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Jealousy and Envy – what do you feel?

Jealousy and envy are two feelings that are quite similar, but the words are often used incorrectly. Let’s see what’s going on:

Jealous (verb & adjective) and jealousy (noun) describe the feeling when someone is afraid to lose something to someone else. It’s always used in negative situations.

  • I’m jealous of your success, co-worker. I should have gotten that promotion!
  • He’s a jealous partner – he won’t even allow his girlfriend to use the phone unless he can listen to the conversation too.
  • Jealousy makes normal people act in strange ways, sometimes.

‘Jealously,’ used as an adverb, is possible, but very uncommon. Use ‘in a jealous manner’ instead.

  • She watched jealously as he texted a friend. She watched in a jealous manner as he texted a friend.

Envy (noun & verb), envious (adjective), and enviously (adverb) describe the feeling when a person wants something that another person possesses. It can be positive, but is usually used in negative situations.

  • I envy your success, co-worker. I will work hard so I can get the next promotion!
  • They felt envy when they saw the lottery winner.
  • She is envious of your education – she would have enjoyed going to your university.
  • The silver medal winners watched enviously as the champions received their gold medals.

Drinking and sneezing

I had a great question the other day. “When do I say ‘cheers!’ and when do I say ‘bless you? Here’s how to use these expressions to fit in with Canadians.

“Cheers!” Use this at the table, in the pub, or at the bar, when you’re starting a drink. Lift your glass, or touch it to a friend’s class, and say “Cheers!” It means “Good health!”

“Bless you!” Use this after a friend sneezes. Don’t say it after you sneeze, though – that would be strange!

What do I say?

I had a conversation with a student the other day. She wanted to learn the pronunciation for the show with horses, fighting, and lots of politics: “Game of … Chairs?”

We have all been there. We don’t know how to say a word, or we don’t know what word to use. Some will stop talking, others will reach for a translator, but the best choice, in my opinion, is to describe the word you don’t know. Native speakers do this all the time, but it seems that students of English don’t do it as much as they could.

Here are some examples. Try to guess the word I’m thinking about:

I went to the place where you learn about stuff.  <-school

Can you help me find something that will stop the water from going out of the bathtub? <-a bathtub plug

He was running, like an animal, very quickly, up the mountain. He slipped but it didn’t matter, because he continued anyway. <-scrambling

There are two things we can do to keep our conversation going:

  • Describe the missing word with a phrase. (place where you learn about stuff = school)
  • Use a synonym you know is wrong, and ask for correction. (Game of Chairs = thrones)

Try it out! I’m sure you will find that your conversations will be easier.

Every day and everyday. Are they synonyms?

The short answer is no. The long answer is also no, and there are several clues we can use to help choose the right expression.

Everyday is an adjective, so it describes a noun, and it means ‘regular, normal, common.’

“My everyday shoes are made of leather.”

We cannot change this to show a different amount of time. “Everyweek, everymonth, and everyyear” are not English.

Every day is used to show a time or repetition. It means ‘each day, without a break.”

“I wear my leather shoes every day.”

We can change this to show repetition over time. “Every month, every hour, and every year” are all good expressions.

“I get a massage every month.”
“I email my boss every hour.”
“I celebrate my birthday every year.”

Now, it is time to practice your everyday English. Speak, listen, read, and write every day!”

Conference Presentation, Part Two

I presented this paper in Victoria earlier this year, and I was asked to repeat my presentation at a conference in Vancouver. As before, it is a summary of my Master’s research project, all about ESL students and academic dishonesty. I find BC TEAL conferences really enjoyable to present at – lots of interesting questions and discussion usually happen, and the variety of talks is always exciting!

My paper, titled “Why Do They Cheat? A Meta-Synthesis of Academic Dishonesty in ESL Students” is available here.

Secret Bus Shortcuts

Recently, I’ve been teaching a group of students who have just arrived in Vancouver. They want to see our city, but they don’t know much about where the buses go. Here’s a little breakdown of bus numbers and what they mean.

Routes 1-100 all travel in Vancouver city.
Routes 101 – 149 (&155) all travel in Burnaby or New Westminster.
Routes 150 – 199 (except 155) all travel in Coquitlam, Port Moody, or Port Coquitlam.
Routes 200 – 249 all travel in North Vancouver.
Routes 250 – 299 all travel in West Vancouver.
Routes 300 – 399 all travel in Surrey, North Delta, or White Rock.
Routes 400 – 490 all travel in Richmond.
Routes 500 – 599 all travel in Langley.
Routes 600 – 699 all travel in South Delta.
Routes 700 – 799 all travel in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
Routes 800 – 899 are for high school students only.

Routes starting with a C, like C5, use minibuses and have very short routes. They are also called “Community Shuttles.”

Routes starting with an N, like N9, are late-night buses. They run from 1:30am to 4:00am.

Some Vancouver routes, like 4, 9, 41, and 49, travel mostly on their avenues: 49 UBC goes on 49th Avenue, for example.

Happy traveling, and I hope you find your way around Vancouver easily!