Monthly Archives: October 2018

A dream of Martin McGuinness


I dreamt of the Butcher Boy of the Bogside eysternight

He and I had a cheery chin wag. I had been thining of him afore since his party went down in flames in the elecrtion

I asked hi was it not peculiar that his party was happy to be in the UK now? He said no because he liked England.

communication lesson 12=============


communication lesson 12

regret, anger

third conditional

I wish/ if only. past situations

should/ shouldn’t have



Regret is when you feel bad about something that you did or someone else did. For example, if you eat too much food and you put on weight you might regret overeating. If you skip going to gym then you might regret it. ‘Regret’ is also a noun. I feel regret when I spend money foolishly. We also use the verb ‘rue’ which is pronounced ‘roo’. It is like this ‘I rue the day I met that evil woman.’ Things that you regret are regrettable.

There was a French singer named Edith Piaf who sang ‘‘Je ne regrette rien” which means ”I regret nothing.” The French phrase is a well known expression in English.

There was a British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who invented a well known proverb; ”Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, age a regret.” He was saying that young people often makes mistakes. This makes adulthood very hard if a person chooses the wrong career or spouse. Then old people often feel bad about the unwise decisions that they made long ago. A blunder is a mistake.

Some people look backwards too much. They agonise over choices that they made. The past cannot be undone. We must look to the future.

Anger is a bad feeling. This wells up in people when they feel that some injustice has been done. There are many other words for anger – ire, rage, fury and so on. There are adjectives related to them – irate, enraged, furious…. They are verbs such as to enrage and to infuriate. The adjective of anger is angry and the word anger can also be a verb.

  1. Who said ”youth is a blunder”?
  2. What does blunder mean in plain English?
  3.  What is regret?
  4.  State one regret that you have.
  5. Who sang ”Je ne regrette rien.”?
  6. What does that mean in English?
  7. What does rue mean?
  8. What part of speech is regrettable?
  9. What is the adjective of ire?
  10.  What is the verb of fury?
  11.  Can anger be a verb?



“Third conditional” or “conditional III” is a pattern used to refer to hypothetical situations in a past time frame, generally counterfactual (or at least presented as counterfactual). Here the condition clause is in the past perfect, and the consequence is expressed using the conditional perfect.
If you had called me, I would have come.
Would he have succeeded if I had helped him?
It is possible for the usual auxiliary construction to be replaced with were to have + past participle. That used, the above examples can be written as such:
If you were to have called me, I would have come.
Would he have succeeded if I were to have helped him?
The condition clause can undergo inversion, with omission of the conjunction:
Had you called me, I would have come. / Were you to have called me, I would have come.
Would he have succeeded had I helped him? / Would he have succeeded were I to have helped him?
Another possible pattern (similar to that mentioned under the second conditional) is if it hadn’t been for… (inverted form: had it not been for …), which means something like “in the absence of …”, with past reference. For clauses with if only, see Uses of English verb forms § Expressions of wish.
For the possible use of would in the condition clause, see § Use of will and would in condition clauses. Occasionally, with a first person subject, would is replaced with should. In the main clause, the auxiliary would can be replaced by could or might, as described for the second conditional.
If only one of the two clauses has past reference, a mixed conditional pattern (see below) is used.


I wish/ if only. Past situations

People often wish for things. ”I wish I could be young forever.” There are many other such wishes. I wish I had become a barrister. Many fairytales include episodes of a person looking up at the stars at night and saying ‘I wish upon a star …’ and then hoping for something fabulous but impossible.

There was a little girl named Alexandra. Her grandfather had died. Alexandra wished that she could put a ladder up to heaven to allow her grandfather to come down for her birthday. Sadly this did not come true.

In fairytales a person is often granted three wishes. In Irish fairytales if you catch a leprechaun you get three wishes. If you make a fourth wish – you lose them all!

People often express regrets with ‘if only’. These can be about things beyond human control. ‘If only it was not raining’, ‘If only I was born talented at music’, ‘If only I had a sister’ and so on.  These sometimes refer to past situations – ‘if only I had stayed at Oundle’, ‘If only I had bought a house in 2002’, ‘If only I had married Judith.’

  1. What is a wish?
  2. In what sort of stories do people wish upon a star?
  3. What did Alexandra wish for?
  4. Who grants three wishes in Irish stories?
  5. What happens if you make a fourth wish?
  6. What does ‘if only’ express?
  7. Write three things that you wish.
  8.  Write three ‘if only’ sentences.



Should is about duty and wise choices. Here are examples –

You should obey your parents. A soldier should be brave. The train should be on time. You should try hard at school.

