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FROM TEXT-AND-TALK
SOME USEFUL NEW TIPS!
(Regarding common misunderstandings Thai people have about English)

by Acharn James Parmelee

NOTE TO ADVANCED ENGLISH STUDENTS, ENGLISH NATIVE-SPEAKING TEACHERS AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE AUTHORITIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD:

Lessons on this page are for English students of Basic through Intermediate levels (Thai standard), though everyone can learn a lot! For help, or discussion, on any English language matter that puzzles you or others, just e-mail parmelee@langserv.com and tell us about it! We will then respond to your e-mail just as soon as possible! To review all the lessons to date, visit the Index of Free English Lessons.

LESSON THREE

ABOUT GRAMMAR.

1. If you want to tell someone what you believe, do not say:

"FOR my opinion . . . "!

This is wrong! "In" is the correct preposition to use, not "for". So you should say, for example:

"IN my opinion, foreigners spend too much time drinking beer."

But you must not say:

"FOR my opinion, foreigners spend too much time drinking beer."

2. If you want to tell someone why someone has done something, do not say:

"Somkiet went to Petachaburi FOR visit his mother last week."

This is wrong! "FOR" must not be used before a simple verb such as "visit". You should use the word "TO" for this purpose. So you should say, in this example:

"Somkiet went to Petachaburi TO visit his mother last week."

There are three common ways to point to the reason for someone's action. These are by using the words

"IN ORDER TO" or "TO" or "SO AS TO ".

Here is how they are used:

If you want to show that the action was one the subject wanted to take for a special purpose, use "in order to", as in this example:

"This term the children had to study very hard IN ORDER TO pass their exams."

You also can use "to" or "so as to",
but these are not very good, as you will see below.

If you want to show that someone's action was for a reason that the subject might not be happy about, or that it was not for a special purpose, use "to", as in these examples:

"John has gone to Singapore TO get a new visa for Thailand."
(There was a special purpose, but he might not be happy about going.)

"After work, Alice left with her boyfriend TO enjoy a plate of Chinese food."
( There was no special purpose, but she surely was happy about going.)

You also can use "in order to" or "so as to",
but these may not give the best meaning to an English native speaker.

If you want to show that someone's action was just a way to get some special result, but perhaps not for any other reason,

use "so as to ", as in this example:

"The old man moved closer to the speaker, so as to hear him better."
(This was just a way for the old man to hear better. He may not have wanted to move and cause everyone else to watch him.)

You also can use "in order to" because the subject did something for a special purpose,
but "to" is not good usage, because that shows no special purpose.

In summary, at least use one of these three ways to show the reason for someone's action. Don't worry if you sometimes make the wrong choice. So do English native speakers! But never use "FOR" before a verb to show the reason for an action. That's bad!

You can use FOR before a noun, in order to show the meaning "to get or have", as in this example:

"The staff are all out FOR lunch."
(to have)

Above, you have seen some of the problems people have with two words of just 2 or 3 letters: "FOR" and "AS". So now let's learn more about them!

3. "For".

     A.      To point out the person you have talked about before "FOR":

"It's unusual FOR Nongnuch to be away from home so late in the evening."
(Nongnuch is a person not likely to be away from home late in the evening.)

If this sentence is not true, just put NOT before the word telling about the person you are discussing, as in this example:

"It's not unusual FOR Nongnuch to be away from home so late in the evening."

     B.      In the meaning of "pointed toward" or "when considering, or thinking about", as in these examples:

"All the children felt a dislike FOR the rude old woman next door."
(They felt a dislike, which was pointed toward the old woman.)

"Veerachai's family couldn't understand the reason FOR his actions."
(They thought about, or considered, his actions,
but didn't understand why they happened.)

Other nouns, similar to "dislike" or "reason", that can come before FOR are, for example:

"admiration" - "desire" - "responsibility" - "need" - "respect" - "search" -
"taste" - "substitute" - "thirst" . . . and there are a lot of others!

     C.     To point to a period of time, as in the following example:

"Louis and Mitchell have been studying Thai FOR six months."
("Six months" is the period of time in which they have been studying.)

