Unit 12

Question 1 : How do we use ‘yet’ in  a sentence?
Question 2: What is the difference between ‘nation’ and ‘country’, also how do we use ‘relation’ and ‘relationship’ in English sentences?
Question 3 : Why do I find it hard to speak English, when I can easily read and write it?

Unit 12

Oh I’m just combing my hair…combing you see, it’s a fir comb (cone). Please yourself!
Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England, how are you today? Are you OK? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so!
I’m so glad to see that you have decided to join me for another rummage through my ever growing pile of e-mail questions and comments sent in to me, by you. So without any more dawdling, let us have our first question for today.

Question 1: How do we use ‘yet’ in  a sentence?

This question comes from Marcos Lucas, who lives in Spain. Despite the size of this word, ‘yet’ often cause confusion. It is mostly used as an adverb. It can be used to express ‘up until this moment’. ‘He has not arrived yet.’

When used with a superlative, ‘This meal is the best yet.’ It can refer to a point of time in the future or express a moment of time when something should or may occur. ‘He may yet arrive.’ ‘He may yet change his decision.’

It can express a continuation or more of the same. ‘There is yet more bad news to report.’ It can be used to express ‘despite’. ‘The weather is terrible, yet I keep smiling.’

It may also be used as a conjunction to express two things occurring together, but not affecting each other. ‘The room was dark, yet I was able to find the door.’

A nice e-mail

I have received a very nice e-mail from a young lady named Gracinda, who used to live in Brazil, but now lives here in England with her husband.

Gracinda has been following my lessons for the past three years and has succeeded in passing most of her ESOL exams.
Congratulations Gracinda on your success so far and all the best for the rest of your course. Please let me know how you get on.

Question 2: What is the difference between ‘nation’ and ‘country’, also how do we use ‘relation’ and ‘relationship’ in English sentences?

These questions come from Nguyen Dinh Tung, who is studying English in Hanoi- Vietnam.

First there is no real difference between the words ‘nation’ and ‘country’.
They are synonymous with each other. However we tend to use ‘nation’ more when we are talking about the identify or characteristic(s) of a country. ‘The nation flag.’ ‘The nation bank.’ ‘The nation debt.’ ‘The mood of the nation.’

So nation appears to relate more to people, while ‘country’ tends to be used when talking about the land and its geography.

Although strictly speaking their meanings are similar. An area of occupied land, with its own government.

‘relation’ and ‘relationship’

The words ‘relation’ and ‘relationship’ are both used to express a family connection or a common similarity between two objects or events.

A relation is a person who is a member of your family, be they a brother or sister, aunt or uncle, niece, nephew or grandparent. They are relatives. We can express two events that have connections with, or similarities to each other. ‘The two explosions are related.’ There is a relation between these two explosions.

The word ‘relationship’ is used to show a definite connection or the act of being connected. There is a relationship between overeacting and obesity. Mary and I are in a relationship.

Question 3: Why do I find it hard to speak English, when I can easily read and write it?

This very interesting question comes from Jun Nishioka, who is a student and lives in Japan. Believe it or not, your problem is a common one. The hardest part of leaning any language is speaking it. With reading and writing there is time to think about what you wish to say. Whereas with speaking out loud, you have very little time to consider what you are about to say.

Speech is usually spontaneous. This means that it happens with very little planning or preparation. But just like any other ability, this skill can be learned. Try reading short passages (from books) out loud. Remember and recite short sentences. Get used to the sound of your English speaking voice.

The important thing to remember is that this problem is a common one, so do not worry too much about it.
And Jun, I hope your dreams of being a commercial pilot come true. With practice and determination…the sky’s the limit.
Excuse me…I’ve got a little bit of hay fever this week.

Before I vamoose (dash off) into the sunset, I would like to say a special hello to…DJ Boudy, who follows my lessons in Egypt and told me last week on Facebook that he hopes one day he can come to England and develop his deejaying skills with the Ministry of Sound, in London. That sounds like fun.

A big hello also to another person I chatted with on Facebook last week. Matteo in Italy, who told me that he is a big fan of Mr Lomax. Maybe I should get Mr Lomax to say hello to all of you one week.

And finally a big hello to Massimilano, who also follows me in Italy. It was nice chatting with you about phrasal verbs on Facebook last week and I would like to wish you good luck with your forthcoming English test.

That is all from me for today. If I did not read out your question today, do not worry, there is always another time. And of course there is always something new to learn right here (each and) every week on ‘Ask Misterduncan’.

Thank you for watching me, answering you. This is Misterduncan in England saying..ta-ta for now.

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Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England
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