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  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandros View Post
    Mares, apparently a lot of people in different parts of the world like the sound of British English a lot more than American. But I love the American "Deep South" accent that I grew up with! : D ... a lot of people think it sounds "ignorant", but I happen to think that "southern slang" is as colorful as anything that I've ever heard ; )

    I feel the need to clarify whatever I might say about "differences" in British, Canadian and US English ..... I think the differences (variations) are only important for people who want to be extremely fluent in a regional dialect or a specific cultural level.

    I also want to suggest that for Canadian vs US English, I think it's accurate to say that the only major differences are as much regional as national. For example, people in Minnesota, Wisconsin or upper Michigan might speak and sound exactly the same as someone from Winnipeg or Toronto. But people in New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston or Los Angeles all have slightly different speaking habits.

    But for all of those people, the rules of formal grammar and vocabulary are 99.9% the same. That's very important to remember. For all practical purposes, whatever is formally "correct" in Miami is also formally "correct" in Toronto or Seattle.

    And again I want to emphasize (for general advice) that the simpler of 2 similar words is usually very adequate, very acceptable, and often preferred. The # 1 rule of grammar and conversation is simply to be understood by anyone who might be listening or reading. Keep it simple and you will succeed! : D
    Hey =D

    I can understand your love for South accent, it happens to me with the different accents we have in my country. I love mine heheh, just kidding, there are so many nice accents over here, beside we speak very different from most of Spanish speaker. I have a friend from Houston-Texas, and he has got a nice accent. Is it south accent?

    I have realized that Autralian people have got a nice accent as well , and different to those who I'm used to litening to

    I haven't heard a Canadian talking... I do need to listen to one, so I can have an idea about their accent.

    Who's said I want to be understood by anyone? heheheh Just kidding.
    If I'm not wrong, there are one VERY importan difference between American and British English here:
    Spanish: un billón (1.000.000.000.000 = 10^12)
    British: one billion (1.000.000.000.000 = 10^12)
    American: one billion (1.000.000.000 = 10^9) (... I wonder who you call the number with 12 zeros!!!!)
    Here's a big difference that is necessary to know, specially when we are listen to, translating or reading this numbers in an American English speech.

    My teacher shows me the most important variants of both teacher, to allow me understand what I'm reading/listening to depending from which English is it comming. But don't worry, she isn't killing me with lots of knowledges, just the few that are appearing with the time .

    One example about a difference I've discovered by myself: I'm used to ask:
    "Where have you been?" or "Where have you gone?" (When I haven't seen somebody for a while).
    And from American I've heard:
    "Where did you go?" and even I've read : "Where you gone?"... Of course, I do understand the idea in all the cases, and I don't know if it's a modism, or just one person speaking/writing wrong.

    I can't say anything bad about American English, I'm so used to it, and I mostly write like American, even when most of my knowledges come from British. (for example, it's more common in me to write "I gotta go" than "I have to go").

    I will keep myself leanring everything my mind lets me about this language .

  2. #182
    Senior Member tim2286's Avatar
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    UK usage

    "Billion" has meant 10^9 in most sectors of official published writing for many years now. The UK government, BBC, and most other broadcast or published mass media, have used the short scale(10^9) exclusively in all contexts since the mid 1970s. [3][4][5][6] Use of billion in British English can be ambiguous.

    Before the widespread use of "billion" for 10^9, UK usage generally referred to thousand million rather than milliard[7][19]. The long scale term "milliard", for 10^9, is obsolete in British English (though its derivation "yard" is still used as slang in the London money, foreign exchange and bond markets).

    US usage

    In the United States of America, the short scale has been taught in school since the early 19th century. It is therefore used exclusively.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billion_(word)

    so 10^9 is billion in british and american english, 1^12 = trillion

    also the number when written is written: 1,000,000,000 (can add .00 for cents at the end)
    Last edited by tim2286; 05-31-2009 at 06:50 PM.

  3. #183
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    Thank you Tim

    My conclusion is that it depends of the context:
    Mostly one billion us 10^9, even with British.
    But in Chiefly British it's 10^12 .

