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Monday the 31st of January, 2005
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TOUGH

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning. I hope you had a good weekend. Today's word is: tough (pronunciation --> rhymes with "cuff") Meaning: It has many meanings but we're only going to look at one today --> difficult or hard Example 1: Wow! That exam was really tough! I hope I passed. Example 2: It was a tough decision to accept the job offer, but now I'm glad I did. Example 3: We need to make sure our proposal is attractive because we are facing tough competition from our competitors. If this ajective is too tough for you to understand, please don't hesitate to contact me. Have a great day!

Friday the 28th of January, 2005
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REMIND vs. REMEMBER

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Good morning.

Today I wanted to remind you about the difference between the two verbs remind and remember.

Remember means: to have an image in your mind of a person, a place, or something that happened in the past.

Example 1:
I remember my first kiss when I was 10 years old.

Example 2:
I'll always remember the first time we met.

Remind means: to help someone to remember something that they have to do or to help them to remember an event from the past.

Example 3:
Can you please remind me to call my mother tomorrow.

Example 4:
Please remind James to bring his laptop computer to the presentation.

Notice that you always remind someone, but you remember facts or events.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, I would like to remind you that you are welcome to contact me.

Remember to have a good day and an excellent weekend!


Thursday the 27th of January, 2005
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ERRORS WITH ARTICLES

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Good morning. This week we have reviewed (very briefly) basic rules for when to use indefinite articles (A/AN), the definite article (THE) and when not to use articles. Today we're going to look at some typical translation errors that Spanish speakers make when speaking English. But first I wanted to thank Montse F. for pointing out (yesterday) that we also DO NOT use articles with possession ('s). So, sentence (a) below is incorrect, and sentence (b) is correct. a) ***The Linda's dog is a German Shepard. (INCORRECT)*** b) Linda's dog is a German Shepard. (CORRECT) And now back to today's Daily Vitamin. See if you can explain why each sentence below is erroneous and correct it. The corrections come after these sentences. Erroneous Sentence 1 I am teacher. Erroneous Sentence 2 The English is not difficult. Erroneous Sentence 3 The Times Square is a tourist attraction in London. Erroneous Sentence 4 The love is a beautiful thing. Erroneous Sentence 5 What time do you have the lunch? Erroneous Sentence 6 The last summer I went to Ibiza. ANSWERS TO ERRONEOUS SENTENCES Answer to Erroneous Sentence 1 Reason: We use the indefinite article to say what someone's job is. Correction: I'm a teacher. Answer to Erroneous Sentence 2 Reason: We don't use the definite article with languages. Correction: English is not difficult. Answer to Erroneous Sentence 3 Reason: We don't use the definite article with most place-names or people's names (although there are exceptions). Correction: Times Square is a tourist attraction in London. Answer to Erroneous Sentence 4 Reason: We don't use the definite article to refer to things in general. Abstract nouns (love, peace, beauty) are usually used without an article unless we are referring to a specific case. Correction: Love is a beautiful thing. (Love in general.) The love of a mother for her baby will ensure the baby's survival. (Specific case of love.) Answer to Erroneous Sentence 5 Reason: We don't use articles with meals. ("To have breakfast", "before lunch", "for dinner", etc.) Correction: What time do you have lunch? Answer to Erroneous Sentence 6 Reason: We don't use the definite article with next-last + a period of time. Correction: Last summer I went to Ibiza. These are only some of the special cases for using articles in English that can cause problems for Spanish speakers. A good grammar book can give you a more complete explanation of how to use articles in English and will also give you practice exercises. Reading in English is also a good way to observe how articles are used in context. Thanks to Yolanda C. for suggesting this topic. I hope we have answered your question, Yolanda! If anyone has any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I hope you have a nice day!

Wednesday the 26th of January, 2005
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NO ARTICLES

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Good morning. Today we are going to look at when NOT to use articles. Sometimes these NO ARTICLES are referred to as Zero Articles. When we DO NOT use articles? A) We don't use the indefinite articles (A-AN) before plural or uncountable nouns: -She's got brown eyes. (NOT ***She's got a brown eyes.***) -She's got short hair. (NOT ***She's got a short hair.***) B) We don't use the definite article (THE) to refer to people or things in general: -People don't understand me! (All people in general. We're not referring to specific people.) -Today students don't have the same level of education that they used to. (All students in general, not specific students.) Tomorrow we will review article use by looking at common translation errors that Spanish speakers make when they are speaking English. If you have any questions about what we've presented so far, please don't hesitate to contact me. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Tuesday the 25th of January, 2005
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DEFINITE ARTICLES

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Good morning. Yesterday we looked at the rules for using indefinite articles (A/AN). Today we are going to look at how to use the definite article (THE). THE DEFINITE ARTICLE: "THE" We use "THE" before both consonant and vowel sounds. However, the pronunciation changes depending on whether it is followed by a consonant sound or a vowel sound: Before a consonant sound --> we pronounce "THE" with an "uh" sound (like the pronunciation of the vowel sound in the word love). Before a vowel sound --> we pronounce "THE" with an "ee" sound (rhymes with he or see) When do we use the definite article? A) We use the definite article to refer to people or things when the speaker and the listener both know what is being referred to: -The football game was very boring. (You know which game I mean.) -She doesn't want to keep the car. (We both know which car she doesn't want.) B) We can use the definite article before singular or plural countable or non-countable nouns: -They own the big house on the corner. -The cat is drinking the milk that I spilled on the floor. -Why didn't you bring the books? C) We use the definite article to refer to things that we have already mentioned: -A dog followed me home yesterday. The dog was friendly and had big ears. D) We use the definite article to refer to a specific or particular thing: -The people who live in that flat are very noisy. (Not people in general, the people in that flat.) -The furniture in that shop is quite expensive. (Not all furniture, the furniture in that shop.) E) We use the definite article with "only", ordinal numbers, and with superlative adjectives: -The only way to get there is by car. -I live on the second floor. -That was the best concert I've ever seen! Tomorrow we will look at when NOT to use articles. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please don't hesitate to contact me. Have a great day!