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Saturday, 18 August 2007

Lots of replies to lots of comments!

Hello everyone, hello Yumi!

As you haven't had a chance to do the homework yet Yumi I won't post the answers until tomorrow... how about that? Meanwhile I'll answer some of your questions and then write some reply to our lovely readers. Does that sound

Yes there were a few errors in the post that you wrote but I understand that you didn't have time to double check everything. Just a couple of small points though - be careful with the spelling of 'vegetarian'. Look at the way you have spelled it and check it against here... there's a small mistake! ;-) Also, you used the word 'scordid' what do you mean? Perhaps the spelling was wrong... can you explain? In my next post we can have a little look at prepositions because I noticed a few errors with these. They are even more annoying than articles, aren't they?!

Your photos are great - the one of you and your sisters is very nice, you can see the family resemblance! Okay - let's have a look at your questions...

Amy, I am sorry that I will do the homework tommorrow as I have to wake up early. I did find so many mistakes AFTER I posted. Sometimes I had no time to correct so I just left(*1) them! I apologize to you for it.. Could you do me a favor(*2)? I would like to ask 3 questions for this time.
*1 Is 'left' correct in this sentence? I'm always confused by 'leave'.
*2 Can I say 'Could you do me some favors?' ?? Also, could you tell me other expressions when I would like to ask something to the people?
*3 Is 'distribute' correct? I thought I should have chosen another word, but I had no idea.

1) Yes, you've used 'left' correctly here, that's fine.
2) I think normally we just use the singular form when we ask people to help us out... maybe it's because we don't want to scare them off by telling them that you're actually going to ask them to do you more than one favour! You could also say 'would you mind doing a couple of things for me' or 'i don't suppose you could help me...' (that one is a bit more formal)
3) I'm not sure which 'distribute' you're referring to! Can you tell me? :-)

Okay, now just before I start with the vocabulary definitions and replies to comments, Ana Paula asked an interesting question which I thought you might all like to hear the answer too - she asked what the 'xxx' means after someone's name when they sign a letter. Until quite recently, I thought this was something that was common to lots of cultures but now I know that in fact it's quite rare. Putting 'xxx' at the bottom of a letter means 'three kisses'! One 'x' for each kiss. When I was little I used to write letters to my grandparents and I would sign them, 'love Amy xxoxoxoxoxoxxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox' and do lots and lots of kisses. We always said that the 'o's were hugs but I don't know whether other people would agree with that or not. It's quite funny though, isn't it?

More on Monday!


Vocabulary definitions...

To name after: to give someone (or something!) the same name as somebody else you know
To get your head round (something): to understand something
A shortcut: a way to get from one place to another that takes less time than the normal route or way
A meanie: a word often used by children to describe someone who isn't very nice, often because they are selfish
Ridiculous: very silly!
A fort: a place that was built to protect the inhabitants or a nearby village or town. Most forts were built on hills so they had a good view of their enemies.
A commemoration: a ceremony to remember a (usually negative) event or person who has died
Good-natured: generally happy, not argumentative

And finally some replies to your comments...I hope I haven't forgotten anyone!

Silwal - you spotted my mistake! I was falling asleep after I'd written the blog and suddenly woke up thinking 'I wrote prime minister! it should be president!' and then I quickly came and changed it. Most of our other readers won't know what we're talking about because they would have read it after I changed it! Well done for doing all the homework... check your answers with the ones I post next time...

Jameel - well done on the vocabulary - double check your answers with the ones posted above

Ahmed - it's funny that you called my blogs 'meaty' when I've been writing about being vegetarian! :-) Vegetarians get their protein from dairy products and eggs, along with soya products like tofu (have you heard of that before?), lentils and pulses. I'll see if I can find a good recipe to publish on the blog one day soon... Check your answers to the articles homework next time!

Ana Paula - it sounds lovely in Brazil! I'm jealous! Please send some beautiful sunsets over to Delhi :-) I'll tell you a bit about my favourite places in Delhi in a future blog... We don't have a TV because in the past when we've had one (in England, for example) I spend far too much time watching TV and not enough doing other things. And besides, there's hardly anything good on anyway. Check your answers to the articles homework on Monday!

Jillany - hi there, that's a good question about 'speak to' vs 'speak with' - I'll have a look at that in my next blog when we'll look at prepositions a little bit. Hope you can wait until then!

