Hi Marcos, hi everyone!
I do hope the technical hitches are soon resolved and we can all have a more real time communication going. It feels strange writing when you’re not sure if any comments are going to come through. Anyway, here goes..
Thanks to those who wished me well in my new year at work. The first day was really quite disorienting. I had forgotten my password and could not remember which number I needed to dial on my phone to get an outside line. My boss said that these were positive signs that I had managed to leave work behind and switch off successfully during the break. I guess that’s true but it still felt weird. It was a gentle ease in though. I spent most of the morning checking my mail and catching up with how people had spent their holidays and then I went for a work lunch to welcome all the new teachers. We ate in an open-air café which had a live jazz band playing while we were eating. We swapped places during the meal so that we got chance to speak to as many people as possible. It was a pretty nice way to introduce us all.
The rest of the week was spent on induction and timetabling and by Wednesday night – as you saw from our post – I was completely exhausted and got a migraine. Never mind, I’m OK now. Some of you asked whether the new staff were local or not. Well, most of them were brand new to Sri Lanka and come from a range of countries, from England and Scotland to Canada and the USA.
Marcos, tell us what you’ve been up to – Your posts are very informative about your country and current issues and I enjoy reading them but what about you? You tell us you are busy but busy doing what? What’s going on in your life right now? Looking forward to hearing from you. I am off to a Swiss restaurant with my father and Pankaj now. We have booked a table for 8 pm so I’d better get a move on. We are planning to eat fondue – have you ever tried that?
Answers to last challenges:
1. I will talk about the city where I live, Fortaleza.
2. They were interested in cultivating sugar cane in this region. (verb pattern- gerund)
3. The French also tried to take control of a part of the territory (Brazil). (no article needed here – take control of something is a set phrase and does not take an article)
4. It is estimated that 2.473.614 inhabitants lived in Fortaleza in 2008. (word order)
5. Additionally, there is global warming. ( no article)
6. The best beaches of Ceará are not here in Fortaleza. ( no article for Ceara and subject-verb agreement – plural)
7. I’ve never been unhappy in Jeri. (wrong word form – you need an adjective here not a noun; also word order issue)
8. As Adriana remembered commenting in the last post.. (preposition needed)Well I hope this has helped Marcos. I will analyse your last two pieces in my next blog.
Backbone of (England), the – a name given to the Pennines – range of hills running north to south down the middle of the country
The backburner (put something on the backburner) – figuratively: put to one side for the time being
Back door, the (get in by the back door) – gain entrance to a job, position by ‘pulling strings’ and not through your own merit.
Backhanded (adj) – a backhanded compliment – a double-edged one.
Backhander, a (n) – a bribe
Back of beyond, the – in the middle of nowhere – away from civilization or dense residential areas/hard to find. It took me ages to find his place. He lives in the back of beyond. Apparently this phrase originated to describe the vast spaces of the outback in Australia.
Back to nature – return to a natural state
Back to basics – back to ‘ground rules’ and traditional values. It was used as a political slogan by the conservatives in the 1990s.
Back seat driver – someone who gives the driver instructions from the back seat.
Well done Hyoshil with your other expressions for very expensive: they were almost all right except for this one: ‘As much as that High’ (should be ‘as much as that’)
These were all good: Daylight robbery, A rip-off, Astronomical, To cost an arm and a leg, To cost a fortune, Pricey, Extortionate
Your expressions for very happy were correct too: Full of the joys of spring, On the top of the world, Overjoyed, Be made up, Over the moon, be on cloud nine, Ecstatic, Thrilled, Jubilant, Radiant, Delighted. Good work on Marcos’ sentences too. I hope you got that cup of coffee – you deserve it! I am glad you enjoyed that programme about elephants. I have seen some of that series myself. They did a whole ‘secret life of…’ series and I liked the approach they took.
YPW – I am glad you liked hearing about my work. I had hoped for more phrases with back though – aside from the ones I put in the text. See if you can use the ones listed in today’s blog.
Welcome Andrea and well done for attempting the challenges. Well done also to Adriana and Johnson for attempting the challenge. Adriana – I am glad you liked the parting expression. I like that one too. :)
Paulraj – You haven’t quite got the use of ‘back to back’. It does not mean simultaneously which is how I think you have tried to use it in your sentences in this post. It means following in close sequence. Well done with your attempts to improve Marcos’ sentences.
Well done Rene for your phrases with back. I will list them here again for those of you who didn’t read her post:
• to be back on track
• back to your roots
• to be back for good
• at the back of beyond
• to know sth. back to front
• back breaking work
• the backbone of the economy
• to stab somebody in the back
Sergio – yes. I know I am very lucky to have had a month off. I hope you get this opportunity at some point. Thanks for attempting the challenge.
Beatriz – yes, I actually do work on Sundays. We are open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm so we all have different shift patterns. I have a Friday-Saturday weekend, which I have got used to and quite like now. Sundays are reasonably quiet in the office so I can kid myself into thinking that it is like doing a half day. I think it is all psychological.
Tiasha – welcome back and well done with the challenges. Your phrases used with back were appropriate. You still haven’t sent me that recipe for the chutney though! :)
hai van nguyen - well, if you are just starting out, I would recommend that you enrol yourself at a good language school. Where do you live? If you live in Hanoi there are lots of schools that are good. The second thing you need to do is what you have done here – be brave and take risks and use the language without worrying whether you make mistakes or not. The third thing you need to do is to find someone to practise with regularly. Finally, set yourself regular but achievable goals and read, read, read. Start with children’s books or abridged versions of classics, there are a lot of what they call ‘graded readers’ on the market nowadays and these can be really helpful. Good luck.
Find 5 phrases with ‘set’ in by reading a newspaper, novel or magazine and try to use them in a sentence. I will give you an example: the first time I set eyes on Pankaj I knew there was something special about him.
Right, that's all for now guys,
sleep well and have serene dreams.
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