tally / tallies – was es mit dem Kerbholz auf sich hat

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Ein tally (Mehrzahl: tallies) ist genaugenommen ein Kerbholz.

Ein geeignetes längliches Brettchen oder ein Stock wurde mit Symbolen markiert. Anschließend wurde das Holz längs gespalten oder geteilt, so dass Schuldner und Gläubiger die an der Trennstelle zusammenpassenden Einritzungen auf ihrer Stockhälfte dokumentiert fanden. Meist erhielt der Gläubiger das längere Teilstück. Wieder zusammengefügt zeigte sich, ob die beiden Hälften zusammengehörten oder ob eine Hälfte nachträglich manipuliert worden war.

Von dieser Zähl- und Buchhaltungstechnik leitet sich die noch heute gebräuchliche Redewendung „etwas auf dem Kerbholz haben“ her. Sie bedeutet im eigentlichen Sinne „Schulden haben“ und übertragen so viel wie „sich schuldig gemacht haben“.


Seit wann? – „since“ und „for“

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Woran erkennt man einen Deutschen, der fast fliessend englisch spricht?

Auf die Frage wie lange er schon in England ist, antwortet er:
I have been here since 6 months

Since heißt zwar übersetzt seit, wird aber von vielen Deutschen in dieser Konstellation falsch angewendet, weil es sich für deutsche Ohren ‚richtig‘ anhört. Es müsste heißen:
I have been here for 6 months


Präpositionen der Zeit und des Ortes

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Präpositionen sind Wörter, die Verhältnisse und Beziehungen zwischen Personen und Sachen kennzeichnen; daher werden sie auch Verhältniswörter genannt.

In der englischen Sprache kommen dabei am häufigsten die Wörter in, on und at vor.

Wann benutzt man welches dieser Wörter?


Wenn ‚the‘ kein Artikel ist

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Das Wörtchen the kennen wir natürlich als Artikel im Englischen, der für der/die/das steht.

Doch es gibt ein the das kein Artikel ist.

Und zwar kommt es in Redewendungen vor, wie zum Beispiel The more, the merrier oder in Sätzen wie The more I look at this, the stranger it seems.


Adverbs of Time

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Adverbs of time answer the questions when? how long? and how often? Adverbs of time describe when an action takes place. These can be specific times or general periods of time.

When using adverbs, writers should be mindful of the following:

When to use an adverb?

Adverbs are often used to describe how something is done. They can also be used to describe where something is done. Adverbs of time and place are often used in dialogue, as well as in descriptions.

Where should you use an adverb?

Adverbs that describe a verb or adjective should go before the word they modify. For example: „I was running quickly.“ Adverbs that describe a noun should go after the word they modify. For example: „The sound of my footsteps were muffled by the carpet.”

Examples of Adverbs of Time

Examples of adverbs of time are: now, then, then again, nowadays

Adverbs of Time Used in Sentences

  • Lunch will be ready soon.
  • Jenny visited us twice last year but we haven’t seen her since.
  • Harold rarely visits his grandparents
  • Please deliver our newspapers now.

Used in Creative Writing

Adverbs of time are often used in creative writing to provide a sense of immediacy and urgency.


  • „As soon as I saw the police car, I knew I was in trouble.“
  • „I need to get this done before the weekend is over.“

Adverbs of Manner

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Grammar Rules

Adverbs of manner tell you the way an action is performed.

They answer the question how?

Usually, the adverb follows the verb.


• The students cheered enthusiastically when they were told that they were getting a holiday.

Sometimes, the adverb is placed before the verb to emphasise the manner of the action.


• He deliberately tripped the rude boy.

• She suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

Although many adverbs of manner end in -ly, not all do.


• She’s trying hard to impress the judges.

Adverbs of Degree

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Grammar Rules

Adverbs of degree answer the question how much? or to what extent? They increase or reduce the force of the word they describe.

They are usually used with adjectives and are placed before the adjective that they describe.


• The students put up a totally entertaining performance.

They are used with other adverbs and are placed before the adverb they describe.


• The young man walked incredibly slowly.

When used with verbs, they come before the verb.


• The audience absolutely hated the show

Adverbs are used to indicate comparison in the same way as adjectives.

They generally form the comparative or superlative by adding more and most to the positive adverb.

Positive Comparative Superlative
early earlier earliest
long longer longest
bravely more bravely most bravely
carefully more carefully most carefully
greedily more greedily most greedily


Positive Comparative Superlative
badly worse worst
well better best

Across, over and through

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on/to the other side of (a line): across and over

Across and over can both be used to mean ‚on or to the other side of a line, river, road, bridge, etc’.


  • His village is just across/over the border.
  • See if you can jump across/over the stream.

high things: over preferred

We prefer over to say „on/to the other side of something high“.


  • Why are you climbing over the wall? (not  across the wall?)


flat areas: across preferred

We usually prefer across to say ‚on/to the other side of a flat area or surface’.


  • He walked right across the desert.
  • It took them six hours to row across the lake.

the adverb over (to)

Note that the adverb over has a wider meaning than the preposition over.

We often use over (to) for short journeys.


I’m going over to Jack’s. Shall we drive over and see your mother?

across and through

The difference between across and through is like the difference between on and in. Through, unlike across, is used for a movement in a three-dimensional space, with things on all sides.


  • We walked across the ice. (We were on the ice.)
  • I walked through the wood. (I was in the wood.)
  • We drove across the desert.
  • We drove through several towns.

Also, as well and too

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„Also“, „as well“ and „too“ have similar meanings, but they do not go in the same position in clauses. „Also“ usually goes with the verb, in mid-position; as well and too usually go at the end of a clause. „As well“ and „also“ are less common in American English. „Also“ is more commonly used in written language than „as well“. „Too“ is more emphatic than „also“ or „as well“.


  • She not only sings; she also plays the piano.
  • She not only sings; she plays the piano as well.
  • She doesn’t just sing; she plays the piano too.

„As well“ and „too“ do not go at the beginning of a clause. „Also“ can go at the beginning of a clause to give more importance to a new piece of information.


  • It’s a nice house, but it’s very small. Also, it needs a lot of repairs.


These words can refer to different parts of a clause, depending on the meaning.

Consider the sentence: We work on Saturdays as well. This can mean three different things:

  • a. (Other people work on Saturdays, and) we work on Saturdays as well.
  • b. (We do other things on Saturdays, and) we work on Saturdays as well.
  • c. (We work on other days, and) we work on Saturdays as well.

When we speak, we show the exact meaning by stressing the word or expression that also / as well / too refers to.

Imperatives and short answers

„As well“, „too“ and „also“ are used in imperatives and short answers.


  • Give me some bread as well, please. (More natural than „Also give me . . .“ This is used colloquially, but don’t try it!)
  • ‘She’s nice.’ ‘Her sister is as well.’ („Her sister is also.“ is used colloquially in speech and tends to be used in British English.)
  • „I’ve got a headache.“ „I have too.“ is more common in American English. „I have also.“ or „I have as well.“ is more usual in British English.

(„I also have.“ is highly colloquial British English.)

In informal speech, we often use „Me too“ and „Me also“ as a short answer.


  • „I ’m going home.“ „Me too.“
  • „I ’m going home.“ „Me also.“

„Me also“ is almost exclusively British English and is more colloquial. It is possible to hear „Me as well“. However, this is highly colloquial. Don’t try it!

More formal equivalents are „So am I“, „I am too“, „I am as well“ or „I am also“ (but not „I also“, „I too“ or „I as well“). „I am also“ is the most formal form here, The inverted form „So am I“ would be the least.

 Note that we do not contract „I“ + „am“ in these formal short answers. „I’m also“ or „I’m too.“ are both incorrect in formal speech.

Too in a formal style

In a formal or literary style, „too“ can be placed directly after the subject.


