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Friday, 10 February 2017 14:54


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Just now I was teaching a male high school student in Shenzhen, South China, in his 1 on 1 English class. We were reading an Indian legend about the Northern Lights, and he asked about the word "still" in this passage:

"The chief often worried about his son. He did not see the boy run and play with other children in the village. Still, the boy would disappear for hours at a time. His parents were never quite sure where he would go."

The student knew "still" meant "continuing," but that made no sense in this case. He asked a great question! Actually, "still" has MANY meanings.

1. to continue or keep on

Joy is still learning English with (Meaning: Joy has kept learning English with for a long time and continues to do so.)

2. to show a contrast (like "but" or "however")

It's winter here. Still, it has not snowed much. (Meaning: Even though it is winter, it has not snowed very much, which seems unusual.)

3. to be quiet

Keep still so mom and dad don't hear us!

4. to make no movement

The baby deer stood still; no one even saw her. 

5. to describe water that does not move

It's beautiful to look at a still lake; the water is almost like a mirror, reflecting the sky and clouds.

6. to describe weather without wind

Yesterday was windy but it's still today.

7. the equipment to make whiskey

The police found an illegal still in the woods.

Even though the word "still" can be a little confusing, I'm glad you are still reading this. Whenever you have questions about English vocabulary, don't keep still: find someone to ask! If you ask several people and still can't find the answer, feel free to contact me and I will try to help you. Even if you have learned English for a long time, you will probably still keep having lots of questions. That's okay. I started learning Chinese way back in 1989, and I still learn something new about it almost every day. Learning a new language takes a lot of time, but it's worth it!


Read 2027 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 March 2017 15:35
Scott Dreyer

A licensed teacher in the US state of Virginia since 1987, Scott Dreyer has been helping Chinese speakers improve their English since 1989. Dreyer lived in Taiwan from 1989-1999 where he learned Mandarin, met his wife, started his family, and realized he loved working with Chinese students. He became an award-winning author and started teaching ESL online in 2008. Dreyer and his wife and their four adult children make their home in the beautiful Roanoke Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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