29 December 2013

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

On those short winter days over the Christmas and new year holiday, much people enjoying resting at home and eat traditionally foods; turkeys and all trimmings, the fruit cakes, the plum pudding, and minced meat pies. To sit by the fire is also a benefit as the weathers usually cold than but some people are liking participating in winter sport.

Solutions will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

29 November 2013

WELCOME

Welcome to the blog for the English Skills courses at Athabasca University: English 140 (Grammar), English 143 (Writing for Academic Purposes), and English 146 (Reading for Academic Purposes). These courses may be taken separately or as part of the English Language Proficiency Program. The goal is to increase communication between students and instructors, to provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other, and to practice the skills taught in these courses. Note that not all skills are appropriate to each course. 

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!

A hearty welcome to all the new students joining these courses. We hope you enjoy your studies and have fun participating in this blog.


Assignments marked with asterisks (**...**) are mandatory for Engl 140 students (Assignment 9).

IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--first name and the initial of your last name are the only personal information you should post. Please watch this video from the Canadian Government explaining privacy issues and social networking. 

Next blog: Friday, January 3, 2014 (tentative).

WHAT’S NEW?

Gerunds:

The expletive:

Why writing is like dating:

Nouns and pronouns:

In case you missed it, here’s a quick and dirty tip to help you remember the difference between “then” and “than”: 

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

Not only you and you’re brother’s, but also your sister’s needs altaring there plans and being home early: too clean a house preparing for our dinner’s  party and you will have to make the appetizers instead of laying on the couch for watching TV .

1. Word confusion: 

(a)“you’re means “you are”; here it should be “your” the possessive pronoun.
(b) “altar” is noun; don’t confuse it with the verb “alter” needed here. 
(c) “lay” is a transitive verb (it needs a direct object: hens lay eggs); “lie”  is the intransitive verb (no direct object: lying on the couch). 
(d) “there” means a place; “their” is a possessive pronoun.* 
(e) “to” is a preposition or part of an infinitive; “too” is an adverb of intensity.

* It’s better to use “your” than “their” so it includes and refers to everyone (you, your brother and your sisters)

2. Plural or apostrophe: 

An apostrophe signals possession or a missing letter; plural nouns end in an “s”. There is no apostrophe unless they are also possessive. In this sentence use the plural form (“brothers” and “sisters”). Also, when a noun is used as an adjective, it cannot change its form, e.g. dinner party.

3. Subject verb agreement: 

“you …your brothers … your sisters” is a plural subject, so the verb must be plural: need.

4. Infinitive or gerund: 

In this sentence, following “need”, use infinitives and not gerunds: “to alter … to be”. After “to clean”, parallel construction demands the same form with the next verb “prepare”. Because of the parallel construction, “to” is optional with the second verb.

5. Parallel construction:  

Further use of parallel construction means that “you will have to” should be omitted before “make”.

6. Article usage: 

It’s not just any house that needs to be cleaned but a specific one (their house), so use “the” instead of “a”.

7. Unnecessary word: 

Omit “for” after “lying on the couch”. 

8. Punctuation: 

There is no comma before “but” unless it separates 2 independent clauses (not the case here); a colon is a strong division between 2 parts of a sentence; don’t separate the cause and the effect here. However, a comma is needed before “and” as it does separate 2 independent clauses.


Suggested solution

Not only you and your brothers but also your sisters need to alter your plans and be home early to clean the house, prepare for our dinner party, and make the appetizers instead of lying on the couch watching TV.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:  

Here is a riddle for you; please give the three words suggested in the riddle.

I am a word of meanings three.
Three ways of spelling me there be.
The first is an odour, a smell if you will.
The second some money, but not in a bill.
The third is past tense, a method of passing things on or around.
Can you tell me now, what these words are, that have the same sound?

scentcent, and sent.

