domingo, 29 de novembro de 2009

Verbs + (-ING), Gerund, Actions, and Set-up Verbs

Hey Flabbergasting English People,

Welcome back to one more posting. I have been aloof lately due to the fact that college has been tough. However, I am back with full power now and guess what? What, what, what, what! That's a brand-new topic.

Using (-ing) is not as simple as we might think it is. People usually think that (-ing)'s function is only to make verbs into their GERUND FORMS. It also can be used in order TO MAKE VERBS INTO NOUNS, AFTER PREPOSITIONS and SET-UP VERBS. Some verbs can be followed by both infinitive form or gerund form, but the meaning would be different.

Verbs followed ONLY by -ing.
admit to - He admitted to killing someone.
be good/ bad at - I am really good at basketball.
consider - He considered me going with them.
enjoy - I enjoy teaching my students.
mind - I don't mind working late.
suggest- I suggested taking the plane instead of the car.
appreciate - She appreciates shopping.
be interested in - I am so interested in Vânia.
feel like - I don't feel like sleeping very late.
miss - I miss riding in my own car.
talking about - I was talking about moving up north.
avoid - I can't avoid thinking about you all the time.
can't help - I can't help going along with you.
deny - I denied being violent.
finish - I have finished writing my book.
look forward to - I've been looking forward to listening to your sweet voice.
practice - I don't practicing speaking Spanish.
think of - I thought of going back to New York.
be capable of - I'm so capable of doing any kind of work.
can't stand - I can't stand listening to opera.
dislike - I dislike playing golf.
give up - My best friend gave up smoking.
mention - He mentioned farting in the elevator.
succeed in - He succeed in fixing cars.

Verbs that can be followed by both the -ing and the full infinitive with a difference in meaning.
remember + (-ing) - I remember going to the mall with Bill. (previous facts that happened)
remember + infinitive - I remembered to go to the mall with Bill. (didn't happen yet)

stop + (-ing) - I stopped smoking. (give up, quit)
stop + infinitive - I stopped to smoke (stop what you are doing in order to smoke)
Continuous Tenses
Present Continuous - I am working on my monograph with my group.
Past Continuous - My mother was talking to my sister about flunking at Mathmatics.
Present Perfect Continuous - They have been studying English for a year now.
Past Perfect Continuous - We all had been trying those materials out.
I have been so happy for what this blog has become. It's been steadly growing to be more complete so as to inform students, teachers, and researchers about English's curiosities and grammatical features. Let's keep it going on! See y'all on the next topic.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

quinta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2009

Countable X Uncountable Nouns/ There is/There are/ How many/ How much...

Hey everybody,
It's Guilherme and Victor back again with our teacher Rodrigo Pelegrini so as to present a very interesting topic: how many(there are/aren't, are there?), how much(there is/isn't, is there?). Those are some of the differences you might see whilst studying Countable Nouns and Uncountable Nouns.

Countable Nouns refer to things that CAN be counted, for example: apples, desks, computers, people, papers, bananas, cars etc. We use the expressions "how many(questions/ amount = quantity)", "there is(singular)", "there are(plural)".

  1. How many papers are there on the wall? There are 4 papers on the wall.
  2. How many tiles are there on the floor? There are many tiles on the floor.
  3. Are there many people in this room? No, there aren't. There are only 3 people.
  4. How many light bulbs are there in this house? There are many.
  5. How many computers are there in this room? There is only one computer.

Uncountable Nouns refer to things that CANNOT be counted, for example: liquids, bread, air, noise, energy etc. We use the expressions "how much(questions)", "there is". Remember that "how much" is also the espression to ask about price.

  1. How much fresh air is there in the world? There is much.
  2. How much air is there in the moon? There is a little.
  3. How much does this T-shit cost? It's about twenty dollars.
  4. Is there much noise in the room? Yes, there is.
  5. Is there much traffic in your neighborhood? No, there isn't.

Thank you very MUCH. And, how many "how muchs" are there in the questions?

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato

ESL Teacher

terça-feira, 24 de novembro de 2009

Superlative - The best topic ever!

What's good wit'chu? (This is a typical greeting used in Brooklyn,NYC)

By the way, this photo was taken by my homie (friend) in 2007 on our way to Brooklyn. We were crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on the south of Manhattan. Amongst those building on the back, there used to be the World trade Center, but you know.... New York City is THE MOST IMPRESSIVE place I've ever been to. "Nothing is compared to it."

