The Basic Teacher
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1 . Nouns ending in -ING
We have seen that a number of nouns ending in -ing name acts (hearing, learning, teaching, reading, and writing) and are used in a way parallel to the -ing formations. to these, we may now add building (which, in addition to naming a structure, is used for the act of constructing), meeting
(which may be the act of encountering ), and feeling (which, in addition to the root sense, is used for the experiencing of a feeling). All these, like the others, may also be used as adjectives.
All such nouns except meeting may have -er substituted for -ing to form a noun which, in all cases but that of feeler, names a person doing the -ing act.
The men are building a bridge.
Are you feeling any pain ?
I will be meeting the secretary tomorrow.
Feeler == insect's organ for experiencing the feeling of touch.
He kept the attention of his hearers.
The learner's made a request to their teacher.
The writer of this letter gives some interesting facts.
2 . The -ER and -ING Ending with Adjectives
There are six adjectives with which the ending -ing may be used. These are clean, cut, dry, open, separate, shut. All of these may also take the ending -er, with the exception of separate, which takes -or instead. The spelling rules are the same as in the case of nouns which take the endings.1 The -ing form (which is both a noun and an adjective) == causing to be or (except in the case of clean or cut) becoming in the condition described by the root adjective. The -er form == the person or thing doing the act.
She has no time for cleaning the house.
The gardener is cleaning his spade.
The dress has come back from the cleaner but it is still dirty.
After drying the fruit, they put it in boxes.
The wind is drying the shirts.
Our shoes are drying by the fire.
That apparatus is a hair-drier.
The adjectives in the Basic list which end in -ing may have -er substituted for -ing. Those which you have learned so far are boiling, hanging, and waiting. The -er forms of these words are generally used in special senses.
Boiler -- vessel in which water is boiled to make steam for an engine, or tank in which bath-water is heated. (water heater)
Workmen are putting new boilers into the ship.
Hanger == coat hanger.
All her dresses are on hangers.
Waiter == male attendant at a meal in a hotel, restaurant, etc. (Note that waiting, in addition to its root use, may mean doing the work of a waiter.)
The waiter put some more wine in my glass.
All these -ing adjectives may be used as nouns.
We let him have some water after boiling it.
Hanging all the pictures may take a long time.
Waiting makes one very tired.
3 . The -ING and -ED Endings of PLEASE
The ending -ing and -ed may be added to please.
Pleasing (noun and adjective) == giving pleasure (to), causing approval.
He made the suggestion with the hope of pleasing her.
There is a very pleasing picture in the library.
We were pleased by the secretary's statement.
4 . The Prefix UN-
Un-, which has the sense not and so forms an opposite, may be used with fifty of the Basic Adjectives. Here are a number of examples with adjectives that you have already learned :
unable, unbroken, unclean, unclear, uncut, unhealthy, unimportant, unlike, unmarried, unnatural, unnecessary, unready, untrue, unwise.
The learner is still unable to give a complete list of the Basic words.2
The pages of the book are uncut.
There is no record of these unimportant events.
The statement made by your representative was quite untrue.
A complete list of the adjectives which may take the prefix un- is given on page 355.
1 . Note, however, that dry changes y to i before -er and -ed.
2 . Note that able can take un- only when followed by to.
AT THE OFFICE
[ A room in an office. A man who is a good representative of the normal English business man is seated at his writing-table. At the opposite side of the table a woman secretary is opening some letters.]
Business Man : I will be meeting some representatives of the Price Control Committee today, so I will be out most of the morning. We are going to have a private meeting before the public meeting of the Committee tomorrow. That's the only way to get decisions made. I will have a look at the letters before I go. What is there ?
Secretary : There doesn't seem to be anything very important this morning. This letter which I am reading now is a statement from Bell and Sons about the parcels which got wet on the way here. Your letter giving the facts has been sent to the railway company, but Bell and Sons say the insurance was against loss only and not against damage.
