Improve how you sound in English by mastering when these three words are used! I’ve met thousands of English learners at all levels. Most of them, even the advanced students, make mistakes with the words “a”, “the”, and “to”. These are some of the most common words we use, so in this lesson I’m going to teach you how we use these words. I don’t want to look just at grammar; I want you to understand these words and why we use them. If you’re an advanced English student, this will be a great review for you. If you’re a beginner, try to understand this and save yourself years of English mistakes.
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Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. The things I do for love. There’s not a thing… Hi. James from engVid. Today’s lesson is about instantly improving. Now, I know… “Instant”, what does that mean? People say it all the time. I want to show you a little trick that will make your English sound better instantly, and I will give you a technique that you can use after to help practice this. What I have found are students have a mistake or make a mistake when they drop these three words, and because of that I know you’re not a native speaker. But today I’m going to address that, show you the three words… Okay? Explain why, and then I will give you a technique that you can use at home soon as you go back over this video or any video to practice it, and you will get instantly better. 10-20%. Okay? Want to know what I’m talking about? Let’s go to the board and look at something you’ve learned, but today you’re going to understand. You ready?
So, Mr. E said: “Which three words can help you sound like a native speaker?” I’m going to help you a little bit by doing this, and then we’re going to go to the board. The words I’m talking about, and you might not consider them words but they are words are: “a” or “an”… Okay, and I consider that one word because it’s modified. Right? “The” and “to”. Of course you’re going to say: “Yeah, James, we know all these. We learned this at beginner, so how does that instantly help me improve my English?” The problem is this: When a person knows something they will talk, when they understand they will change their behaviour or they will use the information. Many students know about articles and the preposition “to”, but they actually don’t use them in sentences. Many times I’ve heard students go… Say: “I need to go work tonight.” Soon as you say that I know you’re not a native speaker. Or if they say: “I bought car yesterday” or “I bought food…” Not “some food”. “I bought apple yesterday at the store.” I’m like: “A-… You mean an apple, right?” They don’t think to say it, because they know: “Teacher, you know what I’m saying.” And I go: “Yeah, I know what you’re saying, but the way you said it I know English is not your first language.” So what I want to do is get you to come back to understanding, not just knowing why these words are important, the fact that, especially with the articles we’re going to talk about, they are in most of the sentences. You can almost not get by a sentence without using them.
So let’s go to the board and take a look. First, what is an article? Well, you’ll see an article is the letter “a” or “an”. Quickly on that one, “an” is used when we have a vowel sound, sound… Not a… Not just a vowel. So when you say: “A apple”, we know “a” and “a” make it difficult for us to actually get it out and for you to understand, so we add: “an” to put a consonant to make it easier for the listener. “I want an apple.” Oh, okay, cool. How about “hour”? Teacher, that has an “h” in front of it. I’m like: “Enh?” But we say: “hour”, we don’t say: “h-our”, because with “a” we have to say: “an hour”, and that once again tells me one hour. You keep noticing I keep saying “one”. I’ll explain in a second.
Now, this is what we call and indefinite article. I.e. it’s not special. When I say to you: “I want a marker”, a marker. All right? I’m talking about this. See this? They’re all basically the same. I don’t care what type of marker. “A” just means generally speaking marker. That’s why it’s indefinite; it’s not special. When we look at the word “the”, “the” is special. In this case, when I say to you: “I want the marker”, which one do you think I’m talking about? Can you see the difference? Clearly. Even if you don’t know, you would look and see four, and see this and go: “He’s probably talking about this one.” So with a definite article what’s happening is someone is being very specific. Well, there are two things. They could say something is special or something is specific. Okay? And here we have definite article is “the”. “Tell the man I like him.” Okay? “Tell the man”, in this case both of us have to know what you’re talking about, because if there are 10 men you’ll go: “Which man?”