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In more formal language, you might find transition signals like ‘at first’ or ‘subsequently', or ‘after a while’.
If we wanted to make Simone’s story clearer, we could add some transition signals to her story.
If we were writing her story, we might use more formal transition signals.
Simone had a feeling of pins and needles in her leg. ‘Then’ it worked its way to her arm.
We might say:
‘At first,’ Simone had a feeling of pins and needles in her leg. ‘After a while,’ it worked its way to her arm.
Notice that transition signals like this are often followed by commas.
Adding transition signals has made Simone’s story clearer. You can more easily see the order of events. This is very important in more formal language.
Try to make sure you learn and use a number of different transition signals.
Now let’s have another listen to a clip of Simone talking about her illness.
Pay attention to the type of sentences that Simone uses. Are the sentences simple, compound or complex?
It worked its way up towards my arm and across. I was just immobile. I couldn't move. I couldn't walk. I was paralysed on this side of my body.
Most of the sentences that Simone uses are ‘simple’ sentences.
If we wanted to write an account of Simone’s illness, we could join up some of these sentences to make ‘compound’ and ‘complex’ sentences.
We form ‘compound’ and ‘complex’ sentences by joining simple sentences and phrases together.
‘I was just immobile. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t walk.’
But we could edit this to say:
‘I was just immobile. I couldn’t move or walk.’
‘I was just immobile. I could neither move nor walk.’
OK, now let’s finish with a quick look at the words used in the clip. Listen to the clip one more time, and then we’ll talk about a quick way to build your vocabulary.
I was just immobile. I couldn't move. I couldn't walk. I was paralysed on this side of my body.
Simone says she was ‘immobile’.
The prefix ‘im-’ is used to make the opposites of words beginning with ‘m’ or ‘p’.
‘Im-’ means not, so ‘immobile’ is the opposite of ‘mobile’ – it means not mobile.
So we can have ‘mobile’ and ‘immobile’,
‘mature’, and ‘immature’,
‘polite’ and ‘impolite’,
‘patient’ and ‘impatient’.
Knowing the opposites of words is very important.
Many words just have a different word that means the opposite, like:
‘hot, cold’, ‘happy, sad’, ‘in, out’ ‘up, down’;
but other words take prefixes that mean not – like ‘un-’, ‘de-’, ‘dis’, ‘in-‘.
Listen to some of the clip again. Then we’ll look at a how a few more opposites are formed.
The major signs of having had a stroke that most people would equate with is weakness, so paralysis of an arm, leg or face. In others it can be a loss of speech or inability to communicate.
I was just so physically fit and also emotionally I was on top of the world.
He says a sign of a stroke can be an ‘inability’ to communicate.
He uses the ‘in-’ prefix meaning ‘not’.
‘Inability’ means not having the ability, and here’s a few more opposites.
She says she was physically fit, emotionally on top of the world.
The opposite of ‘fit’ is’ unfit’.
The opposite of ‘emotionally’ is ‘unemotionally’.
A great tip is to try to find words with opposite meanings. Some words have several meanings, so they have several opposites as well. A good thesaurus will really help you with this.
And that’s all from me today. Don’t forget to practice forming compound and complex sentences. And remember to practice reading and writing in English every day. I’ll see you next time on Study English. Bye.