nicht schlau
5) She has the department well in …….. . E) jdm behilflich sein
6) Will you pull your …….. out! F) sich etw von der Seele reden
7) He’s always poking his …….. in! G) keine gute Argumente haben
8) Talk, you’ll get it off your …….. . H) etw gut im Griff haben
9) He’s a real pain in the …….. . I) einer Meinung sein
10) I can’t make …….. nor tail of it. J) seine Nase in etw hineinstecken

hand x2 nose finger leg neck nose eye x2 head chest

Answers tomorrow
1) ……….. 2) ……….. 3) ……….. 4) ……….. 5) ……….. 6) ……….. 7) ……….. 8) ……….. 9) ……….. 10) ………..
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0 # dave 2016-02-10 05:25
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE

Ash Wednesday marks the start of fasting and is the first day of Lent, which occurs 46 days (40 fasting days, if the 6 Sundays, which are not days of fast, are excluded) before Easter. (thanx Wikipedia)

Nowadays, if anything, people commit to (sich auf etw festlegen) abstaining from (verzichten auf) or giving up consuming something they see as ‘indulgence’ (Genuss) or simply ‘comfort food’ e.g. sweet stuff, snacks, meat and even alcohol.

Call me a cynic but it seems people misuse Lent as a second chance after failing to keep off the stuff as part of their New Years’ resolutions (Vorsätze).

I hummed & hawed (hin-und herüberlegen) about this one, but now my mind is made up (Mein Entschluss steht (fest). I’m gonna give up BEER for Lent! But when I think of all the upcoming excuses for a beer, I wonder if I have the intestinal fortitude (innere Stärke) to see it through. I’ll keep you posted. (auf dem Laufenden halten)

QOTD: What about you Teatime Titbiters – are you gonna give anything up?
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0 # dave 2016-02-09 05:36
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Pancake Tuesday

Yep, you read it right, Shove* Tuesday is also known as Pancake Tuesday because the day is celebrated by eating pancakes.
The tradition is that people wanted to use up all their rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of Lent.
A traditional topping for pancakes is sugar & lemon juice, yummy!!! In a very nifty (geschickt) bit of marketing by a company called Jif**, they managed to hijack (hier: für sich beanspruchen) Pancake Tuesday renaming it ‘Jif Lemon Day’ in their TV adverts. It was a very clever because it reminded us to go out and buy the lemon juice and like many others growing up in England at the time I remember Shrove/Pancake Tuesday as guess what ….. yep, ‘Jif Lemon Day’.
Speaking of toppings, are you a savoury (herzhaft) or a sweet tooth? Question Of The Day – What are your favourite pancake toppings?
One more bizarre point to Pancake Tuesday. Bet you didn’t know that there is even a tradition called ‘pancake races’ in the UK? Participants (Teilnehmer) with frying pans race through the streets tossing (werfen) pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan while running. What we do for a little fun!! Check out for yourself : Great Spitalfields Pancake Race 2013: https://youtu.be/tU1RnrTeaSQ
*The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve" (jdn von seinen Sünden lossprechen).
** Jif is a company, which produces lemon juice packaged in a unique squeeze pack container shaped like a lemon.
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+1 # dave 2016-02-04 04:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday Teaser: Know your drinkingisms?

What a better time to have a drinking quiz. Simply match the English term, with the German equivalent. Answers below – you never know you may need the stuff later if you bump into (jdm in die Arme laufen) any English speaking revellers. Answers below

1. booze A) sich jdn schöntrinken
2. tipsy B) (auf) ex trinken
3. binge drinking C) Alkohol
4. put on one’s beer goggles D) eine Kneipentour machen
5. be shit-faced E) Komasaufen
6. hair of the dog F) Kater
7. down in one ! G) angeschwipst
8. hangover H) sich übergeben
9. pub crawl I) stock besoffen
10. throw up J) Konterbier

For a bit of fun – how many phrases can you think of which mean the same a ‘drunk’? Check your list against mine at https://www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits Give me a like while you at it, please. ALAAF

Answers 1) C. 2) G. 3) E. 4) A. 5) I. 6) J. 7) B. 8) F. 9) D. 10) H.
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0 # dave 2016-02-03 04:37
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Escape

Having lived in the wonderful city of Cologne for 9 years and lived the Carnival life for many of the early years, it suddenly hit me one year. Namely, I’m missing the perfect opportunity to bobby off (abhauen) for a long weekend.

To make matters worse, I lived above a pub and so rest, even if I wanted to, was practically impossible. It became a case of ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join em!’ (Wenn du sie nicht schlagen kannst, dann schließe dich ihnen an) or shove off (abhauen). In the end, I shoved off. The prospect of seeing somewhere new trumped (übertrumpfen) getting pissed (betrunken) for 5 days and often turned out (sich herausstellen) cheaper by travelling on a shoestring (mit kleinem Budget) than staying in Cologne.

Carnival is a godsend (Geschenk des Himmels) for the local economy. All those party-goers come prepared (or maybe not but the booze (Alkohol) takes over) to ‘leave’ lots of money in all the pubs, clubs, hotels and eateries (Restaurants).

Looking back I was always impressed with the ‘turnout’ (Beteiligung) but at the same time I often wondered how many of the partying revellers actually came from Cologne and how many followed the carnival call? What’s more how many ‘locals’ actually escaped?

QOTD Are you escaping this year? If so, where to?
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0 # dave 2016-02-01 04:25
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Carnival Circular

Unless you live under a rock (hinterm Mond leben), you’ll be aware that it is Carnival again for parts of Germany. The obvious side effects for companies are short days, days off, forced absenteeism (nichtanwesenheit) (still too drunk to show up (erscheinen) or still suffering the after-effects (Nachwirkungen)), dangerous women with scissors and terrified men wearing shitty ties and the like.

To most foreigners it all sounds like a bit of good fun - shutting business down to have a party – but if you work closely with foreign branches/reps, a quick circular (Rundschreiben) to warn them about the impending (bevorstehenend) disruption (Betriebsstörung) might come in handy. Here’s a made-up circular below:

“To whom it may concern (Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren/An alle, die es betrifft)

This is a reminder to all foreign branches and sales representatives that our HQ in Cologne will be operating with a skeleton staff (Notbesetzung) during the upcoming (anstehend) Carnival holiday period. On Rose Monday (8. February) the office will be closed and reopen for business on Tuesday 9 February.

We urge (dringend bitten) you to take care of (erledigen) any urgent business in advance and be patient (geduldig sein) should you have difficulty getting through (telefonisch durchzukommen) or reaching members of staff.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Yours Faithfully.

Dave Preston”

P.S. If you constantly have to explain what Carnival is to people, then check out tomorrow’s post ‘KISSING Carnival’ for a quick and easy answer.
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0 # dave 2016-01-29 05:04
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday – Who wants to be a millionaire!

For a bit of a laugh, see how far you could get with our compact, who wants to be a millionaire – withOUT the cash, obviously! Today you have to choose which preposition goes in the following expressions:

1. € 50.
The boss is away ….. business in France.
A) of B) on C) in D) to

2. € 1000.
I can’t remember who’s in charge ….. that project.
A) of B) on C) in D) at

3. € 50 000.
I think we’re all in agreement ………. that.
A) of B) on C) in D) at

4. € 100 000.
We don’t seem to have much ….. common
A) of B) on C) at D) in

5. € 500 000.
Tell me, how do you stand ….. that, Frank?
A) of B) on C) at D) to

6. € 1 million.
We seem to be talking ….. cross purposes
A) of B) on C) at D) in

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.

Answers 1.on 2. of 3. on 4. in 5. on 6.at
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0 # Ebony 2016-01-28 14:36
I need to to thank you for this very good read!!
I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I've ggot you book-marked
to check out new stuff you post…

Heere is my web page; Iphonekit.Xyz (http://classifieds.msaubc.org: http://classifieds.msaubc.org/author/gita3538521/)
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0 # dave 2016-01-28 04:39
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Randonsome 3

‘Randonsome’ is a word I created. So often I pick up words, phrases, idioms, and think, emm great for my Teatime Titbits, but where? So my Randonsome posts are just that - some randomly chosen stuff, which I thought might tickle your fancy (reizen).

1. to mitigate = is a formal word, which means to make sth less harmful, serious and a synonym of ‘alleviate’ = ‘We are doing our utmost to mitigate the fallout (negative Auswirkungen) of the scandal/current crisis’ = mildern/abschwächen

2. to subscribe to an opinion/view = a formal way of saying you agree with /support an opinion, a theory etc.= I subscribe wholeheartedly to your opinion on ….’ = ’sich einer Meinung anschließen

3. to give sb a pointer = ‘Can you give me a few pointers on how to go about chatting a woman up?’ = Tipp geben

4. to hazard a guess = ‘Would you like to hazard a guess how much Wayne Rooney earns every week? ‘I couldn’t hazard a guess!’= Es mit Raten probieren

5. “Flattery will get you everywhere/nowhere” is an informal & humorous idiom meaning praise that isn’t sincere will/won’t get you what you want. There is also a slang take on this ‘Brown-nosing gets you everywhere’ (think about it!!) = It’s a tricky one to translate – according to dict.cc – sich etw erschmeicheln = to get sth by flattery. Any suggestions
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0 # Guest 2016-01-27 04:32
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Food for thought!: You’ve been ripped off, luv!*

When the topic of ‘shopping’ pops up, I usually pop off into my own world & a little horror film starts playing in my head. One of being dragged from shop to shop, looking, trying on, sizing up etc before being dragged back to the first shop and buying there. The closing line is always “F**k, we could’ve bought this shit in the first place.” Maybe you can relate to it!? (etw nachvollziehen können)

Funny then how a discussion on a news channel about how women are being ripped off (über den Tisch gezogen warden) by British high street chains actually kept my attention! The thought of such a practice had never even entered my head, but the sheer (pur) audacity (Dreistigkeit) of the retailers (Händler) is mind-blowing (überwältigend). For instance, why on earth (um Himmels willen) should a female razor be a couple of quid (Pfund) more expensive than a male razor?

Is it more difficult to produce or of superior quality or do the retailers know that women are prepared to spend whatever it takes? It didn’t stop there, a whole bunch of other ‘female’ products & I might add ‘girl’ products tend to retail (verkaufen) more than the ‘male’ version.

It also made me wonder, are there any brands out there that actually tout (etw. anpreisen) their ‘female’ qualities, without being overpriced & are good value for money(das Geld wert sein)? If so, how well do they sell? Are women more reluctant (etw widerstrebend tun) to buy because the product might ‘underperform’ and would rather splash out on (sich nicht lumpen lassen) or cough up (ausspucken) that little extra to get the brand name product they know & TRUST?

QOTD: Have you being ripped off in any way recently?

*(Liebes - Anrede)
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0 # Dave 2016-01-26 05:05
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser – Not so nice caller!!!

Handling tricky, impolite or down right rude callers can be difficult in any language. Can you pit your wits against (seinen Verstand an jdm messen) this character?

Situation: You play the role of the Preston Coaching (PC) employee. Dave Preston is holding a seminar the whole day, will be back in the office the next day. However, he will check his phone during breaks. Good luck.

PC: “…………………………………………………………………………….…….”

Caller: “I’d like to speak to Dave Preston.”

PC: “………………………………………………………………………………….”

Caller: “No, it’s urgent, I need to speak to him a.s.a.p.” (said in a more angry tone)

PC: “………………………………………………………………………………….”

Caller: “Mr Hunt. Mr Preston knows what it’s about!”

PC: “………………………………………………………………………………….”

Caller: “I doubt it.” (more angrily)

PC: “………………………………………………………………………………….”

Caller: “The one on your display, that’ll do!

PC: “………………………………………………………………………………….”

Caller: “It’ll have to do, now won’t it!”
PC: “………………………………………………………………………………….”

Please download the sample answer: http://teatimetitbits.business-english-coaching.de/index.php/teatimetitbits-pdf
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0 # Dave 2016-01-25 05:04
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Brought to a standstill.

The pictures out of the US over the weekend offered us a different perspective to the usual hustle & bustle (Stadtgewühl) of cities, which never sleep. Cities brought to a standstill (lahmlegen), a snow blanket over large swaths (Landstriche) of the east coast & “snow days*” for the workers – “snowed in” (zuschneien) and told to still at home.

According to (Laut) media reports, they are not out of the woods (aus dem Scheider sein) yet, one reporter talked about the “calm before the storm”. Let’s hope, it's all “a storm in a teacup (Br) / a tempest in a teapot (US)” (ein Sturm im Wasserglass) and Americans can get back to being “snowed under with work” (mit Arbeit zugeschüttert sein), as per usual (wie immer).

*a day when schools and/or businesses are closed because there is too much snow for people to be able to get to school or work.

Question Of The Day: When did you last have a snow day?
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+1 # Dave 2016-01-22 04:58
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday - Beer troubleshooting guide

SYMPTOM: Beer unusually pale and tasteless.
FAULT: Glass empty.
ACTION: Get someone to buy you another beer.

SYMPTOM: Opposite wall covered with fluorescent lights.
FAULT: You have fallen over backwards.
ACTION: Have yourself leashed to bar.

SYMPTOM: Mouth contains cigarette butts.
FAULT: you have fallen forward.
ACTION: See above.

SYMPTOM: Beer tasteless, front of your shirt is wet.
FAULT: Mouth not open, or glass applied to wrong part of face.
ACTION: Retire to the restroom, practice in mirror.

SYMPTOM: Feet cold & wet.
FAULT: Glass being held at incorrect angle.
ACTION: Rotate glass so that open end points towards ceiling.

SYMPTOM: Feet warm and wet.
FAULT: Improper bladder control.
ACTION: stand next to nearest dog, complain about her house training.

SYMPTOM: Floor blurred.
FAULT: You are looking through the bottom of the empty glass.
ACTION: Get someone to buy you another beer.

SYMPTOM: Floor moving.
FAULT: you are being carried out.
ACTION: Find out if you are being taken to another bar.

SYMPTOM: Room seems unusually dark.
FAULT: Bar has closed.
ACTION: confirm home address with bartender.

SYMPTOM: Taxi suddenly takes on a colourful aspect & textures.
FAULT: Beer consumption has exceeded personal limitations.
ACTION: Cover mouth.

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Dave 2016-01-21 04:45
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday Tip. Top 20 business reads for 2016

I’m always on the look-out (Ausschau halten nach) for new business books. Audible/Amazon do their best to give me some pointers (Tipp) but often I find out about books by chance in another book or youtube vid, or by word of mouth.

I’m sure you are now reading good books - it goes without saying in English, maybe you could recommend one or two below this post or on my FB blog.

To get you started in 2016, feel free to download the free PDF on my website. Happy reading!!!

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0 # Claudia 2016-01-21 12:03
Hi Dave,
I can highly recommend this title:
How To Be Interesting: Simple Ways to Increase Your Personal Appeal – 15. März 2013 - written by David Gillespie, Mark Warren. I know these guys, lovely gentlemen. The book is really an inspiring reading.
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0 # Dave 2016-01-20 04:53
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words – Cyberslacking

If you work less hard than you usually or should do, you SLACK. A person who does this is a slacker.

Add the ‘cyber’ and you get messing around online when you should be working. I could well imagine that it costs economies & companies humongous (riesig) amounts of money as employees decide to pop into (hier: schnell reinschauen) FB for a few minutes, read a few posts, get engrossed (in etw vertieft sein), answer or put up a post themselves and oops-a-daisy (Hoppala), where did those 10 minutes go.

You may have heard about the story of a Romanian engineer, who was sacked (gefeuert sein) for writing private messages at work. The case was even brought before The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ruled (entscheiden) in favour of the employer. Read full details: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35301148

Naturally, it begs the question (die Frage aufwerfen) of a ‘blanket ban’ (Totalverbot) on personal internet use. The court concluded (den Schluss ziehen) that such a blanket ban was unacceptable. It went on to say that in the future, all employers should clearly explain any rules that would allow them to check on their workers' online activities. Furthermore, employees should be notified (benachrichigt) personally of the policy and consent to it (etw zustimmen) explicitly (ausdrücklich).

I suppose the ‘moral of this story’ is SLACK smartly, use your smart!

