Last week we discussed how the small connecting words of the English language are just as important as mastering a larger vocabulary… but the correct usage of these tiny words can sometimes fall through the cracks for non-native English speakers. You may start to use words like “in,” “on,” and “at” interchangeably, when they actually each have a specific purpose. Incorrect usage of these prepositions can cause native English speakers to question your fluency, or become confused by your meaning.
Last week, we looked at how to use “in,” “on,” and “at” when describing time… This week, we’ll follow the same principle when using them to describe locations.
If you can remember this order, “IN, ON, AT”… then you can remember this general rule for how to describe places:
See again how “IN, ON, AT” progress from general to specific locations as you read their descriptions:
I have some more sample sentences for you again this week. Take a look and choose the correct prepositions for each location.
This video I created a few years ago further explains the usage of “IN, ON, AT” with regard to location beyond what I’ve detailed here. Check it out and then look below to see if you got the sample sentences correct!
If this video and information helped you, or if you’d like more information on accent reduction, take my free accent screening and receive a free pronunciation guide at losemyaccent.com.
Welcome! In this video, you get some American pronunciation practice as we talk about the difference between the words stare and steer. We’ll talk about the double meanings of each word and how they are pronounced, and you will improve your American accent as you learn how to say each sound.
Hi, It’s Lisa Scott with losemyaccent.com. Have you written your New Year’s Resolutions or set those New Year’s goals? I will tell you in just a minute why that might not be a good idea.
But first, I want to share with you how excited I am about some of the new developments we have here at Accentuate. One of the biggest changes is that we are moving to much more video this year. When you ask pronunciation questions, it is so much easier for me to explain them when you can actually see what I’m explaining. So, starting today, the majority of my blog posts will be videos rather than written articles.
You have asked for some lower priced video trainings, and those are coming as well. I have an all new 6 week series that is almost ready for you, so I’ll be sharing the details very soon. I can tell you that since my birthday is at the end of January, I will be running a very special birthday sale as I launch this new series.
And lastly, I have started a Facebook page that is just for us to talk about your questions and concerns regarding American pronunciation. So, come visit me at www.facebook.com/losemyaccent and tell your friends to join us too. Introduce yourself, share your concerns with learning English, and ask your questions about pronunciation, grammar, intonation – whatever is on your mind! I will try to answer simple questions on the page and I will choose some of them as topics for future blog post videos. I’m really looking forward to connecting with you there!
And now, back to my comment at the beginning on why New Year’s Resolutions might not be a good idea. People make them every year and every year they get frustrated because they just can’t stick with them. But what if instead of focusing on the specific goal, you focus on the outcome, or who you want to be when you meet that goal. Let’s take the example of setting a goal to reduce your accent. You could set a measurable goal of improving 50% on a pronunciation test, and that would be great. But you don’t really care if you score 50% higher on that test, do you? What you really care about is being understood more easily, not having to repeat yourself, and feeling confident when you speak English. Right? Those are outcomes rather than goals, and it is those outcomes that truly make you feel like you’ve accomplished your goal.
So, how do you change your focus? First, you think about your goals for the year one by one and think about how you will be different when you meet that goal. What will you gain by meeting that goal? What will the outcome be? That is your true motivator and the way to help you stay focused to accomplish that goal.
And if one of your goals is to improve your American pronunciation, and the outcome you are looking for is to be understood more easily and feel more confident when you speak, then I hope you will be an active part of our community this year. Watch these videos, share your questions on the facebook page, and let me know what I can do to serve you as you work towards the outcomes you desire in 2013.
Today’s post is a contest I ran a couple of years ago, but since we have added lots of new readers since then, I decided to post it again – and yes, I am running the contest again, too. Be sure to send me your entry!
Ever get frustrated trying to improve your spoken English by reading written English? Or wonder why two words that are spelled completely differently are pronounced exactly the same? With certain words, you have to hear them in context in order to figure out which word, and which spelling, was intended.
Today’s entry is a humorous look at how using spellcheck on your computer might substitute correctly spelled words in a completely wrong context. Give yourself a spelling challenge and see if you can figure out how the words really should be spelled.
To make it more fun, I’m turning it into a contest!
Here’s how the contest works: Rewrite the poem with the correct spellings for the context, leave a comment below telling me what you’d like to learn in your free coaching session, and then e-mail your completed poem to me at lisa at losemyaccent dot com. Don’t post your corrected poem below- just let me know what you’d like to learn if you win the free session! From all the correct entries, I will select one winner on Wednesday, August 21st to receive a free 30 minute coaching session with me! This is a $50 value! We can work on pronunciation, grammar, idioms, or other English topics. It’s up to you!
Please share this with your friends on FB, Twitter, and other sites; I want as many people as possible to have a chance to win! Good luck!
Here’s the poem:
Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it’s weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
— Sauce unknown
Don’t forget — when you figure it out, post a comment below to tell what you’d like to learn in your free coaching session, then e-mail me your poem. Check back on Thursday, August 23rd to see if you are the lucky winner!
Share with your friends by clicking on the buttons below:
It’s National Hot Dog Day, and I’m celebrating with you by giving you this video training! Using correct word stress is an important part of mastering the American accent. This video explains what happens if you use the wrong word stress when talking about the all-American hot dog!