Archive | April, 2013

British English vs. American English

29 Apr

b or a

People in Britain and America understand each other perfectly most of the time, although there are some differences in vocabulary, spelling, grammar and pronunciation.

The same word may have a different meaning, e.g. British chips are American French fries. And American chips are British crisps.  Sometimes there are completely different words for the same thing: a lift in British English is called an elevator in American English.

Some American words are becoming more common in British English, e.g. movie, apartment.

Vocabulary

British English

American English

 

autumn

bill

biscuit

block of flats

bonnet

boot

car park

chemist’s shop

chips

cinema

crisps

drink-driving

driving licence

dummy

dustbin

dustman

gearbox

ground floor

handbag

high street

holiday

lift

lorry

mad

maize

motorbike

motorway

nappy

noughts and crosses

pavement

petrol

post

postcode

postman

public toilet

railway

return ticket

rubber

shop

single ticket

sweets

taxi

tin

trousers

underground

vest

waistcoat

windscreen

zip

fall

check

cookie

apartment building

hood

trunk

parking lot

drugstore, pharmacy

(French) fries

movies

(potato) chips

drunk driving

driver’s license

pacifier

garbage can, trash can

garbage collector

transmission

first floor

purse

main street

vacation

elevator

truck

crazy

corn

motorcycle

high way

diaper

tick-tack-toe

sidewalk

gas, gasoline

mail

zip code

mailman

restroom

railroad

round-trip ticket

eraser

store

one-way ticket

candy

cab

can

pants

subway

undershirt

vest

windshield

zipper

 

Spelling

British English

American English

centre

fibre

litre

theatre

colour

flavour

humour

labour

neighbour

apologize

organize

recognize

analyse

paralyse

travelled

travelling

defence

licence

offence

analogue

catalogue

dialogue

center

fiber

liter

theater

color

flavor

humor

labor

neighbor

apologise

organise

recognise

analyze

paralyze

traveled

traveling

defense

license

offense

analog

catalog

dialog

Differences in Grammar

The British use the Present Perfect to talk about a past action which has an effect on the present moment. In American English both Simple Past and Present Perfect are possible in such situations.

 British English

 American English

 I have lost my book.  Can I use yours?

She has gone home.

 I lost my book. / I have lost my book.

She went home./ She has gone home.

The British use the Present Perfect with already, just and yet. In American English Simple Past and Present Perfect are possible.

 British English

 American English

 She has just gone home.

I have already seen this movie.

She hasn’t finished yet.

 She just went home. /

She has just gone home.

I already saw this movie. /

I have already seen this movie.

She didn’t finish yet. / She hasn’t finished yet.

The British normally use have got to show possession. In American English have and have got are both possible.

 British English

 American English

 Have you got a computer?

 I have got a brother.

 Do you have a computer? / Have you got a computer?

 I have a brother. / I have got a brother.

In American English it is common to use like instead of as if / as though before a clause, which is not correct in British English.

 British English

 

 American English

 She talks as if she met him before.

 She talks like/as if she met him before.

 In American English it is also common to use were instead of was in unreal comparisons.

 British English

 

 American English

 She talks as if she was rich.

 She talks as if she were rich.

 In American English it is common to use subjunctive after words like essential, vital, important, suggest, insist, demand, recommend, ask,advice etc. In British English the subjunctive is formal and quite unusual.  The British normally use should +Infinitive or Present and Past tenses.

 British English

 American English

 It is essential that she knows the truth.

It is important that he should be told what to do.

We suggested that he should visit her.

He insisted that he should pay for a meal.

 It is essential that she know the truth.

It is important that he be told what to do.

We suggested that he visit her.

He insisted that he pay for a meal.

 b or a 1

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The Right Way to a Raise

29 Apr
  • Share some ideas on how to ask for and receive an increase in pay?
  • Have you ever tried any of them? Did they work?

The Right Way to a Raise

By Arrica Elin SanSone

how-ask-raise

As anyone who has worked a job knows, a salary increase doesn’t always come along just because an employee deserves one.  Sometimes you have to ask, and if it’s been a while since your last raise, or if you’ve recently gotten positive feedback from management, now is a good time.  However, says Larney R. Gump, D.Ed., a licensed psychologist and career counselor in Washington, D.C., broaching the subject in the wrong way could weaken your chances.  Avoid lines like these:  “But so-and-so got a raise.”  Responsibilities are rarely the same, so comparing yourself to another employees isn’t useful.  Instead, point out your most recent accomplishments.

