Lay and lie are both irregular verbs. If you memorize their forms, then you’ll avoid making common errors.
- The chicken lays eggs.
- I lie on the sofa.
- The chicken laid eggs yesterday.
- I lay on the sofa yesterday.
- The chicken is laying eggs right now.
- I am lying on the sofa right now.
- The chicken has laid eggs.
- I have lain on the sofa.
I’ve had many questions about travel in B.C. this summer. Over the next while, I’ll be adding maps like the one above to help you get around and see some of the best parts of this province. This one shows you how to get to Victoria from Waterfront Station.
Just a few common problems from class:
- weigh sounds like way
- weight sounds like wait
- high sounds like hi
- height rhymes with fight, not hate.
- ant sounds like aunt.
- sun sounds like son
- won sounds like one.
- Yacht rhymes with ought or bought
- Enough rhymes with rough, not off
- Elementary = ell a men tree. The strong syllable is MEN.
- Hierarchy sounds like “hire are key.” The strong sound is on the “hi” of “hire.”
- Receipt sounds like re-seat. The “p” is silent.
- Muscles sounds like mussels. The “c” is silent.
I had an interesting discussion with a student the other day about short names in English. To summarize, she wasn’t aware that “Dave” is short for “David,” for example. I thought I’d make a little list of some common short names that you might hear in Vancouver.
- Dave – David
- Bill, Will, Willy – William
- Charlie, Chuck – Charles
- Ed, Eddie – Edward
- Tom, Tommy – Thomas
- Rob, Bob, Bobby – Robert
- Rob – Robin
- Sam – Samuel
- Russ – Russell
- Chris – Christopher, Christian
- Larry – Lawrence
- Pat – Patrick
- Art – Arthur
- Matt – Matthew
- Al – Albert, Alphonse, Alan
- Zach, Zack – Zachary, Zachariah
- Alex – Alexander
- Luke – Lucas
- Jon, John – Jonathan
- Mike – Michael
- Nick, Nicky – Nicholas (note: “Nicky/Nicki” is also a female name)
- Gabe – Gabriel
- Rick, Ricky, Rich – Richard
- Josh – Joshua
- Benji, Ben – Benjamin
- Jay – Jason
- Ray – Raymond
- Ron – Ronald
- Jim, Jimmy – James
- Henry – Hank
- Jeff/Geoff – Jeffrey/Geoffrey
- Tim, Timmy – Timothy
- Brad – Bradley
- Frank – Francis
- Max – Maxwell, Maximilian
- Vince, Vinnie – Vincent
Generally, male short names that end in “y” or “ie” are associated with children. For example, James and Robert might be called Jimmy and Bobby when they are young, but they might want to be called Jim and Rob when they become teenagers or young adults. This isn’t a rule, though, so it’s always best to ask what someone’s preferred name is!
- Steph -Stephanie
- Em – Emily
- Cath, Kate, Kat, Katy, Cathy – Catherine or Kathleen
- Jen, Jenny – Jennifer
- Pat, Patty – Patricia
- Marge, Maggie – Margaret
- Meg – Megan
- Jill, Gill – Jillian, Gillian
- Chris, Christy, Tina – Christine, Christina
- Laurie – Lauren
- Joy – Joyce
- Lori – Lorraine
- Rosie, Rose – Roseanne
- Liz, Lizzie, Beth, Eliza – Elizabeth
- Fran – Frances
- Max, Maxie – Maxine
- Sherry – Sharon
- Jules – Julie, Julia
- Becca – Rebecca
- Jess – Jessica
- Mel, Melly – Melissa, Melanie
- Alex – Alexandra, Alexis
- Kim – Kimberley
- Nat – Natalie, Natalia
- Mandy – Amanda
- Sue, Suzy – Susan, Suzanne
Female short names that end in “y” or “ie” do not usually have the same connotations about age as male short names do.
Of course, some people may have a short name as their legal name. If you’re not sure, you can ask the person once you get to know them. “Hey Patty, is that short for Patricia?”
The most important thing to remember about a comma is that it doesn’t connect or join. Instead, use the comma to separate ideas. Some students imagine the sentence in their head, and wherever they pause to breather, they insert a comma into their writing. This is surprisingly easy, and it is correct most of the time!
The most common comma problem, the comma fault, causes run-on sentences. Here’s an example:
- I like pizza, it is delicious.
Notice that the author is trying to connect two sentences with a comma. This is a comma fault. Most comma faults can be corrected by adding a conjunction:
- I like pizza, because it is delicious.
They can also usually be corrected by replacing the comma with a period:
- I like pizza. It is delicious.
Michelle, a former student, visited today. She and her family have accepted new opportunities in Ontario. Congratulations to all of you, and best of luck with your new Canadian adventures!
Playing games in English can be not just fun. Often you’ll use your language skills too! Learning vocabulary related to the story of the game, negotiating with partners or opponents, or discussing how to play can really focus your skills. Some of my favourite games include Scrabble, Pictionary, Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, 10 Days in Asia, and Taboo. Some pubs or restaurants have games you can play while you eat: Guilt & Co. in Gastown, Stormcrow on Commercial Drive, or Steel & Oak in New Westminster all have games to play. Do you know of more pubs with games? Tell me below!
I heard it through the grapevine. This is an idiom that means ” I learned the information because I was gossiping.”
Coat and Quote are similar, but not the same. “Quote” starts with a /kw/ sound, but “coat” starts with only /k/.
“Software” and “hardware” are noncount. If you want to use count expressions, say “pieces of software,” “apps,” or “programs.” For “hardware,” say “computers,” “devices,” or “tablets/phones/laptops.”