Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Welcome to the English 177 Blog.
The goal is to increase the communication between students and instructors, and also provide you with an opportunity to communicate with each other. If you post general questions about the assignments or the course, they will be answered in the blog. If you have detailed questions you want answered, then e-mail your instructor.
We hope you will also post your general comments and suggestions for how to improve this blog.
Click here for the course syllabus.
IMPORTANT: This blog site is open to the public; do not post personal information that could identify you--your first name is the only personal information you should post.  


 Welcome: In July, we welcome Sean, Layoug, Howard, Grace, Melanie, Krista, and Calum to the course. We hope you will enjoy the course and participate in the blog.

Stephanie is the most recent student to complete the course--well done! 

Previous Grammar Question

The twin’s were unusual amused, first they entertain there school’s friends’ by telling jokes, than they had chased after the neighboring dog and it was ended when they had imitated their friend’s.

1. Active or passive voice? If the twins were amused, then someone or something was amusing them. Given their actions, it makes more sense to use the active voice and use the past progressive tense--were amusing--as they were amusing the others. Similarly use the simple past “ended” in the active voice instead of the passive “was ended”.
2. Word form: unusual is an adjective; here the verb is being modified, so use the adverb --unusually.
3. Possessive or plural: “twins” should be plural not possessive--no apostrophe. Similarly, “school’s” modifies “friends”--as an adjective it cannot have a possessive, and it cannot be plural either; use “school”; also, “friends” is plural, not possessive--no apostrophe (both times).
4. Verb tense: This story is set in the past, so use either past progressive or simple past; instead of “entertain” use “entertained”. Also, use the simple past tense (chased) to be consistent--not the past perfect (had chased), and use the simple past “imitated” and not the past perfect “had imitated”..
5. Word confusion: the pronoun is “their”; “there” is an adverb of place.
6. Word confusion: “than” is used to compare two things; to indicate what happened next, use “then”.
7. Word confusion: “neighbouring” refers to a place; here use either the possessive “neighbour’s” or “neighbourhood”.
8. Punctuation: The first two clauses are independent ones; use a semicolon after “amusing”.  Where “and” separates two independent clauses, use a comma (after dog).
Suggested solution: The twins were unusually amusing; first they entertained their school friends by telling jokes, then they chased after the neighbour’s dog, and it ended when they imitated their friends.

Next Blog: Friday, July 30th


Here is a fun, but excellent resource to help with semicolon usage.

GRAMMAR QUESTION, July 21st, 2010

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

Seeing that starbucks’ opens at safeway stores now and they had also opened at many book stores’;  I wonder if it would now loose customer’s from their regular outlets.

PUZZLE, July 21st, 2010

Previous puzzle: The previous puzzle was a difficult one; congratulations to Wook Jin for solving it.  The suggested answers are


New Puzzle: Behead a word by removing the first letter of the first (longer) and still have a valid word. There are clues for the two words, the longer word is first.

Example: Begin/Sour, acidic = start and tart (behead start--remove the “s” and that leaves tart).
1. Pass by / Temporary failure
2. Picture / Wizard
3. Brave / Fortunate
4. Enthusiastic meetings / Partners
5. Attacked / Helped
6. Choose / Choose
7. Fragments / Dice game
8. Customary practice / Spiritual mentor

ALL CHANGE! July 21st, 2010

Change the words in the sentence below as indicated. You can only change the exact word in the sequence given; after someone else has posted the next change, then you can post another change. For instance, student 1 writes #1 Subject Noun, and changes the subject noun; Student 2 writes #2 Direct Object Noun, and changes that noun. Each student only makes one change at a time and keeps to the order indicated. If you complete all 7 changes, then start making more changes again from 1 to 7. Each student should build on the changes that the previous students make

My maternal grandparents built the house completely over the ruins below.

Changes: 1. subject noun 2. direct object noun 3. indirect object noun 4. adjective(s) 5. adverb(s) 6. verb name 7. verb tense


Use the type of clause, phrase, or grammar indicated to complete the following sentence; you can add the phrase or clause before or after (not both) to the clause below:

… ... summer is the best time of the year in Canada ... …
1. Use a phrase 2. Use a dependent clause 3. Use an independent clause

VOCABULARY, July 21st, 2010

Vocabulary building is important for both reading comprehension and writing. Use the following two words (note the part of speech) in one sentence.
equanimity      (noun)      +      loquacious      (adjective)
To further improve your vocabulary, check Word of the Day every day! There are also word games and puzzles on this site.


Learning to combine ideas into more complex sentences is an important skill in writing. There are many ways to do this--many possible bonus points! Try to combine the following three sentences.
Sentence 1: There has been more rain than sunshine so far this summer.
Sentence 2:  Summer is more than half way over by now.
Sentence 3: Many people take their holiday in the summer in the hope that the weather will be good.


This exercise is advanced sentence combining; it is designed for students who have completed Lesson 9 in the course.
Sentence 1: The students registered in a summer writing program at their college.
Sentence 2: They wanted to improve their creative writing ability.
#1: Use a gerund to combine the sentences
#2: Use an appositive to combine the sentences
#3: Use a relative pronoun to combine the sentences


In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods ....

On a bag of Fritos -- You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
(the shoplifter special?)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


n an acrostic, you start with a theme word and use each letter of that word to start another word or phrase that describes the theme word. The acrostic below is based on the theme word SNOW.
……………S Slippery
……………N Numbing
……………O Obliterating
……………W Wintery

Write an acrostic based on one of the following “summer” themes: SUMMER, HOLIDAY, VACATION, SUNSHINE, RELAXATION, NATIONAL PARKS, BEACHES, FESTIVALS.


A cinquain poem is a five-line poem that is diamond-shaped. Start with a theme word (noun) and then use the pattern 1 noun, 2 adjectives, 3 gerunds, 1 full sentence, and finally a synonym for the first noun.
..................Cold, white.....................
..........Falling, freezing, numbing..............
...........It chills fingers and toes.............

Write a cinquain poem based on one of the following “summer” themes: SUMMER, HOLIDAY, VACATION, SUNSHINE, RELAXATION, NATIONAL PARKS, BEACHES, FESTIVALS.

GRAMMAR QUESTION, July 6th, 2010

Correct the errors in the following sentence:

The twin’s were unusual amused, first they entertain there school’s friends’ by telling jokes, than they had chased after the neighboring dog and it was ended when they had imitated their friend’s.