I DIG ENGLISH - just a cool blog about English

I hope you enjoy reading this blog
half as much as I enjoy writing it for you.
Because I have a ball.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

TV Shows: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Hi guys!


I don't know how to start so I will treat you to a little joke. It's a conversation really:

Me: We're going to the cinema tonight.
Mum: What movie are you going to watch?
Me: The Dictator
Mum: Well, I don't know about that. Isn't it a little bit brutal for you?
Me: Mum, you know Borat, the guy in the mankini. He's in it.
Mum: Oh, ok.

to treat somebody to – zafundować (to give/ to buy)
I don't know about that – sama nie wiem (I'm not sure about that.)
a mankini – a male bikini


So with the introduction out of the way, we can move on to today's topic – American TV shows. I know what you're going to say: they're too happy and contrived and they sugar-coat the reality. I know that and to that I say – who cares? I'll still watch them ;)

out of the way – za nami (done/ finished)
contrived – sztuczne, wymuszone (fake, insincere)
to sugar-coat – upiększać (to make something seem more positive and pleasant that it really is)

But seriously, if you ever think about improving your listening or speaking skills (I mean everyday conversation), TV shows are the best option for you. Although they're scripted, they're usually fast-paced and there's a lot banter and humour to keep you entertained. If you have problems getting all the jokes and cultural references, don't worry. You don't have to get them all at first. But I can promise you that the ones you get will get stuck in your head for a long time and that's a good thing of course.

scripted – odgrywane wg scenariusza (planned and written in advance)
fast-paced – dynamiczny, szybki (dynamic, fast)
banter – przekomarzanie się (conversation which is funny and not serious)
to keep somebody entertained – zabawiać kogoś (to make somebody have a good time)
to get (a joke) – zrozumieć (understand)
a cultural reference – nawiązanie do kultury danego kraju (a mention of a fact related to the culture of a given country)
to get stuck in your head – pozostawać w pamięci/ głowie (to stay in your memory)



My favourite TV show of the moment is the Ellen DeGeneres Show. If you doubt that a female host can be funny, you should check Ellen out. Ironically, it's the moments when she decides to just stay silent (not saying anything) and make a face instead that are the funniest to me. Also, Ellen has this “I don't take myself too seriously” vibe, which is very attractive and puts her guests at ease. Her clothes are a good manifestation of that too. (She's a tomboy.) And I can't go without mentioning that she's very generous both to her guests and the audience, showering everybody who visits the studio with gifts.

a host – gospodarz
to make a face – zrobić minę
to have this “I don't take myself too seriously” vibe – wydaje się, że ktoś nie traktuje siebie zbyt poważnie (to seem to not take oneself too seriously)
to put somebody at ease – sprawiać, że ktoś czuje się z nami swobodnie (to make somebody feel comfortable)
be a manifestation of something – być przejawem, oznaką czegoś (a sign of something, proof of something)
a tomboy – chłopczyca (a boyish girl)
generous – hojny (willing to share with others)
to shower somebody with gifts – obdarowywać (to give a lot of presents to someone)

I've been subscribed to her YouTube channel for quite some time now and I must say I really enjoy the videos that get posted. I don't watch all of them (a couple of videos are posted on most days). I just watch my favourite segments and interviews that are of interest to me. I'm going to share a few of them so that you can get an idea of what Ellen's like and maybe some of you will decide to give her show a try too ;)

of interest to – interesujące dla (interesting to)
to get an idea of what Ellen's like – przekonać się, jaką prowadzącą jest Ellen (to see what kind of person Ellen is)
to give something a try – spróbować czegoś (to try something new)


Now that's my favourite segment. Ellen is very keen on playing games with her guests and she's quite a competitive player ;)

In the following vid, Ellen plays Last Word with Vince Vaughn. In the game, you get a category and you take turns saying words related to that category for 30 seconds. The person who gets to say the last word wins. The categories in this vid are: summer activities and things you see on the beach. Watch the vid to hear Ellen say “butt cracks” and Vince say “undesirables in a speedo”.

to be keen on something – lubić coś (to like, to enjoy)
competitive – lubiący rywalizację (wanting to win)
to take turns doing something – robić coś na zmianę (when one person does something and then, when he/ she finishes, another person does the same thing)
a butt crack – rowek;) (I can't believe I'm translating this – the middle of one's butt)
undesirables – osoby niepożądane (people whose behaviour or appearance makes them unacceptable in society or at a particular occasion)