     D.     In the meaning "because of" or "in order to get, receive or find", as in the following examples:

"We apologize FOR being late, Mr. Smith."
("We apologize because of being late, Mr. Smith.")

"A young Indonesian gentleman came into my office yesterday
to apply FOR a job."
(He came in in order to get a job.)

Other verbs like "apologize" and "apply" which are used before FOR include, as examples:

"ask" - "look" - and "wait".

SPECIAL TIP ABOUT "FOR": "FOR" is a preposition; and when a preposition (any preposition) comes before a verb, the verb must end in "-ing", as in this example:

"The fine FOR throwing garbage on the street is 2,000 baht."

4.     "As".

     A.      In the meaning "when" or "at the same time that", as in this example:

"She cried AS she told us about her bad experience at home."
(when)

     B.      In the meaning "because" when we only want to explain a reason, and not make the listener share a feeling with us, as in these examples:

"AS it was getting late, we had to make the children go to bed."

But if we want to explain a reason so as to make the listener share a feeling with us, we could say:

"Khun Rung was late for work again.
This time it was BECAUSE she didn't hear her alarm clock ring."

Or if we want to explain a reason in a way that clearly shows our feeling about some action, we could say:

"Since you refuse to do your homework,
I'm not going to let you go out with your friends this evening."
(I feel upset, so I'm going to do something to make you know that.)

     C.      In the meaning "immediately after", we use "AS" both before and after the word "SOON", as in this example:

"AS SOON AS the robber got back to his hotel room, the police arrested him."

NOTE: In this meaning,

     Never say:

"Please call me WHEN you WILL get home".
("When" points to the future, anyway.)

     Always say:

"Please call me AS SOON AS you get home."

     D.       In the meaning "the way", as in this example:

"She argues with people AS she does
because she's afraid they'll think she's stupid if she doesn't."

     E.      After "SO LONG", meaning "if, and only if" or "on the condition that", as in this example:

"You may use my car tonight, SO LONG AS you drive it safely and carefully."
(if and only if, or on the condition that)

     F.      Before "if" or "though", in the following meanings:

          1.      AS IF: "In a way that could cause one to believe (that)", as in the following example:

"Kantana talks about the new department manager AS IF he were dishonest."
(She talks about him in a way
that could cause one to believe
he is dishonest.)

          2.      AS THOUGH: "In a way that almost makes one believe (that)", as in the following example:

"Pichit acts AS THOUGH he were experiencing a personal problem."
(He acts in a way that almost makes one believe
he is having a personal problem.)

     G.      After the words "THE SAME", in the meaning "equal to that of" or "not different from", as in these examples:

"`Mary's dress was THE SAME AS mine,' Nancy complained after the party."
(not different from)

"I got 82% on the exam, THE SAME AS George."
(equal to that of)

NOTE:     Never say:

". . . the same mine" or
". . . the same you":

               Always say:

"His book is THE SAME AS mine." Or,
"Her opinion is THE SAME AS yours."

NOTES: The words "the same as" often have adverbs before them to show that there really is a little difference, as in this example:

"Jason's car is almost THE SAME AS Dan's."

If this sentence is not true, just put NOT before the words THE SAME AS, as in this example:

"Jason's car is not THE SAME AS Dan's."

Other adverbs that can be used besides "almost" are, for example:

"nearly" - "just" - "exactly" - "roughly" - "much" - and "more or less".

ABOUT PRONUNCIATION.

1.      "Th" and "Th". In Lessons One and Two, you learned that "V" is the same sound as "F", except that you don't let any air out when you pronounce "V", and that "Z" is the same sound as "S", except that you don't let any air out when you pronounce "Z". "Th" and "Th" are the same in one way as V/F or Z/S, because you don't let any air come out when you say "th", but they are different in the way you use your tongue when you pronounce them! To explain why we write these letters in a different way, but in a real word there is no difference, it is because there are only a few words that have the "th" sound (and you need to learn which words these are right away)! The most common such words are:

"this" - "that" - "these" - "those" - "there" - "their" -
"thus" - "then" - "they" - "them" - and "though".

