English Lesson: Articles. Review of A & An

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Before moving ahead, let’s take a moment to review the concepts that we have covered so far. For more details, check out the previous three lessons from this week. Countable and non-countable nouns There are two kinds of nouns in English, countable & non-countable. Countable nouns can be counted with numbers. A countable noun is a noun that you can count with a number. For example, 1 banana, 2 oranges, 3 dogs, 5 cars, etc. Non-countable nouns cannot be counted with a number. Liquids, like water and milk, group nouns, like fruit and furniture, and abstract words like love and trouble are not countable. Talking about things in general. When you want to talk about things in general, use a countable noun in the plural form, or a non-countable noun like this: I like dogs. Bananas are yellow. Fruit is very good for you. Water covers most of the earth. You can also use a or an before a countable noun when making generalizations, like this: A dog is a good pet. An apple is red. A vacation would be nice. Talking about one of many When you talk about something that is non-specific or “one of many”, use a or …

English Lesson: Articles. Talking in General with Nouns II

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I like fruit. I try to eat some fruit every day. This morning I had a banana and some grapes. I often have fruit with yogurt. I had some time this afternoon so I went to the supermarket. I wanted to get some bananas, but they were too green. Today, let’s continue the discussion on articles and nouns. I suggest you have a look at yesterday’s lesson first before checking today’s. When we talk about things in general we use “a/an” for a singular countable noun, the plural form of the countable noun, or a non-countable noun like this: A tomato is red. A banana is yellow. A cloud is white Tomatoes are red. Bananas are yellow. Furniture is expensive. Fruit is healthy. In the above examples, we are talking about tomatoes in general, and fruit in general. We are not talking about any specific fruit or tomatoes. We are talking about all tomatoes and all fruit. Another way that we talk about things in general is when we talk about things we like. When we do, we use the plural form of a countable noun or a non-countable noun. Here are some examples: I like bananas and grapes. Jack …

English Lesson: Articles. Talking in General with Nouns

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I like dogs. I think dogs are great pets because they are loyal to their owners and always have love to give. I have a dog now, and I had a dog when I was a child. Cats are also popular pets. I like cats, but not as much as dogs. Today, let’s continue the discussion on articles and nouns. I suggest you have a look at yesterday’s lesson first before checking today’s. A noun is a person, place, or thing. In English, when we talk about things in general, we use the plural form of countable nouns or a non-countable noun. Here are some examples: I like dogs. → Dogs in general, not any particular dogs. Bananas are yellow.  → Bananas in general, not any particular bananas. Fruit is very good for you. → Fruit in general, not any particular fruit. Water covers most of the earth.  → Water in general, not any particular water. When you want to talk about one thing, when that one thing is not unique or particular, you can use a or an before the singular, countable noun. The noun is “one of many.” I have a dog now. → There are many dogs …

English Lesson: Articles & Countable / Non-Countable Nouns

Michael Uncategorized 1 Comment

Do you like bananas? I had a banana this morning. It was cold because I put it in the refrigerator last night. I like cold bananas. I like all kinds of fruit, especially grapes and oranges. I had an orange this morning too. When I was a kid, I always had cold cereal with milk for breakfast. Now I like to have yogurt, and sometimes just toast. I want to spend some time with you talking about articles. English has three articles; a, an, and the. Articles come before a noun, like this: I had a banana this morning. In order to understand articles, you need to understand nouns. A noun is a person, place, or thing. Words like banana, refrigerator, car, and dog are nouns. There are two kinds of nouns in English, countable and non-countable. A countable noun is a noun that you can count with a number. For example, 1 banana, 2 oranges, 3 dogs, 5 cars, etc. However, there are nouns that you cannot count with a number. Liquids, like water and milk are not countable.  Group nouns, like fruit and furniture are not countable. Abstract nouns like love and trouble are not countable. Nouns like …

English Lesson: Talking About the Parts of the Day

Michael Uncategorized 1 Comment

I always walk Happy in the morning. She loves to get up early and go for a walk. She is pretty active during the day, but I think she sometimes takes a nap in the afternoons. When I get home in the evening she always greets me at the door with her tail wagging! Pretty cute. She is quiet at night, and usually goes to bed around 9 or 10pm. Sometimes she stays up until midnight, but she is usually asleep in the middle of the night. Me too! Today let’s have a look at the vocabulary and expressions we use to talk about the different parts of the day. Do you know these words?  Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson: I like to think that day is the period from when the sun comes up until the sun goes down. Night is from sunset to sunrise.  Of course, in the winter time the days are shorter and the nights are longer. When we talk about the parts of a day, we do it this way. Notice the prepositions! For the morning, the afternoon, and the evening we use in. For night, we use …

