At, In, On

A student from Turkey wanted help with “in, at, on”.

“In, at, on” are used to tell when something happens. These words are prepositions of time. Prepositions of time to explain when something happens.

Prepositions are words that connect the nouns—people, places, things, locations—of a sentence to other words within a sentence. Prepositions are usually placed directly in front of nouns.


  • At to show a specific point in time. For example, “at night”, “at dinner”, etc.
  • In to show parts of the day, month, seasons, years. For example, “in the morning”, “in June”, “in winter”, etc.
  • On to show dates, days of the week, single day events. For example, “on Sunday”, “on the 12th “, etc.


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

New Class Offering

Nov. 6, 2021

Hi Everyone,

I am offering a different kind of class. I usually offer speaking and writing classes. This is an art class. It uses language as an art.

It is called Write and Draw a Hand Made Coloring Book.

Find it on Out School here:

The class uses drawing and language to produce a product that can be used for gifts or for the self.

It also teaches some beginning desk top publishing skills.

I will be offering this on this website for those who cannot take an Out School class.

See you in the classroom.



New Way

Oct. 12, 2021

Hi Everyone,

As you study a new language, remember to cherish your home language. English can be your public language; your home language is your private one. Both are needed.

Sending love, light, peace and wellness

Teacher Barb


PAT of Speaking English

September 22, 2021

Hello Everyone,

As you know there is the PAT of Writing–Purpose, Audience, Tone.

There is also the PAT of Speaking.  For learners of English, it is the PAT of Speaking English.

“P” stands for Purpose.  Why are you learning English? What is the cause of you deciding to do this? What result do you want?

Some people learn English because it is a job or career requirement. Some people learn English so that they can help their children who are English learners. Some people want to travel to English speaking countries and be able to communicate with the English speakers who live in these countries.

The result these learners of English want is to better communicate with those who speak English.

“A” stands for Audience. Who is going to hear your spoken English? Your boss? Clients? Co-workers? Family? Friends?

Know your “who”. Knowing your “who” will help you continue your studies when you want to quit.

“T” stands for Tone. What is your tone when speaking English? Will it be very formal or friendly, easy-going?

Depending on the situation, your tone will be one or the other. Sometimes, it might be a mixture of formal and friendly. As you study the English language, be aware of the words and sentence patterns that are formal and those that aren’t.

Sending love, light, peace and wellness

Teacher Barbara

Find my classes here.

Step One

September 19, 2021

Hello Everyone,

My name is Teacher Barbara. I help students of the English language expand their word lists and conversation skills.  I do the work of Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL / ESL (English as a Second Language).

One of the best practices learners of a new language can do is listen to that language everyday. Listening to television programs in the language that is being studied is an easy way to do this.

Another way is to go to places where the language being studied is spoken.

Don’t try to understand; just simply listen to the sounds. Duplicating/repeating comes later.

Do this because the first step in learning any language is listening to its sounds. Once the sounds become familiar then its time to duplicate them.

First listen; then duplicate or repeat.

Sending love, light, peace and wellness

Teacher Barbara

I teach English classes here:

Speak English! Oh Yes! | Small Online Class for Ages 9-12 | Outschool

PAT of Writing

Monday April 19, 2021            Home USA                            74

Dear Journal,

As you know, I teach creative writing. 

I start each lesson by having the student do the PAT of Writing.

PAT of Writing

P stands for Purpose.  What is the purpose of writing? The purpose of all writing is either to inform or to entertain.   

A stands for Audience.  Who is the writing for? The audience is the writer, the writer’s friends and family, teachers, bosses, and strangers. The audience can also be a group targeted to receive the written message of the writer. For example, a group the writer wants to persuade to take a certain action.

T stands for Tone.  What is the tone of the writing?  Is it friendly or is it formal?

Other Uses

I have found that doing the PAT of every project I’m considering is helpful. For example,

  • The PAT of Dishwashing
  • The PAT of Job Hunting
  • The PAT of Buying a House

Knowing the PAT keeps me on track and focused. 

Do the PAT of your next project. Email me about how it helped.

And so it is.

Dr. Barb

Barbara Lucas, PhD

Donations to support this blog are gratefully accepted at:

Journal Entry: Rape of the land and its people

Journal Entry: Rape of the land and its people
March 11, 2021                      My home                                                74
Dear Journal,
As you know, I grew up in West Virginia, a state so beautiful, so full of natural beauty that its beauty could take away breath.
I grew up wanting to paint that state so that others could see and feel it’s beauty.
I left the state and haven’t returned to WVa in well over ten years. My sister just got back from a visit. She visited the Northern Panhandle, the place where I grew up.
I was unprepared for her report.
I knew that the coal companies were filling the valleys with mine waste. I knew that the creeks were being used as dumping grounds for mine waste.
I know that reforestation is a big joke.
I have not supported fracking. I think we, the people, will pay dearly for allowing this to happen. No corporation can be trusted to do the right thing; not even those who are closely regulated. God help us when it comes to those corporations that are lightly or not regulated.
My sister spoke of mine wells everywhere, everywhere meaning every few miles; mine wells used by the refractors; the wells are used to extract the Marcellus Shale; Marcellus Shale is used to make energy; of the people having to buy bottled water because the water is brown and non drinkable; of heavy trucks driving without restraint of any kind; of a land that is totally destroyed.
When I consider that there is no national reporting of this, that most people do not know this is happening; that few understand the consequences of allowing this to take place, the rape of a land and its people, I shutter.
I am numb. I see no hope.
The people of the Dakotas, seeing the possibility of water being ruined, united and fought back. So far, they have won.
Remember that the Ohio River feeds from the waters of West Virginia and then flows into the Mississippi.
So tell me. When the Ohio becomes undrinkable and the Mississippi is affected, then will this story finally be made known?
Do not expect the people of West Virginia to take action. They have been completely brain washed and taken over by the pretty people who make the pretty promises, get elected to office and then forget all about the people who were foolish enough to believe them.
And so it is.

Dr. Barb

Barbara Lucas, PhD

Donations to support this blog are gratefully accepted at:

Dr. Barb does the work of messenger. She delivers messages and information that can help people make decisions to take actions that produce wellness, prosperity, and peace. Her work does not compete with or replace the work of medical, psychological, legal, financial, or other professional and licensed services.