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ESL Student Blog
Language points (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciaton) that are worth noticing for ESL students around the world.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

ESL Student Blog: Custom or Customs?

Custom is a tradition, a ritual or behavior that has been followed by a certain group of people for a long time. Plural of custom is customs:
 
Putting up a Christmas tree during winter holidays is a custom in North America. Dressing up a costume is one of the most popular customs on Halloween.
 
Customs is a place established at borders between countries to inspect travelers’ luggage for illegal goods, such as weapons, drugs, excess amount of alcohol, etc. It’s used in the plural form only:
 
We waited more than an hour to clear customs at the airport when we arrived in Buffalo from Canada. The line up at the customs checkpoint was huge! They certainly need to hire more customs and immigration officers to reduce wait times at their inspection lanes.
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 8:41 AM   3 Comments  Add Comment

Thursday, May 01, 2008

ESL Student Blog: A Sentence or Clause?

A sentence is a complete thought that ends with a period, question or exclamation mark. It must have a subject and verb.
 
A clause has a subject and verb as well. But it’s only a part of a larger sentence and therefore cannot stand on its own. There is always an additional part before or after it. Consider the following example:
The house that we’ve just bought has a big backyard. – ‘that we’ve just bought’ is a clause (not an independent sentence), even though it has a subject and a verb.
All of the following are clauses and cannot be taken as complete sentences, more information must be added (* stands for clauses):
*When it snows.
*Right after she left!
*If they knew the truth.
 
The above may be changed to:
The traffic is always heavier when it snows.
The phone rang right after she left!
Would they still get together if they knew the truth?
 
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:35 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment



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