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FROM TEXT-AND-TALK
MORE VERY IMPORTANT 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 FIVE

NOTE: This lesson has been prepared especially for students who are sincere about learning English quickly and correctly!

GENERAL TIPS.

1.      These lessons are more than just fun information! These are "real" English lessons carefully planned and prepared especially by TEXT-AND-TALK for Thai people. This means that you should study all of the lessons before you study a new one! (You will see at the end of each lesson a way to find and go to the other lessons.) If you do this, you will learn all the basics of English much more quickly than you would by studying from books which were not prepared for Thais. And you will learn how to pronounce English words and sentences correctly, in a way that no other book, school or teacher in the world now does!

2.      In the same way that you cannot learn to repair a car or a truck unless you learn a lot of information about the "parts" first (and what each part is called), a language also cannot be learned very well unless you find out what the different parts are, how they work together in the "motor" of the language, and what each is called. However, in these lessons, there is a very special reason to learn a lot about the different "parts" of English! It's because the way we pronounce a word in any sentence is controlled by what "job" the word must do (in other words, what part it is) in the sentence we are studying! In this lesson you will learn a lot more about these "parts", and how they help us to pronounce words correctly.

3.      Starting with Lesson Seven, you will be ready to start learning a lot more English conversation words (especially those used for business) than you know now. We will give you a lot of new words like that to learn! At the same time, if you have done a good job in learning what's in Lessons One to Five, you will be able to start pronouncing clearly -- and your ability to listen and understand when native speakers talk in English will increase 300%. Soon after that, you will learn how to do something that not very many "advanced level" English students can do! You will learn how to change "little words" into "big words", which will help you to read and understand difficult writing better -- and to write 1,000% better yourself -- while speaking and understanding clearly at the same time!

4.      In your next lesson (Lesson Six), you will have a "review" of what you learned in Lessons One to Five -- and that lesson will be mainly a fun "Learning Game" all the way through! (If you start reviewing now, you will really enjoy it!)

ABOUT GRAMMAR.

1.      In Lesson Four you learned that a sentence must have a subject, a verb and end punctuation. But what about other groups of words? These groups of words are important parts of sentences too! There are two kinds of groups:

     A.      Phrases (pronounced FRAY-zihz). These are groups of words that may have a word which could be a subject, or a group of words that may have a verb, but they cannot have both a word that could be a subject and a verb, too! The following groups of words are good examples of phrases:

"by the dining room table" - "HIT the rabbit" - "of the horse"
"or SOMETHING ELSE" - "injured by the falling rock"
"readily learned in just a few minutes".

     B.      Clauses (pronounced KLOR-zihz). There are two kinds of clauses.

           1.     Independent clauses (pronounced ihn-dih-PIHN-dihnt klor-zihz). These are groups of words that do have both a subject and a verb, and are a sentence such as:

"The animal TRAINER DRIVES a truck to work."

But independent clauses also can be joined with other independent clauses (by punctuation such as commas, etc.), so that there is end punctuation for one sentence only (and all independent clauses together count as just one sentence)! The following is a good example of two independent clauses making one sentence:

"John's FATHER TEACHES French; his MOTHER TEACHES English."

(These two independent clauses are joined by the semicolon after "French".)

           2.     Dependent clauses (pronounced dee-PIHN-dihnt klor-zihz). These are groups of words that have a subject and a verb, but, because of their connection (by conjunctions) to the real sentence, cannot be considered as a sentence by themselves. The following is a good example of a dependent clause:

"I sometimes like to go shopping on Saturdays,
THOUGH I DON'T ENJOY TRYING TO FIND A PARKING SPACE."

(The clause in capital letters is not a sentence or an independent clause because it starts with "though", and a sentence that reads: "Though I don't enjoy trying to find a parking space" has no meaning all by itself.)

2.      The seven kinds of words that can be used in sentences (of almost any language). These words are called the Parts of Speech (pronounced thuh PAHRTS suhv SPEECH). These kinds of words, with the kinds of information they tell us (which is given below the list) are:

NOUNS (pronounced NAONZ)
PRONOUNS (pronounced PROH-naonz) - VERBS (pronounced VERBZ)
PREPOSITIONS (pronounced preh-poh-ZIH-shuhnz)
CONJUNCTIONS(pronounced kuhn-JUHNG-shuhnz)
ADJECTIVES (pronounced AED-jehk-tihvz) - and
ADVERBS (pronounced AED-verbz).

