Blended Words in English

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Here is how you make a blended word:

-Take two words with different meanings (“Spanish” and “English”)

-Combine the letters in some way to make a new word (“Spanglish”)

-The new word represents a combination of the sounds and meanings of the original words (“Spanglish”: switching between Spanish and English in a conversation).

a-spanglish

Below are some more examples. Try to guess what the original words and meaning might be before reading the explanation.

Smog

Smog is the combination of “smoke” and “fog.” It is a type of air pollutant often seen in big cities like Los Angeles, CA.

smog_LA Continue reading

Practice the Second Conditional through Songs

Before we listen to the songs, let’s recall what the second conditional is all about. The second conditional expresses an unreal or highly unlikely possibility. For example: “If I had a billion dollars, I would buy fifteen yachts.” Both having a billion dollars and buying fifteen yachts represent more of a dream than a probable reality.

yachts

The standard formula for second conditional sentences is as follows:

If + subject + simple past…, subject + would + base verb…

OR

Subject + would + base verb… if + subject + simple past…

Now let’s get to the good stuff. Our first song by Barry Louis Polisar is from the soundtrack of the movie Juno:

  • “If you were a castle, I’d be your moat.”

Of course a human being cannot become a castle. This song expresses unreal possibilities in a cute and romantic way. Continue reading

Which English?

When studying English, do you ever ask yourself which variety of English you should learn? …American? …British? …Australian? The truth is any and all varities of English are perfectly fine.

My advice would be to try to expose yourself to as many accents as possible! These two videos are excellent resources to help you develop your listening skills and phonological awareness.

 

 

Slam

“Slam” is one of those tricky words that is difficult to explain, so I figured it merited its own post. When “slam” is used as a verb, which it often is, it has two different meanings.

MEANING 1: a.) to close forcefully, thereby producing a loud noise.

  • Henry slammed the door (Henry dio un portazo).

  • Glen was so angry that he slammed the door in my face (Estaba tan enfadado Glen que me dio con la puerta en las narices).

MEANING 1: b.) to put, strike, or throw forcefully, usually producing a loud noise. Continue reading