One of the commonly confused pair

The Daily Post

The distinction between “affect” and “effect” trips up lots of people, but with one or two little mnemonics, you can master this tricky pair in probably 95% of cases.

Effect is almost always used as a noun meaning “the result of some action.”

Affect is almost always used as a verb meaning “to influence or bring about change.”

Affect, which is an action (another word for “verb”), starts with an a, like action. There’s your first mnemonic. When something affects something else, it has an effect. The affect or verb happens first and the effect or noun second, just as affect comes first in the alphabet and effect second. There’s your second mnemonic.

My experience with mnemonics tends to be that once I’ve had to use them enough, I internalize the underlying grammar that they help me to remember so that I no longer have to remember…

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Minh Anh's place

We all know how a powerful vocabulary may improve our English proficiency. It makes us look smarter (seriously! 😉 ), helps us better explaining ourselves and understanding others. A common way to learn vocabulary for ESL students is to memorize words. However, I would say the best way is to invest some time in learning root words, prefixes and suffixes. These will help you guess the meaning of new words and memorize them easier (make sure you still look it up in a dictionary to get the precise meaning and any other implication it might have). They can even help you guess what a word you want might look like.

An excerpt from a post in VirtualSalt at http://www.virtualsalt.com/roots.htm will clarify my point:

Many words are made up of a root (or base word) and a prefix. Some words also have a suffix. For example, the root word port…

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Most commonly misspelled words, even for native speaker.

The Daily Post

Courtesy, as pretty much always, of Bryan A. Garner, here’s a list of 25 of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language.

  • accommodate
  • committee
  • consensus
  • definitely
  • embarrass
  • expedite
  • grammar
  • harass
  • hors d’oeuvre
  • innovate
  • inoculate
  • lieu
  • millennium
  • minuscule
  • misspelling
  • noticeable
  • occurrence
  • pavilion
  • persevere
  • playwright
  • receive
  • restaurateur
  • separate
  • supersede
  • ukulele

Commit these to memory, and should you ever find yourself needing to accommodate a ukulele player who wishes to receive an inoculation from a playwright while persevering at his art in a pavilion, you’ll be spared the embarrassment of making any innovative misspellings, whether minuscule or easily noticeable.

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Minh Anh's place

Apart from the online resources I introduced a while ago in the two posts “Tiếng Anh dành cho người đã đi làm” and “Tiếng Anh dành cho người đã đi làm – Phần 2” in my other web blog, which includes a couple of journals and Vietnam voanews, today I would like to introduce you to some podcasts specified in business English.

1. Business English Pod. Here you will listen to conversations that happen in regular business meeting, such as how to mingle with colleagues, how to answer in interviews, and how to  present in a meeting, etc.

2. Video Vocab – Learn English vocabularies for business through short, cute, informative videos, which always end with a short practice for the words you have just learned. As an ESL learner, you may already know or hear of most of the terms, but are not sure about…

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