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Innovative English Training

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Friday the 27th of February, 2004
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KNOW vs. MEET

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning.

Another common error amongst English students is the confusion between the verbs to know and to meet.

Remember, when you are first introduced to someone, you meet them. After meeting them, you can then say that you know them. Consider the following examples.

Example 1
Speaker 1: Today is our anniversary. We met for the first time exactly one year ago.
Speaker 2: Wow! You have only known each other for one year?! I thought you had met a long time ago.

Example 2
I knew him a long time ago, but we've lost contact; I have no idea where he is now.

Notice that in these examples know is being used to describe a state during a lot of years. Meet always describes one moment or event in the past (the act of meeting), not a state. Consider the two sentences in example 3.

Example 3
I met him a long time ago, but we didn't get married until last year.

I have known him for a long time, but we didn't get married until last year.

Have a good day and a wonderful weekend!



Thursday the 26th of February, 2004
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BE vs. STAY

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning everybody.

In conversation, English students often confuse the verb stay with be. The confusion, in part, comes from incorrect pronunciation. Many of you may be guilty of pronouncing stay as estay, which reminds you of the Spanish verb 'estar'. However, stay is not the same as estar.

Stay means: to remain in a particular place or situation. It's often used to talk about staying in a hotel or hostel while travelling. It's the equivalent of quedar in Spanish.

Example 1
When we go to Boston, we will stay in a five-star hotel.

Although there is some relation, the verb be is used in a different way.

Example 2
Last summer I was in Boston for two weeks. I had a great time, especially in the hotel where we stayed.

Have an excellent day!


Wednesday the 25th of February, 2004
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DISCUSS VERSUS ARGUE

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning,

Another very common error amongst English students is the confusion between the two verbs discuss and argue.

Argue means: to dispute, quarrel; to speak in an angry way because of disagreement.

Discuss means: to talk about something in detail.

Example 1
When I was a teenager, I constantly argued with my parents; we could never agree about anything.

Example 2
Before we make a final decision, I think it would be best to discuss our options.

Notice that discuss is a false friend and doesn't mean the same as 'discutir' in Spanish. In Example 1 there is disagreement, but not in Example 2.

Enjoy your day.


Tuesday the 24th of February, 2004
Rating (1 votes)

TRAVEL vs. TRIP

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning,

Before I begin, I wanted to clarify something from yesterday's Daily Vitamin. The word "Fag" is an English word that is used colloquially to refer to a homosexual (in US English) or a cigarette (in UK English). I know that caused some confusion. Sorry.

Today we are looking at a very common error amongst English students; the confusion between travel (verb) and trip (noun). The important difference is that one is a verb and the other is a noun. Consider the examples below.

Example 1
Speaker 1: Tomorrow I'm travelling to Madrid.
Speaker 2: Okay. Have a nice trip.

Example 2
That was the worst trip I have ever taken.

INCORRECT: ***That was the worst travel I have ever taken.***

Have an excellent day.


Monday the 23rd of February, 2004
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BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH DIFFERENCES-6

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Good morning. I hope you had a good weekend.

Today we will finish our comparison of standard US and UK English by looking at some vocabulary differences. This is really where we see the majority of the differences. We only look at a few examples to demonstrate the confusion that can be caused, but if you want more information you can consult Glenn Darrahg's book A to Zed, A to Zee (Editorial Stanley 2000) or Susan Stempleski's BBC American English OK! (Difusión 1998).

Chaleco (Esp.)
Vest (US) vs. Waistcoat (UK)

Camiseta de tirantes (para hombres) (Esp.)
Tank top (US) vs. Vest (UK)

Ascensor (Esp.)
Elevator (US) vs. Lift (UK)

Lata (Esp.)
Can (US) vs. Tin (UK)

Patatas Fritas (Esp.)
French Fries (US) vs. Chips (UK)

Patatas Fritas "de bolsa" (Esp.)
Potato Chips (US) vs. Crisps (UK)

IVA (Esp.)
Sales Tax (US) vs. VAT = Value Added Tax (UK)

FAG
Homosexual (US) vs. Cigarette (UK)

We could, of course, give a lot more examples. However, the objective is simply to make a point. Although there are very few differences between UK and US English with respect to spelling and grammar, there are differences in vocabulary that really can cause confusion. Although it's not worth becoming obsessed about these differences, it's good to be aware of some of them to avoid awkward situations and miscommunication.

Have a good day.