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Sheri F.'s Resources

Blogs

Word Bank: Deposit and Withdraw Your Knowledge.

Speaking a foreign language is most frustrating when you know exactly what you want to say in your first language, but you either don't know how to say anything similar in the foreign language or anything that captures the exact nuance.   The process if less frustrating if you accept that you should not think in your first language and that you may never be able to capture the exact... read more

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Les tengo unos chistes chistosos/I have some funny funnies(jokes) for you!

Jokes are a fun way to learn vocabulary, practice phrases in context, and review grammar. Some of the information I provide below just skims the surface, so please stay tuned for more details on topics (such as verbs like gustar, possessive pronouns, and reflexive pronouns) or use other references for more information.   1.¿Por qué está triste el cuaderno de matemáticas?   Porque... read more

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Proverbial Adverb and Adjective Explanation

Some students confuse adjectives and their corresponding adverbs.   Adjectives describe a noun and the adjective must agree in gender and number. In certain cases, such as mejor and peor, an adjective will only agree in number. An adverb, such as bien or mal, does not agree in gender or number; it is neutral.   Mal vs Malo/s and Mala/s   Mal is an adverb... read more

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Survival Guide for Preterite Conjugation

The conjugations and accent mark placements in the preterite are the most difficult of all tenses because there are many spelling changes and irregulars. One tip is to remember that the rules you learned in the present tense apply to the present tense only: you have to learn a whole new set of rules! A key to memorizing and applying these rules is to categorize the verbs into either regular... read more

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Losing Tensation: An Explanation of When to Use Tenses

Students learn early on that phrases do not literally translate from one language to another. In English, the prepositional phrase is “to think about,” but the prepositional phrase is “pensar en” in Spanish. While this takes time to memorize and get used to, students are often able to accept it. There is another aspect of language that does not translate exactly and it can be harder to grasp;... read more

Answers

What are some tips for coming up with a good thesis for a paper? (answer)

Have a five minute brainstorming session in which all you do is type out different ideas. Which ideas can you see yourself arguing and supporting with evidence? What unique idea do you have that is important to make and you want others to hear? If you were just talking to friends, what ideas...

Answers

Is there any really good way to make a study guide? (answer)

It will also depend on your learning style and the type of tests that your teachers give you. Are you more of a visual, kinesthetic, or auditory learner? Do your teachers tend to give you questions on tests that come from homework assignments, the book, or in-class notes? I like referring to...

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Is wikipedia now a reliable source to use for academic papers? (answer)

No, you should not use wikipedia as a source for academic papers. Generally speaking, the scientific articles are quite accurate(of course there is always change and new discoveries), but there is reason to distrust any other type of article. There could be slight biases in other types of articles...

Answers

What is the difference between "por" and "para?" (answer)

It is definitely tricky at first, like Valerie said. Both are prepositions that roughly translate to "for," but in reality have many different meanings. It is actually best NOT to think of them as meaning “for” because they have many significances and can usually mean whole phrases...

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Subjugating the Subjunctive

My favorite "tense" in Spanish is the subjunctive. The subjunctive is truly more of a mood than it is a tense. According to etymology.com, the definition of subjunctive is a "mood employed to denote an action or state as conceived and not as a fact," English barely uses the subjunctive, so it is difficult for English speakers to grasp. The subjunctive is fairly easy... read more