Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 2 – Episode 54 – Grammar – Expressing & Asking about Ability

Since I’ve gone over reported questions and you now understand how can/could is used, it’s time to us them.  We can express and ask about ability by using these, in addition to be able to.

Form                                                                  Example

Present Ability                         

subject + can + base form                                                They can survive  in cold weather.

subject + cannot + base form                                       They cannot survive in cold weather.

subject + is/are + able to + base form                           The professor is able to see me today.

subject + is not / are not + able to + base form      The professor is not able to see me today.

 

Wh – questions

Wh + can + subject + base form                    What can you remember from the talk?

Wh + is/are + subject + base form               What are you able to recall about that day?

 

Yes/no questions

Can + subject + base form                                  Can you remember the teachers’ names?

Is/Are + subject + able to + base form               Are you able to remember the details?

 

Change these statements into the negative.

  1. I can speak Spanish.
  2. That person is able to walk without crutches.
  3. Sheryl can recall all the details from the movie.
  4. Sharks are able to live deep in the ocean.
  5. She can memorize the long story from yesterday perfectly.
  6. I am able to recall all the major news events.

Make one yes/no question and one wh- question for the affirmative statements.  Post them on my Facebook page.

Podcast 

Controlling Inner Feelings + Different Types of Negative Thoughts

One of my students asked me yesterday about how to destroy these destructive thoughts, and of course, it all comes down to habit.

Research has shown that people talk to themselves about 50,000 times a day.  Yes, this includes you – who are reading this.  Unfortunately, 80% of that comes from negative self-talk such as they don’t like me, I’m never going to finish this, they’re going to beat us, I can’t run this time, I can’t do the last push-up, I can’t finish on time, he’s going to fire me.

We know that these thoughts have the most powerful effect on us.  For instance, this happened to me yesterday evening whereas I literally switched vibrations for gratitude into something of malice.  It was dark, gloomy, and it felt like there was no way out.  I felt like a spec in the universe and then I had to hurry and ask myself, “whoa! What’s wrong? What am I feeling at the moment? What made me feel this way?”

These negative thoughts actually control our behavior.  It makes us stutter, spill things, forget our lines on stage, feel anxious, scared – and to the most extreme….can kill us, such as what depressive thoughts have done to the most famous people in the years.

If we can take another example from the lie-detector test….yes, the polygraph that was virtually on every 90’s American show, humiliating individuals if they had lied about the simplest things, to cheating.  How does this this machine detect a lie?

  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Breathing rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Sweating hands

With these detections, it shows the physiological changes that occur when you’re lying.  Every cell in your body is affected by every thought you have.

Different Types of Negative Thoughts

Focusing on the negative.

People who simply always focus on the minute bad when there’s so much good.  Jack Canfield conducted a training session for high school teachers and most of the teachers just focused on the negative.  If 30 kids understood an answer but 4 didn’t, they would focus on the 4 who didn’t get it and would feel bad, rather than focusing on the other 30 who did get it and feel good.

Catastrophic Predicting

“I’m scared to fly because I think the plane is going to crash!”

Kind of like the stupidity of Murphy’s Law? Thinking of the worst possible scenario in your mind and then act as if it were a certainty?  This is happening to me currently because I’m scared to fly Malaysia Airlines from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur because of what happened 3 years ago.

Mind-Reading?

Seriously, can you read minds? Are you a psychic? I’m not.  So, this kills me overtime because just by someone’s facial expression, I automatically assume that they’re a racist.  DOH! You know when you’re mind-reading when you’re thinking thoughts such as He’s mad at me, she doesn’t like me, he’s going to say no, he’s going to fire me.

Remember, unless you’re a psychic, you can’t read anyone else’s mind.  You don’t even know what they’re really thinking at less you check it out.

Guilt-Tripping

Should, must, ought to, or have to.  All modal verbs that create an internal resistant to actually doing it.  Don’t SHOULD yourself.

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Coach

Instead, let me teach you an extremely powerful exercise for retraining that inner critic to teach you to tell you the truth.

Let’s look at it this way, we always respond to situations in anger, right? But what about the steps leading afterwards? We often forget about that.  Let me show you some examples.

Imagine your child or someone who you care about who’s young…runs in the street and almost gets hit by a car.

Initial Reaction – Anger: I am mad at you for running in the street without looking to see if any cars were coming!

What about the fear? Requests? Love? Let’s go through this again.

Anger: I am mad at you for running in the street without looking to see if any cars were coming!

Fear: I am afraid you’ll get badly hurt or killed.

Requests: I want you to pay more attention when you are playing near the street.  Stop and look both ways before you walk or run out into the street.

Love: I love you so much.  I don’t know what I would do without you.  You are so precious to me.  I want you to be safe and healthy.  You deserve to have lots of fun and stay safe so you can continue to enjoy life to its fullest.  Do you understand?

That’s more like it.  What a different message!  You also need to train that inner critic to talk the same way.

Write down a list of things which you would talk to yourself out loud.  Just imagine their being a clone in front of you. Here are some things that a typical list might look like.

  • You don’t exercise enough.
  • You’re getting fatter.
  • You’re drinking too much.
  • You’re lazy.  Why don’t you finish the things you start?
  • You need to watch less television and go to bed earlier.

Write a list and after completing it, practice communicating the same information using the four-step process.

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11814036