Sanja - well done for correcting your first question. For the second one, I think it would be best to write 'could you tell me if there are any?'. The difference between 'some' and 'any' can be quite tricky... I'll see if I can talk about it in a later blog...

Rocio - ooh that's a difficult question! I love Indian food. I think my favourite dish is called 'Rajma' though which you eat with rice. It's made from kidney beans and comes in a gravy made from tomatoes and onions with lots of spices... mmm it makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Robert - hi, yes I think being vegetarian is becoming more and more popular all over Europe although in some culture meat is such a big part of the diet that it is quite difficult not to eat it.

Adriana - that was a bit mean of your friend to tell you all those things while you were eating! He's probably right though :-) Yes I am seeing a doctor for my pregnancy - the same one who delivered Louie. She's very nice and I'm lucky to be in such good hands - in England it's quite common that you might never have met the doctor or midwife who delivers your baby so I'm really very lucky. I have health insurance as part of my job so I can afford to go to one of the best hospitals in India which is also very fortunate.

Fanny - yep that sentence is fine the way it is. 'Economic forecasting' is used here like a noun (the verb is in the gerund form '-ing'). You can't substitute it for 'economic forecast' unless you add an article (an or the). I think it does have a sarcastic meaning - I think it's saying that economic forecasting is less reliable than astrology! Hope this helps...

Thomas - thanks for your thoughtful comments. I hope Louie will grow up big and strong! There's no reason why he should eating a vegetarian diet, as long as we make sure that he eats enough protein. I'm not sure that it's really true that Europeans are stronger than Chinese people, maybe taller (although I'm very short - only 5' 3''). One of my favourite vegetarian things is tofu (soya beancurd) which I'm sure you have in China. I could eat it every day! I also like all vegetables, especially green ones because they feel extra healthy! I'll try and write something about superfoods later on...

Trang - welcome! Glad you have joined us. You asked a good question - you don't have to write your answers here, you can just do them on a piece of paper at home and then compare them with the answers I post. It's up to you! 'Crushed up' doesn't need a hyphen. It just means that something has been broken down into very small pieces. For example, you can have ice in ice cubes or blocks, or crushed up into very small pieces.

Sherzod - it's nice to see someone writing from Tajikistan, my friend visited there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. She said it was a beautiful country. To answer your question - I don't feel awkward when I see other people eating meat. I don't really try and encourage other people to be vegetarian because I think it's up to everyone to make their own minds up :-)

Jill - that's interesting about how you chose your name! I wonder what I would choose if I had to choose one... well done for correcting your sentences that I commented on last time. They look fine, except it might be better to say 'I caused a lot of trouble for my parents' rather than 'I was a troublemaker for my parents'. You could also say, 'I was a troublemaker, according to my parents' although the meaning changes slightly. 'Naive' is a difficult word. I'll try and use it in one of my future blogs.

Paulraj - I know, it's interesting isn't it that young people in England are becoming vegetarian whereas young people from vegetarian families in India are becoming non-vegetarian! Funny. Your sentences look really good except for 'I gave a big treat when I got a job' - can you try rewriting this one? Also 'traipse' uses the preposition 'through' and 'bedraggled' isn't used to describe behaviour, just appearance.

Farzan - thanks for all your kind words! I've always wanted to visit Iran. I'm just about to start reading a book called 'The Saffron Kitchen' which is about an Iranian family that lives in the UK and then travels back to Iran... sounds interesting. 'Shall we' is used to make suggestions, and in this case the compound verb 'get started' is used. I'm trying to think of some other examples which use the same construction... I'll let you know if I do!

Yvonne - thanks for your comment, glad you're finding the blogs useful.

Wisarut - I'm not sure which sentence it was that you found difficult - can you tell me exactly which one? I LOVE Thai food. In fact, I used to live in Thailand, I grew up in Bangkok and lived there between the ages of 5 and 17. Which part of the country do you live in? My husband and I once went to the Vegetarian Festival in Trang... have you heard of it?

Filippo - yes I've travelled to lots of places in India. Before we moved here my husband and I spent about a year all together travelling all over the country. I have been to Benares/Varanasi but not for years! I would love to go again... perhaps when it gets a bit cooler. I'll write a bit more about my travels in India in a future post.

Benka - well done on the vocabulary definitions. Yes you're right, vegetarian can be both an adjective and a noun, so when I used it as an adjective I didn't use an article. I'm glad you liked the photo of Polperro. The water you can see is a harbour where the fishing boats stay when they're not in use. There's a wall down there to keep the strong waves out when the weather is bad.

