I’ve recently found a new site that has some wonderful interactive books that help you learn verb tenses and other English topics.
The website, Let’s Have Fun with English, is hosted by Mrs. Haquet, a British teacher, so there is a bit of a British (UK) feel to the spelling and grammar but the American (US) version is also given. Here are the current Interactive books.
There are 8 parts of speech in English: 1) verbs, 2) nouns, 3) adjectives, 4) adverbs, 5) prepositions, 6) conjunctions, 7) pronouns, and 8) interjections. You can see all parts of speech if you click here. We will look at one each week. Last week we looked at verbs. Today we will study nouns.
What is a noun?
A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing/idea. We use a CAPITAL LETTER with proper nouns (names, cities, countries, months, day, etc.). We don’t use a capital letter with common nouns (unless they come at the beginning of a sentence).
Here are some examples:
Proper nouns: Paris, Mexico, Thursday, Ohio, North Carolina, September, Brian, Jessica, etc.
Common nouns: telephone, tree, chair, fence, dress
PRACTICE. Look at this list. Which are proper nouns? Which are common?
(ANSWERS: 2, 3, 4, and 9 are proper nouns. The rest are common nouns.)
Most nouns you can touch. But Ideas are also nouns. You can’t touch ideas. Love, hate, disagreement, peace, violence, understanding, etc. are all nouns. We don’t use capital letters with them.
Singular and Plural
Nouns can be singular (1) or plural (2 or more).
Usually, we put an “s” at the end of a noun. 1 shirt –> 2 shirts, 1 table –> 2 tables, etc. If the word already ends in “s”, we add “es.” 1 dress –> 2 dresses, 1 bus –> 2 buses. Also, if the word ends in “ch,” “sh, “x” or “z.” There are other exceptions and rules for spelling plurals here.
For -es practice, watch this video. The pronunciation is British English, but the spelling is the same.
Adjectives – Adjectives give descriptions. They describe a noun. You can read about adjectives here and here. Remember that in English, the adjective comes BEFORE the noun. Look below for comparing adjectives (Comparatives and Superlatives).
You cancount some words in English (table, chair, bag, radio) but you can’t count other words (coffee, flour, ice, peace). Sometimes it is difficult to remember what you can count and what you can’t. You can practice them here:
Sometimes an English book can help you learn a tricky grammar point or help you learn new words . Now imagine you can do the same with a fun game. Which would you choose to learn with? I think I know the answer….. let’s play!
Do you know how to ask and give directions? What do you do when you are lost? Do you have GPS? Do you ask someone for help? Here is some information about places in the community and how to ask for and give directions.
First, learn some new vocabulary. Practice with the exercises.
Community Names 1 (bakery, bank, fire station, hospital, laundromat, house, library, mall, park, pharmacy, post office, school, supermarket)
Community Names 2 (police station, parking lot, court house, airport, gym, subway, zoo, bus station, gas station, florist)
Community Names 3 (bookstore, clinic, hotel, church, city hall, museum, synagogue, cinema, mosque)
Now, watch these videos to learn how to give directions:
Don’t forget prepositions of location when giving directions. Some examples are:
Here are good sites to start learning English online. These sites have lessons: some have topics, and some have grammar. Usually there are related activities to help you practice.
Please post a comment about your experiences with them and tell us about any we missed!
This site, Learn American English Online, has 7 different levels of English instruction, divided by color. Blue is easy. Violet is difficult. It teaches American English through videos, lessons, exercises, quizzes, and activities.
Screenshot capture by JLN, 10/10/2014
USA Learns is another very helpful website. You sign up for free and start an individual course. You practice reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and listening. There are three different levels to choose from.
Screenshot capture by JLN, 10/10/2014
5 Minute English has short but helpful grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening and pronunciation lesson
Daily Classroom from Fun, Easy English has a set of lessons that span a year and will guide you step by step.
El Civics – Great site for civics lessons, ESL, life skills and holiday lessons. Most are at the beginner level but higher students can use some of the activities, too.
