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Wednesday, 08 August 2007


Hello again everyone! Thanks for all your comments and kind words. It’s great to see so many of you doing the homework! :-) I especially liked the sentences that Jill made using the new phrases – that’s a really good idea and I recommend all of you try to record your own sentences like these next to the definitions in your vocabulary notebooks. It will make the words more memorable. Have a look at the definitions given below though, Jill, your sentences are great but a couple of them need a bit of tweaking.

Ahmed asked me lots of questions so I thought I would answer some of them now before we look more closely at Yumi’s blogs. First of all, yes I am married! I have a lovely husband called Ed, who is from England, and we have a little boy called Louie who is just 19 months old and is a real troublemaker! He’s very sweet though and is just learning to talk. We’re also expecting another baby which is due in December – very exciting but a bit daunting! Two cheeky monkeys running around will be a lot of hard work, but lots of fun too ;-)

Ahmed also asked me whether I get homesick when I am in India. As I’m about to return there it’s a good time to think about that I suppose. I do miss my family and friends but I have also met lots of great people in Delhi and I enjoy my job so I don’t get the blues very often. One thing I miss, living in the busy city, is the beautiful countryside in England – it’s so green! My in-laws have a farm which is absolutely stunning and I miss going for walks in the fields. It’s no ordinary farm, either – they farm bison which are large animals, originally from North America. They are raised for their meat, which is apparently very tasty but as I am vegetarian I can’t vouch for this! I’ll try and include a photo of a bison below so you can see what they look like.

A bison!

Okay – down to work. Let’s look at the answers to the preposition questions I asked – the moment you have all been waiting for! ;-) You’ve all done very well. Here they are:

1) I had so many difficulties with communicating with people ** A couple of you mentioned that you don’t need the first ‘with’ – that’s true. It’s okay but sounds a bit clumsy having two.
2) They were very open to foreigners
3) You comment on every blogger
4) It varies between every country and culture ** did anyone get this right? I think most of you said from but if you use this then you also need a 'to' in the same phrase, such as ‘It varies from country to country’ – don’t ‘cha just love the English language!)
5) I do dance on [or] at the weekends. ** Sanja mentioned that ‘on’ is US English while ‘at’ is UK English – that sounds about right but like lots of US/UK English words they’re now used quite interchangeably whoever is speaking

Now let’s have a look at Yumi’s questions.

From ‘Today is…’:

*1: I often heard the phrase 'Lucky girl!'. Can you also use 'Lucky woman'? Also, how can I express it with full sentence?
Yes, you can use ‘lucky woman’ – in fact, it’s quite common to say ‘lucky thing’ to refer to a person of either gender, as in ‘You won the prize? Wow, you’re a lucky thing, aren’t you?’ The sentence that you used in your blog needs a bit of work though – ‘I am a lucky girl that I could meet two teachers here’. Can any of our readers (and you Yumi!) rewrite this to make it a bit clearer?

*2: I would like to mention 100,000 people. Should I use 'one hundred and thousand of people'?
No need to use the ‘and’ here. You can either say ‘one hundred thousand people’ or you can say ‘a hundred thousand people’

*3: Should I use 'it' to mention Hiroshima city?
You would usually use ‘it’ to refer to a city (in fact, you referred to Delhi using ‘her’ in another part of your blog – ‘its’ would be better here). However, in the sentence that you wrote ‘Today there had a ceremony at 8am’, it would actually be better to say ‘Today there was a ceremony at 8am’

*4: ‘The famous shrine […] which was built in the surface of the wave’ Could you please teach me the right and sophisticated expression??
I’m not quite sure what you mean here – can you describe it a bit more? Do you mean it was built over the water?

From ‘Fireworks festival’

1 : Can I use 'authentic' for people? I saw this word expressing some food stuff.
I don’t think we usually use ‘authentic’ to describe people, it doesn’t sound quite right somehow. I think ‘real’ would work better here. ‘Authentic’ is often used to describe food though, you’re right.