The line through the "th" is to help you remember not to let air out when you pronounce words with this sound. To make the "th" sound, put your tongue outside you mouth just a little (about 1/2 centimeter) and try to pronounce "T" while your tongue is touching your upper teeth. Do not pull your tongue back inside your mouth until you have made the complete sound. (Don't be afraid! Your tongue is outside your mouth so little that no one will see it at all!) Practice what you have learned by saying each of the words above.

"Th", without the line through it, is pronounced in the following way:

First, put your tongue outside your mouth about 1/2 centimeter.

Then, as you try to say "T",

slowly pull your tongue back inside your mouth
while it is touching the bottom of your upper teeth,
and let air come out of your mouth!

It's easy! Remember: "th" and "th" are not the same sound as "t" or "d", but if you don't use your tongue as we teach you here, you will say a "t" or a "d" -- and pronounce a lot of English words in a very strange way indeed!

2.     "D" and "T".

     A.      Inside a word, "d" is almost always pronounced as "d", and "t" is almost always pronounced as "t". But, when you add "-d" or "-ed" to the end of a verb to make the past tense,

"D" takes the sound of "t" if the verb ends in one of the following ways:

with "ce" as in "paced" = PAYST
with "ck" as in "tacked" = TAEKT
with "k" as in "baked" = BAYKT
with "nk" as in "banked" = BANGKT
with "p" as in "camped" = KAEMPT
with "ss" as in "passed" = PAEST
with "sh" as in "pushed" = POOSHT
with "x" as in "fixed" = FIHKST.

     B. All other letters at the end of a word to which you add "-d" or "-ed" give "d" the sound of "d". But if there is a "dd" or a "tt" before the "-ed", you must add one new syllable (one complete new sound) to your word, as in the following examples:

pad + d + ed = padded = PAE-dehd
pot + t + ed = potted = PAH-tehd
or POR-tehd.

NOTE: Do not worry, for now, about when a "d" or a "t", for example, doubles at the end of a word before "-ed" is added. We will learn all about that later on!

IS THIS ENOUGH TO LEARN FOR ONE WEEK?
If so,
LET'S PLAY A LEARNING GAME!

There are 10 questions. Print out this lesson, and write your answers in pen. Then click to check your work after you finish!
SCORING: If you get 6 1/2-10 right answers:
You're a fox: beautiful, smart and able to solve hard problems!

If you get 3 1/2-6 right answers:
You are a hunter: very patient, but not able to catch the fox!

If you get fewer than 3 right answers: You are a(n) ...
Never mind. You just need to study the lesson again!

INSERT THE CORRECT ANSWER.

1. "______ our lawyer's opinion, this new tax law will help our company a lot."
2. Why is the following sentence wrong? "We have an appointment for meet Mr. Sukhavich."
We must not use "____________" before ______ _____________ ___________.
3. What does "in order to" show in the following sentence? "We had to borrow money in order to pay our bills." It shows _____ ____________ ______________.
4. Choose the best answer. "Janice went downtown ___________________ buy some furniture for our bedroom."
A. in order to
B. to
C. so as to
5. "Our parents had a great deal of love in their hearts ________ every member of our family."
6. "_________ the earth needs more than one year to go around the sun, every four years we get an extra day added to our calendar."
7. "I will check my answers to this Learning Game just as _________ _________ I finish it."
8. "No one knows why she fights with her husband ______ she does."
9. Is the sound of "th" the same as that of "th"? _________. (If not, think about why not.)
10. Look at these words: KISSED - BLINKED - CHECKED - TAXED. How should you pronounce the "d" in these words?
As a "_____".

GET THE ANSWERS


To see any of our previous English lessons, visit the Index of Free English Lessons page!

SEE ALSO:

AT YOUR HOME
AT YOUR COMPANY
AT OUR SCHOOL

FOR OTHER FUN ENGLISH LESSONS, CLICK ON:

Dave's ESL Café
EFL


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