ORAL ENGLISH: DESCRIPTION OF THE ̸̸̸̸ ei ̸̸̸ SOUND
This sound is called a Diphthong. A Diphthong is a complex vowel sound that begins with the sound of one vowel and ends with the sound of another vowel in the same syllable.
Spelling the ̸̸̸ ei ̸̸̸ Sound
You can spell the sound in various ways in English.
a…e ai ay ey ei
same faint way obey eight
gate paid tray grey weigh
wake maid day prey veil
cake gait play they rein
ea a unusual unusual
great data dossier bouquet
steak nasal ballet gauge
break naval sachet feign
Some people confuse ̸̸ ei ̸̸ with ̸̸ e ̸̸. Your mouth should be more open for ̸̸ e ̸̸ than for ̸̸ ei ̸̸.
wet wait ̸̸ weit ̸̸
EXERCISE: Apart from the words given in the examples, give ten other words produced with the sound ̸̸ ei ̸̸.
LANGUAGE STRUCTURE: FUNCTIONS OF VERBS AND VERB TENSES
Verb can be defined as an action word. Verbs relate the action of the subject to a specific time through the grammatical device known as TENSE.
It is through the use of the correct tense in a speech or writing that you as the reader or listener can tell when the action being described takes place.
Tense is simply known as Time. It is the term used to describe the form taken by a verb to indicate the time an action was done. Tense expresses the difference between present time and past time, it also expresses the difference between real and unreal meaning. Examples of Verb tenses:
THE SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE
This tense is used when you mean someone does something regularly, something happens regularly or something goes on all the time. Examples;
The simple present tense is often used with adverbs like sometimes, always, usually, every day and never, as it is used in the above example.
The simple present tense has two forms:
In order to form the negative statement, we use the third-person singular form of the auxiliary verb ‘do’, followed by the negative particle ‘not’ with the stem of the verb. We also use the verb ‘do’ in forming Yes/No questions. Examples;
THE SIMPLE PAST TENSE
This tense is used to refer to something that has already happened and was completed in the past. It is often used with adverb of time. Example;
The majority of verbs in English are regular verbs. Regular Verbs are verbs which form their past tense forms by simply adding ‘d’ or ‘ed’. Examples; arrive – arrived, play – played, etc.
However, there are some verbs in English that form their simple past tense forms in other ways. These are Irregular Verbs. Examples; go – went, speak – spoke, meet – met.
The verb ‘to be’ has two common simple past tense forms – the singular form ‘was’ and the plural form ‘were’. The plural form is also used with the second-person singular pronoun ‘you’. Example;
Note that the simple past tense of the verb to do – did is used when we form negative statements and questions about things that took place or did not take place in the past. Examples;
THE SIMPLE FUTURE TENSE
This tense is used when you want to say that something has not yet happened but will happen at some time in the future. The tense is made up of two parts – the modal auxiliaries ‘will’ or ‘shall’ plus the base/infinitive form of the verb being used. Examples;
In the future tense, when the subject is I or we, we use ‘shall’. However, he, she, they, it and all nouns take ‘will’ after them.
‘Shall’ and ‘Will’ can also be used to form negative statements and Yes/No questions. In addition, the negative statements are formed by adding ‘not’ to ‘shall’ and ‘will’ while the Yes/No questions are formed by putting ‘shall’ or ‘will’ before its subject.
Note that ‘shall not’ is often shortened to shan’t and ‘will not’ is shortened to won’t. Examples;
Furthermore, ‘shall’ and ‘will’ (or ll) can both be used to make suggestions such as:
Will and won’t also indicate willingness. For example;
Such requests are usually answered by Yes. However, you could say, ‘No, I won’t’ if you want to give a direct refusal.
EXERCISE: State the tense of the verb used in the following sentences.