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  1. #161
    Senior Member Orwa's Avatar
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    Dear sister/teacher Angelikie..

    How sample of you , thank you very much..!, a while ago i was searching high and low in internet to download the songs you suggest, but i relized they are all very old...60's style and earlier lol!

    But as they are from you.., should be beautiful.., it doesn't a matter when is that song.., the most important is the quality

    About "yet", when he spells it.., it's sound like "ye"., and "ye" in Chinese mean "also".., so i thought Chinese people stole "ye" from "yet"..!! lol

    anyway..., thanks again very much

    and a huge thanks to Istanbulgal cuz she answered this really quickly by email!
    " 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)

  2. #162
    ✈ ATL's Mig ✈ Maviii's Avatar
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    just drop here to say thank you our teachers ..you rock in every thread
    (Istanbulgal + Jandros )
    am waaaaay upset coz i test myself in english online yesterday and my score was 70.2%
    i already know that am not fluent and i need a lot of practice but i didn't imagine that score actually i have a one big prob in my life which is ( i hate grammar ) whatever (arabic ..chechen..english..russian) language.

    LOL ..so i have never studied grammar ... i write the sentences as i feel its sounds good i know this is not logical thing to do
    i must study and grammar is the basic of everything ...
    but i just cant stand it ...
    maybe am wrong but i believe that to be fluent in any language is to practice it and speak it with someone ..
    i mean if i go to russia for example i`ll speak russian fluently as native after i live there couple of months or a year maybe ..

    am glad to find this thread coz sure i`ll have some questions later on
    thanks again ... my warmest and best regards to all

  3. #163
    Senior Member El raisa's Avatar
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    Hi dear , I love this thred too even that I only read & not post much ..
    is 70.2% bad ?
    I studdied alot for TOEFL , I got 550 or 600 ..can not remember exactly , It is a very hard test , you need to be over 700 if you want to study abroad ..
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
    — Albert Einstein

  4. #164
    Senior Member tim2286's Avatar
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    Good thing I found this thread.

    Jandros and Istanbulgal may I join you ? My qualifications: Failed HS english twice (no one told me showing up was important ). I read a lot of books, read the last one in August

    El Raisa: Grading here either uses a 0-100 scoring system or a A-F scoring system here is a simple chart for you

    90-100 Excellent or A
    80-90 Very Good or B
    70-80 Average or C
    60-70 Barely passed or D*
    less than 60 Fail or F

    Furthermore, when it comes to letter grades there are -'s and +'s. An A- would be between a 90 and a 93. An A would be 93-96, A+ 97-100. Same thing for B,C,D

    *In some places the minimum passing grade is 65,60 I even heard of a 50 being the minimum passing grade. But usually its a 60 or a 65

    PS: If you noticed that there is no "E" *high five*, I don't know why there is no "E"
    Last edited by tim2286; 05-29-2009 at 01:16 PM.

  5. #165
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Tim, of course you can join us, the more the merrier, especially with that Texas flag! ...... Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio are my second home. And my son teaches school in Saginaw, in case you know where that is
    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 :-/ ...

  6. #166
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Maviii and El raisa, I understand the frustration about TOEFL and English grammar. If it makes you feel any better, I'm sure you can score as well as some native-English-speaking Americans that I know

    El raisa, 70 is typically a passing grade. 70 is often the cut-off, the minimum passing score. But also as Tim said, sometimes "passing" is even lower, 65 or maybe less.

    Maviii, of course I believe you're correct about speaking the language in normal, non-scripted conversation. I think conversation makes learning very urgent, and it forces the mind to learn more quickly and also more permanently. I have the same problem, and I've even forgotten a lot that I learned (some Spanish and a tiny bit of Italian and Turkish), but I don't have anyone to practice with.

    Btw, I ended that sentence with a preposition, and that's wrong ..... the correct grammar (as it is traditionally taught) is more awkward: "I don't have anyone with whom to practice." ... ... nobody actually says it that way! But some textbooks might teach it like that.

    Like Angeliki and others, I also want to suggest some good reading, listening and educational sources that might help. Unfortunately there are as many bad examples as good ones. But when I find some good sources, I'll post them here

    Tim, the "E" grade disappeared a long time ago, in favor of "F" for "Fail". An "F" grade is more to the point

    But now I need to catch up on the rest of this topic .....
    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 :-/ ...

