Welcome to the AEC ESL Blog
Can you remember the first time that you saw snow? How old were you? Where were you? How did you feel? Do you even remember? If you want to go down memory lane, take a look at the writing from two ERV students. They describe seeing snow for the first time, in wonderful, descriptive detail.
The weather has been so unpredictable this semester that we have no idea if we are going to have any more snow this winter. If we do, tell us what you think of snow. And, do you remember your first time in the snow?
The level two students are at it again! This time they have written about their families, and what a great job they have done! What descriptive and detailed writing!! As you read, the love that these students have for their families is abundantly clear!
Click on each name to read about his or her family. When you talk to others, how do you describe your family?
Look at the previous post about describing families. In that post students wrote about their families, and described their cities and countries. In these descriptions, they used apostrophes to show possession by a noun. For example, we say “the boy‘s pet”, NOT, “the pet of the boy.” By placing the apostrophe “s” after the noun, it shows that the child possesses the pet. Another example is, “the man’s car”, instead of “the car of the man”. Again, the apostrophe “s” shows possession by the noun; in this case, the man possesses the car.
The only complicating factor when using possessive nouns is determining whether the noun is singular or plural. That determines the actual placement of the apostrophe. Using the same example from the above paragraph, “the boy’s pet” is singular. There is only ONE boy. If we say “the boys’ pet”, it is plural, and it means there is more than one boy, but still, only one pet. For plural possessive nouns, place the apostrophe after the “s”.
For nouns that end with the letter “s”, place the apostrophe after the “s”. For example, with the name Jones, to show ownership, or possession, place the apostrophe after the “s”. In a sentence, it would look like this: Mr. Jones’ house is big. (There is only ONE Mr. Jones, and his house is big.)
Possessive Noun Checklist:
- Possessive nouns are used with proper names, objects and ideas
- Place possessive nouns directly before the noun they modify
- Form the possessive noun using an apostrophe before ‘s’ in the singular
- Form plural possessive nouns by placing an apostrophe after ‘s’
- Note the placement of an apostrophe to check whether the possessive pronoun is singular or plural
There are several places you can review and practice using possessive nouns. Just click on the link:
Now, you give it a try. Change the appropriate words in the sentences to possessive nouns.
Example: The children of my friends are getting married. My friends’ children are getting married.
- The hair of my daughter is long.
- The parents of the children are very nice.
- The friend of my mother is very old.
- The temperature of the classroom is cold.
- The climate of North Carolina has been unpredictable this winter.
Due to the inclement weather, Wake Tech will be closing at 1:00 PM today.
Please check this site for updates, or www.waketech.edu
Ten years have passed since Facebook started! Can you believe that? I am posting a link to a CNN graphic that tells a story about Facebook; it says how many people use it, what countries are using it, and what they like about it. Take a look at the graph! Just click on this link: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/03/tech/social-media/facebook-graphic/index.html?hpt=hp_t3
The evolution of Facebook from 2004-2014, shown in one minute, thirteen seconds!
Vocabulary words from the CNN graphic:
- spawn=create, produce
- class action suit=a legal suit by a group of people
- aggregate= verb: bring together noun: the sum, collective unit
- roll out=introduce, implement
- public offering=when shares of a company are sold to the public
- Do you use Facebook?
- Do you think Facebook is a positive technology tool?
- What do you think about the privacy settings on Facebook? Are they enough, or do they need stronger privacy settings?
- How do you think Facebook will be used for business in the future?
- What do you think of the picture of the Obamas?
- How much time do you spend on Facebook every day?
- What other social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc.) do you use?
- Do you think social media really connects people, or does it isolate them?
Leave your answers in the Comments section. We want to hear what you think about Facebook! Thanks!
Last week we posted about using gerunds. This week let’s review the use of gerunds and infinitives in a little more detail.
A gerund is a verb + -ing and functions as a noun. Examples: I like dancing. He knows studying English is difficult. They put off traveling to Ukraine until there is peace in the country.
An infinitive is to + verb. In English we don’t use two conjugated verbs next to each other in a sentence. We use an infinive or gerund. For example, we don’t say “I like swim.” We say “I like to swim.” In this example, like is the main verb, and to swim is the infinitive. Examples: I hope to be fluent in English by the end of the year. She refuses to give in to the demands for money from her sister. She expects to be a success in soccer. He decided to ask her to marry him.
|GERUND: A gerund is the -ing form of a verb. It is used as a noun.*||INFINITIVE:An infinitive is to + verb*||Verb + gerund OR infinitive*|
|A gerund can be a subject, object, object of a preposition, in an adverbial phrase, or used in expressions with go.||An infinitive is used after certain verbs, after an object, after certain adjectives, certain expressions with it, and to show a purpose.||Some verbs are followed by either a gerund. Example:It started to rain.It started raining.They have the same meaning. You can use either form.|
|Common verbs followed by gerunds:EnjoyFinishQuitMindPostponePut offKeep (on)Consider
|Common verbs followed by infinitives:Want, need, would like, would love, hope, expect, plan, intend, mean, decide, promise, offer, agree, refuse, seem, appear, pretend, learn (how), try, (can’t) afford, (can’t) wait||Common verbs followed by either a gerund OR an infinitive: BeginStartContinueLikeLoveHateCan’t stand|
*Now, take a look at these sentences, and see if you can use the correct form of the verbs. Use the correct form of these verbs: be, buy, give, eat.
