I have IDD! And you might too! – English Listening Video with Subtitles and Notes

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Complete Video Transcript with Personal Notes on PHRASAL VERBS

The Internet makes us dumb. Yes it does.

I capitalized internet throughout this transcript and have always done so, but it was a total bummer (extra work) to capitalize it every time. From now on, I’m with you, rest of the world outside of North America, who doesn’t usually capitalize internet. Let’s make life easier.

I got to thinking as I read about to capitalize internet or not to capitalize it that it doesn’t help comprehension in any way for it to be capitalized. Therefore, no caps on internet for me! Do you agree? (I say screw the style guides unless you’re being forced to use them like for work or school.)

“How?” you might say.

I could have said ASK instead of SAY. It would have sounded better, but SAY is what I said. ;)

Well, let me explain to you what happened to me just the other morning.

Common English learner alert!

You explain something TO somebody.

You don’t explain somebody. This has a different meaning. If I explain you, I might give the reason for your existence or describe your personal characteristics. So, remember…

I was almost out of waffle mix.

To be out of something means there isn’t any left. You had some at a previous time, but now you don’t have any. Therefore, you’re out. Ok? I have this nice bag of premixed waffle mix. All I do is add water, put it in the waffle-making thing, wala, I have waffles. But I was almost out of mix and I was like, “Uh! What do I do? Look it up!”

Except for I couldn’t look it up. I didn’t have any Internet.

To look up is a separable phrasal verb that means BUSCAR INFORMACIÓN. And what’s the rule to remember with separable phrasal verbs????

Always separate separable phrasal verbs when the object is a pronoun.

If the object is a noun, you have the option to separate or not.

Ok, so I was like, “Ok, I would normally just look up what to do if you almost run out of waffle mix.” And then I was thinking to myself, “This is so stupid. You should know what to do if you almost run out of waffle mix, Jesi. Come on! It’s just a waffle.”

When you are out of something, it means you’ve run out of that something! You had it before, but you used it all up, and now you don’t have any! You ran out! In Spanish TO RUN OUT OF SOMETHING is QUEDARSE SIN ALGO.

And that’s when it hit me, I can’t even make waffles without the Internet.


Yeah, I have Internet Dependence Disorder. IDD.

Sadly, this is a true statement for me. I am a workaholic and information addict…so I work online and there’s so much information online, it’s hard not to be addicted to the internet. But I’m actually really fighting it. I’m limiting myself like I say you should do at the end of the video. Here are my limits:

Because like every time I need to know something I don’t think about it too hard.

Why include LIKE after BECAUSE? I have no idea. But it makes me sound like a teenager…uhhh! I have to stop! haha

Examples of BECAUSE LIKE on Twitter

Real Native English Usage of BECAUSE LIKE on Twitter

I don’t sit and ponder and talk about it with somebody and say, “You know I think it’s this way,” or “You know I think it’s that way.”

I was told once by a Turkish guy that you can identify an American English speaker easily because of their over usage of YOU KNOW as a filler. Someone else describes using fillers as a way to make a dialogue a monologue. Um…I don’t think so. I also read that using fillers means that you think slower than you speak. Hmm…well, maybe. But what are we to do…us slow thinkers? I’ve always thought my processor was slow and this PROVES it! haha Slow processing doesn’t mean less intelligent, mind you!

But YOU KNOW is used more ways than just as a filler.

No! You know what we do? We say, “I’ll google it.” And then we google it. And did you notice that typing is now thumbing. I didn’t say google it. I said google it.

Everything’s changing y’all.

If you’ve been following me for any time,  you’ve heard me say “y’all”. Y’ALL is the plural second-person pronoun used by just about everyone in the Southern US.

Y’all as a Subject Pronoun

Listen to simple English to improve y’alls comprehension and speaking.

Y’all as a Possessive Pronoun

Some folks, myself included have been confused on how to write the possessive form of Y’ALL since there isn’t a committee in English telling us all how we should do it. However, if we just consider Y’ALL a possessive pronoun and apply the common rule that’s used in other possessive pronouns it seems most logical to just add an S and not an ‘S.

What does Y’ALL mean for you?

Pay attention! You’ll see when I’m speaking directly to you (my individual student) or to y’all (my wonderful big group of students). I love y’all! And I love you!

Everything’s changing and we’ve gotta make sure our brains are ready for the future.

This is an example of what I’m going to call a “subject contraction.”  You can add ‘s to subjects for three reasons (that I know of):

  1. ‘s for possession – SELVA’s web site is awesome!
  2. ‘s contraction for IS – SELVA’s a great place to learn English online.
  3. ‘s contraction for HAS – SELVA’s got the best English listening videos with subtitles!

However, if the subject ends in S, then you must say and write IS or HAS.

Alright, so what are we gonna do?

