Sep 29

“This is the last straw! I’ve had it!”

The last straw is the straw that broke the camel’s back. A camel can carry a lot, but if you keep adding straw it will eventually become too heavy. The last straw is the difference between a load of straw the camel can just barely carry and a load that is too heavy. We say something is the last straw when our frustration has been building up for a while and finally becomes intolerable.


「The last straw」は、「ラクダの背骨を折るわら」という意味です。

ラクダは背中にたくさんの荷物を乗せますが、わらを乗せ続けると重たくなります。最後の一本は、ラクダが何とか耐えれるか耐えられないかの差です。溜まった不満が耐えられなくなったことを「The last straw」と言います。

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Sep 28

I _______ a video game when the power went out, and I lost all my progress!

What goes in the blank?
A. played
B. was playing
C. had played
D. would play



Do more TOEIC practice here!

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Sep 27

Many four-legged animals such as cats have a fifth toe on the side of their paws. This is called the dewclaw. It’s like a thumb, but it is not opposable like human thumbs. All cats have dewclaws on their front paws but not their back paws. Some dogs have dewclaws on all four paws.


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Sep 26

Philips: Johnson, did you get that database finished yet?
Johnson: No, that’s going to take at least a week.
Philips: I was hoping it would be ready tomorrow.
Johnson: Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

A big project takes time to finish. We compare any such project to building the city of Rome. It certainly took much longer than a day to build such a big city.



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Sep 25

“Mind your manners, Billy! Stop hammering on the table!”

A hammer is a tool used to pound in nails. The word can also be used as a verb, meaning to hit something with a hammer, or to repeatedly pound on something.



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Sep 24

Northumbrian castles are famous worldwide. They have been used in many films, such as Macbeth, Elizabeth and Harry Potter. Some are now ruined, others are still lived in and some have been converted to hotels. It is possible to book a wedding or a holiday in a Northumbrian castle and live like a king, if only for a weekend.


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Sep 21


Sep 21

I booked the hotel ___ three nights, so we will have plenty of time to see the city.

What goes in the blank?
A. for
B. with
C. at
D. in


どれくらいの時間の長さかを表す前置詞なので、使い方は「I sang karaoke for three hours」(3時間カラオケで歌った)と同じです。よって正解はA「for」です。

Do more TOEIC practice here!

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Sep 20

Happy Valley 1 is an ESL series for children aged 2 to 6. The DVD can
be used at home or in the classroom, with or without the book. Kids
have fun singing, dancing, following the stories and learning English
with Kinka and Pinka, Billy, Betty and friends. Sing, dance, watch,
copy, answer – learn English!

Taking pre-orders now for shipping from Ocotber 22nd:

モダンイングリッシュ ハッピーバレーチームが総力をあげて開発したオリジナル英語教材DVDがついに発売されます!


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Sep 20

The echidna and platypus are the only two mammals that lay eggs. They both live in Australia. They are called monotremes. The echidna is also called the spiny anteater. The platypus has webbed feet and its mouth looks like a duck’s beak. That’s why it is sometimes called the duck-billed platypus.

ハリモグラとカモノハシは、哺乳類で唯一卵を産む動物です。オーストラリアに生息していて、単孔類動物と呼ばれます。ハリモグラはechidna以外に、spiny anteater(とげとげアリクイ)と呼ばれることもあります。カモノハシは足に水掻きがあって、口はアヒルのくちばしに似ています。duck-billed platypus(アヒルくちばしのカモノハシ)と呼ばれるのはそのためです。

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