Monthly Archives: April 2014

Your Application

Just a quick note today. When you submit your job application online, make sure that your filenames are descriptive. Instead of submitting “newestresumecopy2.pdf” or “aplicagionforjobletter.pdf,” chose a simple format that can help a hiring manager. Choose a format that works for both your resume and cover letter and includes your name.

“DaveHendersonResume.pdf” or “CoverLetterDaveH.pdf” are two formats that I have seen and found helpful in the past. Good luck in your job search!

Research? or Researches?

I’ve come across this quite a lot recently. Research and knowledge, study and information… are they count or non-count?

Research: non-count. (It’s a noun, verb, and adjective.)

I need to do more research before I can create my giant robot.

Information: non-count.

I don’t have a lot of information. Do you know an expert we could ask?

Knowledge: non-count

James has a lot of knowledge about writing.

Study: count. (Here we’re using it as a noun, but it is also a verb.)

The scientists carried out three studies before they wrote their paper.

Fact: count.

This is a fact: Canada’s really big.

Opinion: count.

My friend and I have two very different opinions about that subject.

Vocabulary you should know

Learning vocabulary can be a challenge. How do you choose what to learn? If you need words for work or school, search for business or academic word lists. (I’ve covered them before.) But what if you want to learn general words, ones you can use in a variety of conversations?

This is a list of the 1000 most common words in English. By learning these words, you will be able to speak and write with many people about many topics.

Perhaps you’d like some definitions? Here’s a link to a similar list that includes meanings.

Here’s a cartoon where a spaceship and some of its technical parts are described using only the 1000 most common words. The cartoon can be seen in its original site here. The artist also drew a cartoon showing numbers, which I quite like.


Which verb tense should I use?

What verb tense to use?

English has twelve verb tenses, which we can divide into three times (past, present, and future) and into four forms (simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous.) How can we know which one to use?

Obviously, the best form is the one that most closely fits what we want to talk about. Sometimes, though, we can use more than one tense correctly. If you can, use the simple form. If the simple form doesn’t work, use the continuous. If the continuous doesn’t work, try the perfect. If the perfect doesn’t work, then you must use the perfect continuous.

If you have a choice, use the simple form.