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REALLY SIMPLE ENGLISH GRAMMAR – a gift from EC San Francisco

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EC San Francisco  -  you can't beat it.
EC San Francisco – you can’t beat it.

In general, ESL courses tend to focus on the big issues in English  –  Past Tense, compare/contrast essays, READING COMPREHENSION!!!!  And students need that, and learn from that.  However, you can also improve your English by steadily mastering one little thing after another.  This ongoing feature will try to help you do that, as long as I can think of easily-mastered “little things.”

“Bored” and “boring” are one such easily-learned minor point.  They are a pair of “participial adjectives” (called that because they look like the present and past participles of verbs).  Many (but not all) verbs will allow you to make a pair of adjectives in this way.  (Some will only let you do one, but forget that for a moment).

The problem students may have is that they don’t mean the same thing.  “I am boring in class.”  What do I mean?  What I WANT to say is, “I don’t find this class interesting.”  But did I say that?

In fact, no, I didn’t.  What I said is that the other people in class do not find me interesting.  What I SHOULD have said is “I am bored in class.”  (Side note  –  this NEVER happens at EC San Francisco [LOL].  –  Well, not for students who really want to learn English in classes taught by dynamic and creative professionals, which is the EC San Francisco staff in a nutshell.)

So, how do you remember not to make this common mistake?  Really, you just have to learn one thing.  The -ed ending is HOW I FEEL.  The other one is something else (actually, it’s why you feel that  –  “I am tired [how I feel] because my Zumba class was tiring [WHY I feel tired]).  But if you just remember the one thing  –  “tired is how I feel,” you will ALWAYS get this right.  And that is a really nice feeling.

(As a side note, this is an absolute in English  –  no exceptions).

Keep following this blog for more easy tips, along with what’s happening at EC San Francisco, tips on touring California (and beyond), dining ideas, and more.

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