20 April 2017

WELCOME!


Welcome to the English Skills blog! 


This blog is designed for students in ENG140ENGL143, and ENGL146 at Athabasca University. 


It is also open to students in ENGL155ENGL177, and ENGL189 who wish to develop their English language skills.


The goal of this blog is to increase communication between students and instructors, and to provide students with an opportunity to communicate with each other and to practice the skills taught in these courses. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be addressed in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then it is probably better to e-mail your instructor directly.


Feel free to post comments and suggestions on how to improve this site!

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 ENGL140 students (Assignment 9).

For information on how to participate, please visit the instructions page or contact the administrator.

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. 

Also, be sure to let your tutors know the nickname you have chosen for this blog; otherwise, they will not be able to give you the marks/bonus marks that you have earned for your participation.

Next blog: Thursday, May 4, 2016

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

The commentator said its the most unique program was skated at the competition and they are skating unbelievable therefore it hasn't been surprised that the audience have given them the standing ovation.

1. Word choice:

We often use the phrase "very unique". But "unique" really means "the only one", so it should not be qualified. Delete the word "most" or change the description to something that can be modified, like "innovative".

2. Pronoun reference:

As a rule, the pronoun should refer to a previous noun. In this case, unless we assume the referent was established in an earlier sentence, we don't know what "it" is. To avoid confusion, it might be better to say something like "...the skaters' program was...".

3. Apostrophe:

If we decide to keep the word "its" in the sentence, we need to keep in mind that it's a contraction of "it is" and that we therefore need an apostrophe to indicate that a letter has been omitted.

4. Passive voice:

The verb form depends on how we construe the subject. If we go with something like "...the skaters' program", we can use the simple past: "...the skaters' program was the most innovative...". Otherwise, we might use the past participle: "...it was the most innovative program skated..."

5. Pronoun  reference:

Again, unless we assume that the referent was established in an earlier sentence, we don't know who "they" are. It might be better here to make this clear by saying something like "the pair" or "the skaters".

6. Word form:

"Unbelievable" is an adjective, but we want to modify a verb ("are skating"), so we need an adverb ("unbelievably"). Otherwise, we need to change the verb into a noun and say something like "...their skating was unbelievable..."

7. Verb tense/form:

The action happened over a very short period of time, so it might be better to use the simple past tense ("wasn't") instead of the present perfect ("hasn't been"), and follow it with the present participle ("surprising") instead of the past participle ("surprised").

8. Verb tense:

Again, use the simple past ("gave") instead of the present perfect ("have given").

9. Article use:

“The” refers to something definite, but in this case "standing ovation" is indefinite (there could have been any number of standing ovations during the competition), so we need to use the indefinite article ("a").

10. Punctuation:

We could use direct speech here (putting the comments in quotation marks), but we often report speech indirectly. In that case it might be helpful to put "that" after the reporting verb ("...said that... and that..."). Also, remember to put a comma before the dependent (after "competition").


Possible solution:

The commentator said the skaters' program was the most innovative one at the competition and that their skating was unbelievable; therefore, it was no surprise that the audience gave them a standing ovation.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

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



The solution will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:

1. sue
2. cur
3. lies
4. socks
5. pants
6. braces

New Puzzle:

Find the word pairs defined below.

Hint: The two words will be the same except for the extra letter at the beginning of the first word.

Example: Begin --> Sour
Answer:   Start   --> Tart

1. Outer layer                      -->     Oxidized metal
2. Defraud; violate rules      -->     energy in transit
3. Sensation of cold             -->     Local land elevation
4. Go upward                      -->     Jointed appendage; branch
5. Strong metal rope           -->      Having necessary skill
6. Confined; restrained        -->     Old; grew older
7. Stop; discontinue             -->     Freedom from hardship
8. Lacking dirt                     -->      Lacking fat

*Note, the first person with the correct answer gets the bonus point.

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word fruit:

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

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


http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/theteacher/2009/03/090303_teacher_food_fruit.shtml

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the sentence below as indicated.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, if the original sentence is "Benson hurriedly told the bad news to his friends":


participant 1 could write "#1 Subject Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad news to his friends";


participant 2 could then write "#2 Direct Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his friends";


participant 3 could then write "#3 Indirect Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his wife";

etc.


You are free to make as many changes as you wish. Just remember to number each change (and indicate the part of speech) so it is clear to everyone where we are on the list.


Participants who make all 7 changes will receive 2 bonus marks for their efforts.

