Saturday, May 22, 2021

Ask an English question about this picture


Monday, May 3, 2021

 Mis Words


The other day, I was asked the meaning of the word 'misfit'. I said it was something or someone that did not 'fit' properly like the expression 'a square peg in a round hole'. It does not fit properly. It is a misfit. It could be a person trying to become a member of a group. If he or she has nothing in common with the group, they would be a 'misfit'. 

There are lots of words that begin with 'mis'. Not all of them carry a negative meaning but for anyone learning English, here are some words to watch out for: 

These ROOT-WORDS are MIS & MISO which mean WRONG, BAD & HATE. We all make MIStakes and MIS is the ROOT that says it’s wrong. Consider word No.10 Mischief is trouble. The mischievous fellow is a troublemaker, usually a poor student. Smart ones have no time for mischief. Perhaps the mischievous fellow would like to be the leader, the chief. But he cannot be the chief since he does not achieve good work. He wants attention, so he goes in for mischievous acts, achievement of the wrong kind.

1. Misadventure : MIS adventure (mis ad ven’ chur) n.

An accident; misfortune

2. Misalliance : MIS alliance (mis a lie’ ans) n.

An improper union; esp., an improper marriage

3. Misanthrope : MIS anthrope (mis’ an thrope) n.

A hater of mankind

4. Misappropriate : MIS appropriate (mis a pro’ pree ate) v.

To use wrongly; esp., for one’s own benefit

5. Misbegotten : MIS begotten (mis be got’ en) adj.

Born out of wedlock; ill-born

6. Misbehavior : MIS behavior (mis be hay’ vyor) n.

Improper conduct

7. Miscalculate : MIS calculate (mis kal’ kyu late) v.

To make an error in counting

8. Miscarriage : MIS carriage (mis kar’ ij) n.

Wrong handling; as, a miscarriage of justice

9. Miscast : MIS cast (mis kast’) v.

To give an actor a role not suited to him

10. Mischief : MIS chief (mis’ chif) n.

An act which results in damage or injury

11. Misconception : MIS conception (mis kon sep’ shun) n.

An erroneous idea; wrong interpretation

12. Miscreant : MIS creant (mis’ kree ant) n.

An evil-doer; one who is vicious in behavior

13. Misgivings : MIS givings (mis giv’ ings)

Doubt about the result

14. Misnomer : MIS nomer (mis no’ mer) n.

The wrong name

15. Misguide : MIS guide (mis gide’) v.

To lead in the wrong direction

16. Misogynist : MISO gynist ?(mi soj’ i nist) n.

A hater of women

17. Misopedia : MISO pedia (mis o pee’ di a) n.

A morbid dislike of one’s own children

18. Misrepresent : MIS represent (mis rep re zent’) v.

To give a false impression of

19. Mistrial : MIS trial (mis trie’ al) n.

A trial of no effect because of some error in the proceedings

20. Misinterpretation: MIS interpretation (mis in ter pre tay’ shun) n.


Source: The free

Note: These should not be confused with Japanese 'Miso' soup which is delicious!


Friday, April 30, 2021

Canadian Culture in Thailand and Word Sounds

Tim Hortons now had eight restaurants in Bangkok, Thailand. Tim Horton was a defenceman with the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club a long time ago. 

If you read the above sentences, you may see what appear to be two grammatical errors. Shouldn't it be Tim Horton's? What about Toronto Maple Leaves?

Yes, in correct English, they should be, but these are 'brand' names and so, although they look odd to grammarians, they do stand out and that is what effective brand names are supposed to do.

One of Tim Hortons most popular products is 'Tim Bits' or donut holes. My wife, who is Thai, said that in Thailand, Thai people call them 'Tim Bites'. 

I thought I would explain how, if you are learning or teaching English, you can quickly decide which is correct.

English has many small words with a single vowel between consonants. Usually, the word is pronounced with a short vowel sound:

bit, can, win, kit, man, hat

The dog bit the cat.

I can read English.

The best team will win.

I have a kit to build a toy boat.

The man was tall. 

The girl was wearing a hat.


Listen to what happens when we add an 'e' at the end of those words.

bite, cane, wine, kite, mane, hate.

Adding the 'e' changes the vowel to a long sound.

Read these sentences and hear the differences in the sound of the words now.

The dog may bite you.

The old man uses a cane.

We had wine with dinner at the restaurant.

I like to fly my kite.

The horse has a long mane.

I hate getting splashed by cars.

As with many English rules, you may find exceptions but generally speaking, this is a good rule to follow.

If you want to see how Canadian culture is finding a home in Bangkok. watch this YouTube video:

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Overseas Teaching Jobs

New Overseas Teaching Jobs

We just posted 678+ overseas teaching jobs on our website. Teachers are needed around the world in 25+ countries and territories plus online as of April 14, 2021. A ‘v' after a number means a ‘volunteer' or likely unpaid job...though housing, meals and medical are usually covered. All others are presumably salaried and contracted positions. An (F) after a number means that only females will be considered. An (EU) after the number means the position is open only to applicants who can enter that country visa-free (EU).

