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Showing posts from September, 2016

Grammar: The Meanings of Past and Present English Tenses

Past and Present TensesToday, we'll look at the differences in meaning between various past and present tense forms. Below, you'll have a pair of sentences to compare, and then answer the questions that follow. The answers are strictly 'yes' or 'no', and they are designed to illustrate the differences in meaning between the tenses and sentences. Let's do a practice question first. I've given you two sentences below. Can you match the sentence to the tense? Try it, then click the "Answers!" button to see if you're right. Present simple vs. Present continuous
I play the violin.
I am playing the violin.

Answers!?????????Present simple vs. Present continuousOkay, let's try for real now. Let's compare the two sentences below and then answer the questions for the bolded sentence. I am playing the violin. (present continuous)
Do I normally play the violin?
Am I playing it right now?
Will I stop sometime?

I play the violin. (pr…

My Blog: First Week in Oakland

Greetings! Spiderman above greeted us in our new place and I thought he would be a fitting greeting for this blog entry.

We've moved in, or moved house (as the British like to say). Here's the view into our apartment. The two doors lead to the bathroom and the bedroom. Keep in mind this is on the "bigger" side you can get in the Bay area for $1700 a month (w/o utilities).

Before & after we moved in (click for larger views):

Much like many other places I've lived, the apartment has character. If the place was an actor in a reality TV show, it would certainly be the lead role.

That said, we do have a nice communal backyard. There's a righteous garden back there, and this is only for one of the buildings. You see, the three neighboring houses (which have been sectioned off and turned into 'apartments') are all owned by the same guy. The backyards are all fenced, but we can traverse from one to the other via an unlocked gate. However, there is a lock…

My Blog: The Massachusetts Film Festival

Welcome! Every Friday I'll try to provide an update of my current ongoings and goals for the week. These posts are less formal than my lessons and hopefully, provide a bit more personality to the website.

With that said, last week I attended the Massachusetts Film Festival a Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square. As this was my first film festival experience, I decided to watch as many movies as I could in the three days...and I had no idea how exhausting that could be! My feature-length screenplay Sarah was a screenplay selection for the event, but unfortunately didn't win the grand prize. Oh well, maybe next time? It was a great experience overall and I met some new friends.

Some of my favorite movies of the festival included Solitary, Chalet, Healed, East of Hollywood, and Neptune. I thought there were great performances in the leads for Death on a Rock, Solitary, Neptune, and Jasmine. Unfortunately, I felt the writing for Death on a Rock and Jasmine under-served the actors. I…