How to Write a Sentence: #4 Transitions

* First, read How to Write a Sentence #1,  How to Write a Sentence #2, and How to Write a Sentence #3.

Transitions are words or phrases that connect (link) ideas. The ideas may be in a sentence or in a longer text. Transitions help you to become a better writer (and communicator) because they help the reader (or listener) to follow what you are writing or saying. They help ideas flow smoothly and clearly. Transitions are often used to show:

contrast: however, nonetheless, on the other hand

cause and effect: therefore, thus, as a result

concession: of course, with this in mind, in view of …

example: to demonstrate, for instance, for example

addition: as a matter of fact, in addition, in the first place

(See below for links to extensive lists of Transitions.)

Now, have a look at the following two sentences:

Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. Fewer athletes use them.

How are attitudes shifting? Is drug usage becoming more or less acceptable? Using a transition can help the reader follow your thoughts.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. However, fewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. As a result, fewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. In conclusion, fewer athletes are using them.

Transitions are not conjunctions. The punctuation rules are different. There are two ways to punctuate them:

  1. (As above)                              Transition + comma + independent clause
  2. (See below) semi-colon + transition + comma + independent clause

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting; however, fewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting; as a resultfewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting; in conclusion, fewer athletes are using them.

By the way, there are many useful transitions for you to use apart from those you may see in Transition lists like the ones I’ve listed below. A lot of expressions you may think of to link your ideas may be transitions. Use the punctuation rules above and see what you can come up with.

I use transitions when writing posts for this blog. My aim is to make these posts as easy to read as possible! I have used three transitions in this post:

  1. First, – This is the first word in this post. It connects my ideas in the post to the heading.
  2. Now, – This word connects my transition examples to sentences which show how to use them.
  3. By the way, – This transitional phrase is a common way to add more ideas to what you have already said. After explaining the rules and giving examples, I wanted to add that you can find more examples of transitions if you are interested.

∗∗ As you can see, none of the transitions I used connected sentences. Transitions do not connect sentences. Transitions connect ideas.

For a list of common transitions with detailed examples, click here.

For another list of transitions, click here and here.

For further examples and practice exercises, click here.

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to get better English Pronunciation in 2 easy steps.

The ENGLISH ACADEMY in Madrid, Spain, has great English advice for Spanish speakers. First, read their post on Pronunciation, and second, watch my video lesson on the 20 English vowel sounds.

The English Academy

A common complaint from native Spanish people in their attempts to learn English is the various difficulties that come up when trying to pronounce certain words correctly. One of the main causes of this problem is the general focus in Spanish schools towards grammar and reading, and the neglect of oral and listening skills. Here we have a look at some common problems faced by Spaniards with regard to their pronunciation.

Vowels

Perhaps the single biggest pronunciation problem for Spanish speakers is that their language does not have a distinction between short and long vowels. They often stretch all vowel sounds out too much and confuse pairs of short and long English vowel sounds like “ship” and “sheep” both in comprehension and speaking. Relevant pairs include:

  • bit/beat
  • not/note and not/nought
  • batter/barter
  • pull/pool

As the pairs above are all pronounced with different mouth positions as well as different lengths, focusing on…

View original post 448 more words

Posted in Speaking & Pronunciation | Tagged | 2 Comments

Real Life English – See How To Better Communicate With The World

I’ve discovered a great English language website called Real Life English. On July 8, 2016, it featured a video/podcast about Global Citizenship. Chad from Real Life English introduced the podcast  and the following video:

“Imagine if the whole world could communicate through one unifying language… that day is coming very soon and you can be part of it!

If you don’t have time to listen to this whole podcast at least make the time to watch this amazing video about global citizenship, and the positive effects of expanding your empathy.”

Jason Silva Explaining Global Citizenship

“Please watch this video and leave a comment telling us what you thought about it.”

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Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Listening, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Videos | Tagged | Leave a comment

25 Easy & Proven Ways to Prepare for your TOEIC Test

♦ HOW to be SUCCESSFUL in the TOEIC Test ♦

Error recognition is an important part of the TOEIC Test. Why don’t you start practising here and now? With regular practice of these 25 Error Recognition Tests, which will encourage you to look for typical mistakes, you will feel so much more prepared for the TOEIC Test. Click here to start.

For vocabulary from the TOEIC Test – 600 Essential Words, click on:

Nouns

Nouns & Verbs  (same form/spelling)

Verbs + Preposition

Transitive Verbs

Adjectives

Adverbs

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Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Learn English and have fun with ‘EXTRA ENGLISH’ videos

EXTRA ENGLISH is a language education television series presented in the style of a sitcom (situation comedy). It has been made in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish.

