Tuesday, November 26

Media Expressions





In this modern age, we are surrounded by mass media. And we are always so close to experiencing information overload.



Mass media means the programs that are spread widely to the public by transmission.


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Mass media include TV, radio, newspaper, films and the Internet. A blog like “Cool Elf” is also one form of mass media.



Today we’re going to learn some practical expressions to talk about different kinds of media.




1. TV



Should we put the Articlethe” with the word “TV” ?  



Many learners are confused about this. And they should be.



It might look like a small thing because “the” is such a short word, but it has a really big effect. There’s a very big difference between “TV” and “the TV.” Your meaning and situation will become strange if you use the wrong one.



TV(without article) means the different TV shows or programs that you can watch.


Ex.


I watch TV every night.


I watch the news on TV every night.



On the other hand, “the TV” means the TV set or the machine that you use.


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Ex.


I will bring the TV to the repair shop. ( = the TV set)


I placed my cup on the TV. ( = on the machine)


Can you please turn on the TV? ( = the machine)



As you can see, you will make a strange meaning if you add “the” when it’s not needed.  


Ex.

I watch the TV. = X



The sentence above means that you are watching the machine itself, not what is inside the machine. Maybe the TV set is turned off and you are not watching any TV show or program.



But why would you watch the machine? Maybe because you’re worried that somebody will steal it? In any case, this sentence is strange.



Let’s have another example:



I saw my friend on the TV. = X



The sentence above is also wrong because it means that your friend was not inside the TV, not in the TV show or the news.  Instead, your friend was on top of the machine itself.




The next time you use “TV” or “the TV,” please be careful. Don’t mix them up because they have very different meanings.



TV = shows, programs


The TV = machine





2. Radio



Surprisingly, although “TV” and “radio” might seem similar, the grammar rules about them are completely opposite.



When we talk about TV shows, we use the word “TV (no “the”).



But when we talk about radio programs, we should always put “the.”



I always listen to the radio. ( = radio programs)


I listen to the news on the radio.





3. Internet



Radio” and “TV” might be opposite when we use them. But “radio” and “Internet” are not.



Just like with the word “radio,” when we say “Internet,” we should always add “the.”



I like to browse the Internet.


I often surf the Internet.


You can find many useful things on the Internet.



Most likely, this is because there is only one Internet in the whole world (the global interconnected network).



But sometimes if you want to talk about the Internet as a utility like water or electricity, you can omit “the.”


Ex.


Do you have Internet? ( = Internet connection / access)



But most of the time, like I said, it’s better to say “the Internet.”



Lastly, when you want to talk about the Internet, it’s a good idea to combine the right Verbs with it.



Please practice:

browse + the Internet


surf + the Internet



In fact, you probably realize that Google Chrome, Yahoo, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox are all called “browsers.” Because we use them to “browse” the Internet.



The word “browse” means to look around casually or randomly (without an exact plan). You are not looking for anything in particular.


Ex.


Location: In the book shop


Sales person: Can I help you?


You: No thanks. I’m just browsing.
( = just looking around)





4. Movie vs. The Movies



The difference between “movie” and “movies” is another big source of confusion for learners. They can’t understand why native speakers sometimes use the Singular form (movie) and sometimes the Plural (movies).



Take a look:


I will watch a movie tonight.


I will go to the movies tonight.



Both sentences above are correct. Can you notice the difference between them?



If you notice the difference between them, you will know how to use “movie” and “movies.”

.

.

.

The answer is the Verb. The Verb is different inside the 2 sentences.



In the first sentence, the Verb is “watch” or “see.” But in the second sentence the Verb is “go.”



So,

watch + a movie


go to + the movies



Why? Why are they different?



This is because when we say “movie,” we mean the film. On the other hand, when we say “the movies,” we mean the place, cinema, or movie theater.



In short,


movie = film


the movies = cinema



Now when you talk about movies, you already know how to make a sentence. Just combine the right Verb to the right form, Singular or Plural.



Please keep in mind:


watch + a movie


go to + the movies





5. The Paper



The word “paper” is usually an Uncountable Noun. This means that:


Can I have a paper? = X


There are many papers on the floor. = X



A student should learn to practice:



Can I have a piece of paper? = Ok


There is a lot of paper on the floor. = Ok



Please remember that “paper” is Uncountable.



But there are a few special cases when the word “paper” becomes Countable. They are:



1. as a document or important file


There are many papers piled up on her desk. = Ok


2. as a newspaper


I read the paper every morning. = Ok



As you can see, you can also use the word “paper” with the meaning of “newspaper.”



In this case, you should add the article “the” because you are talking about one exact brand of newspaper that you read regularly. It could also be a daily activity and you have a subscription.




