LinguaTrek - learn English http://www.linguatrek.com/taxonomy/term/2/0 en The key to understanding English tenses! http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/the-key-to-understanding-english-tenses <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 107px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2013/01/alarmclock.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2013/01/alarmclock.jpg" alt="Alarm clock" title="Photo by Alan Cleaver" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11121568@N06/4293345631">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/">Alan Cleaver</a></div></div> <p>Every language has <em>some</em> difficult bit.</p> <p>It's that one aspect of the language that you'll be working on over and over again the whole time that you're learning it.</p> <p>For English, it's <em>verb tenses.</em></p> <p>Counting the way the teachers usually do, <strong>English has 14-16 tenses.</strong> <em>(There's many ways to count them!)</em></p> <p>No matter what the exact number - the point is that English has a very complex verb system. I get TONS of questions from English learners about which tense is correct in a particular sentence.</p> <p>A couple weeks ago, during one of our <a href="https://pl.bibliobird.com/spotkania-premium-przez-czat-g%C5%82osowy">English lessons over voice chat</a>, a learner (<em>Hi Marcin!</em>) asked me:</p> <blockquote> <p>Why did you say: "I was using it as an example?" Why not: "I used it as an example?" You weren't talking about it very long - shouldn't it be <em>past simple</em> instead of <em>past continuous</em>?</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>The answer is actually quite simple. And it ISN'T a grammar explanation. ;-) Really! I won't need to draw a picture or show you a chart.</strong></p> <p>In fact, all this confusion comes from a <em>fundamental misunderstanding</em> about English tenses, which itself stems from years and years of teachers explaining the tenses in a particular way.</p> <p>Today, I'm <em>finally</em> going to clear up this misunderstanding!</p> <p><strong>Read more to learn the key to understanding English tenses!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/the-key-to-understanding-english-tenses" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/the-key-to-understanding-english-tenses#comments grammar learn English tenses Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 237 at http://www.linguatrek.com Vlog: Dziękuję i zapraszam na rozmowy po angielsku http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/vlog-dzi%C4%99kuj%C4%99-i-zapraszam-na-rozmowy-po-angielsku <p>Tylko chciałbym podziękować wszystkim za świetną odpowiedź na mój ostatni blog i filmik. I zapraszam Was na nasze <a href="http://pl.bibliobird.com/wiki/Harmonogram_spotka%25C5%2584_po_angielsku">cotygodniowe rozmowy po angielsku</a> na Bibliobirdzie.</p> <object width="510" height="311"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dJFEteuQWdY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="wmode" value="opaque" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/dJFEteuQWdY?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="510" height="311" wmode="opaque" ></embed></object> <p>Oto jest <a href="http://pl.bibliobird.com/wiki/Harmonogram_spotka%25C5%2584_po_angielsku">harmonogram spotkań</a> na czacie głosowym i <a href="http://pl.bibliobird.com/wiki/Czat_g%25C5%2582osowy">instrukcje</a>, żeby połączyć się z serwerem.</p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/vlog-dzi%C4%99kuj%C4%99-i-zapraszam-na-rozmowy-po-angielsku" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/vlog-dzi%C4%99kuj%C4%99-i-zapraszam-na-rozmowy-po-angielsku#comments learn English vlog Sat, 24 Mar 2012 16:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 133 at http://www.linguatrek.com British vs. American English http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/british-vs-american-english <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2012/03/americaengland.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2012/03/americaengland.jpg" alt="American and English flags" title="Photo by Alf" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/98765712@N00/3974127808">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ellyll/">Alf</a></div></div> <p>I frequently receive emails or comments like:</p> <blockquote><p>I just started learning English but it's British English. Will I have trouble communicating with someone from the USA? Can you easily understand British people? What is the difference between American and British English?</p></blockquote> <p>It's true that there are lots of dialects (I wrote about <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/02/milwaukee-wisconsin-unique-english-dialect">my dialect</a> a while back), accents and other <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Englishes">variations of English</a> (ex. creoles, such as Jamaican).</p> <p>But is the variation of English that you learn important?</p> <p><strong>Read more for my response!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/british-vs-american-english" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/british-vs-american-english#comments American English British English learn English Tue, 13 Mar 2012 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 128 at http://www.linguatrek.com GoEnglishGo.com: Virtual English school http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/12/goenglishgocom-virtual-english-school <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2011/12/goenglishgo.png" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2011/12/goenglishgo.png" alt="GoEnglishGo Logo" title="" /></a></div> <p>Real world English schools are great. You enter a new environment where the primary language is English. It's easy to forget that you're still in your native country. And you get to make new friends who also share your passion and interest in English.