Having watched and enjoyed the French series, I can highly recommend the English series which has the same plot. It’s easy to watch, funny, and you will learn everyday English conversation.

extra+english+2[1]

Extra English – Episode 1


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Posted in Beginner (Level 1), Elementary (Level 2), Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How will this modern day Romeo & Juliet survive?

Afghanistan’s Romeo And Juliet And How They Escaped An Honor Killing

https://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2016-01-25/afghanistans-romeo-and-juliet

This picture of Zakia and Ali on the run, first published in <em>The New York Times</em>, has become iconic, with many Afghan artists painting versions of it.This picture of Zakia and Ali on the run, first published in The New York Times, has become iconic, with many Afghan artists painting versions of it.

Two years ago a young couple in Afghanistan fell in love. They’re from different races, ethnic groups and Muslim sects. She’s a Caucasian Sunni and he’s an Asian Shiite. They defied their parents’ opposition to marrying and eloped. His family came to accept the marriage, but hers wants her dead – to restore their honor. This Afghan Romeo and Juliet story gained international attention when a New York Times reporter wrote about the couple in a series of articles – and now in a book. We talk to the author, a young Afghan human rights advocate and an Afghanistan expert about honor killings and the struggle many Muslim women are engaged in to win basic rights.

To listen to the interview or read the transcript from the interview, and an excerpt from the book, click here.

For the latest updates on women affected by war and conflict, and Women for Women International’s work, click here.

logoHELPING WOMEN SURVIVORS OF WAR REBUILD THEIR LIVES

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Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, IELTS, Listening, Reading | Tagged | Leave a comment

Get Help Now with English Pronunciation

Click on the picture for help with English pronunciation.

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Posted in Beginner (Level 1), Elementary (Level 2), Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Pronunciation Videos, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

They’re, their, & there … You’re & your …

They’re, their, and there all have the same pronunciation: /ðɛə/

♦ They’re is a contraction of they are.

They’re studying English at Langports. = They are studying English at Langports.

Their shows possession. Their is always followed by a noun.

∗ The students are using their new textbooks in the classroom.
∗ The students are in their new classroom.

There is used for everything else.

∗ They are there now.
There is a new student in the class.
There will be a new schedule each week.
There are several class options.

∗∗ They’re there now studying with their new textbooks. ∗∗∗

You’re and your both have the same pronunciation: /jɔː/

♦ You’re is a contraction of you are.

You’re a wonderful student! = You are a wonderful student!
You’re wonderful students! = You are wonderful students!
You’re not getting enough sleep. = You are not getting enough sleep.

Take note: Another contraction for You are not = You aren’t

Your  shows possession. Your is always followed by a noun.

∗ Where is your homework?
∗ Where are your new books?
∗ You passed your test easily.

∗∗When you’re ready, please begin your test. ∗∗

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Posted in Elementary (Level 2), Grammar, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

TOEIC Test – 600 Essential Words: Part 6 Adverbs

The answer to How? Why? Where? & When? is an ADVERB. Adverbs add information about verbs. Adverbs also add information about adjectives and adverbs.

  • Some of the following adverbs are rarely used. I have marked * those that are more commonly used as adjectives. For example, flexible is more common than flexibly.
  • Where the adverbs are used to describe adjectives, I have included a question about the adjective in the third column. Some of the adjectives are Past Participles in Passive Voice sentences, which I have underlined.
  • I have provided the answer to the Wh… questions for just the first four entries. You provide the answers to the other questions.
  • Adverbs that end in the letters … LY usually answer  How …  questions.
accurately The report accurately details the differences in benefits. Q: How does it describe the differences? A:Accurately.
annually This company spends $2 million annually in recycling. When? / How often? Annually.
as needed Additional staff will be employed as needed. When? / How often? As needed.
automatically Hard work and company loyalty do not automatically result in a promotion. How? Automatically.
casually The apprentice casually approached the supervisor. How?
cautiously The apprentice chef cautiously opened the oven. How?
commonly It is commonly believed that real estate is a sound investment. How much?
constantly The stock market is constantly changing. How often?
currently Television Model #390B is currently unavailable. When?
daringly Everyone was surprised when the boss daringly suggested a staff weekend retreat. How?
delicately Vikram inquired delicately about his assistant’s health. How?
essentially The characteristics of good management are essentially the same. The same? How?
* flexibly The directions for the use of products are often flexibly interpreted. Interpreted?How?
frequently The Swiss franc is a frequently traded currency. Traded? How often?
ideally His experience made him ideally suited for the job. Suited? How?
*inconsiderately He is so thoughtless! He treats people so inconsiderately. How?
nervously Carlos nervously proposed his new staffing structure. How?

obviously

He obviously  enjoys his new job.

  How?

periodically The customer contact list is updated periodically. Updated?

How often?

physically A nurse’s job is physically demanding. Demanding? How?
primarily The iphone6 is designed primarily for people who want to take high quality photos and make videos. Designed?

