Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Verb Constructions

Some people asked "what's shakin'?" It is an informal way of saying "what's going on?" or "What's new/up?" You can also say "What's happenin'/cookin'?" You drop the 'g' at the end because that's how most young people speak (they tend not to pronounce 'g' at the end of 'ing'.

Let's look at some verb constructions with two complements, that can be used with or without a preposition. For example:
"He gave the dog a bone" Vs "He gave a bone to the dog."
How does that sound?

First of all, many verbs accept two different complements after them (such as "He gave [the dog] [a bone]", where 'the dog' is a complement, and 'a bone' is a second complement). However, these complements are different. One is the recipient (the one who receives), one is the object (the actual thing that is given). Can you tell me, in the example I gave you, which one is:
the recipient: __________
the object: __________

 In "He gave the dog a bone", 'the dog' is the recipient, the one who receives. 'A bone' is the object that is given.
You have two choices to express two complements with verbs such as 'give', and both are correct:
1) Verb + recipient + object (he gave the dog a bone)
2) Verb + object + TO + recipient (he gave a bone to the dog)

Some verbs that work like 'give' and accept two complements are:
- award, bring, feed, give, grant, hand, leave, lend, offer, owe, pass, pay, promise, read, sell, send, show, teach, tell, throw, etc.

Complete the following with two complements of your choice:
1) "She offered ___________ ______________"
2) "She offered ___________ to ______________"

Now, there is a second category of verbs, such as 'order', which take a different preposition than 'to'. For instance:
1) "He ordered me a coffee" (structure 1, no preposition)
2) "He ordered a coffee ___ me". What is the preposition missing?

And the correct answer was..... FOR :) "He ordered a coffee for me."
Verbs such as 'offer' can also have two complements: a beneficiary (the one who benefits from something) and the object (the thing that they get).

Some verbs similar to 'offer' and used with the preposition 'for' are:
- buy, choose, cook, do, find, get, keep, make, paint, play, reserve, save, write, etc.

Let's practice! Complete the following with two complements of your choice:
1) I bought ___________ _____________
2) I bought ___________ for ____________

I think you now see the difference between the two types of verbs that take 'to' (give) and 'for' (order).

Friday, August 5, 2011

preposition "up"

 'up' can be used with different verbs:
- to get up
- to eat up
- to stay up
- to grow up

- to make up
- throw up

‎1) To get up:
It means 'to stand after lying down or being on your knees'. Typically, it is used as a synonym/correlate of 'wake up':
=> "When did you get up this morning?"

In informal spoken English, it can also mean 'to stand in order to party/have fun':
=> "Get up, stand up, come on put your hands up..." (lyrics from "Jump around", by House of Pain"

‎2) 'To eat up' means two things (at least): to eat something very fast, voraciously, in order not to let it go to waste:
=> "Eat up your vegetables, young man!"

In informal spoken English, it can also mean 'to believe something blindly - and to be a bit gullible':
=> "She told her boss that she was sick, and he totally ate it up" (he believed her story).

3) 'To stay up' means 'to remain awake when you're supposed to sleep, or when it's late':
=> "We stayed up till 3am playing video games last night, now I have the worst headache."

It can also mean 'to remain in an upright position, to remain standing':
=> "He tried to knock down the pins, but two of them stayed up" (when bowling)

‎4) 'To grow up' means to get older or wiser/more mature:
=> "What do you want to do when you grow up?" (when you're older)
=> "You find this funny? Come on girl, grow up!" (be more mature)

Beware: plants/trees grow (in size). If they grow up, you mean that they expand vertically (they don't become older or wiser;)

‎5) 'To make up' means at least two things:
- To compensate for something:
=> "He missed the last test, he will have to make up for it."
=> "Last night was so much fun! We made up for lost time!" (we compensated for all the time we didn't spend together)

- It also means 'to be reconciled, to be on friendly terms again':
=> "We were at odds for a long time, but we decided to make up." ('to bury the hatchet' is also a good synonym expression).

6) And finally, 'to throw up'... I think everyone knows about that one :) It happens when your stomach is not happy with you, and it's never pleasant.

However, this is a funny expression to make the action sound better:
"To pray the porcelain god" (porcelain god= the toilet). When you pray the porcelain god, you're on your knees in front of the toilet.
=> "I don't know what I ate yesterday, but I spent all night praying the porcelain god."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Connecting Two Ideas


In Iraq, the temperature (subject) is (verb) 45 (object).

If we have two complete ideas, we can make one sentence, but we need to connect the ideas with a clause or a conjunction.

In Iraq, the temperature is 45.
This surprised me.


In Iraq, the temperature is 45, AND this surprised me. (connecting with a conjunction)
In Iraq, the temperature is 45, WHICH SURPRISED ME. (connecting with a clause)

Please correct this sentence.
1. I'm from Indonesia it will surprise you to know about Indonesian food.

There are many ways to say this:

1. I'm from Indonesia. It will surprise you to know about Indonesian food.
2. I'm from Indonesia, and it will surprise you to know about Indonesian food.
3. I'm from Indonesia, which has a lot of surprising foods.
4. I'm from Indonesia, a country with a lot of surprising foods.

1. Run-on sentences -- A complete idea is one sentence. You can connect two complete ideas by using a conjunction or a clause.
‎2. We want to be careful to put an "s" on plural nouns. Some phrases are always used with plural nouns -- a lot of, many, one of, different, etc.
3. Capitalization -- The first word of every sentence is capitalized. "I" is always capitalized, but "you" isn't (unfortunately). Our country is important, and we show this by capitalizing it. Our language is important, so we capitalize it.