Friday, September 24, 2010

Grammartalk 7HB, Page 2

"Bread and Eggs" Paul Cezanne, 1865

A: How much lettuce did Henry buy at the store?
B: He only bought a little lettuce and only a few tomatoes.
A: How much milk did he buy?
B: He only bought a little milk and a few ounces of cheese.
A: How many cookies did he buy?
B: He only bought a few cookies. He also bought a little flour to make more cookies.

A: The Johnsons are very tired after their trip.
B: Mrs. Johnson visited too many churches.
A: She visited so many churches, that now she has sore feet.
B: Betty Johnson ate too much bread.
A: She ate so much bread that her dress doesn’t fit anymore.
B: Sylvia Johnson bought too many expensive gifts.

A: The teacher taught too many lessons yesterday.
B: He taught so many lessons that he has a sore throat now.
A: Marcia studied too much yesterday.
B: She studied so much that she has a headache today.
A: What about Uncle Jim? He doesn’t feel too well either.
B: He drank so much last night that now he has a hangover.

A: The doctor told me I’m too heavy.
B: Do you have to go on a diet?
A: Yes, I do. I have to lose about twenty-five pounds.
B: Do you have to eat fewer rich desserts?
A: Yes, and I have to eat less bread, fewer cookies, and fewer potato chips.
B: Can you drink milk?

A: I can drink milk, but it has to be non fat milk.
B: How about cake? How about ice cream?
A: I have to eat less cake and less ice cream.
B: How about pancakes and french fries?
A: I have to eat fewer pancakes and fewer french fries.
B: You probably have to eat more fruits and vegetables.

A: I had my yearly check up today.
B: What did the doctor say?
A: He told me I was too thin and I must gain some weight.
B: Do you have to start eating more potatoes?
A: Yes, I have to eat more potatoes than I did before.
B: I have a recipe for potatoes and cheese. It will help you put on some weight.

A: I had my yearly checkup yesterday.
B: What did your doctor say?
A: He told me I had high cholesterol, and I must eat fewer fatty foods.
B: Do you have to stop eating butter?
A: Well, I can’t eat as much butter as I did before.
B: I suggest you use olive oil instead of butter.

A: Mary had her yearly check up last week.
B: What did her doctor say?
A: He told her she had high blood pressure, and she must eat less sugar and salt.
B: Does she have to stop eating potato chips?
A: Well, she can’t eat as many potato chips as she did before.
B: She should eat more apples and asparagus.

A: Mr. Jones, I’m really worried about your heart.
B: Really, Doctor? Should I stop eating rich desserts?
A: Mr. Jones, you must stop eating rich desserts.
B: But, I crave chocolate cake, especially on my birthday.
A: If you don’t quit eating cake, you’ll have problems with your heart some day.
B: All right, Doctor. I’ll try eating apple pie instead.

A: Mrs. Parker, I’m really worried about your back.
B: Really, Doctor? Should I start doing exercises?
A: Madam, you must start doing many more exercises.
B: But, Doctor, I really hate doing those boring exercise routines.
A: No excuses! If you don’t exercise, your back problem will get worse.
B: All right, Doctor. I’ll try lifting weights once in a while.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grammartalk 7HB, Page 1

"Still Life with Soup Tareen" Paul Cezanne, 1877

Count Nouns, Non-Count Nouns, Partitives, Too and Enough

A: Let’s make a salad for dinner.
B: Sorry, we can’t. There isn’t enough lettuce.
A: We’d better go to the store and buy some more.
B: I want to make some spaghetti. How’s that?
A: Sorry, we can’t. There isn’t enough cheese.
B: Let’s forget dinner and just have dessert.

A: How about a nice omelette for breakfast?
B: I’m afraid we can’t. There aren’t any eggs.
A: How about pancakes. Do we have any pancake mix?
B: Yes, but I’m not hungry enough for pancakes.
A: I’ll only make a few pancakes.
B: OK, but we don’t have enough maple syrup.

A: Let’s make chicken and rice for dinner.
B: Sorry, we can’t. There isn’t enough rice.
A: I don’t feel like eating dinner anyway. I’m too tired to eat. Let’s go to bed.
B: I’m not tired enough to go to bed. I’ll just make a snack.
A: But, what can we eat? There isn’t enough food in the refrigerator.
B: Are you too exhausted to go shopping?

A: How do you like the potatoes?
B: Great. They’re good enough for seconds.
A: I’m glad you like them. Here you are.
B: That’s too many. Just give me a few.
A: But, you still have too much room on your plate.
B: I know my plate isn’t full enough, but my stomach is.

A: Henry is too angry. Why is he so upset?
B: He spent too much money at the store.
A: He didn’t get enough groceries?
B: No. He came away with only one bag.
A: Only one bag of groceries? No wonder he’s upset.
B: These days, groceries are too expensive.

A: This steak is too rare. It isn’t well enough cooked.
B: It isn’t? I’ll send it back to the kitchen.
A: These rolls are too hard. They aren’t soft enough.
B: They aren’t? I’ll send them back to the kitchen.
A: These cookies aren’t sweet enough.
B: They aren’t? I thought they were too sweet.

A: I don’t think you should buy those bananas.
B: Why not? Aren’t they ripe enough?
A: No, they aren’t ripe enough. In fact, they’re green.
B: Those apples have a nice, red color.
A: They must be ripe enough. You should buy them.
B: Look at these tomatoes. They’re too ripe. In fact, they’re rotten.

