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Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Granny and Grampy

I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday. This time I was the one doing the entertaining, not Yumi! I invited three new teachers round to my house for dinner as they’ve only recently arrived in Delhi. We had vegetarian lasagne and when they left one of them said that he doesn’t normally like vegetarian food but that the dinner was delicious, so I guess that’s a good thing! So anyway, I didn’t have time to write unfortunately so here I am with all the answers you’ve been waiting for today.

Let’s get straight down to work.

In the last post I asked you to do two things: tell me how many different ways I had used the word ‘even’ in my post and comment on the position of this word in the sentence.

In the text I wrote I used ‘even’ in 5 different ways…

1) Even + bare infinitive verb (three examples of this use)

Sometimes they even polish the vegetables and fruit to make them look more appealing.

They even deliver it at the end of the day!

They sort out all the things they want to take (like newspapers, cans, glass jars, bottles, etc.) and then they weigh it and then they even pay you for it!!!

2) Negative auxiliary + even + bare infinitive verb

He doesn’t even let you glance at the monkeys without asking you for some money!

3) Even + if + subordinate clause

They’re always there – pushing their carts of fruit and vegetables around, even if it’s raining cats and dogs.

4) Even + though + subordinate clause

Even though the flowers are more expensive than if we bought them from a big market we still buy them because it’s so convenient.

5) Even + so + comma + main clause

I don’t really agree with making animals perform. Even so, I sometimes sneakily watch from my terrace when my neighbours over the road pay him to make the monkeys do their tricks.

The function of ‘even’ on its own is to highlight the fact that there is some element of surprise in what you are saying – that it is unexpected. ‘Even though’ is used with a similar meaning to ‘although’. ‘Even if’ shows that there is some uncertainty about whether something will happen or not. ‘Even so’ has a similar meaning to ‘however’ or ‘in spite of this’.

In all these cases, ‘even’, ‘even if’, ‘even though’ or ‘even so’ are usually used directly before the part of the sentence they are emphasising – that is the general rule to remember.

So Yumi – let’s have a look at your uses of ‘even’ in your latest post…

1) A funny thing was, my grandaunt told me she was so angry at the wedding ceremony! […] Even so she could not resist it, because children must not lose face of their parents.

Here you’ve used the phrase ‘even so’ correctly – you can substitute it with ‘however’ and it works fine - you need a comma though. Two more little points – instead of ‘grandaunt’ (which makes a lot of sense) we say ‘great aunt’ and ‘great uncle’ to refer to our grandparents’ sisters and brothers. Also, the action of ‘losing face’ is done by the person who loses it – you can’t really do it for them. So you should say ‘children must not make/let their parents lose face’, or something like that.

2) But she always said she did not wanna talk about it, even not remember so I could not ask more.

Here you have used even with a negative form – there’s something wrong though. Have a look at my negative example above and see if you can correct it… here’s a tip: you don’t need to add any words.

3) She even told me that she slept only 4 hours every day to finish every daily work!

This is okay, however you need to decide what is the most surprising: the fact that she told you about this, or that she only slept four hours. If you want to emphasise the lack of sleep, where should you put the ‘even’? Also, instead of saying 'every daily work' it's better to say 'all of her daily work' or something like that.

Two questions there for you to answer for homework!

It was very interesting reading about your grandmother. I think it’s quite common for people from that generation to not want to talk about the war – wherever they are from. My grandfather (we used to call him ‘Grampy’) was in the navy and he never really liked talking about it. I can understand why – he just wanted to put it all behind him.

I think I told you before that my Grampy was born in the house almost opposite ours on the hill in Polperro. He and his family lived there for a few years and then moved just two doors down! Meanwhile my Granny lived in the middle of the village and her parents ran a dairy, with the help of her and her four siblings. They had a small business selling cream by post – they would package it up and stick labels on it and send it through the post to people who ordered it all over the country. The place where they had the dairy is now a pub.

It’s amazing when you think what our grandparents have seen during their lifetimes, don’t you think? My Granny’s father was the first person in the village to own a car – he used to drive around picking people up and taking them for a ride! And now you can hardly move because there are so many of them…

Anyway, here’s a photo of Ed, Louie, my Granny (Louie's Great-granny!) and me from this summer. My Grampy died about five years ago so he never met Louie which makes me quite sad :-( In our culture we don’t have a specific time or day when we remember our ancestors – we usually just mark the day when they died by doing something like buying flowers or visiting their grave. I think it’s good to have a special period of time for doing that though, it’s important to remember that without them you wouldn’t be who you are today – don’t ‘cha think?

Thanks for all your comments on my previous posts. I should point out that ‘wallah’ and ‘kavadi’ are both Hindi words but I guess it’s quite likely that at least ‘wallah’ might be absorbed into the English language in the not too distant future. I’ll try and say a bit about English in India in my next post – Monica asked me some questions about that.

