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March 17, 2010

'Let's eat Grandma!' or, 'Let's eat, Grandma!' Punctuation saves lives!

Yes, grammar - and punctuation - can completely change whatever it was you intended to say.

'Let's eat Grandma!' or, 'Let's eat, Grandma!', to put it mildly, have quite different meanings. The first sentence use Grandma as the object (both of the sentence - and of the menu) while the second sentences addresses Grandam and invites her to join the eating - not to be eaten. That little comma makes all...

...the difference.

There are grammar books and classes of course, but it really just takes practice. The more you write and speak, the better your English (including grammar and punctuation) will become.

I use Facebook for maintaining contact with friends, keeping track of events, and keeping an eye on the news. It is also a great way to see language in action. There are a variety of magazines and newspapers with a Facebook presence and there are several grammar and language groups to join or visit.

If you have a Facebook account, you can search for any of these groups; What are grammar? is one fun language FB site that plays with the idea of English grammar.

The BBC (of course) has a wonderful site you can find it on the web at bbclearningenglish.com or on Facebook at BBC Learning English.

"ENGLISH TEACHERS NETWORK" is also on Facebook. According to their description "This club is designed as a place for English teachers to share resources and discuss teaching strategies with collegues near and far. Share with your fellow English teachers any lesson plans, activities, must-teach novels, useful websites, videos, or books for any grade level".

Asian students in particular might find the website http://www.e-grammar.org/ useful in helping with the many times confusing world of verb tenses.

And, of course, there is nothing like a class (or school!) project to join everyone together - here's a worthy, doable and fun project - stopping wasteful catalogs. Check out http://www.parkschool.org/blogs/ted_wells/ for the details.

There's a wealth of resources on the internet, let me know of any of your favorite sites.

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at March 17, 2010 10:05 PM

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