Auxiliary Verbs – An Insight.

In English we have three auxiliary verbs: « Do », « Be » and « Have ». But why? And what do they mean? In grammar we often talk about « tenses » to talk about time. In fact, a tense is a little more complicated than that, and that’s when the auxiliaries become important. A grammatical tense is a combination of time […]

English Sky

I found a fun fact today about the English word “sky” (French: ciel).   It comes from the Old Norse word “sky” which means “cloud” (French: nuage) which explains a lot about the British climate!   The modern Norwegian word for “cloud” is “sky”, and the word for “sky” in Norwegian is “himmel”.   The […]

Tongue-Twisters

Jamie, formateur d’anglais au centre de l’Académie des Langues de Caen, 26 rue d’Authie, vous propose les chaussettes de l’archi-duchesse A tongue-twister is a sentence or phrase which is intended to be difficult to say. Here’s an example: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked If […]

Contractions : on récapitule !

L’Académie des Langues, centre de formation en langue vous explique en quelques mots … promis ce ne sera pas long, les contractions. Ils ont été créé pour raccourcir à l’oral leurs formes originales respectives. Les plus connues ? Don’t ; she’s . Quand on vous explique que l’anglais est simple et évolutif. A vous de […]

I Got Challenged

I recently got a challenge whereby I got the question whether it was possible that the verb « get » could be the only verb ever necessary as an action verb; so I got the rules of the challenge:                    The rules:                 Action verbs allowable: Get (and conjugations)                 Auxiliary verbs allowable: Be, Can, Do, […]

Valentine’s Blind Test!                                                                                                                  

In honour of our « Valentine’s Blind Test » (15th February, 18h00) the subject of my blog is:   Music!   The Rolling Stones This group got their name from a well-known English proverb « A rolling stone gathers no moss ». A rolling stone (rouleau de jardin) was an ancient piece of gardening equipment used to flatten ground […]

Entente Cordiale

« Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose »   I was thinking recently about how different the French and English languages were, yet also that they were so similar. So I did some investigation and got some pretty interesting results!   “Ch” becomes “C”   /k/ chat = cat chapeau = cap   The circumflex (^) […]

The Power of Three: Rhetorical English

“3, That’s the Magic Number, Yes it is” “The Magic Number”, De La Soul (1990)   “Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds” The three virtues of Humata, Hukhta and Huvarshta     The power of the number three is intriguing, mystifying and enchanting. Why is it that this number seems to be so powerful? Is it because we […]

Do-Be-Do-Be-Do, Where Are You?

Today’s post concerns a quite basic but fundamental point when using the present simple tense.   Questions about Descriptions and Actions.   When we ask questions about descriptions we use the verb “be”, perhaps with an adjective. For example: “Are you French?” Or perhaps with an adjective phrase: “Are you from a big family?” The […]