Verbs-Sounds of the ED Ending in American English

I will never forget a conversation I had with a young couple from Brazil 18 years ago. They had both passed the TOEFL test and the graduate exam GRE. They were waiting to start their first semester and had been in my city for about a month. Our first meeting, they told me-“Matt we don’t need grammar or vocabulary. Our English for studying is good. Our problem is that we don’t understand Americans when they are talking fast.

One part of that problem is the sounds the ED ending make for the past tense of verbs. The ED ending can make three different sounds, a T sound, what I call a lazy D sound, and an extra syllable ID sound. So here is a list I give to my students in my evening class. There is a video at the end that you can watch to help you practice.

Sounds of the ED ending

Verbs that end with ce, ch, f, gh, k, p, s, sh, and x make a T sound with the ED ending.

Placed                Sliced

Watched          Switched

Stuffed              Bluffed

Coughed           Laughed

Talked               Worked

Stopped            Clapped

Kissed              Guessed

Washed            Pushed

Fixed                 Boxed

Verbs that end with b, g, ge, l, m, n, r, ve, w, y, and z make a lazy d sound.

Rubbed          Grabbed

Hugged          Bagged

Judged           Enraged

Pulled            Enrolled

Hummed      Steamed

Burned         Listened

Cheered       Roared

Loved           Saved

Bowed          Sewed

Played          Enjoyed

Buzzed        Blazed

Only words that have a final sound of t or d have the extra ID sound for the ED ending.

Wanted       Greeted

Hated          Debated

Needed       Weeded

Decided      Coded

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More on non-count nouns- nouns that can be either count or noun count?

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Say What??? Some nouns can be count or non-count? Crazy English or can something help me to not feel confused?

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Perhaps I can help clear up some of the confusion. Yes there are nouns that can be count or non-count, but it is because they refer to something different. Examples:

Chicken can be count or non-count. If chicken refers to what you buy at the store and is cut up, then chicken is non-count such as- Matt bought some chicken to cook for his students. (My students would be scared by the idea of me cooking for them) 🙂

Chicken is a count noun when it refers to living birds such as- My neighbors have four chickens but they don’t share eggs with me.

Hamburger is non-count when it refers to the meat you buy at the store such as- Matt bought some hamburger to cook meatloaf for his students, (My students need not worry, I won’t try to cook for you)  🙂

Hamburger is count when it refers to what you buy at a restaurant or make and eat at home such as- Bill ate ten McDonald’s hamburgers yesterday, (Oh oh cholesterol will go up).

So when trying to decide if the noun is count or non-count look to what it refers to. If you have a question about a specific noun, leave a comment here or for those of you who follow me on facebook leave it there with this post.

 

Non-Count Nouns correct use and Americans talking

I used to teach nouns in a class I taught some years ago. Part of teaching nouns is to teach about singular nouns, plural nouns, and something we have in English called non-count nouns.

The non-count nouns can make English learners feel a bit confused.

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So today I want to try to clear up some confusion and as always if you have a question or comment, please leave a comment.

Many non-count nouns are names of categories and the items in the category are count nouns.

Examples:

Jewelry is the name of the category and is non-count, but the items in the category are count such as ring, bracelet, and earring.

Some jewelry, a lot jewelry, a little jewelry are correct but a jewelry is incorrect.

BUT

a ring, two rings, a bracelets, five bracelets are all correct.

Anything that has water is non-count such as coffee, tea, milk, hot chocolate, soup. We can say a bowl of soup, a cup of coffee, a bottle of water but the count noun is bowl, cup, bottle.

I can write two cups of coffee and the plural noun is the word cups not water.

Some confusion can come from being around an American and listening to them speak in everyday situations such as going to a coffee shop. I do it myself.

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I go into a coffee shop and speak with the American working there and correct grammar goes out the window. So I made a quick little video for you to talk about it. You can see it by clicking on the video below. I will add more about non-count nouns this week. As ALWAYS, if you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment.

Thank you for checking out my blog today. If you want to follow my blog, you can click on the follow button on the side if you are on a computer and at the bottom if you are on a tablet or smart phone and then you will receive email updates when I post a new lesson.

Here is the video 🙂

Using the Verb Look

Last week I wrote about the verb see and ways we use it in American English in some phrases. Today we will talk about the verb LOOK.

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Comparing see and look as main verbs, the main difference is that see is a non-action verb meaning we do not use see in the progressive or continuous verb tenses while look is an action verb and can be used in progressive or continuous tenses. Also see is an automatic response- we see because our eyes are open. Look is intentional what we choose to see.

