A Terrible and Terrific Christmas

Here is a Story that one of our students shared with us about her Christmas trip to the United States.

The Christmas trip

It was Christmas time and Adriana traveled from Mexico to visit her brother and sister-in-law in the United States.  She hadn’t seen her brother for a few years and was going to finally meet Tina, her brother’s wife.

The Arrival

When Adriana arrived at the house, her brother presented his wife to her.  They spent the next few hours chatting and having dinner.  Once the desert was finished, they went to the living room and sat around the Christmas tree in preparation for the gift exchange.

The Gift Exchange

The presents were opened and the wrapping paper was strewn all about the living room floor.  It was now Adriana’s turn to give Tina her gift.   The present that Adriana chose to give had taken quite a lot of time to select because she wanted to be sure that it was something that Tina would really like.  She decided to buy a very beautiful sweater with stunning colors.   She handed the gift to Tina and wished her a merry Christmas.  Watching Tina’s face with anticipation, she waited for her to open the gift.





Tina threw the box and wrapping paper aside and held up the new sweater.  “Terrific,” she exclaimed.  Adriana was in shock.  Her face went from anticipation to utter sadness.  She quickly grabbed the sweater from Tina and said, “I am so sorry.  I can take it back and exchange it for something that you like.”  Tina was completely confused and was unsure of what to do.  She looked from Adriana to her husband then back to Adriana again. Adriana’s brother finally realized what had happened.

What Happened?

“Terrific. Not Terrible.” Her husband explained.  “What’s the difference?” Adriana asked.  She spoke English fairly well but clearly these words both started with a word like terror and provoked a great deal of confusion.

Terrible and Terrific

If we look at words like Horrible and Horrific, we can see that they both indicate something bad.  But if we try to use the same pattern for Terrible and Terrific, it just does not work.  Terrific means something wonderful or it can mean something strong or intense.

If you would like more information on the difference between Terrific and Terrible, click here.  Thank you for reading this week’s story.  If you enjoyed it, make sure to subscribe to this blog. Thank you.

About englishworkshopmexico

My name is James. I work as a teacher and marketer with English Workshop in Mexico City. We provide Business English courses to aspiring people who are looking to move up the career ladder or simply become more international. I have been with English Workshop for around two years and I very much enjoy the teaching and marketing profession.
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2 Responses to A Terrible and Terrific Christmas

  1. Pingback: A Terrible and Terrific Christmas - English Workshop

  2. Pingback: A Terrible and Terrific Christmas - Clases de Ingles para Empresas con Maestros Profesionales

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