Should is sometimes about the future. Sometimes it is about the general situation – past, present and future. ‘A soldier should be brave’ is generally true. It applied in the past, it applies in the present and in the future.

Write three should sentences.

Should not is the opposite of should. It warns against unwise or wrongful conduct. It can be about the future too.

You should not be late. She should not be rude. A child should never be a brat. Dogs should be treated nicely.

Write three should not sentences.

communication lesson 11


communication lesson 11.


appearance, reality, relationships

reported speech, reported questions, reporting verbs



Most people want love. It is a main driver of so much of what we do. English is poor in only having one word for it. In Greek there are many words for it. One of these is ‘agape’ which is self-sacrificial love for a country or community. The Greeks also have ‘eros’ which is romantic love.

On Valentine’s Day people celebrate love. This is on 14 February. This is chiefly about romantic love. Some people think it should be about familial love which is purer.

  1. Is there more than one word for love in Greek?
  2. What is agape?
  3. What is eros?
  4. What is Valentine’s Day?



This is how someone looks. Most people care about their appearance. Obsessing about your appearance is not good. Being totally indifferent to it is not a healthy sign either. Being clean is healthy and indicates mental health. A person who has obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) might care far too much about hygiene. Such a person might wash his or her hands 100 times a day. That is indicative of mental illness. People often judge by appearance. People can express their personality through appearance.

  1. Is it good to be fixated with your appearance?
  2. Is it good to not care about it at all?
  3. Do people ever judge you by your appearance?
  4. Describe your appearance.
  5. Describe your favourite outfit.



Reality is what is happening. It is real. We have to face reality even when we do not like it. We are all going to die for example but we prefer not to think about that. No one is perfect. A wise person accepts his or her shortcomings.



A relationship is a series of interactions between two or more people. Familial relationships are usually lifelong. Friendships are important relationships. Some people consider their relatives to be friends. Sometimes a person does not like his or her relatives.

People work together. They need to have a good working relationship. Your colleague can become your friend. Collegiality is valuable.

People form romantic relationships as adults. This can lead to marriage.

Trust is important in all relationships.



Reported (or Indirect ) speech is a means of expressing the content of statements, questions or other utterances, without quoting them explicitly as is done in direct speech. For example,” He said “I’m coming” ” is direct speech, whereas ”He said (that) he was coming”, is indirect speech. Indirect speech should not be confused with indirect speech acts.

In grammar, indirect speech often makes use of certain syntactic structures such as content clauses (“that” clauses, such as ”(that) he was coming”), and sometimes infinitive phrases. References to questions in indirect speech frequently take the form of interrogative content clauses, also called indirect questions (such as whether he was coming).

In indirect speech certain grammatical categories are changed relative to the words of the original sentence.

For example, person may change as a result of a change of speaker or listener (as I changes to he in the example above). In some languages, including English, the tense of verbs is often changed – this is often called sequence of tenses. Some languages have a change of mood: Latin switches from indicative to the infinitive (for statements) or the subjunctive (for questions).
When written, indirect speech is not normally enclosed in quotation marks or any similar typographical devices for indicating that a direct quotation is being made. However, such devices are sometimes used to indicate that the indirect speech is a faithful quotation of someone’s words (with additional devices such as square brackets and ellipses to indicate deviations or omissions from those words), as in He informed us that “after dinner [he] would like to make an announcement”.

It is raining hard.
She says that it is raining hard. (no change)
She said that it was raining hard. (change of tense when the main verb is past tense)
I have painted the ceiling blue.
He said that he had painted the ceiling blue. (change of person and tense)
I will come to your party tomorrow.
I said that I would come to his party the next day/the following day. (change of tense, person and time expression)
How do people manage to live in this city?
I asked him how people managed to live in that city. (change of tense and question syntax, and of demonstrative)
Please leave the room.
I asked them to leave the room. (use of infinitive phrase)
I am a traitor…
You believe me to be a traitor…[4] (use of infinitive phrase)
The tense changes illustrated above (also called backshifting), which occur because the main verb (“said”, “asked”) is in the past tense, are not obligatory when the situation described is still valid:
”Ed is a bore.”
”She said that Ed was/is a bore.”(optional change of tense)
”I am coming over to watch television.”
”Benjamin said that he is/was coming over to watch television.”(change of person, optional change of tense)

Write five sentences in reported speech.



Here are some reported speeches. Turn them into reported questions.

He told her (that) she was smart.
She thought (that) he was friendly.
I hear (that) they’ve started dating.
They wish (that) they had met earlier.



