Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pronunciation Practice

Tricky words: Practice saying these sentence:
  1. When I hurt my leg it was tought for me to walk throught the park.
  2. Bob made a thorough investigation, though Dan did not.
  3. It's hard to find water in his desert.
  4. I cannot find a pint of water in this desert for the dessert recipe.
  5. The architect says that a good photographer would never desert you.
  6. I like cake for dessert.
  7. We need to examine the legal issues more closely.
  8. You should determine the insuance law about building damage.
  9. This TV show is live every Tuesday.
  10. She plans to live in Los Angeles.
  11. Every day I read. Last year I read100 books.
  12. According to this label, the parts in this radio are not typical.
Say these sentences and watch the "-ed" endings:
  1. I washed the car and then walked to her house and waited for her.
  2. The thief kicked the door open and stuffed his bag full of the money he robbed.
  3. While he used the ladder she pushed it down and it crashed.
  4. When we were married, I watched her write the book before it was published.
Practice these sentences. Remember, "-it" not "-ate"!
  1. It's more appropriate to be accurate than approximate!
  2. The warm climate has melted my delicate chocolate.
  3. I am desperate to get adequate drinks for my elaborate party!
  4. How fortunate that you and she are so intimate!
  5. We need an immediate solution to this private matter.
(Intonation) Make sure it is rising and falling where it needs to:
  1. Are you coming with us?
  2. Is this really the book you wanted?
  3. Where is the nearest library?
  4. How did you know that Sara and John were also coming?
  5. I plan to go to New York, travel around the U.S., and come back home next month.
  6. You should buy fruit, vegetables, and chicken sometime today.
Make sure the vowel sounds are different in the bold words:
  1. That ship is carrying ten sheep.
  2. Marry is the woman with the green dress and the big grin.
  3. There's no heat coming out of that heater - can you hit it?
  4. Please sit down in your seat!
  5. If I can reach the gold in that pit I'll be rich.
  6. She cut her heel walking up the hill.
  7. Please leave me alone to live in peace!
SILENT LETTERS - Practice these words and be careful of the silent letter:
doubt - debt - subtle - comb - dumb - lamb - plumber - half - talk - February - island -
walk - salmon - chalk - herb - honest - honor - hour - castle - whistle - fasten - soften -
Christmas - receipt - cupboard - sword - answer - column -listen - knee- wrap - psychology

There are three ways to pronounce the "oo" sound in English - practice:
  1. The rain flooded the pool!
  2. Why did you choose that book?
  3. That's good amount of blood.
  4. Let me put the boot on my foot.
  5. Look at that cool hood!
  6. She shook the food of the spoon.
Practice the "L" and "R" sounds here:
  1. Larry is collecting the papers, and Tom is correcting them.
  2. The children are playing in the yard; their parents are praying in church.
  3. Bill is in the police and his brother is a priest.
  4. My former boss was very formal.
  5. Tel the truth - did you hurt his feeling?
  6. How did he arrive - dead or alive?
  7. Your present was very pleasant!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pronunciation Pairs

English pronunciation is so crazy that it sometimes even trips up native-speakers. Two words can have the same spelling but different pronunciation depending on the meaning.
  1. We polish the Polish furniture every day.
  2. I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my clothes.
  3. A farm can produce very fresh produce.
  4. The dump was so full it had to refuse the refuse.
  5. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  6. The present is a good time to present the present.
  7. At the Arm base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
  8. Scared by the gunshot, the dove dove into the bushes.
  9. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  10. The insurance for the invalid was invalid.
  11. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  12. They were too close to the door to close it.
  13. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  14. After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
  15. I spent all evening evening out a pile of dirt.
  16. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  17. I did not object to the object.
  18. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  19. The buck does funny thins when the does are present.
  20. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  21. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  22. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Check pronunciation of contrasting sounds. Repeat each pair as often as necessary.

