Botanic or botanical? (More on suffixes: -ic and -ical)

Botánico, Plantas, Fondo, PasatiempoDo you find the use of these suffixes confusing?

That makes two of us.

Not long ago, I published two posts dealing with some of the differences between historic/historical and classic/classical. In this post, I’ll deal with other common words ending with the suffixes -ic and -ical.

Botanic and botanical

Magic and magical

Comic and comical

Electric and electrical

Economic and economical Continue reading “Botanic or botanical? (More on suffixes: -ic and -ical)”


Learning collocations makes our communication more vibrant and descriptive. It enlivens it. Let’s have a look at 6 adjectives that collocate with the word effect.


Calming effect

“At the end of a stressful week,

the absolute silence in the snowed forest

had a calming effect on her.”

(also soothing effect)


Common mistakes in First-B2 (Part 1)

Can you spot the mistakes?

X “I knew her while we were volunteering for the National Trust in the Peak District.”

Clue: What is the difference between meet and know in this context?

Key: You meet someone for the first time and from then on, you know them. 

“I met her while we were volunteering for the National Trust.”

Extra: “Over the working holiday, I got to know her and we became friends. After having shared some more experiences, we know each other very well now.” Continue reading “Common mistakes in First-B2 (Part 1)”

Talking about a hospital stay

Free vector graphics of HospitalHave you ever had to talk about an experience connected to hospitals in English? Did you feel you lacked the vocabulary? That’s natural; it’s not everyday language.

Here is a suggestion:

Why don’t you try to practise now so that you are prepared next time? You could first use a dictionary to find the words you may need, and then, write the events down or alternatively, record yourself speaking. You can also pick up some words from the following text.

Continue reading “Talking about a hospital stay”

Learn some binomials with a story: The lost padlock key

Free illustrations of Locker

On a warm December evening after a stunning day out and about in Abel Tasman, New Zealand, I was in my dormitory, searching for my key high and low. Pockets, rucksack, bum bag. It was nowhere to be found.  I had been kayaking and hiking so that key could have ended up anywhere. Even deep down in the Tasman sea for all I knew. Inside the locker were my tablet, documents, valuables, and other bits and pieces I needed for travelling.

As it happens, this was terrible timing indeed. Shortly before Christmas Day, I was staying at a youth hostel in a little city on NZ’s south island. A bus taking me to the ferry terminal was due early in the morning and I needed to have everything packed to leave the hostel bright and early. Well, not ideal but then again, nothing a locksmith can’t fix, I told myself. However expensive the after-hours service may be.

I went down to the reception desk to explain the situation and inquire about locksmiths in Nelson. A young girl was in charge. The rest of the staff had left for the day. Continue reading “Learn some binomials with a story: The lost padlock key”

The story of my dog

Once upon a time, in a small village in the south of Spain, a woman with a heart of gold came across a heavily pregnant abandoned dog.  The woman took her home and soon enough she gave birth to a litter (1) of three adorable mix-breed puppies (2).

One day, her granddaughter (also an animal lover) drove down from the north to visit her granny and she gave the dogs a ride to the city that would become their new home. Mum and puppies were all adopted and that is where the story begins for me. Continue reading “The story of my dog”