Teach and Learn English

'I See Fire' Ed Sheeran

'I See Fire' is the hit song from The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. I'm fond of sountracks and film music and this song is really charming!

See Fire
Widzę ogień

O misty eye of the mountain below
Keep careful watch of my brothers’ souls (Strzeż uważnie)
And should the sky be filled with fire and smoke (zwróćcie uwagę na inwersję pierwszego okresu warunkowego - 'If the sky should be filled' zamienia sie na 'Should the sky be filled')
Keep watching over Durin’s sons

If this is to end in fire
Then we shall all burn together (Pierwszy okres warunkowy z shall)
Watch the flames climb high
Into the night

Call them out, Father oh
Stand by me, we’ll (Bądź przy mnie)
Watch the flames burn on and on
The mountainside

And if we should die tonight
We should all die together (A tutaj już pierwszy okres warunkowy bez inwersji)
Raise a glass of wine
For the last time

Call them out, Father oh
Prepare as we will
Watch the flames burn on and on
The mountainside

Desolation comes upon the sky (Tytułowe DESOLATION to spustoszenie, zniszczenie, osamotnienie lub rozpacz)

Now I see fire
Inside the mountain
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And i hope that you remember me

O should my people fall then
Surely I’ll do the same (ponownie inwersja z should)
Confined in mountain halls we (Uwięzieni w)
Go too close to the flame

Call them out, Father oh
Hold fast and we will
Watch the flames burn on and on
The mountainside

Desolation comes upon the sky

Well I see fire
Inside the mountain
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
Hollowing souls (Trawiący dusze)
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me

And if the night is burning
I will cover my eyes
For if the dark returns then my
Brothers will die (pierwszy okres warunkowy)
And as the sky’s falling down it
Crashed into this lonely town and
With that shadow upon the ground
I hear my people screaming out

And I see fire
Inside the mountains
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze

I see fire
(Oh you know I saw a city burning)
And I see fire
(Feel the heat upon my skin)
And I see fire
And I see fire burn auburn on (kasztanowy)
The mountainside


Christmas Jokes

There are a few funny Christmas jokes in English...

- We had Grandma for Christmas dinner.
- Really? We had turkey...

HAD oznacza przyjmować w gości lub mieć coś do zjedzenia

- Who is never hungry at Christmas?
- The turkey - he's always stuffed!

TURKEY to indyk, a STUFFED oznacza nadziewany albo najedzony

- Why are Christmas trees like bad knitters?
- They both drop needles!

KNITTER to dziewiarz, czyli osoba robiąca na drutach, a NEEDLES to igły lub druty

- What did the big candle say to the little candle?
- I'm going out tonight.

GO OUT oznacza zgasnąć lub wyjść z domu

- What do monkeys sing at Christmas?
- Jungle bells, jungle bells...

JUNGLE to dżungla, w oryginale kolędy jest oczywiście JINGLE BELLS ;)

Santa's got to be a woman!

Hmm... Have you ever wondered that Santa might actually be a woman? All things considered, that's quite a plausible idea...

Santa might be a woman because...

Christmas is a big, warm, organized, nurturing social deal. Could a guy possibly pull it all off?

Majority of guys don't even think about selecting gifts until the last moment, that is until Christmas Eve. They wake up slowly and go to the nearest store where they join other males in a desperate last-minute shopping spree. If Santa was a man, probably everyone in the universe would find a pair of socks under the christmas tree...

It would be a problem for a he-Santa to get anywhere on time... Even if he managed to keep some reindeer alive, he'd still have transportation problems because he would get lost in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions... Well, ok... he might use a sat nav...

Men can't pack presents... or at least they hate doing it...

Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet

Men don't answer their mail

Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them

Being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment

Well, you decide what gender Santa might be. I guess as long as he/she brings presents on time, his/her gender doesn't really matter, or does it?


Merry Christmas to you all and have a happy New Year!

p.s. if you are interested in some Christmas posts, here is a compilation of what you might take a look at:


all things considered - biorąc wszystko pod uwagę
plausible - prawdopodobne
nurturing - opiekowanie się
guy - facet
pull off - dokonać czegoś
gifts - prezenty
Christmas Eve - wigilia Bożego Narodzenia
shopping spree - szaleństwo zakupów
refuse - odmawiać
sat nav - nawigacja
velvet - aksamit
stockings - pończochy / skarpety na prezenty
commitment - zobowiązanie / poświęcenie
gender - płeć

13th December 1981

On 13th December 1981 martial law was introduced in Poland...   

