Parts of Speech: Pronouns

(photo by WT instructor JLN)

(photo by WT instructor JLN)

Subject Pronouns

Salem is from Bangladesh. He can cook. He can cook well. He is wearing a red t-shirt. He is standing. He is cooking.”

“Salem” is the subject of the sentence. Subject perform (do) the action. Subject pronouns replace (substitute) the subject.

This video shows the 7 subject pronouns we use in English:


Singular Plural
1st person           I 1st person         We
2nd person         You 2nd person       You (Y’all in North Carolina, not New York)
3rd person          He, She, It 3rd person        They

A Few Important Points:

  • Pronouns replace (substitute) nouns. You don’t need to repeat a name 100 times (“Salem is from Bangladesh. Salem can cook. Salem can cook well.”) You DO NEED to introduce the subject, and THEN replace his name with a pronoun.
  • It is NOT NECESSARY to say both the name and a pronoun: “Salem he is from Bangladesh” is redundant. Don’t be redundant.
  • Remember “it” is for an object (pen, car) or an animal with no name (dog, elephant, etc.).

PRACTICE. Replace the noun with a pronoun.

Example: Bob –> He

1. Sarah     2. I     3. John and I     4. The zebra     5. Samuel     6. The pencil     7. The books     8. Love


Do you remember the Barney song? “I love you.  . . you love me . . . “? Here, “you” and “me” are object pronouns. Object pronouns receive the action of a verb. 

This video has a list of object pronouns:

Singular Plural
1st person           Me 1st person         Us
2nd person         You 2nd person       You (Y’all in North Carolina, not New York)
3rd person          Him, Her, It 3rd person        Them

PRACTICE. Write the object pronoun:

1. the ball     2. the girl     3. the flowers     4. the tree    5. Jamar   6. Alicia    7. Julia and Isabel  8. you

Putting it all together:

(photo by WT instructor JLN)

(photo by WT instructor JLN)

The baseball player throws the ball.

WHO throws the ball (subject)?

The baseball player.

WHAT does he throw (object)?

The ball.

He throws the ball.

He throws it.



This video uses both subject and object pronouns. Have a listen!

Practice. Write the sentences again, changing the subjects and objects for pronouns.

  1. I love my boyfriend.
  2. The girl hugs her brother.
  3. Daniel kissed Mary.
  4. You buy a book.
  5. Jason picks up the notebooks.

English All Around You: Intermediate/Advanced Version

English is everywhere! There are signs all around us.

(Photo by Mark Buckawicki)

(Photo by Mark Buckawicki)

Some signs have only pictures. Some signs have words, too.




When you can read the signs on the street, you feel good! You feel smart. You understand.

When you can’t read the signs, maybe you feel frustrated. You don’t feel smart. You don’t understand.

The Same Experience 

(photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

(photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)


I lived in Japan for two years.

Everything was in Japanese!

During my first year, I couldn’t read anything! Maybe I understood one or two words. But I didn’t understand a lot.

I felt lost sometimes.

And I felt ignorant.

I was sad.

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)



But sometimes the signs were in Japanese AND English.

I could understand.

And I felt good.

Thank you, City Planners!

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

(Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)


Be Careful 

At the same time, I knew I couldn’t rely (depend) on translations all the time.

Sometimes translations are wrong. They are bad.

Look at this t-shirt. Is this good English? (NO!!!!!)

Maybe they wanted to say, “Think and dream within your heart.” Or “You need to think and dream with your heart.” Either way, the t-shirt is not correct.

The same problem occurs in the United States. Here, we usually translate English to Spanish. It is very common to see Spanish translations everywhere.

(photo by Michael Pereckas)

(photo by Michael Pereckas)

Sometimes the translations are correct. But sometimes they are horrible! 

If you speak a different language, you probably never see your language translated anywhere.


So what is the solution?

You are doing it — studying English!

One day, you will be able to read all of the signs, all of the papers, all of the books in English with no problem. And you will be very proud of yourself!

The Legend of John Henry

Statue of John Henry (photo by Ken Thomas)

Statue of John Henry (photo by Ken Thomas)

Every country has folk tales and legends about famous people or events that happened there. A folk tale is usually not true, but is passed down generation to generation. Legends are usually traditional but maybe not 100% true. There are also tall tales. Tall tales pretend to be true, but they have many parts that are not real or unbelievable.