ESOL Courses – Has lessons on various topics at five levels of difficulty, plus interactive vocabulary games and activities. It is a British site, but it also has lessons on American culture and holidays.
ESL Partyland – Has some lessons on different topics but has many quizzes / games on grammar, idioms, slang and vocabulary at different levels of difficulty.
Let’s Have Fun with English ( Mrs Haquet’s site) – Amazing set of lessons in interactive books, games and PowerPoint presentations. Many of the interactive books combine a grammar point with another theme ( i.e Be and Have verbs with Physical Description). It does use some British English grammar and spelling but it usually points out the American equivalent too. This table is a quick way to get to the interactive books
OM Basic English Course – Provides twenty (20) lessons for beginner and low intermediate students. It has audio support for some parts. It is made for Spanish speakers and uses both Spanish and English in the lessons and directions.
REEP World – Has terrific family, health and work lessons. Also has citizenship resources and wide range of ESL links.
Web-ESL – Adult and Family Education – Has many multi-skill activities /mini lessons under broad topics of Family, Shopping, Jobs, Community, Health, Community, Transportation & Recreation, Computers, and Grammar
Welcome back to the blog! Over the past couple of months, we’ve been studying the parts of speech in English. So far, we’ve looked at different kinds of nouns, kinds of verbs, and kinds of adjectives. Today, I will try to explain adverbs. It’s a complicated category. In my imagination, this is what happened:
A long time ago, a group of men decided that the English language needed to be organized. They had a meeting, and they started creating categories for all the words. It took them a couple of hours, but they finally figured out all the different kinds of nouns. Then, after a few more hours of work, they made some tough decisions about verbs. Adjectives were pretty easy, but around the time they finished with adjectives, everyone was getting hungry. They were very tired of working, and their wives were cooking food in the kitchen. It smelled so good that they couldn’t concentrate on their work. Finally, one man said, “Let’s just put all the other words into one more category. Then we can eat.” Everyone agreed, so that is what they did.
I’m sure that’s not a true story, but it would explain why so many different kinds of words are adverbs. Basically, if a word isn’t a noun, verb or adjective, it’s an adverb. There are whole categories of words that are in the category of adverbs. For example, prepositions, conjunctions, and transition words (however, therefore, etc.) are all technically adverbs. However, if you want an easier definition, adverbs are words that give more information about verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.
There are at least 6 different kinds of adverbs:
Adverbs of Manner – These adverbs answer the question, “How?” They explain how an action is done. “How does she sing?” “How does he run?” “How does she dance?” “How do they write?” The answers to these questions are words like sweetly, slowly, beautifully, and neatly.
Adverbs of Time – These adverbs answer the question, “When?” Adverbs of time include now, today, tomorrow, soon, and the prepositions at (as in “at 6:30”), on (as in “on January 27”) and in (as in “in June”).
Adverbs of Place – These adverbs answer the question, “Where?” They include here, there, everywhere, somewhere, nowhere, and all prepositions of place.
Adverbs of Degree – These adverbs answer the question, “How much?” They usually modify (describe) adjectives and other adverbs. That means that in a sentence, an adverb of degree is followed by an adjective or adverb. Common adverbs in this category include: very, completely, quite, much, totally and somewhat. Look at these examples:
– He runs very slowly.
– She is completely selfish.
– They look somewhat alike.
– It’s quite hot today.
– He sings much better than I do.
Adverbs of Frequency – These adverbs answer the question, “How often?” They include words like always, often, sometimes, regularly, frequently, occasionally, normally, seldom, rarely, and never.
Conjunctive Adverbs – These adverbs connect the ideas in two sentences. They include however, similarly, furthermore, therefore, nevertheless, and consequently.
Now it’s your turn to practice. This video has 6 sentences for dictation. Each sentence includes an adverb of frequency. Get a pencil and some paper!
For more advanced practice, watch this video about conjunctive adverbs.