Know about Figures of Speech

Ophelia is my guardian angel

Figures of Speech are phrases that have a different meaning from their literal definition. These are somewhat like but differ from Idioms. 

On one hand, a Figure of Speech is nonliteral and imaginative language but can be understood by someone who isn’t familiar with that particular Figure of Speech. On the other hand, it’s impossible to understand an idiom without being familiar with that particular idiom. 

In general, Figures of Speech can be metaphors or similes but can fall into other categories as well. Figures of Speech are designed to make comparisons. This is achieved by devices such as alliteration (the repetition of certain sounds) or exaggeration, known as hyperbole. This creates a dramatic effect.

Alliteration in figurative language is fun. For example, you may hear a native English speaker say:

“I bought a box of bricks.” 

The repetitive b sound makes the phrase have a nice ring to it. Not just is the saying alliteration, it’s hyperbolic. 

Hyperbole, one of my favorite types of figurative speech, exaggerates an attribute of something, calling attention to it. In the above example, I didn’t literally buy “a box of bricks.” I bought a faulty product. I called the product “a box of bricks” because it didn’t work correctly. You, in your lifetime, have probably bought “a box of bricks” too, perhaps you purchased a faulty phone. 

Here’s another example of hyperbole: 

“Ophelia is my guardian angel.”

In reality, Ophelia isn’t a mythical creature. But she helps me when I’m in need, and so, I used this hyperbole when discussing her. 

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Gerunds after Prepositions

Mowing the lawn is no fun

Interestingly, Gerund is pronounced JEH-ruhnd. It’s like GIF or Giraffe. I know there’s a debate about the pronunciation of GIF, but the creator, Steve Wilhite, says that it’s said with a soft j

Simply, a Gerund is a Noun acting as a Verb. A few examples include “going, hearing,” and “having.” We make a Gerund by adding ing to the end of a Verb. 

Gerunds may be alone or with other words to form a Gerund Phrase. Altogether, this phrase behaves like a single Noun.

Much like Nouns and Noun Phrases, Gerunds and Gerund Phrases can be found in the Object, Subject, or Predicate Nominative portions of a sentence (In regards to SVO). And so, Gerunds can act in any way an ordinary Noun can. 

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Adverbs of Certainty: A Listicle

I Will Surely Finish this Blog Before Sundown

Adverbs of Certainty state how sure we feel about an action or event. For example: 

“I will surely finish writing this blog before sundown.” 

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Idiom: “foot the bill”-definition, meaning, and examples.

Definition and meaning of the idiom “foot the bill”

What does the idiom “foot the bill” mean? How can I use the idiom “foot the bill in a full sentence?”

You may even encounter a native speaker using the idiom “to foot the bill.” This saying, counter-intuitively, has nothing to do with feet. By saying this, the speaker is stating that they will pay the bill.

For example, “William often dines with us, but he never foots the bill” which simply means, he never pays.

An image representing the above statement

Moreover, the person who foots the bill only means he/ she pays the entire bill. The idiom is most often used with dining but can be applied to anything.

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The preposition “between”- Meaning, and examples of using it in full sentences.

Between- Meaning

“Between” can be used in various sentences as a preposition or an adverb. The preposition “between” means “in the time, space, or interval that separates.”

The place preposition “between” is used in expressing the location of a particular item. This item has something on both sides of it.

Examples of “Between” prepositions:

  • I’m sitting between Debbie and Janet. By saying this, you are telling the listeners that Debbie is on one side and Janet is on the other side of you.
An Image explaining the use of the “between” preposition
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How to use Adverb of Certainty “Probably”

We will Probably Live on the Moon

Unsurprisingly, Adverbs of Certainty are used to state how sure we feel about an action or event.

“Probably” is a commonly used Adverb of Certainty. It tells the listener that the speaker is 70-80% sure an event will take place.

For example, A Science fiction Writer once said:

“Mankind will probably live on the Moon someday.”

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Learn about Separable Phrasal Verbs – Advanced

We have already covered Separable Phrasal Verbs in another article. They are: Verb + Object + Preposition

They are based on simple Phrasal Verbs:

Verb + Preposition

An example of a Separable Phrasal Verb is “turn down,” the topic of today’s lesson.

Separable Phrasal Verbs

Turn The Volume Down

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Learn about Separable Phrasal Verbs – Basics

Scat Singing Cheers me up

What is Scat Singing, you may ask? In Jazz, an American style of music, Scat Singing is the use of nonsense words like “zippity zippity zippity zam za zim” to make improvised melodies. 

How do nonsense words relate to learning English? In our case, these sounds cheer the Speaker up, which brings us to Phrasal Verbs – “cheer up” is a Phrasal Verb. 

In general, Phrasal Verbs are a Verb + Preposition combination, like “cheer up.” But, there’s another kind of Phrasal Verb too, the Separable Phrasal Verb. 

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Know Past Simple Tense – Advanced

Ren Was House Shopping Alone: The Scary Music Box

Obviously enough, Past Simple Tense is used to describe an event that began and ended in the past. Here’s a dialogue that’s mostly spoken in Past Simple Tense:

“I walked into the bedroom, and suddenly there was music coming from a box,” said Ren.

“What did the box look like?, “asked Haru. 

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Nouns: Abstract noun and Collective noun 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.

Types of Nouns with examples

Types of NounsDefinition Examples
Proper NounName of a person, a place, an animal, or thing. Max, Burj Khalifa, October.
Common NounName of a class or section of people, animals, or things.Teacher, Doctor, Tiger.
Abstract NounThese are feelings, quality or characteristics, ideas, or state of being.Happy, anger, honest, rich.
Collective Noun Denotes a group of nouns or a set of things. They are a group of common nouns and can be counted. Shoal of fish, Swarm of bees, pack of wolves.

How can we identify the type of Noun?

There are 4 main types of nouns to identify:

  • Proper Noun: Proper nouns is the name of a person or of something you specifically imply. It is the name of a person, place, animal, 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 abstract nouns.
    For example, you can be sad, and feel the emotion, but not touch it, smell it, taste it, 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, people, animals, emotions, or concepts considered as a single whole. 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.