The Basic Teacher
STEP 18. At the End of the Day
1 . Nouns
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Nouns, like pronouns, can form possessive adjectives, which are put before the name of the thing possessed in the same way as his, hers, its etc.
With singular nouns and with plural nouns which do not end in s, this form is made by adding 's.
In the case of plural nouns ending in s, the possessive is formed by adding an apostrophe alone.
My friend's son does work in the mine.
Is the bird's tail blue ?
John's debts have got him in trouble.
The woman's decision will make the men angry.
The girls' behavior seems very strange today.
Such possessive adjectives may also be used as pronouns, dropping the noun they qualify when this is clear from what has gone before.
That is not my wool, it is Anne's.
Whose springs are those ? They are the workman's.
Note that possessive adjectives formed from nouns cannot in all cases be substituted for the construction with of. For example, abstract nouns never take this form, and substance nouns rarely. A safe general rule for the beginner is to use this form only with names of persons and animals, where it is never wrong : and otherwise to use the of construction. Later, when you have the necessary experience, you will be able to apply this rule less strictly.
2 . Pronouns
All the personal pronouns except it 1 form possessive pronouns whose use is exactly parallel to that of nouns with the 's ending in the last two examples of the previous section. They take the place of a possessive adjective and a noun in cases where the noun can be understood from their corresponding possessive adjectives :
my -- mine
your -- yours
his -- his
her -- hers
our -- ours
their -- theirs
That wool is not mine.
I have given you another seat because yours has a broken spring.
They have put their names in the book. His is on the first page and hers is on the second page.
Is their apparatus better than ours ? No, theirs is not complete.
1. Common usage today allows "its" in addition to "it is" and "it's.
The interrogative adjective whose has a similar pronoun use.
Whose is this decision ?
It is ours.
OMISSION OF A RELATIVE PRONOUN
When who(m) or which is the object of an operator or preposition and introduces a statement necessary for identifying the person or thing named by the word it qualifies (that is, one which is not separated from the rest of the sentence by commas), the relative pronoun is frequently omitted. In cases whee the omitted relative is the object of a preposition, the preposition must, of course, go at the end of the statement.
The person (whom) I saw on her knees was your mother.
He gave an account of every mine (which) he went to.
The bottles he put in the box are broken.
I am reading the book she gave me, which has very small print.
The friend I was with yesterday, whose knowledge is greater than mine, will give you his opinion.
In certain cases, chiefly after time-words, we may omit not only a relative pronoun, but also the preposition of which it is the object. This omission is optional except with the word time used in the sense of 'occasion.'
The first time he came he gave us much amusement.
This is the second day (on which) you have been late.
In relative statements, whether separated from the rest of the statement by commas or not, omission of the relative pronoun alone is not possible when it is the subject of the operator, but when that operator is be, both it and the relative may be omitted, unless for some reason such as a difference in tense, etc., it is important to put it in. This has the effect of making it appear that some English adjectives, especially the -ing and other adjectives from operators and (as we have seen earlier) adjectives requiring some completing phrase, follow their nouns instead of preceding them, but in fact, this position is generally only the effect of the omission of be and its relative pronoun subject.
This strange suggestion, (which was) made almost at the end of the meeting, was a great surprise to us.
The porter said something to the men waiting for the train.
She has a drawer full of his letters.
My office is in the building opposite the station.
We will send the wool by the first ship going to London.
There is no light brighter than that.
The drawer, which was full of letters when I saw it, has now nothing in it.
An adjective qualifying a complex word formed with some, every, no, etc. always follow it.
There is nothing strange about her decision.
A similar construction is the placing after a noun (or a pronoun) of another noun (or pronoun) applying to the same thing.
His name is on this page, (which is) the first in the book.
The manager, a strange man, was not at the meeting.
I will now say something about another part of the body, the stomach.
I, his sister, had no knowledge of his decision.