2 : “It is rare that the street got full of the food shops(*2) and this attracts all the people!!!”
I understand what you mean here! It just needs a small change – there’s a problem with the verb ’got’ – can you have a go at re-writing this sentence as well?

Wow this is turning into a super long post! I’ll just say quickly – the fireworks festival sounds great Yumi. I hope you’ll get the photos working soon, I’d love to see some of the Yukata – I hadn’t heard of that before.

Okay – vocab below. Next blog we’re going to have a look at using articles, among other things ;-) See you soon!


Definitions from the last blog:

A hard act to follow: when someone starts doing something that someone has done very well before them, we say the first person is ‘a hard act to follow’ – phew! That’s difficult to define!
To get cracking: to start doing something
To head back: to return
A stopover: usually used when you stay for a short time somewhere that is not your final destination, when talking about a flight or a long journey
To put something nicely: to say something well
Regardless: without being affected by anything else
Convincing: believable
To remain a secret: to continue to be unknown to many people
To use your loaf: (Yes! This reviews one of the phrases from Jo’s great blog on Cockney Rhyming Slang) Loaf of bread = head… so ‘to use your loaf’ means to use your head
Context: the situation in which something happens. In this case, the words around the vocabulary you are learning.
Tricky: difficult

New vocabulary from this blog: (definitions next time!)

To tweak
A troublemaker
Cheeky monkey
To get the blues
To vouch for something


Hello Amy, How are you? I said 'between'- It varies between every country and culture ;) I must say that I have noticed the most of teachers, I have met here, are vegetarians. I have met a girl from England, Emma. She is very nice and sweet 24 old girl

Hello Amy, How are you? I said 'between'-It varies between every country or culture :-) I have noticed that every teacher I have met is vegetarian here. How come? I have met a girl from England and guess what, she is vegetarian, too. And she is still over-weight (is this a good expression? ). Well, I do eat meat but in the limited amount :-))) Is there any grammar mistakes? Could you tell me any, please? Sanja

Hi Amy, nice to meet you.I want to say that you´re a great teacher, I always read the blogs here but I´ve never tried to write a comment,because I feel ashamed thatmy writting skills are not so well, but I really enjoy the way you explained all the questions made to you, and the new bocabulary definitions..I´m really learning from you, thanks so much ;) Best Regards!!

Hi Amy, Here is my interpretation of the vocabulary from the context : Memorable : something that will be remembered for a long time. To tweak : reorganise, arrange, put in another order. A troublemaker : someone that breaks the quietness. Daunting : something scary. Cheeky monkey : small devil; naughty. To get the blues : become sad. Stunning : special, different, astonishing. To vouch for something : to have an experience, to be able to speak about it. Clumsy : something strange, odd . Interchangeably : something that can be replaced or used instead of another thing without being noticed. I assume that you are living in India with Ed and Louie. You told us in your first blog that you had been living there for three years. Are you in India because Ed got a job there and then you found your own job or you applied for a job and then Ed followed you ? Cheerio ! Antonio

Hello Yumi! It's so nice to get to know more about you.It's so sweet to read as you write cheeky monkeys for your kids (the present one and the expecting one).When I was your son's age, my parents too, used to call me a monkey.They often recall those days and there's a smile on their faces.I would like to rewrite Yumi's sentences;1)I'm so lucky to have met two teacher bloggers on this board.2)It's rare to have food shops on the streets,hwoever,this attracts people a great deal.My best wishes are with your son and the baby you are expecting(May s/he be the fortunate and healthy child!Amen).Naheed:)