As we are about to discuss how to form superlatives, I could not choose anything other than my favorite city in the world. Houston is beautiful and accommodating. Its nightlife is fantastic, but New York City is THE MOST OVERWHELMING AND BREATHTAKING place.

What's the best place you've ever been to?
Who's the most important person in your life?
Who's the thinnest man you know?
Who's the fattest actor in Hollywood?

Those, above, are examples of superlative questions. They all follow the same rule, which is very easy. Follow my lead and start using it:

Superlatives are made from adjectives. Remember! There are long and short ones. There must be the article THE before the adjective.

Short Adjectives

nice - the nicest - Belo Horizonte is the nicest place in Brazil.
cool - the coolest - Young Joc came out with the coolest songs ever.
ugly - the ugliest - Michael Jackson was the ugliest man who ever lived.
friendly - the friendliest - Brazilians are the friendliest people in the word.

Long Adjectives

intelligent - The most intelligent - You are the most intelligent student of mine.
fantastic - The most fantastic - Flabbergasting English is the most fantastic website on the net.
boring - The most boring - The most boring city are those in which people don't stay up late.
beautiful - The most beautiful - Vânia is the most beautiful and intelligent girl I have ever seen. In addition, she is the best English teacher.

Yeah, that's it for today. Hope you have the dopest (best) week. See y'all later on!

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

segunda-feira, 23 de novembro de 2009

Which is which? "I used to" and "I am used to"

Welcome to Flabbergasting English Blog, the place where you are always encouraged to participate in the topics, subscribe, and request lessons.
Today, I have here with me two of my students: Álvaro and Isabella. They will help you understand better the difference between "I used to" and "I am used to".
According to our studies and our teacher, "I am used to" is used for habitual situations that are part of our present routine. On the other hand, ''I used to'' refers to things we usually did in the past.
  1. Back in the dates, when I was 6 years old, I used to go to my grandmother's house every Sunday.
  2. I used to ride a bike when I was 7 years old.
  3. I used to eat chocolate ever day, when I was 6 years old
  4. I used to play soccer every day during my vacation.
  5. I used to go to the farmhouse with my family on the weekends.
  6. I am used to singing in the shower
  7. I am used to doing school exercises.
  8. I am used to talking to my teacher every day.
  9. I am used to drinkng milk every day.
  10. I'm used to eating beans every day.

I used to + Verb (basic form)

I am used to + Verb (gerund form)

Hope y'all have learnedwith us how to use both "I used to" and ''I am used to''.
Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

quinta-feira, 19 de novembro de 2009

Comparison - Now, it is EASIER THAN ever!

"Wa gwaan?" is synonym for "What's going on?" and is used in Jamaica. Nice, isn't it?

I bet Jamaican English a.k.a Patois is AS EASY AS any other dialect of English. In order for you to understand it, as any other language, you have to get in touch with it.

Hence, Patois is not the topic for today. I came across this friend of mine and he told me that his students were having a hard time with COMPARISON. So, I, together with the Flabbergasting English followers and helpers, decided to help him out.

First thing you have to remember is that for you to compare things or people, there must be at the very least TWO of them. There are three kinds of comparisons: inferiority, superiority, and equality. And each has its own features. Plus, You can only compare things and people by using ADJECTIVES. There are LONG and SHORT ADJECTIVES.

Superiority: If it is a short adjective, add to it (-r) for adjectives ended in -e, (-er) or (-ier) for adjectives ended in -y. In addition, if the adjective ends in consonant+vowel+consonant, the last consonant must be doubled. See some examples:
Nice - Nicer than
Fat-Fatter than
Ugly-Uglier than
Rich-Richer than
Weak-Weaker than
Light-Lighter than
Dark-Darker than
Big-Bigger than
Small-Smaller than
Tall-Taller than
Short-Shorter than

PS.: Good, Bad, and Far are irregular. Thus, this rule does not apply to them. Their respective comparatives are Better, Worse and Farther or Further.

For long adjectives, it is EASIER THAN for the situation above. All it's needed is to add the word MORE, which is the comparative of much and many, to the adjective. See examples below:
Beautiful - More beautiful than
Intelligent - More intelligent than
Exciting - More exciting than
Boring - More boring than
Handsome- More handsome than

As you could notice, the conjunction THAN comes right after the adjective.

  1. Michael Jackson is more famous than New Kids On The Block.
  2. Madonna is older than Britney Spears.
  3. Black Eyed Peas' songs are cooler than Elvis Presley's.
  4. Texas, the Lone Star State is bigger than Florida, The Sunrise State.
  5. Teaching comparison is harder/more difficult than learning it.

