Hi Ana Paula, and hi to everyone else who’s reading this!
Yes, I enjoyed the sunny afternoon very much, thanks. There’s a park near my house, and after I finished writing on Monday I strolled over there and soaked up some sunshine. I’m happy to say that today’s another very warm spring day in London. However, I think my idea of a ‘very warm day’ might be a little different from yours, Ana Paula – I just looked on the internet and found out that the highest temperature in London today was 18º C. In London, 18ºC is a very warm spring day! I suspect this may be different in Sao Paolo…
Do you get a holiday for Easter? If so, how are you going to spend it? I should explain that Easter is a traditional holiday in Christian countries. This year, Easter is from Friday the 6th to Monday the 9th of April. On Friday I’m going to travel up to the north of England, to the small town where my family live. In this particular small town, people traditionally celebrate Easter with a rather weird and bizarre sport, or game, called ‘egg-rolling’. I’ll tell you more about this next time.
You dropped a few hints about your job, and now I’m very curious about it. You said you wear heavy security clothes and boots – are you a security guard? Or a policewoman? Perhaps you work in construction (or in the petrochemical industry, like Aaron from Beijing)? Please tell us, or at least give us some more hints. I’m quite perplexed.
Your last blog was very well-written. You used some very good vocabulary (such as ‘exaggerate’ and ‘unbearable’) and expressions (for example ‘little by little’ and ‘it’s our own fault’) and most of your sentences were very grammatically accurate. However, many of your sentences are quite short, using only one clause.
In the future, to improve your writing further, I suggest you concentrate on connecting clauses and sentences together with words like ‘although’ or ‘however’.
In fact, I can see that you are already trying to do this, but you need to be very careful with these words because using them correctly is tricky. Let’s look at this sentence as an example:
“Although in some Brazilian families Paula can be a last name, however it isn’t my case.”
I can understand what you mean here, but the grammar isn’t quite right. We can use ‘although’ OR ‘however’ here, but we can’t use both, and we have to be careful because they have different grammar. If we use ‘although’, the grammar looks like this:
[although + clause], [clause]
So, for example, you could say:
“Although Alex is bald, he is extremely handsome.”
Or we can reverse the sentence, like this:
[clause], [although + clause]
So the example would look like this:
“Alex is extremely handsome, although he is bald.”
The grammar for ‘however’ is different. If we want to use ‘however’, we need to follow this grammatical pattern:
[clause]. [However, + clause].
So, for example:
“Alex is bald. However, he is extremely handsome.”
OK, now let’s return to the sentence you wrote. The original sentence was like this:
“Although in some Brazilian families Paula can be a last name, however it isn´t my case.”
There are three possible ways you could fix this sentence. If you want to use ‘although’, you could say:
“Although in some Brazilian families Paula can be a last name, it isn’t in my case.”
“Paula isn’t a last name in my case, although in some Brazilian families it can be.”
On the other hand, if you want to use ‘however’, it should be like this:
“In some Brazilian families Paula can be a last name. However, it isn’t in my case.”
A quick note to all the people who wrote comments last time:
Firstly, thank you very much indeed for all your generous, enthusiastic and entertaining comments! Several people asked questions, and I’m sorry I don’t have time to answer all of them now, but I’ll try to deal with as many as possible in the next few weeks. In particular, there were questions about the present continuous and future tenses. I will say something about these tense soon, I promise!
In particular, I’d like to thank Hyoshil from Lincoln, who wrote a hilarious comment, and Leila from Finland, who mentioned my hero, Darth Vader.
As many people guessed, a ‘love-hate’ relationship is a situation in which you love something and hate it at the same time, and having ‘the best of both worlds’ means having the advantages of two different situations at the same time (for example, Ana Paula’s hometown has the relaxed atmosphere of a small town, and but she can also enjoy the cinemas, theatres, etc., of Sao Paolo, a major city).
One more thing. Some of you mentioned that the man in the picture at the top of your screen DIDN’T look incredibly handsome. Please look again. If you STILL can’t see an incredibly handsome man, I think you probably have a problem with your computer. Or maybe a problem with your eyes.
All the best,
‘To stroll’ means to walk in a slow, relaxed way.
‘To soak up’ means ‘to absorb’. For example, a sponge soaks up water.
‘Weird’ and ‘bizarre’ are both adjectives meaning ‘strange’.
A ‘hint’ is a ‘clue’, or a small piece of information which might help us to solve a puzzle. We can say, ‘give someone a hint’ or ‘drop (someone) a hint’; the meaning is the same.
‘Perplexed’ is an adjective meaning ‘puzzled’.
‘To exaggerate’ means to ‘overstate’, or to say that something (or someone) is better, worse, more important, more interesting, etc., than it actually is. For example, if someone tells you that they can run a kilometer in thirty seconds, they are probably exaggerating.
We use the adjective ‘unbearable’ when something is too strong or too intense for us, and we can’t stand it.
‘Clause’ is a very important grammatical term. A clause is a subject, plus a verb, plus possibly some extra information. This sentence has only one clause:
“I like ice-cream.”
This sentence has three clauses:
“I like ice-cream and I love chocolate, but I hate salad.”
‘Tricky’ is an informal adjective, meaning ‘difficult’.
The adjective ‘bald’ describes someone who has no hair on their head.
‘Hilarious’ means very funny.
Your ‘hero’ is a person whom you admire and look up to. ‘Hero’ is the male form; the female form is ‘heroine’.
Can you guess the meaning of ‘little by little’ and ‘it’s our own fault’?
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