English Lessons


Office Supplies, Part I

Let's talk today about office supplies that we use in the workplace and at school. Some words, like "ballpoint pen," you probably know already, but let's take a look at some items that may be new to your vocabulary.


Who, from what I hear, needs to keep his stapler in his desk drawer.

Caption 39, New Year's Resolutions: Friends

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a stapler as "a small usually hand-operated device for inserting wire staples." A stapler looks like this!


I have a brown tape, a paper tape, and this clear tape.

Caption 25, Abiventures: Organizing

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The tape described above is adhesive tape, which usually comes in rolls and has a band of plastic or paper that is sticky on one side.


What's this envelope? Is this a wedding invitation?

Caption 3, How I Met Your Mother: Douche-pocalypse

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An envelope is the folded paper holder in which you send and receive letters—the part of a letter that has the address on it.


My green pencil... My red pencil... My yellow pencil.

Captions 44-46, David and Red: in England

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A pencil is, of course, a writing instrument, usually made of wood with a graphite center. They are sometimes called "lead pencils," because in ancient times, people sometimes wrote with sticks of lead. Pencils that are other colors, such as those in the video above, are called "colored pencils."


I'm cutting this string with my scissors,

Caption 12, The Alphabet: The Letter C

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In English, unlike many other languages, the noun "scissors" is always plural. Thus you say "The scissors are..." and never "The scissors is..." The word "scissor," without the -s ending, can be a verb or an adjective, however.


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the videos above to get a better overview of the words you just learned!

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! A New Year's resolution is a tradition that, according to Wikipedia, is common in the Western World. People make promises to themselves to "continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life at the start of a new year."


It's the first day of 2019.  -We should do New Year's resolutions.

Caption 2, New Year's Resolutions: Lele Pons & Hannah Stocking

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Often friends and family will discuss their resolutions for the upcoming year.


My New Year's resolution is to just keep going at the gym.

Caption 7, Ashley Tisdale: Happy New Year!

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This resolution will probably be easier to keep, since she has been going to the gym already and it´s just a matter of continuing to go.


Every day, I am gonna do one thing I have never done before. That, my friends, is my New Year's resolution.

Captions 9-11, New Year's Resolutions: Friends

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This, on the other hand, might prove difficult. It may be hard to even think up practical things that you've never done before. Even more likely, you'll just forget your resolution because of regular routines!


All right, my New Year's resolution is to learn how to play guitar.

Caption 29, New Year's Resolutions: Friends

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This too may prove to be difficult, since learning to play a musical instrument requires a lot of time and patience.


I don't really make any New Year's resolutions anymore because I learned early on that when I did, I never really followed through with the resolution.

Captions 2-4, Ashley Tisdale: Happy New Year!

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According to statistics, most people fail in their resolutions. Apparently, you are more likely to achieve your goal if you take smaller steps towards achieving it, rather than trying to make a large change in one go.


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch the "New Year's Resolutions" episode of Friends, it's pretty funny! And if you have made a New Year's resolution (or plan to), be sure you try to accomplish it in small steps rather than all at once— you'll be more likely to attain your goal. Best wishes in the new year from all of us at Yabla!

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