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Friday, December 15, 2017

Gap Fill 1 Practice III.Gymnasium

Do you know this man?
Fill in the gaps with the correct word.
The key will be posted next week. 

Two we____ ago a man walked into a police station in Brighton, United Kingdom, w___ a bruise on his head and a cut over his left e__.  He can’t remember his name or where he co___ from.  In fact, he can r____ nothing about his life. 

He is ab___  25 years old.  He is rather tall, about 2.10 metres and he’s got cu___ black hair and blue eyes.  When he ar___ at the police station he was wearing a long sl___ blue polo shirt, dark b___ jeans, and a pair of brown leather sh___. He had a green rucksack and wore a dark br___ leather ja___.  Police found no identification or paperwork in the rucksack.   They f___a wallet with 22 pounds, a bus pass, a folding um___,  a pair of su___, a bottle of water and a photo of a woman.  The woman in the photo is t___ and t___ and has long blonde hair, grey eyes, and is wearing a red mini skirt w___ a white blouse. He thinks maybe she is his gi___ but he can’t remember for sure.

He has a British accent and spe___ only English. He thinks his n___ is James Moore but police and birth records can find no information ab___ him. A photograph of h___ was sent to missing persons organisations  all over the co___ but until n___ no one has called.  Do you have any information about t___ person?  Pl___ contact your local police station!        

Bring by your completed sheet and we can check it together!

  ___ / 28

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

American Words/ British Words (level A1+)

Since you learned how to differentiate between American words and British words a couple weeks back, today is the day to see just how much you remember!

As you know, even though North America and Great Britain share the same language, some words are completely different. Here are some of the most common differences. 
American Word - British Word 
Flashlight - Torch 
Gas - Petrol 
Soccer - Football 
Cookie - Biscuit 
Diaper (on a baby) - Nappy (on a baby) 
Can - (of food) - Tin (of food) 
Elevator - Lift 
Truck - Lorry 
Hood (of a car) - Bonnet (of a car) 
Trunk (of a car) - Boot (of a car) 
Eraser - Rubber

Check Your Understanding
Can you fill in the blanks without looking back?
1. In North America, a person drives a truck down the road. In Great Britain, a person drives a .
2. In Great Britain, the front of a car is called a bonnet. In North America, the front of a car is called a .
3. In North America, the back of the car has a trunk. In Great Britain, the back of the car has a .
4. In Great Britain, people put petrol in their cars to make them go. In North America, people put  in their cars.
5. In North America, babies wear diapers before they learn to use the toilet. In Great Britain, babies wear .
6. In Great Britain, food can be bought in tins. In North America, food is bought in 
7. In North America, people eat cookies. In Great Britain, the same things are called 
8. In Great Britain, people play football. In North America, the game is called 
9. In North America, you can see in the dark if you use a flashlight. In Great Britain, you use a  to see in the dark. 
10. In Great Britain, you go up the building in a lift. In North America, you use an 
11. In North America, when you make a mistake with a pencil, you can erase it with an eraser. In Great Britain, you use a 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Customs: St. Nicholas – der Heilige Nikolaus

