Learning a new language isn’t just about learning grammar rules and vocabulary. Knowing how to get your message across is already a great start, don’t get me wrong! But there is a way to go one step further and help you sound like a native English-speaking person: idioms.
An idiom is a phrase, an expression or a group of words used together, the meaning of which is not directly understandable from the meaning of the individual words. For example, in the sentence ‘This car cost me an arm and a leg’, I don’t really mean that I exchanged an actual arm and leg for my new car. Here, the phrase ‘an arm and a leg’ means ‘a very high price’. Every language in the world has its own idioms, which often can’t be translated literally to another language. They can be tricky to master but they will definitely help you sound like a native speaker!
Here is a list of 5 frequent idioms of the English language you should start using right now!
Speak of the devil
When you say speak of the devil, it means that the person you were just talking about enters the room you are in.
Person A: “Did you know that Patrick just got engaged?!”
Person B: “Speak of the devil! He just came in, let’s go congratulate him!”
Once in a blue moon
When you say that something only happens once in a blue moon, it means that it happens very rarely, almost never.
“Since she moved to London, I only see Jane once in a blue moon. She’s just so far away now.”
Add insult to injury
When you add insult to injury, you make a bad situation even worse.
“First, they took our free coffee and tea in the break room, and now they just reduced our break time from 15 to 10 minutes. That’s just adding insult to injury!”
When you say that something is a no-brainer, it means that this decision or choice is really easy to make and quite obvious.
Person A: “What should we do for Jane’s birthday?”
Person B: “Well, that’s a no-brainer! Let’s just bring a cake to work on Friday and surprise her!”
To be/sit on the fence
When you are on the fence about something, it means you can’t decide between two different options, you are indecisive.
Person A: “What are you having for lunch”
Person B: “I’m on the fence. I can’t decide between the chicken salad or the soup!”
Are you thinking of learning a new language or brushing up on your existing skills?
Our language centre is centrally located in Edinburgh’s West End and has a relaxed yet professional atmosphere for an enjoyable learning experience. We also provide free tea & coffee, Wi-Fi and a comfortable student’s lounge. inlingua’s world-renowned teaching method was established in 1968 and has been proven to get results time and time again.
Our new term for evening courses will begin from 10th September 2018.
Click here to see a full list of the languages we offer!
Speak a new language from the very first lesson!
- We offer courses in over 20 languages >> click here to see our full range!
- Classes in small groups (max 10 per class)
- Qualified, native-speaking teachers
- A lot of speaking practice
- All course material included
- Classes suited to each ability (no mixed-level groups)
Week-night Courses details
Classes take place once per week from 18:30 to 20:00 for 90 minutes. The full cost is £180 per term (all course materials and refreshments included). Duration: 12 weeks with 5 to 10 students, 10 weeks with 4 students or 8 weeks with 3 students in the group
Booking is now open for all languages, so book early to secure your place and avoid disappointment!
A heatwave which could produce the hottest temperatures this year is sweeping across Scotland. Temperatures are expected to reach between 25C to 26C this week.
There’s no denying it – Edinburgh looks stunning in the sunshine. So make the most of the good weather by enjoying the great outdoors. We’ve listed the best places to enjoy a picnic.
1. Princes Street Gardens
It is the most central park in Edinburgh and definitely one of the busiest parks in town when it is sunny. In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the Gardens were created in two phases in the 1770s and 1820s. Both run along the south side of Princes Street and are divided by The Mound. East Princes Street Gardens run from The Mound to Waverley Bridge and cover 8.5 acres (34,000 m2). The larger West Princes Street Gardens cover 29 acres (120,000 m2) and extend to the adjacent churches of St. John’s and St. Cuthbert’s, near Lothian Road in the west.
The Gardens are the best-known park in Edinburgh, having the highest awareness and visitor figures for both residents and visitors to the city. Various concerts and other events are held at the Ross Bandstand including the Festival Fireworks Concert, Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest, and during the city’s Hogmanay celebrations.
