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.