Comparisons

Let’s compare 2 people or 2 things: example 1: Hamid is taller than Leonor. Example 2: The jacket is nicer than the dress. We compare people and things every day.

Here are a few rules to help you in forming and spelling the comparative:

rule simple comparative examples
1. adjectives with 1 syllable

add “er”

tall taller Hamid is taller than Leonor.
2. if the adjectives end with consonant-vowel-consonant ==>double the last consonant then add “er” big bigger The apple is bigger than the blueberry.
3. if the adjectives end with “e”==> add “r” late later Mario came to class later than Cindy.
4. adjectives with 2-syllables and ends in “y”==> change “y” to “i” then add “er” sunny sunnier It is sunnier today than it was yesterday.
5. some 2 syllable adjectives and 3-syllable adjectives add “more” expensive more expensive The red bag is more expensive than the black bag.
6. irregular adjectives==> change the word good

bad

better

worse

I have a better life in the US.

Your turn. Change the adjective to the comparative form.

fast
pretty
easy
early
polite
cold
high
young
short
long
thin
large
nice
hot
old
happy

 

Writing a Paragraph

Writing good paragraphs can be difficult. Here is how to draft, refine, and explain your ideas.

 

Decide the Topic of Your Paragraph

First, look at the writing prompt or assignment topic. Before writing a paragraph, it is important to think first about the topic and then what you want to say about the topic.

Create a Topic Sentence

Strong paragraphs are typically about one main idea or topic, This idea is called a topic sentence. The mains subject matter or idea covered in the paragraph. You can often restate the question as a sentence to create the topic sentence. When your paragraphs contain a clearly stated topic sentence,  your reader will know what to expect and, therefore, understand your ideas better.

Support Your Opinion or Point

After stating your topic sentence, you need to provide information to prove or support your point. Provide at least two examples to support your topic.

Conclude
After supporting your point with relevant information, add a concluding sentence. Concluding sentences link one paragraph to the next and provide another way to unify for your paragraph. Concluding sentences have an important role in paragraph writing. They bring the information you have presented together.

 

In short a good formula for paragraph writing is:

  • Tell me what you are going to talk about
  • Talk about your idea
  • Tell me what you just talked about

 

 

The Present Continuous

We use the present continuous to talk about something that happens continuously in the present.

It is formed with the verb to be + the verb with ing at the end.

For example: reading, writing, singing, playing. You write the present continuous form by putting –ing at the end of the verb.

I am reading We are reading
You are reading You are reading
He, She, is reading They are reading

 

If the verb ends in a consonant+vowel+consonant (but not w, x, y), then write the last consonant twice.  For example: sit==>sitting, mop==>mopping, swim==>swimming.

If the verb ends in a consonant+vowel+(consonant w, x, y), do not write the last consonant twice. For example: mow==>mowing, play==>playing, box==>boxing.

If the verb ends in a consonant+e, then drop the e. For example: write==>writing, drive==>driving, live==>living.

1. Always use a form of the verb (be). (I am, he is, it is, she is, you are, we are, they are). For example: She is working at the market.

2. Be careful how you write a question. For example:  What is she doing?

3. Don’t use the present continuous for everyday habits. For example: I eat breakfast every day.

4. Remember to put -ing on the end of present continuous verbs. For example: They are going to the mall today

New Writing Section and Links

 

Please check out our newest section of links, “Writing” on the right hand side of the blog. It’s toward the bottom so don’t miss it.  There many exciting links that can help you with punctuation, writing styles, common writing errors AND even help you write a resume.

Writing is a difficult skill even for native Americans but it’s a very important one. Use these links to improve your writing.

How Much or How Many

Do you know the rule for using “how much” vs “how many”?

Sometimes, English speakers say: “How many sugars do you want?” Is that correct?

No. What they really mean could be: “how many spoons of sugar” or “how many packets of sugar“.

The main rule is to use “how many” for things you can count and “how much” for things you cannot count. You can count: tables, boys, chairs, oranges, dimes;  but you cannot count: water, wine, rice.

Do you know? Check yourself.=>

singular plural how much? how many?
apple apples x
sugar sugar x
banana
tooth
salt
child
penny
money
mango
coffee
quarter
carrot
Do you know the rule for using “how much” vs “how many”? Enter your ideas in the comments.
Sometimes, English speakers say: “How many sugars do you want?” Is that correct? No. What they really mean could be: “how many spoons of sugar” or “how many packets of sugar“.
Did you remember that the main rule is to use “how many” for things you can count and “how much” for things you cannot count. You can count: tables, boys, chairs, oranges, dimes;  but you cannot count: water, wine, rice.

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns represent specific people or things.

They need to agree in:

  • number
  • person
  • gender

Use the following table to help you out:

Subject Pronouns

1st Person Singular male/female I
2nd Person Singular male/female you
3rd Person Singular male he
female she
neuter it
1st Person Plural male/female we
2nd Person Plural male/female you
3rd Person Plural male/female/neuter they

I go to the store,

You go to the store.

