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Thread: Ask teacher

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 3

    Ask teacher

    Hello I hope you are well and have a good time

    I am a mew English learner may I ask you I have some difficulty with punctuation, pronunciation and spelling would you tell me how I can improve it? Many thanks.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 2

    Re: Ask teacher

    Spelling and punctuation are a pain. The only way to really understand them is to keep practicing them and to read as much written English as you can find. Keep a spelling book with all the words that you find difficult to remember and look at it when you have a few minutes. English spelling is just plain stupid, so it's just something that you have to stick with.

    As for pronunciation, speak to as many English speakers as you can, and especially native speakers if you can find any. You will know when you have pronounced a word correctly because they will understand what you are saying. It's that simple!!

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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    Re: Ask teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirahmad View Post
    Hello I hope you are well and have a good time

    I am a mew English learner may I ask you I have some difficulty with punctuation, pronunciation and spelling would you tell me how I can improve it? Many thanks.

    I can help you by stating the rules of punctuation. At this stage of your learning, I shall not include punctuation for quotations.

    Punctuation is used in written English to make a sentence better, or correctly, understood.

    Punctuation marks consist of:
    (a) Long stops, used to end a sentence: the full stop (.), question mark (?), and exclamation mark (!);
    (b) Short stops: the comma (,), semi-colon (;), colon (:), and dash (-) normally used in pairs;
    (c) Other punctuations: the brackets (( )) used in pairs, hyphen (-), apostrophe ('), inverted commas(' ') used in pairs, and quotation marks (" ") used in pairs.

    Long stops needs little explaining.

    A comma is placed:

    (a) Before an informative adjective clause headed by which, as in: He caught a fish, which measured a foot long.

    (b) After an adverb clause that is followed by the main clause, as in: When it rains, most people stay indoors.

    (c) After each item in a list, as in: I like the following things: art, music, movies, blogging and eating.

    (d) As a brief pause after a phrase or clause, to make clearer sense of the sentence, as in: He will not find it, however carefully he searches, because it is well hidden.

    A semi-colon is a longer pause than a comma. It is placed:

    (a) Between two clauses, in substitution for conjunctions such as and, but, as, because, as in: He stopped talking; everyone was staring at him.

    (b) After each group of items in a list (each item in a group being separated by a comma), as in: I like fruits such as apples, oranges, mangoes, and bananas; drinks such as plain water, fresh juices, coffee, and tea; and seafood such as shrimps, fish, and shell-food.

    (c) After each item in a list, especially where each item consists of several words, as in: Today, I'm going to do the following: finish my homework; write a letter to my friend in Mexico; run errands for my mum; and watch my favourite TV show at night.

    A colon is placed immediately before a list or a quotation, as in: The regulation reads: Anyone who comes late ..... . This is the only way a colon should be used.

    A pair of dashes is used to enclose additional information (or an after thought) in a clause or sentence, as in: He left - without even a thank you - after we returned his lost wallet.

    A pair of brackets is used like a pair of dashes. It can be used to enclose additional information without having to use commas instead, or onjunctions, as in: He sent me an invitation (he had sent the same to a few other people) but it never arrived.

    A hyphen is used to:

    (a) Link two or more words to make up a compound word, such as: left-handed, nosy-parker, merry-go-round, by-product, state-of-the-art, Afro-Asian. Its usage for this purpose is sometimes optional, sometimes not, as in: insect-eating plants (= plants that eat insects; without the hyphen, it means the insect is eating plants);

    (b) Replace the preposition To, as in: Beijing-Shanghai railway.

    An apostrophe is used to:

    (a) Show possession by a noun, as in: Mariam's parents, girls' dresses;

    (b) Shorten the negative modifier Not, as in: don't (do not), haven't (have not), aren't (are not), can't (cannot);

    (c) Shorten certain verbs, as in: I'm (I am), you're (you are or you were), they've (they have), he's (he is or he has), she's got (she has got), he'd eaten (he had eaten), we'll (we shall or will), he'd rather (he would or should rather).

    A pair of inverted commas is used to enclose a word that is not exactly what it is supposed to mean, as in: His 'glasses' were two pieces of transparent plastic bottle-cap liners. Inverted commas (and quotation marks) are also used to enclose quotations. I shall explain this to you after you have learnt about Direct Speech.

    I hope this helps you.

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 3

    Re: Ask teacher

    many thanks

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