Martial law refers to the period of time from December 13, 1981 to July 22, 1983, when the authoritarian government of the People's Republic of Poland drastically restricted normal life by introducing martial law in an attempt to crush political opposition. Thousands of opposition activists were interned without charge and as many as 100 people were killed. Although martial law was lifted in 1983, many of the political prisoners were not released until the general amnesty in 1986.

President Ronald Reagan in his speech on 23rd December 1981 asked Americans to light a candle in support of freedom in Poland. 

martial law - stan wojenny
People's Republic of Poland - Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa


Give me a break!

Idiom na dziś to GIVE ME A BREAK!

Możemy powiedzieć np. tak:

Stop criticizing me, will you? Can't you see I am still learning?

albo użyć idiomu i powiedzieć tak:

Give me a break! Can't you see I am still learning?

GIVE ME A BREAK! czyli dosłownie 'Daj mi przerwę!' tzn. 'Daj mi spokój!' lub 'Odczep się!'

BREAK to przerwa, np.:

Let's have a break!
Zróbmy sobie przerwę!

I always have a coffee break at work.
Zawsze mam przerwę na kawę w pracy.


An interview with Mark Zuckerberg - a short listening comprehension

Another short listening exercise for you!

Click here:

and check how much you understood!

Mark Zurkerberg is the co-founder of Facebook. 


This is not a spelling mistake! Thanksgivukkah is a real word which has been recently coined. It's an amalgam (a combination of two words) created out of 'Thanksgiving' and 'Hanukkah'.

This year Thanksgiving coincided with Hanukkah, which is a traditional Jewish festival. It doesn't happen too often. It hasn't happened for the last 125 years and it won't happen again for the next 70,000  years! The term Thanksgivukkah was coined by Dana Gitell to sell T-shirts and other memorabilia in an online Jewish gift shop. There is even a Facebook fan page devoted to the festival with more than 13,000 likes. 

Over the years, many Jews have celebrated Thanksgiving in America together with Americans. For many Jews, Thanksgiving is kosher (that is it is allowed by Jewish laws concerning food). The traditional American celebration has always been associated with giving thanks for a new life in America, where all people could practise their religion freely.

Most online discussions about Thanksgivukkah are about the food recipes which combine the two traditions:

potato latkes
cranberry applesauce
rye pumpkin pie

potato latkes


Architect Sketch - listening comprehension

This is my first time, so it's a bit tongue in cheek. Enjoy!

1. Click on the link above!
2. Watch the video
3. Try to answer the comprehension questions!
4. Have fun!

Black Friday

I guess some of you might have come across huge black posters while passing an Empik store on Friday, December 29. I have and I was truly surprised. What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the fourth Friday in November, following Thanksgiving day (which is traditionally celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November). Black Friday is the day of sales in stores all over the USA. It's a shopper's paradise literally. Many shops open up as early as 6 or 8 am to let more people give in to their shopping spree. Black Friday is often a day off for many Americans which also enables many to do the shopping on that day. The name of the day comes from Philadelphia, however, there is a very nice story which, even if it's not true, is very interesting and worth mentioning. 'Black' in Black Friday may come from the fact that during the whole year merchants and shopkeepers were in the red, that is they were short of money and were literally in debt. Black Friday meant that finally they could be in the black which in English means they could have some money.

Notice that today you have learned two new idioms:

BE IN THE RED ( not have money or be in debt )
BE IN THE BLACK ( have some money )


Euphemisms are milder or more pleasant words or phrases that are used instead of the ones which are offensive or rude. So, if you want to say something in a less direct way, you can use an euphemism. For example, if you don't want to say that somebody died, but you want to sound less direct, you can say - 'He passed away.' DIE means 'umierać',  while PASS AWAY means 'ODEJŚĆ', so pass away is 'softer'.

We usually use euphemisms when we have to talk about so called 'sensitive topics' like death, sex, religion or bodily functions or when we want to sound more politically correct.


When you want to go to the toilet or simply ask where it is, you can say:

Where can I powder my nose? (Gdzie mogę przypudrować nosek?)
Where can I see a man about a dog? (Gdzie mogę odcedzić kartofelki?)
Where can I frost a rock? (Gdzie mogę podlać kwiatki?)
Where can I relieve myself? (Gdzie mogę sobie ulżyć?)

You can also say that you are going to the toilet in that manner...

