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Thursday
Feb182016

Do You Wanna Learn About 'Wanna'?

Written by Bret

 

Click here to see today's comic.

 

This week's comic is from the series Calvin and Hobbes.  It focuses on the young boy Calvin, and the humor comes from the youthful ideas and exploits of children.

In this comic, the boy Calvin has come home and is very hungry.  His mother is too busy to help him, and Calvin cannot wait.  He says, "I'm hungry NOW! I wanna eat!"

So this week I want to focus on words like 'wanna'.

Often in English we follow up a verb with 'to' or other words, such as 'have', or 'of'.

To make things quicker and easier to say, we often combine the verb and 'to' (or 'have' and 'of') to make it faster.  This is called a "relaxed pronunciation" or sometimes a "condensed pronunciation" or a "word slur".


Examples are:

want to - wanna
going to - gonna
could have - coulda
should have - shoulda
would have - woulda
sort of - sorta
kind of - kinda
(have) got to - gotta
out of - outta

Another kind of relaxed pronunciation is when adding 'you' after a word:

don't you - doncha
got you - gotcha
did you - didya or didja
would you - wouldya
what do you - whadya

 
This kind of speech is not limited to just English; it occurs in the Germanic, Romance and Slavic language families.
In the end, tired of her whining son, she sarcastically draws him a map to the refrigerator.  This is her way of saying, "Go get your own food!"

You probably here these words all the time in spoken English, so hopefully now you can understand them better!

Thursday
Feb182016

Lazy Lounge Lizard

Written by Eoin

 

Click here to see today's comic.

 

Garfield is a lazy cat [怠け者の猫]. And he thinks that everybody should be lazy, that a lazy life [だらけた生活] is best. He decides that this week will be “National Lazy Week”, which is good news for lounge lizards (social parasites).
 
But isn’t being lazy a bad thing? Why is being lazy good? Or, as Garfield says, “What’s so great about being lazy?” What’s so great about X? means that we think that X is not great. We are suggesting that X is a bad thing, and we need somebody to explain why it is good. So, of course we think being lazy is bad, but Garfield will explain to us why it is good.
 
He says, “What if war were declared and nobody showed?” If a war started in a lazy world, nobody would come to fight, so nobody would die – which is a good thing! Garfield is saying that lazy people are peaceful people.
 
Here are some more what if questions for you to think about and use in class.
 
What if you won a billion yen? (What would you do? – e.g., If I won a billion yen, I would buy a gold Ferrari.)
What if you became president of your company?
What if you became prime minister of Japan?
What if robots did all the work?
What if aliens came to Earth?
What if all the cats in the world suddenly died? (You can find more strange and interesting questions like this one here.)

Thursday
Feb182016

Know Your Memes: One Does Not Simply Walk into Mordor

Written by Matt

Have you ever heard the word meme? It has taken on a very specific meaning in recent years. Internet memes in particular are well known by English speaking users. They usually are in the form of a recognisable picture with a caption that says something funny, witty, intelligent and often a play on words. 
 
Usually a meme begins with one key image or idea and people change and update them overtime as they get repeated. Here's an example of one of my favourite internet memes. You can find more from the website: www.knowyourmeme.com

 

This meme shows a scene from Lord of the Rings. 
 
The meaning of "One does not simply walk into Mordor" is "It isn't so easy for you to walk into Mordor."
 
People then took this original phrase and changed it to be funny or insightful or just interesting in lots of different ways. Usually there is a play on words and a change to the image with Photoshop that represents the word change. 
 
Here are a few examples of my favourite versions of this meme.

 

 

Here "walk" is changed into "wok."

 

 

Here "simply" is changed into "silly." This is a scene from the famous comedy programme Monty Python's Flying Circus.

 

 

Here "walk" is "changed to "rock."

 

Thursday
Feb182016

Fun with Phrasal Verbs

Written by Rion

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, a phrasal verb is a verb combined with an adverb (副詞) or a preposition (前置詞), or sometimes both, to give a new meaning. Instead of having to remember difficult words, we can sometimes take simple verbs that we already know and combine them with something else to express new and complex ideas. Take for example the verb “look” which everyone knows the meaning of. The following are some examples of phrasal verbs:

 

 

Look up: find information in a book, on a map or a timetable

Look ahead: think about what is going to happen in the future and make plans
Look back: think about something that happened in the past
Look for: try to find something
Look forward to: feel pleased and excited about something that is going to happen
Look in: visit a person or place for a short time
Look on: watch something without taking part yourself
Look out: watch what is happening and be careful
Look round: turn to look at something behind you
Look through: read something quickly and briefly

Look to: rely on somebody or something

 

By simply combining an easy verb with simple directions (e.g. up, on, back and out), you can express a whole lot of new meanings even when you cannot remember the exact words for them. This is useful especially when speaking. I hope you had fun picking up the new useful phrases for use in your work. You can also try and look up other phrasal verbs that use simple verbs too. Have fun!

 

Friday
Dec182015

Which Do You Prefer (Like Better)?

Written by Gosia

Click here for today's comic.

 

Today we are going to learn how to talk about preferences/things we like.
You probably already know the phrase LIKE BETTER. For example: 

Which do you like better, tea or coffee?
like tea better than coffee.

Another word meaning LIKE BETTER is PREFER. That's the key word from the comic. The goat in the comic asks the mouse "Are you a hard worker?" and the mouse's response is "I prefer beer and sleep". Here are some other examples:
Which do you prefer, tea or coffee?
prefer tea to coffee. (= I like tea better)
 
Which do you prefer to eat, udon or ramen?  
prefer ramen. (= I like ramen better)

Now, try answering these questions for yourself:
1. Which do you prefer, McDonalds or Mos Burger?
I prefer ___________.
2. Do you prefer beer or wine?
I prefer ___________.
3. Do you prefer to work or to sleep?

I prefer to ___________.