In English, it is common to join the sounds at the end of a word with the sounds at the beginning of the next word. It is commonly referred to as linking sounds, joining sounds or connected speech. This can be confusing, especially since the words sound different than when they are pronounced on their own, compared to when they are used in a sentence.
When words are pronounced in a sentence together it would not be natural to make the same pause between each word, therefore some words link together and form new sounds. This gives the sentences a rhythm, or what some refer to as a beat. Let’s start with this video:
From the BBC Learning English a writing explanation, take a look:
As you can see, there are different types of linking, so this could be a difficult subject to learn but be patient with yourself and remember with practice all is possible.
Adjectives describe qualities (characteristics) of nouns. Some qualities can vary in intensity or “grade”, for example:
- rather hot, hot, very hot; hot, hotter, the hottest
The adjective hot is gradable.
Other qualities cannot vary in intensity or grade because they are:
- extremes (for example: freezing)
- absolutes (for example: dead)
- classifying (for example: nuclear)
The adjectives freezing, dead and nuclear are non-gradable.
A gradable adjective can be used with “grading adverbs” that vary the adjective’s grade or intensity. Look at these examples:
a little, dreadfully, extremely, fairly, hugely, immensely, intensely, rather, reasonably, slightly, unusually, very
angry, big, busy, clever, cold, deep, fast, friendly, good, happy, high, hot, important, long, popular, rich, strong, tall, warm, weak, young
A gradable adjective can also have comparative and superlative forms:
- big, bigger, the biggest
- hot, hotter, the hottest
- important, more important, the most important
Look at these example sentences:
- My teacher was very happy with my homework.
- That website is reasonably popular. But this one is more popular.
- He said that France was a little cold and Denmark was rather cold. But Sweden was the coldest.
A non-gradable adjective cannot be used with grading adverbs:
It was rather freezing outside. The dog was very dead. He is investing in slightly nuclear energy.
Non-gradable adjectives do not normally have comparative and superlative forms:
more freezing, the most freezing
deader, the deadest
more nuclear, the most nuclear
Often, non-gradable adjectives are used alone:
- It was freezing outside.
- The dog was dead.
- He is investing in nuclear energy.
However, a non-gradable adjective can be used with “non-grading adverbs” (which usually just give the adjective extra impact), for example:
|non-grading adverbs||non-gradable adjectives|
Here are some example sentences containing non-grading adverbs with non-gradable adjectives:
- Her exam results were absolutely awful. She will have to take the exam again.
- Is there anything like it in the world? It must be virtually unique.
- It starts an essentially chemical reaction.
Tip: Don’t try to learn lists of gradable and non-gradable adjectives! It’s better to understand what makes an adjective gradable or non-gradable. This is a matter of logic and common sense. Most native-speakers have never heard of gradable and non-gradable adjectives. They just “feel” that it doesn’t make sense to say “
fairly excellent” or “ very unique“. You probably have the same idea in your language.
Try these exercises:
“All I Have to Give” is a song by American pop group the Backstreet Boys, The single debuted at number 2 on theUK Singles Chart and peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. At the 1999 Teen Choice Awards, the song won Choice Music: Video of the Year. Practice your listening comprehesion completing the lyrics and enjoy this good song.
"All I Have to Give"
“Work” and “Job” are two words that have similar yet different meanings. Although they are used interchangeably, their meanings may differ according to how they are used. Let’s see the difference:
If you prefer a written explanation check out this page, it includes exercises:
When we describe people (or things), we can use the phrases “look” and “look like”.
Follow the verb “look” with an adjective to describe someone’s emotion or state:
He looks happy.
She looks excited.
You look tired.
Remember to use do / does; don’t and doesn’t for negatives and questions.
You don’t look very happy.
Does he look sad, in your opinion?
You can also use “look” in the present continuous tense to talk about someone’s health:
“You’re looking good!” (= You’re in good shape!)
“He’s looking ill.” (= He appears ill.)
Use “look like” to talk about a person’s physical similarity with another person.
I look like my mother.
You look like your sister.
He looks like his grandfather.
