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ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND PRACTICE

FOR ADVANCED LEARNERS

A TEXT-BASED APPROACH

ENGLEZA PENTRU AVANSAŢI –


GRAMATICĂ ŞI EXERCIŢII

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CUVÂNT ÎNAINTE:

Cartea de faţă este destinată celor avansaţi în studiul limbii engleze, atât
studenţilor ce studiază o specializare de limbi străine, cât şi altor persoane interesate sa îşi
perfecţioneze nivelul de cunoştinţe. Gramatica propusă aici se adresează mai ales acelora
care au nevoie să îşi consolideze noţiunile de limba engleză şi să extindă înţelegerea unor
probleme fundamentale legate de cunoaşterea structurilor acestei limbi. Este important
aşadar să precizăm că aceasta nu reprezintă o introducere în gramatica limbii engleze ci o
revizuire şi o rafinare a acesteia.

Abordarea pe care le-o propunem cititorilor are la bază texte englezeşti atât
literare cât şi non-literare grupate pe bază de teme. Am optat pentru această formulă
întrucât dorim să le insuflăm celor ce vor folosi această carte atât plăcerea de a citi şi
decoda un text englezesc de bună calitate cât şi dorinţa de a-şi pune probleme
fundamentale în legătură cu civilizaţia de expresie engleză. Nu în ultimul rând, dorim ca
prin această formulă, vorbitorii de limba română să fie stimulaţi să abordeze probleme
culturale prin prisma limbii engleze. Am preferat să ne limităm la şase teme importante
din universul cultural în speranţa de a oferi cititorilor posibilitatea de a-şi aprofunda şi
extinde vocabularul în special în aceste domenii. Am considerat că o cunoaştere
aprofundată într-un număr limitat de domenii este preferabilă unei abordări superficiale,
care ar lua în calcul mult prea mulţi parametri.

Cartea cuprinde şase module cu câte patru texte diferite, fiecare dintre acestea
fiind urmate de câte patru secţiuni. Prima secţiune conţine un grup de întrebări ce ajută la
o mai bună înţelegere a textului propus pentru discuţie, atât din punctul de vedere al
conţinutului cât şi al vocabularului. Secţiunea a doua se axează strict pe noţiuni de
vocabular introduse de textul de bază. Secţiunea a treia, cea mai importantă de altfel din
punct de vedere teoretic, conţine explicaţii de gramatică pornind de la structurile
exemplificate de text. În fine, ultima secţiune dă cititorului posibilitatea să îşi exerseze
abilităţile de redactare în limba engleză, propunând teme în ton cu problematica
textului. Am marcat cu un asterisc exerciţiile care au un grad de dificultate sporit şi am
oferit soluţii care să dea posibilitatea unei verificări individuale.

În speranţa că această carte vă va deschide apetitul pentru un studiu aprofundat


al limbii engleze şi vă va mai descreţi frunţile, vă urăm: Work well and have fun!

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

There are a few entities that we would like to thank even if


some of them are not entirely ‘there’. Thus, we’d like to smile our
thanks to: the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Rudolf the red-nosed
reindeer, the Boogie Man, Mr. King (our unadulterated love goes to
you!), our Jellicle Cats Banderas and Minou, Humpty Dumpty, Cousin
It, the Owl and the Pussy Cat, and to Cartman and Kenny (you’ve been
a thing of beauty and a joy forever).
Oh, and our very special thanks go to you, Ignatius!
For these are the people who really helped us and we are
eternally grateful to them!

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CONTENTS:

1. Movies and Reviews

2. Fairytales Told and Retold

3. Women’s Voices

4. Class and Consciousness

5. The World Revisited

6. Language

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UNIT ONE
MOVIES AND REVIEWS

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ONE
A FORMAL MOVIE REVIEW

GONE WITH THE WIND


1939 220m........Drama/Historical/Romance
Selznick (U.S.)
Rating:*****/PG

Clark Gable (Rhett Butler), Vivian Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara), Hattie McDaniel (Mamie), Leslie Howard
(Ashley Wilkes), Olivia De Havilland (Melanie Hamilton)

p, David O Selznick; d, Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood;

The best remembered and most publicized film in Hollywood’s flamboyant history, the biggest of
David O. Selznick’s good obsessions, and quite probably the most beloved movie of all times.
This star-studded Civil War epic, based on Margaret Mitchell’s immensely popular novel, is
nearly as powerful and moving today as when first released in 1939. Beneath the surface of a lavish and
sometimes awe-inspiring production lies a deftly handed story about an endlessly fascinating-if not always
attractive heroine. Though she’s frequently dismissed as a simpering belle, Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh)
is a resilient, resourceful protagonist, equal to acts of real heroism but incapable of cliched nobility. And
for many of us, there’s a lesson in her story - that buying into romantic obsession almost certainly
guarantees that we’ll end up with the last person we need.
Leigh won the most coveted role in film history from a field that included Bette Davis, Joan
Crawford and Jean Harlow, among some 2,000 women in a much ballyhooed two-year talent search. She’s
nothing short of perfection. As Rhett Butler, co-star Clark Gable likewise couldn’t be bettered. The only
player among the major who disappoints is Leslie Howard - he just isn’t handsome or vigorous enough to
motivate so much of Scarlett’s energy. Supporting performances are generally in high order, though
McDaniel’s heart rugging mammy is rather cloying.
From a directorial standpoint, the sequences shot by “women’s director” George Cukor are the
best. His style is more lyrical, and more attentive to the literary qualities of the source material, than that of
Victor Fleming. Nowhere is this more evident than the barbecue at Twelve Oaks and the announcement of
war-possibly the best sequence in the piece. Later GWTW under Fleming seems to settle into itself and just
tell the story. Despite some excellent sequences - Scarlett’s attempt to get Dr.Meade to leave the railroad
station springs immediately to mind - many of the film’s purely narrative sequences verge on the mundane.
Cukor began at the film’s helm but was replaced by Fleming (whose WIZARD of OZ was released in
1939). During the course of the production Fleming suffered a nervous breakdown and Sam Wood stepped
in until Fleming was well enough to return.
Although its “historical” set pieces (e.g. the burning of Atlanta) are brilliantly realized, GWTW
should not be mistaken for history - it romanticizes the slave-owning south and caricatures Reconstruction.
Still, it’s the peak example of the collaborative artistic achievement for which Hollywood’s Golden Age is
justly celebrated. To quote Olivia de Havilland, “Every time I see it, I find something fresh, some shade of
meaning I hadn’t noticed before... How fortunate that so many gifted people found immortality in GONE
WITH THE WIND.” (from The Ninth Virgin Film Guide)

Civil War
The American Civil War (1861-1865) was fought between the mostly northern states of the Union and the
southern states of the Confederacy that declared their independence and claimed the right of secession from
the Union. The Union prevailed in the Civil War.

Reconstruction
In the history of the United States of America, Reconstruction was the period that followed the Civil War
when the southern states were reintegrated in the United States.

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A
READING COMPREHENSION

1. Paraphrase the underlined words and phrases.


2. Is “Gone with the Wind” one of the most beloved movies of the time in your opinion? Motivate your
answer.
3. Why do you think Scarlett O’Hara is always dismissed as a simpering belle?
4. Why is Scarlett thought to be fascinating, while not always attractive?
5. Do you think the reviewer’s opinions on the cast are accurate? Motivate your answer.
6. How can you comment upon Olivia de Havilland’s statement “Every time I see it, I find something
fresh, some shade of meaning I hadn’t noticed before... How fortunate that so many gifted people
found immortality in GONE WITH THE WIND.”?

B
VOCABULARY

1. Fill in the blanks with words and phrases from the text above:
1. GWTW was first _______ in 1939.
2. Many of the film’s purely narrative sequences verge on the __________.
3. The movie ________ the slave-owning south and ________ Reconstruction.
4. Vivien Leigh is nothing ________ of perfection in this part.
5. McDaniel’s heart __________ mammy is rather ________.
6. Scarlett is frequently dismissed as a __________ belle.
7. The movie can be seen as a ________ Civil War epic.
8. The main heroine is a _________ resourceful protagonist.
9. The only player among the _______ who disappoints is Leslie Howard.
10. From a directorial ________, the scenes shot by Cukor are the best.
11. Cukor began at the film’s _______ but was replaced by Fleming.

1. Provide definitions of your own for the following theatre/cinema terms:


1. A dress rehearsal is… 2. A title role is…
3. A walk-on part is… 4. A stagehand is…
5. An understudy is… 6. A prompter is…
7. A stage manager is… 8. Props are…
9. A continuity girl is… 10. A clapper-board man is …
11. Extras are… 12. Credits are…
13. The set is… 14. The cast is…
15. A flop is… 16. A trailer is…
17. Subtitles are… 18. A close-up shot is…
19. A stuntman is… 20. A box-office hit is…
21. An audition is… 22. Editing is…

2. Choose the right word:


1. My mother is a very exacting teacher: she does not ______ fools gladly.
A. take to B. suffer C. condone D. accept

2. He ________ after wealth and appreciation despite the success he’s had lately.
A. crave B. covet C. hanker D. yearn

3. Don’t be so _______! She won’t notice you unless you do something. Try offering her something to
drink.
A. daft B. deft C. dank D. dire

4. If you don’t _______ and claim your inheritance, you’ll be left penniless.
A. chip in B. barge in C. cave in D. step in

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5. She _________spread her slice of toast with marmalade.
A. heavenly B. lavishly C. gloriously D. luxuriously

6. If you have settled ______the wallpaper, we can now choose the furniture for the new house.
A. for B. on C. in D. into

7. He appeared to be the proud owner of skills of the highest _______.


A. range B. species C. type D. order

8. The money he is supposed to receive are taxed at__________.


A. origin B. source C. start D. onset

9. I think I’ll try my luck at winning the big prize. Are you equal _______ the task?
A. for B. at C. of D. to

10. Every time I watch this movie there is a new ________ of meaning that springs to mind.
A. tint B. taint C. tinge D. tingle

3. POLYSEMY: TO BUY. Translate into Romanian:


1. The bank wouldn’t help when I was starting the business but they want to buy into it now. 2. What this
new approach buys you is enough time to let the project develop. 3. I can’t buy her flimsy excuses, sorry. 4.
Unless he drops the charges, we’ll have to buy him off. 5. A pound today buys much less than it did a year
ago. 6. He bought all his partners out and is now the sole owner of the company. 7. The passengers
survived the accident but I’m afraid that the driver bought it. 8. His fame was bought at the expense of
health and happiness. 9. I’ll have to buy in potatoes for the winter. 10. Best buys of the week are carrots
and cabbages, which are plentiful and cheap.

5. COMPOUNDING. Match the items in the first set to the ones in the second so as to obtain verbal
compounds (some of the items in the first set can be used more than once). Explain the meaning of
each compound you have obtained by trying to find a context for it:

back, sweet, pussy, double, day, blue, cross, man, side, brow, down, match, white, head.

pencil, beat, talk, make, hunt, cross, dream, breed, step, fire, load, dress, date, bite, stab, foot, wash, handle.

C
GRAMMAR
THE COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

Preliminaries

Let’s examine the underlined forms in the sentence below:

(1) The best remembered and most publicized film in Hollywood’s flamboyant history, the biggest of
David O. Selznick’s good obsessions, and quite probably the most beloved movie of all times.

As we can easily see the underlined participial forms (remembered, publicized), adjectival forms (big,
beloved) and adverbial forms (probably) are integrated in a comparison scale. While in the form “quite
probably”, “quite” operates a mere intensification of the degree of probability represented by the adverb
“probably”, the forms “best remembered”, “most publicized”, “biggest” and “most beloved” represent an
intensification brought to the extreme, namely superlative forms.

(2) His style is more lyrical, and more attentive to the literary qualities of the source material, than that of
Victor Fleming.

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Looking at the sentence above that shows the comparative forms of the adjectives “lyrical” and
“attentive”, let us remember some of the main facts about the comparison of adjectives:

I. Comparing and intensifying

Adjectives can be compared, namely the qualities which they identify may be expressed in varying
degrees of comparison represented by the comparative (bigger, more attentive, less attentive) or the
superlative (the biggest, the most attentive, the least attentive).

Adjectives can be also intensified (quite probable, very probable), without receiving a precise, definite
degree or value. In order to understand the distinction between comparison and intensification, let’s
examine the following examples:

(3) Paul’s wife is thinner than his mistress. ( Paul’s wife weighs six pounds less than Paul’s mistress.)
(4) Paul’s wife is the thinnest woman in the world. (Paul’s wife weighs less than everybody I have seen)

(5) Paul’s wife is rather thin, don’t you think? (I think she is thin, but I can’t precisely tell how thin.)
(6) Paul’s wife is very thin. (I think she is definitely thin, but I don’t necessarily compare her to others.)
(7) Paul’s wife has become horribly thin. (She is thin to a degree that horrifies me.)

The sentences above show clearly that there is a difference between comparison and intensification.
Sentences (3), (4) show precisely what the degree of thinness of Paul’s wife is, namely in (3), it is greater
than someone else’s or, in (4), it is the greatest degree in the set of the world (thinner than everyone else),
according to the speaker. Sentences (5), (6), (7) do not show values as precise as the ones shown in (3), (4).
Here, what the speaker tells us is that the intensity of Paul’s wife’s thinness is great, according to him, but
he does not indicate the precise degree of her thinness in comparison to someone else’s.

2. Remembering about the comparison of adjectives

The table below will remind you some simple facts about the comparison of adjectives:

hot COMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE


clever, Superiority Inferiority Superiority Inferiority
attentive,
loyal,
bad
Inflectional hotter, - the hottest, -
cleverer the cleverest
Phrasal more attentive, less hot, the most attentive the least hot,
more loyal less clever the most loyal the least clever,
less attentive, the least attentive,
less loyal, the least loyal,
less bad the least bad

Irregular worse - the worst -

A few rules will makes the table above clearer:

i. Inferiority is always expressed by phrasal comparison as shown above less/least


ii. All adjectives with one syllable (thin, hot, fast) and all adjectives with two syllables ending on -y
(easy, happy, pretty, dirty), -er (clever), -le (simple), -ow (narrow) have inflectional comparison in
–er/-est

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iii. All adjectives with more than one syllable (with the exception of the two syllable adjectives in 2)
have phrasal comparison with more/most
iv. A limited number of widely used adjectives have kept the irregular forms they had in Anglo-
Saxon. Examples: bad-worse-the worst, much-more-the most. Try to remember other examples.
v. There are spelling rules to be obeyed in order to form inflectional comparison. With the help of
examples, try to remember the spelling rules that you have already learned.

Nota bene!
You have to make a distinction between most as a superlative comparison marker and most as an intensifier
(which is rather formal):

Your daughter is the most beautiful woman in the world. (superlative)


I found a most interesting book in that bookshop down the corner. (intensifier)

3. Gradable and non-gradable adjectives

(8) Jean saw a foreign film.


(9) ??? The film Jean saw is more foreign than the one Bill saw.
(10) ??? The film I saw was the most foreign of them all.
(11)??? The film Jean saw is very foreign.

As you can see in the examples above, not all adjectives can be compared or intensified. This is why we
can divide the class of adjectives into gradable (those that can be compared and intensified), such as hot,
attentive or bad and non-gradable (those that can’t be compared and intensified), such as foreign.

Generally, adjectives that show the qualities of a thing are always gradable. We can give a few examples
such as old, new, nice and beautiful. Since all these show qualities, they can be compared and intensified.

Non-gradable adjectives can be adjectives that do not show so much the quality of a thing but its belonging
in a class. Many such classifying adjectives are non-gradable, such as:

French, English, foreign, ajar, ruined, dead, alive, married, single, separate, square, triangular, etc.

If you think about the adjectives above, it becomes clear that they mark an object as belonging to a certain
class (that of French objects/persons or that of married people). They do not mark the quality an object or a
person might have, as old, new or hot can do.

One other group of non-gradable adjectives is represented by those already having absolute or superlative
values:

perfect, optimal, maximum, unique, false, utmost, absolute, etc.

Nota bene!
Even non-gradable adjectives can be compared and intensified!
Yes, some of them can indeed, but if you do that you operate a change in meaning. Let’s examine the
following examples:

(12) ???This object more French than the other.


(13) ???This is fish is more alive than the other.

(14) Pierre is more French than Marcel.


(15) My mother is very French.

(16) Susan is more alive than you think.


(17) Today I felt very much alive.

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The first two sentences are ungrammatical. Here “French” and “alive” are used with their basic meaning
and this is why they are non-gradable. However, sentences (14), (15) and (16), (17) can be interpreted as
grammatical, even if “alive” and “French” have been compared/intensified. The sentences can be
interpreted as correct, if we give a different meaning, a figurative meaning to the adjectives. In (14) and
(15) “French” can be thought to refer to the quality of being French. For example, Pierre is seen to be more
French than Marcel, because he behaves more like French persons do than Marcel, or because, who knows,
he’s more nationalistic than Marcel. In the same manner, “alive” can be taken in its figurative meaning,
namely “lively” or “full of life”, etc.

4. Various means of intensifying adjectives

We have already seen the ways in which adjectives can be compared. Let us take a look at the means of
intensifying adjectives. There are intensifiers that can do that, such as:

quite
(18) This tea is quite hot.

rather
(19) Her husband is rather old.

really
(20) My linguistics teacher is really annoying.

so
(21) That music you play is so loud!

how (in exclamative sentences)


(22) How interesting this movie is!

very
(23) The movie I saw last night is very entertaining.

As you can see above, some words can be used with no other meanings, but as that of intensifiers, but there
are words that apart from being used as mere intensifiers, can also function independently. Such words are
adverbs such as:

extremely, immensely, hugely, fairly, fantastically, incredibly, etc.


terribly, awfully, dreadfully, horribly, etc.

Compare:
(24) You sang fantastically!
(25) She spent a fantastically large amount of money in that shop.

Compare:
(26) She sang terribly!
(27) She was terribly tired and couldn’t come to the party.

5. Intensifying participles used adjectivally

Past participles that are used as adjectives can be compared in the same way as adjectives:

(28) This film has been more publicized than the other.
(29) This has been the most publicized film ever.

There are however some means of intensification that some participles prefer that can’t be used for
adjectives, such as better/best or much:

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(30) This director is best remembered or better known for this feature.
(31) This is the much acclaimed and the much criticized play that was staged last year.

5. A case of metaphoric intensification

There are other means of intensification that can be used for certain adjectives. For example in the case of
colours, there is a variety of adjectives/nouns used as modifiers meant to express the degrees and variety of
a colour, such as:

bottle green, deep purple, navy blue, dark grey, light blue, pale yellow, soft green, dull grey, etc.

In the same way, metaphoric intensification can be achieved for other adjectives. Let’s give some
examples:

stark naked, raving mad, stinking rich, etc.

EXERCISES

1*. Translate into English:

1. Malvolio era îmbrăcat într-o jiletcă verde prăzuliu şi purta nişte ciorăpei galbeni ţipător cu jartiere
încrucişate.
2. Am citit cartea ta mult lăudată şi nu mi s-a părut cine ştie ce. Cred că ai fi mai cunoscut dacă te-ai
mulţumi să scrii doar piese.
3. Fratele lui Joan a venit aseară acasă beat mort. Cu cât pleacă mai repede de pe capul meu, cu atât mai
bine.
4. Afară era un ger de crăpau pietrele şi am ajuns acasă cu adevărat îngheţată.
5. Ann este cam prostuţă, dar este chiar pricepută la treburile gospodăriei.
6. Vino şi tu la petrecere cu noi. Cu cât vom fi mai mulţi, cu atât mai bine.
7. Nu-mi place să port haine bleumarin închis, cu atât mai puţin în fiecare zi.
8. Apa din cadă era îngrozitor de fierbinte şi sincer să spun, nu ştiu cum ai făcut baie în ea, cu atât mai
mult cu cât ştiu că eşti bolnav de inimă.
9. Să ştii că piesa a fost extraordinar de frumoasă şi ar fi fost cu mult mai frumos dacă ar fi venit şi
părinţii tăi s-o vadă.
10. Este oribil de zgârcit cu toate că e putred de bogat şi are cei mai mulţi bani din oraş.
11. Nu m-aş căsători cu Victor nici dacă ar fi ultimul bărbat de pe Pământ!
12. Oglindă, oglinjoară, cine-i mai frumoasă-n ţară?
13. Cred că bărbatul tău este destul de chipeş însă este îngozitor de slab, pe când iubitul lui Ann este al
naibii de arătos şi pe deasupra extraordinar de musculos.
14. Chiar dacă în cameră era întuneric beznă se gândi că ar fi mai simplu să-şi aştepte prietenul acolo, în
cazul în care acesta venea mai devreme.
15. Deşi era gol puşcă şi teribil de obosit, îşi luă inima-n dinţi să se îmbrace şi plecă chiar mult mai repede
decât anticipase.
16. Nu vreau absolut deloc să te critic, dar cred că dacă ai fi mai puţin îngrijorat de reacţia celorlalţi şi mai
preocupat de propriile-ţi griji, ai fi mai fericit.
17. E blond roşcată, frumoasă de-ţi taie răsuflarea şi, pe deasupra, are o minte brici.
18. Deşi era sărac lipit pământului, a reuşit să-şi construiască o casă cu mult mai frumoasă decât a acelora
mai bogaţi decât el.
19. Uite, cerneala e uscată iască, nu cred că se mai poate folosi. Ia un pix la tine şi renunţă la stilou.
20. Nenea Gicu e surd toacă şi n-aude nici dacă îi răcneşti în ureche. Nu-ţi rămâne decât să îi scrii bileţele
dacă vrei să te faci înţeles.

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2. Fill in the blanks with the right choice or choices. Try to find an appropriate Romanian translation
for the combinations thus obtained:

buck, scarlet, deep, snow, shocking, lime, dirt, jet, inky, piping, blood, rock, midnight, iron, primrose,
lemon, cherry, pea, chrome, navy, olive, lily, razor, dove.

..... pink, .....blue, .....sharp, .....white, .......purple, ..... solid, .......black, .......red, ....cheap, ......yellow,
.......green, .....grey, .....naked, .....hot

3*. Translate into Romanian:


1. The chaplain felt most deceitful presiding at funerals, and it would not have astonished him to learn that
the apparition in the tree that day was a manifestation of the Almighty’s censure for the blasphemy and
pride inherent in his function. To simulate gravity, feign grief and pretend supernatural intelligence of the
hereafter in so fearsome and arcane a circumstance as death seemed the most criminal of offenses. He
recalled – or was almost convinced he recalled – the scene at the cemetery perfectly. He could still see
Major Danby standing as somber as a broken stone pillar on his side, see almost the exact number of
enlisted men and almost the exact places in which they had stood, and the large, loose, triumphant mound
of reddish-brown earth, and the massive, still, depthless sky, so weirdly blank and blue that day that it was
almost poisonous. He would remember them forever, for they were all part and parcel of the most
extraordinary event that had ever befallen him, an event perhaps marvellous, perhaps pathological, - the
vision of the naked man in the tree. How could he explain it? It was not already seen or never seen, and
certainly not almost seen; neither déjà vu, jamais vu or presque vu was elastic enough to cover it. Was it a
ghost, then? The dead man’s soul? An angel from heaven or a minion from hell? Or was the whole fantastic
episode merely the figment of a diseased imagination, his own, of a deteriorating mind, a rotting brain? The
possibility that there really had been a naked man in the tree – two men, actually, since the first had been
joined shortly by a second man clad in a brown moustache and sinister dark garments from head to toe who
bent forward ritualistically along the limb of the tree to offer the first man something to drink from a brown
goblet – never crossed the chaplain’s mind. (Joseph Heller – Catch 22)

2. When she abused him in public, she did so with a diamond smile that suggested she was only teasing,
that her constant belittlements were no more than a way of concealing an adoration too enormous to
express; it was an ironising smile that sought to put her behaviour into quotes. This act was never
completely convincing. Often, she drank – the anti-alcohol regulations came and went – and when she
drank she cursed. Confident of her genius, armed with a tongue as merciless as her beauty and as violent as
her work, she excluded nobody from her coloratura damnations, all delivered with that cheery stone-hard
smile that sought to anaesthetise her victims as she ripped out their innards. (Ask me how it felt! I was her
only son. The closer to the bull you work, the likelier you are to be gored.) (Salman Rushdie – The Moor’s
Last Sigh)

3. This was the closest Aurora came to thanking Abraham for the uncomplaining inexhaustibility of his
cheques, for the city of gold he had so quickly built from her family’s wealth, which for all its old-money
graciousness had been no more than, as it were, a village, a country-estate, or a small provincial town,
compared to the great metropolis of their present fortune. Aurora was not unaware that her lavishness
required maintenance, so that she was bound to Abie by her own needs. Sometimes she came close to
admitting this, even to worrying that the scale of her spending, or the looseness of her tongue, might bring
the house down. Always fond of macabre bedtime stories, she would tell me the parable of the scorpion and
the frog, in which the scorpion, having hitched a ride across a stretch of water in return for a promise not to
attack his mount, breaks his vow and administers a potent and fatal sting. As the frog and scorpion are both
drowning, the murderer apologises to his victim. ‘I couldn’t help it,’ says the scorpion. ‘It’s in my nature.’
(Salman Rushdie – The Moor’s Last Sigh)
4. Translate into English:
1. `De presupus că scrisoarea la care se refereau dicomesienii o trimisese Fibula. I-o trimisese imediat, am
zis, după ce primise de la mine copia amintită. O scrisoare mânioasă şi cu gelozii de nepoată batrână care-l
certa pe Umilit că se lasă încontinuu păcălit de dicomesieni, care-i vor mereu banii si-i folosesc numele
spre câştigul lor, după cum îl certa pe Umilit că se lăsase înşelat şi o primise la Viena pe falsa îngrijitoare
Zoe Lucescu care n-avea altă misiune decât să-l spioneze şi să-l târasca spre Dicomesia sau spre

13
Mavrocordat pentru a fi mai bine golit de averi şi moşteniri. Apăs pe termeni, fiindcă limbajul Fibulei la
mânie îl cunosc foarte bine. Limbajul ei devine tot mai violent pe măsură ce înaintează în vârstă,
masculinizarea expresiei luând forme tot mai dure. Sunt sigur că în scrisoarea ei către Umilit pe Zoe
Lucescu n-a scos-o din tot felul de blasfemii şi insulte. (Ştefan Bănulescu – Cartea milionarului)

2.“Văd că te obsedează Dinu, râse ea surprinzător de bucuroasă. Da, cu ceva timp în urmă ai fi avut motive
de nelinişte. Adevărul este că m-am îndrăgostit de el brusc, nebuneşte, de parcă m-aş fi îmbolnăvit. Bărbat
frumos, căutat, admirat... fost sportiv de performanţă... armata avea o echipă foarte bună... Eram foarte
bucuroasă că-l răpesc tuturor femeilor din oraş... Dacă mi-ar fi cerut, i-aş fi oferit orice, fără să ezit o clipă,
călcând interdicţiile tatei. Din fericire sau nefericire, Dinu nu mi-a cerut nimic, mă trata ca pe o copilă de
gimnaziu... Şi, cu cât îl cunoşteam mai bine, cu atât îi reduceam din calităţi. Nu are nimic imprevizibil în el,
trăieşte după nişte reguli foarte rigide... Pentru fiecare vizită sau întâlnire cu vreun cunoscut se pregăteşte
de parcă merge la un seminar. Plouă, ninge, tună, el învaţă citate, memorează replici celebre şi nu pierde
ocazia de a devia discuţia spre ceea ce ştie.” (Augustin Buzura – Recviem pentru nebuni şi bestii)

3*. Desigur, asupra lui timpul îşi făcuse simţită apăsarea; avea douazeci şi şase de ani şi îşi trăise o parte a
vieţii mai mult pe sub pământ şi prin mlaştini, săpând gropi şi pregătind ambuscade şi se putea să şi moară
fără să apuce să vadă sfârşitul luptei şi să respire în libertate, dar nu se putea ca aceşti opt ani să nu-l fi atins
greu şi pe inamic, doar viaţa s-a scurs şi pentru el şi opt ani nu e o glumă cu atât mai mult cu cât mulţi
dintre ai lui şi-au dat şi ei viaţa pe aceste locuri şi uneori în chinuri la fel de cumplite ca acelea pe care ei le
stârneau pe unde treceau (fiindcă ei au fost cei care s-au arătat cei dintâi fără cruţare aruncând din avioane
benzină asupra satelor şi oamenilor, făcându-i să ardă ca nişte torţe, şi atunci şi lor au început să le fie
întinse pe drumurile lor de patrulare nişte curse, nu atât de spectaculoase ca flăcările unui incendiu, dar nu
mai puţin sinistre prin aparenţa lor inofensivă, gropi de pildă, acoperite cu un capac bine camuflat, la fel de
sensibil ca o balanţă, care se răsturna fulgerător îndata ce era atins cu piciorul, de pe fundul cărora trupul
celui căzut era întâmpinat de vârfuri ascuţite de bambus care îi spintecau rinichii şi maţele şi ale cărui
urlete nici măcar nu se mai auzeau.) (Marin Preda - Friguri)

4.Nang simţi cum i se înteţesc bătăile inimii şi ascultându-le se miră. Nu i se întâmpla să-şi audă inima
decât foarte rar şi încă mai rar de emoţie, ci mai mult de efort şi numai dacă era prea flămând şi prea obosit.
O dată capturaseră o baterie de artilerie şi o duceau în munţi prin păduri neumblate. Urcau foarte greu,
trăgându tunurile înhămaţi la ele. (Marin Preda - Friguri)

5.Nu mai aşteptă întunericul, ieşi din apă şi se spălă de noroi. Afară era mai frig şi începu să dârdâie tot aşa
de tare ca Hong genistul când trecuseră pentru prima dată peste Lach-Tray. (Marin Preda - Friguri)

6.Dar intrarea ei în cauză era străină de raţiuni militare, dar tot atât de puternice, ca un ordin pe care îl
primea de astă dată din el însuşi, dintr-un Nang pe care nu-l cunoştea bine, dar tot atât de hotărât, de
prudent şi de răbdător: această fată trebuia ferită! Iar acesta era parcă mai mult decât un ordin, o şoaptă
parcă a unei divinităţi care totdeauna îl protejase, dar niciodată nu-şi dezvăluise prezenţa, iar acum şi-o
dezvăluia. (Marin Preda - Friguri)

7. Nineta se îmbrăcase, dar nu pleca, stătea în fotoliu şi continua astfel despre copii şi povestirea ei nu mai
înaintă, să aflu şi eu ce făcuse atâţia ani, poate chiar zece… Şi, fără un motiv aparent, izbucni deodată într-
un plâns interminabil, asemenea unei Fantine a cărei copii se aflau sub puterea unui Thenardier mizerabil,
numai că nu era nici bolnavă ca aceea, nu-şi vânduse dinţii şi părul ca să le trimită bani, iar tatăl copiilor era
departe de a fi un Thenardier… Cu atât mai vinovată deci şi fără scăpare se simţea, cu cât, în afară de faptul
că îi născuse, nu făcuse nimic pentru ei. Acest adevăr brutal o împiedica să deschidă un proces şi să câştige
pentru ea măcar unul. N-ar fi putut îndura să-i audă pe copii în instanţă optând pentru tatăl lor. “I-am
întrebat,” zise Nineta, înseninându-se ca în faţa unei fatalităţi, şi nu mi-au spus chiar nu, dar nici nu mi-au
răspuns nimic, semn că pentru ei hotăra tatăl, deşi când le-am pus întrebarea el nu era de faţă.” (Marin
Preda – Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni)

8. - De ce? întrebă cu nevinovăţie. Eu găsesc că uneori Capitala e un oraş admirabil! Această voie bună nu
este un optimism de ţară tânără, de popor tânăr, de oraş tânăr?

14
Costea Lipan se uită posomorât la lanţul automobilelor şi la îmbulzeala călătorilor de pe trotuar.
- Optimism numeşti dumneata aceasta? Inconştienţă , iresponsabilitate, orice…nu optimism! Îi vezi cum
trec, cum se salută , cum se invidiază? Doamnei acesteia, care a trecut pe lângă noi i se pare că nu are blana
destul de scumpă, fiindcă doamna de dinaintea ei are una încă mai scumpă. Fiecare haină, fiecare podoabă,
automobilul acesta lung cât un vagon şi parfumul pe care îl lasă în urma sa fetişcana aceasta prea vopsită,
toate sunt preţul unui compromis. (Cezar Petrescu – Calea Victoriei)

9. Dar, aşa cum se întâmplă de obicei, bogaţii deveneau tot mai bogaţi, iar săracii tot mai săraci. Existau
bogaţi atât de bogaţi încât nu mai aveau nevoie să fure sau să pună pe alţii să fure ca să rămână în
continuare bogaţi. Dar dacă nu mai prădau, sărăceau, pentru că nevoiaşii furau de la ei. Atunci i-au plătit pe
cei mai săraci dintre săraci ca să-şi apere averea de ceilalţi săraci. Aşa au ajuns să instituie poliţia şi să
ridice închisori. (Italo Calvino – O lume de hoţi)

D
WRITING

1. FORMAL REVIEW: Examine the structure of the movie review provided above. Write a movie
review of your own for a movie of your own choice that would have a similar structure.
2. FOR OR AGAINST: “Buying into romantic obsession almost certainly guarantees that we’ll end up
with the last person we need ”. Argue for or against this statement choosing examples from the movies
you have seen.

TWO
AN INFORMAL MOVIE REVIEW
SATURDAY 22ND FEB. Last night the film Ghost was on television after the News, and I decided to watch
it, although I had seen it before, with Martin – or rather I watched it because I had seen it before with
Martin. It was a surprise hit when it first came out and everybody was talking about it. We enjoyed it, I
recalled, even as we rather despised its slick exploitation of the supernatural. I remembered only the bare
bones of the plot: a young man is murdered in the street walking home with his girl, and tries to protect her
from the conspirators who killed him, though as a ghost he is invisible and can only communicate with her
through a medium. The few details of the movie that had lodged in my memory were the special effects
when characters died: for instance, the hero gets up from the ground apparently unscathed and only realizes
that he’s dead when he sees his distraught girlfriend cradling his own lifeless body in her arms; and when
the baddies die they are immediately set upon by dark gibbering shapes that drag them screaming off to hell
(surprisingly satisfying, that). And I remembered that Whoopi Goldberg had been very funny in the role of
the fraudulent medium who is disconcerted to find herself genuinely in touch with the spirit world. These
things were just as effective the second time round. What I wasn’t prepared for was the way the love story
would overwhelm me. Demi Moore, whom I’ve always considered a rather wooden actress, seemed
incredibly moving as the bereaved heroine. When her eyes filled with tears, mine brimmed over. In fact I
spent most of the movie weeping, laughing at Whoopi Goldberg through my tears. I knew in my head that
the film was cheap, sentimental, manipulative rubbish, but it didn’t make any difference. I was helpless to
resist, I didn’t want to resist, I just wanted to be swamped by the extraordinary flood of emotion it released.
When the ghostly hero reminds the sceptical heroine, through the Whoopi Goldberg character, of intimate
and homely details of their life together that nobody else could possibly know, and it dawns on Demi
Moore that her dead lover really is communicating with her, my skin prickled with goosepimples. When
the hero (I’ve already forgotten his name, and that of the actor who played him) acquires the powers of a
poltergeist and uses them to terrify the thug threatening Demi Moore, I crowed and clapped my hands in
glee. And when, in a sublimely silly scene towards the end, Whoopi Goldberg allows him to inhabit her
body so that he can dance cheek to cheek with Demi Moore to the smoochy tune they made love to at the
beginning… well, I almost swooned with vicarious pleasure and longing. […] In a curious way it was a
cathartic experience. (David Lodge – Thinks…)

15
A
READING COMPREHENSION
1. Do you think that the text presents a woman’s point of view or a man’s point of view. Motivate your
answer.
2. Have you seen Ghost? What do you think about the movie? In the case you haven’t, talk about a movie
that is similar to the description provided in the text.
3. Why do you think the person talking had previously despised “the slick exploitation of the
supernatural” in the movie. Can you think about other movies that fit this description?
4. Why is the scene at the end of the movie described as “sublimely silly”?
5. Why is the experience of seeing the movie described as a “cathartic experience”?

B
VOCABULARY
1. Fill in the blanks with words and phrases from the text:
a) It finally _________ on Demi Moore that her lover was trying to communicate with her.
b) I spent most of the movie weeping or _____________.
c) The few details of the movie that had ____________ were the special effects when characters died.
d) When Demi’s eyes filled with tears, mine ______________.
e) I remembered only the _______ of the plot.
f) The hero sees his distraught girlfriend ________ his own lifeless body in her arms.
g) Whoopi is disconcerted to find herself genuinely ________ the spirit world.
h) When the evil characters die they are immediately ________by dark gibbering shapes that drag them
__________ to hell.
i) I just wanted to be ________ by the extraordinary flood of emotion the movie released.
j) I crowed and clapped my hands __________.

2. Choose the right word:


1. When shown the text, she produced a ______ translation of it in record time.
A. easy slick sharp effortless

2. The artist chose the _________ of oil for the portrait he had been commissioned to paint.
B. avenue road means medium

3. I intend to ________ a complaint with the police against my neighbours as soon as possible.
C. wedge put lodge thrust

4. I spotted him hidden in the corner, _______ a twisted splinter in his foot.
D. nursing cradling prying scooping

5. John couldn’t take his eyes off the monkeys gathered in the banana tree, _________ at each other.
E. whimpering simpering gibbering pampering

6. When Jim had stated his opinion, a silence ________ with meaning fell over the audience.
F. distraught fraught laden ridden

7. You are never to speak of the cruel accident that ________ him of his wife and child.
G. bereft rid freed bereaved

8. The basin perched on the table was brimful ________ water.


H. with by in at

9. Go back to your stupid job and your _______ wife, see if I care!
I. homely homily hominy humbly

10. When she heard his cold voice, she felt a ______ of unease and shivered warily.

16
J. bump jolt whorl prickle

11. The woman looked at her baby and started _________ to him softly.
K. crowing crooning cooing cackling

12. The new movie that was ________ last month, proved to be an unexpected flop.
L. put out released issued implemented

3*. Translate the following texts, paying attention to the specialized vocabulary used in it:
a) On the vast draught-haunted sound stages of Cinécita, with actors, extras, freaks, sycophants and
hangers-on, the by now familiar fauna and flora of Felliniana, seeming to enjoy absolutely equal status
with one another; with the relaxed and negligent, on occasion infelicitous but always festive and
carnivalesque mise en scène of the completed work tendering the spectator what one cannot help
suspecting is a fairly transparent mirror image of the noisy, fractious, exuberant caravanserai that was
the shoot that both preceded and engendered it; with, above all, the cast’s and crew’s unanimistic faith
(in the film’s future, in the virtues of communal achievement, in the Maestro’s own genially tyrannical
presence) exuding from every pore of the screen, that Serbian invasion comes to symbolise for me the
contamination of a film’s textures by the very means and conditions of its production.
b) I videotape films or rent prerecorded tapes, and may divert myself by playing the same sequence again
and again as though I were watching successive ‘takes’ on the set. I read Cahiers du Cinéma and Sight
and Sound and even, for some unfathomable reason, Variety, that preposterous ‘bible’ of American
showbusiness which journalists tend to cite as reverently as though it were the Bible itself. I have
learned, albeit on an almost subliminal level, to decipher ‘cinéliterate’ TV commercials full of bogus
Bogeys and James Cagney lookalikes. And, most potently of all, I have visited America – America, a
metacinematic experience in itself, a veritable Homerica, an entire continent in Cinerama (of which
word ‘America’ is a near-anagram), a living road movie, a circuitous cyberspatial tracking-shot by
Wenders. All of which, in a sense, relates to a critical commonplace, that of the cinema’s intertextual
and extracurricular ‘discourse’. Everyone is a film buff (of sorts) nowadays; in a period of endemic
imagorrhea there truly does exist a literacy and illiteracy of the image. Cinéphilia is currently an
essential item in every thinking person’s intellectual baggage.
c) At the most ingenuous, infantile level I miss the frisson of feeling totally at ease with a lexicon to
which I never needed to have recourse in a context of professional responsibility – the thrill, in other
words, of airily alluding in conversation with my fellows to ‘rough cuts’ and ‘reaction shots’ and ‘mike
shadows’ (I used to fantasise about some B-movie private eye whose name, appropriately enough,
would be Mike Shadow). I miss the sensation, not of bristling outrage, but rather of complicitous
superiority, that I would enjoy when hearing a journalist mention the ‘fact’ as he would put it, that the
medium ‘has only ever had a handful of true artists’ who, it would transpire, were always the same
few: in the past, say, Chaplin, Eisenstein, Bunuel and Truffaut; in the present, Bergman, Kubrick,
Woody Allen and Kurosawa (yes, just about everyone has seen Kagemusha and Ran, but who, other
than the genuine cinéphile, has heard of Mizoguchi or Ozu, not to mention Kinoshita or Naruse?)
(Gilbert Adair – The Film Set)
C
GRAMMAR: THE ORDER OF ADJECTIVES

One of the rather legitimate questions that learners of English keep asking is that regarding the order of
adjectives. Why, for instance, can’t one translate adjectives in the exact order they appear in one’s mother
tongue? Of course, the most obvious answer to this question is that there are rules constraining the order in
which adjectives can be placed in front of a nominal. This section is devoted to reminding students this
rule, albeit very briefly. Consider the examples taken from our text:

(1) dark gibbering shapes


(2) cheap, sentimental, manipulative rubbish

Why is it that ‘dark’ must be placed before ‘gibbering’? If you want to find out, please read the three rules
below and consider the examples that go with them:

17
RULES FOR ORDERING ADJECTIVES

Subjective opinions are farthest from the noun:


E.g. an interesting old novel
General description comes next (size, shape, age, colour, etc.)
E.g. a nice large meal
Origin comes next
E.g. a smartly-dressed old American lawyer, a nice round
wooden box

If you look closely at this table, you will easily see that the adjective that most closely belongs to the noun
must stay near it, while the speaker’s opinion is farthest in line. What happens when all the adjectives
preceding the noun are of the same type? This is the situation with the example we offered under (2). Here,
the order is up to the writer or speaker that makes use of that string of adjectives.

To round up our brief discussion, consider the comprehensive table below:

1 2 3 4 5
Determin Subjective Size, shape, Proper Noun made of Purpose? Head
ers opinion participles adjective Relating to? noun
All of lavishly bound Agatha thrillers
these Christie
A super de solid copper oil lamp
luxe
This classic sparkling French wine
A good old- beech-framed rocking chair
fashioned
A delightful pink and Indian cotton dress
blue

Nota bene!
If you want to remember all these rules more easily you can make use of the following memorizing trick.
You only need to learn by heart the sentence below:

VERY SOON A TRAIN SHOULD COME


VALUE SIZE AGE TEMPERATURE SHAPE COLOUR ORIGIN MATERIAL + NOUN
Lovely big old warm round red Indian cotton cushion

EXERCISES:
1. Some of the adjectives in the following sentences are in the wrong order. Make the necessary
corrections:
1. We were shown round the museum by a little, old, friendly woman who didn’t speak much English.
2. Rob and Sally have bought a delightful old-fashioned country cottage just outside Cheltenham.
3. Where did you buy that round strange Persian rug you’ve got in the hall?
4. My sister wore an extraordinary large straw orange hat to the party.
5. Have you seen those tiny new amazing wrist TV’s that you wear like a watch?
6. There was a beautiful antique French writing desk at the sale but it was too expensive for us.
7. Whatever happened to that red big American sports car you used to drive?
8. Have you read about that ingenious new surgical instrument for carrying out operations through a
small opening in the skin?
9. The original Fiat 500, an incredibly little popular Italian car, is no longer in production.
10. The puppy had such round big lovely brown eyes that I couldn’t help bringing him home with me.

2. Translate into Romanian:

18
a)* Colonel Cathcart was indefatigable that way, an industrious, intense, dedicated military tactician who
calculated day and night in the service of himself. He was his own sarcophagus, a bold and infallible
diplomat who was always berating himself disgustedly for all the chances he had missed and kicking
himself regretfully for all the errors he had made. He was tense, irritable, bitter and smug. He was a
valorous opportunist who pounced hoggishly upon every opportunity Colonel Korn discovered for him and
trembled in damp despair immediately afterwards at the possible consequences he might suffer. He
collected rumours greedily and treasured gossip. He believed all the news he heard and had faith in none.
He was on the alert constantly for every signal, shrewdly sensitive to relationships and situations that did
not exist. He was someone in the know who was always striving pathetically to find out what was going on.
He was a blustering, intrepid bully who brooded inconsolably over the terrible ineradicable impressions he
knew he kept making on people of prominence who were scarcely aware that he was even alive.
Everybody was persecuting him. Colonel Cathcart lived by his wits in an unstable, arithmetical world of
black eyes and feathers in his cap, of overwhelming imaginary triumphs and catastrophic imaginary
defeats. He oscillated hourly between anguish and exhilaration, multiplying fantastically the grandeur of his
victories and exaggerating tragically the seriousness of his defeats. Nobody ever caught him napping. If
word reached him that General Dreedle or General Peckhem had been seen smiling, frowning, or doing
neither, he could not make himself rest until he had found an acceptable interpretation and grumbled
mulishly until Colonel Korn persuaded him to relax and take things easy. (Joseph Heller – Catch 22)
b) Ten men of revolting appearance were approaching form the drive. They were low of brow, crafty of eye,
and crooked of limb. They advanced huddled together with the loping tread of wolves, peering about them
furtively as they came, as though in constant terror of ambush; they slavered at their mouths, which hung
loosely over their receding chins, while each clutched under his ape-like arm a burden of curious and
unaccountable shape. On seeing the Doctor they halted and edged back, those behind squinting and moulting
over their companion’s shoulders. ( Evelyn Waugh – Decline and Fall)
c) The music began again. Teresa stood quite still before the fire and assembled her thoughts. Her left hand
gripped the golden crucifix on her bosom, while her right hand patted her hair, which had been tossed by
the wind. She was examining her reflection in the big mirror above the mantelpiece. She saw the iron-gray
hair streaked with strands of black, and the eyes that formerly had been full and dark but which were now
hard and wide and coarse as her heavy lips, that always seemed to have lurking behind them the laugh of
derision, the explosive threat, the coarse oath, or the soft tongue of blarney. She saw, too, the heavy jaw
under its fat, which was that of self-indulgence and all the selfish complacency of a tyrant. And on the big
hands were the jewelled rings. Now they flashed again at her and excited her cruel instincts for they were
the visible things of success which her savage, pagan soul had always lusted after.
( F.L.Green – Odd Man Out)

3. Translate into English:


1.Mai multe nopţi la rând, Iov visă acelaşi vis: un hipopotam încins în platoşă de aramă, cu un corn
magnific, răsărit cine ştie cum în mijlocul frunţii lui teşite, şi cu urechile străpunse de nenumărate inele, îl
urmărea pe întinderea prăfoasa a câmpiei, scoţând mugete fioroase, şi-l înghiţea într-un târziu, fără icnete,
pe de-a-ntregul, purtându-l în pântecul întunecat un timp pe care el nu avea cum să-l măsoare; când simţea
că i se apropie sfârşitul şi inima stă gata să-i înlemnească, fiara îl lepăda din adâncu-i, undeva în deşert,
izbindu-l cu fruntea de o piatră triunghiulară, pe care, rănit, lăsa de fiecare dată câţiva picuri de sânge. Se
trezea ameţit, tulbure la minte şi îngrijorat. Cerea vin, cupe ceruite îi erau aduse în mare grabă şi se spăla
din creştet în tălpi cu licoarea lor. Mirosea proaspăt, răscolitor, şi femeile n-aveau îngaduinţa să se apropie
de dânsul. Pe buze nu mai punea decât apă trecută prin zece site. (Mihai Mănuţiu – Un zeu aproape
muritor)
2.Şi înfăţişarea Amelicăi era atrăgătoare şi proaspătă. Tinereţea ascundea şi grosolănia trăsăturilor, şi
asprimea caracterului ce se puteau citi în ochii vineţi, sticloşi, fără umbre şi fără caldură. Zâmbetul era
frumos şi fraged în rotunjimile trandafirii ale feţei, şi trupul, bine lega, mlădia, sub faldurile bogate ale
rochiei, adevărate ispite. I-ar fi trebuit însă, pentru ca să-şi întregească farmecul, o lunecare în mers, care-i
lipsea. (Ion Marin Sadoveanu – Sfârşit de veac în Bucureşti)
3.Era una din acele femei care dogoresc de cum le întâlneşti: te loveşte din întreaga lor fiinţă o căldură ca
dintr-o gură de cuptor. O femeie înaltă, bine făcută, blondă, cu o gură cărnoasă şi cu ochii verzi, umbriţi de
gene dese şi negre, cu un sân bogat, cu mâinile albe şi degetele subţiri, cu un picior mic, frumos îmbrăcată
şi cu gust, ea avea o înfăţişare elegantă şi ispititoare. (Ion Marin Sadoveanu – Sfârşit de veac în Bucureşti)

19
4.Celelalte camere se păstrau la fel, cu puşti şi săbii atârnate pe pereţi, în fosta cameră a lui conu Barbu; cu
dulapurile din sufragerie înţesate de farfurii şi de pahare, numai bune de întrebuinţat; cu pod vechi din
bârne groase de stejar, în care mai erau lăzi înalte pline de lucruri uitate chiar de o spiţă mai veche decât a
lui conu Barbu. (Ion Marin Sadoveanu – Sfârşit de veac în Bucureşti)
5*.În faţa cavoului lor, al Barbilor, îşi număra adeseori strămoşii. Erau, într-o boltniţă, oase mai vechi,
dezgropate de prin curţile bisericilor. Numele lor erau scrise în slavoneşte pe feţele unor pietre întoarse
acum, străjuind pe morţii mai noi. Bunicii lui aveau însă două frumoase busturi de marmură, aşezate
alături, icoană veşnică a unei căsătorii de o jumătate de veac, trainică şi liniştită. Prin adâncimile pietrei,
praful şi ploile lăsaseră urme negre, punând un fel de umbre de viaţă nouă în chipurile încremenite: Ienache
Barbu, bunicul, avea ochii bulbucaţi ca ai lui, barbă şi plete; iar Bălaşa Barbu, bunica, o frunte înaltă,
luminoasă, doi zulufi bine potriviţi şi un zâmbet îngheţat în colţul gurii. Încolo erau unchi şi mătuşi. Cel
mai de curând sosit era Dumitrache, mort la Viena, unde a avut grijă să-l înveţe multe pe nepotul său. Iar în
colţul cel mai modest al acestui mare cavou de familie, o simplă placă de marmură cu un nume pe ea:
Lotte. Era mama lui Bubi, uitată, mai la o parte. N-a cunoscut-o nimeni în viaţă în afară de bătrânul baron,
şi apoi mai era şi catolică. Astfel se putea lămuri această părăsire, care îl durea întotdeauna pe fiul ei. (Ion
Marin Sadoveanu – Sfârşit de veac în Bucureşti)
6. Niculaie Gheorghe, însă, de la bun început, nu-l putea suferi pe colegul lor puţin distant şi exact, şi,
după ce nu mai fu chiar periculos, îşi găsea plăceri rafinate în a-l irita. Zaharescu era pedant şi cu nervii
slabi, şi N.G. avea nervii foarte, foarte puternici. Aşa, de plidă, în laborator, după ce venea elegantul lor
coleg, veşnic bine ras, prea bine ras, cum era şi prea ortodox, lipit de cele afirmate, Niculaie se descălţa şi
Zaharescu întorcea capul scârbit. Apoi îşi spăla ciorapii groşi, de lână, în chiuvetă, dar nu prea insistent, şi
şi-i punea să se usuce pe calorifer, lăsând să se scurgă apa din ei încet, pe bucata de ziar maronie, şi lipăia
cu picioarele pe jumatate băgate în pantofi, până la biroul său. Zaharescu strâmba din nas, apoi se enerva, îl
ruga să-şi spele ciorapii acasă, însă Niculae Gheorghe îi explica simplu mai întâi că nu are apă caldă în
camera sa, şi, cu un aer provocator umil, îi povestea că este de la ţară şi poate nu ştie să se poarte.
(Alexandru Ivasiuc – Iluminări)
7.În severitatea leala a figurii sale in fata morţii, S. se lumina cu un zâmbet. Era una din cele mai frumoase
biruinţe. Vedea, dupa visul lui negustoresc, legat de mari sincerităţi, cum coboară din lumea boierilor
deprinderea cea bună şi se întinde în lumea cât mai largă a micii burghezii româneşti, pe care din
reunostinţă o iubea, după cum îl iubea şi pe Urmatecu, cu toate păcatele lui. De când îl cunoscuse şi se
împrietenise cu el, vienezul, dintr-un simţ de devotament înnăscut şi dintr-o cinstită dorinţă de a face binele
după mintea lui, se hotărâse în taină să-şi ajute şi să-şi şlefuiască prietenul. La Iancu el iubea în primul rând
inteligenţa şi voinţa, puterea lui stăruitoare de a voi să ajungă într-o altă lume. Îl vedea însă de multe ori
stângaci în căile pe care le apuca, după cum şi pentru bucurii îl simţea cu zări închise. De aceea, pe
nesimţite, el stăruia să-l atragă în făgaşul gusturilor şi credinţelor sale. Coroana de azi, S. şi-o lămurea şi ca
pe o înnobilare a lui Urmatecu în adincul unei dureri, şi ca pe un sfat care cu încetul a ajuns să se schimbe
în faptă. (Ion Marin Sadoveanu – Sfârşit de veac în Bucureşti)

D
WRITING

1. INFORMAL REVIEW: Write an informal review for a movie you have seen twice. Compare the
reaction you had on the first viewing with the one you had the second time you saw the movie.
2. YOUR OWN MOVIE: What would a movie whose script you wrote look like? Write a short summary
for a movie script of your own.

THREE
CINEMATIC CLICHÉS*
‘We are doomed, Professor! The planet is rushing madly toward Earth and no human power can
stop it!’ ‘Why are you telling me this?’ asks the professor petulantly and sniffs his armpits. ‘Hmm. Excuse
me, gentlemen,’ he adds, switching off his scientific instruments and, to their evident chagrin, turning
away, ‘I must take my bath.’ But there is already an evil emperor from outer space in his bathtub. Even

20
here then! He sits on the stool and chews his beard despondently, rubbing his fingers between his old white
toes. The alien emperor, whose head looks like an overturned mop bucket, splashes water on the professor
with his iron claw and emits a squeaky yet sinister cackle. ‘You’re going to rust in there,’ grumbles the
professor in his mounting exasperation.
The squat gangster in his derby and three-piece suit with boutonniere and pointed pocket
handkerchief waddles impassively through a roomful of hard-boiled wisecracking bottle-blond floozies,
dropping ashes on them from his enormous stogie and gazing from time to time at the plump bubble of fob-
watch in his hand. He wears a quizzical self-absorbed expression on his face, as though to say: Ah, the
miracle of it all! the mystery! the eternal illusion! And yet… it’s understood he’s a dead man, so the girls
forgive him his nasty habits, blowing at their décolletages and making such vulgar remarks and noises as
befit their frolicsome lot. They are less patient with the little bugger’s longing for the ineffable, however,
and are likely, before he’s ribbed out (will he even make it across the room? no one expects this), to break
into a few old party songs just to clear the air […].
The husband and wife, in response to some powerful code from the dreamtime of the race, crawl
into separate beds, their only visible concession to marital passion being a tender exchange of pajamas from
behind a folding screen. Beneath the snow-white sheets and chenille spreads, they stroke their strange
pajamas and sing each other to sleep with songs of faith and expediency and victory in war. ‘My cup,’ the
wife gasps in her chirrupy soprano as the camera closes in on her trembling lips, the luminescent gleam in
her eyes, ‘runneth over!’ and her husband, eyelids fluttering as though in prayer, or perhaps the onset of
sleep, replies: ‘Your precious voice, my love, here and yet not here, evokes for me the sweet diaphanous
adjacency of presence - ’(here, his voice breaks, his cheeks puff out) ‘- and loss!’
The handsome young priest with the boyish smile kneels against the partition and croons a song of
a different sort to the nun sitting on the toilet in the next stall. The hidden agenda here is not so much
religious expression as the filmic manipulation of ingenues: the nun’s only line is not one, strictly speaking,
and even her faint smile seems to do her violence.
The man with the axe in his forehead steps into the flickering light. His eyes, pooled in blood,
cross as though trying to see what it is that is cleaving his brain in two. His chest is pierced with a spear, his
grin with a sword. He stumbles, falls into a soft plash of laughter and applause. His audience, still laughing
and applauding as the light in the film flows from viewed to viewer, rises now and turns towards the exits.
Which are locked. Panic ensues. Perhaps there’s a fire. Up on the rippling velour, the man with the split
skull is still staggering and falling, staggering and falling. ‘Oh, my god! Get that axe!’ someone screams,
clawing at the door, and another replies: ‘It’s no use! It’s only a rhetorical figure!’ ‘What?!’ This is worse
than anyone thought. ‘I only came for the selected short subjects!’ someone cries irrationally. They place
their tear-streaked faces against the intractable doors, listening in horror to their own laughter and applause,
rising now to fill the majestic old movie palace until their chests ache with it, their hands burn.
Ah, well, those were the days, the projectionist thinks, changing reels in his empty palace. The age
of gold, to phrase a coin. Now the doors are always open and no one enters. His films play to a silence so
profound it is not even ghostly. He still sweeps out the vast auditorium, the grand foyer and the mezzanine
with their plaster statues and refreshment stands, the marble staircase, the terraced swoop of balcony, even
the orchestra pit, library, rest rooms and phone booths, but all he’s ever turned up is the odd candy wrapper
or popcorn tube he’s dropped himself. The projectionist does this intentionally, hoping one day to forget
and so surprise himself with the illusion of company, but so far his memory has been discouragingly
precise. All that human garbage – the chocolate mashed into the thick carpets, the kiddy-pee on the front-
row seats and the gum stuck under them, the used tissues and crushed cups and toothless combs, sprung
hairpins, stools clogged with sanitary napkins and water fountains, with chewing gum and spittle and soggy
butts – used to enrage him, but now he longs for the least sign of another’s presence. Even excrement in the
Bridal Fountain or black hair grease on the plush upholstery. He feels like one of those visitors to an alien
planet, stumbling through endless wastelands in the vain search for life’s telltale scum. A cast-out orphan in
pursuit of a lost inheritance. A detective without a clue, unable even to find a crime.
(Robert Coover – The Phantom of the Movie Palace)
A
READING COMPREHENSION

Robert Coover (b. 1932 - ) is an American author. He is


generally considered a writer of fabulation and metafiction

21
(experimental fiction in the style of magical realism).
Among his best known works one needs needs to mention:
The Public Burning and A Night at the Movies.

1. Paraphrase the underlined words and expressions.


2. What movie genres does the author take as a point of reference in the text?
3. Can you think about movies you have seen that contain scenes similar to the ones the author presents
here?
4. What do all the movie scenes presented in the text have in common?
5. How can you comment upon the following lines “: Ah, the miracle of it all! the mystery!”?
6. Why is there no other concession to marital passion than the “tender exchange of pajamas behind the
movie screen”?
7. In what way is the opposition “presence/ loss” relevant in the text?
8. In what way is the manipulation of ingenues related to religious expression?
9. Why is the presence on screen of the man with the axe on his forehead seen as comical by the
audience? Is their laughter caused by violence?
10. In what way do reality and illusion mingle in the scene in which the audience is trapped in the movie
palace?
11. Why does the projectionist regret the past? Why does everything that is no longer present seem like an
“age of gold” to him?
12. Why is garbage important to the projectionist and why does the author describe it as “life’s telltale
scum”?
13. Comment upon the image of the wasteland in connection to the movie theatre.
14. Is the projectionist’s position similar to the position of an author or of a god? Motivate your answer?
15. Why has the audience deserted the movie theatre?
16. Comment upon the opposition between life/death as it is presented in the text.

B
VOCABULARY

1. ANTONYMS AND SYNONYMS. Choose the right word:

1. Paul looked pale and ____ after his long illness.


A. gawky B. gaunt C. bony D. bonny

2. He was a _____, long-legged, awkward looking teenager.


A. stocky B. curvy C. saggy D. gangly

3. The baby had round, _____ cheeks.


A. stocky B. portly C. squat D. chubby

4. She was as______ as a partridge.


A. chubby B. buxom C. overweight D. plump

5. The old witch stretched out her ugly-looking, ______neck.


A. scrawny B. slender C. slim D. trim

6. While Roxy is small and curvy, Minnie is tall and ______.


A. scraggy B. petite C. willowy D. diminutive

7. He was a lean, handsome man and he took her in his strong, ______arms.
A. plump B. lanky C. skinny D. brawny

22
8. It was dark and the teenagers went to the pool for some ______-dipping.
A. scrawny B. scraggy C. skinny D. slight

9. Although he liked petite women, he had married a tall, _____ girl.


A. thrifty B. hefty C. wiry D. stout

10. Although in his youth he had been lean, her father was now a ____ man.
A. curvaceous B. portly C. chubby D. drawn

11. She envied people with nice slender hands, because her own fingers were _____.
A. pot-bellied B. pudgy C. sticky D. clammy

12. While his mother and father were stocky, he’s always been ________.
A. stringy B. stodgy C. spiky D. flabby

13. When she tried do leave him, her abusive husband gave her a _____ lip and threatened to hurt her even
more.
A. swollen B. bloated C. fat D. plump

2*. POLYSEMY: SPRING. Translate into English:

1. Pe când mă plimbam seara, doi oameni au tăbărât pe mine şi mi-au dat în cap.
2. Soldaţii s-au pus în poziţie de drepţi când a venit colonelul.
3. A ţîşnit din pat şi a început să se îmbrace repede.
4. Atitudinea asta nu se datorează decât proastei educaţii pe care a primit-o.
5. O să plătesc eu cina în seara asta.
6. Au părăsit casa în fugă în timp ce uşa se trântea în urma lor.
7. A sărit în picioare şi a alergat să-şi ajute prietenul.
8. Cred că ar fi mai bine s-o pregăteşti, în loc să-i trânteşti vestea asta neplăcută.
9. Îmi vin în minte acum două lucruri la care nu m-am mai gândit.
10. Nu puteam să-i spun nimic acelui individ, pentru că imediat prietena lui îi sărea în apărare.
11. Societatea Poeţilor Dispăruţi a luat fiinţă pe la începutul anilor şaizeci.
12. Tot felul de magazine noi apar ca din pământ prin tot oraşul.
13. Cu toate că era destul de vilcean, l-am făcut să cadă în capcană.
14. De câte ori vorbesc despre răposatul meu soţ, îmi vin lacrimi în ochi.

3. SYNONYMY: MASH. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words:

break, smash, shatter, crush, squeeze, squash, mash, grind, wrinkle, crumple, crumble

1. The film the producer invested in _____all box office records.


2. If you don’t stop ____ your teeth, you’ll have to wear a brace!
3. What will you have on the side? Green peas or_______ potatoes.
4. It _____my heart to see you suffer like this.
5. This coat is very nice, but, unfortunately it _______ easily.
6. He _____as soon as he received the heavy blow from his opponent.
7. It’s good to drink a glass of freshly ______ orange juice every morning.
8. The wings of the insect I had caught simply_____ in my fingers.
9. I think you went too far! He was simply_____ by your insensitivity.
10. He was quick to______ the unpleasant rumours that went round about his best friend and his new
girlfriend.
11. Life had dealt her a cruel blow. She no longer had anything left but her _______ dreams.

4. Make up a short text of your own choice, using all the words given below:

23
blockbuster, credits, feature, tearjerker, script, sci-fi, casting, thriller, starring, X-rated, lead, sequel,
supporting actor, editing, costumes, period movie, soap opera, PG, extras, short film, score, remake,
prequel, silent movies, big budget film, rerun, shoot

5. Translate into Romanian:


The decades-old conflict in Colombia has produced a generation of young people for whom war is
the norm. In a courageous documentary, "La Sierra," the filmmakers Scott Dalton and Margarita Martinez
take us to a small hillside community in Medellín where an illegal right-wing paramilitary group holds
power.
When not fighting leftist guerrillas or settling local disputes, the young men of the group - "kids
with guns," one elderly resident grumbles - strut their stuff for local girls whose fecundity seems like a
desperate bid to replace the dead.
There's 22-year-old Edison, the paramilitary commander and de facto leader who enjoys his guns
and "hard-core" activities yet dreams of becoming a civil engineer; his 19-year-old subordinate, Jesús,
missing a hand from a grenade accident; and 17-year-old Cielo, already a widow, who sells candy on local
buses to earn money to visit her jailed boyfriend.
Posing proudly with their rifles or musing matter-of-factly about their own deaths, the boys are
tragic enough. But it's the girls who break your heart, stoic and wise beyond their years. "I would have
liked for all my children to be girls," admits Edison, already supporting six children with six different
women. The remark is a poignant acknowledgment that war and revenge are legacies only sons are likely to
embrace. (by Jeannette Catsoulis, from the New York Times, November 10, 2005)

C
GRAMMAR: THE USES OF PRESENT SIMPLE AND CONTINUOUS

This section focuses on a revision of the values of Present Simple and Present Continuous. We are going to
have a look at the way in which these tenses, with their complementary values, can be used together in a
text to form a coherent unit. But before we do that, consider a few samples from the text above and
comment on the uses of the Present Simple and Continuous in them. Which of these sentences contain the
basic use of the two tenses we have mentioned?

(1) The planet is rushing madly toward Earth.


(2) The alien emperor, whose head looks like an overturned mop bucket, splashes water on the professor
with his iron claw and emits a squeaky yet sinister cackle.
(3) He wears a quizzical self-absorbed expression on his face…
(4) Now the doors are always open and no one enters.
(5) He still sweeps out the vast auditorium.

A brief perusal of the examples above must have told you that the first sentence contains the basic use of
Present Continuous, whereas the sentences under (4) and (5) encode the main meaning of Present Simple. It
is assuredly no news that Present Simple expresses a general state or a repeated action at speech time,
whereas Present Continuous expresses an action that takes places right as we speak. This is in fact one of
the reasons why state verbs are not normally used with a continuous aspect. (For more information on this
problem see Unit Six, Section Three, C)

Compare: She’s doing a lot of chat shows on TV. / She does a lot of chat shows on TV.

This pair of sentences captures the main difference of meaning between Present Simple and Present
Continuous: while in the first case, the situation is temporary, restricted to speech time only, in the second
case, we assume that the subject’s job is that of doing chat shows on TV. This main distinction between
Present Simple and Present Continuous is of an aspectual dimension, as we already know. This is however
a problem for learners of Romanian, that do not identify this distinction in their mother tongue.

24
Exercise: Translate into English:
1. Mama lui Martin face zilnic de mâncare, deşi nici lui Martin şi nici celorlalţi membri ai familiei nu le
place cum găteşte. 2. De ce faci iar de mâncare? Nu vezi că mai e destulă tocană în frigider? 3. Tocmai am
aflat că Jim regizează un film despre viaţa preşedintelui. Tu ce părere ai despre asta? 4. Face filme despre
vieţile politicienilor şi câştigă o grămadă de bani din asta. 5. Iar te uiţi la televizor? Ţi-am mai spus de o
sută de ori să-ţi faci întâi temele! 6. Fiul meu se uită la televizor seară de seară şi nu lasă din mână
telecomanda să-l pici cu ceară! Schimbă canalele şi mănâncă seminţe, mereu cu ochii lipiţi de ecran. 7. Ce
faci acolo? Iar scrii scrisori de ameninţare preşedintelui Televiziunii române? 8. De când s-a inventat e-
mailul, nimeni nu mai scrie scrisori. Mi se pare foarte deprimant! 9. De câte ori scoate câinele afară,
rămâne la vorbă în faţa blocului. 10. Uite-l cum vorbeşte cu prietena lui în faţa blocului în timp ce eu fac şi
treaba lui.

Having mentioned the main difference between the present tenses under discussion, let us remember some
of the other values they can have. In order to do that, we should look at the table offered below. Notice that
we have chosen to place these two tenses in opposition and that the values they exhibit can be said to
parallel each other:

PRESENT SIMPLE PRESENT CONTINUOUS


 Generic and habitual present  Temporary use of present
(main value) continuous (main value)

E.g. Love is blind. E.g. She is eating an apple (at this


She goes to school every day. very moment).

 Future value (scheduled  Future value (personal


activities) arrangement)
E.g. The train leaves at 4 p.m. E.g. We’re meeting at five.

 Instantaneous present (used  Emotional present continuous


instead of a present continuous (used instead of a present simple
structure for stylistic reasons) structure for stylistic reasons – to
show emotion in the tone of the
speaker)
E.g. Hagi takes over, he runs E.g. You’re always bringing me
towards the goal and shoots…he presents! He’s always saying the
scores! wrong thing!

 Historical present (used  Frame present continuous (used


instead of narrative past instead of frame past continuous)
simple)
E.g. Yesterday, as I am walking down the street,
I bump into John. He sees me and
starts telling me about his sick
mother. While he is talking to me,
I hear a noise behind. It’s just a
barking dog. (informal register)

This diagram contains three extra values beside the main value characteristic for each tense. The table is far
from exhaustive, which is why students are advised to try and solve the exercises below:

EXERCISES:
1. Read the following sentences and try to identify the various uses of the present tenses:
1. I’m watering the plant while he’s away. 2. He’s always losing his keys. 3. I am hoping to see you soon.
4. We are looking forward to seeing you. 5. I hope to see you soon. 6. I’m picking her up at six. 7. Who’s

25
posting the letters while he’s away? 7. I can’t come on Monday, I’m babysitting. 8. He’s having a
wonderful time. 9. Look, first I beat the eggs and then I add the flour. 10. Two and two make four. 11. He’s
always buying her a new dress although in fact he never gets to do so. 12. I hear you’ve been busy. 13. Pink
Satin is coming up on the rails, he’s overtaking Rover Boy, but Little Nell is pulling away… 14. He passes
the ball to Clark, he swerves, aims and scores. 15. Bush Visits Romania. 16. This man goes to the
restaurant and says: ‘Do you serve frogs?’ The waiter says, ‘Yes,’ so he says, ‘Right, I’ll have a coffee
myself and some flies for my frog.’ 17. My bus leaves at three. 18. When you heat ice, it melts.

2. Consider the text by Robert Coover. Which value of Present Simple prevails in this text?

3. Put the verbs in brackets into either the Present Simple or the Present Continuous tense:
1. The butter (melt)! You should take it and put it in the fridge. I didn’t know butter (melt) so fast.
2. You forever (use) my shaving kit. Can’t you buy one for yourself? You (be) terribly impolite.
3. I (walk) to work this week because I have managed to crash my car.
4. Don’t forget that the exam (start) the day after tomorrow. You should rest tomorrow so you could
score maximum points.
5. ‘Where’s your sister?’ ‘I (think) she (kiss) a boy outside.’
6. My father is the most generous man. He always (buy) us things!
7. Sorry, can’t make it tonight! I (have drinks) with the boys at the Lion.
8. They (buy) a lot of magazines because they (hope) to win the big prize.
9. And, sure enough, at the end of the movie Rambo (manage) to rescue the girl and (release) the
prisoners.
10. This month I (live) in my sister’s apartment while mine (get redone).
11. Sampras (serve) and Chang (return) but the ball (go) into the net. Game to Sampras!

4. Translate into English, paying attention to the grammar problems discussed in this section:
1.Îţi construieşti casa pentru o femeie, cumperi mobila pe care a ales-o ea, Îţi fixezi deprinderile cum le-a
dorit ea. Toate planurile de viitor până la moarte sunt făcute pentru doi inşi. A plecat de-acasă şi eşti
necontenit îngrijorat să nu i se întâmple ceva … Te străpunge ca un stilet orice aluzie despre ea şi eşti
nebun de fericire când, după greutaţi materiale şi umilinţe uneori, ai izbutit să-i faci o surpriză care să o
uimească de plăcere. Ei bine, într-o zi vine femeia acasă şi-ţi spune că toate acestea trebuie să înceteze până
mâine la ora 11.35, când pleacă la gară. Shylock n-a avut curajul să taie din spatele unui om viu exact livra
de carne la care avea dreptul, căci ştia că asta nu se poate. Totuşi femeia crede că din această simbioză
sentimentală, care e iubirea, poate să-şi ia înapoi numai partea pe care a adus-o ea, fără să facă rău restului.
Nici un doctor nu are curajul să despartă corpurile celor născuţi uniţi, căci le-ar ucide pe amândouă. Când e
cu adevărat vorba de o iubire mare, dacă unul dintre amanţi încearcă imposibilul, rezultatul este acelaşi.
Celălalt, bărbat sau femeie, se sinucide, dar întâi poate ucide. De altminteri aşa e si frumos. Trebuie să se
ştie că şi iubirea are riscurile ei. Că acei care se iubesc au drept de viaţă şi de moarte unul asupra celuilalt.
(Camil Petrescu – Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război)

2.– A, ştiu eu o întâmplare a lui cu o femeie din Bucureşti.


- Stai, stai, că şi asta e interesantă. Într-o zi, când femeia era la el in garsonieră, şi-l credea pe bărbatu-său
plecat pentru trei zile la o conferinţă diplomatică, nu ştiu unde, ea se hotăreşte să rămână toată noaptea la
Grigoriade, dar, pentru orice întâmplare, trimite acasă un plic desfăcut, ca din partea celei mai bune
prietene. – Madeleine o chema, zice el – prin care asta o roagă să vie să doarmă la ea, că i-e urât singură,
căci bărbatul ei e plecat. Şi, sigură de această prietenă, cea mai bună a ei, nici n-o mai întreabă măcar.
Trimite biletul cu indicaţia printr-un comisionar să spuie cameristei să-l puie chiar pe masuţa din
dormitorul ei. Catastrofă. Bărbatul vine de dimineaţă de tot, şi face un scandal imens. Pasă-mi- te, el
petrecuse toată noaptea cu “cea mai buna prietenă” a nevestii-si … Femeia, uluită, prinsă în aşa cursă, se
stapâneşte, nu spune o vorbă şi pleacă. Dar când tipul vrea să divorţeze ea îşi aduce aminte că mai are o
prietenă, Madeline, o roagă, o imploră pe ea şi pe bărbatul ei să declare că ea a scris scrisoarea şi, după
multe peripeţii, izbutesc să-l convingă şi pe bărbat de acest lucru, că voia nebunul să strice casa.
(Camil Petrescu – Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război)

3. Mereu vine câte unul, mâzgăleşte ceva pe o hârtie şi pleacă. Era un tip cu ochelarii pe nas care a tot scris
ceva într-un caiet. Mai înainte se uitase cu băgare de seamă de jur-împrejur şi s-a mai uitat şi după, apoi a

26
plecat. Ăsta fusese, cred, primul. Apoi sosi un grăsan care voia să ştie mai mult şi care îşi şi însemnă mai
mult într-un mic calendar de buzunar, nearuncând nici o privire de jur-împrejur, salutând însă la plecare.
Era tare grăbit să o întindă de aici şi mai că începu să alerge, după ce băgase în buzunar calendarul. Al
treilea nu-şi înscrise decât numele meu şi numărul de la casă, căci nu există pe aici decât o singură stradă.
Apăsă apoi pe un buton al cutiei ce o purta cu el. Se auzi un clinchet şi un zumzăit şi a trebuit apoi să
vorbesc foarte repede şi el îmi făcea semne nerăbdător să spun rapid ceea ce voia. Şi aşa am şi făcut. Şi
apoi îşi însemnă timpul exact, ceea ce am ghicit după felul în care se uitase cu o clipă înainte la ceas. Dau
năvală cu toţii şi fiecare caută să mai afle vreun amănunt şi eu li-l spun. Vă pot povesti şi dumneavoastră
câte ceva, dacă doriţi… Ei, am ştiut eu. Nici nu trebuie să vă notaţi începutul, deoarece ceea ce o să vă spun
acum mi-a trecut prin cap abia azi dimineaţă. Stau aşa şi mă gândesc. Vă miraţi, desigur, crezând că aş fi
mai puţin în stare decât alţii de asemenea lucru. Cum vrei să o iei! Aş putea să vă spun exact cum s-a
întâmplat – aşadar adevărul. Dar, ştiţi… e aici o problemă. Nu ştiu dacă ceilalţi şi-au notat după cum le-am
spus eu. Cât despre cel cu cutia, ăluia i-am repetat ceea ce dânsul îmi suflase mai înainte, căci nu voiam să-l
supăr. Soseşte aşa câte unul de departe, de-abia dacă a apucat să aţipească noaptea; îl vezi deodată în faţa
ta, şi ar vrea să plece în aceeaşi clipă înapoi: mare păcat să nu-i faci pe plac. Ei, da. La drept vorbind, încă
n-am aflat de ce vor cu toţii să scrie despre asta. Ştiu că nu e nimic mai bun de făcut: lucruri care să merite,
la care ştii apoi că ţii ceva în mână. Ia priviţi acest băţ. Ieri mi l-am taiat şi l-am cojit, iar acum îl crestez cu
grijă. Alţii se pricep mai bine, dar mie-mi plac crestăturile făcute de mâna mea, crestături semicirculare, nu
drepte – ştiţi, cele drepte mi se par neinteresante. Poate de aceea şi spun fiecăruia din câţi vin la mine
altceva. Lasa-i să-şi spargă frumos capul dupa aceea, că mie totuna îmi e. Şi cu cât se scurge mai multă
vreme, cu atât îmi trec mai multe gânduri prin cap. Şi toate aceste gânduri au oarecum de-a face cu
problema. Aşadar pot fi într-o oarecare măsură adevarate. Oricum, însă nici un gând nu e atât de adevărat
pe cât e acest băţ. Drept să vă spun, chiar nu ştiu ce doriţi. Vă uitaţi la acest cuţit? Îmi aparţine. Nimeni nu-l
doreşte. Pot să-l scot când vreau, să-mi tai cu el o slănină sau pâine. Sau să cioplesc mai departe la acest
băţ. Serviciul mi-o permite. Stau pe aici, umblu sau mă aşez câtă vreme e nevoie şi am grijă să nu
izbucnească vreun foc în clădire. Mai am grijă şi de altele. Spre exemplu să nu intre vreunul şi să fure ceva.
Dar nu-i cunosc pe toţi câţi intră şi ies. Deunăzi l-am oprit pe unul, iar a doua zi am fost făcut de trei parale.
Cică avea la el o hârtie. Dar cine n-are azi aşa ceva? O groază de oameni nu fac altceva decât să scrie la
hârtii. Şi de-atunci vin mereu alţii, mă tot descos, înseamnă ceva şi pleacă. Dumneavoastră vă voi spune o
poveste nouă. Aşteptaţi, încep imediat, vreau doar să pun bine cuţitul şi să-mi proptesc băţul. Şi-aşa: înainte
de a veni aici primul, acela cu ochelarii pe nas, fusese cel cu hârtia, pe care însă nu l-am lăsat să intre. Cu
câteva zile în urmă însă mai fusese unul, care ma întrebase cum mă cheamă. I-am spus şi el a notat. V-am
spus doar, toţi vin, scriu câte ceva şi pleacă… (Arnold Hauser - Băţul)

4*.Hagiul se rostogoleşte în pat. E prea fericit. Nu poate dormi. Râde şi oftează. E deştept şi visează. Ce
vis! De nu s-ar sfârşi. Dacă aici, în zăduf şi întuneric, ar sta în picioare, şi banii ar creşte, ca o revărsare de
apă, de la tălpi în sus, până peste creştetul capului… Oh, ce fericit ar fi hagiul! Înainte să-şi dea sufletul, ar
vedea faţa şi veşnicia lui Dumnezeu. Moartea să aibă coasă de aur, el şi-ar înfinge amândouă mâinile în
tăişul ei.
Picături de ploaie bat în geamurile Hagiului. Hagiul tresare. Nimeni. Se şterge pe frunte de naduşeală.
Răsuflă greu, ca pe un suiş de deal c-o povară în spinare. Îi bate inima: visul unei morţi fericite i s-a
prefăcut într-o viaţă de spaimă. Picături grele izbesc în geamuri. Gândul că ar putea să-l jefuiască cineva îl
face să sară din pat. Aprinde lumânarea. E galben ca ceara. Părul, nepieptanat şi lung, îi atârnă în viţioane
pe ceafă şi pe frunte. Se uită la icoane. Se-nchină. Îşi aduce aminte de Dumnezeu. Fireşte că se gândeşte la
El! Se gândeşte că sufera pe pământ din cauza leneşilor şi tâlharilor. Lui nu i-ar fura o băşică cu zece mii
de galbeni, îngropaţi sub cărămizile de sub pat, ci l-ar fura de zece mii de ori, i-ar fura sufletul turnat în
fiece galben. El niciodată nu a priceput ce este zece, o mie, o sută. Astea sunt vorbe, sunt numere pe răboj
sau pe hârtie. În zece galbeni este inima lui de zece ori, într-o sută - inima lui de-o sută de ori, într-o mie,-
inima lui de-o mie de ori. În zece mii el nu vede un purcoi de galbeni, ci zece mii de copii ai lui, fiecare cu
chipul şi cu viaţa lui. Iacă de ce se gândeşte la Dumnezeu. (B.Şt.Delavrancea- Hagi Tudose)

5. Birourile noastre sunt toate pe un coridor ce nu se mai sfârşeste. Când ai nevoie de cineva, ieşi şi-i
răcneşti numele. În toate instituţiile ajung să facă tradiţie unele obiceiuri curioase. La noi, de exemplu, se
strigă. Coridorul reverberează multă vreme sunetele; cu strigătele te obisnuieşti greu, oricât de tare ai fi. Pe
Alexandru Popescu nu-l cheamă nimeni. Cu toate acestea, e primul care scoate capul din birou şi stă aşa, cu
gâtul alungit, până ce chestiunea se lămureşte.

