McCaig’s Tower, Oban, Scotland – The Scottish Amphitheatre

Located in the Scottish Highlands, the port city of Oban is the gateway to the Hebrides. McCaig’s Tower stands tall on Battery Hill overlooking the city and the bay. McCaig’s Tower was the idea of John Stuart McCaig, a banker who wanted to do two things: Leave a lasting monument to his family Create work…

Punctuation in Scientific Writing and How Powerful It Can Be

In addition to the basic characteristics of Scientific English, the next most important thing when writing is grammar. Oh no! I said the bad “g” word – grammar. No one really likes it but it is important and we will be seeing why in this post. Specifically we are going to be looking at punctuation…

Pen y Fan, Wales – At the head of the Valleys

In the centre of Wales lies Brecon Beacons National Park, which contains a mountain range of the same name (Brecon Beacons). One of these mountains is Pen y Fan. Pen y Fan is the highest mountain in central and southern Wales. It sits just southeast of the town of Brecon, which is related to the…

Vienna Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag)

Although you wouldn’t necessarily associate Vienna with wine (or “Wein” and “Wien” in German), it is amazing how much wine this part of Austria produces. As a result, Vienna has a day known as the Vienna Wine Hiking Day (Wiener Weinwandertag). I had the opportunity to do the Vienna Wine Hiking Day when I went…

A variation of Karahi Chicken Curry

There are many variations of Karahi Chicken Curry. Karahi simply refers to a shallow pot that is used to make this dish. Other names include kadai, kadhi and korai. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious! The best part is that it is not very intensive in terms of preparation or cooking time. This version is…

Arduaine Garden, UK – A slice of the world in Scotland

Just south of Oban lies the Sound of Jura. Overlooking the Sound is Arduaine Garden, which contains plants from around the world. Established in 1898, it was a time when people were becoming very interested in plants from other parts of the world. Here native plants mix with those from the tropics and Asia. Tropical…

Ardchattan Priory, UK – A garden of contemplation

Ardchattan Priory sits approximately 10 miles/16 kilometres outside the port city of Oban in Scotland. Its history dates back to its founding in 1230. History Ardchattan Priory resulted from Duncan MacDougal, the Lord of Argyll, located in Dunollie Castle. He invited the Valliscaulian Order to set up a local priory. They had been given a…

Falkirk Kelpies, UK – A tribute to Scotland and strong horses

Situated between the towns of Falkirk and Grangemouth in Scotland, the Kelpies are an art installation by Andy Scott, an artist of renown famous for his other installations around the UK. This installation is of two “kelpies”. The myth behind the Falkirk Kelpies A kelpie is a mythical creature said to be like a seahorse…

Rest and Be Thankful – Scotland A83

In 1753 there had been a recent Jacobite rebellion; General Wade had the task of subjugating Scotland. One of the many things they built were roads to improve connectivity, This would allow troops to move faster and react to these crises in the future. One of the results was Drover’s Road (the old A83) and…

Tintinhull Gardens – Weekend Paradise

Set amongst the rolling farmland of Somerset, TIntinhull is a house/gardens combination; it sits in the tiny village of the same name. To visit the house you have to rent it from the National Trust and stay there for at least 3 days. As a result it is not open to the general public. The…

Zurich – General Information

Zurich, the city My adventures so far in the Canton of Zurich have been confined only to the city of Zurich, which is the largest city in Switzerland. I went to Zurich back in 2016. I was doing an internship in Freiburg im Breisgau with two friends from the US visiting me. Since Zurich was…

Austria – General Information

My first experience in Austria was moving there as part of my Master’s programme. I had to go to two different foreign universities as part of my studies at Swansea University. Since I was doing German and Spanish, I went to Vienna and Barcelona. Overall I had a great time in Austria although I had…

Asturias – General Information

I have only visited Asturias once so far but it was amazing. My previous adventures in Spain were either when I had lived in Barcelona or in Granada. I had travelled around the country between these places; I was not necessarily prepared for how different Asturias is from the rest of Spain. How is that?…

Aragon – General Information

Moving farther inland, Aragon is an interesting place with lots of varying topography: lots of valleys and mountains farther south but flatter areas in central and northern Aragon. Then you hit the Pyrenees. M experiences here range from Loarre Castle and Roda de Isábena in the north to Teruel in the south. I generally went…

