Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
The UK parliament has its own YouTube channel. Perhaps of most interest to advanced learners is this series of short educational videos. These are, I imagine, aimed at young people in Britain, but they have subtitles and are quite light-hearted, so could be also be used by learners as the source of some vocabulary related to government and politics etc.
There are a small number of verbs made from adjectives (or occasionally nouns based on adjectives) with -en added, meaning to make something more of that quality the adjective describes.
These verbs fall into certain categories:
- Dimensions and shape - lengthen, shorten, straighten etc
- Light and colour - brighten, darken, whiten etc
- Density and composition - harden, soften, thicken etc
- Others - freshen, ripen, sweeten etc
These are ergative verbs, which means they can be transitive or intransitive, and where the object of the transitive verb becomes the subject of the intransitive verb.
- The hot summer ripened the fruit earlier than usual.
- The fruit ripened in the sun.
For more on ergative verbs see my post - Ergative verbs? What on earth are they?
Here are three short exercises based on -en verbs