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Monday the 31st of March, 2008
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THE ENGLISH APOSTROPHE REVIEW (4)

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning. I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Last Thursday we saw that when we make a sentence negative that doesn't have the verb BE in it, we need the auxiliaries DO or HAVE, which often form contractions. Today we will look at one last type of combination that allows us to form written contractions.

Subject pronouns (I, you, he, she, etc.) with the future modal WILL:

I WILL = I'LL
YOU WILL = YOU'LL
HE WILL = HE'LL
SHE WILL = SHE'LL
IT WILL = IT'LL
WE WILL = WE'LL
THEY WILL = THEY'LL

And of course we have the negative equivalents of these combinations:

I WILL NOT = I WON'T
YOU WILL NOT = YOU WON'T
HE WILL NOT = HE WON'T
SHE WILL NOT = SHE WON'T
IT WILL NOT = IT WON'T
WE WILL NOT = WE WON'T
THEY WILL NOT = THEY WON'T

We can also contract some other modal verbs with NOT:

CAN NOT = CAN'T
MUST NOT = MUSTN'T
SHOULD NOT = SHOULDN'T

With today's content, we have covered virtually all the uses of the contractions in English. Now that you are experts, maybe you can answer a question I have had for a long time. In Barcelona there is a chain of fruit shops that are called FRUIT'S. What is the meaning of this name? ;-)

I hope this review of contractions has been helpful. If you have any questions or have theories about what the name of the chain of fruit shops means, please don't hesitate to post a question in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a great day!



Friday the 28th of March, 2008
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FECHAS EN INGLÉS-2

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning,

Después de la primera Essential Weekly Vitamina (el 7 de marzo) dedicada a las fechas, a lo mejor te preguntaste si en inglés las fechas también se pueden escribir con números, al igual que en castellano. La respuesta es YES, pero debes tener en cuenta que el formato de fecha estadounidense difiere del británico:

23 de febrero de 1978

USA: 2/23/78
UK: 23/2/78

Como ves, el formato de fecha británica es como en español: día/mes/año.

A continuación tienes una lista de palabras relacionadas con el tema de las fechas en inglés.

Date: fecha               
Calendar: calendario
Day: día
Month: mes
Year: año
Week: semana
Holiday: festivo
Holidays: vacaciones  
Yesterday: ayer
Tomorrow: mañana
Weekday: día de la semana
Weekend: fin de semana
Hundred: cien
Thousand: mil

Enjoy the rest of your day and have a great weekend!



Thursday the 27th of March, 2008
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THE ENGLISH APOSTROPHE REVIEW (3)

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning.

Yesterday we saw how the negative verb marker not often contracts with the verb BE. To make sentences negative that do not (don't) have the verb BE in them, we need the auxiliaries DO or HAVE.

I DO NOT = I DON'T
YOU DO NOT = YOU DON'T
HE DOES NOT = HE DOESN'T
SHE DOES NOT = SHE DOESN'T
IT DOES NOT= IT DOESN'T
WE DO NOT = WE DON'T
THEY DO NOT = THEY DON'T

Consider the following examples:

a) Rachel does not live in Canada --> Rachel doesn't live in Canada.

b) Unfortunately, you do not study English every day. --> Unfortunately, you don't study English every day.

In negative sentences with the auxiliary have the situation is similar:

I HAVE NOT = I HAVEN'T
YOU HAVE NOT = YOU HAVEN'T
HE HAS NOT = HE HASN'T
SHE HAS NOT = SHE HASN'T
IT HAS NOT= IT HASN'T
WE HAVE NOT = WE HAVEN'T
THEY HAVE NOT = THEY HAVEN'T

Have is used to form the present perfect in English.

c) I have not been to Canada. --> I haven't been to Canada.

d) He has not studied English today. --> He hasn't studied English today.

On Monday we'll finish this brief review of contractions by looking at how they are formed with MODAL VERBS. (This topic was originally covered in June of 2004.) Remember that tomorrow we will send the Essential Weekly Vitamin.

If you have questions about the use of contractions with the auxiliaries DO and HAVE, please don't hesitate to post a question in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a nice day.



Wednesday the 26th of March, 2008
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THE ENGLISH APOSTROPHE REVIEW (2)

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning. 

In all languages we "contract" our words when we speak; however, only some languages allow written contractions. In Spanish there are two contractions: DE-EL = DEL and A-EL = AL. In Catalan there are a lot more contractions (for example, with pronoms febles).

Yesterday we looked at the apostrophe-s ('s) with possession. (This apostrophe-s looks like a contraction, but it isn't.) Today we'll look at contractions with the verb BE.

Contractions with the verb BE
1) The different forms of the verb BE (am, is, are) optionally contract with the subject pronouns in written English (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they):

I AM = I'M
YOU ARE = YOU'RE
HE IS = HE'S
SHE IS = SHE'S
IT IS = IT'S
WE ARE = WE'RE
THEY ARE = THEY'RE

2) The different forms of the verb BE can also contract with:

a) Proper Names: Rachel is from Canada --> Rachel's from Canada.

b) Other Nouns: Her name is Rachel. --> Her name's Rachel.

c) Question Words: Where is Rachel from? --> Where's Rachel from?

d) The demonstrative pronoun "that": That is Rachel. --> That's Rachel.

e) The negative word "NOT": Rachel is not from the United States. --> Rachel isn't from the United States.

When the negative verb marker not is present we usually have a choice to contract the form of the verb BE with not, as in example (e), or we can leave it non-contracted and make the contraction with the verb BE and the word that precedes it. So, sentence (e) could also be:

(f) Rachel is not from the United States. --> Rachel's not from the United States.

Tomorrow we will (or we'll) look at contractions with the auxiliaries DO and HAVE.

If you have questions about the use of contractions with the verb BE, please don't hesitate to post a question in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es). 

I hope you have a good day.



Tuesday the 25th of March, 2008
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THE ENGLISH APOSTROPHE REVIEW (1)

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning,

There is a lot of confusion about how to use the apostrophe (') in English. In a lot of commercial advertisements, companies incorrectly use English words with the apostrophe-s ('s). This week and Monday we'll review the main uses of the apostrophe in English.

The apostrophe (') is used for two main purposes in English:

1) To indicate POSSESSION.
2) To form CONTRACTIONS with the verb BE and Auxiliary verbs DO and HAVE and with MODAL VERBS (will, must, etc.).

Today we will look at possession, and tomorrow we will look at contractions with verbs.

POSSESSION
Remember that in English, with people, we don't normally use the structure THING of PERSON for possession. Instead we use PERSON'S THING:

Example 1
Matthew's book is on the table.

We DO NOT say, ***the book of Matthew is on the table.***

Example 2
My brother's wedding was the 10th of July.

However, with objects we sometimes use the THING of THING structure:

Example 3
The roof of the house is very old and is in need of repair.

But speakers also use the 's structure with objects.

Example 4
The car's tires are very old and need to be changed.

I should point out that native speakers don't always agree on the use of these different possessive structures with objects. The important thing is to use the 's structure with people when indicating possession.

If you have questions about the use of the apostrophe for possession in English, please don't hesitate to post a question in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a good day.