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Examples:

We see the stars at night on a clear night.

I am looking at some cars trying to decide what to buy.

We also use LOOK in some phrasal verbs.

Look into means to investigate. A manager at a store might say I will look into this myself to reassure a customer they will take care of something.

Look out means to be careful. Look out for Matt’s cooking you might get sick.

Look over means to examine carefully. Look over the test before you hand it in.

Look up means to to get information. She looked it up in the dictionary.

Look for means to search for something. I am looking for my keys, do you know where they are?

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So what are you looking for help with English? Let me know. You can let me know by leaving a comment.

 

Using Words to Describe Nouns-Mechanic, Mechanical, Electric, Electrical

I had a request to explain the difference in using words like mechanic/mechanical, electric, electrical when using them to modify or describe nouns.

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So here goes. We can use nouns to describe other nouns such the noun book to let us know what kind of store it is- book store. Or perhaps a popular one for some of my women friends shoe to let us know what kind of store- shoe store.

One thing to remember is if we use a noun for a person like doctor to describe another noun than we would use the possessive form with ‘s or s’- example Doctor’s office.

Other examples- Matt’s blog, Bill’s car.

One note- if traveling in the U.S. you might see something like Mens Room without the apostrophe ‘ but that is more of an issue of sign making than correct grammar.

But if we look at the difference between mechanic/mechanical versus electric/electrical there is subtle difference.

Mechanic refers to a person, so if we want to modify a word like engineer which is a person or engineering which is a subject, we wouldn’t use mechanic. We would use the adjective mechanical to describe a person such as mechanical engineer for a person and mechanical for a thing such as engineering for the field of study or work. We could say Mechanic’s work area meaning that area belonged to the mechanic.

In contrast, electric is an adjective as is electrical so sometimes we can use either such as electric engineer or electrical engineer. Normally we use only electric to refer to a machine or device that runs on electricity- electric toothbrush, electric guitar.

Hope this helps. I plan to respond to questions. If you have any questions you can click on Leave A Comment under the title of this post.

Different Uses of SEE

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Looking at this picture what do we see? I see something that could make me feel dizzy. lol

Seriously speaking though, the verb see can have more meanings than to see with our eyes.

See is a non-action verb meaning for correct use we should not use see in a progressive/continuous verb tense. When see means to see with our eyes, it is non-action, so we should say- I see some birds in the tree not I am seeing some birds.

See differs in use than the words look and watch. See is an automatic response- my eyes are open so I see things. Look involves intentional use- She is looking at the painting. Look is also used in phrasal verbs but that is for another day. Watch is not only looking at something but involves other senses such as watching TV or watching a movie. Watch is can also mean to take care of such as watch the children.

But when see has other meanings, it is an action verb.

I am seeing a doctor. This meaning is I have an appointment with a doctor. I am seeing my family means I have a meeting with my family.

If someone says, I am seeing someone, it means they have a relationship with the person.

If someone says, oh I see, it means they understand.

If someone says, we see eye to eye, it means they agree. Don’t see eye to eye means do not agree.

 

The Mighty Little Word-Get

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Several years ago a student of mine from Bosnia shared the advice her sister gave her about English. Her sister had come to America two years before she did. They had both studied English when Bosnia was part of what was once Yugoslavia. My student’s sister told her, “If you don’t know what verb to use, just say-GET- because Americans use GET more than any other verb.

GET can have different meanings and uses.

What did you get for your birthday? In this sentence GET means receive.

Uncle Matt what did you get me for my birthday? In this sentence GET means buy to give.

When I was a child and the doorbell would ring, I would yell, “I’ll get it” meaning I will do the action of answering the door.

A shorter person might ask a taller person-“Can you get that for me?” meaning can you reach up there and bring that down for me.

A wife might ask her husband to get some milk on your way home. In this sentence GET stop quickly to buy some milk to bring home not shopping for other things.

If someone says- Oh, I get it- then GET with it means I understand.

We also use GET many phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs are a combination of a verb with a preposition that have its own special meaning and sometimes various meanings depending on tone of voice or context.

Get out can mean to leave or exit. It can also mean I don’t believe or amazing.

Get along means to have a good relationship with someone or how a person’s situation is.

Get here means to come here. I never wanted to hear my father say, “Matt get here right now.” when I was a child.

There are many other phrasal verbs using GET. If you have a question about GET please let me know.

Happy Learning my friends.

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