A special application of this construction is with the pronouns we and you (plural) to indicate the group with which the speaker identifies himself or the persons addressed, or with you (singular or plural) to form an epithet. In these cases the supplementary noun is not separated by a comma form the pronoun, which has almost the effect of an adjective.
We men (that is, as opposed to those who are not men) will go in front of the others.
You women are very late.
You beautiful bird !
You foolish boys !
AT THE END OF THE DAY
[ The curtains are across the window and the lights are on. Mrs. Green has a seat at the right side of the fire. She has put the socks she is making on the table and has let her ball of wool go on the floor. Mr. Green comes in, puts a newspaper down on the table, and gives Mrs. Green a kiss. ]
Mrs. Green : [taking up the newspaper] : What's the news ? Are there more details about the ship which went down or about the trouble in the mines ?
Mr. Green : No, there is nothing of interest tonight.
[He goes to a seat at the left side of the fire, opposite Mrs. Green.]
Mrs. Green : Don't take that seat, dear. The spring is still broken.
Mr. Green : Haven't you sent for that man whose name was given to us by White ?
Mrs. Green : Yes, I sent for him but he hasn't come. He said that he had no time this week.
Mr. Green : The man we had before may come more quickly. He did the other seats very well and he may not be getting as much work as he was. I will go and see him. [He goes to another seat.]
Mrs. Green : Are you tired ?
Mr. Green : Yes, very tired. It has been my worst day this week.
Mrs. Green : What have you been doing ?
Mr. Green : [with a look of amusement] : I was waiting for that question. I will give you an account of my day. First, I went to the works and had a discussion with the manager about the new apparatus we have got. His opinion is that it will make the work slower and give us trouble. From there I went to the office and, after I had had a look at my letters, I did accounts till my head was going round. At the end of the morning Black came and I was taken out for a meal.
Mrs. Green : What is Black's business ?
Mr. Green : He is the manager of the Morning News That is the newspaper in which we put almost all our advertisements.
Mrs. Green : Where did you go ?
Mr. Green : We went first to The Blue Fish, where the drink is very good, and had a bottle of wine. There we had a meeting with Young, who took us to that new place by the river.
Mrs. Green : Is that the strange place which is like a ship ?
Mr. Green : Yes, that's the one. Its name is The Ship. It was very full and we were kept waiting for a long time.
Mrs. Green : Why did you go there ? Whose suggestion was it ?
Mr. Green : It was Young's. He's a good judge of food, and he said that he had been there and the food was better than at The Garden House. At one time The Garden House gave the best meals in town, but there is a new cook there and the food is getting worse every day.
Mrs. Green : Mother says that old Mrs. Price is frequently at The Ship.
Mr. Green : She was there today with her family. She is a strange woman. She has a married son and daughter but her behavior is still like that of a schoolgirl. The dress she had on today came down only as far as her knees.. She has a very loud voice. Our tale was not very near hers, but every word she said came to our ears. The things she said about her friends gave us great amusement.
Mrs. Green : Has the old woman much money ?
Mr. Green : No, she has only debts. Mr. Price had a greater knowledge of plants than he had of business. But Mrs. Price puts good food into her stomach and beautiful jewels round her neck..
Mrs. Green : Did you go back to the office from The Ship ?
Mr. Green : No, I went to a committee meeting. Our business was got through quite quickly and I went to a second committee meeting. This committee had a long discussion about some suggestions I had made. I saw that the others were against them, and I got angry and came away from the meeting before they had made their decision.
Mrs. Green :Was that wise, dear ?
Mr. Green : No, it was very foolish, but I went to the committee in a bad humour and the argument put me in a worse one. I went and had a drink with Bob and then I came back here. And that, my dear, is a complete account of all the events of my day. What did you do ?
Mrs. Green : I took mother to the station this morning and on the way back I got some new curtains for the bathroom. I got blue ones because they were the least dear. Blue will be a change. The Whites are coming tonight.