Andalucia – General Information

Andalucia is an amazing place. Located in Southern Spain, the province of Andalucia contains some of Spain’s best-known cities, including Granada, Málaga, Seville and Cádiz. The adventures I’ve had primarily cover the areas of Granada and Jaén. My first ever adventure here was when I was 16 in 2009. As a birthday present my aunt…

The Principality of Andorra – General information

Located in the Pyrenees between France and Spain, the Principality of Andorra is a very mountainous country that is popular for skiing. I visited Andorra for a long weekend when I was on a long Western European trip. We had just come from Île-de-France and were heading towards a town near Barcelona where my travel…

Brean Down, UK – Down to the Sea

On the Somerset coast just outside Weston-Super-Mare is a small holiday village: Brean. Apart from the beach and holiday homes, there really isn’t much there. There is just one exception: Brean Down. History Brean Down formed about 60,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age in southern England. Glaciers retreated across the…

August 2021 Update – Maps and Images

Hello everyone! I hope you have been having a good summer so far! Firstly I would like to apologise for the lack of posts in recent months. I have been working a lot and a lot of things have fallen by the wayside, including this blog. Now that the semester is over, I have a…

Zurich, Switzerland – The most expensive city in the world

If you are looking for somewhere in Europe with history, Zurich is your one-stop shop. From Roman foundation over 2000 years ago to modern history, Zürich covers it all. If you want to shop, Zürich has one of the best (and most expensive) shopping districts. If you need to deal with finances, Zürich is one…

Lytes Cary, UK – A bite-size manor in Somerset

In the backcountry roads in Somerset on a single-track line lined with hedges on both sides winding through farmland lies a couple of houses. Collectively these houses are “Lytes Cary”. It is easy to miss due to the hedges but if you notice the low stone walls on either side of an unassuming (with the…

A classic recipe for a Dark Forest Gateau (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte)

Typically I am not a cake person but there are definitely exceptions. The Dark Forest Gateau (German: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, literally “Black Forest Cherry Cake”) definitely falls into those exceptions! A wonderful mix of chocolate, cherries and rich cream is a great ending to any traditional meal from Baden-Württemberg (especially Maultaschen or Spätzle). You can find…

Quora – Why is soda water called soda water?

Original question: Why is soda water called soda water? The term “soda” in water comes from approximately the 15th century and refers to the use of sodium carbonate or bicarbonate. This originally comes from the Italian sida, which means “a kind of saltwort”, which is where these substances were first obtained. There are a few possible further…

Warnemünde (Rostock), Germany – That’s one busy port!

The seaside resort of Warnemünde is located on Germany’s Baltic coast, just above the city of Rostock. History Founded in approximately 1200, it has been a fishing village for most of its history. The city of Rostock financed a harbour near the village, signing a contract with the patrician of Rostock to maintain the waterway…

Maultaschen (“mouth pockets”) from Swabia, Germany

(The photo of the Maultaschen in broth is by Matthias Haupt) When I lived in Germany, my favourite cuisine from the country was easily that of Baden-Württemberg. As I am someone who eats little meat, I loved the vegetarian options from the region, including some variety of spätzle and the vegetarian Maultaschen. Maultaschen, which translates…

Quora – How can I pronounce Google in English?

For this answer, I will be using the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is a way to represent sounds across languages. “Google” in English is usually pronounced as /guːgəl/. It has two syllables; the first one is pronounced slightly more longly than the second one. Each ‘g’ marks the start of a new syllable. View on Quora:…

Grutenhäuschen (near Trier), Germany – A temple with a view

On the bank of the river Moselle not far upstream from the city of Trier lies a Roman temple with a beautiful view of the Moselle valley just before the Saar and Moselle rivers merge. This Roman temple (Grutenhäuschen) dates back to the 3rd/4th century AD to the time after Trier had become one of…

Quora – What is the difference between dehiscence and evisceration?

Both of these phenomena are similar but there is a slight difference between the two. Let’s look at some definitions (both from dictionary.cambridge.org): dehiscence – the splitting or bursting open of a pod or wound evisceration – to remove one or all of the organs from the inside of a body In medicine, dehiscence (when…

Bismarckturm Schoden, Germany – A silent sentinal

Standing on a hill above the Saar river in Germany near the town of Schoden in Rheinland-Pfalz/Rhineland-Palatinate stands a Bismarckturm (Bismarck tower); a standardised monument built to honour Germany’s first chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. These towers were built around the turn of the 20th century to honour him; They conform (more or less) to a…

Future in the past – What were you going to do?

