Archive for April 5, 2010

grammatical expression: when it comes to

car-talk-why-you-should-never-listen-to-your-father-when-it-comes-to-cars

Today, in one of my lessons, I had to teach an expression that we often use in natural English but which I’ve never seen taught in any textbook: “when it comes to”.  This has the general meaning of  “about”, but it’s not exactly the same thing. It is more complex than “about”. It basically means “about this aspect of life”. I know this is difficult to understand, but I think reading some examples will make it clearer. For example:

I’m very hard-working when it comes to my job, but I’m very lazy when it comes to housework.

My brother didn’t get good grades in school but, when it comes to cars, he’s a genius. He knows everything about them.

My mother isn’t a very confident person except when it comes to cooking. She’s very confident about that.

When it comes to food, I think sushi is the best.

As I mentioned before, this is a very useful expression but I’ve never heard any of my students use it. If you want to use it properly, I recommend the technique I talked about in my first blog entry – memorize the example sentences and then change the small details in order to create a new sentence. Good luck!  🙂

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