Inferiority: for both short and long adjectives, add the word LESS before the adjective.

  1. Frederick Douglas is less famous than Martin Luther King.
  2. Einstein is less intelligent than you.
  3. Watching plays is boring, but less than reading books.
  4. There are less beautiful people here than last year.

short and long adjectives must be in-between AS...AS or SO...AS.

  1. I am as intelligent as my sister.
  2. In summer, Texas is as hot as Arizona.
  3. New York City is not so big as Mexico City. (That is, Mexico City is bigger.)
  4. My mom is so important as my dad.
  5. Basketball is as fun as Baseball.

Well, I gotta peel out! (I've got to go!). Hope it helps y'all out. Any FURTHER information, do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

terça-feira, 17 de novembro de 2009

Invitation - Lecture at UFMG.

Flabbergasting English Blog in association with CACS and UFMG bring to you "Y'all talk funny, whatcha gon' do 'bout it?"
The Flabbergasting English group would very much like to invite all of you UFMG students to come watch Prof. Rodrigo Pelegrini's lecture on African American Vernacular English with focus on Pronunciation and Stereotyping.
It is part of his studies from the viewpoint of Socioliguistics. What is AAVE? Who speaks it? When did it start? Is it recognized as language, dialect, ethnolect?
It will take place at one of the auditories at FAFICH in UFMG.
Time: From 2:30pm through 4:30pm.
Date: November 20, 2009
Venue: Auditory Sonia Viegas at FAFICH.
*Free of charges for FUMP people.* For those who are not CACS students, it will be charged R$5.00. Sign up at the entrance.
In this presentation, attendees will be able to discuss "pronunciation" not only from the viewpoint of Phonetics, but also from the Sociolinguistics'. As a student of Black English Vernacular, I will focus on how the African-American's dialect's pronunciation and structure that differ from Standard English's and oftentimes are looked down upon and/or given as erroneous.
Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Lengua Franca are also to be talked about throughout the lecture.
*The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.*
Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

segunda-feira, 16 de novembro de 2009

Phrasal Verbs: Nothing More Than New Vocabulary

What's GOING ON (happening) Flabbergasting English followers?

I have received a plethora of e-mails about topics I should be writing on. One of those really caught my eye. Milson, from the YMCA Belo Horizonte emailed me about the difficulty people have when it comes to Phrasal Verbs.

Phrasal Verbs have to be seen by every ESL student as a new vocabulary. Instead of saying "Cancel the meeting" you might say "CALL OFF the meeting". You do not need to know why "CALL OFF" is synonym of "cancel". As well as, instead of saying "Richard stopped or quit smoking", you can also say "Richard LEFT OFF or GAVE UP smoking".

Those above are, only, some examples of Phrasal Verbs. Yet, what is phrasal verbs? And, what are they consisted of?

PHRASAL VERBS are VERBS + PREPOSITION(S) or CONJUCTION(S). The preposition(s) and/or conjunction(s) are in charge of changing the meaning of the verb.

For example: Using the verb "call". Adding a preposition to it, more verbs will be created. CHECK it OUT.

To call
Call up - to phone someone - I call mom up, but she hung up on me.

Call on - to make a quick visit - She called on me while I was in hospital.

call off - to cancel - I called off that class because I was exhausted.

To get (Which is really common!)
get up - I get up at six in the morning every single day.

get down - Get down soldiers, enemies are shooting.

get off - I'll get off the bus on 5th Ave.

get on - Get on the chair, the mice are coming!

get in - Get in the car please! We need to get going!

get out of - Get out of my car. You cut the cheese (You farted!).

get into - It has started raining, so I think it's better to get into the house.

There are plenty of phrasal verbs in English, actually Phrasal Verbs exist only in the English Language. Some of them are separable, some of them aren't. The latter are called inseparable Phrasal Verbs.

Separable Ph.Verbs:
call up - I'm going to call up my friends this coming weekend.
I'm going to call my friends up this coming weekend.

Inseparable Ph. Verbs:
look forward to: I've been looking forward to seeing her.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato

ESL Teacher

sexta-feira, 13 de novembro de 2009

Simple Past Vs. Past Continuous

Hi visitors, how have y'all been? I hope everybody is doing great out there. I have been thinking about a lot. I wasn't sure about what to put up this time when my student Rafael Bittencourt came in for his weekly class. We were working on Simple Past and Past Continuous when I, all of a sudden, came up with this idea of posting on focusing on forms. Nevertheless, I am sure it is not difficult for any Brazilian. Firstly, because y'all really smart. Secondly, it goes as in Portuguese. Let me break it down for you.

