Assent vs Ascent - English Grammar - Teaching Tips
This video covers the difference between 'assent' and 'ascent'. As these two words have a similar pronunciation and spelling, their usage is often confused. Let's take a look at the two words individually. 'Assent' is a noun and describes an agreement or an approval of something. He nodded his assent and she continued. As you can see in the example, 'assent' indicates that he is agreeing. We could also say 'He nodded in agreement and she continued.' While the word 'ascent' is also used as a noun, it has a very different meaning. It refers to the action of rising or climbing up, for example: My legs were tired after I took the ascent to the cabin on the ridge. We could also say 'My legs were tired from the climb to the cabin on the ridge'.
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Conditionals refer to past, present and future possibilities. There are 2 clauses in the sentence: the ?if? clause (which contains the condition that has to be satisfied before the action or state in the main clause can be realised) and the main clause (which expresses the consequence) and either can be in the first part of the sentence. The 5 main conditionals are:
Zero conditional: if/when + present tense, present tense. It is used for irrefutable actions.
First conditional: if + present simple, will (will can be replaced by a model verb). It refers to a situation in the future that is possible or even certain, once the condition has been satisfied.
Second conditional: if + past simple, would/could/might + base form. It communicates a present or future ?unreal? situation.
Third conditional: if + past perfect, would/could/might + have + past participle. Refers to a hypothetical past action (or non-action) and the hypothetical past consequence/result.
Mixed conditional: Sometimes the second and the third conditional clauses are mixed. If + past perfect, would + base form. This refers to a hypothetical past action or state and the hypothetical present consequence.
Good ideas for teaching conditionals are: split sentences, complete the conditional, chain conditionals, what a question!, nuclear bunker role play, what would happen if??
The other topic was direct/reported speech. People can be quoted through direct speech (when exact words are quoted) or reported speech (when not the exact words are quoted, we just let people know what has been said. Usage of reported speech: Present simple changes to past simple, present continuous changes to past continuous, present perfect becomes past perfect, present perfect continuous becomes past perfect continuous, past simple changes to past perfect, past continuous becomes past perfect continuous. Instead of will, we use would, Past perfect remains past perfect and past perfect continuous remains past perfect continuous. It is important to note that in case of facts that are always going to be true or when we know that a statement is absolutely true, it is not a mistake not to make the backshift in the tense. Time changes: today ? that day, now ? then, yesterday ? the day before, x days ago ? x days before, last ? the previous, tomorrow ? the next day, this ? that. These time changes are not made when reporting the speech as what was originally said does not cause confusion for the listener.
Good teaching ideas for reported speech: intermediaries, reporting verbs, media interviews.