In this vid Ellen plays Taboo with Katy Perry. Taboo is about guessing secret words that are known and explained by one player. The only twist is that some words are taboo – they can't be used to describe the secret words. Watch the vid to see how difficult it is to explain the words “tickle” and “skinny-dip”.

a twist – nieoczekiwany zwrot, komplikacja (a complication)
to tickle – łaskotać (to touch someone lightly with your fingers, making them slightly uncomfortable and often making them laugh)
to skinny-dip – pływać nago (to swim naked)

In the following video, Ellen and Carrie Underwood play Guess the Animal Noise – a game in which one player imitates animal sounds and the other needs to guess the animal. Watch for the giggles because the video is quite funny.

for the giggles – dla śmiechu (in order to laugh)


Ellen loves discussing babies and animals with her guests. Watch the following clip of her interviewing Charlize Theron, in which Charlize talks about how her dogs help her out with her baby boy. She mentions how one dog steals the baby's pacifiers and the other joins the baby in crying.

overload – nadmiar (too much of something)
a baby boy – synek
a pacifier – smoczek

In the following clip, Ellen talks to Will Smith, who discusses his kids, Jaden and Willow, and the many animals his family owns : cats, boa constrictors, dogs, fish, tortoises and birds. He also tells a funny anecdote about a visit to the White House and the aliens.

a boa constrictor – boa dusiciel
the aliens – kosmici (UFO)


Another funny segment is Clumsy Thumbsy, in which Ellen shows text message conversations go wrong. All because of AutoCorrect, which is supposed to help you save time but doesn't save you the embarrassment.

clumsy – niezdarny (awkward)
a thumb – kciuk
to save the embarrassment – zaoszczędzić wstydu (to prevent someone from feeling ashamed)




Ok, I guess that's all about Ellen for now. Let me know which vid is your favourite. I could also link similar game posts on my Facebook, so let me know if you would like that.

Have a great rest of the week!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Digs: My Go-to Lie

Hi guys!


Sorry for being MIA last week.

I didn't manage to write a blog post over the weekend because I was busy on the day that I usually do it and it seems that if I don't follow my routine, everything just falls apart ;) Do you also need some kind of a routine to follow so that you stay on top of things?

The following subject was supposed to be featured in the previous entry but I got too carried away with my uncool blazer obsession story and decided to wait till next time to post it. (Squeezing everything in would have made the post superlong).

babble – paplanina (saying something in a quick, confused, excited or silly way)
MIA – nieobecna (missing in action)
to follow a routine – postępować zgodnie z wcześniejszymi przyzwyczajeniami (to do what you always do)
to fall apart – rozpadać się
be/ stay on top of something – mieć pod kontrolą (to be able to control a situation or deal with it)
to be featured – znajdować się, zostać załączonym, uwzględnionym (to be included)
an entry – wpis
to get carried away – dać się ponieść emocjom (to become so excited about something that you do not control what you say or do)
to squeeze something in – wcisnąć


Today's another instalment of me messing around with the Google search engine. This time round, I got excited about the go-to expression, which is used when you refer to items (or abstract ideas) that you reach for

  • as your first choice;
  • automatically/ without thinking;

  • when you are pressed for time and have no other option but your trusty solution.

an instalment – partia, odcinek (part, episode)
to mess around with – dłubać w czymś, grzebać w czymś (spend time doing various things that are not important, without any particular purpose or plan)
to refer to – wspominać (to talk about)
to reach for – sięgać po
I am pressed for time – brakuje mi czasu (I have little time)
trusty – wypróbowany (able to be trusted, especially because of having been owned and used for a long time)


My go-to dress is probably my little black dress (LBD). It's simple, classic and always goes with any colour of shoes and a lipstick.