Mr. Green : Are they? That's bad news. When will they be here ?
Mrs. Green : In about an hour. Have a sleep before they come.
Mr. Green : That's a good idea.
Mrs. Green : Will you have a drink before you go ?
Mr. Green : Yes, please. [She gives him a drink.] Where's that foolish book I'm reading ? Is that it ?
Mrs. Green : No that's mine. Here's yours.
Mr. Green : I'll take it with me to my room. I have got to the place where the man who had got the girl to the island after the ship went down has had a bite from a snake, but I've an idea that they'll get married in the end. One page of this small print will send me to sleep.
[ He goes out. Mrs. Green takes up a page of the newspaper which had gone on the floor and has a look at a picture of a beautiful young woman in man's dress.]
lights are on : By expansion, light is used for an apparatus giving light. When a lamp is giving light it is on. : when it is not giving light it is off or out. We put lights on and off or out.
newspaper == journal
what's == what is. In talking English, it is customary to run certain words together by omitting the sound of a letter or letters. In informal writing, these contractions are represented by writing the words as one and replacing the unsounded letters by an apostrophe. Other examples in this Step are : there's -- there is , that's == that is, don't == do not , I've == I have , they'll == they will , he's == he is , haven't == have not , hasn't == has not. The 'o' in don't is pronounced as in hope. Note that in negative questions, such as Have you not sent ?, the position of not may be changed to make possible its contraction with the operator or auxiliary (haven't, etc.).
went down == went down in the sea, sank.
of interest== having interest (interest here being used in its expanded sense of 'quality causing interest'). Note this idiomatic use of of as 'having,' which has other applications.
dear : Dear is used not only of things which are precious in the sense of being high in price, but also of what is precious because one feels affection for it. As a noun, either unqualified or qualified by my, dear is used as an affectionate name in addressing someone.
sent for that man == sent (a message) for the purpose of getting that man to come.
White : It is customary in England for a man to use the surname of a man with whom he is on familiar terms without the title Mr.
the man we had before : Before is used as an adverb in the sense of 'previously.'
He did the other seats : When do is followed by a noun that names an object and not an act, it has the sense 'do whatever is customary in connection with it or appropriate in the circumstances' or, in certain cases, make. In this example, it stands for 'mend.' Compare with I did accounts, used later in this step.
first : Note the adverbial use, 'in the first place.'
works == factory. Though plural in form this noun is frequently use as a singular.
did accounts : In its specialized sense, an account is an account of what is owing, a 'bill.' The accounts of a business are the records of debits and credits.
till my head was going round : Note that round may be used adverbially. Go round == rotate, revolve.
the drink is very good : Drink is frequently used, as here, in the special sense of 'alcoholic drink."
had a meeting : Note that have is the operator used with meeting.
at one time == previously, at a time in the past.
Mother says that . . . : The Present Tense of say is frequently used when one might expect the Past or the Present Perfect. The idea is that what a person has said indicates what he still thinks, and so a report of its states a present fact.
a greater knowledge of plants :
business : In its specialized sense, business is 'trade, finance,' and a business man is one who engages in or is good at this sort of business.
committee meeting : In its specialized sense a meeting is he organized meeting of a group.
business was got through : Got through == finished, accomplished. Get through is used in this sense with the names either of activities or of things that imply some activity. Thus, we get through a meal, work, a book, and so on.