A: What do we need from the supermarket?
B: We need two loaves of bread.
A: Is that all? Just a couple of loaves of bread?
B: We could also use two bags of flour.
A: All right. How about some broccoli?
B: Yes. A couple of bunches of broccoli and a head of lettuce.

A: A pound of apples costs two dollars.
B: Two dollars for a pound of apples? That’s too much money.
A: These bunches of carrots are six dollar apiece.
B: Six dollars for a bunch of carrots? That’s crazy.
A: These jars of jam are four dollars each.
B: Four dollars for a jar of jam? Let me out of here.

A: What would you like for dessert?
B: I can’t decide. What do you recommend?
A: I recommend our delicious chocolate ice cream.
B: Is it really as delicious as everyone says?
A: Yes, it is. But our vanilla ice cream is great too.
B: I prefer chocolate. Please give me a dish of your chocolate ice cream.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grammartalk 18, Page 1, Third Conditional; Past, Unreal

"Entrance to The Harbour" Claude Monet, 1867

A: Why wasn't Sally on time for work this morning?
B: Her alarm clock didn't ring. If her alarm clock had rung, she would have been on time for work.
A: She didn't watch the president's speech on TV last night either. I wonder why.
B: Her TV wasn't working. If her TV had been working, she would have watched the president's speech.
A: Why didn't you invite her over to your house to watch the speech? Your TV works, doesn't it?
B: I forgot her phone number. If I hadn't forgotten her number, I certainly would have called her and invited her to watch the speech with me.

A: Why didn't Harry stop at that traffic light? That was a very careless mistake.
B: He wasn't looking. If he had been looking, he wouldn't have driven through that red light.
A: But when he drove through the red light, you didn't say anything. How come?
B: Harry doesn't like criticism. If he were more open to criticism, I would have said something to him about his driving.
A: Didn't Harry get a ticket last year for making an illegal U-turn? Why did he make an illegal U-turn, do you know?
B: Yes. He made an illegal U-turn because he was in a hurry. If he hadn't been in a hurry, he wouldn't have made that illegal U-turn.

A: I'm really upset. I had a beautiful red orchid growing in my living room and it died.
B: That's really a shame. Perhaps you weren't taking care of it enough. If you took care of it better, it wouldn't have died.
A: That wasn't the reason. I was very careful to feed it special plant food every day.
B: Maybe your orchid had a rare disease. Orchids are very vulnerable to diseases because they're extremely delicate.
A: Yes. It must have caught a rare disease. If it hadn't caught a rare disease, It would still be alive now.
B: Right. If it had been stronger, it wouldn't have gotten sick with "orchid fever."

A: Alan and Ron both made big mistakes last week. Do you know what they did? B: I heard about Ron, but I didn't hear about Alan.
A: Alan should have told his mother he had a bad cold. If he had told her, she would have made chicken soup for him.
B: Ron wasn't prepared for his English test. If he had been prepared, he would have gotten a better grade.
A: Right. But the worst was happened to me. I didn't get paid today. If I had gotten paid, I would have taken my family out to dinner.
B: How about me? I missed my plane. If I hadn't been stuck in traffic, I would have arrived at the airport on time.

A: How was your vacation? Did you have a good time?
B: The weather wasn't warm enough. If the weather had been warmer, I would have had a much better time.
A: Sorry to hear that. Did you take warm clothes in case the weather was bad?
B: No, I didn't. If I had taken a few sweaters with me, I would have been a lot more comfortable.
A: But the hotel you stayed at was pretty expensive. Didn't they have a heated pool?
B: No, they didn't even have a heated pool. Not only that, the entertainment was awful. If that singer had been more entertaining, I would have enjoyed the vacation in spite of the weather.

A: Why didn't Jeff get the job he applied for? He was certainly qualified.
B: He didn't remember to bring his resume. If he had remembered to bring it, he would have made a better impression.
A: But forgetting his resume doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Was there something else?
B: Yes. He set off the metal detector in the office building and the security guard had to search him.
A: Oh, how unfortunate! He wouldn't have gotten searched if he hadn't set off the metal detector.
B: Right. And getting searched made him late for his appointment. He would have been on time if that hadn't happened.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grammartalk 16, Page 1 - Present, Unreal Conditional

"The Dance Class", Edgar Degas, 1874

A: If I weren't just learning how to drive, I'd be less nervous.,
B: Relax and breathe. If you were more relaxed, you would drive better.
A: If there were fewer cars on the road, it would be easier.
B: You have to get used to traffic. Just concentrate on what you're doing, and everything will be okay.
A: Thanks for helping me. I'd be much worse if you weren't with me.
B: If I were you, I would talk less. Don't think about the other cars. Watch out for that pedestrian. You almost hit him.

A: If I knew David's phone number, I'd call him right now.
B: Do you happen to know his email address? If you had it, you could email him using my laptop.
A: No, I don't know his email address, either. If I didn't have to borrow his car, I wouldn't need to get in touch with him.
B: No problem. You can borrow mine. If I had to work today, I would need it. But today is my day off.
A: But your car is ugly. If you had a new car, I'd be glad to borrow it.
B: Boy, you're really choosy, aren't you.?

A: Would you like to go hiking with me this weekend?
B: I don't have hiking boots. If I had hiking boots, I'd love to go.
A: Professor Jones is giving a lecture on modern poetry. How about going with me?
B: Thanks for asking, but I don't understand modern poetry. If I understood it better, I'd really like to attend that lecture.
A: Your father doesn't need the car tonight. Let's go to the baseball game on the other side of town.
B: Unfortunately, I can't drive at night. If I were able to drive at night, I'd enjoy going to that game.

