Love is in the Air, and I’m Introducing You to Someone Special

Love is in the air because it is Valentine’s Day. What a perfect day to improve your American English by talking about love idioms! And speaking of love, I’ll introduce you to someone special at the end of this post.

Many expressions in American English use the word love. Some have to do with the relationship itself, while others have to do with how you relate to the world.

So, if we see a man and a woman who are attracted to each other, there are several expressions we might use to describe their relationship.

If we sense that attraction is building between them, we might say that love is in the air.

If they feel a deep connection with one another before spending much time together, we say it was love at first sight.

If they are deeply attracted to one another, we say that they are falling in love.

If this attraction goes deeper more quickly than expected, we say that they are head over heels in love.

If they are so in love that they cannot see one another’s faults, then we say that love is blind.

If they can see difficulties ahead but are determined to work through them together, then we say that love will find a way.

On the other hand, if they begin arguing a lot but still appear to care for one another, we may say that they have a love-hate relationship.

If the arguments cause them to go their separate ways, hoping to never see each other again, we say there is no love lost between them.

However, we would hope that they each learned something from the relationship, leading us to conclude that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

One last idiom that deals with love, though it doesn’t actually use the word love, is the expression through thick and thin. This means that you have stayed together through good times and bad times, and you have a stronger relationship because of it.

Since it is Valentine’s Day, I want to introduce you to the love of my life, who has been through thick and thin with me over the last 20 years. This is a picture of me and my husband Rob. He is the technical support behind my website and videos. So, if you’ve watched any of my videos, he’s the one who filmed and edited them (watch for several new ones going up this week). If you downloaded my free guide or have taken any of my classes, he’s the one who has done all the graphic design and made those pages look neat and attractive. ( In fact, he edited this picture for me without knowing what I was going to do with it!)

So, today I want to publicly say:

Thanks, honey, for all of your help! I love what I do and I couldn’t do it without you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Do you have a love of your life? Or perhaps you are falling in love for the first time? Please tell us about your Love in the comments below!

Oatmeal: Breakfast Food or an Exercise in American Pronunciation?

Who would have thought that talking about breakfast would be the perfect opportunity to practice your American pronunciation? Just when you thought you were only trying to fill your stomach, you learn that you can also fill your mind with a great word for pronunciation practice.


Oatmeal, the breakfast staple in many cultures.

Yes, that humble little word can give your mouth a workout, not only as you chew your food, but also as you practice moving your lips to make the correct sounds.

To get the American pronunciation correct, you want to start by rounding your lips to make the long O sound to say oat. Then, rather than releasing the t on the end, you will catch that sound in your throat, like the sound in the middle of the word “uh-oh”. Alternately, you may put the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth as if you were going to make a T sound, but don’t release it.

Now, it’s time to smile wide as you say meal, holding that long E sound for just a second before dropping your jaw slightly to say the ul sound on the end of the word. You end the word with a quick schwa sound followed by an unreleased L. Oatmeal. Try saying it slowly: oatmeal.

Now say it a little faster: oatmeal


Here are a few sentences to get some more practice with those long O and long E sounds:

  • Joe eats oatmeal before he goes to sleep.
  • Please eat your oatmeal and then go to school.
  • I feel like eating oatmeal in the snow.

Now that you’ve had the chance to practice it, I hope you’ll think about the American pronunciation of oatmeal the next time you’re fixing breakfast.

Don’t like oatmeal? Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite breakfast food. We just might discuss its pronunciation in an upcoming blog post!

To hear the podcast and practice along with me, click below:

  • 2/5/2011 11:35 AM Sandra wrote:
    Elisa and I love to eat oatmeal in a snow day!