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Adventures with Adverbials: Part 1

The 1954 American film On the Waterfront helped make actor Marlon Brando a star. Brando played the main character, a dockworker named Terry Malloy. In the film, Malloy meets face-to-face with a gangster at a seaport. The two men fight in front of many dockworkers. The fight is terrible, and it lasts a long time. You may not realize it, but describing this fight scene can teach you a lot about the structure of the English language.


Adventures with Adverbials: Part 2

Many American western movies use a common plot element: A mysterious man appears in a small, dusty town. He speaks to people in a short, purposeful way. He shows confidence and strength. Often, he is looking for revenge. Exploring this common plot element can help you learn about the structure of the English language. In a recent Everyday Grammar program, we explored one common adverbial, or verb modifying, structure: the prepositional phrase.


The Excitement of Three-Part Phrasal Verbs

Popular music can teach you a lot about the English language. You may not realize it, but musicians are actually teaching you about English grammar in each song they perform. Consider this song by the famous reggae artist Bob Marley. It tells about the need for equality and justice: Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights Get up, stand up. Dont give up the fight This song is called Get Up, Stand Up. It shows you how to use the three-part phrasal verb, "stand up for." "To stand up for" means "to defend (someone or something) with words. Today, we explore three-part phrasal verbs idiomatic expressions that can be difficult for students of English to understand.


Grammar and Presidential Elections: Part One

Political candidates like to use one or more grammatical structures when they speak. They use grammatical structures because they can have a rhetorical effect. In other words, the order of words and the way they are used can direct attention to important ideas and help make points clearer. This clarity, the candidates hope, will influence likely voters to choose them. So, what grammatical structures can you find in political speeches? What can you learn from such speeches? In our report today, we explore one grammatical structure commonly used in the American election campaign. This structure is called the deliberate fragment.


Grammar and US Presidential Elections: Part Two

When politicians give speeches, they talk about any number of things, such as their beliefs, personal history, or opinions on major issues. Politicians have to be careful about how they present their ideas. They want to direct the attention of individual listeners or larger audiences toward important ideas and words. But they also try to limit or avoid unnecessary information. How do they do this? One way is to put together sentences in a reasonable way. In an earlier Everyday Grammar program, we explored how politicians sometimes use deliberate sentence fragments for a rhetorical effect.


Are you in the Mood to Learn the Subjunctive?


Getting to Know the Verb 'Get'

So what did you do last night? Well, I was at home, getting ready to go to the movies. I was getting my shoes on when I got a feeling that something strange was going to happen. I've gotten those feelings, too. Then, I left the house, and got a cab, and got to the movies as fast as I could. Did you get there on time?


Grab Onto Phrasal Verbs


Have You Been Using the Perfect Progressive?

This is the last in our four-part series on verb tenses. Make sure you see our episodes on progressive and perfect tenses before trying to learn the perfect progressive tenses. For English learners, the perfect progressive tenses can be scary. But they are more straightforward than you might think. When you talk about grammar, perfect means complete, and progressive means unfinished. Perfect progressive sentences focus on the completion of an action that is, was or will be in progress.


Can You Catch These Native Speaker Mistakes?

This week, we will learn a few English words and phrases that are commonly misused in English. Even well-educated native English speakers make the mistakes you will read and hear about today, including reporters and English teachers! After todays program, you can have fun finding these mistakes when other people use them. Lets start with a very common written mistake that native English speakers make.


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