English Grammar: English Lesson no.5

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1 – Quiz
Complete the following sentences using the correct correlative conjunction.  Answers are in section 8.  Studying Part 5 will help with this exercise.

a) I like _____ candy _____ chocolate.  I hate sweet food!
b) Robert _____ drinks tea _____ coffee.
c) They enjoy _____ traveling _____ spending money.
d) I would like _____ a sweater _____ a wallet for Christmas.  Just one thing.
e) _____ cats _____ dogs can speak.
f)  _____ rock music _____ folk music sound good.
g) _____ Christians _____ other people celebrate Christmas.
h) We should go to _____ Brazil _____ Mexico for our vacation.

Complete these sentences with:

        Both…and     Not only…but also     Either…or     Neither…nor

2 – New Words From The Vocab Club
Our Daily Vocab Club has learned seven new words this week. Here are the seven new words:

Damp = slightly wet. (adjective) 
Extinguish = to cause to stop burning. (verb)
Fierce = violently hostile. (adjective)
Global = to involve the entire world. (adjective) 
Hoard = a hidden supply, to keep a hidden supply. (noun/verb)
Itinerary = a route or plan. (noun)
Justice = the administration of what is lawful. (noun)

3 – Student Essay  
 This essay was submitted by Silvia.

Learnig by doing and learning at school are two different forms of education. 
To some extent it is true, but I think that they depend on each other.

To learn something at school is not the most certain way that you know that. 
It would be better if you could use this thing in the real life. Then you will realise and reveal the prise of knowege, that you have recieved.

In my opinion learning at school is very useful for improving your culture and formating as a person, but it is good to know that not everything, that is learnt there, is the same in the practice.

Person could be good student and know a lot of thing of subjects, learnig at school, but he or she couldn’t know how to use them.


4 – Comments about the Essay
You really present some great ideas in this essay!  As a teacher, I can honestly say that this is one point I often consider.  I agree that the best way to “learn” is by doing – by using what you have learned in a real and natural way.  This is also true with learning English!  My students sometimes ask me what the benefits are of studying in an English speaking country.  The most important thing is the ability to use the language in a real setting.  This can never be duplicated in a classroom.  As you point out in this essay, this is how we really “learn” and “understand” what we are studying.  Great point presented here!

There are a few points which should be corrected.  You do not have to use ‘the’ with life – “in the real life”.  We are talking about life in a general (non-specific) way and so the definite article ‘the’ should not be used.  In the last paragraph you should use the article ‘A’ – “A person” or you could say “People…”.  Please also be careful of spelling – learning, knowledge, realize, received (Remember: i before e – except after c!), etc.    Apart from these small points this essay is well done.  Keep working on your English – you’re doing great!

Good Work Silvia !!!

5 – Conjunctions

Understanding and Using Correlative Conjunctions:

Correlative conjunctions are two-word conjunctions which are used to join words, phrases, or clauses.  Some examples of correlative conjunctions:


This is used to talk about the addition of things.

I enjoy eating at both Italian and French restaurants.
He can speak both Portuguese and Spanish.

Not only….but also

This is also used to talk about the addition of things.

Steve not only enjoys soccer but also baseball.
She not only likes rock music but also jazz.


This is used to talk about options or alternatives.

Mario wants to buy either a Jaguar or a BMW.
I will travel to either Hawaii or Fiji for my honeymoon.


This is used to talk about negative options or alternatives.

He can play neither the piano nor the guitar.
She likes neither butter nor margarine.

6 – Christmas Article

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

From The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358-9, originally published in The New York Sun in 1897.

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

About the Exchange

Francis P. Church’s editorial, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” was an immediate sensation, and went on to became one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in the The New York Sun in 1897, almost a hundred years ago, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.

Thirty-six years after her letter was printed, Virginia O’Hanlon recalled the events that prompted her letter:

“Quite naturally I believed in Santa Claus, for he had never disappointed me. But when less fortunate little boys and girls said there wasn’t any Santa Claus, I was filled with doubts. I asked my father, and he was a little evasive on the subject.

“It was a habit in our family that whenever any doubts came up as to how to pronounce a word or some question of historical fact was in doubt, we wrote to the Question and Answer column in The Sun. Father would always say, ‘If you see it in the The Sun, it’s so,’ and that settled the matter.

“‘Well, I’m just going to write The Sun and find out the real truth,’ I said to father.

“He said, ‘Go ahead, Virginia. I’m sure The Sun will give you the right answer, as it always does.'”

And so Virginia sat down and wrote her parents’ favorite newspaper.

Her letter found its way into the hands of a veteran editor, Francis P. Church. Son of a Baptist minister, Church had covered the Civil War for The New York Times and had worked on the The New York Sun for 20 years, more recently as an anonymous editorial writer. Church, a sardonic man, had for his personal motto, “Endeavour to clear your mind of cant.” When controversal subjects had to be tackled on the editorial page, especially those dealing with theology, the assignments were usually given to Church.

Now, he had in his hands a little girl’s letter on a most controversial matter, and he was burdened with the responsibility of answering it.

“Is there a Santa Claus?” the childish scrawl in the letter asked. At once, Church knew that there was no avoiding the question. He must answer, and he must answer truthfully. And so he turned to his desk, and he began his reply which was to become one of the most memorable editorials in newspaper history.

Church married shortly after the editorial appeared. He died in April, 1906, leaving no children.

Virginia O’Hanlon went on to graduate from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree at age 21. The following year she received her Master’s from Columbia, and in 1912 she began teaching in the New York City school system, later becoming a principal. After 47 years, she retired as an educator. Throughout her life she received a steady stream of mail about her Santa Claus letter, and to each reply she attached an attractive printed copy of the Church editorial. Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in Valatie, N.Y.

7 – Interesting Facts
1) 50,000 of the cells in your body will die and be replaced with new cells  while you have been reading this sentence.
2) A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.
3) A person will die from total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death will occur about 10 days without sleep, while starvation takes a few weeks.
4) A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.
5) Blue eyes are the most sensitive to light, dark brown the least sensitive.
6) By age sixty, most people have lost half of their taste buds.
7) During a 24-hour period, the average human will breathe 23,040 times.
8) From the age of thirty, humans gradually begin to shrink in size.
9) In a lifetime, we replace our skin approximately 1000 times.
10) You can only smell 1/20th as well as a dog.

8 – Quiz Answers
Here are the answers from section 1:

a) neither…nor
b) not only…but also
c) both…and
d) either…or
e) Neither…nor
f) Not only…but also/Both…and
g) Not only…but also/Both…and
h) either…or

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