New Puzzle:

Try to identify the languages of these seasonal greetings:


1. Gesëende Kersfees
2. Boas Festas
3. Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rock
4. Glaedelig Jul
5. Felice Navidad
6. Hyvää Joulua
7. Joyeux Noel
8. Froehliche Weihnachten
9. Kala Christouyenna
10. Mele Kalikimaka
11. Merry Christmas, Bada Din Mubarak
12. Nollaig Shona Dhuit
13. Bono Natale
14. Shinnen omedeto
15. Kuwa na Krismasi njema
16. Sung Tan Chuk Ha
17. Linksmu Kaledu
18. Feliz Navidad
19. Natale hilare
20. Maligayang Pasko
21. Wesolych Swiat Bozego
22. Narodzenia
23. Feliz Natal, Gajan Kristnaskon
24. Srozhdestovm Kristovim
25. Suksun Wan Christmas
26. Chuc Mung Giang Sinh
27. Nadolig Llawen

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use a word for vegetables:


Watch this video, and then write a sentence that uses one of these three idioms.

Try not to use the same idiom as the other posters.

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the following sentence as indicated.

My younger sister quickly brought her three children to see Santa.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given, and wait until someone else has posted the next change before making another. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, Participant 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Participant 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes the direct object noun, etc.

Each participant should make just one change at a time, following the order indicated below.

When all 7 changes have been made, return to the top of the list and continue.

Changes:                                                                                                                              

1. subject noun
2. direct object noun              
3. indirect object noun                      
4. adjective(s)
5. adverb(s)        
6. verb name          
7. verb tense

AFFIXES

The word stem -capit- (meaning head or chief) occurs in many words. 

Add an affix (either a prefix or a suffix) to this stem to make another word. 

Each participant should add a different word to the list.

*COMPLETE THE SENTENCE*

Follow the instructions below to create three different sentences from the following clause.*

...I’m looking forward to the New Year...

Sentence 1. Add a phrase          
Sentence 2. Add a dependent clause    
Sentence 3. Add an independent clause


*Add your words to the beginning or end of the clause (but not both).

*NUMBER CHANGE*

Instructions: If the sentence is singular, change it to the plural; if it is plural, change it to the singular.

The Santa at the mall gave the child a cheap toy as a gift, and an elf took a photo of the child who sat on the Santa’s lap.

*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

Use the following two words in one sentence (note the part of speech).

amorality (noun)  +  psychopathic (adjective)

To further improve your vocabulary, check out the Word of the Day

The site also has word games and puzzles.

SYNOYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe something mystifying as being confusing

Provide a synonym and an antonym for this word. Each participant should suggest a different word.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the word lay.

In the first sentence, use the verb in the active voice; in the second sentence use it in the passive voice.

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentence by replacing the word "yesterday" with another time clue. Each student should choose a different verb tense.

Yesterday, the Santa at the mall gave the child a cheap toy as a gift, and an elf took a photo of the child who sat on the Santa’s lap.

*SENTENCE COMBINATION*

Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important writing skill. There are many ways to do this. Try to combine the following three sentences.


Sentence 1: We are well into December.
Sentence 2: The first snowfall of the season was weeks ago.
Sentence 3: It won’t be long until the Christmas vacation.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

The following question is similar to the one in part 3 of the Engl 140 final exam. Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated.

Add a dependent clause in the past perfect progressive tense to the following independent clause:

... we saw Santa Claus ...

15 November 2013

Welcome to the blog for the English Skills courses at Athabasca University: English 140 (Grammar), English 143 (Writing for Academic Purposes), and English 146 (Reading for Academic Purposes). These courses may be taken separately or as part of the English Language Proficiency Program. The goal is to increase communication between students and instructors, to provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other, and to practice the skills taught in these courses. Note that not all skills are appropriate to each course. 

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!

A hearty welcome to all the new students joining these courses. We hope you enjoy your studies and have fun participating in this blog.


Assignments marked with asterisks (**...**) are mandatory for Engl 140 students (Assignment 9).

IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--first name and the initial of your last name are the only personal information you should post. Please watch this video from the Canadian Government explaining privacy issues and social networking. 

Next blog: Friday, November 29 (tentative).