English Vocabulary Lesson: Job, Work, & Business

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

A friend of mine is looking for a job. He used to work for a bank, but he lost his job when a new company bought the bank and downsized the office. Working in the finance industry seems like interesting work, but I heard it is hard to find a secure job. There are a lot of entry level jobs in the banking business, but not many people seem to work for the same company for a very long time. I guess that’s how business is these days. These three words, job, work, and business are similar, but we use them differently. Do you know how to use them?  Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson:   Job is a countable noun and there are a few ways you can use job: A job is a task that one does: You did a nice job on the ABC project. I have several important jobs to do this week in the office. A job is also paid position for doing regular work: Jack has a job in a bank. Tommy has an interesting job in international marketing. Here are some typical questions we ask using job: …

English Lesson: Two Coffees, Please!

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

I was in a diner the other day with my friend Ken. After lunch the waiter asked if we wanted anything else, and we had the following conversation: Waiter: Can I get you something else? Michael: Yeah, can we have two coffees please? Waiter: Sure thing. Ken: Oh, and can we have two waters as well? Waiter: Yes, of course As you know, English has two kinds of nouns, countable and non-countable. Countable nouns are things we can count, such as pens, dogs, iPads, etc. Countable nouns have a plural form → 1 pen, 2 pens. 1 dog, 5 dogs.   Non-countable nouns are things we cannot count. Some examples are liquids, like water and coffee, furniture, and luggage. Remember, non-countable nouns do not have a plural form. There is an exception to this rule. Have a look at the conversation above once more and then check the rest of the lesson: Normally, coffee and water are not countable. When we want to count liquids, we count based on the container: Can I have two cups of coffee. I drank five bottles of water today. There is once exception to this rule. When you are in a restaurant, coffee shop, …

English Lesson: Taste Vs Flavor

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I love to try different kinds of food. One of the more interesting things I like is Thai green curry. Have you ever had that? It tastes so delicious! It has a unique flavor, which is a combination of coconut milk and curry spices. It is flavored with a number of spices and seasonings. I like the taste of the coconut milk too. This curry has both a spicy and a mild flavor at the same time. It is a very flavorful dish. If you like the taste of spicy food, you’ll like Thai green curry. Today we are going to look at two words that are often confused – taste and flavor. Do you know how to use these words? Have a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson: We use the noun form of taste to talk about food, and usually we use taste when we talk about one type of food, as opposed to a dish. Too much salt will ruin the taste of that steak. I like the taste of that ice cream. Koji likes hot dogs, both the taste and the texture. We also use the noun form of flavor in a …

English Lesson: Countable Vs Uncountable Nouns II

Michael Uncategorized Leave a Comment

I like to eat out, and New York has a lot of restaurants. It’s easy to enjoy a lot of food from all over the world.  In Chinatown, you can find many dishes from different provinces in China, like Szechwan, Canton, and Hunan. Korea Town has a few good restaurants as well. When you go to a Korean restaurant, they will bring you four or five side dishes you can enjoy with your meal. There is one Japanese restaurant I like that has over twenty brands of rice wine, or sake. Take a trip to Little Italy, and you can have some great pasta and pizza. Yeah, I love New York. Let’s continue our discussion of countable and uncountable nouns. Today, we will look at how to talk about quantity of these nouns. Countable Nouns Countable nouns are as the name says – nouns you can count. We can talk about an exact number of these because we can count them. Here are some examples: My sister has two cats. There are three apples on the table. I found two good books on English today. You can also use a few, several, many, and a number of with countable nouns: …

English Lesson: Countable Vs Uncountable Nouns

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

Whenever I am in the car I listen to the radio. There are some good radio stations that play music I like, and others that have a lot of music I’m really not into. I like to listen to both old songs and new songs. In fact, I listen to a lot of different music, from pop to rock to classical. Some music on the radio reminds me of when I was in high school. I still like those old songs. Maybe I’m too nostalgic… Today we’ll start a mini-series of lessons looking at countable and uncountable nouns. Do you know the difference? Have a look at the paragraph above, and then check today’s lesson. English nouns can be divided into two categories  – countable, and uncountable. Countable nouns are words that represent things we can count. For example, the word song is a countable noun. Here are some examples: Two songs by Lady Gaga are in that movie. An iPod can hold hundreds of songs. The Beatles had a lot of hit songs. As you know, when there is more than one of a countable noun, we use the plural form, In most cases, that means the noun + …