So, “they” say I should write ALRIGHT as ALL RIGHT. However, in my opinion ALL RIGHT and ALRIGHT have different meanings. In the above example I’m not saying that everything is ALL RIGHT. Instead, I’m using ALRIGHT as a transition word (I can’t think of the right name for it right now) to say, “That covers it. Let’s keep going.”

In addition to this transitional usage of ALRIGHT, there’s a more noticeable difference in ALL RIGHT and ALRIGHT.

ALL RIGHT – accurate, correct

ALRIGHT – satisfactory, not wonderful and not horrible

We’re gonna take a stand against IDD.

to take a stand against – pronunciarse en contra

I’m gonna make waffles from scratch…all the way with no premixes.

to make something from scratch – hacer algo a partir de cero, algo casero

Ok, except for I’m not gonna use regular flour. I’m gonna use self-rising flour, but let’s not talk about that. I’m an American.

Yes, you’re probably American too. We all (except for you folks in Spain) are Americans. We live in North America, Central America, and South America. However, the Americans from the United States identify themselves as just Americans, not estadounidenses. This is in contrast to how United States of Mexico identify themselves as Mexicans or Mexicanos. Although Mexico is also in North America (just like the US) they don’t call themselves Americans or estadounidenses, but Mexicans. I’m not sure why we call use Americans to refer to ourselves in the United States, but I can’t think of an easier way that sounds “right” other than “United Statesman” and that sounds archaic and strange. There’s also “United States Citizen” but that’s what you’d see used in formal writing or a news report or something similar. In everyday speech, we just say we’re Americans and most all the time it isn’t used to be rude and say that you aren’t American if you’re from other countries in North, Central, and South America. The fact is most people don’t even think about it. Some folks attribute this vocabulary to the ignorance and self-centeredness of people from the U.S. How ever true our ignorance and self-centeredness may be, I don’t believe it’s the reason we call ourselves Americans. But whatever the reason, does it matter as long as we aren’t doing it with bad intentions? I don’t think so. So, I say we just accept it, don’t take it the wrong way, and let’s get on with learning English! However, if someone is using it in a rude way to degrade others, well then shame on them! And remember compassion is one of your greatest tools to protect yourself and to help improve our world! :)

Ok, so I’m gonna make waffles from scratch and roll it!

ROLL IT is another way of saying PLAY IT referring to video footage. I’m pretty sure, although I didn’t look this up, that ROLL IT is an expression from the good ol’ days when movies were actually on rolls of film and to start the movie you actually had to roll the film.

I’m gonna mix everything up in this clear bowl and wear this pretty pink apron I got from Oaxaca.

What’s the difference in MIX and MIX UP?

Well, MIX UP is one of those phrasal verbs that doesn’t have to be a phrasal verb in this usage. I could have said, “I’m gonna mix everything in this clear bowl.” So, why on earth did I add UP and make a perfectly good verb a dreaded phrasal verb? Well, Cami asked me this once about phrasal verbs and I think there are a couple of reasons why we do it:

  1. It’s just a fun and informal way of speaking, and we like it.
  2. The added UP in this case can add extra emphasis that I’m not only mixing the ingredients, but I’m mixing them together really well! I’m mixing them up! And for a little bit more emphasis we can even say, “I’m mixing them all up.”

With this in mind though, be aware that MIX UP as a phrasal verb has other meanings other than just MEXCLAR.

mix up (separable) – confuse

I only wanna make one or maybe two waffles. So I’m gonna use a half a cup of flour, one egg, and just some milk. Cracking this egg on camera makes me nervous! Oh yeah! I got it! Perfect. Now, I just have to wash my hands and remember what I have to do next. Oh yeah, milk. Now all my ingredients are together, the flour, the egg, and the milk, and now I need something to stir with, a fork.

So, you don’t stir with a fork! You stir with a spoon. This is just an example of me slipping up in my speech. We say things all the time without thinking first. This was one of those times.

I could (have) use(d) a whisk, but I didn’t have one handy.

When you have something handy, it’s readily available. (a mano)

I’m not really a measuring-cup kind of cook. So, let the mixing, pouring, and mess making begin. Oh yeah, I knew I’d be needing some more milk. I’ll pour in a little milk and mix mix mix some more. So, if these waffles end up tasting good you (had) better believe I’m actually going to remember how I made ‘em, you know.

to end up (non-separable) – acabar, terminar

HAD BETTER is a stronger way to say SHOULD. It’s commonly used as a threat in a serious way and also in a joking way. Notice that I don’t often include HAD and actually didn’t know it was supposed to be there until a few years ago. I felt so dumb when I asked a question in a forum and got corrected with something I didn’t have any idea was wrong. haha That’s my Southern English for you. D

And if I’d used the Internet and just looked up some random recipe, no, I wasn’t gonna remember that and that was going to make me Internet Dependent. I had to coat the grill with a little bit of nonstick cooking spray.

a little bit – un poquitín, un poquito

Then I can pour in the waffle mix. Now I’m gonna flip it over and do the same thing on the other side.

to flip over – dar vuelta a

This is a double waffle maker. How sweet!

