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.

 

DESCRIBE A KITCHEN

This is a two minute talk for IELTS or TOEFL to talk about your kitchen at home.

So here goes!

I am going to talk to you about the kitchen at my home.

I think there is a kitchen in every home and every kitchen is different in terms of style and appearance.

The kitchen is the place where food is stored, prepared and cooked.

More often than not, it’s located next to or near the Dining Room where guests can be easily served.

Every kitchen needs a cook.  I’ve heard it said that if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

It has also been said that too many cooks spoil the broth.

The basics of a domestic kitchen are cupboards to store food and crockery, a cooker to cook the food using either gas or electric, a work surface to work from and a sink to wash up the dirty stuff afterwards.

Then there is likely to be an oven or grill, perhaps even integrated with the cooker, a cutlery drawer, a refrigerator, a microwave and wall hooks to hang things like pots and pans, mugs and other utensils.

The refrigerator doubles up as a fridge in one section for general daily foodstuffs to be kept cool while the freezer compartment keeps foodstuffs for a longer period of time.

The cook will need an assortment of knives and a ventilation outlet.

You will also find in the kitchen a garbage bin for waste disposal, a memo board on the wall to write reminders and the daily food menu as well as a calendar.

Look out for the bread bin and a cookie jar.

You might be lucky to have space for a breakfast bar.

That’s all I have got to say about the kitchen at home.

A DIALOGUE ABOUT A BOOK

This is a short dialogue between two students discussing a Sci-Fi book,

The keyword vocabulary of the dialogue are highlighted.

MATT             Hey Lucy, what are you doing?

LUCY             I’m reading a book

MATT             Really?  What’s it called?

LUCY             It’s called Moon Walker

MATT             Is it a true story?

LUCY             No it’s not.  It’s Science Fiction.

MATT             Sci-Fi. Oh I see.  What’s it about then?

LUCY             It’s about an astronaut who lives on the moon

MATT             Sounds cool.  Is it good?

LUCY             Yes it is  but I only read fifty pages so far.

MATT:            Is it scarey?

LUCY             Not really but there are aliens and robots in the story.

MATT             Did you buy it at the bookstore?

LUCY             No I didn’t.  I just borrowed the book from the school library yesterday

MATT             Who’s it by?

LUCY             It’s by Colin Black

MATT             Can you lend it to me after you finish it?

LUCY             Why not! Of course.

MATT             Ok, that would be great.  Thanks a lot Lucy.

LUCY             No problem Matt.  See you soon.

DESCRIBE A VISIT TO A FRIEND’S HOUSE

This is a drafted script for a one to two minute IELTS oe TOEFL talk on a specific topic.

The topic is describing a visit to a friend’s house.

The student will usually be allowed to take a few brief notes about the topic once he has been informed of it.

Speaking on any topic for one or two minutes is always excellent speaking practice for a student of the English language, even if it is not an actual test or assessment.

This is the script:

When visiting my friend at his home, there is a certain protocol and etiquette to follow.

My friend lives with his siblings and parents at a house not far from me and in fact, I often go there.  Not everyday but perhaps once or twice a week and he visits my house too.

His parents are very welcoming and sometimes I feel his home is like my second home.

There are, of course, house rules which must be respected.  Every family has them to a varying degree.

It seems to me there are four things which I need to talk about as I describe a visit to my friend’s house.

The first has to be about punctuality and expected time of arrival.

In my country, it is considered very impolite to be late, especially if it is an invitation to join the family for lunch  or other special invitiation.

It is important to keep in mind that my friend and his family are the host and I am rhe guest.

On a casual visit, it may not matter at all if you are early or late but for a formal occasion, no doubt if you know you are going to be late, always text or call to your host to let them know.

Once you have arrived, it’s okay of course to address your friend by his first name or nickname but certainly not his parents.

It will be most appropriate to address them by the family name (for example, Good afternoon Mr and Mrs Jones).

You can address them as Sir and Madam but that’s way too formal and really not necessary.

The third consideration is Behaviour.

Handshakes or other informal engagements such as clench grasping or high-five/toss are done in conjunction with the polite oral introductions and you must remember again that there are house rules to be followed.

You may be expected to remove your shoes as you enter the house, wash your hands before dinner, dress appropiately and join in prayers at the dinner table, never be ungrateful for what you receive in the hospitality.

The fourth and last thing to mention is about bringing a gift for the host family.

Most of the time, this is not necessary at all but if your friend’s family have invited you to join for dinner, bringing a cake, cookies or some soft drinks would perhaps not be amiss.

The gift has not got to be a token one such as a present or in any way expensive.

A small inexpensive gift will be seen as a simple way of saying thank you for the hospitality.

I am off to visit my friend now.  We are going to do some homework together and play a computer game.

My friend’s father is picking me up.  So kind.

Next week, my friend is going to have a sleepover at my house.