2. The Meadows
The Meadows is a large public park in the south of the city centre. It consists largely of open grassland crossed by tree-lined paths, but also has a children’s playground, a croquet club, tennis courts and recreational sports pitches. It is bordered by the University of Edinburgh’s George Square campus and the Quartermile development on the site of the old Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to the north and Marchmont to the south. To the south-west, it becomes Bruntsfield Links where there is a free, public pitch and putts golf course. It is one of the best places in the city to organise BBQ with friends!
3. Royal Botanic Garden
Just one mile from city centre, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh offers visitors peace and tranquillity amongst 72 acres of stunning scenery. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the finest botanic gardens in the world. A pleasure for all the family, the Garden offers fantastic views of the capital’s skyline, featuring Edinburgh Castle, and is located just a mile from the city centre. Visitors can discover its fascinating history, which dates back 300 years, learn about its plantings and walk around 70 acres of beautiful landscape.
4. Harrison Park
Harrison Park is at the heart of a lovely community, shared by dog walkers, children, picnickers and duck feeders. It’s gorgeous in the summer and stunning in the autumn. It sits beside Union Canal, so throw down your blanket and get the sandwiches out and watch the world go by!
4. Granny’s Green – The Grassmarket
Nestled right under Edinburgh Castle, this spot on a summer’s evening is perfection! You are surrounded by little cafes and bars, so this is a great spot for an impromptu picnic. Located in The Grassmarket, it can get quite busy so get down early and enjoy the sun all day!
5. Calton Hill
One of the seven hills of Edinburgh, it’s well worth the short steep walk with your picnic to the top of Calton Hill. The historic site is in the centre of the city and overlooks the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. With such vast and stunning views down over the city, Calton Hill is popular with picnic-ers on the rare Edinburgh sunny day.
6. Blackford Hill
Blackford Hill is towards the south of the city and popular with dog walkers and weekend hikers. From here you can see Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill and, on a clear day, all the way out across the Firth of Forth.
7. Inverleith Park
Inverleith Park was made for picnics. Meticulously manicured grassy parkland, lovely trees, and a resplendent sundial garden all add to the appeal. Once more, those looking to congregate in large groups, toss a ball about, meander over the quaint wooden bridge, or explore surrounding flora and fauna, will be in their element. Such a prime spot demands a perfect picnic.
8. Portobello Beach
Portobello is a coastal suburb of Edinburgh. Once known as a beach resort, it is located three miles (5 km) to the east of the city centre, facing the Firth of Forth, in eastern central Scotland. Although historically it was a town in its own right, and is often seen as such by its inhabitants, it is now a residential suburb of Edinburgh, with a promenade fronting on to the wide sand beach. It lies between the suburbs of Joppa and Craigentinny.
9. Cramond Beach
Enjoy the feel of an old fishing village which the suburb of Cramond still retains. There is plenty of history to see in the area too with Cramond boasting one of the longest known periods of human settlement, and refreshments are available at the nearby pub or the nice coffee shop.
It’s also possible to walk over the causeway to the island at low tide – do keep an eye on the tides though as it is possible to get stranded on the island.
10. Arthur’s Seat
Arthur’s Seat may be a predictable choice and yet, it still never ceases to enrapture the people who walk it. Every time something new arises, whether it’s an added entity in the skyline or an uncharted route graced with new but equally astounding views. If lugging a picnic to the top doesn’t sound like too much of a headache, the vision of the city (and beyond) will erase all images of arduous power walking. That, and some surprisingly delicious Scottish BBQ from Reekie’s Smokehouse. Perfectly placed nearby, this family-run eatery is a winner in the meat, coffee, beer and cake game. Quick and easy, consider this a wonderfully spontaneous kind of Scottish picnic experience — no fuss, no frills — just good food and views.
