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Last updated at 15:19 BST, Friday, 24 August 2012

A ray of sunshine

A model walks along an outdoor catwalk in the sunshine in Sydney, Australia.

In bright sunshine, a model walks along the 'world's longest catwalk' at Darling Harbour in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Today's Phrase

A ray of sunshine is used when something or someone offers hope in a difficult situation.

For example:

After failing both my exams, going to see my mum has provided a ray of sunshine.

It's been a really terrible few days, but he's been like a ray of sunshine to me.

The new client provided a ray of sunshine for Steve's business on Monday.

Don't confuse it with

The phrase 'under the sun', which means anything or anywhere that exists on Earth.

For example:

Matthew seems to have an opinion on everything under the sun.

You can find almost everything under the sun in that shop.

Interesting fact

The existence of nearly all life on Earth is thanks to the rays of light emitted by the sun. The sun's rays, in moderation, are beneficial to the human body, which produces vitamin D. A lack of sunlight, however, can sometimes lead to a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a mood illness which can lead to depression.

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