A: Mr. Green, I'd like to talk to you about your daughter. She's very intelligent.
B: Thanks, I think so too. If she weren't so intelligent, I wouldn't send her to this difficult school
A: Although Sally seems to understand everything, she doesn't do very well on her exams.
B: She doesn't study hard enough. If she studied harder, she'd do much better on her exams.
A: Also, Sally doesn't hand in her homework on time. If she handed it in when it's due, she'd get better grades.
B: I'm not firm enough with her. If I were more insistent, she'd have to shape up and do better work.

A: I wish I had more energy, doctor. If I had more energy, I would be able to accomplish a lot more in my life.
B: You don't exercise enough. If you got more exercise, you'd feel a million times better.
A: I'm afraid that I eat too much bread, cereal, and pasta. I like carbohydrates.
B: I know you do. If you cut down on carbohydrates, you'd lose weight. If you lost weight, you'd feel more energetic.
A: If I were over fifty, I'd understand why I'm so tired. But I'm only thirty-five years old.
B: You'd be surprised how quickly the energy will come back if you put your mind to it.

A: Would you mind if I asked you some advice? I'm shopping for a used car.
B: I hope you're not thinking of buying one from Rick Pollack's Used Car lot.
A: If I bought a used car from Rick, would I be making a terrible mistake?
B: Yes. To tell the truth, I wouldn't buy a used car from that guy if I were you.
A: So, what kind of car does Rick sell? Aren't they reliable? Aren't they fuel efficient?
B: No way. If you bought a car from Rick Pollack, you'd probably spend a lot of money on repairs.

For writing practice, see Present Unreal Conditional: Fill the Blanks.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Grammartalk 15, Page Two, Modal Plus Present Perfect

"Acrylic on Board" by Sudip Banerjee
See for great modern art from India

A: My shoes are too new. Even though I wore thick socks, I got blisters.
B: You should only wear new shoes an hour a day until they're broken in.
A: I might not have bought the right size. Different brands vary in size.
B: You should have walked around in the store to check them out.
A: Right. I shouldn't have been in such a hurry to buy them.
B: You shouldn't have worn your new shoes all day. You're bound to have blisters if you do.

A: Mary's computer crashed this morning. She lost all her documents.
B: That's terrible. Were her files backed up?
A: I'm afraid not. She found a company that promised they would retrieve some of them, but not all of them.
B: It's easy to see what she should have done.
A: She should have saved her files on a disk or on a CD.
B: Exactly. It would have spared her a lot of grief.

A: Marvin forgot his wife's birthday again last week.
B: He shouldn't have forgotten it. That was a big mistake. Was his wife upset?
A: She was no where to be found the next day. She must have gone to her sister's house.
B: Marvin should have circled the date on his calendar to remind himself.
A: Not only did he forget her birthday, he also failed to remember their tenth wedding anniversary.
B: Oh, no. He definitely shouldn't have let that one slip his mind.

A: Sophia is unhappy in her job. Do you know what the problem is?
B: Her employer made her work two extra hours everyday last week without paying her more.
A: She should have gotten overtime pay. Why didn't she?
B: I don't know. She could have spoken to her union representative about it, but she didn't.
A: She must have been afraid to offend her employer, but come on, fair is fair.
B: She accepted that position a little too quickly. With her qualifications and experience, I think she could have done better.

A: Vicky is a great tennis player, but she really played badly yesterday.
B: She lost the tournament, but she should have won.
A: She should have practiced more.
B: Also, she should have done more warm up exercises before the match. And, she went to a party the night before and drank too much.
A: She shouldn't have had alcohol the day before that important game.
B: She should have avoided parties until after the tournament.

A: Boy, I'm really cold. It's freezing today.
B: You shouldn't have worn that short sleeve shirt.
A: I know. I should have put on a warm sweater.
B: You shouldn't have walked to school in this weather. You might have caught a cold.
A: I should have taken the bus. It's much warmer inside the bus.
B: You shouldn't have even thought about wearing sandals. Your toes must feel like ice.

Grammartalk 15, Page One - Modal Plus Present Perfect

"Acrylic on Canvas" by Anita Kulkarni, 2010,
See for great modern art from India

A: Sally was very late to work yesterday. She shouldn't have been so late.
B: I know. She went to a party last night, didn't she?
A: Yes, she did. She was smiling when she came home. She must have had a good time.
B: But, she really shouldn't have gone to that late night party.
A: Right. It would have been better if she stayed home.
B: I'll say. Also, she should have gotten up much earlier.

A: Jack's car broke down this morning.
B: I'm surprised to hear that. Jack has a new car.
A: Well, as a matter of fact, he ran out of gas.
B: It's easy to see what he should have done.
A: He should have filled up the tank before he left.
B: Exactly. He should have paid closer attention to the gas gauge.

A: Marvin failed his Spanish test last week.
B: He shouldn't have spoken only English with his classmates.
A: Right, and he rarely attended class. He only went to school when he felt like it.
B: He should have attended class much more consistently.
A: Not only did he skip class frequently, but when he attended, he nodded off.
B: Oh, no. He definitely shouldn't have slept in class.

A: Maria is unhappy in her marriage. What went wrong?
B: She and Jerry rushed into marriage. They got married after going together for only one week.
A: They should have waited longer before deciding to tie the knot.
B: They should have been a little more patient. They should have dated for several months at least.
A: I heard that they started to fight over every little thing.
B: They shouldn't have fought so much. They should have tried to understand each other better.