“If I don’t get a raise, I’ll quit.”  Don’t give your boss an ultimatum.  Instead, offer her a chance to problem-solve by saying something like, “It’s been a year since my last raise.  What can you do to help me?”  “I need the money.”  Your finances are not your boss’s problem.  Instead of telling her a sob story, ask how you can earn more.

http://www.lhj.com/relationships/work/salary/the-right-way-to-a-raise/

Taken and adapted from Ladies’ Home Journal

  • Based on the advice given in the article what should be done to get an increase in pay? And what shouldn’t?

1.  Look at the words written in italics. Match them with their definitions. http://www.thefreedictionary.com

a. raise (a sensitive or difficult subject) for discussion

b. something that has been achieved successfully

c. Leave (a place), usually permanently

d. an increase in salary

e. obtain (money) in return for labour or services

f. a story or piece of information that someone tells you or writes about themselves that is intended to make you feel sympathy for them

g. make or become weaker in power, resolve, or physical strength

h.  do something or have or show qualities worthy (reward or punishment)

2.  In the article find the synonym for an increase in salary. Do you know its British equivalent?

Can you find more words from the article which are normally used in American rather than British English?

Do you know the British equivalents for the following words? Complete the table.

American  English

British English

Apartment buildingCandyCookieFallFirst floorFrench friesLorry

Movies

Pants

Parking lot

Subway

Vacation

 

  • What other differences between American and British English?

3.  In the article find examples of the Present Perfect tense and underline them.  

When is it used in English?  Complete the following sentences using the verbs given in Present Perfect.

1. He knows New York quite well – he ……………. there three times. (to be)

2.  How long ……………. you ……………. each other? (to know)

3.  I ……………. this man before but I can’t remember where. (to see)

4.  Laura is on holiday at the moment.  She ……………. to Spain. (to go)

5.  I can’t find my key anywhere. I think I …………… them. (to lose)

6.  Sue isn’t here. She …………… out. (to go)

7. …………… we …………… before? (to meet)

8.  …………… you …………… a new job yet? (to start)

4. Now write about yourself. How often have you done the following things?

1. (Abroad)   I ……………………………………………………………………………………….

2. (Play/piano) ………………………………………………………………………………………

3. (be/late for work) ………………………………………………………………………………

4. (eat/caviar) ……………………………………………………………………………………….

 

Answer

1.

a. ‘raise (a sensitive or difficult subject) for discussion’   –   broach

b. ‘something that has been achieved successfully’   –   accomplishment

c.’ leave (a place), usually permanently’   –   quit

d. ‘an increase in salary’   –   raise

e. ‘obtain (money) in return for labour or services’   –   earn

f. ‘a story or piece of information that someone tells you or writes about themselves that is intended to make you feel sympathy for them’   –   a sob story

g.’ make or become weaker in power, resolve, or physical strength’   –   weaken

h.  ‘do something or have or show qualities worthy (reward or punishment)’   –   deserve

2.

There is some confusion between raise and rise when talking about pay pr salary. British English a (pay) rise is an increase in pay, while in American English the word is a (pay) raise.

  • Have you got a 10% pay rise this year? (BrE)
  • My boss promised to give me a pay raise next month. (AmE)

American  English

British English

Apartment buildingCandyCookieFall

First floor

French fries

Truck

Movies

Pants

Parking lot

Subway

Vacation

 

A block of flatsSweetBiscuitAutumn

ground floor

chips

Lorry

Cinema

Trousers

Car park

Underground

Holiday

 3.

1. He knows New York quite well – he has been there three times. (to be)

2.  How long have you known each other? (to know)

3.  I have seen this man before but I can’t remember where. (to see)

4.  Laura is on holiday at the moment.  She has gone to Spain. (to go)

5.  I can’t find my key anywhere. I think I have lost them. (to lose)

6.  Sue isn’t here. She has gone out. (to go)

7. Have we met before? (to meet)

8.  Have you started a new job yet? (to start)

A GMO-free grocery list

29 Apr
  • Where do you shop for food?
  • Do you read labels on package while choosing products? What information do you pay attention to?
  • Do you know what GMO stands for? What do you know about the products that contain them? 
  • Read the article to compare your answers.

A GMO-free grocery list

According to a recent article published in Green American magazine, 93 percent of Americans believe that genetically modified foods should be labelled.  However, only USDA-certified organic products cannot intentionally contain genetically modified organisms (GMO), so identifying GMO foods and products in a typical U.S. grocery store is difficult.  The following information can help.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirms that large percentages of the nation’s crops were genetically modified in 2011: 94 percent of conventional soy and soy products; 90 percent of cottonseed, a common ingredient in margarine, salad dressings and oils; and 88 percent of corn contained in breakfast cereals, corn flour products such as chips and tortillas, high-fructose corn syrup, soups and condiments. More than 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop also is now genetically modified.

