B.E.L.L. Tips – Santa

B.E.L.L. Tips – Santa

Issue #47

Learn English Here!

Tips and Tricks for Business English Language Learners (B.E.L.L.)


Each week I will send out some handy tips and useful exercises for adults learning to navigate and use the English language. Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues. For more in-depth language coaching, use the link below to schedule a 1:1 consultation.

Who is Santa? In American folklore, Santa is a magical being that brings toys to good boys and girls on Christmas Eve. There are movies, songs, and poems about Santa. In this newsletter, I want to take a peek into who Santa is in various cultures around the world.

Want to boost your language learning practice?

Sign up for 1:1 coaching with me!

Click the button below to contact me for 1:1 coaching rates.


Let’s learn different names for Santa from around the world:

1. English: Santa Claus / Father Christmas

In the UK, US and Canada, “Santa Claus” or “Father Christmas” is believed to travel around the world sporting a red suit on his sleigh, pulled by reindeer.

2. American-English: Kris Kringle

In the US and Canada, some people call him Kris Kringle, which originates from the German word Christkind (Christ child).

Here, it’s custom to leave milk and cookies to keep him going. He’s got a lot of presents to deliver, after all!

3. French: Père Noël / Papa Noël (lit. Father Christmas / Daddy Christmas)

In the east of France, he is accompanied by Le Père Fouettard, a man dressed in black, who is said to punish the children if they misbehave. Better be good, then!

4. Spanish: Papa Noel (lit. Father Christmas)

The man behind the Spanish name for Santa Claus is commonly known to give out presents on 24th December or 25th December (from Papa Noel), or on 6th January (from the Three Kings).

In South America, a family member often dresses up as Papa Noel and give gifts to the children while they try and guess who the family member is!

While in countries like Mexico and Venezuela, presents might also be brought by El Niñito Dios (baby Jesus) or Santo Clós (Santa Claus).

5. Dutch: Sinterklaas

“Sinterklaas” is celebrated in several European countries with different traditions in each country. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas is an old man who rides his horse on rooftops. His helpers put gifts into the shoes of children. “Sinterklaasfeest” is celebrated on 5th December.

In Belgium, customs are similar but “the Sinterklaasfeest” is celebrated on 6th December.

6. German: Weihnachtsmann (lit. Christmas man)

In some parts of Germany, das Christkind (Christ child) is thought to bring children presents on Christmas Eve. Children also write to him asking for presents before Christmas. They even decorate their letters by gluing sugar to the envelope!

In other parts of the country, der Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus) is the one who brings presents to the children. Traditionally, German people open their presents on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.

7. Italian: Babbo Natale (lit. Daddy Christmas)

In Italy, Babbo Natale is thought to deliver presents at Christmas. Italian families start collecting presents at the start of December and they are opened either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning.

It is also believed that the witch, La Befana, arrives during the night of 5th January bringing smalls gifts, sweets and dried fruits which she leaves in the socks of the good children.

8. Portuguese: Papai Noel (lit. Father Christmas)

In some parts of Brazil, children leave a sock near a window. If Papai Noel finds their sock, he’ll exchange it for a present.

In Portugal, Santa Claus is called Pai Natal. He is believed to bring presents to children on Christmas Eve. Presents are left under the Christmas tree or in shoes by the fireplace.

In both countries, families will either open presents on the eve of the 24th after Midnight Mass or on Christmas morning.



Generally speaking, conjunctions connect two or more units of language (words, phrases, or clauses) to form a relationship between those units.

There are two types of conjunctions: Coordinating and Subordinating.

This week we will focus on Coordinating Conjunctions.

The seven main coordinating conjunctions in English are for and, nor, but, or, yet, so. (An easy way to remember them is with the mnemonic FANBOYS.)

Let’s look at some examples of how these conjunctions coordinate different language units.

The conjunctions and, or coordinate two or more words or phrases to create lists.

He was walking and chewing gum. (verbs)

I’ll take water, milk, or a soda. (nouns)

The building was tall and imposing. (adjectives)

Was he walking quickly or slowly? (adverbs)

Was he walking quickly or running slowly? (verb phrases)

We need lots of ice, some cold drinks, and all of our friends! (noun phrases)

In addition, the conjunctions and, or, but, so can coordinate two or more independent clauses (S+V constructions that can stand alone as a sentence) to create new, expanded sentences with balanced clauses, which are called compound sentences.

The conjunction and combines two clauses to show added information.

We went to the restaurant, and I had a sandwich. (conjunction – coordinating)

The conjunction or combines two clauses to contrast different choices.

We can work together, or we can do it the hard way. (conjunction – coordinating)

The conjunction but combines two clauses to show contrast.

She wanted to see a movie, but I wanted to eat. (conjunction – coordinating)

The conjunction so combines two clauses to show a result (with the so– clause showing the result of the other clause).

We were all very tired, so everyone went home. (conjunction – coordinating)

Let’s Practice!

Use one of the coordinating conjunctions to add to each of the sentences below. Practice your writing skills by writing out your sentences:

  1. I don’t like skiing, ___________
  2. Peter needs a better job______________
  3. The bus was late __________________________
  4. I was worried about taking the exam ___________________
  5. I didn’t have time to prepare lunch ___________________
  6. This restaurant is very expensive ___________________________
  7. Santa enjoys eating cookies __________________________

Reading Practice

Christmas Stories are fun to read and share with your children. Click on the button below to read this holiday classic:

Weekly Challenge

Connotation vs. Denotation:

Synonyms can be tricky. Sometimes words have the same literal meaning (the word’s denotation) but suggest different feelings and associations (the word’s connotation). For example, if you want to compliment someone on his recent weight loss, you might say he looks thin or slender. Both thin and slender have positive connotations. You wouldn’t, however, use the word scrawny as a compliment. The word scrawny has a negative connotation and implies a lack of strength.

Try the practice exercises below to test your knowledge of connotative and denotative meanings.

Choose the word or term with the most positive connotation.

1. The sales associate was very ______.

  1. assertive
  2. pushy

2. We purchased some _______ furniture for the break room.

  1. cheap
  2. inexpensive

3. Brett told me about his ______ to increase profits.

  1. scheme
  2. strategy

4. We need strong leadership from our _______.

  1. politicians
  2. elected officials

5. People say that Peter has a(n) _______ management style.

  1. odd
  2. strange
  3. unique
  4. weird

6. Filling this position on short notice might be a(n) _______ for us.

  1. issue
  2. problem

7. Luis is pretty ______. He keeps to himself and doesn’t talk a whole lot.

  1. reserved
  2. timid
  3. shy
  4. antisocial

8. Greg is very _______. I’ve never seen him waste money on anything.

  1. stingy
  2. cheap
  3. thrifty

9. Mark tends to be a bit _______ about his work.

  1. fanatical
  2. passionate
  3. obsessed

10. I’m not usually so ______, but this has piqued my interest.

  1. nosy
  2. curious

Did you get this newsletter from a friend and want your own FREE copy every week?

Check us out on Instagram and Facebook too! Click the links below:

113 Cherry St. #92768, Seattle, WA 98104-2205

Unsubscribe · Preferences