27
- Ce e, ce e? întreaba el, privindu-te în adâncul ochilor.
- Nimic.
- Aha, nimic!
Un “aha” mai degrabă buimac, ca şi cum mari evenimente stau să vină şi nimeni nu se sesizează.
Despre funcţionarii de la registratură, am, ca toată lumea, o opinie. Mi-am însuşit, mai bine zis,
prejudecata generală. Am citit o mulţime de consideraţii suficiente cu privire la arhive şi arhivari. Intru într-
un birou ca toate birourile, cu oameni ca toţi oamenii, dar, vorbind de registratură şi arhivă, spun ce ştiu din
citit: nişte soareci printre dosare, nişte prăfuiţi.
Ca şi cum nu-s tot funcţionar, un şoarece rătăcind printre dosare. N-ar trebui să fiu atât de mândru că nu
lucrez la registratură. Adevărul e că nici nu sunt. E suficient să-mi imaginez ce crede directorul despre
oamenii lui, un director care a trăit şi vremuri mai bune, ca să revin la realitate. Odinioară, îmi spuneam:
până jos mai este, am dreptul la unele iniţiative, am oarecare libertate de mişcare, n-am ajuns să dau număr
de ordine la nişte hârtii, nu-s Alexandru Popescu.
Acum gândesc altfel. La Alexandru Popescu mă gândesc adesea, viaţa m-a apropiat de el într-un chip
neaşteptat.
S-a întâmplat, cum se spune, ceea ce era dat să se întâmple. (Tudor Octavian - Ana la Boston)

6. Actul 2.
Hol-tindă acasă la Caragiale.Are un birou, dulapuri de cărţi. Serveşte şi ca odaie de lucru. E târziu, după
miezul nopţii. Caragiale îmbrăcat, cu paltonul pe umeri, lucrează la birou. Are un teanc de foi in faţa lui.
Foarte multe alte foi mototolite şi aruncate pe jos. E nervos, nedormit, cu ochi vizibil obosiţi. După un timp
trage cu urechea spre una din camere a cărei uşă e deschisă, cu multă îngrijorare, aproape cu spaimă. Apoi,
nemulţumit, se aşează într-un fotoliu şi parcă vorbeşte singur, gesticulează. Notează. A tuşit un copil. El
aleargă la camera cu uşa deschisă. Reapare. Se duce la birou. Peste puţin, vine Didina, cu o haină lungă de
casă pe ea.
Scena 1.
Caragiale (extrem de obosit, pare ameţit): Tu de ce nu dormi? De ce nu eşti înţelegătoare?
Didina (slăbită): Aţipisem, dar am auzit copilul tuşind…
C: De data asta a fost mai uşor…
D: Cât e ceasul?
C: E aproape 3…
D: Atunci nu mă mai culc, am dormit destul patru ore…
C: N-ai dormit patru ore, că ai tot tresărit şi venit aici. Aşa, nu ai să poţi rezista. Pâna mâine e mult, când
vine sora ta să te schimbe.
D: E mai bine să te odihneşti şi tu puţin. Ai putut lucra ceva? Ai terminat actul început ieri?
C (îngândurat): Nu…(stânjenit îl arată jos) Am rupt totul. Nu merge.
D: Nu trebuie să fii necajit…Nu poţi lucra aşa, atent în fiecare clipă la respiraţia copiilor.
C (neliniştit): Didino, tu crezi că tusea asta convulsivă poate ucide un copil în câteva clipe?
(Didina tace, arătând că şi ea s-a gândit mult la asta.)
C: Am vorbit ieri şi cu doctorul. Zice cş pericolul, la copii mai mici de doi ani, este că se pot sufoca tuşind.
D: Ştiu. De asta mi-e groază şi mie. Din pricina asta tresar chiar când dorm, dacă le aud tuşind…Bietele
fetiţe…
C: Pe la unu jumătate s-a trezit cea mai mare- într-o tuse care îi sfâşia pieptul; de spaimă îi ieşeau ochii din
orbite, se învineţise ca plumbul toată, îi era gura plină de sânge. Am umblat cu ea în braţe jumătate de oră,
prin casă. Nu puteam face nimic să-i potolesc aceste accese de tuse.(Se frânge) Simţi că s-ar putea să-ţi
moară în braţe…Dacă ai vedea un copil al tău cuprins de foc, ai sări in flăcări să-l scapi…Ai sări in apă, şi
fără să ştii să înoţi, hotărit să-l scoţi. Dar aşa, îl vezi frângâindu-se înjunghiat de durere şi spaimă, în gheara
morţii şi nu poţi să faci nimic.(Se frânge de durere)
D (îl priveşte lung): Du-te şi odihneşte-te puţin. De vreo săptămână nu-mi plac ochii tăi. Sunt foarte obosiţi.
C: Cum o să stau în casă? Avem procesul cu proprietarul, care ne evacuează pentru neplata chiriei.(Didina
face un gest: “totuşi”) Didina, ştii că noi nu mai avem în casă decât treizeci de bani? Spui că nu mai ai
lemne, pe o vreme ca asta. Că nu mai ai nimic în bucătărie.
D: O să încălzim doar două camere pentru fetiţe. Nu le putem culca în aceeaşi cameră, căci, tuşind, se
scoală una pe alta, abia aţipite.

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C (neliniştit): Oh! Să nu facă vreo pleurizie! (Tresar amândoi. Ea aleargă spre odaia din care vine plânsetul
şi tusea grea a copilului. Caragiale aşteaptă, apoi se aşeaza năuc parcă la masa de scris) (Camil Petrescu –
Caragiale în vremea lui)

D
WRITING

1. REMAKES: A lot of remakes have appeared lately taking old movies as point of reference. Giving
examples of remakes you have seen yourselves argue for the positive aspects/negative aspects of
remaking movies. (50 lines)
2. FOR OR AGAINST: Argue for/against violence in movies being harmful to children.

FOUR
A CRITICAL ESSAY*
Look, if you can’t see what’s so irresistible about Clark ‘Jug Ears’ Gable of the Jack o’Lantern
grin, then much of the appeal of Gone With the Wind goes out the window. Furthermore, if Vivien Leigh’s
anorexic, over-dressed Scarlett O’Hara seems to you one of the least credible of Hollywood femmes fatales,
most of whose petulant squeaks are, to boot, audible only to bats…
And, finally, if you can’t see anything romantic AT ALL about the more than feudal darkness of
the Old South, then, oh, then, you are left alone with the naked sexual ideology of the most famous movie
ever made in all its factitious simplicity. Macho violence versus female guile, bull vs. bitch.
The first time I saw this meretricious epic, it was the fifties, on one of the many occasions when
they dusted off the reels and sent it on the road again to warp the minds of a new generation. Though I was
but a kid in short pants, then, with zilch consciousness, truly I thought it stank. But – I was of that
generation whose sexual fantasies were molded by Elvis Presley and James Dean.
Presley, white trash with black style, in his chubby, epicene and gyrating person, himself the
barbarian at the gates of Tara – talk about irresistible, how could even Scarlett have resisted had Elvis
pleaded with her to let him be her teddy bear? As for Dean – impossible to imagine James Dean carrying a
girl upstairs. I used to fantasise about doing that to him. Fifty-six was, perhaps, the best year in which to
view Gone With the Wind.
But the big question. Why, oh, why did the BBC choose to empty out Gone With the Wind, that
hoary sackful of compulsive trash at this point in time? More – why did the Corporation decide to play
Santa with this thing at the fag-end of Christmas, when, softened up by grub and booze, the notion might be
deemed to be uniquely vulnerable? Impossible not to smell a rat. Part of the Women’s Lib backlash?
I still think it stinks, this movie famous for being famous: that reduces the American Civil War to
the status of spectacle (the Hollywood attitude to war, which reaches its apogee in Apocalypse Now); that
advertises the masochistic pleasures of tight lacing – did you notice how often Mammy is depicted brutally
compressing Scarlett into her corset? What kind of image is that?
But, goodness me, how enjoyable it is! I curled up in my armchair, giggling helplessly, weakly
muttering: ‘Break his kneecaps,’ about every five minutes, sometimes more often.
Whose kneecaps? Well, Ashley Wilkes’, obviously! What a whingeing creep. Not those of Big
Sam, patently the Best Man on the entire plantation even if touched with Uncle Tom, such an obvious
father figure that I can’t see why Scarlett, father-fixated as she is, doesn’t marry him, thereby giving the
plot a whole new dimension.
But it is, of course, Rhett Butler’s kneecaps that seem ripest for the treatment. That Rhett Butler
and his travelling salesman’s lines: ‘You need to be kissed often, by somebody who knows how to do it.’
This is the authentic language of a sexually incompetent man whistling in the dark, but let me not continue
with that train of thought or else I’ll start feeling sorry for him. And who could feel sorry for a man who
says, as he closes in for the clinch: ‘This is what you were meant for’?
Since Scarlett is characterized as Maggie Thatcher manquée, I would have thought she was meant
for high office rather than low innuendo. And, give Gone with the Wind its due, implicit in the script is just

29
how ill at ease Scarlett is with the role in which the plot has cast her. Given any other option than that of
the Southern belle, even that of a poor white farmer, she grasps it with both hands. Her sexual
manipulations seem to spring from sheer boredom rather than actual malice, from the frustrated ambition of
a baulked entrepreneur of the kind who has given capitalism a bad name. A bitch, not from sexual
frustration (that old chestnut!) but from existential frustration.
After all, as soon as she gets her hands on that lumber mill, she starts coming on like the
Godmother and Rhett can’t think of a way to stop her.
Yet all this is going on in the gaps of the overt ideology of the movie. Which is very simple – no
more than The Taming of the Shrew in hooped skirts. But in a film so extravagantly long, the viewer has
ample time to ponder the socially determined nature of the shrew, which is often that of a woman forced to
live for love when she really isn’t interested in love at all, and why should she be, dammit.
Not that Rhett Butler does manage to tame this shrew, in the end. He may give out with genuinely
unforgivable things as: ‘I’ve always thought a good lashing with a buggy whip would benefit you
immensely.’ But he never does batter her. Since he is the sort of macho weakling who is off like a long dog
at the whiff of a genuine emotional demand, the obvious strategy to be rid of him is to say you truly love
him.
So Scarlett wins out; off goes Rhett, thank goodness, and tomorrow is another day. Now Scarlett
can get on with amassing a great estate and bankrupting small businessmen, for which activity breaking
hearts must always have been an inadequate substitute.
There is, of course, the one really disgusting scene, that of the famous marital rape, which, in the
late thirties, was deemed the very stuff of girlish dream and is now grounds for divorce. As a teenager, I’m
bound to admit I didn’t find this scene as repellent as I do now. Since it occurs three-quarters of the way
through the second half, it is high time for Scarlett’s come-uppance and, God help us, the whole scene is set
up so that the viewer wants Rhett Butler to rape his wife!
Not that there is any suggestion it is rape. Irresistible Rhett, his ears rampant as if ears were
secondary sexual characteristics, is but asserting his rights over the body of the woman who has rejected
him out of selfish, narcissistic reasons such as disinclination for motherhood. ‘This one night you’re not
turning me out.’ He scoops her up in his arms.
Cut to the morning after, Scarlett stretches luxuriously in bed, smiling, singing a happy little song
to herself. See? That’s just what the bitch needed all the time. And if you believe that, you will believe
anything.
But. Perhaps. Perhaps she had broken his kneecaps, at that! Surely that is the only thing that could
make her smile, at this juncture! And that must be the real reason why he has to go off to Europe, to visit a
good kneecap specialist. Of course, they can’t say that in the script, but I am sure that is what happened,
really. (Angela Carter – The Belle as Businessperson)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

1. What is the movie’s naked sexual ideology according to the author? Do you agree to her opinion?
2. Why is the movie described as “meretricious”?
3. Why does the author say that the fifties were the best period for watching the movie?
4. Compare Clark Gable to Elvis Presley or James Dean. What is the main difference from the point of
view of the characters they portray on screen?
5. Why is the author wondering about the reasons for BBC’s decision to play the movie? How can you
characterize her reaction?
6. According to the author, in what way can Gone with the Wind be described as depicting violence?
7. Why does the auhtor say that Scarlett should break Ashley’s kneepcaps? Do you agree with her?
8. Is the description of Scarlett as a “Maggie Thatcher manquee” accurate in your opinion?
9. What does the movie have in common with “The Taming of the Shrew”?
10. Comment upon the author’s representation of the “rape scene”. Do you agree with her views?

B
VOCABULARY

30
1. Fill in the blanks with words and phrases from the text above:
1. He behaved with the ambition of a ________ entrepreneur of the kind who has given capitalism a bad
name.
2. Scarlett doesn’t marry him, ________ giving the plot a whole new dimension.
3. In that scene Rhett _________ her up in his arms and takes her to her bedroom.
4. Perhaps Scarlett has broken his kneecaps, ________!
5. Most of Scarlett’s squeaks are, ______, audible only to bats.
6. The movie is a _______ sackful of compulsive trash.
7. It is Rhett’s kneecaps that seem _________ for the treatment.
8. Her sexual manipulations seem to spring from _______ boredom rather than actual malice.
9. And _______ in the script is just how ill at ease Scarlett is with her role.
10. On that occasion they ________ off the reels and sent the movie on the road again.
11. Could it have been part of the Women’s Lib ________?

2. Choose the right word:


1. My old aunts are very ________, I’m afraid. You have to be very careful about your manners around
them.
A. strait-jacket B. strait-laced C. tight-laced D. straitened

2. I think he would like to go to bed with Susie. He behaves like a __________ bull around her.
A. whingeing B. tamed C. rampant D. rabid

3. You have a ___________ sense of humour if you can say such a preposterous thing to me!
A. crooked B. bent C. warped D. wry

4. Oh, come on! I’ve heard this old __________ for the tenth time this week. Credit me with some
intelligence, for God’s sake.
A. peach B. apple C. chestnut D. nut

5. The odds were against him in that situation and he was more or less left __________ in the dark.
A. whistling B. singing C. chirruping D. clamouring

6. I felt hurt and threatened by her reply. Then the other guests started agreeing with her and it felt as if
they were ___________ me.
A. coming on B. closing in on C. hitting on D. coming against

7. There are laws in this country against wife ___________, you know.
A. pounding B. licking C. whooping D. battering

8. Although in his _________ forties, Jim was still a good catch for every woman in town.
A. old B. last C. ripe D. late

9. When prompted to confess, she would shrug her shoulders innocently and cast him a __________
glance.
A. guileless B. winsome C. penetrating D. deprecatory

10. Look at the tantrums he throws! He’s behaving like a ___________ child!
A. fractious B. diffident C. contrite D. petulant

3. Consider the table below. Match the following list of words with the right entry:
factitious, meretricious, belle, booze, manipulation, epicene, creep, clinch, apogee, Goodness me!,
smell a rat, overt, zilch, come-uppance, grub, it stinks, innuendo.

Outdated words Familiar register Formal register

31
4*. POLYSEMY: EAR. Translate into English:
1.L-a tras de urechi drept pedeapsă pentru nota mică de la biologie. 2. La câtă bârfă a auzit după căsătorie
probabil că şi acum îi ţiuie urechile. 3. Rugăminţile ei nu au fost băgate în seamă deloc. 4. Probabil că ştie
deja, doar e genul care cască urechile bine şi e mereu informat. 5. Prieteni! Atenţie vă rog. 6. Nu şi-a putut
crede urechilor când a auzit ce voia ea de la el. 7. Bine, dacă nu vrei să ne gândim împreună la o strategie, o
să improvizăm ceva pe loc, după ureche. 8. Ciuleşte bine urechile şi ascultă ce-ţi spun. 9. Am treabă până
peste cap săptămâna asta. 10. N-o asculta prea atent, deşi ea îi povestea o întâmplare foarte amuzantă. 11. A
râs cu gura până la urechi când a citit articolul din ziar. 12. L-au trimis acasă ruşinat şi umilit. 13. Uite ce
urechi clăpăuge are!

5*. ADJECTIVAL COMPOUNDS AND IDIOMS


a. Fill in the blanks with the right adjective and paraphrase:
1. _______-eared 2. _______-nosed 3. __________-handed 4. ________-headed 5. ________-necked 6.
________-kneed 7. __________-handed 8. _________-handed blow 9. ________-minded 10. _________-
jawed 11. ________-boned 12. ________-legged 13. __________-lipped 14. ________-minded 15.
________- fisted
b. Paraphrase and use in sentences of your own:
Weak in the head, tight in the neck, long in the tooth, wet behind the ears, high in the instep, white around
the lips, purple in the face, green about the gills, plump in the pocket, right in the head.
c. Translate into English:
Nalt la stat, mic de statură, bun de gură, rău de gură, rău de foame, rău de pagubă, bun la suflet, greu de
cap, nu-i întreg la cap, lat în umeri, scump la vorbă, slab de înger, sărac cu duhul, alb la faţă, bun de carne,
încet la minte, iute la mânie, slobod la gură, tras la faţă.

C
GRAMMAR: IT vs. THERE (the ‘existential’ use)
One of the perpetual puzzles that students of English have is the use of dummy subjects, i.e. ‘there’ and ‘it’.
They are called empty or dummy subjects, because they have no semantic content and are placed in the
sentence only to fill the subject position, a sine qua non requirement of this language. Why are ‘there’ and
‘it’ so difficult to use? When do we use one and when do we use the other? These are the questions we will
be happy to answer in this section.

Now, consider the examples extracted from the text above:

(1) Not that there is any suggestion it is rape.


(2) There is, of course, the one really disgusting scene...
(3) How enjoyable it is!
(4) It is, of course, Rhett Butler’s kneecaps that seem ripest for the treatment
(5) It is high time for Scarlett’s come-uppance.

The more one looks at these examples, the more puzzled one seems to become. This is because there seems
to be no rhyme or reason in the use of ‘there’ and ‘it’. Indeed, there seems to be no apparent pattern of
usage in this set of examples. Let us try and establish a few rules and then go back to our sentences.

It is muddy on the street. / There is mud on the street.

32
The first rule students should remember in connection with dummy subjects is that normally existential ‘it’
is combined with an adjective whereas ‘there’ is followed by an (indefinite) noun. Consider the examples
below and remember this rule:

It is muddy on the street. There is mud on the street.


It is foggy today. There is fog outside.
It is glorious outside. There is glory to be gained
from her actions.
It is nice and quiet all There was peace and quiet all
around. around.
It is naughty of you to There was naughtiness in his
behave like that. tone.

So, remember never to use a noun after ‘it’ with an existential meaning:

There is a cat on the But not:


mat. *It is a cat on the mat.
There is a book on
the table. * It is a book on the table.
* - the star indicates that the sentence following it is
grammatically incorrect

This rule practically tells us something very important about the examples we have listed at the beginning
of this section. It tells us that all those sentences where ‘it’ is followed by a noun are not in fact existential
‘it’ sentences. For instance, example (4) contains the so-called emphatic ‘it’. What is the difference
between existential ‘it’ and emphatic ‘it’? Translation is a good test: only the existential ‘it’ sentence can be
translated by a sentence beginning with the verb ‘a fi’:

(7) It is muddy on the street = este noroi pe stradă


(8) It is Rhett who needs to be kissed = Rhett este cel care are nevoie să fie sărutat.

The translation for (8) shows you that this sentence lays emphasis on a certain element, in this case ‘Rhett’.
On the other hand, the example under (7) introduces a new object/ property in the world of our discourse,
and thus has an existential meaning.

It is high time… / There is enough time…


How do we account for these two constructions? We have just stated that existential ‘it’ should never be
followed by a noun. Well, then, how about the sentence under (5)? This is an instance of idiomatic use.
There is practically no accounting for it. Students are advised to learn these examples by heart:

Idioms with ‘it’ Idioms with ‘there’


It’s no secret that mother likes I’m sorry, but there’s no
pearls. alternative/choice but to tell her the
It’s no surprise/wonder that he truth.
knows English so well. There’s no denying that he is
It’s no use/good telling me handsome.
now. There’s no need to tell me your
It was no coincidence/accident secret.
that they met in the station. There’s no question of going to the
It was about time for her to concert tonight.
admit her mistake. There’s no chance of finding a cure
It is three miles/kilometers to for cancer in the near future.
the next village. There’s no doubt that she enjoys

33
It is (five) years/an eternity dancing.
since they first met in the There’s no telling what she’ll do
station. when she finds out!

As you can notice, the ‘there’s no…’ pattern is very productive.

There is a cat on the mat. / Oh, there’s the cat next door, we can use it in our movie.
There is one last remark to be made. This concerns the so called ‘indefiniteness effect’ rule. What is this
rule about? It states that dummy ‘there’ should be followed by an indefinite noun only. Consider the
following table for this rule:

There is a cat on the mat. But not: * There is the cat on the mat.
There is a girl in the room. * There is the girl in the room.

However, there are cases when this rule is not observed, as you could see in example (2). This example is
possible when we want to introduce a new object in our discourse about which there exists some previous
knowledge. Generally the definite noun must be followed by further modification for the sentence to be
correct. Consider also the examples under (9) and (10) and notice the underlined modifiers attached to the
definite noun:

(9) Alternatively, there is the choice to vote against the planned changes.
(10) …And then there is the question of who is going to pay.

Nota bene!
Don’t forget that dummy ‘there’ is not combined only with the indicative. It can appear in the vicinity of
participles or infinitives in formal English:

(11) There being nothing left to say, Susan left the room enraged.
(12) It is desirable for there to be at least two sets of examples in your dissertation.

EXERCISES:
1. Use the most logical form of the verbs between brackets:
a) It (be) just this that gave me my perspective for finding her there.
b) There (be) two men and one dog in that room.
c) There (be) one dog and two men in that room.
d) What you need and what you get (be) your problem.
e) What you need and what you get (be) two different things.
f) He liked her. There (be) some talk of her marrying William Banks once, but nothing had come of it.

2. Translate into English:


a) Până la casa unde locuia Florin erau cel mult două sute de metri. Cei doi mergeau încet, tăcuţi. Prea
încet şi prea tăcuţi pentru o distanţă atât de mică. Ion se temea să nu vorbească, fiindcă, mergând
alături, ar fi trebuit să se întoarcă mai mult decât ar fi fost normal, ca să-i vadă şi să-şi arate faţa. Ca şi
cum i-ar fi ghicit gândurile, Florin se opri şi se întoarse spre el, care imită brusc mişcarea, aşa încât se
puteau privi. Ea rosti: “mulţumesc, cred că am ajuns.” Văzând că tânărul nu spunea nimic şi o privea
numai, adăugă: “se spune că veţi mai sta pe la noi un timp.”
b) Era uşor să fie centrul atenţiei. Ori de câte ori era solicitat, se ducea pe scenă şi recita o poezie.
Oamenii îl rugau mereu să se producă.
c) Nu îmi e greu să fac nişte calcule. E greu însă să trag concluziile şi să îţi ofer soluţii.
d) S-ar putea ca mâine să plouă. Totuşi nu se aude nici o veste despre acest lucru la radio. Poate că s-au
plictisit să anunţe ploaie şi apoi să nu plouă.
e) De-abia intrară în sală, că unul din spectatori se apucă să strige la ei şi să-i faca în toate felurile.

34
f) N-are nici o importanţă când a spus profesorul lui Tom că poate părăsi clasa. Important e că a făcut-o.
g) Ajunşi acasă, se apucară să facă de mâncare.
h) Ce mă deranjează cel mai mult sunt ideile lui fixe.
i) Când o să înceapă să bată vântul, ar fi bine să ne întoarcem din parc acasă şi să dăm drumul la căldură.
j) Diplomatul ştia bine englezeşte şi nu acest lucru îl supăra pe Tom. Iritant era ce spunea şi modul în
care înghiţea cuvintele.
k) “Cine spuneai că a venit şi a mâncat tot tortul?” “Tom, bineînţeles că Tom.”
l) Sunt vreo doi kilometri pâna la aeroport. Putem merge pe jos până acolo dacă nu călătoreşti cu multe
bagaje.
m) Recunosc că e foarte neplăcut să intre la închisoare acum în floarea vârstei. Dar şi mie mi-e greu să nu
spun adevărul despre el.
n) Dintre toate posibilele variante care ni s-au explicat până acum, nici una nu pare a fi la fel de palpitantă
ca penultima.
o) Nimeni dintre cei de faţă, fie că erau profesori sau doar părinţi, nu părea să îl asculte pe vorbitor.
p) Socotesc că e o prostie să depind de un asemenea om.
q) E timpul să mergi la culcare, dar mai e timp să-ţi citesc o poveste.
r) Terminând de mâncat şi lăsându-i să vorbească alandala, am ieşit. Era un aer rece şi înmiresmat. Un
soare uriaş, apunând, înroşea cerul. Sus, pe un deal, se vedea albind mânăstirea Draga. Curând se făcu
întuneric ochilor noştri. Eram fericit fără să se ştie de ce. (L. Blaga – Proză)
s) Un viciu urât, sau ce-şi închipuie lumea că e un viciu urât, oricât l-ai ascunde, - şi dacă judeci bine,
tocmai pentru că-l ascunzi, - conştiinţa ta veşnic neliniştită ajunge cu vremea să-l creadă public. Poate
că nu era nimic. Putea fi exagerarea de moment a unui lucru, care totuşi, în principiu, n-ar fi fost exclus
să nu se întâmple. Cu Brummer discuta direct. Cu Georgeoiu, deşi îi purta simpatie, veriga de
încredere ce-i lega fiind uriaşă, nu reuşea niciodată să vorbească deschis, din cauza ironiilor şi
zeflemelilor lui, cu toate că ştia că ele sunt aparente şi că dedesubtul lor se ascundea altceva, oricum nu
i s-ar fi destăinuit niciodată. (Constantin Ţoiu – Galeria cu viţă sălbatică)
t) Nu sunt un spirit ştiinţific. Iată de ce nu-mi pot explica în ciuda lămuririlor dumneavoastră competente,
cum se face că în locul acesta e întotdeauna timp frumos! Poate că, şi asta v-a uşurat probabil sarcina,
locurile pe-aici sunt mai ferite? Nu văd însă nici un fel de dealuri în jur care să le ferească de
intemperii! De altfel, dealurile nu gonesc norii, nu împiedică ploaia, o ştie oricine. Există poate curenţi
calzi şi luminoşi care vin dintr-un al cincilea punct cardinal sau de la o a treia înălţime? Nu-i aşa că nu?
De altfel, asta s-ar şti. Sunt un caraghios. Nu e nici o briză, cu toate că aerul miroase frumos. E totuşi
ciudat, domnule arhitect al orasului, foarte ciudat! (Tudor Octavian – Istoria unui obiect ciudat)
u) La Alexandru Popescu ma gândesc adesea. Viaţa m-a apropiat de el în chip neaşteptat. S-a întâmplat,
cum se spune, ceea ce era dat să se întâmple. (Tudor Octavian – Istoria unui obiect ciudat)

3. Fill in the gaps with a suitable variant of it is/are or there is/are:

a) ____ a man at the door, waiting to see you.


b) ____ a good idea to sleep after a heavy meal.
c) ____ every reason to believe that he is a thief.
d) ____ a fact that most men are larger and heavier than most women.
e) ____ a concert at the Festival Hall tomorrow evening.
f) ____ no sense in waiting for her; she’s always late.
g) ____ often believed that the English are reserved.
h) ____ I who cannot bear these hateful words.
i) ____ time you left this place.
j) ____ enough time for you to wash your hair.
k) ____ fog outside; don’t go out.
l) ____ windy outside; please, stay indoors.
m) ____ time you confessed your crime, you know!
n) ____ a lot of smoke in this place, I can’t stay here.
o) ____ a long way to London!
p) ____ sunny outside and the birds are chirping.
q) ____ two books and one chair in the room upstairs.
r) ____ so much mud outside that we won’t be able to walk to church.

35
s) ____ a while since we last met.
t) ____ a cat that ate our canary, despite what you might think.
u) ____ so stuffy in here! How can you bear it?
v) ____ no room for you in my plans, I’m sorry!

4. Fill in the blanks with either it or there:


Toni thought _____ was probably better to be a little vague about the interview until ______ was over.
_____ was no guarantee that she would get that job, anyway. Miss Black had been careful to point out that
_____ would be other applicants; and then ______was this Managing Director, Mr. Lawrence, who
sounded rather a brute. ‘Not an easy man to satisfy,’ Miss Black had said, and Toni knew from experience
what that meant. ______ meant that he was a perfectionist and _______ was hardly any doubt that he was a
slavedriver as well. But she didn’t suppose _______ was him she would be working for. _______ was
doubtless that he had his own personal secretary, with years of faithful service behind her. _______ being
no choice in the matter, she would try to make the best of it.

D
WRITING

1. NEGATIVE REVIEWS: Taking Angela Carter’s review as a point of reference, write a negative
review of a widely known movie that you dislike.
2. WOMEN IN MOVIES: Some people think that women often receive stereotyped parts in movies.
Argue for or against that opinion.

36
UNIT TWO
FAIRY TALES TOLD AND RETOLD

37
ONE
RE-SPINNING A TALE
It is a northern country. They have cold weather, they have cold hearts.
Cold. Tempest. Wild beasts in the forest. It is a hard life. Their houses are built of logs, dark and
smoky within. There will be a crude icon of the virgin behind a guttering candle, the leg of a pig hung up to
cure, a string of drying mushrooms. A bed, a stool, a table. Harsh, brief, poor lives.
To these upland woodsmen, the Devil is as real as you or I. More so. They have not seen us nor
even know that we exist, but the Devil they glimpse often in the graveyards, those bleak and touching
townships of the dead where the graves are marked with portraits of the deceased in the naif style and there
are no flowers to put in front of them, no flowers grow there, so they put out small, votive offerings, little
loaves, sometimes a cake that the bears come lumbering from the margins of the forest to snatch away. At
midnight, especially on Walpurgisnacht, the Devil holds picnics in the graveyards and invites the witches.
Then they dig up fresh corpses, and eat them. Anyone will tell you that.
Wreaths of garlic on the doors keep out the vampires. A blue-eyed child born feet first on the night
of St. John’s Eve will have second sight. When they discover a witch – some old woman whose cheeses
ripen when her neighbours’ do not, another old woman whose black cat, oh sinister!, follows her about all
the time, they strip the crone, search for her marks, for the supernumerary nipple her familiar sucks. They
soon find it. Then they stone her to death.
Winter and cold weather.
Go and visit your grandmother, who has been sick. Take her the oatcakes I’ve baked for her on the
hearthstone and a little pot of butter.
The good child does as her mother bids – five miles’ trudge through the forest. Do not leave the
path because of the bears, the wild boar, the starving wolves. Here, take your father’s hunting knife. You
know how to use it.
The child had a scabby coat of sheepskin to keep out the cold. She knew the forest too well to fear
it but she msut always be on her guard. When she heard that freezing howl of a wolf, she dropped her gifts,
seized her knife and turned on the beast.
It was a huge one, with red eyes and running, grizzled jaws. Any but a mountaineer’s child would
have died of fright at the sight of it. It went for her throat, as wolves do, but she made a great swipe at it
with her father’s knife and slashed off its right forepaw.
The wolf let out a gulp, almost a sob, when it saw what had happened to it. Wolves are less brave
than they seem. It went lolloping off disconsolately between the trees as well as it could on three legs,
leaving a trail of blood behind it. The child wiped the blade of her knife clean on her apron, wrapped up the
wolf’s paw in the cloth in which her mother had packed the oatcakes and went on towards her
grandmother’s house. Soon it came on to snow so thickly that the path and any footsteps, track or spoor that
might have been upon it were obscured.
She found her grandmother was so sick she had taken to her bed and fallen into a fretful sleep,
moaning and shaking so that the child guessed she had a fever. She felt the forehead, it burned. She shook
the cloth from her basket, to use it to make the old woman a cold compress, and the wolf’s paw fell to the
floor.
But it was no longer a wolf’s paw. It was a hand, chopped off at the wrist, a hand toughened with
work, and freckled with old age. There was a wedding ring on the third finger and a wart on the index
finger. By the wart, she knew it for her grandmother’s hand. She pulled back the sheet but the old woman
woke up at that, and began to struggle, squawking and shrieking like a thing possessed. But the child was
strong, and armed with her father’s hunting knife. She managed to hold her grandmother down long enough
to see the cause of her fever. There was a bloody stump where her right hand should have been, festering
already.
The child crossed herself and cried so loud the neighbours heard her and came rushing in. They
knew the wart on the hand at once for a witch’s nipple. They drove the old woman, in her shift as she was,
into the snow with sticks, beating her old carcass as far as the edge of the forest, and pelted her with stones
until she fell down dead.
Now the child lived in her grandmother’s house. She prospered.
(Angela Carter – The Werewolf)

38
A
READING COMPREHENSION

Angela Carter was born in Sussex in 1940 and read English at Bristol
University. She is a writer of novels, all of which received considerable
critical acclaim, including Wise Children, Nights at the Circus, The
Magic Toyshop, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman. She
has also published a few collections of short stories, including The
Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Fireworks. Her books of essays,
including The Sadeian Woman and Nothing Sacred recommend her as
an accomplished essayist too. One of her short stories, The Company of
Wolves, was made into a film by director Neil Jordan.
One of the most vibrant writers of the 20th century, Angela Carter
managed to create works in which old myths and archetypes are
reshaped into new forms of potent artistry.

1. The story above is meant as a rewriting of Red Riding Hood. Underline the similarities as well as the
distinctions between this story and Red Riding Hood.
2. Comment upon the style of the author. Why does she choose short, elliptical sentences for her text?
3. Comment upon the following: “To these upland woodsmen, the Devil is as real as you or I. More so.”
4. Identify the instances in which the author uses the second person in her text. How can you comment
upon this use?
5. In what way does the author describe the wolf? Are there any differences between this description and
your own representation of this character of the fairytale?
6. What about the Red Riding Hood in this story? How can you characterize her?
7. What can you say about the treatment that the community inflicts upon the grandmother?
8. How can you interpret the last sentence of the text: “She prospered.”

B
VOCABULARY

1. Fill in the blanks with words/phrases from the text:


1. There will be the leg of a pig hung to _______ in the kitchen.
2. She made a great _________ at the wolf with her father’s knife.
3. The wolf ______ a gulp, almost a sob.
4. ________ of garlic on the doors keep out the vampires.
5. The child had a ________ coat of sheepskin to keep out the cold.
6. The snow _______ the tracks left by the child.
7. The old woman’s hand was _________ work and _________ age.
8. ______ the wart, she knew that hand _____ her grandmother’s hand.
9. The villagers _______ her with stones.
10. The wolf _______ her throat but she dodged it.
11. Her grandmother had fallen into a ________ sleep.
12. If an old woman’s cheeses ______ when her neighbours’ do not, she must be a witch.

2. Match the items in the first column with the ones in the second so that you obtain resultative
phrases:

Stone within an inch of one’s virtue


Scare to tatters
Smash into submission
Drink to death
Beat to distraction
Cry under the table

39
Rip out of their wits
Love to sleep
Kiss within an inch of one’s life
into a stupour
to smithereens

3. Translate the following ‘weather’ expressions into Romanian:


a) ‘There’s a nip in the air.’ ‘Yes, it’s a bit nippy today.’ b) Freezing, isn’t it? Look at my fingers, they’re
stiff with cold. c) This day is going to be a scorcher, I can tell. d) The days are closing in, and it’s getting
colder and colder. e) He braved the blizzard to reach her doorstep. f) The light is fading fast, there’s a storm
brewing. g) It was raining heavily and visibility was low. h) She couldn’t breathe in the sweltering heat. i)
There was a fine drizzle falling over the city. j) After the heavy frost, the road was a sheet of ice. k) The
rain was coming down in sheets. l) All that hail pelting down the roof must have drilled holes in it already.

4. POLYSEMY
a)* STONE. Translate into English:
1. Purta pe deget un inel cu o piatră preţioasă de mărimea unui ou de porumbel. 2. Te rog ajută-mă să scot
sâmburii de la cireşe dacă vrei să mănânci dulceaţă. 3. Demonstranţii aruncau cu pietre în maşini. 4. N-am
să las nici un ungher necercetat, îţi promit. 5. Dacă îi cumperi flori, o convingi să meargă la mare cu tine şi
se va bucura şi mama ei: două dintr-o lovitură. 6. Nu poţi să-l faci să vorbească, mai uşor scoţi apă din
piatră seacă. 7. Ce-mi spui tu mă lasă de-a dreptul rece, drept să-ţi zic. 8. După atâţia ani de predat, mulţi
profesori ajung surzi toacă. 9. Se uită la ea cu o faţă împietrită şi îi spuse că nu o poate găzdui. 10. Mă
întreb dacă ai măcar un dram de compasiune în tine! Parcă ai fi de piatră!
b) TRACK. Translate into Romanian:
1. He’s off the beaten track again. 2. The Earth crosses the track of certain comets. 3. The train on the next
track was moving. 4. Can I have the sports page, there’s some important track event I want to check. 5. He
looks quite pleased with himself, he must be on the track of something. 6. The man’s grim face stopped Jim
dead in his tracks. 7. Sorry, I’m afraid I’ve lost track of time. 8. It’s getting late, we must make tracks,
guys. 9. I’m sorry, but I think you’re on the wrong track here. 10. Can we talk about something else than
booze and babes? You sure have a one-track mind, man. 11. The tracking station identified a vehicle
running at an ungodly speed on the main highway.

5. SYNONYMY: lumber, lollop, lurch, trudge, plod, hobble, stroll, saunter, amble, shamble, stagger,
clump. Fill in the blanks using the appropriate synonym:
1. The hound ________ along, eager for the chase.
2. The armoured vehicle started to ________ towards the tower, heavy with equipment.
3. The three of us ________ up the stairs in our heavy ski boots.
4. Paul _______ sideways two steps as the boat rolled suddenly.
5. Aunt Sophy was _______ slowly round the room on her crutches.
6. As usual, he carelessly ________ in the class twenty minutes late.
7. I ______ along the beach with the warm sun on my face.
8. Mother walked the four miles to the nearest store and then ___________ back home with her bags of
groceries.
9. The travelers ________ through the deep snow at the side of the railroad.
10. Looking tired and fat, Parker ________ onto the stage and started playing.
11. One of the horses, a white one, slowly ________ towards me.
12. I was hit on the head and just managed to ________ out of the room.

C
GRAMMAR: Modal verbs: WILL and SHALL

Preliminaries
Look at the following sentences taken from the text above:

(1) There will be a crude icon of the virgin behind a guttering candle.
(2) A blue-eyed child born feet first on the night of St John’s Eve will have second sight.

40
Look at the context they are placed in. What is the meaning of will in these sentences?
Answer:
Sentence (1) can’t be paraphrased as: “There is going to be a crude icon....”, but as “There is always a crude
icon” or as “You are likely to find a crude icon....”. The same goes for sentence (2).

The meaning of the sentences clearly indicates that, although the auxiliary will is sometimes used to
express future time, here the sentences do not refer to the future, but to a characteristic or habitual action,
that is to something that is bound to happen frequently. Thus, although the meaning of the sentences can be
said to be similar to the sentences containing future will, there are significant differences. Due to this
difference in meaning, will is interpreted, not as a future auxiliary, but as a modal auxiliary.

THE USES OF MODAL WILL: VOLITION AND PROBABILITY

Future doesn’t mean ‘modal’ and volition is not the same with probability!

We have established that there are two kinds of will: will the future auxiliary and will the modal auxiliary.
The sentences 1 and 2 in the text have helped us to underline one of the meaning values of will as a modal
auxiliary. Let us see now how many meanings modal will has. Look at the following sentences:

(3) If you will help me, I’ll be very grateful. (If you want to help me, I’ll be grateful.)
(4) If you hurt me, my father will kill you. (In case you hurt me, my father is going to kill you).

(5) I keep telling him the truth, but he won’t listen. (I told him the truth but he refused to listen.)
(6) He won’t listen to music tomorrow. (He’s not going to listen to music tomorrow.)

(7) She will have already eaten her dinner by now. (She has probably already eaten her dinner.)
(8) She will have eaten her dinner this time tomorrow. (She’s going to eat her dinner tomorrow.
Tomorrow, at this hour, it will be already eaten.)

(9) If you cut hair, it will grow back. (Hair always grows back, when cut)
(10) Your hair will grow back in no time. (Your hair is bound to grow back in the future)

If you compare the pairs of sentences and look at the paraphrases that have been provided, you will notice
that while the first sentence in the pair contains modal will, the second sentence of the pair contains future
will. Let us look at sentences (3) and (4). It is clear that the will in the first sentence doesn’t indicate the
future, since future will is not allowed in conditional sentences. In sentence (3), will indicates something
slightly different from futurity, namely volition, as the paraphrase “want to” underlines. Volition refers to
the willingness, insistence or intention of the subject to do something.

If we look at the next pair of sentences, we clearly see that in sentence (5) will also has the meaning of
volition: the speaker refuses to listen. Unlike sentence (6), where the context clearly indicates that will
refers to the future, in sentence (5) will has a present meaning, since the speaker hears the truth, but doesn’t
want to listen. Thus sentences (3) and (5) contain modal will and refer to the willingness/refusal of the
subject to do something.

If we look at the two other pairs of sentences, we will see that the meaning of modal will is something other
than volition. Sentence (7) refers to something that has probably happened, unlike sentence (8) that predicts
that a certain thing will be accomplished in the future. In the same manner, sentence (9) refers to something
that usually occurs if certain conditions are met (Generally, if you cut hair, it is most likely that is grows
back), while sentence (10) refers to an event that will happen in the future. As you can see, sentences (7)
and (9) both refer to probable/ likely events. This meaning, which we will call probability, is different from
the volition meaning of the previous sentences: (7) and (9) describe events that are likely to happen/to have
happened, while sentences (3) and (5) show that the speaker wants/refuses to enact certain things.

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‘Characteristic behaviour’ means probability!

Let’s return to sentence (1) and at the paraphrase that has been provided:

There will be a crude icon of the virgin behind the guttering candle. (The candle is generally there. This is
very likely to happen).

It seems clear that the value of characteristic behaviour or habitual action that we have first indicated is part
of the meaning of probability will. Characteristic behaviour does not refer to the will of the subject to do
something, but to the frequency of an event that has all the probabilities to happen. Let’s look at more
similar examples:

(11) He will walk on the beach for hours every day. (This is what he usually does.)
(12) The window won’t open. (This is how it generally works)
(13) A cat will be affectionate, if you pet it often. (This is how it generally behaves.)

The past form of will, would is often used to indicate habitual actions/characteristic behaviour in the past:

(14) John would walk on the beach for hours every day.
(15) He would always give me flowers when he came to see me.

Nota bene!
In translating narratives from Romanian to English, i.e. those sentences showing something that usually
happen in the past, which in Romanian are in the tense called “Imperfect”, it is often recommended that one
should use habitual “would”:

(16) Mara mergea în fiecare zi la biserică.


(17) Mara would go to church every day.

Let’s generalize!
Now that we’ve seen examples that show the values of will we can provide a generalization:

Modal will has two meaning values: volition and probability.

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VOLITION PROBABILITY
There are various degrees of volition, the subject may be Several values are included
willing to do something, or he may express stronger volition: here. Scientific probability,
he may insist to do something or promise to do something characteristic behaviour,
likelihood (See the examples
above)
Present: WILL Present: Likelihood
Will you pass me the salt? He will be in his office at this
(Are you willing to?) moment.
He will eat red meat, although the doctor forbade it. (He is probably there)
(He insists on eating red meat)
I will marry you, come what may. Scientific
(I promise to marry you) Probability (Induction)
If you put vinegar into water,
PAST: WOULD it will turn sour.

Past meaning: Past: will/would + perfect


The doctor told him not to eat that, but he wouldn’t listen. infinitive
He will have finished his
Would can be used also in the present and, since it is a past meal by now.
form, would is considered more polite and more attenuated
than will: Present: Characteristic
Would you pass me the salt? present meaning behaviour
(more polite/more formal) The watch won’t work.

Past: Habitual WOULD

She would go to see him


every afternoon and they
would dance together.

Exercise: Translate the following sentences:


1. Iese afară în frig şi după aia se plânge că îl doare şi spatele şi capul. 2. Acolo găseşti tot ce vrei, atât
Whiskas cât şi Chappy. 3. Păi, cei ca el o să se poarte tot timpul aşa, oricât de mult credit le-ai acorda. 4.
“Vrei nu vrei, ai să dansezi tango”, îi spuse Daniel partenerei sale. 5. Deşi decanul n-o să vrea în ruptul
capului să se poarte corect cu colegii mai tineri, o să găsim o modalitate să aplanăm conflictul. 6. Vezi,
dacă te încăpăţânezi să stai bosumflat în camera ta, cu lumina stinsă, în timp ce alţii se distrează, n-ai să
mai ajungi niciodată să înveţi să dansezi dansuri de societate, precum tangoul. 7. G., un obişnuit al sălilor
de dans, insista să poarte pantofi de lac şi pe stradă, ceea îi dezgusta pe apropiaţii lui. 8. Uneori se mai
întâmplă şi necazuri de-astea, dar nu-i nici o nenorocire, le rezolvăm noi pe toate. 9. Cred că dacă o să te
uiţi cu atenţie după el, ai să-l găseşti la biliard, fumând şi câştigând banii celor care vor să joace. 10. La uşă
probabil e soţul tău, dacă nu cumva o fi poştaşul. Pe cine preferi? 11. Păi, da, ăsta e obiceiul lui: întâi
promite şi apoi nu se ţine de cuvânt. 12. Coţofana se ascunde în frunziş ori de câte ori este atacată de ulii.

What about shall?

Shall evinces the same distinction as will between the modal value and the future value:

(18) We shall throw a party tomorrow afternoon. (future).


(19) Shall we go to the party together? (modal)

The modal meanings of shall.

What we have to underline is that “shall” is restricted to the formal register and that nowadays it is
infrequently used, being considered archaic. So, you won’t hear “shall” in familiar English!

43
As a modal, shall shows the speaker’s willingness, insistence to do something and also the authority of the
speaker. A look of the following sentences will show you how it is used: to inquire about the listener’s’s
desires/volition when used in first person questions or to express the speaker’s desires about another
person’s actions when used in the second and third person:

(20) Shall I turn off the lights? (Do you want me to turn off the lights?)
(21) He shall go home only if he apologizes. (I refuse to let him go home unless he apologizes.)
(22) He shall do as I please. (I want him to do as I please.)
(23) Thou shalt not kill! (This is the biblical commandment: ‘Să nu ucizi!’. As you can see “shall”
expresses authority).
(24) Offenders shall be punished according to the law. (The law commands that offenders should be
punished. “Shall” is often found in formal commands, or sets of rules.)
Shall or will?

We have seen that both shall and will act both as modal and future auxiliaries. As you have seen they both
refer to the authority/will of a person. But is there then any difference between them?
And the answer will of course be....”Yes, there is!”. Let’s look at the following sentences:

(25) Violet shall wear this coat as long as I want her to. (I want Violet to wear the coat. This is my will.)
(26) Violet will wear this thin coat in the rain, although I told her not to. (Violet insists on wearing the coat.
It is her will.)

The difference between the two sentences above illustrates the distinction between the meaning of shall and
that of will. If in the first sentence it is the speaker (I) that insists on a certain course of action, in the second
sentence it is the subject (Violet) and not the speaker (I) who insists on a certain course of action. Thus, as
you can see, the difference between “shall” and “will” is more or less a difference of point of view: shall
expresses the authority/volition of the speaker, while will expresses the authority/volition of the
subject.

What about the situations where the speaker and subject are one and the same? The two sentences below
indicate precisely that when this happens, there are virtually no distinctions and will and shall can be
interpreted in the same manner:

(27) I shall marry her, come what may! (I intend to do that.)


(28) I will marry her, come what may! (I intend to do that.)

Is should the past tense of shall?

A natural question to ask is whether the modal should, that expresses mild obligation (advice) or
probability is to be considered as the past tense of shall. We have seen that would is the past tense of will.
Task: Let’s remember the meanings of should and compare them to the meaning of shall.
As you can see if you compare the two, while the meanings of should are similar to those of shall, should
doesn’t act as the past counterpart/past tense of should, since there is a difference in meaning between the
two:

(29) He shall obey my orders! (I insist that he obey my orders. There is no other way.)
(30) I told him that he should obey my orders. (I suggested that he obey my orders. This is my advice.)

Nota bene!
While it was originally used to be a past tense of shall, the form should acquired a separate meaning of its
own and is no longer a past tense, but a different modal in its own right.

EXERCISES:
1. Translate into Romanian:
1. For a few moments she was borne away on the wild wings of ambition. Gerald, with his force of will and
his power for comprehending the actual world, should be set to solve the problems of the day, the problem

44
of industrialism in the modern world. She knew he would, in the course of time, effect the changes he
desired, he could reorganize the industrial system. She knew he could do it. As an instrument, in these
things, he was marvelous, she had never seen any man with his potentiality. He was unaware of it, but she
knew.
He only needed to be hitched on, he needed that his hand should be set to the task, because he was so
unconscious. And this she could do. She would marry him, he would go into Parliament in the conservative
interest, he would clear up the great muddle of labour and industry. He was so superbly fearless, masterful,
he knew that every problem could be worked out, in life as in geometry. And he would care neither about
himself nor about anything but the pure working out of the problem. He was very pure, really. (D.H.
Lawrence – Sons and Lovers)

2. When I was very young (though not so small), Vasco Miranda would creep into my bedroom while I
slept and change the pictures on the walls. Certaian windows would shut, others would open; mouse or
duck or cat or rabbit would change position, would move from one wall, and one adventure, to the next. For
a long time I believed that I did indeed inhabit a magic room, that the fantasy-creatures on the walls came
to life after I fell asleep. Then Vasco gave me a different explanation.
‘You are changing the room’, he whispered to me one night. ‘It is you. You do it in your sleep, with this
third hand.’ He pointed in the general direction of my heart. (Salman Rushdie – The Moor’s Last Sigh)

2. Translate into English:


1. Fantastice pentru mine nu erau viziunile lui Ion M.Ion, care nu mişcau nimic în lume, ci felul şi mobilul
cuvântului zilnic rostit de oameni. Am devenit scriitor descoprind treptat forţa lui magică, până ce într-o zi,
spre şaptesprezece ani, am încercat să-l fixez pe hârtie. Chiar cuvintele care îmi treziseră viaţă conştiinţei
nu fuseseră ele misterioase? Dacă eu luasem în brate o pâine şi nu mai vroiam să o dau celorlalţi, cum să mi
se mai dea încă una? Firesc ar fi fost să mi se smulgă din braţe. În loc de asta, am auzit: “Na, mă, şi pe-
asta!”. Şi forţa magică a cuvântului astfel rostit mă făcuse să las din braţe ceea ce luasem şi să devin
conştient că exist. (Marin Preda – Viaţa ca o pradă)
2.Văzându-mă că ţineam cartea prea aproape de ochi, Nilă mă întrebă la un moment dat de ce naibii nu-mi
puneam o pereche de ochelari. Că el mă ştia de mic că nu văd bine, când mă trimitea să aduc un lanţ, că
lanţul era la picioarele mele şi eu mă chioram la el şi nu-l vedeam. Ce-ar fi? mi-am zis. Şi într-o după masă
am rămas minute lungi în faţa unei vitrine de pe strada Doamnei, pe care scria “amicii orbilor”. Eu până
atunci nu fusesem la un cinematograf…O să-i pun şi eu numai atunci, mi-am zis, încolo nu simţeam că am
nevoie, uitând că şi în clasă adormeam în timpul orelor de matematici şi chimie din pricină că tabla la care
profesorul făcea demonstraţia rămânea în faţa mea neagră. (Marin Preda – Viaţa ca o pradă)
3. Şi din nou glasul ei sună ca un avertisment; dacă el va crede acest lucru, nu va fi bine.
- Totul se va sfârşi înainte de a începe, dacă te iei după cuvintele mele, rosti ea cu patimă.
- Da, conveni el înfiorat ca de-o taină. Şi parcă îi făcu un jurământ: n-o să mă iau după mărturisirile tale,
Luchi, pe care s-ar putea să le regreţi în clipa de faţă. numai ceea ce simt eu e ceva adevărat şi numai după
asta o să mă iau.
- N-o să te gândeşti la mine?! exclamă ea.
- Nu, zise el parcă cu o decizie dureroasă.
Şi se uita drept, de astă dată sigur pe el, copleşit dar liniştit… Nu era ăsta singurul lucru pe care îl putea
ghida, simţirea şi cutremurarea inimii lui când îi vedea chipul? Ea putea să spună orice, el va rămâne
statornic şi o va păstra în inimă nu cu secretele sfâşiate, ci întregi. Se opriră, dar numai o secundă. Luchi
deschise poarta şi o luă înainte, fără să-l invite, dar fără să-şi ia la revedere. Silueta ei care se îndepărta
astfel prin curtea lungă, fără să se uite înapoi, îi aminti lui Ştefan de ce Ioana, care tot aşa, îl dusese undeva,
luând-o singură şi tăcută înainte…
Şi în clipa aceea înţelese că i se întâmplă în viaţă ceva decisiv şi la fel de buimăcitor ca şi minutele
care îi hotărâseră destinul în biroul marelui ziarist. De ce se întâmpla aşa? Nici nu vroia să afle, era un fapt,
mersul ei liniştit, neşovăielnic, dar fără grabă, arăta intenţia ei de a fi cu el fericită ca şi Ioana, acum, în
aceste clipe, înainte de a se trezi mâine ca dintr-un vis, cu regretul acela adânc că n-a putut trăi până la
capăt, cum se întâmplă întotdeauna în vis, ceea ce ar fi fost un miracol dacă s-ar fi putut împlini… Se va
împlini… Se luă după ea fără să se grăbească s-o ajungă şi aştepta să vadă dacă va deschide şi va închide
uşa în urma ei. Bineânţeles că n-o închise decât după ce el intră. Nu era uşa care da în hol, ci direct, printr-o
scară laterală, în camera ei. (Marin Preda – Delirul)

45
4. - E în regulă, repetase, vă promit că nu veţi mai auzi nimic despre el decât atunci când veţi considera că
vă va fi util. Şi atunci veţi găsi în el omul pe care l-aţi descoperit, gata să facă ceea ce o să-i cereţi.
În acest timp, cât vorbise, secretarul general de redacţie văzuse cum patronul îşi desface cravata sa de
mătase de la gât şi o aruncă pe birou. “Da, gândi el, iată, acelaşi gest…”
- Dă-i asta din partea mea…
Şi ochii patronului se holbară spunând aceste cuvinte. Imediat, ca la un semnal, celălalt se ridicase în
picioare; asta era semnificaţia acelei uitături: că tot ceea ce trebuia spus se spusese şi că omul sau
colaboratorul din faţa lui trebuia să se ridice şi să plece. Niki Dumitrescu băgase cravata în buzunar şi se
înclinase… (Marin Preda – Delirul)
5*.Pe drum îşi numără banii. Ar fi vrut el să dea gata pe Paraschiv, dar dacă cheful de aseară nu-l simţise,
chiria pe care trebuia s-o plătească chiar în aceste zile avea să-i înghită cel puţin o treime din salariu. E
drept că în asta intra totul, şi lumina şi căldura şi că timp de o lună de zile (o veşnicie!) nu mai avea nici o
grijă cu frumoasa lui garsonieră, dar oricum, dacă îi mai dădea şi lui taică-său trei mii de lei, îi rămâneau
prea puţini ca să mai aibă cu ce să-şi cumpere cărţi, cum dorise îndată ce-şi simţise buzunarul plin de bani.
O carte costă cât o masă! Chiar alături de ziar, în centrul pieţei, descoperise o clădire în formă de chioşc,
numită Casa anticarilor. Alta în Bucureşti asemănătoare nu mai văzuse. Se aflau înăuntru, fiecare cu mica
lui încăpere înţesată cu cărţi, şase anticari, pe care îi puteai vizita circular şi găsi la ei orice carte ai fi dorit.
Aşa cel puţin îi spusese unul dintre ei, un domn a cărui chelie şi figură căpătaseră parcă culoarea hârtiei
prăfuite, şi care îi câştigase de îndată lui Ştefan simpatia, prin sugestia pe care i-o făcuse acesta că el nu era
un simplu negustor de cărţi, ci un intelectual, fost profesor. “în trei zile vă fac rost de cartea pe care o
căutaţi, îi şoptise el tânărului ziarist, ca şi când l-ar fi iniţiat astfel într-o taină în care nu erau iniţiati
obişnuiţii şi vulgarii cititori de rând. El ştia, pasionaţii cuvântului scris căutau lucruri rare, nu istorii de
adormit Miţura…Ştefan îi spusese cine e, unde lucrează şi că doreşte să-şi facă o bibliotecă. ‘Eu vă fac
biblioteca…,” ii răspunsese anticarul. “Două mii îi ajung tatei, hotărî Ştefan în timp ce liftul îl ducea sus în
mansarda în care Nilă avea odaia lui de portar cu gândul că, chiar a doua sau a treia zi de Crăciun, să se
ducă la acest anticar şi să-şi umple odaia cu cărţi. Tata nu se aşteaptă nici la o mie, ba chiar nu se aşteaptă
la nimic, la atât de scurt timp de când am plecat de-acasă, aşa că mai bine renunţ la proiectul de a-l da gata
pe Paraschiv, arătându-le câţi bani am, le mai plătesc o masă şi o să văd eu cât îi dau tatei. Bunicii mai
degrabă ar trebui să-i dau, să-i cumpăr ceva. Fiindcă făă mamudelele ei ar fi fost imposibil să ajung ceva
mai mult decât Oprescu, secretar de primărie, sătesc, plus darul beţiei, care ar fi venit şi el negreşit…(Marin
Preda – Delirul)
6.Cel mai detestabil obicei al prietenului meu Artur este acela de a mă deranja noaptea. Fie că vine, fie că
pleacă, el face acest lucru cu o totală lipsă de consideraţie pentru liniştea şi somnul meu. Poate că aceasta e
doar o formă de manifestare a personalităţii lui, căci Artur e posesorul unei inteligenţe calme şi limitate, dar
şi al unei încăpăţânari de catâr ce scapă controlului oricărei metode de educaţie şi nu cedează în faţa nici
unei argumentaţii. (Alexandru George – Nocturnă)

D
WRITING

1. REWRITE: Angela Carter’s text is a fairytale that has been rewritten. Rewrite your own favorite
fairytale, trying to reinterpret it in your own way. Write at least 50 lines.
2. POINT OF VIEW: Pretend you are the girl in the story. Rewrite the story from the girl’s point of view.

TWO
REVISITING MYTHS
He was a good husband, a good father. I don’t understand it. I don’t believe in it. I don’t believe
that it happened. I saw it happen but it isn’t true. It can’t be. He was always gentle. If you’d have seen him
playing with the children, anybody who saw him with the children would have known that there wasn’t any
bad in him, not one mean bone. When I first met him he was still living with his mother, over near Spring
Lake, and I used to see them together, the mother and the sons, and think that any young fellow that was

46
that nice with his family must be one worth knowing. Then one time when I was walking in the woods I
met him by himself coming back from a hunting trip. He hadn’t got any game at all, not so much as a field
mouse, but he wasn’t cast down about it. He was just larking along enjoying the morning air. That’s one of
the things I first loved about him. He didn’t take things hard, he didn’t grouch and whine when things
didn’t go his way. So we got to talking that day. And I guess things moved right along after that, because
pretty soon he was over here pretty near all the time. And my sister said – see, my parents had moved out
the year before and gone south, leaving us the place – my sister said, kind of teasing but serious, ‘Well! If
he’s going to be here every day and half the night, I guess there isn’t room for me!’ And she moved out –
just down the way. We’ve always been real close, her and me. That’s the sort of thing doesn’t ever change.
I couldn’t ever have got through this bad time without my sis.
Well, so he come to live here. And all I can say is, it was the happy year of my life. He was just
purely good to me. A hard worker and never lazy, and so big and fine-looking. Everybody looked up to
him, you know, young as he was. Lodge Meeting nights, more and more often they had him to lead the
singing. He had such a beautiful voice, and he’d lead off strong, and the others following and joining in,
high voices and low. It brings the shivers on me now to think of it, hearing it, nights when I’d stayed home
from meeting when the children was babies – the singing coming up through the trees there, and the
moonlight, summer nights, the full moon shining. I’ll never hear anything so beautiful. I’ll never know a
joy like that again.
It was the moon, that’s what they say. It’s the moon’s fault, and the blood. It was in his father’s
blood. I never knew his father, and now I wonder what become of him. he was from up Whitewater way,
and had no kin around here. I always thought he went back there, but now I don’t know. There was some
talk about him, tales, that come out after what happened to my husband. It’s something runs in the blood,
they say, and it may never come out, but if it does, it’s the change of the moon that does it. Always it
happens in the dark of the moon. When everybody’s home and asleep. Something comes over the one that’s
got the curse in his blood, they say, and he gets up because he can’t sleep, and goes out into the glaring sun,
and goes off all alone – drawn to find those like him.
And it may be so, because my husband would do that. I’d half rouse and say, ‘Where you going
to?’ and he’d say, ‘Oh, hunting, be back this evening,’ and it wasn’t like him, even his voice was different.
But I’d be so sleepy, and not wanting to wake the kids, and he was so good and responsible, it was no call
of mine to go asking ‘Why?’ and ‘Where?’ and all like that.
So it happened that way maybe three times or four. He’d come back late, and worn out, and pretty
near cross for one so sweet-tempered – not wanting to talk about it. I figured everybody got to bust out now
and then, and nagging never helped anything. But it did begin to worry me. Not so much that he went, but
that he come back so tired and strange. Even, he smelled strange. It made my hair stand up on end. I could
not endure it and said, ‘What is that – those smells on you? All over you!’ And he said, ‘I don’t know,’ real
short, and made like he was sleeping. But he went down when he thought I wasn’t noticing, and washed
and washed himself. But those smells stayed in his hair, and in our bed, for days.
And then the awful thing. I don’t find it easy to tell about this. I want to cry when I have to bring it
to my mind. Our youngest, the little one, my baby, she turned from her father. Just overnight. He come in
and she got scared-looking, stiff, with her eyes wide, and then she begun to cry and try to hide behind me.
she didn’t yet talk plain but she was saying over and over, ‘Make it go away! Make it go away!’
The look in his eyes, just for one moment, when he heard that. that’s what I don’t want ever to
remember. That’s what I can’t forget. The look in his eyes looking at his own child. I said to the child,
‘Shame on you, what’s got into you!’ – scolding, but keeping her right up close to me at the same time,
because I was frightened too. Frightened to shaking.
He looked away then said something like. ‘Guess she just waked up dreaming,’ and passed it off
that way. Or tried to. And so did I. And I got real mad with my baby when she kept on acting crazy scared
of her own dad. But she couldn’t help it and I couldn’t change it.
He kept away that whole day. Because he knew, I guess. It was just beginning dark of the moon.
It was hot and close inside, and dark, and we’d all been asleep some while, when something woke
me up. He wasn’t there beside me. I heard a little stir in the passage, when I listened. So I got up, because I
could bear it no longer. I went out into the passage, and it was light there, hard sunlight coming in from the
door. And I saw him standing just outside, in the tall grass by the entrance. His head was hanging. Presently
he sat down, like he felt weary, and looked down at his feet. I held still, inside, and watched – I didn’t know
what for.

47
And I saw what he saw. I saw the changing. In his feet, it was, first. They got long, each foot got
longer, stretching out, the toes stretching out and the foot getting long, and fleshy, and white. And no hair
on them.
The hair begun to come away all over his body. it was like his hair fried away in the sunlight and
was gone. He was white all over, then, like a worm’s skin. And he turned his face. it was changing while I
looked. It got flatter and flatter, the mouth flat and wide, and the teeth grinning flat and dull, and the nose
just a knob of flesh with nostril holes, and the ears gone, and the eyes gone blue – blue, with white rims
around the blue – staring at me out of that flat, soft, white face.
He stood up then on two legs.
I saw him, I had to see him, my own dear love, turned into the hateful one.
I couldn’t move, but as I crouched there in the passage staring out into the day I was trembling and
shaking with a growl that burst out into a crazy, awful howling. A grief howl and a terror howl and a
calling howl. And the others heard it, even sleeping, and woke up.
It stared and peered, that thing my husband had turned into, and shoved its face up to the entrance
of our house. I was still bound by mortal fear, but behind me the children had waked up, and the baby was
whimpering. The mother anger come into me then, and I snarled and crept forward.
The man thing looked around. It had no gun, like the ones from the man man places do. But it
picked up a heavy fallen tree branch in its long white foot, and shoved the end of that down into our house,
at me. I snapped the end of it in my teeth and started to force my way out, because I knew the man would
kill our children if it could. But my sister was already coming. I saw her running at the man with her head
low and her mane high and her eyes yellow as the winter sun. It turned on her and raised up that branch to
hit her. But I come out of the doorway, mad with the mother anger, and the others all were coming
answering my call, the whole pack gathering, there in that blind glare and heat of the sun at noon.
The man looked round at us and yelled out loud, and brandished the branch it held. Then it broke
and ran, heading for the cleared fields and plowlands, down the mountainside. It ran, on two legs, leaping
and weaving, and we followed it.
I was last, because love still bound the anger and the fear in me. I was running when I saw them
pull it down. My sister’s teeth were in its throat. I got there and it was dead. The others were drawing back
from the kill, because of the taste of the blood, and the smell. The younger ones were cowering and some
crying, and my sister rubbed her mouth against her forelegs over and over to get rid of the taste. I went up
close because I thought if the thing was dead the spell, the curse must be done, and my husband could come
back – alive, or even dead, if I could only see him, my true love, in his true form, beautiful. But only the
dead man lay there white and bloody. We drew back and back from it, and turned and ran, back up into the
hills, back to the woods of the shadows and the twilight and the blessed dark.
(Ursula Le Guin – The Wife’s Story)
A
READING COMPREHENSION

Ursula le Guin was born in Berkeley, California in 1929, daughter of


the anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber and the writer Theodora Kroeber,
autor of Ishi in Two Worlds and two other books. Ms. Le Guin’s
published works include poetry stories and several novels, including
Malafrena, The Lathe of Heaven and The Left Hand of Darkness,
which was awarded the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best science
fiction novel of 1969. She is also the author of the Earthsea fantasy
books for which she received many awards.

1. Compare the speaking voice in this text with that in the text from the previous section. What is the
difference between these two texts from the point of view of perspective?
2. The text can be said to belong to the “familiar register”. Bring five examples from the text in this
respect.
3. The text presents the discourse of a wife that tells the tragic story of her husband. What is the point in
the text where the reader realizes that the discourse does not belong to an “ordinary” wife?
4. What are the elements in the text that suggest that the voice speaking does not belong to the human
community? Bring examples in this respect.

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5. Comment upon the importance of the following in the process of transformation undergone by the
husband in the story: “It’s the moon fault, and the blood”.
6. Why does the husband’s transformation cause so much horror to his wife and children?
7. “I saw him, I had to see him, my own dear love, turned into the hateful one”. What does the phrase
“the hateful one” refer to in this particular case? Justify your answer by bringing examples from the
text.
8. What are the similarities and differences between this transformation and the transformation suggested
to have taken place in Angela Carter’s text in the previous section?
9. Is there any similarity between the attitude of the community in this text and that of the community in
Angela Carter’s text towards the events that take place? How do they treat the characters thought to
have undergone transformations?
10. The wife talks about her husband’s “true form”. What does this mean for her and how can you
comment upon the word true as used here?
11. The story bears much resemblance to a fairytale. What are the common points between this story and a
fairytale?
12. In what way does this story differ from the fairytale scenario?
13. Comment upon the distinction “ordinary/strange” as reflected in the text. Can you think about others
stories - in literature or cinema – which bear similarities to this story?

B.
VOCABULARY

1. Fill in the blanks with words/phrases from the text:

1. Anybody who saw him would have known there wasn’t any bad in him, not_________.
2. He hadn’t got any game at all, but he wasn’t _________ about it.
3. He didn’t take things hard, he didn’t__________ and whine when things didn’t go his way.
4. It brings the________on me to think of it.
5. It’s something that_____ in the blood, they say.
6. He gets up because he can’t sleep and goes out into the _________ sun.
7. He’d dome back late, and worn out and pretty near cross for one so_________.
8. She got _______ looking.
9. They got long, each foot gor longer, _________.
10. The nose was just a______of flesh with _________holes.
11. The man looked round at us and yelled out loud, and _______the branch it held.
12. I was last, because love ________ the anger and the fear in me.

2. NOISES THAT ANIMALS MAKE. Match the nouns in the first column with the appropriate
verbs in the second:

LIONS trumpet CHICKENS croak


WOLVES mew DONKEYS roar
DOGS bellow ELEPHANTS bleat
CATS squeak BULLS quack
MICE neigh HEN cackle
HORSES moo DUCKS gobble
SHEEP grunt PARROTS howl
COWS squawk TURKEYS bark
PIGS hoot OWLS hiss
SERPENTS mew FROGS cluck

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3. NOISES AND GESTURES OF ANIMALS AND PEOPLE ALIKE. Choose the right word:

1. When he grazed his knee, the small child began to_______ in pain.
A. howl B. roar C. squeal D. screech
2. He was already________ with laughter when she finished telling the funny story.
A. yelp B. shriek C. whimper D. cackle
3. I told her to stop______ and start thinking about the future.
A. squeak B. whine C. whinny D. mew
4. He immediately ______down his food, although it was very hot.
A. munch B. gobble C. peck D. gurgle
5. The cat ______up the milk in the bowl I had put on the floor.
A. lick B. slurp C. suck D. lap
6. Although she was ______with effort, she managed to push the heavy cart.
A. grunt B. grumble C. groan D. moan
7. From behind the field, the coach kept _______orders at his team.
A. whimper B. growl C. bark D. snarl
8. The pupils ______when the teacher announced that they were going to have a test.
A. bellow B. grunt C. howl D. groan
9. You shall do as I say! I don’t want to hear a _______out of you!
A. screech B. wail C. peep D. boo
10. She’s lost her appetite. Ever since she came back from holiday, she’s been _______at her food.
A. cluck B. peck C. nibble D. nip
11. The angry employees were________ for better working conditions.
A. wail B. bellow C. bawl D. howl
12. The children started jumping and ________ with delight when they heard they were going to the amusement
park.
A. squeal B. chirp C. squeak D. whine

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4*. SYNONYMY: GRIN. Translate into English by using the synonyms below:
grin, smile, leer, simper, sneer, smirk, grimace, beam

1. M-am săturat de rânjetele libidinoase pe care i le tot aruncă bătrânul din casa vecină fiicei mele.
Cred că am să am o discuţie cu el în curând.
2. Se strâmbă de câte ori se vede în oglindă.
3. Ai văzut cum strălucea de fericire mama lui Paul în ziua în care fiul ei a câştigat cursa de 100 de
metri?
4. Nu înţeleg de ce trebuie să zâmbeşti tot timpul prosteşte! Ar trebui să te supraveghezi.
5. Abia m-am abţinut să nu zâmbesc cu răutate când s-a împiedicat şi-a căzut. Aşa îi trebuie, dacă le
tot pune piedică altora!
6. Cred că îl durea piciorul rănit. Avea faţă strâmbată de durere.
7. Tot timpul îmi zâmbeşte batjocoritor. Nu cred că mai suport.
8. Fiica lor nu e decât o fetiţă prostuţă şi enervantă.
9. Mi-a zâmbit larg atunci când am felicitat-o pentru premiu.
10. Şterge-ţi rânjetul ăla de pe faţă!
11. Nici până în ziua de azi nu îmi dau seama de ce în seara aceea Paul a zâmbit tot timpul cu gura
până la urechi. Crezi că era beat sau îşi bătea joc de noi?
12. Cred că ne-a jucat din nou o farsă. Avea un zâmbet pişicher pe faţă când a plecat.
13. I-a rânjit dispreţuitor şi a întrebat-o dacă toate hainele ei sunt cumpărate la mâna a doua.

5*. POLYSEMY: STRETCH. Translate into Romanian:

1. Pisica sări de pe pat, strănută şi se întinse.


2. Dacă vrei să te odihneşti, trebuie să te relaxezi pe perioade de timp mai mari.
3. Cred că pot să te ajut să găseşti nişte pantofi care să se facă mai mari.
4. Vreau să-mi cumpăr o fustă dintr-un material care se întinde.
5. Cred că ar trebui să faci mai multe exerciţii de gramatică care să te facă să-ţi pui capul la
contribuţie.
6. Nu e nici pe departe atât de viclean pe cât îţi închipui.
7. În faţa noastră se întindea o frumoasă livadă cu vişini.
8. Nu s-a maturizat deloc. Şi până în ziua de azi nu vrea mai mult de la viaţă decât o pereche de blugi
colanţi de la Levi’s.
9. Părinţii mei sunt şi ei destul de strâmtoraţi acum, aşa că nu au cu ce să vă ajute.
10. Haide să facem o plimbare ca să ne mai dezmorţim şi noi picioarele!
11. Toate aceste activităţi au durat mai bine de treizeci de ani.
12. Sunt obosită. Nu vreau decât să mă întind pe canapea şi să aţipesc.
13. Ştiu că ai scris câteva cărţi bune până acum, dar ar fi o exagerare să spui că eşti unul dintre cei mai
cunoscuţi autori din ţară.
14. Nu cred că pot să mă întind ca să ajung să iau vasul acela de pe raft.
15. Fratele meu îmi pune deja răbdarea la încercare. Toate au o limită!

6. IDIOMS: BLOOD. Fill in the blanks with the suitable idiom/word:

be after one’s blood, bloodshed, make sb’s blood run cold, run in sb’s blood, sb’s blood on your
hands, draw blood, hot-blooded, make sb’s blood boil, blood is thicker than water, blood money, bad
blood, in a pool of blood, in cold blood, like getting blood out of a stone, sb’s blood is up, one’s own
flesh and blood

Although everyone had tried to make him understand that ___________, Evan had begun to hate
his brother Tom. They were both in love with the same woman, but she was in love with Tom, and Evan
knew that making her stop loving his brother would be_____________ . Every time he saw the two of them
together, it ___________. One night, Evan and Tom had a fight and Evan swore that if his brother was

51
going to marry the woman they both loved, he would ____________. Everyone who was there tried to
make him calm down, but his _________ and he wouldn’t listen. Tom got very upset about it, since he
knew his brother was _________. He told everyone that violence ___________ in his brother’s ________
and that, once Evan had got it into his head to hurt him, he would keep his word. The following night,
Tom’s dead body was found lying __________. The sight of it was enough to ________everyone’s
____________. Since they all knew that there was___________ between Tom and Evan, they assumed that
Tom had been killed by his brother. Evan was arrested in the morning, but he kept saying that although he
had __________ his brother’s_______ a few days before, he had understood that he would never be able to
really hurt __________________. No one listened and even his own mother believed that Evan had Tom’s
________. However, that very day the police apprehended a stranger who confessed that he had murdered
several people _________ .He said that Tom’s brother was among them and that he had been paid
_________ by someone who wanted Tom dead. It later turned out that someone else was responsible for
Tom’s death and Evan was released, but he left the town, saying that he couldn’t bear to live in a place
where people thought him capable of __________.

C
GRAMMAR: THE USES OF PAST SIMPLE AND PAST CONTINUOUS

If you take a look at the examples below, you will notice that not all of them are made up of past tense
forms with a narrative value, as we would expect. Since the examples are taken from the text above, which
is practically a narration, our main guess would be that the author employs past tenses to tell her story. And
yet, compare the last two examples with, say, example (2). While examples (3) and (4) contain a succession
of events expressed by means of past tense structures, the temporal forms in (2) are not meant to express
sequence, but to describe repetition in the past:

(1) When I first met him he was still living with his mother.
(2) He didn’t take things hard, he didn’t grouch and whine when things didn’t go his way.
(3) But he went down when he thought I wasn’t noticing, and washed and washed himself.
(4) We drew back and back from it, and turned and ran, back up into the hills

In fact, this is the main semantic distinction that characterizes Simple Past in English: while this tense
normally expresses a past action at a past moment (defined by a definite past adverbial), like in (5), or a
narrative sequence, like in (3) and (4), it can equally convey the idea of past habit, like in (2) or (6):

(5) She went home (at 5).


(6) She often went home.

Narrative Past Habitual Past


Bill struck his baby brother Bill often struck his baby brother
and got punished for it. and got punished for it.

Of these two main values of Simple Past, the more basic is the ‘narrative’ one, simply because with the
‘habit’ value a frequency adverbial is necessary (when the verb is eventive). Only when the verb is
expressed by a state can one do without a frequency adverbial. Compare the examples below. The sentence
under (7) expresses a past action (no definite time adverbial is necessary for this meaning to be clear, as is
demonstrated by placing this adverbial between brackets). The sentence under (8) is made up of a state
verb, which conveys a meaning of generality to this sentence. The sentence under (9) expresses a repeated
past action only when the frequency adverbial is present:

(7) He struck his baby brother (on Monday).


(8) He was a bad brother. (= He had the general property of being a bad brother.)
(9) He often struck his baby brother.

The fact that Simple Past can also express past repetition/habit poses problems for Romanian learners of
English. They tend to associate this meaning with Past Continuous.

52
Nota bene!
Past Continuous is very infrequently used with a habitual meaning!

Due to the fact that in Romanian, the Imperfect expresses both an action unfurling at a moment in the past
(Maria mânca un măr) and past habit (Maria cânta la vioară şi ştia să cânte şi la pian), Romanian students
have the impression that this situation is valid for the English Past Continuous as well. Things could never
be further from the truth.

TIPS FOR TRANSLATION:

The Romanian Imperfect is not equivalent with Past Continuous:


Maria mânca un măr. = Mary was eating an apple.
Maria cânta la vioară şi ştia să cânte şi la pian. = Mary played the violin
and could play the piano, too.

Exercise*: Translate the following into English, paying attention to the table above:
În port, corăbii nu mai soseau; oraşul devenise foarte avar, pungile rămâneau înnodate de mai multe
ori la gură, iar noi, dimpotrivă, cu gurile căscate, murind de foame, vânzând ca să mâncăm, şi mai cu seamă
ca să plătim; ne mergea rău, pentru că la fiecare raită ne descopereau, pentru fiecare copilărie ne făceau o
mie de mizerii şi nu era picaro care să nu se fi dat la noi, unul pentru că era don Cutare, altul în numele lui
don Cutarică… Nevastă-mea umbla înfricoşata şi foarte plictisită de atâta socreală, pentru că, învăţată
veşnic să aibă toata libertatea din partea mea, se vedea acum robită, nemaifiind stăpână pe viaţa ei; dacă
una vorbea, cealaltă urla, din fiecare ţânţar făceau un armăsar, şi iscau atâta tărăboi, încât, ca să nu iau
partea nici uneia, îmi luam pelerina, de cum vedeam că se apropie furtuna, şi ieşeam de-a fuga în stradă,
lăsându-le să se păruiască în voie.
Pe nevastă-mea o necăjea grozav faptul că nu-i luam partea, părându-i-se că, pe drept sau pe
nedrept, trebuia să ţinem întotdeauna cu ai noştri şi că de avea sau n-avea dreptate, datoria mea era să fiu
împotriva mamei, cu toate că nu s-ar fi cuvenit. Ajunse să mă urască, şi să nu mă mai poata vedea în ochi
pâna într-atâta, încât, găsind prilejul în persoana unui anume capitan de galeră în Neapole, ancorată în port,
schimbă dragostea mea pe a lui şi, adunând toţi banii şi toate giuvaerurile din aur şi argint pe care le aveam,
înălţă pânzele şi fugi în Italia, fără ca de atunci să mai am vreo ştire despre ea. Auzisem spunându-se că era
cu adevărat nebun cel care umbla să-şi caute nevasta odată ce-l lasase, şi că soţul trebuia să întindă punte de
argint pe unde să-i fugă duşmanul din casă. Socoteam că-mi va merge bine singur, decât într-o tovărăşie
proastă, căci deşi era adevărat că eu singur îi îngăduisem câte toate, trăind din asta, începusem să nu mai
pot răbda să ma ţină oricine de rău. Era puterea viciului, care m-a facut totdeauna supus tuturor josniciilor;
şi fiind obişnuit să rabd afronturi încă de copil şi de tânăr, cu atât mai mult mi se pareau uşor de îndurat
fiind om în toată firea. Nevastă-mea plecând, îmi făcu un serviciu, pentru că, nemaifiind silit s-o rabd, mă
eliberam de păcatele zilnice; n-o alungasem eu, plecase de bunăvoie, iar să o urmez era cu neputinţă, pentru
că multe mi s-ar fi putut întâmpla dacă m-aş fi întors în Italia. Rămăsei aşadar cu maică-mea, şi începurăm
să vindem mobilele care ne mai rămăseseră ca să avem ce mânca; dar cum ne mai rămăseseră mai multe
zile decât mobile, nu după multa vreme nevoia începu să ne dea pinteni. (Mateo Aleman – Viaţa lui
Guzman de Alfarache)

Apart from this important distinction that should be acknowledged about the values of Simple Past, there
are other tinges of meaning we would like to focus on. The table below attempts to offer a brief revision of
the various uses of Past Simple and Continuous. We have placed these tenses in opposition, just as we have
done in the case of Present Simple and Continuous (see Unit One, Section Two, C, for a reminder). As you
will notice, the simple values parallel the continuous ones. More often than not, a difference in meaning is
imposed by the aspectual dimension of these forms, rather than by the temporal sense embedded in them.
Our table is by no means exhaustive but has the merit of enabling the student to memorize the basic
differences of these tenses more easily:

PAST SIMPLE PAST CONTINUOUS

53
 Past event at a definite point  Temporary use of past
(main value) continuous (main value)

E.g. Bill went to the opera E.g. Bill was listening to Pavarotti (at
(yesterday). that point).

 Future value (only in time  Future value (personal


and condition adverbial arrangement)
clauses)
E.g. Bill explained to her that he E.g. They were meeting at five in
would give her the money as soon front of the Opera House.
as she arrived.

 Habitual (obligatorily  Emotional present continuous


combined with a frequency (used instead of a past simple
adverbial or a context that structure for stylistic reasons – to
disambiguates this meaning) show emotion in the tone of the
speaker)
E.g. Whenever they met, they E.g. He was always bringing her
quarreled. He often cursed his presents! He was always saying the
friend. wrong thing!

