Hi Yumi and everyone…
I’m sure we all know that dreaded feeling on a Sunday Yumi… you can also call it the ‘Monday Morning Blues’ and it can start anytime from Sunday morning onwards :-( Having just had a nice long holiday I’m not suffering from it too much yet, luckily. We’ve got lots of lovely public holidays over the next couple of months as well so that should help a bit.
Today I thought I’d tell you a little bit about where I live in Delhi. The residential parts of the city are often referred to as ‘colonies’. We live in a colony called Gulmohar Park. It’s named after the beautiful, shady Gulmohar tree which produces striking red flowers in the Spring – I think it’s English name is the ‘flame tree’.
We live in a three storey building in a typical arrangement where our landlord lives on the ground floor and rents out the flats above him. I think originally houses like this one were occupied by a single joint or extended family, with the parents in one flat and then their sons and their families in the other. In fact, our landlord is trying to get his son to get married and then move into our flat when we leave next year. He doesn’t seem very keen on the idea though. Some of my students live in joint families of up to 15 people but these days it seems to be getting less and less popular.
Near our house are some beautiful parks, full of different kinds of trees. People are often surprised when I tell them that parts of Delhi are really quite green. It’s one of my favourite things about the city.
About two minutes walk from my house is a little market where you can buy everything you need. There are two small beauty parlours, several grocery shops, a vegetable shop, a milk shop and two drycleaners. Oh and a stationery shop. You wouldn’t know it was all there just by looking at the outside of the building. It’s so handy having everything so close by.
Here is a photo of me, Ed and my Mum when my parents visited two years ago in a park near our house – see! It’s really green! (Can you see how pregnant I was?! It was about a week before Louie was born).
How about you tell us a bit about your neighbourhood, Yumi? You’ve done very well on the articles homework, Yumi, as have many of our readers. Out of 20 you got just 5 wrong which is fab considering how difficult they are.
Here are the answers (the ones in bold are wrong – explanations below):
Over here we’ve just had *1* *the* nice relaxing day off work to celebrate India’s 60th Independence Day. In Delhi it is celebrated every year by *2* *an* event at *3**the* Red Fort which is *4**the* huge old fort in *5**the* north of the city. *6**The* new president *7* (*a* woman – hurrah!) did *8**na* speech although I haven’t yet heard what she said because we don’t have *9**a* TV. There is also usually *10**the* commemoration at *11**the/a* monument called ‘India Gate’ near *12**the* eternal flame which burns all day and all night to remember *13**the* soldiers who have died while fighting for *14**na* India. All *15**the* shops and markets all over *16**the* city are closed, which is very rare. There is also *17**a* big tradition of *18**the* kite-flying on independence day – people fly *19**na* kites while standing on their (flat!) roofs and try to knock each other’s kites out of *20**the* sky! It’s all very good-natured though.
*1* this should be ‘a’ because hopefully there are lots of nice relaxing days off work, not just one!
*4* here again, it’s not clear that it’s the only old fort in the north of the city, so we would use ‘a’
*8* in this pattern, subject + verb + countable noun you need an article, here ‘a’ because she’ll probably be doing lots of speeches
*10* here also we would expect there to be more than one commemoration at the eternal flame, so it should be ‘a’
*11* actually you didn’t get this one wrong, but it is possible to use either ‘the’ or ‘a’ in this case
*18* here ‘kite-flying’ is a verb used like a noun so we don’t use an article.
Okay, now for today’s homework… a bit more work on prepositions as this seems to be another of your weak spots Yumi (there aren’t very many!) I recommend that when you learn a new verb and write it down in your vocabulary book, you should write down any prepositions that commonly go with it. Try to think about ‘chunks’ of language rather than just individual words.
Have a look at this list of verbs used in the short sentences here and see if you can tell me what prepositions normally go with them… you might spot some review questions in there!
I was very impressed **** him.
It looked very familiar **** me.
I am quite familiar **** his work.
It varies **** country to country.
It varies **** countries.
I think you should speak **** him about it.
Have a go – answers next time :-) Meanwhile, take care…
Vocabulary for you!
To be keen on an idea
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