Spanish Grammar Lesson On The Present Progressive Tense
The Present Progressive Tense
The progressive tense is used to describe actions that are in progress at a specific moment in time (the present). In English, it is the auxiliary verb "to be" and the present participle. In layperson terms, the "present participle" means verbs with "ing" attached to the end of the verb.
The present tense is used much more frequently in English than it is used in Spanish. As in Spanish, we use it to talk about actions that are in progress "now" or "right now." But in English, we also use the present progressive tense to describe habitual actions or to speak in general. For example:
I am living in the suburbs.
I am working in the post office.
I am taking Spanish lessons.
In Spanish, the present tense is used to emphasize that an action is taking place now. But many Spanish grammar books do not indicate that there is another use for the present progressive tense. And that the present progressive tense can be used to stress that an action is continuous.
I learned this one from trial and error. As embarrassing as it is to admit, a five year old little girl corrected my Spanish grammar. That's how I found out.
The first time it happened it happened with an adult. I was trying to tell an adult that I am learning Spanish. Since the Spanish grammar books taught me that the Spanish present progressive tense is only used to describe actions that are in progress "right now," I did not use the present progressive tense to say that "I am learning Spanish." Because I was not learning Spanish at that specific moment. At that very moment, I was trying to talk to her in Spanish. So I said "Aprendo espa
The Golden Hour
During a conversation earlier today, a formerly svelt young lady said that she had given up on the idea of exercise, because to have a body worth the trouble, it would take three or four hours a day.
Novice writers complain that in order to build their careers, it would take six or seven hours a day...so what is the point!
And more times than I could count, stressed-out acquaintances have said that they would love to meditate, but "don't have the time."
It is time we explode these falsehoods. The truth is that misconceptions like the above can completely steal your chances for health, happiness and success.
The truth is that you can get started on a fantastic fitness regimen in only an hour a week. Further, a focused writer can create a novel in a year in only an hour a day. And gigantic strides can be made toward stress relief in only five minutes a day. THAT is the playing field: give yourself five minutes, and you can cut your stress in half. Give yourself an hour a week, and you can have health and fitness. An hour a day can jump-start a career.
1) Five Minutes a day. Five times a day, for just sixty seconds, stop and breathe slowly and deeply from your belly. Go to a local yoga or Tai Chi school and ask to learn a relaxation breathing technique. If you can't find one, then slow down, get quiet, and feel your heartbeat for sixty seconds. Do this every three hours for sixty seconds, and you will halve your stress levels.
2) An hour a week. Three times a week, perform twenty minutes of the right body-weight or weight exercises. Hindu Squats and Hindu Pushups are wonderful whole-body exercises. Do a Google search for them, and you'll find multiple sites on the Internet selling or giving away the information for free. For faster results, use "Kettlebell" style whole-body weight exercises. These exercise tools look like little cannon-balls with handles, and they are used in a variety of swinging and yoga-like moves that are unbelievably efficient for developing strength, endurance, flexibility, power and athleticism, all at the same time. You can even use an ordinary dumbbell in the beginning. Again, do a Google search, and you'll find the information, often for free!
3) An Hour a day. This is what I call the "Golden Hour." You need to accept the idea that one hour out of every day belongs to you. Not your job, not your husband or wife, or your kids
Busting Publishing S Biggest Myths
Rejection is never easy. But some authors can't separate themselves from their work, and take rejection letters very personally. I get many emails from disgruntled writers who can't get past their anger to figure out why their work was turned down in the first place. So before you spend hours sticking pins in your editor voodoo doll, see if you recognize yourself below:
The complaint: "Editors practice age discrimination. I'm over 50 and editors believe only young authors can write for children."
The truth: Editors are interested in finding good books, period. It doesn't matter how old the author is. Take a look at the lists of award winners (ask your librarian, or do an Internet search for Caldecott or Newbery Awards) and note the ages of the authors. Many didn't start writing until their kids were in school full time, or took up writing as a second career. Editors also know that the best stories come from years of life experience, and older writers have more to draw from. Yes, occasionally a book written by a teenager will make the news, but more often than not it's the novelty of the author's age that gets the publicity, not the quality of the writing. And why does the editor know your age in the first place? There's no reason to mention it in your cover or query letter, unless it has direct bearing on the story. If you're writing historical fiction and you actually lived through the events in the plot, or your nonfiction book is based on years of study in the subject, then your age is a plus.