A: Barry didn't do as well as he should have at his job interview.
B: Yes. He should have gotten that job. He's very well qualified.
A: What should Barry have done differently?
B: For one thing, he should have spoken more confidently.
A: His clothes were much too flashy. They weren't conservative enough.
B: He should have dressed more conservatively.
A: He should have arrived on time for his appointment.

A: Barry asked a lot of questions about paid vacations.
B: He shouldn't have brought that subject up at the interview.
A: He ate his lunch during the interview. That was pretty inappropriate.
B: Not only that, he spilled mayonnaise on the carpet. He shouldn't have eaten a turkey sandwich.
A: He should have left that terrible tie at home. It clashed with his other clothes.
B: It is a loud yellow tie.

"loud" = "too bright"
"tie the knot" = "get married"
"clash with" = "not look good with"
"nod off" = "fall asleep"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Grammartalk 14, Page One, Past Perfect Progressive Tense

"Crocheting in the Garden" Mary Cassatt, 1880

A: Julie found her watch while cleaning her room yesterday.
B: I'm glad. She had been looking for it all week.
A: She also did very well on her English test last week.
B: That's great. I know she had been studying for it for a long time.
A: Not only that. She's getting married next month.
B: Really? That's strange. She hasn't been going with her boyfriend very long.

A: Silvia won the San Francisco Marathon last weekend.
B: Yes, she told me. Isn't that wonderful? I know she had been training for it for months.
A: She wanted to have a party at her house to celebrate her victory.
B: Unfortunately, she had to cancel the party because her leg muscles are too sore from running the marathon.
A: I know. That's too bad. I had been looking forward to the party.
B: I had been planning to go to the party from the time I learned she was going to have one.

A: Mr. and Mrs. Thompson moved to Seattle last week.
B: That's terrible news. They had been living in this neighborhood for at least twenty years.
A: True. But Mrs. Thompson was promoted to a very high position in her company. She couldn't turn it down.
B: Right, especially since she had been working there for such a long time.
A: Yes. She had been investing a great deal of energy and time in her profession.
B: Did you have a chance to visit them before they left?
A: No. Unfortunately, by the time I went to say good bye to them, they had already moved out.

A: Larry and Jane broke off their engagement last week.
B: That's a shame. They had been going together for around three years.
A: Yes, and when they decided to get engaged, Larry had been seeing another woman.
B: My God. How did Jane find out Larry had been cheating?
A: She found a letter that Larry had been carrying in his briefcase for months.
B: She must have hit the ceiling. I would have been very upset if that had happened to me.

A: David had planned to ask his boss for a raise last week.
B: I heard that he had been preparing to ask for a raise for a long time.
A: David was a little nervous about asking for one. That's why he put it off for so long.
B: Well, what happened when David asked for the raise? Did he get it or not?
A: What David didn't know was, the boss had been reorganizing the company.
B: You mean, the boss had been planning to layoff some of the employees?
A: Exactly. And David was one of them. So, when David asked for a raise, his boss told him the bad news.
B: I can imagine David's disappointment. He had been hoping to become one of the firm's best paid employees.

A: Don! I heard you got married last weekend. Congratulations. That's great news.
B: Thanks. Actually, it's nothing new. I had been dating Julia for six years before I finally decided to propose.
A: Sorry I missed the wedding.
B: Sorry you weren't invited. We only had a small ceremony. Only relatives were invited.
A: I got a new job last week. Now, I'm an architect working for a very reputable firm.
B: That great news.
A: Yes, it is. I had been preparing for this job for a long time.

"Hit the ceiling" = "Get very upset"

Grammartalk 13, Page Two, Past Perfect Tense Continued

A: Have you heard about Mildred? I don't like to gossip, but her story is too crazy.
B: I haven't heard a thing. I haven't spoken with Mildred for quite some time.
A: Her wedding was supposed to be two weeks ago.
B: Really? I had no idea she was getting married.
A: That's just it. The groom didn't even show up.
B: The groom didn't show up for the wedding? He abandoned her at the church?
A: Yes, and later she found out he had left town without telling a soul.

A: The groom must have gotten cold feet. That's why he checked out.
B: His neighbors and friends were worried about him because they didn't know where he had gone.
A: Did they call the police?
B: Yes, they did. And the police searched everywhere for the groom.
A: The people in the town must have been very upset as well as the jilted bride.
B: Yes, because nobody had ever done anything like that before.

A: Jack Byars was very happy yesterday because he got out of jail.
B: I know. How long had he been in the slammer?
A: He had been locked up for ten years. He did a lot of things he hadn't done in ten years.
B: Like what?
A: He visited his friends. He hadn't visited them in ten years.
B: He drove his motorcycle, too. He hadn't driven it in ten years.
A: How did you know?
B: I heard his motorcycle on the street. It has a distinctive sound.

A: He also went bowling. He hadn't gone bowling in ten years.
B: I understand he's a great bowler. He was a professional before he was arrested.
A: That's true. But he was rusty because he hadn't had a chance to practice.
B: Did he see his old girlfriend, Thelma?
A: No. He didn't see her because she had left town with another guy.
B: That must have been tough for Jack.
A: Yes. By the time he decided to propose to her, she had already gotten married.

A: Why did you wash your car yesterday?
B: Because, I hadn't washed it for a whole month. It was really dirty.
A: Why did Harry go to the movie theater and see four different movies?
B: Because he hadn't seen a movie in several months. He was starved for entertainment. A: Why did Martha Stewart spend all day in the garden yesterday?
B: Because, she hadn't done any gardening in two years. Her garden was full of weeds.

