Thursday, April 23, 2009

Song: You Can Get It If You Really Want

Learning English isn't easy, but if you try very hard, you can do it! This song was recorded in 1972 by Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff.

You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
But you must try, try and try,
Try and try. You'll succeed at last!

Persecution you must bear.
Win or lose, you've got to get your share.
Got your mind set on a dream -
You can get it, though hard it may seem now!

You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
But you must try, try and try,
Try and try. You'll succeed at last!
I know it! Listen:

Rome was not built in a day.
Opposition will come your way.
But the hotter the battle, you see,
It's the sweeter the victory, now!

You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
But you must try, try and try,
Try and try--you'll succeed at last!

You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
You can get it if you really want.
But you must try, try and try,
Try and try--you'll succeed at last!

You can get it if you really want - I know it!
You can get it if you really want - Don't I show it?
You can get it if you really want - Don't give up now!
Keep on trying!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some & Any

In this video, Paul explains the difference between some and any.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Song: I'll Follow the Sun

Another Beatles song that sings of the future is "I'll Follow the Sun." Notice how may is also used to express future possibility (maybe something will happen = something may happen):

One day you'll look to see I've gone.
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
Some day you'll know I was the one.
But tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go.
And though I lose a friend,
In the end you will know, oh.
One day you'll find that I have gone.
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
Yes, tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go.
And though I lose a friend,
In the end you will know, oh.
One day you'll find that I have gone.
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Future with WILL

English doesn't have a future tense, so it makes use of modals (will, may, might...), idioms (be going to, be about to...), present tenses (present progressive, simple present) and verbs like and plan and intend to talk about future time.

Like all modals, will is followed by the simple (root) form of the verb:
The semester will end on April 29.

To make a negative, add not after the modal:
There will not be any classes after April 24.

(Contraction: will + not --> won't)

To make a question, reverse the subject and modal:
Will you go back to your country in the summer?

We use will to make predictions about the future and to express spontaneous (unplanned) decisions.

Example of a prediction:
The economic crisis will last for a long time.

Example of a spontaneous decision:
I'll help you with your homework.

To review, watch Paul's explanation of the "simple future using will".

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Song: I Will

This is the original Beatles recording of the love song by Paul McCartney:


Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to--I will.

For if I ever saw you,
I didn't catch your name,
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same.

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart.

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air.
Sing it loud so I can hear you.
Make it easy to be near you,
For the things you do endear you to me
You know I will
I will.

Friday, April 10, 2009


An infinitive is another kind of verbal that functions like a noun in a sentence. It can be the subject (but this is not very common) or the direct object (after certain verbs only!). However, the infinitive is never the object of a preposition. Only a gerund can follow a preposition.

Infinitive as subject: To remember all these grammar rules is not easy.
Infinitive as direct object: I want to remember the rules.

Infinitives and infinitive phrases can also express reason or purpose (why someone does something).

Infinitive of purpose: I am taking this course to improve my English.

Watch Paul's short explanation about infinitives:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


A verbal is a word made from a verb but which functions as a different part of speech in a sentence. Participles, gerunds, and infinitives are all verbals.

A gerund is a verbal formed by adding -ing to the root form of a verb. It functions as a noun. Like a noun, a gerund can be the subject of the sentence, the direct object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.

Gerund as subject: Doing homework is not fun.
Gerund as direct object: I don't like doing homework.
Gerund as object of a preposition: Many students are against doing homework.

In these examples, the gerund "doing" is followed by its object, "homework." This is called a gerund phrase.

In this video, Paul explains about gerunds.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Modals are a special kind of auxiliary (helping) verb. We use modals to express things such as
  • future time (will)
  • ability (can, could)
  • possibility (may, might, could)
  • necessity (must)
  • advice (should)
The main verb after the modal must be in the simple (root) form. Never use a gerund (Ving) or infinitive (to V) after a modal!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Irregular Verbs

This PerfectEnglish video will help you with the pronunciation of the most common irregular verbs. By the way, in American English, the past participle of "get" is "gotten"--not "got."

Paul's video does the same thing, but with pictures to help you remember the meaning of the verbs:

The Past Tense of Regular Verbs

Watch these short videos by Paul to review the formation of affirmative statements, negative statements, and questions in the simple past tense.

1. Affirmative statements: Ved

2. Negative statements: didn't V

3. Questions: did ... V ?

In the next two videos, you can review the rules for pronouncing the -ed ending.

