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series 1: gambling troubles
a: Gabriela Byrne
"Gabriela Byrne"

Gabriela Byrne: language and meaning notes

1 ‘married’
The sentence

"She was married"

has the same appearance as a passive sentence like

“She was fired,”

but it is not really a passive because it refers to a condition not an event, and it has no active form.

The active form would be

“Someone fired her.”

Despite its appearance, the sentence

“She was married”

should be thought of as grammatically like

“She was rich.”
“She was happy.”

In other words, in the text, 'married’ should be thought of as an adjective, not a past participle.

‘she says’
This is a
parenthetical sentence placed between commas in the middle of another sentence. It indicates that this is Gabriela’s opinion on the subject.

‘too much money to quit’
grammatical structure:

"too + much/many + too + Vb"

"The amount of money she was getting was so large that she was unable to quit."

For practice with this expression: Exercise: PP-1

If someone is upset about something, they feel bad about something that has happened. Being upset means feeling an unpleasant emotion. This emotion is like anger but it is not directed toward another person. This use of 'upset' is a metaphor based on the literal use in sentences like

"Jack was playing carelessly and upset the decoration his mother had put on the table."

As often happens when words are used in both a metaphorical and a literal way, the metaphorical use of 'upset' is much more common than the literal use.

‘almost did quit
‘Did’ here is an
auxiliary verb. Usually auxiliary verbs are used only in questions and negative statements. They are also used in positive statements, however, when emphasis is required, as is the case here. (The fact that Gabriela almost quit despite the good money she was making is being emphasized because it shows how upset she was.”)

A place where beer and other types of alcohol can be bought and drunk. It has a very similar meaning to ‘bar’, but ‘pub’ is more often used for a bigger noisier drinking place and ‘bar’ for a smaller quieter one. ‘Pub’ is an
abbreviation of ‘public house.’

In gambling some of the money the players pay to play is put into a ‘jackpot’. The jackpot grows until one of the players is lucky enough to win it. Outside of the world of gambling, the
expression, ‘hitting the jackpot’ is often used to say that someone has been very lucky as in a sentence like “When she met that man, she hit the jackpot.”

‘Addictive’ is the
adjectival form of ‘addict’ (which is used both as a verb and a noun). To say a substance or an activity is ‘addictive’ means that by taking the substance into their body or participating in the activity a person can become addicted. (Primarily, ‘an addict’ is someone who has a uncontrollable physical need for a substance, but, secondarily, people who have an uncontrollable psychological need for an activity are also called addicts, for example, ‘sex addicts’, ‘chess addicts’, ‘TV addicts’.)

‘illegal’ / ‘legalized’
These are both forms of the base word ‘legal’ which means ‘in accordance with the law’ or ‘not against the law’.

‘Illegal’ is the negative form, meaning ‘not legal’ or ‘against the law’. (Generally, adjectives beginning with ‘l’ form their negatives with the prefix ‘il’, for example, ‘illiterate’, ‘illogical’, ‘illegitimate’.)

‘Legalize’ is the verbal form of ‘legal’. Many nouns and some adjectives can be made into verbs by adding the suffix ‘ize’, for example, ‘stabilize’, ‘standardize’, ‘vaporize’.

10 ‘price to pay’
In this
expression, the words ‘pay’ and ‘price are used metaphorically. No money changes hands. There is no real price or any real paying. But there are similarities between the situation being described and a case where money really is paid for something. In both cases, something has to be given up in order to get something else. The sentence in the text says that society has to give up the some of its security from crime, and some of the happiness of its people, in order to get the taxes that come from legal gambling. Another example:

They had a good time at the party but they had to pay a high price the next day."

‘come out of
‘Come out of’ here is a
prepositional verb. In other words, the ‘adverb’ (‘out’) and the ‘preposition’ (‘of’) that follow the verb are not, here, doing what adverbs and prepositions normally do. Instead they are verb particles. When learning prepositional verbs, it is important to think of all the words in them — usually two but often more — as all being part of one piece of language and as having one meaning.

Prepositional verbs are followed by prepositional objects. In this sentence the prepositional object is ‘them.’

‘Hook’ is used metaphorically to speak of someone becoming addicted to something. For example,

“It’s easier to get hooked on cocaine than on opium.”

13 ‘as much as’
A grammatical structure. Here it means that the amount of time Gabriela spent gambling every day was less than five hours, or exactly five hours, but never more than five hours.

For practice with this expression: Exercise PP-2

‘less and less time’
An example of a grammatical structure using
comparative adjectives:

Adj (Comparative) + and + Adj (Comparative).

Other examples:

“I’m getting more and more interested in grammar.”
“As time passed she became happier and less happier.”

These examples could be ‘translated’:

“I’m becoming increasingly interested in grammar,” and
“As time passed she became increasingly impatient.”

The sentence in the text could be translated as

“She spent ever decreasing amounts of time at work.”

‘spare time’
‘Spare time’ is time when you can do what you want to. (It can also be called 'free time.')

As an adjective, ‘spare’ has a similar meaning to ‘extra,’ for example: ‘spare change’ (coins you’re willing to give away) or ‘spare tire’ (an extra tire carried in a car — often called ‘a spare’).

As a verb, 'spare,' has a similar meaning to ‘to not need’ or ‘give away,' for example:

“She asked him if he had any reading material to spare.”

More or less the same thing could be said with either of the following sentences:

"She asked him if he had any reading material he did not need."
"She asked him if he had any reading material to give away."

