Hello, Ha! Very nice to e-meet you on BBC Learning English. I see you have a short and sweet name too! I’m looking forward to finding out more about your country, culture and life over the next month. I hope I can give you some useful pointers on the English language, and of course if you have any questions or want me to explain something, just ask! That’s what I’m here for. Oh, and for setting nasty homework of course!
Ha, you say you started learning English at a very young age, and I can see from your writing that you’re very proficient in English. That’s great. You’ve used some nice phrases like ‘deeply impressed’ and ‘I have so many things to tell I don’t know where to start’. Over the next month, I hope I can help you brush up your English even more.
Seeing as it’s your first blog today, Ha, I’m not going to be too mean. I just want to point out a small thing from your first blog:
Did you mean to say ‘defend’ your Bachelor thesis? Do you mean you had to give a speech or presentation about it? We can use the verb ‘defend’ to talk about abstract things like ‘ideas’ or ‘honour’. However, if you mean you had to talk about your thesis, it would be better to say something like ‘Here is a picture of me when I presented my Bachelor’s thesis last year’. And obviously your presentation went well, because you are now a graduate – well done!
OK, I think that’s enough grammar for your first blog. Don’t worry – my tasks will be getting more and more despicable as the month goes on. Today I’m going to tell you a bit about my weekend. I was in Normandy in northern France this weekend. I went over in the car with my fella Richard and Raffles the dog. Yes, Raffles has her own passport too. You can drive through the tunnel under the English Channel to get to France, or you can take a ferry. We went by car and arrived Friday and came back this morning. (Yawn!).
Normandy is a very fertile part of France and it’s famous for its cows. And their milk! Famous cheeses like Camembert and Livarot come from the Normandy area. And you’ll find lots of cream and caramel sweets there too. The other thing that Normandy is famous for is its apples. Farmers make delicious local cider out of the Normandy apples – and sometimes out of pears too. Yum! I think I could put on a lot of weight if I lived in Normandy.
The countryside is really pretty around Normandy and lots of the houses are made from a traditional timber frame, filled in with wattle and daub. Here’s what a traditional house looks like:
It’s nice countryside for walking and for playing Frisbee with dogs in France. Raffles had a whale of a time.
Ah! Where do you like to go for your holidays? If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Until next time,
Answers to your comments
Benka – ‘Superstition’ is a countable noun. You could say:
I believe only in three superstitions.
What you noticed was a particular phrase I used. Let me explain. You can use the phrase ‘… says’ to describe the idea of or behind something, e.g.
Tradition says brides in the UK should wear white.
Common sense says you should use an umbrella when it rains.
As you saw from the example in my blog, you always start this phrase with the noun in the singular, and without the article.
Ana Paula – I’ve never been to Giverny but I’d love to go. Are you a fan of Monet?
Wisarut – yes, you’re doing really well, I notice that you are using some of the new vocabulary I’ve been introducing. Well done! And no need to apologize – we all make mistakes sometimes!
short and sweet – small and pleasant
pointers – guidance
proficient – skilled
brush up – to improve
mean – this adjective can be used to mean ‘evil’ or ‘not generous’
despicable – nasty, evil
goes on – progresses, continues
Yawn! – use this if you want to say you’re tired. Or if you’re bored (I’m tired, not bored).
fertile – if an area is fertile, crops will grow there very easily.
wattle and daub – ancient building materials of sticks and clay
if you have a whale of a time, you really enjoy yourself.
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.