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Issue #068 -- Week 23/08/15-29/08/15
September 01, 2015

Greetings and General Information

A warm welcome to our new subscribers! I wish you will find My English Club fun and instructive and I look forward to welcome you as a new valued member soon. Read, learn and communicate around the world!

Please feel free to contribute to these pages when you have a minute. They are meant to be a platform for exchanging ideas, stories and opinions - an ideal medium for practicing your English, which should be used to the full. Together, let's bring it alive, let's make it the welcoming community you wished for, when you joined. Use the Comments facility at the end of every page and start making friends worldwide.

You and your friends can always subscribe individually through the form on My English Club If anybody mentions to you that they are interested in receiving it, please tell them this, with thanks. Also, they can read the previous issues on Back Issues for English Corner E-zine. Of course, you can also unsubscribe at any point, by using the link at the end of any issue of the e-zine, should you wish.

Well, without further ado, let's start our other lessons today.

Month 13 - Lesson 52

The title above is meant to say that we have by now reached another anniversary - the week we represent in this issue is the last week of the academic year 2014-15. However, I came to realise that this method of classification only complicates things and perhaps it puzzles some of our readers and I intend to give it up.

We started studying three subjects back in September 2014: pronunciation and grammar for improving your communication skills, as well as website design and development, for those advanced students of ours who would like to apply their English to building a business online.

Once we covered the basics of pronunciation, we started a new course in reading, which we finished in March 2015. Following some requests at that time, we started a section on educational games, to add the fun into your learning. I do hope you like these.


Another first of September, another beginning of an academic year for us here at My English Club, and we suggest to commence another long term course, to replace the one in website design which we finished last week.

That course was for our advanced users of English – more, for those who actually are prepared to apply their knowledge of English in real life, by building a business online. This present course will appeal to everybody, from beginners to advanced speakers of English, more precisely to those of you who want to master the skill of writing in English.

Until I'll have the time to write my e-books from these courses, you can enjoy our past lessons for free, as follows:

Pronunciation Lessons

Reading Lessons

Grammar Lessons

Website Design Lessons

Weekly Games

Grammar ~ Comparison of Adverbs

Today we continue our lessons on comparison, by looking at how we need to deal with adverbs.

You can find our lesson on Comparison of Adverbs here. I hope you find it conclusive and, as always, useful to the brim.

Writing Skills ~ Introduction

This word “writing” has various connotations to different people: one can think of the writing a writer does as a profession, another can think of the writing section of an exam in English, whereas another one can think of the letters and words he’s just finished spraying on the wall somewhere, generating yet another graffiti in the world and finding himself creative as a result…

Dismissing the third example, we shall consider first of all the basic abilities of writing in English – the general craft one needs, before going on to the more specific craft one needs in order to use writing within the large spectrum of this art, whether it is writing poetry, prose, journalism, writing for television or radio and one can carry on enumerating. But that comes later – much later. Let’s start with the beginning.

Similar to our use of grammar (according to what it is that you wish to express, you may select certain words and you would use them in a certain way, not otherwise), we shall firstly consider the use of words in building our messages – from sentences to paragraphs, for us to learn what actually goes into the skill of writing.

Let us take the message of Sir Ernest Gowers, who wrote in his book “Plain Words”, first published in 1948 and which became the reference book “The Complete Plain Words” – a necessary companion for anybody who wants to learn how to say what needs to be said. At the end of his prologue in this book, he urged the reader to pause and think about writing:

“Let us therefore agree, before we go any further, that a reasonably good standard of writing is a mark not of preciosity but of good sense, not of prissiness but of efficiency; that such a standard can be attained by anyone with a little effort; that the effort will be worthwhile…; that it requires neither hairsplitting nor self-consciousness but merely a willingness to acquire good habits; and, finally, that a writer with good habits may be allowed to make an occasional slip, just as a good doctor or lawyer may occasionally give the wrong advice or a good cashier the wrong change, without incurring eternal damnation.”

This, put simply, wants to say that:
- Good writing is a sign of efficiency in using the words;
- Everybody who wants to do it, can;
- The effort it requires is simply about building good habits;
- That even with good habits, mistakes are sometimes acceptable.

If I leave you contemplate on this until next time and give you an exercise to do in the meanwhile, I would like to hear from you by then, please send your answer to the exercise at the end of this page: Writing Skills

Game of the Week ~ 'Make' or 'Do'

In this game you will only have to 'make' a decision every time a new expression comes up: does it require the verb 'make' or the verb 'do', in order for the expression to be correct. Have you ever wondered about the use of these to synonymous verbs?

Let's dig into the Make or Do game!

You will have to bet for the use of one of the two verbs, depending on your confidence in using them, once you get to see the expression for which you need these verbs. For example, do you 'make your bed' or 'do your bed'?

It goes like this to the end and you get to accumulate your points on the right side of your playing board:

… As you see, there isn't much philosophy to it… You only need to know the use of these two verbs.

If you don't, think of it this way: you use 'make' mostly in the case of making, or building something with your hands or by machine. You use 'do' mostly in cases when you do something more abstract, like doing homework or the housework.

So, that's it - simple. Your turn now, go ahead and play the

Make or Do game... Practise and have fun!

This is it for now, my friends!

I hope you find this information useful and not too confusing. Even though you're at the stage of building on it, have patience at this point in your learning and you'll be able to reap the fruit of your work later on, whichever aspect of our lessons you are concentrating on.

Please feel free to comment and suggest your ideas by replying to this email - I look forward to hearing from you. If you wish to chat either with me or with other members worldwide, go to My English Club .

Autumn dawns upon us again, school begins and hopefully you're ready for a new year of hard work. I wish you reach top achievements in all your endeavours once again. Share some with us when you have a minute.

All the best from me until next time,

Lucia da Vinci

Founder of My English Club

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