I'm going to shake hands with the bishop. (Idę tam gdzie król chodzi piechotą)
I'm going to see a man about a dog. (Idę odcedzić kartofelki.)

And a very recent one supplied by my friend's boyfriend only yesterday (thanks Tom! Btw):

I'm going to drop the kids off at the pool. 


There are many popular euphemisms that are used instead of 'have sex with somebody':

MAKE LOVE (uprawiać miłość)
GO ALL THE WAY (pójść na całego)


If you don't want to say that somebody is FAT, you can use...

He is big-boned. (Ma grube kości)
He is cuddly. (Jest puszysty)
She is full-figured. (Ma pełne kształty)


You already know one euphemism concerning death - PASS AWAY (odchodzić). Let's check out others!

He checked out. (Wymeldował się)
He's been called to a higher place. (Przeniósł się na tamten świat.)
He kicked the bucket. (Kopnął w kalendarz.)
He's biting the dust. (Gryzie piach)
He's bought the farm. (Wyciągnął kopyta)
He's given up the ghost. (Wyzionął ducha)
He went south. (Odszedł)
She's pushing up daisies. (Wącha kwiatki od spodu)


He has the big C...


Age is another sensitive topic...

He is a seasoned citizen. (Jest wytrawnym obywatelem)
He is advanced in years. (Jest posunięty w latach)
He is a mature individual. (Jest dojrzałą osobą)
He is chronologically-gifted. (Jest uszlachetniony wiekiem)
She's a woman of certain age. (Jest kobietą w pewnym wieku)
She's a woman of substance. (Jest kobietą dojrzałą)


When we want to be politically correct...

instead of saying that somebody is BLIND, we say:

A person with visual impairment. (Osoba z uszkodzonym wzrokiem)

instead of saying that somebody has learning or other difficulties, we can use the expression CHALLENGED:

He is intellectually challenged. (Jest inteligentny inaczej)

instead of saying that somebody is HANDICAPPED or DISABLED, we can say...

He is differently-abled. (Jest sprawny inaczej)

I guess I will need to devote a separate post to political correctness some day ;)...



Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a very traditional holiday in the USA and Canada. How much do you know about it? 

Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks for the blessing of harvest and the preceding year. In the USA it is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November while in Canada on the second Monday of October. 

The modern Thanksgiving tradition is traced to a 1621 celebration in Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s brought the tradition of Thanksgiving to New England. In November 1621 the Pilgrims sat down to eat together and to give thanks to God for enabling them to survive the hardships of their first year in America. THe Pilgrims were joined at their first feast by local Amerindians. The Wampanoag and Pequamid people of the nearby forests had shared corn with the Pilgrims and shown them the best places to catch fish. Later the Amerindians had given seed corn to the English settlers and shown them how to plant crops that would grow well in the American soil. Without them there would have been no Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie and vegetables. 


Thanksgiving - Święto Dziękczynienia
blessing - błogosławieństwo
harvest - plony, zbiory
preceding - poprzedzający
is traced to - wywodzi się z
Pilgrims - pielgrzymi (pierwsi koloniści, którzy przybyli do Ameryki w 1920 roku)
Puritans - purytanie
enabling - umożliwianie
hardships - trudy
feast - uczta
Amerindians - Indianie
corn - kukurydza
seed - ziarno
settlers - osadnicy
plant - sadzić 
crops - plony
soil - gleba
get together - zebrać się razem
turkey - indyk
stuffing - farsz
potatoes - ziemniaki
cranberry sauce - sos żurawinowy
gravy - sos pieczeniowy
pumpkin pie - placek z dynią

Here you can watch a funny video about 5 shocking facts about Thanksgiving:


Comparatives and Superlatives czyli Stopniowanie Przymiotników

COMPARATIVE to stopień wyższy, natomiast SUPERLATIVE to stopień najwyższy. Dzisiaj będzie nieco o stopniowaniu przymiotników.

One syllable (przymiotniki jednosylabowe)


Adjective + ER (+than)

taller (than)

THE + adjective + EST

the tallest
the easiest
the biggest

Two or more syllables (przyniotniki dwu- lub więcej sylabowe)


MORE / LESS + adjective (+than)

more expensive
less expensive

THE MOST / LEAST + adjective

the most expensive
the least expensive



older / elder
farther / further

the best
the worst
the oldest / eldest
the farthest / furthest

* kiedy przymiotnik zakończony jest na spółgłoskę i y, y zamienia się na i przed dodaniem końcówki


** kiedy przymiotnik jest jednosylabowy i licząc od końca mamy taki układ głosek: spółgłoska - samogłoska - spółgłoska, np.:   

FAT (F - spółgłoska; A - samogłoska; T - spółgłoska)

przed dodaniem końcówki musimy podwoić ostatnią spółgłoskę:


*** OLD może się stopniować regularnie lub nieregularnie. Formy OLDER używamy do porównywania:

My brother is older than me.