</p> <p>But traveling to an English class is also very inconvenient. Depending on where you live and work, it probably takes considerable time to get there. And when you leave, the English lesson ends. You might have a homework assignment, but outside the magic of the classroom, it's less compelling.</p> <p>With a virtual school, you lose the effect of the environment and much of the social interaction. But you are able to study at any time of the day or night. And you don't have to lose any time traveling there!</p> <p>This article is about an online language school, <a href="http://www.goenglishgo.com">GoEnglishGo.com</a>, which is run by an American from Texas, who now lives in Kraków, Poland.</p> <p>(<em>Full disclosure: while the founder of this school is a personal friend of mine, I'm not receiving any monetary benefits or commissions for writing this review.</em>)</p> <p><strong>Read more the full review!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/12/goenglishgocom-virtual-english-school" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/12/goenglishgocom-virtual-english-school#comments language school learn English Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 105 at http://www.linguatrek.com English: Our borrowed language http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/10/english-our-borrowed-language <p><em><strong>This is a guest post written by Alice Cuninghame on behalf of <a href="http://www.stgeorges.co.uk/" title="St Georges International" target="_blank">St Georges International</a>. For students keen to learn English, learn French or <a href="http://www.stgeorges.co.uk/foreign-languages/german-courses/" title="learn German London" target="_blank">learn German London</a> language school SGI provides a great mix of top-class teaching and facilities and a vibrant social programme.</strong></em></p> <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2011/10/linguatrek_1_0.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2011/10/linguatrek_1_0.jpg" alt="Warsaw, Poland" title="Warsaw, capital of Poland. Photo by Henri Sivonen." /></a><div class="caption">Warsaw, capital of Poland. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hsivonen/191671502/">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hsivonen/">Henri Sivonen</a>.</div></div> <p>English is often referred to as a ‘mongrel’ language. It borrows words from other languages shamelessly, sometimes keeping them as they are, sometimes adapting them to make truly English words.</p> <p>English has its roots in the Germanic family of languages, which includes German, Dutch and most of the Scandinavian languages. Unlike those languages, it borrows heavily from others outside the ‘family’. For historical reasons, French and Latin have had a particularly strong influence on English over the years.</p> <p>More surprising is that <strong>English borrows some words from distant Poland</strong>. Increasingly, Polish borrows from English too. That is less surprising, given the worldwide domination of the English language, and the large numbers of Polish migrants heading to the UK in recent years.</p> <p><strong>Read more for some examples of Polish words in English!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/10/english-our-borrowed-language" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/10/english-our-borrowed-language#comments language school learn English Tue, 18 Oct 2011 19:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 96 at http://www.linguatrek.com "Black Is the Color" - A folk song http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/05/black-is-the-color-a-folk-song <p>I heard this song for the first time when I was in Ireland in 2004. It's a folk song of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Is_the_Colour_(Of_My_True_Love's_Hair)">unknown origin</a> but most likely from Scotland because of the reference to the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Clyde">Clyde</a>. Like most folk songs, no two versions are exactly alike and my version is no exception. :-)</p> <p><strong>Watch me perform "Black Is the Color":</strong></p> <object width="510" height="311"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3PurHBvEATk?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="wmode" value="opaque" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3PurHBvEATk?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="510" height="311" wmode="opaque" ></embed></object> <p><strong>Read the lyrics below!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/05/black-is-the-color-a-folk-song" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/05/black-is-the-color-a-folk-song#comments learn English music Fri, 13 May 2011 14:30:00 +0000 David Snopek 67 at http://www.linguatrek.com Do English speakers make mistakes on purpose? http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/04/do-english-speakers-make-mistakes-on-purpose <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2011/04/mistake1.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2011/04/mistake1.jpg" alt="Ad for print shop in a newspaper" title="Language mistakes can be ironic! Photo by hugovk on Flikr." /></a><div class="caption">Language mistakes can be ironic! <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124404848@N01/1531354421">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hugovk/">hugovk</a> on Flikr.