Modal verbs – shall/should

The modal pair shall/should seem like they should be the easiest modal verbs to learn, so why aren’t they? Unlike most modal verbs, there are some regional and dialectical differences between shall and should. Let’s look at their uses and differences below: Order/command/prophecy You can use the word shall for orders, commands and prophecy when…

A Review of Conditionals and Conditional Sentences

Conditionals sentences are an integral part of the English language. They are used every day in many situations; from the bank to driving to giving directions, they can be found just about anywhere. Let’s go through a review of conditional sentences. Basics of Conditional Sentences While conditional sentences come in many forms, shapes and sizes,…

Hedging

Time to get out the trimmers! No, not that kind of hedging!! Hedging is an important tool that all writers should have in their arsenal, especially when writing in an academic or scientific context. But what is hedging? Hedging is a writing style used to make the meaning of a sentence less absolute. For example:…

A New Series of Posts

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have recently started teaching English at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, where my focus is on teaching Scientific English (along with General English) for Natural Sciences. I have been enjoying this quite a lot, but as I have been busy, my blog has fallen by the wayside. In an…

Great Vowel Shift

Have you ever wondered why English pronunciation is so difficult? Why are words written one way but pronounced in another? In addition to English’s bastard origins, there was a great event over a couple of centuries of extreme linguistic and phonological importance called the Great Vowel Shift. Questions, questions? So what is this Great Vowel…

Puns – Watt is Love? Baby don’t Hertz me, don’t Hertz me, no Morse

A pun is a joke that exploits the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings. Puns are rife in languages that have words called homophones, or multiple words that have the same or similar pronunciation but have different meanings. English is rife with…

Blog Premise

Welcome Hello everyone! My name is Jamie and I have decided to start a blog that documents some happenings in my life as I move from my student life to a more professional one (but still fun, I hope!). “WHO IS THIS GUY? WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?,” I hear someone yell from the back…