Thursday, September 07, 2006

Big and Small


When people learn a new language, they think that it is the big words that are difficult. But what I’ve noticed from my students is that it is actually the small words that are the hardest. Which words do students always get wrong? ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘make’ and ‘do’, for instance. A word like ‘get’ has about 20 distinct meanings if you check the dictionary, but ‘globalization’ has only one.

So my tip of the day is this: don’t worry about the big words; worry about the small ones!

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