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  #61  
Old October 7th, 2011, 4:02 am
ominous ominous is offline
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Thank you, guys. You are too kind!!!.

We, Koreans, have absolutely no problem living our lives without "the".
Therefore, why don't you, native guys, do the same thing? Just get rid of that dirty "the" in your language and make peace prosper!!!!


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  #62  
Old October 7th, 2011, 8:38 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
Thank you, guys. You are too kind!!!.

We, Koreans, have absolutely no problem living our lives without "the".
Therefore, why don't you, native guys, do the same thing? Just get rid of that dirty "the" in your language and make peace prosper!!!!
Ha ha ha! Yeah, well, blame it on the Germans.

I speak Chinese and we also get along perfectly well without "the."


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  #63  
Old October 8th, 2011, 3:18 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Watching TV shows is a good way to learn English.
I am watching a new TV show called "Revenge" and learned something like below.

You made the killing with that (= You earned way a lot of money with that)
It's your call (= Now you have to make your choice)

If any non-native guys read this, watch TV shows.

My recommendations

Homeland, Person of Interest, and Revenge


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  #64  
Old October 8th, 2011, 6:49 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
Watching TV shows is a good way to learn English.
I am watching a new TV show called "Revenge" and learned something like below.

You made the killing with that (= You earned way a lot of money with that)
It's your call (= Now you have to make your choice)

If any non-native guys read this, watch TV shows.

My recommendations

Homeland, Person of Interest, and Revenge
I agree with that--provided you can keep up with the show. I know I can't keep up with the speech in many Chinese shows, and that's my second best language. Just too much slang I don't have cultural knowledge of. And I can't read the captions fast enough!

By the way, are you sure it said "You made the killing with that"? Where I live, the usual wording is "You made a killing on that." (Emphasis added.)


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  #65  
Old October 8th, 2011, 7:28 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
Watching TV shows is a good way to learn English.
I have a good friend who recently married a Norwegian and moved to Norway, and didn't speak the language very well. While her husband is at work, she watches television and says it's really helped her understanding the language. She's amazed at how much she picked up and can apply whenever gets out.


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  #66  
Old October 25th, 2011, 6:14 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

The other day I watched a new TV show "Revenge" and learned some interesting expression.

"Your dress is criminal!".

I thought it was quite interesting and wondered what would happened if I used it literally.
For example,

Me: Wow, your dress is criminal!
Girl: Thank you.
Me: I mean, literally criminal. It's a total eyesore. How could you possibly think that you can wear that thing. Don't you have any mirror in your house?


Can I get doused with wine for this?


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  #67  
Old October 25th, 2011, 6:35 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Aside from any advice I might offer about giving compliments, I would say that although there are instances around the world where particular clothing might be actually illegal, there is a bit of subtlety to the saying.

If I had to guess about its origins, I can offer that around, oh, the 1970s or 1980s in the U.S., the notion of "Fashion Police" emerged (or arrived). Now this of course was only an imaginary entity, and its usage was likely at first geared for jocularly criticizing fashion choices--that is, in a cutting but somewhat less confrontational way. I haven't checked, but I do suspect that a number of other such sayings have come about on the same template, and "Fashion Police" could merely be an imitation of one of those.

Still, whatever its actual source, the trope of "X is criminal" (where X is an article of clothing) seems to rely on the pretense that an entity exists to police fashion and taste. In an American context, it would rarely or never be intended or interpreted literally, as we implicitly agree there is no such thing as a fashion crime, a crime against fashion, or fashion police other than abstractly as part of our memetic background.


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  #68  
Old October 27th, 2011, 3:01 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
The other day I watched a new TV show "Revenge" and learned some interesting expression.

"Your dress is criminal!"
Weird. I've never heard that before, but then, I've never watched "Revenge," either. What did it mean, in context?

Quote:
I thought it was quite interesting and wondered what would happened if I used it literally.
For example,

Me: Wow, your dress is criminal!
Girl: Thank you.
Me: I mean, literally criminal. It's a total eyesore. How could you possibly think that you can wear that thing. Don't you have any mirror in your house?


Can I get doused with wine for this?
Why, do you want to be?

I suppose it depends on the kind of wine.

Incidentally, one would typically say either "Don't you have a mirror in your [or "the"] house?" or "Don't you have any mirrors in your house?" I think "any mirror" sounds a bit unidiomatic.


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  #69  
Old October 30th, 2011, 5:30 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

I have been watching a new TV series "Person of Interest".
In the most recent episode, Pinch(a character in the show) talked to a corrupted president of a pharmaceutical company like this...

"In fact, I took my initial investment, and I shorted your company to the tune of half a billion shares."

Anyone watching this show can tell me what the meaning of that line is?


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  #70  
Old October 31st, 2011, 5:33 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
I have been watching a new TV series "Person of Interest".
In the most recent episode, Pinch(a character in the show) talked to a corrupted president of a pharmaceutical company like this...

"In fact, I took my initial investment, and I shorted your company to the tune of half a billion shares."

Anyone watching this show can tell me what the meaning of that line is?
Well, I haven't watched the show, but it sounds like he took about half a billion shares of stock out of the company, leaving them short by so much value/worth/money. The phrase "to the tune of" is slang for "by approximately the amount of", and is more often used when talking about a lot of money.

(Though, from the episode summary here, the character's name is Finch. )


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  #71  
Old November 1st, 2011, 4:38 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
I have been watching a new TV series "Person of Interest".
In the most recent episode, Pinch(a character in the show) talked to a corrupted president of a pharmaceutical company like this...