The Independent, one of England’s leading newspapers, reported in 1999 that the artificial sweetener aspartame has been made with genetically modified bacteria since 1965.  Aspartame, inconclusively linked with numerous health risks, is present in more than 6,000 products, including diet sodas.  Two other ubiquitous artificial sweeteners, NutraSweet and Equal, also contain aspartame.

The USDA further lists 95 percent of the 2009 U.S. sugar beet crop, used to produce conventional sugar, as genetically modified. Non-GMO alternative sweeteners include pure cane sugar and honey from organic farms.

Source: GreenAmerica.org

Taken and adapted from Natural Awakenings January 2013 p.8

  • According to the article what products are likely to be genetically modified in the USA?
  • Do you consume some of these products? If yes, which of them do you consume?

 

1. Look at the words written in italics.  Match them with their definitions.  http://www.thefreedictionary.com

a. a powder obtained by grinding grain, typically wheat, and used to make bread, cakes, and pastry.

b. a cultivated plant that is grown as food

c. the hollow, jointed stem of a tall grass, esp. bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan.

d. a sauce for salads, typically one consisting of oil and vinegar     mixed together with herbs or other flavorings

e. present, appearing, or found everywhere

f. a thick sweet liquid made by dissolving sugar in boiling water, often used for preserving fruit.

2. Find some examples of Past Participle in the article and underline them.  How do we use them?

Perfect Tenses

Adjectives

Passive Voice

 

 

 

 

 

3. How do we form the Passive Voice and when do we use it?  Change the following sentences to the Passive Voice. 

1. She would carry the bag.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

2.  I am sure she will give you some advice.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

3. You ought to wash your car.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

4.  He has already paid the bill.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

4. Complete the following sentences using the verbs given.

1. Something must …………………… to avoid this problem in the future. (to do)

2. He’s taking a bus to work because his car …………………… . (to steal)

3. Steve had to rush his friend to the hospital because she …………………… by a snake. (to bite)

4.  More than 300 trees …………………… in the town this year. (to plant)

5. If you were more responsible, you wouldn’t …………………… what to do. (to tell)

6. These lines …………………… by Andrea at the moment he called her. (to read)

7. This form should …………………… immediately.  (to fill in)

8. Test is going to …………………… by the teacher at the end of the week. (to give)

  • What do you think should be done to inform people about GMO?  Write a short article to share your ideas.

Answer:

1.

a. ‘a powder obtained by grinding grain, typically wheat, and used to make bread, cakes, and pastry ‘ –  flour

b. ‘a cultivated plant that is grown as food’  –  crop

c. ‘the hollow, jointed stem of a tall grass, esp. bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan’  –  cane

d. ‘a sauce for salads, typically one consisting of oil and vinegar     mixed together with herbs or other flavorings’  –  dressing

e. ‘present, appearing, or found everywhere’  –  ubiquitous

f. ‘a thick sweet liquid made by dissolving sugar in boiling water, often used for preserving fruit’  –  syrup

2.

Perfect Tenses

Adjectives

Passive Voice

(has been) made

modifiedcertifiedcontained

linked

published

(should be) labelled

(is) modified

used

 

3.

1. The bag would be carried by her.

2. I am sure some advice will be given to you by her.  I am sure you will be given some advice by her.

3. Your car ought to be washed.

4. The bill has already been paid by him.

4.