LBD – mała czarna

My go-to lie is, “Oh I already promised Chris that I'd hang out with him. Maybe we can meet up later in the night though.”

to hang out – to spend time with

When my hair is acting up or I simply don't want to be bothered with it, my 'go to' hairstyle is a braid pulled to one side hanging over my shoulder.

to act up – tu. nie chcą się układać (to behave badly)
be bothered with something – kłopotać się czymś, zajmować się czymś (to worry about something, take a special care of something)
a braid – warkocz


My go to excuse is explosive diarrhoea. I usually add a few details like I have been on the toilet all day.

diarrhoea – biegunka

My go to cologne is Polo Black. I like to use an unscented deodorant with it.

unscented – bezzapachowy

Here is my go to pick-up line. It's not one of those cheesy ones that will get you slapped. I have used it at least 10 times and it worked every single time: Hello, my friend over there said that I couldn't start a conversation with the most beautiful girl in the room. Can you help me out?

cheesy – tandetny, oklepany
at least  – przynajmniej
every single time – za każdym razem
that will get you slapped – spowoduje, że zostaniesz spoliczkowany


A: You look grumpy. What's up?
B: It's my go-to face.

grumpy – naburmuszony (easily annoyed and complaining)


I'm continuing this Healthy Eats series by showing you my go-to breakfast: a delicious, filling and healthy combination of yoghurt, cereal and berries.

healthy eats – zdrowe posiłki
filling – sycący (If food is filling, you feel full after you have eaten only a little of it)

My go to workout song is Fighter by Christina Aguilera. It's been on my list for over 5 years now and it STILL pumps me up!

a workout song – piosenka przy której ćwiczę
to pump me up – nakręcać (to make someone feel more excited)

When it comes to hot drinks in the winter, my go-to Starbucks order is a tall decaf sugar-free vanilla soy misto.

an order – zamówienie
decaf – bezkofeinowa
misto – kawa z mlekiem (Café au lait)

Hope you enjoyed.

See you in my next post :)


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Story of My Life: Uncool Blazer Obsession


I will take a wild guess and say that there are days when you probably think to yourself: “I'm cool. I'm wearing the right clothes. I smell good. For once, my hair isn't a mess and I'm in a good mood. I AM COOL!!!!!! 


Ok, my bad. Maybe it's just me and the Jersey Shore crew...

I'm just kidding. I want to share with you a story that made me feel like the opposite of cool – I felt like the biggest cornball on the planet!!!

to take a wild guess – zgadywać, powiedzieć nie mając żadnej pewności
for once – tym razem (used when something happens that does not usually happen)
in a good mood – w dobrym nastroju
my bad – przepraszam/ moja wina (my mistake, I'm to blame)
a crew – ekipa, zespół
a cornball – someone who is very corny – uncool


For those of you who don't know me in real life – I've got this strange obsession with blazers. My blazer obsession is so big that I wear them almost everyday. I only skip days when it's freezing cold or blazing hot. On those days, I'm forced to replace my trusty blazer with a chunky sweater or a tank top respectively.

to skip – pomijać, opuszczać
trusty – wierna (owned and used for a long time)
chunky – gruby
respectively – odpowiednio



If you need a further demonstration of my obsession, here it is. My friends and family often hear me say:

That's a nice outfit that you're wearing, but it would look so much better with a blazer.
This blazer would go great with the pants you bought last week.
Oh, River Island carries some nicely cut blazers.
I like the cut, but I hate the colour of this blazer, sorry.
Do you like my new blazer?
Whenever I have a bad day, I go and buy myself a new blazer.

I'm sure you get by now how I feel about blazers :)

to carry  – mieć w ofercie (to sell)
nicely cut – ładnie uszyta, o ładnym kroju
the cut – krój
you get by now – teraz już wiecie/ rozumiecie

Now for the exciting part. I teach a lovely family, almost all the members except for the dad. So I teach the mum and two boys in their early teens.

I was having a lesson with the mum the other day and we were discussing clothes and of course I just HAD TO bring up the subject of blazers. So we talked about them briefly and then moved on to some other topic. It was just towards the end of our meeting when my student said:

I need to say one more thing about blazers. I have just one blazer, a blue one, but whenever I wear it, my sons tell me that I look like their English teacher.

My facial expression was probably priceless :D

to bring up the subject – poruszać temat (to start to talk about a particular subject)
briefly – pokrótce (for a short time)
towards the end of the meeting – pod koniec spotkania
facial expression – wyraz twarzy
priceless – bezcenny

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this small chunk of my life ;)

About the poll. As you can see, my whole family has already voted. If you want to help me out a bit and let me know which segments are your favourite, cast a vote today.

If you don't mind me asking, what are some of your uncool obsessions? Let me know in the comments below if you're not too embarrassed about them :)

a chunk – kawałek (a bit of something/ a part of something)
to cast a vote – oddać głos

Have a lovely weekend!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Books and Movies: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Hi guys!

