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Profile: L.Rai
User Name: L.Rai
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: None Specified
Joined: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Last Visit: Monday, April 12, 2021 7:07:39 AM
Number of Posts: 791
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: singular use for "they" ??
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2021 6:05:48 PM

Thank you sincerely. I do get that part of it and I have since done some more research b/c I do want to teach correctly. Yes I can see how it would be used and in fact now that I think about it I have done that when the gender is not known or I don't wish to reveal a gender.

Thanks so much.

Wilmar: You hit the nail on my discomfort with teaching this point in terms of the students I am teaching and how confusing it already is for them to correctly use the pronouns (he and she) when it's clear who is who. I am just looking for another teacher who can relate to that issue and share some tips they have used.

Audiendus: Good point thanks.

Just one more thing so I can be understood, the students being taught are 3-12 years of age and 2nd language learners with various degrees of proficiency. It's difficult at times to get them to grasp single and plural, we tell them the correct use is they are because it's used for two or more, to then introduce this grammar point I think will be really confusing. Yes, maybe the very high level students are where we do this and I can see that, but I think at the lower levels just getting them to use (he and she) (is and are) in the right way is enough. However, I am open to idea which is why I am asking this question.

Thanks again to all who responded.
Topic: singular use for "they" ??
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2021 4:03:03 AM
This is a weird one at least for me, but for any 2nd Language English Teachers...have you come across this language point, using "they" as a singular?

If so do you have any links that you can share where this usage is correct grammatically?

I suppose I am just old school but I was always taught that "they" implied more than one, it's not a singular, however, this came up today in a training I was doing with my teachers and I was told that it's okay to use "they" in a singular way when talking about one person and no gender...I'm a little confused, is it only for that purpose or is this just something very any other English teachers do this and if so when and how and why, I just want to know more.

Topic: present perfect or past simple
Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 5:44:14 PM

I agree that the Present Perfect and Past Simple are not easy when as a teacher or student you are trying to wrap your head around them. I have just found that teaching it the way I do seems to help my students to grasp it.

Keep in mind most Native speakers (at least in English) really can't teach grammar points well. We speak the language but teaching it is a skill most people don't have.

If I asked you to teach me the grammar of your Native tongue you too might have issues doing it. :)

I applaud you for doing this...the only rule I can give to you is try your best to say whatever you want to say (spoken or written) as clearly and concisely as possible, if you do that the grammar will usually work out.
Topic: present perfect or past simple
Posted: Monday, March 1, 2021 6:48:22 PM
The simple way I teach this concept to my students is this:

Past simple, whatever it was you were doing is DONE, and so it's in the past. A complete action in the past.

Present Perfect, what you did was in the past, but you are talking about it NOW and it's possible you may do it later.


I ate octopus. I did it in the past and it's done and over.

I have eaten octopus. I ate it in the past, I am telling you about it NOW and it's possible I could do it again, or not.

The key here is I am saying it NOW.

She stayed in London and I went to Moscow for 2 weeks. [Both of these things were DONE]

She stayed in London and I have gone to Moscow for 2 weeks.

[In this case it seems you are saying something to someone NOW but the person you would be speaking to might become confused, because you are telling them something that is in the past, (the first part of your sentence) and then you are saying something that happened but saying it in the present? Can you now understand why this might be awkward language?

I would most likely say: She stayed in London and I went to Moscow, where I am now. (If you are speaking to someone in the present)

I am hoping this helps, but not sure...because trying to make it work for your sentence is a stretch.

One last attempt; Past simple - I went to Moscow she stayed in London.

Present Perfect - I have gone to Moscow, and am there now, while she stayed in London.

This is the only way I can make it work and make sense. Maybe now it will help...LOL
Topic: Amazon won.
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2021 12:19:46 AM in China the equivalent would be Jack Ma and Taobao.
Topic: Today is ten of February twenty twenty one
Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 2:39:11 AM
Dear Bihunsedap:

You can say the date pretty much the way you have it. The only thing is you need to add "the" so it would be Today is "the" tenth of February twenty twenty-one. The one listed under that one is fine. The next one would be February twentieth, twenty-twenty-one. In speaking we would use ordinal number, those are the ones with st, rd, th at the end, so first, second, third, fourth etc.

A good rule for saying the date is to start with the month, then the day, and then the year. It's how we write it (example: Feb. 20, 2021), but you can also begin with the day, then month, date and year, so you could also say Wednesday Feb. tenth, twenty-twenty-one.

At least that's how I teach my students to do it. Hope this helps.
Topic: California hits 2 million covid19 cases
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2020 3:41:14 PM
This is exactly why I can't leave China and won't be able to go back home this coming year. People thought I was insane Feb 2020 when I came back to China...hmmmThink

So far we are virus free where I am and the educational department has insisted that ALL teachers and students stay in place. So, I am taking a staycation, a few days of R & R at a local hotel. It's not glamorous but at least it's a different view and room service..LOLWhistle

Like Hope said, just wear a mask, and I will add, wash your hands and stay home if you are not well. WOW, really people?
Topic: Americans think Canadians can’t invade them. Think again. "22 Minutes"
Posted: Thursday, December 3, 2020 7:10:41 AM

I've had a particularly bad week...well a few to be honest...thank you for the belly laugh. I am glad to see our stupid politics are feeding the Canadian humorists. Glad we can be of help there.

God bless the US of EH. LOL

Posted: Monday, November 23, 2020 6:32:25 PM
Dear Ali:

OMG, I can totally relate to how you are feeling...been there. I am so sorry you are feeling so discouraged and I for one would like to offer my sympathy.

Here is what I have learned about this site and the point system, and I freely share it with you. You can earn daily points by clinking on all the links. There are 10 links you can click on, 7 of them are 30 points, 2 are 15 points and 1 is 60 points. If my math holds that should be 300 points. then you can get 10points each day for the first 5 correct answers on the grammar quiz. So another 50 and you now have 350. You can get 15 points per correct word, if you do the spelling bee at the highest level, I am not sure the limit but let's say you can do 20 words so another 300 points and now you have 650. Then if you do word-in-word and you can get a perfect score on one, that will net you 100 points but only once per day. So now you have 750 points. Oh, you can also click up to 20 articles at 5 points each and there's another 100 points, so you now have 850 points. Then if you keep going it's not difficult to rack up another 150 points doing word-in-word and then hit 1000 points in a single day.

Unless you are a game junkie and do all the app type games which rack up more points I find that the most I can do in a day is 1500 points. Now that's just me, other people maybe can share how they do it.

I stopped caring about the points once I discovered there was no toaster to be won. (inside joke) However, I am an English teacher in China and I use this site as a resource for my students. I can encourage them by showing them how many points I have racked up. That has been the ONLY reason I do this.

So, while I totally relate to your problem and frustration, I encourage you to find another motivation for doing this and don't lose sleep over it. The PTB at TFD don't lose any sleep, I can assure you of that. They have a site that makes them revenue, and people come to spend time and learn, or not. It's a choice...I hope you can find a motivation for doing this that isn't connected to neurons, that's my best advice to you.

One more thing, we have both been on this site for the same number of years, but you have 40% more neurons than I do, what's your secret? You obviously are doing something right.
Topic: Sunday Nov. 22 Today's Holiday?
Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2020 10:24:35 PM
Well TFD? It's now Nov. 23 and still no holiday is showing..hmmm. Let's see how long it takes for someone to notice. :)