Answers from yesterday
1) E, milk. 2) I, pie. 3) A, water. 4) G, fishy. 5) J, cake. 6) C, biscuit. 7) F, soup. 8) B, pudding. 9) D, broth 10) H, cookie
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0 # Dave 2016-01-19 04:16
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser – Know your food & drink 2

I’ve noticed that my Tuesday Teaser is sometimes a little too easy. So today I decided to up the ante (einen drauf setzen). This teaser comes in two parts.
1) Match the phrase with German equivalent
2) Match the English ‘food’ word at the bottom with the correct English phrase (1-10)

e.g. An ………….. a day, keeps the doctor away. Of course, ‘apple’ fits in the gap.

1.No use crying over spilt ………….. A) wasserdicht sein
2.That’s just ………….. in the sky B) Probieren geht über studieren
3.The argument doesn’t hold ………….. C) Das ist doch die Krönung
4.The whole thing seems very ………….. D) Zu viele Köche verderben den Brei
5.You can’t have your ………….. & eat it E) Geschehen ist geschehen
6.That really takes the ………….. F) in der Patsche sitzen
7.We’re in the ………….. now G) faul/verdächtig
8.The proof of the ………….. (is in the eating) H) So ist das Leben!
9.Too many cooks spoil the ………….. I) Luftschlösser
10.That’s the way the ………….. crumbles J) Man kann nicht auf 2 Hochzeiten
gleichzeitig tanzen

Fishy cookie pudding water pie cake soup milk broth biscuit

Answers tomorrow
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+1 # Dave 2016-01-18 05:03
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Gimme some….

Do you ever stop to take stock (hier: über etw Bilanz ziehen)? Do you ever survey (befragen) your customers about your performance, their ‘REAL’ wants & needs? Are you merely (bloß) going through the motions (mechanisch tun)? Deep for Monday, eh? What on earth are you driving at (hinauswollen auf), Dave?

Teatime Titbits serves YOU – the readers – you take a few minutes out of limited & precious time to just maybe pick up that odd titbit to add to your ‘arsenal’ of English. So maybe it would serve me better, to serve you better by surveying you.

Please, bear with me – Monday is usually open towards motivational, Tuesday Teaser i.e. Quiz, Wonderful Wednesday Word(s) or maybe ‘Up your English’ or ‘Randomsome’, Thursday Tip = speak/write like a native, basic grammar, book/films review things of that nature and not forgetting Fun on Friday.

What turns you on, what do want to see more/less of, any ideas to allow Teatime Titbit to bring even more value to you? PLEASE, PLEASE, pretty please, grovel, down on my knees begging, give me the REAL stuff, you can hit me up on , www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits or the now ‘open’ Xing group, which I help moderate: https://www.xing.com/communities/groups/englisch-am-arbeitsplatz-a4f1-1066865

Thanx a million for all you effort in advance & have a great day.
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+1 # Dave 2016-01-15 04:45
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Fun on Friday. Kloppy goes Scouse.

Did you know Jürgen Klopp speaks English pretty well? What more he’s even having a go (versuchen) at learning ‘Scouse’ (Liverpooler Dialekt) ? See video. Not easy but not impossible. https://youtu.be/lZShEy8ILvg

I remember Jan Molby from Denmark, who joined Liverpool and now is a commentator for some games on British radio. When I first heard him speak on the radio, I naturally thought he was a Scouser until the other commentator mentioned his name – gobsmacked!! (baff)

It just goes to show (was zeigt ..) – listen & copy is the easiest way to learn any language.

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.
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+1 # Dave 2016-01-14 04:49
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Accepting ideas, raising objections & suggesting.

You’re sitting in a ‘problem solving’ meeting and want to put in your two cent (seinen Senf dazugeben). Accepting ideas presented or given is a singe (simple) especially because you’re agreeing:

Phrases like:
Yes, that’s a good/great idea.
Well that’s (certainly/definitely) worth a try/go
That sounds like a good idea/good to me.

The difficulty comes when you disagree or at least have reservations (Bedenken) about the suggestion(s) given and want to raise objections (Einwände vorbringen). It goes without saying that (a bit of) ‘diplomacy’ is crucial so as not to hurt anybody’s feeling.

So here goes:

Yes, but … (what about trying ……?)
That might be all right but (could/n’t we …?)
It’s a good idea but (what if we do/did ….)
I’m afraid*, I’m not so sure about that because ..

You may want to suggest an alternative by using one of the ‘suggesting phrases’ in brackets.

*Notice how ‘I’m afraid is often used to soften the blow (den Shock (ein wenig) abmilden)
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+1 # Dave 2016-01-13 05:00
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words – Hyper(poly)glot

I first came across the term ‘hyperglot’ in an article by the BBC (see link below) about how to learn 30 languages. Struggling as I do to always keep my German up, I am in awe of (bewundernd) these people, who can learn any number of languages to a pretty fluent level. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150528-how-to-learn-30-languages

Intrigued (fansziniert) & hopeful I might pick up a ‘nugget of wisdom’, I decided to find out more and came across a fantastically talented but also incredibly industrious person called Tim Doner.

When you get a bit of downtime, check out these two vids below. Who knows, maybe you’ll pick up a tip or two for English or even get inspired to start learning the next language you’ve always wanted to.

‘Breaking the language barrier’ Tim Doner TEDxTeen

‘Teen speaks over 20 langauges’

Answers from yesterday
1) B. 2) D. 3) E. 4) G. 5) F. 6) A. 7) H. 8) C.
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0 # Dave 2016-01-12 04:48
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Tuesday Teaser - Back to basics: Social responses 2.

Can you figure out which responses A-H best fit with 1 to 8.

1.“How’s business?” A. “What a pity. Really, so soon”
2.“Can I give you a hand with that?” B. “Not too bad at all, thanks”
3.“Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” C. “I’m in marketing”
4.“Have a good weekend” D. “Thanks but I can manage.”
5.“Haven’t we met somewhere before?” E. “It’s Dave. Dave Preston”
6.“I really must be going.” F. “Yes, I think we have”
7.“Would you care for a coffee?” G. “Thanks, you too”
8.“What line of business are you in?” H. “Thank you, That’d be nice”

Answers: Tomorrow
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0 # Dave 2016-01-11 05:04
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: www.mindtools.com

You know when you google something and you stumble upon something (zufällig auf etw stoßen) completely different. That’s how I came across (über etw stolpern) www.mindtools.com – ‘Essential skills for an excellent career’ (their slogan).

There is a lot of FREE info. on topics ranging from leadership skills to career skills in the section ‘Toolkit’ – well worth a butcher’s (see Friday’s blog – einen Blick auf etw werfen) in itself.

They also have a special offer* on until midnight 12 January to join their membership for just 1$ for the first month, then 19$ for standard or 27$ for premium & you can cancel any time. Here’s a link to the offer:


Kill two birds with one stone (zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen), ramp up (steigern) your workplace skills & train your English at the same time.

*For your information – I am not a member and am simply passing on a tip. Nevertheless, maybe the tip proves useful especially with all the free content.

Teatime Titbiters. Have a great start to the week.
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0 # Zachery 2016-01-09 15:07
If you want to increase your knowledge just keep visiting this site and be updated with the newest information posted here.

Feel free to visit my site :: google apps at fresno state: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=google+apps+sync
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0 # Dave 2016-01-07 17:39
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Slang up your Friday.

A bit of fun on Friday - 5 slangers (made-up word) and a vid to go. Have you ever heard of the following 5 slang words/phrases?

2.have a butcher’s
4.use your loaf

Here’s a clue, do you know which every day verbs they are ‘more or less’ synonyms of? Think, sell, put, throw & look.

Any warmer? What about some example phrases?

1.Chuck me the newspaper, would you?
2.I wanna have a butcher’s at the footy pages.
3.Hey, listen, Man Utd are apparently gonna flog Rooney to Real.
4.No, they won’t, use your loaf, he’s their only half descent striker.
5.Anyway, I’m off, bung the paper back in my bag when you’re done.

Give up ?! – here are the answers:

chuck – throw, flog – sell, bung – put, use your loaf – think*, have a butchers – look

*Check out a nice vid with an example of ‘use your loaf’ https://youtu.be/JyuUbY2BgCk

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Dave 2016-01-06 19:15
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Thursday Tip – www.grammarly.com

Word & grammar check software for Word, Outlook & social media posts to download. It’s the best checker I’ve ever seen. Check out this vid to find out about grammarly.com. Definitely a vid you can’t miss! https://youtu.be/YGTZIKRWwzE

As always there’s a free version and a paid premium version. For most ordinary mortals (Normalsterbliche) the free version is ample (hier: reicht aus) and works like a dream. For authors, professional writers, academics, POLITICIANS and students the premium version – approx 11$ a month, could be particularly handy because it can ‘apparently’ (angeblich) spot cases of plagiarism!
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0 # Dave 2016-01-05 20:06
Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Words – Hogmanay

Hogmanay isn’t strictly speaking (streng genommen) an English word, but rather a Scots word – meaning ‘the last day of the year’ i.e. New Year’s Eve.

If you are looking for a different place to spend New Year’s Eve 2016, try Edinburgh and the Hogmanay celebrations. There’s a torchlight procession (Fackelzug) and a fireworks display (Feuerwerk) in the castle.

However, there’s a lot more to Hogmanay. As an Englishman, I figured it’d be better to let a Scot give you more of the lowdown (Infos), if you’re interested. So check out the link to watch a short vid, made by a girl blogger ‘Wee (little) Scottish Lass (girl)’. If you’ve got a minute to spare, why not check out some of her other interesting and light-hearted (hier: lustig) vids: https://youtu.be/VjTWA1fOR4g

A Scottish custom, which has spread to other English speaking countries, is singing “Auld Lang Syne” (a poem by Robert Burns, loosely translated as ‘old times). In my family we sing this in a circle of linked arms that are crossed over one another as the clock strikes midnight for New Year's Day. We then go around hugging, kissing and wishing each other a ‘Happy New Year’.

Answers from yesterday
1).F 2).H 3).J 4).B 5).D 6).A 7).I 8).C 9).G 10).H
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0 # Dave 2016-01-05 04:43
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – Know your German public holidays.

Have you got 2016 sussed out (die Lage peilen) yet? When are the bank holidays and possibilities to take an extra day off (Brückentag) to make it a loooovley long weekend. Today’s teaser is a simple one to ease you back into Tuesday Teasers 2016. Simply match them up.

1.Epiphany A) Fronleichnam
2.Maundy Thursday B) Christi Himmelfahrt
3.Good Friday C) Allerheiligen
4.Ascension Day D) Pfingsten
5.Whitsun E) Silvester
6.Corpus Christi F) Heilige Drei Könige
7.Assumption Day G) Zweiter Weihnachtstag
8.All Saints Day H) Grün Donnerstag
9.Boxing Day I) Maria Himmelfahrt
10.New Year’s Eve J) Karfreitag

Answers Tomorrow or download the free PDF ‘List of German public holidays’ from my webpage:

P.S. Can you spot the deliberate spelling mistakes in PDF title?
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0 # Dave 2016-01-03 20:26
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Write like a native - a back-to-work mail.

Happy New Year, Teatime Titbiters. Hope you had great Xmas & New Year!

Need some inspiration for a back-to-work mail for your English speaking colleagues, partners and clients, who you know (very) WELL and write to in a more INFORMAL way?

Use it lock, stock & barrel (ganz und gar), delete as appropriate and copy & paste any useful bits and away you go!

“Hi Jim

Just a few lines to wish you a Happy New Year & all the best for 2016 !!!!!

Hope you had a nice Xmas and New Years. Still hung over? (einen Kater haben)

And did Santa/Father Christmas bring you something nice this year?

So back to grindstone (Zurück in die Tretmühle). I checked my inbox this morning and noticed your mail. Just wanted to let you know that I’m on to it (ich arbeite dran) and will get back to you a.s.a.p.

Looking forward to meeting up again in February.

Take care


P.S. Got sent this New Year’s message by a mate (Kumpel) on FB. Thought it might tickle you. (amüsieren)

“To my friends, I wish you peace, love and health!
Blah, Blah blah ….. screw that! (Scheiß drauf!)
I wish you lots of sex, booze, (Alkohol)
orgasms and hope you win the lotto.””
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0 # Guest 2015-12-18 05:05
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday – How to make your own mulled wine.

Yesterday I had my first & second mulled wine (pushing out the boat (auf den Putz hauen) I know) for this season. Much too late, but better later than never.

It was a mild day, no snow & even strong rays of sunshine – perfect weather for it.

The mug hit my lips, taking a tentative (vorsichtige) sip (schluck), a trickle of gorgeous hot stuff, flowed over my taste buds. Violà – it was there – that wonderful taste like all the years before, heavenly.

Year in, year out, ‘Glühwein’ is on everyone’s lip (quite literally) but people often don’t know/ can’t remember (possibly as a result of the drinking the stuff) the English term ‘mulled wine’.

Have you ever made your own Glühwein? What about branching out (verzweigen) and trying out the English cousin mulled wine à la Jamie Oliver? Check out the following link:


To help you with the shopping list, I’ve put in one of two translations of ingredients to save you the hassle (Theater/Aufwand) – but with the method, you’re on your own (bist auf dich allein gestellt). Good luck & happy sipping.

Caster sugar = extrafeiner Zucker
Clove = Nelke
Cinnamon = Zimt
Bay leaf = Lorbeerblatt
Nutmeg = Muskat
Vanilla pod = Vanilleschote
Star anise = Sternanis

This is the last Teatime Titbit for 2015. Thanx for being great readers & contributers, Merry Xmas & a Happy New year and I’ll be back in January 2016 to train, tax and tease the Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Guest 2015-12-17 06:07
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Thursday tip: Last minute Xmas gift for him, her & YOURSELF.

As is often the case I only stumbled across (zufällig) auf jdn/etw stoßen) Tai Lopez (follow link below to read more) when looking through the list of ‘Londonreal’ interviews on youtube. As you do, I checked it out and was blown away by his knowledge, his ability to quote people and his eloquent (wortgewandt) English.

I thought I need to dig more into (erforschen) this dude. It turns out (sich herausstellen) that he reads a book a day and writes summaries of them (you can join his mailing list for free – which I promptly (sofort) did)

Follow this link http://www.tailopez.com/books to view Tai’s top book recommendations (in order) and find that last minute Xmas present.
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0 # Guest 2015-12-16 05:37
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Wednesday’s Wonderful Words – Boxing Day

If you are now picturing a bunch of people meeting up in the street to have a boxing match - I mean we have hooligans in England, right – then erase that picture.

Boxing Day (26.12) is actually a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers. Interested in finding out more about the origins of Boxing day, check out this 4 min. vid. https://youtu.be/L99hWdZGelI

Did you know though that Boxing Day marks the start of the sales season in the UK? People even camp out in front of some ‘store’ to be first to pick up the bargains (Schnäppchen).

What’s more, if you are going cold Turkey - excuse the pun (Wortwitz) from the Bundesliga (einen kalten Enzug machen), did you know that there is a full football fixture list (Spielplan) (and on 2 Jan too)? This Boxing Day you have some juicy games like Liverpool v. Leicester.

Finally, if you don’t have Sky, then check out http://talksport.com to LISTEN to live commentary of all games. Happy Boxing Day (when it comes!)

Answers from yesterday.

Part 1.
1.up 2.up 3.down 4.up 5.up 6.down 7.down 8.up 9.horizontal 10.horizontal 11.down 12.down 13.up 14.up 15.down 16.up 17. horizontal 18. horizontal 19. down 20. down

Part 2
1. G, 2. I, 3. E, 4. J, 5. A, 6. C, 7. D, 8. F, 9. H, 10. B
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0 # Dave 2015-12-15 04:38
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – 2015 Trends

Here’s a two parter for you. It’s that time of year again when statistics are drawn together, made into neat charts, table and graphs and presented, pored (etw genau studieren) and pondered over (über etw brüten). How well do you know trends vocab?

Part 1. Simply decide if the verb means the trend is on the up, down or horizontal.

1.increase 2.soar 3.decline 4.recover 5.(sky)rocket 6.plummet 7.drop 8.peak 9.level off 10.remain constant/stable 11.dip 12.deteriorate 13.improve 14.surge 15.slump 16. climb 17.bottom out 18. plateau 19. dive 20.decrease

You know can say e.g. “Turnover doubled, tripled/trebled, quadruple, etc” but did you know you can also say e.g. Turnover increased two, three, four fold?