A: I heard that your brother was in a car accident yesterday. Is it true?
B: Yes, it is. And it's really surprising. He had never been in a car accident before.
A: I heard that your twin sisters both got rave reviews for their show. Is it true?
B: Yes, it is. And it's really fantastic. They had never performed in front of an audience before.
A: I heard that you went out with Jennifer last weekend. Is that just a rumor?
B: No, it's true. And it was really wonderful. I had never gone out with such a sweet woman before.

Language notes:

"Without telling a soul"= "Without telling anybody"
"to jilt" = "to reject, abandon"
"weeds" = "unwanted plants"
"gossip" = "talk about someone else, pass rumors"
"rusty" = "out of practice"
"slammer" = slang for "jail, prison"

Grammartalk 13, Page One, Past Perfect Tense

Mission Dolores and San Francisco de Asis

A: How come you didn't go to the movie last weekend?
B: We didn't want to. We had just gone to a movie the weekend before.
A: How was it?
B: It was very interesting. I had never seen a science fiction movie before.
A: Did you get to the theater on time?
B: No. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the theater, the movie had already begun.

A: Why didn't Maria want to take a Level 6 English Class last semester?
B: Because she had taken a Level 6 English Class the semester before.
A: Had she completely finished the textbook?
B: Yes, and she had memorized most of the conversations.
A: But I heard she didn't pass the final exam.
B: That's right. By the time she got to the exam, it had already started.

A: You were in Level 7 last semester, weren't you?
B: Yes, but I had never studied English in a language lab before.
A: Sylvia has lived in San Francisco for several years, hasn't she?
B: Yes, she has. But there are a lot of places she's never visited.
A: She visited Mission Dolores last week, didn't she?
B: Yes, she did. And she had never visited Mission Dolores before.

A: Did Mr. Burns enjoy the dinner party last night?
B: Yes, he did. He hadn't been to a dinner party in a long time.
A: He's usually late for parties. Was he on time last night?
B: No, as usual, he was about a half hour late. By the time he got to the dinner party, most of the food had already been eaten.
A: If he had been on time, he wouldn't have missed any of the dishes.
B: Yes, and if he hadn't missed the bus, he would have been on time.

A: Were Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins prepared for their vacation?
B: They thought they had prepared very well, but they had a problem.
A: Why? What happened?
B: They had packed their suitcases several days ahead of time.
A: Had they purchased traveler's check at the bank?
B: Yes. They had even asked their neighbor to water their plants.
A: So, what was the problem?
B: When they arrived at the airport, they realized they had forgotten to bring their plane tickets with them.

A: Have you heard about Wally? It's terrible news.
B: I haven't heard. What happened to Wally?
A: He lost two thousand dollars in the stock market last week.
B: Two thousand dollars? That's a lot of cash.
A: Yes. He invested in stocks, and he had never invested in anything before.
B: Well, I hope next time, he'll consult a financial advisor before he blows his nest egg.

Note: "To blow one's nest egg" = "To squander one's life savings"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Grammartalk 12, Page Two - Two-Word Verbs

"The Child's Caress" Mary Cassatt, 1890

A: I can’t figure out this telephone bill.
B: Why can’t you figure it out?
A: There are some calls to out of state numbers.
B: I never called anyone out of state.
A: We need to get in touch with the phone company.
B: Yes, but can’t we put this off until tomorrow?

A: I’d like to try on those shoes. I wear size 8.
B: Sure. You can try them on. How do they fit?
A: They don’t feel right. You can bring them back where you got them.
B: I’ll put them back, but you have to take them off first.
A: I’d like to look through these shirts first.
B: All right, but don’t forget to give back those shoes.

A: I’ve decided to give up smoking.
B: It’s a good idea to give up that habit.
A: I didn’t use up all these cigarettes.
B: No problem. You can just throw them away.
A: I’m going to find out what kind of damage smoking can cause.
B: There’s a lot of information about that in the library.

A: The party is over. It’s time to take down the decorations.
B: Some of them are on the ceiling. We’ll need the ladder.
A: I’ll take the ladder out of the closet and bring it here.
B: Where should we put these decorations away?
A: You can put them away in these plastic container.
B: This lantern is torn. We might as well throw it out.

A: Doris, nice of you to drop by. Come in and have some tea.
B: I was in the neighborhood and decided to drop in.
A: I’m glad you did. Give me your jacket. I’ll hang it up.
B: Can I put down these shopping bags somewhere?
A: Sure. Put them down by the front door.
B: I wanted to invite you to come over next Friday night if you have time.

A: May I take back the shoes I bought last week?
B: Sure. Just bring them back within ten days of your purchase.
A: I picked them up about a week ago.
B: Good. Bring them in, and we’ll give you your money back.
A: I’d like to try on another pair.
B: That’s fine. You might be able to pick out
something you like better.

A: Did you hear? The Parkers called off their
daughter’s wedding.
B: Why what happened?
A: You didn’t know? The groom got cold feet.
B: What does that mean, “He got cold feet?”
A: He decided not to go through with the wedding.
B: I’m really sorry the wedding was called off.

A: You’ll never guess who I ran into yesterday.
B: I can’t possibly guess. You’ll have to tell me.
A: I ran into my old college professor, Dr. Hernandez.
B: Oh, that’s wonderful. I really look up to her. She helped me a lot in college.
A: She wasn’t feeling too well. She had a little cold.
B: A cold? I certainly hope she gets over it soon.

