November 2020

Lesson #149: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 2): An Overview Of Essential Time Words And Verb Tenses

🪔 “Yesterday was a quiet day, spent in teaching, sewing, and writing in my little room, which is very cosy, with a light and fire …”– Louisa May Alcott, Good Wives (1869) Here we continue our lesson by reviewing seven sets of key verb tenses and time words that often go together. In Part 1 of this lesson, we reviewed […]

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Lesson #149: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 1): An Overview Of Essential Time Words And Verb Tenses

🪔 “I’m the man of the family now papa is away, and I shall provide the slippers, for he told me to take special care of mother while he was gone.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women; Or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (1868) As yet another month comes to an end, I have been thinking about

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Lesson #148: Your Language Learning Journey: Assessing How Much You Have Truly Learned So Far

🍁 Since autumn (or fall, as it is known in Canada and the USA) is my favourite season of the year, I have included several poems and literary passages in recent lessons on this topic. 🍂 I have yet another poem in autumn to share, one by the Welsh poet R. S. Thomas (1913-2000) called ‘A

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Lesson #147: An Advanced English Sentence Structure That All Native Speakers Use

📗 ‘Having decided to conquer the Land of Oz and to destroy the Emerald City and enslave all its people, King Roquat the Red kept planning ways to do this dreadful thing, and the more he planned the more he believed he would be able to accomplish it.’ – L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of

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Lesson #146: Do We Ever Use Double Negatives In English?

‘And unrecorded left through many an Age, Worthy t’ have not remain’d so long unsung …’ – John Milton, ‘Paradise Regained’ (1671) These lines come from a poem – ‘Paradise Regained’ – which I first read as a teenager and whose opening section I copied into the notebook featured in the photograph above. … You may have seen in an English lesson

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Lesson #145: A Lesson In ‘Stitch-By-Stitch’ Perseverance, From Anne Bronte’s ‘Agnes Grey’

There’s a popular idiom in English: ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’ In other words, the best way to tackle a large task is to take small, consistent steps to complete it day by day. 🧵 It so happens that these days I am trying to complete a small cross-stitch design for a friend. It is

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Lesson #144: Five Small But Important ‘Fruits’ Gathered From Gaskell’s ‘North And South’

I thought it would be nice for a change to take a short text from a classic and analyse it in today’s lesson.  So I have the pleasure of re-introducing one of my top favourite novels, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865), having been inspired today by this biscuit tin which I bought last year when I

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Lesson #143: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 2): Three Things Your Writing Needs If You Want To Be Understood Well

In the first part of this lesson (see previous post), we talked about small changes you can introduce in your writing that make a huge difference in how others read and understand it. After all your effort writing something, the last thing you want is for someone to skim or even ignore all you had

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Lesson #143: Mini-Lesson Monday (Part 1): Three Things Your Writing Needs If You Want To Be Understood Well

I am dedicating today’s lesson to three important points that I often find missing in work that I proofread. These three points might seem obvious or too minute to make a difference, but trust me, they will help to clarify your writing greatly. Clear writing is always the first step towards great writing. … 📝

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Lesson #142: Improving Your English Expression By A Different Path

As I have mentioned in these short lessons before, I am convinced that one of the best ways to improve your standard of English is to memorise vocabulary in context. What better exercise then than to read some English poems, choose a few that you like, and learn them off by heart! I would like

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Lesson #141 (Part 2): American Vs British Punctuation: How To Use British English Quotation Marks

📘 ‘Why do you say “poor Rosamond”?’ said Mrs Plymdale, a round-eyed sharp little woman, like a tame falcon. – George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871) As observed in our last lesson post (Part 1 of this lesson, ‘American vs British Quotation Mark Punctuation’), there are 4 main rules on how to punctuate quotations in English. Today we will

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Lesson #141 (Part 1): American Vs British Punctuation: How To Use American English Quotation Marks

📙 “… my mother has not gone into details. She chiefly communicates with us by means of telegrams, and her telegrams are rather inscrutable. They say women don’t know how to write them, but my mother has thoroughly mastered the art of condensation. ‘Tired America, hot weather awful, return England with niece, first steamer decent

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