DESCRIBE AN AUCTION

This is a two minute talk for IELTS or TOEFL to talk about an Auction.

The keywords of the talk are highlighted in bold.

An auction is a great place to go and hunt for a bargain.

You can buy anything and everything at an auction and often at a very cheap price.

Unlike a shop, there is no fixed price and things are sold by a bidding process.

The Auction is conducted by an auctioneer.

Every item for sale has a Lot Number and Lots can be previewed beforehand.

To bid for something you want to buy, you should either raise your hand or use a paddle with a specific number given to you prior to the auction starting.

An auction is competitive and many other people will be bidding for the Lot just like you.

Quite often, there is a reserve price on the item being sold, so if that reserved price is notr reached, the item will be withdrawn from the sale.

The price usually goes higher and the item is sold to the highest bidder when the auctioneer says ‘final offer’ and ‘going going gone’.

Paintings, old furniture, televisions, mobile household ornaments, bric-a-brac, books, records and even a love letter collection from a famous person can be sold at an auction.

I once bought a 1927 nokia cellphone for next to nothing.  Can you believe that?

The rule of thumb is that something is considered antique if it is more than one hundred years old but these days, anything from yesteryear might be considered antique.

There are also auctions for vintage cars, second hand cars, houses and land.

Don’t forget to raise your hand if you want to bid for something and don’t raise your hand (or paddle) if you don’t intend to bid for something.

Otherwise, the auctioneer might accept your bid and it will be ‘going going gone’

Keep an eye out for things which are valuable and collectable but be careful not to buy something which might not be the genuine article and is completely worthless.

You do not want to waste your money!

Good luck!

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MICHELLE SELLS SEASHELLS

This is an adapted and revised version of a famous English Tongue Twister.

Practice it slow, medium an fast to improve your English speaking fluency.

 

Michelle sells seashells by the seashore,

The shells Michelle sells are the cells of the seas

Surely only Michelle sees

So if Michelle sells shells

She sees by the seashore

I’m sure Michelle sells seashore shells

 

It is important to understand the following word spelling and pronunciation

Sea                  See

Sure                 Shore               Saw

Sell                  Shell

Sell                  Cell

Shell                Michelle

 

A good English speaker knows how to ‘chunk’ his word and phrases.

Practice ‘chunking’ the tongue twister.

Like this.  There will be a short pause between each word or phrase

 

Michelle sells seashells

(pause) By the seashore

(pause) The shells

(pause) Michelle sells

(pause) are the cells of the seas

(pause) surely

(pause) only Michelle sees

(pause) So

(pause) if Michelle sells shells

(pause) she sees by the seashore

(pause) I’m sure

(pause) Michelle sells

(pause) seashore shells

 

Some further comments about the tongue twister.

The word ‘saw’ does not appear but the tongue twister could be rewritten again to include the line:

‘I’m sure I saw Michelle on the seashore’

The phrase ‘sea-saw’ is common in nursery rhyme English but has nothing to do with shells on the seashore.

The tongue twister could be adapted even more.

Hyphenation.

Most people would put a hyphen between sea and saw to make ‘sea-saw’.  ‘Sea-Saw;, when spoken, could easily be mistaken for ‘sea-shore’

So is it seashore without a hyphen or sea-shore with a hyphen?

Look it up and you decide!

Finally, I have used the phrase ‘cells of the seas’ in the tongue twister.

‘cell’ has the same sound as ‘sell’ and can mean a jail or what is in our body as a science form or in our mobile phones.

In this context, ‘cell’ is taken to mean the life form (the shells) which exists in the oceans of the world Michelle finds on the shores of the seas.

I hope you understand.

 

Enjoy the Tongue Twister and good luck with improving your English speaking fluency.

INTRODUCTION TO PHRASAL VERBS

This is an English Language lesson which provides an introduction to Phrasal Verbs.

To understand phrasal verbs, it is important to be able to recognize words which are nouns, verbs, adverbs and prepositions.

A phrasal verb is an expression combining a verb with an adverb and/or a preposition.

It is also referred to as a Preposition Verb.

Think of a phrasal verb as an expression where the preposition or adverb are capable of being separated.

Phrasal verbs are flexible in that the position of the object noun can go either between the verb and the adverb or after the adverb

The taxi driver picked up the passenger

The taxi driver picked the passenger up

When the object is a pronoun, it can only go between the verb and the adverb or preposiiton in a phrasal verb expression.

The taxi driver picked him up

The taxi driver picked up him (this is incorrect)

In the case of a preposition verb, the verb-preposition combination cannot be separated and the object must come after the preposition.

