English Vocabulary Building 10

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No Parking
No Parking

Signs often tell the reader whether a particular action is allowed. The first word in the above sign is the negative NO. The second word is the noun ‘PARKING’. In this context parking is not a verb. Parking refers to the act of stopping and leaving a vehicle. Notice that the letters are uppercase. Some readers might associate the color red with the negative NO. This sign communicates a strong message. We can express the meaning in a sentence. No driver of any vehicle is allowed to stop and leave their vehicle in this location at any time. The message is a strong prohibition.

English Vocabulary Learning 8

Pelicans and Prepositions

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We can understand prepositions better by using examples from nature. What do you see in the picture above? Perhaps you said “four birds” or “four birds swimming”. Both of those answers are correct. Let’s look at some details more closely. The birds are swimming on the water. We could also say that the birds are floating on the water. The birds are pelicans. In both examples the pelicans are on the surface of the river. The pelicans are searching for fish. At this location the pelicans can catch pike and catfish. These two types of fish can be found swimming in the river. We can’t see them. To catch the fish the pelicans quickly put their head into the water. This use of into indicates movement of the head. It moves from above the water to under the water. After the pelicans eat their fill of fish they often fly away. We can say that the birds are flying. When they fly very high we might say that they are flying in the sky.







English Vocabulary Learning 7

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Signs provide short authentic English texts that usually convey important information to the reader. This sign is embedded in a sidewalk and identifies a general neighborhood location. It is written in an artistic way in cement. The cement is in the form of a circle. Outside of the circle the cement is mixed with stones. This can be called aggregate. Below the word creekside you see the mirror image of the word. This gives an impression of a reflection like you might see in water. Above the word you see five leaves. These are like the leaves you find in nature. So, the impression this sign might give is of a creek in a natural setting. The word creekside is formed by combining two nouns; creek and side. This is a common way of creating new words in English.  Creek, stream and river all denote water that flows from one place to another. They are geographic features whose size can be described by width and length.

English Vocabulary Building 6


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Would you like a cup of coffee?

In English each letter of the alphabet can be written as a capital or as a small letter. Capital letters can also be called uppercase letters. Small letters can also be called lowercase letters. Look at the first word in the sign. All letters in ‘FREE’ are capitals or uppercase letters.   If we wrote small or lowercase letters we would write ‘free’. Notice that the size of the letters is not the same for each word. FREE is the largest and SMALL is the smallest. It is common to see a lot of capital letters in signs. It is also common to vary the size of letters. Now we will consider the meaning of the sign. The first word tells the reader that they can receive something at no cost. The next word specifies the size. Other common words to specify the size of drinks are medium, large, and extra-large. The next word indicates the method of preparation. Tea and coffee are usually either instant or brewed. Many people consider brewing to be the best method of preparation. The fourth word tells that coffee is the product being given away. The final line limits the offer to a period of time. OCT is an abbreviation for October. NOV is an abbreviation for November. The meaning of the sign can be given in a sentence. We would like to offer you a free small cup of brewed coffee on any day from October 31 to November 6.

English Vocabulary Building 5

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Vancouver 2010

This colorful picture is in the lobby of a hotel in Vancouver, Canada. Canada hosted the 2010 winter Olympics. The center section of the painting with the yellow background shows some of the winter sports in the competition: hockey, bobsled, luge, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, figure skating, speed skating, snowboarding, and downhill skiing. Try to match the pictures with the name of each sport. Above the pictures of the sports you can see the flags of some participating nations. Below the pictures of the sports you can see some of the sports venues which are located in the Vancouver area.

Words-101   Flesch reading ease-58.2   Flesch-Kincaid grade level-9.3

English Vocabulary Building 4

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Remembrance Day Sign

In Canada Remembrance Day is observed every year on November 11. It is a day to remember and show respect to those who died in the wars. A person who goes to war and returns can be called a veteran. This sign is posted in a parking lot. More emphasis is placed on design and style than for most signs. The use of lowercase letters seems less demanding than uppercase letters. A very nice drawing of poppies attracts attention. The background of the sign resembles the material often used for headstones in cemeteries. Overall the effect is subdued and consistent with observing Remembrance Day. The meaning of this sign could be written as a sentenceIn order to show respect this parking spot is for use by veterans only.                                                                                                   Words- 132              Flesch Reading Ease- 66.3         Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level- 6.9