When all 7 changes have been made, do not repeat
 the original sentence; return to the top of the list, but keep building on the changes made by the previous participant.

Here is the sentence:


The learned professor gave an interesting lecture to his class on ancient Rome.


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 cogni- (meaning "know") occurs in many words.

1. Add an affix to this stem to make another word.
2. Explain the meaning of the word and use it in a complete sentence.

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:*


… April showers bring May flowers …

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) and do not use a semi-colon to join your independent clause.

*NUMBER CHANGE*

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

The first participant to make the correct changes will receive the bonus mark.

My old high school friend often comes over for a visit on Saturdays and spends the day with me. He usually brings his dog, who likes to run around while we throw the ball or play Frisbee in the yard.

*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

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

incognito (noun) and recognize (verb).

To further improve your vocabulary, remember to check out the Word of the Day
The site also has word games and puzzles.

http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/


You can also test your skills while contributing to the World Food Programme here:
http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1498

SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe a general agreement as a cognizance

First, write a sentence that uses this word.


Then rewrite the sentence, first using a synonym and then using an antonym for this word. 


Each participant should suggest a different synonym and antonym.



Example: easy.


Answer: 

This exercise is easy.
Synonym: simple. This exercise is simple.
Antonym: difficult. This exercise is difficult.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the verb forget.

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

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentences by using a different verb tense and replacing any necessary time clues. Each student should choose a different verb tense.

Ever since you started your new job, you have shown more confidence and enthusiasm; and I have noticed that you have made a lot of new friends.

*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. Do not use a semi-colon.

Sentence 1: The Immigrant Access Fund provides loans for internationally trained migrants.
Sentence 2: Many immigrant professionals find it hard to pursue their careers in Canada because of accreditation difficulties.

Sentence 3: The loans help pay the costs associated with accreditation, training, or upgrading.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated. Do not use a semi-colon.

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

6 April 2017

WELCOME!


Welcome to the English Skills blog! 


This blog is designed for students in ENG140ENGL143, and ENGL146 at Athabasca University. 


It is also open to students in ENGL155ENGL177, and ENGL189 who wish to develop their English language skills.


The goal of this blog is to increase communication between students and instructors, and to provide students with an opportunity to communicate with each other and to practice the skills taught in these courses. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be addressed in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then it is probably better to e-mail your instructor directly.


Feel free to post comments and suggestions on how to improve this site!

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 ENGL140 students (Assignment 9).

For information on how to participate, please visit the instructions page or contact the administrator.

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. 

Also, be sure to let your tutors know the nickname you have chosen for this blog; otherwise, they will not be able to give you the marks/bonus marks that you have earned for your participation.

Next blog: Thursday, April 20, 2016

22 March 2017

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

There were to much peoples at the mall so I was hurried up shopping, I was too hurried that the shirt’s I bought's not big enough and I'm having to return them.

1.  Word confusion:

We need to use “too” (not “to”) as an intensifier.

2. Modifier use:

“Much” is used to modify uncountable nouns. Since “people” is countable, you should use “many”.

3.  Plural form:

“People” is already plural (unless you are referring to something like a racial group), so it doesn’t need to be pluralized again.

4.  Passive or active voice:

Do not use the passive form (“was hurried”) unless you mean to suggest that something was causing the speaker to be hurried. In this situation, use the active voice.

4.  Modifier use:

To convey the extent of the modifier, use “so” (not “too”)

5. Apostrophe error:

“Shirts” is plural, not possessive, so there is no apostrophe. “Bought” is the past tense of “buy”, so it should never have an “s” or an apostrophe.

6. Subject-verb agreement:

Since ‘shirts’ is plural, you need the plural form of the verb (“are”).

7. Verb tense:

The present progressive (“am having”) would indicate that the action is happening now. It’s better to use the simple present tense (“have”) or the simple future (“will have”).

8. Punctuation:

When a coordinating conjunction such as ‘so’ separates two independent clauses, use a comma before it. When there is no coordinating conjunction, you need a period  or (if the ideas are very closely related) a semicolon.


Possible solution:

There were too many people in the mall, so I hurried with my shopping; I was in such a hurry that the shirts I bought are not big enough, and I will have to return them.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

The commentator said its the most unique program was skated at the competition and they are skating unbelievable therefore it hasn't been surprised that the audience have given them the standing ovation.


The solution will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:

o … honor (o/or/nor/horn/honor)
i … detail (i/id/lid/idle/ideal/detail)
i … elation (i/it/lit/lint/latin/latino/elation)

Other answers were possible.

