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第19课 THE TRIP

2006-07-29 10:14

  In Singapore, people usually add the word “already” at the end of a phrase, when really it comes much earlier. In good English we say, “He has already brought it back”, rather than “He has brought it back already”。

  Nora comes into the office after a short business trip.

  Jane: Nora. You're back! How was your trip?

  Nora: Not good and good. I managed to go to three hotels. Two were very exciting but one didn't care.

  Jane: Oh! Exciting hotels. What did they have? Bungee jumping? I could never do that.

  Nora: I have bungee-jumped already. It was really scary. But the hotels didn't have one.

  Jane: So why were they exciting?

  Nora: To hear about our portal.

  Jane: Oh! They were excited! I see. And why was your trip bad?

  Nora: Well, my friend from KL was going to come. She has been to Penang last year, but she got sick. So, at night I just stayed in the hotel. I was very boring.

  Jane: Very bored.

  Nora: Am I saying it wrong?

  Jane: Just a little. We use bored when we talk about what the person is feeling. “John is bored with the soccer match,” or “I am confused about the rules of the game”。 When we say boring, we are talking about what causes the feeling. Like “The soccer match is boring,” or “This book I am reading is very interesting.”

  Nora: I see. So I should have said, “The hotels are excited about our portal”?

  Jane: Yes. Exactly.

  Nora: And my friend is very boring.

  Jane: Hmmmm.

  Narrator: Well, that's sorted out! Let's look at two other things that Nora said:

  Replay……

  Nora: I have bungee-jumped already.

  She has been to Penang last year, but she got sick.

  Narrator: Nora was nearly right with the first sentence. The only thing wrong was that she used “already” instead of “before” for talking about something she did some time ago. She could have said:

  Nora: I have bungee-jumped before.

  Narrator: She's talking about an experience in the past. If she says when she did something, she can't use “have done”。 So, in the second sentence……

  Replay……

  Nora: She has been to Penang last year, but she got sick.

  Narrator: …… she shouldn't say the time.

  Nora: She has been to Penang.

  Narrator: (to other characters) Yes, I've been to Penang, too. It was very interesting, but I haven't had lunch. Let's go!

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