A: Timmy doesn’t get along with his sister very well.
B: Oh, really? Why doesn’t he get along with her?
A: She picks on him too much. He can’t stand it.
B: What are their parents doing about the problem?
A: They’re looking through some books on child rearing.
B: I’m sure those kids will grow out of it. It’s just a stage.

A: The teacher says I have to do over my homework.
B: Do it over? That’s going to take a lot out of you.
A: Yes, it is. She crossed out several mistakes.
B: I would help you, but I have a slight headache.
A: I thought you said you got over it yesterday.
B: I did get over it. But, then it came back last night.
I’d better take the rest of the day off.

Grammartalk 12, Page One, Two-Word Verbs

"An Artist's Room" Kapiton Zelentsov, 1890

Two-Word Verbs, also called "Phrasal Verb", Separable and Inseparable:

A: When are you going to fill out those job applications?
B: I’ll fill them out tomorrow.
A: You should do this one over. There are several mistakes.
B: All right. I’ll do it over now.
A: When will you hand them in to the employers?
B: I don’t have to hand them in until next week.

A: When do you drop off your children?
B: I drop them off at 8:00 am every morning.
A: When do you pick them up?
B: I pick them up at 3:45 pm every afternoon.
A: Do your children get along with their classmates
and teachers?
B: Yes, they do. I’m glad I didn’t take them out of that school.

A: Have you heard from Bob recently?
B: No, he hasn’t called me up in a long time.
A: Someone told me he moved out of his apartment.
B: Did you look up his new phone number?
A: I tried to look it up, but it wasn’t listed.
B: I hope we hear from him soon.

A: I have to throw out these old newspapers.
B: Yes, you should throw them out right away.
A: I also need to take back my library books.
B: Yes, they’re due. You ought to take them back now.
A: I’m giving back those tools I borrowed.
B: Yes, thank you for giving them back. I need them.

A: I ran into Sally yesterday afternoon.
B: Oh, really? Where did you run into her?
A: On Mission Street. She was getting off the bus.
B: What were you doing? Getting on the bus?
A: No, I was getting out of my car.
B: I should call on Sally sometime. I like Sally.

A: Our neighbors won’t turn down their stereo.
B: I know. It’s very annoying. Why won’t they turn it down?
A: Actually, I think they just turned it up. It’s louder.
B: It’s after 11:00. They really should turn it off.
A: I’m going to call them now and tell them off.
B: Don’t. They’re big guys. They might beat us up.

A: Put on your sweater. It’s very cold.
B: I don’t want to put it on. I don’t feel that cold.
A: I don’t know why you took it off.
B: I took it off because it’s worn out.
A: How did you wear out your sweater? Did you work out in it?
B: Check out these sleeves. You see these holes?

A: Where can I hang up my hat and coat?
B: You can hang them up in the closet next to mine.
A: Where should I put away these tools?
B: Put them away in the plastic box in the basement.
A: Should I throw out these old magazines?
B: Yes, but don’t put them in the garbage. Recycle them.

A: I forgot to write down Mrs. Parker’s phone number.
B: You can look it up in the phone book.
A: She offered me a job last week. I thought it over.
B: What did you decide?
A: It’s definitely better than my current job.
B: Take the phone book out of the drawer now and call her up.

A: We used up all of our toothpaste.
B: I didn’t know we used it all up.
A: That’s okay. I never cared for that toothpaste.
B: Let’s go to the drugstore and pick out a different flavor.
A: Did you know that they ran out of my favorite toothpaste?
B: I didn’t know they ran out of it. Why bring up the subject of toothpaste now? We have more important things to think about.

Grammartalk 11, Page Two - First Conditional

"Still Life - Fast Moving" Salvador Dali, 1956

A: If my roof leaks, who should I call?
B: You should call the landlord if your roof leaks.
A: If there’s a gas leak, who can I call?
B: In that case, call P.G. and E. They’ll fix it.
A: Who should I notify if there’s an emergency in the building?
B: If there’s an emergency, you should call 911 right away.

A: What do I need if I want to fix the sink myself?
B: You’ll need a good plumber’s wrench.
A: If I don’t have one, where can I purchase one?
B: You can buy one at Home Depot.
A: If I want to make my own clothes, what will I need?
B: If you make your own clothes, you’ll need a good sewing machine.

A: If I have time on Saturday, I’ll visit my parents.
B: If you visit them, they’ll be very happy.
A: I’ll bring some groceries if I visit them.
B: If you go to their house, they’ll make a big dinner for you.
A: If I don’t have time this Saturday, I’ll go there next weekend.
B: They’ll be glad whenever you can visit them.

A: Should Yu Lee go to school today?
B: No. If Yu Lee goes to school today, he might give his cold to the other children.
A: If he stays home, I’m afraid he’ll be very bored.
B: Don’t let him watch television even if he wants to.
A: If he doesn’t watch TV, what can he do?
B: If he has energy, he should study his books.

A: Do you think Mary should quit her job?
B: If she doesn’t like it, she should talk to her boss.
A: Why shouldn’t she just quit?
B: If she quits, she might have trouble finding another job.
A: If she has trouble finding a job, she can go to an employment agency.
B: Yes, if there aren’t too many people looking for work, she might find a good job.

A: Do you think I should marry Steven?
B: If you marry him, you might have to support him.
A: If I have to support him, we won’t be able to have children.
B: If you marry him, you might regret it for a long time.
A: But if I really love him, I should marry him, don’t you agree?
B: I don’t know. Love isn’t everything. You should really think about it.