The first one, from RebeccaESL, is quite short, but it includes all three pronunciations.

This one from Paul is a little longer. It has some details about how voiced and unvoiced (voiceless) sounds at the end of the verb change the pronunciation of the -ed ending. Paul does not talk about the /id/ pronunciation of -ed, however.

4 Kinds of Nouns

This video by Studio4Learning is an advanced review of the 4 types of nouns:
  1. common nouns
  2. proper nouns
  3. compound nouns
  4. collective nouns
The video is for native speakers of English, so the speakers talk fast. Can you understand them?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Song: Conjunction Junction

This Schoolhouse Rock video is about the seven coordinating conjunctions. The lyrics follow the video.

Conjunction Junction

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

Hooking up words and phrases and clauses

Conjunction Junction, how’s that function?

I’ve got three favorite cars that get most of my job done

Conjunction Junction, what’s their function?

I got and, but and or:

They’ll get you pretty far.

And: that’s an additive, like this and that

But: that’s sort of the opposite, not this but that

and then there’s or: O-R, when you have a choice, like this or that

and, but, and or get you pretty far!

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

Hooking up two boxcars and making them run right

Milk & honey, bread & butter, peas & rice

Hey, that’s nice!

Dirty but happy

Digging and scratching,

Losing your shoe and a button or two

He’s poor but honest, sad but true

Boo hoo hoo hoo

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

Okay, now: 2 cars to one when you say something like this.

Choice: either now or later

Or no choice: neither now nor ever

Hey, that’s clever!

Eat this or that; grow thin or fat

(Never mind, I wouldn’t do that; I’m fat enough now!)

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

Hooking up phrases and clauses that balance,

Like “out of the frying pan and into the fire”

“He cut loose the sandbags, but the balloon wouldn’t go any higher.”

Let’s go up to the mountains or down to the sea

You should always say “thank you” or at least say “please.”

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

Hooking up words and phrases and clauses in complex sentences like

“In the mornings, when I am usually wide awake,

I love to take a walk through the gardens and down by the lake,

where I often see a duck and a drake,

and I wonder as I walk by just what they would say if they could speak

although I know that’s an absurd thought.”

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

Hooking up cars and making them function

Conjunction Junction, how’s that function?

Like tying up words and phrases and clauses

Conjunction Junction, watch that function!

I’m going get you there if you’re very careful

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

I’m going to get you there if you’re very careful.

Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?

I’m going to get you there if you’re very careful.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Coordinating Conjunctions and Compound Sentences

You already know 4 common coordinating conjunctions. There are 3 more coordinating conjunctions: for, nor, yet. They are less common. This video will help you to remember all seven coordinating conjunctions. (This video has no sound.)

Remember: To form a compound sentence with a coordinating conjunction, do this:
1st independent clause + comma + coordinating conjunctions + 2nd independent clause

IC + , + cc + IC

A simple sentence has a subject and a predicate (verb + everything that is not the subject = predicate). The subject can be simple or compound, and the verb can be simple or compound.

A simple sentence with a simple subject and a simple predicate:

The teacher left the room.

A simple sentence with a compound subject and a simple predicate:

The teacher and the students left the room.

A simple sentence with a simple subject and a compound predicate:

The teacher left the room and went to lunch.

A simple sentence with a compound subject and a compound predicate:

The teacher and the students left the room and went to lunch.

In a simple sentence, all of the subjects come before all of the verbs.

In this video, Jesse Franzen explains how you can put two simple sentences together to make a compound sentence. You use a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, so) between the sentences.

Example: The halls are long, but they are narrow.

In a compound sentence, there is a subject or subjects between the verbs.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Past Tense

The past form of BE is was/were.

New York was cold last week.
Miami wasn't cold last week.
Was Washington, DC cold last week? Yes, it was.
Was San Diego cold last week? No, it wasn't.

In this video, Paul explains the past tense of the verb be:

Most English verbs are regular in the past tense. That is, the past form is V + ed.

Example: They work every day. They worked yesterday.

Some verbs are irregular. You must memorize the past tense form.

Example: They go home after class every day. They went home after class yesterday.

All English verbs (except for be) are regular in the negative (did not + V) and question (Did + Subject + V...?).

