Sunday, 11 March 2012

Some basics

I made this cheat sheet up, for a recent student who needed some help with the basics, even though she is a native English speaker!
It is likely to be a bit too simple for many of my readers, but it may nevertheless be useful. I hope so!
The first section, the rhyme about parts of speech comes from the book, 'I before e, except after c', a book of mnemonics, by Judy Parkinson.
Parts of speech - a way to remember...

Three little words you often see
Are articles: a, an and the

A noun's the name of anything,
As school or garden, toy or swing.

Adjectives tell the type of noun,
As: great, small, pretty, white or brown.

Verbs tell of something being done,
To read, write, count, sing, jump or run

How things are done, the adverbs tell
As: slowly, quickly, badly, well

Conjunctions join the words together
As: men or women, wind and weather.

The preposition stands before
a noun, as in or through a door.

The interjection shows surprise
As: “Oh how pretty!” “Ah, how wise!”

The whole are called the parts of speech
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.

What is a conjunction?
Conjunctions are words used to join together two independent clauses (parts of a sentence.) This FANBOYS memory hint helps if you want to remember them, the most important of which are 'and', 'or' and 'but':
FAN BOYS
For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So
Commonly confused words with examples.
Part 1.

A. Aloud/Allowed.
Sarah decided that she would read the poem aloud so that she could hear the rhythm.
No skate-boarding allowed here!
Accept/except
“I can't accept that necklace as a gift! It's lovely but it's too expensive.
No skate-boarding allowed here except between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.
Affect/effect
“His loud humming was affecting my ability to concentrate.”
“The sound of the falling rain had a calming effect, nearly putting me to sleep.”
B. Bought/brought.
Leon went to the supermarket today after work, and he bought eggs and butter so that he could make a chocolate cake.
When Sarah went to her sister's house-warming party, she brought a bottle of wine.
C.Cite/Site
When you write an essay you have to cite the books you have used for information.
This is the site where the new offices will be built.
Council/Councillor/Counsel/Counsellor
Sarah pays rates to the Auckland City Council.
Mrs Abernathy won the election, and is now a city councillor
When I counsel a student, I give her advice about her exams.
Fiona wanted to work as a therapist, a sex abuse counsellor.
E. Elicit/Illicit
To elicit, means to draw out information from someone. "Nora elicited examples of peoples' revolutions from her history atudents".
Illicit, means something is unlawful. "Mr Dawes was convicted of the illicit use of financial documents, by which he had stolen $60 0000".
F. Few/Less
Few is an adjective that means a small number, and is used about countable things: “This department has few employees”.
Less is used about uncountable objects. “If you eat less butter, and instead put hummus on your sandwiches, you will probably lose weight."
I. It's/its
“It's a shame that we cannot talk about its size”.
It's is short for it is, and its means something that belongs to it!
L.Lightening/lightning.
The storm was very loud and very close, I could tell because the lightning was folllowed almost immediately by a clap of thunder.
After the storm passed, the sky was lightening and I welcomed the sun.

There is of course, a Part 2 of the easily confused words list, as there are so many of these.

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