A Newport English Tutor’s Grammar Guide

November 10th, 2015

Having trouble with common grammar rules? Come see a Newport English Tutor for help today! While it is easy to rely on spell check for corrections on papers and emails (we’re all guilty of it!), you will look very silly if you make these common mistakes. Spell check won’t catch them for you because they ‘look’ right to spell check. 

  1. Using I and me in the wrong places.
    It’s as simple as this: I is a subject, me is the object of a prepositional phrase. What’s a prepositional phrase? Glad you asked. This Newport English tutor loves a good prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition and gives descriptive information like location: under, over, within, outside of, by, about, etc. Here’s a good website for more information about prepositions. 
           I am the subject of this sentence.
           This sentence is about me.

  2. Confusing there, their, and they’re.
    This is something learned in the third grade, so you should be very embarrassed if you make this mistake in a high school paper. There refers to place (it has the word here in it!!) They’re is a contraction meaning they are (the apostrophe ‘replaces’ the a!). Their is the possessive.
         The best Newport English tutors are found there.
         They’re going to eat all the turkey without me!
         Their mom really knows how to fill their bellies on Thanksgiving.
    *You’re (contraction for you are) and your (possessive) fall prey to this same mistake.

  3. Using ‘could of’, ‘should of,’ or ‘would of’ instead of ‘could have,’ ‘should have,’ or ‘would have’
    This actually comes from lazy speech patterns. When someone says ‘could’ve’ (the contraction for ‘could have’) many people hear ‘could of’. THAT’S NOT WHAT THEY’RE SAYING–or if it is, they’ve fallen into the trap as well. Don’t be lazy, people.
        “I wish that we could have gone to the World Series this year.”-a grammatically correct (and sad) Mike Trout

  4. Mixing up its and it’s.
    One is possessive and one is a contraction. It’s means it is, its means belonging to it.
        It’s the number one mistake!
        The cat scratched its nose.

  5. Using commas willy nilly.
    Commas are a part of grammar and not to used on a whim. They are not for separating ideas (that’s a period), or just to show a pause in thought. They go between independent clauses, or as part of a list, or in a number of other grammatically correct places. Refer to this awesome comma guide for direction!
          After the movie tonight, the soccer star will get eight hours of sleep.

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The Rigors of PV Curriculum from a USC Alum

April 1st, 2014

The Rigors of PV Curriculum from a USC Alum

As a former student at Palos Verdes High School ( www.pvhigh.com ), I have found that the Study Hut curriculum for PVHS Math, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, and English are perfect for the PV High curriculum. The PV school district’s expectations for Math classes, ranging from Geometry to Calculus, are very high and the homework and study workloads show this. At Study Hut ( www.studyhut.com ), I give one-on-one tutoring to help students understand and manage their challenging Algebra, Algebra 2, and Geometry workloads. Adding to this, most students are required to take Biology and Chemistry. From my experience as a Natural Science major at USC ( www.usc.edu ), I can personally attest to the very high level and challenging requirements that Palos Verdes high school students face.

At Study Hut, I help students in understanding the difficult materials, as well as in preparing for their tests (whether they be finals, AP, SATs, or SAT 2). Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 are also requirements for PVHS students and during my time at PV High, I remember that many students also take Spanish 3 and Spanish 4. These classes can be especially problematic for students who have never taken Spanish before or are not used to the verbal and written demands of the classes. At Study Hut, I really enjoy helping students improve their Spanish vocabulary, as well as their grammar and pronunciation. With all of these subjects, it really works to my benefit that I have taken the classes that I tutor at PV High (a lot of times with the same teachers), so I have a good understanding of the expectations and style of work that PVHS requires for a good grade. Adding to this, the atmosphere and tutoring style encouraged at Study Hut meshes well with Palos Verdes High School students and generates very positive results.

Adelia’s Summer Enrichment

July 25th, 2012

This summer, as manager, I have been presented with the opportunity to actually tutor! Normally, the hustle and bustle of the Hut prevents me from my real passion, teaching. One of my regular and favorite students in here over the summer is Adelia. She has diligently come in twice a week throughout the summer to study Spanish and Geometry. I admire her confidence and motivation to get ahead of the game and become prepared for the classes she will endure in the fall.
Starting out with Spanish 5/6 in the fall she went ahead and bought the book that her high school, Mira Costa, uses so that I can start teaching her the material. Once fall comes she will be prepared with the vocabulary and will be strong with the grammar. Throughout the course of these few weeks she has already improved in both her retention of vocabulary and her ability to speak and comprehend the language. Last year, I tutored another student in Spanish in preparation for Spanish 2. He excelled in his Spanish class receiving a high B opposed to D+ he received the semester prior. A little elbow grease in the summer goes a long way when it comes to learning a language. I have the confidence that Adelia will be able to start and finish this year strong.
Similarly, math skills are just as important to maintain during the summer. Adelia already has a solid understanding of the primary concepts in Geometry and will have gone through the first few chapters of the Mira Costa Geometry book by the time summer has ended.
Most kids are resistant to summer tutoring and believe that it will take up their entire summer. Adelia, however, is extremely active. She owns a horse is Palos Verdes and rides him every day. She is extremely happy with her progress she has made this summer at Study Hut.
Not only can we provide enrichment for math and Spanish, but also French, English, reading comprehension, physics, history, biology, chemistry and whatever else, you name it, we have a tutor for it! Bring it on fall semester!

SATs

October 18th, 2011

Ah, the SAT. No matter where you live, where you go to school, or what kind of grades you get, the SAT is an experience that bonds American students of all ages. It’s changed over the years, but the idea is the same: find a way to accurately gauge a student’s level of education through completely standardized means. Now, whether it’s an effective gauge is another debate entirely. What matters to you is how well you do on the test. And that’s what we’re here to help with.

First of all, you should understand what you’re getting into. The SAT is divided into three sections: Math, Writing, and Critical Reading. The Math section covers nearly everything you’ll learn in the first two years of High School, plus a little bit of Junior year. Basically, expect to be tested on all of Algebra and Geometry. Not to worry, though; nothing from Trig or beyond will be on the test. The Critical Reading section involves two main parts. First is Reading Passages, in which you’ll be given passages to read (duh.) and will have to answer questions based on the content of the reading. Second is the Fill-In-The-Blank section, where you’ll have to school SAT vocabulary words to complete sentences, based on context. Last but not least, there’s the Writing section. This begins with an essay, followed by MORE reading paragraphs (now based more on grammar and sentence structure than content), and correcting sentence errors.

The test runs just under four hours. This involves 6 25 minute sections (two from each subject, including the essay), two 20 minute sections, and one ten minute sections. You’ll receive breaks after each two sections (3 breaks total).

NOW, how do you prepare? This is going to sound weird, but studying the material is NOT the biggest way to prepare (but still important). What we do here in our SAT Prep Courses is teach you STRATEGY. We teach you how to solve any problem, and how to do it in a quick and efficient manner (which, on a timed test, is priority one). We’ll teach you when to skip a question, when to guess, how to mark up a paragraph, and how to write a proper essay that the graders will love. We’ll show you how to raise that grade.

SO, this is how to do it. Come in for a free diagnostic. This let’s us see what level you’re at. Then, sign up for either our group classes, or private SAT tutoring sessions. This is dependent entirely on you, and how you learn best. Either way, we’re gonna work hard to make sure you know what you’re doing when that SAT rolls along.