Business Man : It was unwise of them not to get a wider insurance. If the goods are damaged before they get here, Bell and Sons are responsible, and we will get the money from them even if they are unable to get it from the railway company.
Secretary : Yes, that's quite right, though they'll not be very pleased about it.
Business Man : Has the receipt come from the London Instrument Company ?
Secretary : I have it here.
Business Man : Good. Put it with the other current receipts on the small table by the window in my room. We will go through them together before the end of the month. What is that letter in your hand ?
Secretary : It is a letter from some builders in Manchester, making a request for our price list. The writer says that he has been unable to get one from our Manchester representative.
Business Man : The list for this y ear isn't read, is it?
Secretary : No.
Business Man : Send the old list if our representative gives his approval. It will be a guide for him. but make it clear that there have been some changes and say that he will be sent the new list later.
Secretary : There is a letter from the manager of the Star Paper Company answer your question about their account. He says that there has been no increase in the price of paper but that the paper he sent us last time was a dearer sort. It doesn't seem any better than what we normally get, but I see from he stamp on the box that it is different.
Business Man : Send them the money. We'll not have any argument about it. Is there anything about which a decision is necessary now ?
Secretary : The letter from Mr. Green is the most important. He says that if you don't put up the price of the new cutter you'll make no profit.
Business Man : I would have made the price higher at the start, but one of the young men in his office said it would be unwise because there was great competition. Does Green give his reasons for his opinion ?
Secretary : Yes, It is quite a long letter.
Business Man : Let me have it. I haven't time to give attention to it now but I'll have a look at it on my way to the meeting. [ The secretary give him the letter.] Will the copy of my letter to the Steel Floor Company be ready when I get back ?
Secretary : It is almost done, but there is one word which is unclear.
Business Man : Let me see it.
Secretary : I will go and get the letter. [ She goes through into another room and comes back with the letter.] Here it is. What is the word at the end of the second page ?
Business Man : [Take the letter and has a look ] It is 'approval' -- "The statement he made to you is untrue. The money was sent without my approval." You are right. It is not very clear. I was writing on my knee with a broken pencil. I will send the second copy to a business friend for his opinion. A reader who has no knowledge of the facts will be able to see if my statement is clear. Put my stamp at the top of the page.
Secretary : Yes, I'll do that. [ She takes a paper off the table.] This will be ready when it has been signed.
Business Man : Good. That's important. [ He takes the paper.] Is this where I am to put my name "
Secretary : Yes, there and again at the end.
Business Man : I see. [ He take the pen out of his pocket.] There's no ink in this pen.
Secretary : Here's the bottle. [ She takes the pen, put some ink in it, and gives it back to him.]
Business Man [writing his name] : That's better. [He has a look at this watch.] It's getting late. Where are the records of the last Price Control meeting ? I put them in the middle drawer of my table but they aren't there now. Have they been moved by the cleaner ?
Secretary : You didn't put them in the middle drawer with the records of your other meetings. You said you would keep them in a separate place, and I've an idea that I saw you put them in a box on the shelf by the door. [ The business man goes to the box and has a look.]
Business Man : You are quite right. I am getting very dependent on your good memory. I have had a bad one from my school-days. In fact, my teacher said I was the worst learner in the school. I might have done better if they had given me a secretary ! [ The secretary gives a laugh.] I'll have to go now. [ Takes his overcoat off a hanger and puts it on.] If anyone come this morning, say that I will be back later in the day. What plays are on ? Is there anything bright with some good-looking
girls in it, which would put a tired business man in a good humour?
Secretary : 'Women, Wine and Song' is said to be a good play of that sort.
