Various Uses of “See”

In English, “see” doesn’t just mean actually seeing something or watching something. There are other meanings of the word “see” which people often use in daily conversations. I will give examples of some of them.

1. “Oh, I see”

This means that you understand something.


A: I can’t come on Mondays because I have work.
B: Oh, I see. [I understand now]

2. “You see, …”

This is the same as an interjection “well.”


A: Why can’t you come on Mondays?
B: You see, I have work on Mondays.
[Well, I have work on Mondays]

3. “Can I see it/this?”

This is a question you can use to ask to hold/to touch something.


A: This flashlight is broken, I can’t fix it.
B: Can I see it?
[asking to hold the flashlight]
A: Yeah, here! [giving the flashlight to B] Can you fix it?

4. “to see each other”

This is a phrase which means “to date each other other.” There are many phrases for dating, but this one is a nice, more formal (polite) version.


A: How long have you been seeing each other? [How long have you been dating?]
B: We’ve been together for three months.

These are the ones that come to my mind right now, but there probably are more. If I remember/find them, I will add them later. 

I love talking to people who have english as a second-language because they use phrases that make perfect sense but that you would never hear a native speaker use and it makes me think of how infinitely variable our language is and how unlimited the scope for invention is

Okay, so, after talking some with a bud who was also in Linguistics I was thinking of how to make language learning not only more interactive but also more intuitive.

The problems I’m seeing now all stem from the fact that kids at my schools learn Language through route memorization or repetitive practice. 

Repetition in the same environment doesn’t actually increase comprehension, in my opinion. I’m seriously thinking of acquiring some coding skills and trying to put together a walk-through game (think dating sim style) that utilizes the setting of You’re 5 Years Old and You Just Moved to Target Language Country and takes you through missions that mimic real-life experiences. You’d also be accompanied by a helpful neighbor/friend/guide who would initially teach you the words for the mission, and then take you through situations where you need to use those words. (There would be reading skills, but also voice options so you could either only learn through audio, or do both, or do one and then replay for reading.)

The idea here is to lure people into the language using culturally-relevant experiences to make it as real as possible and to create the illusion of immersion. I’m told Rosetta Stone uses this model as well, but I don’t think the gaming format is used? I’m all for video games and teaching. 

Who wants to fund me. 

Do I Need Perfect Pronunciation?

Many English learners know grammar, can read and write really well, but when it comes to speaking…they are too afraid even to open their mouths.


"My pronunciation isn’t good. No one will understand me."

Well, I have three things to say here.

English language has been used by so many people in so many places that all kinds of accents and dialects have developed. As a result, people speak however they want (or can), and it’s perfectly fine. (Actually, did you know that there is no “official” standardized American English? Or that the US doesn’t even have an official language?)

Yes, it’s true. You might worry a lot about saying words just right and pronouncing everything perfectly, but the truth is that native speakers don’t really care. As long as you can communicate with them, that’s all that matters.

I think this is fairly easy: if you’re afraid, you don’t speak; if you don’t speak, you don’t practice; if you don’t practice, you don’t get better; and if you don’t get better, you’re always afraid of speaking. It’s a Death Circle. DON’T ENTER IT!!

I highly encourage language learners to speak. Find a penpal or a friend who speaks English, and take every opportunity to speak to that person! I’m also learning languages myself, and speaking is an important part of my learning (yes, from the very beginning!). Listening to English podcasts and just repeating after them is also useful, but conversation is much more engaging (and fun)!


The Chinese ESL-Industrial Complex: How English Teachers in China Are Lied to and Exploited

Chris* thought it might be a fire inspection. Walking into his Chengdu, China, office at Disney English, a Disney subsidiary that teaches English through the antics of its animated characters, he was not alarmed by the throng of blue-uniformed law enforcement officers crowding the center’s front desk. This was China, after all, and having been teaching in the country for several months already, he’d learned not to be taken aback by bizarre situations.

Then the uniformed men began to seize all foreigners, and Chris realized he might be in serious trouble.

Chris was herded into a classroom with his co-workers. The officers in blue, who turned out to be officials from Chengdu’s Public Security Bureau, pulled the foreigners out for questioning one by one. Disney English had apparently failed to register for work permits in the city, leaving the teachers accused of illegal immigration to China.