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Here are some of the things happening in the few days.

Nov. 20th : Universal Children’s Day.

http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Society/universal-children-day.php

Nov. 25th: Inernational Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women


Nov. 28th Thanksgiving in the United States.



PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

When the committee had met last week it is decided that they approved constructing of a new retiring centre for benefiting Seniors and there family’s which had been living in a surrounding area.

1.  Verb tense and consistency: The verb “met” needs to be in the simple past; it happened last week which is a definite time in the recent past. The following verb also needs to be in the simple past and in the active voice: “is decided’ should be changed to “decided.” Also, change “had been living” to “are living” as they are still in the area; they didn’t move away while waiting for the retirement centre to be built.

2. Noun-pronoun agreement: “Committee” is a collective noun. Unless the individual members of the group are emphasized, it is singular; “it” is correct.

3.  Incorrect wording: change “that they approved constructing” to “to approve construction.”

4.  Word form error: “Retiring” is the present participial adjective. Here you need a noun form to modify “centre”. Use "retirement."

5.  Gerund or infinitive: Instead of “for benefiting” use “to benefit.”

6.  Word confusion: “There” is an adverb of place; here you need the possessive adjective “their”.

7.  Plural form: The plural of “family” is “families”; it’s not a possessive.

8.  Relative pronoun: When referring to people use “who” not “which.”

9.  Article usage: When referring to something specific, use “the”, not “a.”

10. Capitalization: “Seniors” is a not a proper noun; do not use a capital.

11. Punctuation:  After an introductory phrase or clause, use a comma.


Possible Answer: 

When the committee met last week, it decided to approve construction of a new retirement centre to benefit seniors and their families who are living in the surrounding area.

GRAMMAR QUESTION

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

Not only you and you’re brother’s, but also your sister’s needs altaring there plans and  being home early: too clean a house preparing for our dinner’s  party and you will have to make the appetizers instead of laying on the couch for watching TV .

Solutions will be posted in the next Course Announcement of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:  

What phrase is represented by the following:

GJ
NU
IM
PP
MI
UN
JG
The good
New
New

Jumping up and down over good news.

New Puzzle:

What are the words hinted at in the following riddle:

I am a word of meanings three.
Three ways of spelling me there be.
The first is an odour, a smell if you will.
The second some money, but not in a bill.
The third is past tense, a method of passing things on or around.
Can you tell me now, what these words are, that have the same sound?

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word egg:

Watch this video, and then write a sentence that uses one of these three idioms.

ALL CHANGE

Change the words in the following sentence as indicated.

The young children  always received gifts from the Santa at the mall.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given, and wait until someone else has posted the next change before making another. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, Participant 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Participant 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes the direct object noun, etc. 

Each participant should make just one change at a time, following the order indicated below. 

When all 7 changes have been made, return to the top of the list and continue. 

Changes:                                                                                                                               

1. subject noun 
2. direct object noun                
3. indirect object noun                       
4. adjective(s)  
5. adverb(s)         
6. verb name           
7. verb tense

AFFIXES

The word stem ven- or vene (meaning "to come") occurs in many words. 

Add an affix (either a prefix or a suffix) to this stem to make another word. 

Each participant should add a different word to the list.

SENTENCE COMPLETION

Follow the instructions below to create three different sentences from the following clause.*

… Santa arrived at the mall on Saturday…

Sentence 1. Add a phrase            
Sentence 2. Add a dependent clause      
Sentence 3. Add an independent clause


*Add your words to the beginning or end of the clause (but not both).

NUMBER CHANGE

Instructions: If the sentence is singular, change it to the plural; if it is plural, change it to the singular.


The little girl became shy when her mother took her to the mall to see Santa; she found the big, bushy beard scary, and she also felt nervous because the bigger boy who lived near her teased her because of her shyness.

VOCABULARY

Vocabulary building is important both for reading comprehension and writing.

Try to use the two following words in one sentence (note the part of speech).


contemporary        (noun)      +      reputable       (adjective)

SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe showing due respect as reverence

Provide a synonym and antonym for this word. Each participant should suggest a different word.

