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Cafetalk Tutor's Column

Tutor Lady Ayame 's Column

I surpassed 3,000 students in 19 months!

Apr 18, 2019

Dear Cafetalk Community,
How are you doing? I'm doing well! The snow has melted and it's finally starting to look like spring in Canada! It's nice that the weather is warming up everywhere! I hope you're getting ready for a spectacular vacation during the "Golden Week" 10-day Holiday! --> However, don't forget to keep studying your English for too long.
I hear it's around 6 times as expensive to travel this year compared to previous "Golden Week" holidays! I hope you made your reservations early so you got a reasonable price for your vacation. I wish all of you a fantastic 10-day holiday!
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First, I wanted to let you know that I surpassed 3,000 students within 19 months! Hurray! I wanted to thank those of you who took my lessons during the past year and a half! I am truly grateful and pleased about the opportunity I have to meet you and talk to you in English. That includes both new and my repeat students! I am happy to teach English to little children, the elderly, and everyone in between!
It's wonderful to see that my students are so enthusiastic and eager to learn English. I truly think all of my students are dedicated, brilliant, devoted, and hard-working people. It's amazing to me how well most of you speak English!  In addition, the rapid rate at which my students are advancing and improving their English speaking skills are astonishing indeed!
It's always a pleasure to see you and I would love the opportunity to talk English with you again soon. Whether it's a "free-talk" conversation or a text-based worksheet for the lesson, I am flexible and I can accommodate your requests and preferences.  All students are welcome to my lessons!
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[Today's Topic:]
Today, I would like to touch upon the subject of "phrasal verbs."
[Formula:] --> [verb] + [preposition] or (sometimes adverbs) = "phrasal verb"
Phrasal verbs are important for many reasons. First, these are phrases that native speakers use to express themselves all the time. Sometimes they are considered to be idiomatic phrases including two or three words --> [verb] + [preposition]
1.) [Reason One:] 
The verb and the preposition are always used together. (I will post a photo of the "most common" [verb] + [preposition] --> [phrasal verbs] below.)
Due to the fact that the two words belong together, if you use them correctly, you will sound much more like a fluent English-speaker and you can be certain about your grammar. On the contrary, as you can imagine, if you use the wrong preposition with the verb in English, the listener is more likely to pick up on your mistake. The only thing you can do is to memorize them. If you can memorize the ones in the chart below, you will be way ahead of the game. (*I'm sorry there are no shortcuts or magic pill. Lol!).
2.) [Reason Two:] 
Most of my students are from Asian countries, as many of you already know. The most frequent and repetitive grammatical errors that I noticed are missing "articles" (a / the / an) and using the "wrong preposition."
I thought about this. . . and I arrived at an answer that is a big part of solving the problem. --> What if you memorize the phrasal verbs? (ie: two words together --> [verb] + [preposition]) Then, it stands to reason that you won't get the preposition wrong anymore as compared to when you tried to arrive at the correct preposition alone.
What I am proposing is that you learn and memorize the verbs along with the preposition, and in this way, you might not make as many mistakes as if you were to memorize the words separately.
So, when you have some free time, why not try learning the prepositions that go with the verb. It is automatic for native-speakers and we don't have to think about it, but for English as a second language student, I believe this method of memorization might be helpful!
Many people say that want to speak "natural" English or that they want to become more fluent. Well, learning to use the right combination of words like "verbal phrases" and "collocation" will help you sound more fluent.
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[Phrasal verbs:] Definition
Phrasal verbs. A phrasal verb is a verb that is made up of the main verb together with an adverb or a preposition or both. Typically, their meaning is not obvious from the meanings of the individual words themselves.
She has always looked down on me.
Feel free to hop in the car.
She dressed up for the concert. 
[Collocations:] Definition
"The definition of collocation refers to a group of words that often go together or that are likely to occur together. Two words that often go together, such as light sleeper or early riser are an example of collocation." (YourDictionary.com)
*[Note:] The primary difference between "phrasal verbs" and "collocations" is the fact that "collocations" are not composed of any consistent pattern using the various parts of speech. It could be any combination of two or sometimes three words.
For example, it would be unnatural to say "The coat I wear in the rain." A native-speaker would automatically say "raincoat." As another example, you wouldn't say "the room at the hotel." A fluent English-speaker would say my "hotel room." As another instance, you can say "big rain" or "heavy rain." They are both grammatically correct. However, a native speaker would never say "big rain."
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I hope you understand what I'm attempting to convey above. It would be a good way to build your vocabulary and speak grammatically correct English if you learn the words together. Please take a look at the chart below listing the most common [verb] + [preposition]. Thank you for reading my column. Have a wonderful start of the fiscal New Year and enjoy your vacation! hope to see you soon!
Warmest regards,
Lady Ayame
(Patricia Ayame Thomson)


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