The babysitter looked after the children

The babysitter looked the children after (this is incorrect0

It is therefore important for the student to fully understand the following

Subject and Object

Noun and Pronoun

Transitive and Intransitive

Separable and Inseparable

The subject and the object will always be either a noun or a pronoun.

Ball, Man, Game, Accident, School, Masterplan,  are all nouns.

A noun can be more than one word (e.g. United States of America)

Not all sentences require a subject and an object but they will require one or the other.

(e.g. Close the door – no subject.    He cried – no object)

An object can be direct or indirect

The boy gave a present to his friend

In that sentence, ‘boy’ is the subject, ‘present’ is the direct object and ‘friend’ indirect object.

A noun can be replaced by a pronoun.

(He, She, It, Him, Us, Something, Everybody, Mine, Ours are all examples of pronouns)

A Transitive Verb requires an object.  In other words, it requires a qualifying noun to make sense of the sentence.

The man gave up smoking (smoking is the object)

She cut the cake (cake is the object)

The cake is cut (cake is the object.  there is no subject)

An Intransitive Verb does not require an object but can be appended by a preposition phrase, noun phrase and/or adverb.

He died (of cancer)

It rained (yesterday)

Nobody knows (the truth)

I laughed (at the joke)

Continue, move, start, change, close, open, run, wash and write are examples of verbs which can be both Transitive and Intransitive.

We will continue the lesson after lunch (continue is a transitive verb, lesson – object)

The meeting continued after lunch (continue is intransitive appended by after lunch)

Many phrasal verbs and prepositional verbs become nouns when they are either compounded (e.g. countdown) or hyphenated (e.g. count-down) and have a different meaning.

In conclusion, let us take a look at the expression ‘check out’ and ‘check out of’

The couple checked out of the hotel

They have already checked out

The couple checked the hotel out before making a booking

The couple checked it out before making a booking

The couple made the payment at the check-out

Sentence 1 – ‘check out of’ is a preposition verb because the words cannot be separated from each other.

Sentence 2 – ‘check out’ is a phrasal verb and is capable of being separated

Sentence 3 – ‘check out’ is a phrasal verb which is separated by a noun phrase (the hotel)

Sentence 4 – ‘check out’ is a phrasal verb which is separated by a pronoun (it)

Sentence 5 –  ‘check-out’ is a noun and not a phrasal verb or preposition verb

 

This lesson is no more than an outline of the key points about using phrasal verbs.in the English language.

There is a lot more to be learnt by interaction through reading and listening to English in a variety of different ways.

Good luck to all students in their application to learn English and continue to visit the blogsite of http://www.thenativeenglishteacher.wordpress.com.

 

RHETORIC STATEMENTS AND QUESTIONS

This is an English language lesson to practice the use of Rhetoric in conversation.

There are many technical terms to describe Rhetoric but the most common one is Figure of Speech.

In the examples I am going to give in this lesson, they are a mix of Rhetoric Statement and Question.

Not all rhetoric offers contradiction.  In some of my examples, you will see it confirms and accords with the first statement.

I would encourage the student to practice both reading andf speaking the sentences to get a feel of how rhetoric is used in the English language.

None of the sentences are intended to be sarcastic, condascending or offensive to anyone.

Here goes.

  • It was a beautiful film. It looked a beautiful film.

 

  • The film was terrific, wasn’t it/ Are you kidding me?  It was terrible.

 

  • The movie was fabulous. Indeed it was.  Absolutely superb!

 

  • What was that? It sounded like an explosion.

 

  • I saw a ghost last night. You thought you saw a ghost.

 

  • I arrived to work on time. Actually, you arrived several minutes

 

  • I must go now. Of course, you must!

 

  • How are you today? I’m fine.  Can’t you see?

 

  • Are you okay. What do you think

 

  • Can you smell something? Yes dear, it’s my

 

  • How did it go on your date? It didn’t.

 

  • One day I’ll be an astronaut. In your dreams, sonny boy.

 

  • Will you marry me? I thought you would never ask.

 

  • Will you go out with me? Not even if you are the last person left on earth!

 

  • It’s not about what your country can do for you. It’s about what you can do for your  country  (famous words from J.F. Kennedy)

 

  • You are a lovely person. But I don’t love you.

 

  • He was a very brave warrior. Never a truer word has been spoken.

 

  • One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.  (Neil Armstrong)

 

  • I like the new dress you are wearing. To tell you the truth, it’s quite old.

 

  • Are you hungry? I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse.

 

THE WEEPING FIG – JATI WARINGIN

In Indonesia, the tree is called the Jati Waringin but it is more commonly known as the Weeping Fig.

The Weeping Fig  is a fantastic tree that attracts a large number of birds whenever it produces figs.

