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What is Design?

Hello, dear readers!

It’s been very long time since I last wrote here. Sorry about that, I was busy a little bit. Meanwhile a new semester started and we already have plenty of boring academic stuff to do in all subjects. Our English classes are not an exception: we have a lot of tasks for our homework, and this semester is going to be full of reports, essays and presentations. So, I thought it would be a good idea to publish my homework right here. Any objections? ūüėČ Then, let’s get started!

The first task that our English teacher, Victoria Vladimirovna, gave us, is to prepare an article on the topic “What is design?”. I’ve done a little research on the net. Take a look at what I found.

Report: What is Design?

What is Design?

Design is everywhere – and that’s why looking for a definition may¬†not help you grasp what it is. The word design means different things to different people.¬†There are broad definitions and specific ones – both have¬†drawbacks. Either they are too general to be meaningful or they¬†exclude too much.

Wikipedia gives the following definitions:

  • (noun) a specification of an¬†object, manifested by an¬†agent, intended to accomplish¬†goals, in a particular¬†environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of¬†requirements, subject to constraints;
  • (verb, transitive) to create a design, in an¬†environment¬†(where the designer operates).

One definition given by designer Richard Seymour is ‘making things better for people‘.¬†It emphasises that design activity is focused first on human behaviour and quality of life, not factors¬†like distributor preferences. But nurses or road sweepers could say they, too, ‘make things better for people‘.¬†There may be no absolute definitions¬†of design that will please everyone.

Scientists can invent technologies, manufacturers can make¬†products, engineers can make them function and marketers can¬†sell them, but only designers can combine insight into all these¬†things and turn a concept into something that is desirable, practical,¬†commercially successful and adds value to people’s lives.

There are many misconceptions about design. Magazines often use the word design when they mean style or fashion. For example, when they show a toaster or bottle opener which is well designed, the result is that people think that design is all about how things look. Design is also about how things work. In reality, the way how a product looks is something that (usually) happens at the end of development process.

Designers, unlike artists, can’t simply follow their creative feelings. They work in a commercial environment, which ¬†means there are many points to consider. Designers have to ask themselves questions such as: ‘Is the product really wanted?‘, ‘How is it different from everything else on the market?‘, ‘Does it fulfil a need?‘, ‘Will it cost too much to manufacture?‘ and ‘Is it safe?

Design is fundamental. People often need reminding that¬†everything around us is designed and that design decisions impact¬†on nearly every part of our lives, be it the environments we work in,¬†the way we book holidays, or the way we go about getting the¬†lid off the jam jar. When those things work, it’s taken for granted,¬†but, as Bill Moggridge, founder of international consultancy IDEO,¬†says: ‘A lot of trial and error goes into making things look¬†effortless‘. And I completely agree.

List of words

  1. drawback – problem or disadvantage;
  2. to accomplish Рto achieve or complete successfully;
  3. misconception –¬†a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding;
  4. to fulfil –¬†carry through: put in effect; “carry out a task”; “execute the decision of the people”;
  5. creative –¬†relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work;
  6. insight –¬†an understanding of this kind;
  7. to get the lid off a jar – to open a jar;
  8. emphasise Рunderline, strengthen in the meaning.

Links

Thanks for visiting. Goog luck with you English!
Anton Danshin
P.S. Can you give any example of the best or the worst design? Each answer is appreciated.

Learn English with BBC

I’ve been surfing the net and accidentally encountered an amazing website for learning English –¬†BBC: Learning English.

BBC: Learning English

The web site is full of videos, news articles, grammar and vocabulary and other very interesting and useful materials. All – free! In addition, there are quizzes for those who want to check how well they learnt.

I hope this information is helpful. Enjoy!

English Tek

Conditionals in English

Good afternoon.

Our today’s lesson is about Conditionals in English. In¬†grammar,¬†conditional sentences¬†are¬†sentences¬†discussing¬†factual¬†implications or¬†hypothetical¬†situations and their¬†consequences. Languages use a variety of conditional constructions and verb forms (such as the¬†conditional mood) to form such sentences. [wiki].

All conditional sentences can be divided into four different groups. (Of course, there are some other ways to classify different forms of conditional)

Zero Conditional

We use the so-called zero conditional or Real Conditional when the result of the condition is always true, like a scientific fact.

Consider the following situation: Take some ice. Put it in a saucepan. Heat the saucepan. What happens? The ice melts (it becomes water). You would be surprised if it did not. We can say: The ice melts if it is heated or: If we heat a piece of ice, it melts.

Formulae:

  • IfV,V.
  • V ifV.