I’m not talking about sugar here!

“How sweet!” is like “How cool!” (qué guay! qué cheveré! qué chido! que padre! What are some more y’all???)

My aunt once told me that the rubber spatula is a million-dollar kitchen tool because it saves you a million dollars. How cool is that?

She told me that. Yep, that’s what she told me. She only told me once, but I can still remember her telling me. So, I’m gonna tell you something right now!

Got it? Good!

Now we just wait on the beep.


As far as I know, WAIT ON and WAIT FOR both mean ESPERAR.

I’m coming. I’ll be right there. I’m coming. I’ll be right there.

Don’t confuse GO and COME in this common expression.

Just listen to that sizzle.

Please listen to me. In English you listen TO things. But you can just listen as well without specifying what you’re listening to.

With more practice I’m sure this waffle will be picture perfect, but for right now this waffle looks dang good.

DANG has a few different uses. The way I’ve used it above means BASTANTE. It’s not vulgar, just slang. So, feel free to add DANG to your vocabulary when speaking informally.

Another common meaning of DANG is MALDITO.

The other beep ought to go off any time now. Perfect timing. See, I wasn’t too impatient.

If you go back and listen to me say these two sentences you can really hear my Southern American accent. Some folks say it’s cute, but I just think it sounds a bit silly. Nevertheless, I like it and wouldn’t choose any other accent to claim as my own!

It’s time to give these two waffles the butter and syrup treatment they deserve. Go easy on the syrup now! That stuff’s fattening!

go easy on – pasarse con

I hope it tastes good!

HOPE is one meaning of ESPERAR.

Some other words in English that are a bit tricky to understand are WAIT, TO LOOK FORWARD TO, and EXPECT. Check out this video response I recently recorded for one of our Hump Day Mondayers on this confusing set of words.

Alright, my homemade from…away from Internet waffles… How do I say this?

The waffles I made in order to protect myself against IDD look wonderful, but how do they taste? That’s the question.

When you see IN ORDER TO it just means PARA. You can also take away the IN ORDER and the sentence will still make sense.

Will these be Jesi treats or dog treats? Mardi looked at me when I said dog treat.

LOOK, SEE, and WATCH…what’s the difference? Well, I’ve already covered this topic and the lesson on this slightly confusing trio has helped many understand their usages! Go check it out!

Did you know what a dog treat is?

Yes, this is my puppy voice! It’s similar to a baby voice, but I don’t baby talk…or I at least try really hard not to!

Let’s dig in!

dig in (non-separable phrasal verb) – atacar (comida)

I made waffles! Haha! Without the Internet! Oh my gosh! And they taste great.

Do you like expressions? I do too! OH MY GOSH is a common expression of shock. There are many more and I covered them in the Season 2 Hump Day Monday Premiere.

Ok, all I did y’all was (mix) one egg, a little bit of self-rising flour, and milk…made it a little soupy, poured it in that nice waffle maker thing that y’all saw that I had, and it turned out great!

turn out – acabar, terminar

Ok, I just need some strawberries. Anybody got any strawberries? You got any strawberries? You got some strawberries? Have you got any strawberries? Do you have any strawberries? I can’t keep ‘em all straight! You got any strawberries? I don’t have any strawberries, but I (have) got waffles.

Like I need to say this, but I didn’t rehearse nor anticipate going over this (have, have got, some, any) in this video! It just sort of happened! So, I was all over the place. Therefore, let me take the time now to explain everything the right way.

To say TENER we have a couple different ways in English.

What’s the difference?

HAVE GOT is less formal than HAVE, but they’re interchangeable for the most part.

In spoken English, we often drop the HAVE and just use GOT.

What about ANY and SOME?

So, you’ve probably learned to use ANY in questions and SOME in statements. Well, that’s only half the story. You can actually use ANY and SOME  in questions.

Thanks everybody for learning English with me, your teacher online, your English teacher online, Jessica Ojeda from SELVA inglés. That’s right! That’s my name. That’s who I am. Muah! Ok, we’re gonna pretend I didn’t record that. Oh!

Thanks for + “-ing”

Take two on that. Thanks everybody for learning English with me, Jessica Ojeda, your online English teacher from SELVA inglés.com. There was a question is it dot.com or is it punto.com. Well, it just usually comes out punto.com because I’m used to saying SELVAingles punto com.

What you’re used to doing is what you usually do!

to be used to + “-ing” – acostumbrar

Take three. Thanks guys for learning English with me, Jessica Ojeda, your online English teacher from SELVA inglés dot com. I appreciate you watching. Please subscribe to learn more English and please visit my web site SELVAingles.com for a personal notarized…no, not notarized… Oh my gosh! I can’t do it! I really can’t y’all.

Listen to the end of this part of the video closely. I pronounced CAN’T differently each time. ;)

Visit my web site SELVAingles.com for a complete transcript of this video complete with personal notes on like almost every line, ok?