To inform the listener/reader how the verb acted you can add any one of the following adverbs e.g. The turnover went up slightly in Q4.

Part 2. Now match the adverb with the correct definition:

1. dramatically A) to an average extent; fairly but not very
2. considerably B) slowly, over a long period of time
3. sharply C) a little
4. significantly D) quickly and unexpectedly
5. moderately E) suddenly and by a large amount
6. slightly F) very quickly; at a great rate
7. suddenly G) very suddenly and to a very great and often surprising degree
8. rapidly, H) gradually and in an even and regular way
9. steadily I) much; a lot
10. gradually J) in a way that is large or important enough to have an effect on
something or to be noticed

You can always use the ‘There is/was/has been/will be a + adj version of above + noun form of verbs.

E.G. There has been a slight increase in sales this quarter.
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0 # Dave 2015-12-14 04:46
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Festive card message

Have you sent your Christmas cards to your foreign clients and partners yet? If not, you might find this post useful.

Here’s an idea of an extended message to copy or adapt:

“With this festive message, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your cooperation / loyalty / support) during 2015.

We look forward to working with you further in 2016.

Wishing you (all) a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

Best Wishes.”

Check out the following link for more general Christmas greetings:
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0 # Dave 2015-12-11 05:10
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday – Sugar Gems Episode 7

Sorry to those of you, who were waiting for the next on episode of the ‘Apprentice’ and, of course, my list of Sugar gems to listen out for during the boardroom session, starting 33.00 mins. https://youtu.be/h1HH2MyMmkk

Here’s the list:
1.What planet are we all on here? = Wo sind wir denn hier?
2.It sounds like a night in for you. = Hört sich nach einem Abend daheim an?
3.(It implies) you must have bargains = Es muss ein Schnäppchen geben.
4.It’s a bit dodgy = Das ist ein wenig suspekt
5.It wouldn’t bother me = Das würde mir keine Sorgen bereiten
6.Sounds like a cock-up shop = Hier: Du hast das Geschäft vermasselt*
7.You can’t just throw a wobbly = Du kannst doch nicht einfach ausrasten
8.(..to have) to put up with (sth) = sich mit etwas abfinden
9.He’s a grafter = Er ist ein Arbeitstier
10.He’s out of his depth = Er ist nicht in der Lage dazu.

* Wortspiel: Pop-up shop (Siehe Link http://blog.thestorefront.com/what-exactly-is-a-pop-up-shop/) befristete Geschäftsladen. (to) cock sth up = etw vermasseln

QOTD. What was your fave Sugar gem today? https://www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits

Have a great weekend teatime Titbiters
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0 # Dave 2015-12-10 04:22
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Thursday tip: Getting Formal
This is a great little vid (https://youtu.be/_2ZDNgtAsbw) to test/improve your knowledge of formal English. Rebecca shows some basic English words/phrases on the left of her presentation and leaves a gap for the more formal words/phrases on the right.

If you are short of time or a more advanced speaker (and don’t want to listen to her explanations), you could move to 0.56 mins. so you can see all the presentation, pause it, solve the quiz and move onto 5.09 mins to check your answers. Enjoy.

QOTD. How did you do? https://www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits
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0 # Dave 2015-12-09 04:40
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Randomsome with a taste of Xmas.

If you regularly follow my blog, you will recognise the title Randomsome – it’s a made up word meaning ‘some’’random words & phrases’. Here’s a bumper (hier: volle) Christmas aka Xmas Randomsome to whet your festive appetite (jdm Lust auf mehr machen).

In the run-up (Vorfeld) to Xmas, the kids open the daily door of their advents calendar, parents ponder over (über etw nachdenken) their presents while sipping mulled wine (Glühwein) at the Xmas market.

December flies by (vergeht im Fluge), in next to no time, it’s Christmas Eve (24 Dec.), Father Christmas pops by (vorbeischauen) so on Christmas Day morning the kids can open their presents.

We eat Turkey with all the trimmings (mit allem Drum und Dran), sing Xmas carols (Weihnachtslieder), watch the Queen’s Speech and are merry (usually: fröhlich. Hier: angetrunken) right into Boxing Day.

Hungover (verkatert), the sales begin in earnest (so richtig beginnen) bridging the gap to New Year’s Eve, Auld Lang Syne (a song traditionally sung on New Year’s Eve) & all that malarkey (Quatsch) & party on into 2016.

With the New Year’s resolutions (Neujahrsvorsätze) already broken, the run-up to Xmas recommences!!! (wieder beginnen)

Answers from yesterday.
1. May / can , 2. through, 3. right / straight, 4. returning, 5. ordered, 6. low / out, 7. get back to, 8. appreciate, 9. touch,
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0 # Dave 2015-12-08 05:08
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – Telephoning call. Mind the gap.

Simply fill in the gap with the best word(s). Good luck.

“Meier’s Eier GmbH, you are speaking to Rainer Zufall, how ……………. I help you?”

“Fred’s Feed Ltd, Freddie Fred speaking, can you put me ……………. to Mr Meier, please?”

“One moment, please hold the line”

“Mr Freddie Fred, I’ll connect you ……………. away. Thank you. Have a nice day.

“Michael Meier speaking, hi Fred, how are you? Thanks for ……………. my call so quickly.”

“No probs, Michael, what can I do for you?”

“We’re still waiting for the delivery of feed we ……………. last week. It should have arrived yesterday and we’re starting to run …………….”.

“I’m sorry to hear that. Let me get on to (hier: jdn anrufen) our haulage company (Spedition) and ask them what’s what (wie siehts aus) and I’ll ……………. you as soon as I can”.

“Thanks, Fred, I ……………. it.”

“No worries, Michael, I’ll be in ……………. later.”

Answers Tomorrow.

Does your company need telephone coaching? Give me a call for more info: 0163 79600600
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0 # Dave 2015-12-07 05:07
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Monday Motivation: Winding down & gearing up

Business year 2015 is gradually winding down (entspannen) and we turn our attentions to gearing up (sich vorbereiten) for 2016.

Goal setting comes in many shapes or forms both in business and in private. If you watch, listen or read all the motivational gurus advocate (für etw eintreten) a different slant (Blickwinkel) on how to think, design and word your goals.

Check out: Jim Rohn, Anthony Robbins & Brain Tracy in one vid

Check out: Gary Vaynerchuk

Check out: Grant Cardone

I particularly like Grant Cardone’s method. Pick GREAT goals, that excite you and are maybe well in the distant – but if you’re gonna fail trying to reach such goals, you’ll probably do better than if you aim for (zielen) something more ‘reasonable’.

Here’s an example of a goal for sb who “is rusty’ (eingerostet) in English and often feels unsure about speaking English.

“I am at ease (sich behaglich fühlen) when I speak English.” The present tense tells your unconscious (Unbewusstsein) that you are there and you act like a guided missile to actually reach the target. (see rule #3) www.goal-setting-guide.com/step-5-write-your-goal-down

Grant Cardone doesn’t just write his goals down as New Year’s resolutions (Vorsätze) but writes them daily – morning & evenings to ‘keep him jacked’ (aufgebockt) as he puts it.

If you are ‘rusty’ in English, why not join one of the Teatime Titbits Chinwag Groups (TTCG) in 2016? Write to me or give me a call for more info: 0163 79600600
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0 # Dave 2015-12-04 04:38
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday: How to insult an American in English (without him/her knowing).

They (the Americans) drifted apart (sich auseinander entwickeln) from us (the Brits) and their/our languages developed in many different ways. Today we can actually insult (beschimpfen) each other in English without the other one realising it.

Let the follow article from the BBC America shed more light on it. http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2013/02/28/10-british-insults-americans-wont-understand/

Have a great weekend.
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0 # Dave 2015-12-03 04:52
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Thursday Tip: Summary.com & Go-Givers sell more

Two tips for the price of one. Looking for inspirational, motivational and educational business books?

Well, look no further than this link. Check out their fantastic resource page as well as read a short summary of a very inspirational book.

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0 # Dave 2015-12-02 05:34
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Speak like a native – playing the doubting Thomas*.

There are times in meetings or discussions when you can’t/don’t want to remain neutral or ‘sit on the fence’ but you can’t/don’t want disagree with sb either. So it’s a kind of in the middle somewhere.

Welcome to the realm of ‘doubting’ (and remember the ‘b# is silent.!)
‘I doubt …’ (zweifele)
‘I have my/some/serious = grave doubts about …’ (Ich habe Zweifel/Bedenken)
‘to express (ausdrücken) doubts about’.

Here are some other useful phrases with doubt:
There is some doubt about = Es besteht Zweifel
There is no doubt (whatsoever) that = (überhaupt gar) kein Zweifel
Without a shadow of a doubt = ohne den geringsten Zweifel
To raise doubt about = Bedenken zeigen
To caste doubt on = etw in Zeifel ziehen

On a more formal level you can always use the words ‘reservation’ or ‘misgiving’
‘I have reservations/misgivings about …’ (Ich habe Zweifel/Vorbehalte)
‘to express (ausdrücken) reservations/misgivings about’.

However, it is common to use the ‘yes, but’ principal in discussions, whereby we initially use a more positive sounding starter followed by ‘but’.

Here are a couple more to add to your arsenal:

•Yes, but …
•Up to a point, but ….
•To a certain point/extent, but …

* a person who is unlikely to believe something until they see proof of it. From St Thomas in the Bible, who did not believe that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead until he saw and touched his wounds.

Answers from yesterday.
1. F, 2. J, 3. I, 4. D, 5. A, 6. E, 7. H, 8. B, 9. G, 10. C,
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0 # Dave 2015-12-01 04:46
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – The negotiator!!

Below there are 10 negotiating idioms (1-10), can you match them with the correct definition below (A-J).

1) Play hardball 2) Sticking point 3) Reach deadlock
4) Keep sth up one’s sleeve 5) Get bogged down 6) Play it by ear
7) Reach a stalemate 8) Give (some) ground 9) Stick to one’s guns
10) Keep one’s cards close to one’s chest

A) to prevent sb from making progress in an activity.

B) to allow sb to have an advantage.

C) to keep a plan or an idea secret until you need to use it.

D) to keep your ideas, plans, etc. secret

E) to decide how to deal with a situation as it develops rather than by having a plan to follow.

F) to behave in way that shows you are determined to get what you want.

G) to refuse to change your mind about sth even when other people are trying to persuade you that you are wrong.

H) a disagreement in which neither side is able to win or make any progress.

I) a complete failure to reach agreement or settle an argument.

J) sth that people do not agree on and that prevents progress in a discussion.

Answers Tomorrow
1. ….., 2. ….., 3. ….., 4. ….., 5. ….., 6. ….., 7. ….., 8. ….., 9. ….., 10. …..,
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0 # Dave 2015-11-30 04:57
Check out today’s teatime titbit: 5 motivational quotes to kick start your Monday morning.

1.Gratitude (Dankbarkeit) unlocks the fullness of life (Lebensfülle) . It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial (Verleugnung) into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie

2.Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

3.Do something today that your future self will thank you for. Unknown

4.We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. Mother Teresa

5.Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Jim Rohn

And here’s a bonus one from Seth Godin

6.Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress. Seth Godin

I highly recommend his book ‘Purple Cow – transform your business by being remarkable’ http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/
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0 # Dave 2015-11-27 05:18
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday – The Grand Giveaway.

Today’s the day – as I announced on Monday I would like to celebrate the 1st anniversary by holding a prize draw (Gewinnziehung) – 10 hour free personal training for the lucky winner.

As a consolation prize (Trostpreis) I will also offer a free MOT (=TÜV = ‘IST Stand’) & consultation session (30 mins) to the next 5 names I draw out of the hat.

All you have to do to enter the draw – put your name in the hat - is either:
1. click on ‘interessant’ or
2. copy & paste this text = ‘Dave, put me in the hat, please.’ and drop it onto my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits

Last entry at 8 a.m. on Sunday 29 November. The draw will be made on Sunday and I will announce the winners on Monday 30 November. Good luck Teatime Titbiters & have a great weekend.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-26 05:26
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tip on Thursday – 5 ways to learn English on the move.

From the theoretical to the practical, just exactly how you can immerse yourself in the language with the help of your hand extension – the smart phone.

1.www.audible.de – You pay a monthly subscription (€ 9,95) to receive a ‘credit’. With this ‘credit’ you can buy an audio book. You can also pay by credit card too. I’m so grateful to Audible.UK – I never used to get around to reading my books. Audible gives me educational material that I can listen to wherever, whenever and as often as I like – a godsend.

2.www.ted.com / Youtube – I rarely watch terrestrial TV anymore, I mean let’s face it, most of what is on, is BS (bullshit) anyway. TED Talks are short presentations given on the most varied of subjects and mostly in English.

3.www.scridb.com is a subscription ($8.99/month) based service where you can download & read published books – it’s the book lovers equivalent of Netflix & Spotify.

4.I would always have a vocab learning app on the phone. There are many kinds available - Take a look at AnkiDroid Falshcards or the Pons vocabulary trainer.

5.www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits – if you’re on anyway, just drop in for a look, let me do the work for you. I scour (durchforsten) the internet, looking for daily hacks, useful webpages, interestings blogs & vids and provide daily content for free. Answer QOTDs, write a comment, join the small but growing community, who enjoy English.

P.S. In January I will complete my ‘English on the move’ PDF download, which will be available to everyone, who subscribes to my weekly blog post newsletter for free.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-25 05:21
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Wonderful Wednesday Word – immersion.

Back in the day, learning German in Sheffield, UK, it was nigh on (nahezu) impossible to ‘immerse (vertiefen) yourself’ in any language except some strange form of English aka Sheffieldish (an offshoot (Ableger) of Yorkshire English). The only way I could immerse myself in German was to spend time in country – an expensive undertaking (Unterfangen), my parents will surely agree.

Today, you don’t have to go anywhere !!!!!!!!!!!!! You only have to look to the end of your hand for your ‘immersion tool’ – your smart phone. Listen, read, speak, learn vocab and even write in English with that thing that goes WHEREVER you go. You CAN set yourself up to ‘win’ in the game of language learning – do you want to?

All my clients, who really move on in leaps & bounds (sprunghaft) are the ones who take this advice on board (sich etw annehmen) and follow through with (etw durchziehen) discipline.

Nowadays, English really is everywhere, leverage (sich etw (voll) zu Nutze machen) this fact, go all in, turn off the German (you’re native speakers anyway) switch on the English & immerse yourself !!!!.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-24 04:16
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser - Grammar MOT

Today’s has a slightly didn’t format to the usual but aims to give you a quick check on how well you know your English grammar. Can you tell the difference between A & B in the following phrases? Beware there is a trick question. But an easy one to get you started:

1.A) What does he do?
B) What is he doing?

2.A) I’ve worked for the company for 10 years
B) I worked for the company for 10 years

3.A) Jenny has gone on holiday
B) Jenny has been on holiday.

4.A) Paul used to work for us
B) Paul is used to working for us.

5.A) They would accept the terms, if we moved on the price.
B) They would have accepted the terms, if we had moved on the price.

6.A) When we left the office the rain stopped.
B) When we left the office the rain had stopped.

7.A) We mustn’t increase prices until September.
B) We don’t have to increase prices until September.

8.A) Let him do it on his own
B) Let him do it by himself.

9.A) I remember asking him for the latest sales figures.
B) I remembered to ask him for the latest sales figures.

10.A) I’m travelling to Münster on Thursday next week.
B) I’m going to travel to Münster next week.

Answers on download PDF - http://teatimetitbits.business-english-coaching.de/index.php/teatimetitbits-pdf
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0 # Dave 2015-11-23 04:58
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Teatime Titbits Challenge (TTC).

I’m proud to announce that today marks the 1st anniversary of Teatime Titbits. It’s been a humongous (gigantisches) year for me. More importantly, it has given hours of free training content, taxing teasers and funny Fridays to many 100’s of people, who have a goal of honing (verbessern) their English skills, step by step, day by day, blog post by blog post.

