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The importance of spelling (and a taste of summer)

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Jennifer | 16:34 UK time, Monday, 28 May 2012

Hello everyone!

Thank you Karolina for your final blog of the month. It's a shame that you haven't had the time to write more, as I think we have all enjoyed reading your posts and finding out about life in Poland.

In England, we've had a taste of summer this week, with temperatures soaring. It's amazing how a change in the weather can affect people's personalities. Suddenly everyone seems happy and carefree, people may take a picnic to the park or perhaps head down to the beach for a spot of sunbathing. All of the shops are filled with picnic blankets and disposable barbecue sets and everyone seems to be in the party mood. If you're outdoors in the hot weather, it's a rare treat in England as it's so changeable - you never know how long the sunshine is going to last.

However, if you're glued to the desk it's not so much fun, especially when you know that other people are enjoying the sunshine outside. Offices with lots of windows can feel like giant greenhouses, and if you're stuck on the busy underground in hot weather, the heat can be stifling and very unpleasant.

When the weather is hot, I like to stroll down by the river on my way home. It's a great way to unwind and breathe in the summer air. It's important to grab opportunities like this when they come along, as it is more than likely to rain again by the end of the week! Fingers crossed the good weather will last a little longer so we can all make the most of it.

The river Thames in London

Let's take a look at Karolina's final blog, all about... well, according to Karolina, her cousin's 'weeding'.

Karolina's blog
When I first read the title of your blog, 'Weeding day' (which I later corrected), I was a little surprised. At first I thought you were writing about a day working in the garden. Why?

Well, a small mistake in spelling can vastly change the meaning of a word. You wrote about your cousin's weeding. If you are weeding the garden, it means that you are getting rid of all of the unwanted flowers and plants - the weeds.

Your father is in the garden doing the weeding.

What you meant to write about was your cousin's wedding. This is where two people get married to each other - quite a different event! So always check your spelling.

There are a few other things which you can do to improve your writing, so let me point some out to you.

Some of the prepositions that you have used in your sentences aren't quite right. For example, you write:

Last weekend I spend on my cousin's wedding.

If you are going somewhere, we talk about spending time 'at' something. So you should have written:

Last weekend I spent [time] at my cousin's wedding.

If you bought expensive presents, you could say:

Last weekend I spent money on my cousin for her wedding.

Changing the preposition from 'at' to 'on' also changes the meaning of the verb 'to spend'. You also write:

We play in many games.

You don't need a preposition here: the correct way to write this is simply,

We play many games.

There are quite a few occasions in this current blog where your subject and verb do not agree. What is the correct form of the verb that should go in these gaps?

The bride ________ her flowers (to throw)

The girl ___________ the flowers (to catch)

Every girl ______ to sit on her chair (to have)

Again, try to make sure that you have the correct form of the verb - it will all help to make your writing a lot more fluent.

Finally, you mention 'oczepiny', but you don't tell us what it is - keep in mind that your readers may not understand traditions from your own country, so sometimes you may need to explain more about what they are.

Well done and thank you for all of your blogs and remember to keep writing and speaking as much English as you can: practice makes perfect!

Homework answers
Here are the homework answers from last week - congratulations to everyone who got them all right!

1. Flooding has devastated this small fishing village.
2. It's pouring with rain outside. My barbeque will be ruined!
3. My boyfriend wants to split up with me: I'm devastated.
4. Around the corner is a ruined Roman fort.
5. If the share price keeps falling, the company will be financially ruined and the boss will be devastated.

Thank you to all of you for your comments and participation this month. I'll be handing over to another teacher blogger for next month, so watch this space to find out who is going to be leading you on your English journey next time!


soaring - rising
carefree - without worries
head down to - go to
a spot of - a bit of
disposable - something which can be thrown away
a rare treat - something nice which doesn't happen often
glued to the desk - stuck at work
greenhouses - glass buildings for growing plants
stifling - very hot and difficult to breathe
stroll - walk
unwind - relax
more than likely - probably
fingers crossed - hopefully
weeds - unwanted garden plants
watch this space - keep checking here


  • Comment number 1.