     A.      Nouns. These are words that point to a person, animal or insect, place, thing, or thought -- or to a group of these. All the words below, for example, are nouns:

manager - Sam - kangaroo - school - Bangkok - bookcase - opinion
milk - workers - ants - ASEAN - The Nation - holidays.

These words usually tell us one of the following kinds of information:

WHO - WHAT - or WHICH.

     B.      Pronouns. These are words used in place of nouns (and sometimes working as adjectives) when we already know what person, animal or insect, place, thing, or thought (or group of these) the speaker or writer is talking about in his sentence. There are different kinds of pronouns (which we will learn about later on), but the following is a sample of some you will see often:

I - me - my - mine - myself - we - us - our - ours - ourselves
you - your - yours - yourselves - he - him - his - himself
she - her - hers - herself - it - its - itself
they - them - their - theirs - themselves - one - one's - oneself
some - this - that - these - those -
and which.

These words usually tell us one of the following kinds of information:

WHO - WHAT - WHICH - or WHOSE.

     C.      Verbs. These are the words of a sentence that show the actions of, or introduce more information about, the subject of the sentence. There are three basic kinds of verbs, and a few special names for them, which we use in discussing their different duties in a sentence.

           1.      Main verbs (pronounced MAYN verbz). These are the verbs of sentences and clauses that point to actions by the persons, animals or insects, things or thoughts which are shown by the subject of the sentence, or that tell some information about him, her, them or it after a linking verb (which you will find out about in 1.b, below). There are two important kinds of main verb, as shown below:

                 a.      Action verbs (pronounced AEK-shuhn verbz). These are main verbs that show actions done by things, people, animals, insects or the minds of people, animals or insects. For example:

"the sun RISES" - "the ant BITES" - "the dog BARKS"
"the teacher THINKS" - "my wife FEELS" - "the tables FALL".

                 b.     Linking verbs (pronounced LIHNG-kihng verbz). These are main verbs that show no action, but come before some word or words that give us more information about the sentence subject, as in the following examples:

"Robert IS an English teacher."
"Mr. Kramer LOOKS very old in this photograph."
"By 6.00 p.m., most workers GROW very tired."

           2.     Helping verbs.

                a.      These are verbs used to show a special verb tense, as in these examples:

"My boss HAS worked hard all day."
"The children ARE playing a new kind of American football."

                b.      Helping verbs also are verbs used to make the main verb give us more complete information. (These verbs are called MODALS, pronounced MOH-duhlz, and we will learn more about these later on.) For example, all of the sentences below have the same subject, the same direct object, the same adverbial phrase ("on Sunday") and the same main verb "do", but each sentence has a completely different meaning!

"I WILL do my homework on Sunday."
"I MIGHT do my homework on Sunday."
"I COULD do my homework on Sunday."
"I SHOULD do my homework on Sunday."

                 c.      Helping verbs also can be a form of the verb "do" in a question, with the word "not", or in a statement to make the meaning of the main verb stronger, as in these sentences:

"DOES your manager LET you take a coffee break sometimes?"
"I DO not LIKE having to work on national holidays!"
"Doing homework DOES TAKE longer than reading a newspaper!"

      4.     Prepositions. These are words like "in", "on", "at", "over", etc., which tell how one part of what we are talking about in the sentence joins with another part, as in the following examples:

"My telephone sits ON a small table NEXT TO the bed."
"We are IN Bangkok ON holiday UNTIL next Friday."

These words usually tell us one of the following kinds of information:

WHERE - HOW - WHEN - HOW LONG - or WHY.

      5.      Conjunctions. These are words such as "or", "because", "so", "and", "but", etc., that join one part of a sentence to another part of that sentence, as in the following examples:

"We must arrive on time, OR we will not get a seat to watch the concert."
"I like learning new languages BECAUSE I am a friendly person."
"We were not able to get a taxi to the office, SO we took a bus."
"Too much work makes me feel tired AND hungry."
"I asked my friend for some sugar, BUT he didn't have any."

These words usually tell us one of the following kinds of information:

WHERE - WHEN - HOW - HOW LONG - or WHY.

