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People in the Pasta - the Terminal 'A' problem.

The Chinese language has no words at all that end in a hard consonant, like 'd' or 't'.  So the tendency for Chinese students of English is to add an 'a' and soften the sound.  Thus "last Spring" becomes "lasta Spring" and  "past" becomes "pasta".
     I'm always looking for a way to impress on my students the importance of not adding that extra syllable. Today I explained what pasta is, and drew a rather crude picture of what "people in the pasta" might look like.

No no no.  You mean, people in the past, not people in the pasta.  Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China

I'm hoping this kind of connection will make them more careful about adding that terminal 'a' to words.

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