Dear Adriana and all our readers,
Hello! Thanks for your marvellous first post and your fabulous quiz! It was pretty tricky though – I doubt I would have done very well if it weren’t for the highlighted answers! :-)
I haven’t been to Brazil but my cousin went to Rio a few years ago and absolutely loved it. She was there for Carnival and had a riot of a time. She had been learning Portuguese for some time so was happy to be able to practice it with real people (rather than other English students in her class)! It’s nice to hear about a place other than Rio or Sao Paulo though – like you said, it’s quite rare to get any news of other places in Brazil.
Hey! I didn’t know bloggers had a reputation for being self-centred and selfish! Self-indulgent perhaps, but selfish?! I hope not! Although I have to admit that my husband is busy in the kitchen making us dinner while I am hunched over the computer writing all sorts of nonsense :-) I suppose some would say that that is rather selfish…
Okay – lets have a closer look at your use of the lovely English language, Adriana, and see if we can diagnose some areas to work on. First of all I have to say that your writing is very fluent indeed – remember, everybody, that there are two key parts to writing and indeed to speaking: accuracy and fluency. It’s important to develop both of these. Accuracy refers obviously to use of grammar and vocabulary, whereas fluency refers to your ability to put across and express your ideas clearly. You score very high on both of these counts Adriana and you have used some lovely phrases and vocabulary. I think that must mean that you read a lot, am I right? Ha ha I feel like a doctor (or perhaps one of those magicians who seems to know everything about you!).
Okay, now there are a couple of things that I’d like to highlight…
1) Capital letters
Hmm… these seem to be a bit absent from your posts, particularly in your most recent one. Remember: capital letters are used for people’s names, names of countries/cities/continents, nationalities, days of the week, and the names of institutions, including hotels and schools.
Here is your task: have a look at your most recent post ‘In the town where I was born’. I’d like you to try and identify seven mistakes you have made with the use of capital letters. I know this might seem a bit basic, but once you’ve done this task I guarantee you’ll make fewer mistakes with using capitals in the future! Sometimes it’s important to go back to basics…
2) Collocations with the verb ‘make’
This is a very common area for errors because different languages combine verbs and nouns in different ways. In your last post you have made three mistakes with the verb ‘to make’ (although the first two are almost identical so actually we can call it just two errors if you like :-)
a) I am thinking of inviting you all to come and make a tour in my city and what do you think of making a virtual tour?
b) It’s hard to make an ‘Ola!’ at the stadium
In both these cases, the problem is that the verb ‘make’ just doesn’t go with these phrases and so sounds a bit odd. For (a) I’d suggest saying ‘do a tour of my city’ (note the change of preposition there as well) and ‘doing a virtual tour’. For (b) I think it might be better to say ‘shout an Ola! at the stadium’ or something like that.
The verbs ‘make’ and ‘do’ are very often confused, especially by speakers of European-origin languages because they are frequently used differently in these. For homework, as well as thinking about those capital letters above, I was wondering if all of you could come up with five phrases for the verb ‘make’ and five for the verb ‘do’ – for example: make a sandwich and do your homework. You don’t have to write complete sentences, just give me five nice phrases for each verb and we’ll have a look at them. If you want to check your answers, have a look in the dictionary under ‘make’ and ‘do’ – good dictionaries should suggest some phrases that go with common verbs like these.
You have a great range of vocabulary. There were a couple of words you used that need a bit of explanation though – ‘close-mouthed’ and that people ‘speak singing’ – I think I know what you mean but the expressions sound a bit funny in English. Can you think of another way to say these things?
All right, well I hope the homework isn’t too taxing - I’m sure it’s not. A nice gentle start, Adriana! Next time I think we’ll have a look at some past tenses…
Take care everyone,
Vocabulary definitions from yesterday – I’ve stolen Adriana’s and added comments in (brackets) where necessary!:
To be bound to be- (To be very) likely to be
Decorative- (Pretty or attractive, not always with a specific use)
A triumph- (a) victory
To defeat- To make someone fail (or give in)
To mark- (to celebrate)
An effigy- (A 3D representation of something – can be a) statue (or can be made out of material or paper)
Clutches- (grasp, within someone’s possession)
Epic- (Usually refers to a very long story which often) has historical (roots)
To come across- (to discover something, usually by chance)
Ironic- (this is a word people always find difficult to define! Adriana’s description is correct) “Funny 'cause India is the land of Yoga” (but it means a bit more than that. It suggests that something is unexpected given the situation. You would expect that I would be doing more yoga here, because it’s the land of yoga, but actually I did more in England, so it’s ironic)
New words/phrases from today:
A riot of a time
To put across
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