 Narrative past (a sequence of  Frame past continuous (goes


events in the past) hand in hand with Narrative past,
offering a setting for the past
actions)

E.g. Yesterday, as I was walking down the street,


I bumped into John. He saw me and
started telling me about his sick
mother. While he was talking to me,
I heard a noise behind. It was just a
barking dog.

 Attitudinal (polite) past  Attitudinal (polite) past


continuous (even more polite
than its ‘simple’ counterpart)
E.g. I hoped you’d give me a hand E.g. I was wondering whether you
with this heavy suitcase. could help me.

EXERCISES:
1. Translate into English:
a) Am dat drumul la geamantane lângă perete şi m-am uitat în pământ. Unde eram? Parcă mai intrasem o
dată în odaia asta. Nu, nu acum patru zile, ci mult mai demult, dar nu ştiam precis cu ce ocazie, şi m-am
aşezat în pat şi mi-am luat capul în mâini să-mi aduc aminte. Înainte însă i-am aruncat ei o privire, să văd
dacă îmi dă ea mai uşor cheia întrebării. Dimpotrivă, ea era ultima de la care puteam afla ceva în acest sens
şi atunci m-am întins cu faţa în sus şi mi-am pus braţele peste ochi. Bună metodă folosea doamna Sorana,
fiindcă n-a trecut mult şi am încept să văd în întunericul de sub pleoape. Eram în munţi, de Crăciun, cu
inginerul Dam şi cu puştiul lui, un băiat de vreo paisprezece ani, toţi trei pe schiuri, eu învăţam. În faţa
noastră se întindea lunga vale, plină de zăpadă, dar mărginită şi de brazi şi inginerul îmi spunea:”Fii atent,
Căline, că n-ai multe posibilităţi, treci întâi pe-o pârtie mică şi învaţă întâi să cazi, fiindcă dacă îţi dai drumul
aiurea pe pârtia cea mare, poţi să-ţi rupi gâtul.” (Marin Preda – Marele singuratic)
b) Un om care moare, nu moare într-un teritoriu al morţii, adică să plece dintre noi într-o lume de coşmar şi
acolo să se chinuie şi să-şi dea duhul. El moare între noi, pe soare sau într-o încăpere în care mai sunt şi
alţii, şi care se uită în acest timp la el cu ochi vii. E adevărat că se strâmbă sau dă ochii peste cap, înainte de

54
a scoate un ţipăt final… dar poate, ochii, sa-i ţină şi imobili, şi îngrozit de simţirea lui să nu facă nici o
mişcare, paralizat de suflul cel rece…
Un astfel de om văzu Simina când intră în încăperea bufetului, în care petreceau de obicei
oamenii lui Niculae. Fumul de ţigări era gros şi nu putu, din primele clipe, să-şi dea seama unde era şi dacă
era acolo prietenul ei. Era o linişte stoarsă, ca printre naufragiaţi… Cei aşezaţi pe scaune la mese se uitau la
chipul acelui om care, prin ochii săi holbaţi, suporta cu o spaimă liniştita o povară: ducea în spinare un om
care încălicase pe el şi îl călărea de colo până colo prin încăpere. Vedeţi, spunea privirea lui înfricoşată,
nimeni nu e stăpân pe propria lui soartă, iar eu sunt omul care sunt aşa cum gândiţi voi despre mine că
sunt… Şi fac ceea ce gândiţi că trebuie să fac…
Simina rămase nemişcată la intrare. Niculae stătea la masă singur, cu un pahar mic in faţă, chiar
lângă tejghea, jumătate întors cu spatele la uşă şi la ceea ce se petrecea în încăpere. Şi n-o văzu imediat în
acele clipe. Dar apoi se intoarse de tot si se uita si el, ca si ceilalti, mut, la spectacolul care se petrecea sub
ochii lui. Cel călărit era domnul Anghel. Venise să-i ceară socoteală lui Damian Ghoerghe. Intrase în bufet
şi i se adresase cu o blândeţe parca ireală:
- De ce, bă, mi-ai violat nevasta?
Se vedea, pentru cine îl cunoştea bine, că el nu mai putea de-aici înainte, până la sfârşitul zilelor
sale, să creadă că fapta nu avusese loc, când din nimic tăiase liliacul din spatele casei. Dar acum? Cine mai
putea să-l asigure că fapta nu se comisese? Şi mai ales cine ar putea să-i spună în faţă, dacă s-a comis, că s-
a comis? Ai fi zis, după expresia teribilă din privirea lui bulbucată, că întrebarea va fi însoţită de o săritură
de fiară întărâtată. Dar nu se întâmplă nimic. Catastrofa se pare că îl lăsase pe domnul Anghel incredul, şi
el nu venise, după cum se parea, aici, să-i ceară socoteală, ci mântuire, sa-i spună adică Damian Gheorghe
el singur cu gura lui că nimic nu s-a întâmplat, că a stat toata după-amiaza aici la bufet, cu martori, uite, să
spună şi ei, sunt aici de faţă… Nu e aşa, Stane, nu e aşa, Vasile? Uite, bufetiera, tovaraşa Mimi, care nu
minte niciodată şi nu ţine cu nimeni, femeie cu carte, a fost funcţionara la birouri, dar a făcut, târziu, un
copil cu electricianul ei şi s-a trecut la bufet, unde câştigă mai bine. Să spună ea, n-a stat el, Damian
Gheorghe, tot timpul, cum stă acuma cu cumnată-sau, barcagiul, la masa aceea şi au băut bere?!
Damian Gheorghe însă tăcea şi se uita la el cu o expresie de stupoare pe chipul său cu nasul lung ca o
sabie, “Ce vrea ăsta de la mine?” parcă spunea. Şi apoi îl întrebă:
- Ce vreai, bă, de la mine?
- De ce mi-ai violat nevasta? repetă domnul Anghel.
Întrebări, răspunsuri… Cine i-o fi învăţat pe oameni să le pună, să le dea?….Să nu-l omori pe ăsta?
Damian Gheorghe părea totuşi de astă dată îngăduitor. Se ridică de la masă şi deodată îi sări domnului
Anghel în spinare. Dar nu-i făcu nimic. Începu să hăuleasca: ha,ha! Şi să-i dea domnului Anghel, care era
voinic, pinteni. Apoi Damian Gheorghe se linişti. Dar nu se dădu jos de pe şalele gelosului, a cărui privire,
între timp, se bulbucase.
Niculae se ridică, îi ocoli pe cei doi cum ai ocoli un copac, şi o scoase pe Simina afară.
- Ce drăguţă eşti tu, îi spuse, nu mă aşteptam să mă cauţi, taman mă pregăteam să viu eu după tine…
- De ce îl lăsaţi? zise ea indignată.
- N-are rost să te amesteci în distracţiile lor, răspunse Niculae patern, ca şi când cei pe care îi lăsase la
bufet ar fi fost fiii săi, care se distrau în felul acela cam brutal.
- Asta numeşti tu distracţie?
- Asta da, de obicei Damian Gheorghe apucă omul de fălci, îi deschide gura ca la cai, şi dacă nu e prin
preajmă un perete, atunci spre un copac îl împinge şi îi zdrăngăne de el tărtăcuţa….
- S-ar părea că şi pe tine te distrează un astfel de spectacol. (Marin Preda – Intrusul)
c)* - Da-ncotro, frate Sisoe? întrebă Habacuc.
Dar Sisoe îşi luase toiagul la subsoară şi se îndepărta grăbit, fără să mai privească îndărăt.
După plecarea lui Sisoe, cei doi tovarăşi rămaşi pe loc începură să dea semne de nelinişte.Trăgeau cu
urechea, ridicau mereu capul şi se uitau împrejur, fără pricină.
În jurul lor era însă linişte şi pace.(…) Pe cărarea din cealaltă margine, trecură mai târziu şase căţei
îmbrăcaţi în catifele, trăgând după ei un cărucior de argint, în care dormea un înger sugaci, cu pumnişorii la
gură. Şi de sub tufişurile din stânga, ieşiră o clipă la iveală, în soare, două pisici verzi, poleite cu aur.
Dar sfinţii erau obişnuiţi cu asemenea arătări paradisiace, într-un loc singuratic ca acela.
- Oare ce s-o fi întâmplat? întrebă Pafnutie, în sfârşit, ridicându-se deodată în picioare.
Zărise printr-o spărtură de frunziş pe sfinţii Mochie şi Farnachie trecând în goană, unul după altul, cu
pletele în vânt. Habacuc se ridică de asemenea, şi privi în urma lor. Din partea cealaltă răsări şi sfântul
Pafnutie cel gros, dând din mâini şi strigând către ei de departe:

55
- Auzit-aţi vestea, fraţilor?…Sisoe se pogoară pe pământ!
Cei doi rămaseră cu gurile căscate:
- Cine şi-a spus? De unde ştii?
- Tot raiul ştie şi vorbeşte, gâfâi Pafnutie.
- Nu se poate.
- Ba, încă, se poate…Că s-a înfăţişat înaintea Domnului Dumnezeu şi atât s-a rugat că s-a înduplecat Cel
preamilostiv şi i-a dat slobozenie să se pogoare între oameni…ba cică i-ar fi dat şi putere să facă minuni
pe pământ! urmă Pintilie privindu-i speriat.
- Mare-i minunea Ta, Doamne! Cuvântă pe gânduri Pafnutie.
- Iacă, pun rămăşag cu oricine că numai pozne o să facă, adăuga iute Habacuc.
- Încalte, să-i fi dat pe cineva dintre noi să-l călăuzească, vorbi încet Pafnutie, dând la iveala dintele întreg.
Că pe pământ sunt multe răutăţi şi ispite…
- Sunt mai întâi felurite mâncări grase, care de care mai sărată şi mai piperată, zise Habacuc, lingându-şi
buzele.
- Toate cu carne! întări Pafnutie scârbit.
- Este şi rachiu, adăugă Habacuc, privindu-i ţintă.
Şi ceilalţi doi înghiţiră în sec fără voie, ca şi cum ar fi simţit aidoma în fundul gâtlejului arsura băuturii
blestemate.
- Sunt şi muieri de cele vii…gemu Pintilie cel roşcovan, cu dinţii strânşi, uitându-se crunt la un vârf de
buruiană din faţa lui. Şi câteştrei se cutremurară la auzul acelui cuvânt de ruşine şi se uitară unul la altul
spăimântaţi. (George Topârceanu – Minunile Sfântului Sisoe)

2. Fill in with the correct verb forms:

a) Bill (insist) on (show) the writer the first chapter of the novel he recently (begin). Lesser (ask) him not to
just yet, but Bill (say) it (help) him. (Know) if he (start) off right. He (say) this (be) a brand-new book,
although there (be) some scenes from the other novel, brought from Mississippi to Harlem, where most of the
action (take) place. Bill (ask) Lesser (read) the chapter in his presence. He (sit) in Harry’s armchair wiping his
glasses and (look) at a newspaper, as the writer, chain-smoking, and (read) on the sofa. Once Harry (glance)
up and (see) Bill sweating, profusely. He (read) quickly, thinking he (lie) if he didn’t like the chapter.
But he (not have to). The novel tentatively called The Book of the Black, (begin) in Herbert Smith’s
childhood. He (be) about five in the opening scene, and nine at the end of the chapter; but in truth he (be) an
old man. In the opening scene, one day the boy (drift) out of his neighbourhood and (cannot) find his way
home. Nobody (speak) to him except an old white woman who (see) him through her groundfloor window,
sitting on the ker.
“Who (be) you, little boy? What (be) your name?”
The boy (will) not say.
In the afternoon this old smelling white woman (come out) of the house and (take) the boy by the hand to
the police station.
b) I might have languished alone for the rest of the week, if Elsie (not find out) where I (be) and started
visiting me. My mother (cannot come) till the weekend, I knew that, because she (wait ) for the plumber to
check her fittings.
a) I was lying in bed one night, (think) about the glory of the Lord, when it (strike) me that people (fight)
for too long. A new and wonderful miracle (have to) happen soon, or else we were doomed.
b) Mary asked me if I (want) to stay overnight because her mother (leave) and she didn’t like (be) on her
own. I answered I (ring) my parents to ask for permission.
c) I remembered something I (see) Mrs. White do on that occasion. I remembered (see) her flip through a
book, then (put) it back on the shelf. Then I (hope) she (not see) me.
d) When I (look) out over the town , nothing (change): every place I (knew), every street I (walk) on was
still there. People (go) about their business as always.
e) When I finally went home that day, my mother (watch) television. She never (speak) of what (happen)
and I (not remind) her, either.
f) It was morning when Bill (creep) home. He had a plan to go straight up to school, hoping no one
(notice) him coming and going that way. But his plan (go) wrong because his elder sister (spy) on him
for several weeks and was determined (find out) what he (do) lately.

56
g) When she (reenter) the room, the men (gather) around a small radio, (listen) to a news broadcast. It
was the first time she (see) any of them in casual clothing: they seemed (shed) all formality.
h) The men invited her to play cards. They (play) with great seriousness. Through the first few hands,
Joanna (lose) steadily. But as she began to remember more about the game, her luck (change). Soon
she (win) consistently.
i) The men (arrange) the chairs, (make) a place for her at the card table. She (not play) poker since
college. For a brief period of time it (be) the fashion in her class and she was sure she (remember) the
game in no time.
j) He promised her he (come) back as soon as he (find) what he (look for) since that tragedy. But she had
problems (believe) him.
m) Sir Perceval (be) in the woods for many days now. His armour is dull, his horse tired. The last food he
(eat) was a bowl of milk, given to him by a woman. Other knights (be) this way, he can see their tracks and
their despair. His only hope is he (find) the treasure before them.

D.
WRITING
1. POINT OF VIEW: Rewrite the story in the text from the husband’s point of view.
2. USE NEW WORDS: Write a short text of your own using the following phrases/words: blood brother,
to sweat blood, drop of blood, blood lust, red-blooded, blue-blooded, bloodcurdling, bloody, blood thirsty.

THREE
A TALE RETOLD
I.
NURSERY TIMES: WICKED STEPMOTHER MEETS SNOW WILLS
by Our Court Staff Spinocchio

The heir to the Throne was A Royal spokesman concluded: ‘It


sensationally introduced to his future wicked looks like a fairytale ending. Everyone is going
stepmother yesterday over tea and crumpets in to live happily ever after.’
the Royal Palace. (from Private Eye,
Prince ‘Snow’ Wills, who is known for Friday, July 24, 1998)
his striking good looks (inherited from his late
mother, the Queen of Hearts) was understood at
first to be reluctant to meet the evil Camilla.
However Camilla, an older woman who
is constantly told by her Daily Mirror that she is
the unfairest in the land, reportedly got on
famously with the young prince.
Contrary to expectations, the wicked
future queen did not offer the handsome Prince a
poisoned apple, nor attempt to brush his hair
with a deadly comb. Nor did she send him out
into Highgrove Park to be murdered by the
Royal Huntsman.
Instead the two discussed the relative
merits of the Spice Maidens (a popular
troubadour ensemble) and the All Saints (a
similar minstrel troupe).
Camilla then offered Wills a Rothmans,
and he invited her to a secret party for his father,
Prince Charming-the-Press.

57
II.
Mid-winter – invincible, immaculate. The Count and his wife go riding, he on a grey mare and she on a
black one, she wrapped in the glittering pelts of black foxes, wearing high, black, shining boots with scarlet
heels, and spurs. Fresh snow is falling on snow already fallen; when it ceases, the whole world is white. ‘I
wish I had a girl as white as snow,’ says the Count. They ride on. They come to a hole in the snow; this
hole is filled with blood. He says: ‘I wish I had a girl as red as blood.’ So they ride on again; here is a
raven, perched on a bare bough. ‘I wish I had a girl as black as that bird’s feather.’
As soon as he completed her description, there she stood, beside the road, white skin, red mouth,
black hair and stark naked; she was the child of his desire and the Countess hated her; the Count lifted her
up and sat her in front of him on his saddle but the Countess had only one thought: how shall I be rid of
her?
The Countess dropped her glove in the snow and told the girl to get down to look for it; she meant
to gallop off and leave her there but the Count said: ‘I’ll buy you new gloves.’ At that, the furs sprang off
the Countess’s shoulders and twined round the naked girl. Then the Countess threw her diamond brooch
through the ice of a frozen pond: ‘Dive in and fetch it for me,’ she said: ‘Is she a fish, to swim in such cold
weather?’ Then her boots leapt off the Countess’s feet to the girl’s legs. Now the Countess was bare as a
bone and the girl furred and booted; the Count felt sorry for his wife. They came to a bush of roses, all in
flower. ‘Pick me one,’ said the Countess to the girl. ‘I can’t deny you that,’ said the Count.
So the girl picks a rose, pricks her finger on the thorn; bleeds; screams; falls.
Weeping, the Count got off his horse, unfastened his breeches and made love to the girl. The
Countess reined in her stamping mare and watched him narrowly; he was soon finished.
Then the girl began to melt. Soon there was nothing left of her but a feather a bird might have
dropped; a bloodstain, like the trace of a fox’s kill on the snow; and the rose she had pulled off the bush.
Now the Countess had all her clothes on again. With her long hand, she stroked her furs. The Count picked
up the rose, bowed and handed it to his wife; when she touched it, she dropped it.
‘It bites!’ she said. (Angela Carter – The Snow Child, slightly adapted)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

Highgrove Park - Highgrove is the country home of The Prince of


Wales, in Gloucestershire

Camilla - The Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Rosemary


Mountbatten-Windsor, formerly Parker Bowles, née Shand) is a
member of the British Royal Family. She is the second wife of
Charles, Prince of Wales.

1. Explain the underlined phrases.


2. Identify the cultural references in the first text.
3. Can you perceive any shade of irony in the texts above? Motivate your answer.
4. The texts above are built on a common system of reference. Identify this system and comment on
differences in the manner in which the authors approach it.
5. There is another famous Camilla-like character in the recent history of Great Britain. Choose between:
a) Lady Godiva b) Wally Simpson c) Lady Diana. Motivate your answer.
6. Read the text below. What are the common points and differences it has with the first text above?

Prince Charles to marry Camilla

Prince Charles will marry his long-term partner Camilla Parker Bowles on 8 April, Clarence House says.
Mrs Parker Bowles will take the title HRH Duchess of Cornwall after the civil ceremony at Windsor
Castle.

58
When the Prince of Wales, 56, becomes king, 57-year-old Camilla will not be known as Queen Camilla but
as the Princess Consort, Clarence House added.
Princes William and Harry said they are "very happy" and wish the couple "all the luck in the future".
Charles said he and his wife-to-be are "absolutely delighted".
The move will end years of speculation on a relationship which has spanned the decades since they first
met in 1970.The wedding will be a civil ceremony, which will be followed by a service of prayer and
dedication in St George's Chapel at which the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will preside.
"The Duke of Edinburgh and I are very happy that the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles are to
marry," said the Queen, in a statement issued on her behalf by Buckingham Palace.
Charles was married to Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
The princess famously referred to Mrs Parker Bowles as one of the contributing factors in the breakdown of
her marriage to Charles.
The couple, who had two sons - princes William and Harry - had divorced when Diana died.
A spokeswoman for Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, said he would not be making any comment on
the wedding announcement.
(from the BBC news, February 2005)

B
VOCABULARY

1. Choose the right word:


1. Surely you know who the father is, don’t you? It’s not as if it’s a case of _______ conception.
Pure white unknown immaculate
2. She often decided to play on the ___________ of the moment.
Spur verge dot brink
3. If you go further, you will see a house ________ on a cliff right above the sea.
Posted perched sprawled climbed
4. Don’t go to see him, I’m afraid you’ll have the shock of your life: he’s gone ________ raving mad.
Buck stone stark utter
5. A dark ivy plant _______ around the pole.
Twirled clasped wound twined
6. Through his telescope he could see millions of stars that were invisible to the _______ eye.
Spare free bare naked
7. Lifeboat technology has advanced by ________ and bounds.
Blows leaps jumps bonds
8. The room in which he was put had the _______ minimum of furniture.
Bare just sheer right
9. The symptoms of this disease include chapped lips and a __________ tongue.
Furred coated loaded charged
10. Her conscience ________ her as she told her mother that unpardonable lie.
Bit stung scolded pricked
11. He’s been a _______ in the side of the party leadership for years.
Stitch stab aid thorn
12. One bullet struck his car, _______ missing him.
Hardly easily narrowly sparingly
13. It’s no bed of _________ teaching secondary school.
Down roses fur feathers
14. The village was quite prosperous and yet many of the neighbouring farms were ________ with debts.
Burdened loaded saddled ridden
15. The glamour and _________ of London was not for him although he liked to be surrounded by lively
people.
Glitz sparkle glitter glow
16. Far from being independent, the government and media work hand in ________ .
Palm sleeve glove mitten
17. The dollar ________ against the yen in Tokyo today.
Plunged dived collapsed plummeted

59
18. She was the kind of woman one should avoid at all costs: butter wouldn’t ________ in her mouth.
Freeze stay melt stick

2. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate adjective in order to make up a simile:
As _______ as snow As _______ as thieves
As _______ as mustard As _______ as a house
As _______ as a daisy As _______ as a button
As _______ as a berry As _______ as a bell
As _______ as a cucumber As _______ as gold
As _______ as a whistle As _______ as a bone
As _______ as ditchwater As _______ as nails
As _______ as rain As _______ as a fiddle

3. SYNONYMY: bare, naked, nude


a) Fill in the blanks with the appropriate synonym:
1. We all went to a beach where ______ sunbathing is allowed.
2. If you go around with _______ shoulders in this heat you’ll get them burnt.
3. Do you really want me to believe that you’ve never seen your wife in the ______?
4. He didn’t want to lay his heart _____ in front of her.
5. When I opened the door, he was standing there, stark ________, in front of the mirror.
6. Flashers like to _______ themselves in front of unsuspecting passers-by.
7. In the _______ drawings of himself he looks vulnerable and unkempt.
8. When he looked at her, there was _________ desire shining in his eyes.
b) Translate into Romanian:
1. You go inside now! You’ve got nothing on, you’ll catch your death! 2. When the Romans saw the
Sabine ladies in the altogether by the riverside, they jumped to kidnap them. 3. Have you seen the movie
‘The Full Monty’? 4. Oops, he doesn’t have a stitch on! 5. Old Mr. Jones used to go to church buck naked,
bowler and cane on the side. 6. Make yourself decent before he comes in. 7. The lady was taking her
breakfast in the buff. 8. He went out of the bathroom as naked as the day he was born.

C
GRAMMAR: THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD

When the Count in our story says ‘I wish I had a girl as white as snow!’ he expresses a wish that may be
somehow achieved in the future. And, sure enough, not much later, the snow child appears in front of his
covetous eyes. Yet, there is something that often puzzles us, learners of English, in the kind of sentence our
character uses: whenever we express wishes, we don’t expect to use ‘past tenses’ in order to formulate
them. Well, it shouldn’t be so surprising for students to find out that in fact ‘had’ in our example is no past
tense, but a subjunctive form. Consider the examples below and their translation in Romanian:

(1) I wish I had a dollar (I might get one, after all).


Aş vrea să am un dolar.
(2) I wish I had listened to him (so why didn’t I?).
Aş vrea să-l fi ascultat.

The underlined structures are in fact subjunctive forms, present and past respectively. The Romanian
translation shows you that the present subjunctive form roughly corresponds to a present ‘conjunctive’ one
in Romanian, while the past form matches a perfect ‘conjunctive’ one. In the first case, the possibility that
the wish will be fulfilled exists, whereas in the second case, there is no way this wish can be fulfilled any
more.

Identifying the Structure

Students find certain aspects related to this mood very puzzling. The most puzzling one is the fact that the
forms of the Subjunctive are not easily identified. For the Subjunctive does not have a face of its own, or at
least not one you would recognize so easily. Take, for instance, the sentences above, which contain

60
subjunctive forms that could be mistaken for Past or Past Perfect structures. So, how can we tell when we
are dealing with a subjunctive form?

Answer: there are three ways in which a subjunctive form can be identified:
a) by looking at the context in which it appears: for instance, in the case of (1) the main verb wish should
warn you that a subjunctive form is required to complete it
b) by looking at the meaning of the structure: if it has a hypothetical meaning, it probably is a
subjunctive
c) by translating it: if it can be translated through a conjunctive/conditional form in Romanian, then it is
likely to be a subjunctive (the other option is ‘conditional’, but the Conditional is easily identified in
English)

The Subjunctive vs. the Indicative

Since we are dealing with a mood that is nothing like the Indicative, let us look at the features that make
this mood stand out. Consider the table below. Discuss it with your teacher:

THE INDICATIVE MOOD THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD

 2 tenses (present and perfect)  16 tenses


 descriptive  prescriptive
 factual  hypothetical, counterfactual

! The sequence of tenses operates only within the Indicative. There are no ‘sequence
of tenses’ phenomena between the Indicative and other moods !
Test: Indirect Speech instances
DS: Anne: I wish I had more money.
(Present Subjunctive)
IS: Anne told Bill she wished she had
more money. (Present Subjunctive) DS: Anne: I want to go home. (Present Simple)
IS: Anne told Bill she wanted to go home.
DS: Anne: If you gave me your book, I (Past Simple)
would lend you my bike. (Present
Subjunctive, Present Conditional)
IS: Anne told Bill she would lend him
her bike if he gave her his book.
(Present Conditional, Present
Subjunctive)

This table shows you that the difference of meaning and form that lies at the basis of these two moods
makes it impossible for the sequence of tenses to operate across the boundaries of the Indicative. This fact
is checked by transforming ‘direct speech’ instances containing the Subjunctive into ‘indirect speech’ ones.
Normally, in this situation the main clause report verb, which is a Past tense form, should trigger ‘sequence
of tenses’ phenomena. As you have already seen, this does not happen in the case of the Subjunctive. If it
did, the meaning of the indirect speech sentence would be significantly altered.

The Synthetic/Analytic Opposition

Another reason for which the Subjunctive is difficult to learn and even tougher to teach is the fact that,
while it doesn’t exhibit more than two tenses, it can have more ‘types’. The best known distinction is that
between what grammarians call the ‘synthetic’ Subjunctive and the ‘analytic’ one. If we are keen on
understanding the Subjunctive, we should first take a few minutes to see what these terms mean. This

61
shouldn’t be so difficult if we were aware of the fact that the synthetic/analytic opposition is related to a
grammatical phenomenon that is by no means restricted to the Subjunctive. Indeed, English has pairs of
synthetic and analytic forms in other areas, too. Consider the table below:

SYNTHETIC STRUCTURES ANALYTIC STRUCTURES


(fusion between main item and the (grammatical information is carried
grammatical information) by a separate lexical item)

Subjunctive: I wish I went to the Subjunctive: I wish it would rain.


party.

Comparative: bigger/est than him Comparative: more interesting than


him

Genitive: Susan’s, father’s car Genitive: the complete works of


Shakespeare

Types of Subjunctive

We have finally reached to the most important part of our discussion: what Subjunctive forms we can
identify, how many types there are and where we can find them. Consider the tables below, which will
supply the required information. The first table will make a distinction between the two main types of
Subjunctive that we can speak of, i.e. the Synthetic and the Analytic ones. The Synthetic type can be
further split into two subtypes, the so called ‘old’ Subjunctive (or as Quirk used to put it, ‘the formulaic
subjunctive’, thus named because it is mainly used in stock phrases) and the ‘new’ Subjunctive, which is in
fact the most frequently used one:

THE SUBJUNCTIVE

THE ‘SYNTHETIC’ SUBJUNCTIVE THE ‘ANALYTIC’ SUBJUNCTIVE


Old New

Present: should/could/may/might play


Present: play Present: played E.g. It’s odd that they should play chess so
E.g. Long live the I wish I played chess well when they are so young.
queen! with you. (I might.)
I’d rather play
chess than stay
here. (I might)

Perfect*: have Perfect*: should/could/may/might have


played Perfect: had played played
E.g. I’d rather I wish I had played E.g. It’s odd that they should have played
have played chess chess with you (why
chess so well last week.
with Susie when didn’t I?)
she visited us
(why didn’t I?)
! The star (*) indicates that the form is infrequently used in English.

62
The tables we are proposing below deal with the various contexts that require the presence of the
subjunctive types presented above. Students are advised to memorize these contexts thoroughly:

CONTEXTS FOR THE SYNTHETIC SUBJUNCTIVE


Old New

In independent sentences: Independent sentences:


Long live the Queen. Come what Oh, had I wings!
may, So be it, Grammar be hanged, If only I had known!
Damn him, Far be it from me…
In subordinate clauses: Subordinate clauses:
 after would rather (the same  after if **and any other item containing
subject for main and subordinate ‘if’ (if only, suppose, supposing, what
clauses) if, as if/though, even if/though, say, as
I’d rather tell you about it./I’d rather long as, unless):
have told you about it. If Bill got married, he would be miserable./
If Bill had got married, he would have been
 after had better miserable.
You’d better tell her about it./ You’d  after wish/ it’s time/would rather
better have told her about it*. I would rather you went there/ I would rather
you had gone there. (here the subject of the
 after verbs of command, wish: main clause is not the same as the subject of
It is important that he behave himself. the subordinate).

! The star (*) indicates that the perfect form is infrequently used in English.
** All these elements can also be followed by Present simple (but with a different shade of
meaning):
E.g. If you go there, I will be very disappointed. / He behaves as if he loves her.

Exercise: Finish the following sentences without changing the meaning of the sentence printed before
them:
1. He regrets not seeing that movie. / He wishes...
2. Why did you answer so rudely? / I’d rather you...
3. I would like you to go there and apologize. / I wish…
4. How could you tell such a thing to your boss? / I’d rather you...
5. Why did you strike that man, were you out of your mind? / I wish...
6. I wish I hadn’t laid the table before they arrived. / I’d rather...
7. She complained that she had to work so hard. / “I wish....
8. Why did she have to lie there and say nothing in her defense? / If only...
9. You shouldn’t have made that mistake! / I’d rather....
10. I am so embarrassed at the thought of meeting him again! / Suppose...
11. Why did you have to insult him? / You’d better...
12. He won’t like it if you lie to him! / He’d rather...
13. It would have been better not to meet her at all. / I’d better...
14. Why did you beat him? / I’d rather you...
15. I wish you told them the truth. / They’d better...
16. Why didn’t you inform me earlier? / I’d rather...
17. Please, be on time. / You had....
18. I thought you would flee when he attacked you! / I wish you...
19. What a pity she didn’t wear her new dress at the party! / She’d rather...
20. You should not have informed them about it. / They’d rather not...

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Now let us look at the possible contexts in which the analytic subjunctive can appear. Unlike the synthetic
subjunctive, the analytic one is now used mainly in its present form:

CONTEXTS FOR THE ANALYTIC SUBJUNCTIVE


Independent sentences Subordinate clauses
May you live long and have a  after verbs of command, wish:
beautiful life. Dan insisted that she should date him.
May he be happy for as long as he  after copula + evaluative adjectives:
lives. It is advisable/ important/good that he
should meet his teacher soon.
 after purpose/sequence introductory
items: so that, so… that, in order
that, lest*, for fear that, in case
I hid the secret from him for fear/in case
he might want to use it against her.
 after concessive introductory
items**: no matter, how/whatever,
as etc.:
Now matter how much he might know
about her, she still won’t listen to him.
Smart as he may be, he still can’t read.
Try as I might, I couldn’t uncork the
bottle.
* this introductory item is obsolete, no longer used
** all these items can also be followed by an indicative form, with a slightly different
meaning (the speaker assumes that the action of the subordinate is accomplished)
Compare: Smart as he is, I still don’t like him. vs. Smart as he may be, I still don’t like
him. (In the first case, I assume he is indeed smart).

EXERCISES:
1. Translate into English, paying attention to the grammar problems discussed in this section:
1.
Când se lumină de ziuă, Anton se sculă şi se apropie de celălalt pat, unde dormea Vasilică. (...)
- Cine e mic şi prost şi cu bube în cap? întrebă Anton, zâmbind.
- Ce e, tată? zise băiatul flegmatic şi căscă amarnic, şi-i întoarse lui taică-său spatele.
- Când ţi-oi da eu ţie câteva la spate, ţi-arăt eu, Vasilică, cum devine cazul.
- Păi sigur! zise băiatul şi deodată sări drept în picioare şi se arcui în aer ca o pisică, agăţându-se de
gâtul lui Anton.
- Hai şi ajută-i maică-tii să facă pâine, zise el.
- Cum?! strigă Vasilică. Mâncăm pâine?
Sări jos, începu să ţopăie într-un picior, o zbughi afară şi nu mai încetă să strige: „Mâncăm pâine!
Mâncăm pâine!”
Anton se îmbrăcă şi se duse la Bălosu. Nu îmbătrânise prea mult Bălosu, se mai îngrăşase, devenise
mai tăcut şi chiar mai impunător. Văzându-l, Anton îşi spuse că, dacă Bălosu s-ar îmbrăca în haine de
maior, nu i-ar sta de loc rău în ele, cu privirea lui înţepenită şi rece şi cu expresia aceea comună tuturor
oamenilor obişnuiţi să comande.
Foarte binevoitor, Bălosu îi explică lui Anton că, în chestiunea cu vaca, l-a pârât cineva, că el n-are
absolut nici o vină, oamenii aceia din comisie aveau la ei o listă făcută după informaţiile cine ştie cui.
- S-o lăsăm moartă! spuse Anton cu gândurile în altă parte. Am venit pentru altceva.
- Ştiu, spuse Bălosu, trebuie să-ţi dau nişte bani. Antoane, tu să nu crezi că aşa şi pe dincolo,
continuă el, poţi să mai întrebi şi pe alţii şi întreab-o şi pe muierea ta, şi ai să vezi c-o să-ţi spună
cum ţi-am spus eu. (...)

64
Anton se ridică.
- Nu beai o ţuică? Ia o ţuică, Antoane, îmi pare bine că ai scăpat sănătos... Ia pune, fă, două ţuici, se
adresă el nepoatei care stătea la tejghea, pune două ţuici din sticla aia de jos... Dacă vorbeai cu
mine, te desconcentrai mai repede, continuă el, ciocnind paharul cu al lui Anton, având în vedere
că ai pământ puţin şi familie fără ajutor, rog să binevoiţi a-mi acorda un concediu de trei luni, si
concediul ăla îl aranjam eu la cercul teritorial cu cine ştiu eu. Ei, dar nu-i nimic, bine că a trecut şi
asta, să ne apucăm acuma şi să muncim şi să ne vedem de treabă. Mai pune, fă, din sticla aia...
Ciocniră iară şi băură. Anton stătea mai departe pe scăunel şi Bălosu se plimba încet, de sus în jos, cu
paşi rari şi neşovăitori.
- Vaca aia, lasă c-o să-ţi cumperi tu alta, reluă el, mergând cu mâinile la spate şi uitându-se cu
privirea lui rece afară pe drum. Bă, Ilie, ia vino încoace! strigă el, văzând pe cineva.
Cel strigat se abătu din drum şi trecu pragul cârciumii. Era un om subţirel şi înalt, puţin adus din
spinare, cu obrajii traşi, de vreo treizeci şi opt de ani.
- Să trăiţi! Spuse el cu o umilinţă ciudată, inertă, care parcă nu ajuta la nimic.
- Vezi că mâine dimineaţă se duce alde Băltoi la pădure, ia-l pe frate-tău, Stancu, şi duceţi-vă şi voi
cu alde Băltoi, zise Bălosu, uitându-se pe deasupra omului din faţa sa.
- Alde Băltoi ştie? întrebă omul, ca să zică ceva.
- Ştie, am vorbit cu el. Vezi că fierăstraiele le-a luat el, tăiaţi cu grijă, că mai mi-a rupt alde Ilie Nica
un fierăstrău. Vă pun de-l plătiţi!
- Să trăiţi, spuse omul cu aceeaşi umilinţă zadarnică în glas şi îşi duse mâna la pălărie.
Privirea îi rătăci fără însufleţire peste rafturile de sticle şi o clipă asupra necunoscutului care stătea pe
scăunel. Îl recunoscu. A, noroc, Antoane, bine-ai venit!! murmură el absent şi-i strânse mâna lui Anton. Să
trăiţi! repetă apoi şi ieşi lăsând în urma lui ceva ciudat, parcă umbra sa, care, ca orice umbră, poţi să calci
pe ea fără grijă şi, dacă te supără cu ceva, să mişti pe cel care o are încolo sau încoace, după cum îţi
convine.
Anton se ridică de pe scăunel.
- Bună ziua, domnule Bălosu, am plecat, spuse el.
- Să fii sănătos, zise Bălosu, cu glasul său dinainte. După ce te mai odihneşti, treci zilele astea pe la
mine, Antoane. Am ceva să vorbesc cu tine.
Anton nu răspunse.
În aceeaşi zi, la masă, în timp ce rupea pâinea, zâmbind senin şi blând, el îi spuse Vochiţii că a primit
iar ordin de concentrare şi că trebuie să plece. Ea se făcu galbenă la faţă şi rămase mută, cu privirea
speriată, rătăcită. El o linişti şi îi explică: nu era de rău, era de bine, pleca în misiune specială. N-avea să
stea mult; să n-aibă nici o grijă, nici una, să stea liniştită la casa ei şi să-şi vadă de treabă. Când o să se
întoarcă? Păi, trebuie să plece chiar mâine dimineaţă, sau... ei, bine, o să mai stea şi mâine, dar poimâine
trebuie să fie plecat.

2.
Voichiţa îi scria că se roagă la Dumnezeu să-l apere de glonţ şi îl aşteaptă să se întoarcă oricum ar fi, numai
viu să se întoarcă. Că ea e sănătoasă şi băiatul la fel, şi că Humă e primar şi a pus-o pe listă cu trei pogoane
de pământ din moşia Popa. Ce bine ar fi să se întoarcă el acasă, îi ajunge cât război a făcut, barem să-i scrie
mai des, să ştie că e sănătos şi trăieşte.

3.
Ca soldat, de asemenea, Nang nu se simţea ispitit să se gândească prea stăruitor şi să reţină amănunţit
întâmplările al căror erou era. Dacă ar fi făcut-o, poate că şi-ar fi dat seama că era de mult timpul să moară
şi el în luptă cum muriseră alţii lângă el şi cum omorâse el însuşi cu mâna lui pe foarte mulţi. Dimpotrivă
însă, în ciuda numeroaselor lupte la care luase parte în aceşti opt ani de zile de când era soldat şi de când
ţinea războiul, Nang avea sentimentul, pe care nu şi-l ascundea, că nu prea făcuse mare lucru şi că nu
ajunsese niciodată să dea acestui inamic o lovitură ca lumea.

4.
Dar nici asupra acestora, după cum nici asupra altor întâmplări, el nu avea nici timpul şi nici obiceiul să
rumege. În orele când era silit să aştepte sau să stea la până, dacă trebuia să aştepte dormea, iar dacă trebuia
să stea la pândă, învăţa pe dinafară tot ceea ce îi cădea sub ochi: un drum, un grup de copaci, un râu, poziţia
unui sat se înscriau în memoria lui ca pe o hartă. Şi cum nici o hartă nu e niciodată atât de minuţioasă încât

65
să indice absolut totul, Nang începu cu timpul să facă parte dintre acele cadre care erau deseori ferite de
comandament în încăierările prea obişnuite în care puteau să moară şi să fie în schimb folosite în acţiuni
speciale, mult mai primejdioase, dar în care şansa de reuşită nu putea fi încercată decât de ele.

5.
Se ridcă deodată în capul oaselor. Stătu nemişcat câtva timp. „Hm! Să mă duc eu să-i iau tutun lui! Ei, nu!
Asta nu se poate! Ei, lasă, gândi. Tu, Voicule, şi tu, Bădârcea, vreţi să conduceţi voi gospodăria? Nu! Dacă
e vorba pe-aşa, mai bine să nu se facă. Aţi fost tari şi mari până acuma, aţi vrea să fiţi şi d-aci înainte şi nu
vreţi să vă purtaţi altfel! Ei, nu! Asta nu se mai poate!”

6.
Îl lăsă să tragă singur jgheabul de tărâţe, jgheab mare, cu care s-ar fi opintit chiar şi un om voinic.
- Da, e greu, vezi să nu-ţi iasă maţele! Să fie ceva de mâncare în jgheab, cum te-ai mai repezi, n-ar
mai fi aşa de greu!
- E pentru tine, tărâţe, vin’ încoa şi mănâncă cu vacile, răspunse Ilie şi în această clipă simţise o
groază adâncă, apăsătoare, care îi tăia răsuflarea.
Sandu Enache se dăduse jos de pe prispă şi se apropiase de el, rânjind. (...)
- Ce-ai spus tu, mă? întrebase, bucurându-se vizibil că Ilie nu se putuse stăpâni şi îi răspunsese la
batjocură. Tată, auzi ce zice ăsta, mă? Cică să mănânc tărâţe din troaca vitelor! (...)
- Dă-i mă, dă-i, Sandule! Dă în el, să se înveţe cum să vorbească, strigase cineva dinăuntru, fratele
lui Sandu. Stai, ţine-l acolo, să-i mai dau şi eu!

7.
Îi spuse că afacerea pe care voia s-o facă cu ea nu era lipsită de primejdie, deşi era o afacere cinstită: că
tatăl lui l-a sfătuit – mai mult chiar, i-a dat ordinul sever – să nu-i ascundă nici ei şi nici unui al treilea
(fiindcă, după cum are să se vadă, va fi vorba şi de un al treilea) că pentru ca afacerea să reuşească din plin
e nevoie ca toţi cei implicaţi în ea să ştie dinainte ce-i aşteaptă şi abia după aceea, după ce se vor gândi şi
vor cântări totul în linişte, să răspundă dacă se angajează sau nu. Asupra faptului cât e de cinstită afacerea,
să nu existe nici o îndoială: când va afla despre ce e vorba, nici n-o să se mai discute pe această temă, nu
asta era problema. Care era însă problema? Problema cea mai grea era găsirea acestui al treilea...
(Marin Preda – Nuvele)
8.
Unele lucruri sunt sortite să rămână veşnic neştiute, nu-i de ajuns să vrei să le pătrunzi, trebuie să te
vrea şi ele; uneori se întâmplă să nu afli singurul adevăr pe care ar fi trebuit să-l cunoşti, ca rostul vieţii tale
să fie altul.
Să fi ştiut de pildă Ion Constantinescu istoria adevărată a morţii tatălui său. Cum lucra tata odinioară cu
Gheorghe la un atelier mecanic.
Cum s-a îmbătat Gheorghe, omul care trage azi să moară şi l-a lovit pe tatăl lor cu o rangă în cap.
Cum erau ei mici şi au rămas fără tată.
Cum s-a făcut o anchetă şi nimeni n-a spus un cuvânt despre Gheorghe, ca să fie accident de muncă şi
să primească maică-sa pensie, ca să-şi ridice copiii şi să-l ţie pe el, Ion, la şcoală.
Cum a stat Gheorghe în sat, ştiindu-i tot satul fapta.
Cum a făcut el cincizeci de ani de închisoare la ţărani, fără să poată pleca nicăieri. Cum l-au păzit cu
toţii să-şi ispăşească vina acolo.
Cum a ajuns el, Ion, om mare, fără să cunoască nimic din toate acestea.
Cum a trăit el, satul, cu taina aceasta, ca să ajungă Ion om vestit.
Cum au tăcut ei, ca Ion să nu ducă povara unui secret atât de îngrozitor.
Cum a fost viaţa lui ca lacrima şi cum a fost a lor.
Cum Gheorghe e în pat de un an de zile şi nu poate să moară, dacă nu-i iertat de nevasta celui ucis, de
mama lor.
Cum umblă sora cea bătrână a lui Gheorghe să-i roage pe fraţii lui să o înduplece pe mama.
Cum se poate trăi o viaţă şi viaţa să aibă un rost.
Cum preţul vieţii a fost întotdeauna altul decât acela pe care l-a cunoscut el.
Cum toate sunt numai cum sunt şi pururea altfel.
(Tudor Octavian – Istoria unui obiect ciudat)

66
9. L-a tras cu greu de la fundul sacului, ca şi cum l-ar fi ridicat, istovită, de urechi sau de labele mari, din
faţă. N-avea puterea să-l ţină în braţe, să ni-l arate. L-a lăsat să lunece din mâinile ei scheletice, jos, peste
gura sacului, unde părea încă mai gros, îndesat.
Nu putea fi, bineinţeles, decât pentru tata; deşi era parcă prea frumos, sau poate tocmai pentru că ar fi
ispitit, din prima clipă, pe oricine să şi-l ia, pur şi simplu, chiar dacă nu-i fusese destinat. Lumina cu toate
culorile, ca şi cum vrăjitorul ce avea să ne salveze, voia să ne arate ce e în stare. Noaptea sufla în jurul
nostru doar fum, frig, întuneric, nu auzeam decât detunături, urlete, lătratul paznicilor, ciorile şi broaştele -
uitasem demult astfel de scânteieri. (Norman Manea - Puloverul)

2*. Subjunctive and Modals. Translate into English, paying attention to the underlined structures:

a) Altădată, să fi stat ea aşa zile întregi, fără să iasă, i s-ar fi părut că îi cade casa în cap.
b) Da nu mai zicea ca să n-o amărască, ştie ea ce trebuie să zică şi ce nu în lume.
c) Merge printre scaune, clătinându-se, greioaie. E plin de gropi aici, să nu alunece, doamne fereşte, să nu-
şi rupă ceva, uite-un scaun gol lângă fereastră!
Se duce repede-repede, şi se-aşează. A pornit-o cu stângu azi, măcar de-ar fi Ivona acasă...
d) Frumos bărbat, da ce îndrăcit trebe să fi fost, se vedea după cum îi juca ochii în cap...
e) Ceva m-a întărit în acei ani, când nici nu ştiu să fi plâns, ca să nu mă vadă lumea. Trebuia să fiu
sănătoasă şi să am putere să nu mă gândesc la tot ce mi s-a întâmplat, trebuia să nu mă plâng şi să nu-mi
amintesc tot ce pierdusem, pentru că fata mea şi copilul acesta nevinovat erau singuri pe lume...
f) Doar mirarea mai stăruie în ea în timp ce se mişcă prin hall cu paşi nerăbdători (...). Cum de este posibil
ca nimic să nu mai rămână dintr-un om şi urma mâinii lui să o ai atât de vie sub ochi – ca şi când ţi-ar fi
scris acum o oră, două? Ca şi când ar mai putea să se întoarcă...
g) Îi era atât de urât şi arăta atât de prost în oglindă... simţea că şi nasul trebuie să i se fi umflat şi să i se fi
înroşit, dar în clipa aceasta nu-i mai păsa.
h) Şi Niki, el, în fond atât de sensibil, cu flair-ul lui, nu se poate să nu fi intuit ceva! Sau chiar să-i fi ajuns
la urechi... dar nu s-a manifestat niciodată. Nimeni nu i-ar putea reproşa că s-ar fi abătut de la conduita
cuvenită: din partea lui, niciodată Muti n-a auzit o vorbă rea.
i) Şi ea bineânţeles, îl încuraja, sigur, îi spunea, este foarte normal să te apuci, la talentul tău, la cunoaşterea
ta de oameni... pentru că, odată ieşiţi la pensie, oamenii se deprimă, chiar firea li se schimbă, încep a avea
gânduri negre, bărbaţii mai ales. Însă,de lăsat nu trebuie să te laşi; după o viaţă întreagă în care ai fost
tracasat, măcar acum să poţi şi tu să respiri. Şi, în genere, trebuie să te înveţi să iei din fiecare lucru doar
avantajele. Iată, cât de greu îi este fără Tudor – oh, cât de greu! – se consolează spunându-şi că avantajele
sunt mari. S-a putut vedea de ce este în stare singur: că este în stare să-şi facă o situaţie, un rost, pentru că
nici acolo nu este atât de uşor cum cred unii şi alţii! Dar cel puţin nu va mai răspunde decât pentru vinile
lui. Dar cel puţin ştie că este liber. Cel puţin călătoreşte. Cel puţin are ceea ce aici nici după o viaţă n-ar fi
reuşit. Dar cel puţin...
j) – Trăim asemenea vremuri, spunea Muti, încât oricât te-ai simţi de nevinovat, nu se poate să nu-ţi fie
frică... aşa că n-avem decât să răbdăm şi să aşteptăm... (Gabriela Adameşteanu – Dimineaţă pierdută)

D
WRITING
1. SPOOF: Write a spoof inspired by the Grimms’ fairytale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
2. INTERVIEW: Pretend you are a reporter interviewing Prince Charles. Write an interview for a tabloid
newspaper.

FOUR
IRONIC RETELLINGS
What happened next you will have heard: how we were brought before one who seemed to be the
ruler of our captors or rescuers; how he likewise spoke no words but gestured us to sit and help ourselves to

67
a feast of exotic victuals laid out in his banquet hall. Kasim and the others had no difficulty in
understanding this invitation and responding to it; they gorged and gulped, thanking the king and praising
Allah between bites and swallows. But though I aped the motions of eating like the others, in fact I hung
back once again, out of my ongoing despair and resentment as well as from hard-learned caution. You
might ask, since I cared so little now for my life, why did I not swallow recklessly with the others? I will
tell you presently. The answer is that, first, I had no appetite, and second, if I had lost my taste for life, I
was not however altogether indifferent to the manner of my death, and something in the smell of that feast
put me in mind of the ogre’s den. […]
Meal by meal, as my fellows swilled like hogs at the trough, they came to speak likewise, their
noble though mercantile Arabic transformed into a language of oinks and slurps, farts and belches, as their
bodies swelled marvelously, like sausages that were about to burst their casings. It was not long before they
were turned out of the king’s hall and into his pasture, where under the silent wardenship of their keepers
[…] they rooted on all fours as contentedly as the livestock they had become. I slipped out with them on
hands and knees, swallowed up by the herd, and hid among the hummocks to watch the first brace of them
be butchered. Kasim, as befit his rank among us, was gutted and roasted for the king’s table. The chief of
the merchants after myself, who by now was the fattest of the lot, the wordless herdsmen made dinner of in
their fashion, raw, while his doomed companions imperturbably grazed on.
That spectacle was to cure me at last of my resentment and, oddly, of my despair, as well as of any
appetite for meat for years thereafter. My appetite for life, however, returned. Inasmuch as my former
fellows were beyond rescue, I made shift now to rescue myself, and in doing so regained myself as well.
Without difficulty I slipped into the bush, away from those mouths that were no more than maws. Feeding
myself at last (on herbs and greens) and talking myself back to life, in a mere six days I made my way to
that island’s other side. There, on the seventh day, I came upon a people whose civilized work was growing
pepper; who never ventured to that island’s barbarous other side; who themselves wore clothing over their
skin and – wonder of wonders! – spoke not only a language but my language. At the sound of it I wept for
joy and, swallowing my customary caution, ran calling to them through the pepper plants and rejoined the
human race.
Oh, my friends, what medicine it is to tell our stories! I who had eaten so little but taken in so
much now disgorged to the pepper farmers the tale of my shipwreck and my companions’ fate, and though
that fragment was but the recentest installment of my history, the telling of it made me whole. My old self
again, scarred but ready, when the pepperfolk spoke of their king on a neighboring island, I said, ‘Of
course, of course: let us be off to Island Two, Voyage Four. I shall apply to be your king’s registrar of
cargoes, and we shall see what we shall see.’
My new associates were not in fact disposed to take an unscheduled trip to their king’s island, this
being the peak of pepper season. Moreover, they doubted that any registrar of cargoes was going to be ever
needed in their land, as they were a self-sufficient people who neither imported nor exported anything.
Even their pepper was for domestic consumption only. A less seasoned castaway might have despaired at
this news: without interisland commerce, how was I to get home? But I doubted that the pepper people had
learned their Arabic directly from Allah himself and guessed therefore that their isolation was less than
total. Besides, if they were only half as insular as they claimed, they were bound to be ignorant of many a
thing taken for granted by us more traveled folk, and in this I saw opportunity. Indeed, what persuaded
them at last to make an inconvenient ferry trip for which I had no money to pay them was their bafflement
at my talk of import and export, which they hoped that their king or his viziers would understand as they
did not. What did they do, I asked them, with their surplus of pepper, of which in good years there was
bound to be a store? What else, they said, but throw it into the salt sea, as custom decreed? For otherwise
there would be no need to plant next year’s crop, and they would have nothing to do with their time and
skill. Could they not trade that surplus, I asked them, for silks from Al Sin or ivories from Zanj? ‘Of those
things,’ they replied, ‘we clearly have no need; otherwise we would know what they are.’
(John Barth – The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor, slightly adapted)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

68
John Barth (born May 27, 1930) is an American novelist and short-
story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of
his work. Among his works of fiction, we mention the novel The
Floating Opera and the collection of short stories Lost in the
Funhouse. He is also known for the notable critical essay "The
Literature of Exhaustion" (first printed in the Atlantic, 1967).

The Arabian Nights


The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night,
1001 Arabian Nights, or simply the Arabian Nights, is a piece of medieval Middle-Eastern literature in the
style of a frame tale. The tales vary widely; they include historical tales, love stories, tragedies, comedies,
poems, burlesques and Muslim religious legends. Some of the famous stories Shahrazad spins in many
western translations are Aladdin's Lamp, Sindbad the Sailor, and the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

1. The text is taken from The Story of Somebody the Sailor. Who does ‘Somebody the Sailor’ stand for?
2. What other well-known episode in universal literature is similar to the story of the transformation of
the main character’s companions into pigs?
3. Why does the main character refuse to take part in the feast?
4. In what way is language presented here as the mark of civilization?
5. How can you comment upon the following: “Inasmuch as my former fellows were beyond rescue, I
made shift now to rescue myself, and in doing so regained myself as well”?
6. Comment upon the opposition savagery/ civilisation as presented in the text.
7. In what way does “the telling of stories” rescue the main character? Can you think about any other
cases in which telling stories can “make one whole again”?
8. How does the main character persuade his hosts to take him on the desired ferry trip?
9. The text can be divided into two parts. Identify them.
10. Can “greed” be seen as a key word in connection to this fragment? Comment upon this notion referring
to both parts of the text.

B
VOCABULARY

1. Fill in the blanks with words and phrases from the text:
1. The pepper this people harvested was for _________ only.
2. The tale I told them was the most recent ________ of my history.
3. When I heard them speaking my language I wept _____ joy and ran to ______ the human race.
4. I watched the first ______ of them be butchered.
5. My mates’ bodies swelled marvelously, like sausages about to burst their _______.
6. Although I _______ the motions of eating like the others, I hung back and waited.
7. Kasim, as _______ his rank among us, was ______ and roasted for the king’s table.
8. It was not long before they were _______ of the king’s hall and into his pasture, where they rooted on
________ as contentedly as the livestock they had become.
9. That spectacle was to cure me of any appetite for meat for years ________.
10. The chief of the merchants was eaten raw, while his _______ companions imperturbably grazed on.
11. These people were bound to be ignorant _____ many a thing taken for granted by us.
12. Feeding myself on greens and herbs in _______ six days I made my way to the island’s other side.

2. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate word/phrase from the list below:

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Vegetarian, vegan, health food, junk food, intemperate, eating disorder, addiction, chocoholic, gluttony,
to work up an appetite, to hold/stomach food, not to agree with somebody, to upset one’s stomach, exotic
victuals, churn, to forage.

1. I’ve told you time and again: stop cooking mushroom stews, you know mushrooms _________.
2. After eating inordinately at lunch, his stomach _______ with nausea all afternoon.
3. I don’t eat meat, but I like eggs and milk. That makes me a ________ not a _________.
4. He likes to imbibe and I think his ________ habits will take him to the grave too early.
5. Temperance is the enemy of ________.
6. I’m into ________ so you won’t hold it against me if I refuse buying ________ from places like KFC
or Burger King.
7. He’s been very sick: he hasn’t been able to _________ solid food for days.
8. Your chocolate ________ makes you a ________ , I’m afraid. How many chocobars did you have
today?
9. The banquet hall sported many _________, fit for the table of a king.
10. She wakes up in the middle of the night and goes to raid the fridge. She definitely has an _________.
11. In some cultures, it is the women’s task to go _________ for food and fuel.
12. Go have a basket game with your father, to _________ before dinner.

3. Translate into Romanian, paying attention to the verbs of eating:


1. The children will eat themselves sick on chocolate if I let them. 2. The river was eating away at the bank.
3. What’s eating you, are you upset? 4. Paying for that new carpet has eaten into my savings. 5. The baby
can’t feed itself yet. 6. The cows were feeding on hay in the barn. 7. The lake is fed by several small
streams. 8. Go gather some wood to feed the fire. 9. Hatred feeds on envy. 10. She lives on a diet of fruit
and milk. 11. I’m afraid you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, my dear. 12. She swallowed hard, and
turned to face her accuser. 13. Hearing this, he swallowed his anger and carried on. 14. He told me I
wouldn’t pass the test but I’m determined to make him swallow his words. 15. I can’t taste, I’ve got a bad
cold. 16. There was a lot of hard work to do before we tasted success. 17. He bored us to death, mouthing
the usual platitudes about the need for more compassion. 18. Before she started talking, she gulped down a
cup of tea. 19. She gulped nervously, as if the question bothered her. 20. In response to his rudeness, she
gulped back her tears and tried to smile. 21. You have to decide whether you want to stay with us for lower
pay or move to greener pastures. I’ll give you till tomorrow to chew it over.

4*. Translate into English, choosing the right item from the list of related words:
a) consume, consumption, consummate, consummation
b) gorge yourself on, disgorge, engorged, gorgeous
1. În momentul excitării, ţesuturile primesc o cantitate mare de sânge. 2. Experţii au analizat carnea şi au
declarat că nu poate fi consumată. 3. Dacă vei continua să te îndopi cu bunătăţi, o să ai o viaţă foarte scurtă.
4. Din privirea sa se putea citi că este mistuit de o pasiune inexplicabilă. 5. După ce l-au bătut pe spate, a
reuşit să regurgiteze un os mare de peşte care-i bloca traheea. 6. O mulţime imensă de oameni se revărsa
din sala de teatru. 7. Căsătoria nu a fost consumată, astfel că puteţi cere să fie anulată. 8. Uită-te cât de bine
poate să arate la prima oră! 9. Într-un minut, cabana de lemn fu înghiţită de flăcări. 10. Maşina aceasta nu
consumă mult.

5*. Translate making use of the right word from the list below:
Pig, swill, trough, slurp, maw, snout, male chauvinistic pig, grunt, squeal, oink, swine, sow, piggy back
ride, piggybank, pigsty, hog.

1. O să mă mărit cu tine la paştele cailor. 2. Fermierul a turnat lături în troacă şi a chemat purceii să se
ospăteze. 3. Eşti un porc şovin şi un neruşinat. Nu mai vreau să am de-a face cu tine. 4. Purcelul guiţa ca
din gură de şarpe, iar scroafa venea după el cu grohăieli ameninţătoare. 5. Casa asta este o cocină de porci,
nu mai suport să locuiesc aici cu voi. 6. Pune-ţi monezile în puşculiţă şi du-te să te joci. 7. În fiecare zi, Jim
se scula şi îl aştepta pe tatăl lui să vină să-l care în cârcă până la bucătărie. 8. Uită-te la nasul lui, parcă-i un
rât de porc. 9. Gurile lor seamănă cu nişte boturi nesătule. 10. Nu mai clefăi când mănânci, eşti dezgustător.
11. Iar ţii ziarul numai pentru tine! Aşa faci şi cu telecomanda!

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C
GRAMMAR: MEANS OF EXPRESSING FUTURITY IN ENGLISH

This section attempts to revise on the methods English employs in order to express the idea of ‘futurity’.
Consider the following examples taken from the text above. You will notice that not all the forms used
there are part of the future tenses of the Indicative, although all of them express future actions:

(1) What happened next you will have heard. (Future Perfect)
(2) I will tell you presently. (Future Simple)
(3) Their bodies swelled marvelously, like sausages that were about to burst their casings.
(4) That spectacle was to cure me at last of my resentment.
(5) ‘I shall apply to be your king’s registrar of cargoes, and we shall see what we shall see.’ (Future
Simple)
(6) They doubted that any registrar of cargoes was going to be ever needed in their land.
(7) How was I to get home?
(8) They hoped that their king or his viziers would understand. (Future in the Past)
(9) In good years there was bound to be a store of pepper.
(10) There would be no need to plant next year’s crop, and they would have nothing to do with their time
and skill. (Future in the Past)

The examples above are differently underlined. We thus made a distinction between the phrases in bold
letters, which are all future tense forms of the Indicative Mood, and the phrases in italics, which are part of
a larger list of phrases that express futurity in English. Let us discuss each of these two important classes of
items.

The Future Tenses (the Indicative)


Consider the table below, which groups all the Indicative tenses in a systematic way, function of the
present/past temporal distinction that English commonly employs:

Present time sphere Past time sphere


Present  Simple  Continuous Past  Simple  Continuous
She goes to She is eating an Sally went to Sally was eating an
school every day apple. school yesterday. apple.
 Perfect  Perfect  Perfect
 Perfect Continuous (He realized) she Continuous
I have written a She has been had already (He realized) she
letter. writing a letter for arrived. had been sitting
an hour. there for two hours.
Future  Simple  Continuous Future in  Simple  Continuous
I will tell you This time tomorrow the past (He realized) (He realized) that
(will) about it. we will be eating they would tell the next day they
lunch in the best her the secret would be playing
restaurant. (would) very soon. the piano in front of
a hundred guests.
 Perfect  Perfect  Perfect
 Perfect Continuous
Continuous (He realized) that
By noon we will
I will have been by noon they (He realized) that
all have done our
playing the piano would have told by noon they would
homework.
for ten hours by her the secret. have been playing
noon. the piano for ten
hours.

 A quick look at this table will reveal a very interesting thing: there are a lot of future tenses in the
verbal system of English. And yet, many as they are, they are not as frequently used as one would
expect. This may be due to the fact that the auxiliary ‘will’ can also have a modal meaning and more
often than not this meaning prevails. Fact is, it is quite often that a student has trouble guessing

71
whether a form such as, for instance, ‘would + bare infinitive’ is a future tense form, a conditional
form or a modal form. This is actually one of the most frequent mistakes that learners make when they
start studying English:

The uses of ‘would’


Future in the Past: He said the policeman would help them.
Conditional: He would buy a car if he had money.
Modal: a) volition: He asked his wife to tell him the secret, but she
wouldn’t./ My ancestors would have their
portraits painted by Romney.
b) probability: When they were in their early twenties, they
would often go to the funfair.

 Another fact that baffles Romanian learners is the meaning of Future Continuous and Future Perfect in
English. This is because:

a) Romanian does not have morphology for the ‘continuous’ aspectual feature and makes use of the same
tense form for both the simple and the continuous situations:

E.g. This time tomorrow, Mary will be eating an apple. /I will eat an apple.
Mâine pe vremea asta, Maria va mânca un măr / Voi mânca un măr.

b) The Romanian counterpart of Future Perfect (i.e. Viitor anterior, e.g. va fi venit) is no longer part of the
spoken language and is quite infrequent even in the written language. Instead, Romanian chooses to
make use of Perfect Compus forms:

E.g. He will have already painted the fence by the time she arrives.
Până să vină ea, el a şi văruit gardul /a terminat de văruit gardul.

Exercise: Translate into English, making use of Future Continuous / Perfect, wherever necessary:
1. Mâine pe la ora cinci, în timp ce voi o să dormiţi tun, noi o să ne plimbăm cu barca în Cişmigiu. 2. Până
să prinzi tu de veste, ea l-a şi păcălit. 3. Bill adoarme înainte să pună soţia lui cina pe masă. 4. Mâine pe
vremea asta, o să o găseşti pe nevastă-ta citind de trei ore la roman. 5. Bill nici nu apucă să intre în casă, că
sora lui şi deschide radio. 6. Mâine o să stăm în casă toată ziua, ne poţi vizita oricând. 7. Nu voi avea mâine
nevoie de maşină, aşa că poţi să o iei tu. 8. Luna viitoare se împlinesc zece ani de când Bill e căsătorit cu
Susan. 9. Peste o săptămână se fac trei ani de când Bill dă lecţii de tango pe bani grei. 10. Dacă mă cauţi
mâine la birou, n-ai să dai de mine: voi fi acasă, în cadă, cu un roman bun poliţist şi un martini lângă mine.
11. Când mi-a spus că sunt trei ani de când n-a mai vorbit cu fratele lui, nu mi-a venit să-l cred. 12. Susan l-
a avertizat pe Bill că n-o să fie acasă, ci se va plimba în parc toată ziua următoare. 13. I-a explicat
poliţistului că a doua zi, la ora douăsprezece, se făcea exact o săptămână de când soţia lui fugise de acasă.
14. Ea şi termină de curăţat bucătăria până să sosească el acasă. 15. De ce mă întrebi cum o să-mi petrec
săptămâna viitoare? Ştii bine că voi face curăţenie în toată casa. 16. Ştii unde să mă găseşti: voi sta la
familia Jones până la sfârşitul lunii.

 The table with the Indicative tenses is a good instrument to use when formulating time and condition
adverbial clauses. As we already know, English has an important rule to follow:

The future auxiliary is banned from time/condition


adverbial clauses:
If you *will give me the money, I’ll tell you the secret.
When you *will go there, tell him to phone.

72
The correct way to formulate such adverbial clauses, is to make use of the other tenses of the indicative that
are symmetrical to the future tense form you would have normally liked to use. For instance, in the case of
the Simple Future, the symmetrical tense form of the same temporal sphere is the Simple Present. It is this
tense form that will replace the Simple Future:

(11) a. If you give me the money, I’ll tell you the secret.
b. When you go there, tell him to phone.

Consider the following table that gives you elaborate advice on this problem:

Expressing Futurity in Time / Condition Adverbial Clauses


Present time sphere Past time sphere
 Future Simple turns into  Future in the Past turns into
Present Simple Past Simple
E.g. If you go there, tell him to E.g. He told her to ask him to phone
phone. if she went there.
 Future Perfect turns into  Future Perfect in the Past turns
Present Perfect into Past Perfect
E.g. By the time he has done his E.g. He knew that she would have
homework, she will have written her written her letter by the time he had
letter. done his homework.

Nota bene!
The ‘will/would’ auxiliary can be used in adverbial subordinates (that express time or condition) only when
it has a modal meaning:

(12) a. I will marry her if she will have me. (volition ‘will’)
b. If you will spend your money on horse-racing, how do you expect me to trust you?
(13) Whenever she would visit her mother, she would bring her flowers. (habit ‘will’)

Exercise: Translate the following sentences, paying attention not to use the future auxiliary in the
subordinates expressing condition or time:
1. Te rog, spune-i lui Bill că nu-i voi dezvălui secretul până nu va promite că n-o să îi facă soţiei lui nici un
rău. 2. De-abia după ce te vei hotărî să spui unde ai fost noaptea trecută vom putea discuta cinstit despre
planurile tale de facultate. 3. Dacă vei pleca de acasă înainte de a deveni major, nu am să-ţi mai dau bani de
buzunar. 4. Dacă continui să te încăpăţânezi să arunci pachetul cu mâncare pe care ţi-l pun, nu am să mă
mai obosesc să îţi dau nici unul. 5. De câte ori mergea acasă în vacanţă, părinţii îl întrebau cum stă cu
notele. 6. Maria i-a promis solemn că se va îmbrăca în alb la petrecerea de absolvire, însă doar dacă va
primi bani să-şi cumpere rochia potrivită. 7. N-a trecut mult şi a înţeles că până se va întoarce el înapoi
acasă, va trebui să rezolve problema cheltuielilor suplimentare. 8. Nu a vrut să recunoască faptul că va
trebui să renunţe la şcoală de îndată ce se va întoarce soţul ei din străinătate.

Other Means of Expressing Futurity


Due to the modal meaning of the auxiliary ‘will’, English chooses to make little use of Future Simple (as
you know, the ‘shall’ form is already quite rare) and prefers to employ other expressions to express futurity,
such as ‘be going to’, or even other tense forms, such as Present Continuous. Consider the table below,
which groups all the alternative expressions with a future meaning:

Alternate Devices for Expressing Futurity


Present Time Sphere Past Time Sphere
 Present Simple (scheduled  No alternate past variant

73
activities)
E.g. The train leaves at 4 p.m
.
 Present Continuous (personal  Past Continuous (personal
arrangement, plan) arrangement, plan)
E.g. We’re meeting at 5. E.g. They said they were meeting at 5.

 Be going to (intention,  Be going to (intention, imminent


imminent event) event)
E.g. I’m going to marry her. E.g. He said that he was going to marry
I think I’m going to faint. her.
He realized that he was going to faint.

 Be about to (immediate future  Be about to (immediate future


action) action)
E.g. Look, the train is about to E.g. He warned her that the train was
leave! about to leave.

 Be to (inevitable,  Be to (inevitable, predetermined


predetermined event) event)
E.g. They are to arrive at noon. E.g. He explained to her that the
Richardsons were to arrive at noon.

 Be bound to, be sure to, be due  Be bound to. be sure to, be due to
to
E.g. An accident is bound to E.g. He told her that an accident was
happen if you’re not careful. bound to happen if she was not careful.

EXERCISES:

1.Use the most logical form of the verb in brackets:


1. Louis opened his mouth with no idea of what he (say), and what came out (be) a joke he (hear) the week
before at the corner market down the road, something about a tailor who (buy) a parrot whose only line was
‘Pretty Polly likes you!’ He (hope) that his interlocutor (welcome) his poor attempt to lighten up the
atmosphere.
2. Mrs. Dandridge wanted to know about the accident, and Louis (sketch) it in for her, (give) her less than
she probably (read) in the Daily News the following day. He didn’t like (do) this – it made him feel like a
gossip – but she would accept no money for babysitting, and he (be) grateful to her for the evening he and
his wife (share) at the theatre.
3. The friends and relatives were already supposed (sign) the book with their names and addresses. Louis
never (have) the slightest idea what the purpose of this mad custom might be, and he (not ask). He
supposed when the funeral (be) over, he and Rachel (get) to keep the book. Yet he doubted they ever (use)
it.
4.Louis Creed came (believe) that the last really happy day of his life was March 24 th, 1984. The terrible
things that (be) to come were still six weeks in the future but he supposed that even if none of those terrible
things (happen), he (remember) that day for ever. Days which (seem) really good were so rare that they
were really worth (remember).
5.This was the funeral party and, while it (be) quiet, it was not quite subdued. After a few beers – only the
night before he (swear) he never (touch) the stuff again, but in the cold afternoon light the previous evening
(seem) impossibly long ago – Louis thought (pass) on a few little funerary anecdotes his uncle Carl (tell)
him
6. ‘Tell me, do you remember what we were going to discuss at tomorrow’s meeting?’ ‘Well, Susan,
according to the agenda, there were five items of discussion. First, Mary said she (bring) the results of the
survey. We (decide) whether we wished to proceed with the developments.’ ‘Did she say what (happen) if

74
the results were negative?’ ‘No, that (be) up to the committee.’ ‘So what else did you say (be covered) in
the meeting?’ ‘The Annual Dinner Dance. They (cancel) through lack of support. Arthur (propose) a disco
instead, but I don’t think it (go through).’ ‘Oh, a shame.’

2. Correct the mistakes:


1.The doctor assured her he will return tomorrow.
2. I don’t know if I ever go to the dentist’s again. If I will, I will kill him for what he did to me last time.
3. I will never forget to see you for the first time.
4. I don’t invest in this company. It is about to go bust.
5. He told me he won’t return before five.
6. God, the door is locked and it doesn’t want to open.
7. Ok, tomorrow I go straight to her and tell her the bad news. Let’s hope she doesn’t throw a fit.
8. I think I am to throw up, the dinner hasn’t agreed with me.
9. I don’t know if it won’t rain, maybe we’ll be spared this time.
10. Look, she drowns! Do something.

3. Translate into English, paying attention to the grammar problem discussed above:

1.
Pleca luni şi venea vineri. Pleca plângând, de parcă ar fi fost pentru ultima oară. Data viitoare nu se va mai
îndura să ne lase singuri – într-o săptămână se pot întâmpla multe. Sau la sfârşitul zilelor de absenţă se va
produce minunea, nu va mai fi necesar să plece, să ne despărţim. Se va deschide, adică, dintr-o dată, cerul,
ne vom trezi cu toţii intr-un tren de vagoane adevărate, nu cum fusese cel din care ne descărcaseră în
pustietatea asta, la capătul pământului, ca pe nişte vite aduse la tăiere. Un tren încălzit, luminat, cu bănci
moi… mătuşi blânde şi politicoase vor servi fiecăruia, la alegere, orice mâncăruri şi-ar dori, cum se
cuvenea unor călători întorşi de pe lumea cealaltă. Sau până vineri, când ea trebuia să se întoarcă, se va fi
prăbuşit, în sfârşit, înghiţindu-ne, mântuindu-ne, cerul acesta nesfârşit, de cenuşă, în care tot aşteptam,
speriaţi, să intrăm odată, să se termine cu toate. (Norman Manea – Pulovărul)

2.
a. Lucru nou! Se înconjură popa cu păpuşoi. Îi râdea inima când gândea cum se va face de frumoasă treaba,
când jur-împrejur păpuşoiul va creşte şi acoperi spinii din gard care începeau a nu-i plăcea părintelui. Dar
tot vorba veche: un năcaz naşte pe celălalt. (I. Slavici – Nuvele)
b. Înainte de Rusalii însă se porniră nişte ploi, care păreau că nu vor mai înceta.
- Nu ştiu, zău, eu ce voi face, zise popa. Parcă m-oi lăsa cu târgul până după Rusalii. Mi-e groază să plec pe
ploaia asta. Dacă n-o sta ploaia până joi, apoi eu unul nu mă duc. (I. Slavici – Nuvele)
c. N-a crezut Simina niciodată că Iorgovan o va lua de nevastă, cel puţin aşa zicea, că nu crede; acum însă,
când îl vedea pe părintele ei atât de îngrijat, ea începu a se teme că tot o va lua Iorgovan, şi ar fi voit să-i
arate bătrânului că n-ar fi o nenorocire pentru dânsul şi nici pentru dânsa. (I. Slavici – Nuvele)
d. Mereu se întreba, oare ce face mama în vremea asta? (B.Şt. Delavrancea – Nuvele)
e. Cum are să-l mai iubească şi ce mândră are să fie cu el în braţe, se gândea ea. Şi când o fi necăjită, la el
are să se uite şi are să-i treacă, şi când o podidi-o plânsul de dorul lui Radu al ei, luat la oaste, cu el are să se
mângâie. (B.Şt. Delavrancea – Nuvele)
f. Drăgan Căprarul câştigase rămăşagul cu Ion, că va veni de hac Sultănichii. Cum o să-şi răsucească
mustaţa de grozav printre tineret. (B.Şt. Delavrancea – Nuvele)
g. Rămâi la mine astă noapte şi ţi-oi da vrun ajutor Mare-i Dumnezeu! Însă mai rabdă şi tu, fiul meu, că
mult ai avut de răbdat şi puţin mai ai. Până acum ţi-a fost mai greu, iar de acum înainte tot aşa are să-ţi fie,
până ce-i ieşi din slujba spânului, de la care ai să tragi multe năcazuri, dar ai să scapi din toate cu capul
teafăr pentru că norocul te ajută. (Ion Creangă – Harap alb)
h. – Dăruieşte-mi viaţa, Păsărilă, că te-oi dărui şi eu cu milă şi cu daruri împărăteşti, aşa să trăieşti!
i. Hai, intră în casă cu îndrăzneală, că am să fiu şi eu p-acolo. Şi cum îi intra, stăi puţin şi te uită la fete; şi
care-i vedea-o că se apără cu năframa, să ştii că asta este fata împăratului. (Ion Creangă – Harap alb)

3.
a. Dezbinările dintre voi primejduiesc securitatea unui stat pe care îl doresc puternic şi la adăpost de
uneltirile voastre. Numai aşa va putea ţine piept năvălitorilor de afară şi propăşi. Blestemata asta de avere

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nu vă dă pace, nu vă aduce fericirea, căci, la drept vorbind, o asemenea sete nici nu poate fi ostoită. De ce
ai mai mult, de aia vrei să ai mai mult. Vă voi îmbucătăţi averile, cu sila de va trebui (şi să ştiţi că vă pot
sili), dacă nu vă veţi învoi. Nu doresc pentru mine decât dregătoria de străjuitor al legii şi cea de căpetenie a
oştirii. Nici că mă sinchisesc de celelalte. Ţin să trăiesc, rege fiind, tot atât de modest ca şi până acum,
nedeosebindu-mă cu nimic de oamenii de rând. Voi şti să mă port astfel încât toţi să asculte de lege şi să mă
asculte, fără să se teamă de mine, astfel ca să se spună în afara zidurilor cetăţii: Attica este cârmuită nu de
un despot, ci de un guvern popular; căci fiecare cetăţean al acestui stat va avea drepturi egale în Sfat, fără
să se ţină seama de-i de viţă aleasă ori ba. Dacă nu mă veţi urma de bunăvoie, voi şti, v-am spus-o, a vă sili.
Voi pune să se dărâme micile voastre Tribunale, aşa ca să nu mai rămână piatră peste piatră, precum şi
sălile în care vă întruniţi în consilii regionale, şi voi chema să se adune la poalele Acropolei pe toţi cei din
care încă de pe acum se plămădeşte Atena. Şi acest nume, Atena, jur în faţa zeilor care mă ocrotesc, va fi
slăvit de urmaşii noştri şi de urmaşii urmaşilor noştri. Închin oraşul meu zeiţei Palas. Şi acum plecaţi, dar să
ştiţi că ce am spus spus rămâne.
b. Odihneşte-te. Nădăjduiesc că vei asista, spre seară, la serbarea dată în cinstea sosirii voastre. Apoi te
vom duce, cinstite Tezeu, la Cnosos. Vei dormi într-un iatac din palat şi mâine vei lua parte la cină; va fi o
masă simplă, o masă de familie unde te vei simţi în largul tău. Doamna şi domniţele vor fi încântate să
asculte primele tale isprăvi. Acum ele se ducă să se gătească pentru serbare. Ne vom revedea şi vei fi
aşezat, tu şi tovarăşii tăi, chiar sub loja regală, căci am ţinut seama de faptul că eşti prinţ şi rangul tău va
cinsti şi tovarăşii de care nu vreau să te deosebesc în văzul tuturor. (Andre Gide – Tezeu)

4*.
a) Vezi că i se urâse de când tot aştepta să crape soacră-sa, şi nu mai putea să s-abţină. Ce-o fi fost şi în
capul lui? C-o să crape şi Ivona, şi-o să scape el d-amândouă, şi-o să rămână farfuza stăpână şi pe casă şi pe
bijuterii şi pe banii de la cec ai babii?
b) Când o să se dea jos din tramvai, o să se-oprească în drum, la piaţă: o să-şi ia de la grătar trei mititei, doi
o să-i mănânce ea, unu-l duce la omu’ ei, lighioana bătrână, că i-o fi câteodată şi lui poftă, săracu... săracu
omu’ ei, ursuz, mut, rău de clanţă cum e, da stau împreună de patruj-nouă de ani? Stau. Şi-o să-i ducă şi lui
un mic de la piaţă, când o ajunge.
c) El se lăsa încet, la loc, în pat, gemând uşor şi întindea mâna tremurândă după cordon: avea să intre
Maria, avea să dea la o parte draperiile grele, avea să deschidă larg ferestrele şi, cu ochii închişi, avea să
soarbă, respirând rar, în piept, aerul viu al dimineţii de iunie.
d) Altceva ar fi vrut să spună, de fapt, ceva ce fetiţa înţelesese: că Yvonne îşi va păta rochiţa de organdi, şi
că are să se aşeze în dreptul grilajului să o vadă Ionica, fata dascălului, că şi ea are la urechi urechi cercei de
cireşe. Într-adevăr, dacă Muti va pleca într-o vizită, dacă Mademoiselle Lizette se va duce la modistă, dacă
madam Ana are să adoarmă cu croşetul în mână, Yvonne o să se poată aşeza în dreptul grilajului să vadă
cum se joacă toţi copiii de pe maidan... (Gabriela Adameşteanu – Dimineaţă pierdută)

5*.
Acum, când citiţi cuvintele astea, cuvinte spuse de fapt pentru o femeie, dar potrivindu-se la fel de
bine şi pentru mine, sunt mort. Mort şi îngropat şi uitat de multă vreme, de atunci, de când, într-o zi oarecare
din vara anului 1848, Mamona cel Tânăr mă va omorî. Şi acum nu fac decât să stau cu pământul peste mine
şi, putrezind încet şi veşnic, să mă gândesc şi să vorbesc şi să ştiu că vorbele şi gândurile mele sunt ale
altuia, ale celui care, cu voia dumneavoastră şi trebuind, nu-i aşa?, să-l numim în vreun fel, îl vom numi
Autor. Aş putea să-l numesc şi altfel, dar nefiind vreo cinste deosebită în vreun nume sau vreo diferenţă, îi
voi spune aşa. Acesta pe care l-am numit, Autorul, şi-a închipuit viaţa mea, a avut cheful şi răbdarea să-şi
închipuie cum ar putea fi o viaţă, a cuiva, şi momindu-l, întinzându-i pe tavă faptele, l-am atras spre mine,
am reuşit să fac asta, eu, cel mort de mai bine de o sută de ani, l-am prins într-o capcană în care poţi să te
simţi o vreme liber şi fericit şi mândru de cotrobăiala pe care ai început-o.
O să râdeţi, dar eu sunt de fapt Autorul, eu, Tache Vladescu, născut în anul 1800 şi mort peste
patruzeci şi opt de ani, ucis imediat după revoluţie de Mamona cel Tânăr. Şi acum nu fac decât să stau cu
pământul peste mine, batjocoritor ca orice mort, şi în timp ce oasele mele se albesc, să aştept să se albească
atât de mult, încât să-şi capete strălucirea firească şi gălbuie a celor morţi dintotdeauna. Şi tot aşteptând, să
mă bucur că, într-o zi, un oarecare venit cine ştie de unde, din ce Galilee,un Autor, va încerca să facă din
oasele mele descărnate un om viu şi vorbind şi ticăind. El este deasupra mea, prin ceţurile amintirilor mele
ca vreo pasăre cercetătoare şi harnică. Nu ştie că sunt nepăsător şi că, dacă mă prefac altfel, nu este decât
din cauza plictiselii ce mă cuprinde uneori. Aş putea să-i râd în nas şi, părăsindu-l, să mă întorc în

76
aşteptarea ce nu se va sfâirşi, în lenea şi plictisul acestei aşteptări pe care o trec nepăsător şi fără vreun gând
anume. Nu o fac totuşi, chiar dacă această putere e în mâinile mele, iar slăbiciunea în mâinile lui. Fiindcă
aşa cum eu sunt mort, iar el este viu, eu sunt personaj, iar el este Autor, toate astea ar putea fi şi invers. Pot
crede aşa cu atât mai mult cu cât nu mă opreşte nimeni s-o fac. (Ştefan Agopian – Tache de catifea)

6.
a)A băgat de seamă şi m-a întrebat numaidecât:
- Ţi-e frică într-adevăr?
În clipa asta am simţit că voi dezerta pentru trei zile, orice s-ar întâmpla cu mine, ca să viu prin surprindere
să văd ce face. I-am răspuns că nu ştiu, că nu m-am gândit la asta. Adevărul e însă că mă gândisem. De
multe ori imaginam câte o bătălie şi mă vedeam conducându-mi plutonul cu o bravură atât de extraordinară,
încât toţi şefii mei să se entuziasmeze. De pildă, să merg în picioare pe tot câmpul, cu oameni culcaţi. Să
pot fi văzut de departe cu binoclul, iar acasă, peste câteva zile, toată lumea să fie uimită de isprăvile mele,
să am un fel de legendă, iar nevastă-mea să protesteze uşor şi orgolios, când toată lumea îi va vorbi despre
purtarea mea în război.
- A, nu-l ştiţi?… E un nebun şi jumătate… I-am spus să se astâmpere, că nu vreau să mă lase văduvă.
Şi totuşi, când visam noaptea că iau parte la lupte, eram ca paralizat de groază.
b)Fac, cu o plictiseală indiferentă, planul răzbunării. La ora zece mă voi ascunde pe o uliţă vecină, de unde
pot supraveghea intrarea şi ieşirea din casă. Dacă ea pleacă de acasă, o voi urmări până la locuinţa lui. Dacă
vine el la ea, voi bate întâi, iar dacă nu mi se va deschide imediat, voi sparge uşa şi pe urmă ce va fi voi
vedea. Dacă până la miezul nopţii nu va fi nici una, nici alta, voi merge acasă şi trebuie s-o găsesc culcată,
căci mi-a spus că se culcă devreme şi deci minciuna e un indiciu de vinovăţie. Înseamnă, nu-I aşa? că e la
amant. Dar cum să găsesc locuinţa lui? M-am gândit să trimit pe cineva să afle adresa, îmi dau seama însă
că e o copilărie. De altfel, am certitudinea că el va veni la ea. Bătaia în uşă a coanei Atena, reamintită, mi se
pare acum suspectă, aşa ca un soi de exces de zel cu înţeles.
c)Trebuie ca, până nu prind ele de veste, oamenii dinainte să se strecoare unul câte unul în spatele lor, să se
adune acolo pe companii şi pe urmă să pornească atacul… Dacă se poate, să treacă apa chiar, pe tăcute, şi
numai în urmă să deschidă focul.
Planul mi se pare irealizabil. De altfel ştiam că pe tot frontul de treizeci de kilometri, Oltul va fi trecut la
noapte de întreaga divizie. Un regiment care a făcut o încercare cu două zile înainte a fost însă respins, ştim
şi asta, cu pierderi.
Cei care au plecat în faţă ni se par plecaţi în noapte, pe lumea cealaltă. Ce pipăie, ce văd, ce simt acum în
clipele astea? După vreun ceas abia, auzim un semn de viaţă… şi semnul de viaţă e o întâie răpăială pripită
de focuri, care sfâşie noaptea, pe drumuri înalte către stele. Începe un hău metalic, asurzitor, de mitraliere
care macină, tocând bandă după bandă, ca un nai, lătrând viu de tot, sperios, ca un motor de motocicletă.
Nu ştim ce e înainte, cu toate că e lună şi eu caut mereu să îmi închipui ce văd în faţa lor ochii celor de
acolo. Mă simt prea subţire, dar parcă mănuşile pe care le-am pus de la început ţin de cald. Sabia am dat-o
la căruţa de bagaje, iar armă nu port, ca să pot fi mai uşor şi pentru că simt că, de aproape, nu voi putea
ucide niciodată. (Camil Petrescu – Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război)

7.
a) Dar ne întâmpină chelnerul care îi cunoştea preferinţele şi ne spuse că masa va fi imediat liberă, clienţii
au cerut plata. Da, dar plătind mai ceruseră bere, pe care se vedea că n-aveau de gând s-o bea repede. Ion
începu să îi injure în timp ce chelnerul ne sfătuia să ne aşezăm undeva şi îndată ce aceia vor pleca, ne
putem muta acolo.
b) “Totuşi, spusei brusc îndârjit, eu voi protesta.” “Dacă ai s-o faci, răspunse atunci Ion Micu foarte grav,
mă vei lipsi pe mine de posibilitatea de a te apăra când vei fi tu însuţi ameninţat.” “De ce aşi fi eu însumi
ameninţat? spusei deodată sumbru. Dacă vor dori să nu mai fie cultură, continuai indignat şi totodată
nepăsător de soarta mea, mă voi duce să predau copiilor abecedarul, unde cred că nu voi fi silit să le
vorbesc despre cele două lagăre şi nimeni nu mă va putea împiedica să realizez ceea ce chemarea mea mă
va îndemna să realizez."
c) Totuşi, după un timp, mă întrebă iarăşi: “Va să zică, nu vrei să pleci!” “Bineînţeles că nu, răspunsei. Şi
scuteşte-mă de prostia asta!” “Bine, zise ea liniştită, atunci o să plec eu.” “N-ai decât!”, “Sper că n-o să stai
mai departe în casa mea, n-o să vrei, zise ea cu ironie, ca Petrică, să ţi-o fac cadou. Sa te înzestrez.” “Nu,
îndată ce pleci, plec şi eu. Şi nu te hazarda în ironii pe presupunerea unei asemănări a mea cu Petrică,

77
fiindcă te poţi trezi că n-o să fac joc de ironii cu tine, ci cu totul altceva, chiar dacă te crezi intangibilă
fiindcă eşti însărcinată.” (Marin Preda – Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni)

D
WRITING

1. FRAME STORIES. A bunch of travellers are telling stories to pass their time. Describe one of the
characters and imagine a story for him/her. (200 lines)
2. POINT OF VIEW. Imagine you are one of Sindbad’s companions in one of his journeys. Rewrite one
of his adventures from your point of view.

