This category includes questions and friendus related to using and writing the English language properly.
Asked in English Language, Word Games, Scattergories and Words Starting with Certain Letters, Adjectives and Articles
What are some adjectives that describe a person and begin with the letter N?
nagging naive naked nameless nappy narcissistic narcoleptic narrow narrow-minded nasal nasally nasty national native natty natural naughty nauseating nauseous nautical neanderthal nearby neat nebulous necessary needless needy nefarious negative neglectful neglective negligent neighborly (neighbourly) nerdy nervous neurotic neutral new nice nifty nimble nine, nineteen, ninety ninth noble nocturnal noiseless noisy nonchalant noncommittal nonconformist nondescript nonjudgmental nonstop nontraditional normal nostalgic nosy (nosey) notable noteworthy noticeable notorious novice noxious nude nuisance numb numberless numerate numerous nurturing nutritious nutty nymphomaniacal
Asked in English Language, Definitions
What does 'prove someone s undoing' mean?
In this context, prove means, turns out to be. Undoing means ruin, disaster. So if something proves to be someone's undoing, it means that this thing, whatever it is (a life of crime, drug addiction, compulsive gambling, etc.) has ruined someone's life. Heroin addiction proved to be Frank's undoing.
Asked in English Language, Literacy
What are some ways to help your child improve their reading and writing skills?
1. READ TO YOUR CHILD Children whose parents (or any significant adults) read to them are always better students than those who are not read to. Reading to your child exposes him/her to vocabulary, sentence structure, communication skills, and logic. Reading to them shares the joy of reading and storytelling. Reading to them also gives you quality time together, which strengthens your child-parent bond. 2. Encourage your child to read Provide plenty of reading material that will interest your child - either buy books or take them to the library every few days. If your child is interested in dinosaurs, have books about dinosaurs in the house - both science or nonfiction books and fiction or storybooks, because reading is not just for fun, but also for information. Find out what your child's interests are, and provide books that feed those interests. 3. Help your child If your child is having trouble reading, first make sure they do not have some sort of correctable problem like poor eyesight. Work with the school to test for learning disabilities like dyslexia, which can cause poor reading skills. Help your child learn vocabulary and spelling so that they can read better - you can either have regular Q&A sessions where you quiz them on vocabulary and spelling words, or you can make games like "Word of the Day" where you find fun ways to teach them new vocabulary words. 4. Set a regular time for schoolwork each day This will also help with any school subject. Make a special place for them to do their work, someplace where they will not be distracted by TV, games, cellphones, computer chat rooms or IMs, or anything else. Have at least one hour daily (some children will need longer) during which homework is done - if they say they do not have homework, then they will use the time to read over their material. During this time, you can "assign" reading and writing practice also - have them read a section, then quiz them to be sure they understand what they have read. You can show them how to read for information, how to tell when a term is important in a textbook, and where to look for definitions and more help. 5. Make reading and writing fun Again, if you use your child's interests, you will have more luck with this. Encourage your child to make up stories and write them down. Don't worry about spelling or grammar at first - just get them to start writing! Read what they have written if they want you to, and talk about their stories over the dinner table, or in the car. The more you encourage them to read and write, the more they will want to - notice I said "encourage" and not nag. The trick is to make it fun for them. More input from other Wiki Contributors there are lots of children's learning to read books you can purchase. firstly buy a book that your child can read with slight difficulty and once you help them master the words in that book buy the next book up to that one and do the same again and so on. The best way to help a child learn to enjoy reading is to read with them! Helping them work up to more difficult books is a good way; you can also help by "quizzing" them on what they have read. "What do you think that means?" and "Why do you think that character did that?" are great ways to let you see how well they are understanding what they have read. You can also ask