This LIKE is so pointless! This is a habit I should stop, but I have a little bit of FRESA in me if you know what I mean! Basically, teenagers speak like this, and it makes you sound a bit dumb. But hey, it’s ok. I know I’m not dumb.

I have a whole lot to say about everything I say.

a whole lot = a whole bunch = a lot

So, go check it out. Please subscribe. Muah! I think that was take five.

to check out (separable) – echar un vistazo

Yeah! We rocked it!

to rock something – to do really well at something

Do you or a loved one suffer from IDD? If so, call one eight hundred stop IDD now. Don’t delay.

Do you know the common phrasal verb for DELAY?

to put off – delay – postpone – posponer

Alright, no for real, if you suffer from IDD, my completely made up disorder that is by the way a real disorder, but it’s not called IDD, it’s called Internet Addiction somethin’ ‘nother.

This is some more Southern English coming out of me! The real phrase is SOMETHING OR OTHER or SOMETHING OR ANOTHER.

But the point is it is real and I wanted to bring it to light and also for real make a joke about it but for real fight it as well.

to bring to light – sacar a la luz

So, share this video. Help fight against Internet addiction. Share share! Subscribe subscribe! Stay on here! Watch all my videos. Don’t do it. Limit yourself. Ok. Limits…limits are good. See y’all in the next video. Bye bye! Muah!

THANKS FOR LEARNING ENGLISH WITH ME! I really appreciate it! Stay tuned for more Reality English Listening Videos!

Hump Day Monday S2E2 – Tus Dudas de Inglés Contestadas

Welcome to the second episode of the second season of Hump Day Monday, an original SELVA inglés series.

Become a Hump Day Mondayer now!

This week y’all wanted to know about pronunciation more than anything else! And that’s wonderful, because English pronunciation gives us all fits! Let’s sort it out here together!

So, ready or not, here is HDM S2E2!

Dudas de Pronunciación de Inglés

Oscar Ek asked…

¿Cuál es la diferencia de pronunciación entre SEE y SEA?

SEE and SEA are pronounced exactly the same.

SEE /siː/
SEA /siː/

Words that are spelled differently but share the same pronunciation are called heterographs. There are LOTS of heterographs in English. Why though? What’s going on? How can two words spelled differently be pronounced the same? English isn’t phonetic like Spanish. Basically, written and spoken English don’t match up.

The way we say a word is different from the way we write a word in English. Consequently, learning correct English pronunciation from written English is just about impossible. You have to HEAR a word in English first to know how to pronounce it. Even native speakers, myself included, don’t know how to pronounce an unfamiliar written word although we may be completely comfortable using it in speech. Therefore, reading aloud in the presence of others is uncomfortable for lots of people.

Another common heterograph set is THEIR, THEY’RE, and THERE. All three words are pronounced exactly the same. You must listen to the context to determine which word is being used.

Heterographs are often confused when writing, but not when speaking. One of the most commonly confused or just mistyped heterograph sets is YOUR and YOU’RE. I even make this mistake from time to time and it’s embarrassing for ME, but it’s really common for folks who aren’t English teachers, scholars, or perfectionists.

Native English Mistake - Smile. Your on camera. (should be YOU'RE)

Pedro Goicochea asks a similar question…

Why is the I in KIND and KING pronounced differently?

Pronunciation and spelling don’t match in English. Just take a look at the common spellings that make the /aɪ/ sound in the word KIND. This is what studying English phonetics is like. BORING! Please don’t STUDY the following examples. I’m showing them to you so that you can see just how NON-PHONETIC English is. There are some rules that can be easily followed, but not many.

common spellings for /aɪ/

common spellings for /ɪ/

You see, English isn’t phonetic which makes learning how to spell difficult for English speakers. As a result, we have to spend lots of time studying spelling when we are children…basically, memorizing lots of it. I don’t remember studying phonetic rules to learn pronunciation or spelling. Learning spelling and pronunciation is more about EXPOSURE than learning countless rules.

This problem is reversed for most ESL learners since most language learners learn the written form of English before the spoken. Due to this, many ESL students learn incorrect pronunciations based on the phonetic rules of their native language. I sometimes hear students explain how to spell an English word in Spanish by pronouncing it as if it were Spanish. Please avoid this strategy. When you tell someone how to spell something in English you HAVE TO spell out the entire word.

NO DIGAS “TABLE” CON LA PRONUNCIACIÓN DE ESPAÑOL. Tienes que decir cada letra para comunicar cómo deletrear una palabra en inglés.

When you use Spanish pronunciation in English, you’re setting yourself back in your English learning progress. You may be able to read and write fine in English, but when you hear spoken English you won’t recognize the words you “know”. Therefore, it’s crucial to your English comprehension and ability to speak to learn the correct pronunciation of ALL new English words and phrases. There are several ways to learn the correct pronunciation of English words. This leads us right into Sandra’s #HDM2 question.

