Monday, November 30, 2015

The Suffix -ish in Spanish

The English suffix -ish is a diminutive. When added to a root, it gives an approximate meaning. For example, the word "eightish" means around eight and "yellowish" means close to yellow. In Spanish, approximate colours aren't formed with an invariable suffix as in English.

Here are ten approximate colours in Spanish:

red reddish rojo rojizo
blue bluish azul azulejo
yellow yellowish amarillo amarillento
black blackish negro negruzco
white whitish blanco blancuzco
pink pinkish rosa rosáceo  
green greenish verde verdoso
orange orangish naranja anaranjado
brown brownish pardo pardusco
grey greyish gris grisáceo  

Compared to English, we notice that approximate colours in Spanish aren't formed with a single suffix form. With the colours black and white, the word final -o becomes a -u and the suffix -zco is added. In the case of brown, the suffix is spelt -sco. The colours grey and pink add the suffix variant -áceo. The other colours are formed with different variants.

To form approximate colours in English, the rule is simple. The suffix -ish is added to the root. In Spanish, however, approximate colours are formed with a single suffix, but this suffix has many variants.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

English Strong and Weak Forms

Many English words have both a strong and weak pronunciation. They are known as strong and weak forms. The strong forms are used in isolation and in careful speech. In casual speech, the weak forms are common.

The word or has a strong and weak form. The strong form rhymes with for, but the weak form has the pronunciation of the final syllable of elevator. In the question "Soup or salad?" the weak pronunciation of the word sounds the same as "Super salad?" Other words which have strong and weak forms are and, for, to, he, her and him.

The strong pronunciaton of and rhymes with sand, but the weak pronunciation has a different vowel sound and lacks the final consonant. In the phrases black and white, fish and chips and salt and pepper, the weak pronunciation is normally used. For this reason, fish and chips is often spelt fish 'n chips.

The weak forms are usually accompanied by little stress. In the sentence, "This is for you," the word for is usually unstressed-this results in a weak pronunciation. The weak form of for has the pronunciation of the final syllable of elevator. 

The strong pronunciation of to rhymes with two, but the weak pronunciation has a much shorter vowel, the same vowel that is heard in the weak pronunciations of and and for.

In the words he, her and him, the h is pronounced in the strong forms but dropped in the weak forms. Some dialects of English never pronounce the letter h. One such dialect is Cockney, which is spoken in London. In these dialects he, her and him only have one form.

A number of English words have strong and weak forms. These words are often very common words such as and, for and two. The strong forms are common in formal speech, and the weak forms are common in casual speech.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mushroom Soup

Mushroom soup is delicious and easy to make. Here is the recipe:

500 grams mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream or milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Melt the butter in a frying pan.  Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the onion is soft. Slowly blend two tablespoons of flour and stir. Transfer to a pot and add chicken broth. While stirring frequently, heat until it has thickened. Add cream or milk to the soup and gradually add one tablespoon of flour while stirring. Heat and stir until the soup thickens. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Russian Family Names

Many Russian family names have different forms for men and women. In fact, this is also true of other Slavic languages such as Polish, Czech and Slovak. Most Russian family names have a masculine and a feminine form.

In many cases, an -a is added to a name to make it feminine. For example, the feminine versions of the family names Alexeyev, Denisov, Kuznetsov, Safin and Semenov are Alexeyeva, Denisova, Kuznetsova, Safina and Semenova. Many Russian family names end with -ov and -ova.

Names which end in -ski change to -skaya. For example, the female version of Krasinski is Krasinskaya. In other cases, there is no change. For example, the names Chernykh, Pavliv and Petrenko are the same for both men and women. This is also true for foreign names.

Many Russian family names have different forms for men and women. To make a name feminine, an -a is usually added. With family names which end in -ski, the suffix becomes -skaya. However, some Russian family names are invariable.

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