thought-provoking questions like "What do you think the characters are going to do now?" and "What do you think you would say to that character if you met them?" You can "quiz" your child on vocabulary words, or choose a new word to learn every day (remember to use that word as much as you can during that day) - there are even "Word-A-Day" calendars that you can buy! You can encourage your child to read more by choosing books on a topic that is really interesting to him or her - ask a librarian or bookstore employee to help you find lots of books about any subject! The best way to help children read better is to have a home where reading is a part of life. Start out reading to the child, and let the child see you reading for enjoyment. My sister is resource teacher for an elementary school. She said that the problem with younger children is that they think that a book is just a bunch of words that make no sense unless a parent/adult reads them aloud. Try getting your child to write down letters of alphabet. Explain that each letter has it's own sound and is different from all the other letters. Once he has understood what letters make what sounds try getting him to write words, then move onto sentences. After he's been working sentences for a while ask him to tell you a story. Write down the story he tells you then show it to him. Explain to him that he was the one who came up with that story. Then ask him to read the story. Many popular children's cartoons come in book form. You can also try comic books. You can both take a trip to a local comic book store and let him choose something he likes to read (Make sure it's age appropriate). Throw out your TV. A week without television has been shown to improve reading and attention span. Without a TV he will turn to books for the stories and stimulation he got from TV and movies. Reading improves with practice. As his reading improves you might consider bringing it back. But, you might find that your life is better without it. Set a good example and read every day yourself, read for fun. try getting a tape recorder and have him read a book aloud being taped and then play the tape back to himself while reading the book of his choice. I found that the good old PHONICS books helped me, as I was a poor reader. Once you get the sounds and spellings under your belt, just encourage reading without pressure and negative reinforcement. Keep it simple with a lot of praise for doing well (not "good job") if it's not. Don't be negative but also don't "overpraise" for non-performance. Make it fun. I teach mathmatics while having a great time bowling~! They do great and don't even realize they are learning math ( as well as turn-taking, sportsmanship etc...) Years ago, I was a pregnant single mother with two toddlers and very few financial resources. However, I always made it clear to my children that I would buy them any book they wanted if there were something they were interested in reading about. If you make reading important and enjoyable, your children will do the same. Some tips that were useful for me were: 1. Read to him every night, preferably at the same time (Just before bed worked well for me) and keep it relatively short so he won't get bored. 2. Stop the story or the book at an interesting part, so that he'll look forward to the next night's story time. 3. Let him choose books on subjects that he is interested in and pick one day out of the week where he gets to read whatever he wants to you! 4. Make a trip to the bookstore fun and exciting...stop at the park first or get a treat afterwards. And it doesn't have to be Barnes & Noble...the book sections in thrift stores or the local Goodwill are wonderful sources. 5. Sports magazines are great resources to get a child interested in reading. 6. Let him look at the pages as you read. My youngest son was very interested in spiders, snakes and bugs around eight years of age and became something of an expert on reptiles because of all the reading he did. Your question indicates that you are aware of the importance of being a good reader so, you're halfway there already!!
Asked in English Language
What is emphasis through position?
'Emphasis through position' means giving importance to certain words in your sentence by where you place them within that sentence. For example: 'She likes cats best, then rabbits and hamsters.' There is no special emphasis here. 'Cats are what she likes best, then rabbits and hamsters.' Here the word 'cats' is emphasised by being placed first, out of the normal word order.
Asked in English Language, Definitions, Shoes
What is a shoe collector if a bibliophile is a book collector?
Asked in Plural Nouns, English Language, Definitions
What is the full form of restaurant?
How can you improve your English language skills?