When I Need You- AU

As I open my eyes it hit me, that by the end of the week I will be singing in front of many important people. I am super stressed out. Although happy to see my dreams come true I cannot contain my nervousness and sadness of not having my family here in LA. But being with Connor all this time has been the best decision I have ever taken.

I turn around and touch Con’s bed side and is cold which means he has been out of bed for a while. As I am trying to force myself to get up I hear a voice coming in “Good morning sleepy head” and I see his naked torso and sweat pants by the door frame with a tray, stumbling around the clothes we use the day before. He has brought me breakfast to bed, how am I so lucky, I think to myself. He sits by my side and gives me a gentle kiss in my forehead. “Good morning baby” I said with my raspy, just woken up voice. We sat in bed eaten our favorite breakfast that Connor had prepared for us. Our over-easy eggs with slice avocado, a toast and a cup of fruit and coffee on the side.

“Connie, can I ask you something?” 


I said it softly, as I do know the answer, but I want to hear it from him - “Why are you so good to me?” 

And as he says this he comes close to me and gently moves his arm up and down my spine - “Baby, you know the answer, I love spending every minute with you, I love your body close to me, those blue eyes, that smile, I love that you make me smile, I love our morning routine and even more our night routine,I love that you call my place home and I cannot afford to let you go and that is why I am good to you” 

I cannot contain myself and I get closer and grab his neck and gently kiss him. “I Love you too!”  

“So what is the plan for today?” Con says to me as I remind him that today is my only day off from the studio. He smiles at me and tells me that we have to make the best of today and distress a little before the big day. He is right, if I don’t calm my nerves my showcase is going to be a disaster.  

As we are finishing our meal Con comes up with his idea- “ Babe, why don’t we go to Disney today? You have never been right? It could be fun” My face light up, but turn to him and say, “Even with all the fans that might recognized us there?” - “I am ok with it if you are”. He giggles and so do I “You got a date Troye boy”. 

We head to Disney and I cannot contain my excitement. I can see Connor smiling too while telling me everything we will be doing in there. Before we get out of the car he pulls me closer and gives me a kiss because we know it will be a while before we can be that close again. As soon as we get to the entrance I can hear a shy voice in my back “Troye? Connor?” - Is this little girl, she is the cutest thing ever. She ask us to get a picture with her which we happily accept and as usual we hold each other arms behind her back. It is just a way of us saying I am always here for you. 

As soon as she leave,s we turn to each other and I wink at him. See, we both know that as soon as that picture hits Twitter, other fans are going to know we are here. But we don’t mind and we knew this would happen, it is all part of what we sign up for when we decide to make our lives public.

Connor took me to all his favorite rides and I bought him a Mickey’s hat to go with the Pluto’s hat that I got. We took tons of pictures and we ate lots of junk food. All in all it was a great day. I totally needed this distraction and Connor knew it. He always knows what I need and when I needed. He is the best, my best!

By the end of the night we where exhausted, As soon we got back home and order pizza a huge thunderstorm began. If I was by myself I would be terrified but I have Connor right here cuddle with me and that is all that really matters. “Con, I just want you to know that I am the luckiest person in this planet. Because I have you! Thank you for this amazing day”. “ I love you Troye” He turn around and gave me the best kiss of the day. “Good night my love” - “Sweet dreams”


Calling all Electronic Sports League and Twitch gamers: eSports athletes want you to get covered by February 15.

Beginning a Sentence with Interjections in Colloquial Speech

I think I should post something about colloquial speech. For some time, I’ve been talking with my students about things like “wanna,” “gonna,” tryna,” and so on—how they hear them in everyday conversations but have difficulty catching on. 

Although I’d like to talk about that at some point, today I want to write about something I’ve been noticing recently.

Oftentimes, many English speakers begin their sentences with interjections, such as Oh / Well / Ha / Hmm, and so on. I wonder if it’s just a local thing here around Philly? Hmmm…. :)

Anyway, including an interjection at the beginning of a sentence somehow softens it, makes it less forceful, more friendly. Basically, it makes you sound more like a human, not a robot who speaks in perfect and full but emotionless sentences.

For example, I’d say, “Well, this is my opinion,” instead of “This is my opinion.” The meaning doesn’t really change, but the tone is less forceful.