Think that’s a load of baloney (Unsinn)? I challenge (jdn herausfordern) you to follow my blog for the next year, make notes, write up the new vocab on an index card or feed into an app. Then learn at least 10 new words/phrases a day by reading them 30-40 x a day for 30 seconds max..

Do the Tuesday Teasers for yourself, leave comments on my QOTD (Questions of the Day) on FB/teatimetitbits (I will comment back), watch the vids & check out the web pages I suggest.

You WILL improve & for FREE except for the 15 mins. a day (THAT’S ALL IT TAKES) you put into it –– the Teatime Titbits mantra (Motto) ‘Break time is your time’. Invest in yourself in your breaks at work – Join the Teatime Titbits Challenge (TTC).

Did you know that you can subscribe to my free weekly blog post newsletter (Monday to Friday posts) () and keep a FILE to refer back to and KEEP track of your learning!

This week I will endeavour (bestrebt sein) to give you content that can kick off your year’s challenge culminating (gipfeln) in Friday’s massive giveaway.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-20 04:13
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. The Friday vid. ‘She-Spots’ in South Korea.

Teatime Titbiters, you know how youtube is a jungle – you go in looking for something and come out 3 hours later (if at all) with 15 other things and without the thing you were looking for in the first place.

This is how I stumbled on a vid from OZ! Hilarious (zum Totlachen) – take out a few minutes & lighten your Friday – enjoy!

P.S. How does Georgie keep a straight face?

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0 # Dave 2015-11-19 04:42
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tip on Thursday – 5 ways to get a word in edgeways.

Ever been in a meeting and you are itching (brennendes Verlangen etw. zu tun) to say something in response to what somebody else has just said but you’re not exactly sure how to get a word in edgeways (auch mal zu Wort kommen)? Never fear, help is here – Teatime Titbiters: Here are my 5 + extras ways to …. Get a word in!

1.May I interrupt you for a moment
2.Sorry / I don’t want to interrupt but …
3.If I / Could I just come in at this point / here?
4.If no one objects; I’d like to say / point out / draw your attention to ….
5.Excuse me, I’d just like to add something to the last point/here, if I may?

So no more excuses go butt in (einhaken), get your message across & knock ‘em over with your brilliance.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-18 05:22
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Sugar Gems – Episode 6
Watch out, guys & gals, Lord Sugar gets trigger happy in this episode and here are 10 of his gems from episode 6: https://youtu.be/XHQHFQf6vug. If you don’t want to watch the whole episode, the boardroom sessions start at 37.00 mins.

A complete all-rounder = Allroundtalent
He was rattling off things like…. = etw abspulen /herbeten
You would have walked it = leicht gewinnen
to supplement your income = Einkommen aufbessern
Why did you take on jobs? = eine Tätigkeit übernehmen
He let you off the hook = jdn vom Haken lassen
It touches a nerve = einen wunden Punkt treffen
to be in the thick of things = im Mittelpunkt des Geschehens stehen
at the end of the day …. = letztendlich
It is with sincere regret that = mit aufrichtigem Bedauern

Answers from yesterday.
1.for , 2.after , 3. up, 4. into, 5. upto, 6. over, 7. in on, 8. forward to
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0 # Johnnie 2015-11-17 06:57
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0 # Dave 2015-11-17 05:04
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Quick Tuesday Teaser – Phrasal verb quiz ‘to look’

In each of the following sentences, the gap should be filled with one or two prepositions to make a common phrasal verb with ‘look’

1.Please bear with me while I look ………………. your purchase details in our system. (search for)
2.He looks ………………. my work when I am away. (take care of)
3.Business seems to be looking ………………. . (improve)
4.I’ll look ………………. the matter and get back to you a.s.a.p. (investigate)
5.He’s very popular and all the staff look ………………. him. (respect)
6.Could you just look ………………. the mail before I send it? (examine quickly)
7.Look ………………. us whenever you are in the area. (visit unexpectedly)
8.I’m looking ………………. hearing from you soon. (a commonly used close in e-mails meaning you are thinking with pleasure about sth)
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0 # Dave 2015-11-16 05:50
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Vorsprung durch Technik

This post has got nothing to do with the renowned car manufacturer but about a breakthrough thanks to technology. One which people fear but which seems to becoming irreversibly (unabänderlich) closer – computers / robots will take over the world.

The next hurdle in that journey has been overcome (eine Hürde nehmen) – if we are to believe a headline in the Daily Mail online – (see link below) ‘Computer learns to speak like a child’.

A fascinating article I’m sure you’ll agree. It does also underline (etw hervorheben) my fundamental belief that we adults place far too much importance on learning GRAMMAR.

Why don’t we take a leaf out of the average 4 year old, simply listen, then copy – that’s it? They don’t know about verbs, he/she/it das ‘s’ muß mit, conjugations and the like – my son, who happens to be 4, listens (but not when you ask him or tell him to do sth) and then parrots (nachplappern) the same back.

You can imagine our shock when he was playing with his toys and mumbling (vor sich hin murmeln) his little stories, when all of a sudden we heard, as clear as a bell, ‘fucking hell’.

I looked at my Dad, he looked at me, both knowing it wasn’t Dad’s fault! Then I remembered driving around the Ludgerikreisel, Münster (probably the worst designed roundabout in the whole world !!!) a few days earlier and a few choice words had passed over my lips. Unfortunately, guess who was sitting in the back seat! Mr Parrot himself. “what’s fucking hell, daddy”. I rest my case.

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0 # Dave 2015-11-13 05:06
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. ‘Menspreading’!!

Dear Teatime Titbiters. Every now and again new words officially enter the English language as they are accepted into the Oxford dictionary. Today I thought I’d share a couple that took my fancy (jdm gefallen).

Firstly, there’s the term ‘dad bod or dadsbod’ – any guesses what it could mean? It’s a short form of ‘dad’s body’, meaning after a man becomes a father, they often let their bodies go (vernachlässigen) and as a result it becomes ‘cuddly’ (kuschelig).

Secondly, There the term ‘menspreading’ see photo below. According to the Oxford, it is ‘when a man sits with his legs wide apart on public transport, encroaching on (sich mehr und mehr ausdehen über) another seat’.

Thirdly, apparently there is female equivalent of menspreading …… wait for it … ‘shebagging’ !!

Finally, this is a word I would like to put forward to the Oxford dictionary ‘get-off-the-mobile-you-f**kin-annoying-person’, which is a word I thought up following a 1 ½ hour train journey in which a young woman felt the need to share her life (and that of her friends) with the whole train compartment during most of my time on the train. I know it’s a bit long-winded, but it hits the mark, don’t you think? Do you think it’ll catch on (sich durchsetzen)?

Have a great weekend & watch where you sit this weekend.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-12 04:40
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tip on Thursday – Bond is back

I went to see the new Bond film and as usual James came up with the goods (es bringen). A Foregone conclusion (von vorherein) - says the die-hard Bond fan.

The opening scenes begin relatively slowly with the fantastic backdrop of Mexico City until a baddy somehow escapes certain death and the action begins culminating (gipfeln) in a ‘majestic’ helicopter flight over Mexico City’s main square.

Don’t worry, I won’t give you a blow by blow account of the whole plot (Handlung). Needless to say (Natürlich) there were the downtimes (for us to get our breath back) as the plot developed, peppered with (gewürzt mit) intense chair-gripping Bond action, at its finest.

No Bond film, could call itself a Bond film without the ‘oh James’ moments, you know where the female in the plot suddenly goes wobbly (wacklig) at the knees and lands in James’ arms. More action-packed scenes ensue (folgen) (not the sort you’re probably thinking of) – ‘Oh James, where do you get your stamina (Ausdauer) from?’

As you’ve probably gathered (schlußfolgen) by now, I’m a big Daniel Craig fan, but after I found myself wondering where this ranks in DC’s bond career? Go judge for yourself & Facebook me your thoughts on that one, please.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-11 05:39
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Sugar Gems – Episode 5

Dreaming up, writing, publishing and trying to flog (verscheuern) as many copies as possible of a children’s book in two days seems like a tall order (ein bisschen viel verlangt). But that’s exactly what the teams have to do. The boardroom session certainly wrote the last chapter in one of the candidates’ quest (Streben) for Lord Sugar’s invest(ment).

Here are 10 of his gems from episode 5: https://youtu.be/9LpcqmbzwbA . If you don’t want to watch the whole episode, the boardroom sessions start at 31.00 mins.

1.You were agonising (for hours) over = sich den Kopf zerbrechen
2.(It sounds like) he was pissed = er war besoffen
3.(You seem to) alienate people = jdn vor dem Kopf stoßen
4.(You need to take your strongest) pitcher = Verkäufer
5.(I’d like you to) elaborate a little more = auf etw näher eingehen
6.He had you over a barrel = jdn in der Hand haben
7.(You are wanting to) pontificate again = sich über etw. auslassen
8.Been a bridesmaid many time but never the bride = Always the bridesmaid, never the bride = Nie die erste Geige spielen
9.You’ve got a lot to say for yourself = Du hast viel zu deiner Verteidigung vorzubringen
10.Show me more business acumen = Unternehmergeist

Answers from yesterday
1. E, 2. C, 3. G, 4. A, 5. B, 6. D, 7. H, 8. F
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0 # Dave 2015-11-10 05:21
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – What’s your colleague on about?

You’re English speaking colleague(s) often like to test your grasp of English. In just one day you heard the following comments. Do you know what your colleague is on about? Match up the comments (1-8) with the meaning (A-H). N.B. Each meaning starts with: “a person , who ……..

1) I’m sorry, it completely slipped my mind A) panicked
2) I’m at the end of my tether. B) has promised to keep a secret
3) I’m at a loose end, have you got anything for me? C) has no patience/strength left
4) I lost my head when the deadline was moved forward. D) lost his temper
5) Dunno, boss said his lips are sealed E) forgot to do sth
6) The boss blew his top, when I told him F) doesn’t know what to do in a
particular situation
7) That customer’s got the gift of the gab G) doesn’t have anything to do
8) I’m stuck, give you give me a hand? H) is good at talking
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+1 # Dave 2015-11-09 05:44
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Deciphering the headlines!

News headlines have to be short to fit, an eye-catcher to get eyeballs and impact (Auswirkung haben) to make the sale. Often words have slightly different meanings – check out the following:

New bid to halt ISIS.
Bank axes 500 jobs.
New Euro blow for PM.

To help you decipher (entschlüsseln) headlines, click on the link below to download my top 30 headline words:


Wanna keep abreast of (auf dem Laufenden bleiben) German news in English? Then add this webpage your favourites: http://www.thelocal.de/
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0 # Dave 2015-11-06 04:24
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. Sugar Gems Episode 4

In this Episode Lord Sugar was really on form and as the challenge had to do with selling pet products, the animal puns (Wortspiele) came thick and fast.

“one will go walkies at the end of today” = Gassi gehen
“You don’t get 9 lives” = (from saying ‘a cat has 9 lives’)
“you couldn’t sell a bone to Battersea (Stadtteil von London) dog’s home” = etwa: „Du könntest nicht einmal einem Blinden etwas verkaufen“.

Here are 10 of his gems from episode 4: https://youtu.be/4WEW1dFitVc . If you don’t want to watch the whole episode, the boardroom sessions start at 30.20 mins.

1.It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out = man braucht keine Genie zu sein, um
2.be home & dry = seine Schäfchen ins Trockene gebracht haben
3.(To make your point) you take the scenic route = du redest um den heißen Brei herum
4.You have to massage their ego = jds Ego streicheln
5.like a bull in a china shop = wie ein Elefant im Porzellanladen
6.the bottom line = Unterm Strich
7.(got no money) – sod off = Verpiss dich
8.a no brainer = Das versteht sich von selbst
9.There’s no smoke without fire = Kein Rauch ohne Flamme
10.I don’t dispute (your enthusiasm). = bestreiten

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-05 04:51
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Remember, Remember!

Today in the UK, it is bonfire night, where we all stand around a fire watching a Guy Fawkes puppet (sitting on the top) being burnt to death, eating hotdogs and jacket potatoes, drinking beer and wine (adults only) and reciting (vortragen)
‘Remember, Remember the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason (Landesverrat) and plot’(Verschwörung)

Then there’s a fireworks display, where we all stand around open mouthed in amazement, murmuring (murmeln) ‘wow’ & ‘wee’ in between munching on (mampfen) our hotdogs and jacket potatoes, guzzling (schlürfen)yet more beer and wine (adults only) and reciting less in tune with the rest and a lot more slurred. (undeutlich)

To the uninitiated (uneingeweihte) outsider, it may seem like some kind of funeral Pagan ritual. To anyone in the know it’s an event to celebrate the thwarting (vereiteln) of the Gunpowder plot.

I hope I have whetted your appetite (jdm Lust auf mehr machen) to find out more about this weird and wonderful part of British culture. Why don’t you watch this short vid https://youtu.be/fMNOnYxhpOY to get more info on the historical side of Bonfire night.
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0 # Dave 2015-11-04 04:53
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Speak like a native: You make some, you lose some.

Adapted from the common saying ‘you win some, you lose some’, today’s post is all about ‘money’ slang. A story of rags to riches and back again.

You make ‘dough’ (1) to ‘earn a crust’(2) and ‘make ends meet’(3),
Put the ‘quids’ (4), the ‘fivers’(5) the ‘tenners’(6) aside,
and watch ‘the coffers’ (7) grow to a great size.

Keep your nose to the grindstone (8) all hours god sends,
‘Grand’ (9) after grand you ‘rake it in’ (10), my friend,
and in the end, you will be rewarded!
Congrats you’re now ‘loaded’ (11).

Flush with mega ‘bucks’ (12), you lose the plot (13),
stop to work and spend the lot.
Who would ever Adam & Eve it (14)
that you of all people would end up ‘skint’ (15)?

1. Kohle, 2. sich seine Brötchen verdienen, 3. über die Runden kommen, 4.1 Pfund, 5. 5. Pfund, 6. 10 Pfund, 7. Geldsäckel, 8. hart und lange arbeiten, 9. 1000 Pfund, 10. Geld absahnen, 11. schwerreich sein, 12. in Geld schwimmen, 13. austicken, 14. es glauben, 15. pleite

Answers from yesterday
1. D, bacon 2. H, salt 3. J, onions 4. A, tea 5. F, coffee 6. B, beans 7. I, milk 8. C, loaf 9. G, butter 10.E, beetroot
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0 # Dave 2015-11-03 05:05
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – know your food part 1.

I’ve noticed that my Tuesday Teaser is sometimes a little too easy. So today I decided to up the ante (einen drauf setzen). This teaser comes in two parts.
1) Match the phrase with German equivalent
2) Match the English ‘food’ word at the bottom with the correct English phrase (1-10)

e.g. An ………….. a day, keeps the doctor away. Of course, ‘apple’ fits in the gap.

1.You saved my ………….. . A) Es ist nicht mein Fall

2.Take it with a pinch of ………….. . B) alles ausplaudern.

3.She really knows her ………….. . C) seine Gehirn einschalten

4.It’s not really my cup of ………….. . D) Du hast meinen Hals gerettet

5.Wake up and smell the ………….. . E) knallrot werden

6.Come on, spill the ………….. F) Sehe den Tatsachen ins Auge.

7.He knows how to ………….. the system G) Tollpatsch

8.Use your ………….. . H) Nimm’s nicht ganz so wörtlich

9.………….. fingers! I) etw ausnutzen

10.He went as red as a ………….. . J) Sie versteht sein Geschäft.

milk tea coffee bacon butter onions loaf beetroot salt beans
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+1 # Dave 2015-11-02 05:03
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Do you speak Kiwinglish?

It might have escaped your notice but New Zealand is now the World Champions in …. RUGBY. Congrats from me after a great win over their archrival (Erzrivale) and big brother from down under Australia.

To celebrate this great event and proud moment for Kiwis all over the world, I thought what better than a quick peek (kurzer Blick) into an English, that most of the rest of the world hasn’t got a clue (keine Ahnung haben) about.

Nowadays the Maori language is going through a revival (Wiederbelebung) and “as many as 1000 Maori words are regularly used even be non-native speakers” wrote the Guardian Newspaper – (see link below to read text)

If you don’t have time to read the article, let me introduce a couple of words (taken from the text) to get you started on your Kiwinglish:

1.kia ora = hello
2.whanau = family
3.kai = food
4.tumeke = awesome
5.kumu = arse (Br) /ass (US)

Have a guess which is my favourite Kiwi word! What’s yours?