ACTIVE AND PASSIVE

Write two sentences using the word FLY. 

In the first sentence use the verb in the active voice, in the second sentence use it in the passive voice.

TIME CHANGE

Change the time of this paragraph. You will need to change the verb tense and any time clues. Each participant should choose a different time change and verb tense.

This coming Saturday, I will take my daughter to the mall to see Santa for the first time. I expect she will be apprehensive of this old gentleman with his big, bushy beard and  hearty laugh. However, maybe she will  surprise me and embrace the idea once she will realize that there will be a gift at the end of it. I am hoping she will stay happy so that we will have a nice, smiling photo of her when the photographer will take her picture.

SENTENCE COMBINATION

Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important writing skill. There are many ways to do this. Try to combine the following three sentences.

Sentence 1:  We went to the mall on Saturday so that the children could see Santa.
Sentence 2There was a parade through the mall in honour of Santa’s arrival.
Sentence 3By the time we got there, the mall was very crowded.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

The following question is similar to the one in part 3 of the Engl 140 final exam. Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated.


Write a sentence using a dependent clause in the past perfect progressive tense + an independent clause in the past perfect + an independent clause in the simple past.

HALF-WAY THERE CHALLENGE!

This is an exercise in advanced sentence combining. It is designed for students who have completed Lesson 9 in the course.

Sentence 1: The Santa at the mall has special training on how to deal with young children.
Sentence 2:  Santa, an old man with a white beard and a twinkle in his eyes, also gets the help of elves in dealing with the children.

Grammar:

1.    Use an appositive to combine the sentences.
2.    Use a gerund.

3.    Use a relative pronoun.

1 November 2013

Welcome to the blog for the English Skills courses at Athabasca University: English 140 (Grammar), English 143 (Writing for Academic Purposes), and English 146 (Reading for Academic Purposes). These courses may be taken separately or as part of the English Language Proficiency Program. The goal is to increase communication between students and instructors, to provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other, and to practice the skills taught in these courses. Note that not all skills are appropriate to each course. 

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!

A hearty welcome to all the new students joining these courses. We hope you enjoy your studies and have fun participating in this blog.


Assignments marked with asterisks (**...**) are mandatory for Engl 140 students (Assignment 9).

IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--first name and the initial of your last name are the only personal information you should post. Please watch this video from the Canadian Government explaining privacy issues and social networking. 

Next blog: Friday, November 15 (tentative).

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Nov. 4th : Return to Standard Time.


Daylight Savings Time ends for most Canadians and Americans – but note that some of Mexico and most of Europe already made the change last week.


Nov. 11th : Remembrance Day.


Rembrance Day is observed at 11:00 A.M. in Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

WHAT’S NEW



Apostrophe disaster!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pondspider/4863410939/in/pool-413045@N24/

Previous Grammar Question

Its important that we are on time for todays meeting on affective marketing techniques so please be picking Bryan and I up prompt at 8 am avoiding the trouble with the boss.

1. Mood: in noun clauses after an expression indicating urgency or importance, use the subjunctive mood. The subjunctive uses the base form of the verb and doesn’t change. In this sentence, use “be” instead of “are”.
2. Apostrophes: When a letter is missing, using an apostrophe (change “its” to “it’s”) and when a noun becomes a possessive, use an apostrophe (change “todays” to “today’s”).
3. Word confusion: In this sentence the adjective “effective” is appropriate, not “affective”.
4. Command: In this form of the verb when the subject is omitted, use the base form of the verb – change “be picking” to “pick”.
5.  Object pronoun: Bryan is the object of the verb “pick”; the pronoun is also an object of the same verb, so change “I” (subject pronoun) to “me”.
6. Word form: “prompt” is an adjective’ here the adverb “promptly” is needed because it modifies “pick up”, the verb.
7. Infinitive: In this sentence, the infinitive “to avoid” is needed rather than the gerund “avoiding.”
8. Capitalization: In MLA format, used in the English courses, use A.M. for times.
9. Article: Unless you are expecting some specific type of trouble, omit “the” so that “trouble” is more generic.
10. Punctuation: “so” is a coordinating conjunction and it introduces an independent clause, so use a comma before it.