In this video, Paul explains about be and do (did) in the past tense:

For a more complete review of the formation of the past tense in English, watch this video from JenniferESL:

Here is Part 2 of the lesson:

Part 3 of the lesson reviews past tense forms and question words:

The last part of the lesson talks about questions about the subject (e.g., What happened?) and questions with BE. It also has pronunciation rules for the -ed ending:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Possessives: Adjectives and Nouns

In this short video, Paul explains about possessive adjectives:

1st person: my / our
2nd person: your
3rd person: his / her / its / their

Give me my book!
Our class has six students.
What is your name?
Willie usually brings his lunch.
Nina is visiting her sister.
The dog is licking its paw.
The students do their homework.

In this longer video by Corey Branigan and Adam Sharkey, we learn about the possessive form of singular nouns. To make a noun possessive, we usually add 's to the noun.

For example, the possessive form of Nina is Nina's.

English speakers usually use the 's with nouns for people and animals. We use 's less often for things.

Now watch the video:

To make the possessive form of a plural noun, add only the apostrophe (') if the noun already ends in s:

For example:
The teacher collected the students' papers after the test.
The children's artwork is on display in the cafeteria. (Children is an irregular plural and does not end in -s.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Song: Singin' in the Rain

This is Gene Kelly's original performance of "Singing in the Rain" from the 1952 movie of the same name. Kelly's character is happy because he is in love.

The lyrics are here:

I'm singin' in the rain
Just singin' in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again
I'm laughin' at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain

Dancin' in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I'm happy again!
I'm singin' and dancin' in the rain!

I'm dancin' and singin' in the rain...

(Note: In the speech of many Americans, the -ing ending of the present participle is pronounced IN instead of ING. The spellings dancin' and singin' reflect this pronunciation.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Song: Tom's Diner

This song was written and performed by Suzanne Vega. It has many examples of the present progressive! The song is about a few minutes in a woman's life, when she goes to a diner for a cup of coffee. (A diner is a kind of simple restaurant.)

Here are the lyrics:

I am sitting
In the morning
At the diner
On the corner

I am waiting
At the counter
For the man
To pour the coffee

And he fills it
Only halfway
And before
I even argue

He is looking
Out the window
At somebody
Coming in

"It is always
Nice to see you,"
Says the man
Behind the counter

To the woman
Who has come in
She is shaking
Her umbrella

And I look
The other way
As they are kissing
Their hellos and

I'm pretending
Not to see them
And instead
I pour the milk

I open
Up the paper
There's a story
Of an actor

Who had died
While he was drinking
It was no one
I had heard of

And I'm turning
To the horoscope
And looking
For the funnies

When I'm feeling
Someone watching me
And so
I raise my head

There's a woman
On the outside
Looking inside
Does she see me?

No, she does not
Really see me
'Cause she sees
Her own reflection

And I'm trying
Not to notice
That she's hitching
Up her skirt

And while she's
Straightening her stockings
Her hair
Has gotten wet

Oh, this rain
It will continue
Through the morning
As I'm listening

To the bells
Of the cathedral
I am thinking
Of your voice...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Using the Simple Present and Present Progressive with the Verb "Think"

JenniferESL's video compares the use of the simple present and the present progressive with the verb think. This video is also advanced.

More Present Progressive (Advanced)

This video by reviews the rules we have studied about the present progressive (also called the present continuous) and adds some new rules. For example, it explains that we sometimes use the present progressive to talk about the future:

"She is going to Paris next week."

In addition, we learn that with certain time expressions such as always and repeatedly, we sometimes use the present progressive instead of the habitual present:

"My friend is always interrupting me when I study."

(It is also correct to say, "My friend always interrupts me when I study."

Cartoon: Present Progressive

In this cartoon, the coyote (a kind of wild dog or small wolf) keeps trying to kill his enemy the roadrunner (a kind of bird). Does he succeed?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Present Progressive

We use the present progressive to talk about actions in progress or temporary actions.

(The present progressive is also called the present continuous.)

We form the present progressive with BE (am, is, or are) + Verb + ing.
For example:
I am posting videos on the blog.
You are visiting the blog.
We are studying present tenses this month.

This very short video by Bonazar introduces the present progressive:

In this video, Paul reviews the form of the present progressive.

In this Real English video, you can see examples of the present progressive ("What are you wearing?" "I'm wearing....") and practice color and clothing vocabulary.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Song: Why Do Fools Fall in Love?

