Marina Berkovich, Author

Writer, Poet, Filmmaker


English Lesson 1 for Native Speakers: In Conjunction

Posted on September 27, 2017 at 11:55 AM

My very first English lesson happened when I was about five in my Soviet Union pre-school.

Here’s what we were taught to sing:

Good morning, good morning, good morning to you.

Good morning, good morning, we are glad to see you.

I was obsessed with the sound of foreign words, which seemed to just roll off my tongue in a mysterious way.

It was the day when, I believe, I understood the blessing human beings have in understanding other humans’ way of communicating.

Jumping forward. It took me another 20 years to master the English Language. While I was learning, I first had to drop the inhibition of being corrected when I mispronounced or misused a word, and all such other countless inhibitions (excuses?) that so many foreign speakers are afraid to shed. Thankfully, I was in America, where most people do not use English properly. In conjunction with that I learned to always appreciate when people improve my English and I hope you do, too.

On with the lesson:

Homophone is defined as follows: each of the two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling, e.g.: there and their. 'There' means a place. 'Their' means a bunch of 'her,' ‘his,' 'your' and 'my.' There is also a conjunction of “they are.” It is "they're." And if you need explanation for that, I can’t help you any further.

I reel when I see seemingly educated and/or smart people of all ages post to social media a confusion like “I’m their now” or “There good people.”

In my USSR classrooms we were fed propaganda in volumes that exceed the vast quantities modern day American students are fed today. There were only twenty minutes, I guess, of subject-matter learning in every forty-five minute lesson. So, I’m not here to chastise you. I’m here to help you discern and master the difference. Vive le difference! Oops – wrong language!

Categories: English Lessons For The Native Speakers