Friday, January 31, 2014

WELCOME

textbook imageWelcome to the English 177-189 Blog. English 177 is English for Academic Purposes; English 189 is English for Business. These courses may be taken separately or as part of the English Language Proficiency Program.The goal is to increase communication between students and instructors, and also provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be answered in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then e-mail your instructor. Note that some activities are more appropriate to one course or the other.

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!

A hearty welcome to all the new students joining these courses. We hope you enjoy your studies and have fun participating in this blog.

IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--first name and the initial of your last name are the only personal information you should post. Please watch this video from the Canadian Government explaining privacy issues and social networking. 

Next blog: Friday, February 14, 2014 .

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Here are some of the things happening in the few days.

February: Black History Month
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_History_Month

Feb. 2nd: Groundhog Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day

Feb. 2nd: Super Bowl XLVIII

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Bowl

Do you know of anything else that's going on? Be sure to share your knowledge!

WHAT’S NEW?

Indefinite Pronouns and Agreement:

Words that sound alike but mean something entirely different:

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

The silver, new, shiny car was drove by Tim and I when we  had gone to Western Canada seeing the Rocky mountains and some of tourist traps along the Highway; but we seen little wild animals and not a single bear: however the wild flowers had been blossoming.

1. Adjective word order: 

Adjectives usually occur in the following order: (1) evaluation or opinion, (2) appearance, (3) age, (4) colour, and (5) origin. This  gives us: shiny, new, silver … (see the online resources page in the sidebar for more information).

2. Spelling: 

words that end in “e” drop that letter before adding a “y” to form an adjective.

3. Verb tense and form: 

The correct form of the passive voice in the simple past tense is “was driven”. Also, be consistent with the verb tense when possible: change the past perfect “had gone” to “went”. Also note that “seen” is the past participle; the simple past is “saw”. Finally, instead of the past perfect progressive, use the past progressive: change “had been blossoming”  to “were blossoming” or “were in bloom”.

4. Pronoun usage: 

If the verb changes to the active voice, the construction is “Tim and I,” as it would form the subject of the verb; however, in the passive voice, these become the object, and must therefore take the objective case, “Tim and me”.

5. Infinitive/gerund: 

After the construction “go somewhere” use the infinitive, not the gerund.

6. Idiomatic usage: 

“tourist trap” is an idiom that refers to places that attract a lot of tourists.

7.  Few/Little: 

Use the word “little” with non-count nouns; with count nouns, such as “animals”, use “few”.

8. Punctuation: 

before a coordinating conjunction that separates independent clauses use a comma: change the semicolon to a comma. Unless you are expanding on an idea do not use a colon. Wild flowers are not a type of animal, so use a semicolon to separate these two independent clauses.

9. Capitalization: 

“Western” is not part of a proper name, so it should not be capitalized. You should also not capitalize “highway” unless you are referring to a specific highway. For the same reason, you should capitalize “mountains” here, as it is part of the official name of the mountain chain.



Suggested solution

The shiny, new, silver car was driven by Tim and me when we went to western Canada to see the Rocky Mountains and some of the tourist traps along the highway, but we saw few wild animals and not a single bear; however, the wild flowers were in bloom.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

I am always eating my dinner late while I get home at 8:00 pm but the food is warmed quick in a microwave we brought at a neighbours garage sale.

Solutions will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:  

1. Marrying female -> Travel on     BRIDE/RIDE
2. Marrying male -> Indoor area    GROOM/ROOM
3. Inspired -> Married                   AWED/WED
4. Couple -> Atmosphere              PAIR/AIR
5. Fetch -> Band                           BRING/RING
6. Blossoms -> Turns down           FLOWER/LOWERS
7. Gifts -> Begrudges                    PRESENTS/RESENTS
8. Uncontrolled slide -> Child        SKID/KID

New Puzzle:

What are the blended words that come from the following pairs. 

Example:    flutter + hurry
Answer    flurry.

1.  blankout + beep
2.  pain + sting
3.  haggle + tussle
4.  dumb + confound
5.  bold + rash
6.  chuckle + snort
7.  internal + communication

8.  blow + spurt 

*Note, the first person with the correct answer gets the bonus point.

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use RED:


Watch this video, and then write a sentence that uses one of these three idioms.

Try not to use the same idiom as the other posters.

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the following sentence as indicated.

Susan is still eating fruit cake from Christmas.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given, and wait until someone else has posted the next change before making another. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, Participant 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Participant 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes the direct object noun, etc.