The Historic, Real St. Nicholas
Across the German-speaking region of Europe there are many kinds of Santa Clauses with many different names. Despite their many names, they are all basically the same mythic character. But few of them have anything to do with the real Saint Nicholas (Sankt Nikolaus or der Heilige Nikolaus), who was probably born around A.D. 245 in the port city of Patara in what we now call Turkey. Very little solid historical evidence exists for the man who later became the Bishop of Myra and the patron saint of children, sailors, students, teachers, and merchants. He is credited with several miracles and his feast day is December 6, which is the main reason he is connected with Christmas. In Austria, parts of Germany, and Switzerland, der Heilige Nikolaus (or Pelznickel) brings his gifts for children on Nikolaustag, Dec. 6, not Dec. 25. Nowadays, St. Nicholas Day (der Nikolaustag) on Dec. 6 is a preliminary round for Christmas.
Although Austria is mostly Catholic, Germany is almost evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics (along with some minority religions). So in Germany there are both Catholic (katholisch) and Protestant (evangelisch) Christmas customs. When Martin Luther, the great Protestant Reformer, came along, he wanted to get rid of the Catholic elements of Christmas. To replace Sankt Nikolaus (Protestants don’t emphasize saints!), Luther introduced der Heilige Christ (later called das Christkindl), an angel-like Christ Child, to bring Christmas gifts and reduce the importance of Saint Nicholas. Later this Christkindlfigure would be replaced by der Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) in Protestant regions and even cross the Atlantic, where Christkindl mutated into the English term “Kris Kringle.” Ironically, in the present day the originally Protestant Christkindl is now predominant in the Catholic regions of Germany (Bavaria) and Switzerland, as well as in Austria.
Ja, und ich bin der Weihnachtsmann!
“Yes, and I’m Santa Claus!” (Said when you doubt what someone has just said.)
Besides the Catholic and Protestant aspects, Germany is a country of many regions and regional dialects, making the question of who Santa Claus is even more complicated. There are in fact so many German names (and customs) for Nikolaus and his escorts that I have created a special Nikolaus Glossary just for all the names. On top of that, there are both religious and secular German Christmas customs. (That American Santa Claus has really gotten around!) However, below we’ll summarize some of the main German Christmas characters and customs.
The Regional German Santa Clauses
In order to answer the question “Who is the German Santa Claus?” you need to look at different dates and the various regions of German-speaking Europe.
First, there are the dozens of names used for the German Father Christmas or Santa Claus. Four main names (WeihnachtsmannNickelKlausNiglo) are spread out from the north to the south, from west to east. Then there are many more local or regional names: AschenmannBartlBoozenickelHans TrappKlaubaufKrampusPelznickelRuhklasRuprecht, and Schmutzli. (See our Nikolaus Glossaryfor more.) These names can even vary within a region from locality to locality. Some of these characters are good, while others are bad – going so far as to frighten little children and even whip them with switches (rare in modern times). Most of them are associated more with December 6 (St. Nicholas Day) than with December 24 or 25.
More on The German Way
Blog: Is Santa Chinese?
On the Trail of Santa Claus and der Weihnachtsmann
While reading our summary of German Christmas dates and customs, keep in mind that these traditions can vary widely. Some of the regional and local differences are covered more thoroughly in our “Nikolaus Glossary.” First, let’s look at the key dates of the German Christmas celebration.
Nikolaustag – 6. Dezember
On the night of December 5 (in some places, the evening of Dec. 6), in small communities in Austria and the Catholic regions of Germany, a man dressed as der Heilige Nikolaus (St. Nicholas, who resembles a bishop and carries a staff) goes from house to house to bring small gifts to the children. Accompanying him are several ragged looking, devil-like Krampusse, who mildly scare the children. Although Krampus/Knecht Ruprecht carries eine Rute (a switch), he only teases the children with it, while St. Nicholas hands out small gifts to the children. In some regions, there are other names for both Nikolaus and Krampus (Knecht Ruprecht in northern Germany). As early as 1555, St. Nicholas brought gifts on Dec. 6, the only “Christmas” gift-giving time during the Middle Ages, and Knecht Ruprecht or Krampus was a more ominous figure. In Alpine Europe Krampus is still a scary, devil-like figure. The Krampuslauf custom found in Austria and Bavaria also happens around December 5 or 6, but it also can take place at various times during November or December, depending on the community.
Nikolaus and Krampus don’t always make a personal appearance. In some places today, children still leave their shoes by the window or the door on the night of Dec. 5. They awaken the next day (Dec. 6) to discover small gifts and goodies stuffed into the shoes, left by St. Nicholas. This is similar to the American Santa Claus custom, although the dates are different. Also similar to American custom, the children may leave a wish list for Nikolaus to pass on to the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) for Christmas.