The complaint: "I'm a man, and editors think only women can write children's books."
The truth: Sorry guys, but this one's a little ridiculous. Again, look at that list of award winners. Men are well-represented. Glance through the names of editors in Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market published by Writer's Digest Books. Lots of men there too. The only time your gender might be an issue is with the readers themselves. For example, teenage boys might not buy a science fiction/adventure story written by a woman, or middle grade girls may think a man can't possibly pen a series featuring four adolescent girls at summer camp. They're wrong, but you can always use your first initial instead of your name to fool your audience.
The complaint: "They're just wrong about my writing! All editors want these days are famous names, not quality books."
The truth: Yes, many editors (especially those at larger houses) have to be concerned with making money for the publisher, and so rely on a certain number of established authors each year to pay the bills. But they also know they need to find new writers, because those standbys aren't going to be writing forever.
Sometimes it's almost impossible to interpret a rejection letter, and one or two form rejections does not mean you're a failure. Editors are people too, with personal tastes and the need to balance each list by subject matter and age group. However, several rejections in a row deserve a closer look. Are you submitting to appropriate publishers, who actually publish the kind of book you've written? Have any of the houses on your list recently published a book very similar to yours? Is your manuscript riddled with typos or grammatical errors? Even though a copy editor will fix these before the book's published, sloppy presentation can give an editor reason to reject a manuscript when she's got 50 others sitting on her desk waiting for her attention.
In most cases, though, it's the writing that gets the manuscript rejected. And since it's the editor's job to recognize good writing and help those authors make their books even better, there is a chance (admit it!) that the rejection is deserved. How can you tell? First of all, if you get personal comments about your manuscript in the rejection letter, take those to heart. Play devil's advocate and assume the editor's right, and see if those changes improve the work. Secondly, get objective input. Join a writer's group, get a professional manuscript critique, or pay for a personal critique session at a writer's conference (most Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators workshops-www.scbwi.org-have optional one-on-one critiques). Take writing classes, read books on writing. Do whatever you can to learn how to judge your work and make it better.
The complaint: "Publishers aren't interested in publishing books that will help kids."
The truth: Whoa! If children's book publishers didn't produce books that benefit kids, they'd go out of business in a heartbeat. Of course, we can all walk into a book store and find books that aren't worth the paper they're printed on, but that's true of any product. (Have you ever bought a T-shirt that disintegrated in the first wash, or a DVD player that self-destructed in a week?) I'm not saying that's a good thing, but our society seems to tolerate a certain amount of drivel in the marketplace. However, all publishers prefer commercially-appealing books that also have substance. This complaint consistently comes from writers whose goal is to "help kids," or teach them how to grow into solid, caring citizens through their books. This is admirable and even desirable, but very often the message is heavy-handed and preachy. The message smothers the story, and the book ends up sounded like a lecture. It's simply not good writing. Try reading several popular books wit h a message embedded in the plot (ask a teacher or librarian for recommendations) and work on the writing-improvement suggestions above.
The complaint: "I'm disabled/poor/have had a hard life and want to share my story, but no one will listen."
The truth: I imagine it's difficult for an editor to reject a manuscript that comes from someone who has struggled with adversity and is still determined to follow their lifelong dream of becoming a published author. The tough circumstances themselves don't work against the writer (very often they contribute to powerful stories) but an author's unique situation cannot outweigh less-than-stellar writing. What's on the page is what matters the most. If your story is too personal (it's about your life as an adult, or you haven't extracted the universal feelings and crafted them into a story that will be relevant to a wide audience), the book simply won't sell in the children's market. Again, learn what makes a quality children's book and get objective feedback on your manuscript. Remember, no one owes you a publishing credit just because you took the time to write a book. Writing is hard work, and requires self-education, practice, and persistence. There's no shame in p utting aside a manuscript that simply won't sell and writing something new. Every published author has a drawer full of those, and enough rejection letters to wallpaper an office. So join the club- it's worth the price of membership.
How To Read When You Re Writing
Many writers say it: "I don't read when I'm writing". They think it will contaminate their voice, that whatever style they're reading will somehow seep into their work and it really won't be theirs. That's only a problem if you're writing a 21st-century urban romance and last night's reading of Pride and Prejudice has you making your characters sound like they're in an English drawing room and not a Miami nightclub!