Suggested solution: 

It’s important that we be on time for today’s meeting on effective marketing techniques, so please pick Bryan and me up promptly at 8 A.M. to avoid trouble with the boss.

GRAMMAR QUESTION

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

When the committee had met last week it is decided that they approved constructing of a new retiring centre for benefiting Seniors and there family’s which had been living in a surrounding area..


Solutions will be posted in the next Course Announcement of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:  

starling, 
staring, 
string, 
sting, 
sing, 
sin, 
in, 
I

New Puzzle: 

What phrase is represented by the following:

GJ
NU
IM
PP
MI
UN
JG
The good
New
New

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word eye:


Watch this video, and then write a sentence that uses one of these three idioms.

ALL CHANGE!

Change the words in the following sentence as indicated.

The talented pianist played music regularly for the appreciative seniors.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given, and wait until someone else has posted the next change before making another. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, Participant 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Participant 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes the direct object noun, etc. 

Each participant should make just one change at a time, following the order indicated below. 

When all 7 changes have been made, return to the top of the list and continue. 

Changes:                                                                                                                               

1. subject noun 
2. direct object noun                
3. indirect object noun                       
4. adjective(s)  
5. adverb(s)         
6. verb name           
7. verb tense

AFFIXES

The word stem -audi- (meaning to hear) occurs in many words. 

Add an affix (either a prefix or a suffix) to this stem to make another word. 

Each student should add a different word to the list.

COMPLETE THE SENTENCE

Complete the following sentence using the type of clause, phrase, or grammar indicated.*
You may put your contribution either before or after the clause:

many young children eagerly rang my doorbell on Halloween  …

1. Use a phrase            
2. Use a dependent clause      
3. Use an independent clause


* Please write three separate sentences.

NUMBER CHANGE

If the sentence is singular, change it to the plural; if it is plural, change it to the singular.

Many young children eagerly rang doorbells in all the neighbourhoods on Halloween while their parents stood shivering in the cold on sidewalks or sat in cars parked at strategic locations watching their children.  

VOCABULARY

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

Use the following two words in one sentence (note the part of speech).

squeamish  (adjective) + manipulate  (verb)

To further improve your vocabulary, check out the Word of the Day

The site also has word games and puzzles.


IN OTHER WORDS...

We can describe someone who is self-satisfied as being complacent

Provide a synonym and an antonym for this word – each participant should offer a different pair of words.

ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE

Write two sentences using the word steal. 

Use the active voice for the first sentence, and the passive voice for the second.

TIME CHANGE

On Halloween, when I took my two-year old son trick or treating, at first he didn’t know what to make of the activity. We were with neighbours and their young children, but by the time we reached the third house on our route, he had it figured out. My little ghost ran up to the house before all of the bigger kids and rang the doorbell.


Change the time of this paragraph – you will need to change the verb tense and any time clues. Each participant should choose a different time change and verb tense.

SENTENCE COMBINATION

Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important skill in writing. There are many ways to do this. Try to combine the following three sentences.

Sentence 1: Where were you on Halloween?
Sentence 2: I thought you were going to the party at Sheila's house.

Sentence 3: When I got there, you were nowhere in sight, and you weren't answering your phone.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

The following question is similar to the one in Part 3 of the ENGL 140 final exam. 

Write a sentence using a dependent clause in the present progressive tense, and an independent clause in the simple present.

HWT CHALLENGE

This is an advanced exercise in combining sentences. It is designed for students who have completed Lesson 9 in the course.

Sentence 1: My immediate boss at ABC Engineering has a very responsible position.
Sentence 2: Samantha Newman is in charge of over one hundred junior engineers.

Grammar:


  1. Use an appositive to combine the sentences.
  2. Use a gerund.
  3. Use a relative pronoun.

PLAIN ENGLISH

Writing clear, direct English is particularly important in a business context. 

