3 tricks for learning English – prepositions, vocabulary, structure
Hi. James from www.engvid.com. I’d normally be
reading, but I’m putting my finishing touches on. Our expensive prop department — “props”
are things you use in movies to demonstrate things, or a “prop” might be a marker or a
pen or a car, right? Our prop department is so poor I had to draw a hat on a box, but it
will help demonstrate the 3 tricks to learn English. Now, there are three
little tricks that you can do — and even better, you can do with a
friend — to learn English. So you can actually have partner practice. We haven’t really discussed
this much here, but why not? I mean probably, you may not go to an English school, so you don’t
have anyone but your friend who is probably watching with you right now. So here are three
quick little tricks you can do, and the beauty of these are – they’re going to help you with,
No.1, vocab — vocabulary. Okay? No.2, we’re going to work on prepositions. And No. 3, we’ll
work on structure of English. How’s that? You paid nothing, and you’re getting lots.
And the best thing is they’ll all be fun — fun. Cough, there. All right.
First thing we’re going to talk about is a hat trick. In hockey, a “hat trick”
is three things: You score three goals. One, two, and three, just like in English football
or European football. Three goals is a hat trick. Don’t know why they call it that, but
that’s what they call it. Our hat trick is called a “hat pull”, “hat pull”. What’s a “hat pull”?
Well, you learn your vocabulary, and there’s lots and lots of vocabulary. Every
day something new. Even when I said things like “hat trick” in this very lesson, there
are probably three vocabulary words that you hadn’t heard before, that you had to go, “What
does he mean?”, and I taught you them. But wouldn’t it be cool if you had a fun trick to play?
A lot of people play flash cards, you know, they get a card. They put the meaning of the word.
They turn it over and try and remember. This is a variation that a friend taught me.
It’s quite fun. What you do is, take your hat, okay? Learn five, ten, words — 20 even.
When you learn them or think you know them, put them in the hat. And you and
a friend can then put your hand in the hat and take out the word, and then say something
like “philosophy”. And the other person has to say, “It’s this word. It means this.” If
they get it right, then they can put their hand in, take out another vocabulary word,
and go, “What’s this word?” And you can keep playing to help master vocabulary. Cool, right?
You’re having fun, you’re challenging each other. Collect cards. See who wins the game.
Or if you’re doing it by yourself, just pull it out, turn it over, and try and think of
what is the word that’s in your hand. It helps to “jog your memory”, which is an idiom that
means to help you remember or reminds you of the meaning of words. You can play it with
one friend, two friends, three friends. That’s kind of cool, right? You can even do it in a classroom.
Suggest it for your teacher. Go, “Hey, can we play the hat game?” “The hat game?
Son, you’re too young to play the hat game.” You go, “No, Pops, it’s a good
game.” Just get a hat and some paper or tissue paper. Hee hee hee. Sorry. Moving on. Next
one: I got the hat pull, and you’ll see it goes to this one. This is really long:
“random sentence generator”. And it seems like it’s really, really hard. I mean, this
one we worked on vocabulary, right? Building our vocabulary, remembering our vocabulary. The
second trick, the “random sentence generator” — I just had to say it twice because it sounds so nice.
Well, random sentence. You can use this game to go to this game to make it more
complicated or — and “complicated” means “difficult” — you can just simply play it by itself.
Take a word — random. Okay, there’s a word, “random”. Now, “generate” means “to
create or make”. Make a sentence like that — random. “He randomly created a sentence
from nothing.” Right? Yeah, I just took this word and I just made it. I could say, “develop”:
“In order to develop your mind you have to read many books.” I’m going really quickly
because I want you to understand that when you do it randomly, it has to be quick. You
can’t say “blah, blah, blah” very slowly. The whole thing is: speed. This will help
you with English structure because if you say it incorrectly, you or your friend will
actually notice it and try and correct it. What’s the structure? Why can’t you put “random” here or there?
Is it a verb? Is it an adjective? What is its purpose in a sentence when you’re
making the sentence? So by quickly and randomly — remember, “random” means “without structure”;
it just happens — making the sentence up from the words you have or the vocabulary
word, you’ll understand its position or its job in structure in a sentence. You like that?
And if you put it with this one here, the “hat pull”, it’s fun for the whole family. All right.
I’ve got one more for you. This one says, “Look at me now!” Square and square.
Why is that? A lot of people have trouble with prepositions, and English people use
prepositions everywhere. We even put prepositions in places we ought not to, okay? Oops. Did
I just say “ought not to”? There we go. We call them dangling modifiers or whatnot. What
we want to do with this, with “look at me now” is while you’re in the middle of something,
just stop yourself, and in the language — or English, in this case — you’re trying to
learn, just stop, and in English try and tell yourself what you’re doing. “Right now, I am
teaching.” That’s too easy. How about this: “I am in a room — there’s my preposition
— teaching.” I am standing on the second floor.” Other preposition, “on”. “And we are
at –” See, you keep going on and on. Just use your prepositions, but just do it for
what are you doing now. It’s great. You can be sitting in the toilet — I’m sitting on
the toilet in the bathroom. No, I’m not. If the camera moves around, you’ll notice it’s a classroom.
There’s no toilet imagery, okay? But I can use it to work on my prepositions.
You can use it for other things, you know, verbs and adjectives, working them into sentences,
saying what are you doing now. “I am speaking very slowly.” When you use a modifier to show
the speed of my speech, right? And I can do that for other things. Cool? “You are learning
very quickly.” Got the modifier. You like that? So this can be used for prepositions
specifically, but you can turn around and say, “What am I doing now?” Or, “look at me
now” and then use, you know, describe it in English as best you can — pick a subject
or an area you want to talk about, like my verbs, my adjectives, my prepositions, or
idioms, and then quickly try and use them in the moment. It will help you master the
language, and that’s what I mean, actually master the language. Well, I have
given you three tricks — a hat trick, so to speak. Okay? Mr. E has helped
out, of course, with the hat pull, remember? Put words in a hat. Pull them out. It can be vocabulary.
You can pick the type of vocabulary — specific vocabulary, whatever. You can use
the random sentence generator, take these same words, and have to make a sentence. When
you really get advanced, and this is when you really master the language, you can use
two or three random words and put them in one sentence. It’s really cool, and it’s really difficult.
I’ve done as much as ten, but I’m a native speaker. How many can you do? And then
“look at me now”. What are you doing now? You’re watching me. Where are you watching me?
“I am in my living room watching you in YouTube? On You — on EngVid?” Which one is it?
In or on? Figure it out, right? Speaking of which, I’m sorry, it’s time for me to go.
But I’ve given you three cool tricks. You can be the new teacher in your school. Teach your teacher.
Teach your friends. But bring them back. Bring them back to www.engvid.com
as in “English video”. Right? Where you’ll find me and my fantastic friend and several
other teachers who want to teach you. And before I forget: to make it easy so you don’t
have to be reminded, why don’t you subscribe? Hit “subscribe”, and you’ll know the latest
video that I’ve completed. It will come right to you direct. No effort on your part. Anyway,
you have a great day, and I’ll see you soon. Mr. E, I’m out of here.
Pull your own damn hat.