  1. sheep/ship
  2. tin/ten
  3. bet/bat
  4. bet/bait
  5. bat/bad
  6. cat/cut
  7. cat/cart
  8. cart/curt
  9. cut/curt
  10. look/loop
  11. cart/caught
  12. caught/coat
  13. caught/curt
  14. coat/cot
  15. air/"A"
  16. darling/dialing
  17. tail/toil
  18. tail/tell
  19. tail/tile
  20. hour/are

KN- When a K is before an N, the K is always silent (know, knee, knife, etc.)
PN- When a P is before an N, the P is always silent (pneumonia, pneumatic)
WR- When a W is before an R, the W is always silent (write, wrong, wrap, etc.)
PS- When a P is before an S, the P is always silent (psyshology, pseudo, psychicatrist, etc.)
E - When an English word has an "e" at the end, it is almost a silent "e" (ate, compare, magazine, indusrialize etc.)
There is a much smaller group of English words where the final "e" is pronounced:
recipe, posse, acne, catastrophe, apostrophe, aborigine, simile, epitome, psyche
Also some words which are borrowed from French, Italian and Spanish:
café, olé, sauté, soufflé

Monday, November 16, 2009


Reading 1 - No Speak English

Mamacita is the big mama of the man across the street, third-floor front. Rachel says her name ought to be Mamasota, but I thingk that's mean.
The man saved his money to bring her here. He saved and saved because she was alone with the baby boy in that country. He worked two jobs. He came home late and he left early every. Every day.
Then one day Mamacita and the baby boy arrived in yellow taxi. The tax door opened like a waiter's arm. Out stepped a tiny pink shoe, a foot soft as a rabbit's ear, then the thick ankle, a flutter of hips, fuchsia roses and green perfume. The man had to pull her, the taxi driver had to push. Push, pull. Push, pull. Poof!
All at once she bloomed. Huge, enormous, beautiful to look at, from the salmon-pink feather on the tip of her hat down to the little rosebuds of her toes. I couldn't take my eyes off her tiny shoes.
Up, up, up the stairs she went with the baby boy in a blue blanket, the man carrying her suitcases, her lavender hatboxes, a dozen of satin high heels. Then we didn't see her.
Somebody said it's becaues she's too fat, somebody because of the three flights of stairs, but I believe she doesn't come out because she is afraid to speak English, and maybe this is so since she only knows eight words. She knows to say: He not here for when the landlord comes. No speak English if anybody else comes, and Holy smokes. I don't know where she learned this, but I heard her say it one time and it surprised me.
My father says wen he came to this country he ate hamandeggs for three months. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hamandeggs. That was the only word he knew. He doesn't eat hamandeggs anymore.
Whatever her reasons, whether she is fat, or can't climb the stairs, or is afraid of English, she won't come down. She sits all day by the window and plays the Spanish radio show and sings all the homesick songs about her country in a voice that sounds like a seagull.
Home. Home. Home is a house in a photograph, a pink house, pink as hollyhocks with lots of startled light. The man paints the walls of the apartment pink, but it's not the same you know. She still sighs for her pink house, and then I think she cries. I would.
Sometimes the man gets disgusted. He starts screaming and you can hear it all the way down the street.
Ay, she says, she is sad.
Oh, he says, not again.
Cuando, Cuando, cuando? she asks.
Ay, Caray! We are home. This is home. Here I am and here I stay. Speak English. Speak English. Christ!
Ay! Mamacita, who does not belong, every once in a while lets out a cry, hysterical, high, as if he had torn the only skinny thread that kept her alive, the only road out to that country.
And then to break her heart forever, the baby boy who has begun to talk, starts to sing the Pepsi commercial he heard on TV.
No speak English, she says, to the child who is singing in the language that sounds like tin. No speak English, no speak English, and bubbles into tears. No, no, no as if she can't believe her ears.

Vocabulary Exercise 2

Ow! That Smarts!

