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Tautological Phrases

Tautologies (las tautologías) are to be avoided because they…

A deadlock

A “deadlock” (punto muerto, impasse) is a position where people…

Put a sock in it

“Sock” (calcetín, media) you may know. Here the interest…

In a quandary?

Have you ever “been in a quandary”? Probably.  To…

Are you a good egg?

“Egg” (huevo) you will know. Here the emphasis is on idioms…

To wriggle out

“Wriggle” (retorcerse o avanzar serpenteando) is a verb…
rabbit

Rabbit

“Rabbit” (conejo) you may know. Rabbits live in a burrow…

Is Brexit of great import?

“To import” (importar) something is a verb that you may…

To debar someone

“Debar” is a (regular) verb and the context is normally negative.…
thin

Thin

“Thin” you may know (delgado, flaco, estrecho, afilado).…

Palete, palette and pallet

These are homophonous (homófono) words – they sound the…
huff

Huff

Have you ever been “in a huff “. Perhaps. Mortals (mortales)…

More litotes

Litotes often are a special type of understatement (subestimación),…

Are you a flincher?

To flinch is to “shrink back” (estremecerse) from something,…

Dracon and Draconian

In the 7th century BC (BC = before Christ or AC) there was an…

Superfluity

“Superfluity” (la superfluidad) is a mistake. Why? It should…

May I? Can I?

Have you heard this question before (perhaps when someone comes…

Do you use litotes?

The answer is probably yes. Consider this: how are you? Not…

What maddens you?

“Mad” you may know. Someone could be mad (demente) or insane,…

¿Are you stuck in a rut?

First, “rut” as a noun. A “rut” is a furrow (surco)…

Iron

“Iron” (hierro) you may know. An iron (plancha) is what…

“Fill out” or “fill in”?

These two phrasal verbs are often used wrongly. In the English…

Crass

If something is “crass”, it is stupid, usually very…

Core

“Core” is a noun, part of a compound (compuesto) noun and…

Moon

“Moon” (luna) you may know, and you may have heard someone…

Racket?

“Racket” is both a noun and a verb. You may know that it…

Professor

“Professor” and “teacher” are used differently in Spanish…

“Prestigious” and duplicity

“Prestigious” you may know or guess – in Spanish (prestigioso)…

Polling day

The 26th of May is “polling day” for the European Parliament.…

Enough

“Enough is a pronoun (bastante, suficiente), an adjective…

Goose

Goose (ganso) you may know. The plural is “geese”. Here…

Are you sometimes erratic?

I imagine not. People are sometimes erratic in temperament (imprevisible…

"It is them"

“It is them” is a common mistake by many English speakers,…

I do not have a bean!

“Bean” you may know (alubia, judía, habichuela). Here are…

To beseech someone

Have you ever beseeched someone for something? Probably. To…

Bill

The word “bill” is a noun and a verb. First, as a noun. A…

Boot

“Boot” you may know as “bota”. It is possible that you…

Fish

“Fish” (pez y pescado) you may know. In English we only have…

Me or I?

Are you guilty of pleonasms?

Many English people are guilty of pleonasms (culpable de pleonasmos).…
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