I guess you say the words as they are written but I have to admit that I haven’t really got the foggiest (keinen blassen Schimmer haben) how they are actually pronounced because the article only mentioned the words.

Have a great start to the week.

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0 # Dave 2015-10-30 04:48
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. Halloween

Are you clued up (informiert) on the origins of Halloween? Why not watch this short vid for the ‘historical’ lowdown (Infos):

Bet you didn’t know: Halloween. https://youtu.be/dHQZErtwA3E

QOTD What’s your take on Halloween?

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.
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+1 # Dave 2015-10-29 04:45
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Top Ten Sugar Gems

Here are 10 of his gems from episode 3: https://youtu.be/hKRWjYYJEGk. If you don’t want to watch the whole episode, the boardroom sessions start at 31 mins.

1.Can you get to the point? = Kannst du auf den Punkt kommen?
2.The penny dropped. = der Groschen ist gefallen.
3.Did you get a loyalty card? Hast du eine Treuepunktekarte gekriegt?
4.You mugs = (gullible person)…… = Trottel (leicht hineinzulegen)
5.She fought her corner = für seine Sache kämpfen
6.(A complete and utter) shambles = Durcheinander
7.You sussed it out = Du bist dahintergekommen
8.… to talk you out of it = jdm etw ausreden
9.You have spoken up (for yourself) = für sich einstehen
10.… stick with my gut instinct = bei meinem Bauchgefühl bleiben

Bonus: “The French go on strike regularly, it’s called lunch.” Nice one Lord Sugar!!!!
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0 # Dave 2015-10-28 05:50
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Wednesday’s Wonderful Word.

Your neighbour buys a brand new flat screen TV and, of course, he can’t wait to show off (angeben/prahlen) his new toy.

Standing in front of said toy, in awe (bewundernd), your jaw drops as you see the HD quality and you utter (in den Mund nehmen) those inevitable words “Wouldn’t it be great to watch Liverpool …”

Keeping up with the Joneses (mit den Nachnarn mithalten) is one thing, being the competitive soul that you are, your new flat screen TV has to be simply BETTER (capable even of remotely putting the kettle on for your cuppa tea at a distance of 500 miles).

You always want to one up your neighbour – this is called one-upmanship.

Happy (rest of the) middle of the week day – no translation in English for ‘Bergfest’.

Join me Teatime Titbiters in one-upping English and introducing this fantastic term into the English language. Spread the word. If anyone questions you, say Dave said so!!!!

Answers from yesterday
1) b. 2) e. 3) a. 4) c. 5) d. 6) h. 7) f. 8) g.
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0 # Dave 2015-10-27 04:47
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – Business Quiz

For today’s quick teaser, it’s all about business collocations, in this case a verb (on the left) & noun (on the right). Match the two up.

Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘Thursday Teaser’ King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers on. The first correct answer will be crowned ‘the Teatime-Titbits King or Queen’. Just a bit of fun!!! Answers: Tomorrow.

1.to attract a) a problem/a complaint
2.to post b) custom
3.to resolve c) sales
4.to boost d) business
5.to promote e) content online
6.to cultivate f) a deal/prospect
7.to close g) the competition
8.to outdo h) a (business) relationship

Have a great Tuesday!!!!
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0 # Dave 2015-10-26 04:36
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tinkering with time.

Good morning, Teatime Titbiters. Do you feel that little more rested (ausgeruht) this morning having gained an extra hour of shut-eye (Schlaf) in the night from Saturday to Sunday?

If you are anything like me, it probably didn’t make an iota of difference (nicht den geringsten Unterschied machen), because my damn body clock woke me up at the same time, except it was an hour earlier – Minister of Bleeding Obvious (again) (See last Monday’s post!)

Here’s a titbit (there’s that word again!) “Spring forward, fall back” this is an aide-memoire (Eselsbrücke) that the Americans use to remember which way the clocks go. I only found this out in Spring during a conversation with an American colleague. Check out our conversation (N.B.= nota bene = Anm. ) I’m a Brit

Me “So which way does the clock go this time, I always forget.”
Ami “Why don’t you guys speak proper English.”
Me “Yes, right, that big coming from you.”
Ami “Spring forward, fall back – in spring the clocks go forward and in fall they go back – it doesn’t work with AUTUMN – get it?!?!?!”
Me “Well, I’ll be damned (Ich fass’ es nicht) – finally some use for Ami English!”

Hence, I now always know which way the clocks go. Question of the day (QOTD) - In this day and age do we still need to tinker with (frickeln) time like this?
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0 # Nilda 2015-10-25 22:55
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0 # Dave 2015-10-23 04:07
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. 2 x Top 10 Sugar Gems.

Lord Sugar is a household name in the UK, wealthy entrepreneur, and host of the hit BBC television show ‘The Apprentice’.

A Londoner, born and bred (geboren und aufgewachsen), he is also well-known for his colourful English, which he puts to perfect use in the boardroom sessions at the end of the episodes.

Today, you’re in for a real treat as there are two Top 10 Sugar Gems because the first two episodes were broadcast last Wednesday and Thursday.

Here are 10 of his gems from episode 1: https://youtu.be/YuxW2wZtWSo. If you don’t want to watch the whole episode, the boardroom sessions start at 34 mins

1. What‘s the point you‘re making? = Was möchtest du damit sagen?
2. What are you on about? = Worüber redest du dauernd?
3. That wouldn‘t have gone down well = Das wäre nicht gut angekommen
4. You were up for it. = Du hattest Lust darauf
5. Is it down to you? = Hast du das zu verantworten?
6. You made a snap decision = spontaner Entschluss machen
7. When did it dawn on you? = Wann hat es bei dir gedämmert?
8. (Cor) Blimey! = Verdammt!
9. Jack-of-all-trades = Alleskönner
10. It was right up your alley = Es war genau das Richtige für dich.

Here are 10 of his gems from episode 2: https://youtu.be/BBbgyEz8NDg. If you don’t want to watch the whole episode, the boardroom session starts at approx. 33 mins.

1. (You see it as a) demotion = Degradierung.
2. (You went off) to pitch = Verkaufspräsentation machen
3. Great minds think alike = Große Geister denken gleich
4. (Who is) culpable (for the failure) = Schuld
5. We churned out products = Produkte abliefern
6. I’m not taking into account .. = etw mitberücksichtigen
7. You signed on to the product = Du hast das Produkt unterstutzt
8. (They would) be out of the door = vor die Tür gesetzt
9. I haven’t got a clue = Keine Ahnung
10. Who messes up = etw vergeigt

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Dave 2015-10-22 04:12
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Thursday Tip. Speak like a native with ‘The Apprentice’ UK.

The new series of Apprentice has started on UK TV. So, what is the programme all about?

There are 18 young (would-be) entrepreneur candidates, who are competing to win the selection process over 10 weeks (episodes). The winner will receive a £250 grand (1000) start-up investment into their new business and be partnered by the British entrepreneur Lord Sugar.

Throughout the series the candidates have to complete team (business oriented project) tasks and Lord Sugar will fire one or two guys from the losing team due to (aufgrund) their performance (Leistung).

In the final, two final candidates will compete head to head against each other for a start-up investment and his mentorship.

WIFM- What’s in it for me? Language wise (mäßig)– EVERYTHING! From usual business English (meetings, presentation, and negotiation) phrases & terms to typical conversational language and from formal usage of English to slang. What’s more you have various regional accents to contend with (kämpfen mit).

In a nutshell (kurz gesagt), it is an ideal business English training course in 55 minutes. I highly recommend watching episodes on Youtube. Tomorrow I will give you the links to the first two episodes and give you some of Lord Sugar gems.
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0 # Dave 2015-10-21 04:22
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Up your game 2.

Do you want to raise your register when speaking English? If so, this is just for you. Below there are 5 formal words with a less formal synonym, an example phrase and the translation.

1.to address (a problem/issue) = to tackle sth = “The Government is finally starting to address the problem of obesity (Fettleibigkeit) in the UK” = etw angehen

2.to emerge (of facts, ideas, etc.) to become known = to transpire = “It emerged that the company was going to be sold.” = sich herausstellen

3.to perceive has two main definitions:
a) to notice = “I perceived a change in the way she looked a me.” = bemerken
b) to see = “This discovery was perceived as a major breakthrough.” = wahrnehmen

4.to replicate = to copy/ duplicate = “Subsequent experiments failed to replicate these findings.” = nachmachen/wiederholen

5.to resume = to begin (again) / continue = an activity begins again or continues after an interruption. “The talks to end the strike will resume later this morning.“ = fortsetzen/fortfahren

Answers from yesterday
1) H. 2) E. 3) F. 4) A. 5) B. 6) C. 7) D. 8) G. If you would like to read my comments on the answers, please check out my profile page.

Enjoy your day teatime titbiters!
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0 # Dave 2015-10-20 03:50
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – Back to basics: Social responses 1.

On the left there are 8 phrases you may hear in common situations and on the right there are responses to the phrases, but mixed up. Simply link them up.

Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘Tuesday Teaser’ King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers on FB. The first correct answer will be crowned ‘the Teatime-Titbits King or Queen’. Just a bit of fun!!! Answers: Tomorrow

1. “Best of luck with the negotiations” A.“Well, actually I’d rather you didn’t”
2. “Could I possibly use your phone?” B.“Yes, it’s just after three thirty”
3. “Is this seat free?” C.“Oh, I’m sorry to hear it.”
4. “Do you mind if I smoke?” D.“Don’t mention it. It was a pleasure”
5. “Have you got the time on you?” E.“ Yes, of course, go ahead”
6. “Something has come up, I can’t make it.” F.“No, I’m afraid it’s taken.”
7. “Bye, thanks very much for your hospitality.” G.“Yes, here you are”
8. “You wouldn’t have a pen by any chance, would you?” H.“Thanks, I’ll need it”
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0 # Dave 2015-10-19 03:53
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Monday Motivation.

It’s that time of the week again! Did you do any sport or exercise (Bewegung) at the weekend? If so, I’ve got good news for you. Exercise aids learning, especially learning vocab !!!!!!

“Yes, cheers, Dave for that ‘Ministry Of Bleeding Obvious’* titbit (there’s that word again) of information.” I hear you moaning (jammern).

Everyone knows the adage (Sprichwort) “Healthy body, healthy mind” and (intuitively) we know that exercise can do our mental and emotional well-being (Wohlbefinden) the world of good.

In the book ‘Spark! The revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain.’ ISBN 978 1 84916 157 2 (also available on Audible.de) John Ratey explains the science behind how exercise can do all of the above and a lot more for us and he does so in a very engaging way. I highly recommend the book.

So want to learn something new, relax after a stressful day, prepare to perform at your best for the upcoming day, pick up sports gear and to quote Nike “Just do it”.

* ‘Ministry Of Bleeding Obvious’ is a slang British phrase we use when, what someone said is ‘bleeding obvious’ = (verdammt offentsichtlich) and a perfect example of our sarcastic humour. E.G. “Liverpool is the best team in the world”. “Well done, you must work at the Ministry of Bleeding Obvious”.
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0 # Dave 2015-10-16 03:51
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. How to outfox the HR bod.

First of all, a little explanation of the header – ‘outfox/wit sb’ (jdn austricksen) and HR – Human Resources bod (Typ)

Here are 5 items of vocab. to help understanding the video clip. https://youtu.be/7W_qrc-TkR8

résumé (American English) = c.v. (British) = Lebenslauf
to show up (to work) = auftauchen/erscheinen
tedious = langweilig
regressive (career move) = rückläufig
(pay) raise = Gehaltserhöhung

Have a great weekend Titbiters.
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0 # Dave 2015-10-14 03:49
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Speak like a native – buying a car.

I’ve been speaking to a number of people recently about it and, unfortunately, the detailed vocab is sometimes missing. Here are 3 questions, which will hopefully help to put that right and who knows, even double up to a buying aid check list.

1. Are you going to buy a brand new, employee’s car (Jahreswagen), a second hand or used car?

2.How are you going to pay for it?

a) outright with a bank transfer, cash in hand. It certainly gives you more leeway (Spielraum) to negotiate (verhandeln) a better deal, a discount (Rabatt) or and the like.
b) leasing – What about tax breaks (Steuererleichterungen) or work related (tax) deductions (Steuerlich absetzbare Beträge/Werbungskosten), always check the small print for damage and repair terms (Bedingungen). Maybe there’s the option to buy car at the end of the leasing period.
c) (bank) loan. The dealership (Autohaus) demands a down payment (Anzahlung) and you repay the loan over monthly instalments (Rate) – but don’t forget the interest aka APR annual percentage rate (effektivzins)

3.What requirements must the car meet?
Family car, high end / top of the range car, sports car, small runabout (Kleiner Flitzer), estate car Br. / station wagon Am. (Kombi), SUV or saloon Br / Sedan Am (Limousine). Spacious, economical, have all the extras etc ?

Are you actually looking for a new car? Why not check out www.carbuyer.co.uk to watch some video presentations of various cars.

Answers from yesterday.
1) E. 2) I. 3) A. 4) G. 5) C. 6) B. 7) J. 8) F. 9) D. 10) H.
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0 # Dave 2015-10-13 04:03
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – the language of discussions.

As usual, link up the verbs on the left with the word(s) on the right to make a common ‘discussion’ collocation. Answers tomorrow:

1) express A) a conclusion
2) raise B) your point
3) reach C) a role
4) make D) your opinion
5) play E) an opinion
6) see F) your mind at rest
7) answer G) an effort
8) set H) your support
9) share I) the matter
10) lend J) your question
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0 # Dave 2015-10-12 04:20
Check out today’s teatime titbit: The early bird catches the worm.

That good old adage (Sprichwort) is supposed to make us believe that those who rise early, get more/the best from life. I am an early riser myself – my worm is that I feel more creative – hence the Titbits are mostly written in the (early) morning. As such I guess the saying is in part true.

BUT, the snag (Haken) by 8 p.m. I’m on my last legs (erschöpft sein) and good for nothing except being left in a corner.

Then there’s the night owl (Nachtmensch) and the ones who can’t get going in a morning or the ‘morning grouch’ (Morgenmuffel). Their rhythm is messed up because our strict working day is “9 to 5”.

The working world has done a little to cater for the two with flexitime, but does it go far enough, especially if business really wants to harness (sich zunutze machen) the most from the employees?

In particular, the larger companies could benefit from a 24 hrs place of work, surely the technology is also there – what’s stopping them? Then there’s the issue of ‘power napping’ in the office? Could flexibility on these issues be a game changer for any company daring (etw. wagen) to implement such ideas?

QOTD. Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Great start to the new week – Teatime Titbiters
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0 # Dave 2015-10-09 03:55
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. TEST YOUR ACCENTS.

After the sacking (Rauswurf) of Brendan Rogers, the British SKY sports pundits (TV Experte) discuss Jurgen Klopp as a possible successor (Nachfolger). Breaking news. He’ll sign a three year deal, YIPPEE https://youtu.be/UpH-ZblyR2g .

Even for those anti – footy Teatime Titbiters, just listen and check out the accents of the three:

1 Jamie Carragher is a Scouser (Liverpooler) born & bred – I dig (mögen) the accent !!!!
2 Graeme Souness is a former Liverpool player but Scottish. (His accent is not too strong)
3. Thierry Henry, former Arsenal player, French (accent) – obviously with a name like Thierry.

QOTD. Which accent did you like best and which did you have most difficulty understanding?

Keeping with Klopp topic, why not check out this vid made by talksport to help English footy fans get to know Kloppy better.

10 Things you didn’t know about Jurgen Klopp; https://youtu.be/2pRP2gBjzfI

Have a great weekend Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Dave 2015-10-08 04:07
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Speak like a native: The language of leaving.

Brendan Rogers (former manager of Liverpool FC) must have seen the writing on the wall (die Stunde hat geschlagen), his team wasn’t firing all cylinders and the performances and results reflected that.

Similar to high profile CEOs, members of governments, football coaches live a precarious life, one minute riding the wave of good fortune the next down and out on their butt (Arsch).

