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Tutor profile: Emily L.

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Emily L.
Tutor for 5+ years, pursuing a degree in English secondary education
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between the preterite and imperfect past tenses in Spanish?

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Emily L.
Answer:

This can be a difficult concept to grasp for native English speakers because English only has one past tense. However, the difference is essential for clear communication in Spanish. Preterite: The preterite tense is used for completed actions in the past. It can be used for actions that occurred at a specific time and place. They have specific beginnings and endings. ejemplo: Ayer, la mujer corrió a la biblioteca. This example works because the woman ran at a specific time (ayer) to a specific place (la biblioteca). It was an action that occurred once and has a beginning and an end. Look for these words when deciding if a verb should be in the preterite tense: anoche, ayer, la semana pasada, una vez Imperfect: The imperfect tense is used for habitual actions and for creating the context before telling a story. For example, it is used to describe the time, the weather, and the characteristics of things in the past. When it is used to describe actions, these actions do not have a specific beginning and ending. ejemplo: Cuando tenía quince años, era muy simpática. This example works because it is describing past characteristics of a person rather than specific completed actions.

Subject: Writing

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Question:

What are some of the important literary devices to consider when writing a piece of fiction/poetry?

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Emily L.
Answer:

Literary devices are elements of a piece of writing which help communicate the author's message to the readers. These elements can be structural, grammatical, or linguistic, amongst other categories. Note: Use these elements in your own writing with a purpose in mind. If you aren't sure what sort of effect a literary device will have on your writing, try reading other literary works that use that device. Evaluate what effects you observe and determine whether that is relevant in the context of your story. Three important literary devices: - Anaphora: The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of consecutive lines. example: In the night/In the night I ran away/In the night I found my way Anaphora often is used in conjunction with repetition or alliteration to emphasize a certain idea or to make a piece more musical - Foreshadowing: The writer provides some insight into a future event. example: At the beginning of a chapter, a penny falls down the drain. A few chapters later, the protagonist drops his wallet into the ocean. Foreshadowing is often used to prepare readers for what is to come. When employed well, it can create a suspenseful mood. - Synesthesia: Descriptions which employ more than one sense (smell, sight etc.) example: The vibrant indigo music danced to the piano's keys. Synesthesia can add significant depth to an image. It can offer many creative options for describing an abstract concept.

Subject: English

TutorMe
Question:

What is the correct way to use a semicolon?

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Emily L.
Answer:

This is one of the trickiest punctuation-related concepts to grasp. It's a struggle that many professional adults and high school students share. In simple terms: A semicolon goes in between two phrases that could stand as sentences on their own. ex. Walter bought the cow. He loved her like a daughter. Walter bought the cow; he loved her like a daughter. In more technical terms: A semicolon connects two independent clauses. These clauses must have similar themes/ideas that clearly give them a reason to be connected in one sentence. So why would we use a semicolon if we can just write two sentences? There are several reasons why you might choose to use this punctuation. First of all, one of the signs of elevated writing skills is differentiating sentence length and style. Using a semicolon can help you achieve this level of mastery, giving you the freedom to extend the length of a sentence as is fitting for your paragraph. In addition, there are some situations where a semicolon makes more sense than a period. For instance, when two sentences have ideas that tightly connected, it is often more fitting to use a semicolon rather than have choppy or repetitive consecutive sentences.

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