SAY, ask, believe, think, wish, hear

use each of these in a reported speech.

communication lesson 10================================================


communication lesson 10.

mysterious places

phrasal verbs. Up / into/ down

modal verbs of deduction

Indirect questions


Mysterious Places

A mysterious place is somewhere that not many people know about and very few have been. Sometimes people wonder whether such a location exists.

In the middle of Beijing there is the Forbidden City. There was an emperor living there until just over 100 years ago. It was called ‘forbidden’ because the emperor was the only true man permitted to stay there overnight. This place was quite mysterious but not secret. Thousands of people went there every day. Many women lived there. Soldiers guarded its walls. The place had almost 10 000 rooms.

There have been many mysterious place according to legends. In ancient Irish mythology there was a place called ‘Tir na nOg’. This means ”Land of the Young” in Irish. It was like paradise. It is under the sea. When good people died they would go there and live there. They would become young and beautiful again and always remain youthful.  Irish people now accept that Tir na nOg is a myth.

The Spanish believed there as a place called El Dorado which means ”The Golden One.” Spaniards arrived in the American Continent in the late 15th century. They spread out seeking El Dorado. They wanted to pillage the gold. It is unlikely that this legendary city ever existed.


  1. What is a mysterious place?
  2. Where is the forbidden city?
  3. Why was it called ‘forbidden’?
  4. Did anyone go there?
  5. Have you been to the Forbidden City?
  6. Roughly how many rooms does it have?
  7. What does ‘Tir na nOg’ mean?
  8. In which country’s mythology did this place exist?
  9. Where is Tir na nOg?
  10. Who went to Tir na nOg?
  11. What happened to people who went there?
  12.  Translate El Dorado?
  13. Which nationality believed in it?
  14.  Where did they search for it?
  15.  Did it probably exist?



In English, a phrasal verb is a phrase such as ‘turn down’ or ‘ran into’ which combines two or three words from different grammatical categories: a verb and a particle and/or a preposition together form a single unit.

This unit cannot be understood based upon the meanings of the individual parts, but must be taken as a whole. In other words, the meaning is non-compositional and thus unpredictable. Phrasal verbs that include a preposition are known as prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs that include a particle are also known as particle verbs. Additional alternative terms for phrasal verb are compound verb, verb-adverb combination, verb-particle construction, two-part word/verb, and three-part word/verb (depending on the number of particles), and multi-word verb.



a. Who is looking after the kids? –’ after’ is a preposition that introduces the prepositional phrase ‘after the kids’.
b. They picked on nobody. – ‘on’ is a preposition that introduces the prepositional phrase ‘on nobody’.
c. I ran into an old friend. – ‘into’ is a preposition that introduces the prepositional phrase ‘an old friend’.
d. She takes after her mother. – ‘after’ is a preposition that introduces the prepositional phrase ‘after her mother’.
e. Sam passes for a linguist. – ‘for’ is a preposition that introduces the prepositional phrase ‘for a linguist’.
f. You should stand by your friend.


Write five phrasal verb phrases.


Verb + particle (particle phrasal verbs)
When the element is a particle, it can not (or no longer) be construed as a preposition, but rather is a particle because it does not take a complement. These verbs can be transitive or intransitive. If they are transitive, they are separable.


a. They brought that up twice. – ”up” is a particle, not a preposition.
b. You should think it over. – ”over” is a particle, not a preposition.
c. Why does he always dress down? – ”down” is a particle, not a preposition.
d. You should not give in so quickly. – ”in” is a particle, not a preposition.
e. Where do they want to hang out? – ”out” is a particle, not a preposition.
f. She handed it in. – in is a particle, ”not” a preposition.

Verb + particle + preposition (particle-prepositional phrasal verbs)
Finally, many phrasal verbs are combined with both a preposition and a particle.

Examples and explanations:

a. Who can put up with that? –’ up’ is a particle and ‘with’ is a preposition.
b. She is looking forward to a rest. – ‘forward’ is a particle and’ to’ is a preposition.
c. The other tanks were bearing down on my panther. – down is a particle and ‘on’ is a preposition.
d. They were really teeing off on me. – ‘off’ is a particle and ‘on’ is a preposition.
e. We loaded up on Mountain Dew and Doritos. – ‘up’ is a particle and ‘on’ is a preposition.
f. Susan has been sitting in for me. – ‘in’ is a particle and ‘ for’ is a preposition.



The modal verbs of English are a small class of auxiliary verbs used mostly to express modality (properties such as possibility, obligation, etc.). They can be distinguished from other verbs by their defectiveness (they do not have participle or infinitive forms) and by the fact that they do not take the ending -(e)s in the third-person singular.
The principal English modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will and would. Certain other verbs are sometimes, but not always, classed as modals; these include ought, had better, and (in certain uses) dare and need.


