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Tutor profile: Meryem M.

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Meryem M.
ESL/EFL/Business English/American Literature Coach for over 11 years
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Questions

Subject: Literature

TutorMe
Question:

What is the main symbol in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Minister's Black Veil" and how are we able to view the hypocrisy of the Puritan society through this symbol?

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Meryem M.
Answer:

The main symbol and the symbol on which the entire foundation of "The Minister's Black Veil" is built upon is the black veil itself. It is an obvious symbol as the story focuses on it from beginning to end. It is a symbol through which we can view the hypocrisy of the Puritan town of Milford because we see that they focus specifically on gossiping and speculating on what type of sin Minister Hooper has committed so as to "force" him to wear the black veil rather than turning inwards and questioning the sincerity of their own souls. From beginning to end, the members of Minister Hooper's congregation miss the fact that the veil is in fact a symbol of the sinfulness of all human beings; that they too are metaphorical wearing black veils (personas, as we would call them in modern times).

Subject: English as a Second Language

TutorMe
Question:

What is the most difficult part of learning English as a Second Language and how can you overcome this difficulty?

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Meryem M.
Answer:

For many people, the most difficult part of English as a Second Language is they myriad of phrasal verbs and idioms most native English speakers use on a daily basis. The difficulty with phrasal verbs and idioms is that their meaning has no connection whatsoever to the words they are made up of. However, there is a method to overcoming the madness. The easiest and most effective way to learn but also to remember the phrasal verbs and idioms you've learned is to follow a four-step plan. For 30 days (one month), you will do the following: Firstly, pick up a new phrasal verb/idiom each day. Then, check its meaning online and make sure to write it down on paper or in a spreadsheet. After that, write a sentence that is personal to you using the phrasal verb/idiom. Lastly, as you go through the days, write a new sentence for all the phrasal verbs you've learned in the previous days. By the end of this process, you'll have learned 30 new phrasal verbs/idioms and will be able to remember them because you've gone through the process of using them in sentences each day!

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Why is this sentence incorrect? The bus driver, along with the cab drivers, are expected to arrive shortly.

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Meryem M.
Answer:

When we look at subject-verb agreement, one of the most difficult aspects is knowing whether to use a plural or singular verb when there are multiple "characters" in the sentence. The correct sentence would be: The bus driver, along with the cab drivers, IS expected to arrive shortly. The key here is to always locate your subject. In this sentence, our subject is the bus driver (singular) and therefore we need a singular verb (is). Sometimes the subject is separated from the verb by such words as along with, as well as, besides, not, etc. These words and phrases are not part of the subject. Ignore them and use a singular verb when the subject is singular.

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