Use it! And one good start is to read and participate in forums such as this on the internet. Find a group of people that are interested in something you are interested in, say martial arts or the works of Tolkien or Bollywood. Find forums on the internet on that topic and join in! You will learn a great deal, get more comfortable with the language and make new friends. And most of them will be very understanding if they know that English is not your native language. Comment This reminds me of an old joke: A fellow with a ticket to a concert at Carnegie Hall was visiting New York City for the first time. He was unsure of his directions, but soon saw an elderly gentleman who was carrying a violin case. "That elderly gentleman must be a musician," he said to himself. "Surely he must know the way to Carnegie Hall." So the fellow approached the elderly gentleman and asked, "Sir, how can I get to Carnegie Hall?" The elderly gentleman stopped, smiled, and answered, "Practise, practise, practise." The moral (if I may use that word) is that there are no shortcuts, no quick and easy ways, to improve one's skills in anything, from athletics to nuclear medicine. You just have to work at it -- all the time. I am 64 years of age. I often write two or three business letters and make a handful of business telephone calls in the course of a day. I try to read at least one newspaper every day. There is always at least one book that I am reading, often two or three. I still use a dictionary several times a week. Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without some effort. I do notice, however, that you already have the ability to spell properly and compose a coherent and meaningful sentence. That, in itself, is a very good start. Let me offer you a few tips. Once you have written something, put it aside and leave it alone for a while. Return to it later and try to improve it. Ask yourself the following questions: What was the purpose of my writing and did I achieve that purpose? Can I improve the wording of what I have just written? Does my writing flow smoothly from one issue to the next? How can I express myself more clearly? Finally, read any book written on the subject of writing. Doing so will improve your writing significantly. They're all fairly thin and most are available in paperback. You might even find one in your local library. Any language skills can be improved by several means. First, speak as much as you can: find someone to practice with, and speak only English with them. Also, read as much as you can: find English books and newspapers, and use a dictionary when you find a word you do not understand. Television and radio are also useful: find an English channel and start paying attention. The internet can help you practice your language skills as well, and you can find "penpals" in chat rooms and message boards. Read good quality literature, books and newspapers etc Get someone who you consider has good English language to review your written work and hold sensible conversations with people. You could join a debating society or similar group. If English isn't your native language then look to join a group of other like minded people e.g. an English as a foreign language (EFL) class or social group. Read it, listen to it and have conversations with other students about it. At all other times, think in it One of the better ways is to spend a lot of time with people who speak excellent English, and let them know that you would like feed-back from them about your speaking skills. These people may also be willing to guide you toward reading materials suitable to your level. Many wise men have said the best way to learn something is to teach it. If you search carefully, you will be able to find English as a Second Language (ESL) classes near you. Volunteer to help with practicing, and I personally will bet you a cookie your own English will improve as you help another. The best way is to first practice SPEAKING English, and read a lot of story books. If there are some words you don't understand, a dictionary, big or small, is a great friend! Sometimes, the internet is useful for that, too! In my experience there are a lot of web tools to help you learn English. EnglishCentral, LiveMocha are just some of the best. Classes...too expensive, if you want to get free (or very cheap education), the internet is a wonderful place for learning this language. The best way to hone your skill in any language is to use it. The French have a proverb that says the best way to learn French is to have a French girlfriend (or boyfriend). Other good ways are to read newspapers in the target language, to follow cartoons (either on paper or on the tv), to visit the country and chat with people, and to try out some of the famous poems or jokes in the language you are learning. Poems and jokes are a good way to learn a language because they are short and full of meaning. Go to evening classes with a sympathetic teacher. The best way to learn English by yourself is to use Rosetta Stone. The most important way to improve your spoken English is by listening to correct pronunciation and then practicing out loud. Watching American TV shows can be helpful, but only if you try to imitate what you hear them say. Your spoken English simply will not improve just by listening. You want to be able to hear the difference between the way you pronounce words and the way native speakers do. If you cannot hear the difference, you may want to work with an accent reduction specialist who can help train your ear to hear the differences, and then teach you the new ways to hold your mouth and tongue to change your pronunciation. With some time and effort invested, you can improve your spoken English. Practice is the best way. Also to improve your spoken English listen to correct pronunciation ( a skilled speaker) and then practice out loud. Watching TV shows can be helpful, but listening only, is not as good as then following up by practice. Also, it may seem strange, but listening to popular music and then singing the songs helps. More from our WikiReaders: 1. You mustn't be afraid of making mistakes but once you make them you have to rectify them with the help of a grammar book or a dictionary 2. The best way to improve your fluency is to not just speak in English, but think in English, because if you are thinking in your mother-tongue and you try to translate your message to English before actually saying it, you will not only speak in a slow way, but you will spoil that day's English advantage and learning. Just try to speak inside of your mind (think) in English, and it will come out in a more natural way 3. Also, when you're out and about, or even at home, think, and also SPEAK OUT LOUD, the things you are doing, the things you see. And speak to other people! Always remember it's good to make mistakes, because you can learn from them and improve by remembering what you did wrong and improve that. 4.Its a good idea to speak loudly. 5.Listen to English songs as much as possible and try to sing along. 6.Read English articles, books and reviews as much as possible. 7.Whenever you come across a new word write it down somewhere and find out the meaning. 8.BE CONFIDENT. Give your self auto suggestions that you have a good English trust me it really works. Read books with a larger vocabulary than you are used to with a dictionary by your side to help you understand new words. Reading a lot is a good way of improving one`s grammar and learning new vocabulary and language structures. Read english newspaper regularly and also by watching English movie. Aside from that you should check out some online learning sites (there's a link to a good one below). Another good idea is to find someone who talks English as a first language. Talk with them on MSN or Skype or something and just talk a lot. What can you do to improve your English, not How can you do............ To improve you must practice. The best practice is to talk, talk, talk, talk to as many native English speakers as you can. When you are learning a foreign language the greatest resource you have is the people who speak the language so make use of that resource and practice practice practice.