78
UNIT THREE
WOMEN’S VOICES

79
ONE
THE FEMALE BODY

‘…entirely devoted to the subject “The Female Body”. Knowing how well you have written on this topic…
this capacious topic…’- letter from the Michigan Quarterly Review

1.
I agree, it’s a hot topic. But only one? Look around, there’s a wide range. Take my own for instance.
I get up in the morning. My topic feels like hell. I sprinkle it with water, brush parts of it, rub it with
towels, powder it, add lubricant. I dump in the fuel and away goes my topic, my topical topic, my
controversial topic, my limping topic, my nearsighted topic, my topic with back problems, my badly
behaved topic, my vulgar topic, my outrageous topic, my ageing topic, my topic that is out of question and
anyway still can’t spell, in its oversized coat and worn winter boots, scuttling along the sidewalk as if it
were flesh and blood, hunting for what’s out there, an avocado, an alderman, an adjective, hungry as ever.

2.
The basic Female Body comes with the following accessories: garter-belt, panty-girdle, crinoline,
camisole, bustle, brassiere, stomacher, chemise, virgin zone, spike heels, nose-ring, veil, kid gloves, fishnet
stockings, fichu, bandeau (…) barrettes, bangles, beads, lorgnette, feather boa, basic black, compact, Lycra
stretch one-piece with modesty panel, designer peignoir, flannel nightie, lace teddy, bed, head.

3.
The Female Body is made of transparent plastic and lights up when you plug it in, You press a button
and illuminate to different systems. The Circulatory System is red, for the heart and the arteries, purple for
the veins; the Respiratory System is blue, the Lymphatic System is yellow, the Digestive System is green,
with liver and kidneys in aqua. The nerves are done in orange and the brain is pink. The skeleton, as you
might expect, is white.
The Reproductive System is optional, and can be removed. It comes with or without a miniature
embryo. Parental Judgement can thereby be exercised. We do not wish to frighten or offend.

4.
He said, I won’t have one of those things in the house. It gives a young girl a false notion of beauty, not
to mention anatomy. If a real woman was built like that she'd fall on her face.
She said, If we don’t let her have one like all the other girls she’ll feel singled out. It’ll become an issue.
She’ll long for one. Repression breeds sublimation. You know that.
He said, It’s not just the pointy plastic tits, it’s the wardrobes. The wardrobes and the stupid male doll,
what’s his name, the one with the underwear glued on.
She said, Better to get it over with when she’s young. He said, All right but don’t let me see it.
She came whizzing down the stairs, thrown like a dart. She was stark naked. Her hair had been chopped
off, her head was turned back to front, she was missing some toes and she’d been tattooed all over her body
with purple ink, in a scroll-work design. She hit the potted azalea, trembled there for a moment like a
botched angel, and fell.
He said, I guess we’re safe.

5.
The Female Body has many uses. It’s been used as a door-knocker, a bottle-opener, as a clock with a
ticking belly, as something to hold up lampshades, as a nutcracker, just squeeze the brass legs together and
out comes your nut. It bears torches, lifts victorious wreaths, grows copper wings and raises aloft a ring of
neon stars; whole buildings rest on its marble heads.
It sells cars, beer, shaving lotion, cigarettes, hard liquor; it sells diet plans and diamonds, and desire in
tiny crystal bottles. Is this the face that launched a thousand products? You bet it is, but don’t get any funny
big ideas, honey, that smile is a dime a dozen.

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It does not merely sell, it is sold. Money flows into this country or that country, flies in, practically
crawls in, suitful after suitful, lured by all those hairless pre-teen legs. Listen, you want to reduce the
national debt, don’t you? Aren’t you patriotic? That’s the spirit. That’s my girl.
She’s a natural resource, a renewable one luckily, because those things wear out so quickly. They don’t
make ‘em like they used them. Shoddy goods.

6.
One and one equals another one. Pleasure in the female is not a requirement. Pair-bonding is stronger in
geese. We’re not talking about love, we’re talking about biology. That’s how we all got here, daughter.
Snails do it differently. They’re hermaphrodites, and work in threes.

7.
Each female body contains a female brain. Handy. Makes things work. Stick pins in it and you get
amazing results. Old popular songs. Short circuits. Bad dreams.
Anyway: each of these brains has two halves. They’re joined together by a thick cord: neural pathways
flow from one to the other, sparkles of electric information washing to and fro. Like light on waves. Like a
conversation. How does a woman know? She listens. She listens in.
The male brain, now, that’s a different matter. Only a thin connection. Space over here, time over there,
music and arithmetic in their own sealed compartments. The right brain doesn’t know what the left brain is
doing. Good for aiming through, for hitting the target when you pull the trigger. What’s the target? Who’s
the target? Who cares? What matters is hitting it. That’s the male brain for you. Objective.
This is why men are so sad, why they feel so cut off, why they think of themselves as orphans cast adrift,
footloose and stringless in the deep void. What void? She says What are you talking about? The void of the
Universe, he says, and she says Oh and looks out the window and tries to get a handle on it, but it’s no use,
there’s too much going on, too many rustlings in the leaves, too many voices, so she says, Would you like a
cheese sandwich, a piece of cake, a cup of tea? And he grinds his teeth because she doesn’t understand, and
wanders off, not just alone, but Alone, lost in the dark, lost in the skull, searching for the other half, the
twin who could complete him.
Then it comes to him: he’s lost the Female Body! Look, it shines in the gloom, far ahead, a vision of
wholeness, ripeness, like a giant melon, like an apple, like a metaphor for breast in a bad sex novel; it
shines like a balloon, like a foggy noon, a watery moon, shimmering in its egg of light.
Catch it. Put in a pumpkin, in a high tower, in a compound, in a chamber, in a house, in a room. Quick,
stick a leash on it, a lock, a chain, some pain, settle it down, so it can never get away from you again.
(Margaret Atwood – The Female Body)

A
I. READING COMPREHENSION

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939)- Canadian novelist and poet. She has
published more than thirty books of fiction, poetry, critical essays.
Her novels include The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin.
She is the recipient of many literary awards and honours.

1.
Paraphrase
Paraphrase the underlined words/phrases.
2.
Title
Comment upon the title of the above text. How can you interpret the author’s choice of talking about the
“female body” instead of the “female mind” for example?
3.
Paragraph 1
Margaret Atwood has agreed to write on the topic of the female body.
a. Choose adequate synonyms for the word “ topic”.

81
b. Looking at paragraph 1, try to characterize the way in which the author presents the female body. Find
key words/phrases in this characterization.
c. What is the relation between the image of “the female body” that the author creates in this paragraph
and the term “ topic” that is used here as a synonym for the female body?
d. What does the author mean by the phrase “ hot topic”. Do you think that “ the male body” also
represents a “ hot topic”? Motivate your answer.
4.
Paragraph 2
The Female Body is described as possessing a number of accessories.
a.
Why do you think the author chooses this particular group of accessories?
b.
Which of these accessories are still worn by/ still characterize women nowadays and in what
circumstances?
c.
Try to name a group of similar accessories that accompany the “male body”.
5.
Paragraph 3
The author claims that the Female Body is made of plastic and it lights up when plugged in.

a. Is this image consistent with the image from the first paragraph? What similarities/differences are there
between the two?
b. Why does the author choose to present the “ different systems” in the female body in a detailed
manner? Why do you think each system is associated a different colour?
6.
Paragraph 4
a. In what context does the conversation in paragraph 4 occur and what does it refer to?
b. Which of the two speakers do you agree with?
c. How can you comment upon the remark “ I guess we’re safe?”
7.
Paragraph 5
The author underlines that the Female Body has many uses.
a. Examine the different uses of the Female Body. How can you comment upon them? Can you think
of similar uses for the Male Body?
b. What does the author mean by “ It does not merely sell, it is sold.” when referring to the Female
Body.
c. Why does the author claim that the Female Body is a renewable resource?
8.
Paragraph 6
Comment upon the following: “ Pleasure in the female is not a requirement.” Does this echo the author’s
own thoughts?
9.
Paragraph 7
a. What is the difference between the female brain and the male brain in the author’s opinion? Do you
agree with her point of view?
b. What have men lost in the author’s opinion and how do they try to compensate for that loss? Do you
think this is an accurate description for the attitude of men towards women?

II. STYLE

Register
a. Exemplify instances of familiar language in the text.
b. Exemplify instances of formal language in the text.
c. How can you comment upon the interplay between familiar language and formal language in the text?

82
Stereotyped expressions
Investigate the use of the following sentences in the text:
a. “ Repression breeds sublimation.”
b. “ Pleasure in female is not a requirement.”
c. “ We’re not talking about love, we’re talking about biology.”
d. “ Is this the face that launched a thousand products?”
e. “ Would you like a cheese sandwich, apiece of cake, a cup of tea?”

Irony
“ From Greek: dissimulation”. A form of expression by which the writer intends his meaning to be
understood differently and less favourably in contrast to his overt statement” (cf. Bloomsbury Guide to
English Literature)
Taking the above definition as a point of reference, investigate the use of irony in Margaret Atwood’s text.

B
VOCABULARY

1*. POLYSEMY: FLESH. Translate into Romanian, paying attention to the uses of above word:

1. Romanul tău s-ar putea îmbunătăţi dacă ai da mai multă substanţă personajelor. 2. Nu mi-aş fi imaginat
ca propria mea fiică să mă trateze aşa: e carne din carnea mea! 3. Ştii foarte bine că biserica era foarte aspră
în trecut cu preoţii care se dedau plăcerilor carnale. 4. Nu-mi place cum arată - are buzele prea cărnoase
pentru gustul meu. 5. De câte ori să-ţi mai spun? Vedetele arată mult mai prost în realitate decât pe ecran.
6. Omul ăsta este pur şi simplu dezgustător. Mi se încrâncenează carnea pe mine când ma gândesc la ce-a
făcut. 7. Ai mai mâncat vreodată un asemenea fruct? Sâmburii au o formă asa de ciudată şi coaja e foarte
groasă, însă miezul este absolut delicios. 8. Dacă ai pielea aşa de sensibilă, n-ar trebui să stai atât de mult la
soare.

2*. POLYSEMY: PLUG. Translate into Romanian, paying attention to the uses of the above word:

1. Este atât de neglijentă! Întotdeauna uită să scoată dopul după ce face baie şi toată apa murdară rămâne în
cadă. 2.Te descurci minunat! Dă-i înainte şi-o să vezi ce rezultate bune o să ai! 2. Televizorul nu merge
pentru că ai uitat pur şi simplu să-l bagi în priză. 3. Ştii că se gândeşte să oprească finanţarea proiectului
pentru că nu i se mai pare profitabil? 4. Cred şi eu că e fericită: a apărut la televizor şi aşa a reuşit foarte
uşor să facă reclamă pe gratis restaurantului. 5. Ce situaţie nenorocită! Fiul lor e în comă de mai bine de
zece ani şi acum se gândesc dacă să-l deconecteze de la aparatele care-l ţin în viaţă. 6. Am să te rog să
astupi crăpătura din zid. Bineînţeles că e ridicol, dar, din cauza ei, am tot timpul sentimentul că măa
urmăreşte cineva.

3*. SYNONYMY: SHIMMER. Translate into Romanian making use of the following synonyms:
shine, glitter, sparkle, glisten, gleam, glow, twinkle, blaze, flash, flicker, glint, glimmer, beam

1. Sunt sigură că s-a făcut bine, pur şi simplu strălucea de sănătate când am văzut-o. 2. Nu tot ce străluceşte
e aur. 3. Muncise din greu să spargă lemne toată dimineaţa şi faţa îi lucea de sudoare. 4. Ochii îi luceau de
fericire. 5. Apa strălucea sub razele lunii. 6. Ţi-am spus că trebuie să lustruieşti pantofii stăpânului în
fiecare zi! 7. Focul care lumina în vatră dădea încăperii un aer de linişte şi pace. 8. Îşi face iluzii. Aşteaptă
să se mărite cu un un bogătaş într-o maşină lucitoare în loc să se mulţumească cu un om cinstit şi iubitor. 9.
De ce îmi semnalizează mereu şoferul din faţa mea? Crezi că ar trebui să opresc? 10. În sufletul ei mai
stăruia o umbră de speranţă că lucrurile aveau să se termine cu bine până la urmă. 11. Aveau o servitoare
foarte harnică. De fiecare dată când se întorceau, podelele sclipeau de curăţenie. 12. Nu este deloc frumos,
dar s-a îndrăgostit de el când la văzut zâmbindu-i larg.. 13. A reuşit să se întoarcă acasă, ghidându-se după
luminiţele satului care sclipeau în depărtare. 14. I-au lucit ochii când a văzut banii. 15 Acesta este primul
meci de fotbal care se transmite în regiunea aceasta îndepărtată. 16. Nu mă miră ca a avut succes. Are
farmec şi o inteligenţă scliptioare.17. A strălucit de fericire când i s-a spus ca fiica ei este cea mai bună
elevă din şcoală.

83
4*. IDIOMS
a) Translate into English:

Scobitura tălpii, papile gustative, om cu strungăreaţă, dinţi ieşiţi în afară, crăcănat, saşiu, urechi clăpăuge,
nas acvilin/coroiat/ cârn/ borcănat/ lătăreţ, şchiop de un picior, chior de un ochi, mustaţă pe oală, pleoape
căzute, obraji scofâlciţi, ochi cufundaţi în orbite, sâni lăsaţi, burtă gogonată, cerul gurii, fluierul piciorului,
rotula, guşat, degetul mic, arătător, ochi injectaţi/ midgdalaţi, pistrui.

b) Fill in with the missing word:


The __________ of your foot; the __________of your nose; the __________of your hand/neck, the _____
of your arm, the _________of your tongue/ nose, the ___________ of your palm/ of bread; the
_________of your eye, the __________ of your palm, the _________of your back, the ___________ of
your neck/ belly/ hip; the _________ of your belly/ breasts; the __________ of your legs, the
__________of your neck; the __________ of your hair; the _________ of your head; the _________ of
your forehead

C
GRAMMAR: A NOTE ON “-er, /-ing” COMPOUND NOUNS

a. Look at the following compound nouns in the text. Find appropriate Romanian translations for them.

door-knocker
bottle-opener
nut-cracker

b. Make a list of the compound nouns in paragraph 2 (e.g. panty-girdle…). Find Romanian translations for
each of them.
c. Can you think of any difference between the compounds in paragraph 5 and the compounds in paragraph
2?

The compound nouns in paragraph 5 are based on an object- predicate relation:

door- knocker- to knock on the door


bottle- opener- to open bottles
nut- cracker- to crack nuts

Characteristics

1. The predicate- term in the compound has been turned into a verbal noun through suffixation by -er
(bird-watcher), -ing (bird-watching)
2. The predicate-object order is reversed inside the compound:
3. The first term of the compound is a noun that disallows number inflection,
* nuts- cracker, *bottles-opener. Although the meaning of the first noun is plural, its form is uninflected.

Nota bene!
Although, in general, the relation between the two nouns is that between a predicate and its object, there are
some exceptions to the rule.
We exemplify contexts where the first noun can be an adverbial:

home schooling- to school at home


street fighter- to fight in the street
sleepwalker- to walk in one’s sleep

84
EXERCISES:

1. Translate the following nouns into Romanian:

pair-bonding, coal-mining, window dresser, sight-seeing, fortune-seeking, coffee-grinder, snow-blower,


glass-cutter, sky-scraper, garbage-disposal, blood-grouping, tax gatherer, city planning, wigmaker, child-
minder, team teaching, woolgathering, tongue lashing, vampire slayer, holiday-maker

2. Here are some movie titles based on compounds. Translate them into Romanian, trying to guess
what kind of movies these might be:

Blade Runner, The Sin Eater, Hellraiser, Ladykillers, The Homecoming, The Song Catcher, Dreamcatcher,
Ghostbusters, The Body Snatchers, The Horse Whisperer, Dragonslayer, The Deer Hunter

3. Fill in the blanks with the compounds below:

bodice-ripper
tearjerker
draft dodger
matchmaker
cliffhanger
blockbuster
gold digger
home-maker
fortune-teller
breadwinner
window-shopper

1. Carrie is one of those people who spends hours looking at shoes although she knows she can’t afford
them. She is a …..
2. You are such a . You married him because you knew his father is filthy rich.
3. She only buys paperbacks where heroines fall passionately in love with ruggedly handsome men they
vainly try to resist. She is reading one now - a…….. where a wicked Highlander woos a reluctant lass.
4. Many people called him a….., because he was the only boy in the neighbourhood that didn’t go to war.
He kept explaining to everyone that he was a conscientious objector.
5. I hate it when they make such movies. Why is it that someone always has to die or miraculously
recover in a……? I honestly prefer one of those ….. like Terminator.
6. I loved the book, but I didn’t enjoy the……. ending. I didn’t like it that the main character should be
left in a difficult situation.
7. I suppose that I’ve become what you’d call a…, since I stay at home with the children and my husband
is the only …..in the family.
8. I’d never go to a…… What can cards or a crystal ball tell you about your future?
9. Stop playing the …… ! I know you think that your friend is the right woman for him, but I think he has
other ideas.

4. Translate into Romanian using compound nouns:

1. La Amsterdam am văzut originalul tabloului “ Mâncătorii de Cartofi” al lui Van Gogh. E unul din
tablourile mele favorite alături de “ Dantelăreasa” lui Vermeer.
2. I-am împrumutat vecinului maşina mea de tuns iarba şi nici până azi nu mi-a adus-o înapoi. Eu i-am
cerut o singură data plugul de curaţat zăpada şi nu a vrut să mi-l dea, pentru că, chipurile, aparţine
primăriei.
3. Nu ştiu ce face acum. Cred că a renunţat la slujba pe care o avea aici şi acum culege căpşuni pentru
câţiva gologani.

85
4. A cumpărat vinul ăsta de la un vinicultor bun pe care îl cunoaşte şi a aflat şi o gramadă de poveşti
interesante în legătura cu facerea vinului.
5. Filmul de aseară nu a fost cine ştie ce – un western leşinat despre un vânător de recompense.
6. N-a fost de loc înţeleaptă. A luat de soţ un vânător de zestre care i-a tocat toată averea.
7. Piesa premiata va fi pusa in scena de regizorul acela celebru de la Paris.
8. Îmi dai, te rog, deschizătorul de conserve? E chiar acolo, între olivieră şi tocătorul de carne.
9. Un cetăţean care respectă legea n-ar trebui să răspândească asemenea minciuni!
10. Cine s-o mai înţeleagă? Merge la biserică în mod constant şi urăşte jocurile de noroc, dar s-a căsătorit
cu un om care bea numai tărie, fumează droguri şi pariază pe cai la curse.
11. Anul trecut satul a fost ameninţat de un tigru care se hrănea cu carne de om până când unul dintre
vânătorii de tigri ai regiunii a reuşit să-l împuşte.
12. Legea din aceasta ţară nu-i pedepseşte îndeajuns pe cei care molestează copiii şi îşi maltratează
nevestele.

5*. Translate into English:

Când intrarăm in curte, murdari şi pe neaşteptate, ne izbi o forfotă neobişnuită: părintele, în cămaşe albă,
descheiată adânc pe pieptul firav şi lăptiu, taia lemne: ţinea securea cu amândouă mâinile, cu grijă, parcă
era de sticlă, îşi strângea vârful limbii cu dinţii şi bărbuţa îi lucea de sudoare; Margareta, aşezată pe treptele
bucătăriei, măcina mac, strângea râşniţa între genunchi, rochia i se ridicase mult, îi străluceau până sus
picioarele albe şi tari, se vedea chilotul roz; avea buzele roşii, umede şi-şi pusese părul pe moaţe; de
departe părea că se aşezaseră fluturi pe capul ei, se încleiaseră şi muriseră acolo.
Domnul doctor Bunu fugea încoace şi încolo, puţin beat ca de obicei, cu cravata sucită şi mustaţă de
focă: voia să prindă o găină, orătăniile gâgâiau ca turbate, parcă râdeau de felul cum da el cu piciorul după
ea, ca după mingie; doamna doctoriţă, mare, moale, cu părul vopsit în roşu, pisa nuci într-un mojar greu;
domnul notar Meliuţă, îmbrăcat în smoking (era singura haină pe care o mai avea, de dă-i doamne) se
învârtea printre ei, mic, pricăjit; îi privea cu ochelarii lui de sticlă groasă cât degetul, parcă vroia să-i
recunoasca de fiecare dată; iar nevastă-sa, doamna Clara, cu care eu mă culcam în fiecare noapte, înaltă,
puţin adusă de spate, cu sânii gri şi tari şi pielea ca cafeaua cu lapte, muşca dintr-o muşcată şi zâmbea stins,
ascultând chemările care urcau din trupul ei frecat cu săpun şi piper. (Titus Popovici- Moartea lui Ipu)

D
WRITING

1. REWRITING. Choose one of the following fairytales: “ Rapunzel”, “ Bluebeard”, “ Beauty and the
Beast”. Rewrite it from the point of view of the imprisoned heroine or from the point of view of the
character that imprisons them.
2.ADVERTISMENT
a. In paragraph 5 the “female body” has been depicted as a commercial product. Imagine an
advertisement in the paper that promotes this “ product”.
b. Imagine a similar advertisement for the “ male body”.

TWO
A PERFECT GUIDE FOR MARRIED WOMEN

7. APPRECIATE HIM

I joined Charlie on a business trip to California some months ago. One evening we met before dinner at
a Los Angeles law office. High atop the penthouse office overlooking Beverly Hills, the lawyer told us
about his partner who had passed away six years before. “He was the most amazing and unforgettable
person I ever knew”, he said. “He was only fifty-nine when he died. Just before his heart attack, he shared

86
some personal thoughts about life with me. He told me several times, ‘As you grow older you’ll find that
the one thing to treasure most in life is loyalty, and the worst and hardest thing to accept is ingratitude.’”
The greatest attribute – loyalty. The worst – ingratitude. As I pondered the counselor’s last words I
realized they were, to a degree, opposites. Ingratitude is almost the antithesis of loyalty. This prominent
California lawyer must have been burned more than once. The very statement implied that the cruel act of
ingratitude had hurt him to the core.

Underdone or Overkill

Husbands, too, feel that deep hurt. One remarked to me, “Maybe it’s the age we’re living in, but
everybody seems to me so unappreciative. And my wife heads the pack. There’s just no joy in giving,
mainly because she is so ungrateful.” An ungrateful wife is no joy to her husband, yet so many wives are
guilty of gross ingratitude. They have forgotten those simple words, “Thank you,” and all the actions and
emotions those words connote.
If your husband came home tonight and met you at the door with a box of candy or a bouquet of roses,
what would be your first reaction – suspicion or warmth? I think many wives might not express
appreciation but would, instead, react in one of the following ways:
1. She’d say, “Now where have you been?”
Translation: “You’ve been up to something and I’m suspicious!” Instantly her husband reads these
vibrations. To him, she’s the judge and he’s suddenly on the stand. He feels guilty and condemned even if
he came home with a clear conscience.
2. Or she’d say, “Well, it’s about time!”
Translation: “I’ve deserved this for months. My efforts have been overlooked. You’re long overdue.”
Her husband has now witnessed a transformation before his very eyes. His wife has become a creditor, and
he’s actually owed her the flowers for months. Instead of being a donor, he’s been made a debtor.
3. Another might say, “Is this a rewrap or did the funeral home close early?”
Translation: “The price of your gift is in direct proportion to your love for me. I’d really love you for a
biggie; but I can’t get carried away over these flowers.” The shell-shocked husband now sees his wife as
the cashier, and he’s the cheapskate who sheepishly paid for the smaller item in the store.
4. Finally, she might say, feebly, “Candy, how nice.”
Translation: “Just what I don’t need! You know I’m on a diet, dumb-dumb!” The husband now looks at
Miss Insatiability in utter frustration. Everything he tries is a failure. He blew it again. He’s incapable of
fulfilling her desires.
More often than not a wife will react in one of these ways, all of which are examples of ingratitude.
Occasionally, however, a wife will go overboard in the opposite direction and say, with teeth showing,
“Oh, dahling, I just love it!” But inside, she says to herself, “Smile, anyway.”
Miss Overkill never fools anyone – especially her husband. He’s seen the same fixed grin on a thousand
other occasions. Her reaction is always the same, regardless of the motivation. It’s merely ingratitude in a
different disguise. Inside he feels unworthy of a true response from his wife.

Attitude of Gratitude

Stop a moment and check your gratitude meter. Are you guilty of that heinous act of ingratitude? Are
you appreciative of the basics your husband knocks himself out to provide? Not just the birthday and
Christmas “specials”, but money for the groceries, doctor bills and pillowcases?
Appreciation involves two parts – internal and external. First of all, a wife cannot be grateful if she’s
grasping for her rights. If she feels she has the right to be taken out to dinner once a week, she will not
express sincere gratitude. Only if she yields this right to her Creator is she able to fully appreciate dinner
out, since it is then a privilege, an unforgettable experience.
Secondly, appreciation from within must be communicated outwardly, by words, attitude, or action, or
by all three. This is easy since a heart of gratitude must express itself. A thankful person cannot keep quiet.
Don’t let your “rights” keep you from being grateful. Thank your husband for all those little things in
life and he’ll begin to give you those extras you’ve always wanted. Thank him for supporting the family. If
you’re a working wife, he especially needs your reassurance and appreciation, since his masculinity may be
threatened by your paycheck.

87
Last Christmas, I watched as a husband shopped at a perfume counter. He told the saleslady, “Just hand
me one of those gift packages. It doesn’t matter what I buy for my wife as long as it’s expensive. She’ll
bring it back anyway.”
Then he smiled and said, “Now I’d like to pick out another gift. This is for my secretary. I love to see
her reaction.” He spent twenty minutes choosing the right one for her!
When a man gives his wife a present, his only reward is seeing how pleased he is. In one case, a
husband gave his wife a bracelet, but it wasn’t to her choosing. She took away his joy by constantly
complaining about it. Finally she exchanged it for one she liked. Her husband hasn’t bought her any gifts
since, and why should he?
If you’re not really crazy over a gift, be careful. If at all possible, try to use it. Express your
appreciation for taking his time from his busy day. If you don’t actually like the gift, don’t be insincere and
say you do. But you can still tell him how thoughtful he is for thinking of you, and be sure to thank him for
the surprise.
Charlie told me about the morning he drove our three-year-old, Michelle, to her grandmother’s house.
As he dropped her off, Michelle kissed him good-bye and tenderly whispered, “Thank you, Daddy.”
Charlie felt like a king all day. Childlike appreciation lifts the heart. Daddies need that too!
The perfect balance between ingratitude and overkill is an attitude of gratitude. A sincere “Thank you,
honey,” by words and actions will satisfy any husband, whether it be for a mink stole or a bag of popcorn.
That biblical admonition, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” is so true. Don’t keep your husband
from being blessed!

I received a postcard recently from an alumna who had generously used the four A’s – to accept,
admire, adapt and appreciate her husband. The card read:

The Total Woman is in heaven – a beautiful suite


overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the heart of San Juan –
new, gorgeous luggage in my closet, with the sweetest guy in
the world as my companion. That course is powerful stuff!
“Nothing’s too good for my honey!” Bob says. Those four A’s
are the keys to making my man come alive!

(excerpts from The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan)

A
READING COMPREHENSION AND STYLE

1. Take a close look at the language and type of argumentation used in the text above and try to
approximately identify the decade in which this guide was written (the 50’s, 70’s, 90’s, etc.) Try to support
your decision with evidence from the text.
2. a) Consider the following essay on women. Can you relate the point made in this essay about ‘women’s
language’ to the language used by Marabel Morgan in the text above? Is ‘women’s language’ different from
men’s? Can you find evidence in Marabel Morgan’s discourse?
b)* Translate the essay in English, paying attention to the style, vocabulary used in it:

Despre femei
“Dacă eternul masculin, în termeni ideali, constă în ceea ce aş numi geniul dăruirii – îi explică odată
Zacharias Lichter unui tânăr care făcea declaraţii misogine – eternul feminin l-aş identifica geniului
receptivităţii. Numai aşa îmi explic, de pildă, un fapt destul de curios la prima vedere: sentimentul deplinei
înţelegeri, al unei înţelegeri stimulatoare, care-mi dă aripi şi mă face să planez în spaţii din ce în ce mai
pure, îl am rareori cu bărbaţii decât cu femeile, chiar şi cele mai simple. Mi s-a întâmplat să vorbesc ore
întregi, în limbajul meu complicat şi rebarbativ (fără a face nici cea mai mică concesie, fără a coborî, sfătos
şi ipocrit, la un nivel mai cotidian sau mai familiar), - cu câte o femeie de serviciu sau cu câte o ţărancă
aproape analfabetă venită să vândă zarzavaturi în piaţă, şi – dincolo de reacţia imediată, dincolo de micile

88
uimiri speriate sau de chicotelile înăbuşite – simţeam tot timpul bucuria unei comunicări dintre cele mai
fecunde şi geniul meu iradia cu o forţă rareori atinsă.
Desigur, această înţelegere, această comunicare-molipsire se realiza pe un plan metaverbal. Cuvintele nu
mai însemnau nimic, devenind purtătoarele unei energii inefabile, cu totul străină de semnificaţia lor:
prezenţa îngerilor stăruia deasupră-le. Pierzându-şi orice individualitate semantică, ele nu mai erau decât
nişte simple vehicule ale unei realităţi care se refuză semnului. Prin extraordinara lor receptivitate, femeile
pot depăşi cu uşurinţă “convenţionalismul” tipic masculin (prejudecata comunicării exclusiv în limitele
codificate ale “limbajului”), participând direct, prin intuiţie, la mişcările esenţiale ale spiritului, la fluxurile
şi refluxurile lui, pe care vorbirea le poate transmite, dar fără să le semnifice. Bărbaţii care se plâng că nu
pot fi înţeleşi de femei, misoginii de toate felurile, îi cer femeii să se integreze în sistemul lor de convenţii
şi stereotipii, să le înţeleagă – în chip cât mai precis şi mai mecanic – limbajul explicit. Or, la majoritatea,
acest limbaj explicit n-are nici o acoperire interioară, e rece şi mort.”
(Matei Călinescu– Viaţa şi opiniile lui Zacharias Lichter)

B
VOCABULARY

1. Find expressions in your text that would match the meaning of the following ones:
to a certain extent/ the lawyer must have been cheated more than once/ she is the worst of the lot/ he has
failed again/ very often/ a wife can exaggerate her reaction in the opposite direction/ a wife can smile
hypocritically and praise her husband/ a horrible act of ingratitude/ the wife is trying to get her rights/ the
bracelet wasn’t to his wife liking/ appreciation raises one’s spirits

2. Paraphrase the following:


a foxy woman/ a runaway victory/ a tightfisted fellow/ a catty sister/ a scorcher/ sizzling passion/ mousy
hair/ flagging energy/ to pare down one’s expenses/ a taxi-stand/ zest for life/ a mulish expression/ in
donkey’s years/ waspish remark/ a fishy situation/ a horsy face/ sheepish smile/ nicely underdone
vegetables/ saccharine smile

3. IDIOMS: Fill in the blanks with the appropriate ‘animal/insect’ words, in order to make up a
simile:
as poor as a ……….. like a …. ……. in a china shop
as dead as a ………. like a ……….. with a sore head
as bald as a ………. like a ………...on hot bricks
as slippery as an…. like a ………..out of water
as busy as a……… he eats like a………
as meek as a……… he drinks like a………
as happy as a………
as stubborn as a……
as free as a ………..
as mad as a…………
as strong as an………
as blind as a…………

5*.SYNONYMY: EXAGGERATE. Translate into English, making use of some of the following
phrases: exaggerate, overkill, overstate, overstatement, to overstate your case, overemphasize, overrate,
overdo, to make too much of, blow something out of all proportion, lay it on thick, (over)dramatize, make
a thing of:

Dan spune că a văzut filmul Marea evadare de cel puţin douazeci de ori, dar cred că exagerează. / E
exagerat să spui că o să dăm faliment. Avem şi noi o problemă, două, asta-i tot./ Ai cam întins coarda cu
maică-ta azi. Nu vezi că aproape ai făcut-o să-ţi plângă de milă?/ Să spui că are o voce ca a Mariei Callas
înseamnă să deformezi serios adevărul./ N-am vrut decât să o speriem puţin, dar ţipetele ei ne fac să credem
că am cam întins coarda când ne-am jucat de-a stafiile./ Ce faci atâta caz pentru că a spart un pahar?/ Iar

89
dramatizezi. Nu poţi şi tu să spui exact cum a fost?/ S-ar putea să fi prezentat lucrurile deformat, dar n-am
vrut decât să o conving că am dreptate./ S-au exagerat prea mult în ultima vreme virtuţile pastei de dinţi
Aquafresh./ Nu mai face din ţânţar armăsar! Nu eşti singurul care a picat la examenul de conducere.

6*.POLYSEMY: STAND. Translate into English, trying to make use of any collocations containing
the verb/noun stand:
La intrarea în gară era un chioşc unde se vindeau hamburgeri./ Kane nu a depus încă mărturie la procesul
care se judecă acum./ La cuier erau atârnate o mulţime de pălării, toate furate de fratele său./ Te rog
aranjează tu partitura pe suport/ stativ, pentru că George se pregăteşte să cânte./ Dacă nu te grabeşti, o să
închidă chioşcul de ziare şi să vezi că nu mai punem mâna pe Evenimentul Zilei./ Am reuşit să fac rost de
un loc în partea de sus a stadionului./ Prea multe tarabe strică priveliştea oferită de frumoasele noastre
străzi./ Rezistenţa lor a durat o lună încheiată./ A luat în sfârşit poziţie faţă de problema aceea importantă./
Trupa de actori a poposit câte o noapte în fiecare oraş din regiune./ N-ar fi rău dacă toată lumea şi-ar apăra
ferm punctul de vedere. / S-a dus şi şi-a ocupat poziţia lângă aspirator şi maşina de spălat: de-acum încolo
avea să fie un soţ model, nu un fotoliu cu papuci şi ziar.

C
GRAMMAR: PRESENT PERFECT

Compare the first paragraph of the text above to the next ones. While the first paragraph contains a story, a
narrative piece of text, making use of past tenses that ‘move narration forward’, the next paragraphs use
present tenses which help the writer to formulate generalizations related to ‘conjugal life’.

Now consider the following Present Perfect instances taken from these paragraphs:
(1) Now where have you been?
(2) You’ve been up to something and I’m suspicious!
(3) I’ve deserved this for months. My efforts have been overlooked.
(4) Her husband has now witnessed a transformation before his very eyes. His wife has become a creditor
and he’s actually owed her the flowers for months. Instead of being a donor, he’s been made a debtor.
(5) He’s seen the same fixed grin on a thousand other occasions.
(6) He’ll begin to give you those extras you’ve always wanted.
(7) Her husband hasn’t bought her any gifts since, and why should he?

All of these instances of Present Perfect have something in common: they make a link to speech time. In
other words, none of these sentences conveys information on something which strictly happened in the past
and has no connection to the moment of speaking. The tense used in these cases clearly indicates that the
information contained in them has relevance for the present moment. This is why we have underlined the
time adverbials that are combined with the temporal forms: if you take a close look at these adverbials, you
will see that all of them make a link between a past moment and speech time.

One conclusion that we can safely draw so far is that Present Perfect is indeed a present tense, since it helps
creating a link between a past moment and speech time (now). In that, this tense form exhibits a strong
resemblance to the Romanian perfect compus, which can also create this semantic effect. But if you try to
translate the examples above, you will see that not all of them can be translated by means of perfect
compus. The misconception that the perfect compus is the equivalent of Present Perfect is one of the
reasons why Romanian learners have trouble mastering the use of this English tense.

NOTA BENE!

PRESENT PERFECT ≠ PERFECT COMPUS

What are the reasons why Present Perfect is considered to be a present tense? And why is this particular
tense so different from other ‘present perfects’ in other languages?

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a) Present Perfect is not used in narration (you don’t tell a story by means of Present Perfect).
Consider again the first paragraph of our text and you will see that Past Tense is the one temporal form
preferred for narrating past events.

b) Present Perfect cannot be combined with past adverbials (it cannot be combined with a past adverb
like yesterday for instance). Grammarians call this phenomenon the past-adverb constraint.

How do we check that this is true? Let’s take the first paragraph of our text and try to replace the Past
Tense forms by Present Perfect ones. You will clearly notice that the result is ungrammatical:

(8) *I have joined Charlie on a business trip on California some months ago. One evening we have met
before dinner at a Los Angeles law office. The lawyer has told us about his partner who had passed
away six years before…

The exercise performed proves that Present Perfect cannot be used to tell a story, since the time of narration
is normally a past one. Therefore stories can only be linked to the present moment when the story-teller
makes his presence felt through paranthetical phrases such as lo and behold, as you see, etc.

Moreover, this exercise has shown us that the two interdictions discussed above under (a) and (b) are
closely interrelated: (a) is derived from (b). We do not combine a Present Perfect form with a past adverbial
and we cannot tell a story by means of Present Perfect, since this story takes place exactly during the
interval of time established by such an adverbial (e.g. some months ago, one evening).

In a manner of speaking, this is good news because once we are in possession of a list containing all the
past adverbials, we can steer clear of trouble by not combining them with Present Perfect. Below we offer a
three-column list with time adverbials initially devised by McCoard (1978). The adverbials under the first
column are not to be combined with Present Perfect:

[+THEN] [±THEN] adverbials: [-THEN] adverbials:


adverbials: co-occur co-occur with both Past co-occur with Present
with Past Tense Tense and Present Perfect
Perfect
then long since at present
long ago in the past up till now
five years ago once = one time so far
once = formerly today as yet
yesterday in my life not yet
the other day recently during these 5 years past
those days just now lately
last night often of late
in 1989 always since the war/ 1989
at lunch/ 5 o’clock never before now
after the war already
no longer before
at the time
when I first met her when = whenever
on Monday
one evening

for three years e.g. I never saw a purple for three years (now)
(closed interval of cow. e.g. He has been married
time) I have never seen a for three years. (i.e. he is
e.g. He was married purple cow. still married)
for three years (i.e. - both examples are
he is no longer grammatical

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married)

Students need to be extra-careful about the manner in which they make use of ‘since’ phrases. Consider the
rules in the table below:

MAIN CLAUSE ‘SINCE’ CLAUSE

Present Perfect Past Tense (the verb phrase in the


subordinate is an event, anterior to the
verb phrase in the main clause)
e.g. I have admired her since I first met her.
Present Perfect Present Perfect (the verb phrase in the
subordinate is a state, simultaneous to
the verb phrase in the main clause)
e.g. I have admired her since I have known her.

If you translate these examples in Romanian, you will notice that Romanian also establishes a difference
between the two sentences. The first ‘since’ clause is translated by means of perfect compus, whereas the
second ‘since’ clause is translated by means of the prezent. This is evidence to the fact that the verb phrases
in the second example are interpreted as expressing a relation of simultaneity. Compare:
O admir de când ne-am cunoscut. / O admir de când o ştiu.

Make sure you use the correct tense form in combination with since.

EXERCISES:
1. Fill in the blanks,, using the correct tense form:
1. Last time we went to the movies, we (meet) Susan’s brother.
2. As soon as they told us the news, we (rush) home to tell mother about it.
3. So far, my husband and I (be interested) in our son’s progress.
4. How long (be) it since you started this business?
5. Ever since we (be) together, people (gossip) about us.
6. Ever since we (get married), people (gossip) about us.
7. For some time now, I (wonder) whether to resign.
8. When (you visit) Paris for the first time?
9. (you ever) listened to this music?
10. He (be) a colonel for more than ten years, but now he’s retired.
11. They have been playing this game for two months and (fight) for as long a time.

2. Finish each sentence in such a way that it means exactly the same as the sentence above it:
1. We started this business two years ago. / We have….
2. They appointed her chairman in 1998./ She has……..
3. Mary learned to play chess when she was five. / She has…..
4. How long have you been smoking?/ When………..
5. He stopped smoking five years ago. / He hasn’t…..
6. I have been skating since the age of ten./ I learned…….
7. I haven’t been to Bucharest for ten years./ The last time…..
8. We haven’t eaten caviar in ages. / It’s …..
9. I haven’t seen her for two years now./ It…
10. When did you get this job? / How long…

So far, one thing has been made clear: thorough knowledge of the adverbial contexts where Present Perfect
can occur may help us use this tense correctly. This generalization has one shortcoming though: there are
cases, as shown in the first example offered from our text, where there is no time adverbial that might
indicate which tense form to use. Consider these examples again:

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(9) Now where have you been?
(10) You’ve been up to something and I’m suspicious!
(11) Her husband has now witnessed a transformation before his very eyes.

It appears that there are contexts where Present Perfect does not co-occur with any time adverbial listed in
the table above. This means that this tense form is required by the overall meaning of its context. In order
to be able to use Present Perfect correctly, we will therefore need to know more about the possible values
this tense might acquire within a context. Below we offer the traditional approach to the values of Present
Perfect.

As you will see by reading the information offered in the table below, the uses of Present Perfect can be
roughly divided into three. This division was first made by Zaandvort in 1957 and most studies in the
literature have been using it since. Thus, according to this distinction, we can speak about a Present
Perfect of Result, a Continuative Present Perfect and an Experiential Present Perfect. The value that
Romanian learners find most difficult to grasp is that known under the name of the Experiential Present
Perfect (e.g. I have met this man before). This is due to the fact that the semantic distinction between this
particular value and the basic value of Past Tense is rather difficult to trace. Consequently, Romanian
learners of English mistake this value of Present Perfect for the basic value of Past Tense.

The students are advised to learn by heart the examples offered for each value of Present Perfect.

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RESULTATIVE PRESENT PERFECT
The event presented has visible results at the moment of speaking:
e.g. I’ve broken my glasses (I can’t read)./ I have turned on the heat (it will
warm up). / He’s been shot! (He is dead)
This use also includes the so-called ‘Hot News’ Present Perfect (an instance
of Present Perfect by means of which some piece of recent news is stated. The
news is then reported with the help of past tense forms):
e.g. President Jones has been assassinated. He was killed last night in the
presidential residence. The assassin was arrested soon after the incident. …
CONTINUATIVE PRESENT PERFECT
The event started in the past but continues up to the moment of speaking:
e.g. He’s been sleeping for two hours./ I’ve known him all my life./ It has been
snowing since noon./ Ever since the house has been occupied the poltergeist
have been acting up.

Modes of occurrence: a) continuous continuative


e.g. I have been sitting in all day.
b) discontinuous continuative
e.g. He has been building the house for the last five
years. (i.e. on and off)
EXPERIENTIAL PRESENT PERFECT
The Present Perfect of experience lays emphasis on the occurrence of some
past experience for a person/ group of persons. No mention is made of the
time when this experience took place.
e.g. I have definitely met him before. / They have seen ‘The Silence of the
Lambs’. / My mother has never met my boyfriend.
If the definite time when the experience occurred is mentioned, the speaker
shifts from Present Perfect to Past Tense:
e.g. A: Have you been to Edinburgh?
B: Yes, I have.
A: When did you go?
B: Oh, last April, that’s when I did.
A: And did you visit many places while you were there?
B: Yes, I went to Hollyrood Palace.

Modes of occurrence: a) general experiential


e.g. He has never liked heavy metal./ A: Have you ever
in your life seen anyone so entirely delightful? B: Only
when I’ve looked in the mirror.
b) limited experiential
e.g. Have you had a letter to type today?/ She has
already had three proposals this morning.

EXERCISES:
1. Consider the following instances of Present Perfect. Try to identify the values of Present Perfect
used in each of these sentences:
1. I have loved him all my life. 2. Where have I seen him before? 3. For all that you’ve suffered I beg
your pardon most humbly. 4. I hope I have made enough tuna salad. 5. I have fixed the fuse, so there
won’t be any more light problems. 6. I have fixed the fuse at least twice these days. 7. She has cooked a
lavish meal for the newly weds. 8. The steak has been cooking for an hour. 9. She has never cooked a
meal like that before. 10. I have called her my dear auntie since I was a little boy.

2. Try to explain the difference in meaning between the following pairs of sentences:
1. Sorry about the mess, I have been painting the house. / I have painted two rooms since lunchtime.

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2. Who has slept in my bed? / Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
3. My parents have lived here ever since they got married./ We have been living here for six days.
4. I have used the corkscrew to make holes in this skin./ I’ve been using the corkscrew to make holes
in this skin.
5. Everybody has worked bloody hard this morning./ Everybody has been working bloody hard this
morning.

3. Choose the correct verb form:


a) P. is an Ulster Catholic who started out as a medical student and then (run) away to the Gate Theatre
in Dublin. I first (see) him as the Playboy and (covet) his talents at once. For a while we (work) together.
But, as I always (have) to terrorize him to get on the stage sober, we (take) leave of each other. Since he
(part) professional company with me some years ago, he (play) the fat charming television villain. He
knows what I think of his career. But we remain friends; and this in spite of the fact that I (steal) his wife.
He (marry) again, and (be) happily married for some years now. Recently there (be) talk of a film made
after his life, but nothing (come) of it so far.
b) BIKES CUT CRIME RATE
The ‘green bike’ scheme, providing free, recycled bikes to anyone who (need) transport between certain
points in the city, (be) now is in its third month, and (hail, Passive) as a key weapon in the war against
crime by Cambridge police and councilors. A 10% drop in bicycle thefts across the city in November
(credit, Passive) to the scheme. The big drop (praise, Passive) by police as it (allow) them to concentrate
their resources on more serious crimes. According to one officer, “There (be) a definite drop in the number
of bike thefts since the scheme (start). This (be) welcome as it frees up our time.” a councilor (add), “The
scheme (intend, Passive) not just to recycle bikes but also (reduce) bike crime, and it (be) a tremendous
success.” He (hope) that the scheme (expand, Passive) to other areas of the city and beyond. He (note) that
other councils (already, show) great interest in it.

4. Read the letter below and take a look at the manner in which Present Perfect is employed in order
to convey information about the person writing the letter. Translate the text in Romanian:
Charles, how are you getting on? We are all consumed with curiosity. No one admits to having been
invited. But don’t you miss us terribly? Perhaps you have sneaked back to live secretly in your new
flat, not answering the phone and going out at night? Someone said your house was on a lonely wave-
washed promontory but that can’t be true. I see you in a cosy marine bungalow on the sea front. After
all, how could you live without your liquidizer? I couldn’t bear it if you had really changed your life.
That is something which I have always wanted to do but never could and never will. I shall die with
my boots off, the bastard I have ever been. I have been drinking for a week after returning from hell,
alias Belfast. Civilization is terrible, but don’t imagine that you can ever escape it, Charles. I want to
know what you are doing. And don’t imagine that you can ever hide from me, I am your shadow. I
think I shall come down and see you at Whitsun. (Someone dared me to and you know I can’t resist
dares.) Various people would send their love if they knew I was writing, but of course it isn’t love it’s
insolent curiosity. Few are worthy of you, Charles. Is the undersigned one? Time will show. Shall I
come and bring my swimming trunks? I haven’t swum since our epic days in Santa Monica. Another
theory is that you are not in England at all but gone to Spain with a girl. To disprove which you must
write. Your shadow salutes you,
Peregrine.
(excerpt from The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch)

5. Translate into English, paying attention to Present Perfect and Past Tense:
1. Când m-am trezit, era iar noapte şi am ieşit din ladă şi mi-am făcut nevoile într-un colţ al prăvăliei.
Eram în colţul ăla cănd a venit Saul. A venit atât de încet, încât nu l-am auzit decât după ce a ciocănit în
ladă.
- Sânt aici! am spus.
- Ce faci acolo?a spus. Pe urmă a spus: A! Şi: Când termini, vino să vorbim.
- Am terminat!am spus şi m-am apropiat de el.
- Mai stau puţin şi plec de tot! a spus. Ce faci, te-ai hotărât?
- Nu vin cu tine!
- Bine, faci cum vrei!

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- Mi-e sete! am spus.
- A, da, nu m-am gândit la asta! O să-ţi aduc apă. Ar fi mai bine însă să pleci cu mine.
- Nu plec! O să vină mama şi atunci o să plec. Până atunci o să stau în ladă.
- I-au prins pe ăia! Vreau să spun că l-a prins pe unu şi acum atârnă în spânzurătoarea oraşului.
2. După ce l-au îngropat pe bătrân, ei s-au întors acasă şi au început să vorbească. Şi tot vorbind, una din
femei a zis:
- Nu mă aşteptm ca tata să moară.
- De ce? a întrebat cineva, nu ştiu care o fi fost ăla.
- E simplu, a spus femeia, una din fiicele bătrânului. Tot timpul a lipsit câte ceva din mâncare şi mă
gândeam că bătrânul…
- Nu, n-a fost el! a spus altcineva şi s-a aşternut tăcerea peste ei.
O vreme au tăcut, apoi unul a avut curaj să zică tare ceea ce gândeau de fapt toţi.
- Băiatul ăla înseamnă că era aici în casă de la început! Şi ştiu şi locul unde ar putea fi.
3. Sluga îl privea temătoare, nu ştia cum să spună. Tache se gândea la altceva, zâmbea unui gând, când
sluga spuse:
- Stăpâna e bolnavă!
- Cum adică bolnavă? întrebă.
- Aşa! spuse celălalt. A căzut jos deodată şi s-a făcut galbenă ca o gutuie.
- Unde e acum? întrebă Tache indiferent.
- În odaia dumneaei. O îngrijeşte Maria.
- Bine, şi ce vrei de la mine? întrebă morocănos.
- M-am gândit să vă spui, ca să ştiţi! spuse omul prostit, apoi ceru voie să plece.
Tache îl opri cu un gest.
- Ai fost duminică la biserică? întrebă.
Închise cartea şi se uită într-o parte.
- Am fost, boierule, spuse celălalt, că aşa ne-ai dat poruncă!
- Şi când a zis popa în predică pilda cu Tânărul cel bogat din Sfânta Scriptură, tu ce-ai gândit?
- Nu m-am gândit la nimic, boierule!
- Minţi, te-ai gândit! Dar nu vrei să spui!
4. Se aşeză pe marginea patului, îşi puse faţa în palme şi începu să plângă.
- Ce e? întrebă Tache într-o vreme.
- Nimic! spuse ea. Tocmai plângeam!
- Plângeai?
- Da, plângeam.
- Cred că am băut prea mult lichior! spuse el.
- A venit popa! spuse ea.
- Bine a făcut! Am nevoie de el.
- Mă duc să mă spăl! spuse ea.
- Trimite, te rog, pe cineva cu un pahar de apă.
Rămas singur, se sculă buimac în picioare şi îşi netezi hainele cu mâna. Veni feciorul cu o tavă, şi pe
ea era un pahar cu apă aburit. Bău cu poftă. Spuse:
- Adu-mi o carafă plină! Şi să se aşeze masa! De când a venit popa?
- De un ceas, boierule!
Îl găsi pe popă răsfoind o carte.
- Ce faci, părinte? O să chiorăşti pe întunericul ăsta!
- Ai dreptate! spuse popa. Unde ai fost până acum?
- Cred că am dormit! spuse Tache.
- Aha! spuse popa. Dar înainte să dormi, ai băut!
- De ce crezi asta? spuse Tache.
- Păi miroşi a anason!
- Miros? se miră Tache. A, da, anason, sigur că da, am băut lichior de anason. Nu ştiu ce m-a găsit.
Se aşeză. Veni feciorul cu apa.
- Sărut mâna, părinte! spuse feciorul.
Tache se gândi o clipă, apoi spuse:
- Du-te la bucătărie şi spune că am poruncit să se pregătească ceva de post pentru părinte.
- Nu, nu, spuse popa. Ţin post negru.

96
Feciorul plecă.
- Uitasem! spuse Tache. Noi nici n-am mâncat încă!
- Ce face Flora? întrebă popa.
- E bine, ce să facă. Din cauza ei te-am chemat. Vreau să mă însori.
- Când? întrebă popa.
- Oricând, şi acum! spuse Tache.
- Mâine dimineaţă! Veniţi la biserică!
- Bine, o să venim! Şi mai e ceva, spuse Tache. Ai auzit, a venit Bălăşeanu de la Paris.
- Da, ştiu! spuse popa.
- Se zvoneşte despre o revoluţie! spuse Tache.
- O fi! spuse popa, şi privirea lui căzu mohorâtă undeva peste Tache.
- O să fie, n-avea nici o grijă! Nu se întorcea Bălăşeanu altfel. Da’ n-o să facă el revoluţia. Altţii au s-o
facă.
- Cine? întrebă popa.
- Îmi pui o întrebare ciudată, părinte! cine a vorbit duminica trecută în biserică despre revoluţie şi avere?
Popa se scărpină gânditor în creştetul capului:
- Eu am vorbit! spuse apoi cu o voce obosită.
- Ai vorbit, nu-i aşa? frumos îţi şade, răscoli oamenii, asta faci!
- Şi ce dacă-i răscol? spuse popa.
- Treaba ta, părinte, faci ce vrei, spuse împăciuitor Tache. Ai vorbit de revoluţie, ce-ai aflat, de fapt?
- Păi n-am aflat nimic! făcu popa. Tăcu o vreme. Zise apoi: Uite, eu, care va să zică, sunt popă. Da’ aşa
popă cum sunt, am făcut revoluţia cu Tudor. Şi ce dacă am făcut-o? stau şi mă întreb câteodată. În
sfârşit, când am fost la revoluţie, am cunoscut mulţi oameni, şi buni şi răi, şi greci şi români şi sârbi, de
toate felurile am cunoscut.
5. Plecând, Tache o cuprinse pe Flora de după umerii subţiri şi ea se făcu mică sub mâna lui, şi călcând
uşor, ajunseră în odaia unde era aşternută masa. Mâncară în tăcere, doar din când în când se auzea un
clinchet de pahare sau de tacâmuri.
- O să fie revoluţie! spuse Tache spre sfârşit.
- Azi pe la amiază mi-a fost rău, spuse Flora.
- Ştiu! spuse Tache.
- Ştii, da’ nu ştii de ce mi-a fost rău!
- Ba da, ştiu şi asta! aştepţi un copil!
- De unde poţi să ştii asta?
- Nu trebuia să mă gândesc prea mult ca s-o ştiu.
- Şi nu te bucuri? întrebă ea.
- Nici nu mă bucur, nici nu sunt trist.
Ea se posomorî parcă sub lumina ce-i acoperea blândă faţa. Feciorul le aduse cafele.
- Nu, spuse Tache, o să le bem cu părintele. L-am lăsat destul singur.
Sluga se înclină şi luă tava. Rămaşi singuri, Tache spuse sculându-se.
- Am vorbit cu părintele, mâine dimineaţă mă însoară cu tine.
- Mulţumesc! spuse ea.
- Nu ai de ce să-mi mulţumeşti, spuse el.
(Stefan Agopian - Tache de catifea)
6. Sevastiţa, femeia de serviciu, care nu e nici pe departe proastă, mi-a relatat ieri câteva observaţii de-ale
lui Gentile ce denotă că mă antipatizează. A zis, printre altele, că oi fi scris eu trei cărţi, trăgând din
amintirile şi cunoştinţele mele de altădată, dar că el unul poate să-şi pună gâtul jos că nu mai sunt în stare
de o pagină în plus.
Stau acum şi mă gândesc la răutăţile lui de mai bine de-o oră şi nu-mi pot aduna gândurile. N-am scris de
două săptămâni nici măcar o pagină.
Au venit la el câţiva prieteni, iată, fereastra e puternic luminată. Îl sărbătoresc. A scos ieri primul volum
şi Sevastiţa, căreia i-a citit, susţine că are acolo nişte povestiri care-ţi fac părul măciucă, formidabile. Ea a
şi plâns. El i-a spus că manuscrisul, citit de Vladimir Streinu, a fost considerat de acesta ca un eveniment în
peisajul literaturii actuale. Aprecierile astea îmi fac greaţă. Ce poate cunoaşte el, dacă aria în care se
învârteşte se rezumă la un cerc de prieteni de chef? (…)

97
Mi-am pus ordine în toate hârtiile. De mâine voi relua nuvela pe care-am întrerupt-o acum opt luni. N-aş
vrea să cad în păcatul de-a lua tot ce spune el şi relatează Sevastiţa drept adevărat. Poate că am căzut în
unele prejudecăţi. Va trebui să mai meditez. Oricum, nu face să îi întorc spatele.
Îl aştept în dreptul ferestrei. Dacă va ieşi, îi voi face cu mâna, aşa cum, dintr-o prietenie fără mari
speranţe, îmi făcuse el. Doarme ca un porc. A chefuit azi-noapte până târziu sau a scris. (…)
Ceasul arată unsprezece. N-am scris azi nici un rând. Singurătatea asta mă exasperează. Încerc să-mi pun
în ordine unele proiecte, dar gândul nu-mi stă la aşa ceva. Fereastra lui se dă la o parte. Soarele îi bate
puternic în ochi. Lampa de pe masă e încă aprinsă. Înseamnă că a lucrat până acum cu storurile trase, că
încă n-a observat sosirea dimineţii. (…)
Îi fac semn, pe muteşte, cu palma strânsă adusă la gură şi cu capul aplecat pe spate. Să înţeleagă că am
băut. Ridică degetul în semn de mustrare. Sevastiţa iese pe poartă de la el şi-mi aduce o foaie de hârtie.
(Mircea Horia Simionescu – excerpts from Ingeniosul bine temperat, slightly adapted)
7. Trebuie să mă cunosc. Trebuie să ştiu odată sigur cine sunt şi ce vreau. Am amânat mereu lucrul acesta
pentru că mi-era teamă. Mi-era teamă că nu voi izbuti să-mi luminez sufletul, sau ca lumina ce va aluneca
asupră-i să nu mă îndurereze. Eu mi-am închipuit anumite lucruri despre mine însumi. Ce se va întâmpla
dacă acestea nu există aievea? Dacă ele nu au fost decât o părere? Ceva mai mult. Eu am căutat să mă
supun acestor trăsături pe care le-am socotit părţi din sufletul meu. Mi le-am impus şi mi le-am însuşit. Ce
se va întâmpla cu ele, dacă voi şti că nu sunt decât nişte vestminte îmbrăcate în silă? Voi putea oare să le
părăsesc fără să mă copleşească golurile sufletului meu?
Am hotărât de multe ori să mă analizez până la capăt, ca să pătrund cât mai adânc şi calm în suflet. Dar
n-am izbutit. Niciodată nu m-am putut concentra. N-am putut gândi despre mine însumi. De câte ori
încercam să mă analizez mă trezeam într-un întuneric desăvârşit. De unde să încep să mă caut? Unde aş
putea să fiu eu însumi?
(Mircea Eliade – Romanul adolescentului miop)
8. Trec ani de zile fără să te gândeşti la nimic altceva decât la lucruri obişnuite. Dragostea ţi se pare o
ocupaţie pentru cei care se miră ce să mai facă cu timpul şi, deodată, echilibrul vieţii obişnuite se sfarmă.
Cunoştinţele despre lucrurile înconjurătoare capătă alt înţeles. Nu mai recunoşti realitatea în care ai trăit.
Uneori, începe totul de la un lucru de nimic. Un râs de femeie te tulbură într-o seară. Ai mai auzit o mulţime
de femei râzând şi asta te-a lasat indiferent. Ai mai văzut şi alţi ochi. Da, dar sunt altfel… ai auzit vorbind şi
alte femei, dar ceea ce spune aceasta ţi se pare foarte însemnat. Nu poate fi nimic mai frumos şi mai bine
spus decât aşa. Între oameni se ţes adesea legături nevăzute, mai durabile decât lanţurile. Lupţi, vrei să crezi
că ţi se pare numai, că te înşeli, şi iată, de câte ori o vezi, începe să-ţi bată inima ca-n tinereţe, parcă n-ai mai
cunoscut alte femei. Şi cine este fata asta cu ochi oblici, cu mers neauzit? Cum să-i spui că îţi pare rău că n-o
mai vezi, că de la venirea “doctorului” nu mai ai curaj să aştepţi ora antrenamentului ei, că pleci mai
devreme cu o jumătate de ceas, ca şi când ţi-ar fi teamă să nu ţi se întâmple un lucru foarte neplăcut. Poate şi
ea gândeşte la fel, poate s-a jucat numai de-a atletismul, ca să-şi râdă de tine, că te vede atât de prost, de
neîndrăzneţ. Poţi să comanzi acestor bărbaţi de peste 25 de ani, să-i obligi să facă ce vrei tu, fără să
crâcnească, ai reuşit să-l învingi şi pe acest director, ai trecut prin viaţă bătându-te penru cea mai mică
fericire, ai smuls bucuriile una câte una, ai trăit şi prost şi bine, mai mult prost decât bine, războiul te-a facut
şi mai tăcut, mai posomorât, dar ai început să ştii mai multe lucruri, să înţelegi cu uşurinţă ceea ce altădată n-
ai fi priceput decât foarte greu. Şi-acum? Acum, fugi să nu dai cu ochii de ochii neliniştiţi ai Chirei, să nu-i
mai auzi glasul în care se amestecă şi puţină batjocură, dar şi sinceritate….
Fără această lipsă de-o lună şi jumătate a “doctorului”, poate nu s-ar fi întâmplat nimic, viaţa ta ar fi
trecut liniştit mai departe. Erau şi în orăşelul acesta câteva femei la care te-ai fi gândit, dar aveai lucruri mai
importante de făcut. Ţi-a plăcut din ce în ce mai mult să lupţi cu oamenii din jurul tău. Ei nu te înţelegeau.
I-ai silit să te priceapă, dar asta nu avea nici o importanţă. Un lucru nu-ţi merge la inimă până nu l-ai dus la
capăt. Şi deodată toata indiferenţa ta s-a sfărâmat. Arena şubredă, pe care un vânt mai mare ar lua-o pe sus,
ţi se pare mai frumoasă, e un loc nepreţuit, unde te bucuri şi suferi, oraşul înghesuit, plin de praf, cu oameni
tăcuţi, amestecaţi, nu ţi se mai pare un oraş oarecare. De el te vor lega amintiri, pentru că nu se poate să uiţi
serile pline de vânt, cerul palid şi înalt, fata căreia îi simţi respiraţia alături, bucuria victoriilor atât de grele,
obţinute aici, pe bucata de pământ plină de iarbă.
Ai început să fii distrat, să nu mai bagi de seamă că unii îţi trag chiulul la antrenamente, că îi laşi prea
mult să facă ce vor pe aceşti tineri neascultători. Când îl vezi pe celălalt, pe “doctorul”, întorci privirile în
altă parte. Ţi-a fost frică să nu fi aflat de undeva că ai stat câteva seri cu Chira şi să banuiască, foarte firesc
de altfel, că-l duşmăneşti, l-ai lasat să joace în locul unuia mai bun decât el acum.
(Eugen Barbu – Unsprezece)

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D
WRITING

1. BLURB. Consider the blurb (the cover text) for the guide-book you have read from. Try to write a
blurb for a guide book of your own choosing:

The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan

How to make your marriage come alive! The runaway best seller that’s working miracles for
marriage!

“I do believe it is possible,” says Marabel Morgan, “for almost any wife to have her
husband absolutely adore her in just a few weeks’ time. She can revive romance,
reestablish communication, break down barriers, and put sizzle back into her marriage. It
really is up to her. She has the power.”

Here is the daily program she developed to restore zest to her own flagging marriage. It’s
fun. It’s challenging. And it’s guaranteed to work.

Start today to have a more exhilarating life – with the man in your life!

2. YOUR OWN GUIDE. In two pages try to write a chapter from a ‘guide for married men’. Don’t forget
to make use of eye-catching phrases that will help you to buttonhole the reader.

THREE
THE UNFAMILIAR PART OF HER CONSCIOUSNESS
Mr Pontellier had forgotten the bonbons and peanuts for the boys. Notwithstanding he loved them
very much, and went into the adjoining room where they slept to take a look at them and make sure that
they were resting comfortably. The result of his investigation was far from satisfactory. He turned and
shifted the youngsters about in bed. One of them began to kick and talk about a basket full of crabs.
Mr Pontellier returned to his wife with the information that Raoul had a high fever and needed
looking after. Then he lit a cigar and went and sat near the open door to smoke it.
Mrs Pontellier was quite sure Raoul had no fever. He had gone to bed perfectly well, she said, and
nothing had ailed him all day. Mr Pontellier was too well acquainted with fever symptoms to be mistaken.
He assured her the child was consuming at the moment in the next room.
He reproached his wife with her inattention, her habitual neglect of the children. If it was not a
mother’s place to look after the children, whose on earth was it? He himself had his hands full with his
brokerage business. He could not be in two places at once; making a living for his family on the street, and
staying at home to see that no harm befell them. He talked in a monotonous, insistent way.
Mrs Pontellier sprang out of bed and went into the next room. She soon came back and sat on the edge of the
bed, leaning her head down on the pillow. She said nothing, and refused to answer her husband when he
questioned her. When his cigar was smoked out he went to bed, and in half a minute he was fast asleep.
Mrs Pontellier was by that time thoroughly awake. She began to cry a little and wiped her eyes on
the sleeve of her peignoir. Blowing out a candle, which her husband had left burning, she slipped her bare
feet into a pair of satin mules at the foot of the bed and went out on the porch, where she sat down in the
wicker chair and began to rock gently two and fro.
It was then past midnight. The cottages were all dark. A single faint light gleamed out from the
hallway of the house. There was no sound abroad except the hooting of an old owl in the top of a water-

99
oak, and the everlasting voice of the sea, that was not uplifted at that soft hour. It broke like a mournful
lullaby upon the night.
The tears came so fast to Mrs Pontelleier’s eyes that the damp sleeve of her peignoir no longer
served to dry them . She was holding the back of her chair with one hand; her loose sleeve had slipped
almost to the shoulder of her uplifted arm and she went on crying there, not caring any longer to dry her
face, her eyes, her arms. She could not have told why she was crying. Such experiences as the foregoing
were not uncommon in her married life. They seemed never before to have weighed much against the
abundance of her husband’s kindness and a uniform devotion which had come to be tacit and self-
understood .
An undescribable oppression, which seemed to generate in some unfamiliar part of her
consciousness, filled her whole being with a vague anguish. It was like a shadow, like mist passing across
her soul’s summer day. She did not sit there inwardly upbraiding her husband, lamenting at Fate, which had
directed her footsteps to the path which they had taken. She was just having a good cry all to herself. The
mosquitoes made merry over her, biting her firm, round arms and nipping at her bare insteps.
(Kate Chopin – The Awakening)

A.
READING COMPREHENSION

Kate Chopin Katherine O'Flaherty (February 8, 1850 – August 20, 1904),


known by her married name Kate Chopin, was an American author of short
stories and novels. She wrote The Awakening, among other works.

I. Paraphrase the underlined words/phrases


II. Answer to the following questions.

Topic: The Division of Roles in the Married Couple

1. Comment upon the following phrases: “the result of his investigation was far from satisfactory”/
“Raoul…needed looking after”. What do they tell us about Mr Pontellier’s position in the married couple?
2. Comment upon the relevance of the arguments brought by the two parents to support their view on their child’s
condition.
3. Why does Mr Pontellier say that he can’t be “in two places at once”?

Topic: Oppression/Freedom

4. How can you interpret Mrs Pontellier’s refusal to answer?


5. Why do you think that Mrs Pontellier “could not have told why she was crying”.
6. Comment upon the opposition “fate”/ “mood” in the last paragraph.
7. Why can oppression be considered a keyword in the fragment?

Topic: STYLE - Authorial stance/ Point of view

8. How can you describe the tone of the author in the introductory paragraphs?
9.Comment upon the notion of “point of view” in the text.

B
VOCABULARY

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1. IDIOMS. Choose the appropriate idiom to complete the following sentences:

in the first place, in sb’s place, to take the place of sb/sthg, to take second place (to sb/sth), to fall into
place, all over the place, to be going places, it is not sb’s place (to do sth), out of place, to put sb in their
place, to be no place for sb, in place

1. The music had already started and the guests were invited to......for the next dance
2. He was rude to everyone at the party, but eventually someone......
3. .I sincerely regret what I did and I wish I’d never got involved ......
4. The detective was at first puzzled by the case, but everything suddenly......,when he saw the murder
weapon.
5. The room is very untidy because he’s left his clothes spread.........
6. He has become a workaholic and I’m sad to say that family now..........to his job.
7. The room was full of smartly dressed people and this made Helen, who was wearing a rather shabby
dress, feel quite......
8. “Maybe .......to tell you, sir, but I think you ought to visit a doctor soon”.
9. Although she’s just come to work for us, I can see she’s very capable and I expect she........soon
10. I’ll never remarry, because no one can……my wife’s........
11. The mirror is going to fall, because there’s nothing to hold it....
12. I’ve tried to put myself...., but I still can’t understand how he was capable of such a thing.

2*. POLYSEMY: SHIFT. Translate into English:

1. Nu pot să spun că-mi place să lucrez în tura de noapte, dar n-am de ales. Cei care lucrează în timpul
zilei sunt avantajaţi.
2. Iarăşi am văzut o reclamă la un nou detergent, despre care se spunea că ar scoate toate petele. L-am
cumpărat, dar nu mi se pare că e cu mult mai bun decât cel vechi.
3. Copilul avea febră şi începuse deja să se zvârcolească în pat.
4. Toate aceste evenimente vor conduce de fapt la trecerea de la tipul acesta de sistem economic către
unul destul de diferit.
5. Guvernul nu va mai putea să deturneze mult timp atenţia presei de la problemele recente din politica
externa.
6. Am observat o schimbare importanta în atitudinea faţă de mediul înconjurător din ultimii ani. Oamenii
au devenit mult mai responsabili.
7. Când am învăţat să conduc, mi-a fost destul de greu să schimb vitezele.
8. Şi-au alungat mama bătrână din casă în toiul nopţii pe gerul acela, iar sărmana femeie nu avea pe ea
decât o cămaşă subţire!
9. Colegii s-au purtat foarte urat cu Paul, încercând să-l facă pe el răspunzător pentru toate greşelile pe
care le făcuseră.
10. Haide sa încercăm să mutam mesele, ca să avem mai mult spaţiu.

3*. POLYSEMY: SOFT. Translate into English:


1. Până acum tatăl lui a fost prea blând cu el, dar cred ca pe viitor o sa se poarte mai sever.
2. Şi-a gasit o slujbă destul de uşoară la o bibliotecă unde nu prea vine nimeni şi poate să stea liniştit să
citească sau să viseze cu ochii deschişi.
3. Prefer localurile unde se pune muzică în surdină, nu locurile unde muzica este atât de tare încât îţi
sparge urechile.
4. Pisica şedea tolănită la gura sobei, cu botul îngropat în blana mătăsoasă.
5. Imi place cum se îmbracă, pentru că se fereşte de culorile ţipătoare. Întotdeauna poartă nuanţe discrete.
6. Căldura se mai domolise şi un vânticel uşor începuse să sufle deasupra câmpiei.
7. Am pornit-o la drum pe pantă domoală a dealului, sperând că nu o să dăm de zone abrupte.
8. Nu ar trebui să mă supăr pe el, pentru că deşi pare un om foarte aspru, are inimă bună şi n-ar face rău
nimănui.
9. A ales o cale prea uşoară şi o să se lovească în mod sigur mai târziu de greutăţile pe care a vrut acum
să le evite.

101
10. Altădată Tom era un om suplu şi musculos, dar acum s-a cam buhăit din cauza lipsei de mişcare şi a
băuturii.
11. Este chiar prost, dacă crede că poate să-şi păcălească prietenii atât de rău!
12. Se vede că munceşte din greu acum. Înainte avea mâinile foarte moi, dar acum pielea i s-a înăsprit
foarte mult.
13. Afacerea a beneficiat de noile măsuri de spijin financiar şi astfel s-a putut face un împrumut cu
dobândă mai mică.
14. A avut întodeauna o slăbicune pentru fratele ei mai mic.

4. SYNONYMY:WET. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words from the list below:

damp, soaked, sodden, moist, waterlogged, soggy, clammy, muggy, dank , sticky

1. The room was cold and unfriendly and there was a .....patch on the ceiling
2. There is nothing worse than a stale and .....sandwich at lunch time.
3. I can’t understand how you can feel so comfortable when the weather is ......... !It’s so hot and wet that
I simply can’t breathe.
4. If you start using the cream, skin will feel ...... and smooth even ten hours after application.
5. The child had been eating honey and his fingers were already .......
6. I can’t stand being touched by Jean, her hands are always so.......
7. .........lawns are often due to the formation of a sticky, glue like layer of soil near the surface.
8. He was extremely tired and his shirt was already .....through with sweat.
9. That room smells awful; it reminds me of a ........cellar
10. It had been raining and the shirt she had forgotten on the clothes line was completely ......

D
GRAMMAR & STYLE: DIRECT, INDIRECT, FREE INDIRECT SPEECH

Look at the following excerpts from the text. Both are instances of indirect speech, since both are used to
report the words of a character in an indirect manner.

(1)a. Mrs Pontellier was quite sure Raoul had no fever.

(2)a. He had gone to bed perfectly well, she said, and nothing had ailed him all day. Mr Pontellier was too
well acquainted with fever symptoms to be mistaken.

If we were to transpose the excerpts into direct discourse (the main characters utters the words in a direct
manner, as if upon a stage), the following forms would be possible:

(1)b. “Raoul has no fever, I’m sure!”Mrs Pontellier said.


(2)b. “He has gone to bed perfectly well and nothing has ailed him all day!”, she said
“I’m to well acquainted with the symptoms of fever to be mistaken!” Mr Pontellier said.

If we look again at excerpts (1)a and (2)a, we notice a slight distinction between the two. While in (1)a, the
subject of the main sentence (“Mrs Pontellier”) is also the speaker who utters the words that are reported,
in (2)a, the subject of the main sentence (“he”) is not the speaker who utters the words that are reported
(Mrs Pontellier, she) Also, if we look more closely we can see that in (2)a, the speaker is the subject of a
paranthetical sentence “she said”.

The distinction that we have underlined indicates that, while (1)a is an instance of indirect or reported
speech, (2)a is an instance of a different form of speech, that is called free indirect speech.

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REVISING THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN DIRECT SPEECH AND INDIRECT SPEECH
In order to see what free indirect speech is, we may have to revise the distinction between direct speech
and indirect speech.

DIRECT SPEECH INDIRECT SPEECH/REPORTED SPEECH

“ I want to meet this girl”, (he said.) He said (that) he wanted to meet me that girl;.
paranthetical sentence Main sentence Subordinate sentence
Form Form
- Direct/ oral discourse: - Subordination: the speaker/the author reports the
- Point of reference :THE PRESENT words or the thoughts of another speaker: He said....
- Speech situation: “I, here, now” - Point of reference: THE PAST (indicated by the
tense of the main verb)

Characteristics: Characteristics
- Graphically, direct speech is always marked by
inverted commas in English
- In direct speech, besides assertive sentences, one - in indirect speech, there are only exclusively assertive
can have other sentence types such as direct sentences, because the reporting verb of
interrogatives and tags, exclamatives, communication / of thinking(to say/ to think) takes a
imperatives. subordinate sentence (‘that’ clause/indirect question)
- All kinds of stylistic strategies are involved, such - from direct speech to indirect speech, there is a
as Inversion: Never have I seen such a man! modification of the orientational categories of the
How old are you? language in the following way:
Repetition: Never, never again will I go there!
Ellipsis: Good book! (=This is a good book)
etc.
- all kinds of affective markers are allowed, such
as
Interjections: Aha! Here you are! a. Change of tenses: Because the main verb is in
Terms belonging to the familiar register The past, all the other tenses are shifted to the
past. (The shifting is necessary in English, but
Romanian is different in this respect!)

