Unit 19

Question 1 : Is it correct to use “breads” as a countable word?
Question 2: Are the words “discriminate” and “differentiate” the same, how can they be used and what does “on the right track” mean?
Question 3: I have trouble using verbs and expressing simple present and participle past, can you help me?
Question 4: What are the differences between “single”, “alone” and “lonely”?

Unit 19

Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England. How are you today? Are you ok? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so!
Here I am from my holiday, all refreshed and ready to go.
I had a lovely time in …. Ooops I nearly told you where I’ve been. That is secret for now. So it’s back to business with another selection of your email questions and comments, so without any more ….. holiday reminiscing, let’s have our first question for today.

Is it correct to use “breads” as a countable word?

I don’t like my passport photo.
This question was sent in my Adgerian, who works as an English teacher in Brazil. Well the answer to your question is yes and no. First is worth noting that the word “bread” can be used as countable or uncountable. “A loaf of bread” refers to one item. “A bread shop” or “the bread delivery” refers to many items. “Bread product” relates to food made from flour and yeast that have been baked.

However we can also use the word “breads” as a plural word. Breads from around the word. The breads we love to eat. So when we are talking about many different types of bread, then we can say “breads”. So if we cut a loaf of bread, the slices are still bread because they came from the same loaf. “A slice of bread” or “slices of bread”. If we are talking about many different varieties of bread, then we can use “breads”.

It is similar to food rule, where the meal on your plate is “food”, while the many different types of food can be described as “foods”. We are using the plural. The same can be said for water. Water as a quantity is uncountable but when we are talking about places where water can be found or where it exists, then we can use the plural. The water of Scotland. This countable –plural can cause many problems, even for native English speakers.

A nice email.

I have received a nice email from Vicky, who is a regular follower of my English video channel. Besides the kind word, Vicky has also attached a specially created drawing of one of my furry friends, who in the picture is sending me a special hello all the way from Mexico. Thank you very much Vicky for the kind gesture. You certainly have a talent for drawing. I’d like to send you a special hello in return and so would someone else...Thanks a lot for your drawing Vicky … I love it.

Are the words “discriminate” and “differentiate” the same, how can they be used and what does “on the right track” mean?

Do you like my seahorses? I bought them as a souvenir while I was on my holiday.  This question is sent by Do Huu Trang, who lives in Vietnam.

The words “discriminate” and “differentiate” can be used as synonyms, however of the two, the word "discriminate” tends to be used more. Especially talking about prejudices. If you dislike a person because of their skin colour or their religious beliefs, or if you consciously avoid or reject one thing for another, you discriminate , you differentiate, you show prejudice. You favor one thing over another. Differentiate expresses the action of highlighting the differences, but not necessary in a bad way. Whereas “discriminate” almost always refers to a negative action. Racial discrimination. Religious discrimination . Sexual discrimination.

To answer your other question, the phrase “on the right track” means to be heading in the right direction or to be doing something in the correct way. For example – “I think you will succeed, you are on the right way”. If you make a guess about something or try to answer a question, but you are not quite correct, we might say “that is not correct, but you are on the right track”. There is another phrase “making tracks”, which is used to express a desire or the need to leave. “It’s getting late, I should be making tracks”.

The word Misterduncan hates to use
You know there is one word in the English language that I hate using. That word is “no”. But of course sometimes we must say it. It must be used.  So it is my sad duty to say that I cannot accept essays or homework from you to check, correct or mark. Sadly, I do not have enough time to do this and if I did it for one person, then I would feel obligated to do it for everyone.
So as far as checking your English homework or correcting essays is concerned, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to say “no”. Not that I want to of course. Questions and comments only please and of course those all important special hellos.

I have trouble using verbs and expressing simple present and participle past, can you help me?

This question was sent by Camilla, who lives in Italy. Let’s start by looking at  some examples of regular verbs and how they can be used. The word “jump” in its present form can be either “jump” or “jumps”. In the simple past it is “jumped”. In its past participle it is also “jumped”. In its present participle it is “jumping”. Let us not forget the infinitive, which is “to jump”. Let’s look at “laugh”. The simple present form can be either “laugh” or “laughs”. In the simple past form it is “laughed”. In its past participle it is also “laughed”. In its present participle it is “laughing” and it infinitive, we say “to laugh”.

It is common for people learning English to use the present participle incorrectly.  For example “Let’s stay at home tonight watching TV”. If it is something you plan to do in the future, then the basic verb will do. I will walk to work tomorrow” . The present participle always ends in “ing”, however irregular verbs in the past participle do not always end the same way. For example buy- bought. Swim –swam-swum. Sing-sang-sung. Catch- caught- caught. Fly – flew- flown. Dig- dug. Seek- sought. Stand-stood. Slide-slid. Leap-leapt, or in American English “leaped”. Regular verbs in their past participle form always end in “ed” “closed” “jumped”. “laughed”. “pulled”, “waved”, “walked”. “yanked”.

Is that time again!

Oh yes they said it would not last. They said it could not continue. They criticized it, they lambasted it, they derided it, scored it , and knocked it. They even tried to burn it, yet it still survives….
It is the word of the week. This week’s word is ‘procrastinate
This is a verb which means to put something off. To delay doing something. To avoid doing something. You dally, you dawdle, you defer, you adjourn, you postpone. You procrastinate. It originates from Latin and literally means “put off until tomorrow”.

What are the differences between “single”, “alone” and “lonely”?

This question comes from Hoang Anh, who lives in Vietnam. The words “single” is used to show an individual object or thing. It highlights the one thing. It expresses a singularity. If you are unmarried then you are not attached. You are unattached. You are single. Being alone or doing something alone refers to just you or one thing. To do something without any help or assistance. You do it alone. There is no other person nearby. You stand alone in an empty room. You can also feel alone. The feeling of being alone is usually expresses as “lonely”. “A lonely man”. “A lonely place”. So strictly speaking, single is not a direct synonym of alone, whereas lonely is.

I hate unpacking dirty clothes. Before I leave you all and continue unpacking my suitcase, I would like to say a special hello to Muhammed Yasir in Pakistan, who wrote to tell me how useful my free English language video lessons are. A big hello to all my new Facebook friends, who have joined me while I was away. Including Mitzi, Armi, Sharifa, Ven, Cuong, Danniel, Patrica, Youself and Alice. A big hello also  to my new subscribers here on YouTube.

That is all from me today. I will see you all again soon with another selection of your email questions and comments. That email address will be popping up before your eyes very soon, so keep a look-out for it.

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

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