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calculation of size or extent; assessment of capacity or dimension
measurement
barometer
attribute
levy
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Keep in touch with us and learn new English words and idioms through our newsletter. Every month Alan Townend will send you a short essay on a particular topic such as advertising or money. The texts contain a lot of expressions and idioms related to the theme in question. With our newsletter you can both learn and smile as Alan writes his texts in a unique and humorous style. Explore the English language in a very amusing but informative manner and see just what fun learning can be. If you are concerned about the privacy of your email address, you can browse through the back issues of our newsletter before you sign up for it. Still got questions? Contact us on our forum. See you soon.
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Newsletter April 15 - 2011FREE email English course

I’ll come back to the title in a minute. Don’t worry; it’s not a typing error. As is the nature of human beings, people like to boast (talk very proudly) about the things they own which they say are the biggest, the most expensive or the best that anybody can think of. Countries do the same. Their people talk about the tallest bridges, the longest rivers or the most successful achievements (things that have been completed by the people in the country) that you can only find in their country. Languages of course can also throw their weight around (act as if they are very important) and maintain (say) that they are the best in the world. English gets carried away (over excited) sometimes, too. And talking of superlatives, what do you think is the longest word in the English language. There are several answers to this question but I will choose one -: ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’. Quite a mouthful, you will no doubt agree. Let’s take it to pieces -. ‘ism’ is an ending used for beliefs and philosophies such as communism, capitalism or fascism. The ‘establishment’ is the word that describes the way the country is governed. In the UK for example we have a monarch (a king or queen) who officially gives permission to (allows) the Houses of Parliament to run (control) the country.

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Today of course the king or queen is merely the head in name only and has no power. The ending ‘arian’ makes a noun like ‘parliament’ into a person – a parliamentarian. In this way ‘establishment’ becomes a person called an ‘establishmentarian’ – someone who believes in the establishment. We now have the word ‘establishmentarianism’ which means a belief that the way a country is run should continue as it always has done. It follows that ‘disestablishmentarianism ‘ means the opposite – in other words you want to change the present system. And we end with ‘disestablishmentarianism’ that means a belief that you are against those who want to change the present situation. I hope you have followed all that. Let’s take a deep breath and go back to the title, a nice, short word ‘have’.

This word ‘have’ is a workhorse (it works very hard) because it appears in many different guises (forms) – as ‘has’ as ‘having’ and of course as ‘had’. It most frequently acts as the mainstay (the main support) for a tense that is asked about again and again on our forums – the Present Perfect... When do we use it and when do we use the Past Simple? Let me ask some simple questions: Where exactly is Lily? Is she in the house? Is she outside? Where is she? The answer could be one of these two: She has gone to the shops or She went to the shops two hours ago. In the first one we don’t know when Lily went to the shops and in the second one, we do. Does that help? I hope so.

Continued... Read Part 2 of Have

Alan Townend

PS: I'm looking forward to your comments and questions which you can post here: Newsletter: Have

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