New Puzzle:

Each of the following words contains a shorter word with the same meaning.

Example: "rapscallion" contains the word "rascal": RApSCALlion

See if you can find the words hidden below:

1. prosecute
2. scoundrel
3. falsities
4. stockings
5. pantaloons
6. brackets

*Note, the first person with the correct answer gets the bonus point.

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word tea:

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

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


http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/theteacher/2009/03/090303_teacher_food_tea.shtml

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the sentence below as indicated.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, if the original sentence is "Benson hurriedly told the bad news to his friends":


participant 1 could write "#1 Subject Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad news to his friends";


participant 2 could then write "#2 Direct Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his friends";


participant 3 could then write "#3 Indirect Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his wife";

etc.


You are free to make as many changes as you wish. Just remember to number each change (and indicate the part of speech) so it is clear to everyone where we are on the list.


Participants who make all 7 changes will receive 2 bonus marks for their efforts.

When all 7 changes have been made, do not repeat
 the original sentence; return to the top of the list, but keep building on the changes made by the previous participant.

Here is the sentence:


The angry teacher often gave extra homework to her naughty pupils as punishment for disrupting her class.


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 com- or con- (meaning "together") occurs in many words. 

1. Add an affix to this stem to make another word.

2. Explain the meaning of the word and use it in a complete sentence.

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 excited about the future …

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) and do not use a semi-colon to join your independent clause.

*NUMBER CHANGE*

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

The first participant to make the correct changes will receive the bonus mark.

The little boy is going on an Easter Egg hunt with his older brother and sister, but if he wants to find more than just a few eggs, he needs to be quick because the other children have had a lot more practice.


*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

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

pandemonium (noun) and abdicate (verb).

To further improve your vocabulary, remember to check out the Word of the Day
The site also has word games and puzzles.

http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/


You can also test your skills while contributing to the World Food Programme here:
http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1498

SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe a general agreement as a consensus

First, write a sentence that uses this word.


Then rewrite the sentence, first using a synonym and then using an antonym for this word. 


Each participant should suggest a different synonym and antonym.



Example: easy.


Answer: 

This exercise is easy.
Synonym: simple. This exercise is simple.
Antonym: difficult. This exercise is difficult.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the verb eat.

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

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentences by using a different verb tense and replacing any necessary time clues. Each student should choose a different verb tense.

My parents will arrive for a visit tomorrow. I am worried that they will feel crowded and uncomfortable in my small apartment and may wish that they had gone to a hotel instead.


*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. Do not use a semi-colon.

Sentence 1: Justin Trudeau is the Prime Minister of Canada.
Sentence 2: He is the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau..
Sentence 3: He is very popular.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated. Do not use a semi-colon.

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

9 March 2017

WELCOME!


Welcome to the English Skills blog! 


This blog is designed for students in ENG140ENGL143, and ENGL146 at Athabasca University. 


It is also open to students in ENGL155ENGL177, and ENGL189 who wish to develop their English language skills.


The goal of this blog is to increase communication between students and instructors, and to provide students with an opportunity to communicate with each other and to practice the skills taught in these courses. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be addressed in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then it is probably better to e-mail your instructor directly.


Feel free to post comments and suggestions on how to improve this site!

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 ENGL140 students (Assignment 9).

For information on how to participate, please visit the instructions page or contact the administrator.

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. 

Also, be sure to let your tutors know the nickname you have chosen for this blog; otherwise, they will not be able to give you the marks/bonus marks that you have earned for your participation.

Next blog: Thursday, March 23, 2016

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

Less people in Canada are planning travelling over this year because of the worse weather that happened in to many parts of the country recently and because it is expensive.

1. Word Form:

“Less” is used with uncountable nouns. “People” is a countable noun, so you should use “fewer”.

2. Gerund/Infinitive:

After the verb “plan”, use the infinitive “to travel” rather than the gerund.

3. Redundant word:

The preposition “over” should be omitted because “this year” means “over the course of the year”.

4. Adjective form:

The word “worse” is the comparative adjective for “bad”. Since nothing is being compared, you should just use “bad”.

5. Verb tense:

The time frame is from a point in the past until now, so you should use the present perfect tense (“has happened”) than the simple past.

6. Redundant word:

The preposition “to” isn't needed here.


Possible solution:

Fewer people in Canada are planning to travel this year because of the bad weather that has happened in many parts of the country recently and also because it is expensive.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

There were to much peoples at the mall so I was hurried up shopping, I was too hurried that the shirt’s I bought's not big enough and I'm having to return them.


