“Acadia is the right place for successful immersion, and Camden a nice and friendly place to visit. That’s why I went there four times!” Jean-Marc, a small business owner in organic products, talks about his Acadia Center experience from his home office in Paris, France.
Posts Tagged ‘Learning English’
To choose the correct form, ask yourself: Is it followed by a verb?
If the answer is yes, use as.
As I mentioned previously, the meeting will begin at 9 am.
It sounded as though she would be late.
In each of these examples, the word as is followed by a subject and verb (I mentioned; she would be). In this context, as is a kind of connecting word called a conjunction, and conjunctions can be followed by verbs.
Like, on the other hand, is not a conjunction. So, in the above examples, as is the only correct choice, right? According to most language guides, it is. However, don’t be surprised if you hear a native speaker, in informal speech or writing, use like followed by a verb – for example, like I said before… or it sounded like she would be late.
For your purposes, as an English language learner, the safest choice is to use as, not like, before a subject and verb.
Now, back to our original question: Is it followed by a verb?
If the answer is no, like and as are both possible, but with a difference in meaning.
If there is no verb, just a noun or noun phrase, you want to use a preposition rather than a conjunction. Use like for the meaning similar to, and use as for the meaning same as.
Compare these examples:
You look like your sister. (You look similar to your sister.)
As your sister, I’d like to give you some advice. (This might be said by a woman speaking to her brother; she is his sister, so as, not like, is correct.)
You sound like a teacher! (This might be said to a student who is explaining a grammar point to another student. It only makes sense if the person referred to is not really a teacher.)
It’s up to her, as the teacher, to design the curriculum. (She is the teacher.)
To recap, ask yourself if it’s a conjunction (followed by a subject and verb) or preposition (no verb; only a noun or noun phrase). If it’s a conjunction, use as. If it’s a preposition, ask yourself if the meaning is similar to or same as. If it’s similar to, use like. If it’s same as, use as.
Now you can use like and as with confidence, like a native speaker!
Only have a short time – 1 or 2 weeks – for an English immersion course? Want to maximize learning with individual attention all day 6 days per week? Want a mix of classroom lessons and real-life practice, exploring our friendly community and practicing your English conversational skills with a teacher by your side?
Many executives and professionals from Mexico and Latin America have found Maine, with its friendly people and distance from any Spanish-speaking populations, to be the perfect place to study English in a total immersion environment.
In this video, Rosario, an accountant from Mexico, talks about her experience in a 3-week intensive English immersion course at Acadia Center.
Who is the English language student’s enemy number 1?
Prepositions are small but pugnacious, refusing to fade into the background.
Prepositions laugh at translation (that’s laugh at, not laugh with, because it’s not a friendly laugh). Depende de in Spanish. De = of or from in English. So, it depends of the context, right? Wrong. It depends on the context.
The choice of preposition can be based on the word before and the word(s) after. You work in an area of expertise, for a company, with colleagues, and on a project. You work, for example, in pyrotechnics, for Up in Smoke, with your fellow pyrotechnicians, and on the Great American Fourth of July fireworks display.
Prepositions depend on other words for meaning, and yet, in what are known as phrasal verbs, if you change the preposition, you totally change the meaning of the verb that precedes it. Sadly, when it comes to (talking about, referring to) prepositions, no one has yet come up with (invented) a magic spell to instantly know them all, or come across (find, often when not actively searching for something) a secret key to unlocking their mysteries.
Prepositions are proudly defiant of our awkward attempts to master them, like wild mustangs.
So how do we learn them?
There are only two types of prepositions that can be easily corralled by grammar: prepositions of place and time, and prepositions of transportation (stay tuned for future blog posts). The rest is vocabulary!
And what is the best way to learn vocabulary? Not from a list. Leafing through several pages in the dictionary trying to learn all the phrasal verbs using the word get will get you nothing but sad, mad, and bewildered. Much better to learn them in context, reading (or listening to) things of interest to you, and observing how prepositions are used in the real world.
To illustrate, let’s look at six selections from one of The Guardian’s gallery of amazing photos from around the world, and see how prepositions – free spirits that they are – roam into and around the captions.
Mumbai, India: Rose petals and coloured powder are showered on a huge idol of the elephant-headed Hindu god Lord Ganesha during the 11-day Ganesh festival.
