Monthly Archives: May 2015

Using Slang

Slang: this is a non-count noun. Please don’t use it a a count noun! “I would like to learn some slang.” is correct, but “I would like to learn some slangs.” is not.

“Slang” can also be an adjective: “I would like to learn some slang words.”

Some people think that “slang” always means “rude, impolite, dirty words.” This isn’t totally correct. While many swear words are slang, not all slang is rude. You might use slang at work. As examples, restaurant workers call a table for four people a “four-top,” and IT workers often call a desktop computer a “box.”

Jason: Hey Ritchie, is that four-top in your section ready for drinks yet?

Ritchie: Yeah, they want three light beers and a glass of red wine.

Liz: I can’t believe it. I just set up those six Windows boxes for the daycare yesterday, and they’re already broken! The children here have no respect!


Animal Sounds

It’s interesting to hear what sounds animals have in different languages. It can be useful for our English pronunciation as well. Here’s a list of some sounds that Canadian animals make. How do these sounds compare to animal sounds in your language?

  • Cow: Moo!
  • Horse: Neigh!
  • Big Dog: Woof woof! or Bark bark!
  • Small Dog: Yap yap! or Yip yip!
  • Cat: Meow!
  • Baby bird: Peep peep!
  • Rooster: Cock-a-doodle doo!
  • Hen: Buk buk buk!
  • Frog: Ribbit ribbit!
  • Snake: Hiss!
  • Crow: Caw caw!
  • Donkey: Hee haw!

Verb Tenses – How To Choose Them

Simple tenses are the most common. If you’re not sure which tense to use, try a simple tense and you’ll probably be right.

Perfect tenses emphasize the result of an action. I have lived in Toronto = I don’t live there now, but I remember life in Toronto.

Continuous tenses emphasize the action.I am dancing = We don’t know when I started or when I will stop, but right now, my action is dancing.

Perfect continuous tenses emphasize an interruption. I had been studying for five hours before my sister called = For five hours, I study. I stopped this action to answer the phone.