Participial Phrase With Famous Songs

Chủ Nhật, 9 tháng 10, 2016



From VOA Learning English, this is Everyday Grammar.
“Don't Stop Believing” is one of the most popular karaoke songs in the world.
You have probably heard the rock group Journey perform the song even if you do not remember its name.
It begins like this:
Just a small-town girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train
Goin' anywhere

You can learn English grammar by singing along to the words. In fact, you can learn how to use two parts of speech: participles and participial phrases.
In today's program, we will explore a common grammatical construction: the participial phrase.
Relative clauses
In an earlier Everyday Grammar, we discussed relative clauses – groups of words that act like an adjective in a sentence.
Common relative pronouns -- such as who, whom, which, or that -- often begin the relative clause.
Here is an example: She is just a small-town girl who lives in a lonely world.
In this sentence, the relative clause begins with the word who. It is a clause because it has a subject and a predicate. Predicates express what is being said about the subject.
So, how does this discussion of relative clauses relate to participial phrases?
Participial phrases are like shortened relative clauses.
When reading or listening, English learners often have trouble understanding participial phrases. That is because, unlike relative clauses, such phrases do not have a pronoun – words like that, who,or which, for example.
Do not fear! In the way you might derive a problem in mathematics, you can also derive, or get, participial phrases from relative clauses.
However, unlike complex math, creating participial phrases can be fun.
What are participial phrases?*
A participial phrase is a group of words beginning with a participle – in the present tense, the base form of a verb plus an –ing ending.
These phrases often serve as an adjective in a sentence.
In general, you can change a relative clause to a participial phrase by removing the relative pronoun and the verb BE. Then add –ing to the end of the verb if it does not already have an –ing ending.
Think back to the words of our example:
She is just a small-town girl who lives in a lonely world.
If you take away the relative pronoun "who" and change the verb "live" to "living," you get this sentence:
She is just a small-town girl living in a lonely world.
This sentence is almost exactly like the words you heard in Journey's song, "Don't Stop Believing." The only difference is they removed the subject, she is, for artistic reasons.
So, what happens if the verb already has an –ing ending?
Here is an example that shows you this process is even simpler.
Consider the following examples:
The young students who are taking the final exam look afraid.
The young students taking the final exam look afraid.
Description: http://gdb.voanews.com/82AD8372-0564-4E93-939C-17FEDFF75BB8_w610_r0_s.jpg
These examples show you how to change a relative clause to a participial phrase. When there is a relative clause, you can remove the relative pronoun and the BE verb.
You can also see that when the verb already ends in –ing, you do not need to change it.
Description: http://gdb.voanews.com/80CA346D-A7E8-49BC-BEBC-167E7E0329A3_w610_r0_s.jpg
Place in a sentence:
You will often see participial phrases following a noun. Think back to some of the words from Journey's song:
A small town girl living in a lonely world
Description: http://gdb.voanews.com/023904B4-D31B-499F-A778-DC1D6A808441_w610_r0_s.jpg
In the example, the participial phrase living in a lonely world ismodifying the important noun, girl. This phrase is describing the girl, so you know it is acting like an adjective.
Like other adjectives, participles can sometimes move to different places in a sentence. You will often see participial phrases following a noun, but sometimes they can come at the beginning of a sentence.
For example:
Walking at night, the hikers used headlamps.
The participial phrase "walking at night" is describing the subject, the hikers.
When you see participial phrases at the beginning or end of a sentence, they are modifying the subject of the sentence.
We will discuss this idea in future Everyday Grammar programs.
Practicing Participial phrases with karaoke
Verbs from any of the sentence patterns we discussed in earlier Everyday Grammar stories can work as participles. If you recognize and understand the common sentence patterns we discussed, then developing your own sentences with participial phrases should be easy.
We are going to leave you with some homework. Can you change these sentences with relative clauses to sentences with participial phrases? Write to us in the Comments Section of our website or on our Facebook page.
1.    Do you recognize those people who are singing in the karaoke room?
2.   The old man who sings karaoke has a nice voice.
I’m John Russell.
And I'm Jill Robbins.
John Russell wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.
*We are discussing participial phrases in an adjectival role. A discussion of other common adjectival participles is beyond the scope of this story.
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Words in This Story
karaoke – n. a form of entertainment in which a device plays the music of popular songs and people sing the words to the songs they choose
participle – n. a form of a verb that is used to indicate a past or present action and that can also be used like an adjective
participial phrase – n. a phrase that starts with a participle
relative clause – n. a kind of dependent clause. It has a subject and verb, but it is not a sentence. Relative clauses are often called “adjectival" because they function like adjectives.
derive – v. to have something as a source : to come from something
modify – v. to change or amend something
pattern – n. a repeated form or design; the repeated way in which something is done
construction – n. the way something is built; a structure
Source :