On can have the physical meaning of on top of.
Of follows the idea of representation as in a picture of, a copy of, etc.
During with an event: during the concert, during the meeting. Use for, not during, with a time period: We stayed there
duringfor two weeks.
Kunming, China: A butterfly perches on a boy’s face at a butterfly exhibition.
On: the physical meaning of on the surface of something.
At: during is also possible with an event, but during can emphasize something of relatively short duration (like the shower of powder in the first photo) occurring in the context of an event of much longer duration (an 11-day festival). For another example, see the use of during Catalan elections in the next caption.
Barcelona, Spain: A dog waits outside a booth at a polling station during Catalan elections. Pro-secession parties say they will push for independence within 18 months if they win a majority in the 165-seat parliament.
Outside: Opposite of inside the booth, where the dog’s owner is voting.
At: A specific geographical location.
For: The go-to preposition for purpose or objective.
Within: No longer than. To indicate the maximum time period from now into the future.
In: In a group.
Fribourg, Switzerland: Guillaume Rolland, a professional mountaineer, balances on a highline on top of the Moleson mountain at 2,000 metres above sea level.
On: Physical meaning (see above).
On top of: Physical meaning.
At: For a specific point on a scale, as in Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius.
Above: Above and its opposite below are used for numbers on a vertical scale.
Brussels, Belgium: A statue is silhouetted against a supermoon.
Against: Indicates contrast or opposition.
Zhodino, Belarus: Up to his eyes in muddy water, a man takes part in an extreme run competition.
Up to: As high as.
In: Physically inside a substance (muddy water), or in an event with the emphasis more on participation than time.
Old Orchard Beach – for many, many generations of French speakers from the province of Québec, those three foreign-sounding words have meant sun, surf, sand, fried food, and fun family holidays on the beautiful coast of Maine. Beginning as long ago as 1842, even before there was a train connection between Maine and points south like Boston and New York, the Grand Trunk Railway was bringing summer visitors from Montréal to Maine’s beaches.
Today Old Orchard Beach is as popular as ever with visitors from all over Québec, and French speakers are also starting to discover a small English language institute further up the coast that combines unique English language immersion courses with the kind of outdoors fun Québecers have long associated with Maine.
Only five hours by car from Québec City or Trois-Rivières and six hours from Montréal, Acadia Center’s home town of Camden is closer than Toronto for most Québecers.
The beaches are more rugged and rocky north of Portland, Maine, but our students from Québec love the beauty and friendly hospitality of this part of Maine’s Atlantic coast.
Click on the video at the top of this post to watch a video interview with Marc-André, a health and safety management consultant and author from Trois-Rivières, Québec, who explains how Acadia Center helped him learn the everyday conversation and business communication skills he needs for his work.
Business communication – in e-mails, presentations, conference calls, meetings, and social media – has been the subject of a series of business English seminars for Acadia Center for English Immersion students, offered by business executive and university business instructor Larrain Slaymaker.
Larrain has extensive experience working for both small businesses and multi-national corporations and as an entrepreneur. She has taught business administration at the university level, and she has taught English in China.
“When we communicate in a professional environment, we need to be clear and concise,” said Larrain in describing the focus of her seminars. “But how do we do this? How do we decide how to say something? How do we know we are listening and reading effectively? Cross cultural communications, business styles, vernacular, acronyms and a variety of business environments all add to the challenges of professional communications.”
Seminar discussions have included strategies for improving writing ability, people skills, and the capacity to think critically and strategically in English.
“Seminar participants include a health and safety management consultant from Quebec, an accountant from Mexico, and a supermarket executive from Colombia,” said Acadia Center director Brian Boyd, “and they all have benefited from Larrain’s tips on such subjects on the importance of tone and clarity in e-mails. They have also really enjoyed her interactive games and role-playing that allow for plenty of practice with the new vocabulary and idioms she is teaching.”
Have you thought about dedicating two weeks or more to improving your English for your work and/or travel? Like the Acadia Center Facebook page to keep up to date on the latest news, photos, and discount offers! Throughout the year we offer flash discounts, so check back regularly.
Register now for an intensive English course in Camden, Maine.