sexta-feira, 29 de outubro de 2010

How to use the expression "No Longer" and "For Good"

What it do? = (What's up?, in Houston, TX )

I've been talking to some of my students who came up with this question: How can I use the expressions "no longer" and "for good"? They've told me that they could guess the meaning in the context, but they couldn't know exactly what they meant.

Well, I will try to be very clear. The expression "NO LONGER" means "NOT... ANYMORE" or "NO MORE".


I will no longer ride a bike to work because I got me a car now.
I will not ride a bike to work anymore because I got me a car now.
I will ride a bike to work no more because I got me a car now.

That is it about it. I will no longer talk about it because I know y'all got it!

The expression "FOR GOOD" is used in replacement of "FOREVER" or "PERMANENTLY". As simple as that.


The store will be closed for good.
The store will be closed down.(will not be opened anymore).
Michael finally left home for good.

They tried to repair it many times before they fixed it for good.

That is all for today folks! 

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher

segunda-feira, 18 de outubro de 2010

"Got" - For Simple Present (Colloquial American English)

What's up guys?,

I've been thinking about a lot and the idea of talking about some colloquial English crossed my mind. So, look, I'll try to be brief today. We're gonna talk about the use of the word "GOT", but NOT as the past tense of "GET". 

Well, as you might have already seen it b4, the word "GOT" can be used in SIMPLE PRESENT in order to replace the verb "HAVE" or "HAS", which is used for the third person singular. Usually when "GOT" is chosen, it comes without the auxiliary verb "DO" or "DOES"  in interrogative sentences (See picture above.)

That is, the question "GOT BEER?" means "DO YOU HAVE BEER?". From the looks of things, you might have already understood the use of "GOT" in SIMPLE PRESENT

Another use for the word "GOT" in Simple Present is when you have been taught something and you UNDERSTAND it. You, so as to talk like a native speaker, wanna say "I GOT IT!" instead of saying "I UNDERSTAND IT".

The other use is a short for the expression "I got your back" which means "I'll back you up" or "I'll pay for you!" or "I'll help you out." So, people usually say "I got you!" which is also swapped for "Gotcha!" 

See some examples:

James: I got some money in the bank
Mike: Ya got money for the beer?

Jake: Press the yellow button then you install it, okay?
Brian: Oh okay, I got it.

Tyler: The problem is that I can't go to the party because I've run out of money.
Micah: Don't worry dude, I got you!
Vania: I got a terrible backache. Ya got some painkiller? 
Dawg: Gotcha baby. I'll get it for ya!

You might be asking yourself what NEGATIVE sentence would be. For you to make the NEGATIVE of  "GOT" all you have to is to add the, also colloquial made-up word "AIN'T" before it. It is usually used in replacement of DON'T HAVE or DOESN'T HAVE. See examples bellow:

I ain't got no money. = I don't have any money. 

She ain't got no time. = She doesn't have any time. 

Well, now that you got schooled with some expressions, I can peel outta here. Got it?

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher
Twitter: @ Dawg_Houston

quarta-feira, 13 de outubro de 2010

"though" Vs. "but"

What's up with you guys,

Well, I have been wondering how these two conjunctions are used and decided to post on their usages. I really hope it helps clarify them for you.

THOUGH and BUT are two conjunctions of contrast, which means they are used in situations which the first clause and the second has different or adverse ideas. The word THOUGH is used by native English speakers, mainly Americans, in an informal situation and mostly in spoken language.

Although, these two conjunctions are similar and used in the same situations, there is a small difference between them, besides their spelling, it is where it comes in a sentence. 

Usually the conjunction BUT comes in-between the two clauses. See examples below: 

  • I'm busy today, but we could meet tomorrow.
  • It sounds like fun, but isn't it dangerous?
  • I thought he'd been drinking, but I wasn't completely sure.
  • We had a long break today, but I didn't enjoy it.
  • We are close friends, but I haven't seen her in years.
And the conjunction THOUGH usually comes at the end of the second clause. It is not a grammatical rule, it is only how it is used by native speakers. That is, it is pragmatically perfect. See examples below: 

  • I'm busy today. We could meet tomorrow, though.
  • It sounds like fun. Isn't it dangerous, though?
  • I thought he'd been drinking. I wasn't completely sure, though.
  • We had a long break today. I didn't enjoy it, though.
  • We were close friends. I haven't seen her in years, though.
In the US, it is really common to see people using "though" and non-native speakers do not usually understand it at once. Check it on TV shows and movies. 