Heiligabend – 24. Dezember
Christmas Eve is now the most important day of the German celebration. But there’s no Santa Claus coming down the chimney (and no chimney!), no reindeer (the German Santa rides a white horse), no waiting for Christmas morning! Families with young children often keep the living room or other room closed off, revealing the Christmas tree to the excited youngsters only at the last minute. The decorated Tannenbaum is the center of the Bescherung, the exchanging of gifts, which takes place on Christmas Eve, either before or after dinner. Neither Santa Claus nor St. Nicholas brings children their gifts for Christmas. In most regions, the angelic, fairy-like Christkindl or the more secular Weihnachtsmann is the bringer of gifts that don’t come from other family members or friends on Christmas Eve.
In religious families, there also may be readings of Christmas-related passages from the Bible. Many people attend midnight mass (Christmette), where they sing carols, much as on the occasion of the first Christmas Eve performance of “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”) in Oberndorf, Austria in 1818.
St. Nick’s Escorts
Each region or locality throughout the German speaking parts of Europe has its own Christmas customs, Weihnachtsmänner (Santas), and Begleiter (escorts). Here we’ll review just a sampling of the various regional variations, most of them pagan and Germanic in origin.
Knecht Ruprecht is a term widely used in many parts of Germany. (In Austria and Bavaria he is known as Krampus.) Also called rauer Percht and many other names, Knecht Ruprecht is the anti-Santa Nikolaus-Begleiter (St. Nick’s escort), who punishes bad children. Nowadays he is often a more kind, less menancing character, but in parts of Austria and Bavaria, Krampus remains a rather nasty figure.
Ruprecht’s origins are definitely Germanic. The Nordic god Odin (Germanic Wotan) was also known as “Hruod Percht” (“Ruhmreicher Percht”) from which Ruprecht got his name. Wotan, aka Percht, ruled over battles, fate, fertility and the winds. When Christianity came to Germany, St. Nicholas was introduced, but he was accompanied by the Germanic Knecht Ruprecht. Today both can be seen at parties and festivities around December 6.
Santa by Nast
Santa Claus (St. Nick), as drawn by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly in 1881.PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons
Pelznickel is the fur-clad Santa of the Palatinate (Pfalz) in northwestern Germany along the Rhine, the Saarland, and the Odenwald region of Baden-Württemberg. The German-American Thomas Nast (1840-1902) was born in Landau in der Pfalz (not the Bavarian Landau). It is said that he borrowed at least a couple of features from the Palatine Pelznickel he knew as a child in creating the image of the American Santa Claus—the fur trim and boots. In some North American German communities Pelznickel became “Belsnickle.” (The literal translation of Pelznickel is “fur-Nicholas.”) The Odenwald Pelznickel is a bedraggled character who wears a long coat, boots, and a big floppy hat. He carries a sack full of apples and nuts that he gives to the children. In various areas of the Odenwald, Pelznickel also goes by the names of BenznickelStrohnickel, and Storrnickel.
Der Weihnachtsmann is the name for Santa Claus or Father Christmas in most of Germany today. The term used to be confined mostly to the northern and mostly Protestant areas of Germany, but has spread across the country in recent years. Around Christmastime in Berlin, Hamburg, or Frankfurt, you’ll see Weihnachtsmänner on the street or at parties in their red and white costumes, looking a lot like an American Santa Claus. You can even rent a Weihnachtsmann in most larger German cities.
The term “Weihnachtsmann” is a very generic German term for Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus. The German Weihnachtsmann is a fairly recent Christmas tradition having little if any religious or folkloric background. In fact, the secular Weihnachtsmann only dates back to around the mid-19th century. As early as 1835, Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the words to “Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann” — still a popular German Christmas carol. The first image depicting a bearded Weihnachtsmann in a hooded, fur mantle was a woodcut (Holzschnitt) by the Austrian painter Moritz von Schwind (1804-1871). Von Schwind’s first 1825 drawing was entitled “Herr Winter.” A second woodcut series in 1847 bore the title “Weihnachtsmann” and even showed him carrying a Christmas tree, but still had little resemblance to the modern Weihnachtsmann. Over the years, the Weihnachtsmann became a rough mixture of St. Nicholas and Knecht Ruprecht. A 1932 survey found that German children were split about evenly along regional lines between believing in either the Weihnachtsmann or the Christkind. But today a similar survey would show the Weihnachtsmann winning out in almost all of Germany.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

