Tennis. A romantic game ?

Tennis. A romantic game ?

Do you like tennis ? Do you love tennis ? Have you noticed that in English, a tennis umpire sometimes uses the word ‘love’ ? “15 – love”, “30 – love”.

Do you know why ? Well, it’s because of the French. Yes, the French have a reputation as romantic lovers, but it’s not because of that.

As tennis originated in France (Yes ! It comes from the word ‘Tenez!’ as the player hits the ball.), the scoring was announced in French. The egg symbolizes having nothing (as it is round, like a zero) and when a player’s score is zero, they say “egg”. When you say “egg” in French (l’oeuf) it sounds like “love”. So when English-speaking people started playing the sport, they used the French word as it was fashionable.

So now you know !

Isn’t it curious ? In French when you say “J’ai des informations importantes. Elles vinnent de Pierre.” the noun ‘informations’ is plural but in English we say “I have some important information. It comes from Peter.” the noun is singular … or so it seems.

In fact, in English we have many words that are ‘uncountable’. They cannot be used in the plural and the verb is used in the singular.

Students often make mistakes, so here is a list of ‘uncountable nouns.



gram - uncountable


How are you feeling today ? Many adjectives that describe emotions are similar in French and in English. Not all of them, of course, and so here is a small list to help you.

After reading it, you’ll feel ecstatic?

How are you feeling ?

How are you feeling ?

In Japan, it is traditional for women to offer chocolate to the men in their lives on Valentine’s day. Different types of chocolates exist for different relations, raging from “obligatory chocolate” for a boss or a work colleague to “true feeling chocolate” given to a husband or boyfriend. Men reciprocate one month later on White day, March 14th, and offer gifts and chocolates in return to the people who gave them chocolate on St Valentine’s day.

The tradition is the same in Korea, with the addition of “Black day” on April 14th. On that day, single people who didn’t receive any gift or chocolate either on St Valentine’s day or White day, meet in restaurants to commiserate and eat white noodles in black bean sauce. In South Korea, in fact, the 14th of each month is being marked for a special celebration such as Rose day on May 14th or Kiss day on June 14th.

In Taïwan, the tradition is the opposite with women receiving gifts on St Valentine’s day and men on White day.

St Valentine’s day is celebrated in Denmark and Norway with funny little poems or rhyming love notes given anonymously by men to women. The only clue as to the name of the sender is represented with a dot for each letter of the name. If the woman guesses the name of the sender accurately, she wins an Easter egg on Easter day. If she doesn’t, she owes the sender an Easter egg.

In Slovenia, if love is celebrated on St Valentine’s day, it is actually on March 12th that most people celebrate love.

Finnish and Estonian people celebrate friendship rather than love on St Valentine’s day, exchanging gifts and cards with friends. It is however a popular day to get engaged or married.

In Wales, the patron saint of lovers, St Dwynwen, is celebrated on January 25th. On this day, men traditionally present the woman they are interested in with a carved spoon symbolizing their love.

This is an extract from the following article found here.


Why do we ‘clink’ glasses together when we say “Cheers!” before drinking with friends and acquaintances?

The first story I heard was that making a noise when you knock the glasses together frightens evil spirits and demons, and in this way, they do not go into your mouth when you drink alcohol (that evil drink !).

It sounds interesting but I prefer the story that suggests that by pouring a little of your drink into your friend’s glass and then receiving some of your friend’s drink, you would show that there was no poison in your cup or glass and you were not trying to poison him or her. The pouring became vigorous knocking and then ‘clinking’ with time.

What do you think ?

When you wish for something in English, you can say “I wish I had a new car !” You can also say “If only I had a new car !”. The expression “I wish …” has other uses also.


Different uses of the expression "I wish ..."

Different uses of the expression “I wish …”

Traditionally called “Pancake day”, Shrove Tuesday (from the verb “shrive” meaning “confess”) is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

On that day, it was customary for people to consume richer, fattier food, before the 40 days of restrictions and fasting associated with Lent.

So in honour of Shrove Tuesday, here is a simple recipe for pancakes.

Makes 8 pancakes


125g flour

¼ teaspoon of salt

300ml milk or water

1 egg (beaten)

A little melted butter

Vegetable oil (for the pan)


1 Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the center

2 Add the egg and milk and whisk vigorously to make a smooth batter.

3 Add the melted butter.

3 Heat a little oil in a small frying pan.

4 Spoon in 2 tablespoons of mixture and swirl to cover the base of the pan.

5 Cook for a few seconds, flip over and cook the second side.

6 Repeat to make 8 pancakes in total.


You can double the quantities to make more pancakes.  They taste wonderful with sugar and a little lemon juice.  How do you eat your pancakes?





Here is a learning tip from our team of experts:

Why don’t you play scrabble?

It’s a fun way to revise your vocabulary and challenge yourself.  There are many free apps for different platforms you can download such as Scrabble free, Scrabble, Wordsmith free, Wordfeud free, for example*.

Load them on your mobile device and next time you find yourself waiting around at the dentist’s, you can kill time by working on your English.

*We have not tried any of these apps and cannot be held responsible for their performance.