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Under the Weather?

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Neil Edgeller Neil Edgeller | 15:41 UK time, Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Hi Nick and welcome to the student blog, though it looks like you've already made plenty of friends!

They say that the British like to talk about the weather but what's very clear from the overwhelming response to you blog is that the rest of the world is just as obsessed with what's going on in the skies above us.

You've written a very engaging entry, Nick. I like the way you convey your frustration with the way the authorities seem to be unable to cope with extreme weather. Believe me I feel the same way about Britain. It seems that every year we get a little bit of snow and the entire country grinds to a halt. The thing that really gets up my nose is that they say that the reason we aren't prepared for the snow is that it doesn't happen very often. However, we've had to deal with gridlocked traffic on London's streets after just the lightest of flurries every year I can remember. Last year I even had to walk home for three hours because of snow!

London buses out of service in snow

London buses out of service in snow

There are a couple of things to work on in your English, Nick. I noticed that sometimes you forget to use articles - the words 'a', 'an' and 'the'. For example, you wrote:

On simple issue, instead of 'On a simple issue.'

On another occasion you have used an article when it isn't necessary:

Mankind that managed to solve mysteries of a DNA, which should be 'Mankind that managed to solve mysteries of DNA.'

You write very fluently, which is a good thing, but you should also be careful not to let more basic mistakes slip in. For example, you wrote:

But why it happens? I'm sure you know that the questions should be formed like this: 'But why does it happen?'

To end, I'd like to introduce you a few weather-related idioms. There's already one in the title 'under the weather'. Can you guess what this means? Here are a few more. Please let me know what you think.

1. To be snowed under.

2. To throw caution to the wind.

3. A storm in a teacup.

Good luck!


Overwhelming: very strong in effect.
Obsessed: thinking about something all the time.
Grinds to a halt: comes to a complete standstill.
Gets up my nose: really annoys me.
Flurries: light snow falls


  • Comment number 1.

    Nice to meet you and thanks for the comments, Neil!

    You got my idea perfectly - winter always comes "suddenly" to the authorities, and thats really frustrating whether they can handle something more serious than ordinary flurries or showers.

    Thank you so much for your notifications - articles are for sure my weak spot, I`ll try to improve in the next posts. Please feel free to comment on the silliest issues for me to handle them further on!

    I would also appreciate your favourite the best-of-the-best English "grammar spot" (with superbly clear, visual rules) on the Internet. It seems there are billions of those, but what to use as a "main anchor"?

    Thanks for the idioms; I thought that "under the weather" means something which state is closely connected to weather. But Google suggested that it might be just a ailment. Interesting is that in Russian we have almost 100% "clone" of the last one, but we use not a "teacup" but a "glass of water".


  • Comment number 2.

    To be snowed under : A Person who is under work pressure.

  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Neil,

    A big welcome to you, Mr Neil. After much anticipation, finally you've arrived. Ms. Rosie while bidding farewell to us mentioned about you that you'd be taking the pain to correct our mistakes. Now, we feel relieved that we're no more teacher-less. A wise man once said, 'The day you stop learning, the day you stop growing', and English is a part among many other things that most of us in this blog, endeavour to learn. We'd appreciate your kind guidance on this. Once again, on behalf of everyone, I welcome you to this blog.

    Have a happy teaching!


  • Comment number 4.

    and I know none of the idioms you'd asked and I can't even dare to guess, as long as they're idioms!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Neil

    Nice to meet or in this case is better to use read you.

    Allow me to try to find out the meanings of the idioms above.

    To be under the weather: 1. to be unwell or ill
    2. to be drunken

    To be snowed under: to have a lot of work to be done
    To throw caution to the wind: to be carelessness in acting
    a storm in a teacup: to distress onself with no serious reason

    Every time I am delighted in similarity and diversity of languages. For instance we also use the last idiom meaning the same but the word for word translation is:
    a storm in a pot :)

    Please keep on teaching and helping us as Ms Rosie did earlier.

    Have a lovely spring day for everyone.

    Krisztina from Hungary

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Neil and every one,
    it is my first time to this blog, so first of all let me thank you for the amazing opportunity you offer us all.
    I own you a point on whether being sometime actually overwhelming.
    Although I think we should try to get the best out of it and throw away everything, on which we have no power
    I must admit it really gets up my nose when I must put off my plan for the weekend or when it takes three or four hours to come back from work because of the weather, but
    what is the use of becoming angry, the weather will either not notice it.

    I've look up on a dictionary the idiomatic expression gave us.
    I've found these meaning:

    1. To be snowed under: perhaps to have too much to cope with.

    2. To throw caution to the wind: When people throw caution to the wind, they take a great risk.

    3. A storm in a teacup: If someone exaggerates a problem or makes a small problem seem far greater than it really is, then they are making a storm in a teacup.

    4. Under the weather: If you are feeling a bit ill, sad or lack energy, you are under the weather.

    See you
    Corinna from Italy


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