Please rewrite the following item (there are many different but correct ways of doing this):

I really can't thank you sufficiently for lovely gift I was given on the occasion of my retirement from the company. It is something that will always be appreciated by me, and it will also serve as a reminder of the many happy that have been spent working for the company.


Hint: Check Chapter 9 of Barron's Business English, and avoid using the passive voice and other wordy constructions!

LAUGH WITH ENGLISH

In Honour of Stupid People . . .

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods:

On packaging for an iron – "Do not iron clothes on body."

(but wouldn't this save me time?)

18 October 2013

WELCOME

Welcome to the blog for the English Skills courses at Athabasca University: English 140 (Grammar), English 143 (Writing for Academic Purposes), and English 146 (Reading for Academic Purposes). These courses may be taken separately or as part of the English Language Proficiency Program. The goal is to increase communication between students and instructors, to provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other, and to practice the skills taught in these courses. Note that not all skills are appropriate to each course. 

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!

A hearty welcome to all the new students joining these courses. We hope you enjoy your studies and have fun participating in this blog.

Assignments marked with asterisks (**...**) are mandatory for Engl 140 students (Assignment 9).

IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--first name and the initial of your last name are the only personal information you should post. Please watch this video from the Canadian Government explaining privacy issues and social networking. 

Next blog: Friday, November 1 (tentative).

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Oct. 24th. United nations Day

Oct. 26th. Eid al Adha
Christians and Jews will be familiar with the Bible story of the Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. Muslims now ritually sacrifice an animal (commonly a goat) to commemorate this.

Oct. 31st. Halloween—originally called All Hallows E’en (evening). Adults now celebrate with costume parties, and children celebrate by dressing up and “trick or treating” from door to door. 

Nov. 1st. All Saints Day

WHAT’S NEW

Apostrophe disaster!


Why punctuation is important—beating a parking ticket:

Previous Grammar Question

Peter and me are needing knowing to who to address the letter before its written in it's envelope and than being posted by us too the company in the states.

1. Pronoun: “Peter” is the subject of the verb “are needing” and so is “me”; therefore it should be “I” as “me” is the direct object pronoun.
2. Verb tense: For something that is generally true rather than something that is ongoing, use the simple present tense “need” instead of the present progressive “are needing”.
3. Relative Pronoun: “Who” is the subject pronoun—after “to” the object pronoun “whom” is grammatically correct.
4. Apostrophe “s”: In this sentence, “its” means “it is”; a letter is omitted so use an apostrophe. However, “it’s” is incorrect because this time it is a possessive.
5. Word confusion: Don’t mix up “than” and “then”; “than” is used in comparisons; “then” indicates what happened next. Also don’t confuse “to” the preposition with “too” the adverb.
6. Verb form: “being posted” is a progressive form of the verb; here the passive voice can be confusing as the word is “been”; they sound very similar.
7. Capitalization: Whether it’s the United States, or just the States, it’s a proper noun and requires a capital letter.
8. Punctuation: Elements that are non-essential grammatically to a sentence are set off with commas—use commas around “in its envelope”; this is why items in a series are set off with commas.

GRAMMAR QUESTION

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

Its important that we are on time for todays meeting on affective marketing techniques so please be picking Bryan and I up prompt at 8 am avoiding the trouble with the boss.


Solutions will be posted in the Course Announcement of the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Previous Puzzle Solution:  

Without changing the order of the letters, place the four letter words on the dashes to form eight letter words.
Veto, Rake, Hilt, Clam, Tile

1. __ um__ __ i __ y = humilty
2. Pro __ __ __ i __ =  proclaim
3. __ err __ b __ __ = terrible
4. __ __ xa __ i __ n = vexation
5. Ove __ t __ __ __ = overtake


New Puzzle:  

Remove the nine letters one by one from the word STARTLING; each letter removed, should leave another word. Example: MATE—remove E and the remaining word is MAT.


IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word GREEN:



Watch this VIDEO and then write a sentence of your own that uses one of these three idioms.

ALL CHANGE!

Change the words in the sentence below as indicated. You can only change the exact word in the sequence given; after someone else has posted the next change, then you can post another change. For instance, student 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Student 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes that noun. Each student only makes one change at a time and keeps to the order indicated. If you complete all 7 changes, then start making more changes again from 1 to 7. Each student should build on the changes that the previous students make.

The fussy housewife carefully laid the lace cloth on the rosewood table.


Changes: 
1. subject noun 
2. direct object noun                
3. indirect object noun              
4. adjective(s)  
5. adverb(s)         
6. verb name           
7. verb tense

AFFIXES

The word stem -ortho- (meaning straight or correct) occurs in many words. Add an affix (either a prefix or a suffix) to this stem to make another word. Each student should add a different word to the list.

COMPLETE THE SENTENCE

Use the type of clause, phrase, or grammar indicated to complete the following sentence*; you can add the phrase or clause before or after (not both) to the clause below:

…winter usually starts the week before Halloween in Canada …

1. Use a phrase            2. Use a dependent clause      3. Use an independent clause


* Please write three separate sentences.

NUMBER CHANGE

If the sentences are singular, change them to the plural; if they are plural, change them to the singular.

My daughter is starting school this week. I will take her to a nearby school (one within walking distance of our home). I’m sure she will soon settle in and make a friend. I sometimes think that having a child start school is more traumatic for the mother than for the child.

Each student should write a slightly different answer. 

VOCABULARY

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. Use the following two words (note the part of speech) in one sentence.

glabrous (adjective) + retrospect (noun)

To further improve your vocabulary, check Word of the Day every day! 

There are also word games and puzzles on this site.


SYNONYMS

We can describe something that is romantic as being sentimental. Provide a synonym for this word--each student should write a different word.

ACTIVE & PASSIVE

Write two sentences using the word steel. In the first sentence use the verb in the active voice, in the second sentence use it in the passive voice.

TIME CHANGE

I was shopping for school supplies last week, and I was surprised at the number of things I needed to buy. Some items are very specific; for instance, I couldn’t buy just any coloured pencils, they had to be a particular brand of coloured pencils. We didn’t want our child to be different from the others, so we succumbed to the pressure and bought the brand names.

Change the time of this paragraph—you will need to change the verb tense and any time clues. Each student should choose a different time change.

SENTENCE COMBINATION

Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important skill in writing. There are many ways to do this--many possible bonus points! 

Try to combine the following three sentences.

Sentence 1: Who is the designated driver for the Halloween party tonight?
Sentence 2: I heard that the party is at Sheila's house.

Sentence 3: The designated driver can't be Bill because his car is in the garage.

EXAM PRACTICE

Write a sentence using a dependent clause in the past progressive tense and an independent clause in the simple past.

HWT CHALLENGE

This is an exercise in advanced sentence combining.

Sentence 1: The Chief Financial Officer of the company where I work has a very demanding position
Sentence 2: ABC Engineering, where I am employed, recently hired Ted Schwarz as CFO to take charge of all its financial operations.

Grammar:


  1. Use an appositive to combine the sentences.
  2. Use an infinitive

LAUGH WITH ENGLISH

In Honour of Stupid People . . .
In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods ....
On packaging for an iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body."

(but wouldn't this save me time?)

13 October 2013

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Canadians will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Oct. 14th. What is special about Canadian Thanksgiving?

There are Thanksgiving celebrations in many parts of the world. Check out some of the festivals (scroll to the bottom for information on Canadian Thanksgiving).

WHAT’S NEW


Check your grammar: http://phras.in/

You get to choose between two alternatives that you type in: if one of the alternatives has “no hits” and the other one has more, then you should assume that the answer with more hits is the correct one.

A tongue-in-cheek look at word confusion:



Previous Grammar Question

If you shouldn't mind me to ask where you are going when me and my sister’s seen you last week as you had been getting on bus on the Main street.

