Another Shot in the Arm
It sounds like you’ve had another exhausting day. Why do you get home so late? Do you work late every night? I hope they pay you very well.
I don’t think you read my blog last Friday. Even if you haven’t got time to respond to it you should try to find time to look at the language points.
Well, I had another shot in the arm today. Actually, another two shots – one in each arm. And I still felt nothing. So, I think I’m protected against everything now except actually climbing the mountain itself.
The nurse said I should sit down for five minutes after the injections. I know nothing about these things, so I asked why. She told me it was in case I had an allergic reaction. Evidently, some people become extremely dizzy after they’ve just had an armful of shots. I asked her what she would do if I reacted in that way. She said she’d give me adrenalin. I didn’t sit and wait. The way I drive my car, my system is pumped full of adrenalin by the time I’m halfway down the road!
So I came home and had breakfast with a neighbour and then I went out for a run. It is incredibly mild again – about 11 degrees this morning – and it was possible to go out without track suit bottoms on. Imagine running in just shorts (and a track suit top, of course) in January!
You asked about job interviews here. I’m not sure they’re so very different from interviews anywhere else. You have to make a good impression as soon as you walk through the door. Personally, I think you should always shake hands with your interviewers, both at the beginning and at the end of your interview. You should smile at and make eye contact with them throughout the interview. You should listen carefully to their questions and then answer them as concisely and confidently as possible. You should appear to be relaxed, knowledgeable and friendly.
Of course, it helps enormously if you prepare thoroughly for your interview in advance. Find out about the company and its products or services, even its history. Make sure you completely understand what you will have to do if you get the job. Be prepared to ask questions and to ask your interviewers to explain anything you didn’t understand during the interview. Is that how you got your job, Soyoung?
OK, no more from me right now because I want you to have time to look at all the language points below – and to read last Friday’s blog, too. Remember, we only have four more days (and this time I haven’t made a mistake!), so you should try to make the most of these last few blogs.
Have a good day at work. Try to get home early (am I beginning to sound like your mum?).
SOME USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
shot in the arm
‘A shot in the arm’ is an idiomatic expression which means ‘motivation’, ‘encouragement’ or ‘extra energy’. But the expression also has a literal meaning: ‘shot’ is an idiomatic word for ‘injection’.
protected against (notice the preposition, ‘against’)
A response to something you are allergic to (see below).
(to be) allergic to
If you are ‘allergic to’ something you become ill when in contact with it [EXAMPLE: Edward is allergic to eggs. He always get a bad headache if he eats them.]
An illness you get when you are in contact with something you are allergic to.
a feeling of losing your balance; about to fall over
adrenalin (look it up in a good bi-lingual dictionary))
A substance produced by your body in response to stress. It increases the speed of your heart and gives you more energy.
track suit bottoms (plural, like trousers)
loose trousers worn when you do sport
make a good impression
have a positive effect. If you make a good impression on someone they react positively towards you.
with all the necessary information and as briefly (or directly) as possible
A LITTLE BIT OF GRAMMAR
Read the following sentence and focus on the word ‘should’.
The nurse said I should sit down for five minutes after the injections.
We use the word should, in this context, when we talk about giving advice. In this sentence, the nurse is giving advice to the patient. She is advising him to sit down for five minutes.
‘Should’ is also used, in English, to express moral obligation. Read the following and decide whether it is giving advice or expressing moral obligation.
You shouldn’t play loud music so late at night. Think about the neighbours.
This expresses a moral obligation to play music quietly so you don’t disturb your neighbours.
‘Should’ can also be used like ‘must’, when talking about rules and regulations. It is less strong than ‘must’ but is intended to have a similar effect. Some teachers call this use of ‘should’ a ‘soft imperative’. Read the following sentence from a sign in a restaurant kitchen:
You should wash your hands before preparing food.
The meaning is clear. You have to wash your hands before you handle food. (In a restaurant kitchen it would probably be better if the sign had read: ‘Wash your hands before preparing food’.)
Now look at the following twelve sentences and decide which give advice (A), which express moral obligation (O) and which are ‘soft imperatives’ (I). The answers are at the end of today’s blog.
1. You should visit your grandmother more often. You know how much she looks forward to seeing you.
2. You should take an umbrella. It’s going to rain.
3. You should report to reception when you arrive.
4. You shouldn’t drive so fast. It’s dangerous.
5. You should phone her to say thank you for the present she sent you.
6. You shouldn’t smoke. It’s bad for your health.
7. You should give up your seat on a crowded bus if an old person is standing.
8. You shouldn’t use your mobile phone in a hospital.
9. You shouldn’t push in. Join the queue and wait your turn.
10. You should never drink alcohol and then drive your car.
11. You should try to spend 20 minutes a day studying English.
12. You should hand in the money you found in the street.
A FEW CORRECTIONS AND RE-WRITES
I’ve chosen several short extracts from your blog to re-write and correct. Make sure you focus on the verb forms (tenses) when you compare my versions with your originals:
How was your weekend?
What a beautiful house!
That house was very similar to yours.
It was furnished with white furniture.
I think the English like white things. Do you?
They are unique and a good way of keeping memories.
I didn’t buy souvenirs but I took photographs of places I visited instead.
The US government is very strict about issuing tourist visas.
A friend has just come back to Seoul. He’s been in Vancouver learning how to make guitars. He’s played the guitar with a band for several years and has given concerts at downtown music clubs. Unfortunately, I’ve never been to one but I have listened to unpublished recordings. He studied at the music academy and now wants to work in New York. I hope he manages it.
DON’T FORGET: ARTICLES ARE IMPORTANT!
Maybe I’ll go to the USA.
I first have to get a visa.
It’s not easy to get a tourist visa for the USA.
The US government is very strict…
I’ve finished washing the dishes.
ANSWERS: 1.(O), 2.(A), 3.(I), 4.(A), 5.(O), 6.(A), 7.(O), 8.(I), 9.(I), 10.(A), 11.(A), 12.(O).
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