If you’d like to read more information about the Article the” and how to use it (ex. the lion, the piano), just click: 







Hope You Learned Something!

Keep on learning !












Wednesday, November 20

The Day after Tomorrow





Have you watched the movie “The Day after Tomorrow” ?



It’s a disaster* movie that became popular in 2004.


*disaster = a sudden event such as a flood, storm, or accident which causes great damage

ex.

natural disaster, air disaster (plane crash), nuclear disaster, etc.




In the movie, the bad effects of global warming became so terrible that a new Ice Age covered the earth.



Copyright Twentieth Century Fox




For some non-native speakers of English, the phrase “the day after tomorrow” may sound very serious and dramatic because of this movie. But in fact, “the day after tomorrow” is just a common expression to talk about time.




Basic Time Expressions



First, take a look at our basic time expressions:



0

today
this morning
this afternoon
this evening
tonight
this week
this month



Now change them to the future:


0

1
today
tomorrow
this morning
tomorrow morning
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
this evening
tomorrow evening
tonight
tomorrow night
this week
next week
this month
next month



Just be careful about “tomorrow” and “next.” Sometimes we have to use one and sometimes we have to use the other.



But aside from that, the future time expressions are quite easy.



Now, let’s change them to the Past:


-1
0

1
yesterday
today
tomorrow
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
yesterday evening
this evening
tomorrow evening
last night
tonight
tomorrow night
last week
this week
next week
last month
this month
next month



You will notice that the past of “night” is different from “morning,” “afternoon” etc. Please remember this point.


-1
0

1
yesterday
today
tomorrow
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
yesterday evening
this evening
tomorrow evening
last night
tonight
tomorrow night
last week
this week
next week
last month
this month
next month




2nd Level



If you extend the table further, you will see why “the day after tomorrow” is a common expression after all.


0

1
2
today
tomorrow
the day
after
tomorrow



And if you extend it further backwards, you will start to see the pattern.


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
tomorrow



You can also shorten “the day after tomorrow” into just “the day after.” And you can shorten “the day before yesterday” into “the day before.”



Like this:


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after




Follow the Pattern



First, remember the pattern:


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after



You can follow the same pattern for the other time expressions.


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
the morning
before
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
the morning
after



Got it?



Here’s another example:


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
the morning
before
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
the morning
after
the afternoon
before
yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
the afternoon
after



Now it’s your turn. Please practice making time expressions by supplying the missing words below:


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
the morning
before
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
the morning
after
the afternoon
before
yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
the afternoon
after
?

?
this evening
?
?



Do you know the answers?



... Here they are:


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
the morning
before
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
the morning
after
the afternoon
before
yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
the afternoon
after
the evening before

yesterday evening
this evening
tomorrow evening
the evening
after



Did you get all the answers right?



If so, congratulations! If not, you need to review the original pattern and practice:


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after




Night Time



How about this? What do you think the correct time expressions are?


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
the morning
before
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
the morning
after
the afternoon
before
yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
the afternoon
after
the evening before

yesterday evening
this evening
tomorrow evening
the evening
after
?
?
tonight
?
?




Like I said, you should be careful about “night” because it’s a little different from the others.



This way:


-2
-1
0

1
2
the day
before
yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
the morning
before
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
the morning
after
the afternoon
before
yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
the afternoon
after
the evening
before

yesterday evening
this evening
tomorrow evening
the evening
after
the night
before
last night
tonight
tomorrow night
the night
after



In fact, if you make the complete expressions, you will see the big difference:



the day
before
yesterday

yesterday
today
tomorrow
the day
after
tomorrow
the morning
before
yesterday

yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
the morning
after
tomorrow
the afternoon
before
yesterday

yesterday afternoon
this afternoon
tomorrow afternoon
the afternoon
after
tomorrow
the evening
before
yesterday

yesterday evening
this evening
tomorrow evening
the evening
after
tomorrow
the night
before
last
last night
tonight
tomorrow night
the night
after
next




Last Night, Last Week, Last Month, Etc.



Our Pattern # 2 is used for other time expressions like “week,” “weekend,” the names of the seasons, “month,” “year,” etc.



Take a look:


the night
before
last
last night
tonight
tomorrow night
the night
after
tomorrow
the week
before
last
last week
this week
next week
the week
after
next



Here are the more examples:



the week
before
last week
this week
next week
the week
after
the weekend
before
last weekend
this weekend
next weekend
the weekend
after
the summer
before
last summer
this summer
next summer
the summer
after
the month
before
last month
this month
next month
the month
after
the year
before
last year
this year
next year
the year
after






Hope You Learned Something!

Keep on learning !









Any Questions?

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