Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On the word "FOLK"

photo: FOLK dancers

How often do you use the word "FOLK"? In my latest lesson at the small guide site, I explain the different uses of this word and talk about how the meaning changes depending on the form. It's a simple word that's used quite often. However, it can cause misunderstandings if you're not familiar with the way its meaning changes based on whether it's used as a noun, an adjective, or when you're expressing possession.

Here are the main points of the lesson:
  1. When used as an adjective, FOLK means "cultural" or "of the people." Examples include folk music, folk dance, and folk art.
  2. When used as a noun, FOLK means "people" and may be used in the plural when referring to individuals in a group or the "singular" when referring to an entire group as a whole.
  3. When used with a possessive noun or pronoun and in the plural, FOLKS specifically means someone's parents.

Visit the small guide site for the entire lesson on the word "FOLK," and start using the word more and with more confidence. See you there! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013


photo: of a 40% off sale. HARD to resist. For an ESL lesson.
Sales like this one are just HARD to resist. I quickly decided to get two pounds
and HARDLY had to think twice about it. I'm cooking one pound & freezing the rest.

The words HARD and HARDLY can be confusing to English learners because the two words look directly related. You might think that HARDLY is simply the adverb of HARD. However, it isn't. The adverb of "HARD" is actually also "HARD." The word "HARD," therefore, can either be an adjective or an adverb, while "HARDLY" can only be an adverb.  

In addition, while these two words may seem similar in meaning, in fact, they are almost direct opposites. The word "HARD" means "strong," "tough," or "difficult" as an adjective, and "with a lot of energy and determination" as an adverb. "HARDLY," on the other hand, only works as an adverb and means "not really" or "almost not."