Anteriority
He said that Tim had come to see them.
Simultaneity
“What do you know! Tim has come to see us!” He assured her the child was consuming at that
moment in the next room.
“The child is consuming at this moment in the Posteriority
next room!” he assured her Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers
Herself.
“I will buy the flowers myself!” Mrs Dalloway
said b. Change of personal, reflexive, possessive
pronouns, of expressions of time and space,
demonstratives
She said that she didn’t like to be there and that she
“I don’t like to be here. I ‘m going to return was going to return home the following day.
home tomorrow” she said
c. Lack of “affective discourse markers”
“Oops, I’ve spilled the milk again!” she said She exclaimed over the fact that she had spilled the
Milk again.

103
“If I had enough money, I would buy this car!” Nota bene ! Conditionals and subjunctives which do not relate to time do
subjunctive conditional not change from direct speech to indirect speech
He said if he had enough money, he would buy that car.

FREE INDIRECT SPEECH

Questions
1. Examine the following excerpt from the text, written in free indirect speech. In what way is free
indirect speech different from/similar to direct speech on the one hand and to indirect or reported speech on
the other?

2. Try to turn the passage into direct speech and then into indirect speech

“If it was not a mother’s place to look after the children, whose on earth was it? He himself had his hands
full with his brokerage business. He could not be in two places at once; making a living for his family on
the street, and staying at home to see that no harm befell them.”

FREE INDIRECT SPEECH

DIRECT SPEECH INDIRECT SPEECH

Free Indirect Speech is a type of indirect or reported speech, but with a difference. It can be described as a
combination between direct speech and indirect speech, as a half way between the two. As you can see, it
shares the characteristics of both:

a. Like Indirect Speech, Free Indirect Speech has a back-shift of tenses accompanied by a change of
personal pronouns

1. “He has gone to bed perfectly well”, she said. Direct Speech
2. She said he had gone to bed perfectly well. Indirect Speech
3. He had gone to bed perfectly well, she said. Free Indirect Speech

b. Generally, like Direct Speech, Free Indirect Speech does not change the spatial, temporal expressions
or demonstratives. However, occasionally it is possible to change these expressions in the same
manner as in Indirect Speech.

1. “After all, I have seen my old friend last year”, she thought. Direct Speech
2. She thought that had actually seen her old friend the previous year. Indirect Speech
3. She had after all seen her old friend last year, she thought Free Indirect Speech
4. She had after all seen her old friend the previous year, she thought. Free indirect Speech

c. Like in Direct Speech, in Free Indirect Speech, there is no subordination relation between a verb of
communication and a clause; the reporting clause can be absent or can be present as a “paranthetical
comment” clause

1. Am I dreaming? Jill wondered Direct Speech


2. Jill wondered whether she was dreaming. . Indirect Speech
3. Was she dreaming, Jill wondered Free Indirect Speech

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d. The syntax of Free Indirect Speech is that of Direct Speech and the affective/character discourse
markers are kept. Thus, like in the examples below, elements such as rhetorical questions and
exclamatives are kept in Free Indirect Speech. Remember that this is not possible in Indirect Speech.

1. “If it is not a mother’s place to look after children, whose on earth is it? Direct Speech
2. If it was not a mother’s place to look after children, whose on earth was it? Free Indirect
Speech
3. “How fresh, how calm, the air is in the early morning!” Direct Speech
4. How fresh, how calm…the air was in the early morning! Free Indirect Speech

EXERCISES:
1. Translate the following texts, paying attention to the rules of Indirect Speech:
1.
După câtva timp, omul îmi vorbi. Spuse că prietenul meu e un băiat foarte sălbatic şi mai întrebă dacă era
des biciuit la şcoală. Eram cât pe aci să-i răspund cu indignare că noi nu eram elevi ai şcolii de stat ca să
fim biciuiţi, cum zicea el, dar am tăcut. Intră acum în subiectul pedepsirii aspre a băieţilor. De parcă iarăşi
irezistibil atrase de vorbele rostite, gândurile lui păreau să se tot rotească încet în jurul noului lor centru.
Spuse că băieţii de felul acesta trebuie biciuiţi – şi bine biciuiţi! Când un băiat e sălbatic şi nedisciplinat,
nimic nu-i face mai bine decât o biciuială zdravănă. Degeaba îl pocneşti peste mână ori îl iei la palme; ce-i
trebuie e o biciuială bună, să-l usture. Surprins de asemenea sentimente, fără voie îmi ridicai ochii spre
dânsul. Am întâlnit privirea unei perechi de ochi de un verde închis, care mă scrutau de sub o frunte
zvâcnindă. Mi-am întors iarăşi privirile în altă direcţie. Omul îşi continua monologul.

2.
Dar venind iarna, ploile se ţinură lanţ, încât nimeni nu mai iesea din casă, şi noi nu mai aveam cum da vreo
raită, aşa că eram foarte strâmtoraţi în privinţa banilor. Trecând odată pe o stradă, şi văzând o casă cu
faţada dărăpănată, întrebai a cui era, şi mi se răspunse că a unei doamne văduve; mă dusei acasă la ea şi-i
spusei că, întrucât n-avea chiriaşi, să-mi dea mie permisiunea să mă instalez eu, căci îi voi păzi bine casa.
Ea, temându-se să nu-mi cadă zidurile în cap, îmi spuse să bag bine de seamă ce făceam, fiindcă s-ar putea
dărâma pe neaşteptate, şi apoi casa era veşnic bântuită de hoţi; îi răspunsei că puţin îmi pasă de asta, pentru
că avea şi o cameră sigură sus, în care mă voi putea închide, şi pentru că săracii n-au de ce să se teamă, nici
ce pierde, deoarece şi viaţa le e prea mult. Îmi dete îngăduinţa cu dragă inimă şi, în răstimp de patru zile,
casa nu mai avea nici o uşă şi nici o clanţă, măcar de leac; a cincea zi mă dusei în Piaţa San Salvador şi
pusei să se strige că aveam de vânzare, pentru cine va fi vrând să le cumpere, patru sau cinci mii de ţigle.
Pe atunci nu se putea găsi o ţiglă, oricât ai fi plătit; veniră la mine într-un suflet trei-patru zidari, şi cel care
apucă să mi le cumpere, puţin lipsi să nu fie tăiat cu cuţitele de ceilalţi. Le lăsai la cinci maravedis bucata
şi, ducându-i la casa unde mă pripăşisem, le arătai acoperişul, spunându-le că eu eram administratorul şi că
stăpâna mea dorea să facă o terasă în locul acoperişului. O dată cu ţiglele mele, le arătai de asemenea şi o
parte din cele ale vecinilor ce-şi aveau casele zid în zid cu mine, şi care urmau să fie scoase şi ele; îmi
dădură şase sute de reali şi pe bună dreptate, căci numărul ţiglelor se urcase la mai mult de cinci mii, şi
rămăserăm înţeleşi să vină după ele a doua zi. Cum pusei mâna pe bani, alergai la stăpâna casei şi-i spusei
că era mare păcat să consimtă ca administratorul său, care-i vânduse toate uşile, să-i vândă şi ţiglele de pe
acoperiş. Ea se tulbură foarte, zicând că n-avea nici un administrator şi că nu-şi putea închipui cine se
apucase să facă una ca asta. (Mateo Aleman – Viaţa lui Guzman de Alfarache, iscoadă a vieţii omeneşti)

3.
Soto îmi trimise un mesager, cerându-mi să ne împăcăm şi să iau parte la răscoală. Îi răspunsei că asta nu
era o treabă la care să ne putem hotărî cu atâta uşurinţă, şi că să bage bine de seamă, socotind totul în
amănunţime, pentru că ne expuneam în chipul cel mai grav şi n-aveam dreptul decât să ieşim cum se cuvine
din asta, sau să ne pierdem viaţa. Maurului care-mi aduse solia nu i se păru de lepădat sfatul meu, şi spuse
că va duce răspunsul lui Soto şi că se va întoarce iarăşi să-mi vorbească. (...) Le dădui astfel numai
răspunsuri bune şi mă prefăcui c-aş fi de partea lor, până ce hotărâră să-şi aducă planul la îndeplinire dis de
dimineaţă, în ziua Sfântului Ioan Botezătorul. Dar cum mă aflai în faţa stăpânului, dădui pe faţă tot
complotul, încât se cruci, şi aproape nu-i venea să creadă; părându-i-se că spuneam toate acestea ca să scap
de caznele şi munca ce-mi dăduse şi să capăt astfel iertare. Dar când îi spusei unde poate găsi armele şi cine

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şi cum le pusese acolo, mulţumi lui Dumnezeu că-l scăpase dintr-o asemenea primejdie, făgăduindu-mi o
răsplată bună. (Mateo Aleman – Viaţa lui Guzman de Alfarache, iscoadă a vieţii omeneşti)

4.
Aşa că, atunci când sfârşi tovarăşul meu să-şi vadă de herghelie, şi veni către mine, îl întrebai dacă n-ar fi
cu cap să cinăm. El răspunse că-mi ieşise un porumbel din gură, şi că aveam tot dreptul, pentru că era şi
timpul, mai ales că a doua zi îşi pusese în gând să se scoale cu noaptea în cap, ca să aibă vreme să ajungă
de dimineaţă la Cazalla şi să-şi încarce măgarii cu burdufele de vin. Îl întrebarăm pe hangiu dacă avea ce ne
da la cină. Răspunse că da, ba încă de-o cină domnească. (Mateo Aleman – Viaţa lui Guzman de Alfarache,
iscoadă a vieţii omeneşti)

2. a) Turn the following exchanges into Direct Speech:


1.
The count arrived, unfortunately, in time for lunch, and by the end of the meal, without really trying, he had
succeeded in alienating everybody, including the dogs. It was in its way, quite a tour de force to be able to
irritate five persons of such different character apparently without even being aware of doing so, inside two
hours of arrival. During the course of lunch, he said, having just eaten a soufflé as delicate as a cloud in
which were embedded the pale pink bodies of freshly caught shrimps, that it was obvious that Mother’s
chef was not French. Having discovered that Mother was the chef, he showed no embarrassment but merely
said that she would then be glad of his presence for it would enable him to give her some guidance in the
culinary arts. Leaving her speechless with rage at his audacity, he turned his attention to Larry, to whom he
vouchsafed the information that the only good writers were French. At the mention of Shakespeare, he
merely shrugged: ‘le petit poseur’, he said. To Leslie, he offered the information that anyone who was
interested in hunting must assuredly have the instincts of a criminal; in any case, it was well known that the
French produced the best guns, swords and other defensive weapons. To Margo he gave the advice that it
was a woman’s job to keep beautiful for man, and in particular, not to be greedy and eat too many things
that would ruin her figure. As Margo was suffering from a certain amount of puppy-fat at that time and was
on a rigid diet in consequence, this information was not at all well received. He condemned himself in my
eyes by calling the dogs “village curs” and compared them unfavourably to his selections of setters,
retrievers and spaniels, all French-bred, of course. Furthermore, he was puzzled why I kept so many pets,
all of which were uneatable. “In France we only shoot zis kind of thing,” he said. (Gerald Durrell – My
Family and Other Animals)

2.
Stuart: Anyway, Oliver’s a pedant. I don’t know what you think, about everyone followed by their.
Probably not very much, no reason why you should. And I can’t remember how it first came up, but we had
this argument. Oliver and Gillian and me. We each had a different opinion. Let me try and set down the
opposing point of view. Perhaps I’ll do the minutes of the meeting, like at the bank.

Oliver said that words like everyone and someone and no one are singular pronouns and must therefore be
followed by the singular possessive pronoun, namely his.
Gillian said you couldn’t make a general remark and then exclude half the human race, because fifty per
cent of the time that someone will turn out to be female. So for reasons of logic and fairness you ought to
say his or her.
Oliver said we were discussing grammar not sexual politics.
Gillian said how could we separate the two, because where did grammar come from if not from
grammarians, and almost all grammarians – probably every single one of them for all she knew – were
men, so what did we expect; but mainly she was talking common sense.
Oliver rolled his eyes back, lit a cigarette and said that the very phrase common sense was a contradiction
in terms and if Man – at which point he pretended to be extremely embarrassed and correct himself to Man-
or-Woman – if Man-or-Woman had relied upon common sense over the previous millennia we’d all be still
living in mud huts and eating frightful food and listening to Del Shannon records.
Stuart then came up with a solution. His being either inaccurate or insulting, or quite possibly both, and his
or her being diplomatic but awfully cumbersome, the obvious answer was to say their. Stuart put forward
this compromise suggestion with full confidence and was surprised by its rejection by the rest of the
quorum.

106
Oliver said that, for instance, the phrase someone put their head round the door sounded as if there were
two bodies and one head, like in some frightful Russian scientific experiment. He referred to the displays of
freaks which used to take place at funfairs, mentioning bearded ladies, deformed sheep’s foetuses and many
similar items until called to order by the Chair (= me).
Gillian said that in her opinion their was just as cumbersome and just as obviously diplomatic as his or
her, but why was the meeting being so squeamish about making a point anyway? Since women had for
centuries been instructed to use the masculine possessive pronoun when referring to the whole human race,
why shouldn’t there be some belated corrective action, even if it did stick in a few (masculine) throats?
Stuart continued to maintain that their was best, being representative of the middle course.
The meeting adjourned sine die. (Julian Barnes – Talking It Over)

3. Turn the following text into Indirect Speech:


“The man’s intolerable”, said Larry refreshing himself with a brandy in Mother’s bedroom, where we had
all retired to escape the count’s company. “He’s got an obsession with France; I can’t think why he ever
left the place. He even thinks their telephone service is the best in the world! And he’s so humourless about
everything, one would think he’s a Swede.”
“Never mind, dear,” said Mother, “It’s not for long now.”
“I’m not sure I shall last the course,” said Larry. “So far about the only thing he hasn’t claimed for France
is God.”
“Ah, but they probably believe in him better in France,” Leslie pointed out.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do something really nasty to him?” said Margo wistfully.
“Something really horrible.”
“No, Margo,” said Mother firmly, “we’ve never done anything nasty to anyone that’s stayed with us – I
mean, except as a joke or by accident – and we’re not going to start. We’ll just have to put up with him;
after all, it’s only for a few more days. It’ll soon pass.”
“Dear God!” said Larry suddenly. “I’ve just remembered. It’s the bloody christening on Monday.”
“I do wish you wouldn’t swear so much,” said Mother. “What’s that got to do with him?”
“Can you imagine taking him to a christening?” asked Larry. “No, he’ll just have to go off somewhere on
his own.”
“I don’t think we ought to let him go wandering off on his own,” said Mother as if she were talking about a
dangerous animal. “I mean he might meet one of our friends.”
We all sat and thought about the problem.
“Why doesn’t Gerry take him somewhere?” said Leslie suddenly. “After all he doesn’t want to come to a
boring christening.”
“That’s a brainwave”, said Mother delightedly. “The very thing!” (Gerald Durrell – My Family and Other
Animals)

4. Translate into English, paying attention to the grammar problem discussed above:
1.
O luam atunci înapoi spre casă şi, ducând în braţe minunata povară, aveam sentimentul că în realitate sunt
un om fericit şi că suferinţa mea e o iluzie, o himeră pe care ar trebui s-o alung; puteam trăi astfel o mie de
ani şi muri liniştit. Altceva, o bucurie mai mare nu există pe pământ, restul e nerozie. Acasă, însă, ne
întâmpina mama ei, care mi-o smulgea literalmente din braţe şi punea stăpânire pe ea: că n-am văzut că
fetiţa a obosit? Ce, am de gând s-o omor, aşa cum i-am spus când am auzit că e însărcinată cu ea? cred eu
că a uitat sau că o să uite vreodată aceste cuvinte? O să i le spună fetiţei când s-o face mare, să ştie şi ea ce
tată a avut şi cât de mult a dorit el să vie pe lume. Aveam atunci sentimentul net că ea ghicea că sunt fericit
şi vroia să nu fiu şi avea şi puterea s-o facă. De ce? mă întrebam. Ce rău îi făcusem? Totul se întneca, nimic
nu mai avea înţeles şi valul de singurătate urca iarăşi în mine cu o putere parcă mai mare. (Marin Preda –
Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni)

2.
Dar abia plecată, că expediţia se şi opri. Începuseră ploile şi Mong îl anunţa pe Nang, care conducea trupa
împreună cu încă doi ofiţeri, că o parte din adăposturile subterane din Son-Tinh se surpaseră şi era foarte
greu să le refacă: se surpau mereu. Era singura ştire neplăcută pe care o trimitea, încolo, în ceea ce priveşte
ordinele pe care le primise de a pregati trecerea râurilor înainte şi după atac şi de a organiza călăuzirea
trupei ca să se poată desprinde rapid de inamic; în cazul unei lupte inegale, totul era gata; dacă se puteau

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lipsi de aceste adaposturi din Son-Tinh, expediţia putea să continue. Nang pufni: ăstuia îi umblau gărgăuni
prin cap, cum se putea lipsi de adăposturile secrete? Dădu ordin de retragere şi aştepta încă două zile, cât îi
trebuia lui Mong să refacă ascunzătorile. (Marin Preda – Nuvele)

3.
Ca să păstreze secretul absolut al misiunii sale, Nang nu-i spuse acestui om în ce scop voia el cu orice preţ
să creeze în acest sat o bază. Îi spuse că baza trebuia neapărat creată, şi asta în cel mai scurt timp cu putinţă.
Mong răspunse că regiunea e controlată şi de francezi şi de marionete ale partidului naţional şi că încercarea
de a crea aici o bază înseamnă sacrificiu sigur: vor muri amândoi, fiindcă va fi imposibil să se păstreze
secretul în timpul creării ei şi totul se va prăbuşi. Întrebarea care se pune e următoarea; foloseşte sacrificiul
lor cuiva? Da, foloseşte, răspunse Nang, cu condiţia ca baza să se creeze, să rămână secretă şi unul din
membrii ei să părăsească regiunea şi să raporteze comandamentului suprem al armatei provinciale despre
existenţa ei. (Marin Preda – Nuvele)

4.
Cine era el? Era din Hanoi, răspunse Nang potolit. Tatăl lui o cunoştea mai bine, el l-a trimis să-i propună
ei o afacere... A sosit pe seară şi a găsit-o bolnavă, a aşteptat... să-l scuze că s-a amestecat în gospodăria ei,
dar puştiului îi era foarte foame şi, cum tot n-avea ce face, hai să-i dea să mănânce! Dacă a deranjat-o prea
mult şi e prea târziu să mai stea de vorbă, poate să plece şi să vină mâine dimineaţă, mai zise Nang. (Marin
Preda – Nuvele)

5.
Iar mi se păru că n-a înregistrat răspunsul meu. Se opri să se uite la o casă şi începu să-mi explice aproape
volubil sau aproape cu entuziasm, dar cu un entuziasm rece, cam abstract, de ce era atât de frumoasă casa
aceea, care era într-adevăr frumoasă, cum erau în oraşul nostru la tot pasul, şi de ce i-ar plăcea să locuiască
în ea şi în ce cameră. (O fi având o locuinţă rea?) O întrebai. Nu, zise, stăteau destul de bine, ea şi cei doi
părinţi, dar ... aşa îi plăceau ei în mod deosebit casele frumoase... casele care par învăluite într-o poezie
misterioasă... casele tăcute („vedeţi, cât de tăcută e, pare uitată aici de mult!”), casele lugubre... a, nu, astea
nu-i plăceau... casele care aveau sus de tot o odaie izolată, ca o hulubărie... „Hai să ne oprim puţin, nu vă
stricaţi programul?” (Marin Preda – Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni)

6*.
Unde îi zboară gândul? Mă întrebam. Chiar credea că mi se păreau pasionante dezvăluirile ei?... amintirile
ei din copilărie... când fugise uite pe colo tocmai pe deal să se dea cu săniuţa şi o prinsese rapida coborâre a
serii şi se rătăcise în oraş şi ce păţise acasă... Ei, da, se rătăcise şi ce era cu asta? Bun! Si ce păţise? Că o
certaseră... Mă uitam pe cer, să-mi zboare gândul, să iau martori norii, că nu pricepeam absolut deloc ce
plăcere îi făcea să vorbească singură. Îl înţelegeam în schimb pe primul ei iubit, de ce o părăsise... te
pomeneşti, îmi spuneam, că o fi crezând şi despre mine că sunt un mutălău. Da, stai să vezi, şi mă apucă o
clipă de mână, să stau, ca şi când, cine ştie, mi-ar fi trecut prin cap s-o iau la fugă – (surâdea ironic la
această intenţie a mea) ce mai păţise odată când, nu se ştie de unde, făcuseră ei rost (care ei? copiii cu care
se juca!) de o seringă, da, da, o seringă adevărată şi ea le făcea injecţii în braţ cu cerneală roşie... stăteau la
rând cu braţele suflecate şi ea cu seringa în mână potrivea acul în piele şi hârşti! Râsete generale, râdea
fetiţa de atunci, râdea fata de lângă mine, râdeam cu fals, dar nu râdeau şi copiii? Nuuu! Cum o să râdă,
plângeau! (şi iar râsete generale) plângeau, săracii, dar nici unul nu fugea, hi, hi, era la injecţie, cum o să
fugă, toată lumea trebuia să stea la rând, până într-o zi când unul din ei făcu o bubă la braţ şi se află cine era
cu isprava, şi, treci încoace, Suzy, afurisito (a luat-o mama s-o pedepsească, dar i s-a făcut milă şi a fugit în
hol, dar a rămas tata), ei, atunci a mâncat şi ea bătaie, a dezvelit-o la fund şi jaaap....hi, hi!... Nu (pe acest
hi-hi apărea, ia uite, de astă dată prelungit, uitatul surâs) nu, nu se stinsese pentru totdeauna acest surâs
complice supus, stăpânit şi tăcut al fiinţei ei lăuntrice... Cum, nu ne sărutăm şi noi puţin? Daaa, nici vorbă...
(Marin Preda – Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni)

7.
Timp de trei, patru zile, fusese mereu supărat, dar până la urmă ieşise bine şi cu întâmplarea asta. Se
pomeniseră într-o zi cu Gavrilă la poartă. Cerea toporul, zicea că vrea să taie crăcile la nişte salcâmi şi că,
chipurile, al lui nu mai e bun.

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Se împăcase şi cu alde Vasile şi Gheorghe. Tot aşa, se opriseră într-o seară la poartă şi Gherghina
auzisecuurechile ei cum îl întrebau pe Ilie ce mai face şi dacă mai e supărat pe ei. ilie mai era el supărat,
dar fiindcă ei se opriseră la poarta lui lăsase supărarea la o parte.
Gherghina se întrebă din nou, cuprinsă de îngrijorare, dacă nu cumva astăzi a fost ceva mai rău ca astă-
vară. Cu alde Vasile şi Gheorghe înţelege, s-or fi apucat din vreo vorbă, are să se împace ei, dar ce amestec
o fi având aici Ghioceoaia? S-o mai termina vreodată ambiţia şi duşmănia între oameni? (Marin Preda –
Nuvele)

8.
Ilie intră, o luă spre prispă şi-i aduse aminte lui Ioniţă pentru ce venise. Ioniţă tăcu câteva clipe, apoi, ca şi
când n-ar fi auzit, îl întrebă pe Ilie ce mai face, ca şi când nu l-ar fi văzut de mult. n-avea chef de vorbă şi
se vedea că nu întreba la întâmplare. Arăta mereu supărat, chiar duşmănos, dar nu faţă de Ilie, cu Ilie nu
avea nimic. Ilie întrebă iar de bocanci, ce face, îi vinde? Ioniţă tăcu iarăşi câtva timp, apoi răspunse că nu
prea i-ar vinde, şi-l întrebă pe Ilie dacă nu cumva vrea să-i cumpere el.
(...) Îl întrebă apoi pentru ce s-a înscris în colectiv. Fără colectiv nu stă? Lui Ioniţă îi place să se ducă la arat
când vrea el, nu să-l împingă cineva de la spate. Acum, singur, lui Ilie poate că i-o fi plăcând, dar Ioniţă să
ştie de bine că e miere şi tot nu se duce. (Marin Preda – Nuvele)

9.
Înăuntru, în încăperea organizaţiei de bază, îl chemaseră pe Ilie să răspundă pentru fapta lui. Îl întrebară
cum s-a întâmplat, de ce a sărit la ăla. Ilie nu înţelese din spusele lor decât că ceea ce a făcut nu a fost bine,
sunt supăraţi pe el şi că acum îl trag la răspundere. Nu ştiu ce să răspundă, tăcea şi se uita la fiecare cu
privirea neclintită. Se ruga de ei să-l înţeleagă, să nu se supere; a dat fiindcă şi-a pierdut stăpânirea de sine;
dar că aşa ceva n-o să se mai repete.
Pascu nu mai putu să rabde. Sări şi-i luă apărarea luiIlie. Bătu cu pumnul în masă şi spuse că Ilie să fie lăsat
în pace. Îşi pierdu cumpătul şi de mânie îşi aruncă şapca din cap şi le arătă celorlalţi capul, le arătă locul
unde fusese lovit cu măciuca acum trei ani... nu făcuse nimănui nimic, nu se legase de nimeni, atât doar că
fusese numit director al morii de Petre Miuleţ; şi la trei zile după naţionalizare, într-o uliţă, noaptea, i-au
ieşit înainte şi l-au bătut, i-au dat în cap cu măciucile... De ce? Ce-au avut cu el? (Marin Preda – Nuvele)

10.
Zilele treceau încet şi, rămaşi fără misiune, tunarii lâncezeau cu toţii. Anton primi în această vreme o
scrisoare de la nevastă, lipsită de orice înţeles, pe care trebui s-o citească de mai multe ori şi să mai întrebe
şi pe alţii până să-i dea de capăt. Îi spunea că mai zilele trecute s-a întâmplat o nenorocire, că a venit
primarul cu nişte inşi şi i-a spus că trebuie să dea vaca aia tânără, aia care era juncană când a plecat el a
doua oară pe front. Ea l-a întrebat de ce să dea vaca şi primarul i-a răspuns că „asta e vacă de Transnistria,
trebuie s-o dai la armistiţiu”. Degeaba s-a rugat şi a plâns, i-au luat vaca şi au mai luat şi de la alţii, dar cine
a avut bărbat acasă a sărit şi le-a dat înapoi, dar ea singură n-a putut să facă nimic. Dacă ar putea să vie
acasă măcar o zi, s-ar duce acolo şi ar vorbi, că primarul aşa i-a spus, că a primit şi el ordin de la prefect.
Că i-ar mai spune ea şi altele, dar nu vrea să-i facă inimă rea, dar cu văcuţa prea o doare şi-l roagă să vie...
(Marin Preda – Nuvele)

11.
Şi după câteva clipe de intensă luciditate, când credeam că o s-o pot asculta pe Matilda ore întregi, mă
trezii a doua zi pe la orele şase tot cu ea lângă mine şi cu o ceaşcă de bulion de pasăre în mână, zicându-mi
că trebuie să-l înghit... ea, îmi spuse, dimineaţa mă lăsase să dorm (cică dormeam fără respiraţie), dar că mi
se mişcau ochii în cap (şi imită mişcarea ochilor mei, ceva holbat), se dusese la serviciu, se întorsese,
pregătise masa. (Marin Preda – Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni)

12.
Peste câteva zile, primarul Pravilă căută într-ascuns pe Grigore Iuga şi-i mărturisi că nu se pot gasi hoţii
pentru că nici n-a fost furt. A mai cercetat cu de-amănuntul hambarul cu pricina în tovărăşia plutonierului,
au mai muştrului pe câţiva oamnei care li s-au părut mai deochiaţi, dar degeaba. În sfârşit s-a dus la Cosma
Buruiană şi dânsul i-a spus că într-adevăr s-a pripit cu jalba, căci şi lui i se pare că n-a fost nimic, că tocmai
se gândeşte să se spovedească boierului şi nu îndrăzneşte de teamă că n-are să-l ierte.

109
- Ş-acu venii la dumneavoastră să vă dau de ştire – urmă primarul – că sunteţi mai îngăduitor şi o să
puneţi o vorbă bună la boierul Miron, să afle şi dumnealui pentru care pricină nu i-am împlinit poruncile
cum am fi poftit şi cum suntem datori...
În aceeaşi zi Grigore comunică vestea aceasta şi tatălui său, care o ascultă foarte calm, fără să arate vreo
mirare sau supărare. Mai ales se simţea atins pentru că trebuia să recunoască, chiar ocolit, în faţa fiului său
că a greşit. (Liviu Rebreanu – Răscoala)

13.
Nilă îşi închipuia că e vorba de o socoteală complicată de cifre, care ţinea de ştiinţa de a fi magazioner,
ştiinţă care dacă nu era învăţată, n-aveai cum pricepe cât punea Paraschiv pe bon, şi nicidecum că era vorba
de hoţie, încât rămase cu faţa vinovată sub privirea întrebătoare a fratelui său. Paraschiv însă crezu că el a
înţeles şi dădu din cap cu reproş, adică să poftească acum Nilă să mai aibă îndoieli în ce priveşte priceperea
lui Paraschiv în afaceri.
- Să mă văd eu la Bucureşti, că nu mi-e frică mie… mai spuse Paraschiv şi muşcă vârtos dintr-un
porumb. Cu gura plină, el continuă să-I explice apoi amănunţit şi alte secrete ale comerţului.
Nilă nu dădea însă nici un semn de entuziasm şi nici măcar de acceptare înţeleasă a planurilor pe care le
făcea fratele său. El continua să nu înţeleagă ceva şi Paraschiv ştia care era acel ceva: în primul rând Nilă
nu înţelegea pentru ce toate acestea trebuiau făcute pornind de la furtul oilor şi cailor familiei. Altfel nu se
putea? Paraschiv însă obosise să-i tot explice că altfel nu se putea şi nu-i explică nici acum. În al doilea
rând Nilă nu înţelegea pur şi simplu ce însemna din punctul de vedere al legăturii lor cu familia ceea ce
aveau ei de gând să facă: rupeau cu ea, fugeau, n-aveau să se mai întoarcă niciodată îndărăt, părăseau satul
definitiv? Aici problema era ceva mai neclară şi Paraschiv spuse ce gândea el.
- După ce ne ridicăm case în Bucureşti, ne însurăm, bă Nilă, şi atunci venim colea în sat cu nevestele:
„Ne-am însurat, dă-ne partea noastră de pământ,” o să-i spunem tatii şi vindem pământul şi cu banii ne
deschidem prăvălii. (Marin Preda – Moromeţii)

14*.
Bătrânul dădu din umeri, se întoarse şi familia plecă. Birică şi Polina rămaseră. Îşi luară secerile pe
umăr şi porniră amândoi spre locurile lui Tudor Bălosu. Pe drum, Polina îi spuse din nou că nu se poate
ajunge la o înţelegere cu tatăl ei dacă au să stea şi să-l aştepte pe el să se împace. Ea îl cunoaşte bine.
Pământul trebuie luat cu forţa. Birică îi răspunse că orice lucru se poate lua cu forţa cum ar fi să zicem un
cal, o căruţă, o vită; îl iai cu forţa şi îl duci cu tine. Dar pământul n-ai cum să-l iai. Pentru pământ trebuie
forme la notariat şi numai atunci poţi să zici că e al tău. Spunându-i acest lucru, Birică îi atrase luarea
aminte cât e ea de proastă când îşi închipuie că nu s-a gândit în toate felurile la situaţia lor. Polina răspunse
că ştie ea de forme, chiar mai mult decât crede el. Şi anume că dacă te foloseşti de un lucru mai mulţi ani şi
pe urmă aduci martori că atâţia ani lucrul acela a fost al tău, poţi să-i faci forme că e al tău chiar dacă ăla nu
vrea. Birică îşi descreţi fruntea şi spuse cu multă mirare şi admiraţie că zău, a dracului naţie de muiere mai
este ea. Polina se făcu roşie auzindu-l cum o laudă şi îi răspunse că cu alde tat-său ea şi-a luat gândul de la
omenie. Nu trebuie să se mai strice omenia pe el. Cât a fost fată mare nu i-a cumpărat nici o aţă, nici un
petic, a umblat desculţă la horă; el, Birică, cunoaşte şi el bine povestea asta. Ar trebui să înţeleagă că
altceva nu mai e de făcut. Merseră mult în tăcere şi el nu-i răspunse decât târziu. Îi atrase luarea aminte că
tatăl ei îl poate da în judecată. Îl dă în judecată şi iese rău. Polina îl întrerupse spunând că asta n-are să
îndrăznească el s-o facă. Ea s-a măritat şi are dreptul la pământul pe care l-a muncit. Şi dacă tatăl ei are să
facă proces, are să aibă şi ea grijă să-i scoată procesul pe nas. (Marin Preda – Moromeţii)

D
WRITING
1. POINT OF VIEW.Retell the events that took place in the fragment form Kate Chopin’s novel from Mr.
Pontellier’s or from Mrs. Pontellier’s point of view under the form of a first person discourse. (direct
speech)
2. WRITE A REPORT PARAGRAPH.
Situation: It is the beginning of the twentieth century. A group of women has been marching
demanding their right to vote. You are a local newspaperman who is supposed to report the events for a
local newspaper.
Write a report paragraph of 100 words with the heading “Marching for Votes”.

110
FOUR
HER DIARY
I.
Sunday 15 January

9st (excellent), alcohol units 0, cigarettes 29 (v.v. bad, esp. in two hours), calories 3879 (repulsive),
negative thoughts 942 (approx. based on av. per minute), minutes spent counting negative thoughts 127
(approx.).

6 p.m. Completely exhausted by entire day of date-preparation. Being a woman is worse than being a
farmer – there is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done, legs to be waxed, underarms shaved,
eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes
tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscles exercised. The whole performance is so highly
tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder
what I would be like if left to revert on nature – with a full beard and handlebar moustache on each shin,
Dennis Healy eyebrows, face a graveyard of dead skin cells, spots erupting, long curly fingernails, blind as
bat and stupid runt of species as no contact lenses, flabby body flobbering around. Ugh, ugh. Is it any
wonder girls have no confidence?

7 p.m. Cannot believe this has happened. On the way to the bathoroom, to complete final farming touches,
I noticed the answephone light was flashing: Daniel.
“Look, Jones. I’m really sorry. I think I’m going to have to give tonight a miss. I’ve got a presentation at
ten in the morning and a pile of forty-five spreadsheets to get through.”
Cannot believe it. Am stood up. Entire waste of whole day’s bloody effort and hydro-electric body-
generated power. However, one must not live one’s life through men but must complete in oneself as a
woman of substance.

9 p.m. Still, he is in top-level job. Maybe he didn’t want to ruin first date with underlying work-panic.

11 p.m. Humph. He might have bloody well rung again though. Is probably out with someone thinner.

5 a.m. What’s wrong with me? I’m completely alone. Hate Daniel Cleaver. Am going to have nothing
more to do with him. Am going to get weighed.

II.
Wednesday 15 March

9st, alcohol units 5 ( disgrace: urine of Satan), cigarettes 14 (weed of Satan – will give up on birthday ),
calories 1795

Humph. Have woken up v. fed up. On top of everything, only two weeks to go until birthday, when will
have to face up to the fact that another entire year has gone by, during which everyone else except me has
mutated into Smug Married, having children plop, plop, plop, left right and centre and making hundreds of
thousands of pounds and inroads into the very hub of establishment, while I career rudderless and
boyfriendless through dysfunctional relationships and professional stagnation.
Find self constantly scanning face in mirror for wrinkles and frantically reading Hello!, checking
out everyone’s ages in desperate search for role models (Jane Seymour is forty-two), fighting long-
impacted fear that one day in your thirties you will suddenly, without warning, grow a big, fat crimplene
dress, shopping bag, tight perm and face collapsing in manner of movie special-effect, and that will be it.
Also worried about how to celebrate birthday. Size of flat and bank balance prohibits actual party.
Maybe dinner party? But then would have to spend birtday slaving and would hate all guests on arrival.
Could all go out for meal but then feel guilty asking everyone to pay, selfishly presuming to force costly
and dull evening on others merely to celebrate own birthday – yet cannot afford to pay for everyone. Oh

111
God. What to do? Wish had not been born but immaculately burst into being in similar, though not
identical manner to Jesus, then would not have had to have birthday. Sympathize with Jesus in sense of
embarrassment he must, and perhaps should, feel over two-millenium-old social imposition of own birtday
on large areas of globe. (from Helen Fielding - Bridget Jones’s Diary)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

Denis Healy
Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey, PC (born 30 August 1917), is a British Labour politician,
regarded by many as "the best Prime Minister we never had". Bridget refers to him due to his
prominent eyebrows.

Bridget Jones's Diary is a 1996 novel by Helen Fielding. It chronicles the life of Bridget Jones, a
“thirtysomething” single woman living in London. Surrounded by a 'surrogate family' of friends, she tries
to make sense of life and love in the 1990s. This novel evolved from Helen Fielding's columns in The
Independent and The Daily Telegraph. A sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was published in
1999. A 2001 film adaptation of the original novel was an international success, and a second film followed
in 2004

1. Paraphrase the underlined words and phrases.


2. Comment upon the effect of the short list that appearing before a diary entry. What does that tell you
about the person keeping the diary?
3. Comment upon the use of ellipsis and abbreviations in the texts. What is their effect upon the reader?
4. Identify instances of both formal language and informal language in the texts. In what way does the
author use language to convey irony?
5. In what way is the nature/culture opposition humorously used in order to present the tasks a woman
has to perform in order to put up an acceptable appearance?
6. Is Bridget a confident person in your own opinion? Motivate your answer.
7. Comment upon Bridget reaction when hearing from Daniel. How can you characterize it?
8. Who are the “Smug Married” and how does Bridget describe them?
9. Why is Bridget desperately searching for role-models?
10. Why do Bridget and Jesus have in common? Why is such an association humorous?

B
VOCABULARY

1*. POLYSEMY, DERIVATIVES and PHRASALS

a. SEED. Translate into English:

1. Nu credeam că el este criminalul, dar reacţia lui la vederea cadavrului, mi-a sădit îndoiala în suflet.
2. Buruienile astea au crescut prea mult, trebuie tăiate.
3. Îmi place soiul ăsta de roşii pentru că n-au deloc seminţe.
4. Ţăranii priveau cu mândrie ogorul care de-abia fusese însămânţat.
5. Te sfătuiesc să nu mai ieşi cu individul ăla pentru că mi se pare că arată cam dubios.
6. Este o gimnastă valoroasă. Nu e de mirare că s-a clasat a doua în campionatul naţional.
7. Decanul facultăţii spunea că tinerii studenţi sunt speranţa lui pentru ziua de mâine. Nici restul de
profesori şi nici măcar studenţii înşişi nu-i împărtăşeau entuziasmul.
8. Mă întristez când mă găndesc la toate seminţiile acelea care au dispărut în negura timpului.
9. Casa părinţilor lui Bridget s-a părăginit de când aceştia au murit.
10. Ai nevoie de capital pentru a-ţi începe o afacere.

112
b.PRESUME. Translate into English:

1. Bănuiesc că toată lumea şi-a făcut deja tema, cu toate că n-am timp s-o verific pe toată.
2. Soţul ei fusese dat dispărut şi se credea că este mort.
3. Să ştii că niciodată nu aş îndrăzni să cred că am dreptul să-ţi spun ce să faci.
4. Îndrăznealea şefului său pe nume Daniel Cleaver a înfuriat-o îngrozitor pe Bridget.
5. Nu vreau să profit de bunătatea lui şi să-l rog să mă ajute şi de data asta. L-am deranjat destul.
6. Am să primesc aceşti studenţi la curs, dar trebuie să ştie că un curs de limbă engleză veche presupune
nişte cunoştinţe minime de gramatică.
7. Orice acuzat se află, desigur, sub prezumţia de nevionovăţie, dar în cazul ăsta, toată lumea l-a văzut
comiţând acel asasinat oribil.
8. Este bolnav şi diagnosticul prezumptiv este că ar avea diabet.
9. Am crezut că ţi-e prieten apropiat şi am încercat să mă port politicos cu el.

c.FEED. Translate into English:

1. Spre deosebire de copilul Annei, care părea pur şi simplu subnutrit, cel al lui Jim era grăsuţ şi bine
hrănit.
2. Lasă-mă să bag datele în computer şi am să-ţi spun mai târziu la ce concluzie am ajuns.
3. M-am săturat pur şi simplu de atitudinea oribilă a lui Daniel. Toată ziua dansează tango cu alte
partenere şi pe mine nici nu mă bagă în seamă.
4. Mi se pare cam frig în cameră şi l-am rugat pe Mark să mai pună nişte vreascuri pe foc.
5. Am testat noul program de studiu în general, dar aşteptăm şi reacţii din partea dascălilor din mediul
rural.
6. Să ştii că prejudecăţile se datorează ignoranţei.
7. Papagalul meu nu mănâncă morcovi, în schimb se hrăneşte cu seminţe şi cu salată proaspătă.
8. Şi-a pus toate fisele în automat, ca până la urmă să constate că acesta i le-a înghiţit pe toate.
9. Păi sigur că ministrul nu a fost atent la negocieri. Nu l-a interesat decât să ajungă la cina festivă ca să
se îndoape cu sarmale.
10. Cred că avem un spion infiltrat în organizaţia noastră pentru cineva le-a furnizat duşmanilor noştri
toate informaţiile de care avea nevoie.

2. IDIOMS: TUNE. Fill in the blanks with the suitable missing word/words:

E.g. Stay tuned! Gwen Stefani’s latest hit is coming up next.

1. Although he was known to be tone-dead, this time he managed to sing ___ tune.
2. He who plays the piper, _____ the tune.
3. She’s always been __ tune___ the new investment policy.
4. The whole performance of the orchestra is so_____ tuned that everyone was in awe.
5. His guitar was___ ___ tune, so he couldn’t play at the party, as he had planned to.
6. Is the prime minister going to_____ his tune again on the education budget?
7. People say that Tony Blair has been for too long _____ ____ President’s Bush tune.

3.PHRASAL VERBS: STAND. Fill in the blanks with the suitable particles/ prepositions:

1. Have you any idea what G.D.P. stands___?


2. Would you mind standing ___ for Susan for a while? I need help with these files.
3. He doesn’ t have the guts to stand____ his mother’s wishes, so I guess he’ll never marry a girl she
dislikes.
4. I’m going to help her. I just can’t stand____ when somebody is asking for my help.
5. She was very upset when Mark stood her ___. He never came to the restaurant where they were
supposed to have dinner.
6. She’s very attractive and she’s always stood___ in a crowd.
7. I think you should stand____ ____ your boss. He’s bullying you all the time.
8. Mark is so lazy! He just stands_____ when everybody else is working.

113
C
GRAMMAR AND STYLE: ABSOLUTE PHRASES

Preliminaries

Let’s look at the following sentence:

(1) Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if left to revert on nature – ... face a graveyard of dead skin
cells, spots erupting, long curly fingernails, flabby body flobbering around.

What do all these constuctions have in common, besides referring to a manner, attitude or posture?

If you try to provide a Romanian translation for them, it becomes clear that the construction is not
expressed in the same way as in English.

Let’s try to look at them more closely:

(2) face a graveyard of dead cells (My face (subject) is a graveyard of dead cells.(predicate))
(3) spots erupting (My spots (subject) are erupting/ erupt. (predicate))
(4) flabby body flobbering around (My flabby body (subject) is flobbering around/flobbers around
(predicate)).

All the constructions above are made up of a noun (face/spots/ body) and a construction that assigns
properties to that noun (a graveyard of dead cells/erupting/flobbering).
As you can see above, all the constructions are to be seen more or less as sentences in which the noun of
the construction plays the part of a subject and the rest plays the part of a partial predicate, where the
finite verb (is, erupt, flobbers) is missing: either completely absent like in (2) or expressed by an –ing form
(what we call a non-finite form) like in (3), (4).

Let us give other examples of similar phrases describing attitude or posture:

(5) There were some little boys standing there, watching him, their mouths wide open with astonishment.
(6) He looked at me pointedly, blue eyes unwavering.
(7) Ruth walked down, wearing a dark dress, her eyes puffy and red.
(8) The two superstars signed autographs into the night, their faces beaming happily.
(9) The plumber disappeared into the hole, a pipe wretch in his hand.
(10) Many boats- their anchors buried in the sand- lay on the salty bed of the dried-up sea
(11) Its lights off and its doors closed, the mansion looked spooky in the moonlight.
(12) Their reputation as winners secured by victory, the New York Liberty charged into the semifinals.
(13) The season nearly finished, Rebecca Lobo and Sophie Witherspoon emerged as true leaders.
(14) The sun having set, they went outside to enjoy the cool breeze of evening.

As you can see, they are all made up of a noun and its modifier, that can also be seen as a subject and its
partial predicate.

QUESTIONS
a. Try to provide a Romanian translation for the above constructions. In what way does the English
translation differ from the Romanian one, from the point of view of structure?
b. What do you think the syntactic function of the above constructions is? Do they modify a particluar
element in the sentence they are integrated in?
c. Is there any distinction between the group of sentences (5) –(11) and the group of sentences (12)-(14)?
d. Are there any other instances of absolute phrases in the Bridget Jones text?

The Absolute Phrase

114
All the constructions above are called absolute phrases.

ABSOLUTE PHRASE = NOUN (Subject) + PARTIAL PREDICATE (participle (present or past)


/adjective/ nominal constructions)

Examine again the constructions in (5)-(14). Identify the type of “partial predicate” in each of them.

Generalization:
Absolute phrases are made of nouns (or pronouns) followed by a participle or other related constructions.
Absolute phrases are reduced clauses that contain a subject and a partial predicate. Absolute phrases do not
directly connect to or modify any specific word in the rest of the sentence; instead, they modify the entire
sentence, adding information. They are always treated as parenthetical elements and are set off from the
rest of the sentence with a comma or a pair of commas (sometimes by a dash or pair of dashes). They play
the part of an adverbial clause (propoziţia circumstanţială). Absolute constructions such as those in (5)-
(11) add a focusing detail or point of focus to the idea of the main clause. Absolute phrases appear in
literary or highly formal contexts.

Nota bene!
Sometimes, the absolute construction can be also preceded by the preposition “with”:

(15) The homework still undone, Jeff can't go outside to play basketball.
(16) (With) the homework still undone, Jeff can't go outside to play basketball.

EXERCISES

1. Identify and translate.


a. Identify the absolute constructions and state the nature of their “partial predicate”.
b. Translate the sentences into Romanian.

1. The old firefighter stood over the smoking ruins, his senses alert to any sign of another flare-up.
2. Joan looked nervous, her fears creeping up on her
3. The work having been done, we grabbed a cab.
4. His subordinates, their faces sweat-streaked and smudged with ash, leaned heavily against the
firetruck.
5. My shoes caked with mud, I waited in the anteroom.
6. They knew all too well how all their hard work could be undone — in an instant.
7. The owl, its round eyes staring unblinkingly, watched for field mice.
8. Coach Nykesha strolled onto the court, her arms akimbo and a large silver whistle clenched between
her teeth.
9. Nose in the air, she walked past me.
10. The new recruits stood in one corner of the gym, their uniforms stiff and ill fitting, their faces
betraying their anxiety.
11. Head down, the bull charged straight at the matador.
12. Their hats burning, the clowns ran in circles.
13. Tom paled when he came home, his mother standing in the doorway.
14. Her soup flavored with hemlock, Mary sat down to her last meal.
15. Its feshly painted walls gleaming in the sunlight and dazzling the beholder, the factory symbolized
economic progress.
16. Truth be told, I don’t remember meeting her.
17. The village was silent, its shops closed, its streets deserted.
18. The mature student spoke the truth, the speaking energetic, the student mature.
19. My chores completed for the week, I went on a walk.
20. Her thoughts in turmoil, she decided to consult a lawyer.
21. The skaters are quick-silvering around the frosty ring, the girls gliding and spinning, the boys
swooping, their arms flailing like wings.

115
2*. Translate into English:
1. Credeţi dumneavoastră că viitorul acestui neam numai dumneavoastră vă provoacă nopţi de
insomnie?… (aplauze puternice) că numai dumneavoastră vă cutremuraţi la gândul că ceasul sfânt al
realizării naţionale ar putea să bată fără ca noi să ne găsim acolo unde trebuie să ne găsim? şi fraza
spusă răspicat, cu vocea larg înfiorată, cu mâna dreaptă ridicată, cu pumnul strâns, iar cu arătătorul
întins, ca mâna indicatoare de pe afişe, e urmată de aclamaţii şi aplauze furtunoase. (Camil Petrescu –
Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război)
2. Achim trona în capul mesei cu gâtul lui vânjos înainte, Angela cu cununa de mireasă pe frunte îşi ajuta
mama şi tatăl să servească. Când în curte intră un individ balaoacheş cu o armonică în mână. Se
apropie de masă ducând un deget la frunte şi scoase de îndată ţipete înalte de pe clapele albe şi negre.
Începu să cânte cu un antren formidabil şi abia atunci pe chipurile tuturor apăru o expresie parcă uluită:
păi, da, aşa este, e nuntă, şi cine-a mai pomenit nuntă fără lăutari? (Marin Preda – Delirul)
3. Alergă mai departe în tăcere, cu paşii ei sprinteni şi neşovăitori, şi purta în mişcările trupului bucuria
de a alerga în aşa măsură, că fără să-şi dea seama distanţa dintre ea şi luptători se mărea pe nesimţite şi
numai zgomotul vreunuia care cădea în mlaştină îi aducea aminte că iar a luat-o prea repede. (Marin
Preda – Friguri)
4. Am rămas deci în picioare, cu pistolul în mână, şi simţeam cum razele neputincioase ale soarelui se
încăpăţânau să-mi aprindă părul.
5. Am pornit toţi în urma carului, cu umeri bleojdiţi; încet, parcă umblam în genunchi. Câmpia începu să
tacă. Se auzeau iarăşi tunurile. Eu ţineam pistolul de-a lungul coapsei. Ca să nu mă rătăcesc priveam
ţintă şi mergeam drept spre turnul bisericii care semăna cu mi-e ruşine să spun ce. (Titus Popovici –
Moartea lui Ipu)
6. ”Nu l-am mai văzut de mult pe romancierul A.”, mă adresai bătrânei doamne B., în al cărei salon
prsonajul era un obişnuit. Dânsa îmi explică pe loc, ca şi când m-ar fi iniţiat într-un mister, căci
deodată privi cu religiozitate spre tavanul pictat, că e plecat undeva în Normandia, unde ia note pentru
romanul la care lucrează. Pe de o parte îmi ascunsei cu greu un zâmbet căci urmărind privirile
amfitrioanei mi se păru că-l vad acolo pe A. preumblându-se cu creionul în mână printre păstoriţele şi
amoraşii de pe plafon, pe de alta parte însă îmi zisei că uneori este mai bine să notezi aşa unele
evenimente chiar când se produc, fiindcă ce le particularizează se evaporă repede. (Radu Petrescu –
Proze)

D.
WRITING

1. DIARY. Using the strategies you examined in Bridget Jones’s Diary, write a page from an imaginary
diary that describes how you got stood up by your date.
2. MESSAGE. Imagine an e-mail message Daniel Cleaver would write in order to apologize to Bridget
and entice her to give him another chance and go out with him.

116
UNIT FOUR
CLASS AND CONSCIOUSNESS

117
ONE
CLASS IDENTITY

Both sisters lived in their father’s, really their mother’s, Kensington house, and mixed with the
young Cambridge group, the group that stood for ‘freedom’ and flannel trousers, and flannel shirts open at
the neck, and a well-bred sort of emotional anarchy, and a whispering, murmuring sort of voice, and an
ultrasensitive sort of manner. Hilda, however, suddenly married a man ten years older than herself, an elder
member of the same Cambridge group, a man with a fair amount of money, and a comfortable family job in
the government: he also wrote philosophical essays. She lived with him in a smallish house in Westminster,
and moved in that good sort of society of people in the government who are not tip-toppers, but who are, or
would be, the real intelligent power in the nation: people who know what they’re talking about, or talk as if
they did.
Connie did a mild form of war-work, and consorted with the flannel-trousers Cambridge
intransigents, who gently mocked at everything, so far. Her ‘friend’ was a Clifford Chatterley, a young man
of twenty-two, who had hurried home from Bonn, where he had been studying the technicalities of coal-
mining. He had previously spent two years in Cambridge. Now he had become a first lieutenant in a smart
regiment, so he could mock at everything more becomingly in uniform.
Clifford Chatterley was more upper-class than Connie. Connie was well-to-do intelligentsia, but
he was aristocracy. Not the big sort, but still it. His father was a baronet, and his mother had been a
viscount’s daughter.
But Clifford, while he was better bred than Connie, and more ‘society’, was in his own way more
provincial and more timid. He was at his ease in the narrow ‘great world’, that is, landed aristocracy
society, but he was shy and nervous of all that other big world which consists of the vast hordes of the
middle and lower classes, and foreigners. If the truth must be told, he was just a little bit frightened of
middle- and lower-class humanity, and of foreigners not of his own class. He was in some paralysing way,
conscious of his own defencelessness, though he had all the defence of privilege. Which is curious, but a
phenomenon of our day.
Therefore the peculiar soft assurance of a girl like Constance Reid fascinated him. She was so
much more mistress of herself in that outer world of chaos than he was master of himself.
Nevertheless he too was a rebel: rebelling even against his class. Or perhaps rebel is too strong a
word; far too strong. He was only caught in the general, popular recoil of the young against convention and
against any sort of real authority. Fathers were ridiculous: his own obstinate one supremely so. And
governments were ridiculous: our wait-and-see sort especially so. And armies were ridiculous, and old
buffers of generals altogether, the red-faced Kitchener supremely. Even the war was ridiculous, though it
did kill a lot of people.
In fact, everything was a little ridiculous, or very ridiculous: certainly everything connected with
authority, whether it were in the army or the government or the universities, was ridiculous to a degree.
And as far as the governing class made any pretensions to govern, they were ridiculous too. Sir Geoffrey,
Clifford’s father, was intensely ridiculous, chopping down his trees, and weeding men out of his colliery to
shove them into the war; and himself being so safe and patriotic; but also, spending more money on his
country than he’d got.
When Miss Chatterley – Emma – came down to London from the Midlands to do some nursing
work, she was very witty in a quiet way about Sir Geoffrey and his determined patriotism. Herbert, the
elder brother and heir, laughed outright, though it was his trees that were falling for trench props. But
Clifford only smiled a little uneasily. Everything was ridiculous, quite true. But when it came too close and
oneself became ridiculous too…? At least people of a different class, like Connie, were earnest about
something. They believed in something.
(D. H. Lawrence – Lady Chatterley’s Lover)

Improve your vocabulary:

colliery (British English) - a coal mine together with the buildings and machinery connected
with it
buffer ( as a person) (British English old-fashioned)-an old man who isn’t able to manage things

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A

READING COMPREHENSION

Class in British Society


Until the Second World War there were very distinct social groups in
British society. There was an upper class that included the aristocracy and
many people who lived on inherited wealth, a middle class that could be
subdivided into upper middle class and lower middle class, and a
working class that included both skilled craftsmen and unskilled industrial
workers and labourers. The divisions between the classes were reflected in
many aspects of life. Working-class children usually left school and went
out to work at the age of 14. Upper-class children were educated in private
schools and formed the majority of students at university. Pubs were
divided into public bars and saloon (or lounge) bars which were more
expensive and more comfortable. Trains had first, second and third class
carriages. Theatres had a dress circle where theatre-goers wore evening
dress, and a gallery where the seats were cheaper and evening dress was
not worn. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1994)

I. Paraphrase the underlined phrases.


II. Answer the following questions.

1. What does the word “freedom”, which is used in connection to the Cambridge group, refer to?
2. Why do you think the author uses the term “good sort of society” when referring to Hilda’s
marriage?
3. Comment upon the use of the terms “mock”, “ridiculous” by the author. Do you think that the
author approves of this attitude?
4. The text is interesting from the point of view of the use of perspective. What are the perspectives
presented in the text and what are the elements in the text that help to build these perspectives?
5. In what terms does the author describe the distinction between Clifford’s class and Connie’s class?
6. Comment upon Clifford Chatterly’s awareness that he is part of the “aristocracy”. What is the
connection between this “class awareness” and his fascination for Connie Reid?
7. Why does the author say that the term “rebel” is too strong for a person like Clifford? What does
Clifford’s rebellion consist of?
8. What is Clifford’s attitude to authority? What does the general recoil of the young against
convention have to do with it?
9. In what way is Sir Geoffrey’s image as a figure of “authority” presented in the text and what are
the connotations associated with “Authority” in this case?
10. Comment upon the attitudes on war presented in the text.

B
VOCABULARY

1. Translate into English, making use of expressions from the text above:
a) Candidatul opoziţiei purta o cămaşă verzulie, deschisă la gât, care-i punea tenul măsliniu în valoare. b)
Tatăl său, colonel în armata britanică, îi explicase că singura forţă inteligentă din această naţiune este
reprezentată de intelectuali. c) Banii pe care ţi i-am dat sunt din moştenirea mamei, de fapt a tatălui nostru.
d) Dacă vei continua să fraternizezi cu genul acesta de oameni, te voi exclude din testament. e) Se simţea
timid faţă de orice fată care încerca să îi facă conversaţie. f) Nu pot avea dialog cu oamenii care nu sunt din
acelaşi grup social ca al meu. g) Jim admira foarte tare faptul că soţia sa era propriul ei stăpân şi îi era în
acelaşi timp loială lui. h) Face parte din aristocraţie, ceea ce în cazul ei nu este neapărat un avantaj. i) Bill
este parte din familia Jones mai mult decât însuşi moştenitorul acestei familii. j) Cred că cuvintele pe care

119
le-ai folosit sunt nişte cuvinte prea dure pentru compania în care suntem. k) Mark face parte din
aristocraţie, aşa cum prietenul lui cel mai bun este din pătura de jos a societăţii.

2. Paraphrase the following lexical items:


a social climber/ to be an upstart/ to be a name-dropper/ to pull rank/ a socialite/ to lack in social graces/ to
speak with a posh accent/ to marry into money / to marry below yourself/ heirloom/ the family crest/ coat
of arms/ white-collar workers/ blue-collar workers/ the days of white privilege are over/ social standing/ a
titled husband/ to be of humble origins/ caste system/ move up in the world/ upwardly mobile young
woman/ a life of privilege/ blue-blooded/ to have a classless accent/ a class-conscious person/ class-feeling/
to be comfortably well-off/ to rub shoulders with / landed gentry.

3. Fill in the blanks with either classic or classical:


a) ‘Pride and Prejudice’ can be easily considered a …. novel. b) Everybody would like to listen to music
written by ….. composers such as Mozart or Haydn. c) My friend’s niece has chosen …. studies over more
social sciences. d) He benefited from a … … education. e) The way it looks, I’d say it is a …. case of
malnutrition. f) The … treatment for this disease is a cure of antibiotics. g) I’m afraid your daughter is
showing …. symptomps of pneumonia.

4. Translate into Romanian:


a) In his attempt to escape ridicule, Henry found himself in an even more difficult situation. b) Her
behaviour is absolutely ludicrous. c) She was held up to ridicule for the mistakes she had made. d) You
look completely ridiculous in those jeans. e) He is ridiculously rich. f) He’s become an object of ridicule. g)
Interrupting an opera on television for a pet-food commercial is going from the sublime to the ridiculous. h)
The opposition made a laughable attempt to discredit the government. i) His constant blunders made him
the laughing-stock of the whole class.

5. COMPLEX VERB: LIVE. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate preposition/particle:
1. They both go out to work and have a nanny living _______.
2. Nobody is averse to living _______ the fat of the land.
3. If you want her good opinion you’ll have to live _____ ______ your own expectations in the first
place.
4. There were no plants or pictures to give the place a lived-______ look.
5. Beaten by the worst team in the league? They’ll never live it _______!
6. It’s common knowledge that she only lives ______ home-cooked vegetables, that’s why she’s so trim.
7. I really don’t know how you managed to live ______ so much misery.
8. He was an abandoned child and had to live ______ his wits.
9. Well, whether you like it or not, you’ll have to live _______ it, I’m afraid.
10. They got married and lived _______ happily ever after.

C
GRAMMAR: PAST PERFECT

Consider the Past Perfect forms in the text above:


(1) A young man who had hurried home from Bonn
(2) He had been studying the technicalities of coal-mining
(3) He had previously spent two years in Cambridge
(4) Now he had become a first lieutenant
(5) His mother had been a viscount’s daughter

All these forms are used by the author to establish either anteriority or a link to a past moment, namely
to the time of the story line (i.e. then). This is why grammarians often treat this tense as an extension of
Present Perfect in the Past temporal sphere. Compare the following sentences:

(6) Bill has been in the bathroom for more than an hour. (link to now)

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(7) It occurred to Susan that Bill had been in the bathroom for more than an hour. (link to then, the time of
the main clause)

As you can see, the present perfect sentence is paralleled by the past perfect one. From this point of view, it
can be easily said that the two tenses are similar and that the only point that separates them is the fact
that while Present Perfect takes speech time (i.e. now) as point of reference, Past Perfect is linked to a
past moment (i.e. then). Things are however more complex than that.

At this point, the basic question we should ask ourselves is the following: is Past Perfect a ‘perfect’
tense?

Our definition of a ‘perfect’ tense (see unit Three, Section Two, C) has revealed two important points:
a) the fact that a prototypical perfect excludes combination with past adverbials (i.e. the ‘past adverb
constraint’)
b) the fact that a perfect is not used in narration due to its stative dimension (in other words we don’t
normally build stories by means of perfect tense forms, just as we don’t tell stories by using state
verbs)

The question that imposes itself in this case is obvious: is Past Perfect such a tense form? As we will see,
our data demonstrate that, although there are striking similarities between the semantics of this tense and
that of Present Perfect, Past Perfect does not conform to the two points we have discussed above.

Consider the following examples:

(8) They realized they had been there since five/ morning.
(9) Susan knew John had left at five.

While in the first example our predictions are checked, and Past Perfect is rightfully combined with a [-
THEN] adverbial, things are different in the second sentence, where Past Perfect is combined with a past
adverb. Since both sentences are correct, the only conclusion we can draw is that Past Perfect is not subject
to the ‘past-adverb constraint’.

Consider also the following text, where Past Perfect is used by the narrator to ‘move narration forward’,
thus being the main verbal form that helps the writer build his story:

(10) On the morning when the valley, gloved in a prayer-mat, punched him on the nose, father had been
trying, absurdly, to pretend that nothing had changed. So he had risen in the bitter cold of four-fifteen,
washed himself in the prescribed fashion, dressed and put on his father’s astrakhan cap; after which he had
carried the rolled cheroot of the prayer-mat into the small lakeside garden in front of their old dark house
and unrolled it over the waiting tussock.
The ground felt deceptively soft under his feet and made him simultaneously uncertain and wary.
(Salman Rushdie – Midnight Children)

A conclusion to this discussion reveals that Past Perfect is neither subject to the past-adverb constraint nor
banned in narrative contexts. Thus it can be said that this tense does not fulfill all the conditions that should
make it a ‘perfect’ tense.

However, as we will see below, its ‘perfect’ dimension can be perceived in the instances where this tense
can appear with the same three basic shades of meaning that Present Perfect itself has: the continuative,
the resultative and the experiential value.

Below we will discuss the values of Past Perfect from this perspective. We thus make a clear-cut distinction
between those values that parallel the ‘present perfect’ ones and which make this tense a ‘perfect’, and the
crucial extra-value exhibited by Past Perfect, that of showing past anteriority which gives us reason to
consider this tense as also having a preterite dimension:

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1. The ‘Perfect’ Values
A noticed by Peter Fenn (1987), Past Perfect can acquire all the three values attributed to Present Perfect:

a) the Resultative Past Perfect


(11) Jimmy could not play on Saturday, as he had dislocated his shoulder.

Compare this example to a Present Perfect one and notice the similarities in meaning. The only difference
lies in the fact that the sentence under (11) does not take speech time as the reference point:

(12) Jimmy cannot play on Saturday, as he has dislocated his shoulder.

b) the Continuative Past Perfect

(13) a. Bill had been in the station for more than two hours before he realized that Susan wasn’t coming
any longer.
b. I had been working at Longman’s for some time before I was promoted.

A comparison between this example and a Present Perfect one reveals again strong similarities. The only
difference is the point of reference.

c) the Experiential Past Perfect

(14) I had watched United lose twice that season.

Compare this sentence to the one under (15) and look at how the demonstrative pronoun together with the
tense points to the different temporal sphere each sentence belongs to:

(15) I have watched United lose twice this season.

All of the examples above point to the fact that Past Perfect is very similar in meaning to Present Perfect.
This is also supported by the well-known fact that in Indirect Speech Present Perfect is shifted into Past
Perfect, as you can see in the following examples:

(16) a.Direct Speech


Ann: I have laid the table so you can come to dinner!
b. Indirect Speech
Ann told the children that she had laid the table and they could come to dinner.

However, Present Perfect is not the only tense that is shifted into a Past Perfect form in Indirect Speech. This
situation is also valid for Simple Past. Look at the example provided by Quirk (1973) in this respect:

(17) a. Direct Speech


‘The exhibition finished last week,’ explained Ann.
b. Indirect Speech
Ann explained that the exhibition had finished the preceding week.

This example demonstrates that Past Perfect has in fact two dimensions. From one point of view, and as
shown here, it parallels the semantics of Present Perfect. From another point of view, it is seen as a past
tense that expresses past anteriority. This important value of Past Perfect is the so-called pre-preterite (i.e.
‘anterior to past’) one and it will be treated below.

2. The Pre-preterite Value


As we have already mentioned, Past Perfect is a tense that indicates anteriority to a past moment. From this
point of view, we can easily say that in certain contexts, this tense behaves more like a preterite (a past
tense) than like a perfect tense. Consider the following contexts:

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(18) a. I started in the morning, having not seen Jenny again, as she’d driven off the previous evening with
Toby at high speed to Oxford, leaving Charles and me to dine alone.
b. The British had denounced Germany fiercely enough while the war was on; they had insisted
without illusion that this was a struggle for existence. (from Fenn, 1987)

The fact that Past Perfect is seen as a past tense more than as a perfect one is indicated by the
presence of definite time adverbials in combination with this tense (the previous evening, while the war
was on).

The fact that Past Perfect can easily combine with this sort of adverbials is a good reason for acknowledging
the preterite-like value of this tense. A second reason is the one we have already discussed under example
(17), which shows that Past Tense is paralleled by Past Perfect in Indirect Speech. More than that,
grammarians have repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that in such contexts and when the eventuality is an
event, the rule is optional. In other words, there are contexts when Past Tense is not necessarily shifted into a
Past Perfect form. Consider the following examples:

(19)a. Ann: Yesterday I went to the market to buy eggs.


b. Ann said that she went to the market to buy eggs the day before.
c. Ann said that she had gone to the market to buy eggs the day before.
(20)a. Ann: We all saw what Bill did.
b. Ann remarked that they all saw what Bill did.
c. Ann remarked that they all had seen what Bill had done.

Notice that both the sentence under (b) and (c) are grammatical and, most important, are similar in
meaning. This means that shifting the Past Tense forms into Past Perfect forms is not obligatory. This also
means that the two tenses are very similar in meaning.

However, it is important to remember that this situation is valid only for those verbal forms that express
events. The shifting is obligatory in those cases when the verbal form used is stative. Compare:

(21) a. Bill: Lily was here.


b. Bill said that Lily was there.
c. Bill said that Lily had been there.

Unlike in the case of the examples under (19) and (20), here only the third sentence is the Indirect Speech
counterpart for the first one. The second sentence (i.e. Bill said that Lily was there) is the counterpart for:

(22) Bill: Lily is here!

Moreover, a comparison between (21b) and (21c) shows a clear difference in meaning: while in the first
case Lily’s being there is simultaneous to Bill’s saying it, in the second case Lily’s being there is anterior to
Bill’s remarking upon it. So the sequence relations between the main clause and its subordinate are
completely distinct in the two cases: in the first case the relation is one of simultaneity, while in the second
it is one of precedence.

Consider the following table that sums up this important distinction:

In Indirect Speech Past Perfect is interchangeable with Past Tense when the
verb is eventive:
Susan: I saw Bill yesterday.
Susan said that she saw/ had seen Bill the day before.

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In Indirect Speech Past Perfect is NOT interchangeable with Past Tense when
the verb is stative:
Bill: Lily was here.
Bill said that Lily had been there.
Bill said that * Lily was there.

Last but not least, the ‘preterite-like’ value of Past Perfect is demonstrated by the ability of this tense to be
used to ‘move narration forward’, to tell stories. To be more precise, Past Perfect is very frequently used in
narratives as a means for telling a ‘story within a story’. This phenomenon is also known under the name
of ‘extended flashback’ (Kamp & Reyle, 1993) and appears as a sub-value of the ‘pre-preterite’ one.
Consider again the example under (10) and the one under (22):

(10) On the morning when the valley, gloved in a prayer-mat, punched him on the nose, father had been
trying, absurdly, to pretend that nothing had changed. So he had risen in the bitter cold of four-fifteen,
washed himself in the prescribed fashion, dressed and put on his father’s astrakhan cap; after which he had
carried the rolled cheroot of the prayer-mat into the small lakeside garden in front of their old dark house
and unrolled it over the waiting tussock.
The ground felt deceptively soft under his feet and made him simultaneously uncertain and wary.
(Salman Rushdie – Midnight Children)
(22) She was very tired. She had woken up at five, had gone shopping, had returned home and fixed
breakfast for the kids. Then she had started her other chores. Now she really needed some rest.

In these pieces of text, past tense appears as the scene-setting tense, whereas the past perfect forms under
italics are used to establish a sequence of events further in the past, i.e. a story within a story. Notice the use
of the now time adverbial that functions as a ‘perspective-shifter’ and indicates that the writer tells the story
from the perspective of the main character (the now of the heroine is in fact then for the readers).

Conclusions: we have analysed the uses of Past Perfect and seen that, unlike Present Perfect, this tense
appears as also having a ‘preterite’ dimension. Thus we can roughly divide the uses of this tense between
perfect values and preterite ones.

The most important argument for treating this tense as having a dual nature is due to its behaviour in
Indirect Speech, where it can replace both Present Perfect and Past Tense. This fact clearly indicates that
Past Perfect resembles both these tenses, while adding an extra-flavour of ‘remoteness’.

TIPS FOR TRANSLATION:

Romanian Mai mult ca perfect = English Past Perfect

venise = had come

Nota bene! The reverse is not valid!

had come ± venise

EXERCISES:

1. Consider again the Past Perfect forms in the excerpt from D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s
Lover. Identify their value according to the information provided in this section.

2. Translate the following, paying attention to the grammar problem we discussed:

124
a)* Lefterică avusese o noapte de chin. Nu trecuse niciodată prin aşa ceva. De când o cunoscuse pe Paulina,
totul se limpezise şi se înfrumuseţase în jurul său. I se părea că lumea vedea ca el şi se bucura cu el. Ba,
ceva mai mult, avea credinţa că atât de mult îl iubesc toţi, încât, dacă el ar fi greşit cu ceva şi ar fi stricat din
aşezarea aceasta minunată, pe care nu o înţelegea prea bine şi nu ştia de unde vine, ar fi sărit unul sau toţi
cei care îl iubeau să dreagă şi să-l dojenească. Aseară a crezut că, deştept cum e, înţelesese ce l-a apropiat
de Paulina. Pe urmă însă a văzut că s-a înşelat, şi nu numai asupra lui, ci şi asupra ei. Altfel îşi închipuia el
că o să fie venirea femeii în casa lor. După cele dintâi şovăieli, între ce ar fi vrut el să fie şi ce era, a simţit
cum i se urcă o mână pe piept şi-l pipăie înspre gât să i se înfigă. Şi abia la loton lumină s-a făcut. Dacă l-ar
fi rupt cineva în bucăţi, n-ar fi suferit mai cumplit. (Ion Marin Sadoveanu – Sfârşit de veac în Bucureşti)
b)Busuioc avusese dreptate. N-avea stăpânirea destulă putere spre a-I opri pe oameni la casele lor. Serile de
iarnă ei îşi petrecuseră timpul povestindu-şi unii altora ce văzuseră peste vară la câmpie. Primăvara îi
opreau mereu pe drumeţi în cale, ca să afle de la dânşii cum stau semănăturile pe şes, iar acum ştiau cu toţii
că anul a fost mănos şi aşteptau cu nerăbdare să le vie vestea că spicul a îngălbenit.
Îndată dar ce le-a venit vestea, ei s-au pornit la vale.
Şi adecă de ce să nu pornească?
Pe la dânşii nu era holeră. Porunca stăpânirii? Stăpânirea nu cerea nimic de la dânşii. Îi oprise numai
pentru că voia să le facă bine, ferindu-I de primejdie, şi treaba lor era, dacă voiesc sau nu să se
împărtăşească de această binefacere.
Aşa înţelegea toată lumea treaba. Şi de aceea, când oamenii au început să plece, slujbaşii satului, care
erau şi ei oameni ca toată lumea, se făceau că nu ştiu, nici n-aud, nici nu văd, iară după ce drumurile s-au
umplut, I s-a trimis stăpânirii răspuns, precum că n-a fost cu putinţă să-I oprească pe oameni pe la casele
lor. (Ion Slavici – Pădureanca)
c)Iorgovan era foarte nenorocit. Plecase cale lungă şi, abia plecat, se simţea la sfârşitul călătoriei. Ştiuse el
că vor găsi pădureni la Şiria, dar că va găsi atât de mulţi, încât să nu mai aibă nevoie de a merge mai
departe, la asta nu s-a gândit. (Ion Slavici – Pădureanca)
d)* Trecuseră luni de zile de când n-o mai văzuse în gândul lui; ştia numai că a văzut-o, ştia cum fusese,
dar nu mai simţise acreala de care i-a fost cuprins tot sufletul în timpul cât a stat dânsa la Curtici; acum,
dimpreună cu oamenii de la Păduri, i se ivi şi chipul Pădurencei şi simţământul de acreală, nu amărăciune,
acreală, ca acreala vinului stătut de fiert şi încă nelimpezit. Cât a stat dânsa la Curtici, zâmbet în faţa lui nu
s-a ivit, mâncarea lui n-a fost mâncare, şi somnul lui n-a fost somn, şi totuşi de câte ori vorbea de plecarea
ei, îi venea să răcnească şi-şi înfigea mâinile în şolduri. (Ion Slavici – Pădureanca)
e)Rămânând apoi singur, el începu să se plimbe prin curtea mare şi deşartă. Avea destul timp până
dimineaţă: putea să meargă şi să se întoarcă, fără ca să ştie Şofron în ce treburi a umblat. Însă caii erau
obosiţi, păgubise o dată, şi Şofron dormea în uşa grajdului. Era o nebunie! De ce să se ducă? De ce s-o
vază? Ce avea el cu dânsa? Nimic, nimic, nimic! Era o mare nenorocire pe capul lui, Pădureanca aceea;
dară îi ieşise o dată primejdia în cale, şi nu se mai putea feri de dânsa, îl apucase o dată gândul de a se pune
călare şi nu mai putea; răcoarea nopţii, lumina lunii, umbrele copacilor, toate-l ademeneau. (Ion Slavici –
Pădureanca)
f)O ajunsese blestemul părintesc, pentru că fusese oarbă şi nu ascultase de sfaturile lui, pentru că îl părăsise
în ceasurile morţii, pentru că şi-a bătut joc de slăbiciunea omului la care ţinea atât de mult răposatul ei tată.
Şedea, şedea singură, se gândea la cele petrecute şi cu totul altfel le vedea acum. Îşi aducea aminte de ziua
când l-a văzut întâia dată pe Şofron, când el a luat-o lângă el în căruţă, şi I-a pus cojocul să şază pe el, îşi
aducea aminte de vorbele lui, pe care atunci nici nu le băga în seamă, iar acum şi le reamintea atât de bine,
şi cu o sete nespusă. Şi cum a sărutat-o el, cum fugea să prinză prepeliţele din zbor şi cum l-a lovit ea fără
milă atunci, noaptea, în faţa lui Iorgovan şi a tatălui ei, şi cât de nenorocit era taică-său! (Ion Slavici –
Pădureanca)
g)Maria ştia că acuma ar trebui să zică şi ea ceva să-i facă plăcere şi să spună că s-a dus la horă o singură
dată, de curioasă, că n-o să mai meargă niciodată, dar parcă i se încleştase gura, şi nu mai putea să scoată o
vorbă… Acolo la horă, până nu începea jocul, aştepta ca beată pe cel despre care ştia bine că n-o să mai vie
niciodată şi aşteptarea asta era singurul lucru care-i mai aducea aminte de el, ca şi cum ar fi fost viu. (Titus
Popovici – Setea)
h) Când era foarte bine dispus, le privea cu milă şi dădea din cap. De când dovedise că nu-i un prăpădit, ci
unul care ştie să se descurce în aceste vremuri întoarse cu dosul în sus, locuitorii uliţei mari începuseră să
se uite cu alţi ochi la el. Mai ales Cloambeş, care înainte vreme râdea de cum putea, îi căuta prietenia, îl
poftea să bea la dânsul şi-i cerea poveţele, cu deosebire de când îl bătuse Mitru Moţ. (Titus Popovici –
Setea)

125
i)La câteva luni dupa aceea, George se schimbase cu desăvârşire. Fără să-şi dea seama. Înainte de război
avea o înfăţişare deosebit de tânără ( care o supăra uneori pe Emilia ) şi începuse să se îngraşe: acum
devenise uscat, cu faţa aproape pergamentoasă, foarte rigid, tăcut şi neprietenos, dar niciodată grosolan: un
fel de absenţă, de lipsă de interes; se silea din răsputeri să n-aibă nici o personalitate, nici o preferinţă, să
execute ordinele, şi atâta tot. (Titus Popovici – Setea)

3. Translate the following, paying attention to the grammar problem we discussed:


a) Frederica was agitated. She remembered her last encounter with Alexander and failed yet again to
understand her own behaviour. She had stalked him with infinite care, she had attacked him frontally,
she had thrown herself at him and teased him, and she had finally reached the point of consummation
where she was coming to dinner, in an empty house, wanting her. And what she had done was to flee
to Scarborough on the back of Wilkie’s motorbike. She loved Alexander. She had an intimation that it
had been important to her to have an impersonal initiation, in her own control, not overwhelming. But
how could she ever explain this to Alexander who anyway no longer wanted to understand? (A.S.Byatt
– Still-life)
b) Daniel remembered. It had been a local cause celebre – a young couple, married just in time, accused
of murdering their six-month old child. Jerry and Barbara Butt. The child had been beaten, burnt,
starved, and finally smothered. Crowds of women had howled outside the assize Court in Calverley, as
the figures of the parents were rushed in blindly muffled under blankets. In the public gallery they had
hissed and shaken with rage. A good lawyer had got Barbara Butt to plead guilty of infanticide. Jerry,
who had maintained that he was responsible for none of the sores, welts, burns on his daughter’s body,
who had been described as a little slow-witted by his council, had been gaoled for neglect and was now
out. His wife, Danny remembered vaguely, had been recommended for hospital treatment. (Julian
Barnes – A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters)

4. Correct the mistakes in the following sentences:


1) The woman had seen the fire-spitting dragon after she drew her sword.
2) If you would have talked to your son more often, he would have responded to you more warmly.
3) She has been in this place for more than a year, but the place was dead. Tourists weren’t coming any
longer, so she has brought herself in a tomb-like place.
4) A: Had he sang that song so far?
B: No, not as far I know; he didn’t even thought of it.
5) She didn’t used to come here on the beach. But now she did. In the past she was so afraid of the water
that even the mere sight of the beach would turn her stomach.
6) Even though she new the truth, she had never payd no attention to it.
7) I didn’t know what to think about Joe. He was a kind boy and lately he was even kinder, but still,
something was missing. Maybe he did not grow enough yet.
8) A: Had Mary posted the letter?
B: You know she had, had she?
9) If it hadn’t been Mary, I wouldn’t be sitting here crying.
10) Did they come to an agreement so far? Or didn’t they?

5. Translate the following setences using Subject Auxiliary Inversion:


1) Nici un moment nu se gândise că faptele lui vor avea consecinţe tragice.
2) Dacă ar fi ştiut că nimeni n-o să mai voteze cu el, ar fi renunţat la campanie.
3) Nici nu intrase bine în casă, ca telefonul începu să sune.
4) De-abia dacă reuşise să se bărbierească şi să se spele pe dinţi, când auzi bubuituri furioase în uşa băii.
5) Rareori mai văzusem o creatură aşa de închipuită.
6) Numai după ce i-am explicat de ce nu am voie să conduc maşina, a acceptat să conducă el.
7) Daca ar fi fost preot, ar fi desfiinţat toate sarbatorile păgâne.
8) Niciodată nu mai auzise un discurs atât de prost întocmit.
9) Nici n-a apucat să spună că a fost concediat, că soţia l-a şi părăsit.
10) Până nu a mărturisit, nimeni n-a mai vrut să stea de vorbă cu el.
11) Dacă ar fi fost mai multe magazine de legume şi fructe în cartier, n-ar mai fi trebuit să se ducă tocmai
până în Piaţa Amzei, cum fusese nevoită sa faca deunăzi.

126
6. Translate the following, identifying the underlined phrases:
1) Had she paid any heed whatsoever to my advice, she would have been the winner in this game.
2) Grandfather was so raving mad when he found out about the robbery, that he had the thief hanged in
no time
3) Jane had had to get her lover out of the house before her cuckold husband came in.
4) He drank the ale as if he hadn’t had a drop in years.
5) You hadn’t been there for a year at the time.
6) After she had had him whipped for his impudence, she cut his protests with a large sum of money.
7) Hadn’t you better mortgage your house and sell the stuff at an auction?
8) He had no doubt been kicked by his own donkey.
9) Stubborn as a mule as he was, he had still been able to change his mind about the affair.
10) He had however been terribly surprised, not to say dumbfounded when seeing his new grandson.
11) He could not be mistaken, this was his flesh and blood, as he had been told.

