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Hello Everyone! I hope you enjoy our new lesson with two great questions from Silvia and Mateus!
Everybody who has ever studied English before most definitely studied how to agree with what someone has said by using “either, neither and so”. What I’ve noticed is that a lot of advanced speakers of English find it hard to locate the “auxiliary” verb or modal to construct the sentence. Sound complicated? Let’s take a look:
So the dog in the picture above is saying, “I am looking forward to my next run”. What many English learners will use in their reply is, “so do I”. This of course is incorrect. You need to do a few things to find the auxiliary verb: 1. Take the sentence “I am looking forward to my next run” and change it into a question 2. Am I looking forward to my next run? 3. Now you have found the auxiliary “am” 4. Say “So am I”
What about if the sentence that is said initially is negative? This is the case in the picture above where the dog is saying to his cat friend, “I can’t wait to get some exercise”. In the negative form it’s easier for us to see that the auxiliary is “can’t”. So to agree one could say, “neither can I” or “I can’t either”. There are other higher level uses of “either/either” which I did not mention in this lesson. “Either/neither” can also be used in pairs with other words which grammarians call “co-relative conjunctions” i.e. either..or, neither..nor. These are something particular to English since many other languages simply repeat the same word. In English this would be wrong to say. For example: Or I’ll go to the mall or I’ll stay at home(incorrect). We should say: either I’ll go to the mall or I’ll stay at home. So pay attention to either…..or and neither….nor.
Our first question comes from Elias from Syria. He was curious to know how to figure out the correct pronunciation of words like “live” in different contexts. You see when we say, “I live in Vancouver”, “live” sounds like “give”. However, if use “live” in the following sentence, “I watched the World Cup live on TV” the pronunciation of “live” sounds like “five”. So you really need to identify the pronunciation of the word according to WHERE it is in the sentence. I know that’s not easy and nobody has time when they are speaking to say that sometimes “live” is a verb while other times it’s an adverb. So my best advice to you is to listen to how such words, homographs, are used in movies, TV series, music and so on. I have included a catchy song to help you remember quite a few homographs like in the next example:
You can see I am holding a musical instrument called a bass. That is pronounced as in “base”. There is also a kind of fish here in Canada called “bass” as in “pass”. So we need to look at the context of the situation. Obviously if I am fishing, we are going to use one kind of pronunciation and if I am holding a musical instrument, we need to use another. I have included a longer list of homographs below the video on Youtube.
Andrew from Ukraine, as you could hear from his recording, is already at a fairly advanced level of English. What’s missing from the equation is both listening and speaking at a fluent level. One thing that I talk about in my lesson is how we often leave out a word in a question or sentence because among native speakers, it’s mutually understood. I know for a fact from my own experience learning other languages that ellipses can happen in many language, not just English.
A fast and fluent speaker of English also needs to start thinking about how consonants and suffixes can be left off of words. When you become aware of this fact, a magical thing happens: you start to see how native speakers of English use such pronunciation all the time. My tips in my video explain in which contexts such pronunciation is appropriate.
Hey “watchya doin”? Sorry? What did you just say? Yes, as more and more English students use the internet to watch movies and TV series to learn English, they find that sometimes the English being spoken is TOO FAST! So in my lesson, I answer a question that an online English learner from China has about how to understand how native speakers talk fast in Hollywood movies. The important thing is to understand that the same question can have variations ranging from formal, what are you doing?, to extremely informal, watchya doin’? Watching my English lesson you will have some practice on how to pronounce this.
Hey everybody, hang around a little bit longer, “where ya goin’?”. This is the way friends here in North America would speak among themselves and you can see some interesting things happening in the way that we say it. First of all, “you” become “ya” and second of all “going” become “goin”. It’s important to remember that we use this way of speaking English fast to link the words together and sound more………….friendly. That’s something you can try to listen for when watching a movie. Suddenly you will be able to understand conversation better and who know, you might even be able to use this way of speaking the next time you speak to a friend who is a native speaker of English.
When you start to learn advanced English, you start to see how native speakers link words together and it seems as if they are speaking an entirely new language. However, once you understand some of these linkages, you can gain self-confidence in both your listening and speaking skills. So here we go with our next example, “Can ya gimme some ‘o tha(t). There is a lot going on in this question. Most importantly is that “give me” changes to “gimme”. You will see that there are countless songs in pop music that use “gimme” and the reason they use it is because the words flow more easily than saying “give me”. Another thing you want to pay close attention to in my lesson is how I say some words by leaving off consonants like: o(f) and tha(t).
And the linkages of words continues with our next example, “I gotta go”. This is one of my favorites since it rolls right off your tongue. Do native speakers really use it? For sure they do, just make sure you are using it with friends and not your boss or clients at work!!!! You can see in the picture here that we have, “I’ve got to go”. There seems to be a misconception among some English learners that using contractions in business English is wrong, however, I am here to tell you that “I’ve” would be entirely normal in business English. In fact, other contraction such as: I’ll, I’d, etc. are very common.
Whenever leave my home, my kitten, Sapphire, always runs out the door to see where I’m going. So you will find out in the video that I need to “keep an eye on her”. In my lesson I teach you how to say this very quickly and this was a special request from Kevin from China about how to say, “keep an eye on her” quickly.