Tag Archives: English language


27 Aug


She is at it again!.

Jamaica continues to grapple with low literacy rate, one visionary administrator  continues to use Facebook as a medium to help  others improve their use of English skills.  It started long ago and it has become the most sought after staple by the friends, acquaintances, followers, peeping toms (reads: inquisitive persons) on her Facebook page.  The English Language is not easy but with constant practice one can certainly achieve mastery of same.  Alcia Morgan-Bromfield has made it quite simple below:

Basic English 101 (AMB Lecture Series)
“I am often embarrassed to hear these words misused especially by persons who should know better” was the far from lengthy preamble she used to commence her class.  The brevity of it is an indication that there is not much to introduce; let’s get down to business.

The Lesson

  1. Presently – soon to happen. Eg: Presently, I will leave for home.

2). At present – happening now. Eg: At present, I am at the nail technician.

3). Lie – to recline or set one’s self down Eg: I am going to lie for a while.

4). Past tense lay; past participle lain

5). Lay – to set something down Eg: Lay the basket on the table.
Past tense laid; past participle laid.

6).Ordinal numbers tell position eg first, second, third etc so we ought to say The 1st of August NOT August 1st

7). Cardinal numbers tell how many as in 15 cows; 10 dogs etc so we ought to say August 1 NOT August 1st

8). Data: plural of datum. Media plural of medium. Bacteria plural of bacterium. Use these nouns with plurals verbs. Eg: These data are valuable to the research. Social media are sometimes misused. Bacteria are both helpful and harmful.

9). Indiscipline: noun – There was an embarrassing display of indiscipline by the young lady.

10). Undisciplined (adj) She is a rather undisciplined person (note NOT indisciplined)

11). Gear ( paraphernalia associated with sports). THERE IS NO “S” ON THIS WORD no matter how many pieces of gear there are.

It does not get simpler than this.

Was this helpful? Please feel free to stop by and comment and let us know



16 Dec

The literary class on facebook has taken off. Literally!

Participants had hardly consumed and digested the intellectually edifying lesson on Prefix, Suffix or compound words, that was so aptly taught by the effervescent Alcia Morgan-Bromfield, before they were face to face with another.

Marlene Gilling was at it again. This time around she needed clarity on the issue of whether it is okay to start a sentence with “Because” or “And”. Can’t say I was surprised because she did warn us it was coming. This is becoming a habit. A very good habit. Who the heck is complaining anyway? There is a popular saying that “where freeness is bliss, it is folly to resist”. We all dug in when Marlene took to facebook and wrote:

“Rosie has been avoiding me all day. Because I told her that what she did to Ray was wrong she has decided not to speak to me. And if she is upset about the truth I’m not apologizing. CeeBarbs plz get the team on board. I need help. The because and the and have me”

The discussion did not get too far before the expert came and set the record straight. Alcia Morgan-Bromfield responded:

“Sentences can be categorized in two main ways: by their function and by their structure. Marlene, your query is concerned with the structure so I will focus on that. Sentences by structure are classified as simple, compound, complex or compound-complex. To help determine the structure of a sentence, one must examine its formation.
One main clause ( simple sentence)
Two simple clauses joined by a coordinating or correlating conjunction ( compound sentence)
Two simple clauses joined by a subordinating conjunction (complex sentence)
Two or more clauses joined by both subordinating and coordinating conjunctions (compound-complex)

Both “because” and “and” fall in the class of conjunctions. Their main function is to join clauses or phrases. “Because” is a subordinating conjunction whereas “and” is a coordinating conjunction. Remember, subordinating conjunctions are used in complex sentences which comprise an independent or main clause and a subordinating or dependent clause. Eg:
“Because I told her that what she did to Ray was wrong (subordinating clause), she has decided not to speak to me (main clause).

If you divide the sentence into two clauses this is what you would get:
(1) Because I told her that what she did to Ray was wrong (subordinating or dependent clause)
(2) She has decided not to speak to me. (independent or main clause)
If the subordinating clause were left on its own, there would have been questions to answer; the thought would not have been complete; hence the reason it needs to be joined to a main clause.

THE POSITION OF THE DEPENDENT CLAUSE IS NOT IMPORTANT as long as it is followed or preceded by a main clause so the sentence could have been written as the foll:
She has decided not to speak to me, because I told her that what she did to Ray was wrong.
On the other hand, the conjunction “and” joins two simple sentences or two main clauses to form a compound sentence.
I am going to wash the dishes and Cee is going to wash the car.
I am going to wash the dishes. (main or independent clause)
Cee is going to wash the car. (main or independent clause)
Both ideas are complete; there are no questions left unanswered.
In creative writing and speech however, it is a convention of both format that the author’s or character’s stream of consciousness can be shown using any class of word in an unconventional way. Writers and speakers will get away with that as there is the understanding between writer/speaker and audience) that this is permissible and accepted.

AS FAR AS I KNOW, it is not permissible to use a coordinating or correlating conjunction (eg either/or) to function as a subordination conjunction in academic or formal writing as in the example cited in the post “And if she is upset about the truth I’m not apologizing”.
Again, I hope this helps. Please enlighten me if your readings/research show you otherwise.”

It does not get better than this. You agree, right? What I have come to admire and appreciate about the lecturer of these lessons, is her open approach to the subject of discussion. Despite her wealth of knowledge, she does not take it for granted that she is always right. This great show of humility captured in the last line of her response.
By the way, she mentioned in the second lesson that she would charge for the next, BUT…. let’s see how the remuneration package pans out.

Do you have a challenge with the use of ‘Because” and “And”? Share your experience. Even if you’ve never had a challenge with the use of the words, you are welcomed to share your thoughts.


12 Jul

Respect to all teachers.

I sat at the computer, fingers accurately  massaging the keys on the keyboard as I carefully navigated the world wide web.  “I have to find back this article” I whispered aloud as I frustratedly shook my feet. My eyes searched agitatedly. I hissed my teeth. I could feel the frustrating spreading slowly to the rest of my body…. then the content of the screen changed.  “what the hell just happened?”  I asked as if talking to someone.   I notice I was looking at a title that said “Quote about teachers”. I paused…. my finger must have clicked something accidentally that took me to this page. Cant say I’ sorry because…

I AM SUCKER FOR QUOTES. GOOD QUOTES.  I cant believe I just said that but there is no point denying what I am.  I must learn a new one everyday. All that said, let me get back to the matter at hand.   As I read,  I thought some of these quotes were excellent and thought they were worth sharing with you my readers.

Here goes:

“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”

“There are two kinds of teachers: the kind that fill you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.”
Robert Frost

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
William Arthur Ward

“The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave
anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the
genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language.
Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a
ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in “Lonesome Dove” and had
nightmares about slavery in “Beloved” and walked the streets of Dublin in
“Ulysses” and made up a hundred stories in the Arabian nights and saw my
mother killed by a baseball in “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” I’ve been in ten
thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers
in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous
English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and
women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me
when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English
language. ”
Pat Conroy

“The real heroes are the librarians and teachers who at no small risk to themselves refuse to lie down and play dead for censors.”
Bruce Coville

“The older I got, the smarter my teachers became.”
Ally Carter, Out of Sight, Out of Time

This is  a perfect opportunity for you my readers to tap into your creative section of your cranium create your own quotations about teachers.   Share. Let us see what we can come up with. Or if you have a quote about teachers that has been written by someone else and you would like to share, you are also welcomed to do some.

* quotes taken from  http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/teachers