In Canada, to understand everyday conversations easier, we need to learn commonly used ______________ .
a) phrasal verbs b) idioms c) both a and b
2. Easy Question:
Modal verb could is mostly used in Canada …
a) as the past form of ‘can’ b) as part of a polite request
3. More Difficult:
Which of these modal verbs are the most important in Canada?
a) must b) could c) would d) should e) a and d f) b and c
4. More Difficult:
Children learn correct grammar…
a) by repeating sentences while speaking b) from grammar books c) from their teacher
Grammar words are pronounced …
a) slowly and clearly b) fast and indistinctly
What is ‘Didju likeit?’
a) incorrect spelling of ‘Did you like it?’ b) pronunciation of ‘Did you like it?’
Check your answers below.
The Most Important Grammar in Canada
New immigrants to Canada need to focus their efforts on these two important areas when learning grammar: modal verbs that are used by Canadians to sound polite; and phrasal verbs and idioms that are used in everyday conversations. It is really important to be able to listen and understand pronunciation of grammar words in the flow of speech. Also, if we use the same method children naturally apply when learning a new language – learning grammar while speaking – we can have success with English much faster.
Modal Verbs in Canada
Most Canadians are very polite. When you are talking and asking politely, people usually agree to help you and you get a better result.
“Give me a copy” is not polite – people might get angry at you.
“Could you give me a copy?” is much nicer and people will usually give you what you want.
‘Could‘ is a modal verb. It is most often used in Canada as part of a polite request. You need to learn how to use modal verbs to be successful in Canada. The most important ones are ‘could’, ‘would’ and ‘might’. Click HERE to learn how they are used in this country.
Idioms and Phrasal Verbs in Canada
To understand Canadian English speakers, you need to learn local idioms and phrasal verbs. English is a very idiomatic language and native speakers love using these ‘special expressions’, for example in these short conversations:
A: Can I take a look?
B: Go ahead.
‘go ahead’ is an idiom and it means ‘do it’
A: Were you late?
B: Yeah, I had to sort out some stuff.
‘sort out’ is a phrasal verb that means ‘find a solution to a problem’
Which idioms and phrasal verbs should you learn? Do you learn all of them? If not, how do you choose? Click HERE to learn more about idioms and phrasal verbs that you actually need.
Pronunciation of Grammar
Many students say “English is too fast”. That’s not true. But some words are in fact spoken really fast – grammar words! Grammar words don’t carry much meaning. So English speakers don’t pronounce them clearly. When you hear the sentence “Lady….office….polite” you can understand that “The lady at the office was polite.” A lot happens to grammar in the flow of speech. For example, the pronoun ‘it’ is almost always linked to the preceding word, so ‘like it’ becomes ‘likeit’. To learn more about what happens to grammar words in speaking and listening, click HERE. You will also learn how to listen and understand English speakers by focusing on the right words – the key words.
Learn Fast Like Children
Children learn English much faster than adults. How do they do it? There are several differences in how children and adults learn English. Children of immigrants are surrounded by English and they make positive associations with it. They are also really curious and active while learning.
Some people study English grammar for many years – 5, 10 or 20 years. They can do all the grammar tests easily and without mistakes. But when they start speaking, they forget all the grammar! They cannot speak using correct English sentences. Their English is ‘broken English’.
How can you learn English grammar and use it in speaking correctly? The answer is simple: you learn it in speaking. Don’t memorize grammar rules. You need to repeat and memorize English sentences, just like children do. You need to listen carefully and repeat the correct sentence many times to remember it. Click HERE to learn how.