Hello Satya and everyone,
Firstly, thank you all so much for your amazing response to Monday’s post – I’m a bit overwhelmed, actually (in a good way!). I’ll set aside some time soon and reply to you all properly, but keep up the good work!
After my first post on Monday, I realised I’d forgotten to mention another important person in my life (and the reason I’m in Australia!) – my husband Chris. Oops!! Although, in my defence, he did read it before I posted it and didn’t say: “But what about me?”
Anyway, I’ll give you a bit of an introduction …In some ways, Chris is a typical Aussie male; loves sport (especially cricket and rugby, which is known as “footy” over here) and has an accent so strong that when we first met I couldn’t understand him! By the way, Satya, are you also a cricket lover? I’ve never yet met someone from India who isn’t.
A couple of weeks ago I organised a surprise “unbirthday” party for him – if you’ve never heard of an unbirthday party before (I don’t think it’s a word, actually!), let me explain. Chris’ birthday is actually in January, which is a bad month for a birthday in Oz (Oz = Australia, Chandra) because it’s the middle of the summer holiday so a lot of people are away, and also a lot of restaurants close for a post-Christmas break. Way back in January he’d said he’d like a birthday party later in the year when more people would be able to come and it would be easier to get a venue. I let him think I’d forgotten all about it, but secretly I was plotting with a couple of his mates … We booked a room in a local pub, told Chris he was going to watch a footy match but didn’t tell him that we’d invited pretty much everyone he knows! Anyway, he was absolutely bowled over – no-one had let the cat out of the bag, and we’d even got him a cake in the shape and colours of the jersey of the footy team he supports, the Cronulla Sharks; I’ll be brave and try including a picture - here it is.
Now I said no-one let the cat out of the bag; no-one, that is, except Owen! When Chris got home from work on the Friday night (the day before the party), Owen goes running up to him and announces: “We got you a birthday cake, Daddy”! Aaaaargh! Fortunately, Chris thought he was just playing and didn’t take it seriously!
I thought I would also show you this photo of them together on Father’s Day, which in Australia is in early September (it’s in June in England, so my poor father always misses out and gets his card in September!). I got them matching shirts, which I know is very corny but they looked great!
Owen & I took him to the Malaya, which is a bit of a Sydney institution. It’s a restaurant that has been around for 40 years, and has been a favourite of his ever since he was a little kid. It used to be a cheap and cheerful, but is now quite upmarket and recently moved to Darling Harbour, so you can have a great meal looking out over the water. We had a really nice lunch – Owen tried a bit of everything but couldn’t really cope with the spicier things and the waiters had to keep bringing him more water! They even let us take a doggy bag home so we could finish it off for dinner.
Well, I suppose we should get down to business …
Here are the answers to the last homework (well done Naheed for being so quick to have a go! And congratulations to all of you for getting pretty much all of it right!)
• I have a two-year-old son
We say two-year-old and not two-years-old because the phrase here is being used as an adjective, and so it doesn’t have a plural form. The noun it describes can be plural, but the adjective phrase is singular.
Other examples are:
a three-rupee note (thanks Naheed!)
a four-wheel drive car
a twelve-seater mini bus
three two-kilo bags of rice
• I’m really looking forward to getting to know you better
We use getting because “to” in this case is a preposition and not an infinitive, so it’s followed by a gerund (-ing form) or a noun. Look forward to is more formal than looking forward to, but both forms need a gerund or a noun.
Another example of this type of sentence (from my post on Monday) is: I have to admit to having a few butterflies.
An example with a noun is; I’m looking forward to my holiday.
• I have started learning English just 4 years ago
Either I started learning English just 4 years ago
The point that you started learning English is finished and in the past, so we use the past simple.
Or I have been learning English for just 4 years
This sentence focuses on the length of the action rather than the starting point, and it refers to the present (you’re still learning English now), so we use the present perfect continuous here.
Satya, I’ve read your last two posts with interest! Glad to hear you’ve arrived safely in Chennai and have a bit of time to complete your manually operated gantry crane. (I’d love to see a picture of that!) I also loved your story about Ghandigiri – I’ll see if I can give the idea a kick-start over here ;-)
I’m going to be a tiny bit cheeky and not answer your questions tonight (it’s late in Sydney and I’ve just got home from work). I’ll do it tomorrow when I’m a bit more awake and can give you the attention you deserve – hope that’s OK!
And just to be really bad – have a think about this from my post today:
• When Chris got home from work on the Friday night (the day before the party), Owen goes running up to him and announces: “We got you a birthday cake, Daddy”!
Why have I used the present simple here when I’m clearly talking about the past?
I would love to hear how occasions like Father’s Day are celebrated in your countries, so feel free to post a comment and tell me about it!
Catch you later,
way back (adv)
to plot (v and n)
to let the cat out of the bag (expr)
to be bowled over (phr vb)
take sth seriously (expr)
a Sydney institution (n)
cheap and cheerful (adj –can be used as a noun informally)
a doggy bag (n)
kick start (v and n)
get down to business (expr)
have a go (expr)
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