  7. #167
    Senior Member Orwa's Avatar
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    Tim, You're always welcome to be one of our teachers around.., a million welcome

    and if i have any question i'll ask, but right now there's nothing comes to my mind

    btw, yesterday i took a small DIFFICULT test.., i got 60%, it was 10 questions.., not bad as i picked the most difficult test :
    " 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. #168
    Senior Member tim2286's Avatar
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    Well actually "e"grades are alive and well. e - excellent, s - satisfactory, ns-not satisfactory, inc-incomlplete. the 0.0-4.0 scale (mostly higher education) is even more confusing. Why can't there be one standard. Or am I being too simplistic?

  9. #169
    ✈ ATL's Mig ✈ Maviii's Avatar
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    @ elraisa : my brother advices me many times to study grammar and he also
    bring for me books to get ready before TOEFL tests
    but i was so lazy .. & am sure i`ll back to study grammar someday again
    if i want or not ;p;p

    @ jandros : LOL the correct sentence is really weird
    i suddenly felt like am reading Shakespeare quotes LOOL

    u know what !
    i didnt learn english at school
    i have learnt it by listening to music and translating the lyrics by myself
    beside watching tv and the old cowboy movies

    and at school i have faced some probs with english teacher
    coz i was the highest grade student but when they ask me to change the sentence in grammar class i could not even know what the hell is irregular verbs and past perfect ..passive voice ...etc) LOL
    so they thought i cheat in exams and make private exams for me
    and when i took full mark they get shocked
    coz u know that doesn't make sense
    but i was answering all the questions as i felt they sounds good
    or as i think they are right
    but (grammar ) i donno anything about it
    at last they give up with me .. LOL

  10. #170
    Senior Member Orwa's Avatar
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    Hello Teachers, Mister Jandros, Angelikie, Tim and ISTANBULGALITA (I know you don't have time, but as you're in the list so i'll include you)

    The devil monkey came back again with a question that he didn't find anyyyyyyyyy answer for it

    Could you tell me what's the difference between "SHALL" & "WILL"?

    ------------------
    Ps, actually there was another question but thanks to Instanbulgalita, she helped enough
    " 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)

  11. #171
    Senior Member istanbulgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orwa View Post

    Could you tell me what's the difference between "SHALL" & "WILL"?
    Welcome Tim! Glad you joined the E-thread!

    This is not so commonly used Orwie, so I would not worry so much about it.

    shall and will: are 'helping verbs' in simple future tense. They are called 'helping verbs' because they cannot be conjugated on their own. Most of the time & in proper/traditional English, shall is used with pronouns "I" and "we", but it can also be used with other pronouns. Also, it is used quite a bit in legal terminology. 'Will' emphasizes more certainty.

    Examples:

    I shall study tonight.
    I will study tonight (sounds more certain).

    Shall we dance? (we do not say, 'will' we dance?).
    Shall we go out? (we do not say, 'will' we go out?).

    I shall go out this evening.
    I will go out this evening (sounds more certain).

    I shall go to sleep now! Good night Orwie, hope the above helped.
    Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
    Albert Einstein

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  13. #172
    Senior Member El raisa's Avatar
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    Thanks tim2286 & Jandros
    Maviii :Good luck !! I took that test about 4 years ago , It was the national level (Means I did not have to do the 4th section ..writing an article ) , still It was hard , I need to study again to pass it anther time & improve my level !! .
    I think that having alot of vocabulary & knowing how to get the right spelling (which is my main problem! ) are as much important as grammer !
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
    — Albert Einstein

  14. #173
    Senior Member Orwa's Avatar
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    I Got it miss Istanublgalita, so they are exactly the same without any difference.., thanks for the explaning.., i understand it now

    " 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)

  15. #174
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Orwa and Istanbulgal, if I may expand a little bit on shall and will ... hopefully not to complicate, but to clarify in some other way .....

    1. In US English and especially in informal conversation, shall is almost considered to be archaic, like Old English, Middle English, Shakespearian. Shall is not usually used in spoken conversation unless you want to sound poetic, artistic, philosophical. Joyce Kilmer:

    I think that I shall never see
    a poem lovely as a tree.

    2. For simplicity, I think you can always interpret the contraction I'll as I will ... since a contraction is informal, always use the more informal word:

    I'll get the book for you.
    I will get the book for you.

    3. In some legal environments ... maybe only in US government?? ... shall is more of a directive or command than will. But again, maybe that's an old-fashioned idea that is not very common any more.