Simple Past is a tense in which the time MUST be specified at all times. However this time does not have to be on the sentence itself. It might be ideological. That is, when something took place MUST be specified. It is used for situations that have already finished.

How can we specify the time? The best way of specifying the time is by using TIME EXPRESSIONS or ADVERBS such as "last night", "yesterday", "three months ago", "an hour before he arrived"

THE AUXILIARY VERB for Simple Past is "DID/DID NOT(DIDN'T)" and, as all of the auxiliaries, it is used in 4 sorts of sentences: NEGATIVES, QUESTIONS, SHORT ANSWERS and when you want to EMPHASIZE SOMETHING POSITIVELY.

  1. Lil' Dawg and Jay performed at UFMG last night (POSITIVE)
  2. Lil' Dawg and Jay didn't perform at UFMG last night. (NEGATIVE) (verb back in basic form)
  3. Did Lil' Dawg and Jay perform at UFMG last night? (QUESTION) (verb back in basic form)

Present Continuous is a tense in which the time MUST, as well, be there. However, the situations described with continuous sentences are those which the events took sometime or were temporary. Its basic structure is:
Subject + was/were(according to the person) + verb(-ing) + time expression
{Was is used for: I. He, She, It} {Were is used for: You, We, They}

  1. Lil' Dawg and Jay were performing at UFMG last night.(POSITIVE)
  2. Lil' Dawg and Jay weren't performing at UFMG last night.(NEGATIVE)
  3. Were Lil' Dawg and Jay performing at UFMG last night?

Now that you are an expert in both Past Simple and Continuous, we are entirely able to put them together and make sentences. These sentences, we will make, describe situations that have gone on and were interrupted by another event.

  1. Lil' Dawg and Jay were performing on stage when power cut out.
  2. I was writing an e-mail when my mom opened the door.
  3. She and her boyfriend were talking when a thug approached them.
  4. What were you doing when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center?
  5. What was your mom doing when you arrived at home?
This is "what it is".

See y'all later on,

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

quinta-feira, 12 de novembro de 2009

"A", "An" , "Some" and "Any"

What's up followers,

Welcome to Flabbergasting English Blog. The place where you can learn and express yourself. Today, I have two of my students, Victor and Guilherme, here with me in order to post on this interesting topic. How to use "some", "any", "a" and "an".

"A" and "An" - Both of them are used ONLY in singular sentences for countable nouns.

"An" is used before the words that start in VOWELS, in fact, the sound of vowels.
i.e.: You have an hour to finish your test.
There is an apple in the fridge.

"A" is used before the words that start in CONSONANTS, in fact, the sound of consonants.
i.e.: There is a banana in the bowl.
My teacher has a uniform.

"Some" is used in positive sentences and offering questions(Would you like some...?). It can be used for count nouns and uncount nouns. "Some" is always used before liquids. On the other hand, "Any" is used in questions and negative sentences. It can also be used for count and uncount nouns.

i.e.: There are some bananas in the bowl.
There is some coke(Coca-Cola) in my squeezer(bottle).
Would you like some water? Would you like some pizza?

i.e.: There aren't any bananas in the bowl.
There isn't any coke in my squeezer.
Are there any teachers in uniforms? Is there any air in vaccum?

Thank you for coming to Flabbergasting English Blog. You are always welcome to come back. "Cough Cough Cough, I need SOME water guys." "Oh my gosh, there isn't ANY water in the school". "You need to bring A squeezer filled with water." "That's AN amazing idea!"

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

terça-feira, 10 de novembro de 2009

How do I get there?

Directions are always a great topic to be developed because it is definitely useful. It happens to all of us when you go somewhere you have never been to before. The first thing that comes to our mind is "how do I get there". If you do not have a GPS, iPhone, or other electronic devices to back you up, the most helpful solution would be asking a person who's been there already.
Here are some expressions you should use while giving some information on directions as well as you should understand them while you have been told how to get somewhere.
go up the (avenue)
go down the (street)
go around (the square)
go past the (supermarket)
go straight ahead
go under the brigde
go over the bridge
go across (the river)
turn left (on 5th Ave.)
turn right (on Martin Luther King Blvrd) - Watch out! It might be a ghetto. lol
on the left
on the right
A- Excuse me! I need to go to the closest supermarket. Could you help me get there?
B- Sure! All you have to do is to go down this street until the traffic light, then you should turn left on Maple St and go straight ahead, go pass the post office and the gas station. The supermaket is right there on the left. Did you get it?
A- Well, I think so. Thank you for the information.
B- No problem!
It is really simple, isn't it? Something is wrong. Oh gosh! I got lost in here. Can anybody tell me how I get to "sign out" link? Oh, I got it.
See y'all then,
Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

sábado, 7 de novembro de 2009

African American Vernacular English - Part 2

What it is y'all homies? How y'all been lately?

