Don’t Worry, Ma’am!

August 13, 2007

Contents

1) Don’t Worry, Ma’am!
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: The Plural of Compound Nouns

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TODAY’S JOKE
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Don’t Worry, Ma’am!

My mother-in-law was waiting in the checkout line at a shopping center.

Her arms were laden with a mop and broom and other cleaning supplies.

By her actions and deep sighs, it was obvious she was in a hurry and not happy about the slowness of the line.

When the cashier called for a price check on a box of soap, the woman remarked indignantly,

“Well, I’ll be lucky to get out of here and home before Christmas!”

“Don’t worry, ma’am,” replied the clerk. “With that wind kicking up out there and that brand new broom you have there, you’ll be home in no time.”

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s have a closer look at the words that you might find difficult to understand!

– The checkout is the place in a shop, especially a large shop, where you pay for your goods.

– Laden shows that the lady was carrying or holding a lot of things. This adjective is usually followed by the preposition “with”.

– Broom is a brush with a long handle, used for cleaning the floor. In folklore, witches use brooms to fly through the air at high speed.

– Supplies is a plural noun which refers to ood or other items necessary for living.

– Sigh is a slow noisy breath. You sigh when you are tired, sad, bored.

– Cashier is a person whose job is to receive and pay out money in a shop.

– When the cashier asked for a price check, he wanted to make sure that the price is correct.

– To kick up means to intensify. In our case, the wind was blowing strongly

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GRAMMAR SPOT
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Plural of Compound Nouns

What is a compound noun?

If we read the joke again, we can identify some compound nouns: “mother-in-law”, “checkout”, “shopping center”.

Looking at this examples, it becomes obvious that a compound noun is made up of two or more words used together.

Compound nouns can be:

– One word: shoelace, keyboard, flashlight, armchair, notebook, bedroom

– Hyphenated: forget-me-not, runner-up, baby-sitter, editor-in-chief, great-grandfather

– Two words: police officer, seat belt, high school, word processor, post office

How do we form the plural of compound nouns?

Forming the plural of compound nouns usually causes difficulties, but today we are going to make things simple. In order to form the plural of a compound noun, we have to pluralise the principal word or the head in the compound. When there is no obvious basic word, add “-s” or “-es” to the end of the compound.

Let’s have some examples.

mothers-in-law (mother is the basic term)

travel agents (agent is the principal word)

lookers-on (looker is the head)

forget-me-nots (there is no principal word)

break-ins (there is no basic term)

grown-ups (there is no obvious head)

However, you have to pay attention because there are some exceptions to this rule.

For example, when “man” and “woman” are a part of the compound, both terms of the compound are made plural.

men drivers

women doctors

menservants

women-teachers

When a compound noun is in the form container + ful (e.g. bucketful, cupful and handful), an “- s” is added to the end to form the plural.

spoonfuls

handfuls

cupfuls

handfuls

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That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
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Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
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At the Cinema

August 10, 2007

Contents

1) At the Cinema
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Irregular Plural Formation of Nouns

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TODAY’S JOKE
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At the Cinema

An old man was crawling around on the floor in a darkened cinema,
much to the annoyance of the people near him.

“What did you lose?” asked one of the women next to him.

“My gumdrop,” answered the old man.

“And you’re going to all this trouble and disturbing everyone just to
find a gumdrop?”

“Yes, Madam, but my teeth are in it.”

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VOCABULARY BOX
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Let’s have a closer look at the words that you might find difficult to
understand!

– To crawl means to move slowly and with difficulty, especially on
hands and knees.

– Darkened shows that there was no light in the cinema.

– Next to means the old man and the woman were close to each other,
the woman was near him.

– Gumdrops are a type of chewy candies (you can chew them) which
are usually fruit-flavoured (they taste like fruit).

– The meaning of to go to all this trouble is to make an effort to do
something.

– When you disturb someone, you interrupt what someone is doing.

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GRAMMAR SPOT
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Irregular Plural Formation of Nouns

Most nouns form the plural by adding “-s” to the singular, but some nouns have unusual or irregular plural. I will introduce the most common ones, so that you can learn them.

In today’s joke, we can identify two good examples “women” and “teeth”(plural). These two nouns form the plural by a vowel change. Below I will provide you with a list of nouns that follow the same rule.

man – men

woman – women

foot – feet

tooth – teeth

goose – geese

louse – lice

mouse – mice

die – dice

Other nouns form the plural by a word change. These are:

child – children

ox – oxen

person – people

When “people” refers to all the men, women and children
who live in a particular country, it is a group noun. Its plural
is “peoples”.

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This newsletter is sponsored by:

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_______________________________________________________

That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.

Your tutor,
Ana
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Copyright© 2007 English Through Jokes. All Rights Reserved.
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