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Nothing to Sneeze at
Nothing to Sneeze at English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English with this important English lesson

Date: Jan 20 2015

Themes: How To, Music, Soap Opera

Grammar: First Conditional


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What’s important to you may not be important to everyone. Your favorite soccer team could be playing the World Cup, making you jump and scream and even cry, and your neighbor could choose to sleep instead. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. It’s what makes people so interesting!

It’s important to respect each other for their opinions, but not everyone does it. As an example, hundreds of years ago, rich people would buy and use snuff. Snuff is breathed in with your nose to make you sneeze. If a man was talking to a woman and the man didn’t like what she was saying, he would use snuff to sneeze at her. Doing this was thought to be very rude, because it meant that he had no respect for her or her opinions.

No one knows why people began sneezing at each other this way, but it’s how we got the expression nothing to sneeze at. And it’s still used today. If a person tells you that what she’s saying or showing you is nothing to sneeze at, then she’s saying that it’s important. You should pay attention to it. And definitely don’t think about opening a box of snuff!

Marni tells Sultan that what you can find at the library is nothing to sneeze at. Do you agree? Read on in today’s English lesson.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.




Marni:  So, what do you think?

Sultan:  They’re really good. What’s their name again?

Marni:  Little May. They’re a band from Australia.

Sultan:  How did you hear about them?

Marni:  A friend of mine told me about them, and then I borrowed their CD from the library.

Sultan:  You can borrow CDs from the library?

Marni:  Absolutely. And their collection is nothing to sneeze at, either. Do you have a library card?

Sultan:  No. Can anybody get one?

Marni:  Yes. Even little kids can get one. Do you have an ID?

Sultan:  I do. Do I have to go to a library to apply for a card?

Marni:  You can apply for one on the library’s website, or you can go to a local branch.

Sultan:  What else do libraries have?

Marni:  Let’s see. Well, tons of books, of course. And CDs. Magazines and movies, too.

Sultan:  And all of this is free?

Marni:  It is. But remember, anything that you borrow, you’ll have to bring back by a certain date. And if you don’t bring it back by that certain date, you’ll have to pay a fine.

Sultan:  Where is the closest library branch?

Marni:  Well, there’s one downtown. I actually need to go there to return a stack of books. Do you want to come with me?

Sultan:  Sounds good.

Marni:  OK.

Sultan:  Wow. That pile of books is nothing to sneeze at. Did you read all of them?

Marni:  Every one of them. Thank you.


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Marni is sharing Little May’s music with Sultan. He likes it and asks how she heard about them. Marni learned of the the band from a friend and borrowed their CD from the library. She tells Sultan that he can also borrow movies, magazines, and, of course, books.

Sultan doesn’t have a library card, but it’s not difficult to get one. He simply needs to bring his ID to a local library branch. The one thing Marni feels that Sultan should understand is that he’ll have to pay the library if he brings anything back late. If he’s supposed to return a CD on January 1st but he returns it on January 2nd, there will be a fine.

Do you use the library? Is the number of books nothing to sneeze at, or do you wish there were more?



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day by day , Libraries are losing their old effect..its nothing to sneeze at. 

maybe its a normal result of rising high technology ..in today’s ,people find everything on interNET ..they can search,read,listen,see and follow what they want ..

day by day,our habits are changing ..we cand stand long time to rising technology ..

each mobile phone,tablet,notebook,new kind TV are becoming a library at our homes..

today,World is in front of our fingers and behind the buttons :))

12:11 AM Jan 21 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Before, during my studying time i had a library card and by that i could borrow books for 10 days , and actually for some of them i paid a fine  :/

I also have a library in my room which i keep some important books related to my major there beside some novels and poetry books .

But the number of books isn’t something to sneeze at when they just took a space in the library, and vice versa !

Always quality is better than quantity ! ;)

09:25 PM Jan 20 2015 |




I remember a cousin of mine. He for many years is living in los Angeles . My cousin used to go on and off to the local branch and borrow stacks of books each time  that he visited the library, but i have never seen him read one book. I thought then that the librarian ,a lady that could  had been a retired  school teacher, must have thought that my cousin  was pursuing a master degree  that he needed to study so many books. :)))))

just for the record , old books and paper make me sneeze at . 

09:22 PM Jan 20 2015 |





congrats ,a very beautiful name.  I remember a song played by Glenn Miller ” moonlight serenade.   

08:33 PM Jan 20 2015 |

2 people like this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

@Juito!!! :))

My name means moonlight!

Have you ever seen the moonlight kills anyone?

Even vampires can live under moonlight! ;)

07:41 PM Jan 20 2015 |




 @Mahtab , Nothing to worry about , anyway, thanks for the  warning . Our friend Mahtab  makes honour to her name. In spanish  ”Matar “means to kill.    the pronunciation is almost the same.   jejejejeje.   

Since the internet time i don`t borrow books from the library. You see, i have become an addicted to Internet and EnglishBaby.  

06:34 PM Jan 20 2015 |



LoL .. Mahtab.. what a funny comment..Don’t worry , there is nothing to sneez at.

The lesson set that ” If a man was talking to a woman and the man didn’t like what she was saying, he would use snuff to sneeze at her. ”....I wonder, is it vice versa ? or there is  a traditional way for women to show their disagreement!!!

06:11 PM Jan 20 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Ahmad!!! :)))

After this lesson I will come with a helmet to send my comments! :))))

05:50 PM Jan 20 2015 |




Albasel, that’s a good refresh for the roses. :))

05:30 PM Jan 20 2015 |



Watch out Ladies !! I think all guys here will get a backet of ” snuff ” in case there is something to sneeze at…. Be careful, ladies, when you post a comment otherwise ….aa-choo!!

I agree with Mahtab… It’s a Funny expression!

05:06 PM Jan 20 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Funny expression!

I kill anyone who wants to sneeze at me!!? :)))

No! I don’t use library these days but there are many E-books on the web and they are nothing to sneeze that!!!:)

11:58 AM Jan 20 2015 |




Lessons on “English baby”are nothing to sneeze at ! :-)

10:53 AM Jan 20 2015 |



I seldom go to the library, because I often buy books which I’d like to read.  Buying online has benefits. There are lots of books nothing to sneeze at. :)  I only visit the library when I have to read set books. 

10:46 AM Jan 20 2015 |




Interesting expression. Somehow you think if nothing to sneeze at means – not even worth a sneeze but it’s opposite. Holly cow, and the origin of the phrase is appalling. Can you imagine somebody sneeze at you, spreading all kind of germs. Such a disrespect! Anyway, it’s interesting to know. So I’ll save my sneeze for something less important…bless you!

09:56 AM Jan 20 2015 |




I used to go to the library to study. Libraries are quiet so they are perfect place to study. 

I found the origin of the expession “Nothing to sneeze at” really interesting and also odd.

06:04 AM Jan 20 2015 |



the library is fantastic. there are no CDs in our school library. 

06:03 AM Jan 20 2015 |




I seldom go to the library… it’s a little far from my house.

I usually ready the book on webstie and buy books through online store. It’s convenient.

03:02 AM Jan 20 2015 |




When comes to library,definately the more book the better.A place like library where can satisfied people’s all kinds of requries was nothing to sneeze at.I’d like to go library and stay at there the whole day.

02:28 AM Jan 20 2015 |


South Korea

I’m not night owl. 

01:28 AM Jan 20 2015 |

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