Hello Amy! Oh, Louie must be very cute. Amy, don´t you think children who are around this age are all troublemakers? I have a little cousin who we can´t take our eyes off her for even a second! She´s a big troublemaker indeed! :-)What about the baby? Did you choose a name yet? I hope you have a good birth( can I say that, Amy?). Well I agree with you. I can´t vouch for eating bison meat either. Actually, just looking to the poor animal I coulnd´t say whether or not his meat is tasty. Hmm... strange. Nevermind! In your today blog you wrote:'It varies from country to country-don´t`cha just love the English language!' Could you explain me the meaning of 'don´t`cha', please? I´ve heard this expression before but I couldn´t figure out the meaning. Oh, now I had a go and I rewrote Yumi´s phrase, I hope to see in your next blog the answer: 'I´m a lucky girl, because I could meet in these blogs two teachers.' Ahem! It´s late! I have to go bed. Good night, Ana Paula.

very good. teacher , I really very like to read your articles. though my enghlish is very poor,I will come on .

Hello Amy! It's very nice to meet you! and interesting as well to know more about your family. I agree with you that taking care of two cheeky monkeys will be tiring but lots of fun. Now I'll have a go rewriting your suggested sentences. 'I am a lucky girl that I could meet two teachers here' could be things like 'I am so lucky that I could meet two teachers here' or 'I am a lucky thing who/that meets two teachers here'. And here goes the next one 'It is rare that the street got full of food shops and this attracts all of people' could be 'It is rare that the street is / gets full of food shops and this attracts all of people'. I look forward to your next blog. Best wishes, Myen

Hi Amy, what a luck woman I am to meet you here... I have been learning a lot from bbc bloggers... I have noticed that "the new teacher " the new horizon"... what a lucky thing you are to have such a beautiful bison farm! though it belongs to your in-laws, doesn't matter. when you want or have occasions you are there... when is the guest coming!... son or daughter! love sevinc

Hi Amy, Jill has just made a hard act to follow. i surely try his method of using new words and phrases. hope you will be back Delhi tomorrow. It was heavy rain and floods throughout North India. The moonsoon is very active now. But you like the weather. you will feel home away from home.

Hi Amy! Thanks for your explanation.:) Have you already chosen the name of your second child? Have a safe trip, Filippo

Hello Amy :-) I think that when you have lived in the countyside, sorounded by green trees, shrubs and flower you will always miss all of them. Big cities have their advantges, too. A friend of mine used to say that cities should be build in the countryside to enjoy the good points of both cities and the countryside. I wanted to give the mining of the words you listed at the end of your blog, but I noticed that Antonio from Belgium did it better than I would do it, so I only want to rewrite Yumiko's sentence; I reckon that ‘I am lucky that I can blog with two teachers on our webside’ would soud clearer. I don't usually ask questions about grammar, but this time I've got a very important one. You said: 'I recommend all of you try to record...'; in different dictionaries you can find: 'I recommend he see a lawyer' but also: 'We'd recommend you TO book your flight early.' Are these grammar constractions of different meaning or of different writing style?

Hello Amy. Nice to e-meet you again.Thank you for having answered all my questions. I'm so sorry for having given you such a difficult task, but I'm so nosey and even if I know that some private things are none of my business I couldn't help it. Now that's done, we won't worry about you staying in a country very far from England.You have a lovely husband and a cheerful son to keep you cmpany. So you won't feel any void in your life as it is usually the case for lonely people living overseas and almost no homesick at all. Amy, as I said I can't help asking questions; I think it's a good thing to be a vegetarian in an area where people worship cows. I would then ask you if there's any connection between living in India and being a vegetarian. Is ED a vegetarian too? Don't you eat any kind of meat, even fish? And now back to the homework. A) Correction of yumi's sentences: 1) I am such a lucky girl that I could meet two teachers here. 2) It is rare that the street gets full of people... B) Vocabulary: - memorable: easily remembred. - tweak: here to adjust the control of something. - troublemaker: a person who causes trouble. - daunting: frightening. - cheeky monky: here, a cheerful child. - to get the bluses: to feel a deep sadness. - stunning: very beautiful. - to vouch for something: to confirm a claim for something. - clumsy: awkward; not graceful. - interchangeably: that can be shared or exchanged. This method of woking out vocabulary is very interesting in so much as it makes us use our loafs to ingest better. Thanks Amy.

