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In this episode: Grammar: Clauses, phrases and sentences – Pronunciation of ‘bear’, ‘beard’, ‘beer’ – Vocabulary: In The Home – The Lounge / living room – el salón
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Hi Craig, Hi Reza,
I’ve just listened to your 30th episode. In July and Septembre I listened to all the others. I’ve laughed a lot, and, very important, I have improved my English. You are ‘the bee’s knees’, and thanks
for answering my questions.
Hi! I only write to express my satisfaction for this podcast. It´s very useful to understand some aspects of grammar that could be unclearly (unclear).
For me it´s always very difficult to remember the difference between ‘I´ve been’ and ‘I´ve gone’. Would you mind explaining, please?
Thanks a lot, Marian
‘I’ve been’ = I went and I returned.
‘I’ve gone’ = I went and I’m still there.
“Mr. Reza has gone to lunch.” (He’s at lunch now)
“The secretary has been to lunch.” (She went and she came back. She’s now in the office)
To have a liquid lunch = to drink a lot of beers in the pub!
Be careful with the present perfect and the verb ‘to go’. If you have returned, you use the participle ‘been’ not ‘gone’: “I have been to lunch.”
Grammar: Clauses. phrases and sentences
¡OJO! – The word ‘phrase’ is a false friend. ‘Phrase’ in English does not translate to frase in Spanish. The word Frase in Spanish is translated as ‘sentence’.
Sonia wrote to tell us that ‘phrase’ in Spanish is sintagma. (Thanks Sonia!)
Sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop.
The basic unit of English grammar is the clause:
A phrase in English does not contain a subject and a verb. It cannot communicate a complete thought.
A clause does contain a subject and a verb and can convey a complete idea.
“A lovely girl sat next to me in the café yesterday”
A=article; lovely=adjective; girl=noun – ‘A lovely girl’ is a phrase.
‘A lovely girl sat next to me’ is a clause (‘A lovely girl’=subject; ‘sat’=verb)
‘I thought’ is also a clause (I=subject, thought=verb)
‘I thought about you.’ (I=subject, thought=verb, about=preposition, you=indirect object)
“A lovely girl (1st frase) sat next to me (2nd frase) in the café yesterday (3rd frase)”
“A lovely girl sat next to me (clause)”
“A lovely girl sat next to me in the café yesterday” (sentence)
In Spanish, it’s not necessary to have a subject in a clause. For example, “Vivo en Valencia.” – “(Yo) vivo en Valencia.”
“I was very surprised when she asked me for my mobile number”
I was – very surprised – when she asked – me for my mobile number.
‘I was’ (clause)
‘When she asked’ (clause)
‘When she asked me’ (clause)
‘When she asked me for my mobile number’ (clause)
(my mobile number=indirect object)
“I was very surprised when she asked me for my mobile number which I quickly wrote down on the back of an old bus ticket.”
I was very surprised (1 clause – main/principal clause)
when she asked me for my mobile number (2 clause – time clause/subordinate clause)
which I quickly wrote down on the back of an old bus ticket (3 clause – relative clause)
“A lovely girl sat next to me in the café yesterday while I was having my usual breakfast of coffee and chocolate cake.
I was very surprised when she asked me for my mobile number, which I quickly wrote down on the back of an old bus ticket.”
“A lovely girl sat next to me in the cafe yesterday” (main clause)
“while I was having my usual breakfast of coffee and chocolate cake” (subordinate clause)
What clause can you only say at the end of December? – Santa Claus!
What do you call Santa’s helpers? – Subordinate Clauses!
bear (oso), beard (barba) beer (cerveza) Look! There’s a beer!/bear!/beard!
bear – like ‘stair’, ‘fair’, ‘care’, ‘there’
beer – like ‘ear’, ‘hear’
beard – con la ‘d’ al final
To throw a spanner in the works = marear la perdiz
‘bear’ and ‘bare’ have the same pronunciation
The bare facts
The bare truth
To bare all = to show everything
Vocabulary: In The Home – The Lounge / living room – el salón
Living room, lounge, drawing room (British English) = Living room (American English)
parlor (US) = salón
carpet – moqueta
rug – alfombre
curtains – cortinas
radiator – radiador
sofa, (settee), couch – sofá
cushion – cojín
bookcase – biblioteca, librería
a set of drawers = cómoda
coffee table = mesa baja, mesa de centro, mesa ratona (Argentina), mesita de sala (Puerto Rico)
fireplace = chimenea
coal = carbón
shovel = pala
sideboard – aparador
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