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A Cup Of English

Friendly, everyday English to help the anxious language learner. Texts, grammar notes, and photos on the blog page. Another great podcast by LibSyn.com
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Mar 12, 2013
Time To Kill.

What do you do when you have time to kill? It's a bit of a violent phrase, isn't it? It really means to use up spare time, or extra time. That is just(1) what I was doing this weekend, while I was waiting for my son's basketball game to start. We had a break of three and a half hours in between(2) games which is a long time. My thoughts were(3): lunch, a walk, Facebook, and maybe a podcast. And surprisingly enough(4), I got all of those things done. Robert and I went down to the lake for a walk, and watched the ducks and geese land on and take off from the water. It was there that I found the fox statue. Later in the gym I searched the web for info(5) on the statue. Well, that wasn't so easy. You know how web searches go(6); often they take you all around the world, and you end up with unimaginable(7) results. I ended up reading about a famous German sculptor called Julian Voss-Andreae who does sculptures about physics. One of his sculptures called 'Quantum Man' is here in Moses Lake, of all places(8). I looked through the list of his works and was amazed at his uniqueness(9). So, I'm glad I had time to kill because it led me to a lake, which led me to a fox, which led me to a very unusual German sculptor.

1. 'That is just what I was doing'. 'Just' here means 'exactly'. It can also mean 'only' or 'almost'. Let's see examples of it used as 'exactly'.

a. It's funny what you said. It's just what I was thinking!

b. They look just the same.

2. 'In between' can often be replaced with just 'between'. Both are correct.

a. You've got food in between your teeth. You've got food between your teeth.

b. I parked in between the bus and the truck. I parked between the bus and the truck.

3. 'My thoughts were...' is a short way of saying 'what I was thinking was....'/'what I was planning was'/ 'my thoughts about the matter were../. The use of 'thoughts' to express plans and ideas can be used with any person and in any tense.

a. The company needs to invest. What are your thoughts?

b. They were thinking: eat, play basketball, sleep. Those were their plans.

4. 'Surprisingly enough' in this phrase you can miss out 'enough'. The meaning of 'enough' is quite vague, and not always necessary. It's meaning when following an adverb is 'quite' or 'somewhat'.

a. Interestingly enough, he works nights and studies during the day.

c. Oddly enough, she works and he stays at home.

5. 'Info' is often substituted for 'information'.

6. Adding 'you know' at the beginning of a sentence is good practice, and there are many examples of this usage.

a. You know how much work it is.

b. You know when they're coming, don't you?

c. You know the teacher won't allow that.

d. You know what he's like.

7.  Un-imagin-able    un-imagin-able    un-imagin-able   un-imagin-able

8. 'Of all places' means 'it is really unlikely to be here'/'this place even though it is unexpected'. 'Of all' can be put in front of other nouns to show a similar 'surprise'/'disappointment'/'sense of irony'.

a. Of all people, I bump into my ex-husband in the middle of Tokiyo!

b. Of all places, we had to have a flat tire here (e.g  in the middle of the desert).

c. Of all things, you had to lose your passport!

9. 'Uniqueness' is the state of being unique.

Join me on my FACEBOOK page at Anna Fromacupofenglish; you're all welcome. Remember, basic pronunciation practices are on Monday's and Wednesday's.

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