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Michael C.
Language tutor for 6 years
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TOEFL
TutorMe
Question:

(1) _______ going to sit in (2)______ new chair over (3) ______. (1) (A) Their (B) They're (C) There (2) (A) Their (B) They're (C) There (3) (A) Their (B) They're (C) There

Michael C.
Answer:

(1) (B) They're They're = They are. (2) (A) Their "Their" is a possessive pronoun meaning that it belongs to them. (3) (C) There "There" indicates where something is. The word "over" is a common context clue for the usage of this word.

Spanish
TutorMe
Question:

How and why is the verb "gustar" different from "to like"?

Michael C.
Answer:

We all want to tell others how we feel and our likes and dislikes are an essential step in that process. So it's important that we really understand what we are saying in Spanish when we try to express our likes and dislikes using the verb "gustar." In English we may say: I like the beach. However in Spanish that is: Me gusta la playa. If you're familiar with Spanish verb conjugations you may realize that this doesn't quite line up with that whole "I"/"yo side of things. You may be tempted to say "me gusto la playa." But let's look at how this verb works. In Spanish, the idea of "like" being placed on or done to something doesn't really exist. Instead, the action goes in the opposite direction. It is the object that pleases the subject. So, for example, the direct translation here is: The beach pleases me. "La playa me gusta." And that is why we see that the verb conjugation changes depending on the subject. For example: Me gusta la playa. (I like the beach/The beach pleases me) Me gustan las manzanas. (I like apples/ Apples please me) The reflexive pronoun will thus change depending on the object in English, but the subject in Spanish) For example: Me gusta la playa. ( I like the beach/The beach pleases me) Te gusta la playa. (You like the beach/The beach pleases you) Nos gustan las manzanas. (We like apples/Apples please us) Les gusta el gato. (They like the cat/The cat pleases them) So from now on try to see use gustar to describe your "liking" more as "pleasing" and you will more accurately and easily describe your feelings in Spanish! PS - Bonus question: So if all of this is true, how would you say "I like you"? :)

English as a Second Language
TutorMe
Question:

When we see an ED appear on the end of past tense verbs or past participles and some adjectives, how do we know how to pronounce it?

Michael C.
Answer:

It's similar to a math formula, but using your ears. So that means first you have to learn the rules, next you have to listen, and then you have to practice...and practice...and practice! The first rule is simple: if the last letter of the verb (before the ED) ends in a T or D, the ED sounds like /id/ and we use our voice to make that sound. (ie - needed, halted) So we just have to memorize that. For the next two we have to listen: If the last letter of the verb (before the ED) is voiceless, (which means we don't use our voice, but instead only our mouth to make that sound) then the ED sounds like /t/. (ie - talked, jumped, fluffed) If the last letter of the verb (before the ED) is voiced, (which means we use must use our vocal cords to pronounce it) then the ED sounds like /d/. (ie - slammed, changed, loved) With some studying to learn the formula, some listening to get the hang of it, and plenty of practice, you can master the ED sound!

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