A Warm Welcome :)
Hello Yumi and friends
It was SO nice to turn on my computer today and find so many lovely messages! Thanks everyone for your warm welcome, and a special thank you to Jill from Beijing for your kind comments about my photo: you are truly a woman after my own heart!
And of course, thank you Yumi for your latest blog. Shall we get started? Let's have a look at your 2 language questions, Yumi...
Firstly, you wrote: I used to wake up at 6:30 and (*1) managed to make it to work on time. Your question was: *1: Is this 'duplication' to use 'manage to do' and 'make it to do'? I would like to mean it is difficult but I made it.
Well, first of all Yumi, when you use 'manage to', you must follow it with a verb, so you could say 'managed to get to work' or 'managed to arrive at work'. Becuase you have used the phrasal verb 'make it', your sentence is grammatically correct. Regarding the meanings of 'manage to' and 'make it' – well, 'manage to' has the idea of 'succeed' and 'make it' has the idea of 'arrive' – but both of them have the idea of 'despite it being difficult'. So is it duplication (repetition) to use both of them? Personally, I don't think so, Yumi. I think the phrase managed to make it works really well in your blog for 3 reasons: 1) your vocabulary choice fits well with the informal style & tone of your blog; 2) the repetition of the idea 'despite it being difficult' works to emphasise, not duplicate, what you say and 3) the repeated 'm' at the beginning of 'manage' and 'make' sounds lovely!
Secondly, you wrote It is too cold to (*2) get out from the bed! Your question was '*2: Does 'get out' sound exaggerated or rude? I would like to mean 'wake up' but thought I should use different expression. Well, in answer to this question Yumi, you first have to think about meaning. If you want to say 'open your eyes because you have stopped sleeping' – use 'wake up'. But if your intended meaning is 'leave the bed and stand up' – you should say 'get out of bed' – and notice that the preposition is 'of', not 'from'.
And if you say it is too cold to get out of bed – no, that doesn’t sound rude or exaggerated at all, Yumi! It describes a feeling I remember very well from my childhood, before houses in the UK had central heating. In the winter time, there was often ice on the inside of the bedroom windows, and I well remember my parents using hot water bottles and blankets to make sure my sisters and I were nice and warm in our beds at night. But it was always freezing in the morning – way too cold to get out of bed!!! These days most houses in the UK have central heating and very good insulation, so those horrid winter mornings are a thing of the past for most of us. I usually get up at about 7.15am, shower and have breakfast, get ready and walk to the Tube station which takes about 15 minutes. The tube journey itself is very hot and crowded, but thankfully quite short, and I usually get to my desk around 9.30am. The first thing I do when I get to work is switch my computer on. And the second? I make a lovely cup of coffee!
Now, I'd like to look at the language questions I asked: and I'm pleased to see that you got a lot of help and advice from our readers:)
The first one was about –ing forms. I asked: You write: 'I am 25 years old, working for Japanese company, doing accounting, having 2 younger sisters and living with my parents and sisters.' In this sentence, at least one of the -ing verbs (working, doing, having, living) would probably be better in a simple form (without '-ing'). Can you tell me which one?
Well done, Yumi, you are quite right when you say 'I should have said ' I have 2 younger sisters.' Myen from Vietnam said 'I think 'having two sisters' would probably better in the simple form 'I have two sisters' because 'Have' is not an action verb. Is it right?' Myen (and others), you are absolutely right: in this sentence 'have' is not an action verb, and therefore is not used in the continuous form. Actually, 'have' can be both a state verb: 'I have 2 sisters' and an action verb 'Where's Alan? - He's having a shower'. For more information about state and action verbs – look at Ask about English or Learn it or The Flatmates episode 4.
One or 2 of you pointed out that it's possible to say 'I live with my parents and sisters'. That's true, but it's also correct to say 'I'm living with my parents and sisters', especially if it is a temporary arrangement.
The second thing I asked was: what preposition normally follows 'impressed'? Well done to all of you who said 'by' or 'with'! You can say I was impressed by his performance' or 'I was impressed with his performance' – with no real change in meaning.
So here are the answers to the vocabulary matching activity I gave you. Well done to those of you who got the right answers!
(1) outgoing - (F) leaving or retiring from a job or position
(2) it's great to have you on board - (E) it's good that you are part of our team
(3) a woman/man after my own heart - (A) a person you admire because they do or believe the same things as you
(4) in full swing - (D) operating at the highest speed or level of activity; in full operation
(5) to snap up some bargains - (B) to quickly buy some things (which are much cheaper than they normally are) before they are all gone
(6) eclectic - (G) made up of several different elements from a variety of sources
(7) coherently - (C) joined together in a smooth and logical way
Regarding the word outgoing - Penguin from Japan asked me an interesting question: can we use "the ingoing bloggers", for example, "welcome to Catherine and Yumi, our ingoing bloggers of the month."? And Ahmed from Casablanca asked: Is there any similar expression such as "the oncoming bloggers" or another term for the new bloggers we are welcoming? Well Penguin and Ahmed, I am going to pass your question to our friends on the comments board – and I will comment on their comments on my next blog! I hope our friends will also answer Ahmed's second question: 2" a shopping queen": Can we say "a shopping king" when it's the male who does the shopping?
Well that's all from me today Yumi, I hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend free from crowded trains ;-) And when you have time, perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your home city of Saitama...
Best wishes, Catherine x
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