Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Let's start to learn about prepositions.

"At" is used for specific times -- at 4:00 a.m., at noon

"On" is used for a street -- on Washington Street
"At" is used for street numbers -- at 1276 First Avenue

"In" is used for a city -- He lives in Indonesia.

‎"At" is also the preposition of location -- He's at work./She's at her parent's house.

Quick quiz -- Please fill in this HUGE sentence to review.

at, on, in

_______ midnight, we'll go to a party _______ Carlos' house. He lives _______ 1723 West Thomas Street _______ Buenos Aires.

At midnight -- Specific times take "at".

Please fill in.

His plane leaves _______ 7 p.m.
We want to have lunch _______ noon.

"At" is used for a more general location. Notice that I didn't say a general location. I said a "more general" location.
He's at work.

This is a large location -- Work can be a big place. How can I find him? I need a more specific location.

"In" is used for a more specific location.
He's at work. He's in the copy room. (Now I know more specifically where he is.)

General times take "in."

in the afternoon
in August
in 2010

Please fill in: (at, in)

_______ July, we had lunch every day _______ 1:00 p.m.

Let's add "on" -- talking about dates

On July 25, we'll start an exercise class.

"In" -- for general time
"at" -- for specific time
"on" -- for specific dates

at, on

The dinner will be _______ July 29 _______ 7:00 p.m. _____ his uncle's house.

It should be -- The dinner will be on July 29 ("on" a specific date) at 7:00 p.m. ("at" a specific time) at his uncle's house (location).

It's possible to say "in his uncle's house", but it's not as natural. If you use "in", you're saying "inside his uncle's house" rather than just giving a location.

Let's look at two sentences. Which is correct?

My Uncle's house
My Uncle Juan's house

My Uncle's house -- This isn't correct because we have no name. It should be -- My uncle's house . . .

My Uncle Juan's house -- This is correct because we have a name.

My professor said (no name; no capital letter)
We heard that Professor Thomas wants . . . (a name, so we need a capital letter)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some American Slang

We use it with friends, family, and in informal situations. It's fun in the right situation.

Let's learn some American slang.

The first one is "BFF". This has become popular in the last few years. It means "best friend forever."

Who's your BFF? As some of you know, mine is Vickie. We've been BFF's since we were fifteen years old.

Next - Two teenage boys are walking on the street. They see some people coming toward them, looking angry. One boy could say to the other, "Don't worry. I have your back." 

It means that he'll protect him. It has the feeling that he'll do whatever is necessary, even if he gets hurt himself.

Next -- "to dis someone". Have you ever heard this? It means "to be disrespectful to someone". If we look at "disrespectful" we can see "dis" as a prefix. The slang word is the prefix.

Has anyone ever dissed you?

The next slang expression is "to be hot." Have you ever heard it before? It means "to be very sexy and good looking."

Practice sentence: Who's the hottest person you know?

The next slang expression is used to describe something that's "really great; fantastic. It's "off the hook."

That party was off the hook.

What's the last thing you experienced that was off the hook?
Structure (Subject) was off the hook.

The last one means the opposite. It's "ridiculous." The dictionary meaning of "ridiculous" is "stupid." As a slang expression, "ridiculous" means the opposite. It means "fantastic" when you're using it as a slang expression.

Taylor Swift's singing voice is ridiculous.
His talent is ridiculous.

The word is "booty". It means "buttocks, butt, bottom." We have a lot of words for it as I'm sure you do in your native language.

This is the way it's used -- Beyonce has a nice booty