Thank y'all for stopping by,

Lil' Dawg

segunda-feira, 4 de outubro de 2010

"Within" or "In"

What's up with all of y'all?

The high majority of people who wrote me an e-mail last week requested some topics and lessons on prepositions, so when my friend Hugo asked me to talk about the difference between "within" and "in", I got really excited about it because I could sort out both requests. 

Both of the prepositions highlighted above are very similar so I will focus on "WITHIN" for it is more uncommon.

Basically we can use "within" such as in the examples below:

I will finish the job in 5 days = it will take you 5 days to finish the job.
I will finish the job within 5 days = yes, by the 5th day, the job will be finished, but it may be finished sooner than that - the job will be finished within the time period of 5 days, so it could be 4 days or even 3.

"WITHIN" is used in these situations:

within = inside the range of an area or boundary
The main tourist areas are within the city walls. 
• inside the range of a specified action or perception 
within reach
not further off than (used with distances) 
Bob lives within a few miles of his job.
• occurring inside a particular period of time 
"The new product sold out within two hours."
"One-third of the prisoners were rearrested within two years of their release."
• inside the bounds set by a concept, argument, etc.
"I want to concentrate on the physiological data relating to stem-cell research Discussion of the ethics of this is not within the scope of my expertise."

Definitions for the word "WITHIN"

1. In or into the inner part; inside.
2. Inside the mind, heart, or soul; inwardly.

Well, I hope it may have helped you solve any doubts you have had. 

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher

Social Networks and English Learning

Hey Twitter, Facebook, and Orkut People,

For those who have never come visit us here, you are very welcome to join the Flabbergasting English Blog. The place where you can request a lesson, post comments, and learn from native speakers and internationally certified teachers. To whom it may concern, I am Lil' Dawg, the blog's manager and editor and it is my pleasure to voluntarily answer all of your questions.

So let us set it off. I have stopped by so as to try to answer a very interesting question some of my students keep on asking me. That question got me thinking about the importance of these social-network websites in the process of learning English and other languages. As you may already know, learning a foreign language requires a lot of patience, dedication, and hard work. It is of utmost importance to have a teacher who will guide you and show you a better way for you to brush up on your linguistic skills.

Should I use Orkut, Facebook, and/or Twitter to learn English? questioned Jonatas, Matheus, and Raphael


To wrap it up, those social-network websites surely help you to learn new words, expressions, idioms, phrasal verbs, and slang terms. Use them and I am sure you will not regret it, but don't forget to use only English.

My twitter is

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher 

Gossip - Reported Speech

Oh my goodness! Don't spread the word!

Shhhhh! Don't tell anybody, okay? Well, Flabbergasting English has been mentioned by numerous teachers from different parts of the world for its contents and clear examples and topics. The Flabbergasting English's managers asked me to come here and inform you that no mater how difficult the topics is, its Executive Director and Editor, Lil' Dawg, will be posting about the themes you require.

Have you ever thought about GOSSIPS? How do people deliver a message to others? Is the final message the same first given? Well, gossips are usually rumors or talks of a personal, sensational, or intimate natureAnd the person who gossips around is the gossiper. So, basically, what happens is that one tells something to somebody that tells it to somebody else and it goes on and on.

However, for one to be able to gossip, one needs to know how to REPORT WHAT HAD BEEN SAID. But you might be asking yourself how you can do such thing. It is not difficult.

Gossiping as well as, telling something what happened, or reporting the news are part of a group that we, linguists, call REPORTED SPEECH. What would this be? 

Reported Speech also called Indirect Speech is the reporting of something said or written by conveying what was meant rather than repeating the exact words, as in the sentence He asked me whether I would go as opposed to He asked me, ``Will you go?''

So, as you can see above, the question was "Will you go?", but when it comes to Reported Speech, the auxiliary or helping verb "will" has been swapped for "would". This happens because, whenever you are reporting what has been said or written, we use the PAST TENSES.

See examples:

Sarah: I will not go to school tonight.
Reported Speech: Teacher, Sarah told me she WOULD NOT come to school tonight.
WILL is swapped for WOULD
GO is swapped from COME

James: I think that George got so fat.
Reported Speech: James told me he thought George got so fat.
THINK is swapped for THOUGHT

Micheal: Shhh! Don't tell the teacher. I've cheated on the test.
Reported Speech: Michael told to not tell the teacher he had cheated on the test.
TELL is swapped for TOLD 
HAVE is swapped for HAD

This is how the reported speech happens. I need to go now because MY MOM TOLD ME MY LITTLE SISTER NEEDED TO USE THE COMPUTER. 

