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

Friday, September 26, 2008

ESL Student Blog: The ‘Cutting’ Verbs

Some English verbs have the same basic meaning as the verb ‘cut’. Yet, each of these verbs has an additional meaning describing a special way of cutting.

To ‘cut’ something, we need to separate it into parts using a sharp tool such as scissors or knife:

They cut their wedding cake holding the knife together.

If we cut something out from paper or material, we form different shapes:

The girl cut out a monkey mask from construction paper.

To carve we need to cut away pieces of material, usually wood, stone, metal (also called engraving) or even fruit and vegetables in order to get a desired shape:

Every Halloween we carve a pumpkin to make Jack-oh-Lantern.

We trim or clip something to make it tidier:

I trim my beard and moustache every so often.
I gave myself a pedicure today. I clipped and filed my toenails and then applied two layers of red nail polish.
We snip something if we cut it in small quick strokes (movements):

Today Kathy is cooking with fresh herbs that she snipped from her backyard.

We prune trees and bushes to remove some of their branches and canes so that they grow healthier or develop a special shape.

We have such a fast growing hedge. We prune it at least three times a year!

Choose: cut, cut out, carve, trim, clip, snip or prune. Use the verbs in the right tense. In some sentences more than one answer is possible and some verbs may be used more than once.

1. She _____ the corner off the carton of juice.
2. The year 800 A.D. was _____ on the wooden bowls found by archaeologists last week.
3. The kids _____ a few photographs from the magazine and glued them onto the poster.
4. She took her dog to the grooming salon to _____ his coat.
5. The Mayor was invited to _____ a ribbon at the opening of a new museum in the city.
6. He is going to _____ all the branches overhanging the sidewalk.
7. She accidentally _____ her finger while chopping the vegetables.

Answer Key: (1) snipped (2) carved (3) cut out (4) clip/trim (5) snip (6) prune (7) cut
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:12 AM   2 Comments  Add Comment

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

ESL Student Blog: Accept, Expect or Except?

Often confused in meaning, writing (and typing!) or mispronounced, these three words receive a lot of attention in ESL classrooms.

All three: accept, expect and except function as verbs while except is also a common preposition. Here are some examples:

• She applied to two different universities and was accepted to both of them. (admitted, allowed to attend)

• This store accepts American Express. (agrees to take)

• We expect showers (=rain) overnight. (believe it’s very likely to happen)

• Tina is very weak after the surgery and expects her husband to do the house chores. (thinks he should do them)

• Low-income families were excepted from paying the additional tax. (excluded; it’s a verb)

• I’m allergic to all nuts except almonds. (excluding; it’s a preposition)

Choose: accept, expect or except.

1. I _____ your job offer.
2. Everyone showed up for the meeting, _____Kimberley.
3. I’ll never _____ your rude tone of voice.
4. We’ll never _____ the fact that our 40-year-old son still lives in our house.
5. They _____ a baby boy.
6. I’ve cleaned all the house _____ the basement.
7. The workers _____to receive their paychecks by tomorrow.

Answer Key:

(1) accept (2) except (3) accept (4) accept (5) expect (6) except (7) expect
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 1:29 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

top Thursday, September 04, 2008

ESL Student Blog: The Right Paper For Your Job

‘Paper’ is a word that students learn at the earliest stage of learning English. Yet, many find it difficult to specify what type of paper they’re looking for when at a stationery store, work or school.

Note-taking, cursive writing practice, diagram drawing, printing needs or project presentation – each activity requires a different type of paper. Here are the most common types:

scrap paper – paper that has been used before and put aside for recycling, not new paper; used for drafts, notes, taking or leaving informal messages, grocery lists

blank (plain) paper – clear paper that has nothing written or drawn on it

lined paper - that has lines printed across a page; mainly used by school-aged children or for note-taking

graph paper - paper with vertical and horizontal lines crossing each other forming squares; used mainly in Math and Battleship game

construction paper – thick colorful paper used in arts and crafts, often folded or cut out into shapes
tracing paper – thin transparent paper (you can see through it) that is placed over a picture to trace its image; often used for copying drawings, in sewing or writing practice

carbon paper – thin paper coated with wax and pigment on one side, used for making additional copies of originals (so that a person doesn’t have to  write the same version of a document/paper more than once)

Bristol paper (also Bristol board) – thick (but not cardboard!) large-format paper used for art projects and school presentations

wrapping paper – paper for gift wrapping, often sold in tubes
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 10:47 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment


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