In fact, if you're not reading while you're working on your book, you're missing out on the many ways you can learn from authors past and present who have dealt with the very same issues you're struggling with. I once heard that if a writer is stuck or has writer's block, it's because he or she hasn't done their homework, and for a writer homework is reading. But how do you know what to read and how to make use of it? Here are 4 easy tips to getting the most out of your reading.
Identify the Strategies/Techniques You're Using in Your Book
Take out your book's outline (or notes or whatever pages you have written so far) and highlight the writer's tools you are using. Now you may not see them as tools. For instance, your character is sitting in a car and she's having a memory of a car accident that happened when she was little and you tell the story of the accident. That's a flashback. Maybe you used internal dialogue, maybe you're telling your novel in the 2nd person voice or your whole book is historical fiction so getting the setting right is crucial. Once you've identified your main tools, ask yourself, "What tool do I want help with the most?" Then...
Find Books in Which the Author Has Used a Similar Technique
Sometimes the right book will come to you automatically. Writing in the 2nd person voice? Then Jay Mcinerney's Bright Lights, Big City comes to mind. It's a great example of a strategy that's very tricky to pull off. I would definitely want to read it if I wanted to be as effective as he was with his novel. Great examples of historical fiction include The Known World by Edward P. Jones and anything by Toni Morrison. When I was learning how to use flashbacks effectively in my novel I re-read Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides and The Mourner's Bench by Susan Dodd. Ideally as a writer you are reading extensively and the books that come to mind for you will be ones you have already enjoyed and know well. If you need a few ideas you can try referring to a compilation such as Book Lust by Nancy Pearl where you can find books listed and discussed by their characteristics.
What's the Best Way for You to Learn From What You're Reading?
Ask yourself this question to help you develop a way to work with what you're learning from the book you're reading. It may be a matter of taking a few notes on the types of words the author uses or the kinds of details he or she uses to create an effective scene setter. Or it could be more complicated. When I was learning about flashbacks, I was trying to figure out how long you could keep the reader in the past without losing the tension in the present day storyline. So I took The Prince of Tides and did a rough outline of it, counting out how many chapters and how many pages Mr. Conroy devoted to his past and present day story lines. I also noted what the reader learned or what was revealed in each chapter so I could get a sense of how he paced the book. That's just what made sense to me-to create a visual that could help me grasp the whole book. What would help you best understand what a writer has done? This is important because it will help you with the last tip...
No Beating Yourself Up!
Reading is NOT helpful if you spend your time marveling at how good an author is and how you "could never do that." Focusing on reading critically and understanding the craft will keep you in the mindset of being a writer trying to learn from another writer. You'll soon see that reading the book of a great author is kind of like examining a designer gown. If you look closely you'll see the gown has seams just like any other dress-it's just that the stitches are smaller and the workmanship impeccable so the seams aren't as evident. As you read you too will see the workmanship behind the art and allow yourself the opportunity to improve your workmanship likewise. And while it's still possible you "could never do that", I can tell you for certain you will "never do that" if you don't practice and keep writing!
Get Evaluations To Grow
You're speaking, so you know what you're saying. But, do you know what your audience is hearing?
Or perhaps you're writing. Do you know what your audience is reading?
I know many speakers who've been surprised when they discovered the distance between the message they sent and the message the audience received. That's not really unexpected. After all, we really can't gauge how our content or delivery comes across to others unless we've had the evaluations of others.
For example, I've learned from speaking evaluations that I'm often too serious, and that I should lighten up. That's not something that was obvious to me, but after several formal and informal evaluations, I now recognize the truth of that observation.
In the same way, I've learned to reduce the amount of content in my speeches. When I'm writing a speech, I now know I'm not writing a book. By that, I mean the listener can take in much less than a reader, and it's up to the speaker to make the content fit. That, too, I learned from the evaluations of others.
If you can get someone to evaluate your speech or presentation, ask for specific assessments on several criteria, rather than just general comments. These specific criteria might include:
* content suitability for the audience
* vocal variety and pacing
* posture and general bearing
* gestures and body language
* eye contact.
Make your list as long or as short as you wish, and remember that the more specific the criteria, the easier it will be to get information you can you use for improvement.
Much of what we've discussed about speaking works for writing as well. Again, ask for specific assessments rather than general comments. While it's nice to be told, "Your memo was great," it's much more useful to get feedback on specific criteria, such as:
* writing style (too formal or too casual, for example)
* word usage
* amount of content
* suitability of content
* overall readability by target audience.
