Monthly Archives: December 2013

Infographic- 10 Idioms About Knowledge

Modern culture cherishes wisdom, and English has plenty of idioms to reflect this. Here are 10 Idioms about knowledge explained from Grammar.net.

Infographic from  Grammar.net.

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Chinese designer depicts Eastern vs. Western human behaviors in clever pictographs

SoraNews24

cul20

We almost wonder whether Yang Liu, a Beijing-born designer who has lived in Germany since 1990, was tripping when she put together these hip, riddle-like pictographs that abstractly convey behavioral differences between Westerners and Easterns; or more specifically, Germans and Chinese.

Relying on her experiences in Europe and China, Liu put together these clever designs that are a sort of Rorschach test for which region you identify with. We found ourselves staring and trying to figure out what they stood for, then nodding in agreement about one side or the other, but not always the side Liu expected us to identify with.

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Bing Crosby sings White Christmas

In honor of the holiday season, here’s Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” from the movie Holiday Inn (1942)

Lyrics

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all
Your Christmases be white

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases
May all your Christmases
May all your Christmases
May all your Christmases be white

I’m dreaming of a white
Christmas with you
Jingle Bells
All the way, all the way

Dave’s ESL Cafe: Bring and Take

confusing-bring-take

Confusing Words:
Bring and Take

The very common verbs bring and take are sometimes
troublesome for learners of English. One reason this happens
is because bring and take have almost identical meanings
but are used for different “directions” in English: bring
shows movement toward the speaker, but take shows
movement away from the speaker… Read more on Dave’s ESL Cafe

 

English Grammar: The Relative Clause

grammar-pronoun

From EDUfind:

There are two different types of relative clause:

  1. A “defining” or identifying clause, which tells us which person or thing we are talking about. This kind of clause could often be information included in brackets (…)
  2. A “non-defining” or non-essential clause, which gives us more information about the person or thing we are talking about.

Examples:

  • The farmer (his name was Fred) sold us some potatoes.  The farmer, whose name was Fred, sold us some potatoes.

It is important to see the difference between the two types of clause, as it affects:

As the name suggests, these clauses give essential information to define or identify the person or thing we are talking about. Obviously, this is only necessary if there is more than one person or thing involved.

Examples: 

  • Dogs that like cats are very unusual.

In this sentence we understand that there are many dogs, but it is clear that we are only talking about the ones that like cats.

Punctuation

  • Commas are not used in defining relative clauses.

Relative pronouns

The following relative pronouns are used in defining relative clauses:

Person Thing Place Time Reason
Subject who/that which/that
Object who/whom/that/ which/that/ where when why
Possessive whose whose

Notes:

  1. The relative pronoun stands in place of a noun.

This noun usually appears earlier in the sentence:

The woman who/that spoke at the meeting was very knowledgeable.
Noun, subject of
main clause
relative pronoun referring to ‘the woman’, subject of ‘spoke’ verb + rest of relative clause verb + rest of main clause
  1. Who, whom and which can be replaced by that. This is very common in spoken English.
  2. The relative pronoun can be omitted when it is the object of the clause
The woman that the man loved was living in New York.
Noun, subject of main clause relative pronoun, referring to ‘the woman’, object of ‘loved’ verb + rest of relative clause verb + rest of main clause.

(You can usually decide whether a relative pronoun is an object because it is normally followed by another subject + verb.)

4. Whose is used for things as well as for people.

Examples: 

  • The man whose car was stolen.
  • A tree whose leaves have fallen.

5. Whom is very formal and is only used in written English. You can use who/that, or omit the pronoun completely :

  • The doctor whom/who/that/ I was hoping to see wasn’t on duty.

6. That normally follows words like something, anything, everything, nothing, all, and superlatives.

Examples: 

  • There’s something that you should know.
  • It was the best film that I’ve ever seen.
  • A clown is someone who makes you laugh.
  • An elephant is an animal that lives in hot countries.
  • The plums that were in the fridge were delicious. I have eaten them.
  • Where are the plums (that) I put in the fridge?
  • Has anyone seen the book I was reading?
  • Nothing that anyone does can replace my lost bag.
  • Let’s go to a country where the sun always shines.
  • They live in the house whose roof is full of holes.
  • the choice of pronoun used to introduce the clause,
  • the punctuation – you must use commas with a non-defining clause.