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Wednesday, 02 August 2006

Watermelons Part 2

Hi Jenny,

I was sitting on the train, on my way home from work, and I thought “How can I best respond to your blogs?” It’s very challenging to correct errors and explain reasons for them, especially in a short blog. I really believe that, when learning a language, it is very important to ‘notice’ natural phrases and collocations (words which are often used together, for example ‘make a mistake’) when reading or listening. So, I’ve decided to try a different way of blogging. I’m still going to write naturally, but I’d also like to try to help you notice useful English, by correcting some of your language (in bold), and also by highligthing other natural expressions (in italics) in my blog. I’ll also make a list of all the useful new vocabulary at the end with some other possible word combinations.

So, I’d like to respond to your 'Watermelons' blog again. Tell me if you think this style is useful. I’m interested in other learners' opinions, too.

Where exactly in China is Xi’an? Unfortunately, I’ve never been there, but I’m sure by the time we finish our blog, I’ll be raring to go. I’ve heard that different weather conditions are beneficial for all different kinds of fruit and vegetables. It must be very stressful for farmers, though, if the price of watermelons has fallen to the lowest on record because they have had the best harvest in recent years. I think it’s a good idea for the government to encourage people to eat watermelons in this case. I’m sure the farmers are glad the government has given them loans, too. It’s such a tragedy, however, to hear that one farmer committed suicide because she couldn’t bear to see the fruit rotting in her field.

In Japan, watermelons are really expensive! I’m not sure how much they cost per kilo, but whole watermelons sell for more than 5 pounds each! I’d love to be able to buy lots of them and make delicious sweet juice like you do…

Well, I should go to bed now because I have to get up early in the morning

I look forward to hearing your reply,


Today’s useful phrases:

(to be) raring to go (somewhere)

(something) is beneficial for (something)

(to) have a good/bad harvest

the price of (something)

(to) fall to the lowest (price) on record – to rise to the highest (price) on record

(to) commit suicide/murder/a crime

(to) not bear (to do something)

in a field/shop/place

early/late in the morning/afternoon/evening


Hello! I have made a improved version of the watermelons. Your intelligence makes the learning so interesting! Think you again!

I like this format for learning useful English phrase. The phrases are used in your passage. This teach us how to use the phrase properly. Thank you for your enthusiasm for teaching English!

This way is wonderful!It's natural as well as useful,and i like it! Wish it would be continued really!

hello lewis, i think your idear is brilliant and i've already got a new notebook and have recorded your english. i feel like being in a classroom and take down the teacher's notes. thank you, and have a nice day!!!

hi. i just wonder if there's any difference between "to be eager to do sth" and " to be raring to do sth". can you explain it for me? is there any other way to express the similar idea? thank you very much for your help

I really can not believe that a woman committed suicide for having a good harvest of watermelons!!! The famers in China are strong-minded!!!

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

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