Hello Xuan and all our cyber friends!
Thanks for blogging, Xuan. And CONGRATULATIONS on passing your first exam. You must feel happy and relieved. What is your next exam on the 22nd? And what is your main subject (your major) at university?
To answer your question, I do know Hanoi. I visited Vietnam at the beginning of 2001. I did a month long trip, starting in Hanoi and ending up in Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City. I had a wonderful time! I stayed in a little hotel on Hang Bo street (do you know this street?). Of course, I spoke no Vietnamese, the hotel manager didn’t speak any English, but when we realised that we both spoke French we were delighted to be able to communicate. I spent 4 days in Hanoi – I hired a bike and cycled round the lake most days, but I hear that a lot of the cycles have been replaced by motorbikes and cars now. Is this true, Xuan? Please tell us more about Hanoi. What are your favourite places to visit. Can you show us any photos?
Now, in the last blog I was talking about names. Ernesto asked you why you signed your name ‘Bichxuan’ and I am curious to know why too. Is this your full name, and Xuan is a nickname? Does your name have a meaning? Apparently, Anne means something like ‘whom god has favoured’. By the way – you don’t have to call me Mrs Anne. That makes me feel very, very old :-) You can just call me Anne.
Over to language now. All of sentences you rewrote are correct, apart from number 4. You missed out the word ‘the’. The correct sentence is, ‘This is my first post on THE BBC blog’.
I have a few more corrections for you.
* I’ve read your post and thanks for your advices. You can use present perfect here, but you could also use past simple, to indicate that the action is finished. Also, advice is uncountable so has no –s on the end. The correct sentence is I read / I have read your post and thanks for your advice.
* I’ve begun my final exams on May 9th. I think you should change the verb here to ‘start’. Although begin and start mean the same thing, more or less, we use them in different ways. Here, because ‘exams’ is plural and refers to ‘all your exams, not just one’, ‘start’ is a better choice. Also, because you have used a time marker, you cannot use present perfect. You need to use past simple. I started my exams on May 9th.
* Today is Saturday and I spend more time to read your blog. Again, think about your verb tense here. You make reference to today and you are talking about something you are doing on that day, so you need to use present continuous. Today is Saturday and I am spending time reading your blog.
Here is a short quiz for you! Can you fill in the blank in each sentence? I have given you the correct verb to use at the end of the sentence (present continuous, present perfect or past simple). Can you choose the correct verb tense in each case?
(1) It’s Monday today and I right now I ____________ this blog. (TO WRITE)
(2) I ____________ my blog last night. (To POST)
(3) I am glad that my exams _______________. (TO START)
(4) I _________________ my first exam (TO PASS)
(5) I _________________ my first exam yesterday (TO PASS)
Finally, well done to everyone who tried to work out the time references.
• To have the time of your life = to have a great time
• In your own time = according to your schedule, when you are free
• To have time on your hands = to have free time, to not have many other things to do
• To move with the times = to keep up to date with life, events, new technology etc
• Time is money = time has a value, it is precious, so we shouldn’t waste it
• To be ahead of/behind time = to be early / late
Ok folks. Steve and Josh have just got up (it’s another early morning blog…) Steve is making the coffee and Josh is running round with his pineapple juice.
Bye for now and have a good day.
PS – Hello to my old colleague Steven from Delhi, who posted a comment on the student response forum. Great to hear from you and good luck with your Hindi studies.
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.