Sandra Salgado posted…

How can I improve my English pronunciation? I don’t want to speak like Speedy González!! Help!!!

1 – Use online dictionaries to listen to all new words!

Use an online dictionary or an dictionary app to listen to all new vocabulary words. WordReference.com provides the pronunciation of most common words in British and American English. This is useful if you’d like to compare the pronunciation differences in BrE and AmE.

2 – Listen to native English speakers.

Always listen to native English speakers when working on your pronunciation. Stick with one accent, either BrE or AmE for best results. Once you understand one type of English, you’ll be able to understand the other as well.

3 – Read while you listen.

Read along while you listen to English to improve your reading and listening skills together. You can do this with audio books and subtitles on video content. There are lots of free books read and produced by precious volunteers on LibriVox.org.

And guess what!?

YOU can even volunteer to READ books in English! (or any other language you speak) Here’s the lowdown from LibriVox on how to volunteer:

Volunteering for LibriVox is easy and does not require any experience with recording or audio engineering or acting or public speaking. All you need is a computer, a microphone, some free recording software, and your own voice. We accept all volunteers in all languages, with all kinds of accents. You’re welcome to volunteer to read any language you speak, as long as you can make yourself understood in it. You don’t need to audition, but we do suggest a 1-Minute Test recording just to check your setup. We’ll accept you no matter what you sound like.

In addition, you can find tons of free audio books at BooksShouldBeFree.com and over 45,000 high-quality free eBooks are available at Gutenberg.org. I recommend using BooksShouldBeFree.com to find the BEST quality audio books since there is an active community of reviewers. Read the reviews before you begin listening.

If you click any of the previous links you’ll be taken directly to the first of a series of books about my favorite little redhead, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

4 – Learn a standard written way to express sounds in English.

Learn the pronunciation symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet. The symbols in the IPA represent the sounds, not the spelling, of a language. Most dictionaries give the pronunciation of words in IPA right beside the word, before the definition or translation. Unfortunately, there are many variations in the symbols of the IPA. Nevertheless, the IPA will usually be written in slashes or brackets. Each dictionary or web site usually has an explanation of the IPA version they use.

However, not all pronunciations in brackets represent the IPA. The bracket pronunciations at Dictionary.com aren’t IPA symbols, but spelled pronunciations which are most helpful for native English speakers and no so helpful for ESL learners. Here’s the spelled pronunciation of TABLE from Dictionary.com: [tey-buhl]

There’s no need to learn every pronunciation explanation system. Choose one you like and stick with it!

5 – Do not use Spanish phonetics to try to understand English pronunciations.

AVOID pronunciations explained using Spanish phonetics. For example, some teachers attempt to explain the pronunciation of English words by writing them as if they’re in Spanish.

NO, NO, NO! This pronunciation system creates STRONG Spanish accents in English since it can’t account for the sounds in English using only the sounds in Spanish. Use this system to learn to speak like Speedy González! I wish I could take a big DELETE button to all the pronunciations explained using Spanish phonetics! Don’t do it. If your English teacher uses this method, ask them to stop and research an alternative method to teach pronunciation.

6 – Find a teacher who focuses on pronunciation.

Find a NATIVE English teacher that is experienced in teaching pronunciation. I’m not! I just speak and you listen. That’s my method. haha. But seriously, there are excellent online teachers who focus specifically on helping you improve your English pronunciation.

Julio Cesar Reategui Sanchez also has a question about English pronunciation.

Diferencia entre pronunciación de DAY y THEY en inglés

Since it’s difficult to effectively describe sounds using text, Eliud, a very active member of HDM, recorded a short and concise video for Julio explaining the differences in the pronunciation of the D in DAY and the TH in THEY. He notes that to a Spanish speaker’s ears the D and the voiced TH sound very similar, if not the same. However, to a native English speaker, the difference is easily detected.

More on the Pronunciation of TH

The TH sound in THEY is voiced, meaning the vocal cords are used in its production. There’s also an unvoiced TH such as in the word THINK. You can HEAR and SEE English sounds with an interactive chart from the University of Iowa Research Foundation. You can also download their Sounds of Speech app for just $2.99. Revenue generated by this app will be used to further develop the app.

Southern American English

“I think I wan’ some o’ dat ova dere.”

In standard English: “I think I want some of that over there.”

You might think I’ve lost it in the above example, but I hear the voiced TH pronounced as D multiple times a day where I live in the southern USA. Some people look down on these people and think they don’t know “proper” English. However, most people can switch off their true native tongue (some call it Ebonics) and speak standard English when necessary. Others can’t though. But that doesn’t speak to their intelligence, only to their lack of knowledge of standard English. So they didn’t learn to speak standard English. And??? English is a rapidly evolving language. English speakers from a couple hundred years ago wouldn’t believe what English, even in standard form, is like today.