Frankie Lymon wrote this song in 1956 when he was only 13 years old! In this video, Diana Ross, the lead singer of the Motown group The Supremes, performs the song. How many present tense questions can you hear?

Here are the lyrics:

Why do birds sing so gay,
And lovers await the break of day?
Why do they fall in love?
Why does the rain fall from up above?
Why do fools fall in love?
Why do they fall in love?

Love is a losing game.
Love can be a shame.
I know of a fool, you see,
For that fool is me.
Tell me why, tell me why.

Why do birds sing so gay
And lovers await the break of day?
Why do they fall in love?
Why does the rain fall from up above?
Why do fools fall in love
Why do they fall in love?

Why does my heart skip a crazy beat,
For I know it will reach defeat?
Tell me why, tell me why.
Why do fools fall in love?
Tell me why, tell me why.

Now listen:

Differences Between BE and DO in the Present Tense

In this video, Paul explains some differences between be and do, in affirmative, negative, and interrogative (question) sentences.

Habitual Present Tense Questions

Here is another Real English video from Mike Marzio. Listen to native English speakers in different countries answer questions in the habitual present tense. The interviewers ask questions with "How often...?" and "How long...?" Notice the use of the helping verb do/does.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

Today the campus is closed because of snow! At my house, we got up late and had a special breakfast. We watched the news on TV and cleared the snow from the driveway. I like snow days!

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

At 1:00, Mohammed, Willie, Mohammed, and I met at Tapped In for an extra class. Thanks for coming, guys! I enjoyed chatting with you.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

This, That, These, Those

We use this and that for singular nouns: this book/that book
We use these and those for plural nouns. these books/those books

We use this and these for things that are near.
We use that and those for things that are far.

Watch this silly video by english4u, a British teacher in Saudi Arabia, to see the difference:

Watch Paul's video to learn how to pronounce the th sounds in this, that, these, and those.

This, that, these, and those are adjectives when they come before a noun:
  • I want this book. I don't want that book (or that one).
  • These videos are good for reviewing grammar. Those videos have English songs.
This, that, these, and those are pronouns when there is no noun after them.
  • What is this?
  • Please give me some of that.
  • These are my friends.
  • I want those.

"Do" and "Does" as a Helping Verb

Paul explains how we use the verb do/does to make negatives and questions in the simple present tense.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Auxiliary ("Helping") Verbs and Main Verbs

We use auxiliary verbs to form different verb tenses and aspects.

We use do to form negatives and questions in the simple (habitual) present. (Remember, if the subject is 3rd person singular--he, she, it--use does.) The main verb after do/does is in the root (simple) form.

Barack Obama does not live in Chicago now.
(In speech, you can contract does + not => doesn't)

I do not understand Arabic.
(Contraction: do + not => don't)

Where do you live?

Does Mary attend classes at the University of Maryland?

We use the past tense of do--did--to form negatives and questions in the simple past.
We use did for all persons. The main verb after did is in the root (simple) form.
The contraction of did + not => didn't.

Jack did not do his homework.
Did the teacher write the homework on the board?

We use be as an auxiliary verb to form the present and past progressive (continuous). Use the present form (am, is, are) for the present progressive. use the past form of be (was, were) for the past progressive. The main verb after any form of be is in the present participle (Ving) form.

Remember! Both do and be can also be main verbs.

The students do their homework.
The students are in class every day.

In this video, Paul talks about the auxiliary verbs do and be and main verbs:


Here is another video by dgb111. It is about adjectives (words that describe nouns). You will recognize some of the adjectives from our vocabulary work in the OPD, like hungry and angry, as well as some new ones. Watching the video will help you to remember the words and to pronounce them correctly.

Fruits and Vegetables

This little video by dgb111, an English teacher in Mexico, will make you hungry!

There are a few spelling mistakes: broccoli, tomato, cantaloupe, and zucchini are correct. Also, some speakers pronounce orange as one syllable, as dgb11 does, but other speakers (like me) pronounce it as 2 syllables: o-range.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Song: Hero

Mohammed AA suggests that I post this music video of a love song by Enrique Iglesias. The grammar in this song is advanced, but I think you can get the idea! If you have any questions, ask me.

By the way, "I just wanna to hold you" should be "I just want to hold you."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Simple (Habitual) Present Tense: Negatives

In this video, Paul explains how to make negative sentences in the simple (habitual) present tense.