At one time or another, most of us have been hurt. Maybe we fell off a bike, walked into a wall, had surgery, got beat up by a bully or had a car accident.
Let's get with a partmer and share some of those painful memories.

Have you ever.....
  • been bitten by an animal?
  • been stung or bitten by an insect?
  • fallen down a flight of stairs?
  • tripped while going up the stairs?
  • been in a car accident?
  • been hit by a falling object?
  • almost drowned?
  • burned yourself by accident?
  • had food poisoning?
  • gotten a paper cut?
  • gotten lost in the woods?
  • slammed your finger in a door?
  • twisted your ankle?
  • gotten shocked by an electrical appliance?
  • locked yourself in or out of something?
  • had surgery?
  • fallen off a bicycle or a motorcycle?
  • dropped something on your foot?
  • gotten stitches?
  • smacked your head on a door?
  • beat someone up?
  • been beaten up by a bully?
  • knocked a tooth out?
  • gotten a splinter?
  • fallen out of a tree or from a high place?
  • stepped on a rusty nail or a piece of glass?

psych exam 3

Saturday, November 14, 2009


take heart
to feel encouraged or have more hope; to not give up.
I know your girlfriend just left you, but take heart. There are lots of single women in Manhattan. You'll meet someone else.
from the bottom of someone's heart
used to show that you are very grateful or sincere about what you are saying.
The woman thanked the firemen from the bottom of her heart after they saved her children from the fire.
not to have the heart to do something
to be unable to do something because you do not want to make someone unhappy.
I didn't have the heart to tell my daughter we couldn't keep the pupy she found in the street.
to wear your heart on your sleeve
to show your true feelings openly.
I saw her crying at the meeting yesterday. She's always wearing her heart on her sleeve.
eat your heart out
used to tell someone that you are betten than them at something.
Barack Obama won the primary elections this weekened. Eat your heart out Hillary Clinton.
to dance your heart out
to sing, dance etc. with ll your energy.
The singer really wanted to impress the judges on American Idol so she sang her heart out.
to kiss something goodbye
used when you think it is certain that someone will lose their chance of getting or doing
After insulting the boss like that, I guess you can kiss your promotion goodbye.
to have a heart of gold
someone is good and kind although they may not appear to be.
Tom looks like a tough guy, but he realy has a heart of gold. He is so friendly and will hep anyone.
to kiss up to someone
to try to please or impress someone in ordet to get them to do something for you.
You can tell by the way Sally has been kissing up to the boss that she wants a raise.
to have one's heart in the right place
to have a very nice and generous character.
The teacher seems very strict, but her heart is in the right place. She is very understanding of the student's problems.
labor of love
something that is hard work, but that you do because you want to very much, or enjoy.
Studying English is a labor of love for many stuents at the International Center. It's a lot of work, but they want to do it to improve their English.
somebody's heart isn't in it
used to say that someone does not really want to do something or does not care about what they are doing.
She was doing the best she could, but her heart just isn't in it. I don't think shereally wants to work here anymore.
cross my heart (and hope to die)
used to say that you promise that you will do something or that what you are saying is true.
I swear, I did not take your pen. Cross my heart and hope to die.
to do something till your heart's content
to do something as much as you want to.
I know you like to study English,so feel free to study these idioms till your heart's content.
head over heels in love
to love someone very much
Sam is so happy and obviously head over heels in love with his new bride.
not for love nor money
something that is impossible to obtain or do.
I have been looking everywhere for that book. I can't find it for love nor money.

