Today is the day...
Hello Xuan and everyone,
Well, today is the day! I hope your exam went well today and that you are feeling optimistic about the result. Please tell us how it went (did you tell us already what the subject was?). And of course, what is next? Do you have another exam, or is this the last one?
I really enjoyed the photos. I think I told you that I visited Vietnam about 9 years ago. The pictures of the rice fields reminded me very much of my trip. Your country is indeed beautiful. Green is a very restful colour, so I think people generally like to see images of the countryside. Fields in England do look different. If you have time, scroll through some of the picture on the BBC staff blog. There are some lovely shots of British countryside. Here is a picture of some of the countryside where I live. We do have yellow wheat fields, Xuan, but also green fields of grass. This view is taken near the historic Roman Wall, which was built by the Romans roughly 2000 years ago to protect England against Scottish invaders. It is mostly in ruins now, but some parts are still standing.
I have a quick quiz for you, Xuan. I want you to think about quantifiers. Quantifiers are the words that describe the quantiy, or amount, of something. In some cases you have used these correctly (e.g. there are many rice fields in my country) but in other cases you make some errors (e.g. *there is a little car, motorbike in my home town). Have a look at the following phrases. Can you decide which quantifier should go in each space – choose from the following list. Can you remember the rules for each one? Tell me what rules you can remember and I will remind you about anything you forget in my next blog.
LOT OF // MANY // FEW // MANY // A FEW
1. There are _______ cars or motorbikes in my home town.
2. There are not _______ cars or motorbikes in my home town.
3. There are only ________ cars and motorbikes in my home town.
4. There are a _________ rice fields in my country.
5. There are __________ rice fields in my country.
I enjoyed reading all of the different phrases for going to sleep. I like the idea of putting yourself in an envelope to go to sleep (Cris and Betriz).
Merce – you did not make a mistake. You can say ‘view on life’ or ‘way of life’
Ernesto – we don’t like to wear shoes in our house. Normally when you visit someone in Thailand, you are expected to remove your shoes.
Hyoshil – you are not a pain in the neck. Teachers love questions! ‘Expanding’ does mean ‘extending’; they both mean ’to make bigger’. Usually, when we say that we are extending a house, we mean that we have added an extra part to it. Are you really expanding (i.e. building extra parts on the house) or just renovating, or updating?
Maione – I can’t imagine an explanation about the people from Pisa. Is it about the volcano eruption many years ago? Please can you explain?
Hello Maria – I have never been to the Amalfi coast. Please tell me more about it.
Hi Cris – we Virgos are very demanding! At the end of the day, the chicken incident was quite funny. I don’t believe that you don’t have a sense of humour – is this really true?
Ana Paula – one day, you will have a big, beautiful place to live, that you will own. Until then, enjoy not having to worry about bills, renovations, property tax or any other downside to owning a property.
Hello Ha – I actually do own a copy of the film A Beautiful Life. But! It is the original Italian version with subtitles. This is fine for me, but when I sat down to watch it with Joshua a few weeks ago, he was a bit confused. I will watch it one of these days. There is also a really god film called a Beautiful Mind, with Russell Crowe. Do you know it?
Hello Marianna – I like your expression ‘dangle dollies’. That suits the kids really well.
Elina – you can say, ‘my children are the same age as Josh and Rachel’. If you are talking about your son, you can say either, ‘he is the same age as Josh’, or ‘they are the same age’ (no *of)
Hello Silwal – I enjoyed both your stories. Thank you for taking the time to write. Being a ‘parent pillow’ as you describe is not so bad It sounds like you have a very happy family and lovely children.
Naweed – you are right, Steve is a funny guy. I would be interested to hear more about your youth work. Do you work directly with young people?
Hi Paula – I can’t send you any chicken because we ate it all. But Steve has made some chicken soup with the bones. If you are in Thailand this weekend, you can round for a bowl. I can’t say fairer than that!
Hello Habooba – good to hear from you and thanks for your kind words.
Kuldeep – you make a good point about children relieving stress. No matter how tired I am when I get in from work, it is always refreshing to see the kids and I feel rejuvenated (i.e. no longer tired)
Maria – Steve loves playing with Rachel as well. Dads and daughters!!!!
OK everyone, I am really tired, so I must go and hit all the people from Pisa who are waiting for me in a sack inside the envelope (is that right…)
Night night everyone
PS - I taught a class today, and we had a long discussion about how to improve listening skills. What do you all do to work on your listening skills? Can you give my class any tips?
In ruins – damaged
Still standing – still exists nowadays
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