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When Do I Say "I Went" and "I Have Been"?

Bob Schoenfeld

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English Grammar: Simple Past vs. Present Perfect

Rule 1: Specific vs. Non-specific Time

 

Anyone studying English has certainly learned the simple past – I went to the movies; I broke the window; I punched my brother in the face.  They have also learned – I have been to the movies; I have broken the window; I have bitch slapped my little brother in the face.

 

However, when do we use the simple past and when do we use the present perfect? Knowing the simple past and present perfect of the verb is different than knowing when to use it.

 

One simple rule is to determine if the sentence is specific or non-specific. By this, we mean do we know when it happened? Look at...

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Pronunciation & Listening in English: Part 2

Loquus

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Whadya say?

The pronunciation of /o/

 

As we talked about in Pronunciation and Listening in English: Part 1, the letter ‘t’ has 4 distinct pronunciations - /t/, /d/, /ʔ/ and /x/.  The letter ‘o’ is also a terrible letter in American English. Most people see the letter ‘o’ and want to pronounce it long, like owe or oh

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Greetings in American English

Bob Schoenfeld

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Greetings in American English

What’s the skinny, my friend?

 

The beginning of a conversation is so important in English. It sets the tone (good English idiom!).  It can give you confidence or make you nervous. It can make a good first impression or a bad first impression.

 

Hello.

Hi.

How are you?

Good Morning.

Good Afternoon.

 

No problems here - easy greetings that everyone uses. However, what about these:

 

What’s happening?

What’s going on?

What’s the skinny?

What’s the happy-haps?

What’s new?

How’s...

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IELTS or TOEFL Test? A Comparison to Help You Decide

Loquus

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Most students need to pass an English proficiency exam in order to gain admittance to an American university. In the past, TOEFL was the most commonly accepted English exam. However, in recent years the IELTS exam has become just as widely accepted as the TOEFL.

 

So what are the differences? Which one should you take?

 

Let’s look at the differences between the four sections: reading, speaking, listening, and writing.

 

Reading:

 

TOEFL

IELTS

Readings...

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Pronunciation and Listening in English: Part 1

Bob Schoenfeld

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Whadya say?

The pronunciation of / t /

 

English can be a terrible language, especially listening. When you begin to study English, most of your teachers make you pronounce each word very carefully and distinctly. However, most languages don’t pronounce words carefully or distinctly.

 

The best example of this is the sound of the letter / t /.  This letter is pronounced by placing the tip of your tongue on your alveolar ridge (the bump behind your top teeth) and push out air.

 

Try it: table, tip, terrible, take

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