Online English has always been a huge category. With many school closures,and people reluctant to, or restricted from travelling overseas, this is a category that you might wish to consider. France has always been a big user of online teaching and the demand has exploded in Asian countries such as China and South Korea. Stay home and earn up to $20-$24USD/hour or more teaching from your computer. Click here to go to our Teach Online page!

China 400+, Czechia 2, France 10, Greece 1, Honduras 6v, Hong Kong 16+, Italy 20+, Japan 8+, Kenya 1, Kuwait 1, Malaysia 1, Nigeria 1, Oman 1, Online 100+, Poland 4+ 1EU, Portugal 2, Russian Federation 6+, South Korea 40+, Spain 16+, Tajikistan 1, Thailand 12+, Turkey 1, Ukraine 1, United Arab Emirates/Saudi Arabia 12+, Vietnam 14+.

Job postings are available to our students and graduates.  Go here for more information on our job postings:

We recommend that aspiring overseas teachers begin with our TEFL Certificate course. After your degree (in any discipline) a TEFL qualification is what school look for and will move your resume to the short list of candidates the school will consider. Tuition is only $300 CAD - a small investment that will help you land a teaching job (and add more interest to your resume or CV as well). There are NO additional fees. Go here for our TEFL page:

Dr. Robert

 My book TEACH ENGLI$H ONLINE is available on all Amazon websites in paperback and Kindle versions. 

It tells you how to get started teaching from home. You just need a computer and webcam, a good microphone, Skype, and a quiet corner. 

Where will you find students to teach and how much will you make? It is all in the book.

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

QUIZ: I’d Rather, I Wish, I’d Better


I’d Rather, I Wish, I’d Better

Fill in the blanks.

1. I would rather you ........................... on Monday.

2. I'd rather you .................................. fight with me in public.

3. You'd better ............................. now before he gets angry.

4. I 'd rather you ............................. me with the housework.

5. You'd better .................................. smoking.

6. We'd better ................................... seats.

7. I wish I ............................... there when they arrived.

8. I wish I ............................... like that.

9. I wish I .................................. out of school at 14.

10. I wish I ................................... handsome.

11. I wish that it ………………………….. stop raining soon.

12. I wish dad ……………………… come soon.


1. I would rather you didn’t come on Monday.
2. I’d rather you didn’t fight with me in public.
3. You’d better leave now before he gets angry.
4. I’d rather you helped me with the housework.
5. You’d better stop smoking.
6. We’d better reserve seats.
7. I wish I had been there when they arrived.
8. I wish I hadn’t behaved like that.
9. I wish I hadn’t dropped out of school at 14.
10. I wish I was handsome.
11. I wish that it would stop raining soon.
12. I wish dad would come soon.



Saturday, August 22, 2020

Which is correct: “I wish I was…” or “I wish I were…”?

Which is correct: “I wish I was…” or “I wish I were…”?

Picture it. You’re texting your buddy, and you type out “I wish I were.” But there’s that pesky autocorrect, trying to change it to “I wish I was.” Is autocorrect ducking with you, or are you about to commit a grammar faux pas? 

First, a little grammar lesson …
Were and was are both past tense versions of the verb to be. But were is usually used in relation to second person singular and plural pronouns such as you, your, yours. It is also used with select first and third person plural pronouns such as we, they

We use was, on the other hand, when we’re using the first person singular pronoun I or using the third person singular such as he or she

For example, you wouldn’t say “You was going to the store.” You would say “You were going to the store.”

But you would say “I was going to the store,” rather than “I were going to the store.”
Got it? 

Why we say “I wish I were”
So, what happens when you’re talking about “I wish I were …” ? I is a first person singular pronoun, which is what makes using were seem confusing. Shouldn’t we always use was after I?

“I wish I were” is actually the preference of grammar experts because you’re talking about something that hasn’t actually occurred. 

For example, “I wish I were on a beach right now with a pile of books” is something a dedicated
might say, and we’d love to join them!

This is correct because of something linguists call the subjunctive mood. Subjunctive refers to words that describe doubtful or hypothetical situations … like wishes for things that aren’t real!
However, sometimes we still hear “I wish I was” …
But, wait a second! 

“I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller …” and Pearl Jam’s “Wishlist” is littered with variations of “I wish I was.”

Well, let’s face it: Some of our favorite songs are chock full of grammatical errors. These 90s favorites aren’t exactly wrong. They’re simply non-standard. 

While grammarians will tell you to stick to “I wish I were” to follow the rules of the subjunctive, language has evolved, and the non-standard “I wish I was” has become increasingly popular. Our advice? 

If you’re looking to write a hit song, it’s fine to use the less formal “I wish I was.” If you’re writing a paper for your English professor, on the other hand, stick with the grammarians, and use “I wish I were.” 


Want to learn to teach English online? Work from your home.
My book: TEACH ENGLI$H ONLINE is available on Amazon in Kindle or paperback editions. Go to your closest Amazon site under books and search for
 “TEACH ENGLI$H ONLINE by Robert W. F. Taylor"
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