Each participant should make just one change at a time, following the order indicated below.

When all 7 changes have been made, return to the top of the list and continue.

Changes:                                                                                                                          

1. subject noun
2. direct object noun          
3. indirect object noun                  
4. adjective(s)
5. adverb(s)    
6. verb name      
7. verb tense

AFFIXES

The word stem -graph- (meaning write) occurs in many words. 

Add an affix (either a prefix or a suffix) to this stem to make another word. 

Each participant should add a different word to the list.

*COMPLETE THE SENTENCE*

Follow the instructions below to create three different sentences from the following clause.*

... the snow fell lightly from the sky ...

Sentence 1. Add a phrase      
Sentence 2. Add a dependent clause
Sentence 3. Add an independent clause


*Add your words to the beginning or end of the clause (but not both).

*NUMBER CHANGE*

If the sentence is singular, change it to the plural; if it is plural, change it to the singular.

The athletes at the coming Winter Olympics will compete in many events on snow and ice.

*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

Use the following two words in one sentence (note the part of speech).

disproportionate (adjective)     +  antipathy (noun)

To further improve your vocabulary, remember to check out the Word of the Day
The site also has word games and puzzles.

SYNOYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe something we are guessing about as speculation

Provide a synonym and an antonym for this word. Each participant should suggest a different word.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the word discover.

In the first sentence, use the verb in the active voice; in the second sentence, use it in the passive voice.

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentences by replacing the word "today" with another time clue
Each student should choose a different verb tense.

Today we are taking the kids to see the Black History exhibit at the mall. It is open between 10 AM and 9 PM. The children are already excited and are looking forward to learning more about this aspect of history.

*SENTENCE COMBINATION*

Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important writing skill. There are many ways to do this. Try to combine the following three sentences.

Sentence 1The snow lay heavily on the ground.
Sentence 2People were shovelling their driveways and sidewalks.
Sentence 3There was little traffic on the roads until the ploughs had cleared the major routes.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

The following question is similar to the one in part 3 of the ENGL140 final exam. Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated.

Write a sentence using a dependent clause in the past perfect progressive tense and an independent clause in the simple past.

HALF-WAY THERE CHALLENGE!

This is an exercise in advanced sentence combining. It is designed for students who have completed Lesson 9 in the course.

Sentence 1: We were very worried about the latest news to come out of our homeland.
Sentence 2: Our homeland has been in the news lately because of the widespread political unrest and violence.

Grammar:

1.    Use an appositive to combine the sentences.
2.    Use a gerund to combine the sentences.
3.    Use a relative pronoun to combine the sentences.

Friday, January 17, 2014

AFFIXES

The word stem -man(u)- (meaning hand) occurs in many words. 

Add an affix (either a prefix or a suffix) to this stem to make another word. 

Each participant should add a different word to the list.

WELCOME

textbook imageWelcome to the English 177-189 Blog. English 177 is English for Academic Purposes; English 189 is English for Business. These courses may be taken separately or as part of the English Language Proficiency Program.The goal is to increase communication between students and instructors, and also provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be answered in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then e-mail your instructor. Note that some activities are more appropriate to one course or the other.

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!

A hearty welcome to all the new students joining these courses. We hope you enjoy your studies and have fun participating in this blog.

IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--first name and the initial of your last name are the only personal information you should post. Please watch this video from the Canadian Government explaining privacy issues and social networking. 

Next blog: Friday, January 31, 2014 (tentative).

WHAT’S HAPPENING

Here are some of the things happening in the few days.

Jan. 21st: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan. 24th: The Prophet Muhammad's Birthday.


Do you know of anything else that's going on? Be sure to share your knowledge!

WHAT’S NEW?

Pronouns for people and animals

Check out the debate as to whether “irregardless” is a real word, and also find out about the different types of dictionary.

Collective or group nouns in general and “companies” in particular and the pronouns used to refer to them.

Using contractions in formal writing:

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

I wasn’t understanding what he means when in a speech he has given Mr Harper was saying the funding will help them suffering from mental illness and their family’s.

1. The underlying meaning: 

What were people suffering from? The current wording suggests that both the mental illness and their families were the cause of suffering. Add some wording after “and” -- for instance: “and also help their families.”

2. Verb tense: 

Instead of the past progressive tense, which indicates that something continued to happen over time, use the simple past tense, indicating that it happened at a point in time. Change “wasn’t understanding” to “didn’t understand”.