That’s the end of my short speech.  Thank you.

 

 

 

WHEN THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

This is an English language lesson to describe a circus.

It is timed for about two minutes and aimed at IELTS or TOEFL students for speaking assessment.

The keywords of the script are highlighted in bold.

This is the script:

The circus is coming to town and everyone is excited.

It’s that once a year opportunity to enjoy the spectacle of stunts performed by clowns, acrobats, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers and even unicyclists.

My Grandma says circuses used to include performances by lion tamers, singing sealions, clever chimpanzees and dancing elephants or tigers.

But such exotic species are best now seen in zoos, safari parks and wildlife anctuaries.

Some can still be seen performing in a more comfortable environment, so it seems, at a Theme Park such as Seaworld in Florida.

Those who care about animal welfare have definitely won the day across the world and the mood swing against cruelty to animals in the circus has been huge even in my short lifetime.

The spectacle of the circus takes place under the canvass of the Big Top which is just a fancy name for a circular covered arena.

The circus ring itself is 13 metres or 42 feet in diameter and it has been that size since it was settled on for a circus of equestrian-horse performances in the eighteenth century by an English cavalry man naned Phillip Astley

The Ringmaster introduces the many acts which will perform.

All are well-rehearsed and drilled down to the finest detail.

The circus show is really exhilarating and engrosses an audience of spectators.

Laughter and tears fill the drome of the Big Top like nothing else.

Of course,Romans, Greeks and other great civilizations had used circular arenas for entertainment for centuries before but the Big Top was the first to go on the move from town to town with a travelling family of performers and exotic creatures.

Today, the circus, perhaps more than any other social entertainment, has had to re-invent itself in the technological era.

It fights for its rightful place as the greatest show on earth against television, internet, video, cinema and many other different recreational pursuits.

The circus family are as well equipped as ever with their own technicians, their own mobile school for childrens education and a ministry for prayer.

In my opinion, the circus is still the greatest show on earth and the show must definitely go on.

I,  for one,  am so happy when the circus comes to town.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DIE?

I’m not planning on dying anytime soon but I was just a little curious about the aftermath of becoming deceased.

I suppose my spirit will go to heaven and my body will turn to ashes or dust, depending if it’s cremated or buried.

People who knew me will send their condolescences to my next of kin and they might even shed a tear or two or shout ‘God Riddens’ from the rooftops.

They might mourn my passing for a few spectacular moments but in truth, they will not miss me beyond the next meal and sleep..

So what does happen when we die?

Are we suddenly invested with supernatural powers and are granted a visa in perpetuity to pass through the Pearly Gates to the afterlife, as another living creature, reincarnated or otherwise?

Are you kidding me?

I started to wonder after watching a ridiculous film called ‘Swiss Army Man’ about the antics of a dead corpse washed up on the beach of a deserted island.

Now I realize that farting after we die is trending all over social media and we DO fart, extraordinarily though it may sound, after we die.

So the ridiculous film I watched was actually thought-provoking and quite informative.

Hand on my heart, I can honestly say that I HAVE seen a man fart before my very own eyes but I have NEVER seen a dead man, let alone a farting dead man.

Of course, if we can fart when we die, we can poop too.  That’s otherwise called Defecation to the Shitless Wonders out there who are wanting to expand their English vocabulary.

And if you have ever heard the uncouth expression ‘Shit come out of your mouth’, now you know where it comes from and why.

Truly, I would not care to be a funeral undertaker who has to clean up the almighty mess.

The horrific smell of sulphurous gas caused by farting cannot be ignored.

We all know, I think, that bodies shrink and shrivel as we begin to decompose.  Our body temperature cools and rigor mortis sets in.

Our bodies just bloat, blister and burst until we eventually become no more than a skeleton.

So much for embalment but who wants to be preserved as a Mummy or a stuffed model of who we once were?

It amazed me to note from that ridiculous film that a man can die with an erection of his ‘youknowwhat’ and maintain it after he has died.

Totally mind-blowing I know but apparently true!

Let me take another look at all those depictions, paintings, sculptures and the like, of that Jewish guy who was crucified on the cross all those years ago.

I think I might have missed something.

Anyway, are you still along for the ride?

I have tried to write this essay/article with a sense of humour but at the same time with a sprinkling of expressions which are relevant and pertinent for anyone learning English as a second language.

Many of the important expressions I have highlighted.

I’ve read somewhere that our corpse turns all sorts of weird colours as our red blood cells go into overdrive and that bacteria, acid, stuff like that, endogerously (what a word!) enjoys a fabulous feast.

I love post-mortems, don’t you?  Coroner’s Inquest.  An autopsy on the body.  Death by misadventure, whatever that means.

That’s it, my friends.  I’ve said my piece.

I want to go and Rest in Peace.

Well, not yet exactly but chill out for sure.