Kick the Habit!
Hello, thank you for your lovely introduction. I hope you had a fun weekend! Well, I can see that I’m going to have a tough job for the next two weeks – perhaps you could make a few more mistakes in your next blog! What do you expect me to correct? Can’t you make a few more spelling mistakes or confuse the word order in your sentences? Are you telling me your English was really poor eighteen months ago?! No way! You must be Wonderwoman! However, as you want to be a journalist, I will concentrate on the finer points of English grammar and style.
I’m not going to correct your mistakes, though. The language skill you need to develop is self-correction, especially if you want to be a journalist. Looking at your blog, I can see that you have a sound understanding of sentence structure and a good range of vocabulary. The errors that you make are mainly surface errors, that is, small slips in verb tense and word usage. The main part of your blog used the simple past tense, as you were describing completed events in the past. Your use of the simple past was 90% accurate, so next time you write, look at every verb that you write and ask yourself these questions:
• Is the verb in the correct tense?
• Does the verb have the correct agreement with its subject?
Being careful about verb tense will make your writing more accurate. I feel confident that you can monitor your own writing in this way
The next points are both quite small vocabulary points. Firstly, you should use “from today” rather than “since today”. I know this is a confusing grammar point for a lot of learners. You can use “since” for a date or time in the past, but not for the present time (ie. not with: “today” or “now”). Secondly, I know exactly what you mean when you say the "day flowed too quickly”, but correctly speaking, time and days “pass by”. You could include adverbs to add the element of surprise: “the day passed by so quickly / unbelievably quickly”. Finally, the phrase you are trying to use at the end of your blog is “kick the habit”, meaning to change your ways. I think this could be a really positive way of thinking about language learning - try to kick the habits that you learnt in the past and take up some new better ones! “Kick the habit” is a great phrase to use but it doesn’t need a preposition.
By the way, what kind of journalist do you want to be? I think you are really brave to give up your career in Geneva and start afresh in London. Looking forward to your next post!
I have copied a grammatical structure that Juliette uses to start one of her sentences (Juliette's entry for Feb 16th). I have started three sentences in a similar way. Can you find them? (Clue: look at verb forms!)
USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
really poor (adjective)
This is the expression Juliette uses to describe her English. It means very bad, but actually her English is great!
no way (phrase)
Used to express disbelief or surprise.
finer points (noun)
Advanced aspects / points.
The ability to recognise and correct your own mistakes.
Used here to mean ready to face difficult situations, mentally strong.
start afresh (verb)
Start again, start in a new way.
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.