Lesson 2 - L&S, Functions, Pronunciation - LAUGHTER AND SENSE OF HUMOUR

Z Studia Informatyczne
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Getting to know foreigners

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Listening : Red in the Face Social distress among Indian immigrants

Source: www http:// indiacurrent.com/news/view_article.htm?article_id access 13.07.06

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VII. Read the true stories and have a good laugh!

A man called, furious about a Florida package-holiday we did. I asked what was wrong with his vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that was not possiblesince Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state."

I got a call from a man who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map."

A nice lady called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20 am and arrived at Chicago Airport at 8:33 am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of llinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

A business man called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. "Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express."

Source: http://www.scaruffi.com/travel/jokes.html access 14.07.06


Some words, also words, that are used a lot in speaking, have one weak and one strong sound. Weak forms are used in normal, everyday conversations. For example, the weak form of the verb 'have' is [hev,ev], where e is reduced to schwa, a type of [e] sound you hardly hear. Such forms are very often used with auxiliary verbs, i.e.verbs that help to form different tenses (do, does, will, did, were, was, have, has etc.). In the sentences below auxiliary verbs are in their weak forms.

We have known each other for years. [hev] mp3mp3

VIII. Pronunciation/ Auxiliary verbs: strong and weak forms

Some auxiliary verbs (have, can, do) are normally unstressed and have a reduced vowel sound. These are called weak forms.


Can you cook? (ken) mp3
Have you talked to him? (hev, ev) mp3

In short answers the auxiliary verb is stressed with the full vowel sound. These are called strong forms.


Yes, I can. (caen) mp3

Yes, I have.(haev) mp3

IX. Look at the auxiliary verbs in these dialogues. Tick the auxilary verb with the strong form.

1. Are you going on holiday this year?

  Yes, we are.

2. Do you find his behaviour peculiar?

   Yes, I do.

3. Can you read in Chinese?

   Yes, I can.

4. Have you got a new car?

   Yes, I have.

5. Are you leaving tomorrow?

  Yes, we are.

X. Look at the sentences and decide whether the auxiliary verbs (do, are, have, was, were) here are in their weak or strong form. Then repeat the sentences.

! Rember that auxiliary verbs in their negative forms have only strong pronunciation.

  1. Everybody was shocked.
  2. They weren't hungry.
  3. Do you want a cup of tea?
  4. You aren't unkind.
  5. Where were you?
  6. You are a fool.
  7. We have been here longer than you.
  8. I wasn't interested in the news.
  9. I don't like sugar.
  10. Do you sleep a lot?