Monica - hello, I had a look for 'Third Class Ticket' in the bookstore today but they said it is out of print so I will try and get a secondhand copy. It's nice to hear that you have read Rosamund Pilcher's books. My mother loves them. I also love being pregnant, although I do get tired sometimes! That's very sweet about your little girls talking to your belly :-) Well done on the vocabulary! Your sentences are great :-)

Myen - yes, you can say someone is 'as cute as a button' - that's quite a nice phrase, isn't it. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog!

Arun - it would be my pleasure to explain how to use the phrase 'my pleasure'. It's most often used when you do something for someone and you enjoyed doing it. They say thank you, and you say 'my pleasure' to show them that you didn't mind doing them the favour and that you liked doing it. For example if someone needs help with their maths homework and you love maths, you help them out and then they say 'thank you' and you say 'my pleasure'. Hope that's clear!

Mellisa - wow you ask some difficult questions! I'm not really familiar with Alexander Popo's work so it's hard to work out the meaning of that part of the poem without reading the whole thing. I think it means don't be too quick to take up trends but also don't hang onto traditions longer than necessary... or something like that? Difficult! As for 'literally', this means that the meaning is clear from the sentence and is exactly what it says. For example, 'I literally laughed until I cried'. Sometimes we use this expression 'to laugh until you cry' to mean we laughed a lot, but if we include 'literally' it means that we actually did cry from laughing too much!

Pilar - hello again! I work here in India as a teacher and teacher trainer. Recently I have been writing lots of materials for some new courses that we are running at our language centre. My hobbies are looking after Louie and cooking! I love cooking...

Rahul - glad you're enjoying the blog!

Vina - nice to hear from you. I think the number of househusbands, especially in Europe, is increasing every year. It's good for us women, I think! (Although I do miss Louie when I am at work).

Adek - yes Louie is here with us, in fact he was born in Delhi. He doesn't seem to mind the heat too much although we'll all be happy when the cool weather starts at the end of September...

Marina - I have a typical 9-5 job (actually it's 9-6!). I spend a lot of time writing materials and then some of my time teaching as well. I used to do a lot more teaching. I coordinate the teacher training programme for the teachers at our centre which is a lot of fun. Our students are very hardworking and very serious about their studies!

Manoj - I'll try and talk about some of those things that you mentioned in my future posts. Glad to hear you are enjoying the British Library!


How do you do ? I hope you will safe and sound until the weekend pass. Resulting from the previous comment regarding sentence that I would like to ask you,it sound like hard to get it. That means I don't understand how to use a variety of tense in your entries and how to write coherence essay with human touch. Please explain to me how to do it. Obviously I would like to write essay as a native speaker but I suppose it must take time to practice,mustn't it ? That sound splendid you used to live in Thailand and love Thai food. Which menu do you like best ? I presume that you exactly can speak Thai,can't you? Which your father or your mother is Thai nationality? If I am misconception,I must apologize to you in advance. Not only you used to live in Thailand but also I live in Northeast of Thailand like Knonkaen at this stage. Have you ever heard its name before ? Anyway yes of course ,I know Trang provience where locate in the south of Thailand .Nonetheless I haven't a chance to get there .That may be I now am study at university. Well..I am looking forward to sharing and answer your question next times. See you around.

Hi Amy!!! Thanks a lot for answering my questions :-). When I write a email or send a Orkut message to one of my friends I always write 'kisses'. But now I going to put 'X'. Actually, I´m going to put lots of them. Oooh... It´s so lovely, isn´t it? ;-) Anyway, I know what you mean when you said about spending too much time in front of the telly. I have a friend, who timetable all her appointments according to the Soap Operas time. So, when I ask her to go out she says: ' I go out only after the 9 o´clock Soap Opera has finished.' Can you believe that? :-) Ah! By the way, I´m mentally sending a wonderful sunset over to Delhi ;-). All the best, Ana Paula xxx :-).

hi Amy this is my first time to visit this site, and I realy love and enjoy it, (and I found my self in it). the comming days I will be just a reader. but I'm looking forward to share with you by stories, in purpose of English improving. thank you very much

I love reading this pages, they are very useful for learning English. Always when I have free time I open bbc learning - this is better than lanquage's schools. Greetins Dorota

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

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