Are You How To Talk

Thứ Hai, 30 tháng 5, 2016



We judge people by the way they speak and the grammar they use.
Listen to several Americans from different regions speak. Don’t worry too much about what they are saying, just listen to their different speaking styles. Can you guess where they are from?
Fran Drescher: "What’s this about? Why’s there only one woman?”
James Earl Jones: “I feel wonderful to be back on Broadway.”
Sarah Palin: “The difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick.”
Dolly Parton: “You know, I’ll wake up sometimes from a dream and think I’d better get up and write that down or I’ll forget it.”
Surfer: “Dude, you got the best barrels ever dude.”
John F. Kennedy: “Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
Tom Brokaw: “A moment that will live forever. You’re seeing the destruction of the Berlin Wall.”
Wendy Williams: “How is it getting up and being there and getting your hair fried and the eye lashes and all that stuff.”
Rosie Perez: “I’m exhausted.”
Rhett Buetler: “Everybody kind of relates rodeo with kind of a wild energizing experience…something that gets out of control.”
As you listened to these different speakers, you probably started to form ideas about them. The minute you open your mouth, you are giving clues about yourself—where you grew up, with whom you grew up, and where you went to school.
Non-standard dialects
If you study English in the United States, you are probably learning Standard American English – the kind of English used in books, business, government and school. But there are millions of native speakers who have their own vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation that is different from Standard American English.
Linguists call these non-standard dialects. Basically, a non-standard dialect is a dialect of a language that is not taught in school.
There are dozens of regional varieties of American English. People disagree about what makes a distinct dialect or accent. But it is clear that a farmer from North Dakota does not sound like a police officer in Boston. And a lawyer from Seattle does not sound like a fisherman from Louisiana.
Some people look down on certain regional accents and dialects. They might describe them as "slang," "ungrammatical" or "broken English." Richard Epstein is a linguist from Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. He says it is a mistake to judge people by the way they speak.
“When we hear someone use grammar that we think of as perhaps not standard, it’s very easy to judge them as uneducated, and maybe they’re not toobright. But that’s a stereotype. There are many people who speak non-standardly who are extremely bright.”
African-American Vernacular
One of the largest non-standard dialects in the United States is what linguists call African-American Vernacular English, or AAVE. It is spoken by some African-Americans, especially those living large cities. A small number of white teenagers also speak AAVE, Epstein says.
AAVE follows the grammar rules of Standard American English with a few exceptions. For example, AAVE speakers might drop the “to be” verb in the present tense. Instead of the standard, “The coffee is cold,” some speakers say, “The coffee cold.”
Epstein explains.
“So, of course, white folks who don’t know African-American dialect raise their hands up in despair and say, ‘Oh, this is ungrammatical, it’s illogical, how can you possibly have a sentence with no verb? It doesn’t make sense.’