The solution will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:

e … hamper (e/he/her/hare/harem/hamper)
o … erosion (o/so/son/ones/snore/sooner/erosion)

Other answers were possible.

New Puzzle:

Now that we've had a little practice, let's try the same kind of puzzle! Remember, just add one letter at a time to make a new word:

Example:    a ... adios
Answer:     a/as/sad/dais/adios


o … honor
i … detail
i … elation

*Note, the first person with the correct answer gets the bonus point.

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word vegetables:

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

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


http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/theteacher/2009/03/090303_teacher_food_vegetables.shtml

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the sentence below as indicated.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, if the original sentence is "Benson hurriedly told the bad news to his friends":


participant 1 could write "#1 Subject Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad news to his friends";


participant 2 could then write "#2 Direct Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his friends";


participant 3 could then write "#3 Indirect Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his wife";

etc.


You are free to make as many changes as you wish. Just remember to number each change (and indicate the part of speech) so it is clear to everyone where we are on the list.


Participants who make all 7 changes will receive 2 bonus marks for their efforts.

When all 7 changes have been made, do not repeat
 the original sentence; return to the top of the list, but keep building on the changes made by the previous participant.

Here is the sentence:


The salesman grudgingly offered the angry customer a small discount.


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 dem- (meaning "people") occurs in many words. 

1. Add an affix to this stem to make another word.

2. Explain the meaning of the word and use it in a complete sentence.

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:*

... The snow is still thick on the ground ...

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) and do not use a semi-colon to join your independent clause.

*NUMBER CHANGE*

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

The first participant to make the correct changes will receive the bonus mark.

I was going to have pancakes for breakfast, but the milk was past its expiry date, and I didn't want to take any chances of getting sick, so I made bacon and eggs instead.

*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

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

panacea (noun) and engender (verb).

To further improve your vocabulary, remember to check out the Word of the Day
The site also has word games and puzzles.

http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/


You can also test your skills while contributing to the World Food Programme here:
http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1498

SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe an effect as a consequence

First, write a sentence that uses this word.


Then rewrite the sentence, first using a synonym and then using an antonym for this word. 


Each participant should suggest a different synonym and antonym.



Example: easy.


Answer: 

This exercise is easy.
Synonym: simple. This exercise is simple.
Antonym: difficult. This exercise is difficult.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the verb fly.

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

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentences by using a different verb tense and replacing any necessary time clues. Each student should choose a different verb tense.

My friend was planning to take her first holiday in many years, but was so concerned about the problems that might crop while she was away that she cancelled her reservations and postponed trip for another year.


*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. Do not use a semi-colon.


Sentence 1: The man standing next to the theatre is Viola Dav.
Sentence 2: He just won an Oscar for her recent film.
Sentence 3: The film is called Moonlight.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated. Do not use a semi-colon.

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

16 February 2017

WELCOME!


Welcome to the English Skills blog! 


This blog is designed for students in ENG140ENGL143, and ENGL146 at Athabasca University. 


It is also open to students in ENGL155ENGL177, and ENGL189 who wish to develop their English language skills.


The goal of this blog is to increase communication between students and instructors, and to provide students with an opportunity to communicate with each other and to practice the skills taught in these courses. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be addressed in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then it is probably better to e-mail your instructor directly.


Feel free to post comments and suggestions on how to improve this site!

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 ENGL140 students (Assignment 9).

For information on how to participate, please visit the instructions page or contact the administrator.

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. 

Also, be sure to let your tutors know the nickname you have chosen for this blog; otherwise, they will not be able to give you the marks/bonus marks that you have earned for your participation.

Next blog: Thursday, March 9, 2016

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

As the matter of fact, she was a person who hard being convinced for instant, she certainly would likes to thinks that his opinion are the corrected then any one else view.

1. Article use:

Only use the definite article (“the”) when referring to specific items; for singular, non-specific items use “a”.

2. Word confusion:

Although they sound similar, don’t confuse “instant” with “instance”. The meanings are quite different.

3. Passive form:

While “hard being convinced” seems to be a passive construction, the form is incorrect. The word “hard” needs to be introduced by “was” and followed by an infinitive (“was hard to convince”).

4. Verb form:

After a modal verb, use the base form of the verb (“like” not “likes”).

5. Infinitive:

The infinitive is formed from “to” + the base form of the verb. There is no “s” or any other verb ending on an infinitive, so use “to think” not “to thinks”.

