1/ Sentence Practice
Hi Sara, how was your week? Did you find your way without too much difficulty?
Good, thanks and how was it your return to Academia?
Traumatic, sobering and worrying. I was on the point of throwing in the towel and coming home with my tail between my legs. I’m glad you are here so that I can get it off my chest. I went to my first lecture and it was just not up to my expectations, I must stick out like a sore thumb. All the others started hiding their iPhones for fear of me telling them off, I’m old enough to be their father.
If you had visited the university before, you wouldn’t be in this frame of mind now, there were enough open days.
I knew I could take it as read that you would be sympathetic. I did not have to read your mind.
Had you thought about the age gap sooner, you wouldn’t be worrying about it now. I knew all was not well, I can read you like a book. So what are you going to do, something drastic I suppose? You would not be here today, had you not always been so impetuous.
I have already taken a decision, at least a short-term one anyway. I went to see my tutor in order to convey my doubts. She is a woman and with her intuition or maybe her experience she had guessed the purpose of my visit before I could disclose it. She declared that most of the mature students were affected in the same way but that I should not exaggerate the problem as there was a solution. She denounced the lack of clarity and information on the university’s website and that the gist of it was that there existed a parallel social and intellectual life. You flatter me darling but I don’t have an inkling of what you are talking about. Could you give me a hint?
Well, I insisted on taking an appointment and I decided not to rant and rave or start quibbling about the uniformed profile of the students. My only worry was that, were all the students to run to the tutor with their problems, would she have enough time to teach? I had all my questions on the tip of my tongue but before I could utter two words, she interrupted me. She told me that there were, contrary to appearances, quite a healthy number of mature students and that they even have their own bar and social facilities. I had not the time to put my cards on the table when she said I had got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
She hoped that this would put my mind at rest and that should I need any further assurance, please not to hesitate to ask her.
So what you’re telling me is that, had your tutor not informed you about the mature element at the university, you might already be packing your bags. Your tutor, she seems to be very helpful.
The tutor told me I could contact her should I need to.
Should I not get a rendezvous, I can always send an email.
I would have already taken another appointment if I were you just to keep her posted.
Were you not to continue you would always regret it, and that speaks volumes about the professionalism and caring attitude of the university.
Anyway, let’s make the most of the weekend although I have some work to do for Monday.
If you had worked hard last week as you were supposed to, you wouldn’t have to work this weekend.
I know but I couldn’t help being distracted by my misgivings. The course, this term, is really a going over of the school syllabus. So it would be hard enough to pass the exam this term, even if I go to all the lectures. I will need to compensate but after that, it will be plain sailing.
- to convey
- to declare
- to denounce
- to disclose
- to exaggerate
- to flatter
- to insist
- to mumble
- to murmur
- to rant
- to rave
- to utter
- to read someone like a book
- to read someone’s mind
- to take something as read
- to put somebody’s mind at rest
- to get the wrong end of the stick
- to keep somebody posted
- to get something off your chest
- to put your cards on the table
- to speak volumes
- it will be plain sailing
- say it under my breath
- to throw in the towel
- with my tail between my legs
- to stick out like a sore thumb
- to tell off
- open days
I would rather, or, I’d rather + past simple.
We use this when we are talking about a course of action we wished someone would take.
I would rather you stopped that.
I’d rather you didn’t tell them what happened.
I would rather you informed the local authorities.
- It’s time + past simple.
We use this expression when we want to highlight that now is the right moment to do something.
It’s time you left.
It’s time I left.
Don’t you think it’s time you two talked?
- wish, + past simple or wish, + conditional simple.
When we wish to talk about situations in the present that we can’t change, but we aren’t happy with, we use the verb “to wish” followed by the simple past or conditional simple.
I wish I had more time.
She wishes she was taller.
We wish we could make it to your party but we can’t.
- wish, + past perfect
When we are talking about situations in the past that we regret or are not happy about, we can use the verb “to wish” followed by the past perfect tense.
I wish I had spent more time studying for the exam.
I so wish I hadn’t said that to her.
She wishes she hadn’t spent all that money in Las Vegas.
- wish, + S, + would, + (not), + bare infinitive.
I wish you wouldn’t swear as much.
I wish he would make less noise.
I wish you would stop smoking.
Questions and Answers
Were you thinking of throwing in the towel?
No not yet, I will give it a try.
Are you worried about something?
Yes, you can read me like a book.
Do you believe that people can read other peoples minds?
No, I do not think that people can read minds.
So can I take it as read that you will be coming?
No, I am still thinking about it.
Did you think that it was me that sent the letter?
Yes, I got the wrong end of the stick.
You will keep me posted, won’t you?
Yes of course, I will phone you every day.
What is it that you want from me exactly?
I will put my cards on the table, I want your help.
Do you think the exam will be difficult?
No, it will be plain sailing.
Are you happy with your pay rise?
Not really, but I am not going to quibble.
Do you have an idea of what I’m talking about?
I think I have an inkling.