It is a sprawl of a tree in an urban environment where its invasive roots are hardly welcoming to its arborous hosts.

The Little Garuda has flown a long way in a short time and has found refuge here, made new friends.

Birds come for the fruit, for the insects and for the leaves to line their nests.

They spreaad the seeds onto branches of the tree where they germinate and develop.

Raptors are attracted to the swarms.

Human life passes by with total disregard and ignorance.

Except for one individual who has affinity with nature at play and knows the story of the Little Garuda.

That story is unfolding before his eyes.

Reality meets surrealism.

The succulent fig of the Waringin is the enlargement of a stem tip that becomes hollow and fleshy.

The figs are rich with starch, sugars, minerals as well as proteins and fats.

Within its cavity are tiny flowers.

The pollination of the flowers is the task of the fig wasp.

The fig wasp forces its way inside the fig to seek out the sterile gall flowers and lay their eggs.

The process of laying the eggs is coupled with the emission of pollen to the female flowers.

These tiny female flowers eventually develop into fruit.

The ripening of the fig is timed with the hatching of the wasps eggs and the maturity of the male flowers.

The male fig wasps die after mating with the female.

The female wasp is able to emerge from the fig and repeat the process.

Both the fig and the fig wasp are dependent on each other for their existence.

Without the fig plant, the wasp cannot multiply.

Without the fig wasp, the fig plant cannot form seeds.

The Jati Waringin is a truly fantastic tree.

The Little Garuda will not settle here.

This is just one short story from her youth in the journey of life.

DESCRIBE MILESTONES IN YOUR LIFE

This is a two minute talk for IELTS or TOEFL to talk about Milestones to  be reached in your life.

The keyword vocabulary of the text is highlighted.

This is the text.

There are many milestones which will be reached during my life.

What are milestones anyway?

Well, they are markers of special things I will personally achieve.

As an infant, I have learnt to walk and talk, to read and write, to swim and to ride a bicycle.

As I got older, I became a scout and learnt survival skills allied with a growing sense of independence.

I could run an errand to the corner shop for my mother, take the bus to school on my own.

i could enter competitions to win prizes and trophies in sport, for singing and creating things.

It will certainly be a milestone when I graduate through the various stages of school and then University, then get my first job.

I will open my first Bank Account and do a sleepover at a friends house.

But I think it will be important to add to my experience of life by travelling overseas before deciding on a degree to study.

That might mean getting a part-time job to finance such a trip or using my initiative to fund-raise another way.

Sooner or later, i will learn to drive, pass the driving test and buy my first car.

Beyond that, i will move out from my parents home.

When the time is right, I will look for promotion in my career.

By then, I will probably be ready to settle down with a partner, start a family and buy my first house.

As i reach each milestone, I am gaining important experience of life and wisdom to make the right decisions life demands of me.

As time goes by, I will have flown on an aeroplane to a faraway destination, perhaps even on a rocket to the moon.

I will have met someone famous.

I will have sat in a rocking chair and found time to understand life and people better.

I will have done someone a good deed and be remembered for it.

I will have made a pilgrimage.

I will have done at least some, if not all, of the things on the imaginary bucket list.

Eventually, I accept that it will be time to retire from work and take it easy in my final yearts.

If there are finaL milestones, then they are surely to share with others the joy of having grandchildren and, being permitted the grace to rest in peace.

It is said that milestones are road markers and all roads lead to Rome.  In fact they do.

Milestones indeed.  Such as they are.

 

DESCRIBE A BUS JOURNEY

This is a two minute talk for IELTS or TOEFL to talk about a bus journey which you make regularly or have made at some time in your life.

Even if you do not use a bus to travel between places in your daily life, the content of the material can easily  be adapted to meet the ability of the speaker.

The keyword vocabulary of the text is highlighted.

This is the text.

I regularly travel by public bus from my home to my office.

The distance is about six miles and the journey takes twenty minutes more or less.

I find using the bus more convenient than going by car or other means of transportation.

My home happens to be on a bus route.

I wait at the bus shelter for the bus to come.

There is a timetable displayed and a bus is scheduled to come every twenty minutes.

The service is fast and reliable.

I stand in line to board the bus.

I get on the bus at the bus stop only after passsengers getting off have alighted.

I pay the correct fare to the driver who issues to me a ticket.

I am reminded by a sign that all passengers must be seated while the bus is in motion.

The bus is usually crowded in the early morning and late afternoon.

The bus is a red double-decker and I like to sit upstairs at the front.

When it’s time to get off, I must first press the bell to give a warning to the driver to stop in plenty of time..

Travelling by bus is the way to go.