(Remember, with the verb “look” in the present simple tense, you need do / does; don’t / doesn’t to make questions and negatives.)
Do you look like your sister or your brother?
Does he look like his mother?
They don’t look like their parents.
Be careful with these questions
What is he like? = asks about personality
– What is he like?
– He’s nice. He’s friendly and chatty.
Who is he like? = asks about physical similarity or similar character to another person
– Who is he like?
– He’s quite like his mother. They both have brown eyes.
– He’s like his father. They’re both quite ambitious.
What does he look like? = asks for a physical description
– What does he look like?
– He’s tall and slim.
Who does he look like? = asks about physical similarity with another person
– Who does he look like?
– I think he looks like his mother.
How to say the year…
You normally split up the year in tens.
1985 is split up in 19 and 85. (You say: nineteen eighty-five).
From 2000 until 2009 the year is normally not split up.
- 2000 = two thousand
- 2001 = two thousand (and) one
The word and is often left out. From 2010 on the year is split up again.
2010 is split up in 20 and 10. (You say: twenty ten).
|artes marciales||die Kampfsportarten|
|billar americano||das Pool(billard)|
|carreras de caballos||der Pferderennsport|
|esquí náutico/acuático||das Wasserskifahren|
|footing (anglicismo)||das Jogging|
|fórmula 1||Formel 1|
|fútbol americano||der Football, amerikanischer Fussball|
|fútbol sala||der Hallenfussball|
|gimnasia (deporte)||das Turnen|
|gimnasia (disciplina)||die Gymnastik|
|gimnasia rítmica||rhythmische Sportgymnastik|
|hockey hielo||das Eishockey|
|hockey hierba||das Feldhockey|
|lucha libre||der Ringkampf|
|patinaje sobre hielo||der Eislauf|
|patinaje artístico (sobre hielo)||der Eiskunstlauf|
|patinaje sobre ruedas||das Rollschuhlaufen|
|patinaje de velocidad (sobre hielo)||der Eisschnelllauf|
|pesas (hacer levantamiento)||Krafttraining machen|
|pesas (levantamiento)||das Gewichtheben|
|ping-pong (tenis de mesa)||das Tischtennis|
|tiro con arco||das Bogenschiessen|
|competición||der Wettkampf, der Wettbewerb|
|competidor||der/die Konkurrent, -in,
der/die Wettbewerber, -in
|Juegos Olímpicos (Olimpiada)||die Olympischen Spiele,
|participantes||der/die Teilnehmer, -in|
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A preposition of place is a preposition which is used to refer to a place where something or someone is located.
In general, we use:
- at for a POINT
- in for an ENCLOSED SPACE
- on for a SURFACE
|at the corner||in the garden||on the wall|
|at the bus stop||in London||on the ceiling|
|at the door||in France||on the door|
|at the top of the page||in a box||on the cover|
|at the end of the road||in my pocket||on the floor|
|at the entrance||in my wallet||on the carpet|
|at the crossroads||in a building||on the menu|
|at the front desk||in a car||on a page|
Look at these examples:
- Jane is waiting for you at the bus stop.
- The shop is at the end of the street.
- My plane stopped at Dubai and Hanoi and arrived in Bangkok two hours late.
- When will you arrive at the office?
- Do you work in an office?
- I have a meeting in New York.
- Do you live in Japan?
- Jupiter is in the Solar System.
- The author’s name is on the cover of the book.
- There are no prices on this menu.
- You are standing on my foot.
- There was a “no smoking” sign on the wall.
- I live on the 7th floor at 21 Oxford Street in London.
Notice the use of the prepositions of place at, in and on in these standard expressions:
|at home||in a car||on a bus|
|at work||in a taxi||on a train|
|at school||in a helicopter||on a plane|
|at university||in a boat||on a ship|
|at college||in a lift (elevator)||on a bicycle, on a motorbike|
|at the top||in the newspaper||on a horse, on an elephant|
|at the bottom||in the sky||on the radio, on television|
|at the side||in a row||on the left, on the right|
|at reception||in Oxford Street||on the way|
For a full list of prepositions plus examples and quizzes, you may want to visit these pages:
Exercises on Prepositions