Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Grammar: Causatives

Please read the first two paragraphs from Grammar: The Subjunctive by way of introduction to this series of blog posts regarding grammar.

Using a causative construction demonstrates a better knowledge of English, which is why it is taught to students preparing for a B2, C1 or C2 level English examination (IELTS, ECPE, ECCE, ESB, LRN, MSU-CELP, MSU-CELC, TOEFL, TOEIC, ALCE, to name a few).

The reason why we use the causative voice is because we want to say that we didn't do something on our own, but 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

10 More IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions (part 2)

https://argutelegacy.blogspot.com/search/label/SpeakingPlease note that the following questions can be used by teachers and students or anyone who wants to improve their spoken English. All you have to do is talk about the topic with your speaking partner or tutor or even practice with the help of a stopwatch by timing your answer. A reasonable answer should last about 2-5 minutes.

For those preparing for the IELTS exam, this is the second list of cue card questions for Part 2 of the Speaking component. You can find the first list here. Practice these questions by timing yourself and sticking to 2 minutes for each topic.

IELTS candidates should also read the tips for Part 2 of the Speaking section here:IELTS Speaking: Part 2 Sample Questions (List 1) & Tips.

You can find more information about the Speaking exam if you also read

Useful Vocabulary Words for Speaking Exams 

IELTS Speaking: Part 1 Sample Questions (List 1)
IELTS Speaking: The Basics

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Virginia Woolf - The Legacy (Overview)

When a wife dies and leaves her husband her diary, all is possible. In Gilbert Clandon's case, the legacy his wife leaves him is much more than he could ever have imagined. 

Virginia Woolf signs an exceptional short story which questions the foundations of marriage, people's need for communication by any means possible and their inclusion in a mutually beneficial partnership. When one reneges on that contract, the other will seek new outlets to grow, as personal development in any marriage is inevitable. If that development is undertaken without any consideration for one's spouse, then problems will unavoidably ensue.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Roald Dahl - Lamb to the Slaughter (Overview)

Some stories you know will be great the minute you read their title. Combine this fact with the name of their author and the result is a fireworks display. 

Roald Dahl has written some of the most memorable stories in the last century because of their quirkiness and deep sense of raw reality disguised in simple, straight-forward prose. And like any good classic short stories, his behave in a way that make readers search for an alternative reality that will explain the whys and wherefores of human behavior.

Patrick Maloney tells his pregnant wife he's leaving her. "What will Mary do about it?" is the question in a reader's mind and how is this tied to the title of the story? As is plain, from the get-go, questions arise that grow in number as the story progresses and leave us either giggling at the end of it alongside Mary or wriggling uneasily in our seats.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Kate Chopin - The Story of an Hour (Overview)

As you might have come to realize, short stories are my favorite literary genre because they are like little cans of double concentrated tomato paste that add that extra zing to narratives other genres are incapable of delivering. In fact, the shorter the story, the grander the zing. 

Well, Kate Chopin's story is as short as good short stories come and she manages to deliver the goods quicker than the title she chose for her piece. The advantage of such crisp little tales is that they're easier to dissect because of the limited number of words they contain. Every sentence and paragraph can be analyzed almost ad nauseam, a task too gruelling to undertake when reading a novel. Because of this comprehensive examination, the full extent of an author's powers is appreciated and though many would be prone to conclude that restricted tales offer very few developments, angles and insights, the reader's knowledge that every word written was mindfully selected by the author opens up boundless lanes of interpretation, all made possible by the deliberateness with which a narrative's fabric has been woven.

In The Story of an Hour, Louise Mallard rises and falls. She is one of the most complex characters I've come across not because she is protractedly defined like another Raskolnikov, but because so many questions arise that demand answers only from a mere 20 paragraphs of narrative. She intrigues me in ways second-half-of-the-19th-century Estella Havisham, Emma Bovary or Bathsheba Everdene never managed to achieve because so much and so little is given by way of character development (and that, my friends, is the very essence of allure).

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Words to use instead of 'Nice"

A common mistake among English learners is that they tend to overuse certain words because these words seem to suit every situation imaginable or due to the fact that learners lack variety when it comes to vocabulary.

One such word which is often used more than it should be is the word "nice". Take the following examples:

  • "How was your day?" - "Nice." 
  • "Did you enjoy your meal?" - "It was nice, thank you."
  • "What do you think of the new substitute teacher, Mr. Jones?" - "I think he's nice."
  • "This room looks very nice indeed. Did you have it refurbished?"
In all of these situtations, a different word could have been used that would clarify the speaker's thoughts. 

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