Been shufflin' up and down da streets and came up wif dis idea of postin' about AAVE in AAVE.
Y'all finna see what African American Vernacular English is fo' real. Ya might be thinkin' it hard, don't ya evah think so. I done been into AAVE studies since 2003 and I do appreciate da way peepz approach me to aks me questions on its grammatical features and lexicon.

So what'cha gon' do tomar? I ain't got nuttin' to do otha than hit da mall wit some of mah homeboys Jay and Jeff to chat 'bout our rap presentation at the Federal University of Minas Gerias.

Peep the figure above out. It's off da hook da way they represent da way Shenigua, whose name was chosen by some def'ly prejudice douche-bag, would pronounce da numbers.

Fa - Five
Fo - Four
Na - Nine

Gotta peel out y'all. Holla atcha boys and girls later on.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

sexta-feira, 6 de novembro de 2009

American English X British English

Other than the enormous difference above, there are some English expressions in-between it.

As an ESL teacher and student of Letters, with focus on Sociolinguistics, I tend to classify languages by using a different viewpoint from that used by common sense. Here, down in Brazil, most people, who have been into English or not, have sometime in their lives heard that British English is better or more correct than American English. FORGET ABOUT THIS STATEMENT!

Around the world, there are about 50 countries in which the English Language is used as the official. These are the most known countries: Australia, New Zeland, the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Canada, Nigeria, and South Africa.

What I am trying to say is that it is really ignorant to assert one type of English is better than the other. THEY ARE ONLY DIFFERENT FROM ONE ANOTHER!
Some expressions in English, even though it is one language, might be swapped for another according to the borough, city, state, region, country, social groups and so forth.


In the USA you might hear "What's up?", "What's good?", "What it do?", "What it is yo?", "What's popping?", "What's new?", "How's it hanging?", "What's cracking?" or "What's going on?". All of them mean the same thing.
In Jamaica, the same sentences would be switched into "Wha gwaan?".
In London, England, people use the expression"What's the chat, mate?"

There are also people who believe American English is more peppered with slang than British English. HELL NO!
English people use slang terms as well as American people do. Have you ever heard of COCKNEY? If so, you know what I'm talking about.

British English

American English

  • Cheers mate!
  • I've got to go!
  • Barrister
  • Lorry
  • At the weekend
  • Sweets
  • Gangway
  • Holiday

  • Thanks man!
  • Gotta go!
  • Lawyer
  • Truck
  • On the weekend
  • Candies
  • Aisle
  • Vacation

Do not judge people by the way they talk because that doesn't really make any sense. Idiolect is the way people individually use the language. Although, we are from the same area, the way I use the language is different from the way others do. That is why your teacher knows if you wrote the composition assigned or if you you simply looked it up on a random website, copied it, pasted it and printed it out. Keep up with your studies! No matter which variety of English you catch up with, the best English is spoken internationally throughout the Earth.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

African American Vernacular English - Part 1

African American Vernacular English - AAVE

The Black English Vernacular is colloquially known as Ebonics. This term is not usually used by linguists (professionals who work on Languages Arts and their roots, including lexicon, philology, grammatical features, and so forth). Ebonics is a portmanteau / combination of “Ebony” and “Phonics”.

When the Africans were brought to the United States, some of them spoke English, while others spoke French or other ethnolects and dialects from their own tribes. The Africans were obligated by slaveholders to speak the language the whites did so as to maintain communication amongst them all. Hence, it did not exactly happen the way the oppressors craved for.

The slaves had been making up their own sociolect that along years was named Black English, and it was recently renamed. It is called African American Vernacular English (AAVE). This ethnolect is used by black people in America. With pronunciation that in some respects is common to that of Southern American English spoken in down south of the US where the high majority of African descendents still reside, the variety is spoken by many African-Americans in the United States of America. AAVE also has pronunciation characteristics in common with various West African English and Creole English dialects spoken by blacks in much of the world.

