Pearson Adult Learning Centre HomePearson Adult Learning Centre: English Skills 3B-C (Notes for 2003)




January through May, 2003

Find the notes for previous classes below:

Confusing Word Pairs Part 2


To lead well, you must be a smart and intelligent person. The student begins with the verb used as in the subject form. We know this from "Swim," "to swim" and "swimming" Swimming is lots of fun. To swim is good for my health.

Afghanistan's situation is now better because a good person leads the Afghan people.To use a verb in the present tense is to say a fact. "I brush my teeth every day."

He led them on the way home and they parted after. The verb "led" is used for something that already happened in the past.


I am going to lose my mind because I am getting old, so I am very sad. The student uses "so" to make the sentence longer. Also the verb infinitive "to lose" follows the "am going."

In the summer, I like to wear a loose cotton blouse.

Be careful not to mix "loose" with "lose." This student is very comfortable in the summer because she chooses good clothing for heat and for mosquitoes.


I passed the school bus when I went to high school.

I remember fondly many good things from my past life.


The weather in March was awful, but the weather in late April and early May has been wonderful.

I can't decide whether I am going to drink too much wine at the party. The student does not know if she will drink too much or not. Later, we will ask her.


Whose red bag is that sitting on the table beside the lady in the blue shirt?

Who's the best student in the 3B-C class at writing good sentences for the teacher?



Confusing Word Pairs (April 11, 2003)

Here are some confusing pairs of words. Can you write a good sentence for each one? Write one sentence (10 words) for each word in the pair. We will correct and share sentences after a few minutes practice.


When my teacher L catches a cold and is very sick, he lies down on his bed. This means that L reclines on his bed and hopes to feel better soon!

Many Canadians (and Americans) say I "lay" down on my bed when they are speaking. In the dictionary, however, "lay" means to put down and "lie" means to recline.

I lay my pen down on the table in front of the student wearing the pink sweater.Here, "lay" is used correctly meaning to "put down."


He has less stress than I have because he has more money. "Less" is for uncountable things like "trouble" or "stress" or "money" or "business."

Roland receives fewer presents at Christmas than your brother. Anything that is "fewer" can be counted.

People can be fewer and so can cars on the road at midnight or houses on the street. We hope to have fewer days of rain in July (maybe not, knowing Vancouver weather!).


Many people emigrate from China every year and come to Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. "Emigrate" means to leave from a country in order to live in another one.

Many people immigrate to Canada every year from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Ukraine, Russia, Iran and so on. "Immigrate is what a person who arrives in a new country does. Thus, we call these people "immigrants."


This work is a good example for us to practice our English. "Good is an adjective to modify the noun "example."

L didn't feel well when he had a bad head cold. "Well" refers to our health in this sentence.

He plays volleyball very well on Wednesday nights at the Community Centre. Here, "well" is an adverb to refer to how the person is playing volleyball.


Every time I trim my dog's hair I think its hair grows fast. In this sentence "its" is a possessive pronoun referring to the dog. For animals we use "it" and not "he" or "she."

It's time to go home now and see our families and have something good to eat. In this sentence "it's" means "it is" and so is a contraction.




SARS Information (April 4, 2003)

This week, we will be discussing the worldwide outbreak of the atypical pneumonia, SARS. In the class we will learn the most up-to-date facts and find out where to get more information to keep ourselves informed.

Did you know that up to 2.5% of flu (influenza) victims die? For SARS, about 3 to 4% of victims die, but it is still very serious and a worry for many people. Some of the victims were younger people in their 40's, for example.

To find out the latest information, try this Google News Link.

The Latest News about SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)

World Health Organization Frequently Asked Questions on SARS


FANBOYS (February 21, 2003)

This week, we will be discussing FANBOYS, or, in other words, the English conjunctions, For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. Review the sentences and teacher comments below.

For (because)

*We are waiting for him to finish his homework. ("for" is used as preposition correctly; however, it is not used as a conjunction)

Mr. Bean is a very funny man, for he makes many people laugh.

John went to school, for he wanted to learn computer skills.

When you use a conjunction (FANBOYS) to join two sentences, remember to use a comma ( , ) before your conjunction.


She is very beautiful, and she often helps others to choose clothes. [you could end with "helps other people"]

The ideas in the two sentences are not too close and so it is a bit difficult to understand why they are joined.

I went shopping, and I bought many things.

This is a good, equal balanced sentence to show the use of "and" as conjunction.


He can't do it, nor can I.

This is correct to show the use of "nor" and also that following "nor" the question order is used. Many students know the "neither nor" as in "Neither I nor my sister like coffee."


I like ice cream, but you don't like it.

I want to buy a new car, but I need to raise more money.

Students are comfortable with "but" and, usually, use it correctly. Note that the second sentence might be better with "so" rather than "but."


Sometimes I visit my friend, or she visits me.

Use "or" to show a choice between two things. This sentences shows us how.


I like golf, yet I can't play well.

In this case, "yet" is used much the same as "but." If you have used "but" too often, then use "yet" sometimes, too.


I speak English poorly, so I have to continue studying.

"So" is very comfortable for the students. Remember, "so" is normally used as in our example and not as the first word in a sentence.


What does a good listener do to listen well? (February 7, 2003)

A good listener tries to be interested in the topic.

A good listener tries to be positive about any topic.

A good listener practices talking on the telephone.

A good listener must concentrate with his spirit.

A good listener should make eye contact with the speaker. Looking at the speaker helps you to concentrate on the lesson.

A good listener who has a question will make a note to remember and ask the teacher later.

A good listener will follow the school's rules. Cell phones should be mostly turned off.

A good listener sometimes puts the information together in his or her brain and listens more carefully to new information and always knows if the information is known already.

A good listener writes a quick summary on a paper immediately after the lesson or lecture is over.

A good listener anticipates the next topic before the teacher begins.

What does a bad listener do to listen poorly?

A bad listener decides he or she does not like the topic OR the speaker. This leads to poor listening.

A bad listener uses the home language at the same time as a speaker is using a different language. This impedes listening.

A bad listener decides quickly that the speaker is not interesting.

A bad listener talks while the speaker is speaking or interrupts.

A bad listener closes the mind quickly before he or she is sure the information is useful or not.