Unit 18

Question 1 : Can you explain the use of “very” and “fished for” which you used in your 'by the sea' video lesson?
Question 2:
How do we use “recommend” in a sentence and what synonyms are there?
Question 3 : What are the differences between the homonyms “there”, “ their” and  “they’re”?
Question 4: What are the differences between “always” and “ever”?

Unit 18

Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England, how are you today? Are you okay? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so!
Here I am again , just  after celebrating my birthday, another year older, but not much wiser. With another selection of your email questions and comments concerning the English language and my work here on the internet.   So without any more sitting around, let’s have our first question for today.

Can you explain the use of “very” and “fished for” which you used in your “by the sea” video lesson. ?

This question comes from Elisa in Italy, who noticed these sentences in my video lesson entitled “By the sea”.

During this lesson I said “the Spanish Armada sailed right past this very spot”. In this sentence the word “very” means “exact” or “precise”.

“On this very day” . “At that very moment” “At this very spot” . We point at or to an exact place or time.
I also used the term “fished for” in the video. This means that one particular creature is being sought.

We look for it. WE search for that particular animal. “We fish for crabs”. “Crabs are fished for in this area”. We clearly state that a certain thing is being caught.   As an action “fish” can show that something is being  pulled out from the water.
The boy was fished from the lake” . “they had to fish my car from the river”.

 A nice email!

I have received a nice email from Weslley in Brazil, who thanks me for my video lessons and describes them as “inspirational”. That’s nice. Weslley is in the process of finishing an English course and hopes in the future to teach English to children living in Brazil. Thank you for your kind words and Weslley would like to send a big special  hello to all those around the world who are watching and learning too.

How do we use “recommend” in a sentence and what synonyms are there?

This question was sent in by Ralph, who lives in Portugal.
The word “recommend” is used as a way of expressing a strong suggestion. You are pointing someone towards a certain thing by suggesting it.

You can recommend almost anything.  I saw the new Bruce Willis movie last night, I recommend you go and see it too.
I went to Madeira for my holiday last year and I would recommend it to anyone.
“This is my recommendation”,  “This food comes highly recommended”

The last sentence shows that something is very popular and that many people like it. 
I recommend. I suggest it. I urge you to try it or do it. It is highly rated. It comes highly recommended.

What are the differences between the homonyms “there”, “their” and  “they’re”?

 This question comes from Ernande who lives in Brazil. A common occurrence in English is when two or more words have similar sounds. They are homonyms.

They are pronounced in a similar way.
A great example of this comes with these three words.  First  we have “there”. This word relates to the location or destination of something in the distance of future.   “He is over there”. “There she is” there will be trouble” “Are we there yet?”
The next “their” relates to possession by a third person or a group of people. “The group will be late, their bus has broken down”.

We often use “their” when we are unsure of a person gender. Instead of his or hers, we say theirs….mine, yours, theirs.
Finally “there is a contraction for “they are”. The bus has been fixed and they’re now moving again.

Finally it is worth mentioning another contraction,there’re” this is a shortened version of “there are”.
“There’re lots of seats available on the bus”
This is an informal contraction, which is often spoken, but rarely written.

It’s that time again?

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, grandmas and grandpas… and of course small furry animals with big eyes.
IT’s now time for….word of the week.


This week’s word is :Gratuitous”.
This word relates to an action that is uncalled for or is seen as excessive. (For example) Something that is considered unjustly violent.   A fight scene in a movie may be described as gratuitous because the action is too extreme and excessive. It may upset some people. This word can also relate to language. If a person uses too many swear words. Then this could be described as “gratuitous language”.  

What are the differences between “always” and “ever”?

 Looks like a spider.
This question was sent by Oscar in Sweden. “always” and “ever” can both be related to action and time, however their uses can vary considerably. In its most basic form “always” means continually from now on. From this moment onwards.  Something does not (will not )stop. “ I will always love you”.” I always eat porridge for breakfast”.

‘Always’ can show that something you do now has been done continually up until this moment.

I have always been a happy person.
The word “ever” can define many things. It can be used as a direct synonym for ‘always’.  In fact many uses of “always” can be replaced with by ‘forever’. Then there is “evermore”. We can say “forever more”. They all have the same meaning “from now on”.  Ever can also relate to an instance of something happening or being done, usually in the form of a question.   Did you ever find that red dress you were looking for? Have you ever been to Paris?
How ever did it happen?

We can use “ever” informally to help show that something did not occur. “I would never ever say that”.  Or that it will be never occur from now on. “ I will never ever say that again”.

Just before I leave you today, I would like to say a special “hello” to all of my new followers, who have subscribed to both of my English teaching channels.

I now have students watching my video in over 70 countries around the world. Also a big hello and a sincere thank you to all those who sent personal greetings to me for my birthday last Thursday.
And ..well, as you can see…, there are too many to mention.
Thank you everyone

Thank also for the nice birthdays gifts including this globe, which was a present from Mr Steve.

That is all from me for today. I will see you all again very soon with some more questions and answers. That email address is coming very soon.
Who knows? The next time we meet, I could be answering you.

 This is Misterduncan in England saying thank you for asking me and of course…ta-ta for now.


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