Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Present Progressive for Future Meaning

Here's one little British English video about using the present progressive to talk about planned future events.

Here is another explanation about using the present progressive to talk about planned future events. This one is also in British English.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Song: I'm Gonna Miss Her

Here's a song by country singer Brad Paisley. It's about a man who loves fishing more than he loves his girlfriend!  Notice the pronunciation of -ing as 
/ɪn/ (instead of /ɪŋ/); this is common in certain kinds of spoken English.  Also, the word lookee instead of look is a typical of certain kinds of speakers. "Catch hell" means that she will be very angry with him. "I've got a bite" means that he has a fish on his line.

Here are the lyrics:

"I'm Gonna Miss Her"

Well, I love her,
But I love to fish.
I spend all day out on this lake,
And hell is all I catch,
But today she met me at the door (and)
Said I would have to choose;
If I hit that fishing hole today,
She'd be packing all her things,
And she'd be gone by noon.

Well, I'm gonna miss her
When I get home,
But right now I'm on this lake shore,
And I'm sitting in the sun.
I'm sure it'll hit me
When I walk through that door tonight.
Yeah, I'm gonna miss her
Oh, lookee there, I‘ve got a bite!

Now there's a chance that if I hurry,
I could beg her to stay,
But that water's right,
And the weather's perfect.
No telling what I might catch today!

So I'm gonna miss her
When I get home,
But right now I'm on this lake shore,
And I'm sitting in the sun.
I'm sure it'll hit me
When I walk through that door tonight.
Yeah, I'm gonna miss her
Oh, lookee there, another bite

Yeah, I'm gonna miss her
Oh, lookee there, I’ve got a bite.

Talking About the Future: BE + GOING + TO + VERB

Watch this very short video on Real English. The top video has no captions; the bottom video has captions. Watch either, or both.

In the Learn American English Online series, there is a 5-minute lesson on BE + GOING + TO + BE. It includes some information about pronouncing GOING + TO.

This 3-minute video gives examples of using BE + GOING + TO + VERB, BE + VERB + ING (present progressive) and VERB(s) (simple present) to talk about the future, and shows how they are all a little different. It is more advanced.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Song: Tom's Diner

This song is 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.) 

Suggestion:  First, watch the video. Then play the video while you read the lyrics. Notice the verbs! Finally, watch the video again.

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...

4-5 Simple Present vs. Present Progressive AND 4-6 nonaction verbs

After you study the chart on page 106, watch this screencast. Then do exercises 20, 23, and 24 (pages 107 - 110).

After you study the chart on page 111, watch this screencast. Then do exercise 27 (page 112).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Present Progressive: Negatives and Questions

Here is a screencast for Chart 4-3 (p. 99), about making negative sentences with the present progressive.

And here is a screencast for Chart 4-4 (p. 102), about making questions with the present progressive.

After you study the charts and listen to the screencasts, please do exercises 12 (pp. 99-100) and 15 (p. 102) for homework.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Tomorrow morning at 2 a.m., we lose one hour as we turn our clocks forward to Eastern Daylight Time. Most timepieces and computers do this automatically, but you may need to change your watch or clock yourself. You can do this before you go to bed tonight, or after you wake up tomorrow morning. Don't be late to class on Monday!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Present Progressive Tense (BEG 4-1)

Here is a link to the screencast for Chart 4-1, BE + -ING: The Present Progressive Tense.

Please watch the screencast and study the chart on page 92 of your book. We will do the exercises in class on Monday.

Spelling Rules for VERB + ING (BEG 4-2)

Here is a link to the screencast for Chart 4-2, Spelling of -ING

Watch the screencast and study the chart on page 97 of your book. We will do the exercises in class on Monday. The present participle (V+ing) form of all verbs is regular, but you need to know how to spell it, so you must memorize these four spelling rules. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

(Mostly) Irregular Past Tense Forms

The first video models the simple and past forms of common irregular verbs. 

This 6-minute video works like flashcards. First, you see the simple form of a verb. You say or write the past form. Then you see the past form on the screen. There are some irregular verbs that are not in the 7 groups in BEG, and there are a few regular verbs (to keep you on your toes).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Podcast: Talking About Food

Listen to this week's podcast, and find out what's in my refrigerator, what's on my shopping list, and what's for dinner tonight.

Here's the script, with the count nouns in blue and the noncount nouns in red:

Hello, and welcome to the 001 podcast. This is Nina Liakos, and today I’d like to talk about food. In class this week, we studied count and noncount nouns. We also learned how to use the words A, AN, THE, MUCH, MANY, A LITTLE, A FEW, A LOT OF, SOME, and ANY with count and noncount nouns. Talking about food is a good way to practice these things, because many foods—but not all—are noncount nouns.

There isn’t much food in my refrigerator today.  There are some eggs and some almond milk. There’s a head of lettuce. There are a few tomatoes, half a cucumber, some carrots, some celery, a kiwi, an apple, a grapefruit, a very ripe banana, and some lemons. There’s some bread, and I made a pot of bean soup this morning. We had some soup for lunch, but there’s a lot of soup left.  We will eat it this week. There’s some garlic and there’s some cheese, some yogurt, some butter, some margarine, and some sliced turkey. My husband likes to eat turkey sandwiches for lunch.

We need to go grocery shopping! This is what we need to buy: a bag of onions,  some spinach, one or two bunches of  kale, and a head of green cabbage;  a lot of fruit—probably kiwis, grapefruit, apples, and a bunch of bananas. My husband wants some feta cheese, my daughter wants some blueberry muffins for breakfast, and I want some hummus. I love to eat celery with hummus.

What’s for dinner tonight? Maybe a quinoa salad.  You mix some quinoa with lightly cooked carrots, broccoli, and peas. Mix in some chopped tomato and cucumber, and add some nuts and dried fruit, like raisins, cranberries, or chopped apricots. Make a dressing with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It’s really good!

That’s all for today. Thanks for listening!


Here is a video about using some and any.  It's in British English, so it uses the word rubber for eraser. Also, remember that it's OK to use some in questions.

You can learn some words for different kinds of fruit in this video:

They are not pronounced for you, but if you don't know how to pronounce them, look them up in your dictionary!

If your favorite fruits are not named here, look them up in an Arabic - English dictionary (or use Google Translate) and learn them.