Today we’re going to look at the tale of John Henry. John Henry is the hero of the story. He worked on the railroad in the 1800s. From the time he was a child, he worked on the railroad. When he was an adult, he continues to work on the railroad. He helped make a tunnel through a mountain. He is famous because he worked faster than a machine!

Here is some vocabulary you might need as you read the story:


Gather = come together
Hero = a person with a lot of strength and ability
Link = connect
Powerful = strong
Steel = a very strong metal
Steel-driver = a man who cuts rock for the railroad
Drill = a tool you use to make holes
Beat = rhythm
Lightening = the light in the sky during a storm
Competition = race
Ain’t = isn’t (casual, not standard English)
Claim = to say something is true, usually without evidence
Laborer = worker
Burst = explode

Click here to read the story. You can listen to it at the same time.

John Henry is very famous in American culture. There are a lot of folk songs about him You can listen to Johnny Cash sing the song. You can read the lyrics here. (It’s 8 minutes long, so have patience!)

Here is a shorter song. It has pictures of life working on the railroad a long time ago. You can read the lyrics here.

After you read and watch the videos, try these quizzes!

Quiz 1 

Quiz 2

All Kinds of Weather

We have a saying in North Carolina: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait.”

This means that the weather changes often here. Maybe on Monday the sun is shining and it is warm, but on Wednesday it snows!

Let’s look at some weather vocabulary. Notice their part of speech. Adjectives (adj.) don’t change form. Verbs (v.) can change for past, present, future, or other tenses. Nouns (n.) don’t change. You almost always use the form: It + be + verb/adjective to describe the weather.

Click on each title for a picture description:

1. Sunny (adj.) Sun (n.)

It is sunny. The sun is shining.

2. Rainy (adj.) Rain (v.)

It is rainy. It is raining. It rains a lot in February.

3. Snowy (adj.) Snow (v.)

It is snowy today. It is snowing right now. It doesn’t snow often in Raleigh.

4. Icy (adj.) Ice (v.)

It is icy outside. When it ices, sometimes we lose power.

5. Foggy (adj.) Fog (n., uncountable)

It is very foggy tonight. There is a lot of fog. (There is a lot of fogs. X)

6. Cloudy (adj.) Cloud (n., countable)

It is cloudy today. There are many clouds in the sky.

7. Windy (adj.) Wind (n., countable, but not to describe weather):

It is windy today. There is a lot of wind.

Do you read the weather reports? The weather report (or forecast) is a prediction of the weather. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong! Let’s look at the report for next week, Monday, February 16, 2015, from

Weather forecast (screenshot by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Weather forecast (screenshot by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Answer these questions:

1. How is the weather on Monday morning?

a) snowy

b) sunny

c) cloudy

d) foggy

2. What is the chance of snow on Monday during the day?

a) 50%

b) 60%

c) 80%

d) 90%

3. How many inches (1 inch = 2.5 cm) of snow do they expect for Monday night?

a) 1-2 inches

b) 2-3 inches

c) 3-5 inches

d) 7-8 inches

4. Will it snow on Sunday?

a) yes

b) no

c) maybe

d) I don’t know

How to Read a Recipe When You Cook

Do you like to cook? What kind of food do you cook?

Lima Beans (photo by Albert Cahalan, 2005).

Lima Beans (photo by Albert Cahalan, 2005).

Today, we’re going to look at recipes. A recipe is a set of instructions for making food. There are 3 parts to a recipe: the title, the ingredients, and the instructions or directions. Let’s look at an example.

Lima Bean Recipe (from “Cooking Across the South” [Oxmoor House, 1980] photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome, 2015)


Parts of a Recipe

You can see the title is “Fresh Lima Beans.”

There are 4 ingredients. There are 5 steps to the recipe: wash, cook, drain, add, heat.

At the end of the recipe you see “Yield: 6 to 8 servings.” Yield is how much food the recipe produces. (Yes, “yield’ also means “to give way” like yielding to another car on the road, but that’s a different definition!) Here, this recipe produces enough food for 6, 7, or 8 people.

Measurement Abbreviations 

In the United States, we use a different measurement system than in other countries. Most countries use the metric system. To convert metric to U.S. or vice versa without using math, you can use a website like this one. The metric system uses meters, kilometers, grams, and liters. The U.S. system uses yards, miles, ounces, and gallons. (There are more, too!)

In the kitchen, we usually use cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons.

Tablespoons and Teaspoons (photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Cup (photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Cup (photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

A tablespoon (T. or Tbsp.) is 15 mL.

A teaspoon (t. or tsp.) is 5 mL.

