[Phrases] I Really Prefer Coffee


I was chatting with a new friend, and she asked me about my hobbies. After talking for a while, it suddenly came to me that I kept using the word “like”. “I like swimming, which is really fun and relaxing. I like coffee. I mean, the taste is great!” I like, I like, I like…

Did this ever happen to you before?

And I do know that if you keep using one word, people would get bored and become easily distracted from the conversation with you. You don’t want that, right?

Today, let’s look at a few EASY expressions that you can use as a substitute for the word “like”.

1.be fond of

To like something, especially something you have liked for a long time. Point: Being fond of something means that you like it. However, being fond of a person means like someone in a romantic way.

e.g. I’m not overly fond of cooking.


To love SOMEONE very much, especially in a way that shows a lot of admiration or respect.

See the difference?

e.g. She has one son and she adores him.


When you are comparing two items, you love one more and you can say “I favor/prefer XXX”. The point here is comparison.

Here’s an example:

These students naturally favored their own team.

4.to be into

To be interested in something.

My daughter is into sports all of sudden and really wants to take tennis lessons.

5. get a kick out of

To get a lot of enjoyment or excitement from something.

e.g. I get a kick out of building sandcastles at the beach.

Okay, that’s all for today.

Do you enjoy learning everyday expressions like these? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

[Thoughts] Is a College Education Worth it?


The American debate over whether a college education is worth it began when the colonists arrived from Europe and founded “New College” (later renamed Harvard University) in 1636.

With 20.4 million US college students in fall 2017, and over $1.5 trillion in total student debt as of May 2018, the debate continues today.

People who argue that college is worth it contend that college graduates have higher employment rates, bigger salaries, and more work benefits than high school graduates. They say college graduates also have better interpersonal skills, live longer, have healthier children, and have proven their ability to achieve a major milestone.


People who argue that college is not worth it contend that the debt from college loans is too high and delays graduates from saving for retirement, buying a house, or getting married. They say many successful people never graduated from college and that many jobs, especially trades jobs, do not require college degrees.

What do you think? Do you believe college education is worth both the money and time? Share your thoughts with me in the comment!

[Listening] What a Coincidence!


Hey guys, how’s it going?

The answer first:

understand and combination

In today’s part, the author shares with us a story that she met another writer in a yoga class… Let’s have a look!

In one fateful 20-minute Google session a few years ago, I applied for and was accepted into both a yoga teacher-training course and a mentoring program for girls. The same week in September saw the first day of both courses, yoga on Saturday mornings, mentoring on ??? (two words missing).

That first Saturday, I noticed the same woman in both courses, a serene-looking person with a resting saint face. I was struck by what I thought was an incredible coincidence — can you even imagine two nice, helpful white writer ladies who are also interested in deepening their yoga practice?

Well, you don’t even have to imagine, because it happened! I introduced myself to her after the mentoring workshop, and we chatted about the ??? (two words missing).

What happened then? Did they become best friends? Come back tomorrow and check it out!

Don’t forget to share your answer with me! Bye~

Eloquent – Etymology


Eloquent is an adjective meaning persuasive speech or writing. It has Latin roots which meant ‘speaking out’ and from the verb eloqui. It’s borrowed from the French word éloquent. When describing someone is eloquent, you’re saying that their way of speaking or writing is impactful.

Someone who is eloquent is powerful in expressing strong emotions or to state factual arguments with fluency. But, eloquent has evolved to mean more than its initial definition.

“Action is eloquence.”  – William Shakespeare

Therefore, you could say that eloquence is someone who invokes a positive emotion in another; someone who is classy; someone who understands a situation and reacts to it appropriately.

Still confused at what eloquent means? Fortunately, the U-Dictionary APP available on both Google Play and the APP Store provides translations instantly.

Tip: U-Dictionary’s instant translation provides bilingual sentences, sample sentences, and cognate words in addition to the simple translation so you can better understand the use of a word.

Eloquent also has a noun form, eloquence, which has the same meaning as its adjective counterpart. Eloquence is developed from the Latin eloquentia.

The peak use of this word was in the 1850s. Since then, it has significantly declined. While not commonly used in casual conversations, it more often appears in writing prose.

Sample Sentences

Here are some samples sentences using eloquent.

  1. Her speech was very eloquent for her age.
  2. He looks like a very eloquent person.
  3. Her silence showed her eloquent nature.


Synonyms for the word involve poise, fluency, fervour, and expressiveness.


Some commonly used antonyms for the word are impotence, inability, and incompetence.

Book Recommendation – Battle Royale

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

I was already familiar with the concept of Battle Royale, and I was pleasantly surprised at how the author executed the plot.
The plot takes place in a fictional fascist Japan. The government established a military program, the Battle Experiment No. 68. This program randomly selects fifty third-year junior high school students and forces them to kill each other until one student remains.
This year, the selected group of students are from Shiroiwa Junior High School. They are dosed with sleeping gas en route on a “field trip.” When they wake, they are in a classroom on a vacated island. Psychopathic sadist, Kinpatsu Sakamochi, tells the students they have three days until one stands as the victor. Or else, the metal collars around their necks will detonate.
Armed with a bag of random supplies given to them by the government, each student must come to terms and figure out a way to survive.
Battle Royale was first written in Japanese and then translated into English. It had a manga, movie, and theatre adaptation. It was also Takami Koushun’s debut novel after leaving his job as a journalist in 1996.