      6.     Adjectives. These are words that give us more information about the person, animal or insect, thing or thought pointed to by a noun or pronoun, as in these examples:

"HEALTHY children are HAPPY children."
"Jack is ANGRY with me for eating HIS sandwich at lunchtime."
"THE TALL boy killed and cooked A chicken for OUR dinner."

These words usually tell us one of the following kinds of information:

WHICH - WHOSE - HOW MANY - HOW MUCH
HOW - WHAT KIND
(OF).

      7.      Adverbs. These words tell us information that is more complete than the following parts of speech can tell us all by themselves:

VERBS - ADJECTIVES - OTHER ADVERBS.

Here are some sample sentences:

"The dog ran SLOWLY away from the hungry chicken."
("Slowly" tells us more information about the verb "ran".)

"Mary does VERY good work when she wants to."
("Very" tells us more information about the adjective "good".)

"Some of the students did RATHER poorly on their exams."
("Rather"tells us more information about the adverb "poorly".)

These words usually tell us one of the following kinds of information:

WHEN - WHERE - HOW - WHY - HOW LONG - HOW OFTEN
HOW FAR -
or UP TO WHAT POINT (to what extent, or limit).

ABOUT PRONUNCIATION.

1.      In an English sentence, the STRESS TONE of NOUNS, most MAIN VERBS, most ADJECTIVES, and all ADVERBS is a HIGH TONE, as in these examples:

TOM - MI-chael - BUIL-ding - SEE - VI-sit - PRET-ty
SLOW-ly - DIF-fi-cult - O-ften.

We write the HIGH TONE with UPPERCASE LETTERS, the LOW TONE with LOWER CASE LETTERS and the MIDDLE TONE with ITALIC LOWER CASE LETTERS. But when you write MIDDLE TONES, you should write them with LOWER CASE LETTERS and then underline them, as in the following example:

WE WRITE: DIF-fi-cult, but
YOU WRITE: DIF-fi-cult.

2.      The adjectives "a", "an" and "the" have only low tones, so we write them like this:

an AIR-plane
a BIG BUIL-ding
the FIRST PER-son.

3.      The STRESS TONE in HELPING VERBS, LINKING VERBS, MODALS, PRONOUNS, PREPOSITIONS and CONJUNCTIONS is a MIDDLE TONE, as in these examples:

"Does JOHN HAVE a PEN?" (helping verb)
"Dan-IELLE is a FRENCH LAW-yer." (linking verb)
"We ought to ar-RIVE EAR-ly." (the modal "ought to")
"They GAVE the DOG its DIN-ner." (the pronouns "they" and "its")
"MAT-thew ar-RIVED in BANG-kok on FRI-day."
(the prepositions "in" and "on")
"JO-seph WORKS HARD be-cause he WANTS to be suc-CESS-ful."
(the conjunction "because").

4.      We pronounce the STRESS TONE of QUESTION WORDS with a MIDDLE TONE, and the last syllable of QUESTION WORDS with a FALLING TONE (as in the Thai word for "no" = Mai). Below are the QUESTION WORDS of English, and how to pronounce them:

who - what - when - where - how - why - which -
how m
uch - how ma-ny - how long - how o-ften.

5.      In English the last syllable (complete sound) in the last word of almost all STATEMENT SENTENCES (and INFORMATION QUESTIONS starting with QUESTION WORDS) is pronounced with a FALLING TONE,as in these examples:

"I will re-TURN from NEW YORK CI-ty NEXT MON-day ."
"How ma-ny PEO-ple WORK for your COM-pa-ny?"

6.      If we call out to someone, or if we expect our listener to answer "Yes" or "No" to a question, we use a RISING TONE (as in the Thai word "many" = laI) on the last syllable of the name, or of the question, as in the following examples:

"joHN, could I SPEAK to you for a SE-coND?"

QUESTION: "Will you re-TURN from NEW YORK CI-ty NEXT MON-dAY?"
ANSWER: "YES. If my FLIGHT is NOT LATE, I will."

7.      Thai names. You learned in Lesson Four that it is not polite to pronounce an English name in the "Thai way" if you are speaking English, but it is okay to do that when you're speaking Thai. In the same way, English native speakers will try very hard (if they are polite) to pronounce Thai names in the "Thai way" when they are speaking Thai. But they must change this pronunciation a little bit, when they are speaking English! The following two sentences (using common Thai names) are good examples of this:

"KHUN Thi-thi-mA, COME HERE, PLEASE!"

