Twain on Letter Writing

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Twain on Letter Writing

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This Mark Twain quote is one of my favorites as an English teacher:

I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.  
— Mark Twain

The phrasing is counterintuitive: we are inclined to think longer equals more time. But that's where the true insight of the quotation lies. Writing is deceptive in its simplicity, and anything but linear.  Being concise requires more effort in the form of editing and organizing thoughts than simply pouring your thoughts out onto the page. 

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Ginseng Impact

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Ginseng Impact

Ginseng English commits 1 in every 10 class seats to those in need, completely free. They get the same classes as everyone else. We donate textbooks and materials to these students. By 2020, we want to increase that to 50% of students. We call this Ginseng Impact.

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3 Types of -ing Verb

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3 Types of -ing Verb

Ready for some challenging academic grammar?

English grammar can be difficult because sometimes the same word works differently in different situations. This is true for -ing verbs, which can do three different things.  

Let's look at the 3 types:

Three types of -ing verb

Three types of -ing verb

CONTINUOUS VERBS

The man is walking

This is the most basic one: a present continuous verb. The subject in the sentence is "man" and "is walking" tells us what he is doing right now. If you see an -ing verb after a be verb (am, is, are, was, were), it is probably a continuous verb.

Another name for continuous verbs is  progressive   verbs.  Continuous and progressive are the same. 


PARTICIPIAL ADJECTIVES

The walking man lives with my friend Paul.   

or 

The man walking across the street lives with my friend Paul.  

 

In both of these sentences, walking  works like an adjective, not a verb. Walking describes the man, and the verb in the sentence is lives. When an -ing verb describes a noun, we call it a  participial adjectiveParticipial adjectives can come before or after the noun, but it is more common to put them after the noun. 

Read a little more about participial adjectives here.


GERUNDS

The man likes walking.  

In this sentence, we have a subject: the man. We have a verb: likes . What is the -ing verb here? It's the thing that the man likes. What does he like? Walking. Walking is the object of like. What are some other things you can like? Sports, travel, English. All nouns. Object of verbs are nouns, so walking is acting as a noun here. That's what a gerund is: an -ing verb that works like a noun. 


If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in these online classes:

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BRUNCH!

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BRUNCH!

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday morning, and hope you've got a moment for a fun English vocabulary word!

Brunch Vocabulary Card

You may remember a few months ago, we discussed portmanteau words. Portmanteau words are a combination of two words into one. Usually we take the beginning of one word and add it to the end of the next word. Here are some fun examples:

web + webinar = webinar

brother + romance = bromance

friend + enemy = frenemy

hungry + angry = hangry

Usually these are pretty casual words. Our favorite is still brunch!

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Top 15 Twitter Accounts to Learn English

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Top 15 Twitter Accounts to Learn English

Learning English online isn't easy, and your best options are generally actual online classes with real teachers, but Twitter does have some great ESL sites to help you improve your English in 140 characters! Here's a list of our favorite accounts. 

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Like watching paint dry

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Like watching paint dry

Like Watching Paint Dry Ginsenglish Vocabulary Card

Here's a saying to go along with today's participle, BORING: like watching paint dry. Paint dries slowly and with no excitement, so if something is realllllllly boring, we can say that thing is like watching paint dry:

 -Oh my god, that movie was so boring. It was like watching paint dry. 

-Ugh, I hate golf. It's like watching paint dry. 

-How can anyone enjoy studying!? I'd rather watch paint dry!

 

If you found this English tip helpful, please share with #ginsenglish and follow @ginsenglish on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Also, consider signing up for our online English courses!

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Review of Participles

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Review of Participles

Review of English Participles Card

Remember:

Participles (or participial adjectives) are verbs with -ED and -ING endings that can work like adjectives, describing people and things.

 -ED participles (past participles) usually describe how we feel, as in, "I feel exhausted."

-ING participles (present participles) usually describe things that make us feel that way, as in, "That hike was exhausting."

 

If you found this English tip helpful, please share with #ginsenglish and follow @ginsenglish on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Also, consider signing up for our online English courses! 

 

 

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Anatomy of an Email - Greeting

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Anatomy of an Email - Greeting

Email English Greetings Ginseng Card

The punctuation you use at the end of an email greeting is important!  

 

If you found this English tip helpful, please share with #ginsenglish and follow @ginsenglish on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Also, consider signing up for our online English courses!

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