English: Do people say you look like your mum or dad?
Czenglish: People say I look exactly the same like my mum.
English: Oh, you should say you look exactly the same as your mum.
Czenglish: So I can say either ‘I look like my mum’ or ‘I look the same as my mum’?
In comparative sentences we often use the word like. For instance:
– ‘It smells like something is burning.’
– ‘It sounds like you are improving.’
‘The same’ must be followed by ‘as’ however.
– ‘It sounds the same as before.’
– ‘We speak more or less the same language as them.’
Czenglish: In these days I am very busy.
English: I think ‘these days I am very busy’ is better for what you want to say.
The difference is small but ‘in these days‘ is a little more formal and carries a little more weight. For example you might say:
“In these days of political unrest and economic uncertainty it is difficult to plan for the future.”
Meanwhile ‘these days‘ is generally better when you are talking about yourself or situations that aren’t especially serious. Realistically, how busy you happen to be will always fall into this category.
So, “These days I am very busy.“
English: Did you manage to get home OK?
Czenglish: Yes, we got a taxi finally.
English: You got a taxi in the end.
Czenglish: I can’t say ‘finally’?
English: You can, but it’s better if you say it between the subject and the verb.
*We finally got a taxi.
*We got a taxi in the end.
English: What did you have for breakfast?
Czenglish: I had mixed eggs and some bread.
English: oh, that sounds different, so you had more than one kind of egg?
English: Ah, in that case you had scrambled eggs.
If you say you had mixed eggs it sounds like you are eating a selection of eggs – chicken, duck etc. Normally you will mean to say scrambled eggs.
Czenglish: We are 30 in our office.
English: Everyone is 30 years old?
Czenglish: No, 30 people work in our office.
English: OK, in that case, there are 30 of you in your office.
When counting the number of people somewhere remember to use ‘there are‘. Context usually makes the meaning obvious but when you say something like ‘we are 15‘ you are technically referring to age, not number of people.
You should say ‘there are 15 people‘ if you are not included. If you are in the group you should say ‘there are 15 of us‘.
Czenglish: Why is there two hair in the soup?
Czenglish: Why are marks cheaper in the UK than in the Czech Republic?