‘Spare’ can also be used as a verb in a different way, to mean ‘not destroy, or kill, or cause pain’ as in

“The attackers decided to spare the lives of their victims, children.” or
“The library was destroyed, but many valuable books were spared.”

16 ‘compulsive gamblers ’
‘Compulsive’ is usually used to
modify a noun that refers something someone is forced to do because they are addicted to it. (Other examples: ‘compulsive eating’, ‘compulsive shopping’, ‘compulsive internet use.’) ‘Compulsive’ has a strongly negative connotation.

It is an adjective based on the verb ‘compel’ — used when a person is forced to do something or has no choice except to do it.

There is another adjective based on ‘compel’ — ‘compelling’. This word has a positive connotation. It is often used with reference to arguments, theories or ideas. A compelling argument, for example, is one that is very persuasive.

An ‘urge’ is a strong, more or less sudden desire to do something.

“She had a sudden urge to tell him the truth.”

‘Urge’ is also used as a verb with the meaning: ‘to strongly advise someone to do something’. For example,

“He urged her to see a doctor.”

The adjectival form, ‘urgent’ is very common. If something is urgent, then quick action is necessary. For example,

“There is an urgent need for more medicine.”

The noun form is ‘urgency’ and the adverb form is ‘urgently’.

‘felt she was cured’
(a) ‘Felt’ here simply means 'believed'. It has nothing to do with feeling. In other words, the verb has a very different meaning from its meaning in a sentence like

“She felt the cold water on her feet.”

In this sentence, ‘feel’ just means ‘believe’. This use is very common.

(b) Here, the object of the verb ‘feel’ is the noun clause ‘she was cured’. This clause is an abbreviated version of ‘that she was cured’. The conjunction ‘that’ has been omitted.

‘she had stopped’
The verb here is in the
past perfect tense because the action referred to — her stopping going to casinos — happened before she felt she was cured.

‘go for three months...’
An example of the
grammatical structure:

‘go + for + Noun Phrase (period of time) + without + NounPhrase/ ing-form’

This structure is used to describe a situation when someone doesn’t do something or doesn’t have an experience for a period of time.

For example:
“He went for a week without shaving,”
“She can go for days without sleeping.”

Notice that ‘go’ does not imply movement in these cases.

21 ‘said she’d be back’
The sentence

"She said she’d be back."

has the same meaning as

"She said she’d return."

‘Back’ is an adjective here just as ‘late’ is in

"She said she’d be late,"

but in this case ‘be’ and ‘back’ work together to do the job of a verb.

22 ‘took a few minutes’
Used in this way, with a noun or
noun phrase that refers to a period of time as its object, ‘take’ means ‘require’. For example,

‘It took all day to get the work done,’
‘It takes an hour to fly from Toronto to Pittsburgh.’

This is a very common use of ‘take’.

23 ‘keep on playing’
‘Keep on’ is a two-word verb with the same meaning as ‘continue’. It is always
complemented by an ing-clause. (‘Continue’ is a transitive/intransitive verb that can be complemented by either a ing-clause or by a to-clause. ) In speech and informal writing, ‘keep on’ is more common, in this context, than ‘continue’ is. In formal writing, it is usually avoided as are other multi-word verbs.

24 ‘thought of killing herself’
Here, when it is c
omplemented by an ing-form ‘think of’ means ‘consider’. The prepositional verb ‘think of’ has a different meaning when it is complemented by a noun phrase as in

“She often thought of that wonderful day.”

(This means that the memory of that day often passed through her mind.) The verb has yet another meaning in a sentence like: “She never found out what he thought of her.” (This means she never found out what his opinion of her was.)

25‘tried as hard as she could’
structure: ‘as + adjective/adverb + as’ is used to show that two things are the same in one way or another. For example, “George is as tall as Mary” or “Mary runs as quickly as Peter.” ?

For practice with this expression: Exercise: PP-3

‘the expression on her face.’
When we speak of the expression on a person’s face (or their ‘facial expression’) we are talking about how the way they look, at that moment, shows what they are feeling or thinking.

‘stopped gambling for good’
‘For good’ simply means ‘permanently’. It is a common
informal usage, especially when talking about changes in a person’s life. The expression does not imply that the change is ‘good’.

‘the anti-gambling movement’
‘Movement’ here refers to a large group of people working together to change society in some way. (For example: ‘the civil-rights movement’, ‘the anti-war movement)

‘going through the same things'
‘Go through’ used in this way is a
synonym for the verb ‘experience’. (But the words are not exact synonyms because ‘go through’ has slightly negative connotations which ‘experience’ does not have. (It would be wrong to say, for example, that someone ‘went through great joy’ but correct to say they ‘experienced great joy’). 'Go through' is a multi-word, transitive verb.
, t

‘Materials’ here refers to written texts, tapes, videos and other things that teachers use with their students in the classroom.

31 —
‘got involved in ’
‘Get involved’ here means, ‘begin to participate’. Like other
two-word-verbs such as ‘get married’ and ‘get drunk’ it is grammatically connected to the passive with ‘get’. (For example,

“The window got broken,”
“George got robbed.”

But despite that connection, it is better to think of it as an active prepositional verb.
Because it is a transitive/intransitive prepositional verb ‘get involved’ can be used without an object as in “I didn’t want to get involved.” However, when it is used with an object, the object must be preceded by ‘in’.
(There is another prepositional verb ‘get involved with’ which is used when two people are sexually ‘involved’ with one another. (For example: “Jack got involved with Jill.”)