He goes to the store.

We go to the store.

They go they store.

Weather on the Mind

We’ve had some crazy weather in January.  If you want to  talk about the weather with others, use the blog for some activities that will help your with your vocabulary, speaking and listening skills.

Screen shot by M.Yanez

 

First, click on “Online Resources” on the top menu bar under the English Blog Header

Then  click on “Practice Sites”  – a page that has activities for MANY topics

 

 

 

 

 Finally scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the “Weather” heading   and then try some of the items there. 

 

 

 

If you like learning using  videos, click on “Fun Stuff” on the top menu bar. 

Then click on  “Great Video”s. 

 

 

Again scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the “Weather” heading. 

Part 2 Relative Clauses – The Object Clause

Adjective clauses are sometimes called relative clauses, because they related to something else in the sentence. The adjective clause modifies a nouns phrase in the sentence. It must have a subject and verb and it will begin with a relative pronoun like who or that.

The second type is the object clause.

In this adjective clause, the relative
pronoun is the object of the clause. This clause can modify both subjects and objects in the sentence.

Examples:

The people who we met seemed very kind.
The people that we met seemed very kind.

The students to whom we were speaking seemed very intelligent.
The students that we were speaking seemed very intelligent.

Yesterday, we saw the students to whom we were speaking to.
Yesterday, we saw the students that we were speaking to.

Relative Clauses

Adjective clauses are sometimes called relative clauses, because they related to something else in the sentence. The adjective clause modifies a nouns phrase in the sentence. It must have a subject and verb and it will begin with a relative pronoun like who or that.

Example: I know a person who can help you.

The first type of clause is the subject pattern clause:

In the subject pattern, the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause. These pattern clauses can both
subjects and objects of sentences:

The woman who / that spoke to us was very nice. This modifies the subject (the woman) of the sentence.

Do you know the woman who / that spoke to us? This modifies the subject (the woman) of the sentence.

 

Verbs – raise/rise sit/set lie/lay

Verbs –   raise/rise sit/set lie/lay

Let us first look at the meaning of each verb and their simple present and past tense forms.

VERB MEANING EXAMPLE PRESENT conjugation PRESENT continuous SIMPLE PAST
raise to lift to a higher position or level.

to grow or care for from birth

Raise your hands above your head.

The farmer raises chicken on his farm

I raise
you raise
he/she/it raises
we raise
they raise
raising raised
rise to go up /to stand up The students rise from their seats to say hello. I rise
you rise
he/she/it rises
we rise
they rise
rising rose
sit to put/rest your bottom/buttocks  on a hard surface Leonor sits next to Jacqueline. I sit
you sit
he/she/it sit
we sit
they sit
sitting sat
set to put something down Bawi set the books on the desk. I set
you set
he/she/it set
we set
they set
setting set
lie direction or position.

to lie down,to rest

 

 

tell a lie ==> not the truth

Tennessee lies to the West of North Carolina.

I don’t feel well.I need to lie down.

 

Do women in your country lie about their age?

I lie
you lie
he/she/it lie
we lie
they lie
lying laylied
lay to put something down Charles lays the flag on top of the grave. laying laid

Here are some examples of each:

raise

rise

  1. The school raises the US flag every morning.
  2. The students raised their hands to ask a question.
  1. The soldiers rise at 4.a.m. every day.
  2. Last summer, Sam rose at 9 in the morning.

sit

set

  1. Lina sits in front of Rosa.
  2. Last week, Ramata sat behind Jean.
  1. Jane sets the drink on her desk, every night.
  2. Last night, Leonor set the drink on the floor.

lie/lay

lay/laid

  1. Yesterday, the dog lay on the sofa.
  2. The nearest beach lies 1 1/2 hours away.
  1. My, husband usually lays his keys on the counter.
  2. Yesterday, he laid them on the refrigerator.

Fill in the blank with the correct form of: raise or rise, sit or set, lie or lay.

(lie,lay)

  1. Lisa’s cats ______________on her bed every night .
  2. Where did you ____________ my keys?

 

(lay, laid)

  1. Yesterday, the children ________ in the grass enjoying the sunshine.
  2. Last Thursday, the students __________ their homework on the teacher’s desk.

 

(lying, laying)

  1. The soccer players are ____________ down on the soccer field because they are very tired.
  2. The baseball players are ______________ down their bats because they are protesting.

 

(sitting, sat)  

  1. Yesterday, Bassem _______________ next to Younus.
  2. Today he is _____________________ next to Ceila.

 

(set, sits)

  1. The old man _____________ on the swing, listening to the birds.
  2. She ________________ the drinks on the table for the customers.

 

(rises, raising)

  1. She is __________________ her children with strong values.
  2. The sun __________________ at 6 a.m.

 

(rose, raised)

  1. When the Pope walked by, the Catholics _________________ to their feet.
  2. The Thanksgiving Turkey was _____________ on a farm in North Carolina.