Why didn’t he, like the former VW CEO not do the right thing, bow out (ausscheiden) before being thrown out? Step down (zurücktreten) or resign (kündigen) before being fired or as it’s colloquially called ‘sacked’! Then, there’s the question of compensation (Entschädigung)– otherwise known as ‘severance pay’ (Abfindung) – for what, getting us in this mess in the first place. Thanx a millions of bucks (Dollar).

We lesser mortals (Normalsterbliche) face being made redundant (betriebsbedingt gekündigt) or laid off, when our TOP managers mess up (etw vermasseln) or we resign, quit and jump ship before she starts sinking and we would get the chop anyway (rausfliegen).

After a working life dodging the bullet, we finally have the right to go (more or less) on our terms (zu unseren Bedingungen) with a ‘golden handshake’ into the land of permanent leave (Urlaub) – retirement (Pension).

But for how much longer? I’ll still probably be writing these posts at the age of 103 the way things are going. Oh, god forbid (Gott bewahre), I guess you’re thinking, dear Teatime Titbiters.
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0 # Doris 2015-10-06 09:08
Thanks for one's marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.

I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back

someday. I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!
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0 # Dave 2015-10-06 04:37
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Speak like a native. Tuesday Teaser. What are they really saying?

Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘Tuesday Teaser’ King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers on FB. The first correct answer will be crowned ‘the Teatime-Titbits King or Queen’. Just a bit of fun!!! Answers: Tomorrow

1.“I get the picture.” A. congratulate oneself
2.“Let’s meet at 8 p.m.” “fair enough” B. understand a situation
3.“I wouldn’t like to brag.” C. not work hard (enough)
4.“It occurred to me yesterday.” D. have a friendly relationship with sb
5.“He doesn’t really pull his weight.” E. not like sb & be unpleasant to them
6.“Give yourself a big pat on the back.” F. boast about sth
7.“She has it in for you.” G. the most important details
8.“She took a shine to you.” H. an idea/thought came into mind
9.“I get along with my boss:” I. like sb
10.“Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.” J. an idea/suggestion is reasonable
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0 # Dave 2015-10-05 04:45
Check out today’s teatime titbit: A foreigner’s take on the reunification.

I vividly remember (noch genau vor Augen haben) standing on the wall sometime in early 1990 and I can still hear the sound of my hammer chipping off a couple of those coveted (begehrte) pieces (Stücke wegschlagen) of wall, which every tourist and his dog somehow wanted to get his/her hands on.

Being only 18 at the time, I didn’t truly understand nor care about the significance of ‘the wall coming down’ and impending (bevorstehend) ‘reunification of Germany’. I was fascinated about the atmosphere in Berlin at that time, seeing my first Trabi pulling up at a road junction in Spandau, sounding as if it would conk out (streiken) any second and noting how far my exchanged D-marks would go in the former GDR – impressive – I remember thinking.

I’ve spend most of the last 25 years of my life having a blast (einen Riesenspaß haben) in Germany, feeling very privileged to be able to work, and settle down in your great country.

I am grateful that history took such a sudden change of direction in 1989, because it allowed me to meet my wife (in Germany). What’s more, it also vastly widened my choice of destinations to visit – the avid (passioniert) traveller I am.

Lastly, I have no qualms (keine Bedenken haben) about paying my solidarity tax, on the contrary happy to help. What bothers me though is all those people in both East & West who wish a new wall, are constantly spouting (vom Stapel lassen) that the politicians (back then) should have done this or could have done that better.

Thanks to some crazy events in late 89 a new one German nation was born, families (torn apart by the wall) became reunited and around 16 million Germans were suddenly given freedom, which the other half had taken for granted (als selbstverständlich ansehen) for the previous 40 odd years. If you ask me, this was the biggest gift that everyone in this united country could wish for. Bravo Mr Schabowski.
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0 # Dave 2015-09-25 03:31
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday - OKTOBERFEST

Anyone heading to the Oktoberfest in Munich or one of replica (Kopie) piss-up (Sauferei) parties around Germany? If so then today’s Fun on Friday post is definitely your cup of tea – (not beer – don’t ask me why?!)

I thought we could meander around (umherschlendern) the Oktoberfest and learn some drinking vocab on the way. Unless you took part in some pre-party drinking (vorglühen) you would arrive at the gates as sober (nüchtern) (as a judge).

Of course, the piss-artists or piss-heads (säufer) will have already started this binge drinking (Komasaufen) session and be well on their way (auf dem besten Wege sein).
All party-goer know the line, ‘never drink on an empty stomach’. So they commence (beginnen) with a Mass and a plate of pig knuckle (Schweinehaxe), mashed potatoes (Kartoffelpüree) and sauerkraut and not forgetting a touch of mustard.

Another Mass to wash down the food and maybe a quick corn schnapps (Korn) to settle everything down and already the guys, who can’t handle their drink are starting to get tipsy (angetrunken sein).

Maybe a little walk is now just right to take a look at all the different stands, amusements, rides etc. On the way round a young guy, who is obviously ‘out of it’ or ,in British, ‘off his face’ (besoffen sein), bumps into you but at least manages a slurred ‘sorry’.

At a food stand you notice a ‘pissed / plastered / smashed / rat-arsed’ (besoffen) man trying to chat up (anbaggern) a couple of woman (he can’t make his mind up). However, they already have and tell him to go **** ******* (you know what I mean).

All this exercise makes you thirsty again, so back to the nearest tent and start with the serious drinking. What ever you’re doing this weekend & Have a great time.

Answers from yesterday 1) liability, 2) law, 3) supply, 4) trial, 5) downs, 6) sixes, 7) tired, 8) part, 9) void, 10) wear
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0 # Dave 2015-09-24 03:49
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Thursday Teaser. Know your pairs 2?
“I love staying in a BED and ........................... whenever I am in the UK.” Which word best fits in the gap? Of course, breakfast.

Below there are another 10 sentences where one word out of the common ‘sth and sth’ collocation is in CAPITAL LETTERS and the other is missing. Can you figure out the word?

Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘Thursday Teaser’ King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers on FB. The first correct answer will be crowned ‘the Teatime-Titbits King or Queen’. Just a bit of fun!!! Answers: Tomorrow.

1.They say buying a house is an ASSET (Gewinn) – but when you think of all the maintenance costs, maybe it’s actually a ........................... (Belastung).

2.In Syria, ........................... and ORDER (Recht und Ordnung) has completely broken down.

3.At the moment the DEMAND (Nachfrage) for affordable housing is far outstripping (überholen) ........................... (Angebot).

4.We arrived at the perfect chemical mixture by sheer (rein) ........................... and ERROR (Versuch und Irrtum).

5.We’ve endured (durchstehen) many UPS and ........................... (Höhen und Tiefen) in our corporate careers.

6.I’m afraid his presentation was at ........................... and SEVENS (völlig durcheinander sein) and I found it difficult to follow.

7.I’m SICK and ........................... (die Nase voll haben von) of you showing up late to work.

8.Keeping the account is ........................... and PARCEL (ein wesentlicher Bestandteil von etw sein) of my job.

9.As a result of the breach of contract (Vertragsbruch), it was declared NULL and ............................ (null und nichtig)

10.The maintenance costs of the machine are very high due to the daily ........................... and TEAR (Abnutzung).
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0 # Dave 2015-09-23 04:49
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Did they seriously think they’d get away with it (mit etw davonkommen)?

A topic in all the headlines: VW caught bang to rights (=with definite proof of having committed a crime, so that you cannot claim to be innocent). When it emerged (herauskommen) that one of Germany’s global giants manipulated its diesel vehicles’ high emissions to meet US environmental requirements, it sparked (etw entfachen) a catastrophic chain of events and an end? Anyone’s guess!

The car manufacturer will be fined (jdm eine Geldstrafe auferlegen) mega bucks, lawsuits (Gerichtsverfahren) will be inevitable (unausweichlich) and a halt to sales will further cripple (stark beschädigen) the company, not to mention, plummeting (stürzen) share prices, bother (Ärger) in the boardroom and arguably the most serious long term knock-on effect (Dominoeffekt), that ‘reliable’ (in every sense of the word) reputation ruined.

But back to headline - Did they really think they could get away with it especially in a country with such a litigious (prozessfreudig) culture? Were they possibly just keeping up with the Joneses? (mit den anderen gleichziehen wollen) or was it just a case of massive mismanagement? I guess, it’ll all come out in the wash (ans Licht kommen) eventually.

Reading between the lines though, is VW maybe merely a scapegoat (Sündenbock) or just the tip of the iceberg? I don’t know about you, but I’ve got that nagging (bohrend) feeling – something even bigger is just round the corner. Watch this space.
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0 # Dave 2015-09-22 04:32
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Quick quiz.

What do all these 5 words have in common?
1. kick-off
2. Penalty
3. Punt
4. Try
5. Scrum

How long did it take you to fathom it (rausfinden) or have you guessed it yet? Yes, welcome to a new language - the language of RUGBY!

I told you all about the world cup on Friday last week. Did any of you watch a game? If you did, well done, if you didn’t – shame on you – double homework for you – watch two games!!!!!

Seriously, if you want to understand the game, you need to know what the game is all about. So no excuses! Watch this vid Rugby 101:https://youtu.be/IEQyCcageGg

And you can always download the ‘Game of Rugby Union’ PDF on my profile page to give you a helping hand (jdm behilflich sein). Enjoy the thrill.
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0 # Dave 2015-09-21 04:43
Check out today’s teatime titbit: When in Rome (do as the Romans do)

…. is a saying used to say that when you are in a foreign country, or a situation you are not familiar with, you should behave in the way that the people around you behave (Andere Länder, andere Sitten!).

Yesterday was my lad’s birthday and it reminded me that he is growing up juggling two very different cultures.

Here are 5 ways to make a Brit/American etc. feel at home on his/her birthday.

1.Don’t be scared of wishing us “many happy returns” in advance – especially if you know you won’t see the person on the day itself. It doesn’t bring bad luck!!!!
2.Basically we see it as OUR day. At least buy us a birthday card, possibly a funny one! (Did you know there is a whole industry built up to cater for (für etw.sorgen) greeting cards? http://www.clintoncards.co.uk/)
3.If we invite you to or you go to our after work get-together (Zusammmenkunft) , unless otherwise (loudly) announced “This round is on me – what are you (all) having?”, don’t expect us to buy (all) the drinks. That’s your job – we should have a good time at your expense.
4.As a nice gesture, organise a cake for us and give it to us at work – with candles (not the full amount obviously, everyone over 21 stays 21 – right!!!) and sing that merry song. N.B. Don’t expect the birthday boy/girl to organize/bring/pay for the ‘breakfast spread’ as is common here because it isn’t really how we do it! Remember, it’s our day.
5.If you missed all of the above, at least say “Happy Birthday belatedly”, maybe place a card &/or present in our hands and even better invite us out to have a tipple (einen zur Brust nehmen) at the most convenient occasion and pick up the tab (Rechnung), then you’ve got a friend for life!!!
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0 # Dave 2015-09-18 05:11
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday – Finally.

Today is the day, dear Teatime Titbiters, the Rugby World Cup 2015 finally starts in England with the kick-off (excuse the pun (Wortwitz)) fixture England v Fiji.

Did you know that there are two codes in rugby, rugby league and rugby union? The World Cup is the union one – it’s the biggest & arguably most popular version of the sport. If you check out the official website http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/teams, you’ll notice a lot of the teams are Commonwealth nations, but there are an ever increasing number of other countries, taking part, including, Italy, France, Romania and Japan.

The favourites are the southern hemisphere nations. The big one is New Zealand, aka The All Blacks. The team always performs the Maori war dance called the Haka to put fear into the opposing team – it has become a spectacle (Schauspiel) in itself.

I strongly recommend you watch the following clip https://youtu.be/tdMCAV6Yd0Y, showing the All Blacks doing the Haka with an English translation – goose pimples pure! Don’t forget to watch it with the full screen to see the translation properly.

If you can receive British TV, games are live on ITV otherwise Eurosport is showing 26 matches live including the final and tonight at 8.45 pm local time. Enjoy the match.
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0 # Dave 2015-09-17 06:16
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Write like a native.

Below there is a short mail I sent to a mate a few days ago. As such it’s written in a very informal style. Imagine you wanted to write a mail with the same content to a business contact (more formally), how would you go about it (etw angehen)? Check out the sample mail ‘chock-a- block’ on my profile page.


Hope all’s well? Cheers for the mail. Unfortunately my diary is chock-a-block at the mo so I’d rather get together next week, if it’s good for you. What about Wednesday evening? Give me a bell a.s.a.p., please.


Take care

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0 # Dave 2015-09-16 06:30
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Teatime Titbits book 1 coming your way. Once in a blue moon (alle Jubeljahre), a bit of advertising for the cause (Sache).

Teatime Titbits is proud to announce (bekannt geben) the publication (Veröffentlichung) of the first e-book (PDF) marking (begehen) the first anniversary of Teatime Titbits in November. It is a compilation (Zusammenstellung) of my favourite and most useful (for you) posts over the last year.

The 72 posts + add ons will provide you with lasting resource, which can be (re)visited, read & studied, cut out & kept, used & practiced.

I aim to produce a book every 6 months as well as uploading loads of freebies. The next e-book will be a collection of ‘Fun on Friday’ posts, which as the title gives away promises to look at the lighter side of English.

In the near future, I’ll post a 5 page PDF taster for you to download and get a feel for the book.

QOTD. I have some ideas concerning a title, but maybe you can come up with a good name for the book?

Please FB up your ideas to www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits

Thanx a million
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+1 # Dave 2015-09-15 06:27
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Randomsome 2

‘Randonsome’ is a word I created just for this type of post. So often I pick up words, phrases, idioms, and think, emm great for my Teatime Titbits, but where? So my randonsome posts are just that - some randomly chosen stuff, which I wanted to share.

Below my next 5 randonsomes:

1.The managers are given plenty of leeway (Spielraum) when it comes to making decisions.
2.Everyone gets a disgruntled (verärgert/unzufrieden) customer form time to time.
3.Sorry, for the interruption. Now, where was I? I’m afraid I’ve lost my train of thought.(den Faden verlieren)
4.The internet has made life for brick and mortar stores (koventionelles Geschäft) more difficult.
5.Don’t worry, I’ll get to the meeting by hook or by crook. (auf Biegen & Brechen)

QOTD. Which word or phrase is new for you & your favourite?

Please FB up your thoughts to www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits
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0 # Dave 2015-09-14 04:47
I stumbled across (zufällig auf jdn/etw. stoßen) the cartoon you can see in the link in a recent edition of ‘Time’ Magazine. Thought it is great discussion starter & maybe even a little cut - out - and - keep motivation sticker for your screen/desk.

QOTD. Which one can you most relate to? Please FB up your thoughts to www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits

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0 # Dave 2015-09-11 04:17
Check out today’s teatime titbit: HELP ME to HELP YOU !!!!

I’m working a FREE downloadable PDF e-book with the working title ‘English on the move’. It’ll be a collection of interesting websites, apps and blogs you can use to fill those annoying wastes of time – waiting in a queue or stuck in a traffic jam (please not while driving) to do something productive like train your English.

Over the years, I’ve collected a wide range of info, but maybe you have just that little titbit (there’s that word again) hidden away in your list of favourites, on your PC or mobile that could be the one I’m missing – and earn you a brownie point (Pluspunkt) and a mention in my book, should you so desire.

Please, please, please, check, think, research, if you have to but leave me the tip on www.facebook.com/teattimetitbits over the next few days, much appreciated! While you are there, please do me a humongous (gigantisch) favour – ‘like’ Teatime Titbits, share, get your colleagues, family, friends, acquaintances, dog and cat and even complete strangers to come and check out Teatime Titbits.

If you’re not on FB or would prefer to write me a short mail – write subject “HELP ME to HELP YOU” to so I know it’s not spam. By the way, if you want to receive the weekly posts directly to your e-mail, send a request to the same address. Thanx a million and have a great weekend.
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0 # Wiebke 2015-09-10 20:11
Always good fun to read you.

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0 # Dave 2015-09-10 04:36
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Thursday Teaser – Quick fire quiz.

If you can, drop everything (except your trousers), grab a pen and piece of paper and draw 4 columns giving each one the headline: MAKE / HAVE / TAKE / DO.