1/2 a teaspoon is 2 mL.

1/4 teaspoon is 1 mL.

We usually abbreviate “cup” with a “c.”

Reading a Recipe

Recipes use the imperative tense: regular verbs with no changes. Each sentence usually starts with a verb.

Let’s practice! Look at the following recipe. In the comment section, please answer these questions:

Fried Chicken Recipe (from "Cooking Across the South," OxMoor Press, 1980) Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome, 2015

Fried Chicken Recipe (from “Cooking Across the South,” OxMoor Press, 1980) Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome, 2015

1) What is the title of the recipe?

2) How many ingredients are there?

3) How many steps are there?

4) How many people can eat the food?



Money Money Money

Last week we talked about New Year’s Resolutions. In January, many people decide to pay off debt for the year. Let’s talk about money!

How many bills are there? 

IMG_2209 IMG_2210

photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome

photos by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome

In the United States, we use dollar bills (paper money) and coins (metal money). There are seven bills: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Two dollar bills are not very common. In the past, there were bills for $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, and $100,000, but we don’t use them now.

We say $1.00 (one dollar) for one.

We say $2.00 (two dollars) for two, $3.00 (three dollars) for three, etc.

How many coins are there?

There are seven coins: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1 (Susan B. Anthony), and $1 (Golden Dollar, Sacajawea).

photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome

Quarter, dime, nickel, penny (photo by WT instructor Jaimie Newsome)

We say 1¢ (one cent) for one.

We say 2¢ (two cents) for two, 3¢ (three cents) for three, etc.

Every coin has a name. Do you know the names?

  • 1 cent = 1 penny
  • 5 cents = 1 nickel
  • 10 cents = 1 dime
  • 25 cents = 1 quarter
  • 50 cents = 1 half-dollar
  • $1 (Susan B. Anthony) = 1 silver dollar
  • $1 (Sacajawea) = 1 golden dollar

The most common coins are pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

How do you say cost? 

If there are no cents, you only say the number.

$5.00 = five dollars

$150.00 = one hundred (and) fifty dollars

If there are dollars AND cents, you have two options.


  • Option 1: five dollars (and) ninety-nine cents
  • Option 2: five ninety nine


  • Option 1: twenty-nine dollars (and) fifty cents
  • Option 2: twenty-nine fifty

PRACTICE! Write the numbers:

  1. nine hundred dollars
  2. eight forty seven
  3. twelve eleven
  4. one dollar and eighty-two cents
  5. eighteen dollars and eighty cents
  6. three hundred twenty-nine dollars and twelve cents
  7. four fifty
  8. one dime
  9. one quarter
  10. one nickel

Months of the Year

Roman Calendar (photo from Wikimedia Commons, 10/2014)

Roman Calendar (photo from Wikimedia Commons, 10/2014)

There are 12 months in the year. Every month has a name.

In some countries, months don’t have names. They have numbers. For example, in Japan, the months are 1月、2月、3月、4月、etc.

From "The Garden Year" by Sara Coleridge, picture by JLN, 10/2014 from "Treasury of Stories and Verse"

From “The Garden Year” by Sara Coleridge, picture by JLN, 10/2014 from “Treasury of Stories and Verse”


The months are:

January, February, March,

April, May, June,

July, August, September,

October, November, December.


The names of the months in English come from Rome around 753 BCE. At that time, the first month was March. The last month was December. They didn’t have month names in winter. They only had 304 days in their calendar.

  1. Martius (From Mars, the Roman god of war) – 31 Days
  2. Aprilis (From Aperire “to open”) – 30 Days
  3. Maius (From Maiesta, the Roman god of honor) – 31 Days
  4. Iunius (From Juno) – 30 Days
  5. Quintilis (From Quintus, 5) – 31 Days
  6. Sextilis (From Sextus, 6) – 30 Days
  7. September (From Septimus, 7)- 30 Days
  8. October (From Octavius, 8) – 31 Days
  9. November (From Novus, 9) – 30 Days
  10. December (From Decimus, 10) – 30 Days

Later, in 700 BCE, they added January and February, so they could have 365 days.

January is named for Janus, the god of beginnings.

February is named for Februa, a festival of purification.

Quintilis changed to July, for Julius Cesar.

And Sextilis changed to August, for Augustus.

Now, we have 12 months. The names are different than they were 2,500 years ago. And now they don’t match with their original numbers. But we still use them!

What are the months in your language? Are they similar to the Roman names?

What month is your birthday in?