A Sunny Saturday Morning
I’m sitting here on a sunny Saturday morning in our office with the double doors open onto the veranda and I can hear the song of a variety of birds. Isabel is playing with her grandparents in the living room and Pankaj is making me a proper coffee. All is right with the world. :) Where are you sitting? What are you doing? Whatever and wherever it is I hope you are feeling as content as I am.
Hyoshil, I long for a bit of ‘sharp and nippy’ weather but right now I have to say, it is pretty perfect. No doubt it will get a bit sticky later in the day.
This morning, the coconut fella came and cut the ripe coconuts for us. Here are some pics of him and Isabel enchanted by the whole experience. The coconut water was pretty delicious too. Pankaj eats the 'millai' as well - the creme/milk from the flesh. What an idyllic morning!
Olfa, first of all, let me tell you that your use of English is really rather sophisticated. Here are some lovely examples of your ability to use complex constructions and natural English:
• … not to have seen the atrocities of war
• to my mind
• not only to…….. but also to …………
• I have to deal simultaneously with
• To answer your question
• just astonished (just + adjective is a nice construction to emphasise the extent of the feeling; we often put extra stress on just for this purpose)
What I would like you to focus on for next time (and maybe the other bloggers can help you out here) are the following chunks – what do they have in common? What is wrong with them and how can you rephrase them to make them accurate?
• one of the many day-off
• a 4 days-off
• this 4 days
• a well-prepared workers who knows
• until my fifteen years
For the poppy story, go to the link I sent you in the November 11 blog – it is explained on the BBC News site.
Unfortunately, you are right Paulraj, people have become used to living in war torn areas. Notice the correction I have made to your sentence here and see the grammar notes below.
Marianna, you write very visually. I think you would make a good film director or script writer. Mukta, it is interesting to hear how silence seems to be used in lots of countries as a sign of respect and to aid our memory and reflection process. Mukta, I will talk about my ‘love story’ in another blog.
Answers to vocabulary from November 11th blog
Contextualised – put into context
Pay our respects – show signs of respect
Tribute – words/gift/other expression to acknowledge (note as with respect, tribute collocates with ‘pay’)
Armistice – truce/suspension of hostilities
Poppy – large red flower, cornfield plant
Grind to a halt – come to a complete stop
War-weary – tired of war and its effects
Well done to you all for noticing all the expressions with used to in my blog and well done to those of you who constructed sentences of your own using the grammar. Tiasha, you did pretty well but there’s one correction: we cannot use ‘used to’ for past states/habits followed by the gerund. If we want to use it followed by the gerund, we need to use it with the verb ‘be’. See below for details. Ana Paula, well spotted! I didn’t use the auxiliary verb with the question ‘used to misusing used to? Because I used that question and following statement as a sort of sub title for the next part of my blog and as such it is not necessary to use the auxiliary. We also miss out auxiliary verbs in headlines in newspapers etc. It is a way of making the language stand out and catch the readers’ attention.
Here is a little summary of the form, meaning and pronunciation:
Used /t/ to+bare infinitive – is used /d/ to talk about a past habit; can also use would+bare infinitive/past simple to express the same idea.
Did+not+use+to+bare infinitive*(*Note, no 'd' in the negative form)
I didn't use to go to bed so early.
Did+subject+use+to+bare infinitive* (*note here there is no ‘d’ on use in the q-form – easy to make a mistake with this)
Did you use to observe 2 minutes' silence for Remembrance Day when you were at school?
For example:• I used to play badminton (but now I don’t)
• I would play badminton every day when I lived in Vietnam (I don’t play every day now)
• I played badminton a lot when I was younger (I don’t now that I’m older)
Be used to+ verb+ing (be accustomed to doing something – because you have done it many times)
• Maoine says in Italy “We are used to celebrating their memory on the 4th of November”.
• Isabel is used to going to play school now.
• I am not used to Sri Lankan food yet.
• Are you use to playing a lot of sport? I’m not.
Get used to+verb+ing (be in the process of becoming used to doing something)
• I’m getting used to blogging.
• I’ve got used to having my in-laws around and will feel sad when they go.
• I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the level of humidity in the monsoon season in Sri Lanka.
Notice how here I have used a variety of tenses with this structure. I recommend you do the same. Don’t think you have to use a particular expression with only one tense.
Well, what was going to be a short one turned into a bit of a mammoth blog! – hope you manage to digest all that grammar! See you next time. Off to help my in-laws with their leaving preparations now and I've got to get lunch on the go.
Olfa - please, please send us some pics of your life in Paris now that you have got used to blogging!
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