Also a couple of you have asked about the phrases I used ‘See you later, alligator’ and ‘In a while crocodile’ – they’re just silly phrases that children use sometimes (and adults too I suppose!). Sometimes you hear one person say one and the other person replies with the other one… they don’t really mean anything except ‘see you later’ but it’s the rhyming that makes them appealing.

Okey dokey (there’s another rhyming phrase for you!) here’s the vocabulary…

Killer: here it’s used as an adjective meaning really good (!)
To make something: here meaning to be able to attend. ‘Sorry I can’t make it to your party’
To ply: to work at some business, especially trading – buying and selling
Wares: items for sale
Appealing: attractive
To rain cats and dogs: to rain very heavily
To figure out: to work out, to solve
To have a laugh: to have fun
To be blown away: to be totally surprised or shocked
To glance: to look very quickly at something or someone

And today’s items…

A function
To put something behind you
Two doors down
To absorb


Hi Amy! We celebrate All Saints'Day over here. On this day loads of people visit the graves of deceased relatives, where they offer prayers, lay flowers and light candles. Anyway, I agree with you...we should always remember our dead relatives. Thanks for taking time to answer to my comments. I really appreciate it. Cheers!

Hello Amy!!! How interesting to know about your granny and granpy. I could even make a picture in my mind of your greatgrampy taking people for a ride on his car as you mentioned. So... see you later, alligator ;-), Ana Paula.

Dear Amy, I am unable to write to you for about a week because of tight work schedule. Actually, I used to write during my office hour which is in night shift. Since my job is related to night club and most of guests are Indian, I am familiar with Indian word. I like thank you for teaching to word even in different way. Though I have used it in high school grammar, it is nice recall of them. When we were using it in school, we have to remember by heart but this time of learning is little bit fun. In my last comment it was some what mixed about family structure. As I remembered it I use single word for marital status to ask in questionnaire. That is, what is the marital status of people-Single, married, and separated, widow. This time I am unable to try to write meaning of word you asked because I am getting late to go home.

thanks for your clear and great explanation!it helps me a lot :-) however, i would like to know why there are some sentences like "it is even more useful than sth." and "he is ready, even eager to go" etc. shouldn't it be even + bare infinitive? is the verb "be" a exception? also, is it correct to say "have even done sth."? (because you just mentioned neg. aux + bare infinitive, but not about the tenses) thankyou!xxx

Dear Amy, thanks for the very detailed explanation on the usage of "even", it was very useful to read, I've learned a lot from it!

Hi, my dear please i'd like to know more about this site because. i'm still unfamiliar to it. thanx

how do you do amy i read your answer its very exciting i connect with english lady straightly(if its correci i mean without middleman)how are you. last friday i take part in experimental exam to assay my english level according to the IELTS exam do you know teaching english is very hot job with a lot of earing in iran becouse a lot of peaple want to fet out of this train that has dire distination i could certainly promiss that if a english native teach english accompany with an iranian they can get a lot of money and in upmost(is it right i mean in a most time that i expect)two year can feather their nest sometimes i think if i could find a way to invest in this area but now i want concentrate to earning english cas i want to get out as soon as possible .it become too long (i mean write too much)excuse me i cant recompense your replly my question .any way use proposition is very hard for me in emglidh for example i dont know really it is necessary to use "package it up" cas use of the package solely i thing have same meaning there alot of example like it but indead wahts the different between them: thay package it or thay package it up ,as you say in your last blog. in thet end your explanation about even was very usefull (i want to write that i've already farewell (make good bye)with YUMI with the best wish how i can say it )i hope you coud catch it on. thanks and also whit best wish for you and your familly especially your zesty son. thanks.thanks .thanks

Hallo Amy & all dear blogers I think all the children who have their grandparents are lucky ones. I remember my daughter in her childhood (now she is thirty), how She enjoyed staying with her Granny. She could do almost everythink, because most parent are strict to their children but indulgent to thier grandchildren. It's common behaviour. unfortunately I was deprieved of the luxury of being spoiled by my parent's parents because They died before I was born. The good news for children all over the world is that people live longer, so chance for happier childhood is bigger. And this is what I wish you from the bottom of my heart. cheers!

Thank you for handy gramma,teacher Amy.

i really enjoy your blog.

It is my first visit in this blogger site. please can any one help me. how to develop my English knowledge.

For the first time of visiting this blog ,a lot benefit drived from the site,will keep following for the interest of fluency,bridging the gap in speaking english as my second language.thank you amy,have a nice day

For the first time of visiting this blog ,a lot benefit drived from the site,will keep following for the interest of fluency,bridging the gap in speaking english as my second language.thank you amy,have a nice day

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