1. Question form: use “do” as the auxiliary verb to make a negative question (…don’t mind …).
2. Infinitive/Gerund: After the verb “mind” use the gerund (asking) not the infinitive.
3. Verb tense/question form: The questions is about something that happened in the past, so use the past progressive tense instead of the present progressive. Because this is a question and not a statement, the word order needs to reflect that (were you going).
4. Pronoun usage: “me” is an object pronoun, but the verb “see” requires a subject--“I” is the subject pronoun.
5. Verb tense: “Seen” is the past participle; it is used to help make the perfect tense or the passive voice. Here, we need the simple past “saw”.
6. Verb tense: “had been getting on” use the past perfect progressive tense, but there is not reference to another time in the past, so use the past progressive tense (were getting on).
7. Article usage: We need to specify “bus”; here because it is not any specific bus, it is better to “a”. However, we don’t use articles with streets, so omit “the”, but see point 9 for more information
8.  Capitalization: Either use all capitals (Main Street) if that is the name of the street; however, if it’s not the proper name of the street, then you do need the article “the” before “main street”.
9. Punctuation: There are three important situations here: 1) After an “if” clause (conditional clause) use a comma--place after “asking”; 2) This whole sentence is an example of direct speech; as a result quotation marks are needed. 3) The sentence is a question, so use a question mark.


Sample Answer: “If you don’t mind me asking, where were you going when I and my sister saw you last week as you were getting on a bus on Main Street?”

CREATIVE WRITING

ACROSTIC

In an acrostic, you start with a theme word and use each letter of that word to start another word or phrase that describes the theme word. 

The acrostic below is based on the theme word SNOW.

……………S     Slippery
……………N     Numbing
……………O     Obliterating
……………W     Wintery

Write an acrostic based on one of the following “Thanksgiving” themes: 

THANKSGIVING, TURKEY, PUMPKIN, STUFFING, HORN OF PLENTY, or FALL COLOURS.

***

CINQUAIN POEM

A cinquain poem is a five-line poem that is diamond-shaped. 

Start with a theme word (noun) and then use the pattern 1 noun, 2 adjectives, 3 gerunds, 1 full sentence, and finally a synonym for the first noun.

SNOW
.....................Snow.........................
.................Cold, white......................
..........Falling, freezing, numbing..............
..........It chills fingers and toes..............
.....................Ice..........................

Write a cinquain poem based on one of the following “Thanksgiving” themes:

THANKSGIVING, TURKEY, PUMPKIN, STUFFING, HORN OF PLENTY, or FALL COLOURS.

GRAMMAR QUESTION

Correct the errors in the following sentence:


Peter and me are needing knowing to who to address the letter before its written in it's envelope and than being posted by us too the company in the states.

PUZZLE

Suggested answers to previous puzzle: 

original word (a)
original word (b)
new word (a)
new word (b)
burn
bead
bun
bread
rid
tripe
ride
trip
grove
rout
groove
rut
charm
rush
harm
crush
cream
sweep
scream
weep


New Puzzle:  

Without changing the order of the letters, place the four letter words on the dashes to form eight letter words.
Veto, Rake, Hilt, Clam, Tile

1. __ um__ __ i __ y
2. Pro __ __ __ i __
3. __ err __ b __ __
4. __ __ xa __ i __ n
5. Ove __ t __ __ __


IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word dog:



Watch this video and then write a sentence of your own that uses one of these three idioms.

ALL CHANGE!

Change the words in the sentence below as indicated. 

You can only change the exact word in the sequence given; after someone else has posted the next change, then you can post another change. 

For instance, student 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Student 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes that noun. Each student only makes one change at a time and keeps to the order indicated. If you complete all 7 changes, then start making more changes again from 1 to 7. 

Each student should build on the changes that the previous students make

The old man quickly paid the overdue bill to the newly trained bank teller.

Changes:                                                                                                                              

1. subject noun 
2. direct object noun                
3. indirect object noun                       
4. adjective(s)  
5. adverb(s)         
6. verb name          
7. verb tense