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Tutor profile: Shannah H.

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Shannah H.
Rising Senior at Fordham University
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

TutorMe
Question:

How do I use the informal command form?

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Shannah H.
Answer:

There are actually 2 different ways to form tú commands, one way for positive commands and one for negative. POSITIVE TÚ COMMAND To form a positive command (which is what you use when you want someone to do something) all you have to do is go to the third person singular (el/ella), present form of the verb. You then add -a to the stem for -ar verbs and -e to the stem for -er & -ir verbs. (A stem is the letters that come before the conjugated ending of the verb.) Por ejemplo: If I wanted to say "(You) Use a pencil!" (Usar un lápiz), I would go to to the stem of the el/ella present form of usar and add an a-- usa. "Use a pencil" becomes "Usa un lápiz" There are of course some irregulars for this. I can send you a quizlet to help you memorize them. NEGATIVE TÚ COMMAND This is what you use when you DON'T want someone to do something. For this one, you go to the present tu form and use the opposite ending (If you know how to use subjunctive, this is the present subjunctive tu form) Por ejemplo: If I wanted to say "Don't use a pen" (No usar un bolígrafo) I would go to the tu form of usar (usas) and use the opposite ending (uses) "Don't use a pen" becomes "No uses un bolígrafo" Let's go through a couple examples to make sure you get it! Can you translate these into the informal command form? Listen to me! Don't do that! Sit there! Don't talk to me!

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between active and passive voice? How do I know if I'm using active voice in my writing?

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Shannah H.
Answer:

The difference between active and passive voice seems complicated, but it's actually easy once you know the tricks! Passive voices means that the subject is being acted on by the verb. This just means that we are using a form of the verb "to be" to talk about something. (To be conjugations= am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) -- For example, saying "I am tutored by Shannah." or "She is being tutored by Shannah." would be using the passive voice Active voice is when the subject does the action. So sentences in the active voice don't use "to be." -- Examples for the active voice are "Shannah tutors me." or "Shannah tutors her." (See how there's no use of am, is was, were, be, being or been in these sentences?) We're often taught that passive voice is evil, but it's really not, especially when used in moderation. However, many teachers favor the active voice because it makes your statements stronger and less wordy. An easy way to make sure you aren't overusing the passive voice is to hit cntrl F (or however you search for words on your computer) and search for each form of "to be." If you can switch around your sentence to get rid of the "to be" it's generally a good idea to do so.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

Say you had to write an essay on a dystopian novel and it's connection to today's world. Let's work on a thesis to get you started on your essay. One of my personal favorites is 1984 by George Orwell, so let's work with that novel for now.

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Shannah H.
Answer:

First, let's review what exactly a thesis is. A thesis disputable statement that highlights the argument of your essay in a clear and specific way. The goal of a thesis is to lay out the argument that you will spend the rest of the essay proving. --A good hack to ensure your thesis is disputable is to start it with the word "while." This allows you to create a counterargument that you can immediately shoot down with your points. In this case, let's say we want to connect the concept of monitoring in 1984 to social media today. --Together, we would comb through the novel to find connections between these two topics. It's standard to find 3 main points to support your argument, although this is not a set rule. (Writing your thesis is a great way to get started on an essay because it also allows you to set up an outline. While we're thinking about what we want our points to be we should take notes to expand on later in the essay. I have a general essay outline structure that I'd be happy to share!) I would then ask you to take a shot at the thesis on your own. After you show me what you've written, I would work with you to make sure your thesis is strong and sets you up for a successful essay!

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