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Neil Edgeller Neil Edgeller | 14:36 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2012

Hi Nick and thanks for your latest blog. Nuclear power is such a controversial issue I'm not surprised it's provoked a strong response from your followers.

The thorny issue must be of particular interest to you and your compatriots considering how close you live to Chernobyl (notice the correct spelling in English!) The prospect of such a terrible disaster happening again, even if remote, must be very troubling.

It is possible to see Sellafield, one of Britain's nuclear power stations, from the top of England's tallest mountain. I've always found the contrast of the beautiful and serene mountain landscape with the awsome power of nuclear energy rather strange.

Sellafield

Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant, Cumbria in England.

You put forward your argument very clearly and use some nice expressions in the process. I was particularly impressed with:

Our leaders seem to have forgotten the lessons of the past.

I also liked this for the way you present both sides of the debate in a concise fashion here:

The thing is controversial by nature. Yes, nuclear energy is really cheap, but it might be also really expensive in terms of ecology.

Once again there are a few problems with the use of articles (a, an, the). I've decided to set you a challenge! I'd like you, and your followers, to correct the following sentence from your blog.

...if examined closely nuclear power plant seems to even tighten embrace of our "big brother" (that's how is Russia sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get workforce to build and support power plant, money to build it and nuclear fuel from Russia...

There are a number of article errors here. To help you find them, here are some links to programmes we at bbclearningenglish.com have made on the subject the definite article and the indefinite article. Good luck!

To end, I'd like to say well done to Corinna who got all my weather idioms correct last time!

Vocabulary

thorny issue: a question which is difficult to deal with.
compatriots: people from the same country as you.
troubling: worrying.
serene: peaceful.
awesome: very large or great.


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Neil,

    Let me see if I go right:

    ...if examined closely THE nuclear power plant seems to even tighten THE embrace of our "big brother" (that's how Russia IS sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get A workforce to build and support THE power plant, money to build it and THE nuclear fuel from Russia...

    Hope I am correct, the sentence is little complex and seems incomplete.

    Looking forward to hear your opinion.

    Best Wishes,
    Rajeeb

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi, Neil,

    Thanks for your post. Your write-up have made Nick's latest blog even cleaner. Surely, I couldn't find any problems from the Nick's blog. His articles are almost perfect for me. Let me have a try. See can I find the few problems you've mentioned.

    ...if examined closely A nuclear power plant seems to even tighten AN embrace of our "big brother" (that's how Russia IS sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get A workforce to build and support THE power plant, money to build it and nuclear fuel from Russia...

    I'm not sure that I'm right or not. I changed and added them base on after reading the "the definite article" and the "the indefinite article" webpages you linked above.

    Hope everyone enjoy learning English. Rajeeb, Thanks for your comment! Thanks Neil once again! I've learned some new vocabularies from this blog.

    Blessings,
    Sai-fung (Hong Kong)

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Neil

    Thank you for your blog which seems very useful and inspire me to pay more attention to the articles in my writings.
    I’d like to try to correct those mistakes that you have noticed.

    ...if examined closely A nuclear power plant seems to even tighten AN embrace of our "big brother" (that's how Russia is sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get A workforce to build and support THE power plant, money to build it and nuclear fuel from Russia...

    I’m not sure whether the articles above are correct or not, so I’m looking forward to reading your next blog with the correction in it.

    Best regards

    Krisztina from Hungary

  • Comment number 4.

    The challange on articles is for me rather tricky. I am actually not sure about how to improve Nike sentenses. Hoping not to introduce to many new errors, my suggestion would be:

    ...if examined closely THE nuclear power plant seems to even tighten embrace of our "big brother" (that's how Russia IS sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get workforce to build IT and support to THE power plant, money to build it and nuclear fuel from Russia...


    See you soon.
    Best wishes

    Corinna from Italy

  • Comment number 5.

    Hello Neil,

    To use articles properly is my main grammar problem. They are so small ha ha ha and often I just forgetting to use them. After, if I have possibility to recheck what I wrote,of course I notice all errors. I can say, that to use them correctly is not so easy deal for us, It needs to be sophisticated in English and after you will fluently put them in the right place. It's just as habit,very alike of it.

    Now the sentence.Let see could I correct it as it should be:
    ...if examined closely a nuclear power plant seems (to) even tighten to embrace our "big brother" (that's how is Russia sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get a workforce to build and support the power plant, money to build it and a nuclear fuel from Russia...

    Sofiko

  • Comment number 6.

    Hello Neil,

    To use the articles properly is my main grammar problem. They are so small ha ha ha and often I just forgetting to use them. After, if I have possibility rechecked what I write,of course I notice all errors. I can say, that to use them correctly is not so easy deal for us, It needs to be sophisticated in English and after you will fluently put them in the right place. It's just as an habit,very alike of it.

    Now the sentence.Let see could I correct it as it should be:
    ...if examined closely a nuclear power plant seems (to) even tighten to embrace our "big brother" (that's how is Russia sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get a workforce to build and support the power plant, money to build it and a nuclear fuel from Russia...

    I rechecked it and find some errors as I waited it to be. I am sure you will find more :-)

    Sofiko

  • Comment number 7.

    Thanks for your reply, Neil, and sorry for being a bit late with my comment.

    You are straight to the point on my issue! contrast between cosy greenfields and a nuclear station of awesome power is really sort of a strange thing.

    As for those articles... Thanks a lot for your helpful materials! I think it should be a bit better now (that means you`ll be more likely to tick off redundant rather than omitted ones ;)

    Trick with those articles (for me) is the following: I rarely do grammar check on every sentence, I just follow my mind (somehow it manages to tell correct things from incorrect ones) and it usually works well - lets call it "language intuition". It is almost the same in Russian. But not with English articles and some other stuff I encounter difficulties with...

    Anyways, it would be boring here without mistakes and corrections!

    To the sentence you cited:

    >>...if examined closely nuclear power plant seems to even tighten embrace of our "big brother" (that's how is Russia sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get workforce to build and support power plant, money to build it and nuclear fuel from Russia...

    I would suggest these corrections:

    WHEN examined closely, A nuclear power plant MAY WELL MAKE THE embrace of our "big brother" (that's HOW WE CALL Russia sometimes HERE in Belarus) EVEN TIGHTER. Why? THAT IS Simple: we get A workforce to build and support THE power plant, THE money to build it and A nuclear fuel from Russia...

  • Comment number 8.

    ...if examined closely the nuclear power plant seems to even tighten an embrace of our "big brother" (that's how sometimes Russia were called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get workforce to build and support the power plant, money to build it and nuclear fuel from Russia...

    Everybody eager to find a way out of energy options but nobody seems to think of how to reduce using it. This is global problem and there are 2 choices for us better or worse.

    Jow

  • Comment number 9.

    Hello Neil,
    For the first time, I tried to answer your challenge. I began, a short while ago, to learn English. For me, your blog is really a opportunity to progress.

    ...if examined closely THE nuclear power plant seems to even tighten embrace of our "big brother" (that's how is Russia sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get A workforce to build and support THE power plant, money to build it and THE nuclear fuel from Russia...
    I suppose there are several mistakes in my answer but I had a try.
    Thank you for your care.
    Best regards.
    Hembise

  • Comment number 10.

    Hello Neil,

    It is my first time here, pretty nervous. I found your blog of interest and I hope I will be able to improve my writing skill.

    ...if examined closely a nuclear power plant seems to even tighten embrace of our "big brother"(that's how is the Russia sometimes called in Belarus). Why? Simple: we get the workforce to built and support the power plant, money to built and a nuclear fuel from Russia...

    Bell

 

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