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Everything posted by amandak

  1. The most efficient way to learn vocabulary is to read everything you can. It is especially helpful to read things that interest you so that you can stay motivated and attentive. Every time you come across a new word you don't know, look it up and keep track of it. There are plenty of ways to learn vocabulary, but they can be pretty boring. Reading can keep you interested and it's pretty easy.
  2. I find a good mix of simple and complex words is best. I don't like to use all short, simple words for fear of sounding slow or unintelligent. Then again, too many complex words can come off sounding pompous or like you're trying too hard. Therefore, an even mix sounds intelligent but accessible. And with an even mix, even if someone doesn't understand one of the words you use, if it's the only complex word in the sentence, they can probably figure out what you're saying from the other words, saving you the time of having to explain yourself. So overall, don't avoid using big words just to sta
  3. I find that reading is the most efficient and least boring way to build your vocabulary. Read anything you can get your hands on- newspapers, novels, comic strips, magazines, lyrics to songs. You can make it more interesting by picking readings that mean something to you or that you can relate to, like lyrics from your favorite artist or articles about topics you are passionate about. Whenever you come across a new word, look it up and, if you want to go to the next level, keep track of all the new words you learn, their definitions, and the sentences you found them in. It will eventually beco
  4. I think field trips where students are immersed with native speakers is crucial in language learning. I had about 2 years of German lessons before I did a 3 week exchange program in Germany, and I can guarantee that I learned more in those three weeks than I did in classes. By being immersed in the culture and language, you're forced to speak it and listen to it, there's no cheating like in class, and it forces you to use what you know and more in situations that require you to speak.
  5. I began in 8th grade, where you could choose either Spanish or German (in America). It was required of every student to pass 2 years of a language. Eventually, French was added to the options. Most students did the minimum 2 years and then quit but a few of us got to level 5 (5 years). I really wish America would take the lead of many European countries and start students on a second language in elementary school.
  6. There are so many instances of onomatopoeia other than animals sounds, too! Some are words that explain sounds: Boom! Splat! Pow! Wam! Others are nouns or verb named after the sound they make: Clap, slap, burp, crack
  7. Along the lines of centre, theatre has the same issue. Also, favourite vs favorite and colour vs color. Otherwise, the most common misspellings I see are: definitely, restaurant, and separate.
  8. I've always thought the work 'phenomenal' was very beautiful. I also love the word 'eloquent', it just sounds so sophisticated and proper. Lastly, I love 'grandeur' which is more French, but we still use it in English.
  9. I don't think a writer should locate every small word in their writing and search for a longer synonym. It complicates the writing and sometimes makes it unintelligible, especially if the synonym they chose has an every so slight difference in meaning. On the other hand, though, I think it is a very good idea to change certain words to something that is more descriptive of the situation, and most of the times this will be a longer, more eloquent word. For example, basic adjectives and verbs can be changed. Fantastic, instead of good. Terrible, instead of bad. Meandered, instead of walked. Basi
  10. Jam: a fruit spread, to violently hit, to rock out Roll: to overturn, a form of bread Bear: to show or display, a large mammal that lives in the woods.
  11. As a theater major, I'd have to say "break a leg" is my favorite. I must hear it a dozen times per show.
  12. Entschuldigung: excuse me (used to get through a crowd, if you bumped into someone, etc) Es tut mir leid: I'm sorry (used for more serious circumstances, a family member has dies, etc) Alles gute: good wishes, I hope all is well
  13. It is definitely more harsh sounding that most languages, but I also find that it depends on the region in Germany. Some areas say their "ch" more like a hard "k" while others give it a "sh" sound. So I think it depends where you are in Germany or where the speaker is from that determines how aggressive it sounds.
  14. What do you think is the most important category of vocabulary that one should learn while studying German? Clothes, food, animals, etc. Or, is there a certain category that you find German learners are consistently unfamiliar with? I personally think direction words are the most important, with food coming in a close second.
  15. I'm going to go against the grain and instead of recommending classics, recommend The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That book taught me so much about growing up, relationships, and it gave me an overall new outlook on life. I think it's a great book to read in your teenage years.
  16. I will never forget Perks of Being a Wallflower. It is my all time favorite book. What I will remember the most are the countless lessons about teenage years, relationships, and growing up. I took so much away from that book more than just a good story. It is a relatively easy read and I recommend it to anyone.
  17. I love "The Lesson" by Ionesco and "Continuity of Parks" by Cortazar. They're both thrillers, though one is exceptioanlly short, but an absolute mind blower. They both play with legitimacy of the story in the view point of the reader and reality vs realism.
  18. Not a book necessarily but any essay by Nietzsche is extremely complicated and difficult. Specifically, his "On the Genealogy of Morality". It is so complex and long winded, it's a miracle I made it through. Similarly, any work by Heidigger, such as "The Thing". I had to read single sentences over and over just to get them to make any sense.
  19. I think this is just one of those things that we've gotten lazier while saying, therefore mumbling some of the words, and it has transformed so that wouldn't has become would, and people now repeat that without thinking about the actual logic of the statement. Perhaps if we all start saying it correctly we can change it back!
  20. I think one way to make the use of explanatory words as sentences is to remember that it is a command, and when a sentence is a command it often doesn't have a subject as "you" is understood. As in "take the dog for a walk" or "bring the basket over here". The subject in both of these sentences is "you", as in the person the speaker is speaking to. Because it is not said, it is understood. Therefore a sentence such as "run!" would be a full sentence because it contains the verb, run, and an understood subject, which are the most basic requirements for a sentence.
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