In English, there exists a concept called “future in the past”. This is when you talk about how the future was going to be at some point in the past (whether it actually happened or not). Before you continue this article, if you are unfamiliar with either the future tense or the past tense, please…

Quora – What is the real meaning and usage of the word “factoid”?

Original question: What is the real meaning and usage of the word “factoid”? A “factoid” is a statement or something similar concerning unreliable information that has become repeated so often that it is thought to be a fact by the general public. The “-oid” ending means “like”, “similar to” or “resembling”, so a factoid is…

Quora – Do you have a favorite world accent?

For the English language, I have always been partial to a strong Welsh accent myself. A nice bit of the Valleys makes me smile. That or some of the Northern Welsh ones with random pausing in the middle of sentences or where some of the words are more drawn out than other accents. Then again,…

Reported Speech – He said, she said

Sometimes when you are telling a story or relaying information someone told you, you don’t necessarily want to say absolutely everything in exactly the same way as it was told to you (i.e. direct speech). Sometimes you simply can’t remember and other times exactly what was said was important. So what do you do instead?…

Past habits – Over and over again

You can describe past habits (or actions that happened repeatedly in the past) in three different ways in English: used to, would and the past simple tense. Used to If you have learnt about modal and semi-modal verbs before, you may be familiar with used to. In fact this semi-modal verb is the most common…

Bohus Fästning, Sweden – Protecting the Old Swedish-Norwegian border

Back in February 2016 I visit Sweden for a couple of weeks (Sweden in winter?!? Don’t ask) and I had the opportunity to visit Bohus Fästning (Bohus Fortress), a 14th century fortress on the former Norwegian-Swedish border just north of the city of Gothenburg. History The fortress was built around the year 1308. It was…

Should vs ought to vs had better

Before reading this post, you should be familiar with should, ought to and had better. You will need this information to understand Should vs ought to vs had better. Should? Ought to? Had better? What are these three modal verbs? Why are there three ways to talk about recommendations or suggestions? Are there any differences?…

Modal verbs – Can vs May

Before reading this article, make sure you are familiar with the uses of can and may. You will need that information to understand can vs may. You may have heard someone say “Can I go to the bathroom.” You might have also heard “May I go to the bathroom”. Can we use both “can” and…

Semi-modal verbs – used to

The last semi-modal on our list is “used to”, which you will probably be very familiar with. You have probably used “used to” to talk about habits: As a child I used to play near the stream every day. This was an action that happened many times in the past but no longer. You can…

Semi-modal verbs – ought to

For many of your, reading this post will be one of the few times (if not the first time) you have seen “ought to”, the next semi-modal verb on our list. But what is it and why are we including it on our list? What does it even mean? It is a semi-modal verb that…

Caumasee, Switzerland – Ice blue water in winter

Like the Rheinschlucht nearby, the Caumasee was also formed due to the largest known pre-historic landslide in the Alps. The lake itself (which is how See translates from German in this case) sits upon the debris deposited by the landslide. The lake is located near the ski resort town of Flims in the Canton of…

Rheinschlucht, Switzerland – The Grand Canyon of Switzerland

The Ruinaulta or Rheinschlucht is a large canyon in the Canton of Grisons in Switzerland. It formed approximately 10,000 years ago. when a landslide brought millions of tonnes of debris into the valley, creating this canyon area. The term Ruinaulta refers to this high heap of rubble (the literal meaning), while the name Rheinschlucht translates…

Yet another update

Hello everyone, Thanks again for coming back to my blog/website. Since the last update, several things have happened, which is why I have not been writing nearly as often here as I was planning on doing when I first started. There is an exceptionally good reason for that; I just moved to the UK! “The…

Semi-modal verbs – had better

Probably one of the more unusual semi-modal verbs is “had better”. While it follows the rules of normal modal verbs, this one is the only one that comprises a verb in the past tense (which stays the same for all tenses) and an adverb. You can use it for a variety of things, such as…