Hi Amy In my country vegetarians are a real minority, but people that choose that lifestyle is slowly growing. In fact, I'm trying to reduce the meat in my food and to consume more fruits and vegetables, and I have to say that I really feel better since I do this. I suppose you, being a vegetarian, should feel sad thinkig about the fate of that impressive beast in the farm of your in laws... Bye.

Hello Amy and everyone, It`s very nice to meet you all,since june 2006 I have been reading your all coments.I didn`t write, because i feel ashamed that my writting skill is not good.I have three children who are also troublemakers.Could you tell about culture between india and U.K. Have a nice holidays.

Dear Amy, I'm pleased to meet you. I hope you'll tell us a bit of how it is like to leave in New Delhi. Sometimes I found it difficult to figure out how it is to settle down in a new country and start a new life as I have never tried such an experience. How was it for you? Which was the context that have taken you there? And which one have you found in India? Probably people just has to make up their own mind regardless of how hard it seems to be making changes, haven't they? Here are my guesses: 1)memorable: easy to remember; 2) to tweak: to rearrange; 3) a troublemaker: someone how may cause problems; 4) daunting: something that makes you feel unsure about the result; 5) cheeky monkey: someone who makes noise and move quickly around; 6) to get the blues: to feel lonely about something, to miss something; 7) stunning: beautiful and wild; 8) to vouch for this: to be able to confirm something; 9) clumsy: repeated and odd; 10) interchangeably: you can use one of them regardless the context. Best wishes,

Dear Emy, I used to be a regular blogger but then as I love novelties, I decided to explore other placed on the Net!! I did nice findings, during my three-month adventure, but I must confess that this site is for sure the best one for people like me who is looking for good reliable stuff.So I consider it to be my safe home to which I always return! It´s great really. It offers a wide range of excellent options and what´s more appealing, they are all free of charge, something not that common nowadays, even on the cyberspace! I´m really fond of the work you do and again and again I want to thank you for your great contribution! I´m also a great fan of all teachers´ bloggers and my peers. I love reading your comments! It is unbelievable the power that this language, English, has to link together people from different parts of the world! Amy, how nice to hear that you live in India!My dream is to visit India one day! I once read a very interesting book which was set in India called The third class ticket. A lovely, touching story of an old Indian lady,quite rich, who knew she would soon die and as she had no heirs she decided to give a gift to the villagers of her tiny village: third class tickets for them all to travel around their country. She wanted them to have the chance of knowing the huge, beautiful and diverse country they were born in!And so the writer, a British woman, takes us, readers, into this lovely train journey around India! What an experience! Full of adventure, happy and also sad moments!So it would be great if you could tell me more about Delhi and send pictures as well! I practice Yoga and once I gave up red meat but it was just a phase now I´m back to my steaks. I just try to keep a good balance and avoid red meat every single day! As a mother of three, I must inform you that I´d rather have your little cheeky monkeys than teen cheeky monkeys, the phase mine are now! I miss those cheeky monkeys so much, at least they were sincere, they did not know what a lie was!So enjoy the good days you are still living! At least, you can sleep soundly and heavily all night long with no worries apart from having to breat-feed and change some nappies or even put the lost tummy back in their mouth! Good old days! Is your new baby going to be Indian? Do you already know the sex? As it is due in December it will probably be sagitarious a very nice sign. We are great adventurers, love travelling-specially back- packing- we are also animal people and life lovers!!!Jupiter,the largest, is our planet! By the way what´s your bith sign? Love, Monica

Hi Amy, My suggestions for your questions are: 1. I am a lucky girl that I could meet two teachers to teach me here to write blog. We can ask someone who is the authentic person of that organisation to answer my queries? “It is rare that the street is full of the food stalls and this attracts the people!!!” Memorable-likely to be remembered To tweak-minor adjustment A troublemaker-who intentionally create a problem Daunting -doubt in mind to achieve something Cheeky monkey-making faces To get the blues- to feel sad Stunning -extremely beautiful To vouch for something- say/tell from own experience Clumsy -uneasy Interchangeably-can be changed between them without change in meaning. Kishor Silwal

Hello,Amy.How comes you scarcely get the blues by living India without your lovely boy and husband.You are such a independent woman.Is it a very toilsome period that you are expecting a baby?Postpartum period is such a long time in China,and i have a sister whose baby is just about 25 days.Her mother don't let her do anything but have a good rest on bed, which probably lasts a month or more.So well, i believe it is quiet different from England.How is your postpartum month?

