UNDER THE WEATHER

The rich and the poor, men and women, Asian and European, we all get sick. No one can escape from getting sick and it’s pointless asking why. Even if you are a very clean person who follow a healthy diet and eat most of your food at home, one day you may end up with a stomach bug.

Nobody likes to be sick. So, it takes us time to face the ugly truth. However, our body can’t deny it and it’s, in fact, our body itself that  forces us to go to bed and remain inside it. Our brain doesn’t rule anymore, our body does. For example,  if it’s hot outside, but our body tells us that we are cold, we have to cover ourselves with our blankets.  Or if our family is eating the most delicious spaghetti with roast beef, but our stomach feels like chicken soup, that’s the only thing we are going to get.

It’s as if we suddenly had become a different person. We don’t feel ourselves anymore. We feel weak and we don’t want to do anything. Even our appearance changes, for example, we end up with a ghostly face or we lose weight to the point that our tight jeans become our baggy jeans.

Although we tend to think more about the downsides of being sick, there are some good things about having a fever or food poisoning. For example, you can get a little spoiled and people will be willing to do anything to cheer you up, like making you company or buying you a get well stuffed bear. Another positive aspect of being ill is that you don’t need to do anything around the house. On the contrary, the other members of your family are at your service bringing you your food, drinks, medicines and anything you need.

All in all, we have to admit that we are not machines and our bodies are prone to be attacked and beaten by ugly, tiny bugs, or maybe it is a signal that we just need a break from everything and our bodies just remind us so. So, if you get sick, be patient because you know it won’t last forever, and, in the meantime, enjoy the spoiling.

VOCABULARY

1. under the weather (ex) : slightly sick,  not as well as usual   EX: I’m going home early because I’m a bit under the weather

2. stomach bug (n) : a sickness caused by a virus or a bacteria and affects your stomach EX: I can’t eat anything heavy because I’m with a stomach bug.

3. feel like something (ex) : to want something    EX: I’m so hungry. I feel like pizza.

4. ghostly (adj) : looking like a ghost or a dead person   EX: You look so pale. Why the ghostly face?

5. tight (adj) : fitting closely to your body and sometimes uncomfortable  EX: These jeans are so tight that I can’t even breathe.

6. baggy (adj): hanging loosely because of being too big    EX: When I clean the house, I put on my baggy clothes because they are more comfortable.

7. food poisoning (n) : illness caused by poisonous or contaminated food    EX: Don’t go to that restaurant. Last time I was there I got food poisoning.

8. stuffed bear (n) : a toy in the shape of a bear, made of cloth and filled with a soft substance EX:  She has tons of stuffed bears on her bed.

9. prone (to sth/to do sth) (adj) : likely to suffer from something or to do something bad  EX: Children are prone to exaggerate when they tell stories.

When you get sick, do you go to the doctor? Why or why not? What’s the worst thing about being sick?  When was the last time you were sick?

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS

A reflexive pronoun is a special kind of pronoun. It is usually used in special situations. Each personal pronoun has its own reflexive form.

FORMS

Personal Pronoun

Reflexive Pronoun

I

Myself

You (singular)

Yourself

He

Himself

She

Herself

It

Itself

We

Ourselves

You (plural)

Yourselves

They

Themselves

USES

Reflexive pronouns are used in three main situations.

  1. When the subject and object are the same.

I cut myself.
The gang call themselves “Street boys”.
He hurt himself.

  1. After a preposition when the subject and the object are the same.

I bought a chocolate for myself.
He did it by himself. (He did it alone.)
That woman is talking to herself.

  1. When you want to emphasize the subject.

Think for  yourself. (No one else will help you.)
They ate all the food themselves. (No one else had any.)

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2012: Goodbye, Mr. Smoke! Hello, Mr. Gym!

01/01/12 – A new year has just begun. This is the ideal time to reflect on what we did and did not accomplish during the year that has just ended and to set our goals for the year that started a few hours ago. This is also a good time to meditate on the things we need to change about ourselves. A very common practice is to make resolutions for the New Year. But what is a resolution?  A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, which must be reached by the next New Year. Let’s see some of the most popular resolutions that people make every year:

1. Lose weight and get fit

Especially in this part of the hemisphere, where summer has just started, we are more concerned about our looks and having the perfect body since we all want to look our best either on the beach or by the pool.  Unfortunately, during this time of the year we don’t have thick sweaters covering our body imperfections. However, regardless of where we live, losing weight and getting fit is a present goal in most people’s minds. Haven’t you ever heard the typical “On Monday, I’ll start.”?

 2. Eat healthy food

In the recent years people have become more aware of what they eat either to lose weight or to prevent diseases. So, we try to stay away from burgers and fries, red meat, unhealthy snack foods and drinks like soda and bottled juice.  Instead, we opt for a diet with more vegetables and fruit (if they are organic, that’s even better), whole grains, white meat, and we try to drink as much water as possible.  It is no surprise to see people carrying bottles of water wherever we go.