Stralsund, Germany – The gateway to Scandinavia

Stralsund is a town with a population of just over 60,000 on the coast of northern Germany. It is the fourth largest city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Stralsund is a Hanseatic city: it was part of the Hanseatic League. It certainly reflects that and the wealth that it brought from the historical buildings that still exist in…

Life’s Challenges – An Update

Hello everyone, I would first like to apologise for the infrequency of posts recently. There have been some things happening in my personal life that I would like to share with you to explain why there haven’t been any new posts recently: At the end of July I accepted a position at another university to…

Eltz Castle, Germany – A Living Castle

Eltz Castle is a majestic little castle. It sits on a rock in a small wooded valley in Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) in Germany. Although definitely among the lesser-known castles (unlike Hohenzollern or Neuschwanstein), it is extremely appropriate for its location and has a few unique features, both physically and as well as features of its history….

Semi-modal verb – need

The next semi-modal verb on our list is the verb “to need”, which means “to require something”. Usually it follows the rules for normal verbs, such as in the following example: I need to go. A non-modal use of the verb “need” Did you know that there is a way to use it as a…

Semi-modal verb – dare

The next semi-modal verb on our list is the verb “to dare”, which means “to have the courage to do something” or “defy/challenge someone to do something”. But wait, Jamie, you might say: I have seen this verb used normally, such as in the sentence below. How is this a semi-modal verb? Does he dare…

Showing obligation: “must” vs “have to”

So we have looked at the modal verb “must” and the semi-modal verb “have to” and have seen that they serve very similar roles. They both talk about an obligation – something that is needed to be done. Naturally the question arises: are they the same thing? What are the differences? While they do indeed…

Semi-modal verbs – have to

The verb “to have” is very versatile. It forms the perfect tenses and also has its own meaning which shows possession. For example: I have a cat. As a semi-modal verb When “to have” is in the form “have to”, it functions like must, showing obligation and is a semi-modal verb. But why is it…

Bautzen, Germany – The Land of Mustard

In the former East German state of Saxony (German: Sachsen) near the Polish and Czech borders lies the town of Bautzen, a medieval town that is famous across Germany for its architecture and its mustard (yes, mustard). The city centre of Bautzen sits up on a hill overlooking the more modern areas of the town…

An Introduction to semi-modal verbs

Before we talk about what a semi-modal verb is, you should be familiar with the concept of a modal verb. What is a semi-modal verb? A semi-modal verb is similar to a modal verb. In fact the prefix semi– means “half” or “partially”. In this case a semi-modal verb is partially a modal verb and…

The Gardens of Versailles, France – Living Like Kings

While I have to admit that I usually cannot pass up seeing a garden when I travel (case in point: Parc del laberinth d’Horta in Barcelona), there are those that stand out from the rest. An example that I highly recommend on the European Continent (in this case excluding Great Britain and Ireland) are the…

Quora – What is the contribution of Samuel Johnson to the English language?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What is the contribution of Samuel Johnson to English language? on Quora While Samuel Johnson had other contributions, he is most well-known for publishing his dictionary A Dictionary of the English Language in 1755. This dictionary is considered to be the first reliable English language dictionary. What made the dictionary innovative was the use…

Quora – How do you enunciate the letter “W”? Is it “Dub-yoo”, “Dub-boo-yoo” or, “Double-yoo”? IS there a ‘proper’ way? It’s driven me berserk ever since phonics class in kindergarten.

Read James Brooks‘ answer to How do you enunciate the letter “W”? Is it “Dub-yoo”, “Dub-boo-yoo” or, “Double-yoo”? IS there a ‘proper’ way? It’s driven me berserk ever since phonics class in kindergarten. on Quora While I pronounce it (using the International Phonetics Alphabet) /ˈdʌb(ə)lˌjuː/ (double-yoo I guess from your question) I would argue that…

Quora – Where does the word “furlough” come from?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Where does the word “furlough” come from? on Quora Furlough was imported in the 1620s Dutch word verlof (meaning permission) to mean a leave of absence from the military. Verlof is made up of two parts, the Middle Dutch ver- (completely, for) and laf (permission). Laf originally comes from Proto-Germanic *laubo. In English the parts are for and leave. There is an alternate spelling furloe in the 18th…

Quora – What are the origins of the word “slimy”?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What are the origins of the word “slimy”? on Quora The word slimy appeared in English in the late 14 century. It comes from the word slime, which came from the Old English slim, which in turn came from the Proto-Germanic *slimaz. The appearance of the word slimy has also been seen following a similar pattern in related…