  • I, too, have experienced despair.

Also between the subject and the verb

„also“ can be placed directly after the subject within a clause. It can be used quite informally in this manner and emphasises the relationship between the main part of the sentence and the clause. It is commonly seen in British English.


  • We work hard but we also enjoy what we are doing.

However, when „also“ is not within a clause – but a stand-alone sentence when there is *not* an auxilliary or modal verb – such usage is usually very formal.


  • One also understands the implications of these spoken threats.

We tend to observe this usage in very highly formal language such as legal discourse. It often appears in older classical literature. Don’t use „also“ in this manner, unless you really know what you are doing with formal forms!

When there is an auxilliary or modal verb, then „also“ can be placed between the modal/auxilliary verb and the main verb but generally not between the subject and the auxilliary.


  • I’m also going to the beach this summer.
  • Students should also be working, not just the teacher.

are correct expressions used in normal language, particularly British English.


  • I also am going to the beach this summer.

is wrong and

  • Students also should be working, not just the teacher.

would be extremely formal usage.

Home, sweet home

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In this lesson we are going to learn some vocabulary and expressions related to „Home“.


If you’re looking for a new home, you need to know what type of home you’re looking for:

Word Meaning Translation
landlord, landlady A person who leases or rents their property to a tenant Vermieter(in)
tenant A person who pays rent to the landlord Mieter
apartment, flat A unit in a residential building Wohnung
bedsit A one-room unit, often without a bathroom Zimmer mit Kochgelegenheit
house An individual building Haus
multi-storey A building with more than one floor mehrstöckig
detached A free standing house Einfamilienhaus
semi-detached A house connected to the neighbouring building Doppelhaushälfte
terrace A unit in a row of attached houses Reihenhaus

You will also need to know how many and which type of rooms it has:

Word Meaning Translation
Bathroom Any room with a toilet and sink Bad, Toilette
Bedroom A room in which one sleeps (where a bed is found) Schlafzimmer
Garage An attached or detached section of the house in which you keep vehicles Garage
Basement The (under-)ground level of the house Keller
Dining room Where the meals are eaten Esszimmer
Living room A common area for entertainment, sitting area for guests Wohnzimmer
Box room A small room that can be used as a single bedroom or study halbes Zimmer
Study A room to study or work from home Arbeitszimmer

A home can be many things, and you should know some adjectives that apply to it:

Word Meaning Translation
cozy Warm and comfortable gemütlich
cramped Not having enough space beengt
dingy Dirty and dark trüb, armselig
bright Having a lot of light hell
spacious, roomy Large and having a lot of space geräumig
convenient Easy to get gelegen, günstig, praktisch
private Belonging to one person privat
shabby To be in a poor condition schäbig
noisy Being loud laut, geräuschvoll
safe Free from danger sicher


Here are some useful expressions using „Home“.

A man’s home is his castle

  • Meaning: a sentiment that a man should have freedom to do what he wants in his home
    (originally “An Englishman’s home is his castle”)

Bring home the bacon

  • Meaning: earn a wage, or be successful

Charity begins at home

  • Meaning: a sentiment that one should take care of family and friends before offering aid to others

Chickens will/have come home to roost

  • Meaning: said as an admonition that actions have consequences

Come home to roost

  • Meaning: return to cause trouble, in an analogy to chickens returning to their coop at the end of the day

Go home and get (one’s) beauty sleep

  • Meaning: said jocularly of or by one who must depart early, facetiously because of the necessity of getting enough rest to avoid being considered unattractive because of sleep deprivation

Halfway house

  • Meaning: Something that combines the qualities of two different things
  • Example: This band is a halfway house between rock and pop.

A house of cards

  • Meaning: An organization or plan that is weak and can easily be destroyed
  • Example: Their plan turned out to be a house of cards.

As safe as houses

  • Meaning: Be very safe
  • Example: I’ve locked the door. They’re as safe as houses.