My Thoughts

Battle Royale focuses on three characters: Nanahara Shuya (last first), Nakagawa Noriko, and Kawada Shogo. But, it also jumps to different perspectives of other students. Thus, our protagonists may not know how some students died, but the reader does.
“By then she was dead. In fact, she may have been dead a while ago. Physically, several seconds ago, mentally, ages ago.”
– Koushun Takami
If you’ve seen a physical copy of the book, a question you may have thought is why is this so thick? Besides knowing how each student died, the author also sheds light on their background–some more than others–and their relationship with their classmates. By the end, you’ll know the class of Shiroiwa High School inside out.
Battle Royale focuses on camaraderie and emphasizes maintaining bonds and trust for one to succeed, an evident theme in Japanese culture. You could argue that is a reason why the author decides to give each student character depth. To learn, relate, and emphasize with the students brings you a little closer to them. And when they are ruthlessly killed, they vanish before you get a chance to familiarize with them.
Tip: The U-Dictionary APP provides informative and entertaining articles to boost your English reading comprehension and listening skills.
Battle Royale and Hunger Games often are compared to each other as their premise is identical. For those unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, here is a brief breakdown. The Capitol of Panem controls twelve districts by selecting tributes, a boy and girl, from each district to compete in The Hunger Games. It’s a nationally televised show. The tributes will fight to the death until one person remains.
Having read both novels, here are my two cents on the differences between the two books. The Hunger Games is glamorous; it carries fantasy elements that appeal to a younger audience. Battle Royale, on the other hand, has a historical background which is explained thoroughly near the end. The Hunger Games also adds a prominent romance; the romance in Battle Royale is very soft-pedalled. If anything, it boils down to cultural differences and its impact on a plot’s execution rather than the plot itself.
If you enjoyed The Hunger Games for its premise, I would recommend Battle Royale. In addition to cultural differences, the deaths in Battle Royale are much more graphic than the Hunger Games. Some will make you cringe a little, even more so when you remember they’re junior high kids. There are also mature themes such as attempted rape.
I’ve reread this book twice and will probably do so again in the future.

Book Recommendation – Vicious

Book Recommendation – Vicious by V.E Schwab

Vicious was my first book by V.E Schwab, and I’m glad I picked it up by chance.
The plot revolves around Victor and Eli, two brilliant college students. They recognized the same ambition and cleverness in each other. In their senior year, Eli’s thesis topic of near-death experiences and supernatural abilities unveils an intriguing hypothesis. Under specific conditions, someone can develop “extraordinary abilities.” Yet, things go wrong when they shift from academia to the field.
Ten years later, Victor has broken out of jail and accompanied by a young girl and another ex-prisoner. Together, they work to find Eli, who developed a twisted mentality. Who will be alive?
Life–the way it really is–is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse.
–Joseph Brodsky
My Thoughts
A great woven revenge story, Vicious makes the reader question the notion of heroism. There’s no good or bad; only bad or worse. The book jumps from past to present, yet it pushes the plot forward. It gives the reader a better understanding of Victor and Eli’s strained relationship.
Eli was the first to test his theory of the supernatural. Through his experiment, he develops supernatural abilities. Thus, he begins to develop a twisted mentality: God gave him a gift which he will use to eradicate all other supernatural beings like himself. Victor, on the other hand, also develops supernatural abilities through albeit questionable methods.
Tip: The U-Dictionary APP provides informative and entertaining articles to boost your reading comprehension and listening skills.
The relationship between Victor and his comrades contrasts against Eli’s camaraderie with his sidekick, an enigmatic woman. You could argue that the reason why the book ended the way it did was due to these bonds in addition to their own intelligence and abilities.
The book alternates between Victor and Eli’s point of views, though still written in the third person. Through these different viewpoints, you begin rooting for one or the other. Yet, regardless of who you want to succeed, you come to understand the motives behind their actions. Eventually, it boils down to a battle of wits and pride and arguably no longer about values and beliefs.
If you’re looking for a modern-day superhero novel, I strongly recommend Vicious by V.E Schwab. It’s relatable, entertaining, and keeps you hooked page to page. Vicious was Schwab’s first adult novel and is one I will definitely revisit in the future.
(This post is also cross-posted on anniesaurusx.wordpress.com)

[Talk] You Ran through the Stop Sign.


Joan ran through the stop sign and was caught by the police officer….

女底色 Sir, did I do anything wrong?

男底色 Yes. You ran through the stop sign. May I see your driver license, please?

女底色  Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see the stop sign at the corner. I didn’t mean it.

男底色 That doesn’t justify your violation. May I see your license, please?

女底色 Oh, sorry sir, I don’t have it on me. Honestly, I forgot it back at the house. But I have the insurance policy with me. Here it is.

男底色 Please wait here. I’ll come back in a moment.

That’s all for today!

See U!