Happy Leap Day!

29th February is Leap Day and usually occurs every four years to compensate for the difference between the solar year, which is the time it takes the Earth to go around the Sun, and the calendar year.

So, a leap year (also known as a bissextile year) has 366 days.

Leap is a synonym of jump and is used in other expressions:

Take a leap of faith = hacer un acto de fe

Look before you leap – ser precavido

Leap/jump to conclusions = sacar conclusiones apresuradas

Leap frog = correcalles (juego infantil)

We hope you enjoy your extra day!


Cat idioms

As today is International Cat Day, it’s an excellent occasion to look at some English expressions related to our feline friends!

Some are the same in English and Spanish:

Curiosity killed the cat = la curiosidad mató al gato

Has the cat got your tongue? = ¿Te ha comido la lengua el gato?

While others are quite different:

Let the cat out of the bag = irse de la lengua

There’s no room to swing a cat = no cabe un alfiler

To look like the cat that got the cream = estar más ancho que largo

A fat cat = pez gordo

A cat nap = una cabezadita


As vs like

As and like are two words that are often confused. Both can be prepositions or conjunctions.

As a preposition, like means similar to, especially when we compare appearance or behaviour:

Who do you look like? Your mother or your father?

I look like my mum because I have blond hair and blue eyes. However, I’m not like her because we have very different personalities – she is very calm and I am very nervous.

Like also means in the same way as:

Like my sister, I am studying medicine because I want to become a paediatrician.

As means in the role/capacity of and is often used to talk about jobs:

When he finished his degree in architecture he worked as a waiter for three years before he managed to find a job as a project manager in a construction company.

When used as a conjunction as and like have the same meaning when used to make a comparison. Like is more informal:

My husband loves sushi, as/like I do.

My brother has his That’s English! class on Monday, as/like I do.