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher

terça-feira, 21 de setembro de 2010

English Slang vs. American Slang

What's up blokes? = What's up dude?

Some of my friends and followers on Twitter (@dawghouston) have asked me to talk about a topic that could, at the very least, break down discrimination against American English by those who learn such language as a Foreign Language or Second Language.

Usually American English is looked down upon by learners from Brazil because since they were born, they have learned that British English is more correct. It is an old-fashioned concept that those who colonized are those who speak and write better and than those who were colonized. It is part of the idea brought by the powerful men. Spanish people claim their Spanish is better than People from Latin America, Portuguese people claim Brazilian people do not speak Portuguese, but of course we do. And to wrap up the idea, people often claim American English is full of slang terms and British English is the formal mainstream English. However, it is a WRONG idea.

American English as well as British English is full of slang terms. British people have as many slang terms as Americans do, however what the media shows on TV, movies, music, and so forth is not what it really is. Because of that, I decided to come up with some slang terms used in American English and British English in order to show y’all that for each American slang term, there will be a British slang term.

Check some slang terms below.

British English Slang Terms
American English Slang Terms
Bloke, pal, chap
Dude, dawg, dog
Cheesed off
Pissed off
Chucking it down
Raining cats and dogs
Cheers mate
Appreciate it dude
What’s the chat?/ what’s up?
What’s up/ what’s good? What’s the deal?
Gwap, dough
Smashed, plastered, juiced, out-of-it, numb

domingo, 5 de setembro de 2010

Lectures at PUC Minas - São Gabriel - FOR FREE

Hey guys, how have you been?

I am here today for a different purpose. I would like to INVITE all of you English speakers to join me and my team at PUC Minas - São Gabriel for TWO lectures that will be held on September 15th and 17th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

I will be lecturing on Pronunciation - Como falar o inglês "correto"? and Black English - Gírias e palavrões?

I am looking forward to seeing you there!

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher

terça-feira, 31 de agosto de 2010

What is Business English? Is it different from everyday English?

Dear Flabbergasting English followers,

I have been thinking about a topic for our next post. Nevertheless, I had run out of ideas and my friend Japa came up with this interesting topic: BUSINESS ENGLISH. What is it? What is it for? Should I use it? Is it mainstream English? Do people in general use it? Is the "correct" English? Those questions will help us develop this topic.

Firstly, I would very much like to introduce you, students and teachers, to a world where nothing is "correct" or "incorrect". Everything is judged by its appropriateness. There is no one correct variety of English, Portuguese, Spanish or any other languages. There are APPROPRIATE and INAPPROPRIATE terms, expressions, and idioms. That is, you should always recognize the context in which you are using language, and judge for yourself which words and expressions would best communicate your thoughts.

What is Business English? Here are some definitions:
  • Business English is English especially related to international trade. It is a part of English for Specific Purposes and can be considered a specialism within English language;
  • Language for business situations;
  • English in business usage, especially the styles and forms of business correspondence;
  • Useful language for getting a job;
  • Business English is a form of international English
Secondly, the last definition states that it is "international English". Thus, pronunciation would not be taken into consideration, as long as the communication is not affected. The point I am trying to make is that Chinese people, Brazilian people and others have different accents and ways of pronouncing words. If English is the lengua franca*, it does not make any sense to consider mispronunciation of a word.

lengua franca = The language taken as the international business language: English

People in companies use Business English, which tends to be more formal and grammatically correct because it would help people who speak English as a second language communicate to one another. The more slang terms one uses the harder the communication gets. 

1. "Yo, what it do homeboy? How's biz goin'?" = "Hi, how have you been? How is your business going?"
2. "Dude, that company where ya be workin' broke." = Believe it or not, the company where you worked has gone bankrupted. 

Those two examples help us see what APPROPRIATE and INAPPROPRIATE really is. The sentences in blue would be perfectly used in a loosen context while you are talking with you friends. However, they would be considered sloppy and inappropriate in a company.

It does not mean that in Business English there are not idioms. As a matter of fact, there are so many that sometimes, if you are not aware of what is going on, you might not understand them.

1. "John, you must solve this pending issue right off the bat." The idiom "right off the bat" means "immediately".

2. "I would like you to think about it in my shoes" The idiom "think about it in my shoes" means "put yourself in my situation"

3. "It seems to me that we have recovered from those losses, our account is in the black." The idiom "account is in the black" means "it has a positive extract"

Well, I hope it has help y'all understand what Business English is all about. See y'all on the next topic

Lil' Dawg
ESL Teacher