English Lessons


Flowers in Springtime

Spring and summer are the times of year that most flowers bloom in the Western Hemisphere. Let's take a look today at some of the more common types of flowers you'll come across in English. 


This incredible variety of shades of purple lupines are springing up everywhere.

Captions 25-26, New Zealand: 100% Pure New Zealand, Home of Middle-earth

 Play Caption



The Lupine (often spelled "Lupin" in British English), with its beautiful purple flowers, has become a problem in New Zealand, because it is not a native plant and has spread rapidly throughout the country.


If you come in June, you can see the roses.

Caption 11, Jessica: Brooklyn Sites

 Play Caption


The rose has been linked since ancient times to love, so it's the standard flower for people in love to give each other as a present.


This brief, rich time is crowned by the blooming of the alpine rose.

Caption 10, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

 Play Caption


The alpine rose is a kind of rose that is found in the mountains of central and southern Europe.


Anticipating the second her ears would open like lotuses...

Caption 15, White House Poetry Jam: Joshua Bennett

 Play Caption


The lotus flower is usually pink in Asia, and yellow in North America. It is considered a sacred plant in some eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism.


And who can believe that a kind of rhododendron is growing in the Alps as well?

Caption 12, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

 Play Caption


There are over a thousand kinds of rhododendrons. It's the national flower of Nepal.


There are Easter lilies and other flowers everywhere.

Caption 67, Holidays and Seasons with Sigrid: Easter

 Play Caption


The Easter lily is found most often in Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. In Ireland, a badge shaped like an Easter lily is worn during the Easter holidays in remembrance of people who died fighting for Irish independence.


Beside the red carpets shines the deep blue gentian.

Caption 13, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

 Play Caption


There are many different kinds of gentian, which usually have blue flowers. Some kinds are used medicinally or as a food or drink flavoring. 


Dream if you can a courtyard, an ocean of violets in bloom.

Captions 4-5, Prince. When Doves Cry

 Play Caption



Violets are often—but not always—a shade of purple that is also called violet, but there are also blue varieties. People sometimes invent rhymes that start with the line "Roses are red, violets are blue..." 


As did the queen of the Alps, the edelweiss.

Caption 18, The Last Paradises: The Alps, Realm of the Golden Eagle

 Play Caption



The edelweiss is usually found in the mountains of Europe. 


So much for them daisy chains.

Caption 37, Diane Birch: Valentino

 Play Caption



"Daisy" is a common name for several different kinds of flowers, which if strung together in a garland, are called "daisy chains." But the term "daisy chain" is also used as a technical term for connecting things, such as computers, ropes for climbing, and even a kind of fishing lure!


Further Learning
Find out more about different kinds of flowers on English Wikipedia or Simple English Wikipedia. You can start by looking up some flowers from this list: daffodil, dahlia, hibiscus, jasmine, marigold, morning glory, pansy, petunia, tulip, sunflower, and lavender.

You can also go to Yabla English and find more videos that use the word "flower" or "flowers" to see the different ways it is used by native English speakers. 

La primavera: Spring has sprung

Il passaggio dall'inverno alla primavera è caratterizzato dall'eguaglianza del giorno e della notte per tutti i luoghi della Terra e si chiama "equinozio di primavera". Sigrid ci ricorda che una delle feste primaverili è Pasqua:


Easter is a holiday that follows the vernal equinox.

Pasqua è una festività che segue l'equinozio di primavera.

We have an equinox when the night is the same length as the day:

Noi abbiamo un equinozio quando la notte ha la stessa durata del giorno:

twelve hours and twelve hours,

dodici ore e dodici ore,

and it's around the twenty-first of March, the beginning of spring.

ed è intorno al ventuno marzo, l'inizio della primavera.

Captions 6-9, Holidays and Seasons with Sigrid - Easter

 Play Caption


Come non ammirare i mille colori di cui si vestono prati e boschi di tutto il mondo nella bella stagione... ce lo ricordano anche i Pinker Tones, nel loro brano "Tokyo":


I promised that I'll take you for a ride

Ho promesso che ti porterò a fare un giro

To see cherry blossoms in the springtime

per vedere i fiori di ciliegio in primavera

Captions 22-23, The Pinker Tones - Tokyo

 Play Caption


In alcune parti del mondo, come l'Alaska, fino a qualche tempo fa, la primavera e l'estate avevano caratteristiche specifiche:


Spring and summer in Alaska are very short.

La primavera e l'estate in Alaska sono molto brevi.

