In a Bad Mood
Hello again folks,
I hope you're all well and having a good day. London is oppressively muggy today, and I wish I could go and jump into a swimming pool this afternoon - but alas, I have to teach a lesson on prepositions instead. Therefore, I'm in a bad mood today. This is bad news for James, I'm afraid, because I'm going to point some grammatical mistakes in his last blog.
I should start by saying that, in general, I'm very impressed by James' improvement. His blogs are noticeably more accurate now, and they're always informative and fun to read. His grammar isn't perfect, but on the other hand, perfect grammar is almost impossible to achieve (for native speakers as well as language students).
But today I'm feeling cruel, so I'm going to pick out a few of his sentences, look at them closely, and suggest corrections. Firstly, James wrote this:
'So, Nakasi is a style of live band accompaniment, and customers sing a song to a live electric piano accompaniment. It’s just like that teacher Alex are going to.'
The first sentence here is fine, but there are a couple of problems with the second one. Firstly, the word that isn't quite right here, or not alone anyway. We could say, 'it's just like what...', but this sounds a little awkward to me. It's better, I think, to say, 'it's just like the event that...', or something like this. Also, teacher Alex is only one person, so we need to change are to is. Hence, the correct version might look like this:
'So, Nakasi is style of a live band accompaniment, and customers sing a song to an live electric piano accompaniment. It's just like the event that teacher Alex is going to.'
There's another 'that' problem in the following sentence:
'They are a form of recreation that people (customers) can sing their favorite songs and enjoy their performance by themselves with the audience.'
Again, the word that doesn't quite fit in this sentence. I suggest replacing it with in which, to make a sentence like this:
'They are a form of recreation in which people (customers) can sing their favorite songs and enjoy their performance by themselves with the audience.'
We could also replace that with where in the above sentence, but I think in which suits the slightly formal tone of the sentence better.
Thirdly, have a look at this phrase:
'No matter your singing is good or bad,...'
Here James is using a special structure, and he's got it almost exactly right, but he's missed out one word. Can you see which word is missing? Yes, of course you can ĻC the missing word is if. In its correct form, the phrase would read like this:
'No matter if your singing is good or bad,...'
This means that it doesn't matter if your singing is good or bad; the result will be the same. We could also use whether here, but if is more commonly used.
Finally, please look again at this sentence:
‘In other words, Karaoke means that the orchestra which plays music in the empty box of speaker.’
This is actually the only sentence in James’ last blog which I simply can’t understand. Sorry James, but could you try and rewrite this?
In my last blog I mentioned the sweet and heart-rending song 'Ace of Spades' by Motorhead. James replied that he had never heard this song, and suggested that maybe I should record myself singing it and post the recording on here. Well, James, I'm cruel but I'm not that cruel. I don’t think our readers deserve such terrible punishment (although maybe Hyoshil’s son does).
James asked about a sentence from my last blog:
‘The first thing we had to do was take all our valuables out of our pockets and put them into lockers.'
Actually, I omitted the word ‘to’ from this sentence. We sometimes do this in informal writing. If I replace the word ‘to’, the sentence looks like this:
‘The first thing we had to do was to take all our valuables out of our pockets and put them into lockers.'
Does this make it any clearer? We could paraphrase that sentence like this:
‘First we had to take all our valuables out of our pockets and put them in our lockers.’
Finally, Ana Paula has another question about the rather uncouth term ‘ballocksed’. Ana Paula, in the context you found it in, this word means something like ‘doomed’ or ‘in very serious trouble’.
See you in a couple of days!
We use the adjective oppressive to describe something which feels like it’s pressing down on us. It’s always used in a negative sense.
Muggy is an adjective to describe the weather. It means hot and humid. Therefore, oppressively muggy means that the weather is so hot and so humid that it’s really hard to bear.
Alas is an old-fashioned and formal word meaning ‘oh no’ or ‘what a shame’.
The adjective heart-rending means something like ‘sad enough to make your heart break’.
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