Vocabulary Exercise 1

1. Since Robert broke his leg, he needs __________ to walk.
a) scars b)crutches c) energy
2. The old man could not stand up. His legs __________ under him.
a) collapsed b) despaired c)soared
3. Mother Teresa felt __________ for the poor who lived and died in the streets. She tried to help them.
a) perseverance b) scars c)compassion
4. I like to watch the birds fly in the sky. They __________ above the buildings.
a) jump b) soar c) collapse
5. She finally realized that life colud be satisfying in a wheelchair. Until that __________ she had felt her life was hopeless.
a) dream b)revelation c)scar
6. Learning to walk again after the accident took great __________.
a) limitation b) crutches c) perseverance
7. After many years of working to __________ his disability. Paul could finally live independently.
a) overcome b) mangle c) relax
8. The trail had big rocks and large holes. It was not an easy __________ for a person in a wheelchair.
a) landscape b)revelation c) stairway
9. Life is a great adventure. You never know what it __________.
a) will turn around b) has in store for you c)will overcome
10. He quickly understood the __________ of using a wheelchair. He could not climb stairs or enter narrow doorways.
a) compassion b) limitation c) revelation

1.b 2.a 3.c 4.b 5.b 6.c 7.a 8.c 9.b 10.b

Phrasal verbs - 1

This is all wrong. I'll have to do it all over.
float around
The new schedule was flaoting around the office yesterday.
There's rumor floating around that the factory will be closing.
lead up to
Several minor battles led up to a full-scale war.
The President led up to the announcement of his candidacy by recalling the accomplisments of his first term.
put...up to
I didn't think it was a good idea to ask for a raise, but my wife put me up to it.
stand for
The "DC" in Washington, DC stands for District of Columbia.
The flag stands for freedom.
Cruelty to animals is something I will never stand for.
stick around
Why don't you stick around until Sarah gets here; she'd love to see you.
stick to
I used the wrong glue and the tiles didn't stick to the floor.
The teacher told me to redo the paper and, this time, to stick to the point.
After the audition, the director told me I was terrible actor and I should stick to singing.
Sam thinks the new manager is an idiot and he likes to stick it to him.
Do you usually take the shopping carts back after you put the groceries in the car?
I have to take these pants back because the zipper's broken.
The lady who sold me the rug said she would be happy to take it back if I changed my mind.
I have to take these books back to the library today or I'll have to pay a fine.
Mike got sick again, so we took him back to the hospital.
I'm sorry, that was very rude of me. I take it back.
Looking through my high school yearbook sure takes me back.
The reporters tried to ask the mayor some questions, but he just brushed them off.
I told Dr. Smith that he had made a mistake, but he brushed it off.
Noun: The boss gave me the brush-off when I tried to give him advice.
come on
It was so cold that the heat came on last night.
Do you know what time the news comes on?
Come on! I can't wait all night.
Tom didn't study at all and he says he got 100 on the test. Oh, come on!
I feel a headache coming on. Do you have any aspirin?
Paul comes on too strong and women don't like it.
I can't stand that guy, Ned. He's always coming on to me.
Noun: Todd uses the same come-on with all the girls and it never works.
The bank is offering a free VCR as a come-on for opening an account.
I covered the cake up so the bugs wont't get onto it.
The mayor was accused of covering up his ties to organized crime.
Noun: The mayor denied being part of a cover-up and claimed he was innocent.
hang out
I don't have any place to go. Can I hang out here for a while.
Noun: The police closed the bar because it was a hangout for crooks and gang members.
leave over
I paid all my billse and I only had $17 left over.
Adjective: You can have leftover pasta for lunch tomorrow.
Noun: I don't like having leftovers for dinner all the time.
My friend promised to go shopping with me but she let me down.
Adjective: You broke your promise to stop smoking. I feel really let down.
Noun: The movie was a letdown. I expected it to be terrific.
It takes thirty years to pay a mortgage off.
The politicion tried to cover up the crime by paying off the witnesses.
pay off
Medical school is a lot of hard work but it'll pay off someday.
Noun: The police chief was videotaped taking a payoff.
Linda does volunteer work. The payoff is the satisfaction she gets.
talk to
I don't like Bob because he talks to me as if I were an idiot.
Noun: I gave my son a good talking-to about not doing his homework.
