Idiom: a figurative expression or phrase that cannot usually be understood from the individual words it is made up of. Originally, many idioms had a literal meaning, lost or forgotten after years of use. There are thousands of idioms in any language, and the English language is said to have over 25,000 idiomatic expressions. Native speakers are able to recognize and understand idioms easily, but they can be quite a challenge for language learners. Here's the first post in a series aimed at shedding light on some of the best-known idioms in the English language.

These two verbs can be very tricky to use properly if your first language uses one verb for both meanings. Such is the case in German and Swiss German, so it comes as no surprise when learners of English make this mistake. I've heard students using these verbs incorrectly a number of times, so let's have a look at how they're used.

Which is correct: 'I want to stop smoking' or 'I want to stop to smoke'? Grammatically, both sentences are correct. However, they have different meanings. The verb stop can be followed by a verb in the infinitive (to ...) or an -ing form (also known as gerunds).

Have a look at these two sentences - one of them is incorrect:

The party was funny. The party was fun.

Which one is right? Fun and funny are two words in English (out of many!) that sound similar but have slightly different meanings - no wonder so many students confuse the two. Read on to find out which sentence is correct (and why).

The owner of this hair and nail salon close to where I live should have paid more attention in class (or at least checked their grammar before getting this sign). Using an apostrophe + s to make a noun plural is incorrect - a very common mistake which unfortunately looks even worse on a shop window. So how should we use the 's form?

In Swiss German, future tenses aren't really necessary to talk about future plans. Most of the time, words or phrases like 'tomorrow', 'next month' or 'next year' serve as indicators of the future.

It's not that simple in English, however. We can use two tenses when talking about future plans or decisions: be going + infinitive or the present continuous.

So, how do we use these two tenses to talk about future plans and arrangements in English?

Prefixes can be quite confusing. Although some languages make use of prefixes like un- or in- to form negative adjectives, mentally translating from one language to another won't always help you get it right. The use of unsensitive instead of insensitive is a common mistake - here's why:

Why is it wrong to say 'make the dishes?' Many students confuse do with make, but how can we tell which verb we should use? It all depends on the kind of activity you're talking about. Read on to find out!