Hello Ha and everyone reading!
Yeuch! Raffles and I are just back from a damp, soggy walk. We’re not having much of a summer here in the UK. So it was great to read all your comments, which put a smile back on my face. Thank you!
Ha, I’ve just read your last blog very carefully and your use of tenses was *so* much better. Well done! I can see you really understand how and when to use all the different tenses. So taking a little bit of time to check really pays off, doesn’t it?
Which reminds me, here are the answers to those phrases using the simple present tense with a future meaning:
1) The opera starts at 7.30p.m. sharp.
2) I’m coming! Wait for me!
3) Where do I pay?
4) You are reading a blog about the English language.
5) I won’t stop working until I am rich.
However, I’m not giving up on tenses just yet. It’s always good to have a little bit extra practice. So, I want you to look at the tenses I’ve used in the four paragraphs below (look for the words in italics and the numbers 1 to 6). I’ve used the wrong tense for each of these. Can you rewrite them using the correct tense? I bet you can!
Today I’m going to tell you a bit about a local crop from my region. It’s called watercress, and it’s a leafy salad vegetable. It’s got quite a hot taste to it – something like mustard or wasabi, if 1) you ever try either of those foods. So it’s ideal in summer salads, and sometimes you’ll find it together with egg as a sandwich filling.
Watercress 2) was farmed in this part of southern England for over 200 years. As we’ve grown more prosperous, we don’t eat so much of it these days. But there was a time when very poor families couldn’t afford to eat bread, so they’d eat watercress instead. In the 1800s, watercress 3) was sending to the Covent Garden market in London by stagecoach. Later, it went by train, and we have a local railway called the Watercress Line. It’s an old steam train, and these days it’s really a tourist attraction.
Watercress grows in long, flat beds, which 4) are feed by mineral water that comes from underground springs. Here’s what our local watercress bed looks like. It’s just outside my village, West Meon:
Apparently, the Romans 5) believe that watercress was an aphrodisiac. I don’t know if that’s true, but according to the scientists, watercress contains as much vitamin C as oranges and more calcium than milk. It’s a superfood! This region of England is such a hotbed of watercress activity that there’s even a watercress festival in the nearby town of Alresford. Hmm, maybe 6) I make some watercress soup for dinner.
Ha, and everyone reading, what local crops grow near to you?
Yeuch! – like ‘Yuck!’, you use this to say something is nasty/horrible.
soggy – wet and damp
if something pays off, it’s a success
crop – a plant grown for food
prosperous – rich and successful
stagecoach – an old-fashioned coach pulled by horses
spring – water that flows up from underground into a pool or river
an aphrodisiac is a food that makes you sexually excited
superfood – this is quite a trendy word, and it means food that has lots of health benefits
hotbed – a place where there are lots of people involved in a certain activity
Answers to your comments
Ana Paula – Yes, I like the Harry Potter books, though I’m not such a nutter that I queue up all night to buy one. Happy (belated) Friends Day to you too!
Michelle – thanks for your comment. In the two sentences you wrote, there is actually no difference in meaning (although the tenses are different) – they both describe what will happen in the near future.
Fulvio – Guess what? There was an article in my Sunday newspaper about Sardinia. And guess what they described? A local cheese full of maggots!
Marianna – No, Richard and I didn’t study the same thing. In fact, he studied surveying at college and he’s now a quantity surveyor. So our jobs are as different as chalk and cheese (opposite). We did a beginner’s Italian course together before we went on holiday to Italy one year. Richard claims he can’t remember any Italian, but I bet he would be able to remember how to order a beer in an emergency.
Kamran – well spotted! It should have been ‘in your last blog …’ My mistake!
Paulraj – I’ve loved reading your comments, please don’t feel you have to keep them short! It was just a bit of friendly advice for Ha.
Tishka – Hmm, your human doesn’t take your rheumatism seriously? Maybe try stop eating for a whole day. Then she might buy you some nice tuna as a treat. Socks.
Ahmed – great use of idioms. Thank you!
Hualan – welcome! And thanks for your comment. It’s nice to have an Aussie with us.
Jeehye – Oh yes, all my pets are sterilized. There are enough unwanted animals in the world – I don’t want to be responsible for any more!
Mellisa – I am very honoured that you asked me for suggestions for a name for your baby nephew. How about ‘Leo’? It’s the name of a big cat (you know I love cats), and if the baby was born this month, according to western star signs he would be a Leo. Also, a Leo (lion) will be strong and brave.
Susan – sorry, that was just Socks being a little bit silly when she ended her blog with ‘yours very properly’. You see, she like things to be proper, so she was having a bit of a joke.
Kavin – welcome! And yes, you can say ‘working one’s ass off’ to mean really busy. ‘Ass’ is a mild swear word. So, while it doesn’t bother me, you might not want to say it in front of your granny!
Claire – thanks for your comment, and I can understand your English perfectly.
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