Response to Veronika's first post
Welcome, Veronika. It's so nice to read your first blog post. You've chosen such an interesting topic. Now I'm just waiting to discover the secrets of Belarusian beauty, fashion and food! So no pressure, then...*
You speak really excellent English, but I would like to offer you some tips, which might help you express yourself even better.
* 'No pressure, then,' is a phrase we use quite often in English. We're joking, because we actually mean the opposite. 'You are now under a lot of pressure!' Everyone is looking forward to your posts.
So, some tips:When you speak another language, it's hard to know when to use 'the', when to use 'a' and when to use neither. As you probably know, 'the' is called the definite article, 'a' is the indefinite article and '-' is... neither! How to use these articles varies from language to language. In Belarusian, do you have no definite article, like in Russian?
In English, most country names have no article at all: Russia, England, Belarus. We also say 'Europe' not 'the Europe'
But some take the definite article: The USSR, the US, the United Arab Emirates, the UK.
We would also say 'we waited for mobile communication for about 15 years,' not 'a mobile communication. 'Communication' is what we sometimes call an uncount noun. You can't count it. And these don't normally have an article.
Other examples of 'uncount' nouns:
The only one
You're absolutely correct when you say 'the world' and 'the first hypermarket.' There is only one 'World' and that's why we use 'the.' And we always say the first, the second, the third and so on.
Share your tips!
I'm not sure I'm explaining this well. It's very difficult to explain why and when to use these articles. Does anyone else have any clever ways to explain or remember the rules? Please share them with us!
Now I'm really curious to know more about Belarus, Veronika, and looking at the comments to your first blog entry - everyone else is too!
All the best