    So for me, it'd be always 10^9.

    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/billion?view=uk
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/billion

  4. #184
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaresLejanos View Post
    ...
    But in Chiefly British it's 10^12 .

    So for me, it'd be always 10^9.

    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/billion?view=uk
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/billion
    Mares, also notice that the Oxford definition #2 begins with dated ... outdated, no longer used.

    This surprises me a bit ... that there can appear to be so much difference between British and American English. But I guess it's very easy for an American to "know" what a Britisher means, if a different word or phrase is used, without even thinking about it.

    Btw, I will say without hesitation that an Australian accent is one of the "richest" of all, almost as fascinating as a Scottish or Irish brogue

    You should completely ignore Where you gone? That is so wrong that it's annoying!!! ... You might hear it as slang, but it's very incorrect. I'll even call it stupid

    You might also hear Where you been? but that's also slang and also incorrect. It's like a mispronounced contraction ... Where've you been? ... Where have you been?

    So Where have you been? is correct, and also Where did you go?:

    ... If someone went on a vacation or trip, you might ask Where did you go?

    ... If you've been looking or waiting for someone (more immediate in time), you might ask Where have you been?

    Both of those phrases are past-tense forms: The person was somewhere else, but now he/she has returned.

    But the phrase Where have you gone? suggests that the person has not returned. There's a line in the song "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel: Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? It is understood that Joe Dimaggio is not there to hear the question. So the question is rhetorical, an answer is not expected. So maybe we can say that Where have you gone? is only used for poetic or very dramatic purposes
    Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...

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  6. #185
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    Thank you so much friend =D

  7. #186
    Senior Member Orwa's Avatar
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    Mr. Jandrooooooooooos, guess what.., i opened those links for the tests.., i tested myself and i realized that i am nice in English.., that's really true.., i opened :
    http://a4esl.org/q/j/
    and went to the bottttttom of the page to the MOST difficult test.., it was verrrry easy and i got about 80%, it's nice (I think)

    And then i took another one from the difficult category.., i got 82% too, i am verrrrrrrrrry happy

    Then i took the test of the Tofel.., it was a lil bit hard.., i only got 75%, but nice.., i thought i'll get 30..20...or the GREATEST mark i'd get won't be more than 50%

    So i'll just say..., Thanks very very for the help you and the GREAT canadian sister Istanbulgal and others who helped (Angelikie, Nikilas, Tim and others)

    But..., i got some questions.., so could you please answer them (Jandros & Ms. Istanbulgalita)
    ________________________
    She was late and he ___ on the corner long before she came.
    a)had been standing (I've choosen this cuz i know it's past)
    b)have been standing
    c)is standing

    But what's the meaning of "on the corner long before she came"
    __________________________________________________ ____________
    He arrived home just as I ___ for work .
    a)Left (i picked this one and it was right)
    b)Have been leaving
    c)Leave

    Why there's "as" here??, is it right to say "He arrived to home at the same time that i left for work"
    __________________________________________________ ____________

    The closer we ___ to our trip to Boston the more excited my students become.
    a)Have
    B)The
    C)are
    D)it has

    What a difficult sentence.., what's the meaning of this?, i didn't understand it
    ___________________________

    But i am still sooooooo happy even though there still a million thing i need to learn
    " Those that don't appreciate life..do not deserve life...how much blood are you willing to give to stay alive....live or die...make your choice... " ( Jigsaw)

  8. #187
    Senior Member El raisa's Avatar
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    Jandros , Mares & tim2286 : I can not understand what you are talking about ?! , I will try later

    Jandros , I took the test :
    For the easy one I got 11 of 12 , for the structor : 11 of 20

    Orwa : Is TOEFL result per percentage online ?
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
    — Albert Einstein

  9. #188
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orwa View Post
    [B]
    She was late and he ___ on the corner long before she came.
    a)had been standing (I've choosen this cuz i know it's past)
    b)have been standing
    c)is standing

    But what's the meaning of "on the corner long before she came"
    I'll break this down in 2 ways, first by using a comma:

    ... on the corner, long before she came.

