Can you hear me?
You've written another thought-provoking post and you have received some very interesting comments. I think the story that Elmansour told is fantastic. Everyone seems to agree with you that we should respect our elders: of course they are not always right, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve respect.
I never knew my grandparents: three of them died young, long before I was born. I only met my mother's mother once (actually that's not strictly true - I met her twice, but the first time I was a baby and don't remember). She lived in Germany and didn't speak any English and I didn't speak much German. I was eight years old when we met and we communicated with lots of smiles and hugs. I often wonder what pearls of wisdom she would have shared with me if we had been able to speak to each other properly.
We all get older: but it's difficult to imagine that when you're young. We have a saying in England: you know you're getting old when policemen look young!
Abdallah mentioned keeping calm. What do you do to keep calm? Some people do yoga, some people listen to music, some people find that having a pet keeps them calm. Of course, everyone gets irritated by something or someone. It's human nature.
The other day I visited the largest lavender fields in the UK. Surprisingly they are not far from London.
Lavender has so many uses: the oil can be used on insect bites, it's used in bath products and dried lavender flowers in your pillow can help sleep. Crushing lavender flowers between your fingers and breathing in the scent can calm you down and works as a stress relief. Maybe you should offer Sona a lavender bouquet?
First you need to make lavender sugar by mixing 1kg of sugar with two teaspoons of dried lavender flowers. For this recipe you only need 125g. You can keep the rest in an airtight container.
- 125g lavender sugar (plus extra for the tops of the shortbread)
- 225g soft unsalted butter
- 300g plain flour
- 50g ground rice
- Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
- Sieve the sugar into a bowl. The lavender will be left in the sieve. Keep it!
- Add the butter and cream the sugar and butter together.
- Sift the flour and ground rice into the mixture.
- Add the lavender and mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Put some flour on your hands and work the mixture together to form a smooth paste.
- Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until the dough is smooth.
- Chill the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Roll the dough out until it is about 5mm thick and cut out biscuits using a biscuit (cookie) cutter.
- Place the biscuits onto the baking trays, and sprinkle with a little extra lavender sugar.
- Put back in the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/Gas 4.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Carefully put the biscuits onto a cooling rack, sprinkle with extra lavender sugar and leave to cool completely.
OK, now let's get down to the nitty-gritty and look at some of language in your blog. Today I'm going to concentrate on some easily confused verbs. Let's start with 'listen' and 'hear'. You say in your blog "One day I was coming home from work and listened very noisy shouting" and "I knocked but nobody listened to me, as there was shouting".
We use listen to describe paying attention to sounds that are going on. For example, 'Last night, I listened to my Beatles CD'.
We use hear for sounds that come to our ears, without us necessarily trying to hear them! For example, 'I heard someone shouting'.
So, you can hear something without wanting to, but you can only listen to something intentionally.
Following those rules, you should have said:
One day I was coming home from work and heard very noisy shouting" and "I knocked but nobody heard me....".
The same rule applies for the verbs see and watch. See is used for sights that come to our eyes without us trying to see them. For example, 'Did you see that beautiful rainbow?'
Watch is used to describe paying attention to sights that are going on. For example, 'I watched the Olympics on TV.'
So, here's some homework. In each sentence you need to decide which of the verbs in brackets is correct:
- Last night I sat on my balcony and _____ the birds (watched/saw)
- Today I ____ my friend in the street (watched/saw)
- Have you ____ the news about Sarah? (heard/listened to)
- I just ____ a fantastic concert on the radio (heard/listened to)
- He always ____ football on TV (watches/sees)
- Have you ____? They are getting married! (heard/listened)
- Did you ____ what she said? (hear/listen)
- Have you ____ my keys? I've lost them. (Seen/watched)
- Are you ____ to me? (listening to/hearing)
thought-provoking : something that makes you think about a subject
pearls of wisdom: an idiom meaning wise pieces of advice
BTW: by the way
fudge: a soft, brown sweet made from sugar, milk and butter
the nitty-gritty: the most basic and important part of something