This is my first blog too!
Hello Ana Paula, and hello everyone out there.
My name is Alex, and as of today I’m taking over from Samantha as the new teacher blogger. Look at the top of this page, and you’ll see a photo of an incredibly handsome man – that’s me! Actually, Samantha and I used to work together in Newcastle a few years ago – but now I live in London, and I teach at a big, busy English language school on Oxford Street, which is the main shopping street in central London. I have a love-hate relationship with London; this city has lots of wonderful cinemas, theatres, and art galleries, as well as restaurants from all around the world, but it can also be very crowded and frantic – especially Oxford Street, which is always full of people pushing and shoving their way into the shops. You seem to have the best of both worlds, Ana Paula – Mogi sounds like a fairly calm and peaceful place to live, but you’re only an hour away from central São Paolo. And close to the beach too! I’m very envious.
Overall, Ana Paula, your writing looks pretty good to me. In particular, you used some nice long, complex sentences with several clauses in them, and that’s always good to see. However, there are a few mistakes that I’d like to point out. First, though, I’d like to say one thing, and it’s so important that I’m going to write it in capital letters: MISTAKES ARE GOOD! In fact, making mistakes is a necessary part of learning a language – you try using a new word or a new piece of grammar, and maybe you don’t use it perfectly, but then you learn from your mistake and next time you can use it better. When you’re writing your blogs, I’d always encourage you to take risks, and experiment with vocabulary and grammar structures even if you’re not completely sure how to use them. If you make mistakes, we’ll discuss them, and hopefully the discussion will be useful for you and for everyone else who reads these blogs too.
Today I’d like to comment on the tenses in just two sentences. The first one is this:
“I live in São Paulo state, in a city called Mogi das Cruzes, where I live since I was born.”
The first part of this sentence, “I live in São Paulo state,” is fine – you’re making a general statement, and you’ve chosen the present simple tense, which is exactly right. In the second part, however, you’re describing a situation which started in the past and is still continuing now, and for a situation like this we need the present perfect tense. So, the sentence should read:
“I live in São Paulo state, in a city called Mogi das Cruzes, where I have lived since I was born.”
Secondly, I’d like to comment on the sentence which starts,
“In addition, if you take a train, in an hour you are arriving at Paulista Avenue…”
I’ve added a couple of commas to this sentence to make the meaning clearer, but again the real problem here is the tense. “You are arriving” is present continuous. We use the present continuous for something that’s happening at this moment. However, this sentence isn’t about something that’s happening at this moment, it’s about something which is generally true (the same yesterday, the same today, the same tomorrow), so we need the present simple here:
“In addition if you take a train in an hour you arrive at Paulista Avenue…”
OK, that’s enough from me for today. I’m looking forward to hearing more about you and about life in Mogi, but right now the sun is shining (this doesn’t happen so often in London!) so I’m going out to enjoy the nice weather.
All the best,
We ‘take over from’ someone when we start doing something which that person was doing previously. Samantha was writing this blog previously, and now I’m writing it, so I’ve taken over from her.
‘Incredibly’ means ‘very very’, or ‘extremely’. ‘Incredibly handsome’ means ‘so handsome that I’m amazed, I can’t believe how good-looking this guy is’. I think that describes me quite well, don’t you?
‘Frantic’ is an adjective meaning fast-paced and slightly crazy.
The verb ‘to shove’ means almost the same as ‘to push’, but it’s a little more aggressive. ‘Pushing and shoving’ is a phrase we use to describe people who are pushing each other aggressively – for example, shoppers in a crowded shop.
‘Fairly’ means ‘quite’ or ‘somewhat’.
‘Envious’ is an adjective with the same meaning as ‘jealous’.
Of course, the adjective ‘pretty’ means ‘attractive’ (normally for a woman), but it can also mean the same as ‘quite’ – so ‘pretty good’ means ‘quite good’ (we could also say ‘fairly good’).
I used the adverb ‘hopefully’ to mean that I hope this will be true.
A comma is a small punctuation mark which normally, but not always, indicated a pause in speech, and there are three commas in this sentence.
I also used two more phrases – ‘a love-hate relationship’ and ‘the best of both worlds’. Can you guess the meaning of these phrases?
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