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.