Tuesday, Dec. 22 2015

This Tuesday we’ll read the following part from Chapter IV (The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill) of Alice in Wonderland. Here:

‘Mary Ann! Mary Ann!’ said the voice. ‘Fetch me my gloves this moment!’ Then came a little pattering of feet on the stairs. Alice knew it was the Rabbit coming to look for her, and she trembled till she shook the house, quite forgetting that she was now about a thousand times as large as the Rabbit, and had no reason to be afraid of it.

Presently the Rabbit came up to the door, and tried to open it; but, as the door opened inwards, and Alice’s elbow was pressed hard against it, that attempt proved a failure. Alice heard it say to itself ‘Then I’ll go round and get in at the window.’

That you won’t’ thought Alice, and, after waiting till she fancied she heard the Rabbit just under the window, she suddenly spread out her hand, and made a snatch in the air. She did not get hold of anything, but she heard a little shriek and a fall, and a crash of broken glass, from which she concluded that it was just possible it had fallen into a cucumber-frame, or something of the sort.

Next came an angry voice—the Rabbit’s—’Pat! Pat! Where are you?’ And then a voice she had never heard before, ‘Sure then I’m here! Digging for apples, yer honour!’

‘Digging for apples, indeed!’ said the Rabbit angrily. ‘Here! Come and help me out of this!’ (Sounds of more broken glass.)

‘Now tell me, Pat, what’s that in the window?’

‘Sure, it’s an arm, yer honour!’ (He pronounced it ‘arrum.’)

‘An arm, you goose! Who ever saw one that size? Why, it fills the whole window!’

‘Sure, it does, yer honour: but it’s an arm for all that.’

‘Well, it’s got no business there, at any rate: go and take it away!’

There was a long silence after this, and Alice could only hear whispers now and then; such as, ‘Sure, I don’t like it, yer honour, at all, at all!’ ‘Do as I tell you, you coward!’ and at last she spread out her hand again, and made another snatch in the air. This time there were two little shrieks, and more sounds of broken glass. ‘What a number of cucumber-frames there must be!’ thought Alice. ‘I wonder what they’ll do next! As for pulling me out of the window, I only wish they could! I’m sure I don’t want to stay in here any longer!’

She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound of a good many voices all talking together: she made out the words: ‘Where’s the other ladder?—Why, I hadn’t to bring but one; Bill’s got the other—Bill! fetch it here, lad!—Here, put ’em up at this corner—No, tie ’em together first—they don’t reach half high enough yet—Oh! they’ll do well enough; don’t be particular—Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope—Will the roof bear?—Mind that loose slate—Oh, it’s coming down! Heads below!’ (a loud crash)—’Now, who did that?—It was Bill, I fancy—Who’s to go down the chimney?—Nay, I shan’t! You do it!—That I won’t, then!—Bill’s to go down—Here, Bill! the master says you’re to go down the chimney!’

‘Oh! So Bill’s got to come down the chimney, has he?’ said Alice to herself. ‘Shy, they seem to put everything upon Bill! I wouldn’t be in Bill’s place for a good deal: this fireplace is narrow, to be sure; but I think I can kick a little!’

For grammar, let’s do an exercise on comparative and superlative adjectives:

1.  Jeremy is 10 years old. Jenny is 8 years old.
  Jeremy is (old) ____________ ______ Jenny.

2.  The Alps are very high. They are (high) _____ _______________ mountains in Europe.

3.   An ocean is very large.  It is (large) ____________ _______ a sea.

4.  A Rolls Royce costs a lot of money. A Twingo costs less.
  A Rolls Royce is (expensive) _______ ________________ _____ a Twingo.

5. John’s results were bad. Fred’s were very poor.
  Fred’s results were (bad) _________ _____ John’s.

6.  This exercise is not very difficult. It’s ____________ ______ I expected.

7.  The weather is not good today. It’s raining
  I hope the weather will be (good) _____________ next week.

8.  People are not very friendly in big cities.
  They are usually (friendly) ________________ in small towns.

9.  In a republic, the President is (important) _____ ______ _______________ person.

10. People say that Chinese is (difficult) ______ ____________ to learn than English.

..and play with making adjectives out of nouns and verbs:

  1. This birdhouse is made of wood. My grandfather used to make _____ birdhouses.
  2. I don’t desire fortune or fame. Not all rich and _____ people are happy.
  3. I don’t desire fortune or fame. If you have good friends, you are a _____ person.
  4. I rely on my iPad for recipes while cooking. My iPad is a _____ and durable gadget.
  5. I have a deep passion for running. I am _____ about all forms of exercise.
  6. The poison in this rare mushroom can cause serious kidney damage. Fortunately, most mushrooms aren’t _____.
  7. It takes skill and determination to be a professional race-car driver. Though I have the determination, I am not yet a _____ driver.
  8. Everyone enjoyed the concert last night. All in all, it was an _____ evening.
  9. The teacher had to raise his voice to be heard above the noise in the classroom. It’s hard to get any work done in a _____ classroom.
  10. Uncle Ernie causes trouble for my family during the holidays. I have many _____ relatives.
  11. My father is accustomed to facing danger. Firefighting is a _____ profession.
  12. My friends laughed and joked and talked all during the meal. Joey was the most _____ one of all.
  13. Everyone at work obeys the boss’s orders. They are remarkably _____ people.
  14. My nephew is always causing mischief. He’s a _____ little boy.


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