"But of course it makes perfect sense. The verb ‘be’ in the present tense doesn’t really give you any information of any use at all. So in many languages, not just African-American dialect, they don’t have the verb ‘be.’ Or if they don’t have it, they don’t use it.
“So the most logical language of all in our folklore is Latin, and Latin also frequently also left out the verb ‘be’ in the present tense. … So there’s nothing illogical or ungrammatical about saying, ‘The coffee cold.’”
Presidential Grammar
It is common for people to change dialects for different social situations. Someone who speaks AAVE at home might speak Standard American English at work.
Sometimes even the rich and powerful adopt non-standard grammar. Former president George W. Bush grew up as the son of a senator and went to Harvard and Yale. But when he was campaigning, he spoke like a “regular Joe,” or someone from the working class. Listen to his speaking style at a campaign rally in the southern state of Alabama in 2006.
“For those of you who are stuffin’ the envelopes and puttin’ up the signs and gettin’ on the telephones and turnin’ people out to vote, I wanna thank you in advance for what you gonna do for this excellent governor.”
Notice how the former president dropped the letter “g” at the end of a word. He shortens “going to” to “gonna” and “want to” to “wanna.”
George W. Bush was speaking with a working class Southern accent, even though he grew up in New England. Bush’s critics said that his informal speaking style showed that he was not very smart. Epstein says President Bush used non-standard grammar to his advantage.
George W. Bush is not alone. Many politicians change their speaking style to try to build a connection with their audience.
Dialect and identity
Epstein says the way we speak is part of who we are. He says not everyone who speaks a standard dialect is intelligent. And not everyone who speaks a non-standard dialect is uneducated.
“It’s very clear that we speak the way the people we most cherish and love most, the way they speak. . . Our language is a sign of who we are as much as our religion, much more than it’s a sign of our intelligence. There is no link between dialect and intelligence.”
We leave you a song performed by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. In the song, a man and woman disagree about how to pronounce the words “potato” and “tomato.” As a joke they decide to cancel their wedding or “call the whole thing off.”
Neither, Neither,
Let's call the whole thing off!
You like potatoes
And you like "potahtoes"
You like tomatoes
And you like "tomahtoes"
Potatoes, "potahtoes"
Tomatoes,"tomahtoes"
Let’s call the whole thing off!
I’m Jill Robbins.
I'm John Russell.
Adam Brock wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
To find out about the speakers you heard in the audio for this story, take the quiz. (look to the left on web or below on mobile).
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Words in This Story
Standard American English  n. The variety of the English language that is generally used in professional communication in the United States and taught in American schools.
non-standard dialect  n. not conforming in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, etc., to the usage characteristic of and considered acceptable by most educated native speakers
variety  n. a number or collection of different things or people
dialect  n. a form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, and pronunciations
bright  adj. smart, intelligent
African American Vernacular English  n. a variety of American English, most commonly spoken by urban working-class African Americans.
folklore – n. traditional customs, beliefs, stories, and sayings