Quora – What vivid verb should I use when someone “turns into” a zombie?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What vivid verb should I use when someone “turns into” a zombie? on Quora Well, turns into means the same thing as become, so let’s look at synonyms for become: come develop into grow into turn into convert incline mature metamorphose transform shift wax alter to assume form of be converted to be reduced…

Quora – Is “the parcel arrived this morning” grammatically correct?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is “the parcel arrived this morning” grammatically correct? on Quora It depends on what you mean. If you are trying to make a statement in the past tense (something that has already happened), then yes, it is grammatically correct. You start with the subject (the parcel), followed by the verb…

Quora – What does throughout mean in this sentence, “The organization was first-class, with medical volunteers on standby throughout, and drinks stations every few kilometres of the route.”?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What does throughout mean in this sentence, “The organization was first-class, with medical volunteers on standby throughout, and drinks stations every few kilometres of the route.”? on Quora Throughout has two meanings: In every part of a place From beginning to end of a specific time (such as an event) In…

Quora – Is ‘liquidy’ an actual word?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is ‘liquidy’ an actual word? on Quora Do you mean to ask if it is used in the English language? The answer is that it is. Liquidity is used in the financial sector to mean the availability of liquid assets (meaning things like cash) to a market or company. The…

Quora – Are the ‘th’s in ‘thought’ and ‘that’ pronounced the same?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Are the ‘th’s in ‘thought’ and ‘that’ pronounced the same? on Quora While this depends on where you come from (and therefore which dialect of English and which accent you speak with), following standard pronunciations, the ‘th’ sounds are generally the same in those words. Using the International Phonetic Alphabet, though is…

Quora – What is the meaning of the word “swam”?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What is the meaning of the word “swam”? on Quora The word swam is the past simple tense of the verb to swim. To swim means to move in water by movements of the limbs, fins, tail, etc. to float on the surface of water or some other liquid to move, rest, or be suspended…

Quora – Where does the word ‘soggy’ come from?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Where does the word ‘soggy’ come from? on Quora Soggy was first recorded in 1722 and may have come from either the noun sog, meaning “swamp, bog”, or from the verb sog, meaning “to become soaked”. However etymologists have been unable to figure out where those words originate. [1] Origin and meaning of soggy by…

Quora – What is the origin of the word ugliness?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What is the origin of the word ugliness? on Quora The word ugliness was first recorded in the late 14th century. It comes from the word ugly and the suffix -ness. Ugly appeared in the mid 13th century from an Old Norse word uggligr (“dreadful, fearful”), which itself is from uggr (“fear, apprehension, dread” (perhaps related to agg “strife, hate”))…

Quora – Is the word ‘jaded’ an adjective?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is the word ‘jaded’ an adjective? on Quora Jaded is an adjective; it is used to describe (alter) nouns, which is the definition of an adjective. Jaded has two meanings: bored or lacking enthusiasm, typically after having had too much of something (In Ireland, informal) physically tired; exhausted Here are some…

Quora – Is ‘tininess’ an actual word?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is ‘tininess’ an actual word? on Quora Do you mean to ask if it is used in the English language? The answer is that it is. Tininess means the property of being very small in size. The pronunciation (using the International Phonetic Alphabet) looks like this: /ˈtʌɪninəs/. Other pronunciations may…

Quora – Is Flourishing an adjective?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is Flourishing an adjective? on Quora Flourishing is an adjective because it is used to modify a noun: The flourishing economy (adjective) I pronounced flourish (using the International Phonetic Alphabets) as: /ˈflʌrɪʃ/. There are two syllables with the stress on the first one, which becomes something like: FLUR-ish (the U is pronounced like the U…

Quora – How do you pronounce “primer”?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to How do you pronounce “primer”? on Quora I pronounce it like this (using the International Phonetic Alphabet): /ˈpraɪmə/. There are two syllables with the stress on the first one, resulting in something like PRI-mah. If you want to learn more about the International Phonetic Alphabet, you can find a guide…

Quora – Was Jack the Ripper German?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Was Jack the Ripper German? on Quora Jack the Ripper was a serial killer in eastern London (the Whitechapel district) between (potentially) 1888 and 1891. As the identity of Jack the Ripper was never identified, it is impossible to know what nationality he/she was. The name ‘Jack the Ripper’ comes…