I’m going to list 20 words, which link up with one of the headlined verbs (a collocation). Using your gut feeling, just write the words in the correct column(s – there can be more than one), to see how good your gut feeling is. Gladiators, are you ready? On your marks, get set, go ..

1). a photo 2). business 3). a look 4). your utmost 5). a row 6). advantage of sth/sb
7). a profit / loss 8). an appointment 9). a suggestion / proposal 10). trouble 11). part in sth 12). a nap 13). a promise 14). well/badly 15.) fun of sb 16). an interview
17). progress 18). sb a favour 19). a go. 20.) the opportunity

You can check your answers by downloading the.PDF on my Xing Profile page
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0 # Dave 2015-09-09 04:29
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Well done, Germany.

Strange call, you might think from an Englishman! National rivalries rear their ugly heads most often on the sporting field, think Germany vs. The Netherlands etc. This is especially true when it comes to sports competitions where the ‘Home Nations’ compete against each other or separately i.e. not as Great Britain – like in the Olympics etc.

I first became really aware of the extent of this when I watched England against some no-name footballing nation and the Irish, Scots and Welsh in the Irish Pub in Cologne cheered for (anfeuern) the other team. Was it a case of the underdog David vs Goliath? I don’t think so – it runs deeper.

This article (link below) in Wikipedia hits the nail on the head – “The history of the British Isles has led to much rivalry between the nations in many forms, and the social and cultural effects of centuries of antagonism (Gegnerschaft) and conflict between the two has contributed to the intense nature of the sporting contests. Scottish nationalism has also been a factor in the Scots' desire to defeat England above all other rivals, with Scottish sports journalists traditionally referring to the English as the "Auld (old) Enemy".[3] Wikipedia.

The article goes on to include a quote from the Guardian (British newspaper) "for millions across both sides of the border the encounter represents a chance for the ultimate victory over the enemy."[

Need I really say more!

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0 # Dave 2015-09-08 04:21
Check out today’s teatime titbit: In the news.

Refugees (Flüchtlinge) flee from persecution (Verfolgung), violence and death to find refuge (Zufluchtort) in a safe place and maybe claim asylum. Over recent months the number of refugees from various theatres (of conflict) daring (wagen) the long and perilous (lebensgefährlich) journey has soared (sprunghaft ansteigen). This has lead to concerns (Sorgen) about how to accommodate everyone.

Unfortunately, some claim (behaupten) that many of the refugees are bogus asylum seekers (Scheinasylant), instead simply economic migrants, while the vast majority (überwiegende Mehrheit) are rightly appalled at (entsetzt) the lengths the traffickers will go to cash in on (aus etw Profit schlagen) the desperation (Verzweiflung) of others and welcome them with open arms.

My two cents (meine unbedeutende Meinung) – anyone who is prepared to take on such a journey in the search of safety, let alone (ganz zu Schweigen) freedom, should be granted asylum (Asyl bekommen) whether bogus or genuine.
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0 # Dave 2015-09-07 04:16
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Monday Motivation
A little lackluster (lustlos) today? Then watch this short vid. https://youtu.be/XrVvFUYtYwI

Gary Vaynerchuk has been the driving force behind the growth of winelibrary.com to a multi-million dollar enterprise and the CEO of Vaynermedia (a fast growing social media agency in the US). His key qualities are his hard work ethic and social media savvy (medienerfahren).

On the back of the success of his winelibrary.com blog shows (in youtube) to promote his business he started the ask@garyvee show to promote his Vaynermedia company and secure his social media ‘Guru’ status in our minds.
He has recently started producing motivational video too. This one, entitled ‘Hard work & patience’ is, in my view, his best one to date (bis jetzt).
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0 # Dave 2015-09-04 04:46
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. Crime hurts

We have a saying in English “crime doesn’t pay”. Let’s rewrite that! https://youtu.be/dxSTDTVNpK4

Below there are 10 items of vocab to help you understand the commentary. Enjoy.

1. thief = Dieb, 2. to knock sb out = jdn k.o.schlagen, 3. to rebound = abprallen, 4. surveillance footage = Überwachungsfilmaterial, 5. to come round = das Bewusstsein wiedererlangen, 6. apparently = anscheinand 7. to threaten sb = jdn bedrohen 8. to blackmail sb = erpressen 9. landlord = Wirt, 10. to cough up (money) = Geld herausrücken

If you know any funny (English) videos, which I could use on a Friday or maybe as a Monday motivator, please send the link to my mail address. Thanx a million in advance. .

Have a great weekend.
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0 # Dave 2015-09-03 04:35
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Your free inbound call emergency PDF sheet.

Do you ever get that feeling of panic whenever the phone rings and it’s a foreign number and you know you’ll either have to take the call in English or pretend (so tun, als ob) you’re not in the office?

If you do or you would like a template (Vorlage) for a sure-fire method (eine todsichere Methode) to deal with the call – then look no further than at my Xing profile: https://www.xing.com/profile/Dave_Preston?sc_o=mxb_p and download the free PDF ‘Your inbound call emergency sheet’.

Don’t you be the one to panic, watch the fear on the faces of your colleagues instead – better still give them a copy too.
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0 # Dave 2015-09-01 19:53
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Hot off the press

The latest edition of World & Press magazine is now available. An article that caught my eye in this edition was the ‘Editor’s Corner’, which covered a question posed by the reader who was looking for a recommendation of a new monolingual printed dictionary.

The reader said he had ‘outgrown’ the ‘www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com’ and was looking for a more comprehensive work. The editor‘s choice was the ‘Shorter Oxford Dictionary’ which is actually in two volumes includes over 600,000 entries and costs around €100.

There are smaller versions: the Oxford Dictionary of English (350,000 entries) for €44 and the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (240,000 entries) for €23. To find out more about various Oxford dictionaries go to www.oxforddictionaries.com

As for American English, there’s the Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s dictionary @ www.learnersdictionary.com .

Nonetheless, I would still always recommend the online www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com because it’s free and the added extras it offers such as vocab. topic areas.

When you look up a word, type in ‘advice’, you can also see the word’s origin, extra examples, more like this section (other words which are similar in some way) an express yourself section (depending on the word) and a part add to learner‘s word list etc.

However, the latter requires you to become a Premium member – which at €16 (when I joined) is money well spent because you can use this tool to train your new vocab.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-31 19:19
Check out today’s teatime titbit: They were (truly) hammered!

Journalists pride themselves on (sich mit etw brüsten) their headlines, particularly in the ‘tabloid press’ (Boulevard). They use play on words (Wortspiele) and humour to catch our eyes.

On Saturday my footy team Liverpool FC lost at home to West Ham United 3-0. The headline could have been ‘They were (truly) hammered’. Why?

If you remember from my ‘Guide to the teams in the Premiership teams 2015/2016’ (See Profile page) West Ham’s nickname is ‘the Hammers’ and to hammer sb – as the word suggests means to ‘beat’ sb. Hence, Liverpool was well beaten by the Hammers.

Notice the use of the passive here. Quick grammar session, eh?

West Ham hammered Liverpool. (WH is the subject ‘doer’ of the hammering & L. is the object or ‘the receiver’ = active phrase)

Or if you want to put the focus on L as ‘the receiver’ of the hammering you move L to the subject position and add a ‘be’ in the correct form + the past participle form (3rd column in verb tables = passive phrase), so

Liverpool was (past) hammered (by West Ham) on Saturday. ‘to defeat’ and ‘ to beat’ are the same.

Relax, grammar over! Now for the quick quiz. How could you report the following weekend games?

Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal
Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace

And what about the scores: Tottenham 0-0 Everton & Aston Villa 2-2 Sunderland. Answer 1: Tottenham & Everton drew nil-nil; Answer 2: Aston Villa & Sunderland drew two all.

BUT did you know that in slang British English, ‘hammered’ can also mean that sb is very drunk. So my headline is a so-called ‘double entendre’ (Zweideutigkeit). At least that would have explained their performance if the had been truly hammered, ha, ha!!!

QOFD How did your team do at the weekend?
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0 # Dave 2015-08-31 04:25
London isn’t calling ......
Check out today’s teatime titbit: London isn’t calling so don’t bother calling the UK, today!!!

Nobody is at work – it’s our August bank holiday. The word ‘bother’ is very versatile. Like in the headline it can mean (often used in negative sentences or questions) to spend time and/or energy doing sth. Here’s a good example if you don’t want to cause sb to any trouble “Shall I wait for you?’ “No, don’t bother”.

It can also mean ‘to annoy, worry or upset sb’. Here’s a good one for giving your opinion “The thing that (really) bothers me is …”

It can be ‘to interrupt sb, to talk to somebody when they do not want to talk to you’. Here’s one the superior/boss “Sorry to bother you, but there’s a call for you on line two.”

Especially in British informal English, ‘be bothered (about sb/sth)’ means to think that sb/sth is important, e.g., “I’m not bothered about what he thinks.” But also ‘I don’t mind’ = “Where shall we eat this evening?” “I’m not bothered”.

Put ‘can’t’ before ‘be bothered to do sth and you’ve got a phrase, which means you don’t want to spend time/energy doing sth, e.g. “I know I should but I can’t be bothered to do the tax declaration form”.

P.S. As a noun ‘bother’ means trouble or difficulty, check out the following 3 e.g.s:
1.“As a youngster he often got into bother with the police”
2.“I don’t want to put you to any bother.” = (cause you any trouble)
3.“Thanks for your help!” “It was no bother.”

QOTD: Often in Britain, Bank holidays are on Mondays regardless of when they would normally fall. Would you prefer that Germany introduces this too?
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0 # Dave 2015-08-28 04:32
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun of Friday. One woman, 17 British accents

If you’ve ever been to the UK or worked with British people, you’ll be aware of all the different accents on offer.

Siobhan Thompson does an amazing job of mimicking the main ones and giving you an overview of the ‘accent landscape’. She even has a brilliant go at my (original) accent – YORKSHIRE.

Keep hold of this link because it can serve as a little refresher before visiting a specific area. Sit back enjoy the journey.

P.S. I’ve also written an additional ‘slang up your English’ post on FB www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits. Warning: It contains vocabulary of a sexual nature, which some may consider inappropriate. In this case, please DON’T READ IT.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-27 05:18
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Wannabe (Möchtegern-), budding (angehend), seasoned (erfahren), serial entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurism seems to be sexier than ever. In his book ‘Entrepreneur Revolution’ Daniel Priestly (a serial entrepreneur) makes the claim (Behauptung) that the time of an entrepreneur has come. Daniel backs his somewhat outlandish (haarsträubend) claim by taking us on an historical journey through the different types of ‘workers’ from farming through industrial worker and office pen-pushers to entrepreneur in the internet era.

Next Daniel takes us on another journey, which focuses on the different stages of entrepreneurism. He gives the ‘wannabe’ advice on how to ‘jump’ in. He offers hands-on advice on how to (re)build your business for the budding and maybe floundering (sich in einer Krise befinden) seasoned entrepreneur. Finally, he discusses life as a serial entrepreneur with multiple (passive) income streams (mehrere Einkommensquellen).

As such this is a fantastic read for anyone with an inclination (Neigung) towards entrepreneurism in them and I highly recommend it to your seasoned and serial entrepreneurs too.

A part of book, which I particularly like is the 10 part challenge Daniel sets to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Check this link to hear him talking about the challenge.

QOTD Can you recommend an English language business book?
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0 # Dave 2015-08-26 05:06
Check out today’s teatime titbit: A star is born – Write like a native!

Just recently a friend’s missus (bessere Hälfte) dropped a sprog – slang!!!! (Kind bekommen) or should I use the more recognised term - gave birth to a son. I was over the moon (ganz aus dem Häuschen sein) for them both. Great news.

Then panic set in – gotta get a “congratulations” card. None in the house & the choice is limited & quite frankly boring.

So I pulled up www.moonpig.com, chose a design, put in some additional features and a text inside & had it delivered to their house within a jiffy (ratzfatz). Fabulous service – can highly recommend it if you ever need to get a personalised card to the UK/USA/Australia.

Here’s my TOP 4 ideas of what write to the new proud parents:
1.Congratulations to the proud parents of ..(fill in name). Wishing you all the best in the future.
2.Welcome to your new world (fill in name). We wish all the health & happiness in the world.
3.Congratulations on baby No.1. & welcome to the parents club.
4.Yippee (fill in name) is here. Congratulations! Lots of hugs and kisses from all of us.

You can find the answers to yesterday’s post on my personal Xing profile https://www.xing.com/profile/Dave_Preston?sc_o=mxb_p – How good are your telephoning skills 1?
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0 # Dave 2015-08-25 06:19
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday Teaser – How good are you telephoning skills

You work for a company & regularly get incoming calls from abroad. This caller from the states wants to speak to your boss, who is tied up in a meeting scheduled for another hour or so.

Can you fill in the gaps – with the politest & most proactive answers you can think of. Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘telephoning’King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers on www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits. The first correct answer will be crowned ‘the Teatime-Titbits King or Queen’. Just a bit of fun!!! Answers: Tomorrow.


Caller. “Hi, Mr. Meyer, this is Dave, from Preston Coaching, can you put me through to Mr Schmidt, please”.


Caller. ” Hi, Markus, well, it’s not so urgent, but I need so info, before he leaves the office today.”


Caller. “Oh that’s very kind of you, you’re a star!”


Caller. ”Thank you same to you, Mr Meyer and again thanx a million”.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-24 03:47
How was it for you,darling?

Check out today’s teatime titbit: Steady on, Teatime Titbiters, I’m talking about what your weekend was like? Not what you’re (possibly) thinking.
Here’s a ‘speak like a native’ top 10 (slangy) weekend activities!

1. On Friday evening I went out for a couple of pints (auf ein Paar Bier gehen) with my mates (Kumpels).
2. I stopped (Br) /stayed (US) out until 1 a.m.
3.On Saturday morning I was knackered (todmüde) & did bugger all (einen Scheiß tun).
4.In the afternoon I did some exercise (Sport treiben) to clear the head.
5. My wife and I dropped in (reinschauen) on the in-laws (Schwiegereltern) .
6. On Saturday evening, we ate out (essen gehen) at our favourite Indian restaurant.
7. On Sunday we lay in (ausschlafen) until 10 ish (gegen).
8. We went for a long walk in the countryside.
9. We had a quiet one (evening) in (in Ruhe zuhause bleiben) & got a takeaway in.
10. In the evening, we cuddled up (sich zusammenkuscheln) on the couch & watched a film on the box (Fernseher).

QOTD. Did you do any of the above this weekend? Why not write a brief post about your weekend on www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-21 03:38
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Fun on Friday. Count like a Brit or get a punch on the nose!

On Monday I wrote about Cider as well as giving you the ‘speak like a native add-on’ – how to order a pint of cider. This immediately reminded me of a cultural faux pas (Fehltritt).

Did you know that when a Brit, generally speaking!!!!!, counts and he shows his fingers to gesture (gestikulieren) he would start with the thumb (1) and then point with the index finger (Zeigfinger) to represent – you’ve guessed it 2. Hence, ordering two ciders is done by showing the outstretched (ausgestreckt) thumb and index finger closely followed by ‘Two pints of cider, please mate” (see Monday’s post).

Get to the point man! Well, I most often see Germans ordering two beers by using the outstretched index and second finger aka flicking the ‘V(ictory)’ sign. This is important because this hand gesture/sign means ‘get lost’ ‘piss off’ to a Brit – need I say more!

For more details about rude hand gestures, why not check out the following site & watch the short vid.


What cultural faux pas have you come across in other countries? Why not post your stories on www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits. Have a great weekend Teatime-Titbiters.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-20 04:12
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Now find Teatime Titbits on FB www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits

After a while of posting now, Teatime Titbits is going to the next level of accessibility (Zugänglichkeit) with FB. This will also give you titbiters the opportunity to train your writing by answering my Question Of The Day (QOTD) –see below, my Tuesday teasers or posting your questions, feedback, and suggestions as well as having conversations with other Titbiters – so guys & gals (Mädels) get posting.

Don’t worry about making mistakes – it’s the best way to learn. I’ll let you know – ONLY by private message of course!!!!!!!.

