Rhythm in prose – how to make your writing sing and vibrate

rhythm in prose for creative writing and tests

Hi, dear friends, in this short article let me briefly outline the concept of rhythm in writing, specifically in prose, whether it be creative writing or formal one for IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, GMAT and other tests. I understand that you probably have not ever pondered over the notion of rhythm in prose; we are all aware of it in verse, and yet rhythm is one of intrinsic inherent features of any kind of a written word.

To begin, let me warn you that the creativity of your literary endeavour may be evinced in the environment of freedom and non-dependence upon any academic constrains which are an essential element of English tests. That said, in IELTS writing you will be punished for the nfoldment of your creative genius; the graders are themselves benevolent, and still they are trained to assess your writing in accordance with exact prescribed rules – and reaaly, how could it be otherwise? Imagine millions of applicants writing for the tests every year, each boasting his singular talent and revealing his potential in his own way – how you can check and evaluate their writings then? Sure, there must be set rigid criteria for formal writing which will allow applicants to steer their course within the corridor of prescribed limitations.

Thus, firstly and foremostly, we will discuss now rhythm in prose for creative writing, and still, please remember that you can utilise the power or diction, melody and rhythm in your formal writing and surely add some points to your score.

So, let us look at the excerpt from Jule Verne’s “Around the world in eighty days” in the immaculate translation by Jacqueline Rogers – these are the first two paragraphs of the first chapter:


Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No. 7, Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, the house in which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage, about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world. People said that he resembled Byron—at least that his head was Byronic; but he was a bearded, tranquil Byron, who might live on a thousand years without growing old.

Certainly an Englishman, it was more doubtful whether Phileas Fogg was a Londoner. He was never seen on ‘Change, nor at the Bank, nor in the counting-rooms of the ‘City”; no ships ever came into London docks of which he was the owner; he had no public employment; he had never been entered at any of the Inns of Court, either at the Temple, or Lincoln’s Inn, or Gray’s Inn; nor had his voice ever resounded in the Court of Chancery, or in the Exchequer, or the Queen’s Bench, or the Ecclesiastical Courts. He certainly was not a manufacturer; nor was he a merchant or a gentleman farmer. His name was strange to the scientific and learned societies, and he never was known to take part in the sage deliberations of the Royal Institution or the London Institution, the Artisan’s Association, or the Institution of Arts and Sciences. He belonged, in fact, to none of the numerous societies which swarm in the English capital, from the Harmonic to that of the Entomologists, founded mainly for the purpose of abolishing pernicious insects.

Now, read this passage to yourself, either in a low voice, or completely to yourself. You will feel the beat. It is not that every second or third syllable bears a stress upon itself; in this case the scale of rhythm is broader, richer; you feel an invisible metronome ticking at regular inervals, these intervals being sumptuous, substantial, broad rather than narrow. So, to feel the rhythm of such prose, we can read the passage several times, each time immersing ourselves still deeper into the tranquil liquid of the genuine language.

I should admit that maybe for some of you this sensation of rhythm will not emerge at once in so tangible a form. I just want to remind you that rhythm exists in prose as well, and perhars it is evem more subtle, more exquisite and gentle than in verse, for verse is so common to us for its beat that it takes little effort on the part of the reader to grasp it; prose, conversely, veils its meter into intricate and quiete flow of sentences.

We all differ in our perception of prose rhythm. Some readers dote upon Earnest Hemingway of James Joyce; I personally love Artur Conan Doyle, Samuel Richardson and Jule Verne (the latter in translation, of course, so we should speak about the genius of the translator in this case).

What is your favourite pulsation? It can be any style and any author. I beg you to deliberate yourself from the mass-orientation shaped by critics. Whatever it is you are enjoying, it is completely yours for the simple reason that it resonates with your inner being; it vibrates in harmony with your personal radiation. Thus, you can feel the rhythm in any book of prose. Once you discover the pulse, you will search for it for the rest of your life. Some people say that the pleasure of rhythmical reading is one of the highest aesthetic indulgencies in our life. You simply feel the music in the text, whether it is a classical composition that is sounding in your mind, or some jazz or modern vibes – truly it is limitless.