Many friends and colleagues will happily give you feedback if you ask for it; now you need to approach the subject strategically, and make sure you get feedback you can use to improve your performance.
Anyone Can Write A Research Paper
"I'll figure that out . . . when I get the time."
"I really don't know how to start!"
"I really should write my research paper!"
This common dilemma is expressed over and over again by many people everywhere. The good news is that anybody can write a research paper!
There are three main reasons for research papers:
1. To help you to piece together information from different sources and cohesively put it back together.
2. To help you develop good written and oral communication skills.
3. To help you to figure out how to find information.
Not knowing how to write properly can make your academic life disorganized, stressful and chaotic. By improving your writing skills, you can confidently and quickly finish assignments and write properly throughout your professional career. Writing a research paper can be very simple when you follow these basic steps:
1. Choose or Brainstorm Your Topic: Sometimes a topic is given to you, or you may have your own topic that you would like to research. You may be forced to conduct your research with very little direction. Sometimes you are only given a page count, number of sources and a deadline. It is helpful to begin by brainstorming a topic. Writing down a few ideas can be very helpful, and lead you in a certain direction.
2. Determine the Scope: Once you've scanned the internet or library and learned a little more about your topic, you need to determine whether you need to broaden or narrow your focus.
3. Research: By now you have an idea of your topic and have scanned the subject area. You have a focus for your research paper, but you also need details to "flesh out" the paper. Start going to your resources, and taking notes on sections that may be pertinent to your paper. Remember to document where you got the research from! This usually includes noting the author's name, title of book, paper or website, year of publication, publishing house, page numbers and/or date accessed.
4. Outline Your Paper: An outline is an organized plan for your paper. Develop an outline by starting the first section with a broad introduction of the topic, then list several sections that you have read about (or will read about) that pertain to your topic. The general sections are: introduction, literature review, data collection, results and discussion. Writing an outline will help you to feel better about writing your research paper because you will have a sense of organization and direction after you write it.
5. Create the First Draft: The first draft should be written after you have completed your research. By this point, you will probably have numerous sources and many pages of notes written down from each of these sources. You should have enough information to write the entire paper. It is important "just to start writing", and not to worry too much about the details at this point.
6. Revise, Revise, Revise! Revision of a paper should actually take longer than writing the first draft. This is the time to clean up all of the grammatical mistakes, spelling, run-on sentences, etc, and to make this paper easily readable. This is also the time to add or subtract text when necessary.
7. Proofread: This is the time for nit-picky editing to insure that there are no mistakes. Some things to watch for are: correct verb tenses, punctuation, grammar, spelling, word choice and proper citation. Other details that may be important are: page numbers, correct spacing and correct margins.
By breaking your research paper into small tasks, you can stay focused on the goal of completing it quickly and meticulously!
Easy To Read Articles
Article writing does not need to be difficult. The information about writing articles presented here will do one of two things: either it will reinforce what you know about article marketing or it will teach you something new. Both are good outcomes.
When writing articles, make sure to keep your readers in mind. Studies have shown that most Internet readers tend to scan a page to find the information they are looking for, rather than reading the entire page. This means having good titles, a lot of subtitles, and making use of bullet points to help your readers easily scan your page. Readers prefer a site like this that is easy to use and will be more willing to come back to your site time and time again. The more that your readers return, the more opportunities you will have to get them to click on each one of your affiliate links. Failing to write your articles in this manner, or to have them written this way, could turn your site visitors away before they even have a chance to see what you have to say or to learn what your affiliate links are all about. Keeping your articles organized as recommended will keep your visitors returning and enable your site to continue making money for you.
Making money with articles can be fairly easy for anyone. If you are a quick learner and great reader, then you can learn everything you need to know right from the Internet without any previous training needed. This is probably the best fact about niche website Internet marketing.
Hopefully the information presented so far has been applicable. You might also want to consider the following:
If you are new to the business, your best bet is to ease into it. If you jump in before you know what you are doing, you have a good chance of losing money and having nothing to show for it. There are several things that you need to make sure you know how to do before you begin creating your first site.
Top 10 Tips For Writing A Good Press Release
Writing a press release doesn't need to be difficult. Here are 10 tips for writing a successful press release.