Hello, Amy. I’m glad to have learned a lot from your blog and I really appreciate it. By the way, can I just ask you some questions about vegetarianism? You said you’re a vegetarian, so you don’t eat meat and fish. Well, I think vegetarianism in China is generally different from that of the west. Here in China, it is more often than not based on the tradition of Buddhism or Taoism. Buddhist or Taoist monks are, or at least are supposed to be, absolute vegetarians, who don’t eat any kind of meat and even don’t cook with any animal oil, not like Muslims, who eat meat other than pork. Common believers of Buddhist or Taoism who are not monks should also be absolute vegetarians on special occasions such as the birthday of Buddha or certain Gods, and according to their belief, they are encouraged to be absolute vegetarians as well as non-life-killers in their lifetime. I wonder whether most vegetarians in western countries are out of religious belief or health concerns. And do you always cook with plant oil such as olive oil or peanut oil? Also, in my opinion, vegetarianism can cause some problems sometimes. For example, if a Chinese friend, who is not a vegetarian, invites you to have dinner with him and his large family, how would you respond? You know, when a big dinner is hosted in common Chinese families, there are usually dozens of dishes, always including pork, fish, chicken etc, which are shared by hosts and guests sitting around a table, unlike the westerner families, in which each person has their separate food. And Chinese people are so hospitable that they often persuade you to help yourself with more food and they even actively bring some food, usually lots of meat, from the plates or soup basins in the middle of the table to your own bowl. That would be embarrassing to vegetarians. So would you tell him in advance that you are a vegetarian before you accept his invitation? But in that case, he would be in a dilemma, too, because to the Chinese, it is usually regarded as inhospitable of a host to prepare a dinner without any meat. Well, that’s a real culture shock, if I may say. So I think it’s generally very hard to be a vegetarian in China, especially when you live in rural areas, have a big family and many relatives, or often eat out with a group of people. What do you think of that, Amy? How can we deal with the cultural differences between Chinese and western people? Thank you very much. Best regards.

I was a cheeky boy when I studied in school and never a trouble maker for my English teacher. I didn’t get the blues for getting poor marks in the English subject. I ashamed myself when I was searching for job after completing my collage studies. I had to tweak my level of English. Some of friends who are good in English got job with stunning performance. I was in a clumsy mood. I vouch for myself improving my English using various sources. Interchangeably BBC learning English helps me to achieve my goal. The idioms I learned from Jo’s blog were certainly a memorable one. It was really interesting to use in our every day situation. Amy insisted to imagine the new words and phrases according to the context before straight away referring to the dictionary finding out meaning. Even though it is a daunting task it helps us to improve the word power. Ahmed asked about living in India and being a vegetarian. I think one group of people worship cows. Ahmed need not consider this as a whole. Even though those worship cows eat other kinds of meat. Most of us are non vegetarians. We eat all variety of meat. People like Amy are more health conscious. That’s why are avoiding non vegetarians. Please don’t think that those who are eating NV are not health conscious.