Quora – Is ‘tubby’ a real word?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is ‘tubby’ a real word? on Quora Do you mean to ask if it is used in the English language? The answer is that it is. Tubby was first used in 1835 to mean “shaped like a tub”. The more modern definition of “fat” originated in 1891. The word tub was first used…

Quora – Is ‘spry’ a real word?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is ‘spry’ a real word? on Quora Do you mean to ask if it is used in the English language? The answer is that it is. Spry was first used in 1746 to mean “active, nimble, vigorous, lively”, which is how it is used today, especially of someone who is older. Spry has…

Quora – What is the origin of the word “fostering”?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What is the origin of the word “fostering”? on Quora Well, if we take the base foster, it comes from the Old English *fostrian meaning “to supply with food, nourish, support”. This comes from Proto-Germanic *fostra-, which in turn comes from the extended form of PIE root *pa- “to feed.” The meaning of “to bring up…

Quora – What is the German word for “laptop”?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What is the German word for “laptop”? on Quora Generally in Germany, the word Laptop is also used. Another alternative is Notebook, usually used the same way that notebook would be used in English to mean the notebook type of laptop. A quick look online has also found a few “joke” answers that have been used…

Quora – What is the German word for “country“?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What is the German word for “country“? on Quora The word that is used most often is Land. For example, Deutschland roughly translates as the country (land) of Germans. In some cases, Staat can also be used. For example, two words for citizenship in German are: Staatsangehörigkeit – Staat = country, angehörig = affiliated, -keit…

Quora – Is ‘svelte’ an English word?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to Is ‘svelte’ an English word? on Quora The word svelte is used in English but it was adopted from the French word (spelt the same) in 1817. The French word came from the Italian svelto, which was an adjective that was made from the verb svellere, which in turn comes from the Latin ex- (“out”) and vellere (“to pluck/stretch”). As…

Quora – How do you pronounce walk vs. wok?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to How do you pronounce walk vs. wok? on Quora I pronounce them slightly differently, although the difference is very small. Using the International Phonetic Alphabet, I pronounce walk as /wɔːk/ and wok as /wɒk/. Both are single syllables. The way I pronounce walk rhymes with talk (/tɔːk/) and wok rhymes with cock (/kɒk/). If you want to learn more about the International…

Quora – What is the most useful word that has been invented?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What is the most useful word that has been invented? on Quora I think this question is a bit difficult to answer because it depends on what you consider important. A word that I consider very important and useful for language is the verb to be. Without it, you could not have written your question…

Quora – How do you pronounce Guadalcanal?

Guadalcanal is the name of an island in the south-western Pacific that was the site of a famous World War 2 battle. The name comes originally from Spanish as it was named (or renamed) by Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira. The name is pronounced (using the International Phonetic Alphabet) as /ˌɡwɑːdəlkəˈnæl/. Guadalcanal has four syllables…

Quora – What’s the origin of the “-ward” suffix in English, in words such as “downward, eastward, toward”?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to What’s the origin of the “-ward” suffix in English, in words such as “downward, eastward, toward”? on Quora The suffix -ward comes from the Old English -weard (or sometimes -weardes when used as the genitive) meaning “toward” or “turned toward”. This, in turn, comes from the Proto-Germanic *werda-, which stems from the Proto-Indo-European *werto- meaning “to turn/wind”. Originally, -ward was used to…

Quora – It started to rain/raining.Which form of which tense?

Read James Brooks‘ answer to 1) It started to rain/raining.Which form of which tense? on Quora The first example that you give (It started to rain) is the past simple tense. The verb to start is conjugated in the past simple (it follows the regular verb “-ed” ending, which is also known as weak verbs, meaning they…

Peak District, UK – The land of inspiration

The Peak District in England is a national park that draws an estimated 20 million people every year. They hike around the rural areas, including farmland, moorland, hills and the peaks themselves. History Historically this area has been very important to England and the UK as a whole. Settlements of the area have been dated…

Modal verbs – can/could

In the English language, the modal verb pair can/could is one of the most difficult modal pairs to learn as the modals can be used in a variety of situations. These include: to show ability Birds can usually fly to make an offer I can do that for you. to ask permission Can I borrow…