"Oh, I didn’t know that" sounds more engaged and less abrupt than "I didn’t know that." 

This then translates into writing. When I write a journal entry in my diary or something, I’d begin my sentences with “so,” “well,” “oh,” and “haha” because I’d want to sound more relaxed, more friendly. Consider this example:

Yesterday, my friend asked me if I knew what happened to Mary. I asked her what was up, and she told me that Mary got engaged the other day. None of our friends ever talked about that, so I was really surprised!

This is a rather standard colloquial passage, nothing too special. But it’s a little too stiff for my taste. If I were to write this, I’d insert some interjections:

So yesterday, my friend asked if I knew what happened to Mary. Well, I asked her what was up, and she told me that Mary got engaged the other day. Um, none of our friends ever talked about that, so I was really surprised!

In this passage, the tone is much more emotional. In fact, when I read it, I can clearly hear how it would sound if someone was saying it out loud! 

I’m sure this applies to other languages as well, but I think it’s even more commonplace in English. These simple interjections can help with the flow of your speech, and will make you sound less stiff and more engaged. Of course, overdoing them can be harmful, too (unless you want to sound like a really emotional teenager, haha!)

anonymous asked:

Hi I'm writing a story where a girl is first learning English. English is my first language so I need a bit of help in how she would act, talk, etc. Thanks

Oh man, I’m a linguistics major, so this kind of question is my JAM.

When you say she’s ‘first learning English’ do you mean she’s just beginning to learn English as a second language? I’m going to proceed as if that’s the intention, but if you mean that she’s learning English as her first language and has never learned any other language, then that’s a whole different answer, varying widely on how old she is.

But anyway, if she’s learning English as a second language (ESL), then how she talks is going to depend on what her first language is. Speakers of ESL will make different mistakes varying on their linguistic backgrounds. If you’ve ever learned Spanish, you might know that it’s a common mistake for English speakers to say ‘me llamo ES ____’ instead of ‘me llamo ___’ for ‘my name is ____’ because in English we phrase it in such a way that the verb ‘to be’ is needed (In Spanish, however, adding ‘es’ is incorrect, because ‘me llamo’ literally means ‘I call myself’).

Another example: It’s stereotypical that ESL Chinese speakers don’t pluralize words and don’t use ‘to be’ in some sentences (“he very skilled” “I bought two potato” etc). This is because in Chinese, there are very few pluralizations, and you don’t normally use ‘to be’ with adjectives. 

Studying a little bit of what the grammar is like in your character’s first language will be really helpful to you. If at all possible, talk to somebody who speaks that language natively, especially if they learned English as a second language.

As for how they’d act, that really depends on your character. I honestly haven’t talked to that many ESL learners, but I remember one thing that my Chinese neighbour told me was that for about a year after she first got to the United States, she hated answering the phone because it’s so much harder to understand people who are speaking your second language when they’re not in front of you. So maybe consider that and similar issues and anxieties of communication, if she’s in a situation where she has to use English.

kaylaminor asked:

Hi. I'm only a Sophomore in High school but I already know what I want to do when I get older. I want to be a English teacher in foreign countries where English is not the first language. I take Italian now and I want to minor in it. What schools offer the best resources for me to fulfill this?

Best Schools forForeign Language Include:

·        Middlebury College

·         University of Wisconsin-Madison

·         University of California- Los Angeles

·         Stanford University

·         Yale University

·         Indiana University, Bloomington

·         Washington State University

·         Cornell University

·         Valparaiso University

·         Columbia University

·         Georgetown University

·         University of Pennsylvania

·         Harvard University

Best Schools for Teaching/Education Include:

·         Princeton University

·         College of William and Mary

·         Miami University- Oxford

·         Dartmouth College

·         University of Maryland- Baltimore County

·         Brown University

·         Stanford University

·         Vanderbilt University

·         Yale University

·         University of North Texas

·         Johns Hopkins University

·         Harvard University

·         University of Pennsylvania

·         University of Wisconsin- Madison

·         University of Washington

·         University of Texas- at Austin

·         Teachers College- Columbia University

·         University of Michigan- Ann Arbor

Most programs require you to have a teaching certification, some don’t. However, if you are certified, it will make finding and doing your job way easier (and you’ll probably get paid more, too). So you should probably major in education. Also, speaking the native tongue of the country in which you teach will open up more opportunities to you. That is where the foreign language minor comes in.