1. Something must be done to avoid this problem in the future.

2. He’s taking a bus to work because his car has been stolen.

3. Steve had to rush his friend to the hospital because she had been bitten by a snake.

4.  More than 300 trees have been planted  in the town this year.

5. If you were more responsible, you wouldn’t be told what to do.

6. These lines were being read by Andrea at the moment he called her.

7. This form should be filled in  immediately.

8. Test is going to be given by the teacher at the end of the week.

Irregular Verbs

25 Apr


Base Form


Past Simple


Past Participle

awake awoke awoken
be was, were been
beat beat beaten
become became become
begin began begun
bend bent bent
bet bet bet
bid bid bid
bite bit bitten
blow blew blown
break broke broken
bring brought brought
broadcast broadcast broadcast
build built built
burn burned/burnt burned/burnt
buy bought bought
catch caught caught
choose chose chosen
come came come
cost cost cost
cut cut cut
dig dug dug
do did done
draw drew drawn
dream dreamed/dreamt dreamed/dreamt
drive drove driven
drink drank drunk
eat ate eaten
fall fell fallen
feel felt felt
fight fought fought
find found found
fly flew flown
forget forgot forgotten
forgive forgave forgiven
freeze froze frozen
get got got (sometimes gotten)
give gave given
go went gone
grow grew grown
hang hung hung
have had had
hear heard heard
hide hid hidden
hit hit hit
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
keep kept kept
know knew known
lay laid laid
lead led led
learn learned/learnt learned/learnt
leave left left
lend lent lent
let let let
lie lay lain
lose lost lost
make made made
mean meant meant
meet met met
pay paid paid
put put put
read read read
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
run ran run
say said said
see saw seen
sell sold sold
send sent sent
show showed showed/shown
shut shut shut
sing sang sung
sit sat sat
sleep slept slept
speak spoke spoken
spend spent spent
stand stood stood
swim swam swum
take took taken
teach taught taught
tear tore torn
tell told told
think thought thought
throw threw thrown
understand understood understood
wake woke woken
wear wore worn
win won won
write wrote written

Do vs. Make

25 Apr

Do

Make

 

 do a crossword 

do the ironing 
do the laundry
do the washing
do the washing up

 

do  work 
do homework
do housework
do a job

 

do badly
do business
do the dishes
do a favour
do good
do harm
do well
do your best
do your hair
do your nails
do your worst

 

 

 

 

 make a dress 

make food 
make a cup of tea / coffee

make a meal

 

make amends 
make arrangements 
make a choice
make a comment
make a decision
make a difference 
make an effort
make an enquiry 
make an excuse 
make a fool of yourself 
make a fortune
make friends 
make a fuss 
make a journey 
make love 
make a mess 
make a mistake 
make money 
make a move 
make a noise 
make a payment 
make a phone call
make a plan
make a point 
make a profit 
make a promise 
make a remark
make a sound
make a speech
make a suggestion
make time 
make a visit
make your bed

 

 

Prepositions of Time

25 Apr

 

 

In

On

At

 

In the morning

In the afternoon

In the evening

In January

In winter

In 2013

In the 1990’s

In the 21st century

In the future

In the past

In time

In a moment’

On Monday

On Tuesday morning

On Wednesday afternoon

On Friday evening

On January 1st

On Christmas Day

On new Year’s Eve

On my Birthday

On time

At 3 o’clock

At 3:30 pm

At noon

At lunchtime

At bedtime

At night

At the weekend

At Easter

At sunrise

At sunset

At present

At the moment

At the same time

Common prepositions following verbs

25 Apr

accuse (someone) of ((doing) something)

add (something) to (something else)

admire (someone) for ((doing) something)

agree on (something)

agree with (someone)

apologize to (someone) for ((doing)  something)

apply to (a place) for (something)

approve of (something)

argue with (someone) about (something)

ask (someone) about (someone/something)

ask (someone) for (something)

believe in (something)

belong to (someone)

blame (someone) for ((doing)  something)

borrow (something) from (someone)

care about (someone/something)

comment on (something)

compare (something) to/with (something else)

complain to (someone) about (something)

concentrate on ((doing)  something)

congratulate (someone) for/on ((doing) something)

consist of (some things)

contribute to (something)

count on (someone) to (do something)

cover (something) with (something else)

decide on (topic)

depend on (someone) for (something)

discuss (something) with (someone)

distinguish (something) from (something else)

dream about/of (someone/something)

escape from (somewhere)

explain (something) to (someone)

excuse (someone) for ((doing) something)

forgive (someone) for ((doing) something)

happen to (someone)

insist (up)on (something)

listen to (someone/something)

matter to (someone)

object to (something)

participate in (something)

pay (price) for (something)

plan on ((doing) something)

pray for (someone/something)

prefer (something) to (something else)

prevent (someone) from ((doing) something)

prohibit (someone) from ((doing) something)

protect (someone) from (something)

provide (someone) with (something)

recover from (something)

rely (up)on (someone/something)

remind (someone) of (something)

rescue (someone) from (something)

respond to (someone/something)

save (someone) from (something)

search for (something)

separate (something) from (something else)

smile at (someone) for ((doing)something)

stare at (something/someone)

stop (someone) from ((doing) something)

subscribe to (something)

substitute (something) for (something else/someone)

subtract (something) from (something else)

succeed in ((doing) something)

suffer from (something)

take advantage of (someone/something)

take care of (something/someone)

thank (someone) for ((doing) something)

vote for (someone)

wait for (someone/something)

wish for (something)