Should you learn Ebonics? No, not unless you just want to. You should learn standard English which will allow you to communicate easily with all English speakers, including those who speak Ebonics. So, why do I even bring it up? To teach you about my world, a small corner of the native English speaking community. I hope you appreciate learning about my culture as well as my language. :)

Luis Marroquin has a vowel pronunciation question as well.


So, I’m not going to answer this question like you might be thinking.

There is not a really good system (like you’ve already learned from above) to know how to pronounce a vowel letter in English since there are so many vowel sounds that can created from so many vowel letters and consonant letter combinations.

There are 6 Vowel Letters in English

There are MANY Vowel Sounds in English

There are as many as 12 to 20 vowel sounds in English depending on the dialect. American English has fewer vowel sounds than British English.

Vowel sounds are created with vowels and even consonants.

For example, the /eɪ/ sound can be created using a number of different vowel and consonant letter combinations. The following words are all pronounced using the phoneme /eɪ/.

Since it’s problematic to say “the /eɪ/ sound” when speaking sounds are often referenced using a common word using the sound. So, instead of saying the /eɪ/ sound, we can say the CAKE vowel sound.

Here’s what you need to understand:

In Spanish, the vowel letters all represent ONE vowel sound. You can combine these sounds to make diphthongs, but even in diphthongs each vowel letter still represents only one vowel sound.


In English, vowel letters DO NOT represent specific sounds. Vowel sounds can be represented by various vowel letters and consonant letter combinations. Therefore, do not learn what the sounds the vowel A produces. Instead, focus on understanding the different vowel sounds created with different vowel letter and consonant letter arrangements. In other words, learn to understand vowel sounds using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Dudas de Gramática Inglésa

Lukas Liam said…

I want to learn more about phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs come in two flavors, separable and inseparable.

If you’re ever confused about whether to separate phrasal verbs or not, you can always keep them together, separable and inseparable, as long as you don’t use a pronoun so that you can be sure you’re using them correctly.

Say what?

It’s a hellashish chore for second language English learners to learn which phrasal verbs are separable and which aren’t. Therefore, if you’re unsure, it’s always correct to keep them together. The only catch is you must be sure to use a noun, and not a pronoun, when you’re unsure. Why is that? Because separable phrasal verbs MUST be separated when the object is pronoun.

Example of Separable Phrasal Verb with Noun and Pronoun

Example of Inseparable Phrasal Verb with Noun and Pronoun

Some phrasal verbs have two particles. These phrasal verbs are ALWAYS inseparable.

That pretty much covers the grammar needed to understand how phrasal verbs work, but how do you actually learn them? Learning phrasal verbs is easy but it takes a while.

To learn phrasal verbs you need to be exposed to them in context over and over again. End of story!

You need to see them written and hear them spoken time after time. However, if you enjoy studying, just study a few at a time. Don’t study long lists! And don’t study a main verb with all its possible particles (look up, look up to, look over, look into, look through, look for, look to, look on). This will just confuse you and is more difficult than it may seem since many phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. For example, TAKE OFF has several meanings.

 Catalina Reyes asked…

Could you explain when to use the future perfect continuous in English?

Victor Renteria gave a splendid answer.

Hola, Catalina Reyes. El Future Perfect Continuous se usa para una acción que estará sucediendo en el futuro, tal acción ocurrirá antes que otra. Por ejemplo: I will have been working here for ten years tomorrow, so we’re having a party. Posible traducción: Para mañana habré estado trabajando aquí ya diez años, así que tendremos una fiesta. Fíjate cómo se emplea la segunda parte de la oración pues está en presente progresivo pero en la traducción habla de futuro.

Use the Future Perfect Continuous to Express the Duration of Something up to a Certain Point in the Future

I LOVE using Twitter to find examples! It’s just so darn hard to think of real ones myself.

NOTE: The following examples come from COMPLETE strangers on Twitter. I don’t know them. Don’t bother them. ;)

Tomorrow, I will have been dating my amazing boyfriend for seven months.

It's actually really crazy to think that in just a couple of days Abby and I will have been dating for two years.

I can't believe in about two to three months I will have been working for Starbucks for one year!

 Roberto Peraza asked:

When do you use IT IS and IT'S in English?

There’s good news! For the most part you can use IT IS or IT’S interchangeably. However, there are times when one is preferred or grammatically required. Let’s take a look!

Use Contractions (IT’S, DOESN’T, HASN’T, ETC.) to Create a Sense of Friendliness

When you speak, try to use contractions. Contractions help your speech flow better and you’ll sound more natural. In the written world, contractions help you present yourself in a more friendly way.

Don’t Contract to Add Emphasis

It’s sort of like in Spanish, “Hace calor hoy.” and “Sí, que hace calor hoy!” with the latter example being translated to English “It is hot today!”