Rappers and hip-hoppers when they "spit a flow" they speak with a strong accent and have a different lexicon peppered with slang. This dialect follows rules that differ to Standard's, which sometimes even Americans do not understand the actual meaning. Rappers such as Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, and others have been using Ebonics on their songs. That's what makes people who are only versed in Standard English feel confused due to the fact that the speech these rappers have is based on rules of African American Vernacular English.

Even though, sociolinguists such as William Labov and others have spent a lifetime studying AAVE and have proven what it really is and where it came from, there are still a bunch of ignorant-asses who look down upon those who use this ethnolect.

The image on the top of the page shows exactly from what common sense can see Black English Vernacular. Language is power. That is, while the white supremacy reigns, the White English will be seen as Prestige English.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato

ESL Teacher

If "ain't" ain't a word, I ain't the one to object.

You might look at this picture and understand exactly what the sentence up there means. It is used by your favorite American singer, actor, actress, top model as well as by Barack Obama, Tom Hanks, Michael Jackson. "Ain't" is what I would call the evolution of the language. It works as a negative auxiliary verb. Its advantage is that it can be used to replace many others.

Let's break down the sentence "Pimpin' ain't easy", the word Pimpin' which is a derived from "pimping" means to have women work for you and bring the "dough"(money). That is, if you say "I've been pimping.", you mean you have girls working for you. It is basically related to prostitution. When 50 Cent says "I'm a P.I.M.P" he means he has prostitutes working for him.

"ain't" is replacing the negative copula "isn't". In the USA, It's ordinary to see people using "ain't" instead of "isn't" or "is not".

"easy" as you already know, means the opposite of hard, rough, difficult.

Other applications of ain't:

I ain't been there. = I haven't been there. (Present Perfect Tense)

She ain't my freind = She isn't my friend. (Simple Present Be)

"Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough"= There is no mountain high enough, there is no valley low enough. (Countable nouns)

I ain't got nothin' to do on the weekend. = I don't have anything to do on the weekend (American English) = I haven't got anything to do at the weekend. (Simple Present Tense)

Deep rooted in the culture since the 1960's:

"Ain't" was preceded by an't, which had been common for about a century previously. An't appears first in print in the work of English Restoration playwrights: it is seen first in 1695, when Willian Congreve wrote
"I can hear you farther off, I an't deaf."

It is looked down upon by a number of people in the USA, England and other English speaking countries for it's informal. Accepting changes in the language is still an obstacle to a plethora of people who do not study Languages.

Use the word "ain't" and show native speakers and teachers that you are up-to-date. If someone says it's wrong, tell him/her check what pragmatics is.

I ain't got no spare time. See y'all later on.

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

quinta-feira, 5 de novembro de 2009

Good evening or good night?

Good Evening Flabbergasting English followers,

It is already 1:29am and I've just written above: Good evening! There are people who claim "Good evening" should be used in-between 6:00 and 8:00pm as well as "Good night" should be used in-between 8:01 and 0:00.

Do not use the concept just shown in order to select which to use. I don't know who made it up, but I do know it confuses ESL learners and it does not make any sense.

"Good Evening" is used whenever you arrive at any place. It doesn't matter what time it is as long as it's night.

"Good Night" is used whenever you leave the place where you had been. The time also is not of utmost importance. In addition, it can be used ironicly in replacement of "get out of here!".

To sum up, "good evening" is a "saying hello" and "good night" is a "saying goodbye".

It's almost 2:00am. I'll go to bed.

Good night!

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher

What does "y'all" mean?

How y'all doin'?

Have y'all ever heard of the word "y'all"? This useful term is known worldwide, however sometimes people do not know what it really means. Here you go:

Y'all is a portmanteau, a combination, of two words "you all", which is, basically, the plural of "you". We already know that the personal pronoun "you" can be used in singular and plural forms, but how would you know which is which?

i.e.: You are learning about words in English. and
You are learning about words in English.

Are they the same sentence? How can you differentiate one from the other in terms of number (singular, plural)?

That's why Americans have made up(created) the word "y'all". It is a great and short way to say "you" when it comes to plural sentences. It has been spoken by most southern American people such as those from Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia(Particular English)...Yet, nowadays, rappers have made "y'all" famous. African Americans generally use the word "y'all" as well.

Y'all dig? = Did you all understand it?

See all of y'all soon!

Rodrigo Pelegrini Honorato
ESL Teacher