sábado, 28 de mayo de 2011

Talk about Canada: Cultural Differences

bandera de canada by elearning with charo
bandera de canada, a photo by elearning with charo on Flickr.
Try to remember when we attended the conference about Canada. Write down any cultural differences or bloopers you can recall: What should Spanish people never do if they go to Canada?

Pronunciation differences

Do you remember the video we saw in class about "Slang: British accent vs the American ". Here is a photograph to refresh your memory.


Go to http://youtu.be/wYmrg3owTRE and send me an email with the meaning of the words they both try to guess in the video. Good luck!

American Pie

Do you remember this video from class (A1B)?
Watch the video and if you want and have time send me an email with the meaning of the phrases in bold.
Enjoy de video!




American pie

A long long time ago I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile
And I knew that if I had my chance
I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so
Now do you believe in rock 'n roll
And can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow

Well, I know that you're in love with him
Cuz I saw you dancin' in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew that I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singing

Bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my chevy to the levee
But the levee was dry
And good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' this will be the day that I die
This will be the day that I die

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
Well, I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play


Well now in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire the most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
They started singing

Bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my chevy to the levee
But the levee was dry
And good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' this will be the day that I die
This will be the day that I die

Bye bye Miss American Pie
Drove my chevy to the levee
But the levee was dry
And good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin' this will be the day that I die
This will be the day that I die

We started singin'
We started singin'
We started singin

lunes, 16 de mayo de 2011

How do we make a passive sentence?

To learn how to make the passive we have to be familiar with the following sentence structure:

John
sends
Mary
a letter
every day.
Subject
Transitive verb
Indirect object:
Direct object:
time clause

               

To make passive sentences or phrase we need to follow these steps:
  1. The subject becomes the agent. It is placed at the end of the sentence and takes the preposition “by”, and can be mentioned or not.
  2. The Object (direct or indirect) becomes the passive subject.
  3. The verb is changed into the passive.
  4. Other sentence structures remain the same (eg. Time or frequency phrases) and are placed between the passive verb and the agent.
 Here is an example:
Active:
John
sends
Mary
a letter
every day
Subject
active verb
indirect object
direct object
time clause


Passive:
a letter
is sent
to Mary
by John
Every day.
Passive subject
passive verb
indirect object
agent
time clause

                                                
                                 
GENERAL RULE:
To make the passive of any verb we use the following structure:

verb “be” in the same tense as the active verb
+
past participle of the main verb

Example:
Am eating
=
Is being
+
eaten
present continuous of “eat”
present continuous of “be”
past participle of “eat”


THE FORM OF THE VERB “TO BE” AGREES WITH THE SUBJECT OF THE PASSIVE SENTENCE

Now watch the following video "Basic explanation of how the passive voice works":  
video

source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTGRYTuAjbA

If yoy want you can also have a look at the following websites for aditional information and exercises:
General grammar (explanations and exercises)
special cases: verbs with two objects (explanations and exercises).

What is a passive sentence?

The passive voice is used in English when it is more convenient or interesting to stress the "thing done", rather than the "doer",  when the doer is unknown, or obvious from the context.


So why do we use the passive?


We use the passive for different purposes:
  • To put emphasis on the receiver of the action.
  • To connect ideas in different clauses.
  • To make generic statements, announcements, and explanations.
You can find examples of passives in news bulletins and instructions manuals for example.





Here you will find more information and the video below.

video

In English it is almost always necesary to mention the "doer" in active sentences. However, if we use a passive sentence we don't need to mention the doer.


Here is an example:


Peter has eaten all the apples


In this active sentence, Peter is the "doer" and the apples are what he has eaten. The apples are what we call the "object".


Performing a simple series of changes we can transform this sentence into a passive sentence:


All the apples have been eaten (by Peter)


As we said before the doer can be mentioned but it is not necessary