Almanac – 12 August 2010 – Thursday

Read the text first, then listen to the audio at the bottom of the page.

Chinju-! (Brute) Ryo Shouting to puccci!? on Harajuku JIngubashi

Good Morning!

It is the twelfth of August 2010. It is Thursday.

Today is the beginning of Ramadan. Ramadan begins when you see the crescent moon in the sky in the early evening. Muslims will fast from dawn to sunset during this lunar month.

Look at these expressions:

lunar month (calculated by the movement of the moon)
solar month (calculated by the movement of the sun)

In the Kingdom of Thailand it is Mothers’ Day today. Mothers Day in Thailand falls on the Queens birthday. Fathers’ Day is on the King’s birthday.

Does your country have a king? Write and tell us in the “comments” section below.


THE WEATHER (from Mount Tamborine)

It is fine.
It is not raining.
The rain has stopped.
It stopped yesterday.
The sky is clear and it is very very cold today.
It is a little bit windy.

How is the weather where you are? Answer the question orally. Answer it now:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


What is the weather like today?

After you have answered the question orally, write your answer in the “comments” section at the bottom of the page.

Chinju-! (Brute) Ryo Shouting to puccci!? on Harajuku JIngubashi
at

THE NEWS

Look at this news headline:

Pakistan issues fresh flood warnings

It is in “news headline style”. In normal English we can say:

Pakistan has issued fresh flood warnings.

or

Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings yesterday.

Note that you can use present perfect tense to say:

Pakistan has issued fresh flood warnings.

but if you use a time phrase like:

early yesterday evening
last night
late last night
early this morning
this morning
today

then you have to use past simple tense:

Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings early yesterday evening
Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings last night
Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings late last night
Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings early this morning
Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings this morning
Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings today

Pakistan issued fresh flood warnings on Wednesday. More flood water will engulf parts of Punjab and Sindh in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Look at these common phrases:

fresh fruit
fresh breath
fresh eggs
fresh clothes
fresh coffee
fresh flood warnings

Look at this pair of opposite phrases:

in the next 24 to 48 hours
in the last 24 hours to 48 hours

Look at this word family:

water will engulf parts of Pakistan
the Gulf War
the Persian Gulf
the oil spill in the Gulf
the Gulf of Mexico


Look at another headline:

Peru’s Amazonian Indians to launch political party

In standard English it would be:

Peru’s Amazonion Indians will launch a political party.

In “news headline style” we use the infinitive to show future tense:

US to leave Iraq

means

the US will leave Iraq

and

UN to send aid to Pakistan

means

The UN will send aid to Pakistan

Peru’s indigenous Amazon groups plan to launch their own political party before elections next year.

In this context “launch” means “start”. Look at these phrases with launch:

launch a political party
launch a ship
launch a new company

Indigenous leader Alberto Pizango said they would campaign to protect the environment and indigenous rights in the Andes mountains and the Amazon. Pizango said he may run for president.

Look at one more headline:

Pea sprouts in windpipe

This means:

“a pea has sprouted in a man’s windpipe”

Present simple tense (sprouts) has replaced present perfect tense (has sprouted) and the article (a) and the possessive phrase (a man’s) have been left out.

“To sprout”

means

“to begin to grow”

A seed sprouts.

A 75-year oldMassachusetts man was eating peas and one went down the wrong way. The man developed low blood pressure, a collapsed lung and pneumonia. He was also dehydrated. When doctor’s examined him, they found the pea and removed it. The sprout was one and a half inches long.


Look at these variations:

a 75 year old man
a 65 year old man
a 55 year old woman
a 10 year old child

“To collapse”

means

“to fall down”

Look at these common phrases:

a collapsed building
a collapsed lung

Look at this word family:

He was dehydrated.
a hydro-electric power plant
Water is made of hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydroponic farming saves water.

“Hydro” is Greek for “water”.

Sprouts

“Sprout” can be a noun:

“A seed sprouts”

or a verb:

“The sprout was one and a half inches long”

Look at this scale:

one and a half inches long
two inches long
two and a half inches long
three inches long
three and a half inches long

What comes next? Say your answer aloud!

It is not a good time for planting peas in the garden now. Wait until the 14th and 15th of August.

Now listen to a a summary:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download audio file (nw120810.mp3)

If you do not understand the audio, go back and read the notes again. Check new words in the dictionary.


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