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
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…
To put something behind you
Two doors down
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