A: Do you think BART will be very crowded today?
B: I hope not. If it’s crowded, we’ll have to stand.
A: If we have to stand, we’ll be tired when we get to work.
B: You’re right. I hope Bart isn’t too crowded today.
A: Do you think BART is running today? I don’t see a train.
B: My God. If there’s an accident, the train won’t

A: Do you think the landlord will raise the rent?
B: I hope not. If he raises the rent, I won’t be able to pay it.
A: If we aren’t able to pay it, we’ll have to move.
B: If we have to move, we must look for another place.
A: If we’re looking for another place, we won’t have time for anything else.
B: I really hope the landlord doesn’t raise the rent.

A: Do you think the teacher will give us a test tomorrow?
B: I hope not. If she gives us a test, we won’t do well.
A: If we don’t do well, our parents will be upset.
B: If my parents are upset, they’ll ground me.
A: If they ground you, you won’t be able to play.
B: I really hope the teacher doesn’t give us a test.

A: What did Patricia wish for when she blew out the candles on her birthday cake?
B: She hopes to get a raise in her new job.
A: if she gets a raise, she can go on vacation.
B: She can buy clothes if she makes more money.
A: If she gets a raise, she can eat at restaurants.
B: She’ll have to get married unless she gets a raise.

Grammartalk 10, Page Two - Passive Voice

"Old Battersea Beach" James Whistler, 1863

A: Should I send the packages now?
B: No, that’s O.K. They’ve already been sent.
A: I want to help. Should I sweep the porch?
B: No, don’t worry. It’s already been swept.
A: At least let me help you pay the bills.
B: No problem. They’ve already been paid.

A: Have Bob’s birthday presents been wrapped yet?
B: Yes, they’ve already been wrapped.
A: Has the birthday cake been bought yet?
B: Yes, it’s already been bought.
A: Has it been decorated yet?
B: Yes, it’s already been decorated, and all
the invitations have been sent.

A: How have all the patients been so far?
B: There haven’t been any problems, Doctor.
A: Has Mr. Nelson’s blood pressure been taken?
B: Yes, and it’s lower than yesterday.
A: Has Mrs. Blue been given her medicine?
B: Yes, and she’ll be given her second dose in an

A: Has June been told about her operation?
B: Yes, everything has been explained to her.
A: Is Mr. Warren ready to leave the hospital?
B: He’s already been sent home.
A: I wasn’t informed. Someone should have told me.
B: Mr. Warren was happy to go home.

A: Can we leave soon? It’s been a long day.
B: Yes, all the beds have been made.
A: Has the laundry been put away yet?
B: Yes, and all the dishes have been done.
A: But has the garbage been taken out yet?
B: Oh, no. The garbage hasn’t been taken out yet. I’ll do it right away.

A: When will the students be given an exam?
B: They will be given an exam next week.
A: When will they be told their results?
B: They’ll be told their results the following week.
A: When will they be registered for next semester?
B: They’ll be registered in May.

A: An important meeting will be held next month. Will you be there?
B: Of course. What subject will be discussed?
A: We’ll discuss the problem of drugs in our community.
B: Will any law officers be invited?
A: Yes, we’re inviting several police officers.
B: The drug dealers must be arrested or we’re going to have more problems.

A: Your back should be seen by a specialist.
B: Yes, my back is giving me a lot problems.
A: You should be given a list of exercises.
B: Yes, I want to be treated by a good physical therapist.
A: An antiinflammatory medicine should be prescribed for you.
B: Yes, my pain has to be reduced or I can’t work very effectively.

A: I had my house painted last week.
B: Did you have your broken windows repaired?
A: Yes, and I got my sink installed finally.
B: Have you had your carpets cleaned yet?
A: No, I got them all replaced. The stains wouldn’t come out.
B: I heard your car was towed away last week.
A: Yes, and it’s really a shame. I was charged an arm and a leg to get it back.

A: Sorry. Your car can’t be repaired. It’s too old.
B: But, it has to be repaired. I need it.
A: No, there are several parts that can’t be replaced.
B: What do you mean, they can’t be replaced?
A: The carburetor for this car can’t be found anywhere.
B: You mean, parts can’t be located for a 1936 Ford?

Grammartalk 8, Present Perfect Progressive Tense, Page Two

A: You’ve been yawning all day. What’s up?
B: I haven’t been sleeping very well lately.
A: That’s a shame. Why haven’t you been sleeping?
B: I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night a lot.
A: You should try drinking Nighty Night tea. It will help you sleep.
B: That’s a good idea. I haven’t been doing anything about my sleeping problem.

A: You’ve been acting nervous all day. What’s up?
B: I’m going to fly in an airplane tomorrow.
A: Haven’t you ever flown in an airplane before?
B: No, I haven’t. I’ve been worrying about it for weeks.
A: Don’t worry! I’ve been flying in airplanes for years.
B: OK. I guess there’s nothing to be nervous about.

A: Toshi has been living in a small town in Japan all his life.
B: Yes, and now he’s going to move to San Francisco.
A: He’s nervous, because he’s never studied English.
B: His cousins have been studying English for years.
A: They’ll be able to help him.
B: Toshi has been speaking Japanese all his life.

A: Toshi has never shopped at an American supermarket.
B: Toshi’s cousins have been shopping in American supermarkets for years.
A: That’s great. They’ll be able to help him to adjust.
B: Toshi has been eating only Japanese food.
A: His cousins have been eating hamburgers for years.
B: They’ve also been having stomach problems.

