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Negation – What can I eat? A very Personal & Practical lesson, but not Fun!

One woman, whom I will call Gail for privacy, showed me her lab test instructions for her medical appointment. The instructions were replete with negatives and conditional statements. The pages even referred to “normal amounts,” to which Gail wondered, “What is a ‘normal amount’ in USA?

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Minnesota Figurative Language – Ask the question!

Minnesotan’s use a LOT of figurative language. In fact, we use it so often that we don’t even realize that the words we say do not mean the words we say. Some examples include feeling “under the weather” says you are sick, a “cup half full” refers to your attitude, and “flying under the radar” means that one goes unnoticed. The literal translation makes no sense, but the words are full of meaning.

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James - Trees in winter

As I sat with James, we look out the window at the February snow heavy on the trees. We Minnesotans think this is beautiful. During his many weeks stay, each time someone commented to him on this beauty, he said “No” with a smile. We were confused, but the next questions we asked only yielded more smiles and “yes” for a reply. What does he think? What does he understand? Finally, one day after such questions and a few weeks of English lessons, he formed his question.

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EFL

 Personal

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 Practical

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 Fun

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