6. Pronoun agreement:

It makes more sense if you change “his” to “her”. “His” is possible here, but it doesn't make as much sense.

7. Word form:

The word “corrected” is a past participial adjective. Here, however, a comparison is needed (i.e., something like “more correct”). A good solution would be to change this expression to “better”.

8. Word confusion:

The words “then” and “than” sound very similar, but they are quite different. Here, we need “than” because there is an implicit comparison.

9. Possessive:

In this case, the “view” belongs to someone (i.e., “anyone else”), so it needs to be possessive (“anyone else’s”).

10. Punctuation:

The first independent clause ends with “convince”, so a semicolon is needed here.

11. Wordiness:

It is clear that the pronoun “she” refers to a person, so restating the fact is unnecessary. Instead of “she is a person who is”, we can simply say “she is”.


Possible solution:

As a matter of fact, she is hard to convince; for instance, she certainly likes to think that her opinion is better than anyone else’s.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

Less people in Canada are planning travelling over this year because of the worse weather that happened in to many parts of the country recently and because it is expensive.


The solution will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:

1. Push        PIN               Cushion
2. Digital      CAMERA       Shy
3. Crystal     BALL             Park
4. First         CLASS          Clown
5. Bed          ROCK           Candy

New Puzzle:

Add one letter at a time to make a new word:

Example:    a ... adios
Answer:     a/as/sad/dais/adios

e … hamper
o … erosion

*Note, the first person with the correct answer gets the bonus point.

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word beans:

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

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


http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/theteacher/2009/03/090302_teacher_food_beans.shtml

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the sentence below as indicated.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, if the original sentence is "Benson hurriedly told the bad news to his friends":


participant 1 could write "#1 Subject Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad news to his friends";


participant 2 could then write "#2 Direct Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his friends";


participant 3 could then write "#3 Indirect Object Noun: Michael hurriedly told the bad joke to his wife";

etc.


You are free to make as many changes as you wish. Just remember to number each change (and indicate the part of speech) so it is clear to everyone where we are on the list.


Participants who make all 7 changes will receive 2 bonus marks for their efforts.

When all 7 changes have been made, do not repeat
 the original sentence; return to the top of the list, but keep building on the changes made by the previous participant.

Here is the sentence:


The little boy showed his friend the treasure he had secretly hidden in his fort.


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 -cur- (meaning "to run") occurs in many words. 

1. Add an affix to this stem to make another word.

2. Explain the meaning of the word and use it in a complete sentence.

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 end of winter ...

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) and do not use a semi-colon to join your independent clause.

*NUMBER CHANGE*

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

The first participant to make the correct changes will receive the bonus mark.

The deer that lives in the woods behind my house likes to chew on the bark of the fruit trees I planted in my garden.

*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

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

confide (verb) and confident (adjective).

To further improve your vocabulary, remember to check out the Word of the Day
The site also has word games and puzzles.

http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/


You can also test your skills while contributing to the World Food Programme here:
http://freerice.com/#/english-vocabulary/1498

SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe something things that happen at the same time as concurrent

First, write a sentence that uses this word.


Then rewrite the sentence, first using a synonym and then using an antonym for this word. 


Each participant should suggest a different synonym and antonym.



Example: easy.


Answer: 

This exercise is easy.
Synonym: simple. This exercise is simple.
Antonym: difficult. This exercise is difficult.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the verb give.

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

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentences by using a different verb tense and replacing any necessary time clues. Each student should choose a different verb tense.

While I was working in the office yesterday, I was imagining all the things I would do when I finally retired.

*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. Do not use a semi-colon.

Sentence 1: The weather is cold.
Sentence 2: This weather will continue for a while.
Sentence 3: Soon it will be spring.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated. Do not use a semi-colon.

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

2 February 2017

WELCOME!


Welcome to the English Skills blog for English 140 (Grammar), English 143 (Writing for Academic Purposes), and English 146 (Reading for Academic Purposes) at Athabasca University. 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, and to provide students with an opportunity to communicate with each other and to practice the skills taught in these courses. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be addressed in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then e-mail your instructor.

Feel free to post comments and suggestions on how to improve this site!

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 ENGL140 students (Assignment 9).

For information on how to participate, please visit the instructions page or contact the administrator.

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. 

Also, be sure to let your tutors know the nickname you have chosen for this blog; otherwise, they will not be able to give you the marks/bonus marks that you have earned for your participation.

Next blog: Thursday, February 16, 2016