Hi Satya and everyone,
First, let me try and give you the websites I mentioned on Wednesday, as for some reason they didn’t work when I tried to link them! I’ll just type in the addresses rather than trying to set up a link, then you can copy them if you’re interested.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s website is: www.smh.com.au
And the Cambridge exam practice site is: www.flo-joe.co.uk (Ana Paula, I’m glad you already know of it – everyone else, I’d encourage you to have a look, especially if you’re considering taking a Cambridge exam like FCE or CPE).
Let’s talk about food! Yay! As you know, last night I went to the Night Noodle Markets, which are held every year in Hyde Park, in the city centre, as part of Good Food Month. I’d never been before, so I was really excited and also quite curious to see what there was and how it was organised. There was one major downside – Chris had to take a day off yesterday as he really wasn’t well, so he couldn’t come with us :-( It’s not the end of the world, though, as the markets are on again next week, so we’re going to go again next Thursday! Here's a picture for you - it's not great, but you'll get the general idea.
Owen was all excited because we went in on the train, and he loves train trips! Every time the train stopped he said,” Doors closing. Please stand clear.” which I thought was hilarious!! Anyway, we arrived at the markets and met our friends (they have a little boy too, called Harry, who is 3 days older than Owen) and went for a look round. It was packed with people – there were tables and chairs set up but they were all taken, so we ended up having a picnic on the grass, which was really nice. The stalls were arranged in a square round the outside of the seating area, and we did a complete circuit before deciding what to have. It was great – there were lots of different Thai places, plus Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean and others, as well as a bar and some stalls selling various desserts (more on those later!). I got Owen some chicken satay sticks (the chicken is marinated on skewers, and served with peanut sauce), and I had two of my very favourite things – salt-and-pepper squid, and a Japanese dish called okonomiyaki (apologies to anyone from Japan who might be reading this – I have no idea how to spell Japanese words in English!). Okonomiyaki is like a savoury pancake, made with a light batter, then a layer of cabbage, and then a topping. They had my favourite topping, bacon and potato, so I was really pleased. On the top of that they put mayonnaise, seaweed and (I think) barbecue sauce – delicious! Owen helped himself to the squid and the pancake, and seemed to enjoy both, which was great.
By the time we’d had a look round, got our food and eaten it, the boys were getting a bit crazy; it was getting dark, and there were lanterns and fairy lights everywhere – lovely, but they also attracted a lot of moths, which I wasn’t so crazy about! Owen and Harry were running about like mad things whilst we were trying to eat, so one of us had to keep getting up and bringing them back, especially when they saw the fountain and decided it would be a really good idea to try and climb in!! In the end, we ended up bolting our food down and then bribing them with dessert! There were a couple of dessert stalls, one selling ice-cream (there’s a factory close to where we live where they make it, and I have to say it’s fantastic!), and one selling little Dutch pancakes called (I think) poffertjes. We went for the pancakes, which came with slices of fruit and chocolate sauce and were absolutely delicious! So, all in all, it was a great night (although I was absolutely knackered by the time we got home, and so was Owen!), but I think it’ll be better next week because we know what to expect, and also because Chris will be able to come; he was pretty gutted that he’d missed out! I’ll also try and get a better photo (maybe even one with us in it!), as I was so busy trying to eat and keep an eye on Owen that photo opportunities were quite limited! Phew!
OK, I’ll take my food-lover hat off now and turn myself back into a teacher …Let’s have a look at Satya’s questions from his last posts.
• People say that the IITians had* showed some partiality towards the students from IIT.
This is correct, because you’re using reported speech (you’re telling us what someone else said). I would, however, change say to said, as you’re talking about the past:
People said that the IITians had showed some partiality towards the students from IIT.
Think about what the people actually said at the time (direct speech):
“The IITians have showed some partiality …”
This is in the present perfect, so in reported speech we need to use the past perfect.
If you look at Amy’s post from the 27th September, you can see more examples (and homework!) of this.
• Some of the readers have asked a question: If I wished to be a writer (Rachel... is it correct to use 'wish' like this?), why did I choose engineering??
Again, this is correct! Your use of ‘wish’ is OK; you are using it in the past simple (= wanted) because, again, you’re reporting what someone said.
It might be interesting (well, I’m interested, even if you guys aren’t!) to have a look at the meaning of if in your sentence. In this case, if = if it is true that … or if it is the case that …
Here are some more examples:
If you wanted okonomiyaki, why did you buy chicken satay?
If Chris was sick, why didn’t you stay at home and look after him?
If you want to try some salt-and-pepper squid, you only have to ask.
If you’d like some more practice, why don’t you write some sentences for homework? ;-))
And finally, Satya asked me a really horrible question (only joking, Satya, all questions are good!)
• Rachel...I still find problems using the tenses... could you teach me about the tenses...and how to use them...
Firstly, I think you can use tenses much better than you think! Here’s an example of your writing from one of your posts:
After I had written my last post, I went back to the campus to watch some other events. I was watching curiously when one of my friends came and told me that one of the co-ordinators had scolded our friend. We immediately rushed to the spot to check it out.
I’ve changed it slightly to get an example of all the past tenses (what you originally had was fine!) …
We’ll discuss this more in the next post, so have a think about the following things:
• In the extract, can you find the past simple, past continuous, and past perfect simple tenses?
• Can you find an example of reported speech?
• Can you draw a timeline of the events that Satya describes?
And a special task for Satya:
• When you write about how you stole the exam papers (we’re all nagging you about this, aren’t we?!), I’d like you to try doing it this way (if you have time):
• Firstly, write your post without thinking too much about grammar – just write as naturally as you can.
• Then, look at what you’ve written and see if you want to correct anything.
• Next, compare the two versions and let me know if you have any questions.
• (You don’t have to post both versions unless you want to)
• If anyone else wants to try this, feel free! You don’t even need to post it as a comment – the idea is for you to get used to looking at your work and trying to correct it yourself.
Satya, I’m assuming that you mean mainly past tenses, as you seem to use these the most, but let me know if you want to work on anything else and I’ll see what I can do :-)
Well, once again I’m working tomorrow, so I’ll be back on Sunday to tell you all about my walk from Coogee to Bondi (if it happens – the weather has been very dodgy over the last couple of days!)
Enjoy your weekend!
to end up (phr vb)
to bolt (food) down (phr vb)
to go for (phr vb)
knackered (adj – informal)
gutted (adj – informal)
dodgy (adj – informal)
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