Learn English Locally,
Apply It Worldwide!
Enjoy Regular Practice
Why do linguists always find some complicated names for certain circumstances? Syntactic ambiguity is what happens when there are two or more possible meanings within a single sentence or sequence of words. This is also called grammatical ambiguity, but unless you're studying linguistics for a profession you don't need to worry about these names.
All you need to remember is that the intended meaning of your ambiguous sentence can often be determined by context. Not always, mind you, but reading regularly will help you gain dexterity with this matter.
Can you think of more than one interpretation for the following statements?
• The professor said on Monday he would give an exam.
• The chicken is ready to eat.
• The burglar threatened the student with the knife.
• Visiting relatives can be boring.
• "This morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got in my pyjamas I don't know." (Groucho Marx)
• "A lady with a clipboard stopped me in the street the other day. She said, 'Can you spare a few minutes for cancer research?' I said, 'All right, but we're not going to get much done.'" (English comedian Jimmy Carr)
• “Planes can go around the world, iPhones can do a zillion things, but humans have not invented a machine that can debone* a cow or a chicken as efficiently as a human being,' says Alan Alanis, a JPMorgan Chase (JPM) analyst."
Did you find them funny? Joke fabric, although the last one can pass as a macabre one. OK, let me help you with this one: what it really wants to say is 'a machine that can debone a cow or a chicken as efficiently as a human being can (debone them). If you don't mention the human being can do the action, you virtually include the human being in the group of creatures that can be deboned. In this context it is implied that a human being would be deboned even more efficiently than a cow or a chicken.
* to debone = to take the meat off the bones; to get the bones out of a creature's body, in preparation for cooking it.
Packed with knowledge, published on Tuesdays.
Get yours here!
Here we shall build some lessons to help you improve your writing skills.
Lots of lessons: cause & effect, comparisons, linking signals, relative clauses, presenting information, expressing emotions and grammar games, of course. We had more lessons on: intensifying adverbs and phrasal verbs, expressing various concepts such as addition, exception, restriction and ambiguity. Lately we started some exercises: likes/dislikes, frequency adverbs (twice), verb tenses, etc.
Learn how to build a website, by using the SBI! system - start from the basics, developing a site concept and a niche, supply and demand, learn about profitability and monetization, payment processing, register domain, website structure and content as a pyramid. Also learn about the tools I'm using to build this website. We also covered how to build traffic, working with search engines, building a good system of inbound links, using social marketing and blogs with the SBI system, how to use Socialize It and Form Build It, how to publish an e-zine and how to build a social network in your niche.
We looked at a few games by now: Countable & uncountable nouns, Free Rice, Name That Thing, Spell It, Spelloween, the Phrasal Verbs Game, Preposition Desert, The Sentence Game, Word Confusion, Word Wangling, Buzzing Bees, and The Verb Viper Game.
Be prepared to play and learn more pretty soon.