    It's been a pleasure reading your and Karolina's blogs. I learned a lot from the slip-ups Karolina made and you pointing them out for her and us as well. The correct usage of the articles and describing the buildings whether old, empty or both were very helpful.
    Hope to see you very soon.
    Best Regards,

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Jennifer,

    Thanks for your blogs and information you have given us, I agree with you that practice makes perfect. It can be applied to everything and every subjects in the world, especially for English leaner like us. I guess when you speak of sunshiny days, the temperature is not so high in your country. But in another contries like mine, we have a lot of sunburning days and last very long. We indeed have some rainy days but in some months and winter days for one week.


  • Comment number 3.

    What is the correct form of the verb that should go in these gaps?

    The bride _throws_ her flowers (to throw)

    The girl _catches_ the flowers (to catch)

    Every girl __has__ to sit on her chair (to have)

    First of all , thank you Jennifer for giving information about grammar and pointing out about the mistakes in your blog.
    Now I would thank to Karolina and all friends about the wedding rituals of their respective countries. I am looking forward to reading many more such blogs in future and get to know about other countries' cultures etc.


  • Comment number 4.

    Sorr for missing your assignment :p

    There are quite a few occasions in this current blog where your subject and verb do not agree. What is the correct form of the verb that should go in these gaps?

    The bride __thorws_____ her flowers (to throw)

    The girl ___catches______ the flowers (to catch)

    Every girl __has___ to sit on her chair (to have)


  • Comment number 5.

    Hello everybody,

    Today I discover the blog section from BBC. What a nice spot to learn english and also culture from all over the world. I'm from the French part of Canada, Quebec. My first language is french but I'm improving english with reading, travelling, taking courses.

    I 'm glad to read your blog and also hear about London, a city that I visited 20 years ago. The weather wasn't so bad...even if my friends told me to carry an umbrella every day.

    In my city, we had a wonderful weather during May, between 20 degrees up to 32 .Fantastic but exceptionnal too..

    Best regards

    Marie from Canada

  • Comment number 6.

    I am thankfull to bbc site it help me lot to improve my english skill, i was crazy about learning english and am learning it since 2000, still i feel defeciency however this site help me to learn quickly. someone help me how to improve my speaking???
    Thanking in Advance.

  • Comment number 7.

    Finding this blog made my day!I am an English teacher in Peru.I have been looking for a place to share what we do at school so that students learn anew language.It is a tough task.Finding students who share with everybody their experiences throgh this site is a good way to enhance their language production.Furthermore,sharing other teachers from abroad sharing what they do in class is a PLUS to me.I would like to keep on exchanging experiences with more teachers.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hello Marie,

    Nice to meet you! I am also new here and want to improve my speaking and written english. My native language is hindi I am from India. It's good to learn about the weather in Canada. Hope to know more about Quebec in future postings.

  • Comment number 9.

    Hello everyone!

    Just to greet you all and let you know about living in a small village which is called La Merced in Chanchamay-Peru.It is nice weather all the year long.People can go to waterfalls and rivers and enjoy the greenery everywhere.The food is delicious.It is awesome to work here.

  • Comment number 10.

    hiii every one >

    thanks for this nots that you have pointed to . i,m realy want to improve my writing and spelling in my engish .

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Jennifer!
    I enjoy reading your blog.I learn new vocabulary.I've been working in the field where I need to have excellent command over English language.BBC learning English & Teachers' blogs are helping me to improve upon my language skills.

    Thank you:)

  • Comment number 12.

    The bride *throws her flowers (to throw)

    The girl *catches the flowers (to catch)

    Every girl *has to sit on her chair (to have)

  • Comment number 13.

    Thanks to the teachers, have really leant alot here. Well am a new user,please i want somebody to educate me on how to use this site.


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