1 - You are writing for journalists
Press releases aren't for customers or consumers they are for reporters, journalists who will use them as a starting point for a larger story or feature. Write your story as you would like to have it told. Press releases written as sales pieces will be completely ignored. The points you make in your press release and the order in which you make them may direct the journalist in how to develop the story.
2 - Start with a strong "lead"
The first paragraph of the press release is known as the "lead". The lead needs to be strong, communicating your message quickly and concisely. You need to use your headline and first paragraph effectively so that they standalone and that if only those portions were to be read, there would be enough information to understand what the release is about. The rest of your press release should provide the detail. Journalists see maybe thousands of press releases a day, you have a few seconds to grab your their attention.
3 - What is your angle?
The media are always on the look out for a good story. Your press release needs to be more than just. fact, it needs to be newsworthy. Understanding why journalists would find your story interesting is the key to success. Think about the release from the journalist's point of view, put yourself in their shoes. It is best to make your press release timely and to tie it to current events or social issues if possible. Find a good angle, a good news hook and you have the start of a good press release.
4 - Who, what, where, when and why
A good press release needs to answer all of the "W" questions (who, what, where, when and why), providing the journalist with useful information about your organization, product, service or event. If your press release reads like an advertisement or sales pitch, dump it.
5 - Why should anyone care?
Company launches, new websites and changes of management happen all the time and so aren't interesting. You need to concentrate on what makes your new company, web site, CEO or product unique. Ask yourself the question, "Why should anyone care?" Concentrate on the aspects of your press release that makes it different.
6 - Add the human touch
Always use real life stories about how your organization identified a problem and solved it. How did your service or product fulfil a need or help the community. Real life examples communicate the benefits of using your product or service in a powerful way.
7 - Keep to the point
Use enough words to tell your story, no more and no less. Don't pad your release with unnecessary adjectives or flowery language. But at the same time make each word count.
8 - Limit the jargon
The best way to communicate your news is to speak plainly. You may need to use some jargon or industry specific lingo, but limit it to the minimum. Industry specific terms are only understood by people in the same industry where as your press release is aimed at a general readership.
9 - Add an "About" section
Make sure you add an "About" section where you describe your company and services. This will be useful for setting the press release in a context. Don't forget to add the URL of your website.
10 - Add good contact information
If a journalist picks up on your press release they will want to talk with you. Just adding your website URL isn't enough. As a minimum you need to add a contact name and an email address. Even better add a phone number where you can be contacted.
Finding A Literary Agent You Can Work With
So you have finally finished writing the book for which you toiled so hard and just like your newborn, is very close to your heart? And you thought that you have crossed the biggest hurdle? Well now comes the tougher part, which is to get your book printed and making it see the light of the day. For this, you would need the services of a book agent. Not just any book agent, but also someone who is good at his work. There are many kinds of literary agents and hence you have to be careful with who you choose to represent you.
To start with, do a background search on the area of specialization of the book agents. This is important since some agents work with fiction, some specialize in poetry whereas other love technical titles. Once you identify a list of agents who deal in your area of work, you would need to zero down on someone who can ensure that your interests are protected. This is difficult since finding agents who know their jobs is very difficult. It's almost like searching for a needle in a haystack. Don't be surprised if you keep bumping into scammers disguised as book agents. Though people like these are available in plenty, they are in it only for themselves and can be really terrible at their job.
A good book agent knows his job well, probably would have learnt it by working for some other reputed agent. That would have helped him learn the tricks of the trade by talking independently to the publishers as well as the authors. He would have the gone ahead and set up his own business. These agents toil hard and will be on your side without ever asking you for any monetary benefits. They will also do things like editing your books free of cost.
However, if you land up with a scammer, you will find that he will send you a bill even before the book hit the shelves. This is something that a genuine agent will not do. Once your book starts selling, he gets his money as a share of the amount you get from the proceeds. This can be a real-time filter of isolating a scammer from a genuine agent. Also, a scammer will make you get your revisions and editing done by a third party though it is supposed to be done by him for free. They are book agents after all and it is imperative that they should have editing skills.
In a nutshell, ensure that you do a thorough research on book agents. You should feel comfortable with them right through. However, if you feel that something is not right, switch to another one at the first opportunity. Don't panic if you find yourself doing this often since it is important that you are working with the right person. After all it is a question of making your dream come true!
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