All posts by Columbia School of English

About Columbia School of English

We aim to provide a thorough, experiential learning environment that will propel our students to the top. Learn English in a comfortable and encouraging setting, with the schedule that’s right for you. We have a strong, devoted staff that is invested in creating the program that is customized to fit your needs and give you the premier English education. Contact us to find how our programs can work for you.

English Idioms: Pardon my French

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Pardon my French: Please excuse me for swearing. Used as a way to apologize for using profanity (bad words) or for saying something that may offend another person.

Pardon my French, but that dress does NOT look good on you. 

An early example of the phrase was in The Lady’s Magazine from 1830, in which the speaker used a French word to insult someone:

Bless me, how fat you are grown! – absolutely as round as a ball: – you will soon be as enbon-point (excuse my French) as your poor dear father, the major.

“Enbon-point” is a French word for plump (fat). The phrase was later popularized in the 20th century in Michael Harrison’s All Trees were Green, 1936.

IELTS Self-Testing Practice Materials

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According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, self-testing, such as taking a practice test or simulating a testing environment, is an effective study tool. To help you prepare for the IELTS through self-testing, here are some links to IELTS testing materials. These materials are from http://www.ielts.org, and they include pdf tests and answer sheets.

Reading Samples

Academic Writing Samples

General Training Reading Samples

General Training Writing Samples

Speaking Samples

Listening Samples