    The 2-word phrase long before can be explained better by inserting other words that are "understood" in the meaning:

    ... on the corner, (a) long (time) before she came.

    A lot of time passed before the other person arrived.

    And of course your answer, (a) had been standing, is correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Orwa View Post
    He arrived home just as I ___ for work .
    a)Left (i picked this one and it was right)
    b)Have been leaving
    c)Leave

    Why there's "as" here??, is it right to say "He arrived to home at the same time that i left for work"
    First, don't say "to home", just say "He arrived home". If any preposition is used, "at" is correct.

    "Just as" means exactly when, or as you wrote, "at the same time that" ... a coincidence of time.

    Note, "just as" is also used for other coincidences ..... "I like ATL, just as you do" .... just as you like it ... a coincidence of interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orwa View Post
    The closer we ___ to our trip to Boston the more excited my students become.
    a)Have
    B)The
    C)are
    D)it has

    What a difficult sentence.., what's the meaning of this?, i didn't understand it
    Again using a comma to separate key phrases:

    ... The closer we are to our trip to Boston, the more excited my students become.

    First, the correct answer "are" in this case can also be sustituted by "get" or "arrive".

    Notice in the first phrase "The closer" (the more close) ... this usage requires a result, "the more excited". Think of cause ... effect, or if ... then. "The more ... the more".

    Other examples:

    ... The bigger they come, the harder they fall.
    ... The more (that) I practice, the more (that) I learn.
    ... The more you study, the better you learn.
    ... The longer we study and practice, the more we will remember.
    ... The older she gets, the prettier she gets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orwa View Post
    But i am still sooooooo happy even though there still a million thing i need to learn
    Yes, congratulations and be happy!
    Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...

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  11. #189
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El raisa View Post
    Jandros , Mares & tim2286 : I can not understand what you are talking about ?! , I will try later

    Jandros , I took the test :
    For the easy one I got 11 of 12 , for the structor : 11 of 20

    Orwa : Is TOEFL result per percentage online ?
    El raisa, don't be discouraged! Just take your time, and please ask any questions that you need to ask!

    11 of 20 for the Structure test is not bad. Most of those sentences are very complex, and the correct or incorrect aspects are very small and hard to see. Also the Structure test is "Advanced".

    Maybe I should post all the answers for the Structure test after a few more days? ... most of them have easy explanations. Again, they're just hard to read and understand
    Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...

  12. #190
    Senior Member tim2286's Avatar
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    El Raisa: to get a 20 on that test is very hard .... even jandros could not . I got a 15 and consider my grammar to be above average. (hopefully there are no mistakes in that sentence )

  13. #191
    Senior Member Orwa's Avatar
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    @El-Raisa, Jandros post a link for a tofel test questions.., i took them and it was by percentage.., that's the link:

    http://www.learn4good.com/languages/...lish_toefl.htm

    i have no any idea about the Tofel cuz i am not planing to test myself.., it just was to see how nice i am in english

    @Mr. Jandros, Thanks very much for the help.., and the biggest thanks for the last question.., i really didn't have any idea about the examples which you said..," the more..the more..", that's really cool grammer and i haven't knew it before

    btw.., please send me the link for the HARD test so i can see it.., i see that El-Raisa got 12 and you 17 and Tim 15.., i want to see if i can get 5 or 2, thanks again
    " Those that don't appreciate life..do not deserve life...how much blood are you willing to give to stay alive....live or die...make your choice... " ( Jigsaw)

  14. #192
    Senior Member tim2286's Avatar
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  15. #193
    Senior Member El raisa's Avatar
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    @Jandros:
    I am not sure which questions I answered wrong ?! , but when i got back to it I may get back to you , thanks alot for your efort .

    tim2286 : Thanks , that was really encouraging !!