 3. Quit smoking

Smoking stopped being fashionable a long time ago. Due to massive campaigns showing the serious consequences of this unhealthy habit and to laws forbidding  smoking in public places, people are taking this problem more seriously and are willing to quit smoking not only for themselves but also for their family members and friends. However, this is not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of determination and willpower, but it is not impossible at all.

 4. Learn something new

Let’s defy the popular phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” because we believe that it is possible to learn new things at any age. Even on a popular TV show, it was proven that we can actually teach old dogs new things. So, if dogs can do it, why can’t we? If you’ve always dreamt about playing the guitar, dancing like a pro, or sewing your own clothes, this is the year to start learning those things and give yourself a chance. Don’t let age prevent you from pursuing your dreams.

 5. Spend more time with family

Life has indeed become pretty hectic for everybody. People’s common phrase is “I don’t have time”. Most spend 10 -12 hours a day at the office and some even go to study afterwards. Moreover, work doesn’t stop when we leave the office. It follows us home and we continue working after we have dinner and also on weekends. We strongly believe that we are doing this for our family because we want to provide them with everything they need, but we are not aware that what they really need and want is US. You can always send an email or write a report at any given time, but you won’t always have the chance  to see your kid’s first walk.

 We, at Go Esling, also have our resolutions for 2012:

–          To offer new learning tools

–          To increase the number of followers

–          To interact more with our followers

 And we hope you’ll join us in our journey.

 VOCABULARY

1. accomplish (v) : to succeed in doing or completing something Ex: If we work hard, we’ll be able to accomplish our goals.

2. commitment (n) : a promise to do something Ex: We made a commitment to protect animals.

3. disease (n) : an illness affecting humans, animals or plants, often caused by infection Ex: He suffers from a very rare disease.

4. opt (v) : to make a choice or decision. Ex: My grandfather opted for an early retirement

5. whole grains (n) : Foods such as wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or products made from these foods that have not been processed and still have all their nutrients Ex: We should eat whole grains every day to prevent some diseases.

6. forbid (v) : to command someone not to do something, to prohibit Ex: The law forbids the sale of alcohol after 11 pm. 

7. willpower (n) : the ability to control your mind and body in order to achieve something that you want to do  Ex: She doesn’t have the willpower to go on a diet.

8. defy (v) : to oppose or resist openly  Ex: The children defied the teacher’s authority and ate gum in class.

9. pro (n) : a professional or an expert Ex: Tom ran the marathon like a pro.

10. pursue (v) : to do something or try to achieve something over a period of time Ex: Mary would like to pursue a career in music.

11. hectic (adj) : very busy or full of activity Ex: I’m very tired because I’ve had a very hectic day.

12. provide (v) : to give something to somebody or make it available for them to use Ex: Don’t take any food because they will provide us with lunch.

Have you ever made resolutions? If so, did you accomplish them? What are your resolutions for 2012? 

Send us your comments, opinions and any kind of feedback to goesling.wordpress@gmail.com. You can either write us an email or send us a voice message.

Passive Voice

The passive voice is an easy topic if we remember these statements:

It is used…

  • When the action is more important than who or what is performing it.
  • When we don’t know the performer of the action.
  • When the object of the sentence is more important than the subject. In this case, we can mention the performer of the action using the preposition by.
  • When we focus on facts or opinions about something.

Passive voice structure

S+ verb to Be + past participle

We can use the passive in different tenses such as the simple present tense, the simple past tense, etc. We can also use the passive voice with modal verbs.

Let’s see some examples of passive with different tenses.

Present tense

  • People eat lots of sugar these days. (active voice)
  • Lots of sugar is eaten (by people) these days. (passive voice)

*Notes:

  1. Here the subject of the active sentence is people and the object is lots of sugar, but in the passive voice the subject is lots of sugar.
  2. The form of the verb to be is determined by the new subject in the passive statement.
  3. The tense of the verb to be is determined by the tense in the active statement.
  4. The past participle is determined by the main verb of the active sentence.

More examples:                                                                  

  • Cars destroy all the trees around the city.                  
  • All the trees around the city are destroyed (by cars).

Simple past

  • Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492.
  • America was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492

Future                                                                       

  • Humans will visit Mars in 20 years.
  • Mars will be visited (by humans) in 20 years.

Modal verbs

  • The major should control crime.
  • Crime should be controlled by the major.

Focusing on opinions or facts (formal English)

When mentioning statements which contain opinions or facts, we can use the passive voice in this way:

  • It is said that water freezes at 0°C.
  • It is believed that women drive better than men.
  • It is thought that the monster of Loch Ness is a dinosaur.