Don’t Use Contractions in Formal Writing

In formal speech, it’s acceptable to use contractions since contractions help our speech flow. However, many people consider that contractions have no place in formal writing. Nevertheless, writers are starting to catch on that by using contractions, even in semi-formal writing (a business email, for example) helps the reader and writer connect in a more natural way. Therefore, if you’re unsure if a contraction is acceptable or not in your writing, just don’t use it. Just write out what you want to say in the uncontracted form.


When a contraction has more than one meaning, you might not want to use it to avoid any possible confusion.

IT’S is the contraction for both IT HAS and IT IS.

Can You Use Contractions at the End of Sentences?

Yes and no.

And yes, I know I’m totally off the subject now of when to use IT IS and IT’S, but in my search I stumbled upon this question and I sort of wanted to answer it for myself and for you.

So, I had to figure this one out by examining examples. Let’s get to it!


Examples with HAS (helping verb)

Examples with WILL (modal verb)

So, from the above examples I think we can assume that you can’t end a sentence or sentence segment with a positive contraction but you can end a sentence with a negative contraction.

Dudas de Vocabulario y Frases en Inglés

Raul Contreras has two HDM questions.

¿Qué significa DUE en este contexto? “When is your assignment due?”Me gustaría saber si el significado correcto de esta frase “There are only two eggs left,” es “Solo quedan dos huevos.”

¿Qué significa DUE en este contexto? “When is your assignment due?”

Something is DUE when it is time for it to be completed. We usually use DUE when we aren’t in control of our time limit.

Examples of DUE:

Do these example sentences help you understand the meaning of DUE? If so, this is an example of learning to think in English without translating to Spanish.  There are SO MANY more uses of DUE. You can view example sentences with Spanish translations on WordReference.com. In addition to the examples and translations on WordReference, look up new words in an English only dictionary for learners.

Me gustaría saber si el significado correcto de esta frase “There are only two eggs left,” es “Solo quedan dos huevos.”

Yes, you got it right! TO BE LEFT means REMAINING. In Spanish you can say DE SOBRA, SOBRAR, or QUEDAR.

Here are a couple more examples with LEFT:

Dudas Sobre Métodos de Aprendizaje de Inglés

Miguel Angel Bautista asked…

¿Cómo puedes aprender a pensar en inglés?

On my evening walk I thought long and hard about this question. How do you think in a language?

First, you have to have the language stored in your brain before you can think in it. You can’t think in a language you don’t possess.

How can you possess it then? You can’t learn English by studying it on paper. You have to listen to it consistently and repeatedly. You will be “fluent” in your head before you are fluent in your speech. It’s easier to understand a second language than it is to produce it. Therefore, if you can’t think in English yet, focus your study time improving your comprehension first. Then, once you feel comfortable and you aren’t translating in your head anymore, begin to speak in English. I’m not saying you should wait to practice English pronunciation. However, if you aren’t ready to speak English, you just aren’t ready.

Remember my tips for listening in English.

1 – Listen to something you enjoy (so you won’t get bored).

2 – Listen to something you can follow along with. If you don’t understand any of what you’re listening to, listen to something easier. If you can’t understand it, then it’s not helping you learn.

3 – Listen to THIS THING repeatedly and consistently. Focus your attention on one or two listening activities, like a certain song, a certain television show, a certain movie, etc. Don’t just listen to any and all English.

Una Oportunidad Fantástica Para Ti

Affordable, Convenient, and Reliable English Language Certification from Duolingo

There’s now a new and temporarily FREE English Certification Exam from Duolingo which can be taken on the Web using Google Chrome or an Android device (iOS app is in the works). The exam adapts to the test takers performance which aims to keep the exam at ONLY twenty minutes long. To prevent cheating the test taker will be recorded on video and audio which will later be reviewed by a real person to determine if cheating occurred. Once test takers pass the exam, the results will be posted on a unique web page along with the test recording so that schools or businesses can validate for themselves if cheating has occurred.

So, is the test worth anything? An independent study from the University of Pittsburgh determined that the Duolingo test results correlate with the TOEFL iBT results. In addition, Duolingo has teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University in the academic community and oDesk and LinkedIn in the business world.  Carnegie Mellon University will study the test effectiveness. ODesk, an online company connecting businesses to freelancers, will display an icon on freelancers’ profiles who have earned the Duolingo certificate. So, is this English test valuable? Yes, I’d say it’s a highly valuable test and should only grow in value as more businesses and schools accept it.

When this sweet free deal goes away, don’t fret. The Duolingo Test Center exam will only cost $20 which will cover the cost for test monitors, the biggest expense Duolingo must cover. Duolingo deserves a big thanks for creating such an affordable and accessible English Certification Test!

I’ve already taken the Duolingo English Certification Test, and I’m waiting on my results. You’ll need to download Google Chrome, have a microphone, webcam, and a valid form of identification to take the test.