    @Orwa : Thanks , I may check it , I agree with you , I do not think you have to study TOEFL if you do not need it for an academic reason ..
    I found this site about it :
    http://www.ets.org/portal/site/ets/m..._ets.org_toefl
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
    — Albert Einstein

  16. #194
    Senior Member Orwa's Avatar
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    @Tim, Thanks for your reply, i'll check it today evening cuz i am not in the "thinking" mood, but i'll test myself soon

    @El-Raisaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, TOEFL??, Thanks for the correction, ALWAYS APPRECIATED
    So, why you want to get the toefl??, what is your academic plans??
    " Those that don't appreciate life..do not deserve life...how much blood are you willing to give to stay alive....live or die...make your choice... " ( Jigsaw)

  17. #195
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    El raisa, it's always my pleasure to help, and I'll be waiting and watching for you
    Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...

  18. #196
    Member anasrba's Avatar
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    In sentence: I was very surprised TO HEAR that she did not pass the exam.

    If you can tell why i cannot say: " I was very surprised HEARING that she didn't pass the exam.

  19. #197
    Senior Member El raisa's Avatar
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    Jandros: :
    Orwa : I had a master degree ماجستير
    one of the main conditions to proceed with post graduate studies is to pass the TOEFL with min 500 degrees , my thesis was in Arabic , but the most advanced references are in English ,so the system is making sure that we have the minimum requirments to reach info !
    Still , after all of that , I am a terrible speller !!
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
    — Albert Einstein

  20. #198
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El raisa View Post
    Jandros: :
    ... my thesis was in Arabic , but the most advanced references are in English ,so the system is making sure that we have the minimum requirments to reach info ! ...
    Of course that illustrates the #1 point about learning another language ... just to understand and give or receive communication, even if we can't write correct grammar. In the movie "Ocean's 11" there is one Japanese guy who speaks only Japanese, and the Americans speak only English, but they all understand each other! It's just a Hollywood comedy, not reality, but I wish it could be that easy

    El raisa, you spell very well, don't worry so much. And I noticed that you spelled "proceed" correctly, but that's an example of how confusing English can be ... proceed, recede, supersede ... different spellings that sound the same.
    Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...

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  22. #199
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anasrba View Post
    In sentence: I was very surprised TO HEAR that she did not pass the exam.

    If you can tell why i cannot say: " I was very surprised HEARING that she didn't pass the exam.
    This is one of the hardest things to explain ... the different situations where a full infinitive (to-infinitive) or a participle/gerund should be used. Of course the full infinitive "to hear" is correct, but I'm sure Istanbulgal could explain why more clearly

    But I'm sure that the specific key is the primary verb ... "was surprised" is a modifying verb, an adjective-verb*, which demands the full infinitive "to hear" instead of the gerund "hearing".

    *To explain: "was surprised" is a passive verb that can be re-written in an active form: It surprised me to hear that ... but in either case, it involves an adjective descriptor; what was it that surprised me?

    Here are other examples with adjectives that use the same rule:

    I was able to help.
    I'm glad to hear that she passed the exam.
    It's nice to know that you're feeling well.

    Other adjective-verbs:

    I was relieved (it relieved me) to know that she passed the exam.
    I will expect (what?) to see you.
    I hope to see you.
    I will be expecting you to attend.

    But maybe someone else can explain this a little better, or more correctly?
    Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...

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  24. #200
    Senior Member El raisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandros View Post
    Of course that illustrates the #1 point about learning another language ... just to understand and give or receive communication, even if we can't write correct grammar. In the movie "Ocean's 11" there is one Japanese guy who speaks only Japanese, and the Americans speak only English, but they all understand each other! It's just a Hollywood comedy, not reality, but I wish it could be that easy

    El raisa, you spell very well, don't worry so much. And I noticed that you spelled "proceed" correctly, but that's an example of how confusing English can be ... proceed, recede, supersede ... different spellings that sound the same.
    Thanks, you are very encouraging
    I just want to tell that in allot of occasions when I want to write as correct as I possible, I write at MS word first with spell check , then post here
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
    — Albert Einstein

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