Caption 34, Nature & Wildlife - Search for the Ghost Bear

 Play Caption


In realtà, nel mese di marzo, l'Alaska, tradizionalmente conosciuta come una delle regioni più fredde del pianeta, sta vivendo una lunga fase di caldo anomalo.


In questi due video Sigrid - Spring Musings e The Four Seasons - Spring, troverete tante informazioni relative all'abbigliamento consigliato e alle piante che crescono in primavera. 


Daylight Savings Time (l'ora legale)

A breve sposteremo avanti di un'ora le lancette degli orologi per sfruttare meglio l'irradiazione del sole. Questa convenzione da noi conosciuta come "ora legale", in inglese si chiama Spring Forward, Summer Time o Daylight Savings Time. Negli Stati Uniti, ha inizio solitamente la seconda domenica di marzo ed è sempre in questo periodo che si svolge una tradizione accademica conosciuta come spring break (vacanza di primavera). Numerosi studenti dei paesi anglosassoni (Regno Unito, Stati Uniti, Canada, Australia, Nuova Zelanda, ecc.) hanno a disposizione una settimana di vacanza durante la quale, in genere, si recano in un luogo turistico. Negli Stati Uniti la vacanza si può svolgere dalla fine di febbraio fino a circa metà aprile, ma il periodo più usuale è quello della prima metà di marzo. 


Altri significati di spring

La parola springoltre a "primavera", ha anche il significato di "fonte, sorgente":


A spring turns into a trickle.

Una fonte si trasforma in un rivolo.

Caption 27, Evolution - On Land

 Play Caption


E il verbo to spring significa anche "zampillare" e "azionare":


That makes tears want to spring to my eyes.

Questo fa venire voglia alle lacrime di zampillare dai miei [mi fa venire le lacrime agli] occhi.

Caption 38, Comic-Con 2015 - Jennifer Lawrence

 Play Caption


As soon as the shark calms down, the biologists spring to action.

Non appena lo squalo si calma, i biologi si mettono in azione.

Caption 71, Nature & Wildlife - Wild Sharks

 Play Caption


Grazie per aver letto la nostra newsletter. Speriamo di rivedervi qui il mese prossimo. Scrivete i vostri commenti, le vostre domande, o i vostri suggerimenti a newsletter@yabla.com



Homonyms in English - Part I

In English, there are many words that sound and are spelled the same, but they have different meanings. These are called homonyms. It may sound confusing, but in this first lesson in the series, we'll look at some examples to help clarify the differences so that mixing them up can be avoided!


A good example of a homonym is the noun "rose" (the flower) and the verb "rose" (the past tense of "to rise"). Take a look at the two examples of "rose" and their different meanings:


A sprinkling of rose petals.

Caption 32, English Afternoon Tea - Victoria Sponge - The Royal Connection

 Play Caption


The verb "to rise" has many meanings, such as "to get out of bed," or to assume a standing position" after lying or sitting down. It can even mean "to return from the dead" as shown in this example:


He was crucified on Good Friday, and on Sunday, after that, he rose again.

Captions 20-21, Holidays and Seasons with Sigrid - Easter

 Play Caption


The noun "bank" can mean either a financial institution or "a raised portion of seabed or sloping ground along the edge of a stream, river, or lake." 


Two people have a bank account together: a joint account.

Caption 25, The Alphabet - the Letter J

 Play Caption


My favorite place, uh, is probably the, uh, BFI on the south bank of the Thames [river] here in London.

Caption 19, Chris - I.T. Professional - Learn About His Work in Information Technology

 Play Caption


The word "bow" has a multitude of very different meanings, both as a noun and a verb:


Tie a ribbon in a bow

When you meet the queen, you bow

Captions 48-49, English with Annette O'Neil - Words

 Play Caption


The noun "bow," in this case the bow on a wrapped birthday gift for example and the verb "bow," as in bending from the waist in honor of somebody, are pronounced differently. Watch the video above to hear the pronunciations.


Yeah, I got two orcas off my port bow. [Port bow equals left front side]

Caption 38, National Geographic WILD - Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark

 Play Caption


In this case, "bow" is a nautical term meaning the front of a boat or ship.


Bow hairs are being shredded like crazy!

Caption 45, Sting - Symphonicity EPK

 Play Caption


Here the noun "bow" referred to is the bow of a violin.


Further Learning
To find more instances of homonyms like these, have a look at Yabla English and see if you can find more examples. Perhaps you know some already that confuse you again and again — the Yabla videos can help you put these words in an everyday context! 


You May Also Like