keep at
I know this work is difficult; but you have to keep at it.
keep away
That's very bad neighborhood, so keep away from it.
Paul has an alcohol problem, so keep him away from the bar.
The company tried to keep its prices down.
Will you please keep it down; I'm trying to study.
keep from
The movie was so sad that I couldn't keep from crying.
Jane's parents don't like her boyfriend, so they try to keep her from seeing him.
The sigh says, "Keep off the grass."
Ned is a nice guy as long as you can keep him off booze.
keep on
I told her to be quiet but she kept right on talking.
The company has decided to keep twenty workers on to maintain the machinery until business picks up again.
This is a secret so keep it to yourself.
Here's my credit card but keep your spending to a minimum.
keep to
Slower cars are supposed to keep to the right.
I told you to stop doing that. If you keep it up, I'm going to get really angry.
That noisy party across the hall kept me up all night.
keep up (with)
The assembly line was going so fast that no one could keep up.
Bob walks so fast it's had to keep up with him.
Jane always has some new idea. I can't keep up with her.
break down
This car is a piece of junk - it breaks down every day.
After that last break down, I decided to buy a new car.
The negotiations broke down because neither side would compromise.
Because niether side would compromise, there was a breakdown in negotiations.
When Tom's father died, he broke down in tears.
Marvin ha a complete nervous breakdown, after the tragedy.
After the poison breaks down, it is quite harmless.
If you break the process down, it isn't difficult to understand.
The police broke the door down and arrested the criminals.
The owner of the factory was arrested for deliberately burning the factory down.
Sally got fired after she called in sick three Fridays in a row.
When the police couldn't handle the riot, the governor called in the National Guard.
Look in the newspaper and find out when the movie starts.
I tried to get the movie time, but I couldn't find it out.
I met a nice guy at the party, but I never found out what his name was.
I was surprise to find out that he can speak fourteen languages.
The teacher will hand the tests back tomorrow.
look at
Look at me when I talk to you!
The mechanic looked at my car, but he couldn't find anything wrong with it.
The way I look at it, the governor is the cause of the problem.
That was a serious injury. You're looking at months of physical therapy.
The plow piles the snow up when it's deep.
A lot of dirty laundry is piled up in the basement.
My work really piled up while I was on vacation.
Be sure you set the tent up before it gets dark.
Are the tables set up for the party?
The nurse prepares setups for the operating room.
The arrangements for the wedding were complicated, but everything is set up now.
What's the setup for the Fourth of July?
Joe tried to set me up by leaving drugs in my apartment. I told the detective, it was a setup and I could prove it.
feel up to
I don't feel up to dancing tonight.
get...over with
Let's fix both cavities today, doctor. I just want to get it over with.
go along with
I understand your concern, but I have to go along with Maria on this one.
I don't care what the boss says. I'm not going along with any changes that mean longer hours for less money.
go in for
Brian realy goes in for football.
put up with
My husband says he's put up with my brother's lies long enough.
screw...out of
That con man screwed me out of my life savings.
talk down to
I was furious about the way he talked down to me.
cheat on
The teacher caught Ali cheating on the test.
Sarah filed for divorce after she caught George cheating on her.
go after
The police are going after drug deales.
Captain Morgan was ordered to go after the enemy soldiers.
The CEO said he wanted to go after the Chinese market.
Sofia went after a degree in accounting.
Business was pretty bad, but things are beginning to look up.
The student looked the new words up in the dictionary.
If you're ever in Chicago, please look me up.
Can I pay for this stuff with a credit card?
My car is old, but at least it is paid for.
If you don't study now, you'll pay for it when exam time comes.
plan for
It's never too early to start planning for retirement.
Thank for helping me. I'm sorry I put you to so much trouble.
When he put a gun to my head, I realized he was serious.
When the doctor put it to me like that, I finally understood him.
The movers will wrap up the chine with newspaper.
After the meeting had gone on for two hours, they finally wrapped it up.
point to
The waitress couldn't understand me, so I pointed to what I wanted on the menu.
The terrible test scores point to the flaws in our educational system.