So, Since, Because

Oct. 31, 2022


A student living in Italy wanted to know, “When do you use ‘so, because and since’?”

“Because” is the most common and the easiest to use of these three. “Because” means ‘on account of’ or ‘for the reason that’.  “Because” often indicates facts.

For example, I was late because traffic was heavy.

“Since” usage is a tiny bit more difficult. “Since” either talks about time or it gives a reason for something. “Since” can also mean from a particular time in the past until now.

For example, Since traffic was heavy, I was late. I have been here since noon.

“So” is used to say ‘therefore, thus, consequently’. Use ‘so’ when ‘in order that’ explains why something happens

For example, It was raining so I put on a raincoat. Please give me an answer so that I know that you are coming home.

Go forth and speak English,

Teacher Barb

What to Say to the Powerful Ones

Hi Everyone,

One of my students from Saudi Arabia had a problem most of us face at some point in our working life.

She is the newbie, just graduated from university, and working at her first job.

Her boss is sending her to introduce herself to all the department heads. Notice he, the boss, isn’t taking her, isn’t introducing her, but is demanding she go by herself, walk into a higher ups office without an appointment, and present herself.

“What words,” she asked. “What words do I use?”

My reply, “Say “Hello.  My name is _____. I work in _______. I haven’t met you so I came to do that and ask if there is anything I can do for you or your department.”

Practice this until it sounds natural and easily comes out of your mouth.

I added, “Make sure the door stays open. If there are other women around, try to make sure they know why you are in their area and always, always give or make an offer to give.

Do your best to get the other person to talk about their self. This will take pressure away from you and endear you to the other person. Most people love to talk about their self.”

Happy English Speaking,

Teacher Barb

Idioms or Idiots ?

Oct. 14, 2022

Hi Everyone,

One of my English as a Second Language students asked today, “What is an idiot—I mean idiom?”

Yes, by all means, smile, giggle and laugh.

Many of us want to call idioms idiots; it just seems right somehow.

Idiom Defined

An idiom is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning different from the words making up the group.

Examples of an idiom are:

  1. It’s raining cats and dogs
  2. To figure it out
  3. It’s a long shot

These examples show why some call idiom’s idiots.

Idiot Defined

According to Google, idiots are people of low intelligence. The word “idiot” is seldom used in these modern times.

Other examples of idioms:

  1. On the same page
  2. Piece of cake
  3. Hold your horses


Practice listening for and using idioms in your everyday speaking. Notice them in your reading.

Idioms add interest to our speech. They shorten our speaking because they are usually made up of only three or four words. Idioms give us a quick way to clearly explain what is going on.

Here’s sending you confidence in speaking English,

Teacher Barb