Song: Tell Me Why

Mohammed AQ has shared this beautiful music video with us. "Tell Me Why" is not only a beautiful song; its words are simple, and there are many examples of the habitual (simple) present tense! You can enjoy the music and practice grammar at the same time. The artist is the young British singer, Declan Galbraith. Enjoy!

Declan Galbraith - Tell Me Why ( with Lyrics) - More free videos are here

PS "Cos" is an informal spelling of "because". Also, as you know, we normally capitalize the subject pronoun "I".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

This Real English video models the American pronunciation of cardinal numbers 1 - 15 and 10 - 100 (counting by by tens). Then you will hear some ordinal numbers from 1st (first) to 31st (thirty-first).

AT, ON, IN: Prepositions of Time

We use at for clock time:
  • at 11:00 a.m.
  • at 2:30
  • at noon (or midnight)
We use on for days and dates:
  • on Monday
  • on Mondays (=every Monday)
  • on February 23rd
We use in for longer periods of time:
  • in March
  • in 2004
  • in the 21st century
Watch this RebeccaESL video for a review of these prepositions of time:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Daily Routines

Here is a cute video about things we do every day. There are a few mistakes; can you find them?

Video by Kamil Gunay (Turkey)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Song: Shower the People

Here's another James Taylor favorite:

James' message is that when you love a person, you should tell them and show them!
(There are a few mistakes in the words.... ask me!)

The Verb BE (Questions)

To make a question with the verb BE, just reverse the subject and the verb, like this:

I am --> Am I...? (Am I right?)
We are --> Are we...? (Are we late?)
You are --> Are you...? (Are you okay?)
They are --> Are they...?(Are they in class?)
He is --> Is he...? (Is he in the library?)
She is --> Is she...? (Is she at home?)
It is --> Is it...? (Is it Wednesday?)

Review with Paul by watching the video below:

The Verb BE (Negatives)

Negative forms of the verb BE in the present tense, with contractions:

I am not (I'm not)
We are not (We're not/We aren't)
You are not (You're not/You aren't)
They are not (They're not/They aren't)
He is not (He's not/He isn't)
She is not (She's not/She isn't)
It is not (It's not/It isn't)

I'm not a student. You're not a teacher. We aren't in class on weekends. Mohammed and Mohammed are from Qatar. They're not from Korea. They aren't from Taiwan. Willie is from Taiwan. He isn't from China. Myong Heui is from Korea. She's not from Vietnam. In Australia, it is hot in February. It isn't cold.

For a review of BE in the negative, watch Paul's next video:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Where Are You From?

Michael Marzio teaches English in France. Michael has a wonderful website, Real English. There are videos of real people speaking English. Some of them are good for beginners, like this one:

The Verb BE

I am (I'm)
You are (You're) ...
He is (He's)...
She is (She's)...
It is (It's)...

We are (We're)...
You are (You're)...
They are (They're)...

Watch Paul's first video for a review of the present tense of the verb be.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pleasure Reading

Now that you have your library books, you can begin your Pleasure Reading Program. You will
  1. Choose a target amount of time for pleasure reading (15 - 45 minutes)
  2. Read every day (7 days a week! No days off from reading!)
  3. Read at the same time every day (when possible)
  4. Complete your Student Reading Record for each book that you read (even if you don't finish it).
If the book is too hard (you need your dictionary a lot), change it.
If the book is boring (you don't like it), change it.
When you have finished all your books, go back to the library, return them, and choose more books.

Click here for the Prince George's County Memorial Library System.
Click here to renew your books. You will need to log in to the system with
  1. your barcode (from your library card, with no spaces between the numbers) and
  2. 1 + your 10-digit telephone number (e.g., 13014957239 or 12403647865 or 14107735690)
Ask me for help if necessary.

Remember: return your books by the due date (3 weeks after you got them) or renew them (online or at the library).

Please leave a comment on this post telling me how many minutes you plan to read every day.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Song: You've Got a Friend

Here is a better (more recent) performance of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend," sung by James Taylor. The lyrics are:

When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care,
And nothing, oh nothing is going right,
Just close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up oh even your darkest night.

You just call out my name,
And you know, wherever I am,
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall--
All you've got to do is call on me
And I'll be there yeah, yes I'll be there.
You've got a friend.

If the sky high above you should grow dark and full of clouds
And that old cold north wind should begin to blow,
Just keep your poor head together now, now
And call my name out loud.
Pretty soon I'll be knocking on your door.

