What’s in The News? Hurricane, Typhoon or Tropical Cyclone?
Speaking Practice. Shopping for Gloves
English Grammar. What is “Active and Passive Voice?”
What’s in The News?
Hurricane, Typhoon or Tropical Cyclone?
A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, and a cyclone occurs in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean.
Tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water. They derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which ultimately re-condenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation. They are far less common south of the Equator, mainly because the African easterly jet, warmer waters, and areas of atmospheric instability, which gives rise to cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean and Americas, occur in the Northern hemisphere, and because vertical wind shear is much stronger south of the equator, which typically prevents tropical depressions and potential storms from developing into cyclones.
Gloria: Yes, I’m looking for a pair of white gloves. I think I wear size six.
Saleslady: The white gloves are on this counter. Let’s see… here’s a size six. These are very nice, and they’re washable, too.
Gloria: Oh, I’ll try them on. Hmmm… they seem to fit. How much are they?
Saleslady: Five dollars.
Gloria: All right. I’ll take them.
Saleslady: That’ll be five twenty with the tax.
Can I help you? or May I help you? = Is the way a sales clerk normally approaches a customer with an offer of assistance.
Size six. Women’s gloves are usually available in quarter sizes (6, 6 1/4, 6 1/2, 6 3/4, etc.). Most women wear a size between 6 and 8.
The white gloves are on this counter. = The sales counter or glass counter.
Let’s see. = An expression used when a person wants to think something over, to ponder, to make a choice or decision, or to look for something.
I’ll try them on. = “Try on” is a separable two word verb meaning to test the fit or appearance of a garment by putting it on.
How much are they? = How much do they cost?
Five twenty = Five dollars and twenty cents ($5.20).
What is “Active and Passive Voice?”
Great subject! Students learn active voice at the earliest stages of English. Passive voice is usually taught at the pre-intermediate or intermediate levels. However, students should be introduced to passive voice at the earliest stages of English study. Why? To stress the importance of both the verb “To Be” and “Participle 2“ verbs. Why is this important? Both passive and active are used in everyday speech! It is also important that students study all three verb forms at the earliest stages. In other words, students should study verbs in the “Infinitive, Past Simple and Participle 2“ at the earliest stages. Active voice is when the focus is on the subject with a verb. Passive voice is when the focus is on the object with a verb. This is a simple explanation.
Here is an example in active voice:
“Earnest Hemingway wrote this book”
Here is an example in passive:
“This book was written by Earnest Hemingway”
You will notice the focus changes when we use passive. In “Active voice” we want to refer to the writer. Maybe he is the author of many books and we want to talk about Earnest Hemingway! It could also be that we are only talking about the author and just one book! In “Passive voice”, we refer to one of many books. There might be a pile of books on the table or in the library! In this case, we want to clearly identify who wrote each and every book! Passive is formed using the object as the subject + the verb “To be” + Participle 2. Here are two more examples!
Active:American farmers grow corn!
Passive:Corn is grown by American farmers!
Notice how I changed the focus (Subject) from American to Corn. There is a lot more to this subject! Study your verbs in all three forms and you will be speaking English in no time! Ask your teacher to explain this subject further and provide you with study materials.
Until next time…
English and the people who use it, understand the importance of another job skill. Practice your English daily to live life to the fullest!