3. Tense consistency: 

With the first verb in the simple past, keep others in the simple past, too, unless there is a good reason to change. Instead of “means” (simple present tense) use “meant” (simple past tense); instead of “has given” (present perfect) use “gave” (simple past); and instead of “was saying” (past progressive) use “said” (simple past).

4. Modal: 

For future possibility use “would”, not “will.”

5. Pronoun: 

“Them” is the 3rd person plural, direct object pronoun. In this case, use “those” to refer to people already mentioned or “understood”.

6. Plural: 

Use the plural form “families”, and not the possessive “family’s.”

7. Punctuation: 

Remember to set off a non-essential (not grammatically needed) clause such as “in a speech he has given”, and remember to use a period after the abbreviation "Mr." 



Suggested solution

I didn’t understand what he meant when, in a speech he gave, Mr. Harper said the funding would help those suffering from mental illness and also help their families.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

The silver, new, shiny car was drove by Tim and I when we  had gone to Western Canada seeing the Rocky mountains and some of tourist traps along the Highway; but we seen little wild animals and not a single bear: however the wild flowers had been blossoming.

Solutions will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:  

1) a current gift: a PRESENT PRESENT
2) a secure bank vault: a SAFE SAFE
3) a short formal statement: a BRIEF BRIEF
4) a fragile supply ship: a TENDER TENDER

New Puzzle:

You will be given clues for two words. 
Removing the first letter of the first word will reveal the second word. 

Example: Begin -> Sour
Answer: Start and Tart.

1. Marrying female -> Travel on
2. Marrying male -> Indoor area
3. Inspired -> Married
4. Couple -> Atmosphere
5. Fetch -> Band
6. Blossoms -> Turns down
7. Gifts -> Begrudges
8. Uncontrolled slide -> Child

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use words for GOLD:


Watch this video, and then write a sentence that uses one of these three idioms.

Try not to use the same idiom as the other posters.

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the following sentence as indicated.

The excited children eagerly awaited Santa at the mall.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given, and wait until someone else has posted the next change before making another. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, Participant 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Participant 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes the direct object noun, etc.

Each participant should make just one change at a time, following the order indicated below.

When all 7 changes have been made, return to the top of the list and continue.

Changes:                                                                                                                          

1. subject noun
2. direct object noun          
3. indirect object noun                  
4. adjective(s)
5. adverb(s)    
6. verb name      
7. verb tense

*COMPLETE THE SENTENCE*

Follow the instructions below to create three different sentences from the following clause.*

... this is the first month of the year ...

Sentence 1. Add a phrase      
Sentence 2. Add a dependent clause
Sentence 3. Add an independent clause


*Add your words to the beginning or end of the clause (but not both).

*NUMBER CHANGE*

If the sentence is singular, change it to the plural; if it is plural, change it to the singular.

For dessert, I would like to have a large glass of milk, two chocolate-chip cookies, and some cheesecake.

*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

Use the following two words in one sentence (note the part of speech).

posthumously (adverb) + colloquial (adjective)


To further improve your vocabulary, remember to check out the Word of the Day
The site also has word games and puzzles.

SYNOYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe something that serves our purposes as being expedient

Provide a synonym and an antonym for this word. Each participant should suggest a different word.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the word do.

In the first sentence, use the verb in the active voice; in the second sentence, use it in the passive voice.

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentence by replacing the word "last month" with another time clue
Each student should choose a different verb tense.

Last month, I was waiting outside for my friend to come over so we could go to the park together, when the clouds suddenly gathered and the rain started pouring.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

The following question is similar to the one in part 3 of the Engl 140 final exam. Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated.

Add an independent clause with a modal that has a present meaning to the following dependent clause:


... now that January is finally here ...

HALF-WAY THERE CHALLENGE!

This is an exercise in advanced sentence combining. It is designed for students who have completed Lesson 9 in the course.

Sentence 1: The students eagerly exchanged information about how to work together on the presentation they were making.

Sentence 2: They posted their information and ideas to a wiki they had created specifically for that presentation.

Grammar:

1.    Use a gerund to combine the sentences.
2.    Use an infinitve to combine the sentences.    

Thursday, January 16, 2014

*SENTENCE COMBINATION*

Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important writing skill. There are many ways to do this. Try to combine the following three sentences.

Sentence 1The shopping malls are now getting ready for Valentine’s Day.
Sentence 2The Christmas decorations are finally being taken down.
Sentence 3No sooner is one festival and its promotions over than the next one is coming.

