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Hello from Jennifer!

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Jennifer | 16:49 UK time, Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Hi everyone,

First of all I'd like to say 'hello' and introduce myself. My name's Jennifer and I'm this month's teacher blogger. Not only am I new to the blog, but I am also new to BBC Learning English - I joined the team this week as a producer, so I'm slowly learning the ropes!


Welcome too to Xiaowei, who is this month's student blogger, and thank you for your first blog. By the sounds of it, your studies keep you very busy - it must really bug you being so near the beach when you have so much work to do. My hometown also has a beautiful beach, although the climate is not as warm and sunny as Australia's - I took these pictures on Christmas Day, wrapped in a scarf, hat and big coat! Can you guess which part of England my hometown is in?

a sandy beach

beach

Hopefully by now your work will have settled down after the Christmas holiday period. Was your New Year as busy as Christmas Eve? How did you celebrate it? I'd be interested to hear about it.

LANGUAGE

I thought your blog was very engaging, particularly as you use a lot of adjectives and descriptive phrases. These really help to give us a flavour of what your life is like, especially the hustle and bustle of the supermarket on Christmas Eve.

Your English is very good indeed, but there are a few points to note which will help to improve it further.

In your blog, you write:

''I'm now studying Accounting at Sydney. Before I finished my Bachelor degree in China, majoring in Journalism...''

In English, university subjects or disciplines are not given capital letters unless they refer to a language. So you might study art with French, or English with accounting.

Look at the sentence below:

''I became a fan of the BBC when I was a freshman at university in China, and applied for setting up a blog at Learning English once but didn't success unfortunately''

There are a couple of things here that aren't quite right.

1) Apply for / apply to

In English, we can either use the phrase 'to apply for something' or 'to apply to do something.' So, for example, you could have said:

''I applied to write the student blog at Learning English.''

We use the phrase 'apply for' with a noun. For example:

''I applied for a job in the USA, so I had to apply for a visa.''

2) Succeed / success

You didn't get accepted on your first application, so you could say ''but didn't succeed'' or ''but didn't have any success.'' Here, 'succeed' is the verb and 'success' is the noun.

Finally, pay close attention to these uncountable nouns:

''with staffs standing at the gate''

''fruits and vegetables''

''with full trolleys of foods, drinks and festival decorations''

In English, we can't make uncountable nouns plural, so have a look at these sentences again. How should they be written?

HOMEWORK

Choose the right word(s) to go in the gap

1) I'm going to _____________ run the London Marathon. (apply for / apply to)
2) Can I ___________ a visa, please? (apply for / apply to)
3) If at first you don't _________ , try, try again. (success / succeed)
4) Have you had any __________ in finding a job? (success / succeed)

Writing about your experiences at work or at home is a good way to practice your English - why not try keeping a diary and writing down the interesting things that happen to you?

That's it from me for this week - good luck!

VOCABULARY
learning the ropes - becoming familiar with a job
to bug someone - to annoy a person
engaging - interesting or captivating
give a flavour of - give a short description of
hustle and bustle - energetic activity

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thank you for your lesson. That's very helpfull. I usually write English follow word by word, sometime that's not correct. How to use preposition and family word correctly is very important in writing English!

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Jennifer,

    Welcome to BBC Learning English and hope you enjoy your time with us. Your first post was very educational and I have learnt quite a few things from it.

    I haven't been to any beach in England so not really sure but my random guess would be London.

    Home work

    1) I'm going to apply to run the London Marathon. (apply for / apply to)
    2) Can I _apply for__ a visa, please? (apply for / apply to)
    3) If at first you don't ___succeed__ , try, try again. (success / succeed)
    4) Have you had any _success_ in finding a job? (success / succeed)

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Varisha

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Jennifer,

    Nice to meet you. I've learnt many useful things from your blog and enjoyed the photos as well. My apartment is near the beach. I like to walk along the seashore and watch the changing mood of the sea. It's always interesting to look at the sea of other part of this world. And I've wondered, in the winter time the sky of the UK is always clouded....as another photos of the sea loaded by previous teacher blogger Finn were also looking very clouded.....

