« Previous | Main | Next »

Minsk is a person. What sort of person?

Post categories:

Abigail Abigail | 12:48 UK time, Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A lovely blog post about Minsk. After reading it, I feel like Minsk is a person.

Your relationship with Minsk started when you were studying to go to university. You said you were 'dreaming to become a student' and you also said 'I dreamt to become a ballet dancer.' We actually always use dream + of + -ing (which is called a gerund, if you want to look it up in a grammar book). It's just a rule. I don't know why

You used another example: you said 'I like the possibility to see b&w films,' and we would say 'the possibility of seeing.' Or even better for you here, you could say 'I like to be able to see black and white films'

Of + ing (gerund) - some more examples
- Dream of doing
- The possibility of doing
- To be tired of doing (I'm tired of standing here!)
- The cost of doing (The cost of finishing the project is too high)
- A way of doing (Is there another way of doing that?)
Mainstream or alternative?You obviously love cinema, and you've given us some good film-related words and phrases. You don't really like mainstream films, commercial films. You prefer art-house cinema. Which we could also perhaps call alternative cinema. These words are very useful for describing music and theatre as well, although 'art-house' as a word is only used to talk about films.

The... the...
It sounds like cinema and theatre are very cheap in Belarus. And you say 'often the better is a film the better is price.' In English we use this: the .... the... :
- The better the film, the better the price.
- The more you pay, the better the clothes.
- The bigger the better.
I'm a cinema fan, and I think I really would like it Minsk!

Who hates anything and something?
They're really strange and difficult to use in English, learners often make mistakes with these words. There are exceptions to the rule, but the rule is: We use anything in questions and negative sentences, and something in positive sentences: so we wouldn't say 'we have anything special to watch every week there' we would say 'We have something special to watch.'

- Do you have anything special to watch?
- We don't have anything special to watch :-(
- We have something special to watch :-)

Minsk or Mensk?
Tell us more about the name Minsk or Mensk - how is its name affected by politics?

Sign in shop door which says Sorry we're closed.

I'm sure the others will agree it's wonderful to hear about the character of Minsk. The word which you feel sums up the city of Minsk is 'rules' because it's very proper and correct, and because wherever you look, you see straight lines.

Which word would I use to describe Hastings (the town where I live)? It's got a rather special character: stubborn and individual. It's a tourist town, where shop-keepers close at lunchtime on Saturdays, and during the week, because I suppose they can, and they have other things to do. I find it annoying ...and I like it!

So for Hastings... stubborn.

Which word would everyone else choose, to describe their own town or village?


  • Comment number 1.

    Hello ;)
    Seems this time I did my best with mistakes :))) I think it's all because of my complicated relationships with Minsk:)sometimes it is really like with a person.
    If seriously..I'm very thankful, dear Abigail, that you are so attentive to me and so patient. Because even if I do know the rule I write incorrectly sometimes and even don't notice it (it is nice that you do:) don't know why it is so attractive to make mistakes:) but you made everything clear again! I'll work on the new portion of rules:)just a question: is it ok to use 2 '-ing' one next to the other like 'i was dreaming of becoming'?
    yours Veronika

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Veronika - making mistakes is normal when speaking another language. I think we have to accept it, don't we? Otherwise we'd never dare speak! I love learning languages too, so I make plenty of mistakes myself!

    But I hope I've also been able to highlight the words and phrases you use which are correct and useful. That way everyone can learn from you. You do speak very good English.

    PS - yes you can use two -ings 'I was dreaming of becoming.'

  • Comment number 3.

    Dear Abigail, yeah, you are absolutely right, it's normal to make mistakes, i'm just joking that it is soooo atractive:)the more we speak another language the less mistakes, right? but only if someone point them out and will help to cope with it.
    And you really help me very much and support me very much too;)
    Thaaaaank you!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Abigail ,
    Personally when I see the sign in the shops it bother me specially when it 's an emergency for buying some thing but as you said they had their own life and being a 24 hours shopkeeper is so hectic , isn't it ?
    Let 's see which word could describe my home town , it 's a bit hard Job… I know most people from other cities of Iran will say cream and honey but I would like to say some more attractive words . It might be " Sabalan " mountain with a unique lake of an old volcano in it 's top …I like my province amazing nature the more here you are hope you like it :



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.