It doesn’t mean that I arrived in well-dressed way, or that I scrubbed off all the dirt after a particularly muddy football match. It means that I’m about to tell you the truth about something. And, I feel there are a few things I need to come clean about. This year I turned 42 years old and to be honest it hasn’t been a good year. It’s the first year I have ever felt the aches and pains of growing older, my eyesight is worse and I’ve made a few mistakes. I feel I should tell you about some of those mistakes if you’ll hear me out. Each of these mistakes has a moral for me to learn from, I’ll give you that at the end of each short tale. I’m not going to hang out all my dirty laundry to dry but I am going to air a few things and show you how we use modální slovesa v angličtině. So, today is about modals and morals, shall we begin?
Rail journey to Berlin (and a lesson in how to use modální slovesa v minulý (would HAVE BEEN)
A month ago, I made a last minute decision to go to Berlin to visit my friends and watch a football match with them. By last minute I mean, the day before. I’m from Yorkshire and Yorkshire people (like the Scottish) are stereotyped as being a bit tight with their money. While I don’t consider myself tight I have to admit that I love to get the best deal. So it was I set about finding the most economical way of getting to and from Berlin. I knew about a railway ticket that allows you to travel in both regions on either side of the German border ie. Last year I had a ticket for Plzensky Kraj and Bavaria when I went to watch Union Berlin’s match with Jahn Regensburg.
This time I thought I would buy a ticket for Ustecky Kraj (300kč) which allows you to travel in Saxony. I had already found and bought an online ticket from Deustchebahn to allow me to travel in Brandenburg and Berlin for 22Euros. The whole deal would cost me just over 1000 including travel to Prague and from Prague to the Usti region. A standard Prague-Berlin return would have been over 2000kč. Are you still with me?
So, once on the train it transpired that I couldn’t use these tickets on the express inter-city trains and so I had to buy two 42 Euro single tickets to and from Dresden on top of the 1200kč Prague Dresden ticket. Of course, I could have simply used the slower regional trains with my original tickets but I wouldn’t have been able to get back home on the same day. In the end I spent about 4000kč! Imagine where I could have flown to for that money!
The moral of this tale is an easy to learn from – Don’t try too hard to be clever. Let’s continue with my next and more serious mistake…
The most serious of these mistakes happened just two weeks ago. I was busy in the morning writing some emails and it all went successfully. I got everything done that I needed to do before lunch and in time to be able to take my older daughter to gymnastics. She’s gymnastics mad and loves going to her class twice a week. All in all it would have been a great day but for what heppend next.
So, we jumped in the car and she was asking how fast I could say the alphabet in English (very fast) as we approached the junction on the edge of our village. I saw a car in front of me waiting for a space and as I pulled up behind him he set off. I glanced to my left and saw three cars coming but far enough away that I had time to join the road. Before I turned my head back to look in front of me, I set off and then …SMASH! The other car was still there. He must have decided that he didn’t have enough time to get out. Of course, it was my fault, though I felt a little unlucky, but I accepted the blame and have been without a car since as we await it’s repair. The other man is similarly waiting for my insurance company to pay for his repairs.
The moral and my opportunity to learn? Pay more attention, especially with things that are habits that I do automatically. Funny/ironic really, as I have been reading Eckhart Tolle’s New Earth for the second time which is a book all about paying attention to what you are doing AT ALL TIMES!
I’m a runner, or at least I like to think of myself as one. Not a great one, but, over the last few years I have seen some improvement with regular training. As I mentioned in my intro this year is the first year I have started to feel the aches and pains of age and after a knee injury at an orienteering event in July I should have taken a rest and given myself time to recover. That’s no my style though, as I pride myself on my endurance and believe that continuing as normal is the best way to overcome small niggles. This wasn’t s so much of a small niggle however and it was soon compounded by a compensatory injury in my other knee. That has lead to back pain and … You don’t really want to read about the grumblings of an old man now do you?
Moral? Curb my enthusiasm and come to terms with the fact that I’m not as young as I used to be. Sad but true.
Having a Cleaner
I’ll let you in on a dirty secret that I know many of you don’t like to admit to anyone. We have a cleaner. There, I’ve said it. I struggled with this decision because I don’t like the idea of paying someone else to do my dirty jobs, I’m quite happy doing them myself. However, with both of us working, the responsibility for keeping the house clean is down to me and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. I look after and play with the kids, feed and clean the animals (sheep, hens, duck, rabbit, fish, dogs, cat and hamster), see face to face Engish clients, run my online business and keep the house in a liveable state. My mistake? I’m sure you can appreciate that a bit of help in that department was absolutely required. Why didn’t we do this before? We could have done it ages ago?
Admit when you are overwhelmed and be brave enough to ask for help.
What did you notice about those modální slovesa v minulém čase? – That’s correct! the past tense version of a modal verb has the same structure as the present perfect; verb + HAVE + Past Participle I could have written this quicker but it wouldn’t have been better. Now there’s a habit to correct 🙂
Idiom phrases and their meanings (from dictionary.cambridge.org)
To come clean about something – to tell the truth about something that you have been keeping secret: I thought it was time to come clean (with everybody) about what I’d been doing. Admitting & confessing.
to hang out your dirty laundry – To talk to other people or in front of other people about personal things that should be kept private. You can also say “wash your dirty linen in public” and in America they use “air your dirty laundry/linen in public”.
to air a few things – to make opinions or complaints known to other people: Putting a complaint in the suggestions box is one way of airing your grievances. He’ll air his views on the war whether people want to listen or not.
to hear me out – to listen to someone until the person is finished speaking: Hear me out and then tell me what you think of the plan.
So there you have it. A few of the mistakes I have made this year. I’ve come clean about them, aired them and admitted them. Now it’s your turn. Don’t be scared, I only want to know about your English mistakes 🙂 Do you know which mistakes you are making? If not, take my free video course and start to correct a few of the most common mistakes Czechs and Slovaks make when speaking English. I suppose, if you’re feeling brave, you could tell me about your other mistakes in the comments below 😉 Look out next week for a review of the year and anything you might have missed.