Angielski dla Wymagających

Watching documentaries online

I have recently become kind of addicted to a wonderful website - DOCUMENTARY STORM. It offers an array of documentaries segregated into different categories, like biography, lifestyle, science, crime, politics, religion, society, technology and many many others. What's great about it, is that when you watch a film on the website you can turn on English subtitles! :)

Some samples:

and a word that reoccurs in the last video -


Spain - is austerity the answer?


the condition or practice of living without things that are not necessary and without comfort, with limited money or goods, or a practice, habit, or experience that is typical of this (surowość, prostota, skromność):

The austerities of life in a small rural community were not what I was used to.


Thingamabob, czyli jak się wyrażać gdy dokładnie nie wiemy jak się wyrazić

Thingamabob /ˈθɪŋəmiˌbɒbto takie słówko, którego możemy użyć kiedy nie wiemy jak coś się nazywa lub gdy po prostu tego zapomnieliśmy.

Hand me one of those red thingamabobs over there.

Pass me the thingamabob, I wanna change the channel.

Podobne zwroty to 
whatyamacallit  /ˈwɒtʃəməˌkɔːlɪt/  
oraz   thingy  /ˈθɪŋi/:

My car sounds funny when I break, I think it's the eeehh, you know that thingamabob, the whatyamacallit, besides that other thingy under the hood!

Hey, honey. What is that thingy right there? Not that thingy. That thingy there.

I went to the restaurant and ordered the plate with shrimp and the other side...whatchamacallit.

To takie polskie 'takie coś' lub 'takie cuś' ;)

Apparently there's even a chocolate bar called this way ;)

and it's 1987 commercial

and Monty Python's Tax on Thingy


Modal verbs used to speculate about the past

Modal verbs used to speculate about the past, czyli czasowniki modalne używane do spekulowania lub dedukcji na temat przeszłych wydarzeń. 

W takiej funkcji możemy użyć czasowników modalnych MUST, MAY, MIGHT, COULD i CAN’T. Należy do nich dodać HAVE i trzecią formę czasownika:

MODAL VERB + HAVE + Past Participle (3rd Form)

Jeśli jesteśmy pewni, że coś miało miejsce używamy MUST:

He must have committed the crime. (= I’m sure he committed the crime)
On musiał popełnić to przestępstwo.

There must have been an eartquake here.

Jeśli przypuszczamy, że coś się mogło wydarzyć stosujemy MAY (NOT), MIGHT (NOT) lub COULD:

She may not have been at home then. (= It’s possible that she wasn’t at home then)
Mogło jej nie być wtedy w domu.
They might have left earlier. (= It’s possible that she left earlier)
Oni mogli wyjść wcześniej.
He could have told her. (= It’s possible that he told her)
On mógł jej powiedzieć.

He may have seen something amazing.

She might have heard some bad news.
Something bad may have happened.

Jeśli jesteśmy pewni, że coś na pewno nie miało miejsca używamy CAN’T lub COULDN’T:

She couldn’t have done it. (= I’m sure she didn’t do it)
Ona nie mogła tego zrobić.
They can’t have known about it. (= I’m sure they didn’t know about it)
Oni nie mogli o tym wiedzieć.

He can't have had a break.
He must have been working long.


A few building idioms in one paragraph

Warto budować pomosty, starać się z kimś dogadać, czyli build bridges between you and somebody else. A jeśli to nam się nie udaje może warto spróbować się z kimś po prostu pogodzić - mend fences with somebody. Jednakże, uciekanie od problemów i staranie się  to paper over the cracks, czyli ukryć niemiłą prawdę, to nie rozwiązanie. A jeśli nic nam nie pomoże, to możemy znaleźć się w sytuacji w której będziemy walić głową w mur - we can find ourselves banging our head against a brick wall.

Building bridges...

papering over the cracks,

and banging your head
 against a brick wall


Devil's Dictionary

I have recently come across this intriguing dictionary called 'Devil's Dictionary' written by Ambrose Bierce, one of nineteenth-century America's most renowned satirists. Bierce was a popular columnist and he wrote for several San Francisco and London newspapers during his 40 years's long career. Between 1881 and 1886 Bierce published his sardonic definitions in 'The Wasp'. They were published as a collection in 1906 and in 1911 under the title of 'Devil's Dictionary'.

Take a look at some of his definitions:

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy

Politeness, n. The most acceptable hypocrisy.

Mad, adj. Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence.

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - "I think that I think, therefore I think that I am;" as close an approach to certainty as any philosopher has yet made.

Apologize: To lay the foundation for a future offence.

Self-evident, adj. Evident to one's self and to nobody else.

Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.

Incest, n. In many parts of the Bible Belt, the most popular form of dating.

Bride, n. - A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.

Ambrose Bierce

And try to guess what these definitions might stand for...

(if you know, write it down in the comments!)

1. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.

2. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.

3. A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket.

come across - natknąć się na
intriguing - intrygujące
renowned - znany / uznany
satirist - satyryk
columnist - felietonista
sardonic - sardoniczny
wasp - osa

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