Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Defining Nouns in English

Today's lesson was about how to describe nouns (명사) when we forget the exact word. For example, if you forget the word calendar, you might say "it's something you use to know the date" or "it's something you use to remember appointments."

Also, we talked about the idiom "in other words," which helps us describe things.  You can use it to describe something in two ways, to say the same meaning with different words.
1. Example: “He’s ecstatic.  In other words, he’s very happy.”
2. Example: “She’s a librarian.  In other words, she’s someone who works at a library.”
We began with the question "what is something that you do every day before school?"  In other words, "what do you always do before school?"

In my class, I prefer to define words, in other words, to explain the meaning, rather than give the Korean translation.  Although it’s easier for me to say “Definition: 정의,” you will learn better if  I say “Definition: an explanation of the meaning of a word.”

Here are some ways to describe nouns:

Person:  This is someone who __________s
Example: This is someone who catches criminals and stops crime.

Person (only 1): This is the person who __________s
Example: This is the person who sings “Poker Face.”

Place:  This is somewhere you can _______
Example:  This is somewhere you can prepare food in your house.

Thing:  This is something you  ___________
Example:  This is something you eat in Korea on the 3 hottest days of the summer.

To practice describing/defining nouns in English, we played a game.
Each team got a paper with 3 nouns on it, and one blank space.  In the blank space, the table chose a person, place, or thing to describe.
Teams had 5 minutes to write and 5 minutes to edit (especially articles & subject-verb agreement) a description of their noun.  
Then each group read 2 of their definitions, and other groups guessed what was being defined.  Stickers to whomever guessed correctly!

Here are a few example descriptions.  Can you guess what noun they were describing?
1. This is the person who is the current president of the USA.
2. This is somewhere you can see the Vice Principal.
3. This is something you use to eat noodles, rice, and other food.

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