How lovely to hear that you are going to be the student blogger this month. I am really looking forward to chatting and to getting to know you better, as well as learning something about Argentina. Steve and I have always talked about visiting your country and it is one of our ambitions to go there. But I didn’t realize that beaches in Argentina were cold and windy, so I won’t pack my bikini when we come, ho ho. And I enjoyed the pictures of your sister doing yoga with the children. I am not very bendy or flexible, so even the thought of yoga makes my joints ache :-)
Your story of your family life really touched me. Your mother must be an amazing woman and I imagine that you, your mum and your sister are all very close. And thank you for the pictures of Argentina in the snow. My first attempt to post a picture on this blog failed (as some of you have pointed out...) so I need to work out how to do this. Watch this space!
You asked me when I first came to Thailand and about being homesick. I first came to Thailand, on holiday (to meet Steve – he was travelling at the time) in 1999 and we have been coming and going, on and off, ever since. We initially came here to live in 2003, but were tempted to move away to India in 2004. We realized after Rachel was born that we missed Thailand a lot, so moved back here permanently in late 2006. I have never suffered from homesickness! I miss my family and friends, but I don’t miss the UK very much. That’s not to say that I didn’t like living in the UK, I just love travelling and enjoy living in different places. You said that you had imagined living in other places, Cris. Where have you thought of going to? Maybe Chile, for the beef and wine :-) I think my husband would be in heaven there!
I am already extremely impressed by your writing. You seem to have a rich vocabulary and you made excellent use of a variety of conjunctions and time markers. I especially like your use of phrases containing ‘not until’ e.g. it was not until my husband and I started travelling and ‘if’, for example, ‘If you walk 4 blocks down you get to the South…’. Can you have a look at the following 2 'IF' phrases for me. Is there anything you would change?
(1) If you want to see snow you have to go to that region. --> I personally would replace ‘have to’ with ‘should’, but you could also argue that this change is not necessary. Can you see why I would make this change?
(2) If it weren’t so cold as they are I would go and live there. --> Does the agreement work here?
Also, the following phrases need rewording (no clues, but look at the italicised words and think about how these need to be changed). These are all small slips – otherwise, your writing is quite accurate.
1. I was born in Buenos Aires and I have been living here all my life.
2. During my time at university, I’ve met my husband
3. Hope you have spent a wonderful weekend
4. …after walking 15 minutes in a speed of 6 km per hour
5. To see people enter a restaurant to dinner at 11pm
6. “the sushi” are in fashion now (actually, I had sushi for lunch today. I love it!)
7. Not only it opened my mind, but it also helped me improve all my skills as well.
You asked me about the difference between ‘specially’ and ‘especially’. Well, according to the dictionary, ‘especially’ is used less than ‘specially’. There are two main cases when we would use specially, and not especially
(1) To indicate something out of the ordinary, e.g. He has been SPECIALLY trained --> meaning ‘in normal circumstances he would not have been trained’
(2) To indicate that something is being singled out for a particular purpose e.g. The word was SPECIALLY highlighted for you --> meaning, ‘it was highlighted so that you could see it easily (for whatever reason)’
When there is the concept of ‘individuality’ or ‘something outstanding’, either specially or especially can be used e.g. He is SPECIALLY / ESPECIALLY good at his job --> meaning, ‘he is extremely good at his job’, perhaps better than other people.
‘Especially’ is used when we want to single something out in particular, to be specific about it. So for example, in your phrase ‘Some of the provinces, ESPECIALLY the northern ones….’ I feel we should use ‘especially’. This is because we are not talking about all of the provinces, we are talking specifically about the northern ones.
Does this explanation make sense? Please let me know if this is clear. For reference, I used COLLINS English dictionary with help for the definitions, published by Harper Collins, 1979.
Now, over to the homework I set everyone. Cris, you were correct in your definitions of ‘know’ and ‘meet’.
Silwal, you are correct – determiner ‘a’ is missing in the phrases (1) to work in ___ multicultural environment; (2) to work in ___ growing company.
