This is my final post before the new teacher blogger takes over on Monday. Thank you to all the readers of the blog, especially those who have posted comments and questions. Thank you too, to Antonio for his excellent posts and, finally, thank you to the team at BBC Learning English for the opportunity to participate in the blog.
BBC Learning English is the best place on the web for students (and teachers) of English. I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop!
I’ll finish with a summary of the language points covered this week: ‘fantastic’, relative clauses, cohesion, ‘briefly/shortly’, ‘for/during’ and ‘have + object’.
Your double use of 'fantastic' in this sentence, '‘Learning English’ is a fantastic site because it has such fantastic people on its staff’, helps to emphasise your extremely positive feelings about the website and the staff who are responsible for the site. Repeating a word, as you do here with 'fantastic', is a good way of stressing its meaning.
Other words that could be used in your sentence to mean 'extremely good' include: splendid, superb, terrific, first-class, first-rate, excellent, fabulous, marvellous, wonderful, amazing, tremendous and sensational.
2. More examples of relative clauses
One of the ways you construct complex sentences is by adding more information about a noun, or phrase, using relative clauses. I talked about relative clauses in a post published on July 20. In your post today you introduce several relative clauses with the pronouns who and which. Here are four excellent examples:
'I’d like to say ‘ciao’ to Lizeth from Argentina, who always comments on my posts';
' ‘L’ordine dei Certosini’ is the monastic order which monks who lived in Certosa belonged to';
'a student who’s really interested in learning English should answer all the questions which are blogged by the teacher'.
'‘Antonio de Paula’, who you mentioned in your comment, is ‘Sant’Antonio da Paola’, which means ‘St Anthony from Paola’'.
Another thing I like about your writing is how COHESIVE it is. Your sentences are well linked to each other and this makes your argument very easy to follow. A good example is the following passage, in which I have italicised your 'links',
'In my opinion a big disadvantage of learning via a ‘blog’ is, as you’ve already said, the lack of real-time feedback. On the other hand, the ‘blog’ approach has a lot of advantages! In fact it makes you able to write and send your posts whenever and wherever you prefer'.
The first link, 'as you've already said' is a link to something outside your text, in this case, my post yesterday. Your second link, 'on the other hand', connects and contrasts your second sentence (advantages) with your first (disadvantages). Your third link, 'it', connects your third sentence to your second by referring back to the subject (blog) of the second sentence. These 'links' provide the 'glue' that sticks your argument together very effectively.
In the sentence, 'the most important [place] has surely been ‘Certosa di Padula’, which I’m going to shortly talk about.' do you mean that you will talk about Certosa di Padula soon or in just a few words? Usually, when we are talking about words (a description, a talk, a chat, a paragraph etc.), 'shortly' means 'soon, in a little time'. 'Briefly', on the other hand, means 'in as few words as possible, not in detail'.
I'd like to talk about 'for' and 'during' in your sentence, 'I've been quite busy during last days'.
Probably more usual is, '...quite busy for the last few days.' For is used in English to say how long something lasts. For example, '...for many years', 'for the last few days', 'for a few minutes', and 'for two weeks'.
During, in contrast, is used to say when something happens. For example, 'during the summer' and 'during the night'.
'The last few days' refers to how long your busy time lasted, so for this reason, 'for' is probably better than 'during'.
6. Have + object
In your post about your plans for a trip around Scotland, you mention getting suggestions from '....people who have already done this experience'. The correct verb with 'experience' is 'have'; 'people who have already had this experience.'
Have + object is often used to talk about actions and experiences, for example:
have a good journey/trip/flight
have breakfast/lunch/dinner/(a) coffee/a drink
have a bath/a shower/a wash
have a rest/a lie down/a nap/a sleep/a dream
have a chat/a talk/a conversation/an argument/a row/a fight
To make a question or negative, 'do' is used. For example, 'did you have a good trip?', 'I didn't have a good experience'. Continuous forms are OK; for example, 'what are you doing this evening? I'm having dinner with Sarah'. It's not OK to contract 'have'; for example, 'I have coffee with Claire every Saturday' but NOT 'I've a coffee with Claire...'.
Thank you for reading!
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