Olga, I enjoyed reading your blog - I didn't know about the Polish version of Robin Hood who uses an axe as a weapon! Your description of legendary heroes made me think about modern legends in society. Have you ever heard of an urban legend - or contemporary legend? This is a story which circulates as if were true, but which isn't based on solid proof or evidence. No one is sure where these stories come from but they are passed around until everyone seems to know about them! Even though they are called 'urban', this doesn't mean they are related to cities. Here are some examples of urban legends I've heard:
- In England, a pregnant woman can urinate anywhere she wants: even in a policeman's helmet is she asks him nicely!
- Eskimos have many many words for 'snow'.
- There are alligators in the sewers of New York.
- Paul McCartney (from The Beatles) died in the 60s and was replaced by a look-alike. Fans of The Beatles claimed that there were clues to prove this theory in the rock band's music and album covers: for example, some people found hidden messages in a song played backwards!
- When you go travelling, you need to be careful of organ thieves. A guy went travelling and accepted a bottle of water that wasn't sealed. The next thing he knew, he woke up in a bath full of ice. Beside him was a telephone so he could call an ambulance. He was taken to hospital and found out he had no kidneys: an organ thief had stolen them.
Are these legendary tales passed around just for fun? Some people think they can act as cautionary tales so that we're more careful. This could be true: my mum told me the story about organ thieves when I went travelling during my gap year. I believed it at the time and was horrified... and always checked that water bottles were sealed. Maybe I was a little too gullible.
Do you know any urban legends - or stories that are circulated but might not be true? Do you think there is a grain of truth in some urban legends? Are you a gullible person - do you believe things very easily and without evidence?
1) freezing cold
CORRECTIONS: a/an, the
Right, let's have a look at articles: when should these be used? Olga, you write:
what a lovely memories!
Here you don't need the article 'a' because 'memories' is plural. So look at these two correct sentences: What a lovely memory! / What lovely memories!
The articles 'a/an' are only used with singular nouns. So I can write: I've read fascinating stories. No article is needed because it's plural, but here we need it: I've read a fascinating story.
Can you guess what the mistake is in this sentence:
A highly skilled archer, who lived in a Sherwood Forest with a group of his companions.
Here, you don't need the article 'a' before 'Sherwood Forest'. This is because a/an/the aren't used in front of proper nouns (names, cities, etc.). Look at these sentences:
I visited the Spain in January. = INCORRECT - Spain is a proper noun so we don't need the article.
I visited Spain in January. = CORRECT
I went to an Epping Forest in North London. = INCORRECT - we don't need 'an' here.
I went to a forest in North London. = CORRECT - the article is needed since it precedes the noun 'forest'.
In this sentence there is a similar mistake:
I bet you heard about English legendary hero, considered as one of the most famous.
Yes, you need the article 'the': I bet you heard about the English legendary hero...
This is because you refer to a specific hero - so look at these correct sentences:
I bet you heard about the English legendary hero, considered as one of the most famous.
I bet you've heard about legendary heroes from your country.
In the second sentence, we don't need the article 'the' because you're talking about heroes generally, rather than about one specific hero.
Let's practise articles in today's...
Article or no article? Fill in the gaps with a, an, the ... or nothing.
1) I'm eating ____ orange for lunch. I'm on a diet.
2) I love tasting ____ wines.
3) Last winter I went skiing in ____ Canada.
4) Helen, ____ biscuits you bought yesterday are delicious. Please buy some more!
5) Have you ever been to ____ Hyde Park in London?
6) Do you like eating ____ cheese?
7) I spoke to ____ artist who did these paintings. He seemed like 8) ____ eccentric guy!
9) The English like to drink ____ milk in their tea.
10) My mum looks so young: ____ people often think she's my sister.
urban legend / contemporary legend: a story that is circulated and may or may not be true
helmet: a hat that protects your head
sewers: underground passages that carry waste and water away
look-alike: a person who looks exactly like someone else
sealed: closed securely and tightly
gap year: a year between secondary school and university during which a student doesn't study
gullible: someone who believes everything you tell them
a grain of truth: a little bit of truth