Use of English – “sleep in” versus to “oversleep”

free 3 minute English lesson

Use of English Q&A Email – For those of us who like to sleep-in!

Hi everyone,

A German-speaking student e-mailed me this tricky question about the difference between when we use to “sleep in” versus to “oversleep”.  Here’s how I responded:

Question: Which is correct?

If I don’t wake up on time (verschlafen), do I sleep in or oversleep?

Answer:  I like your question.  There definitely is a difference in attitude when I sleep in or oversleep.  My husband mistakes my sleeping in for oversleeping all the time on Saturdays!   He’s a real early bird. Here’s what I mean….

When we want to wake up at a specific time, especially for work, and don’t – then we would use the term to oversleep.  For example: “My alarm clock didn’t go off and I overslept.  Sorry I’m late.”

When we purposely want to sleep for a long time in the morning, for example, on Saturdays of Sundays, then we say:  “No alarm clocks tomorrow for me – let’s just sleep in.” (American English)  OR ” Let’s have a lie in tomorrow.”  (British English)

Maybe the visual below might help you remember the meaning of “oversleep”, taken from: www.geeksaresexy.com

oversleeping

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Use of English – interesting vs. interested in

free 3 minute English lesson

INTERESTING vs. INTERESTED IN 

Question: When do I use “interesting” and when “interested”?

The answer may come as a surprise to you.  Let’s look at these 2 sample sentences using interested in and interesting:

a) I am interested in politics.

b) Politics is interesting.

These are not verbs.  They are both adjectives!

Here is an example  with “interest” as a verb.  Notice it is a transitive verb that needs a reflexive pronoun as its object:

c) Politics interests me. (interests = transitive verb*; me = reflexive pronoun*)

* See upcoming blog posts for explanations of these grammar terms.

3 HELPFUL RULES:

Rule 1: Use the “-ed” form when you talk about internal feelings.

Rule 2: Use the “-ing” form when describing something external.

Rule 3: Although these words are based on verbs, they are more frequently used in their adjective form.

Here are 3 more examples comparing the “-ed” and “-ing” forms:

 

 

1a) The students are bored (because the teacher and the class is boring).

2a) He seems tired (because his work is tiring).

3a) They were confused (because the story was confusing).

Now look at these examples, in the verb form:

1b) The teacher and class bored me.

2b) His work tires him.

3b) The story confused them.

Here is a short exercise to check your comprehension.

Directions: Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the word shown in brackets.

1.  The documentary they showed was very __________ (interest).

2.  The pupils seem __________ (distract) in their math class.

3. When the football season ended, the fans were rather ___________ (disappoint) their team came in second place.

4. Knowing how _________ (worry) my mother can get, I phone her every day.

5. I can hear banging noises in my office all day due to the construction work going on.  It really ________ (disturb) me.

Scroll down for the answers.

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C1 Reading No Debate: No Creative Solution

General English video grammar exercise
c1 Reading Exercise Piers Morgan at CES 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) ESL Reading Level: C1  (with German translation links provided through www.leo.org)

Piers Morgan at CES 2011.

I was aghast! And at the same time, I knew I had to confess that the way Alex Jones Piers “flew off the handle” at Piers Morgan on gun control matters reminded me how I could allow my emotions to interfere with proper debate, too. Well, maybe never that vehemently – but still…

It was also ironic that Alex actually implied that Swiss and America’s gun control laws were similar since Switzerland, too, has a well-armed population.

Unfortunately, they just shouldn’t be put in the same basket.  Using statistics without cultural context is dangerous and can even be offensive if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

So what does make Switzerland different from America in this context?

Let’s see why and how this peaceful, neutral European country has such a high number of gun owners per capita but has been compared improperly in the televised “debate”. 

At least, in my point of view.  Swiss readers – please help me in correcting or adding facts to support or oppose my argument.

Let’s first turn to its history. Switzerland ‘s strategy for forming an armed militia back in the 180o’s, was to make sure that all able-bodied young men (Today: 20-34 years of age for non-officers) were militarily trained and allowed to keep a gun at their home for protection against foreign invasion. 

Please note the word: “foreign”. And to this day, this law is still in place.

Guns at home, you say? That sounds similar to the American policy. Yes, but – every year, when the off-duty militia reported to their 2-week army service, prior to 2007, they were not allowed to keep these guns at home loaded.

To enforce this, they were required to bring in their guns along with their ammunition every year when reporting to their army unit and have all bullets accounted for

If you had lost a bullet, I’m not sure what would have happened but surely at least a hefty fine would have been collected.  That is the Swiss way, if I may be so bold to say so.

Later, in 2007, a law in favor of stricter gun control was passed. Incidents of home/family killings and suicides had been on the rise and the public called for change.

After all, it was no longer the 19th or 20th century.  Laws can be amended to fit our changing world.

The new law required that all distributed army ammunition had to be returned to their army unit headquarters and relinquished. 

To date, 99% of all army ammunition has been returned and accounted for. And knowing how detail-oriented the Swiss are, I can trust this figure.

So what conclusion does this lead me to? Perhaps the USA could work on a Bullet Control Bill instead of changing the current Gun Control laws or Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights

Wouldn’t that somehow be an acceptable compromise?  The right to bear arms would be respected, gun manufacturers could continue making their money but somehow local authorities could be responsible for limiting the number and types of bullets in use?

I think without people calmly discussing both sides of a matter, a creative compromise can never come about.  Americans are great in finding win-win solutions, I have always thought, in business. 

Why not in politics?

There is so much more to be said about this topic.

But I leave this to you – my readers. Any comments to share?

Any creative solutions to propose?

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