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public; large group of people; gathering
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Lesson 28
Dear Friend,

It''s time again to extend my congratulations to you. Yes all credit to you, Friend for taking such an active part in helping your fellow learners to make progress. So what exactly am I on about? Well, our online community of course. Nowadays nearly everyone seems to be part of a so called ''social network'' -- a website that helps people connect with each other share common goals and beliefs. Some of those websites have gained tremendous popularity such as ICQ, MySpace, Facebook and IbIbo which is a social network in India. In addition to those big sites there are thousands of smaller Internet communities and ours is one of them.

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Friend, since you have signed up for an e-mail based English course I take it you are an ''Internet networker'' too and that''s why I''d like to tell you more about our learning community. We are a group of people who share one common interest: Using the English language as a means of achieving our financial, professional and personal goals. To us, the English language is a tool, a means to express our thoughts and negotiate our aims with others. Now, how many of us are there and how can you bond with them? You can see how many people receive these e-mail lessons together with you on the e-mail course sign up page. In addition, you can discuss this question here: How many e-mail English learners?

Yes, I know what you are saying: ''Is it really important to know how many people are learning English together with me when all I really care about is myself?'' You are right Friend, most people are primarily interested in themselves and the pronoun ''I'' is one of the most if not the most popular words in the English language. However, there is a very tiny minority of people who are interested in others. Those are the ones who usually have an open mind and want to share their thoughts with others. Friend, I''m so glad that you are one of the latter. Fortunately you want to use your English language skills to help other people learn English too and that''s why you registered on our forum. Or you are going to register very soon. At any rate, you are a member of a network of professional people from around the world. If you want to see who the other forum members are, simply click on this link: Forum Member List.

So Friend, and now for some more grammar. It''s probably that you have often read English sentences with so called ''question tags''. They come in all shapes and sizes and many of our forum members ask us to ''explain'' the question tags. I can certainly give you a definition of the question tags but what''s more important is that you can practise them by using the ''trial and error method''. A question tag or ''tag question'' as our American friends call them, is basically a short question that is attached to a ''real'' question or statement. If the question is positive, the question tag is negative. If the question itself is negative, the question tag is positive. Please look at these examples:

Trish: You are not going to buy that old car, are you?
Mark: You want me to buy a new car, don''t you?

Now, before I go into even more complicated explanations why don''t you just try out Alan''s test: Question Tags (1).

Oh, and if you do want to learn more about the structure of tag questions, please read Tag Question Structure.

And what is Sue going to talk about on her next audio recording? Well, she is going to introduce Siegfried, an English learner from Saxony. As a matter of fact, I have known Siegfried since 2000 and I''m always amazed at the way HE has been able to integrate English into his busy schedule. You can hear and read his story here: Learning English with Siegfried.

I''m sure you have a lot of friends who would like to learn English with us, too. So why not send them an email and invite them to join our e-mail English course? Just tell them that you have found a free English course anybody can join and send them this link: Join this Free e-mail English course today!

Many thanks and best regards,
Torsten Daerr

PS: Before I go, let me give you the link to contact me on the forum again: Building our community?

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