7. Turn the following texts into Indirect Speech:


a) ‘Won’t you give me a drink, Charles?’
‘ No. Go away. I don’t like people who break into my house at night and play at ghosts. Just go, will
you. I don’t want to see you!’
‘Don’t you want to know why I’ve come, Charles?’
‘No.’
‘You’re surprised, you’re curious.’
‘I haven’t seen or heard of you for two years, three years, and even then I think I only met you at a
party. Now you suddenly turn up in this perfectly hateful manner. Or is it supposed to be funny? Am I
expected to be glad to see you? You aren’t part of my life. Just clear off, will you.’
b) ‘ So it was you!’
‘I broke the vase and the mirror, but I haven’t been creeping round at night, I wouldn’t come here in
the pitch dark. This house is creepy.’
‘But you did, you looked at me through the glass of that inner room.’
‘No, I didn’t. I never did. That must have been some other ghost.’
‘You did, someone did. How did you get in?’
‘You leave your windows open downstairs. You shouldn’t, you know.’
c) ‘I gather you didn’t even know Lizzie was living with Gilbert. Surprise, surprise. Everybody knew
that. If you aren’t interested enough to know who she’s living with you aren’t interested enough in her
to marry her.’
‘ I’m not going to marry her.’
‘You’ve said that twice. You’ve always known who I was living with.’
‘You flatter yourself.’ (adapted from The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch)

8. Fill in the blanks, using the correct tense form:


1. She had blood-kin under her roof again and we sat back to watch developments. At first nothing
(happen). Then we (be sure) that they were to be married. We learned that Miss Emily (be) to the
jeweller’s and (order) a man’s toilet set in silver, with the letters H.B. on each piece. Two days later
we learned that she (buy) a complete outfit of men’s clothing, including a nightshirt, and we (say):
“They are married.” We were really glad. We were glad because the two female cousins were even
more Grieson than Miss Emily (ever be).
2. Hartley (look) terrible. She (make up) her face with especial care and this (make) her look
particularly older.
3. I put into a plastic bag her make-up and the mottled pink stone with white bars which I (give) her,
and which she apparently (not look at) since. She (say) nothing but she (watch) me put the stone into
her bag.
4. Rosina was kneeling on one knee on top of one of the highest rocks and evidently (provide) herself
beforehand with an arsenal of missiles which she (throw) at me.
5. The bizzare violence of the incident (leave) me dazed, and I returned with a sick shock to my acute
consciousness of Hartley, who, during the whole of the episode, (not move), and seemed (not notice)
what had happened.

127
6. Before I (reach) the car I (realize) that I still (carry) the plastic bag containing Hartley’s make-up and
the stone which I (give) her.
7. As I said this I (recall) something that Toby (say) to me in some context where I was wondering
whether James (be) straight. Toby (tell) me that James (have) a great affection for some soldier
servant in India, a Nepalese sherpa, who (die) somehow on a mountain.
8. I recalled Titus’s voice saying ‘Where your cousin (live)?’ And I remembered what Toby (tell) me
about the sherpa whom James (be fond of) and who (die) on the mountain, and I felt a momentary
nervous urge to ask him about the many ‘attachments’ he (have) so far.

D
WRITING

1. CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND POINT OF VIEW. Reread the text and imagine what Clifford
Chatterly’s father’s opinion is about the war and about his son’s engagement to Connie Reid. Write a
300-word monologue expressing that opinion.
2. WAR AND CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS. Based on the information in the text, imagine Clifford’s
conversation to a young man belonging to the Cambridge group about the war and about class (350 words)

TWO
THE UPPER CLASS
SCENE: A drawing room. Well furnished. At rise, BUTLER enters, places card on table, and exits.

RICHARD: [Puts down newspaper, reads card] Dinner with the Duchess. Six o’clock. [Puts down card,
looks at watch] Must dress. [There is a knock at the door.] Come. [PATER enters.] Hello, Pater.
PATER: Hello, my boy.
[A moment of silence]
RICHARD: Not well?
PATER: Not well.
RICHARD: What is it?
PATER: Gambling debt.
RICHARD: Gambling debt?
PATER: Can’t pay it. Broke.
RICHARD: Borrow?
PATER: Can’t borrow. No credit.
RICHARD: Well?
PATER: One thing to do.
RICHARD: Poison.
PATER: Right. Honor of family.
RICHARD: Other way out?
PATER: Not sporting.
RICHARD: Right. Stout fellow.
PATER: Have you a bit here?
RICHARD: Poison?
PATER: Right.
[ BUTLER enters – glass on tray.]
RICHARD: Here you are.
PATER: Thanks. [BUTLER exits – PATER raises glass.] Give you the Duchess.
RICHARD: How jolly. [PATER drinks poison.] Does it hurt?
PATER: Rather.
RICHARD: Stiff upper lip.
PATER: Stiff upper lip.
RICHARD: Honour of family.

128
PATER: Honour of family. [Falls to chair.] Cheerio, my boy.
RICHARD: Cheerio, Pater. [Glances at watch] Must dress. [Starts to walk left – knock at door.] Come.
[AGATHA enters.] Hello, Agatha.
AGATHA: Hello, Dick.
RICHARD: Chin up, Agatha, the Pater.
AGATHA: Passed out?
RICHARD: Passed away. Gambling debt.
AGATHA: Too bad.
RICHARD: Right.
[Starts to go to left.]
AGATHA: Dick.
RICHARD: Yes, Agatha?
AGATHA: Our wedding anniversary.
RICHARD: Right.
AGATHA: Something to tell you.
RICHARD: Right.
AGATHA: Other man.
RICHARD: [Walks over to her] You?
AGATHA: Right.
RICHARD: Not faithful?
AGATHA: Not faithful.
RICHARD: Rotten business.
AGATHA: Putrid.
RICHARD: One thing to do.
AGATHA: Poison?
[BUTLER enters]
RICHARD: Right.
AGATHA: Got any?
[BUTLER is at her elbow, poison on tray]
RICHARD: Here you are.
AGATHA: Thanks. [Takes glass – BUTLER exits – raises glass] To the Duchess.
[Drinks]
RICHARD: How jolly. Does it hurt?
AGATHA: Rather.
RICHARD: Too bad…. Well, chin up.
AGATHA: Chin up.
RICHARD: Stiff upper lip. Honour of family.
AGATHA: Honour of family. Cheerio, Dick.
[She falls to floor]
RICHARD: Cheerio, Agatha. [Looks at watch] Must dress. [Starts to walk left. Knock on door.] Come.
[MATER enters]
MATER: Richard, my boy.
RICHARD: Mater –
MATER: Yes?
RICHARD: The Pater. Dead.
MATER: Right – and Agatha?
RICHARD: And Agatha.
MATER: Beastly.
RICHARD: Right.
MATER: Chin up.
RICHARD: Chin up. Stiff upper lip.
MATER: Right. [Starts to leave] Richard.
RICHARD: Not well?
MATER: Perfectly well. Something to tell you.
RICHARD: Right. [Pause] Difficult?
MATER: Terribly difficult.

129
RICHARD: Right.
MATER: You –
RICHARD: Yes?
MATER: Not legitimate.
RICHARD: Not legitimate?
MATER: Not legitimate.
RICHARD: Bastard?
MATER: Quite.
RICHARD: [Reeling] Chin up.
MATER: Chin up.
RICHARD: [Blubbering] Stiff upper lip. Honour of family.
MATER: Honour of family.
RICHARD: [Stands erect.] And you?
[BUTLER enters]
MATER: One thing to do.
RICHARD: Right.
MATER: [Sees BUTLER at her elbow] This it?
RICHARD: Rather.
MATER: Thanks. [Raises tumbler] To the –
RICHARD: Duchess.
MATER: Duchess.
[BUTLER exits]
RICHARD: Jolly. [MATER drinks poison] Does it hurt?
MATER: Hurt.
RICHARD: Badly?
MATER: Terribly.
RICHARD: [Starts to go] Cheerio.
MATER: Not yet. [ RICHARD stops and turns.] Got an engagement?
RICHARD: Right. Dinner with the Duchess.
MATER: Sorry, didn’t know.
RICHARD: Quite all right.
MATER: Must be on time. Honour of family. Cheerio, Dick. [Falls dead.]
RICHARD: Cheerio, Mater. [Glances at watch] Must dress. [Starts to go, turns when door behind him
opens. BUTLER enters with tray.] For me?
BUTLER: Right.
RICHARD: Late for dinner?
BULTER: Right.
RICHARD: [Takes tumbler. BUTLER exits.] To the Duchess. [Drinks – falls to floor – gasps] Needn’t
dress.
BLACKOUT

(Alan Baxter - Chin Up)


A
READING COMPREHENSION

130
The Upper Class
Class distinctions are popularly represented by stereotypes, especially in
matters of clothing, speech and region of origin. This is best seen in
caricatures of upper and lower class individuals, whether in literature or
contemporary media. Upper-class people are typically portrayed in country
clothes, since they are primarily associated with land ownership and the three
traditional aristocratic sports of hunting, shooting and fishing (sometimes
written or pronounced as ‘huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ to represent their
characteristic speech). Other typically upper-class sports are polo and riding.
Distinctive items of upper-class wear are peaked caps for men, head-scarves
for women, and green wellington boots (‘green wellies’) for either. Upper-
class speech is portrayed as loud, drawling and affected, with much use of
nicknames and slang. The typical upper-class person is usually thought of as a
southerner, although it is perfectly possible to be Scottish and upper class.
(Oxford Advanced Learner’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1994)

Answer the following questions:

1. The text presents an upper-class family. What is the author’s attitude towards this family?
2. This fragment is characterized by the use of ellipsis (see section C). In what way does ellipsis help to
convey irony in the text?
3. Investigate the use of vocabulary in the text. In what way does vocabulary help to represent the
characters in the text as members?
4. In what way is the notion “honour” presented in the text? Comment upon the connection between
honour and suicide in the text.
5. Discuss the reasons that push the characters to commit suicide. In what way is Richard’s suicide
relevant from this point of view?

B
VOCABULARY

1. Complex verb: KNOCK.


a) Fill in the blanks:
1.Try to knock some sense _______ his head. 2. Our team was knocked ______ in the first round of the
competition. 3. They knocked ______ the Post Office and got away with 4000$. 4. Let’s
knock_______work early today. 5. I can probably knock ______ a meal if you wait a few minutes. 6. I’ve
seen him knock ________ ten whiskies in one evening. 7. The price was knocked _______to 3 $. 8. The
news really knocked him ________. 9. They say he knocks his wife ________. 10. Sally’s been knocking
________ with Jim for five years.
b)* Translate into English:
1. A făcut o gaură in perete. 2. Nu-l mai critica atât! Face şi el ce poate. 3. A încercat să împiedice planul
acesta încă de la bun început. 4. E mai bun decât mine la tenis, mă bate de mă rupe. 5. A avut ceva ghinion
ultima vreme, trebuie să recunoaştem. 6. N-a putut să le vânda nici la preţul de 5$. 7. Lasă că-i mai tai eu
din aere. O să înveţe să se poarte frumos. 8. Uşa lor n-are decât sonerie, nu şi ciocănel. 9. M-ai lăsat cu gura
căscată, dragă: cum ai reuşit să realizezi aşa ceva? 10. Ascultă-mă pe mine, rochia asta o să aibă mare
succes! 11. Ridicarea preţurilor va provoca efecte in lanţ asupra economiei.

2. Complex verb: PASS


a) Fill in the blanks:
1. She passed _______in her sleep. 2. He always passes ______ at the sight of blood. 3. I had a chance to
go to America, but I passed it ______. 4. Let us pass ________to the next subject. 5. This is a skill that
passed _______ from father to son. 6. Read the note and pass it ________. 7. I can’t imagine how this place
passes __________ a five-star hotel! The service is dreadful. 8. She passed herself _______ as an

131
experienced actress. 9. Let us pass ________ his rude remarks in silence. 10. The meeting passed _______
well.
b)* Translate into English:
1. Am ajuns într-o stare foarte proastă dacă nu ne mai putem cumpăra nici bere. 2. Îi face avansuri de o
luna şi nimic încă. 3. În curind se va plictisi. 4. Nu pot să pricep cum aţi făcut o asemenea prostie. 5. El a
zis că Shakespeare a fost american, iar eu n-am putut să trec asta cu vederea fără să-l corectez. 6. Hai să
strângem nişte bani şi să-i dăm soţiei lui ca să cumpere medicamente. 7. A apucat judecătorul să dea
sentinţa sau nu? 8. “Bine”, spuse doctorul, “spuneţi-mi acum dacă aveţi probleme cind urinaţi.”

3*. Polysemy: DEAD. Translate into English:


1. Cucoană, nu vezi că e mort şi nu mai mişcă? 2. M-a sunat în toiul nopţii să mă mai întrebe o dată de ce
nu vreau să închei contractul acela. 3. Vreau să îţi spun că semeni foarte mult cu fratele meu. 4. Există
material inutil in raportul tău, aşa că ai face mai bine să-l scurtezi. 5. Şi-a jucat rolul fără să lase să i se
întrevada nici o emoţie pe faţă. 6. Glonţul lui a nimerit drept la ţintă. 7. Fiul lor e un mare puturos, nu ştiu
ce-o să se aleagă de el dacă o mai ţine aşa. 8. Poţi să termini lucrarea la termen sau ai nevoie de ceva
ajutor? 9. Ori doarme tun, ori a leşinat. Mă chinuiesc să îl trezesc de cinci minute şi nimic. 10. Şi mai zici
că asta a fost o idee bună, nu vezi că n-are nici o şansă de reuşită? 11. Cursa n-a fost câştigată de nimeni,
Johnson şi Klein au ajuns amândoi la linia de sosire în acelaşi timp. 12. Ăsta e un servici care n-o să-ţi
aducă nimic nou. 13. Crezi că noua propunere o să ne scoată din încurcătura asta groaznică? 14. E aşa de
frig încât mi-au amorţit degetele.

3. Polysemy: LIP. Translate into Romanian:


1. They stopped at the lip of the crater. 2. The pain in his arm was so sharp that beads of sweat formed on
his upper lip. 3. She was at a loss for words and bit her lip in vexation. 4. ‘Yes, I thought you would say
that,’ Susan said curling her lip in disdain. 5. She pursed her lips and tried to whistle. 6. ‘I won’t say a word
about it, my lips are sealed!’ 7. There’s many a slip betwixt cup and lip. 8. He pays lip-service to feminism
but his wife still does all the housework. 9. Bill looked tight-lipped and pale. 10. The TV has a problem
with the sound. I guess we’ll have to lip-read the news commentators. 11. Less of your lip! Don’t be so
cheeky! 12. ‘Bring me that ice cream!’ the little boy said, smacking his lips with gusto. 13. Loose lips sink
ships.

C
GRAMMAR AND STYLE: ELLIPSIS

Consider a small excerpt from the sketch above:

(1) AGATHA: Dick.


RICHARD: Yes, Agatha?
AGATHA: Our wedding anniversary.
RICHARD: Right.
AGATHA: Something to tell you.
RICHARD: Right.
AGATHA: Other man.

The fragment chosen for discussion is made up of elliptical sentences, where linguistic material is left out.
This material can be retrieved from context, thus allowing for a re-writing of the fragment as follows:

(2) AGATHA: Dick.


RICHARD: Yes, Agatha?
AGATHA: It is our wedding anniversary.
RICHARD: All right.
AGATHA: I have something to tell you.
RICHARD: All right.
AGATHA: There is another man in my life.

132
We have established that the fragment under (1) heavily relies on a syntactical process of reduction, of
ellipsis. In fact, if you peruse the whole sketch, you can easily see that it is exclusively built on this device.
Read it carefully and you will notice that there is no full sentence present in this text. It is obvious that this
syntactic process was applied by the author with the specific purpose of offering the readers a sample of
exaggerated upper-class speech. The effect obtained through the abundant and exclusive use of ellipsis is
humorous. It is therefore through language and language processes that the author chooses to create an
ironical effect.

Let us look more closely at the grammatical concept we have introduced and see what types of ellipsis we
can speak of.

What Is Ellipsis?
Ellipsis is a syntactical process in which a constituent is left out:

(3) She might tell him the secret but I don’t think she will [tell him the secret].

There is an important condition lying at the basis of this syntactical process. Ellipsis cannot be performed
randomly since the linguistic material that has been wiped out needs to be recoverable from the context. In
other words, you cannot delete any words you like. The material that is left out must be retrieved from the
context without difficulty. Consider for instance the following exchange, in which this condition is not
completely fulfilled. You will see that the second speaker (i.e. Hartley) makes the first one (i.e. Ben) repeat
his question so he will have more time to perform the reinterpretation process:

(4) ‘Are you going to get a dog?’ said Hartley to me.


‘ Don’t think so.’
‘Cat man, eh?’ said Ben.
‘What?’
‘Cat man?’
‘Oh – er – no.’
‘A bore, quarantine. Six months at least.’

Try and perform a reinterpretation yourselves, recovering the missing material for this instance of text.

When Does Ellipsis Occur?


A notable characteristic of ellipsis is that it is often found in direct speech. As we know, one of the features
that define conversation is that of economy. A dialogue cannot be too elaborate, at least not as elaborate as
a description or a narration. Redundant material needs to be left out. This is where ellipsis appears. To use
Quirk’s (1972) observation, ‘Ellipsis is an abbreviating device that reduces redundancy.’ Consider the
following sentences:

(5) a. I went to the market and I bought a punnet of strawberries.


b. I went to the market and bought a punnet of strawberries.

It is obvious that the second sentence is the one we would all choose to utter, since it is so much easier to
use. This choice will definitely contribute to the effectiveness of communication.

Situational vs. Textual Ellipsis


Most grammarians make a distinction between situational ellipsis, i.e. that kind of ellipsis that appears in a
dialogue, being dependent on the larger conversational context, and textual ellipsis, which is more
dependent on the linguistic context in which it appears. Needless to say, the kind of ellipsis we are faced
with in Chin Up is part of the first category. For more information, consider the examples in the table
below.

133
Textual ellipsis Situational ellipsis
(co-text dependent) (context-dependent)
 in adverbial clauses  Missing subject
a) finite Told you so!
While at Oxford, he took to drinking. Need a drink, do you?
I’m happy if you are. Serves you right!
Because Alice won’t, Mary is dusting the furniture. Sounds fine to me.
b) non-finite Won’t be any food left for
Although much annoyed, he didn’t retaliate. supper.
 Modifier
a) Post-modification  Missing Subject +
The man coming towards me… Auxiliary
No one in his right mind will take it. See you later.
b) Pre-modification Good to see you.
The rich never listen to advice. Want some?
 Supplementing clause Happy?
I caught the train – in time.
They mean to wound – perhaps to kill.  Missing Subject +
 In coordinated sentences determiner + auxiliary
a) forward ellipsis (operating on the second Why isn’t he here? Car still
conjunct in the sentence) not working?
John writes poetry and Bill prose.
b) backward ellipsis (operating on the first  Missing determiner
conjunct in the sentence) Fact is we don’t really know
John loves and Bill hates cigars. what to do.

EXERCISES:
Consider the elliptical sentences in Chin Up. Try to recover the missing material.
Try to recover the missing material in the following instances:
a) After a time, he came upstairs again, looking a little angry.
‘Postman?’ he said.
‘Very early!’ she replied.
b) ‘Seen any seals?’ Mr. Arkwright asks kindly.
‘No, not yet.’
c) ‘Feeling better?’
‘Yes, much.’
‘Hangover?’
‘Over now.’
d) ‘More tea?’
‘No, thanks. Dry sherry, perhaps.’
‘My turn.’
‘Oh, well… whatever.’
e) If I can’t marry you, nobody else will.
f) ‘I expect you’re very left-wing, like most of the young.’
‘Oh no.’
‘Interested in politics?’
‘Party politics? No.’
‘But some kind of politics.’
g) ‘Say when.’
‘When.’
h) ‘Liar.’
‘Say that again?’
‘You heard.’

134
‘Cheeky girl.’
i) ‘ Anything to eat?’
‘Yes, please.’
‘Bread. We’re out of biscuits.’
‘OK, anything.’
We settled down to the stew.
‘When are you coming back to London?’ he asked.
‘I don’t know.’
‘What about Hartley?’
‘What about her?’
‘Any news, views?’
‘No.’
‘You’ve given up?’
‘No.’
‘I had tea with her and Ben.’
‘What was it like?’
‘Polite. More wine?’
‘Thank you.’

Translate into English, paying attention to the grammar problem discussed above:
a) Nu putea să îl mintă pe prietenul şi colegul lui. Doar îl cunoştea de când erau în liceu. b) Această carte
este diferită dar şi asemănătoare cu romanul pe care l-a scris el. c) Se uitară cu toţii şi admirară statuia
impunătoare din Piaţa Revoluţiei. d) S-a răstit la el şi l-a pălmuit. e) Aş vrea să ne uităm la tablourile din
camera aceasta sau din cealaltă. f) Sora sa mănâncă, respiră şi ascultă numai Beatles. g) Mă interesează şi
mă încântă cărţile rare. h) Unde şi cum ne vom întâlni să rezolvăm problema, rămâne de văzut. i) Nu ştiu
cine şi de ce a omorât-o, dar cred că e mai puţin important oricum. j) I-a invitat de ziua lui pe comandant şi
pe adjunct. k) Nu îmi văd capul de treburi şi tu vrei să mă uit pe poeziile tale şi să le comentez. l) A luat,
a citit şi a criticat tot ce scrisese soţia sa în tinereţe. m) Cartea aceasta este a lui Bill şi a lui John. n)
Romanul de pe masă este al lui Bill şi-al lui Dickens.

Translate into English, paying attention to the grammar problem discussed above:
1.
- Treci des pe aici? Cu cine?
Deodată devin atent la ce se întâmplă pe şosea. O Dacie argintie a oprit la câteva sute de metri mai jos de
casa lui Paicu şi din ea a ieşit un om cu o puşcă de vânătoare pe umăr. Un braconier.
- Vino repede! – îi ordon fetei.
Ea se execută. Priveşte în vale de parcă s-ar uita la o vitrină de modă. Şi asta va trebui s-o învăţ.
- Azi dimineaţă, când a oprit maşina lângă tine, domnu doctor avea o cămaşă albastră?
- Da.
- Înseamnă că el e!
- Cine?
- Ăla de-acolo, care intră acum în pădure.
- Ei, şi?
- Înseamnă că el e braconierul cu arma.
- De unde ştii?
- Păi, ce caută singur în pădure cu arma pe umăr?
- Poate a plecat să mă caute – se miorlăie ea. Poate mă crede împresurată de lupi şi vine să mă salveze.
Deci mintea ei stă tot la cavalerul cel frumos care-şi varsă sângele pentru ea în luptă cu jivinele pădurii! Un
cavaler, mai mulţi, ce contează?
- Crezi c-ar face-o?
- De ce nu?
Tac. Apoi găsesc.
- Pentru că lupii nu vin la vremea asta aşa aproape de sat. La mistreţi se duce el, nu la lupi.
- Atunci poate că vrea să mă salveze de mistreţi. Şi mistreţii sunt răi, nu-I aşa?
Se alintă.
- Prostii – îi tai eu elanul. Deocamdată un om cu arma a intrat în sectorul tatălui meu. Hai!

135
O iau de mână şi pornim spre vale.
- Tatăl tău e pădurar? – zice.
- Da. Ca şi al tău, nu?
- Şi tu vrei să te faci tot pădurar.
- Nu ca tatăl tău.
- Dar ca al tău?
- Nici ca el.
Are chef de conversaţie, iar eu mă grăbesc. Eu am chef să-l prind pe domnu doctor în flagrant delict.
Mamă, ce-ar fi?
- Mama vrea să dau la medicină! – se laudă ea.
- Şi tu?
Oftează.
- O să încerc la medicină.
(Mircea Nedelciu – Proză scurtă)
2.
Mă întorceam, în după-amiaza inundată de căldura uscată, chinuit de foame, adâncindu-mă ca în
cauciuc în asfaltul încins, privind caii obosiţi ai trăsurilor, storurile trase pentru siestă la mai toate casele,
dar era în mine o tristeţe uşoară şi plăcută. Simţeam că femeia aceasta era a mea în exemplar unic, aşa ca
eul meu, ca mama mea, că ne întâlnisem de la începutul lumii, peste toate devenirile, amândoi, şi aveam să
pierim la fel amândoi.
Eram ca într-o zi imensă şi întâmplările acestea mici, amănunţite până în fracţii de impresie, erau
printre cele mai importante din viaţa mea. Astăzi când le scriu pe hârtie, îmi dau seama, iar şi iar, că tot ce
povestesc nu are importanţă decât pentru mine, că nici nu are sens să fie povestite. Pentru mine însă, care
nu trăiesc decât o singură dată în desfăşurarea lumii, ele au însemnat mai mult decât războaiele pentru
cucerirea Chinei, decât şirurile de dinastii egiptene, decât ciocnirile de aştri în necuprins, căci singura
existenţă reală e aceea a conştiinţei. Şi, în organizarea şi ierarhia conştiinţei mele, femeia mea era mai vie şi
mai reală decât stelele distrugător de uriaşe, al căror nume nu-l ştiu.
(Camil Petrescu – Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război)

D
WRITING

1. ADVERTISEMENT. Read the following advertisments paying attention to the use of ellipsis. Write a
similar one:

EYE LOVE
ATTRACTIVE, MUSCULAR tanned pathological liar (officer and gentleman) seeks sexy birds for
frivolic penfriendship to liven up otherwise dull naval deployment to Gulf. Box 3253.
MALE RECLUSE, 39, seeks female associate, 16-40, vaguely educated, for occasional trials of social
skills. Awkwardness essential. London. Box 1253.
FLING WANTED by 40-something attached male, before it’s too late. ME uncomplicated, adventurous.
YOU interesting, playful. All letters answered. SEast/TValley. Box 2346
BLUESTOCKING, BLONDE, 34, Oxbridge, voluptuosly styled for comfort, not speed, craves old-
fashioned chap, 30ish-40-ish with taste and SAVOIR-FAIRE, for enduring FIN-DE-SIECLE wonderment;
possibly permanent commitment. Oxon/wherever. Box 2657
(from Private Eye, No. 953, Friday, 26 June, 1998)

2. DOUBLE DIALOGUE
Situation: A young man belonging to the upper class proposes marriage to his fiancée, who also
comes from an upper class family. At the same time, the young man’s servant proposes marriage to a
woman, who is also a servant. Write two dialogues, one for each situation, trying to capture the class
distinctions from the point of view of the language used and of the information that is relevant in each of
the conversations.

136
THREE
THE WORKING-CLASS
Leaving school at sixteen, the working-class man feels inadequate because he is inarticulate. He is
thought of as being bloody-minded and lazy by the middle classes because he can’t express himself and to
snort ‘Definitely, disgusting’, in answer to any question put to him, is the only way he can show his
disapproval.
The working classes divide themselves firmly into the Rough and the Respectable. The Rough get
drunk fairly often, make a great deal of noise at night, often engage in prostitution, have public fights,
neglect their children, swear in front of women and children, and don’t give a stuff about anything – just
like the upper classes, in fact. The Respectables chunter over such behaviour, and in Wales sing in Male
Voice Choirs. They also look down on people on the dole, the criminal classes and the blacks, who they
refer to as ‘soap dodgers’.

MR AND MRS DEFINITELY-DISGUSTING

Our archetypal working-class couple is Mr and Mrs DEFINITELY-DISGUSTING. They have two
children, SHARON and DIVE, and live in a council house with walls so thin you can hear the budgie
pecking its seed next door. Mr Definitely-Disgusting is your manual worker. He might be a miner in the
North, a car worker in the Midlands, or a casual labourer in the South. He married young and lived for a
while with his wife’s parents. After a year or two he went back to going to the pub, football and the dogs
with the blokes. He detests his mother-in-law. But, despite his propensity to foul language, he is extremely
modest, always undressing with his back to Mrs D-D. He often does something slightly illegal, nicking a
car or knocking off a telly. He is terrified of the police, who, being lower-middle and the class just above,
reserve their special venom for him. Mrs Definitely-Disgusting wears her curlers and pinny to the local
shop and spends a lot of the day with a cigarette hanging from her bottom lip gossiping and grumbling.

MR AND MRS NOUVEAU-RICHARDS

The other couple you will meet are the NOUVEAU-RICHARDS, of working-class origin but have
made a colossal amount of money. Boasting and ostentation are their salient characteristics. At coffee
mornings Mrs Nouveau-Richards, who lives in lurex, asks anyone if they’ve got any idea ‘whether gold
plate will spoil in the dishwasher’. She has a huge house and lots of servants, who she bullies unmercifully.
She is very rude to waiters and very pushy with her children, TRACEY-DIANE and JISON, who have
after-school coaching several hours every day. Mr Nouveau-Richards gets on the committee of every
charity ball in London. The upper classes call him by his Christian name and appreciate his salty humour,
but don’t invite him to their houses. Jison goes to Stowe and Oxford and ends up a member of the Telly-
stocracy, who are the real powers in the land – the people in communication who appear on television.
They always talk about ‘my show.’ (Jilly Cooper – Class, 1981)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

Consider the following class chart devised by Paul Fussell in 1983. Comment on the validity of the
‘surefire class indicators’ proposed in it. Could you come up with a similar schema for our own social
classes?

CLASS Your Living Room Your Favourite Your Vocabulary Your Car Tells
Announces It Drink Proclaims It Shouts It the World
UPPER Threadbare Oriental Scotch on the rocks ‘Grandfather died.’ Dirty old
rugs; Dark wood (no soda!) in a ‘Muffy is pregnant.’ Plymouth or
walls; Exotic, out-of- tumbler decorated Chevy
season flowers with sailboats
MIDDLE Wall-to-wall ‘Grandma passed Brand-new
carpeting; Imitation ‘Martoonies’ away.’ Mercedes or

137
Tiffany lamps; ‘Meredith is BMW
Encyclopedia expecting.’
Britannica in wall
unit
PROLE Linoleum floor; ‘Uncle was taken Anything with
Naugahyde Domestic beer out of to Jesus.’ stuffed dice or
Barcalounger; Fancy the can ‘Minnie is in a baby shoes
aquarium family way.’ hanging in the
window.

(Paul Fussell – Class, 1983)

B
VOCABULARY

1. Consider the list of lexical items below. Select a) the informal words b) the formal words. List
them in the two-column table, trying to provide a definition for each item.
Propensity, on the dole, not to give a stuff on anything, labourer, nick something, pushy, bully, chunter,
inadequate, grumble, worker, bloke, articulate, salient, ostentation, archetypal.

INFORMAL FORMAL

2. CLIPPING AND BLENDING. Explain how the following words are formed; build contexts for
each of these words:
Telly, tellystocracy, glitteratti, pinny, hankie, undies, motel, jammies, showbiz, sitcom, pram, fridge,
shrink, sexcapade, guesstimate, autocide, chocoholic, slanguage, brunch, Oxbridge, wellies, meritocracy,
vac, amp, sissy, smog, wargasm, dawk, droid, rrhoid, veggie.

3. SYNONYMY:
a) Fill in the blanks with one of the following synonyms: rough, coarse, gritty, scaly, prickly
1. All the hospital beds were covered with _______ cotton sheets. 2. To relieve tight, itchy or _____ skin,
add a teaspoon of fine oil to your bathwater. 3. I hate wearing woolen underclothes – they feel so _____.
4. The sea is ______ today, I’m afraid; we’re not going to be able to take a swim. 5. Her straight hair, once
dark brown, was becoming gray and ______. 6. Suddenly he fell headfirst, badly cutting his forehead on
the ______ edge of a rock. 7. A jeep is ideal for riding over _______terrain. 8. He doesn’t have polished
manners, but he’s kind: a ______ diamond, if ever there was one. 9. His ______ manners and jokes did not
endear him to his wife. 10. Oh, I didn’t mean any disrespect. You’re a bit _____ today, aren’t you, to be so
easily offended? 11. I’ve never liked the kind of cheap ______ bread they serve in this restaurant.
b) Translate into Romanian, trying to find equivalents for the following series of synonyms:
complain, go about, nag, grumble, moan, gripe, whinge, whine, bitch, chunter.
1. I don’t know why you keep whingeing about being underpaid. You earn a lot more than I do. 2. Look,
I’m sorry I kept you waiting, but there’s no need to go on and on about it. 3. I got really irritated when
Christina griped about the lack of cooperation from my kids. 4. Don’t be such a fusspot, that small amount
of garlic won’t kill you. 5. She left her last job because her boss used to nag at her all the time. 6. I can’t
understand why you lot are all moaning and groaning just because we have to get up early. 7. For heaven’s
sake, stop whining. Nobody has touched your precious records. 8. You’re an old misery. Ever since we
came away on holiday you’ve done nothing but moan. 9. She’s such a moaner – to listen to her, you’d think
the whole world was against her. 10. She’s always grumbling about some thing or other – if it’s not the
weather, it’s her husband. 11. There’s no place in the army for people who whinge. 12. She’s always
bitching about people at work. She’s just an old grumbler, if you ask me. 13. Look at him, always
chuntering about the price of food in the shops. And you thought I was cheap!

138
4. Paraphrase and provide a context for the following collocations:
To be in one’s teens/ a playground bully/ bully-boy tactics/ at a rough estimate/ to give somebody a peck on
the cheek/ pecking order/ the gossip column/ salt of the earth/ to feel a bit peckish/ a pusher/ dodgy.

5. POLYSEMY: TALK. Translate into Romanian:


1. He actually wasted precious hours talking round the issue. 2. Take the day off? Now you’re talking! 3. I
would really like to see how he’s going to talk his way out of that one! 4. Oh, come on, let’s stop talking
shop for once! There are people here who aren’t really interested in food-processing. 5. The evening turned
to be a disaster. First he drank his way through a whole bourbon bottle and then he talked my head off for
hours. 6. Don’t you dare talk back! You’re in the doghouse as it is! 7. I’m really curious to see if he’ll
manage to talk his boss into giving him a rise. 8. We finally succeeded in talking them round to our way of
thinking. 9. Be more discreet, or you’ll get yourself talked about. 10. Talk about stupid! I thought he’ll
never stop!

C
GRAMMAR: EXPRESSING HABITUAL ACTIONS AND GENERALIZATIONS

Let us look again at a fragment from the text above:

(1) The working classes divide themselves firmly into the Rough and the Respectable. The Rough get
drunk fairly often, make a great deal of noise at night, often engage in prostitution, have public fights,
neglect their children, swear in front of women and children, and don’t give a stuff about anything –
just like the upper classes, in fact. The Respectables chunter over such behaviour, and in Wales sing in
Male Voice Choirs. They also look down on people on the dole, the criminal classes and the blacks,
who they refer to as ‘soap dodgers’.

There are two types of items we have underlined in this piece of text. First, consider the phrases in italics,
all representing simple present tense forms that are used by Jilly Cooper as an effective means of building
up a generalization. Thus the main value of Simple Present is put to good use, by way of which the idea of
present habit is impressed upon us. The second category of items we have chosen to underline are
frequency adverbials such as often, at night, always, etc. which are meant to reinforce the idea of
repetition expressed by the verbal forms.

This section tries to offer students a brief survey of the grammatical and lexical devices used by English to
convey temporal repetition, iteration. We shall try to discuss this problem by trying to make a distinction
between present and past situations.

Why is the Present-Past Distinction Necessary?

In order to answer this question we need to have a look at the following pair of sentences in the table
below:

(2)
PRESENT PAST

Sally goes to school. Sally went to school.

The main difference that we can spot between these two sentences is a temporal one. Obviously, the first
sentence makes use of the Simple Present, whereas the second one makes use of the Simple Past. But is this
the only distinction that we can speak of? Try and add a temporal adverbial phrase to each of these
sentences. You will see that in the case of the Simple Present sentence, the first time adverb that pops up
into your head is a frequency one such as often or every day. In the second case however, a definite time
adverb is our first option. Consider the table again:

(3)

139
PRESENT PAST

Sally goes to school (every day). Sally went to school (yesterday).

This test shows us that there is an important semantic difference between these two tenses: while the main
value of Present Simple is that of showing repetition at the present moment, the main meaning of Past
Simple is that of expressing the fact that one event took place in the past:

(4)
PRESENT PAST

Sally goes to school (every day). Sally went to school (yesterday).


Repeated action Single event in the past

In other words, while Present Simple’s main job is to make generalizations, Past Simple is used for
particular instances. This is a crucial distinction that points to the asymmetry existing in the English
Indicative. Present and Past Simple convey different information:
 Temporal : present vs. past
 Aspectual: repeated vs. single

The temporal distinction is not something we wouldn’t expect. It is only too normal that two different
tenses should be temporally distinct. But what about their aspectual dimension? Both are ‘simple’ tenses.
Therefore we would normally expect them to behave similarly from this point of view.

How Does English Solve the Aspectual Asymmetry?

Due to the existence of this distinction, English needed a solution for expressing past habit. This gave rise
to more than one ways of expressing past repetition in the language. We will list these possibilities below:

(5)

Simple Past + Sally went to school every day.


Obligatory Frequency Mary often visited her aunt.
Adverb
Habit ‘would’ When we were kids we would visit our aunt and
listen to her wonderful stories. Then we would go
back home and repeat them to mother.
Used to She used to go to the opera when she was in her
teens.
I used to cook wonderful meals for Jim when we
were young.

Let us discuss each of these categories in turn:

Past Simple can convey repetition but only when combined with a frequency adverbial. Otherwise it
expresses a single event in the past. Compare:

(6) a. She played her records.


b. She played her records often/ whenever she fancied/ every day.

If there is no time adverb present to clarify the meaning of the tense form, we automatically interpret this
form as expressing one single event that took place at a point in the past.

140
Habit ‘would’ is a frequent device in narration. It is not preferred in single sentences, but it functions very
well when repeated in a complex sentence or in a larger text:

(7) When we were kids we would visit our aunt and listen to her wonderful stories. Then we would go
back home and repeat them to mother.

An important characteristic of habit ‘would’ is that it does not combine with state verbs:

(8) * She would love Jim a lot when she was younger.

If we want to reformulate this sentence correctly, we will have to resort to either Simple Past or to used to:

(9) a. She loved Jim a lot when she was younger.


b. She used to love Jim a lot when she was younger.

Habit ‘would’ is the past counterpart for habit ‘will’ (which is in fact our probability ‘will’, see Unit Two,
Section One, C). This modal is also used to convey the idea of present habit, but is much less frequent than
‘would’:

(10) a. Accidents will happen.


b. They will sit there for hours, fishing and telling jokes.

The fact that habit ‘will/would’ is a modal is checked by its validity in time adverbial sentences introduced
by whenever. As you know, the presence of a future auxiliary is banned in such contexts:

(11) a. Whenever they will go fishing, they will sit there for hours, enjoying themselves.
b. Whenever they would go fishing, they would sit there for hours, enjoying themselves.

Nota bene!
 Simple Past needs frequency adverbs to convey the idea of habit
 Habit ‘would’ does not go well with state verbs

Used to
This phrase has often been analysed as having a modal value. Unlike ‘would’, it is not restricted to
narrative contexts and is very frequently employed by speakers of English.

There is another thing that distinguishes ‘used to’ from ‘would’ or from Past Simple: ‘used to’ does not
have a present counterpart. So, beware of such incorrect instances as those under (12):

(12) a. *Mary uses to go there quite often.


b. * They use to like her.

It is only too normal for ‘used to’ to be a past-only expression. Since English has Present Simple for
expressing habit in the present, why should it need an extra form? Then, if one really needs to lay emphasis
on the idea of present iteration, they can always make use of adverbs such as usually or nominal predicates
such as be used to + ing:

(13) a. Mary goes there quite often.


b. They like her.
c. She usually lets her husband have the final word.
d. I’m used to sleeping late.

Learners of English erroneously think that the nominal predicate (i.e. be used to + ing, which is quite
infrequently used in English) is the present counterpart of ‘used to’. But while the former is a copula +
adjective construction, the latter is a verb phrase. How do we check on that? Negation is a good test:

141
(14) a. I’m used to sleeping late.
b. I’m not used to sleeping late.

(15) a. She used to sleep late.


b. She didn’t use to sleep late.

The fact that ‘used to’ is a lexical verb, not a copula, is checked by its being combined with ‘did’. This is
not the case of ‘be used to + ing’ where do-insertion is impossible. ‘Used to’ functions just like your
normal English regular verb (play, smile, etc.). So take care to use the infinitive form after ‘did’:

(16) a. They didn’t play well.


b. *They didn’t played well.
c. They didn’t use to go there.
d. *They didn’t used to go there.

Both (b) and (d) are very bad sentences, because the presence of the past temporal morpheme in both the
auxiliary (did) and the lexical verb (play, use) conveys redundant temporal information.

Nota bene!
 ‘Used to’ is a past-only device.
 Don’t mistake ‘used to’ for ‘to be used to + ing’.
 The negation of ‘used to’ is ‘didn’t use to’.

EXERCISES:

1. Consider the text above. Try and rewrite it in the past, performing all the necessary changes to
make it coherent.
2. a. Translate the text below, paying attention to the grammar problem discussed in this section.
b. Comment upon the underlined phrases. Why is it that you can use the Present tense in a past
context? Why is it that we can use Past Simple to formulate generalizations even if there is no
frequency adverb present?
c. Can you speak of this text as being made up of two distinct parts? How do you motivate this
statement?
I passed all the other courses that I took at my university, but I could never pass botany. This was because
all botany students had to spend several hours a week in a laboratory looking through a microscope at plant
cells and I could never see through a microscope. I never once saw a cell through a microscope. This used
to enrage my instructor. He would wander around the laboratory pleased with the progress all the students
were making in drawing the involved and, so I am told, interesting structure of flower cells, until he came
to me. I would just be standing there. “I can’t see anything.” I would say. He would begin patiently enough,
explaining how anybody can see through a microscope, but he would always end up in a fury, claiming that
I could too see through a microscope but just pretended that I couldn’t. “ It takes away from the beauty of
flowers anyway”, I used to tell him. “ We are not concerned with beauty in this course”, he would say. “
We are concerned solely with that I may call the mechanics of flowers”, “ Well “, I’d say, and I would put
my eye to the microscope and see nothing at all, except now and again a nebulous milky substance – a
phenomenon of maladjustment. You were supposed to see a vivid, restless clockwork of sharply defined
plant cells. “ I see what looks like a lot of milk”, I would tell him. This, he claimed, was the result of my
not having adjusted the microscope properly, so he would readjust it for me, or rather, for himself. And I
would look again and see milk.
I finally took a deferred pass, as they call it, and waited a year and tried again. (You had to pass one of
the biological sciences or you couldn’t graduate). The professor had come back from vacation brown as a
berry, bright-eyed and eager to explain cell-structure again to his classes: “ Well” he addressed me, “ We
are going to see cells this time, aren’t we?” “ Yes, sir “, I said. Students to right of me and to left of me and
in front of me were seeing cells; what’s more, they were quietly drawing pictures of them in their
notebooks; of course, I didn’t see anything.

142
“ We’ll try it “, the professor said to me, grimly, “with every adjustment of the microscope known to
man. As God is my witness, I’ll arrange this glass so that you see cells through it or I’ll give up teaching. In
twenty- two years of botany, I…” He cut off abruptly for he was beginning to quiver all over, like Lionel
Barrymore, and he really wished he hold on to his temper. His scenes with me had taken a great deal out of
him.
So we tried it with every adjustment of the microscope known to man. With only one of them did I see
anything but blackness or the familiar lacteal opacity, and that time I saw, to my pleasure and amazement, a
variegated constellation of flecks, specks and dots. These I hastily drew. The instructor, noting my activity,
came back from an adjoining desk, a smile on his lips and his eyebrows high in hope. He looked at my cell
drawing. “ What’s that?” he demanded with a hint of squeal in his voice. “ That’s what I saw”, I said. “
You didn’t, you didn’t, you didn’t!” he screamed, loosing control of his temper. He instantly bent over and
squinted into the microscope. His head snapped up. “That’s your eye!” he shouted. “ You’ve fixed the lens
so that it reflects! You’ve drawn your eye! (James Thurber – University Days)

3. Translate the following, paying attention to the grammar problem discussed in this section:
a) George pierdu ceasuri întregi jupuind câinele cu ajutorul securii. Degetele îi amorţiseră şi mirosul aspru
al cărnii îi întorcea stomacul pe dos. Colonelul ieşi afară şi aduse apă din şanţ în câteva cutii de conserve
ruginite. Petrecură aproape toată noaptea încercând să fiarbă carnea aceea albă şi aţoasă. Colonelul îşi
muşca tot timpul buzele; când, în sfârşit, împungând carnea cu băţ, socotiră că e destul de moale, îl sculară
pe sublocotenent, cu greu, deoarece se prăbuşea mereu pe patul de scânduri. Apoi începu să înghită hălci
mari, înecându-se şi sughiţând. Era bine, cald şi George îşi simţea membrele ca de plumb. Colonelul le
spuse că vor dormi toată ziua şi spre seară vor porni spre apus. Mâna i se umflase tare, o privea mereu,
clătinând din cap. (Titus Popovici - Setea)
b)Pomponescu era obişnuit să aibă la masă câte un invitat cel puţin. Când anticamera era plină, reţinea pe
rând câte unul. Acum nu mai avea de unde face alegere, şi prânzul şi cina erau foarte morocănoase. Madam
Pomponescu urmări cu telefonul pe cunoscuţi , dar aceştia fie că nu raspundeau, fie că se scuzau. Numai
Smărăndache veni de vreo două ori şi o data Hagienuş, care înainte de a intra pe poartă, privi cu atenţie în
toate părţile. Nu era laş în halul lui Sufleţel , totuşi avea convingerea că o relaţie deschisă cu Pomponescu
nu-i fără risc. (George Călinescu – Scrinul negru)
c)* Într-o cârciumă, un mahalagiu se împinse în prinţ, imagină exclamaţii inexistente din partea acestuia şi-
l luă de gât , cu intenţia precisă de a îl sili să se înfurie şi apoi să îl lovească cu un briceag. Agenţii şedeau
la o parte, gata de a “ aresta ” pe mahalagiul agresor, căruia i se promisese o imediată eliberare pentru caz
de legitimă apărare şi o substanţială recompensă bănească. Din păcate, Hangerliu unea calmul cu o forţă
herculiană, foarte bine disimulată în moliciunea gesturilor sale. Când individul îl prinse de gât , Hangerliu
apucă mâna ipochimenului şi o desprinse, aruncând-o cu atâta facilitate şi o comică strâambatură de
compătimire, încât lumea începu să râdă. Atins în onoarea lui de pungaş , individul se aruncă furios la
Hangerliu. Acesta îl pocni cu dosul palmei fără nici o sforţare şi îl lăsă lat lângă masă, după care ispravă
ieşi din local, nesupărat de nimeni. De atunci însă nu mai frecventă localurile suspecte şi alese ca unic loc
de întâlnire “ Capşa “. (George Călinescu – Scrinul negru)
d) Hagienuş se uita la copiii lui ca la ochii din cap, încântându-l chiar şi impertinenţa lor, şi nu prindea
necaz pe ei nici când îii făceau pozne ca acelea împotriva guvernantei. N-avea încredere, cu toate astea, în
ei, pentru că filozofia lui spunea că, prin legea naturii, copiii înlătură pe bătrâni. (George Călinescu –
Scrinul negru)
e) A fost odata o ţară unde toata lumea fura. Noaptea, toţi locuitorii ieşeau cu şperaclul şi cu lanterna
mascată în mână ca să forţeze casa vreunui vecin. Se întorcea fiecare în zori încărcat, dar îşi găsea casa
jefuită.
În felul acesta toţi trăiau în deplină înţelegere şi nepăgubiţi, pentru că unul fura de la altul, iar acesta, la
rândul lui, de la un al treilea şi aşa mai departe, până se ajungea la ultimul care fura de la primul. Comerţul
practicat în ţara aceea echivala cu o tragere pe sfoară atât pentru cel care vindea cât şi pentru cel ce
cumpăra. Guvernul era o congregaţie de delicvenţă în dauna supuşilor, care, la rândul lor, nu aveau alt gând
decât să păcăleasca guvernul. Aşa că viaţa continua fără hopuri, neexistând nici bogaţi nici săraci.
S-a întâmplat însă, nu se ştie cum, ca în ţara aceea să existe un om cinstit. În loc să iasă noaptea cu sacul
şi lanterna, stătea în casă, fuma şi citea romane.
Hoţii veneau, vedeau lumina aprinsă şi nu mai urcau.

143
Treaba a mers asa o bucată de vreme, dar au fost nevoiţi să-i dea de înţeles că n-avea decât să trăiască
fără să facă nimic, însă nu era cazul să-i împiedice prin felul lui de a fi pe ceilalţi să o facă. Fiecare noapte
petrecută de el în casă însemna să laşi o familie fără hrană în ziua următoare.
În faţa acestor argumente, omul cinstit nu avea replică. Începu şi el să iasă seara din casă şi să se întoarcă
a doua zi dar nu se ducea să fure. Cinstit cum era, n-aveai ce să-i faci. Se ducea pe pod şi privea apa care
curgea pe dedesubt; la întoarcere îşi găsea casa jefuită.
În mai puţin de o săptămână, cinstitul se trezi fără un ban, fără nimic de mâncare şi cu casa goală. Până
aici, nimic grav, pentru că vina era a lui; necazul e că din cauza modului său de a proceda se deregla totul.
Pentru că el se lăsa furat, fără să fure de la careva; din această pricină se găsea mereu câte unul care, la
întoarcere îşi găsea casa neatinsă: casa de unde ar fi trebuit să jefuiasca el. Cert e că, după o vreme, cei care
nu fuseseră prădaţi erau mai bogaţi decât ceilalţi şi n-au mai vrut să fure. Iar, pe de altă parte, cei ce veneau
să fure de la omul cinstit, găseau casa goală; aşa ajungeau să sărăcească.
Între timp, cei ce se îmbogăţiseră au prins şi ei obiceiul să se ducă pe pod să vadă cum curge apa pe
dedesubt. Ceea ce a accentuat dereglarea, pentru că au fost mult mai mulţi cei care s-au îmbogăţit şi mulţi
alţii care au sărăcit. Bogaţii şi-au dat însă seama că, mergând noaptea pe pod, după o vreme aveau să
sărăcească. Ce s-au gândit? “ Să plătim nişte săraci care să fure în contul nostru.” Au fost încheiate
contracte, au fost stabilite salariile, procentele: fireşte, tot hoţi erau şi încercau să se tragă pe sfoară unii pe
alţii. Dar, aşa cum se întâmplă de obicei, bogaţii deveneau tot mai bogaţi, iar săracii tot mai săraci.
Existau bogaţi atât de bogaţi încât nu mai aveau nevoie să fure sau să pună pe alţii să fure ca să rămână în
continuare bogaţi. Dar dacă nu mai prădau, sărăceau, pentru că nevoiaşii furau de la ei. Atunci i-au plătit pe
cei mai săraci dintre săraci ca să-şi apere averea de ceilalţi săraci. Aşa au ajuns să instituie poliţia şi să
ridice închisori.
În felul acesta, la numai câţiva ani de la întâmplarea cu omul cinstit, nu se mai vorbea de mers la furat şi
de a fi furat, ci numai de bogaţi şi săraci; în ciuda acestui fapt, continuau să fie cu toţii nişte hoţi.
Cinstit nu fusese decât omul nostru, care a murit curând, de foame. (Italo Calvino – O lume de hoţi)

3. Consider the following fragment representing a description of a famous city and its inhabitants.
What are the grammatical devices the author uses to make generalizations? Does the type of the
text (i.e. description) dictate the author’s choice in point of tense forms, syntax, etc.?
I love the night. In Venice, a long time ago, when we had our own calendar and stayed aloof from the
world, we began the days at night. What use was the sun to us when our trade and our secrets and our
diplomacy depended on darkness? In the dark you are in disguise and this is the city of disguises. In those
days (I cannot place them in time because time is to do with daylight), in those days when the sun went
down we opened our doors and slid along the eely waters with a hooded light in our prow. All our boats
were black then and left no mark on the water where they sat. We were dealing in perfume and silk.
Emeralds and diamonds. Affairs of the state. We didn’t build our bridges simply to avoid walking on water.
Nothing so obvious. A bridge is a meeting place. A neutral place. A casual place. Enemies will choose to
meet on a bridge and end their quarrel in that void. One will cross the other side. The other will not return.
For lovers, a bridge is a possibility, a metaphor of their chances. And for the traffic in whispered goods,
where else but a bridge in the night?
We are a philosophical people, conversant with the nature of greed and desire, holding hands with the
Devil and God. We would not wish to let go of either. This living bridge is tempting to all and you may
lose your soul or find it here. (Jeanette Winterson – The Passion)

D
WRITING
1. FORMAL STYLE. Read the following advertisement for a job. Write a letter of application for the
job.

Local doctor seeks nurse in training to work as Saturday assistant. Training will be provided. The
successful applicant will be bright and quick to learn, possibly with an interest in working full-time. An
ability to deal with the public is required. No experience necessary. Good rates of pay.
Apply in writing to Pamela Forster, M.D., 17 High Street

Tips: Do not use a conversational, chatty style. Try to choose words and expressions that are formal,
but not too archaic. Keep your style simple and informative, do not use very long and elaborate

144
sentences or give too many details. Do not state why you need the job, but try to present relevant
information about yourself.

2. CONVERSATION AND STYLE. Write a conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Nouveau Richards or
Mr. and Mrs. Definitely Disgusting. Try to think about the words and expressions that these persons
would use today in a conversation.

FOUR
A CLASS ACT
Glastonbury Festival
PAPERS, PLEASE

Whatever happened to the counterculture?

IF YOU are planning to go to Glastonbury, Britain’s biggest pop festival, this weekend, you had
better go prepared. You will need your unique, personalised ticket and a bank statement, driver’s licence or
debit card to prove your identity. Anyone with no tickets and hippy ideas about free love and free music will
have a 12-foot-tall, four-mile-long perimeter fence to scale. There will also be spot checks for cars without
tickets within a 15-mile radius and patrolling guards in Land Rovers. With this kind of security Michael
Eavis, who runs the event, might consider offering to host the next G8 summit.
How different from 1970, when the first Glastonbury Fayre attracted about 1,500 curious revellers
to a single field for a laid-back weekend of folk and blues. Admission was one pound ($2,40), and that
included free milk. The next year entry was free. Today’s tickets cost ten times as much in real terms and
must be ordered online or by phone. The emphasis is now on security, safety and making sure that the
115,000 people who have paid are the only ones allowed in.
So does all this dilute the freewheeling spirit that made the festival so popular in the first place?
Official advice is to bring those twin symbols of modern capitalism – a credit card and a mobile phone. The
high ticket prices seem likely to prevent some of the more colourful elements from turning up. Reflecting
on the kind of people who attend the modern event, one Glastonbury regular said: ‘The ticket price and the
method of buying, plus the huge fence, creates a Glastonbury that reflects the rich/poor divide in the rest of
the society, rather than being the anti-establishment, free, fun, inclusive summer outing it once was.’
There is a family-oriented camping ground for parents with young children, sensible advice on
noise levels and reminders not to drink to excess. Even the ablutions are upwardly mobile: ‘The showers
seem to get busier and more high-tech every year. You don’t see many soap-dodgers or smelly teenagers.
And hardly and Scousers.’
To be fair to Mr Eavis, the local council, which gives him his entertainment licence, demands the
security measures. The festival was cancelled on public safety grounds in 2001 after an estimated 200,000
people had turned up the year before – nearly 100,000 more than the council had allowed. The safety-
conscious, child-friendly festival has become a fixture in polite society – more middle class than Middle
Earth. (The Economist, June26th, 2004)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

145
Counterculture
In sociology, counterculture is a term used to describe a cultural group
whose values and norms are at odds with those of the social mainstream,
a cultural equivalent of a political opposition. In casual practice, the term
came to prominence in the general press as it was used to refer to the
youth rebellion that swept North America and Western Europe in the
1960s and early 1970s. During the particular countercultural development
of the mid 1960s to mid 1970s, new cultural forms that were perceived as
opposed to the old emerged, including the pop music of the Beatles,
which rapidly evolved to shape and reflect the youth culture's emphasis
on change and experimentation. Underground newspapers sprang up in
most cities and college towns, serving to define and communicate the
range of phenomena that defined the counterculture: radical political
opposition to "the establishment," colorful experimental (and often
explicity drug-influenced) approaches to art, music and cinema, and
uninhibited indulgence in sex and drugs as a symbol of freedom. The
most visible radical element of this counterculture were the hippies, some
of whom formed communes to live as far outside of the established
system as possible.

1. Read the text carefully and explain the phrase ‘personalised ticket’.
2. Correlate the ‘personalised ticket, bank statement, driver’s licence, debit card’ with the class references
made at the end of the article.
3. Comment on the relevance of the title (‘Papers, please’) with respect to the point the article tries to
make.
4. How do you explain the contrast established between ‘security’ and ‘freedom’, ‘child-friendliness’ and
‘anti-establishmentarianism’?
5. Comment upon the phrase ‘more colourful elements’ that the author uses in the text. Find other
words/phrases in the text that refer to such ‘colourful elements’. Is ‘colour’ relevant in any way in this
case?
6. Why does the author choose the word ‘ablutions’ in correlation to the attribute ‘upwardly mobile’?
7. Explain the meaning of ‘soap-dodgers’, ‘smelly teenagers’ and ‘Scousers’. Are these terms class
labels?
8. What does the author mean by ‘polite society’?
9. Comment on the ironical tinge in the comparison ‘more middle class than Middle Earth’. Is there any
literary reference that you can identify? Is this reference relevant for the topic of this article?
10. The last paragraph begins with the phrase ‘to be fair to Mr Eavis’. Comment on the use of the adjective
‘fair’ in this context. Correlate it to the author’s point of view.

B
VOCABULARY

1. Fill in the blanks with words and phrases from the text above:
1. There is sensible advice on noise levels and reminders not to drink ___________.
2. The safety-_______, child-_______ festival has become a fixture in polite society.
3. Today’s tickets cost ten times _______ much.
4. Anyone with no tickets will have a 12-_______, four-_________ perimeter fence to scale.
5. The first festival attracted curious __________ to a single field for a _________ weekend of folk and
blues.
6. So does all this dilute the _________ spirit of the festival?

CONVERSION. Consider the following instances of conversion in the text:


‘one Glastonbury regular said…’
‘The ticket price and the method of buying creates a Glastonbury that reflects the rich/poor divide.’
Translate the following. Comment on how the underlined items were formed:

146
1. I like a quiet read after supper. 2. Let’s go for a spin. 3. He’s such a bore and a cheat. 4. She was
having a good cry. 5. He had several goes at the coconut shy. 6. He’s always on the go. 7. The water is off
the boil. 8. They showed nothing but repeats on TV last night. 9. A visit to the Louvre is a must for every
tourist in Paris. 10. He elbowed his way through the crowd. 11. He is always aping his superiors. 12. Our
cat has kittened. 13. Misfortune dogged his steps. 14. His hair was beginning to grey. 15. Don’t idle away
your time. 16. He pooh-poohed my warning. 17. You must take the rough with the smooth. 18. The long
and the short of it is that he hates his work. 19. Men are such sillies. 20. Jack’s a dear. 21. She was
carrying a crate of empties. 22. She has become an undesirable. 23. She chose the blue silk for the ball.
24. Tom’s in the pink of health. 25. I’m not at my brightest when I wake up in the morning. 26. That’s a
biggie! 27. He’s one of the baddies.

Supply the preposition/particle that is missing:


1.
a. If you want to play ……….fire, play ……….. him. He passes ………….the most dangerous bachelor
in this town.
b. The idea is related ……….what she was saying. Compared ……………my own idea, hers is the
clearer ……….the two.
c. I have lost everything, except…………the clothes……….my back. Come to think ……. it, he’s not a
bad player at all, …………a priest. I’m not so good …………playing poker myself.
d. If it hadn’t been …………..mother, I would have been …………….big trouble. As it is, I am very
grateful …….. her timely intervention.
e. Get ……….my head, I’m so busy …………cooking right now!
f. Don’t be rude…………..her, she’s your best friend. Stop laughing …………..her in such a manner!
g. Are you angry ………….. me? You said you were mad ……….. me and I could see you were black
………..fury.
h. She did this ……… ………..fear and I couldn’t stop her making a fool ………….herself.
i. You shouldn’t feel envious or jealous …………..other people, no matter how eager ……….. praise
you might be.
j. Apart …………what I took………..me, I left everything ……………..my husband so I could find it
when I get back………..the trip.
k. Alec took advantage …………….Tess’s innocence. He had run…………her and tempted her………
gifts until she had given ……….. to his demands.
l. ………..that story, I think that we’d better put it …………us for good. We should try to make ……….
and look for another place to live…………
m. Huck went …………a lot of pain and suffering, but ………..end he was rewarded. ………..the same
time, his friend Tom got a lot of experience ………their adventures.
n. …………her admirers, she has a marked preference ………….John. He really know how to talk her
……….doing what he wants.
o. He bowed………..her and said he would see her …………… because she should not walk alone at
night.
p. You cannot approve………..his bad manners! He can never be depended ……….. to behave himself,
but ………..least you can put him ………..his place.

2.
It would not be possible ……….the short space available …………a general history to enter……..detail of
the varying fortunes of these states during the early period. The history of these centuries is an intricate
record…….war and intrigue, which is chiefly ………interest in the occasional light thrown ……….feudal
customs and social conditions. Here all that will be attempted is ……….give a survey to the old Chinese
feudal age, when the old order still held intact, though fast verging ………decay.
The Son of Heaven was………theory the supreme lord of the land. When his vassals came ………court,
which they were supposed to do…………frequent intervals, they were bound………a strict ceremonial
which laid emphasis ………their inferior degree.

4*. COMPLEX VERB: TURN. Translate into English, using the verb turn + particle:
1. Nu pot să înţeleg cum ai putut să te întorci împotriva propriilor tăi părinţi. 2. După cum s-a dovedit mai
apoi, n-a mai fost nevoie să explic de ce nu îi cumpărasem cadou. 3. Nici n-are sens să îţi mai baţi capul cu

147
ce să te îmbraci. N-ai să o întreci pe Susan, ştii bine că e mereu bine îmbrăcată. 4. L-a întors din drum
pentru că şoseaua era blocată. 5. Păi ar cam fi timpul să mă duc la culcare. 6. Şi m-a bătut atâta la cap că
nu am mai avut chef de nimic! 7. Ia uite, iar mi-a întors vântul umbrela pe dos! 8. După ce a rămas
însărcinată, părinţii au dat-o afară din casă fără să le mai pese de ea. 9. Compania noastră scoate cel putin
150 de milioane pe an. 10. Autorităţile de la vamă l-au predat pe infractor poliţiştilor. 11. Nu ştiu la cine aş
putea apela pentru o mână de ajutor. 12. Până la urmă s-a dovedit că nu minţise deloc şi toată lumea a fost
jenată de întorsătura evenimentelor.

C
GRAMMAR: CONTEXTS THAT REQUIRE THE PRESENCE OF GERUNDS

Consider the following examples extracted from the text above. We have chosen to underline
those elements that are responsible for the presence of gerundial structures in the respective sentences:

(1) The high ticket prices seem likely to prevent some of the more colourful elements from turning up.
(2) Michael Eavis, who runs the event, might consider offering to host the next G8 summit.
(3) The emphasis is now on security, safety and making sure that…
(4) The ticket price and the method of buying creates a Glastonbury that reflects the rich/poor divide.

As you have noticed from the examples offered here, there are two main classes of items that require
the presence of gerunds. One important grammatical category that takes gerunds as its complements is that
of prepositions (see examples 3 and 4). The other class is represented by a special kind of verbs (examples
1 and 2).

What is the difference between these two classes? While in the case of prepositions the elements that
they combine with are predictable (either nouns or gerunds), in the case of verbs, things are not as easily
predicted. This is so because we expect verbs to be followed by infinitives or ‘that’ clauses and because
most verbs behave according to our expectations. However, there are a few notable exceptions. This means
that while we do not necessarily need to memorize any kind of combinations between prepositions and –ing
forms we definitely need to learn by heart and remember those verbs that normally combine with gerundial
structures (or with prepositions and gerundial structures, for that matter). We offer this list below:

VERBS (AND ADJECTIVES) THAT REQUIRE GERUNDS


EXCEPTIONS
1. Verb + Gerund (Direct Object)
a)avoid, adore, bear, chance (risk), contemplate, dread, dislike, detest, drop,
end up, enjoy, escape, evade, feign, finish, give up, hate, keep, leave off, love,
miss, postpone, put off, play, practise, risk, resume, renounce, shirk, can’t I would
resist, help, stand, grudge love/hate to go
b)condemn, consider (think over), justify, ensure, include, entail, necessitate, to that party.
encourage, defer, delay, excuse, pardon, defend, detest, support, sanction,
oppose, criticize, favour
c)* resent, regret, grasp, perceive, repent, deplore, ignore, care (about), bear
in mind, mind, reveal, discover, disclose
d)* admit, emphasise, explain, mention, announce, point out, verify, mean, I regret to say
acknowledge, certify, testify, doubt, deny, imagine, imply, etc. that you are
late.
* these classes have alternative ‘that’ complements:
E.g. She regretted writing the letter.
She regretted that she had written the letter.
2. Verb/Adjective + Gerund (Prepositional Object)
a)about: care, hesitate, hurry, see, talk, dispute, brag; careful, anxious,
annoyed, particular, positive, scrupulous, glad, sorry, happy, excited, right,
wrong, etc.
E.g. He was diffident about telling her the truth.

148
b)against: rule, exclaim, murmur, fight, vote; be dead against
E.g. He exclaimed against her being married off.
c)at: blush, delight, laugh, rejoice, stare; angry, astonished, embarrassed,
impatient, surprised, stunned.
E.g. She was transported at hearing the news.
d)for: answer, vote, care, prepare; prepared, ready, responsible, fit, qualified,
etc.
E.g. I’ll answer for him being there in time.
e)from: abstain, arise, come, emerge, result, desist, discourage, escape,
refrain, shrink, forbear, prevent, etc.
E.g. She can’t abstain from eating chocolate.
f)in: believe, consist, join, assist, fail, end, persist, succeed, delight, take
delight/pleasure/pride etc.; absorbed, deep, instrumental, right, etc.
E.g. I took pleasure in repeating the poem over and over again.
g)of: admit, approve, complain, despair, think; aware, shy, jealous, envious,
sure, weary, worthy, etc.
E.g. His answer was indicative of his wanting to take revenge.
h)on: decide, vote, depend, insist, fix, pride oneself on; bent, keen, set, intent,
resolved, etc.
E.g. She was keen on wrecking his world.
i) to: admit, address, take to, confine oneself, consent, confess, resort, object,
vouch, look forward, be used to, stoop to; committed, confined, opposed,
equal, superior, averse, party
E.g. She wasn’t averse to him joining in for a card game.
j) with: put up, dispense, content, busy oneself; content, pleased, satisfied,
etc.
E.g. She is content with sitting there for hours.

Nota bene!
There are cases in which deverbal nouns (i.e. those nouns derived from the verbs we have mentioned)
retain the ability of combining with a preposition and a gerund:

E.g. His objection to sleeping there was dismissed out of hand.

EXERCISES:
1. Fill in the blanks with the right preposition:
1. Mrs. Touchett was right _______ guessing that Isabel disapproved _______ visiting them.
2. She had indeed spent some days _______ analysing them, and had succeeded _______ separating the
pleasant part of this idea _______ Lord Warburton’s making love to her from the painful.
3. He was a man who for the greater part of a lifetime has abstained without effort _______ making
himself disagreable to his friends.
4. The idea _______ her managing Lord Warburton failed to correspond to any vision of happiness that
she had hitherto entertained, or was now capable _______ entertaining.
5. Mrs. Touchett did not figure in the list, and this was an obstacle the less ________ Isabel’s finding her
uncle alone.
6. She was far ______ understanding the contradictions among her new impressions.
7. Such incongruities were not a help _______ answering Mr. Goodwood’s letter, and Isabel determined
to leave it awhile unanswered. If he had determined to persecute her, he must take the consequences;
foremost among which was his being left to perceive that she did not approve ______ his coming to
Gandecourt. She was already liable to the incursions of one suitor at this place, and though it might be
pleasant to be appreciated in opposite quarters, Isabel had a personal shrinking _______ entertaining
two lovers at once, even in a case where the entertainment should consist _______ dismissing them.
8. She took no pleasure _______ recalling Lord Warburton’s magnanimous disappointment.
9. Fact is there is a good deal of temerity _____ my undertaking to amuse a person like you.

149
10. Our heroine had always passed for a person of resources and had taken a certain pride _______ being
one.
11. I needn’t be afraid _______ becoming too pliable; it is my fault that I am not pliable enough.
12. That is the supreme good fortune: to be in a better position ______ appreciating people than they are
______ appreciating you.
13. Of painting she was devotedly fond, and made no more ______ taking a sketch than ______ pulling off
her gloves.
14. For Isabel’s benefit she threw a great deal of light upon the customs of the country and the character of
the people, who ‘after all’, as she was fond _______ saying, were the finest people in the world.
15. These signs of intimacy multiplied as the days elapsed, and there was none of which Isabel was more
sensible than of her companion’s preference ________ making Miss Archer herself a topic.
16. She had not congratulated this young lady on her accession of fortune and begged to be excused
_______ doing so. “ If Mr. Touchett had consulted me ________ leaving you the money,” she frankly
said, “ I would have said to him, ‘Never!’”
17. Your newly acquired thousands will shut you up more to the society of a few selfish heartless people,
who will be interested ______ keeping up these illusions.
18. Ralph Touchett had praised his cousin _______ being morally inflammable; that is, ______ being
quick to take a hint that was meant as good advice. His advice had perhaps helped the matter; at any
rate before she left San Remo she had grown used _______ feeling rich.
19. The Countess found the time ripe _______ saying something discordant.
20. If you mean that I am not so clever as he, you must not think I shall suffer ______ your saying it.
21. There is nothing in life to prevent her ______ marrying Osmond, if she only looks at him in a certain
way. That is all very well; no one approves more than I _______ one’s pleasing one’s self.
22. An Italian nobleman had perhaps given her some excuse ______ attempting to quench the
consciousness of her neglect.
23. It was a long time since one had heard anything about her, and there could be no better proof ______
her having renounced the error of her ways than her desire to become a member of Mrs. Touchett’s
circle. Isabel could contribute nothing to this interesting dispute, not even a patient attention; she
contented herself ________ having given a friendly welcome to the Countess Gemini, who, whatever
her defects, had at least the merit of being Mr. Osmond’s sister.

2. Translate into English the following sentences, by making use of gerundial clauses:
1. Nu pot sa nu mă gândesc că n-ai avut dreptate să îţi donezi tot salariul pentru campania electorală.
2. Până la urmă, chit că-ţi place să te uiţi la telenovele, va trebui să încerci să te uiţi şi la alte genuri de
filme dacă vrei să treci drept un om cult.
3. Are tendinţa să spună adevărul chiar şi atunci când e sigur că va da cu bâta în baltă.
4. Nu mai am de gând să tolerez ascultatul de muzică la ore târzii, să fie clar.
5. Îmi pare sincer rău că n-ai reuşit să o convingi şi sugerez abordarea unui alt plan.
6. Nu era deloc împotriva unei partide de poker dacă sorţii îi erau prielnici.
7. Mi-aduc bine aminte că acum o lună spuneai că abia aştepţi s-o vezi.
8. Dl. Jones a avut un rol decisiv în acordarea premiului întâi candidatei noastre.
9. A sfârşit prin a-i mărturisi că n-are nici o vină pentru nenorocirea care s-a petrecut în casa lor.
10. Nu ştiu de ce continui să insişti să îmi dau demisia. În ultima vreme m-am străduit să muncesc mai
mult.
11. Te-ai luat de băutură? Sau mi se pare mie? Uite în ce hal eşti: te clatini pe picioare şi ţi se împleticeşte
limba în gură!
12. Nu mai pot să amân ruperea contractului, altfel risc să am şi mai multe neplăceri.
13. N-am de gând să mă cobor până într-acolo încât să-i spun ce cred despre el. Da, e pisălog şi idiot, dar
are şi părţile lui bune.
14. Cred că ar fi bine să te limitezi la a-ţi face meseria în loc să obiectezi la avansarea colegului tău.
15. Nu suport să-l aud vorbind urât, deşi ştiu că-i face o plăcere nebună să îi împungă pe alţii.
16. Dacă ai de gând să recurgi la trimiterea unei scrisori anonime ca să îi distrugi reputaţia, eu îmi iau
mâna de pe tine.
17. Ştii bine că mai bine moare decât să te vadă chiulind. Mai bine îţi faci temele şi te duci mâine la
şcoală.

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18. Nu vezi că se încăpăţânează să termine proiectul în ciuda lipsei de bani şi materiale? Râdem noi de ce
face, dar s-ar putea să ne dea cu tifla până la urmă.
19. Se mândreşte că este cel mai deştept om din grupul lui, deşi nevastă-sa nu ar fi chiar de aceeaşi părere.
20. Contez pe el să rezolve problema pentru că ştiu că e o treabă care merită făcută cum trebuie.

D
WRITING
1. INFORMAL LETTER. Imagine you are a middle class teenager attending the Woodstock festival.
Write a letter to your best friend telling him your impressions about it.
2. REPORT. Imagine you are a reporter that has to cover the Glanstonbury festival. Write a piece about it
for The Sun or any other tabloid of your choice.

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UNIT FIVE
THE WORLD REVISITED

152
ONE
THE EVENTS OF THIS WORLD

Democracy Stirs in the Middle East


America’s detractors are having to admit that its often clodhopping policies may be starting to work.

It has been an extraordinary hopeful few weeks in the habitually dank and depressing politics of the
Middle East. In the wake of an unprecedented general election in Iraq and an admirably genuine
presidential one in Palestine, tens of thousands of Lebanese people, from a kaleidoscope of religious
groups, have been marching together on the streets of their capital, Beirut, calling for democracy and the
removal of their anti-democratic occupiers, the Syrians. Syria’s government is plainly nonplussed by the
outburst of people power and may even risk losing its clammy grip back home. No less astonishingly,
Egypt’s ruling autocrat, Hosni Mubarak, after some 24 years in unfettered control, suddenly felt obliged to
announce that he would allow the opposition, albeit a satanised version of it, to put up a candidate (or
more) against him when he faces re-election later this year. No less strikingly, modest but notable steps
towards democracy have recently been taken in the heart of Arab despotism, Saudi Arabia, where multi-
candidate (though non-party) elections for local government took place last month. The Saudi foreign
minister this week promised that next time round, yes, even women would be able to vote and run for
office.
So is it an unstoppable roll that will lead to peace and democracy across the region? Absolutely not –
at any rate, not yet. The Middle East is still a dangerous mess. The despots are not becoming democrats
overnight, and the Americans know it is risky to promote ideas that threaten the regimes of some of their
closest yet far from democratic allies in the wider region, such as Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Despite the apparent vindication of America’s pro-democracy policy, Mr Bush must still tread warily:
it is for Arabs to democratise, not for Americans-despite the example of Iraq-to impose their ideas by force.
Yet Arab rulers must realise, as many of them now seem reluctantly ready to do, that they cannot remain
deaf to the democracy call. With more and more of their people watching their Lebanese, Palestinian and
Iraqi brothers on the street and at the polling station, the era of despotic stagnation is steadily drawing to an
end. (from The Economist, March 5th –11th 2005)

A.
READING COMPREHENSION

I. Paraphrase:

in the wake of the elections, unprecedented elections, outburst of violence, to lose one’s grip, no less
strikingly, to run for office, unfettered economic activity.

II. Answer the following questions:

1. The text describes the policies of the United States as “clodhopping”. Given the meaning of the
word “clodhopper” that has been provided above, what does that signify in the context? To what
aspect of American policies could the term refer?
2. The Middle East policies are described as “dank and depressing”. Argue for or against the use of
such a term according to the previous knowledge that you have of the topic.
3. Why does the author of the article think that it is admirable that people from a kaleidoscope of
religious groups have marched together?
4. What does the use of the phrase “clammy grip” suggest about the attitude of the Syrian
government?
5. What is the author’s attitude concerning the elections in Egypt? Is the image he conveys a
favourable one?
6. Why would it be astonishing that women should be allowed to vote in Saudi Arabia?
7. Why does the author think that these events will not lead to peace and democracy in the region?

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8. The author speaks about an “ apparent vindication of America’s pro-democracy policy”. Why does
he describe this vindication as only apparent?

B.
VOCABULARY
I. Improve your vocabulary:

clodhopper
1. clodhoppers – a pair of heavy strong shoes
2. British English informal an awkward person that lacks finesse

albeit (formal)
adds information that reduces the force or importance of the things one has said
synonym: although
She finally accepted the proposal, albeit with some reluctance.

II. Exercises:

1*. POLYSEMY: MESS. Translate the following sentences using the noun and verb mess together
with the phrasal verbs that contain it.

1. Cine a făcut mizerie în camera mea?


2. Soldaţii trebuiau să se prezinte a doua zi la popota ofiţerilor.
3. Îmi pare rău că a trebuit să mă vezi plângând. Cred că arăt absolut groaznic.
4. Copilul tău e o pacoste. Nu poate să iasă afară fără să-şi murdărească hainele.
5. Tom e puţin cam tulburat după cele ce s-au întâmplat azi.
6. Nu ştiu dacă drumul către Uniunea Europeană al acestei ţări va fi uşor. Economia este încă într-o
stare dezastruoasă.
7. Dacă te pui cu mine, o să-ţi pară rău!
8. Am răspuns bine la examen, dar cred că am cam dat-o în bară cu ultima întrebare.
9. Nu te mai prosti şi dă-mi aparatul de fotografiat cu care văd că te tot joci ca să mă enervezi!
10. M-am săturat pur şi simplu ca de fiecare dată când greşeşte Bill să trebuiască să dreg eu lucrurile
în urma lui.
11. Îi place pur şi simplu să repare maşinile vechi ale prietenilor săi pe gratis.
12. Paul şi-a părăsit soţia pentru că a prins-o făcându-şi de cap cu alt bărbat.
13. Îmi cer scuze, dar în apartamentul ăsta este dezordine.
14. Este jenant, dar trebuie să-ţi spun că pisoiul tău iar şi-a făcut nevoile pe covor.

2. IDIOMS: GRIP. Fill in the blanks with one suitable idiom:


loosen one’s grip, get a grip, get a grip on sth, keep a grip on sth, be in the grip of sth, come to grips with
smth.

1. The country was ...... of famine when they left and many people died from hunger.
2. She’s a good teacher, but I never really...... with the course she’s been teaching.
3. The dictator had........ almost half of the continent for over fifty years.
4. For God’s sake......! You’re overreacting!
5. Syria’s government will have to ......the Lebanese regions.
6. If you don’t.....reality, you’ll end up in a mental hospital.

3*. POLYSEMY: ROLL. Translate using either the noun or the verb roll, including the phrasal verbs
that contain it:

1. Sticla s-a rostogolit pe podea la picioarele lui.


2. Deşi îi curgeau lacrimile pe obraz, femeia a reuşit să-şi înăbuşe durerea şi să vorbească despre
nenorocirile care i se întâmplaseră.

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3. Cred că ar trebui să luăm cu noi trei filme în vacanţă, pentru că vor fi multe poze de făcut.
4. Închide, te rog, fereastra! Doar ştii că nu-mi place să merg cu maşina cu ferestrele deschise.
5. Nu-ţi mai da ochii peste cap de câte ori te superi pe mine, pentru că nu-mi pasă oricum de părerea
ta.
6. Nu e bine să stai tot timpul pe burtă. Întoarce-te pe partea cealaltă!
7. Banii au început să curgă de îndată ce au preluat afacerea aceea falimentară de la noii proprietari.
8. De la castel se auzea tot timpul un răpăit de tobe.
9. Încercarea guvernului de-a reduce preţurile era menită să recâştige încrederea populaţiei înainte
de alegeri.
10. Nu era gras, însă ave a colaci de grăsime pe burtă, care-i dădeau o înfăţişare neplăcută.
11. Îi place mâncarea orientală şi se înnebuneşte după rulourile cu ou care se servesc la restaurantul
chinezesc din colţ.
12. Sincer să spun mi s-a făcut greaţă din pricina ruliului vasului cu care mergeam.
13. Jocul are şi o regulă destul de simplă: cine dă cu zarul un şase de prima dată, are voie să-şi mute
pionul de două ori.
14. De-abia când profesorul a strigat catalogul au observat ceilalţi că Tim nu era acolo.
15. Tom îşi privi prietenul cum îşi potrivea o ţigară şi se gândi că e mai ieftin să-ţi faci ţigările aşa
decât să dai zilnic bani pe câte un pachet de ţigări.
16. Spălătoreasa umbla tot timpul cu mânecile suflecate.
17. Vrei să fac hârtia asta sul sau mai degrabă preferi s-o împăturesc?
18. Bill privea cum căruţa se îndepărta încet de casă.
19. Ca să faci aluatul pentru prăjitura asta, îţi trebuie neapărat un sucitor.
20. Mama lui Tom a fost mândră să vadă numele fiului ei pe lista de onoare cu cei mai viteji ostaşi
care luptaseră în acel război.

4. SEMANTIC FIELDS: TO BELONG OR NOT TO BELONG. Here are some words related to the
status of people or of things in the countries of this world. Fill in the blanks with the suitable words:

foreign, foreigner, alien, naturalized, multinational, native, stranger, abroad, overseas, domestic, local,
expatriate, immigrant, refugee

1. Many illegal.........were given citizenship and the right to vote under the new law.
2. A lot of people are now working....., since they can’t find work in their own country.
3. There are a lot of Romanian......living in Canada.
4. Although he was born in Syria, now he’s a ......British citizen.
5. The University will be happy to receive both British and.....students.
6. She was very miserable at first in that country, since both the people and the environment were
completely......to her.
7. The UN is a.....force that plays a vital part in the peace-keeping process.
8. He’s been living in London for a the last couple of years, although he’s a.......of Yorkshire.
9. I think that the natives of this region speak a.....dialect that has several interesting features.
10. The..........minister promised that Romanians won’t need visas in order to travel abroad.
11. The minister promised that he was going to be active in both foreign and......policy.
12. The country had long been harbouring many political......, which had protested against the
oppressive regime of their own country.
13. You can come to our house any time you like. Don’t be a...... !
14. They immediately knew him for a ..... because of the heavily accented English he spoke.

