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February 2014 BlogLAEO

At the end of every month, there are tests to take.

Red Level students have two tests: Test 1 and Test 2

Orange Level students have just one test. If there are any problems with it, let me know. This is a new test.

The word of the day is "mate." This ends the animal theme for the month of February. What should be the theme for March?

Red Level students learn about using verbs and prepositions when creating a verb phrase. Verb phrases and idioms are extremely common in English.

Orange Level students practice their reading skills in the Orange Level Reading Room. Tomorrow there’s a test. The link for the test will appear by this evening.

The word of the day is "pest."

If you are a Red Level student, today you study the use of the verb "go" with other verbs. This is a common form of usage in American English but not all speakers of English around the world do it. For instance….

  • Let’s go eat.
  • Let’s eat.
  • I want to go see a movie.
  • I want to see a movie.
  • Go fix yourself a sandwich.
  • Fix yourself a sandwich.

In each sentence that uses "go" in front of another verb, "go" is not necessary. You’ll often hear this in spoken American English.

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If you are an Orange Level student, today you practice your listening and writing skills with Orange Level dictation.

The word of the day is "pig."

Red Level Lesson Twenty-five can help you develop vocabulary skills through opposite adjectives. This lesson includes an exercise.

Orange Level Lesson Twenty-five is on the subject of punctuation.

The word of the day is "feed."

The lesson for today in the Red Level is on "be used to." This is different from yesterday’s lesson on "used to." Use "be used to" when describing situation that are familiar to you–whether you like them or not.

  • Fadumo is used to cold weather after living in Minnesota for five years. (At first she didn’t like it, but now it’s okay.)
  • She used to live in Somalia. (She doesn’t live there anymore.)

Do you understand the differences between the two sentences above? If not, I recommend that you study Red Level Lessons 23 and 24 carefully.

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Today’s Orange Level lesson for intermediate and advanced students is on appositives.

The word of the day is "drone."

Today Red Level students learn about "used to" when describing the past or a part of your life this is very different from the way your life is now.

Students working in the Orange Level study the subjunctive mood. This is a difficult thing to learn about, so if you don’t understand it completely, don’t feel bad.

The word of the day is "yolk."

Here are some possible answers to yesterday’s exercise.

Here’s an exercise that will probably go into the Yellow Level for next month, but I’m afraid it might be too difficult. What do you think?

Red Level Lesson Twenty-one is in two parts. The first part is on reading numbers. The second part is on talking about money.

Orange Level Lesson Twenty-one features a list of question words that you need to know when asking questions.

The word of the day is "weasel."

Reflexive pronouns refer to the subject in a sentence. They are essential to learn when describing behavior. You can learn about them in Red Level Lesson Twenty.

Today’s Orange Level lesson is on embedded questions. I explained how embedded questions are formed during one of my regular classes last week and they found it to be very interesting.

The word of the day is "vulture."

Red Level students learn about possessive pronouns today. There’s also a quiz to take when you feel like you’re ready.

Orange Level students study tag questions.

The word of the day is "turkey."

There’s a new lesson in the Aqua Level on the pronoun, one. This is a gender-neutral pronoun which people use when trying to speak perfect English; however, it sounds a little too formal and stiff for most people’s tastes. Notice that there’s a difference between the pronoun, one, and the noun or adjective, one.

  • One should be thankful for what one has. (pronoun)
  • I’m shopping for a computer. The one I want is on sale. (noun)
  • Students take a test tomorrow. The ones who study will succeed. (noun)
  • Only one student turned in the assignment. (adjective)

By the way…If you look at that first sentence above that uses "one" as a pronoun, most people would probably use "you" instead of "one."

  • You should be thankful for what you have.

A gerund is an "ing" word that looks like a verb but functions like a noun. For example…

  • Running is good exercise. (gerund)
  • She is running. (verb)

The first sentence uses a gerund. This word represents an activity, so it’s a thing. The second sentence uses the verb "run" in the present continuous tense, is running. The verb "be" (is) indicates that this is a verb. Learn about gerunds in Red Level Lesson Eighteen.

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The words "still" and "anymore" are used to describe continuous action or existence. Look at the examples below:

  • Juan still lives in California.
  • His brother, however, doesn’t live there anymore.

Notice that "anymore" is used with a negative verb. Learn more in Orange Level Lesson Eighteen.

The word of the day is "skunk."

Infinitives function like nouns in a sentence, but they look like verbs. They’re formed like this:

to + the simple form of a verb

Here are some examples.

  • What do you want to do?
  • Bob likes to paint.
  • To lose weight is a good goal.

Do you see where the infinitives are? "To do," "to paint," and "to lose" are infinitives. To learn more go to Red Level Lesson Seventeen.

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Today’s Orange Level lesson is on the use of "either" and "neither." These words function in a way that is similar to "so" and "too," but they are used with negative verbs:

  • I don’t like this, and they don’t either.
  • I don’t like this, and neither do they.

"Either" and "neither" are the kinds of words that generate a lot of questions from students. Learn about them in Orange Level Lesson Seventeen.

Click here for a quiz on the words "so," "too," "either," and "neither."

The word of the day is "rat."

Students working in the Red Level study time expressions today in Red Level Lesson Sixteen.

The words "so" and "too" have a few different uses. One is to indicate that there is an addition or more of something.

  • Blake is happy about his new job, and so is his wife.
  • Blake is happy about his new job, and his wife is too.

They’re both happy! Learn more about these words in Orange Level Lesson Sixteen.

The word of the day is "pet."

 

Red Level Lesson Fifteen introduces you to conjunctions.

