Good afternoon. Another Tuesday is here again and Gird Center brings you the summary last week’s WatchYourGrammar lessons. WatchYourGrammar is your guide to correct grammar in English. On Monday, we explored the differences between the nouns ‘EMPATHY’ AND ‘SYMPATHY’. These words are sometimes used interchangeably by some speakers of English. As a matter of fact, these words have different meanings.

You ‘EMPATHIZE’ when you understand and feel another’s feelings. When you EMPATHIZE, you put yourself in the person’s shoes and understand their tragedy.

E.g. “I ‘EMPATHIZE’ with Afi at the loss of her mum. Losing my mum was a hellish experience”.

On the other hand, to ‘SYMPATHIZE’ is to have compassion for someone, but not necessarily feel their feeling.

E.g. “I sympathize with the fact that you missed the interview, but I can’t help you in any way”.

Wednesday’s lesson was on the actual meaning of WHILES. In Ghanaian English, ‘WHILES’ is sometimes used as an alternative to the conjunction ‘WHILE’.

For example “He swept the corridor ‘WHILES’ his wife washed the dishes”.

The correct conjunction to use in such a sentence is ‘WHILST’/’WHILE’, not ‘WHILES’.

For example “He swept the room ‘WHILST’/’WHILE’ his wife washed the dishes.

It is incorrect to use ‘WHILES’ as a conjunction. This is because ‘WHILES’ is the first person singular form of the verb ‘WHILE’. ‘WHILE’ means “to cause to pass, especially without boredom or in a pleasant manner”

For example “On slow days, Siaw ‘WHILES’ away the time playing video games with Joe”.

Remember, it is either ‘WHILST’ or ‘WHILE’ for conjunctions, never ‘WHILES’.

Our final lesson was about TEA. Eno and Esi are friends; they have known each other for close to two years. Esi tells Eno that she takes nothing but tea in the mornings. Eno sees Esi drinking a cup of coffee one morning. She asks,”Esi is that TEA”. Esi replies “yes, that’s NESCAFE TEA”

What does ESI really mean by TEA? What should she say in formal settings?

TEA is a “drink that is made by soaking the dried leaves of tea plant in hot water”. One of our Facebook friends, Maame Aba Daisie commented that any other beverage made from the leaves of a plant that isn’t a tea plant is a ‘TISANE’.

Not all beverages can be classified as TEA. There are cocoa and coffee beverages for example. In formal settings, what Esi ought to say is “I am having a cup of coffee”.

That does it for the summary last week’s WatchYourGrammar lessons. Have a good week, see you again next week.


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