C
GRAMMAR: MUST and HAVE TO

(1) America’s detractors are having to admit that its often clodhopping policies may be starting to work.
(They are forced to admit it.)
(2) Yet Arab rulers must realise, as many of them now seem reluctantly ready to do, that they cannot
remain deaf to the democracy call. (They are forced to realise.)

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As you can see, both sentences given above express obligation. In sentence one obligation is expressed by
using the modal equivalent have to, while in sentence (2), the modal verb must is used.

I. MODAL VERBS versus MODAL EQUIVALENTS

i. Preliminaries
Compare both sentences.

1. What is the formal distinction between a modal verb and a modal equivalent?
2. Give examples of other modal verbs and modal equivalents.
3. What are the properties that distinguish modal verbs from other verbs?
4. What are the properties that distinguish modal verbs (which can be seen as a subcategory of auxiliary
verbs) from the auxiliary verbs be, have, will?

a.How different are the forms of a modal verb from the forms of a modal equivalent?
Answer:
Modal verbs lack agreement forms in the indicative present, IIId person singular
*musts versus has to

Modal verbs combine only with bare infinitive forms


* Sue must to go. versus Sue has to go.

b.Look at the following examples. What other distinctions between the forms of must and have to
do they illustrate?

a. Must I go to the party?


No, you mustn’t.

b. Do I have to go the party?


No, you don’t have to.

ii. Modals are defective

The distinction from the point of view of form between must, which is a modal verb, and its equivalent
have to, can be seen if we try to replace the progressive form of have to in sentence 1, by a form of must.
This would be impossible, since must is a defective verb, which means that it lacks certain verbal forms, as
the following examples show:
Modal verbs lack infinitive forms and progressive forms
* to must versus to have to
*He’s musting to reconsider it. versus He’s having to reconsider it.

Certain modal verbs do not have past forms


* Sue musted go. versus She had to go.

Modal verbs do not combine with the auxiliary will in order to express the future
* She will must do that. versus She will have to do that

iii. But if modals lack certain forms, then what do they use instead?

Modal equivalents are verbal forms that are equivalent in meaning to modal verbs and possess, as
underlined above, all the forms that modals lack.
Instead of must one uses have to, for the progressive, for the past and for the future, as shown in the
examples above.

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II. WHAT ABOUT MEANING?

i. Meanings: Obligation and Probability

We have seen that must and have to are equivalent in meaning, in spite of their difference in form. The
question that follows is, naturally, whether must and have to are completely equivalent in meaning. In
order to answer it, we will have to take a look at the meanings of both must and have to.

Both must and have to have the meanings of obligation and probability.

a. Obligation
1. You must work harder, if you want to pass the exam. (It is compulsory that you should work harder)
2. You have to work harder, if you want to pass the exam. (It is compulsory that you should work harder)

Other modals as well express obligation such as should, need or ought to. A more extensive description of
these modals in their obligation value is offered in the sections below.

b. Probability
3. Bill must be in his office. I saw his car outside. (Bill is probably in the office)
4. Bill has to be in the office. I saw his car outside. (Bill is probably in the office)

Probability is also expressed by the modals should, ought to and infrequently by need.

5. Bill should be in his office.


6. Bill ought to be in his office.
7. I need look very changed, if you don’t recognize me. (I probably look changes).

ii. How can we distinguish between obligation and probability?

Generally, from the point of view of meaning, the context in which must/have to are placed can tell you
when to expect probability or obligation. The context can also help us from the point of view of form:

1. Bill must talk to Susan. obligation ( Bill hasn’t talked to Susan yet)
2. Bill must be talking to Susan. probability (Bill is in the process of talking to Susan)
3. Bill must have talked to Susan. probability (Bill has already talked to Susan)

As we can see, the meaning of obligation or probability depends on the form of the verb with which the
modal combines. If the verb is in the present infinitive, then here the meaning is that of obligation, since, in
this context, the present infinitive indicates that this action hasn’t taken place yet, and the modal underlines
that it is obligatory. If the verb is in the perfect or progressive infinitive, the meaning is that of probability,
since these infinitives indicate either that this action has probably happened or that it is in course of
happening.

4. Bill had to open the door. obligation (not probability)


5. Bill must have opened the door. probability (not obligation)

As you can see in the examples above, both actions express the past, but the one in which the past form of
have to is used expresses obligation and the one in which must combines with the perfect infinitive
expresses probability. Thus, for probability, past reference is established due to the use of the perfect
infinitive, while for obligation, a past form of the main verb (in this case an equivalent of must) is used.

Generalization: In its ‘obligation’ meaning, must can combine only with the
present infinitive. In its probability meaning, must combines with the perfect
infinitive, the present infinitive for state verbs (be, have etc.) and with the
progressive infinitive (for non-state verbs).

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6. Bill must open the door. obligation
7. Bill must have opened the door. probability
8. This door must be open. probability

We can see from the sentences given above that, while in its obligation meaning, the modal must combines
with an animate subject (Bill) in its probability meaning the modal combines with both an animate subject
(Bill) and an inanimate subject (the door). This is only natural, since you can establish obligations only for
human beings, and probabilities both for both beings and objects.

Nota bene!
The things we have discussed above are true not only for must, but for all modals in their probability and
possibility meanings:

9. John can speak English. ability


10. John can/could be speaking English right now. possibility
11. John could have spoken English at the party. possibility
12. John can see the moon. ability
13. The moon can be seen at night. possibility

Generalization: In their possibility/probability meanings, modals combine with the


perfect infinitive, the present infinitive for state verbs (be, have etc.) and with the
progressive infinitive (for non-state verbs). They also combine with both animate
and inanimate subjects. In their other meanings (ability, permission, obligation,
volition), modals combine only with the present infinitive and with animate
subjects.

Exercise: Translate the following sentences:


1. Trebuie să mă duc la şcoală şi să predau doar lucruri plicticoase. Cine a inventat sistemul ăsta trebuie să
fi fost nebun. 2. Să nu aprinzi lumina când vii acasă. Lumea mai şi doarme! 3. Poţi să n-aprinzi lumina în
cămară, lumina de pe hol e suficientă. 4. Probabil că e în birou şi fumează, deşi I-am spus că n-ar trebui. 5.
De ce vrei neapărat să mergi la concertul cu Ramstein? Trebuie să fii nebun! 6. Nu ştiu ce-i cu el. Crezi că
s-o fi supărat că nu l-am menţionat când mi-am ţinut discursul? 7. N-a trebuit să mai plătesc şi ultima rată
pentru că banca m-a păsuit. 8. Deşi decanul facultăţii este împotriva grevei, va trebui să încercăm să fim
solidari cu colegii noştri din toată ţara.

III. OBLIGATION AND SHADES OF MEANING:

i. What is the source of authority?

Compare the two following examples:

14. You must pay your rent two weeks in advance.


15. You have to pay a deposit in order to rent the room.

As you can see, there is slight distinction in meaning between the two, concerning the source of obligation.
In the first sentence, it is clear that the source of authority is the speaker who is uttering the statement. So,
in this case, it may be the landlady who is speaking. In the second case, the statement may be uttered by
someone in an accommodation agency, stating the conditions under which you may rent the room. From
this point of view, one could say that must refers to “internal” obligation, namely that the source of
obligation is the speaker. Have to refers to “external” obligation, namely the source of obligation is not the
speaker, but someone/something remote. Also, one could say that must is more particular (it refers to the

158
particular obligation of paying the rent) and that have to is more general (it refers to rules, general
conditions). This distinction can be noticed in the sentences below:

16. I must go to work on Saturday. (Bill goes to work because he himself feels this is necessary.
Going to work on Saturday may be an exceptional occurrence.)

17. I have to go to work every Saturday. (Bill goes to work because an authority, his boss for
example, tells him to. So, in general, Bill goes to work on Saturday)

Nota bene!
Have to is used to suggest that the source of obligation is not the speaker, but some other source of
authority. This distinction doesn’t necessarily mean that must and have to exclude each other. A speaker
can use both must and have to in the same context with a slight distinction of meaning. Sometimes, this
distinction is not even very marked by the context, as must can be sometimes used to express strong
obligation given by an authority that is external to the speaker, for example custom or law. The sentences
below have almost precisely the same meaning, one possible difference being that in 18 the speaker is more
involved in the statement:

18. Women must cover their head in church. (The custom says so and the speaker emphasizes the
importance of this custom. Maybe he himself believes the custom is right)
19. Women have to cover their head in church. (The custom says so and the speaker knows it, but he
is less emphatical about it.)

ii. Obligation as expressed by other modals

If we look at the examples below, we can see that obligation can be also expressed by should and ought to.
As we can see below, the obligation expressed by these two modals is weaker than that expressed by must.
Sentence 20 underlines that Mary very much wants and needs Bill’s presence to the party. Sentence 21 also
expresses the same strong obligation: in this case, one possible additional interpretation being that Bill
hasn’t shown himself very willing to come and that Mary wants to emphasise that Bill will have no choice
but come, since, for example, all their other friends are coming. Sentence 22 doesn’t express strong
obligation but advice: Mary suggests to Bill to go to the party because she thinks it will be good for him.
Sentence 23 is more emphatic than 22. It also expresses advice, but it is somewhat stronger: Mary suggests
that it is Bill’s duty to go to Susan’s party, since he upset her by not going to one of her previous parties.

Mary says to Bill:

20. You must come to my party. (I won’t have the party unless you come!)
21. You have to come to my party. (I won’t take no for an answer. Everyone you know is invited!)
22. You should go to Susan’s party. (You will have fun if you go.)
23. You ought to go to Susan’s party. (She was upset you didn’t show up last time.)

iii. Prohibition or lack of obligation?

24. You mustn’t talk to strangers in the street! prohibition


(It is compulsory for you not to talk to strangers. So, even if you may want to talk to strangers,
don’t!)
25. You don’t have to talk to strangers, if you don’t want to. lack of obligation
(It is not compulsory for you to talk to strangers. So, don’t talk to strangers if you don’t want to)

If you look at the examples above, it becomes only too clear that there is a marked difference in meaning
between them, also suggested by the fact that the exclamation mark is used only in the first sentence.
Sentence 24 is negative obligation or prohibition. For example, 24 can be uttered by a mother who wants to
forbid her child to talk to strangers. 25 expresses lack of obligation. For example, a mother is telling her
bashful son that it is all right if he wants to talk to the people at the party they’re at.

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In the same way, we can look at the other modals expressing obligation.

26. You shouldn’t talk to strangers. It would be better if you didn’t. negative advice
(It is advisable not to talk to strangers.)
27. You oughtn’t to talk to strangers. It isn’t proper. negative advice
(It is advisable not to talk to strangers.)

28. You needn’t talk to strangers. There are other people here that you can talk to. lack of obligation
(It is not compulsory that you should talk to strangers.)

TO REMEMBER
The modal expressions must, have to, should, ought to, need
are all similar in meaning. They all have both an obligation
meaning and a probability meaning.

EXERCISES:

1. Translate into English:


1.În vremea asta cei trei bine credincioşi stăteau la o parte de piatra unde-i lăsase sfântul lor, cu mâinile pe
genunchi şi cu ochii holbaţi în gol. Nici gând nu se vedea pe chipurile lor încremenite; traiul cel bun, fără
griji şi fără nevoi, le tocise pesemne simţurile şi le adormise mintea pe vecie. Dar până să ajungă în starea
asta fericită, nu mai încape vorbă că trebuie să fi cunoscut şi ei toate schimbările de toane prin care trec de
obicei binecredincioşii, câţi intră în împărăţia de sus.
2.Înţelese la urmă că, nu de multă vreme, trebuie să fi trecut prin partea locului o turmă de mioare.
„Ori poate, niscai capre...”, cugetă el, încruntat. Căci de pe acele semne mărunte, se cunoaşte bine numai
atâta, că nu putea fi vorba de vaci...” (G.Topârceanu – Minunile sfântului Sisoe)
3.Or, asta era prima şedinţă de acest fel la care lua parte. Întâi că nu trebuia să-mi dezvălui gândirea intimă
şi să afirm că am fost somat să ţin acea conferinţă. Al doilea, nu trebuie să spun eu despre mine că m-am
compromis acceptând.
4.Bătrânul zimbru, afabil, dădea din cap înţelept, că nu e bine, zicea el, să ne sfâşiem între noi, obştea
scriitoricească trebuie să rămână unită...
5.El avea, desigur, maşină şi şofer. Foarte bine, dar ar fi trebuit totuşi să se ocupe puţin şi de autobuzele
noastre, gândii eu pe drum, când simţii că sunt obosit şi că mi-e foame... n-o să pot să merg pe jos de pildă
la iarnă, şi atunci...
6. Spune-i chestia asta din partea mea. Pe urmă află şi tu un lucru care poate ar fi trebuit să fie primul lucru
pe care trebuia să-l afli, deşi eu ştiu că filosofii sunt curioşi şi ştiu totul despre lume, altfel de ce dracu s-ar
mai lăuda că sunt filosofi?...
7.Dom profesor, v-o spun, orice fiinţă umană dacă trebuie să moară, trebuie s-o lăsăm să moară, indiferent
că e copil, adolescent sau adult. (Marin Preda – Cel mai iubit dintre pământeni)
8.Egor începu să se frământe. „Trebuie să mă hotărăsc acum, repede, îşi spunea el înfiorat. Trebuie să mă
hotărăsc ca să-i mântui pe toţi...”
9. Ar fi trebuit să reziste, să-i spună necontenit că ea e moartă, iar el e viu.
10. Se plimba iarăşi cu paşi largi, ritmici. „Trebuie să mă trezesc o dată, îşi spuse el. Dacă dorm cu
adevărat, atunci nu se poate să nu mă trezesc.”
11. O să vă dau pe toţi afară, că nu sunteţi buni de nimic. Va să zică eu trebuie să mă ocup şi de fleacurile
astea... că n-am altceva de făcut? (Mircea Eliade – Nuvele)
12.E peste puterile mele. Trebuie să-ţi scriu… Trebuie să-ţi vorbesc… Până mâine seară trebuie să se
întâmple ceva, pentru că mi se rup zăvoarele minţii… De trei luni îndur o suferinţă care întrece puterea de
rezistenţă a nervilor mei, depăşeşte tot ce e capacitate de îndurare şi răbdare…
13.Emy, sunt neliniştit… Lenuţa îmi spune că e a treia zi când n-ai coborât din pat… Trebuie să faci să te
vadă un doctor neapărat. E îngrozitor… Trei zile am lipsit şi eu, şi trebuia la întoarcere să mi se întâmple
ceva. Vin mâine cu un doctor prieten să te văd.
14.N-am putut ieşi din casă azi… Sunt răcit şi ploaia asta rece care nu mai sfârşeşte mă descompune…
Scara casei e udă şi murdară… Trotoarele sunt sparte… Unde lipsesc lespezile sunt ochiuri de apă… Unde

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e puţin loc, trebuie să fie răsturnată o roabă de lemne, butoaie goale sau cărămizi… E cu neputinţă să mergi
pe jos în voia ta… lăsându-te gânditor…
15.Să nu fiu chiar bogat, Emy, aş vrea numai puţinul luminos pe care l-am găsit la un confrate la Râmnicul-
Sărat, astă-iarnă când m-a invitat pentru două zile la el. (…) Şi ştiu că e imposibil, Emy… Numai dacă nu
cumva voi fi numit suplinitor într-un orăşel de provincie… Vream să nu-ţi spun… dar gândul mă roade…
Trebuie să-l spun cu un ceas mai devreme… Am vorbit cu Pillat, nepotul Brătienilor, şi mi-a promis că mă
va recomanda doctorului Angelescu. (Camil Petrescu – Patul lui Procust)
16.Ştiu: nu sunt un băiat frumos, dar am şaptesprezece ani. Şi în ceasurile când ochii îmi alunecă de pe
carte, iar voinţa îmi slabeşte, mă gândesc mult la aceşti şaptesprezece ani.
De multe ori izbândesc. Lucrez până noaptea şi adorm fericit că m-am învins pe mine. Adorm surâzând.
Alteori, însă, nu izbutesc să mă apăr. Sunt copleşit şi pornesc pe străzi.
Şi toate acestea mă întristează. Trebuie să lupt mereu, trebuie să mă apar împotriva sufletului meu pe care
nu-l cunsc şi care mi se dezvaluie la răstimpuri, contradictoriu. Niciodată nu mi-am găsit sufletul acelaşi. În
fiecare zi, altul. Iar eu trebuie să lupt ca să duc mai departe ceea ce începusem cu o lună, cu o săptămână,
cu o zi mai înainte.
17. Trebuie să mă cunosc. Trebuie să ştiu odată sigur cine sunt şi ce vreau. Am amânat mereu lucrul
acesta pentru că mi-era teamă. Mi-era teamă că nu voi izbuti să-mi luminez sufletul, sau ca lumina ce va
aluneca asupră-i sa nu mă îndurereze. Eu mi-am închipuit anumite lucruri despre mine însumi. Ce se va
întâmpla dacă acestea nu există aievea? Dacă ele nu au fost decât o părere? (Mircea Eliade – Romanul
adolescentului miop)
18. Hai, mă, Paraschive, noroc, spuse muierea lui Paraschiv cu glasul ei mieros, punând mâna pe pahar…
Şi nu mai fi supărat pe Ştefan, că nu ţi-a făcut nimic, măi, Paraschive…
Şi îl luă de gât şi râse de el şi de posăceala lui. Paraschiv tresări:
- Eu supărat pe Ştefan? De unde o mai scoseşi şi pe-asta?
- El, mă, Paraschive, ar trebui să fie suparat pe tine şi nu tu! Şi uite că el nu e!
- De ce să fie el supărat pe mine? bodogăni Paraschiv. Că ce? Că l-am îndemnat să vie la noi la Ateliere?
Mai bine făcea! (Marin Preda – Delirul)
19. - Copilul trebuie sa inteleaga de la inceput ca viata omului numai atunci e pretioasa cind urmareste un
ideal! Sfirsi Bologa patetic. Datoria noastra parinteasca de-abia acum incepe! Trebuie sa ne dam toate
silintele ca sa facem din odorul nostru un om si un caracter! (Liviu Rebreanu – Pădurea spânzuraţilor)
20.-Ştii ceva, îl rugai pe Temăraşu, lasă-mă să urc tablourile astea în pod. Mă scot din minţi…
-Păi tocmai de-aia le-am pus acolo, îmi răspunse. Le-a făcut un văr de-al meu, elev într-a şasea, pe care
anul trecut, când suplineam catedra de limba română, l-am lăsat corijent. Mă uit la ele şi mi-aduc aminte de
moşu-meu cum răcnea la mine când am fost acasă, în vacanţă; “Te-am ţinut pe palme, nepoate, te-am
legănat, şi tu, tu îmi trânteşti copilul! Numai tu să fii mare! Numai tu să ştii ce-i bunul!” Tablourile astea
îmi ţin treaz gândul că anul acesta, când suplinesc catera de istorie, trebuie să-mi notez vărul numai cu
zece cu elogii. Dar mai e una, dragă Cernat, pe care e bine s-o ştii, nu-i greu deloc să-nnebuneşti, când stai
şi mucegăieşti între patru pereţi. Fă bine şi mai dă cu nasul pe-afară, c-altfel repede te scrânteşti aici.
Toamna, la noi, nu te poţi plânge de plictiseală. E anotimpul cel mai bogat : se culeg viile, se schimbă
directorii şi încep certurile pentru dirigenţii şi ore suplimentare… (Fanuş Neagu – Cantonul părăsit)

D
WRITING
1. REPORT: Watch a news report on TV and write an article based on the news you found out.
2. FOR OR AGAINST: Argue for or against the following: “Attack is the best defence”.

TWO
(SUPER)NATURAL WORLDS
The ghost that got into our house on the night of November 17, 1915, raised such a hullabaloo of
misunderstanding that I am sorry I didn’t just let it keep on walking, and go to bed. Its advent caused my
mother to throw a shoe through a window of the house next door and ended up with my grandfather
shooting a patrolman. I am sorry, therefore, as I have said, that I ever paid any attention to the footsteps.

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They began about a quarter past one o’clock in the morning, a rhythmic, quick-cadenced walking
around the dining-room table. My mother was asleep in one room upstairs, my brother Herman in another;
grandfather was in the attic, in the old walnut bed which, as you will remember, once fell on my father. I
had just stepped out of the bathtub and was busily rubbing myself with a towel when I heard the steps.
They were the steps of a man walking rapidly around the dining-room table downstairs. The light from the
bathroom shone down the back steps, which dropped directly into the dining-room; I couldn’t see the table.
The steps kept going round and round the table; at regular intervals a board creaked, when it was trod upon.
I supposed at first that it was my father or my brother Roy, who had gone to Indianapolis but were expected
home at any time. It did not enter my mind until later that it was a ghost.
After the walking had gone on for perhaps three minutes, I tiptoed to Herman’s room. ‘Pssst!’ I
hissed, in the dark, shaking him. ‘Awp,’ he said, in the low, hopeless tone of a despondent beagle – he
always half suspected that something would ‘get him’ in the night. I told him who I was. ‘There’s
something downstairs!’ I said. He got up and followed me to the head of the back staircase. We listened
together. There was no sound. The steps had ceased. Herman looked at me in some alarm: I had only the
bath towel around my waist. He wanted to go back to bed, but I gripped his arm. ‘There’s something down
there!’ I said. Instantly the steps began again, circled the dining-room table like a man running, and started
up the stairs toward us, heavily, two at a time. The light still shone palely down the stairs; we saw nothing
coming; we only heard the steps. Herman rushed to his room and slammed the door. I slammed shut the
door at the stairs top and held my knee against it. After a long minute, I slowly opened it again. There was
nothing there. There was no sound. None of us ever heard the ghost again.
The slamming of the doors had aroused mother: she peered out of her room. ‘What on earth are
you boys doing?’ she demanded. Herman ventured out of his room. ‘Nothing,’ he said, gruffly, but he was,
in color, a light green. ‘What was all that running around downstairs?’ said mother. So she had heard the
steps, too! We just looked at her. ‘Burglars!’ she shouted, intuitively. I tried to quiet her by starting lightly
downstairs.
‘Come on, Herman,’ I said.
‘I’ll stay with mother,’ he said. ‘She’s all excited.’
I stepped back onto the landing.
‘Don’t either of you go a step,’ said mother. ‘We’ll call the police.’ Since the phone was
downstairs, I didn’t see how we were going to call the police – nor did I want the police – but mother made
one of her quick incomparable decisions. She flung up a window of her bedroom which faced the bedroom
windows of the house of a neighbor, picked up a shoe, and whammed it through a pane of glass across the
narrow space that separated the two houses. Glass tinkled into the bedroom occupied by a retired engraver
named Bodwell and his wife. bodwell had been for some years in rather a bad way and was subject to ‘mild
attacks.’ Most everybody we knew or lived near had some kind of attacks.
It was now about two o’clock of a moonless night; clouds hung black and low. Bodwell was at the
window in a minute, shouting, frothing a little, shaking his fist. ‘We’ll sell the house and go back to
Peoria,’ we could hear Mrs. Bodwell saying. It was some time before mother ‘got through’ to Bodwell.
‘Burglars!’ she shouted. ‘Burglars in the house!’ Herman and I hadn’t dared to tell her that it was not
burglars but ghosts, for she was even more afraid of ghosts than of burglars. Bodwell at first thought that
she meant there were burglars in his house, but finally he quieted down and called the police for us over an
extension phone by his bed. After he had disappeared from the window, mother suddenly made as if to
throw another shoe, not because there was further need of it but, as she later explained, because the thrill of
heaving a shoe through a window glass had enormously taken her fancy. I prevented her.
The police were on hand in a commendably short time: a Ford sedan full of them, two on
motorcycles, and a patrol wagon with about eight in it and a few reporters. They began banging at our front
door. Flashlights shot streaks of gleam up and down the walls, across the yard, down the walk between our
house and Bodwell’s. ‘Open up!’ cried a hoarse voice. ‘We’re men from Headquarters!’ I wanted to go
down and let them in, since there they were, but mother wouldn’t hear of it. ‘You haven’t a stitch on,’ she
pointed out. ‘You’d catch your death.’ I wound the towel around me again. Finally the cops put their
shoulders to our big heavy front door with its thick beveled glass and broke it in: I could hear a rending of
wood and a splash of glass on the floor of the hall. Their lights played all over the living-room and
crisscrossed nervously in the dining-room, stabbed into hallways, shot up the front stairs and finally up the
back. They caught me standing in my towel at the top. A heavy policeman bounded up the stairs. ‘Who are
you?’ he demanded. ‘I live here,’ I said. ‘Well, whattsa matta, ya hot?’ he asked. It was, as a matter of fact,

162
cold; I went to my room and pulled on some trousers. On my way out, a cop stuck a gun into my ribs.
‘Whatta you doin’ here?’ he demanded. ‘I live here,’ I said.
The officer in charge reported to mother. ‘No sign of nobody, lady,’ he said. ‘Musta got away –
whatt’d he look like?’ ‘There were two or three of them,’ mother said, ‘whooping and carrying on and
slamming doors.’ ‘Funny,’ said the cop. ‘All ya windows and doors was locked on the inside tight as a
tick.’
Downstairs, we could hear the tromping of the other police. Police were all over the place; doors
were yanked open, drawers were yanked open, windows were shot up and pulled down, furniture fell with
dull thumps. A half-dozen policemen emerged out of the darkness of the front hallway upstairs. They began
to ransack the floor: pulled beds away from walls, tore clothes off hooks in the closets, pulled suitcases and
boxes off shelves. One of them found an old zither that Roy had won in a pool tournament. ‘Looky here,
Joe,’ he said, strumming it with a big paw. The cop named Joe took it and turned it over. ‘What is it?’ he
asked me. ‘It’s an old zither our guinea pig used to sleep on,’ I said. It was true that a pet guinea pig we
once had would never sleep anywhere except on the zither, but I should never have said so. Joe and the
other cop looked at me a long time. They put the zither back on a shelf.
‘No sign o’ nuthin,’ said the cop who had first spoken to mother. ‘This guy,’ he explained to the
others, jerking a thumb at me, ‘was nekked. The lady seems historical.’ They all nodded, but said nothing;
just looked at me. In the small silence we all heard a creaking in the attic. Grandfather was turning in bed.
‘What’s ‘at?’ snapped Joe. Five or six cops sprang for the attic door before I could intervene or explain. I
realized that it would be bad if they burst in on grandfather unannounced, or even announced. He was
going through a phase in which he believed that General Meade’s men, under steady hammering by
Stonewall Jackson, were beginning to retreat and even desert.
When I got to the attic, things were pretty confused. Grandfather had evidently jumped to the
conclusion that the police were deserters from Meade’s army, trying to hide away in his attic. He bounded
out of bed wearing a long flannel nightgown over long woolen underwear, a nightcap, and a leather jacket
around his chest. The cops must have realized at once that the indignant white-haired old man belonged in
the house, but they had no chance to say so. ‘Back, ye cowardly dogs!’ roared grandfather. ‘Back t’ the
lines, ye goddam lily-livered cattle!’ With that, he fetched the officer who found the zither a flat-handed
smack alongside his head that sent him sprawling. The others beat a retreat, but not fast enough;
grandfather grabbed Zither’s gun from its holster and let fly. The report seemed to crack the rafters; smoke
filled the attic. A cop cursed and shot his hand to his shoulder. Somehow, we all finally got downstairs
again and locked the door against the old gentleman. He fired once or twice more in the darkness and then
went back to bed. ‘That was grandfather,’ I explained to Joe, out of breath. ‘He thinks you’re deserters.’
‘I’ll say he does,’ said Joe.
The cops were reluctant to leave without getting their hands on somebody besides grandfather; the
night had been distinctly a defeat for them. Furthermore, they obviously didn’t like the ‘layout’; something
looked – and I can see their viewpoint – phony. They began to poke into things again. A reporter, a thin-
faced, wispy man, came up to me. I had put on one of mother’s blouses, not being able to find anything
else. The reporter looked at me with mingled suspicion and interest. ‘Just what the hell is the real lowdown
here, Bud?’ he asked. I decided to be frank with him. ‘We had ghosts,’ I said. He gazed at me a long time
as if I were a slot machine into which he had, without results, dropped a nickel. Then he walked away. The
cops followed him, the one grandfather shot holding his now-bandaged arm, cursing and blaspheming. ‘I’m
gonna get my gun back from that old bird,’ said the zither-cop. ‘Yeh,’ said Joe. ‘You – and who else?’ I
told them I would bring it to the station house the next day.
‘What was the matter with that policeman?’ mother asked, after they had gone. ‘Grandfather shot
him,’ I said. ‘What for?’ she demanded. I told her he was a deserter. ‘Of all things!’ said mother. ‘He was
such a nice-looking young man.’
Grandfather was fresh as a daisy and full of jokes at breakfast next morning. We thought at first he
had forgotten all about what had happened, but he hadn’t. Over his third cup of coffee, he glared at Herman
and me. ‘What was the idea of all them cops tarryhootin’ round the house last night?’ he demanded. He had
us there. (James Thurber – The Night the Ghost Got In)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

163
1. Why isn’t the ghost’s presence in the house explained? Comment upon the interplay between
supernatural forces and human forces in the text.
2. What strategies does the author use in order to create humour in the text?
3. Is the narrator’s belief in ghosts consistent with his attitude towards the whole event?
4. Why does the mother believe that the house has been visited by burglars? Comment upon her attitude.
5. How is the police presented? What stylistic devices does the author use in order to present the police?
6. How can you qualify the grandfather’s attitude?
7. Comment upon the final sentence of the text: “ He had us there.”

James Thurber (1894-1961) was a U.S. humorist and cartoonist.


Thurber was best known for his contributions (both cartoons and short
stories) to The New Yorker. "The Dog Who Bit People", “The Night the
Ghost Got In” and "The Night the Bed Fell on My Father" are among
his best short stories; they can be found in My Life and Hard Times.
Also notable, and often anthologized, are "The Secret Life of Walter
Mitty", "The Catbird Seat," "The Greatest Man in the World" and "If
Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomatox", which can be found in The
Thurber Carnival.

The American Civil War - the war in the U.S. between the North and
the South, 1861-1865

Secession – the withdrawal from the Union of 11 Southern States in the


period of 1860-1861, which brought on the Civil War

Stonewall Jackson – nickname of Thomas Jonathan Jackson (1824-


1863), Confederate general in the U.S. Civil War

General Meade – George Gordon Meade (1815-1872), Union general


in the U.S. Civil War

B
VOCABULARY
1. Fill in the blanks with expressions from the text above:
1. I saw nothing, said Herman, but he was _________ a light green.
2. Grandfather was _________ and full of jokes next morning.
3. Bodwell was _______ to mild ‘attacks’.
4. ‘It’s burglars!’ she shouted ________.
5. You have not _________. You’d catch your death.
6. Mother _______ a shoe through a pane of glass.
7. The smack grandfather gave the cop sent the latter _______.
8. Mother ________ to throw another shoe because this had enormously _________.
9. A cop _______ a gun into my ribs.
10. The police realized that the indignant white-haired old man _______ the house.

2. SYNONYMY: noise, hullabaloo, ruckus, commotion, hubbub, din, pandemonium, racket, rumpus,
clamor. Translate into English:
1. Ce-i tărăboiul ăsta? Faceţi linişte, vă rog! 2. N-am putut să închid un ochi din cauza gălăgiei care venea
de la bar. 3. Vacarmul de pe stradă ajunsese la paroxism. 4. Dacă ziarele n-ar fi făcut atâta caz, n-ar fi
primit o pedeapsă atât de aspră. 5. Nu mai suport gălăgia pe care o fac când se încaieră. 6. Zgomotul de
voci din sufragerie îl înnebunea pe John. 7. Iar vociferează: mereu trebuie să urle după ceva. 8. Mult
zgomot pentru nimic.

3. POLYSEMY: TOP. Paraphrase:

164
a) the top of a carrot b) the top of a tree c) pyjama top/bottoms d) on top of the world e) to top and tail fruit
f) She topped this year’s polls. g) to say something off the top of your head h) top secret i) not to have
much up top j) the top of a jar k) the top of a field l) the top of a page m) topless tourists n) He topped his
own speech with one on wife-battering.

4. COMPLEX VERB: GET


a) Fill in the gaps with the suitable particle (and preposition, where necessary):
1. She’s very gregarious and seems to get _______ everyone. 2. I promised to go food shopping for them
and now I can’t get ________ it. 3. Was it because they pleaded guilty that they _________ a fine, instead
of a jail sentence? Or was it because the judge had been __________? 4. There’s no point in having good
ideas if you don’t get them _______ in writing. 5. What have the children been getting _______ while I’ve
been away? 6. If you want to get ______ in politics, you have to have the right connections and get ______
the people who matter. 7. I’m sorry to get _______ the subject of politics, I know it’s a sore point with you.
8. I know how to handle him, so leave it to me – I’ll be able to get ________ with him. 9. I haven’t done
the work yet and I don’t know when I’ll get ______ it. 10. I have to be at work early tomorrow, can you get
me _____ at 5.30?
b) Translate into Romanian:
1. I think he is getting above himself a bit in applying for the director’s position. 2. He had so many
troubles that he decided to get away from it all. 3. In three days’ time our holiday will be over and we’ll
have to get back to the grindstone. 4. It’s time George stopped all this theorizing and got down to brass
tacks. 5. He got himself into a fix when he borrowed so much money and he couldn’t pay it back. 6. After
twenty years of teaching he feels that he has got into a rut and he is unable to do anything creative any
more. 7. If John gets wind of our plans to go to Scotland for a holiday, he’ll want to come with us. 8. When
Jim gets on his feet in the House of Commons, there’s no knowing when he will sit down again. 9. He has
been so angry the whole morning. He must have got out of bed on the wrong side. 10. It’s no use asking
your grandfather for a loan. You can’t get blood out of a stone. 11. I’m determined to get to the bottom of
the whole business. 12. You can often get to the heart of somebody’s unhappiness by letting him talk. 13.
His only wish is to get to the top of the ladder no matter what means he might use.

5. SYNONYMY: search, scour, comb, ransack, raid, go through, turn somewhere upside down/inside
out, rummage, fish about/around, feel about/around, fumble about/around, frisk.
a) Fill in the blanks with the appropriate synonym:
1. Police and volunteers are ______ the countryside in the hope of finding the missing boy. 2. Have you
______the house thoroughly? 3. I _____ the house ______ looking for my wedding ring and eventually
found it in a vase. 4. Customs officials ______ his luggage but found nothing illegal. 5. He’s been ______
in his pocket for ages for his ticket. 6. Immigration officials together with sixty police officers _____ an
illegal gambling den in Dalston, East London. 7. All the passengers were _______ before being allowed to
board the plane. 8. The phone rang and, half-asleep, Winston _______ to find the receiver. 9. He spent half
an hour ______ the newspaper for any mention of the fire. 11. Joanne began to ________ in the big box for
something to wear to the fancy-dress party.
b) Translate into Romanian:
1. Mr. Wainwright went through the insurance policy with a fine tooth-comb and confirmed there were no
hidden loopholes. 2. She gave us false information deliberately in order to send us on a wild goose chase. 3.
Troops are carrying out house-to-house searches in an attempt to find illegal arms caches. 4. She’s always
on the lookout for a good bargain. 5. He seemed determined to leave no stone unturned in his search for the
perfect formula. 6. This is tremendous news! We’ve been after this gang for nearly five years. 7. On
arriving at the prison, each prisoner is subjected to a thorough body-search. 8. I always knew they would
hunt me down in the end. 9. The team divided into four search parties and kept in close contact using
walkie-talkies.

C
GRAMMAR: NEGATION

This section focuses on a discussion on negation in English. Let us start this discussion by taking a close
look at some of the instances of negative sentences offered by our text. Consider the list of examples below

165
from this particular perspective. Notice that not all these sentences are full negations, even if the adverb not
might be present in them:

(1) I am sorry I didn’t just let the ghost keep on walking, and go to bed.
(2) I couldn’t see the table.
(3) It did not enter my mind until later that it was a ghost.
(4) There was no sound
(5) None of us ever heard the ghost again.
(6) I could see nothing.
(7) The others beat a retreat, but not fast enough.
(8) I didn’t see how we were going to call the police – nor did I want the police
(9) Herman and I hadn’t dared to tell her that it was not burglars but ghosts
(10) ‘You haven’t a stitch on.’
(11) ‘No sign of nobody, lady.’
(12) Mother suddenly made as if to throw another shoe, not because there was further need of it but because
the thrill of heaving a shoe through a window glass had enormously taken her fancy.
(13) They obviously didn’t like the ‘layout’.

Local negation / full negation


Compare for instance a sentence like (4) to a sentence like (7). Both of them contain a negation, but only
one of them is fully negated. How do we know which is which? By checking whether the negative word
influences the overall meaning of the sentence that contains it. From this point of view, it is rather obvious
that the sentence under (4) is the one containing a full negation, whereas the sentence under (7) contains a
local negation, as is indicated by the presence of the comma. Moreover, the meaning of (7) is basically
affirmative.

A very good test that would help you decide which sentence is fully negated and which is not is by adding a
tag question to the respective sentence. As you know, the polarity of the tag question must be different
from that of the main clause. Consequently, if the tag is positive, it means that the main clause is fully
negated:

(4) There was no sound, was there?


There was no sound, * wasn’t there?
(7) The others beat a retreat, didn’t they?

Of the two sentences above, only (4) is negative, as is clearly shown by the negative tag attached to it.

Exercise: Try and check all the examples we have listed at the beginning of this section (i.e. examples
1-13) by using the ‘tag-question’ test. See whether they contain full or local instances of negation.

Negative polarity items


Now let us look at the sentence under (10):

(10) You haven’t a stitch on.

What is it that is so special about this sentence? It is the fact that this sentence cannot normally have an
affirmative counterpart:

(11) * You have a stitch on.

This fact shows us that there are instances of certain words or phrases that are grammatical only when
placed in a negative context. Consider also a sentence like:

(14) She hasn’t come yet.

As you know, an affirmative counterpart is impossible:

166
(15) * She has come yet.

Both (10) and (14) have the same property in common. They contain a word/phrase which is grammatical
only in a negative context. These words/phrases are conveniently named negative polarity items. There is
a difference between (10) and (14) though: while (10) cannot be converted into an affirmative sentence,
(14) can be turned into one, provided some changes are performed:

(16) She has already come.

The fact that these sentences do not behave completely similarly gives us reason to believe that some of
these negative polarity items have an affirmative pair. Consider the table below, where we enlarge upon
this distinction:

Negative polarity Negative polarity items with an Affirmative


items affirmative counterpart polarity items
Not to have a stitch Any vs. some (I haven’t any Would rather
on money. / I have some money.) Had better
Not to lift a finger At all vs. somehow/ somewhat (I
Not to bat an eyelid don’t like him at all. / I somehow
Not to leave a stone like him.)
unturned Yet vs. already (I haven’t seen him
Not to budge yet. / I have already seen him.)
Not to move a Any more vs. still (I don’t love you
muscle any more. / I still love you)
Not to say a word Either vs. too (I don’t like it, either.
Not to give a damn / I like it, too.)
Not to have the Hardly ever vs. most of the times (
faintest idea I hardly ever eat caviar. / I eat
Not to move an inch caviar most of the times.)
Not to make head or Until vs. before (He didn’t arrive
tail of something until 5. / He arrived before 5.)
Not to know an iota Much vs. A lot (I don’t love you
Not to touch a drop much./ I love you a lot.)
Not to sleep a wink,
etc.

Students are advised to learn by heart the pairs of negative/affirmative polarity items.

Exercise: Try to change the polarity of the following sentences. Comment on them:
1. I wouldn’t marry you, Mr. Jones, even if my life depended on it.
2. He isn’t all that smart.
3. I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.
4. She is by far the most delightful story-teller I’ve ever met.
5. I cannot possibly tell you how many thoughts cross my mind.
6. He cannot hold a candle to his elder brother.
7. There wasn’t a living soul on the beach.
8. ‘Why do you think Margaret chose that man as her guardian?’ ‘I haven’t the foggiest, old boy.’
9. You don’t have a chance in hell to win that competition.
10. There’s no place like home.
11. He’s nothing like his father: he doesn’t gamble or drink.
12. You might as well admit it: you’re hopelessly in love with her.
13. She couldn’t help laughing when she saw Jim slipping on a banana skin.
14. Try as I might, I couldn’t make both ends meet.
15. I don’t like him one bit.

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Double negation
As you know, English is very different from Romanian with respect to the way in which it builds its
negative sentences. Unlike Romanian, formal and written English does not allow double negation (or
negative concord). Compare:

(17) N-am văzut nimic.


(18) I haven’t seen anything. / I saw nothing.
(19) *I haven’t seen nothing.

How do we then account for a sentence like the one under (11)?
(11) ‘No sign of nobody, lady.’

This sentence contains an instance of negative concord, or double negation. This should indicate to us that
the character who utters it is not a very educated person, since the language he speaks is not ‘Standard
English’.

EXERCISES:

1*. Translate into English, paying attention to the grammar problem discussed above:
1. Şi nimic nu mai rămase din acel păr decât praf şi cenuşă; iară frate-său încremeni de mirare, neştiind ce
sunt toate acestea.
2. Şi scăpând şi d-această pacoste, încălecară şi plecară la drum, repede ca vântul; când, ce să vezi
dumneata? Unde nu se luase după dânşii scorpia de mumă a zmeoaicelor cu o falcă în cer şi cu alta în
pământ ca să înghită pe Greuceanu şi mai multe nu; şi avea de ce să fie cătrănită şi amărâtă: căci nu
mai avea nici soţ, nici fete, nici gineri.
3. Aci, cum descălecară, Greuceanu se închise în făurişte. Pe urma lor iacă şi zmeoaica. De-i ajungea, îi
prăpădea! Nici oscior nu mai rămânea din ei. Acum însă n-avea ce le mai face.
4. Împăratului însă nu-i prea plăcu zorul ce da sfetnicul pentru nuntă şi mai tărăgăi lucrurile. Nu trecu
însă mult şi iată că soseşte şi Greuceanu şi, înfăţişându-se la împăratul, acesta nu ştia între care să
aleagă. Credea că aceasta să fie Greuceanu, dară nu-şi putrea da seama de cum paloşul lui Greuceanu
se află în mâna sfetnicului. Atunci băgă de seamă şi Greuceanul că-i lipseşte paloşul şi tocmai acum îi
veni în minte pentru ce nu văzuse el stana de piatră decât după ce-şi găsise cuiul de la osie şi se
întorcea la căruţă cu dânsul. Pricepu el că nu-i lucru curat.
5. A fost odată un împărat şi o împărăteasă. Amândoi erau oameni de treabă şi frumoşi. Ei se iubeau,
nevoie mare! Dară erau tot mâhniţi şi amărâţi că nu făceau copii. Toate leacurile ce luase împărăteasa
de pe la vraci şi vrăjitoare nu-i folosiseră întru nimic.
6. Până aci, cântase el nu cântase; dară după asta îşi puse şi el puterile şi zicea din fluier nişte doine de te
adormea. Văzând dădaca că fetei îi plăcea prea mult să asculte la fluier, nu zise nimănui nimic, dară se
feri de a mai veni cu fata pe acolo.
7. Şi aşa, aide, aide, merse până înseră şi se puse a odihni. Când, ce să vezi dumneata? Unde venea o
ceată de fii de împăraţi şi de boieri mari, îmbrăcaţi numai în fir şi pe nişte armăsari ce mâncau foc. Se
părea că nu-i mai încape locul. El, biet, se dete mai la o parte. Mai văzuse el cai buni, înşelaţi şi
înfrânaţi frumos; mai văzuse şi fii tineri de boieri îmbrăcaţi cu haine scumpe, auzise că unii dintr-înşii
sunt limbuţi, dezmierdaţi, luători în râs şi înfumuraţi, de nu le ajunge cineva cu strămurarea la nas, dar
ca aceştia, ba, ba, ba!
8. Când se sculară boierii şi văzură atâtea fiare arse, nu le venea a crede ochilor. Se duseră să-şi ia armele
de unde le agăţaseră, dară, ia-le de unde nu-s.
9. Când auziră boierii de una ca asta, se temură să nu le fi jucat iarăşi vrun renghi – şi de unde să nu fie
aşa – se sculară, şi când văzură cum i-a păcălit ciobănaşul, se luară cu mâinile de păr.
10. Îndată şi feciorul de boier îşi scoase cuţitaşul, îşi tăie nasul, şi începu a ronţăi şi el, crezând că asta
trebuie să fie ceva. Nu-i veni lui să crează că o asemenea faptă n-o să însemneze vreo izbândă la
norocul pe care nădăjduia să puie mâna. Îl durea de durut; dară răbda în piele ca un drac, până o vedea
cum o s-o scoată la cale.
11. Umblau oamenii de colo până colo şi cumpărau mereu la ouă, dară la el nici unul nu venea. Se mira
cum de nu-l întreabă şi pe dânsul nimenea de oul lui.

168
12. Când se deşteptă din zăpăceala lui, pipăi pungile să vază, nu e vrun vis; apoi vru să alerge după
neguţător să-l întrebe de n-a făcut vro greşeală. Dară ia pe neguţător de unde nu e. El îşi căutase de
drum, vesel că cumpărase aşa ou.
13. A doua zi, se sculă de dimineaţă, se găti şi plecă la muncă. Nu ştiu însă cum făcu el, nu ştiu cum drese,
că se pomeni iarăşi în pădure. Nici el nu ştia cum venise acolo; ştia numai că el la muncă plecase.
14. – Orişicum, dascăle, tot nu-mi vine să fac una ca asta, ca să nu se amărască bărbatu-meu.
- Atâta trecere n-am şi eu la dumneata? mai zise dascălul. Asta îmi dovedeşte că nu mă iubeşti. Îmi
pare rău că am îndrăgit cu atâta foc pe o nesimţitoare. Eu pentru dragostea ta aş fi dat prin foc şi prin
apă, ca să-ţi fac voile, şi tu pentru mine atâta lucru să nu faci. Să ştii dară că de azi încolo n-ai să mă
mai vezi; mă duc să mă înec.
15. Pe locul hotărât se adunase, însă până a nu se face ziuă, atâta lume, câtă frunză şi iarbă, de nu se mai
putea mişca; şi bătrânul cu copiii abia găsiră şi ei un colţişor la o parte de unde să se poată uita şi ei. N-
apucară să se aşeze bine şi auziră un sunet de fluier.
16. Dacă văzu şi văzu că scăpare nu este, se lăsă şi el după sfatul mai-marilor împărăţiei. Dete condurul
răposatei împărătese şi doi trimişi ai Sfatului împărătesc răzbătu ţări şi cetăţi, căutând la cine s-ar
potrivi condurul. Nu trecu mult şi se întoarseră precum se duseră, fără nici o ispravă. Pasămite
condurul nu se potrivi la nici o fată de împărat, la nici o cucoană, la nici o jupâneasă, la nici o ţărancă,
şi chiar la nici o roabă. Împăratul nu mai putea de bucurie la această întâmplare.
17. Se ceru şi găinăreasa, în ziua aceea. Dară bucătăreasa nu mai voia să-i dea drumul. Abia, abia, după
multe rugăciuni, şi cu făgăduinţa de a nu se mai cere niciodată, se înduplecă bucătăreasa să-i dea voie.
18. Căzu la grea boală. Pasămite prinsese lipici; se aduseră toţi vracii, toate babele şi toţi cititorii în stele;
rămaseră însă ruşinaţi, căci n-avură ce-i face. Atunci fiul împăratului spuse mă-sii că până n-or găsi pe
fata la care se va potrivi inelul ce-i dete el, nu se va face bine.
19. Tată-său a fost vânător, şi încă o dată vânător. Nu era ziulică lăsată de la Dumnezeu în care el să se
ducă la vânătoare şi să se întoarcă cu mâinile goale. Avea mare noroc la vânat.
20. –Boierule, răspunse şi săracul umilit şi cu lacrămile în ochi cât pumnul. Boierule, n-am ce zice,
omoară-mă, spânzură-mă, n-am ce face dacă a dat păcatul peste mine. aşa este, cum zice bogătaşul
meu vecin. Şi fiindcă lui Dumnezeu îi place dreptul, drept să-ţi spui ce e drept: am săpat o groapă, şi o
groapă mare, ca să încapă bordeiul pe toţi ai mei, dară nici că m-am gândit ca să-i aduc pagubă. Şi nici
n-a fost în sufletul meu cugetul de mândrie, căci n-aveam pe ce mă mândri, când mi-am ales loc lângă
dumnealui. Acum lumineze-vă Dumnezeu, boierule, şi judecaţi după dreptate.
(Petre Ispirescu – Basme)
21. Nici acum, timp de un ceas, cât omul din mlaştină urmări atent întoarcerea acasă a acestei familii, nu se
zări nici prin apropiere şi nici prin curte umbra unui bărbat sau măcar a unui bătrân. Unui luptător nu numai
atenţia lui încordată şi semnele exterioare vizibile îi semnalează prezenţa inamicului, ci îl ajută şi mirosul
său pe căi mai ascunse, pe care el nu se bizuie în întregime, dar nici nu le dispreţuieşte. Nang învăţase să
afle măsura potrivită şi în anumite împrejurări sfida pericolul, iar în altele era de o prudenţa exagerată. În
cazul de faţă avu acest sentiment că nu-l pândeşte nici o primejdie; întâi, devenise limpede faptul că nu mai
exista la acest punct de trecere peste râu nici un bac şi că în general circulaţia era întreruptă total pe această
arteră. Cât priveşte viaţa acestei familii, izolate de sat, avea să vadă la căderea nopţii ce era cu ea şi în ce
măsura îi putea fi de folos. (Marin Preda – Friguri)

2. Give the negative counterpart of the following sentences:


1. She has had some problems lately.
2. They thought about Susan every day.
3. She must have made another mistake.
4. They had to meet her very early.
5. Everybody likes and respects Susan.
6. He will arrive here before 6.
7. She is still very shy of her teacher.
8. Mary has already arrived.
9. She must be somewhere in the house.
10. She must pay that fine.
11. All of them are angry with John.
12. Both Susan and Mary are good students.

169
13. Both of them like jazz.
14. Each of us will tell John a joke.
15. Many people came to visit Susan.
16. There is something wrong with John.
17. She has always disobeyed her parents.
18. They almost always take the wrong turn.
19. They are all behaving abominably.
20. They have a lot of money.

D
WRITING
1. POINT OF VIEW. Pretend you are the ghost in James Thurber’s house. Retell the story from the
ghost’s point of view.
2. GHOST STORY. Taking as a point of reference the conventional ghost stories that you undoubtedly
read or seen on TV, imagine your own ghost story.

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THREE

THE OTHER WORLD


Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand,
lifting here, opening there, making sure – a ghostly couple.
‘Here we left it,’ she said. And he added, ‘Oh, but here too!’ ‘It’s upstairs,’ she murmured. ‘And in
the garden,’ he whispered. ‘Quietly,’ they said, ‘or we shall wake them.’
But it wasn’t that you woke us. Oh, no. ‘They’re looking for it; they’re drawing the curtain,’ one
might say, and so read on a page or two. ‘Now they’ve found it,’ one would be certain, stopping the pencil
on the margin. And then, tired of reading, one might rise and see for oneself, the house all empty, the doors
standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine
sounding from the farm. ‘What did I come in for? What did I want to find?’ My hands were empty.
‘Perhaps it’s upstairs then?’ The apples were in the loft. And so down again, the garden still as ever, only
the book had slipped into the grass.
But they had found it in the drawing-room. Not that one could ever see them. The window panes
reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves were green in the glass. If they moved in the drawing-room,
the apple only turned its yellow side. Yet, the moment after, if the door was opened, spread about the floor,
hung about the walls, pendant from the ceiling – what? My hands were empty. The shadow of a thrush
crossed the carpet; from the deepest wells of silence the wood pigeon drew its bubble of sound. ‘Safe, safe,
safe,’ the pulse of the house beat softly. ‘The treasure buried; the room…’ the pulse stopped short. Oh, was
that the buried treasure?
A moment later the light had faded. Out in the garden then? But the trees spun darkness for a
wandering beam of sun. So fine, so rare, coolly sunk beneath the surface, the beam I sought always burnt
behind the glass. Death was the glass; death was between us; coming to the woman first, hundreds of years
ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North,
went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs.
‘Safe, safe, safe,’ the pulse of the house beat gladly. ‘The Treasure yours.’
The wind roars up the avenue. Trees stoop and bend this way and that. Moonbeams splash and
spill wildly in the rain. But the beam of the lamp falls straight from the window. The candle burns stiff and
still. Wandering through the house, opening the windows, whispering not to wake us, the ghostly couple
seek their joy.
‘Here we slept,’ she says. And he adds, ‘Kisses without number.’ ‘Waking in the morning - ’
‘Silver between the trees - ’ ‘Upstairs – ’ ‘In the garden - ’ ‘When summer came - ’ ‘In winter snowtime - ’
The doors go shutting far in the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart.
Nearer they come; cease at the doorway. The wind falls, the rain slides silver down the glass. Our
eyes darken; we hear no steps beside us; we see no lady spread her ghostly cloak. His hands shield the
lantern. ‘Look,’ he breathes. ‘Sound asleep. Love upon their lips.’
Stooping, holding their silver lamp above us, long they look and deeply. Long they pause. The
wind drives straightly; the flame stoops lightly. Wild beams of moonlight cross both floor and wall, and,
meeting, stain the faces bent; the faces pondering; the faces that search the sleepers and seek their hidden
joy.
‘Safe, safe, safe,’ the heart of the house beats proudly. ‘Long years - ’ he sighs. ‘Again you found
me.’ ‘Here,’ she murmurs. ‘Sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we
left our treasure - ’ Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. ‘Safe! safe! safe!’ the pulse of the house
beats wildly. Waking, I cry ‘Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart.’
(Virginia Woolf – A Haunted House)

A
READING COMPREHENSION
1. Enlarge upon ‘the ghostly couple’. Who do you think they were? Does the author give you information
about them?
2. Who is the ‘us’ that the author is talking about? Why is ‘us’ placed in opposition to ‘the ghostly
couple’?

171
3. Who does the author refer to when she uses the pronoun ‘one’? Support your explanation with
arguments from the text.
4. Who is the ‘I’ the author refers to when saying ‘my hands were empty’. Comment upon the use of
pronouns in the text.
5. Comment upon the phrase ‘safe, safe, safe…’. Why does the house murmur? How do you correlate
this fact with the existence of a ‘treasure’? What do you think this treasure is?
6. Halfway through the text, tenses shift from past to present. Comment upon this apparent violation of
the Sequence of the Tenses.
7. Comment upon the use of imagery and sound in this short-story and the relevance these devices have
for the title.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), born in London and educated mostly at home,


where she read widely and deeply in the large personal library of her father,
Sir Leslie Stephen, a prominent critic and editor. In 1904 she moved to
London’s Bloomsbury district, taking a dominant place in the Bloomsbury
Group, a lively circle of young highbrows including biographer Lytton
Strachey and economist John Maynard Keynes. With her husband Leonard
Woolf, she established the influential Hogarth Press, publishing her own
novels, the stories of her friend Katherine Mansfield, and the first English
translations of Sigmund Freud’s works. Woolf’s fiction displays her keen
interest in psychology. Mrs. Dalloway (1920) reveals the minds of its
characters as flowing streams of consciousness; To the Lighthouse (1927)
abounds in dream symbols, sexual and otherwise. During World War II,
saddened by bombing raids and by her long struggle with recurrent mental
illness, Woolf took her life. A brilliant critic and essayist, she has seemed a
writer of heightened importance to recent feminists, who especially admire
A Room of One’s Own (1929) and Three Guineas (1938).
(Literature, An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama,
X.J. Kennedy, 1987, Scott, Foresman and Company)

The Downs – area of open rolling land, especially the chalk hills of S
England

B
VOCABULARY

I. IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY (Words for study)


Ghost
Empty, deserted, desolate, uninhabited, vacant, free, unoccupied, blank
Pigeon
Hum
Loft
Hanging, hung, dangling, pendant, pendulous, suspended, drooping
Bend, stoop, twist, bow, crouch

II. EXERCISES
Match the nouns in the left column to the verbs in the right one:
The wind fade
The rain gutter
The sun beat (softly)
Trees darken
The pulse spin
Death shine
Pigeons scorch
Leaves bend (in the rain)
Lions reap (souls)

172
The heart wither
Light coo
A weaver roar
His eyes fall
Candles drop
Temperature blow

2*. COLLOCATIONS: GHOST. Translate into English:


1. N-are nici cea mai mică şansă de reuşită. 2. Maşina asta iar m-a lăsat baltă în mijlocul drumului. 3. I-am
citit piesa şi mi-a plăcut, dar apoi am aflat că jumătate din ea nu era scrisă de el. 4. De obicei vedetele
angagjează scriitori să le scrie biografia. 5. După ce febra aurului a trecut, au rămas în urmă o grămadă de
oraşe părăsite. 6. Ştii poveşti cu stafii cumva? Din cele care-ţi ridică părul în cap de frică? 7. Pe faţa ei se
ivi o umbră de zâmbet. 8. Arată de parcă a văzut moartea cu ochii.

3.SYNONYMY: empty, deserted, desolate, uninhabited, vacant, free, unoccupied, blank. Fill in the
blanks with the appropriate words:
1. She scanned the ______ page to see if there was anything written on it.
2. ‘Is this seat______ ?’ the passenger asked politely.
3. ‘What a ________ place!’ she exclaimed. ‘I really couldn’t live here!’
4. I’ve moved out, so there is a ________ flat in my former building.
5. The landscape surely looked _________ with its bare trees.
6. I went out in the ________ street to look for help, but couldn’t find anybody.
7. Can’t you see the place is _______? No one has been there in months.
8. The landlord made him sign on a _________ sheet of paper, although Jim told him it was against the
law.
9. If there is something I hate most, it is _______ words and useless prattle.
10. She tried to read his thoughts, but his face was completely _________.

4.Translate the following sentences making use of recently studied expressions:


a)
1. You wouldn’t want me to come back empty handed, would you? There are mouths to feed. 2. This area
is usually humming with shoppers. 3. In traditional communities, the individual has his pigeonhole
ordained from birth. 4. You can get some money if you return the empties to the shop. 5. Unless there is
silence, I shall have to clear the court. 6. The depths to which newspapers will stoop to anything so they
could get a story never fail to astound me. 7. His shoulders drooped dejectedly and his heart hung to his
chest. 8. The light is fading fast. 8. The embezzlement story has left an indelible stain on his reputation. 9.
The scheme was pigeonholed after a brief discussion. 10. Sending Bill to interview cheerleaders is like
sending the cat among pigeons. 11. The ghost has been laid and will not return to haunt me. 12. The
prospect of promotion was dangled before him.
b)*
1. Îndoaie, te rog, genunchii şi respiră adânc. 2. După sarcină Jane îşi dădu seama că avea sânii lăsaţi şi
câteva kilograme în plus. 3. Bărbatul avea o burtă gogonată care se revărsa peste cureaua pantalonilor. 4.
Ghemuieşte-te aici şi nu scoate o vorbă. 5. Uită-te şi spune-mi cum cade fusta la spate. 6. Era clar că fusese
clasat drept un tip grosolan şi fără maniere. Dar lucrurile nu stăteau deloc aşa. 7. Hm! Nu prea ştiu ce să
spun. 8. Să ştii că petrecerea a fost ideea ta, nu e deloc problema mea! 9. Te log, lasă loc sub dată, să
semnez. 10. Dacă te duci să vizitezi Casa Poporului, vei vedea o grămadă de camere cu candelabre şi tot
felul de alte ornamente.

C
GRAMMAR: THE USES OF THE ARTICLE

This section is devoted to the uses of the definite, indefinite and ‘zero’ article. Our discussion is focused
on an important semantic distinction that is created by the use of the article in English: general/individual.
We are going to look more closely at how English manages to create generalizations by making use of its
determiners.

173
Please consider the following instances from our text:

(1) they’re drawing the curtain


(2) stopping the pencil on the margin
(3) The window panes reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves were green in the glass.
(4) If they moved in the drawing-room, the apple only turned its yellow side.
(5) from the deepest wells of silence the wood pigeon drew its bubble of sound
(6) But the trees spun darkness for a wandering beam of sun.
(7) The wind roars up the avenue. Trees stoop and bend this way and that. Moonbeams splash and spill
wildly in the rain.

If you look carefully, you will see that whenever the definite article is used, the object associated with it is
individualized. Let’s take the example under (5): the presence of ‘the’ makes it clear for us that the author
refers to a particular wood-pigeon, that belongs to the ‘haunted house’ described in the short story.

Conversely, all those nouns with indefinite or ‘zero’ articles convey the idea of generalization: compare
for instance the noun ‘the trees’ in (6) to ‘trees’ in (7). There is an obvious semantic difference between the
two. In (7) the author refers to trees in general, whereas in (6) the definite article indicates that the author
refers to those specific trees that surround the ‘haunted house’.

The Definite/Zero Article (Quirky Uses)


Before we try to have a look at what possibilities English offers for realizing the individual/general
distinction with the help of articles, let us cast a swift glance at the table below. This table attempts to offer
you a few clues about when to use the definite or the ‘zero’ article:

THE DEFINITE ARTICLE THE ‘ZERO’ ARTICLE

1. Mountain ranges 1. Mountains


e.g. the Andes e.g. Mount Everest
2. Seas, oceans, rivers, ships 2. Lakes
e.g. the Atlantic e.g. Lake Tahoe
3. Island groups 3. Islands
e.g. the Maldives e.g. Crete
4. Deserts 4. Continents and countries
e.g. the Sahara e.g. Great Britain, Portugal, Asia
5. Hotels, pubs, newspapers, 5. Streets, roads, squares, cities
cinemas/theatres e.g. Trafalgar Square, Buccleuh Street,
e.g. the Hilton, the Odeon, The Glasgow
Times

Nota bene!
The table above offers only guidelines for the use of the definite/ ‘zero’ article. There are a lot of
exceptions to the rule. E.g. the Hague, the Ukraine.

Exercise: Fill in the blanks below with the suitable article (definite or ‘zero’). Check your answers
with the dictionary:
1. ______ Tate (Gallery) 2. ______ Pacific 3. _______ Lebanon 4. ________ Netherlands. 5. _______Alps
6. ________ Mediterranean 7. ________ Euphrates 8. ________ Sicily 9. _________ Stratford-on-Avon
10. _______ Thames 11. ________ Cumberland 12. _______ Transvaal 13. _______ Ritz 14. _______
Alhambra 15. _______ Titanic 16. _______ Tahiti 17. __________ Lake Como 18. _______ Daily Mirror

The Indefinite/ the Definite Article (New Information / Common Ground)


Traditionally, the indefinite article can be placed in opposition with the definite article because of the
different functions they fulfill in discourse. Whereas the indefinite article is used to indicate that new

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information is introduced in the text, the definite article is used to point to information that is part of the
common ground that readers/speakers share.

It makes perfect sense to discuss in terms of this distinction if we consider the following uses of the
definite/indefinite article in the table below. The examples offered here support the semantic opposition we
have commented on:

THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE THE DEFINITE ARTICLE


New information Common ground
1. After ‘there is/are’ 1. One entity singled out from a
E.g. There is a cat on the set
mat. E.g. She is the best girl in the
chorus.
2. After ‘have got’ 2. One entity in the universe
E.g. I’ve got a headache. E.g. Look at the moon.
3. Predicative use 3. With further modification
E.g. She’s a doctor. E.g. the book I was telling you
about, the red rose of Cairo

Another way of underlining the differences existing between definite and indefinite/ ‘zero’ articles is to say
that the definite article individualizes the object it is associated with, whereas the indefinite/ ‘zero’ article
generalizes over it. However attractive this distinction might seem, we cannot help admitting that it gives
rise to oversimplification. Consider the following examples:

(8) a. The dog is a faithful animal.


b. A dog is a faithful animal.
c. Dogs are faithful animals.

Contrary to what we expect, all three sentences contain generalizations. Consider the table below from this
perspective:

[ + GENERAL] [ + COMMON GROUND] [+INDIVIDUAL]


(shared knowledge of the (co-text based)
world, context-based)
Indefinite ‘zero’ definite ‘zero’article Definite definite Def/indefinite
(by anaphora, (by further
other cohesion modification)
devices)
A thing of Man gave The child Have you seen He is looking at I told Bill the The boy(s) I met
beauty is a names to all is the mother today? the sun. news. The boy yesterday is/are
joy the animals. father of was surprised to nice.
forever. man. I’m going to Have you seen hear it.
A rose Bare England. the children I got this book
smells as plurals: The today? He entered from a boy I
sweet as a Dogs are buffalo is This is Doctor John’s bedroom. know.
lily. great an extinct Jones. I’m going to the The bed was
companions species. pub/ cinema. huge. The love I have
We are all for you will last
Uncountable: going to She can play the forever.
Time flies. church. piano.
All we need The Bill I know is
is love. not a thief.
This is no longer
the England of
Shakespeare.

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Note that all three types of articles can combine with nouns in order to convey the idea of generalization.
Things are not so in the case of [+individual] readings: the ‘zero’ article cannot perform this function.

Another important thing that becomes apparent is that further modification of the noun always imposes a [+
individual] reading. This is not actually an unexpected fact. However, what is interesting is that further
modification combined with a proper noun and the definite article forces that proper noun to become a
common noun, so recategorization takes place.

Conclusions:
 The ‘zero’ article cannot be read as [+ individual],
that is why the following sentence is incorrect:
* Boys I know are smart.
 The ‘zero’ article is successfully used for
generalizations:
Boys are always interested in cars.
She likes boys and music.
Respect must be earned.

EXERCISES:

1. Put ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘the’ only where necessary:


a. One hundred years ago, …gold was discovered here and ever since … men have been arriving to
try their …luck.
b. Do you like… romantic comedies? My sister loves them for she says that …men in these movies
are always courteous, not as … men usually are.
c. Can you place … tray on …table and pour … tea, my dear?
d. This cheese costs 95p… pound. I would like to buy half … pound but I’m afraid I can’t afford to
pay … price they’re asking.
e. ‘…War and …Peace’ is considered to be one of … greatest literary works of all… times. …
author must surely be … genius.
f. ….problem of …illiteracy is…one that has puzzled …government for years.
g. Our cousins have gone to… Hawaiian Islands for… whole summer.
h. …dinner which was held in… honour of…President was a lavish affair.
i. …English are known for …amount of …tea they drink.
j. She isn’t at …home because she’s gone to… hospital to visit her grandmother who is ill with…
pneumonia.
k. He ran away to…sea at …age of fourteen and has never left …place.
l. There is … one pub in …Nottingham which is said to be…oldest pub in …area.
m. … Colonel Smith has become involved in … many activities relating to … architecture and …arts
in general.
n. …experts say that…painting which was found in … attic of …home of…old teacher is
worth…more than …any other by Picasso.
o. …last time I went to …cinema was …last week.
p. I don’t like … milk in …coffee. It reminds me of …uncle of mine who used to make …disgusting
noises when sipping it.
q. She was … first woman to cross… Pacific in …canoe.
r. Jim became … furniture salesman after leaving …school. He has been … best at his job ever
since.
s. …James Joyce I knew wasn’t … novelist and wasn’t …Irish, either.
t. This is … last time I do you… favour for … while.
u. You have proved … big disappointment, James. … place with…lowest attitude in relation …level
of…sea is in …Holland.

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v. This forest, which is …home of …rare species of …plants and wildlife, is under…threat by
…developers.
w. …expedition to …Andes was held up due to … several delays in …delivery of …supplies.
x. We spent …evening at … home of our neighbours, having …dinner and playing …cards.
y. …English tradition of hunting… fox is being called into …question by …groups of …protestors.

2. Supply the missing word where necessary:


a. ____ little boy who was ____ only passenger in _____ coach, and who jumped out as soon as it had
stopped, looked about him with ______ keenest curiosity during ______ short interval that elapsed
between ______ ringing of _____ bell and _____ opening of ______ hall door.
b. ____ Mrs. Bunch was _____ most comfortable and human person whom Stephen had as yet met in
____ Aswarby. She made him completely at _______ home; they were great friends in ______ quarter
of _____ hour; and great friends they remained. ____ Mrs. Bunch had been born in _____
neighbourhood _____ fifty-five years before ______ date of Stephen’s arrival, and her residence at ___
Hall was of twenty years’ ______ standing. Consequently, if anyone knew ____ ins and outs of ____
house and _____ district, _____ Mrs. Bunch knew them, and she was by no means disinclined to
communicate ____ information.
c. _____ object which ____ antiquary had before him at ______ moment was that of _____ tracing ___
whereabouts of _____ painted windows of _____ Abbey Church of _____ Steinfield. Shortly after
_____ Revolution, ____ very large quantity of _____ painted glass made its way from _____ dissolved
abbeys of _____ Germany and ______ Belgium to this country and may now be seen adorning various
of our parish ____ churches, ______ cathedrals and ______ private chapels.

3. Translate into Romanian, paying attention to determiners/quantifiers:


a) The coach had brought him from Warwickshire, where, some six months before, he had been left an
orphan. Now, owing to the generous offer of his elderly cousin, Mr. Abney, he had come to live at
Aswarby. The offer was unexpected, because all who knew anything of Mr. Abney looked upon him as
a somewhat austere recluse, into whose steady-going household the advent of a small boy would
import a new and, it seemed, incongruous element. The truth is that very little was known of Mr.
Abney’s pursuits of temper. The Professor of Greek at Cambridge had been heard to say that no one
knew more of the religious beliefs of the later pagans than did the owner of Aswarby. Certainly his
library contained all the then available books bearing on the Mysteries, the Orphic poems, the worship
of Mithras, and the Neo-Platonists. In the marble-paved hall stood a fine group of Mithras slaying a
bull, which had been imported from the Levant at great expense by the owner. He had contributed a
description of it to the Gentleman’s Magazine, and he had written a remarkable series of articles in the
Critical Museum on the superstitions of the Romans of the Lower Empire. He was looked upon, in
fine, as a man wrapped up in his books, and it was a matter of great surprise among his neighbours that
he should even have heard of his orphan cousin, Stephen Eliott, much more that he should have
volunteered to make him an inmate of Aswarby Hall.
b) The following evening Mrs. Bunch was occupying herself in mending his nightgown.
‘Gracious me, Master Stephen!’ she broke forth rather irritably, ‘how do you manage to tear your
nightdress all to flinders this way? Look here, sir, what trouble you do give to poor servants that have
to darn and mend after you!’
There was indeed a most destructive and apparently wanton series of slits or scorings in the garment,
which would undoubtedly require a skilful needle to make good. They were confined to the left side of
the chest – long, parallel slits, about six inches length, some of them not quite piercing the texture of
the linen. Stephen could only express his entire ignorance of their origin: he was sure they were not
there the night before. (M.R. James – Collected Ghost Stories)
c) There’s an old, singular, beautiful Netherlands picture I once saw in an Italian gallery, of a wise old man
walking in empty fields, pensive, while a thief behind cuts the string of his purse. The old man, in black,
thinking probably of God’s City, nevertheless has a foolish length of nose and is much too satisfied with
his dream. But the peculiarity of the thief is that he is enclosed in a glass ball, and on the glass ball there
is a surmounting cross, and it looks like the emperor’s symbol of rule. Meaning that it is earthly power
that steals while the ridiculous wise are in a dream about this world and the next, and perhaps missing
this one, they will have nothing, neither this nor the next, so there is a sharp pain of satire in this

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amusing thing, and even the painted field does not have too much charm; it is a flat place. (The
Adventures of Augie March – Saul Below)

4. Translate the following, paying attention to the way the indefinite article is used in English:
1. He is not much of a singer, I’m afraid. 2. I’m not that big of a salesman, Mr. Jones. 3. He is a monster of
a child, I cannot stand his foolish pranks anymore. 4. Mary is as good a dancer as anyone. 5. You are too
gifted a teacher to waste your talents on these ungrateful children. 6. How smart a lawyer he is. 7. Susan is
so terrible a player, that not even her husband would have her in his team. 8. What a distressing thought. 9.
These are 20p. a piece. 10. She went there of an evening and listened to their stories.

5. Translate into English, paying attention to determiners/quantifiers:


a) Din toate preparativele voiajului, cea mai mare parte erau îndeplinite; în cele din urmă reuşi să
plătească şi chiria, ajutat fiind de cele două bătrâne raţe ale sale, şi care nici de data asta nu-l lăsară să
alerge la mila vecinilor. Singurul lucru ce îi cereau în schimb era ca să fie şi ele primite, cel puţin o oră
pe zi, în camera sa de lucru, care exala un aşa dulce şi îmbătător miros de ciurciuvele. Se sui în
corabie. Sentimentul puternic şi neînvins de tată îl trase însă înapoi la ţărm, unde, cu o mişcare distrată
şi nervoasă şi în mijlocul poporului iubit, îşi cusu două tampoane de sugătoare pe căptuşala mucegăită
a smokingului său, şi imediat după aceasta, fără a mai pierde timpul, se furişă neobservat de nimeni, în
camera scundă din fundul curţii, trecând la religiunea mozaică. (Urmuz – Plecarea în străinătate)
b) DÉCOR: Cameră încăpătoare având, drept mobilier, un singur birou, foarte mare. Telefon. Un fotoliu
de piele enorm în faţa biroului enorm; în acest fotoliu stă Domnul cel Gras.
c) Se îndreaptă spre uşa de la bucătărie, cu băgare de seamă, îşi vâră capul înăuntru, îl scoate; în timpul
acesta, sforăiturile continuă; închide încet de tot uşa de la bucătărie, sforăiturile se vor auzi mai puţin,
apoi de fel; Domnul cel Gras priveşte prin gaura cheii, pune urechea la uşă, se ridică uşurat; porneşte
spre mijlocul scenei, fredonând, dar în vârful picioarelor cu toate acestea, mai ales pe măsură ce se
apropie de tablou, în faţa căruia rămâne, cu spatele la public, cu mâinile mai întâi la spate.
d) BARTOLOMEUS: Păcat! O să ratăm ocazia. Am o propunere foarte interesantă. E un teatru care vrea
cu orice preţ o piesă a dumitale. Directorii lui vor s-o aibă numaidecât. Îmi cer să-mi asum controlul
punerii în scenă după principiile cele mai moderne, ale unui teatru demn de epoca ultra-ştiinţifică şi, în
acelaşi timp, ultra-populară în care trăim. Dânşii iau pe seama lor toate cheltuielile, publicitatea, etc.,
cu condiţia să nu fie mai mult de patru sau cinci actori, să nu fie decoruri care să coste prea scump…
IONESCU: Spune-le să aibă răbdare câteva zile. Îţi promit că până atunci o să concentrez totul… deşi
stagiunea e într-adevăr foarte înaintată… (Eugen Ionescu – Teatru)

6*.Translate the following, making use of possessive determiners where necessary:


a) A aşezat, învingător, receptorul pe aparat. I s-au luminat ochii groşi, de obicei de un verde
congestionat, iar obrajii mari şi căzuţi erau acum bine sprijiniţi pe gură, pe care lipsa mustăţii o vădea
şi mai goală în surâsul ei de satisfacţie.
b) Până după miezul nopţii, am pierdut suma cu care poate aş fi putut cumpăra un automobil. Nu eram
decât cu ochii pe fereastră, cu tot coşul pieptului devastat de şerpii vii ascunşi sub cămaşă… neizbutind
să mă concentrez, cu toată îndârjirea mea.
c) Cei doi se împăcaseră acum şi cu faţa înflorită de fericire ea dansa, de la genunchi până la piept greu şi
cald lipită de el. Vorbea mult, fără să înţeleg, de departe, ce-i spune şi, fiindcă fostul ministru era şi el
la cărţi, acum amicul ocupa, când terminau dansul, locul liber de lângă ea. (Camil Petrescu – Ultima
noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război)
d) Nădăjduia că a spart tăcerea şi înmărmurirea celor doi. Urmatecu se uită însă scurt şi oţelit la Ivanciu.
Acesta plecă pleoapele umflate, fără gene, în semn că a înţeles. Şi tăcură mai departe.
e) Urmatecu, din capul mesei, îi privea. Se juca într-o doară, cu o scobitoare, pe care o îndoia şi o
netezea, de-o făcea să scoată o vibrare surdă. Şi făcând paşi mărunţi cu scobitoarea pe faţa de masă,
întâlni mâna Jurubiţei. Îi mângâie mai întâi unghiile, una câte una; apoi, pentru că nu ştiu care a spus o
prostie şi i-a făcut pe toţi să ridice capetele din farfurii, se agăţă deodată, ca şi cum l-ar fi văzut pentru
prima dată, de inelul femeii, numărând mereu cele trei peruzele din trifoiul legat în argint. Inelul ăsta el
i-l dăduse, la Herăstrău, când gura ei a fost mai dulce ca niciodată, în tihna şi depărtarea unei odăiţe
văruite prin geamul îngust al căreia se vedea un apus limpede şi rumenit de primăvară, tăiat de praguri
viorii.

178
f) Şi fără să aştepte să fie poftit, îşi trase un scaun şi-şi aprinse o ţigară. Baronul se simţea vinovat.
Îngăimă o poveste cu o scrisoare de trimis undeva printr-un om de încredere, din care Urmatecu nu
crezu nici un cuvânt, se uită pe furiş la Lefterică şi vorbi despre slăbiciunea şi paloarea lui. Iancu nu
răspunse, mişcând nervos din vârful ghetei înflorite. Tuşea din când în când, scuturându-şi scrumul.
Drumul era greu şi tăcerea, cu vinovăţii în ea, pândea, când deodată, ca o lumină, trecu prin cel ce se
frământa şi se dezvinovăţea. (Ion Marin Sadoveanu – Sfărşit de veac în Bucureşti)
g) Înlăuntru, răsturnat în lungul patului, cu capul vârât într-o pernă, ş-ascundea faţa în mâini domnul
Moroi. Slab şi deşirat, îmbrăcat în haine negre, părea gata de plecare, cu toate că ş-afunda capul din ce
în ce în pernă cu sforţarea unui om care, voind să scape de pericol, închide ochii şi strânge cât poate
pleoapele.
h) Cu capul în jos, ciulind musteţile, ştergându-şi sudoarea de pe frunte, iuţind şi muind paşii, mestecând
şi tuşind, se duce acasă. Vorbeşte. Se vede în luptă cu ceilalţi: la unii surâde, unora le strânge mâna, cu
alţii se ceartă, la urmă se împacă cu toţi, îi atrage, îi momeşte, îi înşală.
i) A doua zi, de dimineaţă, Leana, intrând în odaia Hagiului, îl găsi numai în cămaşe, în cămaşa sa petec
de petec, trântit cu faţa în jos, pe aur, îngropat în galbeni, cu fruntea p-un purcoi de lire, cu ochii
închişi.
j) Ideea de a nu mişca ne obosea şi capul începea să ne tremure. Locul unde fundul ţestii se înjugă cu şira
spinării ne durea. De era vară, năduşeala începea să ne curgă pe obraji şi pe după urechi, în jos, d-a
lungul gâtului. Cu neputinţă ca cei mai slabi să nu mişte o mână, un picior; sau, gâdilaţi de şiroaiele de
năduşeală, să nu vrea să se şteargă. (B.Şt. Delavrancea – Nuvele)

D
WRITING
FOR AND AGAINST. Consider the following fragment taken from a ghost story. Argue for or against V.
Woolf’s short story belonging to this particular genre.

