27 July 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 the 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. 

In June, we welcome the following students to these courses. We hope you will enjoy your studies and participate in the blog.
Engl 140:Jennifer and Sharif
Engl 143:Annemieke, Jennifer, and Marissa

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: Monday, August 19 (tentative).


Many of us will remember being told not to end a sentence with a preposition, but is that really so? 

Check out when you can end a sentence with a preposition.

Sentence combination with so … that


Pauls always been borrowing his red stylish sporty-looking newer car to his brother who’s lending it while his old battered rust-spotted white vehicle is in the garage for repairing.

1. Name: For some of you, the name “Paul” is unfamiliar, and you didn’t recognize that there is no “s” on the end; It doesn’t make sense to make this an apostrophe s because neither the verb “is” or “has” works here and there is no following noun that would make it possessive.

2. Word confusion: lend and borrow--someone lends to you; you borrow from someone else.

3. Verb tense: Given that the first verb should be “lend” and not “borrow” and there is a sense of repetitive action up to and including the present, use either the simple present tense--lends--or the present progressive “is lending”. If you use the present progressive, then the adverb “always” places between the two parts of the verb.

4. Adjective word order: The rule for adjective word order is opinion, dimension, age, shape, colour, origin, material: this produces 1) stylish, sporty-looking, newer, red car; 2) battered, old, rust-spotted, white vehicle. Some of you were more creative and grouped adjectives and then combined the groups with a coordinating conjunction. That’s another good way to solve the problem.

5. Verb tense: whether or not the simple present or present progressive tense is used for the verb in the first clause, in the second clause, the verb which should be “borrow” needs to be in the simple present tense (borrows). This means there is no apostrophe s attached to “who”.

6. Word form: after “for” do not use the gerund, use the basic noun form either singular or plural.
Sample answer: Paul always lends his stylish, sporty-looking, newer, red car to his brother who borrows it while his battered, old, rust-spotted, white vehicle is in the garage for repairs.


Correct the errors in the following sentence:

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.

Remember that there is more than one possible correct answer.


Previous puzzle: Suggested answers

1. a. Outer layer                           b. Oxidized metal                          Crust / Rust
2. a. Defraud; violate rules           b. Thermal energy in transit          Cheat / Heat
3. a. Sensation of cold                  b. Local land elevation                  Chill / Hill
4. a. Go upward                           b. Jointed appendage; branch         Climb / Limb
5. a. Strong metal rope                 b. Having necessary skill               Cable / Able
6. a. Confined; restrained             b. Old; grew older                        Caged / Aged
7. a. Stop; discontinue                  b. Freedom from hardship           Cease / Ease
8. a. Lacking dirt                          b. Lacking fat                              Clean / Lean

New Puzzle: Take the given words, and by moving a single letter from one word to the other, make a pair of synonyms, or near synonyms. For example, given: Boast - Hip, move the 's' from 'Boast' to 'Hip' creating two synonyms: Boat - Ship.

1. Burn - Bead
2. Rid - Tripe
3. Grove - Rout
4. Charm - Rush
5. Cream - Sweep


There are three idioms that use the word MONKEY:

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