"In fact, I took my initial investment, and I shorted your company to the tune of half a billion shares."

Anyone watching this show can tell me what the meaning of that line is?
This is probably a reference to short-selling a company's stock. You sell some of the company's stock, with the intent of buying them later at a reduced price. As you might expect, such tactics can only be applied to certain assets (notably securities). See here for more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_%28finance%29


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Last edited by BrianTung; November 1st, 2011 at 4:39 am. Reason: wrote "buy" when I meant "sell"
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  #72  
Old November 1st, 2011, 4:45 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Thanks. I knew that it was related to some stock market things when I heard this.
Anyway, my belief about this field is that "Stock markets are hell waiting for opportunities to absorb your money! Run away from them!!!"


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  #73  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 6:30 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

have + p.p. and have + been + ~ing

I have studied English for 3 years.

I have been studying English for 3 years.

It has rained all day.

It has been raining all day.


Any serious differences btw them??


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  #74  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 8:13 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
have + p.p. and have + been + ~ing

I have studied English for 3 years.

I have been studying English for 3 years.

It has rained all day.

It has been raining all day.


Any serious differences btw them??
I admit I cannot think of any "hard" difference between the sentences in each pair.

By the way, in your previous post, I would say "corrupt" (as an adjective, describing the company president), as opposed to "corrupted."


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  #75  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 2:23 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ominous View Post
have + p.p. and have + been + ~ing

I have studied English for 3 years.

I have been studying English for 3 years.

It has rained all day.

It has been raining all day.


Any serious differences btw them??
Not really a major difference... but to me, Have/Has + been + ~ing tends to suggest that whatever action is still happening, whereas with Have/Has + p.p. there's a possibility that the action may have stopped (probably recently), but hasn't necessarily stopped.


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  #76  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 4:58 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
Not really a major difference... but to me, Have/Has + been + ~ing tends to suggest that whatever action is still happening, whereas with Have/Has + p.p. there's a possibility that the action may have stopped (probably recently), but hasn't necessarily stopped.
I thought of that, but in these particular cases, where we live at least, one wouldn't say, "I have studied English for three years," if one had stopped in the past; one would say, "I studied English for three years."

It may be a regional thing, though.


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  #77  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 5:02 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

I can't discern any real difference, but I'd be much, much more likely to use "have/has been _ing" than "have/has -ed" in both the examples you've given. That could be a British thing, though.

ETA Thinking about it, "have/has been -ing" suggests to me something more temporary and/or recent than "have/has _ed". For example, I would say "I have lived in England my whole life" NOT "I have been living in England my whole life", but I might well say "I have been living with my parents while my house is being redecorated." (but, thinking about it, you could also say "I have been living in Bristol since 1986", so it doesn't have to be temporary/recent)

Also, "I have read Hamlet"= I have read it at some point in my life (could have been twenty years ago)and I finished the whole thing.

"I have been reading Hamlet"= I have been spending a lot of time reading it recently and I probably haven't finished it.



Last edited by Melaszka; November 2nd, 2011 at 5:15 pm.
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  #78  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 7:17 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Also, "I have read Hamlet"= I have read it at some point in my life (could have been twenty years ago)and I finished the whole thing.

"I have been reading Hamlet"= I have been spending a lot of time reading it recently and I probably haven't finished it.
Oh, most definitely. But in the examples given, they are almost predicates of state, and there's an adverbial phrase giving duration. In my experience, with either "I have <verb>-ed for <duration>" or "I have been <verb>-ing for <duration>," the sense is that the <verb> is still ongoing. To indicate previously completed action, I'd use the simple past: "I <verb>-ed for <duration>."

It would be a bit weird to say, "I have been reading Hamlet for three years." I mean, yes, it's a long play--but it's not that long. And "I have read Hamlet for three years" sounds downright strange. I have no idea what I would mean by that.

Incidentally, I see the same distinction you do, "have lived in England" versus "have been living in England," but have to give some thought as to what exactly that distinction represents. It's an interesting thing, though.

EDIT: Having thought about it for a bit, I wonder if the distinction represents change of state. When I say, "I have been <verb>-ing," the implication is that previously, I was not <verb>-ing. I think "I have <verb>-ed" is more neutral in this regard. That would explain why it is unnatural to say, "I have been living in England all my life," because it is impossible for you to have lived elsewhere previously, but it is not unnatural (or not as unnatural, at any rate) to say, "I have been living in England for forty years," even if you are only forty-one years old--because there is a potential for change of state to have occurred forty years ago.

I guess that's basically what you meant by "temporary and/or recent."


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Last edited by BrianTung; November 2nd, 2011 at 7:30 pm.
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  #79  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 8:57 pm
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Well, what I said before was just my somewhat bungling instinct, but I've just consulted Quirk and Greenbaum's University Grammar of English, which has this to say on the subject:

Quote:
The perfect progressive

Limited duration (or incompleteness) and current relevance can be jointly expressed with the perfect progressive. Compare:

He has eaten my chocolates (they are all gone)
He was eating my chocolates (but I stopped him)
He has been eating my chocolates (but there are some left)

Frequently the perfect progressive implies an especially recent activity, the effects of which are obvious, and the adverb just commonly accompanies this usage:

It has rained a great deal since you were here.
Oh look! It has just been raining

Not sure if that helps or not.


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  #80  
Old November 4th, 2011, 5:38 am
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Re: The Improve Your English Thread v4.

Crossword Puzzle Clues.

Some illnesses kill people. They are _________.

The answer is a 6-letter word and the first letter is "d" and the third one is "a" (At least, this is what I think it could be).
Any ideas?


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