Friday, September 25, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Song: "I Will Survive"

A man leaves his girlfriend or wife; she is devastated at first, but after a while, she becomes stronger and learns how to get along in life without him. Then he comes back, expecting her to take him back--but she doesn't want him anymore. Gloria Gaynor made this song popular in the 1970s, but it's still a great song! Read the lyrics, paying attention to the different verb tenses.

At first I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
Without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
Thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along

And so you're back
From outer space
I just walked in to find you here
With that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock
I should have made you leave your key
If I'd have known for just one second
You'd be back to bother me

Go on, now go
Walk out the door
Just turn around now
'Cause you're not welcome anymore
Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not I--

I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
And I'll survive
I will survive, hey hey
...

It took all the strength I had
Not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend
The pieces of my broken heart
And I spent oh so many nights
Just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
But now I hold my head up high

And you see me
Somebody new
I'm not that chained-up little person
Still in love with you
And so you felt like dropping in
And just expect me to be free
But now I'm saving all my loving
For someone who's loving me

Go on, now go
Walk out the door
Just turn around now
'Cause you're not welcome anymore
Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not I--

I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
And I'll survive
I will survive, oh
...

Go on, now go
Walk out the door
Just turn around now
'Cause you're not welcome anymore
Weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh no, not I--

I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love
I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
And I'll survive
I will survive
I will survive...


[from http://lyrics.doheth.co.uk]

Now watch the video of Gloria Gaynor singing "I Will Survive."

The Difference Between WILL + V and BE GOING + TO V

Briefly, we use will and be going interchangeably when we make predictions, like "What is the weather going to be like tomorrow?" = "What will the weather be like tomorrow?" There is no difference in meaning when we make predictions.

On the other hand, when we speak of things we plan to do (we have a prior intention to do something, or we have already decided to do something), we do not use will; we use be going. For example, "What is Christopher going to do when he graduates?" asks about Christopher's intention or plan.

Finally, when we decide on the spur of the moment to do something (like helping someone), we use will, but never be going. For example, if the telephone rings and you are closest to it, you may tell others in the room, "I'll get it."

Watch the video by RebeccaESL to review these concepts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Verb Forms for Present Time

On Tuesday, we talked about time frames; actions, events, and facts; and how speakers view actions and events (as being in progress or as being habitual). Canadian ESL teacher Rebecca explains these concepts again in the following video. After you watch the video, please leave a comment or a question.

Present Simple and Present Progressive

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Parts of Speech

There are different kinds of words in a sentence; we call them parts of speech. Each part of speech has a different role in an English sentence.

  1. Nouns are the names of people, places, things, or ideas. (Ex.: woman, country, pencil, thought)
  2. Pronouns replace nouns. (Ex.: I, us, this, one, everybody)
  3. Verbs express actions or states of being. (Ex.: run, learn, appear)
  4. Adjectives modify nouns. (Ex.: high, Italian, interesting)
  5. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, or whole sentences. (Ex.: suddenly, tomorrow, very, moreover)
  6. Prepositions show relationships between nouns. (Ex.: to, over, instead of)
  7. Conjunctions connect words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence. (and, or, because, unless)
  8. Interjections (also known as exclamations) express emotion. They are usually not part of the sentence structure. (Ex.: oh, yuck)
Watch this short video by Paige Carrera to see some more examples. (Ms. Carrera is a certified tutor in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.) Can you point out her mistake? Which kind of word is not in the sample sentence? (Leave a comment on the blog.)