To describe something you want right now but don’t have, use "wish." This word follows some of the rules that apply to conditional sentences.

The word of the day is "owl."

Do you know what an adjective is? Your teacher provides examples and an explanation in Red Level Lesson Fourteen.

To describe situations that did or did not happen in the past sometimes requires a knowledge of past conditional sentences. Learn about them in Orange Level Lesson Fourteen.

The word of the day is "nature."

There’s a new word of the day quiz. Click here to take a look or print it out.

Today is Valentine’s Day. If you are interested in learning about this holiday and why it exists, click here. If you are a man and need to buy flowers for your wife, get to the flower shop early today.

Today’s Red Level lesson is on the word "like." There are many different ways to use this word.

The Orange Level lesson for intermediate and advanced students is on forming present conditional sentences.

The word of the day is "monkey."

In yesterday’s Red Level lesson, you learned how to form the future tense with the word "will." In today’s lesson, you’ll learn how to use the verb phrase "be going to" in place of the verb "will." This is a very common and extremely popular way to talk about the future:

  • Today I’m going to go to school .
  • After school, I’m going to see a few friends.
  • What are you going to do today?

It’s important to pay attention to pay attention to the way the verb "be" changes when you use "be going to." Practice your knowledge of the future tense with this quiz. Print it out or write the answers in your notebook.

Students working in the Orange Level learn about future conditional sentences today.

The word of the day is "lion."

Red Level Lesson Eleven: The easiest way to form the future tense is to use the modal verb "will."

Orange Level Lesson Eleven: How do you describe what another person said? This is one of those things that speakers of English do naturally, but many of my students don’t do it properly. It takes a lot of practice! Learn how to form reported speech or indirect speech in this lesson.

The word of the day is "knead."

The words "a lot of," "some," and "any" are extremely useful when describing any kind of amount. Learn about them in Red Level Lesson Ten. You can download the audio for this lesson to your iPod or mobile device.

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It’s necessary to learn about the sequence of tenses for many reasons, especially when going from direct to indirect speech, and when using conditional sentences–all of which Orange Level students will study this week. (Students who have not completed the Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green levels of this website might be confused by this lesson.)

The word of the day is "jungle."

The words "few" and "little" are used when talking about small amounts. Do you know the difference between them? Go to Red Level Lesson Nine to learn more.

Orange Level students study adverb clauses today in Orange Level Lesson Nine.

The word of the day is "insect."

Today’s Red Level lesson shows you the differences between "much" and "many."

The Orange Level Lesson for today is on adjective clauses.

The word of the day is "horse."

A new chat room is coming soon. The one that I’m using right now has some problems.

Learn to introduce a clause with the word "that."

The word of the day is "growl." The audio for this page uses podomatic, so it should work perfectly. Let me know if it doesn’t.

The audio files are not working on all of the pages right now. I hope this is a temporary problem. I just want you to know that I’m aware of it.

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Object pronouns receive the action of a verb. They resemble* possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns, so be careful when using them.

A noun clause can be used the same way that a noun or a pronoun is used. Look at these two sentences:

  • I don’t know them.
  • I don’t know who they are.

"Who they are" is a noun clause. It replaces the pronoun, "them." Learn more about noun clauses in Orange Level Lesson Six.

The word of the day is "fox."

*resemble: look like

There’s a new reading exercise for the Red Level. Click here to read and listen to Winter is a long season in Minnesota. You can also download the reading by scrolling to the bottom of the page. There you’ll see the podcast. Try saving it to your phone. If the download doesn’t’ work, let know.

In Red Level Lesson Five, students practice forming questions with the verb "do" in the present tense.

Orange Level students click here to learn about compound-complex sentences.

The word of the day is "elephant."

Red Level students study commands in Red Level Lesson Four.

Orange Level students learn about complex sentences today.

The word of the day is "dog."

Students who are working in the Red Level study the helping verbs, "do" and "did."

Your Orange Level lesson for today is on compound sentences. A compound sentence is made up of two independent clauses. Do you know what a clause is? If not, study yesterday’s lesson, too.

The word of the day is "cat." I’m using Podomatic for the audio because the audio service I normally use hasn’t been working very well lately.

Red Level Lesson Two: This second lesson shows you some important things about making verbs negative with the helping verb "do."

Orange Level Lesson Two: Words are put together in the form of clauses and phrases when forming sentences. If you understand how they differ, you will improve your speaking and writing skills in English.

The word of the day is "bear."

It’s Groundhog Day in the United States. In Pennsylvania there’s an old tradition involving a small animal called a hedgehog. If he sees his shadow on this day, it means we will have six more months of winter. Well, he did, and we will.

It’s also Superbowl Sunday today. The Seattle Seahawks are going against the Denver Broncos. This is the biggest sporting event of the year in the United States, but many people watch it to see which TV commercials are featured. This is a big day for the world of marketing.

This afternoon I’m going to attend some winter activities on the lakes around Minneapolis and St. Paul. There’s skiing, fat-tire biking, and a dog-sled race. With six months of winter weather you can’t just stay inside all the time. I’ll show you the pictures later.

Students move on to new levels in the month of February.

Blue Level students move forward to the Red Level.

  • Print the Red Level Checklist and keep it next to your computer. Use the checklist to monitor your progress.
  • Start on Lesson One. The first lesson is a review of the verb "do."

Purple Level students move to the Orange Level.

The word of the day is "animal." During the month of February, The Word of the Day section will focus on animals and words related to animals.

Click here to go to January 2014

Click here to go to the LAEO Blog Archive.

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