A: Toshi has been taking his girlfriend to the movies for years.
B: Now, Toshi will have to leave his girlfriend.
A: Toshi’s cousins have been dating in America for years.
B: That’s nice. They’ll be able to introduce him to their friends.
A: Toshi has never left his small town in Japan.
B: His cousins have been traveling around for years.

A: How are you feeling, Mr. Jackson?
B: Well, Doctor, I’ve been having a back problem.
A: How long have you been having this problem?
B: It’s been bothering me for two weeks.
A: Have you ever had a back problem before?
B: No, I haven’t. This is the first time.

A: How is your appetite? Have you been eating well lately?
B: I’ve been eating a balanced diet, I think.
A: A lot of people have been coming to me with back problems recently.
B: What do you usually recommend?
A: I’ve been advising my patients to exercise regularly.

A: This is a list of exercises. Do them twice a day.
B: Have you other patients been using these exercises.
A: Yes, they have. And they’ve been getting good results.
B: Well, thank you. Frankly, I haven’t been exercising much.
A: It’s not easy to make time to exercise. But, try it.
B: I’ve been thinking about exercise for a long time.

A: Mario has been assembling cameras since 7 A.M.
B: Really? How many cameras has he assembled?
A: He’s assembled 19 cameras so far.
B: He’s never assembled that many cameras in one day before.
A: I know. Fortunately, he only has to assemble one more camera. Then, he can go home.
B: I bet he’s looking forward to a break.

A: Judy has been typing letters since 9 A.M.
B: Really? How many letters has she typed so far?
A: She’s typed 25 letters today, and she’s tired.
B: She’s never typed that many letters in one day before.
A: I know that. Fortunately, she only has to type one more letter. Then, she can go home.
B: I bet she’s looking forward to a relaxing dinner.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Take the "United States" quiz


1. You'll find the highest point and the lowest point in the continental United States in this state.

New Hampshire

2.Every four years, the people of this state gather in homes and schools for a unique political ritual called a caucus.

New Hampshire

3.This state has the only diamond mine in the U.S., is number one in poultry production, is the birthplace of WalMart, and also used to be known as the hillbilly state.

West Virginia
North Carolina

4.This state's government describes itself as business-friendly and accessible. Over 300,000 corporations, including half of the Fortune 500, incorporate in this business-savvy state. It was the first state to ratify the Constitution.

New Hampshire

5. What the settlers found under the grassy prairie turned out to be some of the best soil on the North American continent. They also found the perfect climate for growing what was to become this state's number one cash crop, corn.


6. We regard this state as the middle of America. It gets more category 5 tornadoes than almost anywhere else in the nation. Dorothy was whisked away from this twister state to the Land of Oz.

North Carolina

7. Twenty-three percent of this state's population claim to be of Irish descent, the highest proportion in the nation. The St. Patrick's Day celebration here is bigger than it is in Ireland.

New York
New Hampshire

8. In 1997 this became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide, a decision no other state has made.


9.When Texas was admitted to the Union, there was a general supposition that, in fact, it would be divided into several states.

New York

10.This is the only state in the Union that was actually born out of the conflict of the Civil War; it seceded from another state to become its own state. One of its unusual attractions is The Coal House in White Sulphur Springs, built with 30 tons of anthracite coal.

New Hampshire
West Virginia

Written by Janet Fowler

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Choose the Correct Auxiliary

1. I understand you. Please, speak slower.

2. He work overtime this Friday.

3. They to leave class early today.

4. You bring a notebook to class every day.

5. Sam to forget his ex girlfriend and find someone new.

6. You take a credit course if you wanted to.

7. They travel more if they had time.

8. I always driving downtown because the traffic is heavy.

9. We're to eat dinner around 7:00 pm tonight.

10. I to meet my uncle at the airport this afternoon.

11. Timmy to play baseball in the back yard.

12. Steve cook spaghetti for dinner tonight. He's not sure.

13. I to fix the washing machine. It's broken.

14. Yan Ching speak both Mandarin and Cantonese.

15. Maria isn't home right now. I take a message?

16. I don't to disturb you, but I really need your help.

17. We're to listen to music tonight.

18. You attend class if you're not feeling well.

19. You worked 12 hours today? You be tired.

20. My boss probably change my schedule next week.

21. I return my library books today. They're overdue.

22. You wear your sweater. It's very cold outside.

23. Steven isn't wearing his raincoat. It not be raining very hard.

24. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. I be late for work.

25. My sister really watching science fiction movies.

26. you tell me how to get to Mission Campus from here?

27. Our dinner guests be here in about a half hour.

28. The doctor says I eat as much ice cream as I did before.

29. We're afraid we have a terrible time at Jack's party.

30. I give my brother a tie because I gave him one last year.

31. Our family to go to the beach every summer.

32. Put on your safety helmet or you hurt your head.

33. My son has a fever. I'm afraid he have the flu.

34. Our students don't to wear a uniform when they attend our classes.

35. You to go to bed early so you'll have energy tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Verb "be" in Present Tense

1. I a student.

2. This an English class.

3. The teachers at a meeting.

4. We in Room 326.

5. The restaurant across the street

6. Maria in Oakland.

7. He intelligent.

8. The books on the shelf.

9. The bus late.

10. She very patient.

11. That correct.

12. These sentences easy.

13. I thirsty.

14. It sunny.

15. You his employee.

Write Contractions if possible in the following:
















Friday, May 21, 2010