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Last Updated: 10 months ago

 

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Pronunciation

There are numerous ways to practice pronouncing English or French words. Many of the resources are free, online and also specialized in language ⁸pronunciation for first time language learners.

English or French pronunciation can be sometimes be confusing - don’t worry - as English and French words may have same common letters in words, but have different ways to pronounce or sound the words. For example, in French,  the word for dog is chien. “Chien” is pronounced with a soft beginning sound, like “shee-yehn.”  However, the same word in English would sounds like “chi-enn.”

In addition, many words have same vowel pronunciation but can have various combinations of vowels to produce those sounds.  For example, reign, in which the “ei” sounds like “ay,” or plane, where the “a” sounds like “ay.”

There are many free resources to improve your language skills, including www.SpeakBanana.com, where students can interact with instructors to practice their communication skills.

 

Prefixes and Suffixes

Prefixes Meaning

anti- against
a-/an-/ab- not 
de-/di- away from
contra- against

ex-/extra-

from, out of, former 
in-/im- into or not 
inter-

between

re- back, again 
super-

above, extra

sym- with, together 
trans- across, over
un- not

 

Adjective Suffixes 

-able/-ible having a quality 
-al referring to 
-ful

having a lot of a quality

 

Noun Suffixes

 –ion, -ness

a state/ condition 

-ship, -hood referring to 
-ology the study of 

 

Verb Suffixes 

-ate, -ize to make

 

Parts of Speech

Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.

Each part of speech speaks to how a word is to be used in a sentence. For example, a verb expresses an action of a subject in the sentence while a noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, or abstract idea.

 

Abstract and Concrete Nouns

Abstract nouns do not have a "physical" presence.  For example, abstract nouns include:

  • Dream
  • Belief
  • Faith
  • Happiness
  • Loyalty
  • Love

 Concrete nouns are tangible which can be perceived by the 5 senses.  Concrete nouns include:

  • Chair
  • Teacher
  • Television
  • Shoe
  • Desk
  • Computer

 

Proper and Common Nouns

Proper Nouns are usually capitalized and signify something of importance. They can be names of people, a place or an idea.

Common nouns can name any person, place or idea. They are not capitalized, unless they are at the beginning of a sentence.

Common   Proper
woman Cathy Young
lake Lake Ontario
project Project Learn
menu item Chef's Feature
city Toronto
country Canada

 

Colon, Semi-Colon, Hyphen

When to use each?

colon ( : ) is used to emphasize what follows after it. It generally introduces a list, a definition or a clarification, or additional details. An independent clause precedes a colon. The sentence after the colon can be a dependent or independent clause. For example:

The following are students who expressed interest in my class: Allan, Marie, Lucy, Fabian, Rosy

A semicolon ( ; )  is used to show that two sentences are related in some way. The sentences before and after the semi colon must be independent clauses. For example:

I like chocolate ice cream; I will go to the market and buy some today.

hyphen ( - ) breaks words apart or joins them together. For example,

re-enter: asserts that one is entering somewhere again
eighty-eight: combines eighty and eight together

 

Nouns - Subject, Object, Possessive Case

The case of a noun (or pronoun) can dictate how it can be used in a phrase or clause.  Three common cases of nouns are:  Subject, Object, Possessive

Subject case:  this is when the noun stands alone.  For example, Mark is going to the store.  Mark is the noun in subject case.

Object Case:  this is when the noun is used for the object of a verb.  For example, Mark is driving the red car.  Car is noun in object case.

Possessive case:  this is when any noun acts as an adjective, thus modifying another element in the same sentence.  For example, the dog’s hair is wet after a shower.  Dog is the noun with a possessive case. 

 

Subject and Predicate

A sentence has two parts: 1) subject and 2) predicate.

In simple terms, the subject is what the sentence is about and the predicate describes the subject.

The subject usually is a noun while the predicate usually contains a verb.

For example, Ron is walking to the store. “Ron” is the subject. The predicate will be “is walking to the store”.