Monday, May 11

Lesson 10: Are or Has? Isn't or Doesn't?

I know why you worry. When you're reading you can follow all the formulas I'm teaching you; but in the real world when you’re speaking, things are much, much faster – too fast for you to think. So, when you’re in the real situation and you’re thinking about so many things inside your head: Is my Subject Singular or Plural? I need to use a negative Verb. I also want Past Tense... Finally, you can't say anything. 

Well, this is why practice is really important. Think about it: if you were a regular speaker of English, you’d be very familiar with all the patterns, right? You wouldn’t need to think about it anymore. Everything will be just natural and automatic; a reflex action. 

"Reflex" means doing without thinking. 

Let's pause the speaking situation...

copyright Free Images / emitea

so we can see what happens inside the brain of someone speaking English. How can we make a sentence very fast?

The answer is still in the basic formulas. Remember the Center of the English Solar System in Lesson 1? It's very important because it will become your backup system when you're speaking. It's like a parachute. 
copyright Free Images / Cieleke 

But it'll work only if you already burned the formulas in your memory. In short, you need constant practice with the "English Solar System" formulas. 

Let's go inside the brain of a person speaking English. The picture below may be too simple but it's similar to your speaking / thinking situation:

When the pressure of speaking comes to you, how can you choose very fast to make good, correct sentences? Let’s take another look at our table:

Do you notice the helpful words I added at the end? The same formulas that you learned are your emergency system. They will choose the right words for you when your brain is too busy. 

For example, if you’re confused and you have to choose between “are” and “has,” or “isn’t” and “doesn’t,” you should think about the formula for each of them: 

(1) The 3 Guest Verbs (Doesn't, Don't, Didn't) will be followed only by a base verb

(2) All Be” Verbs will be followed by a Noun, an Adjective or a V+ing 

(3) All the “Have” Verbs will be followed only by a P.P.

(4) All Modal Verbs (Have, Can, Might, Must, etc.) will be followed only by a base verb

In other words, you shouldn't concentrate on the Verb itself but the word that comes after it. Don’t worry too much about which Verb you should choose but memorize it as a set, a fixed package that always comes together with the next word.

Finally, what is happening inside your head shouldn't be like this:

It should be more like this:

Many mistakes made by students happen when they break the formulas of the Verbs and the words after them. The students cut them. Like these:

He doesn’t talking. X

They aren’t come. X

Every student has had the terrible experience: the pressure, the very short moment of speaking opportunity. In fact, it is the speaking situation itself that confuses you and makes you commit a mistake.

This is the exact reason why you should try to make the “Center of the Solar System” formulas your habit. When you keep on making the same basic mistakes, it means you're not familiar with the formulas yet – your automatic support system isn't ready. Take a look:  

He    isn’t     talking.   Ok                       Be Verb  + V+ing

They   don’t  come.     Ok                      Don’t  + base verb

If you practice like this, if you focus more on the words after your Verb – the formulas as a whole, not as a half – then you don't need to worry about which Verb to choose. You can speak even under pressure. If you still can’t do it, then you need to go back to Lesson 1 “The Center of the English Solar System,” review all the lessons after it and memorize the formulas as much as you can.

Keep on learning !

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