Studying for a Master’s
Hello again, Ha and everyone reading!
Ha, it was great to read your story about finding your long-lost teacher. It’s an example of how the Internet has made the world a much smaller place, isn’t it? And just think, if it weren’t for the Internet, we wouldn’t be blogging right now! Your teacher must be very proud that his young student has become so successful. I wonder if he realized that he was such as inspiration to you? Your story proves that it really is a small world.
Don’t be scared about making mistakes – we usually learn the most from the mistakes we make. I studied French and German at university, so I know very well what it’s like to make lots of mistakes in a foreign language!
And well done – I noticed you used ‘yawn!’ to show you’re tired and ‘brush up’ for ‘improve’. So you’re already using new vocabulary. That’s great!
But now, no more Mr Nice Guy. It’s time to crack the whip. For your homework, I’d like you to write 1,000 words on … Just kidding! However, there is one thing I noticed in your blog that I want to point out.
Ha, you wrote:
‘I also want to find some scholarships in UK to study for Master …’
and later you wrote:
‘ …he said goodbye to us because he had to go to Poland to pursue his master’.
‘pursue’ is a great verb to use when you’re talking about studying or work, e.g.
I want to pursue a career in medicine.
However, when you’re talking about postgraduate courses in the way you have done above, you should always use an apostrophe +s to describe the degree:
I want to study for a Master’s in the UK.
He had to go to Poland for his Master’s in English.
Of course, the title itself, ‘Master of Nuclear Physics’, does not have an apostrophe, because it contains the word ‘of’.
You should also use this construction to talk about undergraduate courses:
I want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at Ho Chi Minh University.
She’s just completed her Bachelor’s.
Why do we have to write it this way? Well, ‘Master’s’ is really short for ‘Master’s degree’. And ‘Bachelor’s’ is short for ‘Bachelor’s degree’. So when we use just the first word of the phrase, we should keep the apostrophe + s.
So, Ha, what do you want to study for your Master’s? And where would you like to study?
OK, enough of the grammar. I have got some more photos from Normandy to share with you, from my mini-break at the weekend. This is another example of a traditional Normandy house (from summertime, this time):
And here is a view of the Normandy countryside (in the winter):
Some of you, like Aaron in Beijing, mentioned that Normandy is famous for the battles of the Second World War. That’s very true – in fact you can go and visit some of the famous beaches such as Omaha, where the D-Day troops landed. A lot of the major cities in northern Normandy were razed to the ground in the war. Thankfully some ancient houses like the one above were spared, so we can still enjoy them.
Even though France is just a hop away, the lifestyle there is quite different to in the UK. People still stop for two hours for lunch, and I think the French aren’t quite such workaholic people as us Brits. That’s why British people love to go on holiday to France, because it’s a great place to unwind.
Until next time,
long-lost (adjective) – describes something or someone you haven’t seen for a long time, and thought you might never see again.
It’s a small world – you can use this phrase to say you meet people in the most unlikely places, e.g.
I was on holiday in Vietnam, and guess who I saw? My old next-door neighbour. It’s a small world!
No more Mr Nice Guy – I’m going to stop being nice now.
to crack the whip – to make someone work hard
mini-break – a short holiday
razed to the ground – this phrase is often used to talk about scenes of devastation, after disasters like fires or wars. It means nothing is left.
a hop away – ‘a hop’ is a short distance. You could say, for example, ‘I hopped across the channel to France’.
unwind – relax
Answers to your comments
Fulvio – No, I’ve never visited any castles in Normandy. Which did you visit? I think France is quite famous for its chateaux (castles).
Ana Paula – you can say ‘such a beautiful painting’ (singular) or ‘such beautiful paintings’ (plural). Have you ever seen Monet’s Water Lilies in the flesh (for real)? They are in Paris.
Tomo – Yes, I’ve been to the Mount St Michel when I was young. It’s interesting because you can only get to it at low tide. At high tide, the sea cuts it off and you have to take a boat to get to it.
Melissa – I’m not sure how old the English is you’re looking at but you could try this site for explanations of Shakespearian English: http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/
Adek – Hmm, I see what you mean. I think the closest thing we have in the UK university system is when you sit a ‘viva’, which is an oral exam at the end of your studies. You have to explain your thesis and answer tough questions about it.
Paco – it’s great to be happy where you are, and not to always be thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, because usually it isn’t! Kurt Vonnegut would be impressed.
Mauricio – you can say ‘it must have been quite a holiday’ (very good) or ‘it must have been quite a nice holiday’ (fairly good). Confusing, isn’t it?! Yes, that photo is an old one, from wintertime. The one above is from summer.
Rocio – yes ‘Cuba is calling me’ is the perfect way to say you want to go there. Good luck with your application to study at Loughborough. I hope you’re selected!
Stevieboy: Hmmm, that’s a difficult question. I think my favourite music is probably described as British Indie (independent). I like The Killers, The Feeling, The Kaiser Chiefs, and of course Muse.
Paul – The sentence you quoted is talking about something that could have happened in the past, but that didn’t actually happen. To talk about past possibilities that never actually happened, we use a special structure of could have + past participle:
I could have stayed at home, but I decided to go to France instead.‘could have’ is affecting both verbs in that sentence (‘take’ and ‘be’), which is why they are both in the past (‘have taken’ and ‘have been’).
Ahmed – ‘for the next month’ means ‘during the next 30 or so days’. If you simply say ‘next month’ without ‘the’, you mean the next calendar month (August). The trip through the tunnel takes 35 minutes. Our trip door to door from Hampshire to Normandy took just over six hours.
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