Now, I venture to recommend you not only to enjoy the beat in the written word, but also to benefit from its immense power while writing for the tests of English. Yep, I understand that in order to accomplish the goal of a rhythmical, smoothly flowing composition you need to have a high level of language mastery, and this prerequisite may discourage you a trifle. In this case, I sincerely state that you are unique in your writing regardless of your level; rhythm can add to your compositions always and everywhere, just pluck up the courage to endeavour. You are much more talented than you think, and truly a fuller comprehension of your own talent is going to enrich your writing. I am a non-native speaker myself, so I have the choice of either sitting and complaining about my origin or just take the bull by the horns and whip up a short article on this web-site. Undoubtedly, this text swarms with inconsistencies, as well as syntactical and semantical slips. So what of that? If I abstain from writing, I doom myself to keeping a low profile and by no means boosting my language skills. If you feel that inferiority, simply follow my example. Just sing to yourself the creation of yours while writing, and miracles will emerge.

Be yours brilliant English!

P.S. Should you need assistance in IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, GMAT, ACT …  preparation, feel free to visit my web-site: www.onlinetutor.top and become my dear student))



Why I love online English tutoring

The benefits of online English learning for both the teacher and the student.

Online English tutoring

I am an English teacher. A professional one. Even an experienced one, I dare say.

Also, being a person capable of making generalizations from the accumulated data, I cannot help appreciating the epoch we ale living in – the age of computer technologies. Yes, indeed, we are bestowed with informational bounty, such a plentiful one which the ancient thinkers and scholars wouldn’t even have dared dream about. Just think about it: any shade of thought, any exquisite whim of enquiry – all this is abundantly met and covered by the Internet resources. One instance, and you are already aware of whatever you desire to cognise, from the intimate juicy details up to nuclear physics or esoterics – just click the button, and the miracle unfolds before you. I am sure, most of the younger generation fail to at least partially appreciate the informational paradise they have been born to. They just enjoy it involuntarily.

Teaching is deemed by many one of the most challenging pursuits in our life. Despite low remuneration levels worldwide, teachers and tutors mold young personalities into developed shapes of educated citizens. One cannot overestimate the importance of professional teaching, let alone effective instruction. To be a really helpful teacher, you should embrace the traits of a high-qualified specialist as well as some zips of a genius.

Thankfully, I find myself in a tutoring Eden today. Due to the Internet, I can filter and select the best, the superb, the brilliant materials for my dear students. I am as free as a bird in the sky of teaching methodology. Still, to make me even more overwhelmed with joy, God has given me a unique opportunity to teach online.

Online lessons – just think of it, try to conceive of the bliss we are rejoicing in! I can help anybody on the planet, whether in Australia or Russia, right now, right reclining in my favourite chair and sipping coffee. And the student, he is delighted also because he enwraps himself with the comfort of his own dwelling where every nook is whispering subtle chants of love to him. We are both free. We are both comfortable and confident. We both feel safe, focused on the lesson, and still feel all fibers of each other via the screen and speakers.

It is possible now to teach everything online, from organic chemistry to singing. As I specialise in English tutoring, it is but logical that I know a lot about teaching guys and training them for tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, SAT and others. When about 10 years ago I commenced tutoring people on Skype, I had some hesitations and doubts as to the effect of online tutoring. They faded away within the first month or so. The more I tutor students online, the more I dote on it. Online teaching is the new era of instruction and a paragon of effeciency for those who use it and explores its depths.

Imagine: you can find and start learning with your favourite tutor from all over the globe right now! You can easily exchange materials and assignments with him through messaging or screen sharing. You can be clad in your soft pajamas or be naked exposing only the upper part of your torso.))) You can half-lie on bed or stand erect in the centre of the room – every aspect can be tuned to boost the effeiciency of the lesson. You do not have to commute to the tutor through the whole city or expect him while he is making his way through traffic jams. You do not even have to tidy up your room – let the mess dominate, if it gives you pleasure.

The online English learning session can be conducted with or without video, each of the modes boasting its own merits. I have noticed that you focus on the teacher’s words even more than while regular face-to-face lessons simultaneously being free of the extranuous anxiety pertinent to stationary sessions when you sit next to each other.

Scheduling your online Skype lessons is also easy given that nobody has to travel back and forth. Sometimes we study at night. Once in a while we welcome each other in the early morning squeezing hot coffee cups in front of the camera.