"Have you SEEN KHUN Jin-ta-nAH?"

8.      English words used in sentences are not always pronounced in the way we have shown you above! Sometimes, when we are excited, or when we wish to stress a word important to us, we pronounce the words of our sentences in a different way (just as you also do in the Thai language) -- but if you never pronounce English sentences in a way different from what we show you here, you will have no problem -- and you will be speaking clearly in an English native speaker way!

9.      We do not plan to teach you everything we know about how to pronounce English words in sentences! For example, adjectives and adverbs both use rising tones sometimes, and falling tones sometimes, on one of their syllables. But you don't need to know how to do this, because you will learn that in a natural way when you speak with foreigners -- and if we teach you too much, you might get confused and be afraid to speak!

In the weeks to come, however, we will be teaching you many more very important lessons about how to pronounce English words. And . . .

Very soon you will learn exactly how to pronounce
all
of the vowels and all of the consonants in English!

At the same time,

You must learn to look up English words you are learning
in an English-to-English dictionary
in order to find sample words with the same sounds
as the consonants and vowels of
those words
-- and where the syllables begin and end:

Because, except for words you learn in these lessons,
you will have to learn about words from a dictionary
in order to use all of what you learn here
(and if you use an English-to-Thai dictionary,
you will very often get the wrong information)!

But what you learn here about how to pronounce sentences will always be correct, and won't change!

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

There are 10 questions, but 44 points to be scored. Print out this lesson, and write your answers in pen. Then click to check your work after you finish!

SCORING: If you get 32 - 44 right answers:
You are an eagle: powerful and flying high!

If you get 20 - 31 right answers:
You are a rabbit: very fast and loved by many!

If you get 10 - 19 right answers:
You are a kitten: very cute, but you need to learn a lot fast!

If you get fewer that 10 right answers: You are a(an) . . .
Never mind! You just need to study the lesson one more time!

INSERT THE CORRECT ANSWER.

1. 2 points. Groups of words that do not have both a verb and a word that could be the subject are called ___________________. The way to spell this word, only to pronounce it clearly, is: _____________________________.
2. 6 points. Groups of words that have both a main verb and a subject are called _______________________, and the way to spell this word, only to pronounce it clearly, is: __________________________. Groups of words like this which also are sentences, or parts of sentences that have meaning all by themselves, are called ______________________ _____________________, which is spelled, only to pronounce it clearly, as: _____________________________ _____________________. If these groups of words do not have meaning all by themselves, they are called __________________________ _______________________, which is pronounced: __________________________ _____________________.
3. 6 points. The seven parts of speech are nouns, _________________, __________________, __________________________, ___________________________, _______________________ and _______________________.
4. 2 points. The two most common kinds of main verbs are ___________________ verbs and ______________________ verbs (which tell us more information about the subject).
5. 3 points. Give an example from your lesson of a helping verb used to show a special verb tense: ______________ Give an example from your lesson of a helping verb used to make the main verb give us more information: ____________________. This type of helping verb is called a ______________________.
6. 3 points. Adverbs give us information that is more complete than what is shown by some __________________, _________________________ or other ____________________ in our sentence.
7. 6 points. Tell the part of speech (not the sentence duty) of each word in the following sentence: "I live on the second floor." "I" is a ____________________. "Live" is a _______________ _______________. "On" is a _________________________. "The" is an ___________________________. "Second" is an ___________________________. "Floor" is a ___________________________.
8. 7 points. Write this sentence in a new way, to show how to pronounce every word in it:
"I live on the second floor." "_______________________________________________."
To show
(by the way you pronounce) that "floor" is the last syllable of the sentence, you should write: ________________.
9. 7 points. The stress tones of nouns, main verbs, most adjectives and all adverbs are __________ _________________, but the stress tones of _______________ __________, _________________ _______________, _________________, ___________________, __________________________ and ___________________________ are middle tones.
10. 2 points. If we ask an information question or make a statement type of sentence, we should use a __________________ tone on the last syllable of our sentence. If we ask a question that we want our listener to answer "Yes" or "No", or if we call someone's name, we use a _________________ tone on the last syllable.

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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