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am,
I'll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall now,
All you've got to do is call,
And I'll be there yeah, yes I'll be there.

Oh, ain't it good to know you've got a friend?
When people can be so cold
They'll hurt you, yes, and desert you.
Well, they'll take your soul if you let them--
But don't you let them.

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am,
I'll coming running as fast as I can to see you again.
Oh darling, don't you know about
Winter, spring, summer, or fall now
All you've got to do is call,
And I'll be there yeah, yes I'll be there.
You've got a friend.
You've got yourself a friend in me.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend?
I said everybody here tonight
No matter how low you've got to go sometime,
To take some consolation in one thing:
Ain't it good to know, yeah yeah yeah--
You've got a friend.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Here's a Schoolhouse Rock video all about prepositions! The lyrics are below the video. All the prepositional phrases are in bold type.

Like a butterfly or like a bee
Like an ant as busy as can be
These little words we call the busy Ps:
Nine or ten of them do most all of the work
Of, on, to, with, in, from, by, for, at, over, across--
And many others do their job,
Which is simply to connect
Their noun or pronoun object
To some other word
In the sentence.
Busy Ps, if you please
On the top is where you are
(top relates to “where”)
With a friend you’ll travel far
(With a friend you'll go)
If you try you’ll know that you can fly over the rainbow
(Over the rainbow is where you can fly)
Busy prepositions,
Always on the go
Like a bunch
Of busy bees
Floating pollen on the breeze
Buzzing over the meadows
Beyond the forest, through the trees
Into the beehive--
Busy, busy Ps
Into, beyond, over, on, through!
Busy prepositions always out in front
On the edges, in the crack,
Around the corner, from the back,
In between the action,
Stating clearly to your satisfaction
the location and direction.
Prepositions give specific information.
Though little words they are,
They never stand alone
Gathering words behind him you soon will see
How they have grown into a parade:
A prepositional phrase,
With a noun or at least a pronoun bringing up the rear
A little phrase of 2 or 3 or more words.
Prepositions! Attention! Forward--march!
Busy prepositions, always on the march,
Like a horde
Of soldier ants
Inching bravely forward on the slimmest chance
That they might better their positions.
Busy, busy prepositions,
In the air, on the ground, everywhere--
The sun sank lower in the west.
In the west it sank,
And it will rise in the morning and will bring the light of day.
We say the sun comes up in the east every day.
In the east it rises.
Busy prepositions
Busy busy busy
On the top is where you are.
(On the top)
If you try you know that you can fly
(Fly where?)
Over the rainbow.

Subject and Object Pronouns: Pronunciation

Here is a short video from Paul about subject pronouns and object pronouns. Listen to Paul's pronunciation and repeat!

Different Kinds of Nouns

There are 2 kinds of nouns:
  1. Common nouns (teacher, students, school...)
  2. Proper nouns (Rachel, Mohammed, Maryland English Institute...)
Capitalize common nouns at the beginning of a sentence:
Example: S
tudents and teachers come to school.

Always capitalize proper nouns!
Example: Rachel and Mohammed are at the Maryland English Institute.

There are 2 kinds of common nouns:
  1. Count nouns (sandwich, book, song...)
  2. Non-count nouns (meat, paper, music...)
Count nouns have a singular form (1 sandwich, book, song...) and a plural form (2 sandwiches, 3 books, many songs...).

Non-count nouns have only 1 form. You can't count them. (WRONG: 1 meat, 2 musics...)

Study the vocabulary on pages 66-67 of the Oxford Picture Dictionary (OPD).

Count Nouns: egg/eggs, vegetable/vegetables, grocery bag/bags, shopping list/lists, coupon/coupons

Non-count nouns: fish, meat, chicken, milk, butter, fruit, rice, bread, pasta

Watch Paul's video for more information:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Parts of Speech

Here are some important kinds of English words ("parts of speech"):

  1. A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. (Examples: Mary, student, country, France, book)
  2. An adjective modifies a noun. (Examples: good, large, interesting)
  3. A verb is an action. (Examples: read, learn, eats, goes, forgot, walked)
  4. An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. (Examples: usually, very)
  5. A preposition shows the relationship between two things. (Examples: of, to, on, before, about)
  6. A conjunction connects two or more things. (Examples: and, but, so, when, while)