Dear Ana Paula,
First of all, I’d like to reassure you that I’m feeling much better now. I’m able to sit up in bed, and to eat a little solid food, and Dr Exhag tells me that in a few weeks I might be able to leave the hospital and resume a more-or-less normal life. And I’m not going to bear a grudge against you for this. In fact, I think I have learned something from this horrible, horrible experience. As the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “that which does not kill me makes me stronger.” It is true that ‘Romeo and Juliet’ almost killed me, but I have survived, and now I am a sadder man but, perhaps, a wiser one. In fact, I’m almost grateful that you made me eat chee… fud… ch… no, I can’t say it… I feel sick again… oh, the horror, the horror… Nurse! Nurse! More tranquilizers! QUICKLY!!!
I’d like to say thanks to all the readers who have given me their support during this difficult time. Dr Exhag passed your comments on to me, and I appreciated them very much. However, I would not like to thank Leila from Finland, who told a disgusting story about her friend from New Zealand who ate sardines with jam. This is possibly even stranger than cheese with fudge; I feel nauseous just thinking about it. I’ve certainly never eaten anything as weird as sardines with jam. Many years ago, when I lived in Poland, I was served strawberries and cream with spaghetti, which was actually quite good. Also, I had a friend in Poland who liked to drink Coca-Cola with milk, but he was a strange guy. I don’t think Coca-Cola with milk is normal in Poland (or anywhere in the world). Ana? Adek? What do you think?
Ana Paula, please say hello to your sister Rosana from me. Her writing is excellent – in fact, her vocabulary is possibly even better than yours. She used really good phrases, like “total perplexity” and “a catatonic state”, and she used them very well indeed. However, she occasionally seems to have a small problem with prepositions. Now, I’m sure your knowledge of prepositions is perfect, Ana Paula, so perhaps you can help your sister to make some corrections.
I’ve written four sentences below, and each of them needs a preposition. Can you tell me which preposition we should choose in each case? Maybe our readers can help too.
1. Ana Paula was waiting anxiously for a message _____ her dear teacher.
2. Her finger was glued _____ her computer screen.
3. Soon she fell _____ a catatonic state.
4. We hope she recovers _____ this catatonic state very soon.
That’s all from me today – Dr Exhag says that I must relax now, and recover my strength. I’ll be back soon; meanwhile, take care, and don’t eat anything too strange!
All the best,
If someone is worried, and you tell them something which will stop them from worrying then you reassure them.
To resume something is to start something again, after stopping for a while. Halfway through my lesson, I might say to the students, “OK, let’s have a break now – we’ll resume the class in twenty minutes.”
If I continue to think, “Ana Paula is mean, she made me eat cheese and fudge, she’s not my friend…” etc etc, then I bear a grudge against her. Of course, I don’t think this. She isn’t mean, she is just a woman with very strange tastes in food.
The noun horror is related to words like ‘horrible’, ‘horrifying’, etc. You’ve probably heard of ‘horror movies’ – movies which make you feel horror. In fact, “the horror, the horror” is a quotation from a movie. Can anyone tell me which movie?
The adjective ‘tranquil’ means calm and peaceful. Tranquilizers are drugs used by doctors to make their patients feel calm and peaceful.
Sardines are a kind of fish with a very strong ‘fishy’ taste. In Britain they are normally sold in cans.
If you feel nauseous, you feel sick in your stomach and you want to vomit. Another good word for this is ‘queasy’.
To serve someone has a general meaning, of course, but it can mean ‘to put food in front of someone’. A waiter serves the customers at a restaurant. Was served is the past simple passive form of this verb.
Prepositions are words like ‘in’, ‘at’, ‘to’, ‘from’, etc. If you have problems with these words, don’t worry – most students do. In fact, one of my students always talks about the ‘preposition lottery’.
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