Why?

* profitably We are all keen to invest our savings profitably. How?
promptly Please forward all necessary details promptly. How?
punctually Our meetings start punctually at 9:00am every Monday. When?
regularly The academic managers meet regularly. When?
relatively Their meetings are relatively short compared to ours. Short? How?
separately Academic and administrative issues are dealt with separately. Dealt with?

How?

strictly The no-smoking policy is strictly enforced. Enforced?

How?

substantially The number of workplace accidents has been substantially reduced since the introduction of the new safety policy. Reduced?

How much?

sufficiently The tradesmen were sufficiently informed of their responsibilities. Informed?

How much?

systematically The new CEO systematically examined all departments of the business. How?
technically Fortunately, we have a technically advanced team. Advanced? How?
typically The venue for the staff Christmas party was typically impressive. Impressive? How?
uniformly Water coolers are uniformly spaced along the passages. Spaced? How?
usually We usually take a coffee break at 10:00am. When?
verbally The drug addict verbally and physically attacked the paramedic who was trying to help him. How?
* weakly Sally smiled weakly when her boss informed her of an unwanted promotion. How?
wisely She wisely kept her feelings to herself. How?

I have listed  other words from the TOEIC Test – 600 Essential Words on earlier posts:
1) NOUNS;
2) NOUNS & VERBS which have the same form/spelling;
3) VERBS + PREPOSITION;

4) TRANSITIVE VERBS;
5) ADJECTIVES.

For practice, click on TOEIC Error Recognition Tests.

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Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Song with Noun Clauses

I have found the perfect song to help you remember Noun Clauses. First, if you are not sure what a Noun Clause is, check my earlier posts Noun Clauses #1, #2, & #3.

Backstreet Boys

The Backstreet Boys ……………………. http://www.officialcharts.com

 

Next, have a look at the following song lyrics. The song is, ‘As Long As You Love Me’ by The Backstreet Boys. I have highlighted the Noun Clauses in pink and the Noun Clause Markers in bold print:

Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine, I’m leaving my life in your hands.
People say (that) I’m crazy and that I am blind, risking it all in a glance.
And how you got me blind is still a mystery.
I can’t get you out of my head.
(I) Don’t care what is written in your history as long as you’re here with me.

Chorus:
I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me; who you are, where you’re from;
(I) Don’t care what you did as long as you love me.

By now, you know that Noun Clause Markers are Subordinating Conjunctions and the Noun Clauses are Subordinating/Dependent Clauses. Did you notice the other Subordinating Conjunctions and Dependent Clauses in the above song lyrics? When you find the Subordinating Conjunctions, the rest is easy because the Subordinating Conjunctions are Markers at the beginning of the Dependent Clauses, just like the Noun Clause Markers.

The other Subordinating Conjunctions are: although and as long as:

Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine, I’m leaving my life in your hands.

Dependent Clause: Although loneliness has always been a friend of mine,
Independent Clause: I’m leaving my life in your hands.

I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me.

Dependent Clause: as long as you love me
*
a)
Independent Clause: I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did.
* b) Independent Clause: I don’t care.

* There is so much happening in this sentence.
In *a), you could say that the Noun Clauses are part of the Independent Clause because the Adverb Clause (as long as you love me) is the Dependent Clause. Also, the Noun Clauses are objects of the verb ‘care’ so they are important for meaning in the Independent Clause. 

In *b), you could just say the Independent Clause is I don’t care and everything else is a Dependent Clause (four  Dependent Clauses: 3 x  Noun Clauses and 1 x Adverb Clause).

(I) Don’t care what is written in your history as long as you’re here with me.

Dependent Clause: as long as you’re here with me
*a) Independent Clause: I don’t care what is written in your history.
*b) Independent Clause: I don’t care.

*See note above.          

httpwww.dailymail.co.uktvshowbizarticle-2075810Backstreet-Boys-star-AJ-McLean-marries-model-girlfriend-Beverly-Hills-ceremony.html

httpwww.dailymail.co.uktv

Here are the other two verses from the song. I have underlined the  Subordinating (Dependent) Clauses.

Noun Clauses    Adverb Clauses    Relative Clause

Every little thing that you have said and done feels like it’s deep within me.
(It) Doesn’t really matter if you’re on the run.
It seems like we’re meant to be.

 I’ve tried to hide it so that no one knows but I guess it shows when you look into my eyes.
What you did and where you’re coming from, I don’t care, as long as you love me, baby.

The language in this song is simple yet the grammar is complex. Listen to the song a few times, practise singing it in the shower, and you will soon remember several excellent examples of Complex Sentences using Noun Clauses, Adverb Clauses and a Relative Clause. Click here for the official music video. Click here for a video with lyrics but be aware that the punctuation is not correct.

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Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment