There’s an absolutely massive thunderstorm going on as I write this, so I really hope we don’t have a power failure and I lose everything!! (I guess the trick is to save it after every sentence, which I shall do immediately!) I love thunderstorms, especially here in Oz – they’re so violent; the rain comes down in spades and the sky just lights up – amazing! I’ve just spent 5 minutes with Owen (he’s supposed to be asleep, but it’s pretty noisy out there) telling him about storms and how amazing they are, and how it won’t rain in his bedroom …
Anyway, welcome back Satya! How was your time at home? (I won’t comment on your post from Tuesday except to say thank you for telling us about such a personal story).
I feel like I’ve been a bit slack myself this week, but I do have an excuse – Tuesday was my birthday, so I decided to take the day off! Yay! I actually spent most of the day in Glebe, which I thought might be an interesting subject for a post, so I decided to take my camera as you haven’t had any pictures from me for a while!
Anyway, about Glebe! Glebe is quite dear to my heart because it’s where I lived when I first came to Sydney. In fact, I still go to Glebe for all the essentials (doctor, dentist, and hairdresser). It’s quite close to the city – I used to be able to walk to work in about 30 minutes, which was great exercise! The main street is Glebe Point Road, which runs north from Sydney Uni to Blackwattle Bay, and the suburb clusters around it on both sides.
Here’s why I like it; at the Uni end of Glebe Point Road is a huge shopping centre with a cinema complex, and at Blackwattle Bay there are wonderful views over the bay to the ANZAC Bridge and the Harbour Bridge beyond – in fact it’s a great place to spend New Year’s Eve.
The ANZAC Bridge, with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
The other end of the ANZAC Bridge, looking towards the city.
There are some lovely old buildings, including St John’s Church (on the corner of the street where I used to live), the neighbourhood centre and the Post Office. And, all along the street from one end to the other are lots of interesting shops and restaurants. For the shops, there’s a British shop that sells all my childhood favourite sweets (VERY bad for the teeth!), an excellent bookshop, a really great fruit and veg shop that’s owned by a family from Italy and stocks wonderful fresh produce, plus all sorts of boutiques, antique shops and groceries. There’s a market every Saturday in the school grounds that sells all sorts of things.
St John's Church
And the restaurants? Well …the best Thai takeaway in Sydney (in my opinion!) is in Glebe, as are two really good Indian restaurants (I think some of you were beginning to wonder when I was going to mention Indian food!), plus numerous other cuisines. A Spanish chocolateria has just opened up that has the most amazing varieties of hot chocolate (including one with cinnamon and chilli) and is doing a roaring trade. There’s also a very nice French place (it used to be a great Japanese restaurant, then a pretty awful noodle restaurant, and now it’s French), which is where Chris took me for my birthday dinner – I’ve been saying for ages that I wanted to try it and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest! It was fantastic!
I do have a very sad story about one restaurant, though – it was a Greek place that we went to on my very first night in Sydney, and we loved so much that we kept going back over and over again; mainly for the food but also because of the owner, who we got to know well over the years and who was (and I’m sure still is) a really nice bloke. We got engaged there and even had our wedding reception there. Anyway, the owner decided he’d had enough, and sold it on – we went back once after he’d gone, but it just wasn’t the same, and now it’s an empty building with To Let signs in the windows … I know things have to change, but it’s sad to see it standing empty.
And Owen’s favourite part of Glebe? The fire station! Actually, they’re doing a lot of roadworks at the moment (a “streetscape upgrade”) so there are diggers and steamrollers and concrete mixers all over the place, which to a two-year-old boy is the best thing in the world! (It’s a bit of a pain if we’re in a hurry, because he always wants to stop to watch all the machines!).
Glebe Point Road - notice how all the buildings are a different colour!
Well done to all of you who had a go at the gerunds and infinities; I’ll start by giving you the answers to Monday’s questions, and then we can have a look at some of the tricky ones. And if you’re still with me after all that, there might even be some vocab from today!
OK, the homework:
These verbs are followed by an infinitive:
These verbs are followed by an object + infinitive:
These verbs are followed by a gerund:
The next three are general rules that can help you
Adjectives are (usually) followed by an infinitive.
Prepositions are followed by a gerund.
Verbs that talk about how we feel (love, hate, enjoy etc) are usually followed by a gerund.
A couple of you were asking about the differences between gerunds and present participles – good question!
Remember that gerunds are NOUNS, so if we look again at the examples from last time, you can see that we can replace each of the gerunds with a noun:
• Cooking is a really good way to relax / Tennis is a really good way to relax
• I really like cooking / I really like tennis
• I’m good at cooking / I’m good at tennis
Present participles, on the other hand, are parts of VERBS and so are used to talk about actions:
• I was watching a really interesting TV show last night. (The present participle watching is part of the main verb.)
• I got really wet walking in the rain. (This tells you what I was doing when I got wet.)
I would really encourage you to start looking for examples of gerunds and infinitives (maybe start by looking through some of the teacher’s posts on the blog here, and not just mine!) that you can add to the list above. I think the thing is not to try and do it all at once, otherwise it’ll be too much. Build it up slowly, and then you’ll have a record that you can refer back to when you’re not sure.
OK, so are you ready to have a look at the tricky ones?
Something easy to start you off ...
• Start, begin and continue can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive without any change in meaning.
And now the harder ones ...
Have a look at these examples from some of my posts:
Ana Paula, have you ever tried to climb the greasy pole?
You try to run whilst standing in a sack.
Do you think it’s easy to climb a greasy pole? Or stand in a sack and run? No, it’s not!!
So, we use try + infinitive to talk about something that’s difficult or impossible.
Here’s a real life story for you – Owen really doesn’t like going to bed at the moment, so he always thinks of ways to get out of bed and come and sit with us.
• He has tried saying his leg is stuck in the bars of the cot.
• He has tried asking for a drink of water.
• He has tried telling us that he needs a clean nappy.
• He has tried complaining that there’s something in his eye.
• He has even tried offering to help us tidy up!
What does he want? To get out of bed
How does he do this? By testing lots of different tricks to see if one of them will work.
So, we use try + gerund to talk about an experiment or a test of something.
Can you see a difference in meaning in the following sentences?
• Rachel went on talking about gerunds and infinitives for 3 weeks!
• After doing gerunds and infinitives, Rachel went on to talk about vocabulary.
Which one means Rachel continued talking about the same thing?
Which one means Rachel started talking about a new subject?
Can you complete the pattern?
We use go on + gerund to talk about …………………………………
We use go on + infinitive to talk about ………………………………
Again, can you see a difference in meaning in the following sentences?
• I’m so sorry, Owen, I didn’t mean to put your teddy bear in the microwave
• Understanding gerunds and infinitives means working really hard
In the first example, we could use intend instead of mean.
In the second example, we could use involves instead of means.
So, we use mean + infinitive to talk about an intention.
We use mean + gerund to talk about what is involved in something.
And the last one for today – stop.
Here are some examples from my posts:
The Coogee-Bondi walk takes about 2 hours if you keep stopping to stare at the views.
Whenever we go down Glebe Point Road, Owen always makes me stop to watch the diggers.
In these examples, there are two actions:
Walk – stare at the views – walk again
Go – watch the diggers – go again
Walking is interrupted by staring at the views, and going down the street is interrupted by looking at the diggers.
So, we use stop + infinitive to talk about an action that is interrupted temporarily.
Let’s look at some examples with a gerund:
I’ll stop being mysterious and start writing
If anyone is really unenthusiastic about this, please feel free to stop reading now
Can you see the difference? In these examples we’re talking about finishing an activity, perhaps permanently.
So, we use stop + gerund to talk about the end of an activity.
Phew! I hope that has helped you and not made it more complicated! There are a couple more we should look at, but I think that will do for today and we can pick up again next time. And that really will be the end of gerunds and infinitives, I promise!!
If you’re really keen and want some more practice, you could:
• Write some example sentences with today’s grammar points and post them as comments for us to have a look at.
• Have a look on the web – there are lots of grammar practice exercises you can do online. Try typing “gerund infinitive practice exercises” into a search engine and see what comes up.
Well, in the time it has taken me to write this the storm has passed, my computer didn't conk out, and both my boys have gone to sleep, so I guess I’m off to bed too!
Oh, and not forgetting today’s lovely vocabulary …
the rain comes down in spades (expr)
slack (adj – informal)
dear to my heart (expr)
doing a roaring trade (expr)
pretty (adverb - NOT an adjective here!)
upgrade (n / v)
conk out (phr vb)
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