In our Skype English classes many students say ‘in/on’ Christmas when the preposition should be ‘at’. Why do we use ‘at’? Well we can’t use ‘on’ here since ‘on’ is for individual days (‘on Christmas day/Halloween/Wednesday/on the 2nd of January’ for example) as a preposition of time. ‘In’ is used as a preposition of time for months (in May), years (in 1978) and seasons (in spring) and decades (in the 80s), centuries (in the 21st century) and also with ‘in the morning/afternoon/evening’.
We explain to our Spanish speaking English students that if you want to say ‘yo tampoco!’ by itself we use the expression ‘me neither!’ Followed by an affirmation such as ‘yo tampoco quiero ir’ or ‘nosotros tampoco comemos gluten’, we cannot use ‘neither’. We have to introduce the positive form ‘either’. So for the aforementioned examples we’d say: ‘I don’t want to go either’ and ‘we don’t eat gluten either’. We cannot use ‘neither’ when there is already a negation (not) in the sentence since ‘neither’ is a negation and we must not employ a double negative in a sentence in English. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any doubts!
In our Skype English classes, many students say ‘in Halloween’ but we must use the preposition of time ‘on’ for single days such as Halloween, all saints day, Easter Monday, New Year’s Eve or individual days such as the 13th of March or Friday. So for instance we could say ‘many children knock on my door on Halloween’ or ‘on Friday I will go to a fireworks display’. Remember, ‘on’ is for single or individual days. Please do not use ‘in’ for individual days. As a time preposition ‘in’ is used with months (e.g. March), seasons (winter…) and years (1978…). Please feel free to ask about this if you have any doubts. Thanks!
Learning a language such as English to your desired level doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think. Like most significant goals discipline, patience and determination is required. What also assists enormously, what makes it a whole lot easier… is ‘having fun’. If you are enjoying the learning experience then it becomes far easier to maintain the upward process. Have fun learning by going to language exchanges, watching your favourite films or documentaries in English, playing video games in English, reading articles of your interest in English, taking Skype classes etc. When I started studying Spanish whilst unemployed in the south of France, I bought the same 400 page book in Spanish that I had already read several times in French. I was fluent in French at the time. The subject of this book was one of my passions. So with my low level of Spanish at that time (A2), it didn’t matter if it took me 20 minutes to read each page initially. I stayed motivated because I was having fun. So making progress was really quite easy despite my low level at that time.
Also, remember before it was much more difficult to learn a language compared to nowadays. You know, a generation ago people learning languages did not have all these technological resources at their fingertips like you do! I’m talking about resources online. There are so many options and free options to make learning English such an enjoyable past time online… So come on! Make learning English as fun as it possibly can be and the inevitable significant advance will happen!
Many students in our skype English classes translate ‘un politico’ wrong. The correct word would be ‘a politician’. For example, ‘the politician was forced to resign due to the corruption scandal’. Remember, ‘politics’ is the subject, a noun. The adjective is ‘political’. Hope this helps.
Generally, in English, when you ‘hear about’ something you find out the details or the situation (what is/was/will be happening). When you hear of something or someone you learn that it or the person exists.
‘Have you heard about Sarah and Ben?’
‘I knew they got together into a relationship. However, tell me all about it.’
‘Have you heard of the film ‘Titanic’?’
‘No, I’ve never heard of it.’
‘Have you heard of Vladimir Putin?’
‘Yes, he is the Russian leader’.
Jim: ‘I come from a small city called Oxford. It’s
located in England. Have you ever heard of it?’
Pete: ‘Yep. I have heard of it ( = recognise the name). And I have heard about it too as it has a famous university there. I have heard that many students around the world aspire to study in Oxford!’
Hoping that helps. Remember we do personalised English classes on Skype. Just follow the link for more details!