- Hassan promised not ________________________ late for the wedding.
- The Millers can’t afford _______________________ a house.
- My fried offered ___________________________ me some money.
- I try _______________________ on time to class every day.
- Tommy doesn’t like broccoli. He refuses__________________ it.
*from Azar Grammar
The night level 2 class read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein last week. They also dramatized the story. This story is a childhood classic, and a wonderful book to read to, or with, your children! Thank you Bee for a wonderful class! Scroll down the page for a recording of the book and a popular song called “The Giving Tree”. The BEST things on this post are the students acting out the story!!
Many words in English can take different forms. One example of that is what is called a gerund. It is when a verb functions as a noun. It usually has an -ing ending on it.
In English we don’t use two verbs next to each other. They must either be separated by the word “to” (that’s called an infinitive), or we use a gerund; that’s when -ing ending is added to the word. For example, we don’t say “I like run.” We either say “I like to run.” (infinitive), or “I like running.” (gerund)
Next week we are going to talk about both infinitives and gerunds, but today, let’s start with gerunds!
To form a gerund, you just add -ing to the end of the verb. For example, take a look at this chart:
|Verb||Add -ing = gerund or participle|
Now, let’s use these words in sentences. The verbs are in RED. The gerunds are in BLUE. Can you tell the difference between the two sentences?
I swim every day. I like swimming every day.
I eat lunch at 12:00. Eating lunch is an enjoyable activity.
I think about my wife all day. Thinking about my wife makes me happy.
Click on this link to learn more about gerunds. We’ll be practicing them more next week too!
And here is a more in depth discussion about gerunds, and when to use gerunds or infinitives. We’ll be talking about those next week!
If you want to practice using gerunds, you can try these exercises.
Nancy’s level 2 class wrote about their favorite holidays and some even illustrated their work. Didn’t they do a great job? Very descriptive! What is YOUR favorite holiday, either here in the United States, or in your native country? And, to see their writing up close, just click on the picture!
Everyone has a cell phone today! You can’t go anywhere without seeing people talking on the phone! Think about it. What’s the weirdest place you have seen someone talking on the phone? I can think of more than a few!!
Cellphones are indeed ubiquitous and research shows that although most users think they have good mobile manners, many people report being irritated or annoyed by the use of the phones in public places. It’s not the technology that is the problem, it’s the user. That’s us!
So, what is the best way to use your phone and yet be considerate and polite too? Here are some general guidelines you can follow when using your phone in a public place.
ESL Class. Cell phone use is not allowed in class. Please put your phone on vibrate, or, better yet, turn it off until break time or after class.
Personal Problems. Don’t discuss personal problems in places where others can hear you. Wait until you have privacy to have this type of conversation.
Public spaces. It is considered very rude to speak loudly on cell phones anywhere, including outdoors, but especially in enclosed, public places such as trains, restaurants, museums, waiting rooms, and elevators. If you notice that people are not speaking at all, take your call outside and speak only as loudly as required to make yourself heard to the person you are calling. It’s a good idea to try and keep a distance of ten feet or more if you must talk on the phone in a public space. And please, don’t walk and text at the same time!
Restrooms. It is considered uncouth to make phone calls in a rest room (and I bet you have all witnessed it too!).
Theatre/Cinema/Place of Worship. If you are part of an audience talking on your phone is out of the question! Having it ring is also bad form. Texting is rude in this circumstance also – but it is less likely to raise ire if done quickly and quietly to inform someone of a delay, or that the program has started. Younger people are more likely to think nothing of texting wherever they please, but that does not mean that it is accepted.
- Having your phone make noise or light up in a dark environment will anger people even though they may not immediately say something. It is policy in some movie theaters to eject you without a refund for texting. Being assaulted for ignoring requests to stop this behavior is also not wholly outside the realm of possibility.
Car. Do not text and drive, of course. To be safe, it’s best to use a hands free device if you need to talk on your phone while you are driving.
Restaurant. Be a respectful companion. Put your cell phone away, and don’t talk on the phone in a restaurant. If you must take a call, excuse yourself, have a brief conversation, and quickly return to your dining companion.
Gym or Public Park. Don’t try and talk on the phone while you are exercising. It is distracting to those around you, and probably not very enjoyable for the person talking to you.
Want to rate your own cell phone etiquette? Take this little quiz and see how you stack up?
ubiquitous = being everywhere
uncouth = crass, not polite
brief = short lived
stack up = compare to others
pet peeve = the thing that annoys you the most
What is your pet peeve about cell phone use? Tell us in the comments!