There were four different types of questions: fill in the blank with a word bank, write what you hear, read aloud simple sentences, and choose only real English words from a list of real and invented words. The fill-in-the-blank questions and choose-the-real-English words were challenging for me. Therefore, the test isn’t a joke. Take it and let me know if you passed! Post your link here in the comments section and we can all WATCH you, haha! I’m kidding about that. But for real, let me know if you take it and what you think of it. I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks so much for all of your participation in this episode of Hump Day Monday!

If you aren’t a part of the action yet, what are you waiting for? Go on over and join our Comunidad de Dudas in G+ now! It’s free and filled with active Hump Day Mondayers helping each other learn English!

Jesi’s Life

So, because I love sharing my REAL life with you, what better time than at the end of this HDM espisode, right? haha

1 - I babysat a cat for two days! He was a sweet and playful kitten. But as you all already know, I’m a “dog person”. That’s not to say I don’t like cats. I just have more compassion for dogs. Cats seems to do better even when they aren’t in the best situations. Dogs, on the other hand, need a lot more attention and care. Therefore, dogs have my heart. But kitties will always be adorable, just at someone else’s home.

2 - I said in the video that you haven’t seen yet that I was getting a new puppy! Well, as it turns out Bob, the guy who was supposed to get me this puppy, didn’t come through for me. And I thought I was puppiless. But God saw that it was my time to foster and train a puppy now and he blessed me with TWO sister pups! (Yes, I give God the glory of all things good and bad in my life. He knows and is in control. Don’t worry, I’m not hear to convert you or preach to you, but only to share my REAL life.)

Anyway, my friend, Jonathan, stopped by to see me at work and he said, “You want a puppy?” I was like, “Yeah.” He said, “No way! How about two?” And I was like, “Oh, I didn’t expect that. How many do you have? Where did you get them?” It turns out Jonathan and his girlfriend, Lauren, found 12 homeless puppies!!! Twelve!!! So, he was willing to take in twelve puppies. The least I could do was to foster two of them. And there you have it. I have two new foster pups! And these little gals need names. They’re bird dogs and so adorable!!! They’re about 3 months old now. I’ll keep them for about two months or so so that they will be disciplined and ready for their new “forever” home. :) Fostering and training puppies is one of the best ideas I EVER had! I mean, who doesn’t want a puppy at all times!!!??? So, help me name these gals! It’d be adorable if their names went together somewhat so that whoever decides to get one, might just get the other one too! It’d be hard to separate a Sue Lou and a Lousie…I just made that up. It’s not gonna stick. Unless you love it, that is. Look for their pics later today on SELVA’s Facebook page!

3 - I’m officially becoming an adult in a few short days! haha I’m hitting the big number 30! Yep, I was born in 1984 and this August 14th, 2014 I’ll no longer be a twenty-something year old. I’ll be the ripe old age of thirty!

I’m really happy about turning 30. Everything in my life is finally falling into place. I live where I think I want to spend most of my life. I have an awesome job teaching you online. I recently found out I suffer from depression, anxiety, phobias, and ADD and I’m working with a WONDERFUL therapist in Selma who is helping me fight and win these battles! I’ll tell you the best thing he has helped me with so far is opening my eyes to my own self-hate.

When I was married to my amazing ex husband, I was miserable. I didn’t know why, but it was because of depression and anxiety. I ended the marriage because I didn’t know what else to do. I blamed my unhappiness on the biggest thing in my life, my marriage. Well, my marriage wasn’t the problem. It was my mental health. I just had no idea that I had a problem…until my world crashed and I was dreaming about not existing. I lost my husband and I acquired debilitating lower back pain for about three years.

To make this story shorter than what I could, I’ll just say that my new therapist helped me realize the reason I couldn’t get on with my life was because I hadn’t forgiven myself for my ignorance in not knowing I was depressed and letting that ruin my wonderful marriage. So, it was my fault, but I didn’t do it on purpose. I did everything the best I knew how. And I HAVE FORGIVEN MYSELF. It’s liberating. We forgive others and we must forgive ourselves!

What I want for my birthday!!!

1 – I’m dreaming, but I really really really want a new laptop. One that is quiet and fast. I don’t have one picked out, so your suggestions are more than welcome. My laptop is five years old, the age of SELVA and it’s time for an upgrade! I love working with SELVA and I would love it EVEN MORE on a new laptop. So, even though this may or may not be an acceptable thing to do (in business), I’m asking you for donations for my birthday! You can donate through PayPal at the top right of this page! And if you do donate I’ll HAND WRITE (on my iPad) you a personal thank you letter! And if you want, I’ll send you a picture of myself (do y’all love me this much) that was shot just for you!!!

2 – If you don’t have or don’t want to donate money, PLEASE SHARE Hump Day Monday with your network! The more you share, the more Spanish speakers we can help learn English the most efficient and effective way possible!

3 – And if you aren’t into sharing, then I do request a happy birthday wish! I’m only turning 30 once! =)

What’s Your Hump Day Monday Takeaway?