Asked in English Language, Grammar
Is it correct saying nice speaking to you After a conversation?
It is correct to say "Nice speaking to you" after a conversation. "Nice talking with you" is also okay, and perhaps slightly more idiomatic. The expression is short for "It was nice speaking to you", and this, in turn, comes from "Speaking to you was nice" by the grammatical process of extraposition, which substitutes "it" for a complicated sentence subject and moves the original subject to the end. That is to say, we begin with a subject "speaking to you" of the predicate "was nice", and moving the subject to the end gives "was nice speaking to you". Then, to fulfill the requirement in English that sentences must have subjects, the new subject "it" is supplied, giving "It was nice speaking to you", and finally, "it was" is omitted. The original subject "speaking to you" is a nominalization of the sentence "I speak to you". A more explicit form would be "my speaking to you", and that version makes it clearer that this construction is a 'possessive plus -ing' nominalization, which is standard and very frequent in English. To convert a sentence into a noun phrase, the subject of the sentence is made into a possessive (here "my") going with the noun form of the sentence's main verb (here, gerund "speaking" derived from "speak").
Asked in World War 2, English Language
What does kidding mean?
1. a. A young goat. b. The young of a similar animal, such as an antelope. 2. a. The flesh of a young goat. b. Leather made from the skin of a young goat; kidskin. c. An article made from this leather. 3. Informal a. A child. b. A young person. 4. Slang Pal. Used as a term of familiar address, especially for a young person: Hi, kid! What's up? it means like your kidding around...duh Have someone on, jest, fool about Kidding refers to something that has been said/done in a lighthearted manner. Kid, on the other hand has been explained already & the two words have totally different meanings...never the twain should meet.
Asked in English Language
What do you call a person with lots of hobbies?
A person with many interests and with resulting depth of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects is called a 'polymath'. The term 'hobby' simply describes something you do for pleasure on a regular basis when you aren't working at your normal job: something you enjoy doing but aren't being paid to do. Inevitably, a hobbyist learns a great deal about their hobby or hobbies in the process of devoting time to them. A hobby might involve anything from studying ancient Greek (provided you don't work professionally with that language and culture) to keeping pet mice (provided you don't breed mice for a living). If in your spare time you study ancient Greek, keep mice, compose crossword puzzles, and compete in triathalons, along the way necessarily learning a lot about all these things, then you are a polymath.
Asked in English Language, Example Sentences
Can someone give an example sentence using 'right the ship'?
In this context the verb 'right' means 'to set right', to restore to a correct, frequently upright, position. 'The vessel was listing to starboard; the crew needed to right the ship.' 'We were close to capsizing, but were able to right the ship in time.' Edit: This answer leaves out the fact that the expression is often used in a metaphorical sense. For example: "Todd's life had been a downward spiral of drug abuse, until he made a concerted effort to right the ship."
Asked in English Language, Word and Phrase Origins
What does the phrase safe harbor mean?
It means people won't mess with you in that specified location. In a legal sense, it refers to a situation where you are immune from liability. For example, if you withhold taxes from your paycheck equal to what you owed last year, then you are in a "safe harbor" from estimated tax penalties, even if you underpay.