Business Man : Then get me two seats for that tonight, will ? [ He goes out, shutting the door.]
representative of the . . . Committee : Here representative means, not a 'specimen', but a person acting for others.
the only way to get decisions made : It is not hard to see how the means, method, or manner by which any result is arrived at come to be called the way to it. Note that way in this sense is one of the words which may be followed by to and the root form of an operator.
railway company : A railway is literally the 'way made of parallel rails' on which trains go, or, more broadly and more commonly, a system of railway communications or the whole organization connected with it. A railway company is naturally a company controlling such an organization.
Bell and Sons : Note the form of title for a business that is owned by a man and his sons. Had the owners been brothers, it would have been called Ball Brothers (generally abbreviated to Bell Bros.).
wider insurances == insurance covering a greater range of possible catastrophes.
goods == merchandise. This special sense of the noun use of the adjective good is restricted to the plural.
current receipts : Current is used as an adjective with the sense 'belonging to the present, going on now'. Things which are current are pictured as being in the current of present events.
making a request : Note that make is used with request.
answering your question : Answering means giving an answer to (a question or the person who puts it ). Hence either a question or a person may be answered. Note that to is not used after answering.
increase in : Note that in is used after increase, as after change, to point to that which undergoes the increase.
put up the price : As we talk of prices being high or low, it is natural to say that we put them up when we increase them and put them down when we decrease them. Similarly, prices are said to go up and down.
cutter : The sense here is 'instrument or machine-part for cutting'.
make no profit : A person who earns money is said to make money. In the same way one may make a (some, etc.) profit.
a paper : One of the expanded senses of paper is 'document'.
signed : Signing a document is putting one's name on it as a sign that one has written it or that one is responsible for what is stated in it.
dependent on : When that in relation to which some person or thing is dependent needs to be indicated, it is pointed to by the preposition on.
school-days == time of one's life when one goes to school.
overcoat == long coat put on over other clothes and worn out of doors.
what plays are on ? The connection between the play-acting of children and the play makes it natural for a drama to be called a play. Events such as entertainments are said to be on when they are current (in other words, 'on the programme').
good-looking = pleasing to the eye ( used specially for persons ).
The sense of the compound word writing-table is clear without a note.
1. Give your answers in Basic to these questions about the picture :
(a) What are the cards in the drawer ?
(b) Where is the pen ?
(c) Where is the woman working ?
(d) What is she writing with ?
(e) What is she doing ?
(f) What sign is there that she has not been giving enough attention to her work ?
2. Change each of these statements in some way without altering the sense, using some form that has been learned in this lesson :
(a) The pencils have been put in a different place by the woman who does the cleaning.
(b) The writer of this letter has not put his name on it.
(c) The grey cat with the long hair is very pleasing to the eye.
(d) The cutting-part of this apparatus is broken.
(e) The discussion was not important and it was not necessary to make a record of it.
3 . Fill in the blanks in the following sentences :
(a) There is a wall _____ing the two gardens.
(b) The _____er will give the boys a punishment if they do not give attention to him.
(c) What he said was surprising to his _____ers.
(d) He was _____ing and _____ing his mouth but no words came.
(e) A quick _____er will get through the book in an hour.
4 . Give another word that has the same sense as :
5 . Write a short description in Basic of a scene in an office.
6 . Translate into Basic : Teacher Link
7 . Answer in Basic :
(a) Why was it unwise of Bell and Sons not to get a wider insurance for the goods which were damaged on the journey?
(b) What did Bell & Sons say in their letter?
(c) Who was the business man going to have a private meeting with and why ?
(d) What was sent by the London Instrument Company ?
(e) Why was the old price list sent to the builders in Manchester ?
(f) What was Mr. Green's opinion about the price of the new cutter ?
(g) How did the secretary see that the paper sent by the Star Paper Company was different from the paper they had sent before ?
(h) Why did the secretary have to get the business man's help before completing the copy she was making of a letter ?
(i) What did the business man say about his secretary's memory ?
(j) Where was his overcoat ?
NOTE : You have now learned all the structure of Basic English. After ten more lessons you will know the complete Basic vocabulary of 850 words.
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