Everyday Grammar: Introducing Phrasal Verbs.

Thứ Ba, 20 tháng 10, 2015



Welcome back to Everyday Grammar from VOALearning English.
Today we look at a very common verb form in English – phrasal verbsThereare over 5,000 verbs that fall in this categoryDo you know how to use them? In this episode, we will introduce this type of verb and help you understandhow and why English speakers use them. In future episodes, we will givemore information about the different kinds of phrasal verbs.
Phrasal verbs in history
Our story begins back when other languages - French and Old Norse - beganto influence Middle English. That period started with the invasion of the BritishIsles in 1066 by William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy.
There were small particles, or prefixesplaced before verbs in Middle Englishto change their meaning.
One that we still use is for as in forlorn. The word lorn in Old English meantlost. Adding the prefix for created forlornmeaning to be lonely or sad. As timewent by, these prefixes started to disappearSome reappeared as adverbs,separate words that came after the verb.
William Shakespearewho wrote many plays between 1589 and 1613, is awell-known writer of the timeHis workswritten in Early Middle English,include over 5,744 phrasal verbs.
Formal language and phrasal verbs
In Modern English, we use phrasal verbs more often in informal language. The reason for that practice goes back to the time when French influencedEnglishEnglish speakers thought that French words, or words of Latin origin,were polite or culturedWhen you want to speak more formallyyou can use asingle word of Latin or French origin instead of most phrasal verbs. Forexample, the phrasal verb look over can be replaced by review.
As English learners know welldaily conversation in English is almost neverformalSo feel free to use phrasal verbs when you speak English in everydaysettings.
Another general fact about phrasal verbs is that British English uses differentones from American English. At one timeBritish English speakers usedphrasal verbs much less often than American English speakersNow, theOxford English Dictionary lists many phrasal verbs in common use in BritishEnglish.
The structure of phrasal verbs
Let’s start with the basic structure of phrasal verbs. A phrasal verb is a phrasewith two or more words: a verb and a preposition or adverb or both. Anexample is in this sentence:
       “I looked up my cousin’s phone number.”
The verb is look, and up is the adverb. The phrasal verb look up means “toresearch” or “search for”.
Some phrasal verbs allow an object to separate the phrase.
       “I didn’t know the number so I had to look it up.”
Here, the pronoun it stands for the objectnumber.
Other phrasal verbs have to stay togetherYou can say you care for someonewith the phrasal verb look after as in:
       “I looked after Andy’s dog while he was on vacation.”
But you cannot say, “I looked his dog after while he was on vacation.”
The first two kinds of phrasal verbs we looked at have two words. The nextkind has three words. For example,
       “I put up with the noise of my neighbor’s party because I knew it was his  birthday.”
Here, the phrasal verb put up with means tolerate. The verb put is followed by the particle up and the prepositional phrase with object (the noise).
These phrasal verbs must have direct objects. We cannot say, “I put upbecause I knew it was his birthday.”
Let’s look at some examples.
       “Carrie asked me to help out with the cooking.” Here, we can substitute asingle verbassist, for the phrasal verb help out.
However, we need to keep the preposition with when we paraphrase thesentence, as in:
       “Carrie asked me to assist with the cooking.”
Another three-part phrasal verb is look up to. It means admire. We can say,
       “She looks up to her sister.”
Heresister is the direct object. We cannot move sister to any other place in the sentence, as in “She looks her sister up to.”
How to identify a phrasal verb
Learners may be confused because there are combinations of verbs andprepositions that look like phrasal verbsHow do you tell the difference?
regular verb + preposition combination has two meaningsTake thesentence,
       “I looked up at the sky.”
Here look means view and up means in a higher direction. On the other hand, a phrasal verb has a single meaning. We saw look up earliermeaningresearch.”
Another test is whether you can move the objectYou cannot say, “I looked thesky up,” with the meaning “I gazed upwards at the sky.”
So if you want to test whether a combination of words is a phrasal verbaskthese questions:
       Can I substitute a single word for a two-word phrase?
              The answer should be “yes.”
       Can I remove the direct object in a three-word phrase?
              The answer should be “no.”
In the next Everyday Grammar, we will take a closer look at phrasal verbs thatcan separate from the adverbListen for such a phrasal verb in this song byBeatlesHint: it means to “solve” our problems.
Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long
We can work it out
We can work it out
For Learning English Everyday Grammar, I’m Jill Robbins.
DrJill Robbins wrote this story for Learning EnglishHai Do was the editor.
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Words in This Story


prefix - grammar. a letter or group of letters that is added at the beginning of aword to change its meaning
adverb – grammar. a word that describes a verb, an adjectiveanotheradverb, or a sentence and that is often used to show timemannerplace, ordegree
informal – adj. (of languagerelaxed in tone; not suited for serious or officialspeech and writing
preposition – grammar. a word or group of words that is used with a noun,pronoun, or noun phrase to show directionlocation, or time, or to introduce anobject
object - grammar. a nounnoun phrase, or pronoun that receives the actionof a verb or completes the meaning of a preposition
tolerate – v. to allow (something that is badunpleasantetc.) to exist,happen, or be done.