Sunday, January 28, 2007

Vocabulary Self-Testing

I came across this site called Quizlet. It looks like a really useful site for learning vocabulary. From what I saw of it, the site could be used by a group of people to study for a test or just to learn the vocabulary for a class. On the site are several examples that can be practiced with. It is free to use the site, and a Quicktime video presents a good tutorial showing the different features.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

compared to + ing verb

As I wrote before, I use a general guideline that the simple form of the verb usually follows the preposition to. In the previous blog, I wrote how this does not work with advantages. In this post, I am going to look at another word that is not followed by to + the simple form of the verb. This word is compared. This came from Danny's paragraph and made me think more about what is going on in this combination.

In the following sentence, I like having several friends compared to having only one or two good friends. the -ing word following compared to is a gerund, that is an -ing word functioning as a noun.

The first two examples come from Just the Word
Everything was boring compared to the books he read.
Well it was useless compared to the amount I'd been using.

Or this sentence from the concordancer on Lexical Tutor:
Also, it requires more time as compared to the automatic approach.

The common pattern for compared to is that it is followed by a noun or noun phrase. I did not find any infinitive, that is to + the simple form of the verb in my searches.

In the future, I will keep these examples in mind and warn that the pattern of to + the simple form of the verb usually holds true.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Advantage and to

In class, I generally use the guideline that the preposition to is followed by the simple form of the verb, in other words, the infinitive form. For example,

I am happy to see you.
The girls are ready to work.
The first group to visit us was the girl scouts.

However, a student, Hanna, turned in a paper using advantages to introduce her supports and followed my guideline. It didn't work. Advantage is usually followed by the -ing form.

The first advantage to working part time...
Another advantage to studying each day...

This pattern proves consistent when other prepositions follow advantage:

The advantage of walking for exercise...
The advantage of memorizing...

Thus, advantage proves to be an exception to the to + simple verb form guideline. I will add to this list now of one word when I find other exceptions.