Monday, January 16, 2012

Face off

Here's an intransitive two-word verb (that also is a noun) for you that is featured prominently in the news:

What caused a recent spat between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei?

Friday Night Face Off (FNFO) is a short form improv, competitive comedy show, now in it’s ninth season. In the style of Who’s Line, players use audience suggestions, we pit two teams of improvisers against each other, in an all out comedy championship show.

Republican Debate Sunday: GOP Presidential Candidates Face Off Ahead Of 2012 New Hampshire Primary

Here we have a two-word verb that is intransitive and impliesi a reflexive quality.  You will never separate the words.  On the other hand, if you used the transitive verb "to face" then you might create a sentence such as "Candidates face each other ahead of the 2012 New Hampshire Primary".

The verb "to face off" is used in politics, in debates, and in the sport of hockey, where a game is begun with a "face off".

As a verb, the verb tense is carried in the verb "face" as in this example from Boston College:
This qualified the team for the championship game on Sunday, where they faced off with home team Dartmouth.

Since this verb is so popular in politics and sports, and thus it's featured prominently in newspapers and all forms of media, it's a good one for everybody to learn!


Friday, January 6, 2012

according to....

You want your English to be perfect, right? Sure you do. So here is a lesson that is sure to help.

Here are a few headlines from the news:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is surging in South Carolina and now has a solid lead over his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a new CNN/Time/ORC poll released today.

According To Plan A: A Short Film

Certain adjectives and transitive verbs, when followed by the direct object, must be followed by a particular preposition.

The expression "according to ( )" means "as stated by (source of information)" and is used in conversation and in formal writing. Thus, it is important to learn to use it correctly.

Many learners of English use the expression "according" but - incorrectly - do not complete it by using the preposition "to". They might say "according her" or "according the teacher" and this is incorrect.

Whatever you would say in your native language, make sure that in English you always use the complete expression, "according to" + (the source of information).

Would you like to see more examples of this expression used correctly?  Enter "according to" in your search bar and see how many responses are returned. You may find a book that I enjoyed reading, The World According to Garp, by John Irving.