We can also use when or as soon as instead of if, for example: When I get up late, I miss my bus

We do not put comma before if / when / as soon as in such sentences.¬†¬†Using “if” suggests that something happens less frequently. Using “when” suggests that something happens regularly.

The verbs (V) can be in Present Continuous / Past Simple form. For example:¬†If I¬†went¬†to a friend’s house for dinner, I usually¬†took¬†a bottle of wine or some flowers. I don’t do that anymore. ¬†This form is called Past Real Conditional¬†and¬†describes what you used to do in particular real-life situations. It suggests that your habits have changed and you do not usually do these things today.

First Conditional

We are talking about the future (that’s why this form of conditional is also called Future Real Conditional). We are thinking about a particular condition or situation in the future, and the result of this condition. There is a real possibility that this condition will happen.

For example, it is morning. You are at home. You plan to play tennis this afternoon. But there are some clouds in the sky. Imagine that it rains. What will you do? In this situation we can say: If it rains, I will not play tennis.

Formulae:

  • IfV,will V
  • will V if V.

Sometimes, we use shall, can, or may instead of will, for example: If you are good today, you can watch TV tonight.

Both “if” and “when” are used in the Future Real Conditional, but the use is different from other Real Conditional forms. In the Future Real Conditional, “if” suggests that you do not know if something will happen or not. “When” suggests that something will definitely happen at some point; we are simply waiting for it to occur. Notice also that the¬†Simple Future¬†is not used in¬†if-clauses¬†or¬†when-clauses.

Second Conditional

The¬†second conditional¬†is like the first conditional. We are still thinking about the future. We are thinking about a particular condition in the future, and the result of this condition. But there is¬†not¬†a real possibility that this condition will happen. For example, you do¬†not¬†have a lottery ticket. Is it possible to win? No! No lottery ticket, no win! But maybe you will buy a lottery ticket in the future. So you can think about winning in the future, like a dream. It’s not very real, but it’s still possible

Formulae:

  • If¬†…¬†V2,¬†… would¬†V
  • would¬†V if¬†…¬†V2.

Notice that we are thinking about a future condition. We use the past simple tense to talk about the future condition. We use WOULD + base verb to talk about the future result. The important thing about the second conditional is that¬†there is an unreal possibility that the condition will happen. That’s why this form is called Present Unreal Conditional.

Only the word “if” is used with the Second Conditional because you are discussing imaginary situations. “When” cannot be used. Sometimes, we use¬†should,¬†could¬†or¬†might¬†instead of¬†would, for example: If I won a million dollars, I¬†could¬†stop working.

Third Conditional

The first conditional and second conditionals talk about the future. With the third conditional we talk about the past. We talk about a condition in the past that did not happen. That is why there is no possibility for this condition. The third conditional is also like a dream, but with no possibility of the dream coming true. Consider the following situation. Last week you bought a lottery ticket. But you did not win. In this situation we would say: If I had won the lottery, I would have bought a new car.

Formulae:

  • If¬†… had¬†V3,¬†…¬†would have V
  • …¬†would have V if¬†had¬†V3.

Notice that we are thinking about an impossible past condition. You did not win the lottery. So the condition was not true, and that particular condition can never be true because it is finished. We use the past perfect tense to talk about the impossible past condition. We use WOULD HAVE + past participle to talk about the impossible past result.

The important thing about the third conditional is that both the condition and result are¬†impossible¬†now, that’s why it is called Past Unreal Conditional. Sometimes, we use¬†should have,¬†could have,¬†might have¬†instead of¬†would have, for example: If you had bought a lottery ticket, you¬†might have¬†won.

Summary

Form

Formulae Probability

Example

 Zero Conditional
  • If¬†…¬†V,¬†…¬†V.
  • …¬†V if¬†…¬†V.
 ~ 100 % If the ice is heated, it melts

 First Conditional

  • If¬†…¬†V,¬†…¬†will V
  • …¬†will V if¬†…¬†V.
¬†~ 50 % If it rains tomorrow, I won’t play tennis.

 Second Conditional

  • If¬†…¬†V2,¬†…¬†would¬†V
  • …¬†would¬†V if¬†…¬†V2.
¬†< 10 % ¬†If I had a lot of money, I wouldn’t work.

 Third Conditional

  • If¬†…¬†had¬†V3,¬†…¬†would have V
  • …¬†would have V if¬†…¬†had¬†V3.
 0 %  If I had won the lottery last week, I would have bought a new car

Links

  1. Conditional Sentences in English in Wikipedia
  2. English Conditionals at EnglishClub.com
  3. Conditional Tutorial at EnglishPage.com
  4. First and Second conditionals at EngVid.com
Thanks for visiting our website. Good luck with your English!
English Tek

English Slang: piss, piss off

Another funny video from EngVid!