A new sort of light – not of lamp or cradle – a pale, ugly light, began to dawn around the door-
case at the back of the room. The door was opening again. The seer does not like to dwell upon what he
saw entering the room: he says it might be described as a frog – the size of a man – but it had scanty white
hair about its head. It was busy about the truckle-beds but not for long. The sound of cries, faint, as if
coming out of a vast distance – but even so, infinitely appalling, reached the ear.
There were signs of hideous commotion all over the house: lights moved along and up, and doors
opened and shut, and running figures passed within the windows. The clock in the stable turret tolled one,
and darkness fell again. (M.R. James – The Haunted Dolls’ House)

FOUR
A HISTORY OF THE WORLD
I suppose it wasn’t altogether Noah’s fault. I mean, that God of his was a really oppressive role-
model. Noah couldn’t do anything without first wondering what He would think. Now that’s no way to go
on. Always looking over your shoulder for approval – it’s not adult, is it? And Noah didn’t have the excuse
of being a young man, either. He was six hundred-odd, by the way your species reckons these things. Six
hundred years should have produced some flexibility of mind, some ability to see both sides of the
question. Not a bit of it. Take the construction of the Ark. What does he do? He builds it in gopher-wood.
Gopher-wood? Even Shem objected, but no, that was what he wanted and that was what he had to have.
The fact that not much gopher-wood grew nearby was brushed aside. No doubt he was merely following
instructions from his role-model. But even so. Anyone who knows anything about wood – and I speak with
some authority in the matter – could have told him that a couple of dozen other tree-types would have done
as well, if not better. And what’s more, the idea of building all parts of a boat from a single wood is
ridiculous. You should choose your material according to the purpose for which it is intended. Everyone
knows that. Still, this was old Noah for you – no flexibility of mind at all. Only saw one side of the
question. Gopher-wood bathroom fittings – have you ever heard of anything more ridiculous?
He got it, as I say, from his role-model. What would God think? That was the question always on
his lips. There was something a bit sinister about Noah’s devotion to God. Creepy, if you know what I

179
mean. Still, he certainly knew which side his bread was buttered. And I suppose being selected like that as
the favoured survivor, knowing that your dynasty is going to be the only one on earth – it must turn your
head, mustn’t it? As for his sons – Ham, Shem and the one beginning with J – it certainly didn’t do much
good for their egoes. Swanking about on deck like the Royal Family.
You see, there’s one thing I want to make quite clear. This Ark business. You’re probably still
thinking that Noah, for all his faults, was basically some kind of early conservationist, that he collected
animals together because he didn’t want them to die out, that he couldn’t endure not seeing a giraffe ever
again, that he was doing it for us. This wasn’t the case at all. He got us together because his role-model told
him to, but also out of self-interest, even cynicism. He wanted to have something to eat after the Flood had
subsided. Five and a half years under water and most of the kitchen gardens were washed away. I can tell
you. Only rice prospered. And so most of us knew that in Noah’s eyes we were just future dinners on two,
four or however many legs. If not for now, then later. If not us, then our offspring. That’s not a nice feeling,
as you can imagine. An atmosphere of paranoia and terror held sway on that Ark of Noah’s. Which of us
would he come for next? Fail to charm Ham’s wife today and you might be a fricassee by tomorrow night.
That sort of uncertainty can provoke the oddest behaviour. I remember when a couple of lemmings were
caught making for the side of the ship – they said they wanted to end it once and for all, they couldn’t bear
the suspense. But Shem caught them just in time and locked them up in a packing-case. Every so often,
when he was feeling bored, he would slide open the top of their box and wave a big knife around inside. It
was his idea of a joke. But if it didn’t traumatize the entire species I’d be very surprised.
And of course once the Voyage was over, God made Noah’s dining rights official. The pay-off for
all that obedience was the permission to eat whichever of us Noah chose for the rest of his life. It was all
part of some pact or convenant botched together between the pair of them. A pretty hollow contract, if you
ask me. After all, having eliminated everyone else from the earth, God had to make do with the one family
of worshippers he’d got left, didn’t he? Couldn’t very well say, No you aren’t up to scratch either. Noah
probably realized he had God over a barrel (what an admission of failure to pull the Flood and then be
obliged to ditch your First Family), and we reckoned he’d have eaten us anyway, treaty or no treaty. This
so-called convenant had absolutely nothing in it for us – except our death-warrant. Oh yes, we were thrown
one tiny sop – Noah and his crowd weren’t permitted to eat any females that were in calf. A loophole which
led to some frenzied activity around the beached Ark, and also to some strange psychological side-effects.
Have you ever thought about the origins of the hysterical pregnancy?
Which reminds me of that business with Ham’s wife. It was all rumour, they said, and you can
see how such rumours might have started. Ham’s wife was not the most popular person in the Ark. And the
loss of the hospital-ship, as I’ve said, was widely attributed to her. She was still very attractive – only about
a hundred and fifty at the time of the Deluge – but she was also willful and short-tempered. She certainly
dominated poor Ham. Now the facts are as follows. Ham and his wife had two children – two male
children, that is, which was the way they counted – called Cush and Mizraim. They had a third son, Phut,
who was born on the Ark, and a fourth, Canaan, who arrived after the Landing. Noah and his wife had dark
hair and brown eyes. So did Ham and his wife. So, for that matter, did Shem and Varadi and the one
beginning with J. And so did Cush and Mizraim, and Canaan. But Phut, the one born on the Ark, had red
hair. Red hair and green eyes. Those are the facts.
At this point we leave the harbour of facts for the high seas of rumour (that’s how Noah used to
talk, by the way). I was not myself on Ham’s ark, so I am merely reporting, in a dispassionate way, the
news the birds brought. There were two main stories, and I leave you to choose them. You remember the
case of the craftsman who chipped out a priest’s hole for himself on the stores ship? Well, it was said –
though not officially confirmed – that when they searched the quarters of Ham’s wife they discovered a
compartment nobody had realized was there. It certainly wasn’t marked on the plans. Ham’s wife denied all
knowledge of it, yet it seems one of her yakskin undervests was found hanging on a peg there, and a jealous
examination of the floor revealed several red hairs caught between the planking.
The second story – which again I pass on without comment – touches on more delicate matters, but
since it directly concerns a significant percentage of your species I am constrained to go on. There was on
board Ham’s ark a pair of simians of the most extraordinary beauty and sleekness. They were, by all
accounts, highly intelligent, perfectly groomed, and had mobile faces which you could swear were about to
utter speech. They also had flowing red fur and green eyes. No, such species no longer exists: it did not
survive the Voyage, and the circumstances surrounding its death have never been fully cleared up.
Something to do with a falling spar… but what a coincidence, we always thought, for a falling spar to kill
both members of a particularly nimble species at one and the same time…

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(Julian Barnes – from A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters, slightly adapted)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

Julian Barnes (b. 1946 - ) is a contemporary British writer whose novels


and short stories have been seen as examples of postmodernism in
literature. Among his best works we need to mention: Flaubert’s Parrot
and A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters.
A History of the World… is sometimes categorised as a novel, a collection
of short stories or even a set of essays – due to the various styles employed
by Barnes in the work. It deals primarily with Christian history and
legends, attempting to deglaze and satirise myths. Every chapter is devoted
to an individual or an entity, often a marginal or insignificant agent in the
events, who is said to have witnessed or experienced a key event in the
history of the world. The story of the Great Deluge is told here by a
woodworm, a species that has been excluded from the Ark but that
manages to make the trip as a stowaway.

1. The text can be considered a parody of a Biblical text. Identify some of the strategies that the author
uses in order to make such a reinterpretation possible.
2. The story of the Flood is retold from another character’s perspective. What kind of a character is this?
Does he also appear in the biblical text?
3. Characterize Noah as he is presented in this text. What are the similarities and differences between
Barnes’s representation of Noah and the biblical representation?
4. Comment upon the following lines “God was a really oppressive role-model”. Do you agree with the
statement?
5. Comment upon “There was something a bit sinister about Noah’s devotion to God.” Why does the
author choose the word “sinister”. Can you think about other biblical characters whose devotion could
be qualified as “sinister”?
6. Does the author present Noah as “an early conservationist”? How can qualify Noah’s actions of
“collecting the animals” from a contemporary perspective?
7. Comment upon “An atmosphere of paranoia and terror held sway on that Ark of Noah’s”.
8. How can you comment upon the lemming episode?
9. Does the story-teller look favorably upon the “convenant” between Noah and God?
10. Why does the story-teller say that Now has God “over a barrel”. Try to explain the circumstances of
such a situation.
11. What is the reason for the “frenzied activity” that starts on the Ark?
12. How can you comment upon the “business with Ham’s wife”. Is this episode relevant from a biblical
point of view?
13. What does the presence of a “priest-hole” on Noah’s Ark remind you of?
14. In what way would the presence of simians on Noah’s Ark be relevant? Why does the story-teller say
that “it directly concerns a significant percentage” of our species? Is it consistent with the biblical view
upon creation?
15. Why does the story-teller offer two possible stories about Ham’s wife? Which of them do you consider
more plausible?

B
VOCABULARY
Fill in the blanks with expressions from the text above:
1. I am merely reporting, in a ________ way, the news the birds brought.
2. It was all part of some pact or convenant ______together between the pair of them.
3. The simians also had _________ red fur and green eyes.
4. This pact was a pretty _________ contract, if you ask me.
5. An atmosphere of paranoia and terror held _________ on that Ark of Noah’s.

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6. Noah was six hundred-________, by the way your species reckons these things.
7. The second story – which again I pass on without comment – _______ more delicate matters.
8. The fact that not much gopher-wood grew nearby was ____________.
9. The simians were, _________, highly intelligent and perfectly groomed.
10. Noah’s sons were ________ about on deck like the Royal Family.

Paraphrase and find a larger context for the following:


1. So, that’s the way the cookie crumbles! 2. He doesn’t know which side his bread is buttered. 3. Hold your
horses! 4. Two others made it by the skin of their teeth. 5. You can’t teach a dog old tricks. 6. Touch wood!
7. The long and the short of it is… 8. He’d gone out on a limb to help us. 9. The audience was in hysterics.
10. He’s too hot to trot. 11. The more the merrier. 12. Hook, line and sinker. 13. Hear! Hear! 14. He’s in the
dog house. 15. I’ve heard it on the grapevine. 16. Say when. 17. Some of his work isn’t up to scratch. 18. He
built this from scratch. 19. Set a thief to catch a thief. 20. Needs must when the devil drives. 21. Mum’s the
word. 22. Oops-a-daisy. 23. Don’t mention it. 24. Not to worry. 25. The manager had us over a barrel. 26. I
say, … 27. Skip it. 28. Break a leg! 29. It takes all sorts… 30. Well I never! 31. Tell me about it!

3. SYNONYMY: creepy, spooky, sinister, scary, frightening, terrifying, hair-raising, spine-chilling,


blood-curdling, chilling. Translate into Romanian:
1. The lawyer gave a chilling demonstration of how the accused used a towel to suffocate his victim. 2. We
stayed up late telling scary ghost stories. 3. The first time I went hang-gliding it was terrifying, but not I
love it. 4. Mary went upstairs to look for Dean and seconds later I heard a blood-curdling scream. 5. This
wood is really spooky in the dark. 6. The house looked fine from outside but inside it was dark and creepy.
7. The only journalist to witness the rebellion gave a spine-chilling account of atrocities carried out by both
sides. 8. It can be very frightening to leave home and move to the city. 9. He was a handsome man in a
sinister sort of way.

4. Translate into English, paying attention to numerals:


1. Până ieri am primit sute, dacă nu mii, de astfel de cereri. 2. În ultimul timp au apărut zeci de mii de astfel
de tarabe. 3. Au plecat câte doi şi câte trei. 4. Aşa ceva se întâmplă o dată la două secole, aşa că profitaţi de
ocazie. 5. Dintre toate telegramele primite, aproape că nu erau două la fel. 6. Prima dintre cele trei
candidate este cea mai competitivă. 7. Nu pot să mă întâlnesc cu tine, am de terminat un roman de opt sute
de pagini. 8. După milioane de ani, această specie a dispărut, nemairămânând decât sub formă de fosile. 9.
Dintre toate posibilele variante care ni s-au explicat până acum, nici una nu pare la fel de interesantă ca
penultima. 10. Acea unică idee cu care toată lumea e de acord nu pare a fi soluţia cea mai fericită la
problemă. 11. Nu ţi-am spus de mii de ori că o treime e mai mare decât o doime? 12. Îţi spun a “n”-a oară,
lasă-mă în pace! 13. Colegul tău m-a băgat într-o belea de trei ori mai mare decât tine. 14. Acesta este al
doilea vârf ca înălţime din masivul Himalaia. 15. Dă-mi o duzină de ouă şi vreo douăzeci de lămâi. 16. Este
trecut bine de şaizeci de ani.

5. IDIOMS: MATTER. Translate into English:


1. Este o problemă de principiu, aşa că nu pot accepta. 2. Vă vom contacta imediat ce aflăm rezultatul, aşa
cum se procedează de obicei în acest caz. 3. “L-ai întrebat ce vrea să mănânce la cină?” “Nu, de fapt nu m-
am gândit la asta.” 4. Ce importanţă are câţi ani am? Mă simt ca la 20 de ani. 5. Înainte să ne reglăm
conturile, mai există şi chestiunea banilor pe care mi i-ai împrumutat. 6. Este bine ştiut că regele este mai
important decât regina. 7. Te voi suna diseară, orice s-ar întâmpla. 8. Trebuie să aplicăm acea hotărâre ca o
măsură de urgenţă. 9. Când a văzut că sora lui e tratată cu asemenea dispreţ s-a hotărât să se ducă el acolo
şi să rezolve problema personal. 10. Adevărul adevărat este că nu ştiu să răspund la întrebare.

C
GRAMMAR
CAN & MAY

Preliminaries
1. Identify all instances of modal verbs/modal equivalents in the text.

2.Look at the following modals from the text.

182
a. Are can and might interchangeable here?
b. What are the differences between can and might if any?

Fail to charm Ham’s wife today and you might be a fricassee by tomorrow night. That sort of uncertainty
can provoke the oddest behaviour.

CAN and MAY: Two modals with similar uses

The following sentences show you that the uses of can and may are quite similar.

First of all, sentences (1) and (2) clearly show that both can and may express permission.

(1) Can I go to the movies with my friends? (Am I allowed to go to the movies...?)
(2) May I go to the movies with my friends? (Am I allowed to go to the movies...?)

On the other hand, the sentences (3) and (4), taken from Julian Barnes’s text indicate that both can and may
express possibility.

(3)You might be a fricassee by tomorrow night. (It is possible for you to be a fricassee by tomorrow night)
(4) That can provoke the oddest behaviour. (There is the possibility that this should provoke the oddest
behaviour).

However, while can and may have similar uses, can has another dominant value that may generally doesn’t
possess. Sentences (5) and (6) underline this distinction.

(5) Sally can speak English. (Sally is able to speak English)


(6) Sally may speak English, but I’m not sure. (It is possible that Sally speaks English)

While the first sentence concentrates on the ability of the subject to do something, the second sentence
shows the possibility for a certain event. Sentences (7) and (8) further underline the contrast.

(7) Tim can swim very well and does so every day.
(8) * Tim may swim very well and does so every day.

While the first sentence of the pair is perfectly grammatical, showing that the subject has an ability that he
makes use of every day, the second sentence is to be seen as ungrammatical, as impossible. This is due to
the fact that may can’t generally express permission. Thus, the use of may in this case can be interpreted
here only as possibility (as Tim’s possible swimming), but since phrase “does so every day” indicates a
certainty, and not a possibility, there arises a conflict between the use of may and the second part of the
sentence that makes the sentence impossible.

Thus, one could say that may doesn’t express ability, while can does. However, it is interesting to underline
that may could express ability in the past use of the English language. An archaic sentence such as the
following show that both may and can had an ability value:

(9) Weep those that may, laugh those that can.

However, although there are some remains of the ability use of may in archaic English, it is safe to say that
may is no longer used to express ability.

Let’s generalize!
Both can and may express permission on the one hand and possibility on the other. Can also expresses
ability.

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Ability: CAN and BE ABLE TO

In its ability use, can is used in the present (can, could) and in the past (could). In the future the modal
equivalent be able to is used. Be able to can be also used in the present and in the past as a near equivalent
of can with some differences in meaning.

Present and Past: Can and could

Consider the following sentences:

(10) Noah can’t do anything without first wondering what God will think. (present reference)
(11)Noah couldn’t do anything without first wondering what God would think. (past reference/present
reference)

The first sentence of the pair clearly shows present disability. In sentence (11) could is used to express
disability in the past, namely the fact that Noah wasn’t generally able to do anything, without wondering
what God would think (Noe nu putea să facă nimic fără să se întrebe mai întâi ce părere are Dumnezeu)
This is the meaning with which the sentence is used in Barnes’s text above However, the modal form could
can be used also in the present, the difference between a present form can and the past form could for
present reference being that, since could is a past form, it is perceived to be more remote and hence more
polite or more tentative. Thus a possible translation in Romanian that would capture this shade of meaning
would be:

(12) Noe nu ar putea să facă nimic fără să se gândească ce părere ar avea Dumnezeu.

CAN versus BE ABLE TO

Be able to replaces can for future reference:

(13) Noah will be able to build an Ark in order to please God.

Important differences between can and be able to appear concerning their past reference. Consider the
following sentences:

(14) Noah could talk to God. (He had the general ability of talking to God.)
(15) Noah was able to talk to God. (On one particular occasion he actually managed to talk to God.)

In the past, the form could refers to an ability that chracterizes the subject and that the subject probably
displays often, while the form was able to refers to a single succesful occurrence of that ability, which may
be exceptional. The same can be said about the following sentences:

(16)The woman could hear voices. (She heard voices on more than one occasion. Who knows, maybe she
even got used to them)
(17) The woman was able to hear voices. (She heard voices only on that particular occasion. Probably she
can no longer hear voices, but who cares?)

Sporadic ability can

Let’s look at the following sentences:

(18) Noah can be such a prig sometimes. (Sometimes Noah has the ability of being a prig)
(19) Women can be quite annoying. (Sometimes women evince the ability of being quite annoying)
(20) Men can be so insensitive at times. (Sometimes men evince their ability of being insensitive).

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What is important to underline about the sentences above is that the use of can here shows that the subject
of the sentence is sporadically able to behave in the manner seen above, but that doesn’t mean that this is
the constant behaviour of the subject, namely for example that Noah’s general ability is that of “being a
prig”. If we compare these sentences with sentences such as... we can see that there is a difference between
the temporary/sporadic ability shown in... and the general, constant ability of “talking to God”, “bearing
children” or “running faster”.

(21) Noah can punish his sons. (He has the ability of punishing them at any time.)
(22) Women can bear children. (They generally have the ability to do that)
(23) Men can run faster than women. (They generally have the ability to do that)

Other special uses of ‘ability’ CAN

In its ability use CAN/COULD is used in certain contexts where it doesn’t have an open, literal ability
value but fullfils a certain stylistic or conventional function. Consider the following fragment from Julian
Barnes’s text:

(24) I can tell you. Only rice prospered. And so most of us knew that in Noah’s eyes we were just future
dinners on two, four or however many legs. If not for now, then later. If not us, then our offspring. That’s
not a nice feeling, as you can imagine.

Here can is used in its ability value with a verb of communication (tell) and a verb of perception (imagine)
only in order to emphasize the use of the lexical verbs with which it is used.

Can is also in its ability value in order to empahsize the meaning of lexical verbs in its combination with
verbs of physical perception such as see, hear, smell or verbs of ability of the type speak, dance, sing etc.
Let’s consider some sentences:

(25) I don’t need my glasses because I can see very well.


(N-am nevoie de ochelari pentru că văd foarte bine)
(26) He can speak English very well.
(Vorbeşte foarte bine engleză)

Nota bene!
In these circumstances can is not translated in Romanian, since it doesn’ t carry a meaning in itself, but
reinforces the meaning of the verbs it is combined with.

Another special use of ability can occurs in polite conversation where can is used in order to express a
request. The politeness effect is acheived by inquiring after the ability of the subject to do something.

(27) Can you pass me the salt?


(28) Could you show me you ID, please?

Exercise: Translate the following sentences:


1. Ştii să dansezi? Dacă nu te învaţă Daniel. Apelează oricând! 2. N-am fost în stare să deschid sticla asta
de vin deşi în general pot să fac orice îmi pun în minte. 3. Tare mai e priceput la paşii de tango. Ştie
urmărească orice fel de ritm! 4. Putea să danseze ore întregi fără să se oprească dar acum n-a putut să
execute nici măcar o piruetă. Îl copleşise timiditatea complet. 5. Văd de ce ai ales meseria asta, deşi eu cred
că ar trebui să te faci artist. 6. N-am cum să te ajut. Puteam să te ajut când încă eram în funcţie, acum însă
nu mai am aceeaşi influenţă. 7. Când am ieşit în ploaie, vântul mi-a zburat umbrela şi cu greu am reuşit să o
culeg de pe jos şi s-o deschid din nou.

185
Permission: CAN/COULD and MAY/MIGHT

Both can and may can be used for permission. Their past forms could and might can be used for present
reference. Since they are past forms, they are perceived as more polite than the present forms. Past
reference is achieved by the use of could and might. May/might is perceived as more formal and hence as
more polite than can/could:

(29) Can/Could I go home now, please?


(30) May/Might I go home now please?

Possibility: Can/could and May/Might

Both can/could and may/might are used for possibility in the present. Past reference for the possibility value
is achieved by the forms could (can’t /couldn’t for the negative) and might/may combined with the perfect
infinitive form of the verb. Let’s examine the following sentences:

(31) That sort of uncertainty can/could provoke the oddest behaviour. (There is this possibility)
(32) That sort of uncertainty could have proviked the oddest behaviour. (There is this possibility)

(33) Such rumours may/might start becuase of your odd behaviour. (There is this possibility)
(34) Such rumours may/might have started because of your odd behaviour. (There is this possibility)

In both cases the past forms could and might can refer to possibility in the present, the difference between
the meaning of these forms and that of the present forms being that the past forms, since they are perceived
as more remote, emphasize the uncertainty of the speaker. Compare:

(35) This story can be true. (Se poate ca povestea să fie adevărată).
(36) This story could be true. (S-ar putea ca povestea să fie adevărată).

In both cases there is the possibility of the story being true, however, in the second sentence the speaker is
less certain about it and he’s more reluctant to believe in this truth. The same goes for:

(37) Stan may be the killer. (This is possible according to the speaker).
(38) Stan might be the killer. (This is less possible according to the speaker).

Exercise: Translate the following sentences using either can or may:


1. E posibil să te mintă, să ştii! 2. Nu cred că e capabil de aşa ceva, dar ştiu că se poate purta prosteşte
uneori. 3. Cred că scrisoarea ta nu a ajuns. 4. Oricât de mult am încercat, nu am putut să îmi stăpânesc
lacrimile. 5. Poate că ai dreptate, dar nu ştiu cum să te conving că e mai bine să nu spui nimic. 6. Se prea
poate să fi furat el colierul de diamante al reginei, deşi parcă nu-mi vine a crede. 7. Dă-mi şi mie puţin vin,
te rog. 8. Credeţi că puteţi să tăceţi un moment? Nu sunt în stare să mă concentrez din cauza gălăgiei. 9. Pot
să-ţi dau un sfat? Fă şi tu ce poţi la examen şi nu te mai omorî atât! 10. Nu pot să nu recunosc că exerciţiile
astea sunt savuroase.

May versus Can: A slight difference

Ther is a slight difference in the way one can interpret may and can in certain contexts. While can is seen
as expressing a more theoretical possibility, may is seen to express a more concrete possible situation. If
you look at the following sentences, you will be able to see that while can refers to what is possible in
theory, may refers to what is possible in practice:

(39) The problem of inflation can be solved. (There exists the theoretical possibility of solving the
situation. Who knows, the problem will maybe be taken care of in the near future.)
(40) The problem of inflation may be solved.(At this very time, maybe the problem is already solved).

186
(41) Your ex-husband can remarry. (Theoretically, since he is divorced, he may marry somebody else.)
(42) Your ex-husband may remarry.(Since he’s already seeing someone else, it wouldn’t be surprising if he
remarries)

(43) Earthquakes can occur in the area. (Theoretically, there is the possibility for earthquakes to occur at
any time, but not necessarily now)
(44) Earthquakes may occur in the area. (I’m warning you that there is the possibility of earthquakes
occurring here in the near future)

Possibility and Negation

It is important to underline that possibility can is used more frequently in its negative form, while
possibility may in its positive form.

Let’s examine some sentences:

(45) Noah’s sons can be guilty.


(46) Noah’s sons can’t be guilty. (It is impossible that Noah’s sons are guilty.)

(47) Noah’s sons may be guilty.


(48) Noah’s sons may not be guilty. (It is possible that Noah’s sons are not guilty.)

As you can see, there is a difference from the point of view of negation between can and may. While can’t
expresses the impossibility of a situation, may not expresses the possibility of something negative. We can
thus say that, while can is used to negate the possibility (The guilt of the sons is not possible), may is used
to negate the situation that is presented as possible (The fact that the sons are not guilty is possible).
It is advisable to use can’t instead of may not in order to give the accurate negative counterpart of a
sentence:

(49) Noah’s sons may be guilty. (E posibil ca fiii lui Noe să fie vinovaţi).
(50) Noah’s sons can’t be guilty. (E imposibil ca fiii lui Noe să fie vinovaţi).

Generalization: The values of CAN/MAY

CAN/COULD MAY/MIGHT
Present (&Future) Past Present Past
Ability can = present could = general No ability values, -
be able = future was able to= except for more
particular archaic uses.

Noah can talk to Noah could talk to


God. (present) God.

Noah will be able Noah was able to


to talk to God. talk to God.
(future)

Permission can = informal may = polite


can = polite I asked Noah if I might = more I asked Noah
could sail with polite whether I might
him. join him.
Can I sail with May I join you?
you?
Could I sail with Might I join you?

187
you?
Possibility can = more may = more
certain Noah could have certain Noah may/might
could = more been on his Ark. might = more have been on his
uncertain uncertain Ark.

Noah can be on Noah may be on


his Ark. his Ark.
Noah could be on Noah might be on
his Ark his Ark.

Nota bene!
Inanimate subjects lead to a possibility interpretation!
A sentence such as “ The moon can be seen from here.” is interpreted as possibility and not as ability, in
spite of the combination between can and the perception verb see. This is due to the fact that the subject of
the sentence, namely "the moon” is inanimate. Remember that only animate subjects can evince ability,
while inanimate subjects can be interpreted only in relation to possibility.

EXERCISES:
1. Translate into English, paying attention to modal verbs:
a)
1. În spital mă vizitară într-o zi I.N şi Clara şi îmi aduseră flori. Evitând să se uite la mine, dar nu pentru ca
ar fi crezut că sunt bolnav, fără să excludă însă şi această ipoteză (în acest sens şi el şi Clara s-ar fi putut
pomeni fără veste în situaţia mea; ei şi? Puteai face ceva?...), I.N încercă să mă distreze povestindu-mi
senzaţionala şedinţă care avusese loc în Bucureşti între timp şi pe neaşteptate între scriitori şi I.C.
2. Cât despre bătrânul zmbru, se poate spune că ochiul lui vulturesc nici nu le zărise şi chiar dacă privirea
sa se orpise o clipă aspura lor, nici măcar o clipă nu se întrebase cine sunt, cu toate că în timpul unor
festivităţi şi recepţii cu protocol restrâns desigur că avusese prilejul chiar să schimbe câteva cuvinte cu ele.
3. Da? Chiar aşa? scriitorul nu mai scrie în liniştea biroului său fără să fie ajutat de secretarul general al
Uniunii? Ar trebui atunci să-l pună să semneze şi el pe copertă, numai că atunci ar fi necesari vreo câteva
sute de secretari generali, unul pentru fiecare scriitor.
4. – Nu se poate să acordaţi atâta importanţă unui secretar al Uniunii, tocmai dumneavoastră care sunteţi
un atât de cunoscut scriitor.
6. „Apără-te, dacă poţi, dacă nu, fă-ţi severa autocritică. Pune mâna şi fă-ţi un punctaj şi să nu îndrăzneşti
să nu te ridici şi să te împaci cu scriitorii. Că ai ştiut să le dovedeşti că nu mai pot avea încredere în tine. Nu
vreau, zise D., fără să surâdă, să-mi pun cenuşă în cap. Îmi dau demisia. Nu îţi dai demisia, zise I.C.
sardonic. Vei fi dat afară şi cată să reflectezi asupra acestei nuanţe. Vei fi dat afară oricum, dar tot trebuie
să-ţi faci o demnă autocritică. N-o să spui că eu te-am îndrumat să ne dezimformezi sistematic şi să scrii
articole de fond despre false probleme.
8. El avea, desigur, maşină şi şofer. Foarte bine, dar ar fi trebuit totuşi să se ocupe puţin şi de autobuzele
noastre, gândii eu pe drum, când simţii că sunt obosit şi că mi-e foame... n-o să pot să merg pe jos de pildă
la iarnă, şi atunci...
10. Dar poate că ar trebui să alung această obsesie a ordinei clipelor, fiindcă, iată, dacă la Oraca, într-o
dimineaţă, aş fi luat din vasul lui inocentul fir de floare care apăruse pe biroul meu şi pur şi simplu l-aş fi
aruncat (am avut acest impuls, dar mi s-a părut fără sens, de ce să arunc o floare, ce rău poate să îmi facă
un boboc roşu de trandafir; acum îmi spun că puteam să-l păstrez şi să alung doar sugestia lui poetică,
vinovata intruziune a mâinii care îl pusese acolo), atunci însă s-ar mai fi putut schimba ordinea clipelor
existenţei mele. Într-adevăr, doar atunci. Fiindcă, mai târziu, zilele, orele, clipele înlănţuiră strâns, şi
nicăieri nu mai apăru pentru mine veriga desfăcută sau mai slabă care putea fi ruptă, şi liberul meu arbitru,
libertatea mea, să reapară şi să ies din jocul hazardului. Aşa simţeam eu atunci, că nu mai era posibil.
12. Se poate ca tu să nu fi văzut în mine decât ceea ce am respingător. Toţi avem în noi ceva care stârneşte
repulsia, dar nu uita că şi virtutea poate fi respingătoare pentru un ticălos.

188
13. În alte părţi lucrurile se vor fi petrecut într-un fel mai uman. S-ar fi petrecut? Cine ştie?
14. ... cum s-o fi dus ea săraca în baie singurică şi părăsită de toţi şi şi-o fi pus şnurul de halat de gât...
(Marin Preda – Cel mai iubit dintre pamânteni)
b) Aici a intervenit prima pauză în conversaţia lor amabilă, pentru că el n-a răspuns imediat, ci s-a uitat în
altă parte, fără să privească pe faţa Olgăi umbra aceea de satisfacţie. Deşi nu era din razbunare, cum ar fi
putut-o eventual interpreta. “Poate că totuşi s-a schimbat, deşi de când ne-am reîntâlnit n-a deschis
niciodată vorba despre cele întâmplate. Deşi, de fapt, el ar fi trebuit s-o facă, şi nu eu. Însă acum a tăcut.
Evident, oricine îşi dă seama, s-a schimbat, trebuie să se fi schimbat, însă e orgolios, nu-I e uşor să
recunoască. Însă există speranţe, poate tocmai de aceea am şi venit aici.”
A tresărit puţin surprinsă când I-a auzit din nou vocea, foarte politicoasă şi calmă, o voce în care puteai
bănui zâmbetul chiar dacă ai fi auzit-o pe întuneric, un surâs care cuprinde întreaga fiinţă, devenită un
purtător al politeţei şi al bunăvoinţei prevenitoare. (Marin Preda – Delirul)

c)
1. Costel înainta spre paravan ca şi cum Ana trebuia să fie acolo, ascunsă. Cu o smucitură trăsese
perdeaua, apoi răscolise canapeaua…
- Nu te mai osteni! rânjise ofensată Nina, apoi alintat (îşi adusese aminte că are nevoie să rămâie
acolo cu idiotu): Nu ştiu! Zău nu ştiu! De-aseară n-am văzut-o… o fi plecat aiurea… s-a “simţit”
şi s-a dus!
- Unde să se ducă? La Leontina?
Glasul lui Costel era răguşit.
- Ei! La Leontina!
Nina vroi să spuie că Leontina n-are nevoie de unele ca Ana, dar un simţ de prudenţă o oprise.
- S-o fi dus şi ea la vreo clintă pe unde coase! Vine ea! face aşa pe supărata!… o ştiu eu! Nu ţine
mult… se întoarce! A mai plecat o dată acasă de la mama!
- Gonită tot de dumneata!
2. Comisarul era un bărbat modern, foarte bine îmbrăcat – observase Costel, trăgându-şi maşinal gulerul
hainei.
- N-aveţi nimic alt… vreun detaliu interesant?… se apropiase ziaristul.
- Nimic! Am spus ce ştiam!
Auzi!… Mai interesant! Ce putea fi mai interesant ca atât!…Costel îi vorbise totuşi cât putuse mai
politicos, ca nu cumva Ana să fie rău tratată în ziare…
3. Gazda auzise scârţâitul uşii şi al glasului – asociaţie neobişnuită de sunete – şi, prudentă cum şi trebuie
să fii într-o casă unde chiriaşii intră şi ies, de aceea eşti nevoit să laşi deschis, crăpase uşa bucătăriei,
gata să se răstească la intrus. Dase cu ochii de Costel, chiriaşul cel mai liniştit, mai ales de când îl
lăsase femeile: să fi venit de la un chef la ora ceea? Nu prea erau de chefuit cele ce se întâmplase cu el.
4. Cum putuse el sta atâta timp fără s-o vadă! Cu nimeni, nici măcar cu Ana nu găsea atâta de vorbă.
5. Pe ea mai apoi munca ar fi putut-o elibera, dar deprinderea o ţinuse legată şi chiar un fel de
recunoştinţă; nu-I dase în gând că ar putea evada… nu simţise nevoia… Când Costel venise spre ele
proaspăt, blajin, se bucurase ca de un câştig dobândit acolo pe loc…
6. Niciodată Ana n-ar fi putut crede să se întâmple cu Lucica şi cu Dragu aşa ceva… Nu, n-ar fi putut
crede. Ce ştia oare de ele mama lui Costel? Ce-şi închipuia? O privea şi nu-I putea zice “mamă”, deşi
cuvântul o exalta, îi dovedea că va avea bărbat şi că poate dobândi o mamă nouă. Pe mama ei ar fi
schimbat-o acum, ca pe o rufă purtată şi feştelită, dar nu putea zice “mamă” fiinţei voioase ce umplea
casa cu râsul ei sănătos. Se uita la ea cu un fel de friguri, cu sete, ca în faţa unui izvor proaspăt.
7. Ce va fi făcând moş Toma de la legătorie? Era dator să treacă o dată pe la el, nu-şi luase nici ziua bună,
fugise aşa…
8. Ana se gândea că va pune şi ea bani, să nu simtă Costel cheltuiala pricinuită de boala ei. Ea avea
strânşi în lădiţă opt mii de lei, îi scosese de la cel cu împrumutul. Atât putuse căpăta din douăzeci de
mii de lei cu dobânzile. Cu greutate şi aceia, şi poate restul nu-I mai vedea. Îi păstra pentru nuntă: nu
spusese de ei lui Coste. Va scoate cu încetul o mie din ei, numai una, pentru slujnică, poate şi pentru
ceva doctorii întăritoare.
9. Costel se uitase mai atent la Ana şi îi păruse că în adevăr e slăbită. Se îngrijorase: aşadar, era ceva
închis în trupul ei din care slăbea şi care se putea înrăutăţi. Dar ce? Pânza de poezie se destrăma şi
planul frumos, clădit la spital, apoi orânduit cuminte de Mălina, se zădărnicea din atâta amânare. Ce
putea fi? Discuta cu el singur, ocolind vizita doctorului. Doctorul fusese o dată şi degeaba… Ce putea

189
fi? N-avea răspuns. Sânge pe nas îi cursese ei întodeauna. Acum fusese şi pe gură, dar încetase. Să fie
ceva la plămâni nu se poate. De ce nu se putea, I-ar fi fost greu să explice. Nu se putea fiindcă el nu
vrea. Altceva ce putea fi? Întrebări fără răspunsuri.
10. Doctorul, fireşte, nu putuse să se pronunţe pe dinafară. Opinase că ar putea fi pulmonar – ca o ipoteză.
Să-I aducă bolnava.
11. – Când crede doctorul să se facă bine? întreba Mălina din când în când.
Întrebarea ar fi putut fi cu sorţi de vorbă mai lungă, dar Costel o curma cu răspunsul sumar că nici
doctorul nu putea spune sigur. Mai mult aflau unul de la altul prin scrisori.

2. Insert the appropriate modal form::

1. That child is only six and ……….to play the violin quite well. 2. We haven’t decided where to go for our
holiday this years; we ……….stay at home, or we ……..go abroad. 3. There is no school this afternoon, so
…….go swimming. 4. Look at that cloud; it ………rain at any moment. 5. ……..you see that skylark? 6.
The car won’t start. What …….be wrong with it? 7. I don’t know perhaps the tank ………be empty. 8. It
….be. I filled it up yesterday. 9. Yes, but there ………..be a leak in the tank. 10. I suppose so; and, of
course, the petrol …….very good. 11. My brother …….come to England next year if he ……..afford to.
12. I think he……..pass the examination; he ………certainly write good essays when he tries. 13. The
trouble with air travel in winter is that your plane ………run into fog. 14. He …….(write) to me! If so, his
letter ……..probably arrive tomorrow. 15. I imagine that their plane …….be taking off at this moment; if
so, we …….expect them to arrive in two hours’ time. 16. ……you row? If so, we…..go on the river. 17.
Don’t be so certain! All the boats………be booked. 18. If the boats are booked, you……have to think of
something else to do. 18. He …..run tremendously fast; do you thiink he ……..become an Olympic
champion one day? 19. He …..do, if he ……..find a good trainer. 20. She was so tall that no
one…….believe that she was only eleven. 21. She calls it a Gesamtkunstwerk, whatever that ………mean.
22. When he was a student, he ……..speak Italian fluently. 23. Did you think he ………forget to come? 24.
He………become Prime Minister one day. Yes; and pigs …….fly. 25. If you…….afford a Rolls-Royce,
would you buy one? 26. If you lean so heavily against that fence, it ……..collapse. 27. When it stops
raining, we …….go swimming. 28. Only Shakespeare …………create such a character as Rosalind. 29. He
told us we ……..be able to get seats for the concert. 30. Do you really think you’ll win the pools? You
…….be mad! 31. A car as opulent as that ……..cost at least 50000 $ nowadays. 32. Be quiet, please!
Why……….you talk so loudly when he’s trying to explain? 33. That man……..think you’re a fool, talking
to your dog like that. 34. You ……trust her; it’s your only chance. 35. If you …….waste so much time
getting dressed, no wonder we shall be late for the party. 36. She’s a very nice girl, but she insists that she
…..practise singing in her bath. 37. I can’t think why some painters feel that they ……..always strive after
originality. 38. Children……be seen,not heard, said the Victorians. 39. You ……n’t miss this film; it’s a
masterpiece.

3. Rewrite the italics using a modal verb:


a) She found it within her capacity to pass the exam.
b) You are under no obligation to go to the party.
c) Has he got your permission to leave early?
d) It is just about possible that the train will be on time.
e) It is your duty to read this book.
f) Under the present tax system, we are all obliged to fill in complicated forms which are outside our
comprehension.
g) The only possible conclusion is that he got lost.
h) I wonder what the explanation is of what happened?
i) If you hadn’t wasted so much time, it would have been possible to attend the meeting.
j) I don’t know what has gone wrong; it is, I suppose, quite possible that his car has broken down.
k) Is it really necessary to snore like that?
l) We had the opportunity to play tennis yesterday, but we didn’t.
m) That’s a pity; it would have been a good thing if you had taken advantage of the chance.
n) She has the unfortunate habit of picking her teeth in public.
o) If you don’t come to school regularly, he said, I insist on doing extra work at home.

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4.Rewrite the following sentences, using the appropriate modal:
a. You probably left your coat at the theatre. / You…
b. She finally managed to phone Bill in the evening. / She…
c. What is it that she is thinking of, I wonder./ What…
d. They are probably the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. / They…
e. Why didn’t you come to your daughter’s wedding?/ You…
f. Don’t go there, if you don’t want to. / You…
g. They are probably talking about Bill’s scandalous behaviour. / They…
h. I don’t believe that Susan is the one who took the money. / Susan…
i. Well, there is a possibility that he is telling the truth. / He…
j. Why don’t you leave to Rome if there is nothing better for you to do here?/ You…

D
WRITING
1. DIARY. Imagine you are a stowaway on one of the ships of Columbus. Write a few diary pages in
which you tell the story of your arrival on the new continent.
2. PASTICHE. Consider the following fragment. Write a pastiche to it:
Vic felt like a white explorer who had stumbled on a cave where some nomadic tribe had bivouacked
for the night. The only light in the room came from the gas flames licking round the imitation logs in
the hearth, casting a fitful illumination over half-a-dozen figures sprawled in a semi-circle on the floor.
He switched on the main ceiling light. Six young men, one of them Raymond, with cans of lager and
smouldering cigarettes in their fists, blinked and gaped up at him.
‘Ullo, Dad,’ said Raymond, with the vague geniality that was the usual sign that he had been drinking.
‘What’s going on?’ Vic demanded, tugging the cord of his dressing gown tight.
‘Jus’ brought a few of the lads back,’ said Raymond.
Vic had seen them all before at one time or another, though he didn’t know their names, since
Raymond never bothered to introduce them, nor did they seem capable of introducing themselves. Like
Raymond, they were all college dropouts, or youths who hadn’t been able to summon up the energy
even to start college. They lived on the dole and on their parents, and spent their time drinking in pubs
or pricing amplifiers in the Rummidge music stores; for they all played electric guitars of various
shapes and sizes, and nourished the fantasy of forming a ‘band’ one day, in spite of the fact that none
of them could read music and the collective noise they made was so dire that they could seldom find
anywhere to rehearse. (David Lodge – Nice Work)

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UNIT SIX
LANGUAGE

192
ONE
LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
THE BLUEPRINTS IN OUR MIND/ COMING TO KNOW ONE’S
MOTHER TONGUE
Extraordinary acts of creation by children do not require the extraordinary circumstances of deafness
or plantation Babels. The same kind of linguistic genius is involved every time a child learns his or her own
mother tongue.
First, let us do away with the folklore that parents teach their children language. No one supposes that
parents provide explicit grammar lessons, of course, but many parents (and some child psychologists who
should know better) think that mothers provide children with implicit lessons. These lessons take the form
of a special speech variety called Motherese (or, as the French call it, Mamanaise): intensive sessions of
conversational give-and-take, with repetitive drills and simplified grammar (“Look at the doggie! See the
doggie? There’s a doggie!”). In contemporary middle-class American culture, parenting is seen as an
awesome responsibility, an unforgiving vigil to keep the helpless infant from falling behind in the great
race of life. The belief that Motherese is essential to language development is part of the same mentality
that sends yuppies to “learning centers”, to buy little mittens with bull’s eyes to help their babies find their
hands sooner.
One gets some perspective by examining the folk theories about parenting in other cultures. The
!Kung San of the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa believe that children must be drilled to sit, stand and
walk. They carefully pile sand around their infants to prop them upright, and sure enough, every one of
these infants soon sits up on its own. We find this amusing because we have observed the results of the
experiment that the San are unwilling to chance: we don’ t teach our children to sit, stand and walk, and
they do it anyway, on their own schedule. But other groups enjoy the same condescension toward us. In
many communities of the world, parents do not indulge their children in Motherese. In fact, they do not
speak to their prelinguistic children at all, except for occasional demands and rebukes. This is not
unreasonable. After all, young children plainly can’t understand a word you say. So why waste your
breath in soliloquies? Any sensible person would surely wait until a child has developed speech and more
gratifying two-way conversations become possible> As Aunt Mae, a woman living in South Carolina
Piedmont, explained to the anthropologist Shirely Brice Heath: “ Now just how crazy is dat? White folks
uh hear dey kids say sump’n, dey say it back to ‘em, dey aks ‘em ‘gain and ‘gain bout things, like they
‘posed to be born knowin’. ” Needless to say, the children in these communities, overhearing adults and
other children, learn to talk, as we see in Aunt Mae’s fully grammatical BEV.
Children deserve most of the credit for the language they acquire. In fact, we can show that they
know things they could not have been taught. (…)
Evidence corroborating the claim that the mind contains blueprints for grammatical rules comes,
once again, out of the mouths of babes and sucklings. Take the English agreement suffix –s as in He walks.
Agreement is an important process in many languages, but in modern English it is superfluous, a remnant
of a richer system that flourished in Old English. If it were to disappear entirely, we would not miss it, any
more than we miss the similar –est suffix in Thou sayest. But psychologically speaking, this frill does not
come cheap. Any speaker committed to using it has to keep track of four details in every sentence uttered:
 whether the subject is in the third person or not: He walks versus I walk.
 whether the subject is singular or plural: He walks versus They walk.
 whether the action is present tense or not He walks versus He walked.
 whether the action is habitual or is going on at the moment of speaking (its “aspect”) He walks to
school versus He is walking to school.
And all this work just to use a suffix once one has learned it. To learn it in the first place, a child
must (it is when the sentence is uttered). Why would anyone bother?
But children do bother. By the age of three and a half or earlier, they use the – s agreement suffix in
more than ninety percent of the sentences that require it, and virtually never use it in the sentences that
forbid it. This mastery is part of their grammar explosion, a period of several months in the third year of
life during which children suddenly begin to speak in fluent sentences, respecting most of the fine points of
their community’s spoken language.

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(from Steven Pinker- The Language Instinct)

A
READING COMPREHENSION

Standard language - a language that provides agreed norms of usage, usually codified
in dictionaries and grammars, for a wide range of institutional purposes such as
education, government and science.

Vernacular language – language or dialect spoken in a particular country or region, as


compared with a formal or writen language. (The origin of the word is the Latin verna
which meant ‘slave, member of a conquered race’.) Although the etymon of this term
implies lack of prestige, the term vernacular is not pejoratively used nowadays.

Language variety - type of language that differs according to region, social class,
professional occupation, functional needs, status, role, etc. For instance, dialects are
also referred to as ‘regional varieties’.

1. Paraphrase the words/phrases that are written in bold letters.


2. The author tells us that “language genius” is involved in the process of language learning. Do you agree
that creativity is involved in learning one’s mother tongue? Motivate your answer.
3. What does the author mean by the term “plantation Babels”?
4. What does the author mean by “Motherese”. Can you provide examples of other Motherese terms in
English than those in the text? What about Motherese terms in Romanian?
5. What is the author’s opinion concerning parents who attempt to provide grammar lessons for their
young children?
6. Do you think that parents should attempt to teach their children language? Motivate your answer.
7. Is there any similarity between the bevaviour of middle-class American parents and that of the !Kung
San of the Kalahari Desert ?
8. Explain what the author means by the sentence “But other groups enjoy the same condescension
towards us”.
9. BEV stands for Black English Vernacular. Rewrite Aunt Mae’s answer in Standard English.
10. What is Aunt Mae’s opinion concerning language learning? Is this opinion different from the author’s
own?
11. What does the author mean by the phrase “blueprints for grammatical rules”?
12. Can you provide examples (from the text) showing that children who acquire a language “know things
they could not have been taught?”
13. The author mentions the term “Old English” in the text. When was Old English spoken? How different
do you think it was from the English that is spoken today?
14. Do you think that it is difficult for native English speakers to keep track of the four details mentioned in
the text when using the –s agreement suffix? Is this difficult for non-native English speakers?

B
VOCABULARY

Fill in the blanks with words and phrases from the text:
1. The !Kung San believe that the child must be ……….to sit, stand and walk.
2. But, psychologically speaking, this frill does not come………
3. Children do not rest until crucial grammatical factors have been ……… out of the ocean of
conceivable but irrelevant factors.

194
4. Any sensible person would wait until a child has developed speech and more gratifying
……….conversations become possible.
5. In many communities of the world, parents do not ………….their children in Motherese.
6. The mind contains ……………for grammatical rules.
7. The child begins a search for the grammatical causes of variation in verbal morphology, as opposed to
just accepting it as part of the………………..
8. Parents do not speak to their …………………children, except for the occasional demands and
rebukes.
9. A child plainly cannot understand what you say, so why…………….. in soliloquies?
10. ……….to say, the children in black communities learn to talk a fully grammatical variety of
English.

2. Fill in the blanks with the following items:


to roll one’s r’s, It’s all Greek to me, pardon my French, brogue, burr, lilt, guttural, aitch dropping,
clipped, drawl, twang

1. One of the characteristics of Cockney is …………


2. Some Americans are said to speak with a ……….
3. Frenchmen have a tendency to …………
4. “Don’t talk gibberish! Can’t you see …..?”
5. An Irishman speaks with a ……
6. Susan’s mother had a faint Irish ….. Her words had a singsong quality.
7. All the people who speak Scots have a ……
8. ‘……….., Miss, but he’s a bloody nuisance!’
9. I find it difficult to imitate the harsh, ……. tone of German.
10. Bill had a broad Texan …….
11.From the ……… tones of her speech one could say that she was of noble birth.

3. Translate in English, using the following hints: across, brush off, flawless, smattering,
thick/heavy, passable, word, command, rusty, fluently.
1.Stăpâneşte bine limba franceză. 2. Vorbeşte fluent cel puţin şapte limbi. 3. Ştie şi el să spună trei vorbe
în engleză. 4. Trebuie să-şi reîmprospăteze cunoştinţele de germană. Cam scârţâie la capitolul ăsta. 5.
Soţul tău are un real talent pentru limbi străine. 6. Vorbeşte arabă cu un accent foarte puternic.7.
Studentul vorbea o engleză impecabilă. 8. Deşi nu ştia prea multă italiană, reuşea să se facă înţeles. 9.
Am cunoştinţe excelente de engleză şi vorbesc greaca mulţumitor. 10. Nu ştie boabă de olandeză.

4. a. Combine the items in the first paragraph with those in the second one so as to get commonly
used collocations; provide a suitable context for them.
b. After studying the grammar section, identify the grammatical status of the –ing form in each
of these newly formed phrases.

Engaging, stinking, escalating, marrying, piping, grinding, throbbing, firing, redeeming, riding, opening,
mitigating, sparring, running, gushing, blushing, hearing, grueling, struggling, flying, stumbling, battering,
congealing, raving, gibbering, nagging, penetrating, paying, crying, fighting, loving, working, speaking,
roaring, stinging, rocking, flaming, shrinking, saving, spitting, booming, burgeoning, magnifying, tolling.

Force, terms, bell, relationship, wife, violet, red/temper, drunk/trade, business/headlines, talent, glass,
shame, grace, food, image, customer, chair, glance, wife, block, ram, idiot, lunatic, personality, colours,
artist, cost, climb, hot, climb, kind, rich/drunk, poverty, pain, range, bride, squad, compliments, crop,
commentary, night, partner, circumstances, feature.

5. Translate into Romanian:


a. man-made environment, time-worn stairs, awe-stricken devotee, plague-ridden village, frost-bitten rose,
self-styled ‘The Black Panthers’, god-forsaken place, poverty-stricken nation, snake-bitten arm, sun kissed

195
beaches, honour bound brother, ivy-clad wall, moth-eaten rug, self-appointed ruler, self-inflicted wound,
hen-pecked husband.
b. shop-soiled clothes, home-spun cloth, home-brewed beer, earth-bound space shuttle, French-born man.

6. Fill in the blanks with the following phrases: bull’s eye, cat’s cradle, collector’s item, subscriber’s
discount, Achilles’ heel, mamma’s boy, dealer’s choice, writer’s block, lady’s man, king’s ransom,
widow’s peak, donkey’s years, dog’s dinner/breakfast, doctor’s orders, conjurer’s trick.

1. This painting must be worth a ………………


2. I haven’t seen Susan’s brother in …………….
3. Vanity is his ……………..
4. He’s made a real ……………….. of these accounts; what a mess!
5. You’ve scored a …………….., you’ll come first in the shooting contest.
6. …………..: one-eyed jacks are wild!
7. Hold the string properly, or I won’t play ………… with you ever!
8. He has an eye for pretty girls; he’s a genuine……………..
9. Lots of fluids and at least two weeks’ rest, ……………..!
10. His hair grew into a …………
11. Bill’s playmates won’t take him fishing: they all think he’s a ………….. and a cry-baby.
12. Mail in your coupon, and you’ll get the book at a ……………….
13. Jim gave up trying to finish the poem. He finally admitted he had ……………
14. The money appeared from nowhere. It was a sort of a ……………!
15. Look carefully at this particular shrunken head, it’s a …………….

7. Synonymy: rebuke, reprehend, reprove, chide, reprimand, remonstrate with, reproach, scold,
censure, admonish, castigate. Translate, using the synonyms above, or other related
words/expressions:
1. M-a certat şeful că am întârziat la serviciu. 2. A primit o scrisoare de mustrare/ admonestare pentru
greşeala comisă. 3. Dl. Jones se face vinovat de comportament nedemn faţă de angajaţii săi. 4. Niciodată nu
speli farfuria din care-ai mâncat, îl certă mama. 5. L-am mustrat pentru grosolănie. 6. I-a aruncat o privire
plină de reproş. 7. S-a expus la oprobriul public prin comportamentul său. 8. N-a primit nici o mustrare
oficială pentru neglijenţa de care a dat dovadă. 9. A fost aspru certat pentru ce-a făcut. 10. N-am nimic să-
mi reproşez. 11. N-ai venit nici ieri la şcoală, îl dojeni învăţătoarea. 12. Trebuie să protestăm împotriva
cruzimii de orice fel.

8. POLYSEMY: TONGUE.
a. Translate into English:
1. Cum s-o fi numind actorul ăla? Îmi stă pe limbă. 2. Iartă-mă, n-am vrut să spun ‘carte’, ci ‘parte’, mi s-a
încurcat limba în gură. 3. Ce-i? Ţi-a pierit graiul? 4. Lichiorul de coacăze i-a dezlegat limba. 5. Nu reuşesc
să îi spun pe nume, e tare încâlcit. 6. Purtarea lui a iscat multa bârfă. 7. Îşi dă uşor drumul la gură, nu îi
spune nici unul din secretele tale. 8. Să nu scoţi limba la mine, că te pocnesc! 9. Nu te lăsa înşelat de
complimente, sunt făcute la mişto. 10. A suit zece etaje, e cu limba scoasă. 11. O limbă îngustă de pământ
înainta în mare. 11. După trei păhărele de coniac i s-a dezlegat limba şi nu mai înceta cu trăncăneala. Doar
după ce a fost ocărât de nevastă-sa a tăcut din gură. 11. Soţia lui Jim are o limbă foarte ascuţită: nu-i de
mirare că-l ţine sub papuc.

b*. Translate into Romanian:


1. He never manages to keep a civil tongue in his head. 2. From that point one could see the tongues of
flame lapping the edges of the bonfire. 3. Her pupils often got the rough edge of her tongue when they
disobeyed her. 4. Stay away from her, she really has an evil tongue. 5. Here’s another of his tongue-in-
cheek remarks. 6. After skipping classes again, he received a serious tongue-lashing from his elder sister.
7.”Three witches watch three Swatch watches. Which witch watches which Swatch watch?” Can you come
up with a better tongue-twister? 8. It was his silver tongue that got him the job. 9.I see you’ve got your
tongue, after all! 10. I let it slip that she was getting engaged and I could have bitten my tongue off
afterwards!

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C
GRAMMAR: -ING FORMS

A close look at this text will reveal abundant use of ing forms; let us sample a few:

(1) Parenting is an awesome responsibility, an unforgiving vigil to keep the helpless infant from falling
behind in the great race of life.
(2) But psychologically speaking, this frill does not come cheap. Any speaker committed to using it has to
keep track of four details in every sentence uttered.

The first example offered in this section is a very illustrative one, since it exhibits two different ing forms: a
verbal noun and a gerund. As you can see, all these structures look somewhat similar, owing to the –ing
ending. However, their function in the text is not at all identical. (We have left out such items as
‘unforgiving’, ‘interesting’, since these are considered to be adjectives, and can be associated with
comparison degree words, such as more, less, very, etc.)

Below we offer you some tips that will help you differentiate between participles, gerunds and verbal
nouns:

I. NOUNINESS
A good test for distinguishing between verbal nouns, gerunds and participles is their degree of ‘nouniness’.
Of the three structures we have mentioned, one is obviously the most ‘nouny’ and that is the verbal noun.
How do we know that?

Because it can be combined with an adjective and sometimes with an article.


Let us check that this is so:
(3) Successful parenting has to do with commitment.
Here’s a second example with both an adjective and a definite article:
(4) The quiet singing upset Jane.

Another diagnostic for ‘nouniness’ is combination with prepositions:


(5) We need to look at parenting as at an awesome responsibility.
(6) John is envious of her beautiful singing.

Last but not least, the ability of a structure to function as a subject or object in a sentence can be seen
as a test for a nominal dimension in an item:
(7) Parenting is an awesome responsibility - subject
(8) John resents her quiet singing. – direct object

Applying these three tests to all the ing forms mentioned in the examples we offered at the head of this
section leads us to the following conclusions:
- The first ing form (parenting) is the one that passes all the tests – it qualifies as a verbal noun.
- The second and fourth ing forms (falling, using) do not pass the first test. However they are combined
with a preposition and function as a (prepositional) object. They qualify as gerunds, which are less ‘nouny’
than a verbal noun but more ‘nouny’ than a participle.
- The third ing form (speaking) doesn’t pass any of these tests and this fact makes it more ‘verbal’ than
the other structures – it is a present participle:

A HIERARCHY OF ‘NOUNINESS’:

Verbal noun > Gerund > Present Participle

[+N] [+N, +V] [+V}

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Gerunds are in-between!
As you can see, in this hierarchy, the Gerund is placed between the other two –ing forms, since it shares
some the [+N ] properties of the verbal noun and some of the [+V] properties of the present participle.

[+ N]
A nominal feature shared by Verbal Nouns and Gerunds
The examples offered here demonstrate that both verbal nouns and gerunds can appear after a
preposition:

(9) The locals were very displeased with the unexpected winning of the competition (verbal noun)
(10) In spite of everything, Tom was actually proud of winning the competition. (gerund)

[+ V]
A verbal feature shared by Participles and Gerunds
Both Participles and Gerunds take direct objects:

V+ Direct Object = to buy tickets


(11)After buying tickets for the show, Jim phoned Jane to tell her about it. (Participle)
(12) Everyone was really looking forward to buying tickets for the show. (Gerund)

In the first case, buying tickets is a participle, playing the part of an adverbial of time, while in the second
case it is a gerund, appearing after a preposition and having the function of a prepositional object.

Since they have exclusively nominal properties, verbal nouns cannot take direct objects. The nouns that
appear as direct objects in the case of gerunds and participles can appear in an of prepositional construction
with verbal nouns:
(13) She mentioned some of the things that they had forgotten to do that day, including the buying of
tickets for a show they both wanted to see.

Exercise: a. Analyse the underlined forms in Pinker’s text and try to identify them according to the
information offered above.
b. The text above also contains words such as ‘amusing’, ‘gratifying’, ‘unwilling’. Can you place
these items in one of the categories we have discussed? Provide arguments.

Nota bene!
If verbal nouns and gerunds are [+N], it means that you cannot introduce them by expletive ‘it’, because
that would make up a ‘double subject’ sentence:
(14) *It is important not falling behind.
(15) *It is nice Jane’s quiet singing.

The only structures that allow for expletive ‘it’ and a gerund are idiomatic ones:
(16) It’s no good/ no use crying over spilt milk.
(17) It’s a nuisance having to wait an hour for the bus!

II. ADJECTIVE OR ADVERB?

One of the most helpful tests of differentiating between a gerund and a verbal noun is the
adverb/adjective opposition:
Gerunds can couple with adverbs, verbal nouns can combine with adjectives.

Compare:

198
(18) Her patient listening to the criminal’s complaints impressed everybody.
(19) Her listening patiently to the criminal’s complaints impressed everybody.
The first ing form is a verbal noun, whereas the second, which allows for an adverb only, is a gerund.

Exercise: Identify the verbal nouns in the following:


Men have as much patience for cool philandering as they have for shopping. / Shopping can be a nice
activity but shopping there can only be a mistake. / His coming there puzzled her./ His sudden coming
puzzled her./ The massive cutting of funds shocked everybody in the company. / Cutting funds so suddenly
came down as a shock. / Their looting and ruthless murdering was never forgotten./ All newspapers
commented on John’s robbing the bank. / John’s robbing of the bank was widely commented on. / The
unexpected robbing of the bank didn’t pass unnoticed. / Robbing the bank, he managed to get himself shot.

III. PREPOSITION OR CONJUNCTION/RELATIVE ADVERB?

To differentiate between a gerund and a participle, combination with a preposition/conjunction helps:


Gerunds can combine with prepositions, participles can combine with conjunctions/relative adverbs.

Compare:
(20) She is interested in watching your play.
(21) She tried to write a letter while watching his play.

The first ing form is a gerund, whereas the second, which combines with a relative adverb, is a participle.

IV. “FOR –ING” OR “ WHO/WHICH IS –ING” ?


Paraphrase can help you out of trouble when facing a pair of attributive –ing forms such as the one
below:

learning centers / learning students

As you can see, the examples are quite tricky. However, by paraphrasing them with the aid of the
preposition ‘for’, you can figure out which of the two is the gerundial structure:

Learning centers = centers for learning - that’s a gerund!


Learning students ± students for learning. – that’s not a gerund, but a participle!

The participle is paraphrasable by ‘ students who are learning’.

Now try to analyse the following nice pairs: flying fish / flying saucer; chewing gum/chewing cow. Have
fun figuring out which is which!

EXERCISES:

1.Discriminate between gerunds and participles by means of paraphrase:


a living legend/ living standards; shooting gallery / shooting star; boiling water is a job I hate / I need some
boiling water; crying game / crying woman; swimming duck / swimming trunks; pressing needs/ pressing
people to answer questions; eating habits/ eating people; paying guests / paying guests to leave is wrong;
operating theatre/ operating surgeon; Give me the rolling pin./ A rolling stone gathers no moss.; sleeping
pill/ Sleeping Beauty.

2. Correct the mistakes:


Climbing down the tree, one of the eggs broke. / The sweetly-smelling flowers in the garden are his most
prized possession. / Before you go on changing the subject, please consider his proposition. / He bought
himself a new suit of clothes, for attending his sister’s wedding. / The incessantly shouting around the
house woke Susan up./ It would be very nice walking together in the park, so shall we? / The murdering

199
Bill’s parents was a tragedy. / In the end, I never got used to listen to Susan’s endless gossiping about her
friends. / Coming home it’s nice. / Barking furiously, he let the dog out of the dining room.

3. Translate into Romanian:


a.Vorbea despre strângerea forţelor, despre neprecupeţirea efortului, despre concentrarea tuturor resurselor,
despre salvgardarea realizărilor, afară ploua în continuare, din când în când ei îşi frecau ochii şi feţele nerase
ca să se ţină treji, vântul făcea pereţii barăcii să vibreze într-un fel aproape emoţionant şi, deşi mă aflam
pentru prima oară acolo si nu-i mai văzusem niciodată pe oamenii aceia, totul mi se părea cunoscut, privit,
auzit şi zadarnic, parcă totul mai fusese cândva şi fusese degeaba, iar eu eram obosită de moarte să tot văd şi
să tot ascult, să tot însemn în carneţele şi să tot transcriu pe curat. Şi deodată, în timp ce frazele continuau să
curgă în felul ştiut şi ploaia continua să cadă şi vântul să bată, m-am gândit ce-ar fi ca Dunărea să fi desprins
între timp insula şi să o fi împins încet la vale, cu tot cu baraca, şi cu soba, şi cu stiva de lemne, şi cu masa
lungă de scândură, şi cu faţa de masă roşie pătată de cerneală şi arsă de ţigări, şi cu barbaţii din jurul mesei
care ascultau frecându-şi obrazurile nerase, şi cu cel ce le vorbea odihnit, şi cu mine care notam aceleaşi şi
aceleaşi vorbe, ce-ar fi ca totul să fi pornit de mult fără să ne dăm seama, fără să bănuim macar… Apoi au
urmat propunerile. (Ana Blandiana – Nuvele)

b. De ajuns au ajuns într-o dimineaţă frumoasă, una dintre acele dimineţi de toamnă limpezi şi răcoroase, a
căror răcoare nu infirmă zăpuşeala amiezii, ci o pregateşte şi o pune în evidenţă. Au coborât din camion
încet, oprindu-se fiecare o clipă înainte de a sări, clătinându-se sub lovitura luminii şi apoi dându-şi drumul
în jos ca într-o apă al cărei fund nu se aşteptau să fie atât de aproape. După ce ultimul dintre ei coborâse, şi,
fără ca cineva să fi spus un cuvânt, camionul a plecat, au încercat să se uite în jur şi să înţeleagă, dar, ca şi
cum ar fi uitat ceva, camionul s-a oprit câteva sute de metri mai departe, cineva a aruncat din el mai multe
sape şi greble – s-au văzut numai cozile de lemn rotindu-se în cădere prin aer – şi o voce cu asprime
estompată de depărtare şi de uruitul motorului le-a strigat batjocoritor că li se dă posibilitatea să îşi câştige
singuri pâinea şi le-a comunicat că nu au voie să se îndepărteze, să se apropie de aşezările din jur.
Când au rămas singuri s-au numărat înca o data: erau nouă. Şi de jur împrejurul lor era Bărăganul.
Aşezările de care nu aveau voie să se apropie nu se vedeau. Tot ce se vedea era un pâlc de arbori – nu mai
mult de câteva sute. Primul lucru pe care l-au facut a fost să adune uneltele din locul unde fuseseră
aruncate. Al doilea să se apropie de fântână. (Ana Blandiana – Nuvele)

c. Îi aminti. Dar cum ea însăşi uitase că Matei nu consimţise decât după grele stăruinţe să apară la madam
Aron şi că, întors acasă, se dusese drept la iaz, spărsese gheaţa într-un lac şi aruncase pe acolo în apă trenul
cu şinele sale cu tot, nu înţelese de ce, pe măsură ce ea vorbea, el sorbea mai grăbit din lingură, făcând
astfel zgomote foarte neobişnuite şi dezagreabile, până ce lingura, din neatenţie, îi scăpă din mână
vărsându-şi conţinutul şi răsturnând un pahar cu apă. Matei se ridică imediat, împingând scaunul, şi începu
să şteargă cu şervetul petele de pe faţa de masă, ceea ce întrerupse povestirea dnei Iliescu.
(Radu Petrescu – Matei Iliescu)

d. Trecând timpul şi apropiindu-se de 97 de ani, Wilhelm Strobl a început să se gândeasca tot mai mult la
taică-sau. Într-o zi, pe când stătea lungit într- un fotoliu şi aştepta să moară, deşi , la drept vorbind, n-avea
nici un semn că lucrul acesta urma să se întâmple prea curând, l-a chemat pe fiu-sau şi i-a cerut să-i aducă
pistolul cu încrustaţii de argint. L-a contemplat îndelung, cu veneraţia cuvenită oricărui lucru făcut cu
măiestrie, şi a aţipit cu el în braţe. Nu s-a despărţit de pistol zile de-a rândul; ai lui se obişnuiseră cu
imaginea moşului picotind tot timpul în fotoliul de lângă fereastră, dar strângând arma grijuliu la piept.
Dacă-i făcea plăcere, n-avea decât.
Până într-o dimineaţă când, trezindu-se înaintea tuturor şi parcă grăbit de-o treabă ce nu suporta nici cea
mai mică amânare, Wilhelm Strobl a umplut pistolul cu praf de puşcă, i-a pus pe ţeavă o bilă de plumb şi
şi-a zburat creierii. Împuşcătura a produs o spărtură destul de urâtă. Pentru un expert în arme de foc, însă,
chestiunea prezenta şi unele aspecte interesante.
Este şi motivul pentru care fiul sau, pe nume Wilhelm Strobl, moştenitor cu drepturi depline al firmei, şi,
ce era mai important, al clientelei, a privit cu mare atenţie rana din tâmplă înainte de a deschide uşa şsi a le
îngădui alor săi să se ocupe de cele cuvenite mortului. Se înţelege că pistolul a fost curăţat, uns şi atârnat la
locul său, acolo unde stofa veche şi decolorată îi păstra forma cu fidelitate. (Tudor Octavian –
Istoria unui obiect ciudat)

200
e. Desigur, asupra lui timpul îşi făcuse simţită apăsarea; avea douazeci şi şase de ani şi îşi trăise o parte a
vieţii mai mult pe sub pământ şi prin mlaştini, săpând gropi şi pregătind ambuscade şi se putea să şi moară
fără să apuce să vadă sfârşitul luptei şi să respire în libertate, dar nu se putea ca aceşti opt ani să nu-l fi atins
greu şi pe inamic, doar viaţa s-a scurs şi pentru el şi opt ani nu e o glumă cu atât mai mult cu cât mulţi
dintre ai lui şi-au dat şi ei viaţa pe aceste locuri şi uneori în chinuri la fel de cumplite ca acelea pe care ei le
stârneau pe unde treceau (fiindcă ei au fost cei care s-au arătat cei dintâi fara cruţare aruncând din avioane
benzină asupra satelor şi oamenilor, făcăndu-i sa ardă ca niţte torţe, şi atunci şi lor au început să le fie
întinse pe drumurile lor de patrulare nişte curse, nu atât de spectaculoase ca flăcările unui incendiu, dar nu
mai puţin sinistre prin aparenţa lor inofensivă, gropi de pildă, acoperite cu un capac bine camuflat, la fel de
sensibil ca o balanţă, care se răsturna fulgerător îndata ce era atins cu piciorul, de pe fundul cărora trupul
celui căzut era întâmpinat de vârfuri ascuţite de bambus care îi spintecau rinichii şi maţele şi ale cărui
urlete nici măcar nu se mai auzeau.) (Marin Preda - Friguri)

4*. Translate into Romanian, paying attention to the -ing forms used by the author:
Sunlight flooded the cabin as the plane changed course. It was a bright, clear morning. Robyn looked out of
the window as England slid slowly by beneath them: cities and towns, their street plans like printed circuits,
scattered over a mosaic of tiny fields, connected by the thin wires of railways and motorways. Hard to
imagine at this height all the noise and commotion going down there. Factories, shops, offices, schools,
beginning the working day. People crammed into rush hour buses and trains, or sitting at the wheels of their
cars in traffic jams, or washing up breakfast thingsin the kitchens of pebble-dashed semis. All inhabiting
their little worlds, oblivious of how they fitted into the total picture. The housewife, switching on her
electric kettle to make another cup of tea, gave no thought to the immense complex of operations that made
that simple action possible: the building and maintenance of the power station that produced the electricity,
the mining of coal and pumping of oil to fuel the generators, the laying of miles of cable to carry the
current to her house, the digging and smelting and milling of ore or bauxite into sheets of steel or
aluminium, the cutting and pressing and welding of the metal into the kettle’s shell, spout and handle, the
assembling of these parts with scores of other components – coils, screws, nuts, bolts, washers, tivets,
wires, springs, rubber insulation, plastic trimmings; then the packaging of the kettle, the advertising of the
kettle, the marketing of the kettle to wholesale and retail outlets, the transportation of the kettle to
warehouses and shops, the calculation of its price, and the agencies concerned in its production and
circulation. The housewife gave no thought to all this as she switched on her kettle. (David Lodge – Nice
work)

D
WRITING

1. ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY. Consider the following statement: “Language is no more a cultural


invention than is upright posture”. (Stephen Pinker- The Language Instinct). Do you agree with it? In a
short essay, present and motivate your opinion. (200 words)
2. DIALOGUE. Imagine a conversation between Stephen Pinker and a middle class American parent that
thinks that he/she should provide his/her child with implicit grammar lessons.
3. DESCRIPTION. Write a short description of a dramatic episode in an imaginary character’s life. Use as
many –ing forms as possible.

TWO

DIALECTS AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES


ACCEPTING A LANGUAGE DIFFERENT FROM OUR OWN

201
To Hanover one should go, they say, to learn the best German. The disadvantage is that outside
Hanover, which is only a small province, nobody understands this best German. Thus you have to decide
whether to speak good German and remain in Hanover, or bad German and travel about. Germany being
separated so many centuries into a dozen principalities, is unfortunate in possessing a variety of dialects.
Germans from Posen wishful to converse with men of Wurtemburg, have to talk as often as not in French
or English; and young ladies who have received an expensive education in Westphalia surprise and
disappoint their parents by being unable to understand a word said to them in Mechlenberg. An English-
speaking foreigner, it is true, would find himself equally nonplussed among the Yorkshire wolds, or in the
purlieus of Whitechapel; but the cases are not on all fours. Throughout Germany it is not only in the
country districts and among the uneducated that dialects are maintained. Every province has practically its
own language, of which it is proud and retentive. An educated Bavarian will admit to you that,
academically speaking, the North German is more correct; but he will continue to speak South German and
to teach it to his children.
In the course of the century, I am inclined to think that Germany will solve her difficulty in this
respect by speaking English. Every boy and girl in Germany, above the peasant class, speaks English.
Were English pronunciation less arbitrary, there is not the slightest doubt but that in the course of a very
few years, comparatively speaking, it would become the language of the world. All foreigners agree that,
grammatically, it is the easiest language of any to learn. A German, comparing it with his own language,
where every word in every sentence is governed by at least four distinct and separate rules, tells you that
English has no grammar. A good many English people would seem to have come to the same conclusion;
but they are wrong. As a matter of fact, there is an English grammar, and one of these days our schools
will recognise the fact, and it will be taught to our children, penetrating maybe even into literary and
journalistic circles. But at present we appear to agree with the foreigner that it is a quantity neglectable.
English pronunciation is the stumbling-block to our progress. English spelling would seem to have been
designed chiefly as a disguise to pronunciation. It is a clever idea, calculated to check presumption on the
part of the foreigner; but for that he would learn it in a year.
For they have a way of teaching languages in Germany that is not our way, and the consequence is
that when the German youth or maiden leaves the gymnasium or high school at fifteen, "it" (as in Germany
one conveniently may say) can understand and speak the tongue it has been learning. In England we have a
method that for obtaining the least possible result at the greatest possible expenditure of time and money is
perhaps unequalled. An English boy who has been through a good middle-class school in England can talk to
a Frenchman, slowly and with difficulty, about female gardeners and aunts; conversation which, to a man
possessed perhaps of neither, is liable to pall. Possibly, if he be a bright exception, he may be able to tell the
time, or make a few guarded observations concerning the weather. No doubt he could repeat a goodly
number of irregular verbs by heart; only, as a matter of fact, few foreigners care to listen to their own
irregular verbs, recited by young Englishmen. Likewise he might be able to remember a choice selection of
grotesquely involved French idioms, such as no modern Frenchman has ever heard or understands when he
does hear. […]
I confine my remarks to French, because that is the only language we attempt to teach our youth. An
English boy who could speak German would be looked down upon as unpatriotic. Why we waste time in
teaching even French according to this method I have never been able to understand. A perfect
unacquaintance with a language is respectable. But putting aside comic journalists and lady novelists, for
whom it is a business necessity, this smattering of French which we are so proud to possess only serves to
render us ridiculous.
In the German school the method is somewhat different. One hour every day is devoted to the same
language. The idea is not to give the lad time between each lesson to forget what he learned at the last; the
idea is for him to get on. There is no comic foreigner provided for his amusement. The desired language is
taught by a German school-master who knows it inside and out as thoroughly as he knows his own. Maybe
this system does not provide the German youth with that perfection of foreign accent for which the British
tourist is in every land remarkable, but it has other advantages. The boy does not call his master "froggy," or
"sausage," nor prepare for the French or English hour any exhibition of homely wit whatever. He just sits
there, and for his own sake tries to learn that foreign tongue with as little trouble to everybody concerned as
possible. When he has left school he can talk, not about penknives and gardeners and aunts merely, but about
European politics, history, Shakespeare, or the musical glasses, according to the turn the conversation may
take.

202
Viewing the German people from an Anglo-Saxon standpoint, it may be that in this book I shall find
occasion to criticise them: but on the other hand there is much that we might learn from them; and in the
matter of common sense, as applied to education, they can give us ninety-nine in a hundred and beat us with
one hand.
(Jerome K. Jerome – Three Men on the Bummel)

A.
READING COMPREHENSION

purlieu (here) - an outlying district of a city or town, a suburb; also, the meaner
streets about some main thoroughfare; a mean, squalid, or disreputable street or
quarter. (The Oxford English Dictionary)

wold (here) used in the specific designations of certain hilly tracts in England, viz.
the hill country of North Yorkshire and Humberside (Yorkshire Wolds,
York(e)swold, York-wolds), the Cotswold district, the hilly districts of
Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. (The OED)

Whitechapel - a district in E London England

Yorkshire - a former county in N England

1. Paraphrase all the underlined expressions in the text.


2. What does the author mean by the phrase “good German”? Comment upon the distinction between
“good German” and “bad German” in the first paragraph.
3. What is the difference between a “dialect” and a “language”?
4. Why does the author use examples such as “the Yorkshire wolds” and “the purlieus of Whitechapel” to
illustrate the dialectal situation in England?
5. Is the dialectal situation in England perfectly similar to that in Germany?
6. According to the author, some people believe that “there is no English grammar”. Could you come up
with a motivation for such an opinion?
7. This text was published in 1962. What do you think about the author’s statement “Were English
pronunciation less arbitrary, there is not the slightest doubt that in the course of a very few years,
comparatively speaking, it would become the language of the world”? Do you think the author’s
predictions have been confirmed?
8. What does the author mean by the sentence “English pronunciation is the stumbling block to our
progress”? Give a synonym or an equivalent expression for “stumbling block”.
9. Generally, the spelling of a word indicates its pronunciation. Why does the author say that English
spelling serves as “a disguise to pronunciation”?
10. Why does the author refer to the English method of “obtaining the least possible result at the greatest
possible expenditure” as to a method that hasn’t been surpassed? Is the English method better than the
German one?
11. What does “is liable to pall” mean in the context?
12. What kind of linguistic knowledge does an Englishman acquire in “a good middle class school”?
13. Why do you think that an English boy who could speak German would be “looked down upon as
unpatriotic”? Why isn’t the knowledge of French considered as unpatriotic?
14. Why do you think the English pupils use epithets such as “froggy” or “sausage”?
15. What could the phrase “comic foreigner” refer to?
16. Why do you think that German schools don’t provide “comic foreigners” for the pupils’ amusement?

203
B.
VOCABULARY

1. Fill in the blanks with words and phrases from the text:
1. Viewing Germans from an Anglo-Saxon ……………… I might find reason to criticize them.
2. I ………. my remarks to French, because that is the only language we attempt to teach our youth.
3. In England we have a method that for obtaining the least possible result at the greatest possible
expenditure of time and money is perhaps ………………..
4. The English student might be able to remember a …………selection of grotesquely ………… French
idioms.
5. A German student can talk about any topic, according to the ………..the conversation may take.
6. The desired language is taught by a German school-master who knows it …………… as thoroughly as
he knows his own.

2. Slang terms for nationalities


Nota bene!
Here are a few informal terms for nationalities. Most of these terms are used derogatorily/ in offensive
contexts. Bear in mind that they are not politically correct.

G.I.Joe, Brit, kraut, Paddy, froggy, Frenchy, beefeater, Uncle Sam, spaghetti,
tommy (Tommy Atkins), Eyetie, Yank (Yankee), G.I. Jane, sausage (old use),
Fritz, limey

Fill in the blanks with the words from list above:

1. An English person can be called a…….. or a…..


2. A French person can be called a…..…or……
3. A German can be called a……. or a……
4. An American can be called a….
5. An Italian can be called a…. or a……..
6. An Irishman can be called a….
7. An English soldier can be called a……..
8. An American soldier can be called a……. or a…… (World War II)
9. A German soldier can be called a………
10. The government and the people of the U.S. can be called…….

3. IDIOMS

Number idioms
one chance in a million
the four corners of the earth
seventh heaven
on all fours
ten to one
look like a million dollars
to put two and two together
that makes two of us
nine times out of ten

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Translate into English, using ‘number’ idioms:

1. A trebuit să merg în patru labe ca să mă strecor printr-o deschizătură strâmtă.


2. Feciorul de împărat şi-a căutat mireasa în toate colţurile pământului.
3. De unde-ai ghicit că ţi-am luat un cadou? Păi, ştiam că se apropie ziua mea şi nu mi-a fost greu să-mi
dau seama.
4. Nu înţeleg de ce a pariat. Are foarte puţine şanse să câştige.
5. Cele două situaşii nu sunt perfect echivalente.
6. Nu înţeleg despre ce-i vorba nici să mă tai. . Nu eşti singurul. Nici mie nu mi-e clar deloc ce se întâmplă.
7. Nu m-am înţeles niciodată foarte bine cu el. Aproape de fiecare dată ajungem să ne certăm.
8. Mai mult ca sigur că autobuzul o să întârzie.
9. Am fost în al noulea cer când echipa mea favorită câştigat.
10. Arata absolut grozav când am văzut-o ultima oară.
11. Pisica mea a căzut de la balcon, dar, din fericire, a aterizat în patru labe.

4. POLYSEMY:
A) STUMBLE. Translate into English, making use of the vocabulary items below:

1. S-aîmpiedicat de o piatră şi s-a lovit la genunchi.


2. Era atât de beat încât i se împleticea limba la fiecare cuvânt.
3. Am răspuns bine la toate întrebările de la examen însă m-am âncurcat exact la ultima.
4. Tot căutand drumul spre sat, au dat peste ruinele unei vechi mânăstiri.
5. Am urcat cu greu scările şi m-am prăbuşit ăn pat.

B) GUARD
1. Au pus gărzi peste tot în jurul clădirii.
2. Prizonierul a fost adus sub escortă armată.
3. Poliţia supraveghează casa de multă vreme.
4. Întrebarea mea a luat-o pe nepregătite şi nu a ştiut ce să răspundă.
5. Trebuie să fii foarte atent la ce spui.
6. A făcut câteva remarci precaute, dar nu a dat dreptate nici unuia dintre noi.
7. Trebuie să curăţăm rana în fiecare zi pentru ca infecţia sp nu se rpspândească.
8. Mulţi sportivi poartă jambiere.

5. COMPLEX VERB: TALK. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate particle:

1. I hate it when Paul talks____ to me. He can be so patronizing!


2. The Chairman resisted at first, but we managed to talk him_____ to our point of view.
3. I know you’ve already made your decision, but I think it would be best to talk it___ with everybody who’s
involved.
4. Both parties should try to talk ___ their differences before actually going to trial.
6. She wanted to sell the house, but I managed to talk her ___ ____of it.
7. I really don’t know how he managed to talk me ___buying a new car, but it was worth it.
8. If you don’t talk ___ now, you might miss your last chance of ever telling the truth.
9. Every time he tries to say something, his two sisters literally talk him___.
10. I was really trying to listen to what the people on stage were saying, but the guy beside me talked my
ear____.

6. SYNONYMY. Translate, using the verbs below. In the cases where more than one solution is possible,
explain whether there are any differences.
amaze, surprise, astonish, astound, stun, nonpluss, flabbergast, puzzle, bewilder, dismay, shock,
stagger, startle, daze, dazzle, dumbfound

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1. Purtarea ta ma surprinde şi mă întristează.
2. Am fost foarte uimit să descopăr că nu eram primul care se gândise la acea soluţie.
3. Nu mi-a venit să cred când mi-a povestit ce se spunea despre mine!
4. Mărturisirea lui şocanta i-a uimit pe toti cei din jur.
5. Frumuseţea şi graţia ei i-a îmbătat pe toţi.
6. Nu-mi mai dicta atâtea nume şi date! Mă zăpăceşti de tot!
7. Am fost şocată de uşurinţa cu care şi-a concediat cel mai bun prieten.
8. Întrebarea mea l-a lăsat pur şi simplu fără grai.
9. Păreai complet dezorientat când ţi-a spus despre ce e vorba.
10. Veşt