While I’m promoting Teatime-Titbits, let me just explain the meaning and mission. I post the teatime (a break time) titbits (a small but interesting piece of news/content) daily to help busy people get their 10 minutes of English content input a day - like the saying ‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away'.

If you haven’t got time to look at the posts every day or maybe would like to keep a hard copy to learn with, just send me an e-mail address to and I'll send you all the week’s posts every week (for free).

If you like Teatime Titbits don’t keep it a secret, tell 3 of your ‘clan’, friends, colleagues, acquaintances or even strangers TODAY and help me to help even more people. CHEERS !!!!!! (hier: Danke).

Here’s a simple Question Of The Day (QOTD) for starters “Do you drink tea or coffee in your breaks?”

Answer from Wednesday quiz: 1) for 2) at or during 3) at our house/place 4) with me 5) from or at
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0 # Dave 2015-08-19 03:57
Check out today’s teatime titbit: That blasted ‘by’ – back to basics.

The word ‘bei’ in German is well-used but often difficult to translate into English because the English cousin ‘by’ can be a false friend.

Here are 5 common mistakes, could you correct them?

1. He works by Mercedes.
2. By our last meeting, we decided to …..
3. A Friend stayed by us over the weekend.
4. By me, it’s totally the opposite, I love winter.
5. I bought it by Asda. (a British supermarket chain)

Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘That blasted by’ King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers to www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits. The first correct answer will be crowned ‘‘That blasted by’ King or Queen’. Just a bit of fun!!! Answers: Tomorrow.

Answers from Tues. 1) go 2) research 3) bright 4) outs 5) by 6) safe 7) quiet 8) regulations 9) hustle 10) figures
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0 # Dave 2015-08-18 03:16
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Tuesday teaser. Know your pairs?

“I love staying in a Bed and ………………….. whenever I am in the UK.” Which word best fits in the gap? Of course, Breakfast!

Below there are another 10 sentences where one word out of a common ‘sth and sth’ collocation is missing. Can you figure out the word?

Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘Know your pairs’ King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers on www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits. The first correct answer will be crowned ‘the Teatime-Titbits King or Queen’. Just a bit of fun!!! Answers: Tomorrow.

1. It was touch and ………………….. (auf der Kippe) whether we would get the contract.
2. In our field ………………….. and development is vital to stay ahead of the competition.
3. “Say, you are in the office ………………….. and early (in aller Frühe) this morning, aren’t you?”
4. During the working in phase your colleagues teach you all the ins & ………………….. ( jdm zeigen, wo es langgeht) of the job.
5. ………………….. and large (Im Größen und Ganzen) I enjoyed my time at school.
6. Dave just called. They arrived there ………………….. and sound. (sicher ankommen).
7. After such a stressful day, I look forward to a bit of peace & ………………….. when I get home. (Ruhe und Frieden)
8. All the bureaucratic rules & ………………….. (Regeln und Vorschriften) you have to be aware of as a start-up can be overwhelming.
9. I love the ………………….. and bustle of city life (Stadtgewühl).
10. I’ve asked to see all the facts and ………………….. (Zahlen und Fakten) before I make a decision.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-17 04:56
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Know your British Food?

That this week is the British (food) week at Lidl. Those Lidl people weren’t born yesterday. Every time they offer the staple (Stapelware) British fare (Kost): Fish & Chips; Crisps; baked beans; shortbread biscuits to name but a few. Then they trial (testen) other products to see how the German taste buds will react.

This current range seems to include quite a few novelties, which I, at least, haven’t seen before. Two products spring to mind as interesting for a culinary journey into British cuisine – don’t scoff (spotten) Teatime Titbiters: 1. Apple crumble 2. Cider.

Apple crumble is a popular dessert in the UK – a base of apples with a crust of crumble (Streusel). We mostly eat it warm with custard (Vanillesauce), ice cream or cream – yummy! My personal fav, crumble & custard.

I’m sure most of you will know Cider, if not, it’s an alcoholic drink made of apples. Why is cider interesting? It is a perfect example of a trend product. The industry is riding the cider wave with the skill of a Bondi Beach surf buff (hier: Fan). When I visit the UK I notice that new producers are popping up (aus dem Boden schießen) as well as the creation of new flavours. E.G. did you know that you can now buy pear cider.

For me there’s nothing better than drinking a pint of cider over ice to quench the thirst (seinen Durst löschen) on hot days – what hot days you’re saying. My personal favourite is Strongbow cider. Want to find out more or check out their new TV ads, go to www.strongbow.com?

A ‘Speak like a native’ add-on, how to ask for a cider in a pub!

“A pint of Cider, please?” Easy, isn’t it? If you are feeling adventurous & the bar staff seem friendly why not add ‘luv’ (to a female member of the bar staff) (Liebes/Schatz) or mate (to a male member of the bar staff) (Kumpel) . Happy ordering.

Question of the day. What’s your favourite British food (product)? Post on www.facebook.com/teatimetitbits
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0 # Dave 2015-08-14 04:20
Fun on Friday. ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death’ starring Wallace & Gromit.

I don’t know how but I missed this film when it first came out and only happened upon (zufällig auf etw stoßen) it just recently. Better late than never, so to say. Like all the W&G films, it is extremely well-made, fast-moving, action-packed and fantastic plays on words, which make for a great fun to watch. Top marks, Nick Parks!
Here’s the film description taken from www.wallaceandgromit.com
Wallace & Gromit have started a new bread baking business, ‘Top Bun’ (Brötchen) and converted 62 West Wallaby Street into a granary (Getreide Speicher) with ovens, robotic kneading (Kneten) arms and an old-fashioned windmill on the roof. The transformation is perfect.
Although business is booming, Gromit is concerned (bekummert) by the news that a dozen local bakers have ‘disappeared’ this year – but Wallace isn’t worried. He’s too distracted (abgelenk sein) and ‘dough (Teig) -eyed’ in love with former beauty and bread enthusiast, Piella Bakewell (from Bakewell Törtchen)
While they enjoy being the ‘Toast of the Town’, Gromit soon realises his master’s life is in jeopardy (in Gefahr sein), and turns sleuth (Detektiv) to solve the escalating murder mystery – in what quickly becomes ‘A Matter of Loaf and Death.’
Question of the Day. Which is the best W&G film? Join the conversation on www.teatime-titbits.de

Answers to yesterday’s quiz.
1) ear 2) neck 3) foot 4) cheek 5) nose 6) tongue 7) arm & leg 8) hand 9) eye 10) back
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0 # Dave 2015-08-13 04:09
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Teaser on Thursday

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as Teaser on Tuesday, but hey – variety is the spice of life! (Abwechslung ist die Würze des Lebens). Today’s is all about body parts.

Become the Teatime-Titbit ‘body part’ King or Queen (for the day) by posting your answers at www.teatime-titbits.de . The first correct answer will be crowned ‘the Teatime-Titbits ‘body part’ King or Queen’. Just a bit of (h)armless fun – excuse the pun (Wortwitz). Answers: Tomorrow.

Can you put the ’body parts’ below in the correct phrase. Good luck.

tongue back ear eye cheek foot arm hand nose leg neck

1.“I haven’t got a clue what to say to her, I guess I’ll just have to play it by ……………… “ (= etwas improvisieren)
2.“Don’t you think you are sticking your ……………… out too far on this one?” (= sich vorwagen/rauslehnen)
3.“Oh shit I really put my ……………… in it by mentioning Dave’s name.”
(= in ein Fettnäpfchen treten)
4.“After all that, he had the ……………… to ask for his job back”.
(= die Frechheit besitzen, etw zu tun)
5.“I’ll to have keep my ……………… to the grindstone to get the project done on time.” (= ordentlich was machen)
6.“What about whatshername from HR, her name’s on the tip of my ……………… .” (= Es liegt mir auf der Zunge.)
7.“These legal fees are costing us an ……………… and a ……………… .”
(= schweineteuer sein)
8.“Her absenteeism is getting out of ……………… . “
(= überhandnehmen)
9.“It looks simple, but in my opinion there’s more than meets the ………………” (= mehr, als man auf Anhieb erkennen kann.)
10.“Let’s help each other, you scratch my ……………… and I’ll scratch yours. “ (=Eine Hand wäscht die andere)
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0 # Dave 2015-08-13 04:07
Check out today’s teatime titbit: How to reminisce (in English).

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the legendary gig given by ‘The Stone Roses’ in Blackpool, UK https://youtu.be/pNfHoPIxhXM.

This intro. probably throws up one main question in your mind – who the fuck is ‘The Stone Roses’ then closely followed by another – what the fuck do they have to do with it anyway?

1.If you like Oasis – globally Brit Pop, you’ll like them.
2.When I watch the gig or listen to the MP3 – I’m transformed back into the ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’ – when I was a ‘YOUNG PUP’ (Hier: Junge). ‘BACK THEN’, when I was doing my A’levels in Sheffield. ‘AT THAT TIME’ I was footloose & fancy-free (frei und ungebunden) and ‘IN THOSE DAYS’ time didn’t fly by !

IN RETROSPECT / IN HINDSIGHT / LOOKING BACK, they were simply the best days of my life!!!!!

Question of the Day: Which song brings back happy memories & why? Why not post below.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-10 17:30
Check out today’s teatime titbit: My 2 cents. (Warning: this is a bit of a long one!!!)

That dreaded day is almost upon us, at least in North Rhine Westphalia, as school resumes after the summer break. For some it marks the start in their journey of systemic ‘creative busting” while for the rest, they are just starting another year further down the road to a ‘creative graveyard’.

Agree or disagree, I would highly recommend watching Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk Do school kill creativity? http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity ,

This very candid look (offener Blick) at our education system, giving us tremendous food for thought about education on the whole. Having worked with teenagers ‘needing’ extra-tuition in English, I can really relate (nachvollziehen) to what Ken is saying.

In my narrow insight into the English language training in German secondary school, I see 3 major flaws (Fehler/Mangel), which are again systemic & so I’m not having a pop at (jdm einen Schlag führen) the teachers, who are abiding by (sich an die Richtlinien halten) the guidelines set down (festssetzen) for them.

1. Class size. How can anyone effectively learn a language with class sizes of upto & over 30 pupils? Clearly the emphasis is then put on passive learning and not active –speaking.

My advice to parents – find creative ways to get the children to speak & hopefully fall in love with the language - where children only speak English with each other – e.g. after school English groups or find English speaking families in your areas. If you have the financial means, pay for someone to speak (not teach) with your children on a regular basis.

2. Out of touch with real life / kids. Most of the book content maybe interesting for the ADULT authors, but doesn’t really fit into their ‘world of interest’.

Whatever your child is interested in, try to find a way for them to read, hear, speak & maybe even write about it in English. One teenager I work with is a footy fan (easy peasy) – we subscribed to the English teenager football magazine ‘Match’ & often watched player interviews (youtube) and talked about results, games etc in English.

3. Grading system. As Ken said, kids are educated out of taking risks or simply having a go (es (mal) versuchen) for fear of getting it wrong. In an English school test, every single little mistake means the grade will be lower – if the message is there, do we really need to be so pernickety (penibel)?

This is a tough one to offer advice on because naturally everyone wants there kids to get top grades – go with the flow. That said, unless your kid wants to be an English teacher or professor, you may want to focus on encouraging them to speak (freely), build self-confidence and try to think about life after school, where good communication is more required, - can s/he get the job done? than getting ‘He, she, it, das ‘s’ muß mit’ right. And remember: Everywhere outside the school test room, there are ‘dictionaries, spell & grammar checks and the like’.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you want – with your 2 cents.

P.S. If you would like some info on the British & American school system, click left on Teatime –Titbits – PDF.
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0 # Dave 2015-08-10 17:24
Check out today’s teatime titbit: Speak like a native.

Oh at last, with a great sigh of relief (Seufer der Erleichterung), last weekend marked the start of the new English Premiership (equivalent of the German Bundesliga) football season.

If footy isn’t your thing & you are thinking “I’ll skip this post for sure:” STOP – hold your horses (Immer mit der Ruhe!) cos this post is especially for you.

Let’s imagine you start a conversation with someone at a conference.

You “Hi, I’m Andrea, nice to meet you”.
Other Person. “Hi, I’m Dave, nice to meet you too”
You “Are you from the UK?
Dave “Yes, I’m from Liverpool, do you know it”
You. “Yes, of course, I’ve heard of Liverpool but I’ve never been there”

Now you’re at a junction - option 1, the SAFER option - ask about Liverpool generally e.g. “What’s Liverpool like?” / “What can you do in Liverpool” / “Where can you go out in Liverpool” or even “Ah, Beatles country, great” etc. or option 2 ask a footy question ….

Let’s continue the conversation with option 2.
You “So are you a Liverpool or Everton supporter?” or “Are you from the red or blue half (of Liverpool)?

Dave “Born & bred Liverpool, say you know your (football) stuff” (die Materie beherrschen)
You “Yes, well, between you, me & the gatepost (unter vier Augen), I follow a blog called Teatime Titbits blog & the guy also throws in some footy stuff from time to time.”

Have I whetted your appetite (jdm. Lust auf etw machen) to find out more about all the Premiership teams and where they are from? You can download the free PDF “The Teatime Titbit guide to the Premiership 2015/16” on my profile page.
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0 # Dave 2015-07-29 04:13
Wed. 29.7.2015. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad part 2 – Quickie brain-teaser

Here’s a quick brain-teaser to get your head around this morning. The verb (accept etc) goes with 2 of the 3 nouns (an offer etc) – so one of them is the odd one out (passt nicht in der Reihe). You simply have to find the odd one out.

1. to appreciate A) a reply B) an offer C) your custom
2. to attend A) to a problem B) a meeting C) a complaint
3. to enclose A) a copy B) an offer C) a shipment
4. to make A) a complaint B) a customer C) a decision
5. to negotiate A) the terms B) the price C) the meeting
6. to place A) an order B) an apology C) an offer
7. to receive A) payment B) the delay C) the goods
8. to resolve A) a solution B) a problem C) a dispute
9. to settle A) an apology B) an invoice C) a dispute

Answers: 1) B, 2) C, 3) C, 4) B, 5) C, 6) B, 7) B, 8) A, 9) A.
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0 # Dave 2015-07-28 14:05
Tues. 28.7. Raise your standards 2.

Do you want to raise your register when speaking English – to have the ability to flip between conversational and formal English whenever required?

If so, this is just for you. In this series of posts (over the coming months) I will deal with a letter a day. Today’s letter is still “A”. N.B. for each word I give common synonyms (less formal to colloquial), and a translation.

1.to accommodate sb (a customer) = to meet the needs/wants of = jdm entgegenkommen (e.g. einem Kunden)

2.to adhere to sth = to follow sth = to stick to sth = an Richtlinien einhalten/an etw festhalten

3.to advise sb of sth = to inform = mitteilen

4.to amend = to change = abändern/etw berichtigen

5.to avert = to prevent/avoid = abwenden/vermeiden
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0 # Dave 2015-07-28 13:58
Mon. 27.7 Speak like a native.

The German team manager Joachim Löw is said to be “relieved” (erleichtert) with the “doable tasks” (lösbare Aufgaben) of playing against: Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Mario.
“Doable tasks” is an understatement (Untertreibung) – I’m sure he’ll be rubbing his hands together and thinking “Easy peasy lemon squeezy (pillepalle – see urban dictionary link below) – that’s that sorted” (Erledigt)

Monday morning quiz to get you started!!! How many English phrases can you think of meaning ‘easy’?
Here’s my list starting EASY first!
Child’s play
A doddle
As easy as pie
As easy as ABC
As easy as falling off a log
Easy peasy
There’s nothing to it
A walk in the park
I can do it blindfolded (etw (wie) im Schlaf machen)
A piece of piss! (nicht schwerig) slang beware!!!
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0 # Dave 2015-07-26 09:09
Check out today’s tea time titbit: Fun on Friday. Drunk Scotsman song.

Hi, everyone. So I’ve been banging on about (sich endlos über etw auslassen) Scotland all week, hope you’re not too sick of it yet.

Everyone knows about the traditional Scottish kilt & rumour has it (man munkelt) that, men don’t actually wear anything under it? Here’s my question of the day: Do Scots wear anything under their kilts?

While you are thinking it over – not too long now ladies, check out the Drunk Scotsman song, it might give a wee bit of inspiration.
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