Time flies by, doesn't it? Or is there actually a mechanism that speeds things up when you have less work and potter around the house? I hope not! :)

Anyway, today I would like to share with you a great book that I've recently read, have been majorly moved by and have been raving about to everyone who's willing to listen.

This might not be your type of book, your cup or tea – all because of the subject matter, which is a little bit controversial, but I truly hope that at least one person will find it interesting and give it a go. The book is definitely worth it.

For everybody else, there's also been a film made ;)

time flies by – czas szybko mija (to pass very quickly)
to speed something up – przyspieszać
to potter – krzątać się, pałętać się
majorly bardzo, w znacznym stopniu (very/ extremely)
moved –poruszona
to rave about something – zachwycać się czymś (to praise something very much)
It's isn't my cup of tea – Nie przepadam za tym.
the subject matter – tematyka
to give something a go – spróbować czegoś (to try/ attempt)
be worth something – być czegoś wartym


We Need to Talk About Kevin (2003) by Lionel Shriver is a book about what happens when motherhood goes wrong. It tells a story of Eva, whose teenage son goes on a killing spree and kills seven fellow students and two adults. We learn about Eva's past and present through the letters she writes to her estranged husband.

The first-person narrative is what makes for a great read in this case. Eva is brutally honest and she shares with us events and emotions that she has been hiding from everyone else for years. Even though at times she comes across as cold and heartless, we can't help but sympathise with her.

It's far less important to me to be liked these days than to be understood.

motherhood – macierzyństwo
to go on a killing spree – mordować (a spree – a short period of doing a particular activity)
fellow students – uczniowie tej samej szkoły
estranged – który pozostaje w separacji (describes a husband or wife who is not now living with the person they are married to)
to make for – sprawiać , przyczyniać się do ( to result in or make possible)
a great read – świetna lektura
in this case – w tym wypadku
at times – czasami
come across as – wydawać się
We can't help but sympathise with her – Nie umiemy jej nie współczuć/ solidaryzować się z nią


Eva is a successful travel guide author. She is married to Franklin, whom she's crazy in love with. She doesn't think of herself as a mother and finds the whole idea of pregnancy daunting. Then she realises that all Franklin has ever wanted is to become a father and she decides to go along with her husband's wish, against her better judgement.

trying to be a good mother may be as distant from being a good mother as trying to have a good time is from truly having one

daunting – odstraszające, zniechęcające
to go along with – zgodzić się, postępować zgodnie z (to agree with, to support something)
against somebody's better judgement – pomimo, iż rozsądek podpowiadał co innego
distant – odległy


Kevin is what we call a nightmare baby. He screams and cries all day long. He scares away every babysitter that comes along and he refuses to be potty-trained. When he grows up, he turns into a hostile and aloof teenager that stays bored and unimpressed the whole time.

We would surround him with toys and he would stare at them or kick one away. He did not play.

He pulls my hair,” she said quietly... “He pulls it very hard indeed. He's old enough now and I think he knows it hurts.

to scare away – odstraszać
to come along – pojawiać się (to appear)
potty-trained – umiejący korzystać z nocnika, a potty – nocnik
hostile – wrogi
aloof – wyniosły (describes an unfriendly person who refuses to take part in things)
to surround somebody with something – otaczać kogoś czymś
to stare at – gapić się na coś


What has drawn me to the book is the language. The author has laced Eva's rants with beautifully intricate vocabulary. That makes the book suitable for more proficient readers. If you don't really read too much in English, you might want to wait a little till you have more experience in reading in English.

to draw (drew, drawn) – przyciągać (to attract)
to lace something with something else – dodać, przyozdabiać
a rant – tyrada
intricate – kunsztowny (complex)
suitable – odpowiednia


The novel by Lionel Shriver has been adapted into a movie. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) directed by Lynne Ramsey stars the amazing Tilda Swinton as Eva (nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance) and the spooky-looking Ezra Miller as teenage Kevin. The movie has been classified as a psychological thriller and dubbed suspenseful and spine-chilling. Here's the trailer:

the film stars – w filmie występuje
spooky-looking – wyglądający upiornie, strasznie
be dubbed – zostać określonym jako (called)
suspenseful – trzymający w napięciu
spine-chilling – mrożący krew w żyłach, przyprawiający o dreszcze (a spine – kręgosłup, to chill – chłodzić)

If you have read it all, you deserve a cookie ;). Make sure you vote in my poll (on your right). Have a happy and safe weekend!

See you in my next post!