The first question I usually ask my new students is, “What is PEPSI?”  For a few seconds, they stare at me not really able to understand what I am asking. Then I ask, “Who likes PEPSI?”  Some of them blink, some of them continue staring at me, some of them  look down uncomfortably at their notes, and it is usually the funny or sarcastic one who replies, “Sorry, teacher. I like Coke.”  The class bursts out laughing in unison, and that is pretty much how most of my students are introduced to PEPSI.

So what is PEPSI?

PEPSI is an acronym. An acronym is a noun created by using the initial letters of a group of words, and it is pronounced as one word. For example, NASA or ASAP. Whereas, an abbreviation is the same thing but it is not pronounced as a word, an abbreviation simply means a shortened version of a word. For instance, ATM, NYC or Ave. (Avenue). Knowing the difference between an acronym and an abbreviation is not very important.

PEPSI stands for Phrasal Verb, Expression, Proverb, Slang, Idiom.

Phrasal Verbs (pv): A verb plus preposition/adverb which has a different meaning from the original verb. The meaning of a phrasal verb is sometimes difficult to predict, and some phrasal verbs can have one or two prepositions/adverbs (two-part or three-part phrasal verbs). There is another type of phrasal verb called a prepositional verb, these are phrasal verbs used literally, which are easy to understand. (e.g. She walked into the room.)

Intransitive Phrasal Verbs are not followed by an object (e.g. He showed up late to class.
Transitive Phrasal Verbs are followed by an object. Some transitive phrasal verbs are separable (e.g. She picked me up at the airport.)  whereas some are inseparable (e.g. I ran into her last week.), and others can be both.

To call off
To carry on
To come across
To come up with
To get along
To get over
To give up
To go on

[one_third_last] To look forward to
To look up
To hang out
To pass out

Expression (e) | Informal Expression (e)(s): Fixed social phrases that people mostly use in conversations and dialogue. Informal expressions are used when talking to friends or close acquaintances. Other expressions can be used in many different types of situations. For example, when you meet someone for the first time and you want to sound polite, you say, “How are you? Nice to meet you.” but if you meet a close friend, maybe you say, “What’s up?” or “What’s good?

Excuse me.
How are you?
Thank you very much.
What’s up?
My bad.
I’m broke.
Peace out.

[one_third_last] Same old.
Have a good one.
My condolences.
Take it easy.

Proverb (p): a short fixed sentence that expresses a general truth, teaches a lesson, gives a piece of advice or issues a warning. However, most of the time we use proverbs to give advice or educate since they express a piece of wisdom. Miguel de Cervantes, a Spanish novelist, once said, “A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.” They tend to be very figurative and visual. They are often traditional and historic, so there is a lot about a culture you can learn from proverbs. Each culture has its own unique proverbs, but there are also many proverbs that English borrows from other languages. Elders and adults use proverbs much more than teenagers or children.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.

[one_half_last] One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
There are plenty of fish in the sea.
Time is money.
When in Rome, do as Romans do.

Slang (s): informal words or phrases that are used in particular situations or among specific groups of people. Slang is more common in speech than writing, and more common with young adults. Slang is generational, and region-specific. American and British slang is very different. Words that have an alternative meaning.

Awesome (adj)
Bucks (n)
Cool (adj)

Chicken (n)
Chill (v)
Dope (adj)
Flop (n)
Grand (n)

[one_third_last] Lame (adj)
Sweet (adj)

Suck (v)
Wasted (adj)

Idiom (i): a figurative expression that has a different meaning from its literal meaning. Idioms are colorful figures of speech commonly used in conversation and writing. Idioms play with language, and sometimes the meaning is clear but often the meaning is unpredictable. Idioms can be grouped together according to their theme, for example, animals, body parts, color or money.

A heart of stone
A piece of cake
A melting pot
An early bird
Once in a blue moon

To beat around the bush
To blow one’s mind
To go from rags to riches
To go off the beaten path
To see eye to eye

[one_third_last] To have deep pockets
To pull someone’s leg
To make ends meet
To stab someone in the back
Speak of the devil