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Tuesday the 28th of February, 2006
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PUBLIC SCHOOL (US vs. UK)

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Good morning, In February of 2004, we did a series of 6 Daily Vitamins about the differences between standard British and standard American English. Today we are going to look at one particular difference, which can cause a lot of confusion, and which we didn't include two years ago. Today's word is: Public School It means: In the US: a school that is controlled and paid for by the government. In the UK: an expensive private school where students usually live as well as study. As you can see, the term Public School has the opposite meaning in standard UK and US English. In the US (like in Spain, for example), there is a distinction between public schools and private schools. In the UK, the contrast is between state schools and public schools. Example 1 (US) Although the Miller's have a lot of money, they prefer to send their children to a public school; they want them to meet people from all socio-economic classes. Example 1 (UK) Although the Miller's have a lot of money, they prefer to send their children to a state school; they want them to meet people from all socio-economic classes. Example 2 (US) In contrast to the Millers, the Burtons (who are also very rich) send their children to a private school, since they feel the education is of a higher quality. Example 2 (UK) In contrast to the Millers, the Burtons (who are also very rich) send their children to a public school, since they feel the education is of a higher quality. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Monday the 27th of February, 2006
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TYPICAL ERROR: REPEATING THE SUBJECT

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Good morning, I hope you had a good weekend. As an English teacher over the years, I have heard a lot of sentences like the following: 1) ***The house it's very beautiful.*** Do you know what's wrong with this sentence? The problem is that the verb IS has two subjects: "the house" and the pronoun "it". As you know, a verb can only have ONE subject. The correct equivalent of sentence (1) is sentence (2) below: 2) The house is very beautiful. Students often also make this repeated-subject error with other pronouns (he, she, they) 3) ***The man he was very kind.*** 4) ***Americans they are very naive.*** The correct versions are. 5) The man was very kind. 6) Americans are very naive. When you speak, remember that it's not necessary (nor grammatically correct) to repeat the subject of the sentence with a pronoun. It's difficult to catch yourself making these mistakes when you are concentrating on simply communicating coherently, but if you begin to pay attention, I'm sure you will be able to avoid this error in your English. If you have any questions or comments about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Have a great day!

Friday the 24th of February, 2006
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TO CALL THE SHOTS

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Good morning, Today's expression is: to call the shots It is used: to refer to the person who makes the most important decisions and who has the most power in a situation. To call the shots is to have the power. Example 1 Michael is the one who calls the shots around here. If you want something, talk to him. Example 2 I am happy to receive your input, but please remember that I'm the boss, so I call the shots! Remember too that if there is a problem, I'm the one who will ultimately take responsibility. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Enjoy your day and have an excellent weekend!

Thursday the 23rd of February, 2006
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TO BE ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH

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Good morning, Today's expression is: to be on the same wavelength It is used: to say that you understand another person very well or that you agree with him/her. Example 1 The moment I met Marie, I knew we were on the same wavelength. I remember we talked for ages (durante horas). Even now, after 20 years, we're still best friends. Example 2 Look, I don't think we're all on the same wavelength. Does everybody here understand the situation? Now, we need to make a decision so let's try and agree with each other. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday the 22nd of February, 2006
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CARRY OUT

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Good morning, Today's expression is: to carry something out It means: to do something that you have organised, planned or promised. It also means: to do something that you have been told to do, like following instructions or an order. Example 1 Karl: Mr. Simpson, I haven't been able to carry out your orders to send the information via e-mail to our customers. I'm afraid the Internet connection is not working at the moment. Mr. Simpson: What? Well, have you talked to the computer department? If they can't fix the problem right away, send the information by regular post. Example 2 As a salesperson, I have to carry out visits to my clients. I try to see each one at least once a month. Example 3 We have three weeks to carry out the project. Let's sit down now and plan how we are going to do it. It's due on March 16th. If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website. If you have any questions about how to use the Daily Vitamin Plus! section or would like to receive a Daily Vitamin Plus! manual, please don't hesitate to contact us. Have a pleasant day!