So, online tutoring is a bliss. Believe it or not, I hold it as a gem for myself. Online English lessons, whether general training or TOEFL, IELTS, SAT preparation, turn teachers’ jobs into pleasure.

Be yours brilliant English!

Need online tutoring for TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or GMAT? – You are welcome! Just drop me a line at engvox@gmail.com or visit www.onlinetutor.top and fill out the form there. 

BIG vs LARGE – two powerful brothers

Hi everyone, today our topic for the agenda is which adjective to use and when: BIG or LARGE? Before jotting down a few lines about this, I browsed through several online resources to refresh my own knowledge on the subject.

To my pleasant surprise, the question about BIG and LARGE is a very simple one (it may be regarded as an extremely complex issue if to delve into the matter thoroughly, but we are not PhDs in the English semantics, so I think we should stick with the common, primitive approach:)) So, relax at once and feel easy about this: the basic rule is that BIG and LARGE are close kin, so you are welcome to use them interchangeably in 99% of your utterances. Really, do not be afraid to confuse LARGE with BIG because they are identical twins. Thus, when you are speaking, before deciding whether to say “a big tree” or “a large tree” remember that you can go with both.

Let me accentuate on this point once again: BIG and LARGE are very much like each other. So, instead of worrying about which one to use, enjoy the freedom so that perfection will come along with experience.

OK, I understand that you are still interested in the actual difference between the two colleagues.

Firstly, BIG is older than LARGE in the English language. BIG is “more” English than LARGE bacause the latter originated from French several centuries later after BIG had already been successfully in use in English. Due to its French descent, LARGE is deemed more formal than BIG – so, congratulations! – you have got the first real difference.:))

BIG boasts its important position in the first 1000 most common words of the English language, while LARGE lags far behind having stuck somewhere in the third thousand of most common English words. Consequently, you can expect to hear BIG lot more often that LARGE.

A lot of people tend to use LARGE when talking about area and volume (remember, BIG can also be used in these cases), for instance “a large field”, “a large room”, “a large house”.

When we describe the impressive outer size of an object, a certain preference is given to BIG: “a big tree”, “a big house”.

BIG is also often used in connection with other concepts than size, i.e. importance, power: “a big brother”, “a big problem”.

Finaly, BIG is quite often met in the so-called still phrases or other idiomatic expressions – “big gun”, “big shot”, etc.

I hope I have shed some light on the companionship between LARGE and BIG.

Be yours easy English!


What texts to read while preparing for IELTS Academic Reading

Hi, dear readers, in this brief narrative I venture to elucidate what kinds of texts you should select for reading while training for IELTS Academic (Reading section, above all), yet those books may prove useful even for IELTS General Reading, if to treat the process properly.

First and foremost, remember that you HAVE TO READ at least whatever you wish – the basic principle can be formulated as “better to read a lot of whatever the texts than to waste time brooding over what to read. I hope you get what I mean here – the worst thing is to pretend to lay some theoretical foundations when actually squandering time on fruitless speculations. Verily, start reading something authentic once you have finished reading this article – just open Google News or the like and commence!

Surely, feeling what sort of literature is the most beneficial for your objective gives your a strong advantage. With this in mind, I offer you four basic genres of texts which from my viewpoint will boost your reading comprehension at the IELTS test.

1. Classical English literature. It is a must. Reading such seminals as Sherlock Holmes or Oliver Twist inevitably expands your vocabulary and accustoms you to the real, genuine style of writing which is peculiar to British and American prose. No doubt, you are also welcome to read verse – there the density of useful vocabulary is mush higher. Although more often than not I hear my students saying that they want to focus exclusively on perusing newspapaer articles while practicing for IELTS, I strongly recommend to read classics. The basic bulk of vocabulary essential to your IELTS success finds itself in the language of the great masters of literature. Moreover, reading classics combines enlarging your English vocabulary with the mere pleasure of following the plot of the narrative. When you get exhilarated together with the protagonist while awaiting fresh developments to come, you intake new words much more willingly and deply.