The most important thing is that you are educated in teaching and language. You can get certified and work through programs offered by the Peace Corps, TEFL, or ESL.

Here are some other great resources for you:

·         Get Paid to Teach English Abroad with a TEFL Certification

·         Peace Corp Education Assignments

·         Teaching English Abroad

·         How to Get the Best Paid Jobs Teaching English Overseas

·         How to Get a Job Teaching English Abroad

·         The Top 12 Places for Teaching English Abroad





What’s so funny about this? Did you ever think that grammar could be dirty? Neither did I, yet in this joke there are lots of nuances and innuendos that appear to be about the kinds of things English teachers do in classrooms but, in fact, are hinting at sex. Let’s face it, going to jail is no fun and one of the least fun parts is that you will, theoretically, have to do without sex for the duration of your prison sentence or the amount of time you will be incarcerated, in jail. We’re not going to touch on what actually happens regarding sex in prison. Let’s just say that it’s not really absent. It’s just not conventional, every day, heterosexual sex. The guy in the joke is a convict, someone who has been convicted in court as a felon, a criminal. Most states in the U.S. allow some form of conjugal visits between husband and wife. “Conjugal” means having to do with marriage or sexual relations between a man and wife. Of course with gay marriage now legal in more and more states, do you think there will be gay conjugal visits? Anyway, this guy’s wife is an English teacher. This could be a good or bad thing. When she came to visit him, the first thing she did was show him how to diagram his sentence. Diagramming sentences used to be a big thing in the last century in English classes where a sentence was reconstructed and each part of speech labeled in a diagram showing the relationship between the various parts. This might have looked pretty or interesting but it did little to help students with grammar. But there is a pun here because “sentence” also refers to the amount of time the convict has to serve behind bars, and I’m not talking about your local pub. Next we learn she shows him her parts of speech. This is also a sexual innuendo because men and women have different parts of their bodies that relate to sex and sometimes they are just referred to as parts, such as a woman’s breasts. Finally it was a conjugal visit after all and since having sex is what couples do, he gets screwed because she thinks it’s about conjugation. She’s right, only “conjugate” has two very different meanings. One is to list the different forms of a verb regarding singular and plural and indicating which person or persons is involved in the action of the verb. The second meaning has to do with two organisms exchanging genetic material, in other words, having sex. The guy thought it was meaning number two, while his wife, the teacher, was thinking more about the first definition. But she does titillate him a little since the word she conjugates is “kiss”. Wonder what the next words will be? And THAT’s what’s so funny!


This joke was sent to me by my DJ buddy, Lou Rollo

podcast -

Pakistani American and ESL

Anonymous said: Hi! One of the characters in my story is a Muslim woman who was born and raised in Pakistan. I was wondering if you or your followers have any information to share with me about being a Pakistani, Muslim woman. Also, she is surrounded mostly by English-speaking people and she is not fluent in English, so how could I respectfully go about writing her not-fluent English?


My initial reaction was, “Why does she have to not be fluent in English?” It all depends on what your definition of fluent is. I have family friends who have heavy accents but still can communicate properly. Of course, I also have family friends that do not, but my main reaction stemmed from the idea of the cliche, choppy “Me no speak English” I often see writers using on immigrant characters.

I’d suggest doing your best to avoid that. I’m also not Pakistani, but part of my family comes from near that area of the world and I have several Pakistani childhood friends, so if you’d elaborate a bit on the aspects of being Pakistani American (I am assuming), I can help out as best as I can.


I’m kind of confused by the question. Are you implying that the character has moved recently? If so, maybe you can touch more on the differences in colloquial terms and dialect from Pakistani English to American English.

As a Saudi, I speak in a mix of Arabic and English so often with my friends that when I talk to people who are monolingual it’s an active struggle not to jump between languages when I’m looking for words. I think by writing this in the perspective of the Paki girl dealing with weird American/British/etc. lingo could be fun.

I do understand where you’re coming from Kaye, as “You speak English so well for an Arab!” is a phrase I hear way too often.