    Well...this is my answer,

    1) I'm going to apply to run the London Marathon.
    2) Can I apply for a visa, please?
    3) If at first you don't succeed , try, try again.
    4) Have you had any success in finding a job?

    Thank you very much.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello Jenifer,

    welcome to BBC Learning English. Your first post is really good. I didn't know that we can use "apply to", that is something new for me - thanks!

    Have a nice day,
    Tereza

  • Comment number 5.

    Hello Jenifer,
    Nice to meet you.
    Beautiful pictures on your blog and I'd try to guess that they are from the South Coast of England, am I right?

    And my answer for the exercise is the following:

    1) I'm going to ___RUN_______ run the London Marathon. (apply for / apply to)
    2) Can I _APPLY FOR__ a visa, please? (apply for / apply to)
    3) If at first you don't _SUCCEED___ , try, try again. (success / succeed)
    4) Have you had any _SUCCESS__ in finding a job? (success / succeed)

  • Comment number 6.

    Hello to everyone
    even if I don't know you,
    a happy new year to all of you !!!

    It's the very first time I signed up here and I had no time to read any of the comments, - but I'm so happy to greet the English-language-community and take part in it, - so all my best wishes to everyone !
    Of course, I'm not the youngest one , but I'm working with students from very different countries... as well as collegues abroad... so I really appreciate to exchange our "little day-live-experiences" and "what we would like to know about each other".
    This happens sometimes in my job, but's not the same.

    It's a pleasure to write to people all around the world.
    To introduce myself, I'm 58 years old (oh my dear !!!), was born in Western Germany and used long time ago (the 60ies ) to have penfriends all around the world.
    Living in France since 1972, I lost all these contacts and unfortunately use of English, (that's why I signed in !!!) - well, I learned French instead, which I'd never learnt before.

    Now, I want to improve my English again, and it's nice to have some "pen-friends" this way.
    Tell me about every day live or simply write some comments... it's always interesting this way.

    Best regards and Love to you all
    Kaethe

  • Comment number 7.

    hello jennifer!
    helloo everyone espically kaeth!i am new to0.
    thanks about ur helpful post.wish u a year full happiness.
    homework answers
    1)apply to 2)apply for 3)succeed 4)success
    rainyman.middle east iran

  • Comment number 8.

    hello jennifer!
    helloo everyone espically kaeth!i am new to0.
    thanks about ur helpful post.wish u a year full happiness.
    homework answers
    1)apply to 2)apply for 3)succeed 4)success
    rainyman.

  • Comment number 9.

    hello jennifer!
    helloo everyone espically kaeth!i am new to0.
    thanks about ur helpful post.wish u a year full happiness.
    homework answers
    1)apply to 2)apply for 3)succeed 4)success
    rainyman.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hello Jennifer.
    Thanks for your explanations and for your photos.
    When I think of a English Coast I alwais think of Cornualles, because this name is te one what sounds familiar to me. When I was a child, spanish girls usually read books by Enyd Blyton, and among all, there was a collection of six books regarding tome some girls living in a boarding schooll, Malory Towers, do you know? This saga was in fashion in Spain in these days. Well, Malory Towers is located by Cornualles coast.
    I wait you'll tell us the aswer.
    See you soon.

  • Comment number 11.

    Dear Jennifer,
    your explanations have been really useful for me! Now I try to complete your exercise:
    1) I'm going to ___apply to__________ run the London Marathon. (apply for / apply to)
    2) Can I _apply for__________ a visa, please? (apply for / apply to)
    3) If at first you don't __succeed_______ , try, try again. (success / succeed)
    4) Have you had any ______success____ in finding a job? (success / succeed)

    I love your pictures! I ve lived 6 months in Aarhus, the second largest city of Denmark which is really near the sea, and it has been a beautiful experience for me!! I really would like to know in which part of England is your town!
    Looking forward to hearing from you!!

  • Comment number 12.

    Hello Jennifer,

    Welcome to the BBC learning English. I wish you many success for your new job.

    I am not new in this blog but i don't write regularly. I am trying to participate more.

