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.

  • They’re using their cellphones in there! They’re not allowed to do that!

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.

  • Smile. Your on camera. – INCORRECT
  • Smile. You’re on camera. – CORRECT

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/

  • KIND /kaɪnd/ – i followed by two consonants
  • BY /baɪ/- y at the end of words
  • SIGHT /saɪt/ – igh (usually not -eigh)
  • DIE /daɪ/- ie
  • BITE /baɪt/- i-consonant-e in stressed syllables

common spellings for /ɪ/

  • KING  /kɪŋ/ – i (most common)
  • SERVICE /ˈs3ːvɪs/ – i-consonant-e in unstressed syllables
  • ENGLISH /ˈɪŋglɪʃ/ – e
  • WOMEN /ˈwɪmɪn/ – o
  • MYTH /mɪθ/ – consonant-y-consonant (not in consonant-y-consonant-e, hypo- or dyn- prefixes)
  • BUSY /ˈbɪzɪ/ – u
  • BUILD /bɪld/ – ui

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.

  • “¿Cómo se escribe TABLE en inglés?” “T – A – B – L – E.”

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.

  • /ˈteɪbl/
  • /ˈteɪ·bəl/
  • \ˈtā-bəl\
  • /ˈteɪb(ə)l/
  • [bəl]

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.

  • Can I help you? – (can ai jelp yu)

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.

SALUDOS JESSICA!!! ME GUSTARÍA PEDIRTE QUE COMPARTIERAS LOS DIFERENTES SONIDOS DE LA LETRA

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

  • The VOWEL LETTERS in English are: A, E, I, O, U, and Y (Y can also be used as a consonant.)

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/.

  • CAKE /keɪk/
  • AID /eɪd/
  • PLAY /pleɪ/
  • WEIGH /weɪ/
  • HEY /heɪ/
  • GREAT /greɪt/

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, THIS IS NOT THE CASE!

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

  • Why did I bring up Ebonics? – CORRECT (noun after separable phrasal verb)
  • Why did I bring Ebonics up? – CORRECT (noun in between separable phrasal verb)
  • Why did I bring it up? – CORRECT (pronoun MUST go after main verb but before particle or particles in separable phrasal verbs)
  • Why did I bring up it? – INCORRECT

Example of Inseparable Phrasal Verb with Noun and Pronoun

  • Are you looking for Toobie? – CORRECT (Always keep inseparable phrasal verbs together.)
  • Are you looking Toobie for? – INCORRECT (Inseparable phrasal verbs can’t be separated.)
  • Are you looking for her? – CORRECT (Regardless if the object is a noun or pronoun, inseparable phrasal verbs are never separated.)
  • Are you looking her for? – INCORRECT (You know why!)

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

  • I didn’t just come up with this. It’s the truth! (come up with = invent, create)

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.

  • I take my shoes off as soon as I get home. – TO REMOVE
  • The plane hasn’t taken off. – TO DEPART
  • I hope my business idea takes off. – TO BE SUCCESSFUL QUICKLY
  • I couldn’t believe the saleslady took another 20% off! – REDUCE THE PRICE

 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

  • By the time/When we get to the restaurant, everyone will have already ordered their food!
  • Everyone will have already ordered their food by the time/when we get to the restaurant.

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

  • Wow! It is hot today! – When you don’t contract IT IS, it helps emphasis what you’re saying.

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.

IT’S = IT HAS and IT IS

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.

  • It’s been a long day. – IT HAS been a long day.
  • It’s never too late to learn. – IT IS never too late to learn.

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 TO BE

  • She’s sick, but he isn’t. – correct (Assumption: The verb IS doesn’t end this sentence. It ends with NOT and therefore, is ok.)
  • She’s sick, but he’s not. – correct
  • He’s not sick, but she is. – correct
  • He’s not sick, but she’s. – incorrect (Assumption: The verb IS does end this sentence and it’s not ok.)
  • He’s not sick, but she’s sick. – correct

Examples with HAS (helping verb)

  • She’s donated, but he hasn’t. – correct (Assumption: Negative contractions can end sentences.)
  • She’s donated, but he has not. – correct
  • He hasn’t donated, but she has. – correct
  • He hasn’t donated, but she’s. – incorrect (Assumption: Positive contractions can’t end sentences.)
  • He hasn’t donated, but she’s donated. – correct

Examples with WILL (modal verb)

  • They won’t stop, but we will. – correct
  • They won’t stop, but we’ll. – incorrect (Assumption: The verb WILL is at the end of this sentence and it’s not correct to contract it.)
  • We’ll stop, but they won’t. – correct (Assumption: The verb WILL doesn’t end this sentence. It ends in NOT and therefore, it’s correct.)
  • We’ll stop, but they will not. – correct
  • We’ll stop, but they won’t stop. – correct

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:

  • — Your assignment is due next week.
  • — When is the paper due? The teacher said it’s due on May 21st and that she won’t accept any papers after the due date.
  • — My rent is due tomorrow.
  • — Oh gosh! My power bill is past due. I forgot to pay it, and now I have to pay those stinking late fees again! (True story…grrr!)
  • — “When is the baby due?”  “The doctors keep changing her due date. It’s now two weeks earlier than we thought!”
  • — We are overdue for a vacation! I’m so stressed and tired.

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:

  • “How much cake is left?” “Not much. Cami loves cake.” (quedar)
  • We’ve got three invitations left. Should I throw them away or find someone to send them to? (sobrar)

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?

  • Learn the spelling and pronunciation of every new word you learn. Spelling and pronunciation don’t match up in English like they do in Spanish.
  • To improve your pronunciation and to learn to think in English just LISTEN to English that you enjoy, can follow along with, and listen to it consistently.
  • The most effective and efficient way to learn phrasal verbs in English is through repeated exposure. Basically, the more you hear and read phrasal verbs, the more you will understand them naturally.
  • It’s not correct to use positive contractions at the end of sentences or sentence segments. It is correct to use negative contractions at the end of sentences and sentence segments.
  • To learn to think in English learn new words in context. Use an English dictionary for learners for examples in English only. Avoid learning new words by translation only.
  • Use resources to help you learn English: Twitter for real examples, dictionaries to listen to pronunciation, and audio books to improve listening, spelling, and speaking.
  • Take the Duolingo English Certification Test now while it’s free!

 

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