Archive | Advanced Level English

Blog posts written for advanced level English learners.

-gh words ESL English pronunciation etymology

English Has Crazy Pronunciation! Why “-gh” Words Don’t Sound Similar.

The crazy spelling of English reflects the etymology (or origin) of English vocabulary. Begin by watching Claire Bowern’s simple TED Talk on the origins of English. So. now you know that the reason why these endings are spelled similarly but are pronounced differently is due to their country/language of origin. Now, let’s look at some specific […]

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valentine appealing apeeling banana English ESL

Be My (Corny) Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is coming–Are you ready? February 14th is a day for candy hearts and corny cards (“corny” means sentimental and full of cliches).  Here is one example: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, and so are you And here is another.  First read the pink version.  Then read the black translation: Do you […]

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What Is the Difference Between Conscious and Conscience?

From the time we’re little, parents, teachers, and religion leaders try to tell us what is right and wrong, what is good behavior and what is bad behavior. As we grow up, these voices remain in our heads and influence our decisions. This is our conscience. The voice of our conscience tells us “Do this! […]

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so such English ESL

Adverbs So & Such: What’s the Difference?

Looking at this picture, we could say: A tornado is such a dangerous phenomenon. A tornado is so dangerous. What’s the difference? Both of these words intensify. They emphasize the danger. They make it bigger. However— We use such when the phrase ends with a noun: such (…) phenomenon. We use so when the phrase […]

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It’s a Question of Trust

Humans spend a lot of time reading each other.  What do I mean by that?  They want to know if they can trust one another. Trust is important for building relationships: friendships, romantic relationships, and business relationships.  As a result, English has a lot of words and expressions that deal with trust. If someone trusts […]

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Talking About: Remembering & Forgetting

When we remember to do something—remember + an infinitive—we complete a plan that we made earlier. I might tell my students “Remember to study for your test,” or “Remember to do your homework.” When we remember doing something—remember + a gerund— that means we have that picture in our heads. We can see ourselves doing […]

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