18 May 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, June 22, 2017

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

Please ask her where is she going over the week-end and is her boyfriend going to but don’t tell her that I ask for the informations.

1. Embedded question:

When a question clause (i.e., a clause introduced by a question word) is embedded within a longer clause, you should use the declarative sentence word order (i.e., the subject followed by the verb) unless you want to use direct speech, in which case you need to change the pronouns to match the original speech participants.

2. Preposition:

In this context, “over” seems a little too informal. It is better to use “for”.

3. Word form:

“Weekend” is one word. There is no hyphen.

4. Embedded question:

Here, too, we need to maintain the declarative sentence word order.

5. Conjunction required:

We need to add a conjunction to connect the implied clause (“Please ask her”) with the second question clause. “Whether” is preferable here, but “if” is also frequently used in this situation.

6. Word confusion:

We want to say “too” (meaning “also” or “as well”) rather than “to”.

7. Verb tense:

The questioning occurs in the past, so we probably want to put the verb in the past tense (“asked”). Alternatively, if we construe that question as something that continues in the speaker’s mind, we might use the present progressive (“am asking”), or the present perfect (“have asked”).

8. Word form:

Information is uncountable, so there is no plural form.

9. Internal punctuation:

There are several ways of doing this. The simplest is to use a comma after “too” to separate the two independent clauses.




Possible solution:

Please ask her where she is going for the weekend and whether her boyfriend is going too, but don’t tell her that I asked for the information.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

The exotic imported sports dark red car has been driving to fast when it'd skid of the road and the passenger too young women is injured serious.



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

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:

1. BOARD
2. BORED
3. BORN
4. ABOVE
5. BONUS
6. BORROW
7. BOILED
8. SYMBOL

New Puzzle:

Find the words that fit the definitions below. 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. Barrier                     -->    Everything
2. Full amount              -->    An opening
3. Season                    -->     Bury
4. Roll around in mud    -->     Permit
5. Females                  -->    Prophetic sign
6. Twist forcibly            -->    Circular band
7. Being victorious          -->    Baseball game division
8. One of the five W's    -->    Head covering


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

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word bee:


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/2009/03/090311_teacher_animal_bee.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:


I often give interesting books as gifts to my friends.


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 tele- (meaning "far") 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:*


… Spring seems to have arrived late this 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) 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.

After completing his chores, the youth went to the store to pick up a "small" snack. He bought a bag of chips, two chocolate bars, an ice cream sandwich, and a bottle of root beer to wash it all down!


*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

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

incredulous (adjective) and exasperating (noun).

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 being uncertain about something as feeling complacency

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 forgive.

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.

I hadn't realize what a multitasker I was becoming. However, last night my wife pointed out that while we were watching a movie on TV, I was using my computer to learn about the cast and director, and then texting the details to my friend. 

*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: There is a car parked in the driveway next to my house.
Sentence 2: It is a yellow Ferrari.
Sentence 3: I took a picture of it to show my friends.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

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

Use the phrase "For Mother's Day" with a dependent clause in the past perfect and an independent clause in the simple past.

4 May 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 18, 2016

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

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.

1. Word form:

There isn't a noun here that would require the possessive, so "Michael" should not have an 's' at the end -- even with an apostrophe -- unless you have chosen a verb form that requires "is" or "has" (e.g., the present progressive or the present perfect).

2. Word confusion:

Lend and borrow: someone lends to you; you borrow from someone else. Note also that "Loan" is a noun, so you should avoid saying that someone has loaned something.

3. Verb tense:

If you construe this as a typical or repeated action, use the simple present tense ("lends"). If you construe it as something that goes on for a period of time, use the present progressive ("is lending"). If you use the present progressive, put the adverb ("always") after the auxiliary verb ("is always lending").

4. Adjective word order:

The convention for adjective word order is opinion, dimension, age, shape, colour, origin, material. This produces "stylish, sporty-looking, newer, red car" and "battered, old, rust-spotted, white vehicle". Some of you might have wanted to group some of the adjectives and combine them with a coordinating conjunction ("stylish and sporty-looking"). That’s another good way to solve the problem. Don't forget to separate these adjectives with commas.

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 in the either the singular or plural form.



Possible solution:

Michael 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.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

Please ask her where is she going over the week-end and is her boyfriend going to but don't tell her that I ask for the informations.


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

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:

1. Crust -> Rust
2. Cheat -> Heat
3. Chill -> Hill
4. Climb -> Limb
5. Cable -> Able
6. Caged -> Aged
7. Cease -> Ease
8. Clean -> Lean

New Puzzle:

Guess the words below, which contain the following letters in them: "BO"

Fill in the blanks using the list of letters below--use each letter once:
A, A, D, D,  D, E, E,  E, I, L, L, M, N, N, O, R, R, R, R, R, S, S U, V, W, Y

1. BO_ _ _
2. BO _ _ _
3. BO _ _
4. _ BO_ _
5. BO_ _ _
6. BO _ _ _ _
7. BO _ _ _ _
8. _ _ _ BO _


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

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use the word monkey:

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/2009/03/090311_teacher_animal_monkey.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:


Mitsuko happily gave her devoted husband a thoughtful birthday gift .


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 -pathy (meaning "feeling" or "disease") 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 just returned from a visit with my family …

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 friends come over every weekend to play cards and watch the playoffs on TV. Sometimes the competition becomes very heated, and arguments break out over differences of opinion, but everyone usually has a good time.


*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

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

feckless (adjective) and veracity (noun).

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 being uncertain about something as feeling ambivalent

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 shear.

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.

When you arrive at the airport next week, you should give me a call so I can pick you up and take you to your hotel. 

*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: Marian is a graduate of Athabasca University.
Sentence 2: Marian was recently hired by a major corporation.
Sentence 3: She will be lead their international unit.

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 future tense and an independent clause in the future perfect tense.