Sunday, September 30

Sleep English










Did you sleep well last night?
;-)




Today I’m going to teach a couple of Prepositions, and some Vocabulary related to everyone’s favorite hobby: sleeping.  




First of all, when you want to say “go to sleep,” you should say:



go to bed  

ex. I’m going to bed.



Don’t say:


go to the bed  X

ex. I’m going to the bed. X



This means move or walk to the piece of furniture called “bed.” But not sleep.




You should also say:



be in bed ( = sleeping)

ex. I was in bed.



Don’t say:


be in the bed X

ex. I was in the bed. X



This means that your bed ate you. Or you were squashed between the mattress and the bed.




So you don’t need to use “the” or any Article when you’re talking about the meaning of sleep.




Similarly, we don't use the Preposition "on" here because it doesn't mean the act of sleeping. 






10 Sleeping Positions 
(for Singles!)




To teach a few Prepositions in an amusing way, I drew some pictures that demonstrate sleeping positions.


(Yes, I can draw.)


Here they are:




Position # 10:


sleep on my back



Position # 9:


sleep on my belly



Position # 8:


sleep on my side



Position # 7:

curl up



Position # 6:


cuddle / snuggle



Position # 5:


tuck myself in




Position # 4:


Swan Lake



Position # 3:


toss and turn
(this means you can’t sleep)



Position # 2:


 dead to the world



Position # 1:


dangle over the edge



Position # 0:


fall off / over the edge
(happens when you’re drunk)





What's your sleeping position? 





Hope you learned something!

Keep on learning !












Thursday, September 27

The Same Spelling, Different Word




images courtesy of stock.xchng



Have you ever heard of “Heteronyms”?



Heteronyms” are words in English, maybe a pair or a group, that have the same spelling but with different pronunciation and meaning.



First, take a look at the different forms of Verbs below:




infinitive


past simple

past participle
work
worked
worked
eat
ate
eaten
swim
swam
swum



Now, look at the different forms of the Verbread”:




infinitive

past simple

past participle
read
read
read



How did you pronounce the words? It’s important how you pronounce them because they’re not the same:


Ex.


I read a book every day. (= reed)


I read a book yesterday.  (= red)



You must've experienced it yourself while doing oral reading with your teacher. This kind of words with the same spelling but with completely different pronunciation is indeed very confusing.




The word “live” is sometimes like this.



Try to read the two sentences below:



  •     He lives in a beautiful mansion.


  •     The lives of many soldiers depend on their government.



Did you feel how you should pronounce them? Although the word “lives” looks exactly the same, there are in fact two different ways to pronounce it:



  •    He lives in a beautiful mansion. (=livz)


  •  The lives of many soldiers depend on their government. (=lahyvz)



The first is the Verblive” and it’s in the third person singular form. The second one is a Noun and it's the plural form of “life.”



Here’s another pair of examples:



  •     They live in a beautiful mansion. (= liv)



  •    The concert was live. (=lahyv)



The first is the Verblive” again, third person plural form, while the second one is an Adjective. This Adjective means “performed directly or in person, not broadcasted etc.”




Like I said, these words, which have exactly the same spelling but have different pronunciations and meanings, are called “Heteronyms.”



Any learner who has experienced reading heteronyms has felt confused. They ask themselves: Why is it like this? Why are there two different ways of reading the same word? And why are there two possible meanings? Is it normal?



The answer is yes, this is perfectly normal in English. In fact, written languages in the world also have some words like this. For example, Mandarin has characters that look the same but have different pronunciation and meaning.



Many things in language and communication happen on the subconscious level. This means we say things but sometimes we just can’t explain why we express them in that certain way.



Meaning isn’t limited to only one. An expression has many possibilities. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it’s bad. It’s bad because there is room for confusion, but it’s also good because listeners get meaning not only from the expression, but also from the whole situation where we made that expression.



In short, people get meaning from “context.”



Context” means the story or situation inside which we said our expression.



People make and acquire meaning from context. We all do this quickly and unconsciously. It’s a natural, important part of communication.



So, next time you’re having a hard time with Heteronyms, don’t focus on the word but look at the situation or the context instead. From it, you can get what the correct meaning is – and how you should pronounce the word.



Here are some context clues that can help you:


Ex.


I read a book every day. (=> many regular actions)


I read a book yesterday (=> only one past action)




He lives in a beautiful mansion.

(=> the word before the Heteronym is a Pronoun, so the Heteronym must be a Verb)


The lives of many soldiers depend on their government.

(= the word before the Heteronym is an Article, so the Heteronym must be a Noun)




They live in a beautiful mansion.

(= the word before the Heteronym is a Pronoun, so the Heteronym must be a Verb)


The concert was live.

(= the word before the Heteronym is a Be Verb, so the Heteronym must be an Adjective)



***************



Here’s a list of other Heteronyms in the English language. Because they're Heteronyms, of course they have different pronunciation. You might know how to pronounce some of them, but not all of them. And it’s impossible to know the right pronunciation just by reading them on your own.



I suggest using your electronic dictionary or free Internet dictionaries to listen to the proper pronunciation of each word. You will realize how different they are. Just click the symbol next to the word in the dictionary.



The symbol looks like this:









Some Heteronyms in English


absent (Adjective)

close (Adjective)

conduct (Noun)

console (Noun)

desert (Noun)

does (Noun)

dove (Noun)

invalid (Noun)

lead (Noun)

minute (Noun)

object (Noun)

permit (Noun)

present (Noun)

produce (Noun)

project (Noun)

protest (Noun)

separate (Adjective)

subject (Noun)

suspect (Noun)

tear (Noun)

use (Noun)

wind (Noun)


absent (Verb)

close (Verb)

conduct (Verb)

console (Verb)

desert (Verb)

does (Verb)

dove (Verb)

invalid (Adjective)

lead (Verb)

minute (Adjective)

object (Verb)

permit (Verb)

present (Verb)

produce (Verb)

project (Verb)

protest (Verb)

separate (Verb)

subject (Verb)

suspect (Verb)

tear (Verb)

use (Verb)

wind (Verb)





Hope you learned something!

Keep on learning !











Any Questions?

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