Don't take a piss. Don't take the piss. What’s the difference? Piss has many meanings in English! Learn some slang expressions you can use in a pub or at a party! In this lesson, I teach the following vocabulary and expressions: take a piss, take the piss, pissed, pissed off.

Source:¬†Slang in English ‚Äď PISS.

This teacher makes me laugh! ūüôā

Thank’s for visiting!

English Tek

Stative (State) Verbs

A stative verb is one which asserts that one of its arguments has a particular property (possibly in relation to its other arguments). Statives differ from other aspectual classes of verbs in that they are static; they have no duration and no distinguished endpoint. Verbs which are not stative are often called dynamic verbs. (Wikipedia)

There are plenty of articles on stative verbs on the Internet. I want to summarise a few articles.

At first, take a look at the video from engVid.com on stative verbs.

Original: English Grammar ‚Äď Stative Verbs

This video by Ronnie is extremely enjoyable! I love it. Do you?

Secondly, check out the following video which I found on the Internet.

Original: Stative Verbs

To be honest, the second video is extremely boring! But anyway the article is very useful. That’s why I recommend that you look at the original post.

Overview

Some English verbs, which we call state, non-continuous, or stative verbs, aren’t normally used in continuous tenses (like the present continuous, or the future continuous). The most common ones:

like    love    hate    want    need    prefer

know    realise   suppose   mean   understand   believe  remember

belong    fit    contain    consist    seem    look (=seem)

Download PDF with the list of stative verbs and examples.

A verb which isn’t stative is called a dynamic verb, and is usually an action.

Some verbs can be either stative or dynamic depending on the situation.

To Be

be is usually a stative verb, but when it is used in the continuous it means ‚Äėbehaving‚Äô or ‚Äėacting‚Äô

  • you are stupid = it‚Äôs part of your personality
  • you are being stupid = only now, not usually

To Think

think (stative) = have an opinion

  • I think that coffee is great

think (dynamic) = consider, have in my head

  • what are you thinking about? I‚Äôm thinking about my next holiday

To Have

have (stative) = own

  • I have a car

have (dynamic) = part of an expression

  • I‚Äôm having a party / a picnic / a bath / a good time / a break

To See

see (stative) = see with your eyes / understand

  • I see what you mean
  • I see her now, she‚Äôs just coming along the road

see (dynamic) = meet / have a relationship with

  • I‚Äôve been seeing my boyfriend for three years
  • I‚Äôm seeing Robert tomorrow

To Taste

taste (stative) = has a certain taste

  • This soup tastes great
  • The coffee tastes really bitter

taste (dynamic) = the action of tasting

  • The chef is tasting the soup
    (‘taste’ is the same as other similar verbs such as ‘smell’)

I hope this lesson on stative verbs is very useful. Thank you for visiting. Good luck with your English!

English Tek

Expressing Future Activities

Howdy, dear readers.

At first, check out the video from engVid.com. In this lesson, Rebecca explains how the future tense is used in conversation.

Original:¬†Using the Future Tense in Conversation ‚Äď English Grammar

How to express future

There are four common ways to talk about future activities or plans.

  1. Future (Simple) Tense (I will do …)
  2. to be going to
  3. Present Continuous Tense (I am doing …)
  4. Present Simple Tense (I do …)

Future Tense we use

  • when we decide to do something at the time of speaking;
  • when we want to express our opinion about the future.

Consider the following examples with future tense.

  1. ¬†Oh, I’ve left the door open. I‘ll go and shut it.
  2. ‘Did you phone Lucy?’ ‘Oh no, I forgot! I‘ll phone her now.’
  3. ‘Do you think Kate will pass the exam?’ ‘Yes. She‘ll pass easily.’

The expression to be going to means that the action is planned but not arranged. So, the phrase I am going to take a vocation, actually, means I decided to take a vocation (before time of speaking) but have not arranged it, yet.

For better comprehension have a look at the following examples.

  1. I’m going to the theatre.
  2. ‘I hear Sara has won some money. What is she going to do with it?’ ‘She is going to buy a new car.’
  3. ‘Garry called when you were out.’ ‘Yes, I know. I‘m going to phone him later.’

Future activities and plans can be also expressed using¬†Present Continuous (especially when activities involve two or more people). When we say I’m meeting my friend tomorrow it means that we have already¬†decided to meet tomorrow and arranged it.

