Know linking words: Combining phrases

Linking Words and phrases, also known as Cohesive Devices, are grammatical gems! They may be deployed for a variety of purposes. In fact, they sometimes express exceptions, bridge two clauses together, present contrast, demonstrate comparisons, and much more. 

Notably, the list of English Linking Words is expansive. There are dozens and dozens of them. This is due to their variety of uses. And perhaps, Grammarians, those who study Grammar, haven’t even compiled a full list of these little gems.

All of this aside, today’s lesson covers the phrase “for example.” “For example” introduces a chosen item as a case to prove a point.

You may encounter a native English speaker saying, “Foods eaten in the South West, Santa Fe for example, are inspired by both the native population and German settlers.” 

By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that cuisine from Santa Fe is typical of South Western dishes and vice-versa. Furthermore, these foods are a blend of native and German recipes. 

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Preposition of time: Since -Uses and Examples

In general, Prepositions demonstrate direction, time, place, location, and spatial relationships. These short words have a variety of uses and fall into different categories. 

Despite being varied in use, Prepositions, in regards to grammar, most often precede a Noun. And typically, their usage falls into this pattern: Verb, Preposition, Noun. For example: 

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Preposition of time: Until – Uses and Examples

Prepositions of Time are short words like “in”, “an” and “at.” These little words form a bridge between Verbs and Nouns. Here’s an example: 

“I —> work at noon.”

The Preposition of Time “at” connects the Verb to the Noun and makes the sentence meaningful. 

In addition to binding grammatical structures, Prepositions of Time inform the listener as to when and how long an action takes place. 

For instance, “until,” the focus of today’s lesson, describes a definite or indefinite point in time when an action or event ends.  

Here’s an example:

“We can’t enter our house until we get the key.” 

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By saying this, the speaker is informing the listener that they are barred from opening the door unless the key is located. And, the period of time that the word “until” describes began when “the key” was lost and will end when it’s found. 

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Idioms with picture: a picture paints a thousand words

It’s true, a picture does paint a thousand words. One doesn’t even have to be an Essayist to jot a thousand words upon encountering an old photograph or painting. Each image contains context and sub-context: the immediately visible that which one must dig to notice. 

Here’s an example: Ren went into a junk shop. While browsing the antiques, she stumbled upon an old picture of Tokyo. Ren immediately noticed the difference in clothing, landscape, vehicles…The picture barely resembled the modern neon-filled Tokyo. While looking at the picture Ren said to herself, “This picture paints a thousand words.” And although the photograph was an antique, it was only a few Yen. She fell in love with it, bought it on the spot, took it home, framed it, and now it hangs in Ren’s den.

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Examples of a picture paints a thousand words

I took a photo from my balcony to show my friends. A picture paints a thousand words after all. 

I find it easier to follow instructions with pictures rather than just text as a picture paints a thousand words. 

  1. Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence.

Q2: Do you feel that old photographs from your childhood paint a thousand words? Why or why not?  

Q3: What picture, according to you, paints a thousand words? Why? 

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Idioms with picture: Pretty as a picture

Today, our lesson is about one of my favorite subjects: idioms.

Idioms are seemingly nonsensical groupings of words.  However, they aren’t as they seem. In fact, these phrases are cram-packed with meaning! Their meaning evolved through usage, rather than the entries of lexicographers, Grammarians who decide which words are placed in the dictionary and what they mean.

Idiom of the day: pretty as a picture. 

This saying came about during the Victorian Era, the 1800s. It was even used by Mark Twain. In the book A Connecticut Yankee in King Author’s Court, Twain describes a character as “pretty as a picture.” Despite the noted hubbub, this phrase literally means attractive, in fact, there’s not much else to it. 

You may encounter a native English speaker saying “She’s as pretty as a picture.” The speaker is telling the listener that the person in question is beautiful. 

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Question Tags and Auxiliary verbs

Some Question Tags use the Auxiliary Verb, but these little action words are nothing to fear. An Auxiliary Verb simply demonstrates tense. For example, can versus could. At this point, we know when to deploy Auxiliary Verbs. 

Note: These sentences elicit somewhat complex answers, not merely “yes” or “no” like our earlier lesson, Positive/Negative Question Tags. 

Question tags, with or without Auxiliary Verbs are contextually interesting. They transform declarative and imperative statements into interrogative sentences. furthermore, they are often used to communicate irony, insults, and alternate usages of a word. Here’s an example that both use an Auxiliary Verb and express irony. 

Speaker 1: “In the ‘90s, I was big in New Orleans.”

Speaker 2: “You were big, weren’t you? The fattest Blues singer in the city!” 

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Question Tags: Positive and Negative

Much of this will be somewhat familiar to speakers of Asiatic languages. For example, Hindi, Japanese, and Arabic use tags at the end of sentences to alter their meaning. 

Simply, in English, Question Tags are tacked onto the end of declarative (stating) or imperative (commanding) sentences to make them interrogative, these small phrases are used to transform a statement into questions. 

Interestingly, Question Tags come across as an afterthought, but these phrases are intentionally placed. And, most often, Positive/Negative Question Tags are deployed by native English speakers when the listener is expected to agree.

For example, you may encounter an English speaker saying “It’s hot today, isn’t it?” It would be atypical to hear this on a day below 26℃ Celsius. The listener would reply with a simple, but heartfelt, “Yes, it is!” 

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Types of Nouns: Abstract nouns and collective nouns with examples

What is a Noun?

A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing. When we specify who or what we are particularly speaking of for the listener to be able to relate to, that’s called a noun.

How can we identify the type of Noun?

There are 4 main types of nouns to identify:

  • Proper Noun: These are names of anybody or of something you specifically imply to or when you are referring to a particular person or place or thing.
    Examples: Wall Street Journal, Albert Einstein, London, Monday, etc
  • Common Noun: It refers to the name of a class or section of people, animals, or things.
    Examples: Teacher, Nurse, Street, Post office, Table, Bench, etc
  • Abstract Noun: They are nouns used to define anything that cannot be seen, touched, or sensed by any of our senses. An idea, a state of being, a feeling, a quality, or a characteristic quality can be termed as abstract nouns.
    For example, you can be sad, and feel the emotion, but not touch it, smell it, taste, or even see it, but you do know it exists within you.
  • Collective Noun: Nouns that are considered to be a group of nouns or a set of things or people. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. 
    For example, a banana is a common noun, the collective noun for it
    will be a bunch of bananas/hand of bananas.
Read more about Abstract and Collective Nouns

The Preposition “Under”

How do I use the Preposition under

Under is another commonly used Preposition. 

In general, Prepositions communicate the position of an object relative to another. “Under” describes an object as below another.  

For example, Americans refer to Australia as The Land Down Under because it’s located in the southern hemisphere. Are you in a land down under? 

A fun and useful example might be “everything under the sun.” A native English speaker, especially in a film, may use this phrase to speak of each and every item that possibly exists. 

Here’s another example, you may encounter a native English speaker saying “The keys are under the rug.” By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that the house keys are located under the doormat. 

Notice the use of a Determiner, “the,” “a” or “an,” with a Preposition. It’s common to use both a Determiner and Preposition in a sentence.

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