Formy nieregularnej, czyli ELDER nie używamy do porównywania ale używamy jej jako przymiotnika, tzn. w znaczeniu starszy, np.:

John is my elder brother.

Nie możemy powiedzieć: John is elder than me.

Form nieregularnych używamy najczęściej do opisywania wieku ludzi, nigdy przedmiotów.

**** Zarówno formy FURTHER jak i FARTHER przymiotnika FAR możemy użyć w znaczeniu dosłownym 'dalej' lub 'najdalej' (tzn. w opisaniu dystansu):

His house is farther / further than mine.

Tylko formy FURTHER możemy użyć w znaczeniu 'dalszy' lub 'więcej':

Have you got any further questions?

Intensifying and weakening, czyli 'wzmacnianie' i 'osłabianie'

To intensify a comparative we can use (w celu wzmocnienia stopnia wyższego przymiotników możemy użyć):


London is considerably bigger than Glasgow. ( = znacząco większy)
His new book is even better than the previous one. (= nawet lepsza)
It’s a great deal more expensive to go on holiday by car. ( = dużo bardziej droższa)

To weaken a comparative we can use (w celu 'osłabienia' stopnia wyższego przymiotników możemy użyć):


Glasgow is slightly bigger than Edinburgh. ( = nieco większe)
Mercedes is somewhat more expensive than BMW. (= do pewnego stopnia droższy)

To intensify a superlative we can use (w celu wzmocnienia stopnia najwyższego możemy użyć):


London is by far the biggest city in England. ( = zdecydowanie największym)
Tom is easily the tallest student in the class. ( = zdecydowanie najwyższym)

To weaken a superlative we can use (w celu 'osłabienia' stopnia najwyższego przymiotników możemy użyć):


London is one of the biggest cities in the world. ( = jest jednym z największych)
Tom is among the tallest students in the class. ( = jest pośród najwyższych)

Comparative patterns, czyli sposoby porównywania

(not) as … as  (tak... jak...)

When two things are (almost) equal we can use the pattern (not) as … as (kiedy dwie rzeczy są (prawie) równe możemy użyć (not) as … as):

Travelling by train can be as expensive as by plane. ( = tak drogie jak)

To underline that things are almost equal we can use (w celu podkreślenia, że dwie rzeczy są prawie równe możemy użyć):


Boston is nearly as big as Seattle. (= jest prawie tak duży jak)

Be careful! Compare:

Tom isn’t nearly as rich as Sam. (= Tom jest znacznie biedniejszy niż Sam)
Tom isn’t quite as rich as Sam. (= Sam jest nieco bogatszy niż Tom)

In informal language we often use NOTHING LIKE AS or NOWHERE NEAR AS (w języku nieoficjalnym często używamy NOTHING LIKE AS lub NOWHERE NEAR AS):

Glasgow is nowhere near as big as London. (= London is much bigger than Glasgow, czyli Londyn jest dużo większy od Glasgow)

Double comparative, czyli podwajanie stopnia wyższego

We can underline how something increases or decreases in intensity by doubling MORE or the same comparative adjective with AND between the forms ( możemy podkreślić proces zwiększania lub zmniejszania się czegoś stosując podwójne MORE lub podwajając przymiotnik w stopniu wyższym i używając AND pomiędzy dwoma formami):

Houses are becoming more and more expensive. (= coraz droższe)
I have less and less free time. ( = coraz mniej)
My English is getting better and better. (= coraz lepszy)

The  … the …, czyli 'im... tym...'

To describe how a change in one thing causes a change in another, we can use two comparative forms with THE (aby opisać jak zmiana jednej rzeczy wpływa na zmianę drugiej, możemy użyć formy z THE):

The sooner we tell them, the better for them. ( = Im szybciej im powiemy, tym lepiej dla nich.)
The less time you spend on commuting to work, the more free time you will have. ( = Im mniej czasu spędzisz na dojazd do pracy, tym więcej czasu będziesz miał.)



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