</div></div> <p>I recently received the following message from <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/VloganieToTakieDanie">VloganieToTakieDanie</a> on YouTube:</p> <blockquote> <p>Hello, David</p> <p>I was thinking about something recently: making language mistakes on purpose. In Poland, many people get annoyed when someone makes a language mistake, especially when it's a very common mistake. We hardly ever make mistakes on purpose and when we do, it's only as a joke.</p> <p>In English, I see mistakes made on purpose quite often, such as in the title of the Timbaland song "The way I are" or when I hear someone say "we gonna" instead of "we're gonna." Don't native English speakers get irritated when they hear such things? I'd like to know the general opinion as well as your opinion.</p> <p>Have a nice day,<br /> M.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Read more for my response!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/04/do-english-speakers-make-mistakes-on-purpose" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/04/do-english-speakers-make-mistakes-on-purpose#comments learn English mistakes Tue, 19 Apr 2011 14:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 61 at http://www.linguatrek.com 5 English mistakes commonly made by Poles http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/04/5-english-mistakes-commonly-made-by-poles <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2011/04/theyalsohavelife.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2011/04/theyalsohavelife.jpg" alt="" title="Mistake? Or genius!? Photo by Tuija Aalto" /></a><div class="caption">Mistake? Or genius!? <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28214861@N00/28542300">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tuija/">Tuija Aalto</a></div></div> <p>While teaching English in Poland and having language exchanges with Polish people over Skype, I've noticed that there are a few English mistakes that a lot of Poles seem to make.</p> <p>While other nationalities certainly make these mistakes too, because of my familiarity with Polish, in most cases I can point to some characteristic of the Polish language that the speaker could be <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_transfer">transferring</a> to English.</p> <p>Don't worry, none of the mistakes I'm going to discuss are critical! Native speakers will still understand, even if you make a few of these mistakes. :-)</p> <p><strong>Read more to see five mistakes that Poles commonly make when speaking or writing English!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/04/5-english-mistakes-commonly-made-by-poles" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/04/5-english-mistakes-commonly-made-by-poles#comments learn English mistakes Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:30:00 +0000 David Snopek 60 at http://www.linguatrek.com Milwaukee, Wisconsin's unique English dialect http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/02/milwaukee-wisconsin-unique-english-dialect <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 107px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2011/02/cheesehead.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2011/02/cheesehead.jpg" alt="Dog wearing cheesehead" title="An average cheesehead from Wisconsin. Photo by Chrissy Wainwright." /></a><div class="caption">An average <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesehead">cheesehead</a> from Wisconsin. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/90935137@N00/267291853">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/wainwright/">Chrissy Wainwright</a>.</div></div> <p>There are several English dialects. Within the United States, these dialects don't vary that much, but there are differences.</p> <p>I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which has its own peculiar dialect. It's starting to die out now that most young people speak a more standard version of English. Even so, everyone can still understand it.</p> <p><strong>Read more to learn about some of the unique phrases in my dialect of English!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/02/milwaukee-wisconsin-unique-english-dialect" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/02/milwaukee-wisconsin-unique-english-dialect#comments dialects learn English Milwaukee Tue, 01 Feb 2011 16:34:17 +0000 David Snopek 43 at http://www.linguatrek.com Vlog: Jak uczyć się angielskiego w ten sam sposób jak uczę się polskiego http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/12/vlog-jak-uczy%C4%87-si%C4%99-angielskiego-w-ten-sam-spos%C3%B3b-jak-ucz%C4%99-si%C4%99-polskiego <p>Dzisiaj znowu mówię o tym jak uczyłem się języka polskiego i przedstawiam BiblioBird.com, mój projekt dla nauki języków obcych (na razie tylko języka angielskiego). Też mam prezenty dla wszystkich, którzy utwarzają konto na stronie BiblioBird.com do jedenastego grudnia. Obejrzyj filmik, żeby dowiedzieć się więcej!</p> <object width="510" height="311"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/lElYVuETqrk?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="wmode" value="opaque" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/lElYVuETqrk?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="510" height="311" wmode="opaque" ></embed></object> <p>Czytaj transkrypcję poniżej.</p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/12/vlog-jak-uczy%C4%87-si%C4%99-angielskiego-w-ten-sam-spos%C3%B3b-jak-ucz%C4%99-si%C4%99-polskiego" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/12/vlog-jak-uczy%C4%87-si%C4%99-angielskiego-w-ten-sam-spos%C3%B3b-jak-ucz%C4%99-si%C4%99-polskiego#comments learn English method vlog Sat, 04 Dec 2010 21:01:04 +0000 David Snopek 28 at http://www.linguatrek.com