10 ways to say sorry if you’re late.

We have all been late in our lives, whether it be for work, to our best friends birthday party, or to pick up our kids from school. Being late is just a part of life, and in some cases, it’s totally unavoidable. For this reason today we are going to look at 10 ways of apologising for being late, in English!

First though, let’s take a look at a few tips to keep in mind when apologising for being late.
Apologise sincerely
Nobody like being late, and nobody likes waiting for someone else to arrive either. For that reason it is extremely important to be sincere about your apology if and when you are late. Be sure to look the person in the eye and put yourself in their shoes momentarily. They will appreciate you very being sincere and you will come across as a sincere person. 
Don’t make excuses
It is better to tell the honest truth as to why you are late, than to make up unbelievable excuses, which may make your employer, friend or partner distrust you even more. If you went out the night before and woke up late, be honest about it and reassure the person that it will not happen again. 
Stick to your promise
If you have been late for some reason or another, it is  crucial that you do not let it happen again. By repeatedly being late you may lose your job or lose trust in your friends or partners. Stick to your promise and try as hard as possible not to let it happen again. 
Here are 10 creative ways of apologising for being late:
I’m so sorry that I’m late, my alarm didn’t go off.
I’m terribly sorry for being late, but I missed the first train this morning.
My sincerest apology for not making it to the meeting on time.
I deeply apologise for my behaviour yesterday at the party.
I am sorry for keeping you waiting for such a long time.
Please forgive me for being so late, I had a long meeting after work.
I must apologise for arriving late, but I forgot what time the party started.
I apologise wholeheartedly for not being on time.
Please accept my apology for being late, my car wouldn’t start.
I’m really sorry for being late, I lost my car keys this morning.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Question Time (PV III Gym English Handbook page 119)

Write questions to these answers. Find answers below.

1. Father buys a new car.


2. I brushed my teeth at 7:00 this morning.


3. The train leaves at nine pm.


4. Pat reads his book in bed.


5. There is a parcel for Maggie.


6. She draws a house.


7. I got a letter from Bob last month.


8. Sandy eats a sandwich, because he is hungry. 


9. We must clean our room.


10. At school today we listened to the teacher.


11. The apples cost one pound. (2 questions)


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Translation Practice: Set 3

  1. Tim hat sein Handy verloren.

  1. Er hat „ Live and Let Die“ gesungen.

  1. Wer wohnt in Bamberg?  Tim wohnt in Bamburg.

  1. Ich bin gerade beim (bei dem) Essen.

  1. Er kommt gerade vom (von dem) Zahnarzt.

  1. Ich hänge das Bild an die Wand.

  1. Ich gehe jetzt nicht in die Wohnung.

  1. Was kostet 12 Euro? Das Buch kostet 12 Euro.

  1. Wer liest ein Buch? James. Was liest er?  Ein Buch!

  1. Peter holt die Mutter vom Bahnhof ab.

SCROLL down for answer key

1.      Tim lost his mobile phone. (has lost)

2.      He sang „Live and Let Die“.

3.      Who lives in Bamberg?  Tim lives in Bamburg.

4.      I’m eating.(right now).

5.      He is returning from the dentist’s.(coming back)

6.      I hang the photo on the wall.

7.      I’m not going into the flat now.

8.      What costs twelve Euros?  The book costs twelve Euros.

9.      Who is reading a book?  James.  What is he reading? A book!

10.  Peter picks his mother up from the train station.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017

    Monday, November 13, 2017


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    Word of the Month


    (adj, noun): false untrue; counterfeit, not authentic.

    To fake: to forge or counterfeit

    Ex: I’m sorry I forgot your birthday. I thought it was fake news.

    Ex: Fake in the news. In the media, on the internet, and especially in the White House, fake news is real.

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