Hello Amy!I completely understand you when you say it will be hard work to cope with two little children. I have a sixteen-month old baby girl, a real "troublemaker" but also very loving and cute; she is always in danger, climbing stairs or touching things she couldn't... and also a boy aged nine. He is more reflexive but his necessities and demands are completely different from his sister's ones, so we have to manage with two different worlds.Anyway, at the and of the day,when they soundly sleep, we are tired but really satisfied of all the things that we have done and learnt from these two little cheeky and funny monkeys... because our children teach us a lot!!Bye Serena

Hello, Amy. I’m really glad to know that you liked the sentences I made. Thanks for the definitions. I read my sentences again and found out some of them (such as: to put something nicely, to use your loaf), as you said, need to be tweaked. It’s really a good way to learn new words. I will continue to do it. Wow, you have a little boy and you will have another lovely baby soon. I believe you must be a happy mother. Although kids are monsters (:->), they always make us feel happy and peace. I wish I would have a lovely baby some years later. Oh, Amy, the bison isn’t handsome. :-> I like dogs. Time for homework. 1. I’m a lucky girl because I have met two teachers here. 2. It is rare that the street is full of the food shops and this…. Amy, I try to make sentences with the new phrases again. They are as follows: 1. Last year, I visited a good friend and stayed at her home couple of days. That visit gave both of us so many memorable things. 2. When I made that sentence, I didn’t know the exact meaning of that word, but now I get it, so I need to tweak the sentence and memorize it by heart. 3. When I was young, I was a troublemaker to my parents. To be honest, maybe I should say I was a cheeky monkey. But many years past, every time when I think of the past, I like that troublemaking time. It’s so naïve. 4. Don’t be daunting! If you want to do something, just do it. I’m always on your side. 5. ‘The girl is stunning.’ My boyfriend said to me and I suddenly got the blues. 6. ‘When I become old and clumsy, will you still accompany me?’ ‘I don’t want to vouch anything. But I will show you my true heart.’ 7. The two words have the same meaning. You can use them interchangeably. I’m waiting for your next blog. Happy weekend and please say hello to little Louie! Jill.

Hello Amy! It's marvellous to have such a courageous teacher this month in the blog. Your life seems very interesting. A young woman -mother and pregnant- living far from her country of born. Please, tell us about your life in Delhi. How is your daily routine? Why are you living in India? This is my rewriting for Yumi's phrase: As I have met two teachers, I'm a lucky girl. Best wishes

I love learning new words.Learning a new languag for me implies learning new words. I don´t care with the grammar that much cause I can easily pick it up from the context, especially the English grammar which I find quiet similar to Portuguese. Words can help you express your ideas in a better way! They really catch my attention! So here goes the explanations to the words you´ve chosen: Memorable (adj) It comes from the word memory.It refers to something worth remembering!Writing our own sentences we make them memorable, cause we give a special meaning to them! To tweak(v) This is very nice. It was the first time I heard it. It means to make small changes to things in order to improve it.It sounds really nice better than saying change, it sounds less intruding. eg.Before I send my e-mails I always revise it and inevitably I always end up tweaking a few sentences! Troublemaker(compound noun) It refers to someone who loves making trouble.Although it usually carries a negative meaning in your context you use it in a playful, naughty way when referring to your little toddler! That reminds me of Marley, the dog, who was a real troublemaker with a sweet heart! Daunting(adj) a frightening feeling. When I got married I moved to the centre of Brazil, far from my relatives, and that I must say was a quite daunting experience to me! Cheeky monkeys: Again I´ve never heard of it before! I like it, it sounds playful!It refers to people who can be rude an disrespectful but in a way that is amusing! There is a tv programme here in Brazil called Panic on tv, whose tv presenters are cheeky monkeys!They do naughty things with our celebrities! To get the blues feeling of sadness. Some days for no particular reason I get the blues! I guess it has to do with my body chemicals! Stunning (adj):It refers to things that are extremely attractive or beautiful. The countryside of your country AMY is absolutely stunning!I cannot find words to express how touching it is.The green in England is not like the green in Brazil! Love, Monica

what kind of preposition is used for countris and big cities?

hello amy,im filipino, i just read your explanation here, and im quiet interested to ask a few questions about preposition. When can we say 'similar to' 'similar with' 'compare to ' and "compare with'

Hello,I'm Nashwan, I love English but I want to Learn all the constractions in English With love

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

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