Friday, January 3, 2014

WELCOME

textbook imageWelcome to the English 177-189 Blog. English 177 is English for Academic Purposes; English 189 is English for Business. These courses may be taken separately or as part of the English Language Proficiency Program.The goal is to increase communication between students and instructors, and also provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be answered in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then e-mail your instructor. Note that some activities are more appropriate to one course or the other.

WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!

A hearty welcome to all the new students joining these courses. We hope you enjoy your studies and have fun participating in this blog.

IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--first name and the initial of your last name are the only personal information you should post. Please watch this video from the Canadian Government explaining privacy issues and social networking. 

Next blog: Friday, January 17, 2014 (tentative).

WHAT’S NEW?

Canadians have a particular challenge when it comes to spelling, since we are exposed to both the British and the American conventions. 

Here’s an article about the most common words that suffer from inconsistent spelling:


And here's a video about a couple words that often get confused -- Lightning and lightening:

PREVIOUS GRAMMAR QUESTION

On those short winter days over the Christmas and new year holiday, much people enjoying resting at home and eat traditionally foods; turkeys and all trimmings, the fruit cakes, the plum pudding, and minced meat pies. To sit by the fire is also a benefit as the weathers usually cold than but some people are liking participating in winter sport.

1. Determiner error: 

As we are in winter right now, the short days are close at hand, so use "these" instead of "those." Some people may not have taken this paragraph to be about this winter in particular. In that case, "those" may be correct.

2. Capitalization: 

New Year is a proper noun, so it needs capital letters.

3. Quantifier error:

 "Much" is used with uncountable nouns. Since "people" can be counted, use "many."

4. Verb form:

For typical or repeated activity, use the simple present tense. People "enjoy" things. And since they enjoy things, you need a noun as the object. In this case, we need the gerund: enjoy "resting" and "eating"

5. Word form error: 

Before a noun use an adjective not an adverb. Change “traditionally” to “traditional.”

6. Punctuation:

Since "traditional foods" is followed by a list of examples, you should use a colon to introduce them. a dash would also be appropriate here.

7. Plural or singular: 

Most people need only one turkey and one fruit cake, so keep these nouns singular.

8. Article use:

"All the trimmings" is an idiom that takes the definite article ("the"). "Fruit cakes" and "plum puddings" may also use the definite article (to indicate that these are familiar kinds of foods), but the result is a little stiff.

9. Word form:

This is tricky. The correct word is 'mincemeat.' It sounds the same as 'minced meat,' but is quite different. Mincemeat is a mixture of fruit in a sweet sauce.

10. Gerund or infinitive: 

"To sit" is grammatically correct, but it is more usual to say "sitting" in this context.

11. Noun or adjective: 

"A benefit" is correct, but the more usual usage here would be the adjective "beneficial."

12. Word form: 

"Weathers" is not a plural; here the meaning is "weather is" which can be contracted to "weather’s."

13. Word confusion: 

When you are referring to a time, use “then.” “Than” is a word used in comparisons.

14. Verb tense: 

This is similar to (4) above. When something is generally true use the simple present tense and not the present progressive, change "are liking" to "like."

15. Punctuation: 

“But” introduces an independent clause, so use a comma before it.



Suggested solution

On these short winter days over the Christmas and New Year holiday, many people enjoy resting at home and eating traditional  foods: turkey and all the trimmings, fruit cake, plum pudding, and mincemeat pies. Sitting by the fire is also beneficial as the weather’s usually cold then, but some people like participating in winter sport.

*GRAMMAR QUESTION*

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

I wasn’t understanding what he means when in a speech he has given Mr Harper was saying the funding will help them suffering from mental illness and their family’s.

Solutions will be posted in the next edition of the blog.