In English, modal verbs as must, have to, have got to, can’t and couldn’t are used to express deduction and contention. These modal verbs state how sure the speaker is about something.
You’re shivering—you must be cold.
Someone must have taken the key: it is not here.
I didn’t order ten books. This has to be a mistake.
These aren’t mine—they’ve got to be yours.
It can’t be a burglar. All the doors and windows are locked. 



Interrogative content clauses, often called indirect questions, can be used in many of the same ways as declarative ones; for example, they are often direct objects of verbs of cognition, reporting, and perception, but here they emphasise knowledge or lack of knowledge of one element of a fact:

I know what you did.
I can’t guess how he managed it.
I wonder whether I looked that bad.
She asked where the files were.  

communication lesson 9.


communication lesson 9.

The truth is out there.


linkers of contrast. however/ although/ even though/ in spite of/despite



The expression in the title relates to mysteries. A mystery is something that we do not know or understand. If we say that the truth is out there this means that we will understand one day.

In the 1990s there was a popular television drama called The X Files. In this programme two FBI detectives investigated paranormal events. It was about ghosts and scary things. The viewer was left unsure if the paranormal exists. The paranormal is that which is outside the laws of nature. A human cannot walk through a solid wall. But if the paranormal is possible then a person with magical power could do so.  The X Files would always finish with the words ‘the truth is out there.’

  1. What is a mystery?
  2. What was the X Files?
  3. Can a normal human walk through a wall?
  4. What is the paranormal?
  5.  What were the last words the X Files?
  6. Do you believe in the paranormal?



A problem is a bad situation. Problems are not new. The word is from Ancient Greece. Luckily this word is the same in almost every European language.

Some people are problem solvers. They like to find solutions. Some people are problematic as in they have a lot of problems.

There is an adage – a problem shared is a problem halved. If you have a problem then tell a friend and perhaps he or she can help.

  1. Are problems good?
  2. Which language does this word come from?
  3.  Is the word problem unique to English?
  4. What is a problem solver?
  5. What does it mean to be problematic?
  6. Why do we say a problem shared is a problem halved?



A link is something that connects one thing to another. A contrast is a difference. To contrast is the opposite of to compare. Black contrasts with white because we see a big difference between them. Contrast is both a noun and a verb.

Here are linkers of contrast. There is an example of each of them in use.

”However” ; This is a more intellectual way of saying ‘but’. ‘However’ often begins a sentence.

Pomponious has a posh name. However, he is working class.

”Although.” This word hints that contrast will come later in the sentence.

Although Jocasta is hideous she has a boyfriend.

”Even though.” This phrase shows that contrast will come later.

Even though I find it dull I do it because I need money.

”In spite of.” This phrase indicates that contrast is coming.

In spite of needing to remember the password I keep forgetting it.

”Despite.” This word shows that contrast is coming.

Despite being reminded I still forget.

Use each of these linkers in a different sentence.





state opening of parliament========================================


what it is?

November. or after election.

what happens. queen in imperial state crown. peers in robes. household cavalry

sword of state. cap of maintenance brought by coach, displayed

two MPs as hostages



search cellars. beefeaters. glass of port

1642. arrest of five members.

black rod.

commons join majesty in house of peers.

my lords pray be seated.

queens speech. neutral tone.


walk out. paired up.

one hour forty minutes.


Indian nationalist discourse===========================================


been there

read Gandhi and Nehru.

boris said the UK would become a colony.

imperialism is bad. Mughals etc… not bad

indian state conquered others. was not evil

Ashoka. lions. abolished slavery. truth alone triumphs

exploitation. east india company. French danes, swedes portuguese

zamindar. diwan.

fraud and duress. land. famines. ”great violence” warren hastings

stand astounded at my own moderation

racialism. cultural appropriation. sir wm jones

less inter marriage. evangelisation

sepoy mutiny. first national war if indeodence. hundi muslim unity

divide and rule.

juries. racist.

top jobs for whites. pay differential

over representation to muslims. muslim league

used indians as cannon fodder. send the mild hindu.

first world war etc…. half a promse of reform. rowlatt black acts


civil liebrites in abeyance. salt tax

congrees banned. flag baned. leaders in gaol.

british close Burma road

decleation of war no consulation. Nehru offered war for independence.

Bengal famine.



A conservative appreciates socialism==========================================


conservative non ideological


health education. transport. nationalized industries. trucks.

paternalism. oastler and saddler. lord Shaftesbury. ten hours act.

the castle is unsafe if cottage is unhappy.

tory democracy. philanthropy.

thatcher. unemployment v inflation

upheaval. crime. unity. opens door to socialism.

some common ownership.

heath on Mao