  1. He is playing tennis on Monday afternoon.
  2. I‘m not working tomorrow. So, we can go out somewhere.
  3. What time is Cathy arriving tomorrow?

Future activities can be expressed even with Past Simple.

  1. The train arrives at 10:30.
  2. The shop opens at 10 o’clock.

Here we are talking about scheduled actions.

Overview

Tense

Phrase

Conditions

Example

Future (Simple)

I will do …

Unplanned

I’ll phone you later.

To be going to

I am going to do …

Planned

I’m going to phone you later.

Present Continuous

I am doing …

Planned and arranged

She is arriving tomorrow at 10:00 pm.

Present Simple

I do …

Scheduled

The shop opens at 10 o’clock.

Thank you for visiting English Tech Blog. Good luck with your English.

English Tek

5 Ways to Say Good Bye in English

Hello, dear visitors.

There is one more interesting video from EngVid. Five common ways to say ‘Good bye’ in English.

Original: EngVid.com

  1. See ya!
  2. Take it easy!
  3. Have a good one!
  4. Take care!
  5. Catch ya later!

Thank you for visiting. Have a nice day!

English Tek

English Vocabulary‚ÄďNegative Characteristics

Hi, dear readers!

Another great video from EngVid.com with my clarification.

‚ÄúLearn English vocabulary in this advanced lesson that will help you express the negative characteristics that people have. Is that man at the shop a snob, or is he conceited? Is your sister vain or is she arrogant?‚ÄĚ

EngVid.com :: English Vocabulary‚ÄďNegative Characteristics (by James)

Original: EngVid.com (with quiz)

Clarification

  • arrogant [‘√¶r…ôg…ônt] ADJ (disapproval)

– Exaggerated view of worth or importance in a way that is too much for others. (by James)

– Someone who is arrogant behaves in a proud, unpleasant way towards other people because they believe that they are more important than others. (Collins)

– Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. (Oxford)

  • vain [ve…™n] ADJ (disapproval) *

РVery proud of one’s looks or abilities (by James)

– If you describe someone as vain, you are critical of their extreme pride in their own beauty, intelligence, or other good qualities. (Collins)

– Having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth. (Oxford)

* This word has more different meanings, use a dictionary.

  • conceited [k…ôn’siňźt…™d] ADJ (disapproval)

– Having a very high opinion of oneself (by James)

– If you say that someone is conceited, you are showing your disapproval of the fact that they are far too proud of their abilities or achievements. (Collins)

  • snob [sn…Ēb] N-COUNT (disapproval)

– Imitates/wants to hang with others in superior position; looks down on others as inferior; acts superior (by James)

– 1) If you call someone a snob, you disapprove of them because they admire upper-class people and have a low opinion of lower-class people. 2) If you call someone a snob, you disapprove of them because they behave as if they are superior to other people because of their intelligence or taste. (Collins)

– 1) A person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class. 2) [with adj.] A person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people (Oxford)

  • brag [br√¶g] VERB (disapproval)

– To tell people how wonderful you (your things) are. (by James)

– If you brag, you say in a very proud way that you have something or have done something. (Collins)

– To say something in a boastful manner. (Oxford)

** Translations from ABBYY Lingvo Online Dictionaries.

Examples

  • That sounds arrogant, doesn’t it?
  • He was so arrogant!
  • Kenneth is an arrogant, rude, social snob.
  • Going to a private school and spending weekends with other pupils whose parents had massive houses made her a snob…
  • I think he is shallow, vain and untrustworthy.
  • He brags that he wrote 300 pages in 10 days!
  • I thought him conceited and arrogant…
  • You conceited idiot!

Supplementary vocabulary

  1. exaggerated(adj.) Something that is exaggerated is or seems larger, better, worse, or more important than it actually needs to be.
  2. vanity(noun) Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.
  3. superior(adj.) Higher in rank, status, or quality.
  4. inferior (adj.) Lower in rank, status, or quality.

Hope it is helpful. Smile

Thank you for visiting our web-site. Good luck and take care!

English Tek

Learn Pronunciation with Poetry

Hello, dear English learners!

We’ve got¬†one enjoyable video for you!

Original: EngVid.com

The text of the poem

The Chaos
by G. Nolst Trenite’ a.k.a. “Charivarius” 1870 – 1946

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer…

Read the whole poem here.

Have a nice day!

English Tek

We are here!

engeng

Hello, dear readers! We have great news for today!

We’ve finished setting up the blog and almost done with the interface. So, now we are ready to study English.

Tell your friends and acquaintances, leave comments and feed back. Feel free to ask a question or make a remark.

Have a nice day!

English Tek