I saw that the others were against them : by expansion, see may mean 'perceive mentally, understand.'
away : The sense of this adverb, which is a compound of a and way, is 'to or at a distance from something, in a' from 'direction.' (One of the meanings of the word way is 'distance,' but it is used in this sense only in this compound and in adverbial phrases, to which we shall call attention later.)
made their decision : Note that the operator make is used with decision.
in a bad humour : Humour is another of the words describing a state which may be used with the preposition in. But note that, though with trouble and pain. for example, a(n) is not used and an adjective is optional, so hat we may say simply in trouble or in pain, his is not possible with humour, which must always in qualified by a, the, this, etc., and, with the first two, by some descriptive adjective or phrase as well.
had a drink : A drink may be used, as here, for an amount of drink taken at one time or measured out for this purpose (take or have a drink == swallow some drink : give me a drink == give me a glass, etc., of drink). Here also, drink is alcoholic drink.
on the way back == in the course of the journey back.
the Whites : Note this use of the with a proper name in the plural to indicate two or more persons of the same name, here clearly 'Mr. and Mrs. White' or 'the White family.'
about an hour : Here about == 'in the neighborhood of, approximately.' Note this important new use of the word.
Yes, please : Note that yes and please are used together as a polite form of acceptance.
send me to sleep == cause to go to sleep. Note this idiomatic use of send with sleep.
takes up a page : A sheet of a book, newspaper, etc., of which each side is a page, is itself called a page.
man's dress == male attire. Dress, in addition to naming a particular woman's garment, is used in the sense of 'garb, clothing.'
The sense of the compound word schoolgirl is clear without a note.
1 . Describe the events illustrated in each of he above pictures.
Use the complex tense formed with the Present of have and
at least one new word that you have learned in this Step.
2 . With each of the following words write two sentences illustrating two different uses.
|(a) account ||(d) business|
|(b) first ||(e) meeting|
|(c) dear ||(f) about|
3 . (a) Imagine that Mrs. Green is repeating to a friend what Mr. Green told her,
but not as a direct quotation. How would she report the following.
Mr. Green : Black is the manager of the "Morning News." We put our advertisements in this newspaper and I do business with Black frequently. Sometimes we have a meal together. Black has a knowledge of all the details of newspaper work and he is a man who makes quick decisions.
(b) imagine that a friend of the Greens is repeating part of this conversation to another friend. How would she report the following ?
Mrs. Green: You seem tired.
Mr. Green : I am very tired. It has been my worst day this week.
Mrs. Green: What have you done ?
Mr. Green : [with a look of amusement] : I was waiting for that question. First, I went to the works and had a discussion with the manager about the new apparatus we are getting. From there I went to the office and on the way there I took your book back to the library. I have been doing accounts at the office for the greater part of the day and my head is going round.
4 . Translate into Basic :
5 . Re-write this passage, running together as many words as possible :
Has he not said what he will do if he does not get the money ? Where is his letter ? What is the name of the place he is at ? I do not see it. It is on the other page. That is it.
6 . Substitute one word in each case for the words in black print.
(a) This decision was his decision.
(b) His humour is worse than that of Mary.
(c) I have put some drink in the glass of White.
May I put some in your glass ?
(d) Whose name is the name on the second page of the book ?
(e) His seat is at the left side of the fire. Her seat is at the right side.
(f) The first house is their house. Our house is the second house.
7 . In which of these sentences may the relative pronoun be omitted ?
Indicate any changes of order that would be necessary in order to do this.
(a) The decision which you made was a good one.
(b) Mrs. Green, who I haven't seen for about a week, may come today.
(c) Is this the seat which has the broken springs ?
(d) The man who I made angry is still in a bad humour.
(e) She had jewels round her neck, which was long.
(f) The woman from whom I got the details had a strange voice.
(g) The bag in which I keep the wool is full.
8 . Answer in Basic :
(a) What has Mr. Green let go on the floor ?
< Step 17
Step 19 >
(b) Where is her seat ?
(c) Why did Mr. Green go to another seat ?
(d) What did Mr. Green have a discussion about with the manager of the works ?
(e) What was Mr. Green doing before Mr. Black came in ?
(f) Why did Mr. Green and his friends go to the ship ?
(g) Give an account of Mrs. Price.
(h) What did Mr. Green do after the meal ?
(i) When did he go away from the second committee meeting ?
(j) Why did Mrs. Green get blue curtains ?