Business English
  • Why is it that people most often say 'English is difficult to learn'?
    If you were to ask most native born English speakers the question 'Do you think English is a difficult language to learn'? Almost everyone of them would answer 'No not at all... English is a reasonably easy language to learn!' and 'Its easy because it lacks many of the grammatical and tonal features that make other languages difficult to learn!'
    In fact I just read that in fact English is considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn!! and that this difficulty is for many reasons - with one of the main reasons being that the English Language contains many words which are pronounced exactly the same as each other BUT each of these words have different meanings!
    NOTE: The words described above are called HOMONYMS [pronounced: hom-o-nims] - and to show you what I mean, just a few of these words are listed below.
    Questions:
    a) Do you know any other Homonyms?
    b)
    i) Do you agree, does this make English difficult for you to learn?
    ii) What do you find difficult about learning the English Language?
    Some Sample Homonyms:
    [table][tr][td]aye[/td][td]eye[/td][td]I[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]boar[/td][td]boor[/td][td]bore[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]born[/td][td]borne[/td][td]bourn[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]buy[/td][td]by[/td][td]bye[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]cent[/td][td]scent[/td][td]sent[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]flew[/td][td]flu[/td][td]flue[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]for[/td][td]fore[/td][td]four[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]heigh[/td][td]hi[/td][td]hie[/td][td]high[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]knows[/td][td]noes[/td][td]nose[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]lays[/td][td]laze[/td][td]leis[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]meat[/td][td]meet[/td][td]mete[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]pair[/td][td]pare[/td][td]pear[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]praise[/td][td]prays[/td][td]preys[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]read[/td][td]rede[/td][td]reed[/td][td]red[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]right[/td][td]rite[/td][td]wright[/td][td]write[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]seas[/td][td]sees[/td][td]seize[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]teas[/td][td]tease[/td][td]tees[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]their[/td][td]there[/td][td]they're[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]to[/td][td]too[/td][td]two[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]way[/td][td]weigh[/td][td]whey[/td][td][/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]weather[/td][td]wether[/td][td]whether[/td][td][/td][/tr][/table]
    Did you find the meanings of all these Homonyms?
    I am here to help - but you need to help me too - what can I do to make it easier for me to help you?
    English words are extremely difficult to pronounce correctly! The reason is that the English language does not follow strict rules (as in Thai and German for example). In fact in most cases you not only have to know what the word means - but also how it sounds before you can pronounce it correctly.
    Even after years of speaking and reading English, I still come across words which I perhaps have never seen before and just from looking at the word - I really don't know how to pronounce it either! Now while this is not good - I can tell you that this is rare.
    How to pronounce a word - I will both post an explanation on how to say the word + make a sound recording to help.
    Also - use resources like
    http://www.wordhippo.com

    and in the 'More Tools' Menu select 'Pronounce Words' ...in the box that opens type in your word and click 'Say it'.
    Its not perfect - and sometimes it cannot pronounce a word either - but its a good general resource for pronunciation.
    Note too: most online 'spoken English' is in pronounced in USA tones (American English). USA English is not the pronunciation that I use (mine being UK/Australian) BUT USA English is good for Thai people - as this is closer to your English pronunciation than the UK style.
    The wordhippo site also has a lot of other useful tools for English!

    Master English by using more Prepositions. Today we look at the basic Prepositions for TIME
    In English we have a type of word in grammar, which we call a PREPOSITION.
    You really don't have to know that they are called Prepositions - BUT you should know that most Thai people don't use them very much - or don't use them correctly. HOWEVER if you do start to use Prepositions more often, your English speaking will instantly be greatly improved!
    The best part is that they are simple words and simple to use - but as with me learning Thai PRACTICE will make you perfect in English too!
    1. Before we get started, you may ask 'What is a Preposition?'
    There are lots of prepositions - but you don't need to know them all, but only a few.
    A preposition is a word which shows relationships among other words in the sentence. The relationships include direction, place, time, cause, manner and amount. For example, in the sentence 'She went to the store', to is a preposition which shows direction. In the sentence 'He came by bus', by is a preposition which shows manner. In the sentence 'They will be here at three o'clock', at is a preposition which shows time and in the sentence 'It is under the table', under is a preposition which shows place.
    In these examples the prepositions used are on and after:
    i) The woman on the side walk.
    ii) He arrived after dinner.
    2. Perhaps the most basic day-to-day (or everyday) preposition we use are related to TIME, and the most basic of these prepositions are: AT, IN, ON
    a) We use these prepositions as follows:
    - at is used for a PRECISE TIME
    - in is used for MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS
    - on is used for DAYS and DATES
    b) Please see more in the Examples below in:
    [table][tr][td]AT[/td][td]| IN[/td][td]| ON[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]PRECISE TIME[/td][td]| MONTHS, YEARS, CENTURIES and LONG PERIODS[/td][td]| DAYS and DATES[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at 3 o'clock[/td][td]| in May[/td][td]| on Sunday[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at 10:30 A.M.[/td][td]| in summer[/td][td]| on Tuesdays[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at noon[/td][td]| in the summer[/td][td]| on March 6[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at dinnertime[/td][td]| in 1990[/td][td]| on 25th Dec., 2010[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at bedtime[/td][td]| in the 1990's[/td][td]| on Christmas Day[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at sunrise[/td][td]| in the next century[/td][td]| on Constitution Day[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at sunset[/td][td]| in the Ice Age[/td][td]| on my birthday[/td][/tr]
    [tr][td]at the moment[/td][td]| in the past, or, in the future[/td][td]| on New Year's Eve[/td][/tr][/table]
    c) Here are some more examples:
    - I have a meeting at 9 A.M.
    - The shop closes at midnight.
    - K.Aim went home at lunchtime.
    - In northern England, it often snows in December.
    - Do you think we will go to Mars in the future?
    - There should be a lot of technical progress in the next one hundred years.
    - Do you work on Sundays?
    - Her birthday is on November 20.
    - Where will you be on New Year's Day?
    d) Now notice the use of the preposition of time at in some standard expressions:
    [center]Cr: AIT[/center] 8)
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