    In summary, this is my opinion:

    ... in conversation, will should be used a lot more often than shall.

    ... but if you ever see shall in a US government legal document or contract, pay attention!

    ... I've also seen cases where lawyers from 3 or 4 different companies disagreed with each other about when to use shall or will ...

    So in my final opinion, in different situations or environments, there can be disagreement. But when in doubt, especially in conversation, use will.
    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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  17. #175
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    Jandros, I'm studying British english with books of Oxford, showing the differences with Armerican English. When I saw it, it was thaught as British, but it didn't mention anything about achaic English... Well, now I have a mess in my head

    Here's Oxford's definition:
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/shall?view=uk

    And here one free online dictionary that shows both English:
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shall (this last one shows the archaic meaning...)...

    I'm confused

    I remember myself doing exercises like: "Shall we go to the cinema?"

  18. #176
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Maviii, if you can score 70+ without taking any formal classes in English, I think that's great!

    El raisa, or anyone else who is interested, there are a lot of Internet sites for practicing TOEFL and other ESL (English as Second Language) tests. Maybe you can copy-and-paste some of the questions and your answers here ... or just use the tests to identify specific questions or problems that you have ... and then we can help

    I took the first 2 tests below myself. The first one was easy (for me) and I got 100%. But the second one (Structure) is not so easy! Even though I've always tested very highly on English grammar, I only scored 17 out of 20. But I understand what I missed. The only difficulty is that each sentence is complicated and it must be read carefully.

    http://www.stuff.co.uk/phrasal.htm
    http://www.stuff.co.uk/toefl.htm (Structure)

    Tests on this site have answers at the bottom of each page:

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

    Here's another assortment of practice tests, some easy, some not so easy:

    http://a4esl.org/q/j/

    If any of these links won't work, or anyone wants more, there are plenty! This is just a short list of free sites. I found them by searching google.com (the USA site) for "TOEFL practice". Other key-word combinations like the ones below should get even more results:

    ESL IELTS test exam quiz

    Again, online tests can probably help us stimulate a lot of specific questions and answers in this thread
    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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  20. #177
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Mares, here is what I recommend: Thefreedictionary.com uses the phrase "highly complicated". I think both of those definitions over-complicate the differences of shall and will. Notice also that the Oxford definition says that in some cases the rules are "reversed". That's too much to remember, and I do not think it's worth the effort.

    I would also say that Oxford is a great source, of course. But for US English, I would advise something closer to Webster's dictionary, and thefreedictionary.com is more like Webster.

    I also think this is important to consider: Europeans probably need to understand British English a lot more, but North and South Americans should focus more on American English ... but also remembering that some aspects of Canadian are more British than American? ... Istanbulgal, of course you can clarify that a little better

    Bottom line Mares: Some differences are not very important. It's easy to make English too diffficult or too fancy. Most of the time, in many many cases, the simpler or shorter word is correct!

    Sometimes (for some people), the only problem is just knowing which answer to give on a test. That's why I offered some links for practice tests here ... maybe it can help some people to just pass the tests, and then get on with life
    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. #178
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaresLejanos View Post
    ...
    I remember myself doing exercises like: "Shall we go to the cinema?"
    Actually that's a good example of when "shall" can be used, but more in a British environment ... or maybe in a formal environment in the US ... or with kind of a humorous or light-hearted or "tongue-in-cheek" intent, like mimicking the "upper class" or the rich and famous

    In the US it's much more common to just say "Do you want to go"or "Why don't we go".
    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. #179
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    Here are two bid Institutions or Academies: "Cultural Inglesa" and "Aricana", and lots more place where you can study English, but those are the ones with more prestige. In Cultural Inglesa they teach pure British English, and it has a high level. In Aricana they teach American English.
    I'm paying to a personal teacher. She's a Translator, so she teachs me with Oxford books, but all the time telling me the different with American English, in pronuntiation and grammar or way to say the same.
    Anyway, I love British pronuntiation (don't ask me why, because I don't know ), but I'm used watching American movies in English (not translated) and without Spanish subtitles, and I can understand it very well (mostly), sometimes better than I can understand British English. But I didn't know about "shal" in American English... Well.. everyday I can learn more and more.
    Last edited by MaresLejanos; 05-31-2009 at 01:45 PM. Reason: spelling

  25. #180
    Senior Member jandros's Avatar
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    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! ... 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!
    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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