PUZZLE

Solution to the previous puzzle:  

1. Gesëende Kersfees -- Africaans
2. Boas Festas -- Portugese
3. Prajeme vám veselé Vianoce a šťastný nový rok -- Slovak
4. Glaedelig Jul -- Danish
5. Felice Navidad -- Spanish
6. Hyvää Joulua -- Finnish
7. Joyeux Noel -- French
8. Froehliche Weihnachten -- German
9. Kala Christouyenna -- Greek
10. Mele Kalikimaka -- Hawaiian
11. Bada Din Mubarak -- Hindi
12. Nollaig Shona Dhuit -- Irish
13. Boun Natale --Italian
14. Shinnen omedeto -- Japanese
15. Kuwa na Krismasi njema -- Swahili
16. Sung Tan Chuk Ha -- Korean
17. Linksmu Kaledu -- Lithuanian
18. Feliz Navidad -- Spanish
19. Natale hilare -- Latin
20. Maligayang Pasko -- Tagalog
21. Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia -- Polish
22. Feliz Natal, Gajan Kristnaskon -- Esperanto
23. Srozhdestovm Kristovym -- Russian/Ukranian
24. Suksun Wan Christmas -- Thai
25. Chuc Mung Giang Sinh -- Vietnamese
26. Nadolig Llawen -- Welsh

New Puzzle:

Some words can be used as both nouns and adjectives. In this teaser, you will be given a definition. That definition can be replaced by a single word that is used twice, once as an adjective, the other as a noun.

For example: "a 12 inch podiatrist specialty" is a "foot foot".

Given the following four definitions, what are the corresponding doublets?

1) a current gift
2) a secure bank vault
3) a short formal statement
4) a fragile supply ship

IDIOMS

There are three idioms that use words for insects:


Watch this video, and then write a sentence that uses one of these three idioms.

Try not to use the same idiom as the other posters.

*ALL CHANGE!*

Change the words in the following sentence as indicated.

In January, people often resolve to give more money to charity.

Please change only the exact word in the sequence given, and wait until someone else has posted the next change before making another. Each participant should build on the changes made by the previous participant.

For instance, Participant 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Participant 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes the direct object noun, etc.

Each participant should make just one change at a time, following the order indicated below.

When all 7 changes have been made, return to the top of the list and continue.

Changes:                                                                                                                            

1. subject noun
2. direct object noun            
3. indirect object noun                    
4. adjective(s)
5. adverb(s)      
6. verb name        
7. verb tense

AFFIXES

The word stem -dict- (meaning say or speak) occurs in many words. 

Add an affix (either a prefix or a suffix) to this stem to make another word. 

Each participant should add a different word to the list.

*COMPLETE THE SENTENCE*

Follow the instructions below to create three different sentences from the following clause.*

...the Christmas and New year’s celebrations are over for another year...

Sentence 1. Add a phrase        
Sentence 2. Add a dependent clause  
Sentence 3. Add an independent clause


*Add your words to the beginning or end of the clause (but not both).

*NUMBER CHANGE*

If the sentence is singular, change it to the plural; if it is plural, change it to the singular.

The instruction is for me to wait outside the apartment for my friend to arrive with necessary equipment; then I am to take the equipment into my room and set it up for the experiment.

*VOCABULARY*

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. 

Use the following two words in one sentence (note the part of speech).

complement (verb)  +  substantive (adjective)

To further improve your vocabulary, check out the Word of the Day

The site also has word games and puzzles.

SYNOYMS AND ANTONYMS

We can describe people who are strong minded as being opinionated

Provide a synonym and an antonym for this word. Each participant should suggest a different word.

*ACTIVE vs. PASSIVE*

Write two sentences using the word talk.

In the first sentence, use the verb in the active voice; in the second sentence use it in the passive voice.

*TIME CHANGE*

Change the time in the following sentence by replacing the word "yesterday" with another time clue. Each student should choose a different verb tense.


I see out of the window that the trees are blowing in the wind; I notice garbage and dead leaves are being tossed around by the wind, and even the birds seem to be in hiding as not even one flies about outside.

*SENTENCE COMBINATION*

Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important writing skill. There are many ways to do this. Try to combine the following three sentences.

Sentence 1People have survived both Christmas and the New Year celebrations.
Sentence 2Many people probably ate far too much food and are now trying to lose weight.
Sentence 3Good times with friends and families often involve eating too much food.

BUILD-A-SENTENCE

The following question is similar to the one in part 3 of the Engl 140 final exam. Write a sentence using the vocabulary and grammar indicated.

Add an independent clause in the future perfect progressive tense to the following dependent clause:

By the time January 31st  arrives, ...

HALF-WAY THERE CHALLENGE!

This is an exercise in advanced sentence combining. It is designed for students who have completed Lesson 9 in the course.

Sentence 1: Many people in Edmonton are disappointed with their football team.
Sentence 2: Many think that nothing much has changed even though money has been spent and trades have been made.

Grammar:

1.    Use an appositive to combine the sentences.
2.    Use a gerund.
3.    Use a relative pronoun.