I asked Vladimir to reword (1) There isn’t any doubt / doubts; (2) who is / are the teacher blogger (choose the correct word for each sentence), which he did correctly. ‘There isn’t any doubt’ and ‘Who is the teacher blogger’. Well done for spotting the additional mistake, Vladimir.
Hi Katie Tran – I went to Vietnam 9 years ago. I bet it has changed a lot since then. I loved Ha Noi and Danang. Good to hear from you and enjoy the blog.
James asked, what does ‘not sure what yet’ mean, with reference to my post of 4th April. I meant ‘I am not sure yet what I will cook’ --> i.e. I haven’t decided what to cook.
Ernesto – you make a good point. It’s ‘down to’ for north to south, and ‘up to’ for south to north.
Roasalba – I am interested to hear what you say about New Zealanders and idioms. There are different expressions and idioms between different English-speaking countries. Can you give us any examples of idioms that people have not understood?
Ana Paula – did you have fun with the key word transformations? I notice that you did change ‘a hard’ to ‘the hardest’.
Tanya asked for a synonym for the word exhaustive. Its always best to look at a word in context to understand meaning. So, in the phrase ‘an exhaustive list’ (i.e. a list that contains every possible detail and fact) you could replace ‘exhaustive’ with ‘complete’, ‘comprehensive’ or maybe even ‘full’.
Hi Bi. Thanks for the details about Vietnam. I have two questions for you. First, why are there no vehicles in DN? The second is, what can I see in Hue? (Look at your post – I have reworded some of the things you wrote. Can you see what I have reworded?)
Hi Supriya. Your answer is correct. Right means ‘correct’. For example, she gave the right answer. To write means to write on paper. The correct preposition is looking forward to, e.g. ‘I am looking forward to your visit’ (meaning, ‘I can’t wait to see you’). But, if you want to express that you have been looking forward to the visit for a period of time, you can say ‘I have been looking forward TO your visit FOR a long time’. But you can’t say ** ‘I have been looking forward for your visit’ **
Michelle – your sentence ‘I chose to learn French as my third language’ is correct.
Merce – your are right. People is an uncountable noun, so the correct phrase to use is ‘How are the people’.
Well done Miao. Furniture is indeed an uncountable noun, and your definitions of ‘live’ and ‘leave are correct.
Vlad – I often get get recipies from the internet as well.
Chiladi – wow, that’s a big trip, to visit Thailand and Argentina in the same year. Good luck!
Hi Adriana – hope you had a good weekend. What did you ‘get up to’ (i.e. what did you do?)
Hi Sullen – did you do much studying AT the weekend (not ** ‘IN the weekend’ **)?
Hi Beatriz – hope working in the cybercafé wasn’t too bad. Please tell me how your life in South America is different TO mine (not ** ‘different OF’ **)
Hello Eugeny – so, you are a violinist! I play the ‘cello. Well, like you, I used to but I haven’t played it for a while.
Hello Mahjabeen – Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I meant to say, ‘my husband HAD emptied a pound of mince into my chilli’.
Now, here is a quick quiz for Monday for everyone. What vocabulary can you remember from last week? Using your own words, can you define what the following verbs mean? You can check the answers yourself, by referring to my previous posts.
To rule out
To live the high life
To nip out
To waffle on
To deal with
OK, Cris and readers. I’m off now for some coffee and to read a cookery magazine. Looking forward to your next blog, Cris. Please tell me more about your travels with your husband. Best Wishes and speak to you all soon,
Bendy (adj) – able to bend, flexible
To ache – hurt
To be touched by something (verb) – here means to be emotionally moved by something
To be close to someone (verb) – here, means to have a very strong emotional bond with someone
Watch this space (informal expression) - coming soon i.e. I will post a new photo soon
Coming and going, on and off – visiting every so often, visiting now and again from 1999 to now
Initially (adv) – first, at first
In late (adj) 2006 – towards the end of the year 2006
Rich (adj) – here, means wide or extensive
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