    My answers:

    1. I'm going to apply to run the London Marathon.

    2. Can i apply for a visa ?

    3. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

    4. Have you had any success in finding a job ?

    Best regards

    Yasmine

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Jennifer,

    I've never been to the coast in the UK except when I was invited to a wedding party in the Essex country! The ceremony took place in a little village by the sea and the day after the reception I went visiting the coast and had a long walk on the beach. I remember its fine sand and a row of colorful beach huts, it was lovely. Anyway, I think your pic was taken in a different and maybe wilder part of the country. Why don't you give us more hints before unveiling the name of your hometown?

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Jennifer:
    It was a helpful article to me. As a non-native speaker, though I have learned English for years, I still had hard time to write completely correct sentences.
    However, I have made up my mind to study and practise English more than I used to be for the sake of improvement. Thanks a lot !

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi, Jennifer:
    I am a bit confused by the way you used "help to do something.." (twice) in your blog. I was learning not to use "to" after some verbs such as "help", "make", so it would be like "help do something..". Could you answer my question? Thanks.

  • Comment number 16.

    Choose the right word(s) to go in the gap

    Thank you Jeffifer,
    this is excellent practise.

    1) I'm going to (apply to ) run the London Marathon. (apply for / apply to)
    2) Can I (apply for ) a visa, please? (apply for / apply to)
    3) If at first you don't (succeed) , try, try again. (success / succeed)
    4) Have you had any (success) in finding a job? (success / succeed)

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Jennifer,

    It‘s really nice to hear from you and thanks very much for your great job! It helps me a lot to improve my writing in terms of words and phrases. I also learn many vivid expressions from your blog, such as" by the sounds of it","wrapped in a scarf","settle down", besides all the boldfaced words and phrases. Learning a language in this way is "engaging", it reminds me of the time when I was a little kid and always remembered the expressions heard from adults which I found interesting, and using them successfully in a similar situation gave me a sense of satisfaction.

    The pictures of the beach in your hometown are impressive, although it's hard for me to guess where it is... Just a guess..south part of England?

    Also here's my solution to the homework:
    1) I'm going to apply to run the London Marathon.
    2) Can I apply for a visa, please?
    3) If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
    4) Have you had any success in finding a job?

    I love all the engagements here at BBC Learning English. All the best for the new year and wish to hear from you again.

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Jennifer
    I've benefited from your lesson the difference between apply to and apply for but i want to ask you why there is no chat on bbc website which helps us to practice our English and improve our ability to make conversations

  • Comment number 19.

    Egypt is happy with this.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Jennifer,

    I am the one who is a big fan of BBC learning English.com. I have visited this site from time to time for around 4 years even though I have a harsh time to get access to this blog. I have gradually found something interesting and awesome here in terms of various and superb stories in which I read with fun and never want to close the blog. Well, I am really glade you are a new blogger of this month. I hope to see and learn from you in every aspect such as the culture and the tradition in order to broaden my prospectives. Many thanks.

  • Comment number 21.

    Hello Jennifer,

    Hopelessly late, I know, and I'm aware I'm unlikely to get an answer ...
    Anyway, I'll give it a try: I have also been taught that the word "fruit" doesn't take a plural s, but it has been my impression over the past few years that the plural form is coming into use more and more. Now I've just had a look at the new BBCLE series "English at work", and there, too, we get the term "plastic fruit manufacturers" in the second paragraph, but a little further down, when Paul is speaking, he refers to the "plastic fruits sector" - so maybe the plural form is getting accepted with this word? (Even if plastic fruit may not be my preferred field of interest ...)

    As to "vegetable", I have seen the plural form of this word on and off - even in teaching material - would you still say it is not acceptable at all?

    Or do we just have to differentiate? I'm thinking of the word "fish", which is singular and plural, but when we have the different species of fish in mind, we can use "fishes" alright. So maybe, when we have the different kinds of fruit and vegetable in mind, we can also use "fruits" or "vegetables"???
    Just asking ...

    Slightly puzzled,
    Elisabeth (Austria)

 

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