Star in your own film and escape for a picnic in the Pentlands. Rolling hills, picture-perfect streams and views worth knowing about make this an ideal spot to throw down that checkered blanket and soak up the serenity. Adventure junkies will see this as an exploration opportunity, which may or may not cut into valuable eating time. Budding romanticists, on the other hand, will see this as a blissfully remote location. Strategically placed at the foot of the Pentlands is The Secret Herb Garden. This herb nursery hosts a café filled with produce harvested on site, along with various jams, chutneys and jellies.
Near Edinburgh, there is also some great spots!
12. North Berwick
Yellowcraig is a natural cove beach with spectacular views to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson famous tale Treasure Island.
Yellowcraig is a natural cove beach with spectacular views to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson famous tale Treasure Island. It is a popular family beach, which offers a nature trail, barbecue site (which must be pre-booked with the council) and a network of footpaths through the sheltered woodlands and extensive grassland.
Did you know that we offer exam preparation classes? Nowadays, it is not rare for universities or employers to require a certain test score proving your level of English. But which test should you take? What are the differences? Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the differences between the Cambridge exams and the IELTS.
Here at inlingua Edinburgh, you can prepare for the FCE, CAE, CPE or the IELTS. But what do these letters stand for?
- FCE = First Certificate in English, (aka Cambridge English: First)
- CAE = Certificate in Advanced English (aka Cambridge English: Advanced)
- CPE = Certificate of Proficiency in English (aka Cambridge English Proficiency)
- IELTS = International English Language Testing System.
While both the Cambridge exams and the IELTS test all four major English skills – reading, writing, listening and speaking, there are quite a few differences between them.
The main difference between the Cambridge tests and the IELTS is that while there is only one IELTS for every level, the Cambridge tests are level-oriented. FCE is for an upper-intermediate, B2 level qualification, the CAE is a C1 qualification exam and the CPE is for a C2 proficiency level.
Now let’s look at the ways in which they are assessed.
Despite their differences, one test is not more difficult than the other. You might find the Cambridge tests more interesting than the IELTS, which is a bit more academic, but it doesn’t mean that one is easier than the other.
Whether you need to do it to apply to the university of your choice, to get that job you have been after for a while or just because you want to boost your CV, book a class now at inlingua and pass that exam with flying colours!
All our Exam Preparation packages here
Due to very high demand we have decided to launch daytime language courses. The new term will start in March 2018. The lessons will take place once per week from 9:30 am to 11am for beginners. You will be able to choose from:
- Gaelic (Thursday)
- German (Wednesday)
- Italian (Friday)
- Japanese (Tuesday)
- Russian (Thursday)
- Spanish (Monday)
How much is it?
The full cost is £180 per term (£15 per lesson including all course materials (book and CD for beginners) and refreshments.
Why choose us?
Our language centre is centrally located in Edinburgh’s West End and has a relaxed yet professional atmosphere for an enjoyable learning experience. inlingua’s world-renowned teaching method was established in 1968 and has been proven to get results time and time again. We offer lessons in small groups (max. 10 per class). Our qualified teachers are all native speakers of the target language. We make sure you will have a lot of speaking practice. We offer classes for all abilities – no mixed-level groups
Book an English course taking place between now and the end of April and get 10% off with no booking fee!*
Brush up your English skills before the summer by signing up to one of our intensive English courses. Enjoy the best Edinburgh has to offer in low season and practise your English in small groups of no more than 10 students!
*To take advantage of this offer please quote “InlinguaApril10” when booking.
Terms & conditions:
- Offer valid on English Half Day Group and English Half Day Group + afternoon courses
- Courses must end before 30th April 2017
- Students may continue their course after 30th April 2017 and the usual tuition rate will apply
- Discount can not be applied in conjunction with any other offer
- Offer valid on tuition only (not accommodation)
- Offer not valid on courses already booked
- Our usual terms & conditions apply