2. Online periodicals. Crucially important. The style of many IELTS texts resonates with that of newspapers being publicistic. Thus, a good idea is to read online papers akin to The Sun, Daily Telegraph and the like. While there is no  such elaborate presentation of material or harmonious sentence structures which are to be found with classics, the effect of reading online editions is immense. You enlarge your vocabulary and get used to complicated patterns of informational layout.

3. Literary works on Philosophy, Politics and Sociology. A great number of outstanding thinkers created essays on socio-political subjects, Emerson, Thoreau, Hegel to name but a few. The reason why I hold them useful to your IELTS reading is because they boast unique literary style, high level of language complexity, and whales of uncommon vocabulary units. Such creations comprise all the difficulties of other genres being complicated and lexically fruitful at the same time. Not that I urge you to focus on them in particular, but a clever combination of all texts from all three above-mentioned fields cannot fail to enhance your reading comprehension skills and the ability to draw feasible conclusions.

4. Last but not least: help yourself to your favourite themes of activity and merge them with expanding your vocabulary! I consider it necessary to read what interests you whether it be Yoga, or IT, or Dogs breeding – you really have to read books on what you fancy. Doing this, you will dilute somehow tedious lines of newspaper articles or philosophical endeavours with issues dear to you.

Good luck with IELTS reading!

If you need professional online IELTS tutoring, be sure to call at my web-site: onlinetutor.top


EVERY или EACH – основная разница

Здравствуйте, друзья, сегодня у нас на рассмотрении интересный грамматический и синтаксический случай: когда лучше употреблять местоимение EVERY, а когда EACH? Мы частенько не задумываемся об этом, а ведь иногда такие примитивные на первый взгляд вопросы могут  помешать нам красиво говорить или писать. Я сам вдруг осознал однажды солнечным утром:)), что не помню точно, чем же отличается это самое EVERY от его брата EACH. Освежив свои знания и умения с помощью форумов активных языковедов и заядлых англо-филов, я все вспомнил. Смотрите:

Первое основное правило всех супер-правил: вы можете употреблять every или each и не бояться сделать большую ошибку, так как эти два местоимения очень схожи. То есть, вас поймут и не отругают, даже если вы вместо великого every впечатаете each. Такой подход сразу же снимает 90 процентов беспокойства, ибо никто не совершенен, и ошибаться человеку свойственно. Поэтому говорите и не бойтесь – лучше говорить быстро и иногда допускать мелкие ошибочки, чем говорить напряженно, судорожно подбирая правильные английские слов, и все равно ошибаться.

Теперь переходим к различию между местоимениями every и each.

Главное различие: слово EVERY, хоть обычно и переводится как “каждый”, означает “все” – то есть, мы делаем акцент на всей группе людей, или всех вещах в коробке, или всех днях в году, но говорим при этом не “ALL”, а “EVERY”. Например:

I love all seasons of the year. – Я люблю каждое (или все) времена года. А теперь смотрите: если я хочу сказать: “Я люблю каждое время года по-своему” – мы говорим:

I love each season in its own way. Или просто: I love each season of the year. – и наш читатель/слушатель понимает, что мы делаем акцент на каждом времени года, его индивидуальности.

Итак: местоимение EACH мы употребляем, когда подчеркиваем индивидуальные свойства какого-то предмета/человека и т.д.

Еще примеры:

He likes every girl in the city. – Ему нравится каждая (в смысле, все) девушка в городе.

He likes each girl in the city. – Ему нравится каждая (уникальная и неповторимая по-своему) девушка в городе.

Every artist is sensitive. – Каждый (то есть, все) художник чувствителен.

Each artist was given a unique diploma for partaking in the exhibition. – Каждому художнику (именно каждому индивидуальному художнику) выдали уникальный (уникальный для каждого) диплом об участии в выставке. В данном случае нежелательно говорить “Every artisi was given a unique diploma for partaking in the exhibition”, так как дипломы-то разные, и мы делаем на этом акцент.

Есть пару застывших фраз, где нужно употреблять именно то или иное местоимение. Например:

Every one of …

Each of …

То есть, пишем: Every one of us was happy (но не “each one of us was happy)

Each of the boys was invited to the party (но не “every of the boys was invited to the party).

Ну вот и вся основная разница. То есть, вы как автор решаете, употреблять ли EVERY или EACH – в зависимости от того смысла, который вы хотите донести.

Красивого вам английского!