flesl.net paired stories: grammar & meaning notes: Gabriela Byrne

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• grammar and vocabulary notes for ‘Gabriela Byrne’

one- “ She was married and had two young children.”

• The clause she was married appears to have the same structure as clauses such as she was invited and she was injured. However, unlike was invited and was injured, was married is not a passive verb. In fact the verb phrase in She was married is just the word is, and the word married is an adjective. (Marry is an event verb and therefore can only be used, in the passive or the active, to report an event. Compare Jane was married for six years with Jane and Dick were married in the city hall.)

one- “She didn’t like her job but she was earning too much money to quit

• Here the quantifier, “too + much/many” is followed by a “to- infinitive.” The meaning is that she felt she couldn’t quit because she was lucky to be earning a large amount of money and also felt that, if she left her job, she wouldn’t be able to find another one that paid as well.

one- “She was so upset by this that...”

• If someone is upset about something, he or she feels bad about something that has happened. Being upset means feeling an unpleasant emotion. The emotion is similar to anger, but it is not necessarily directed toward another person. Although it is possible to be at someone.)Upset has a metaphorical meaning here, which is based on its literal use in sentences such as Jack carelessly upset the vase that Jill had put on the table. (The metaphorical use of upset is much more common than its literal use.)

one- “...she almost did quit.”

• The auxiliary verb, do is normally used only in questions and negative statements. It is sometimes used in positive statements, however, to emphasize the verb. (The fact that Gabriela almost quit despite not wanting to lose her good salary is being emphasized because it shows how upset she was.)

one- “she went to have lunch in her favorite pub.”

• A pub is a place where beer and other types of alcohol can be bought and sold. It has a similar meaning to bar but pub is more used for a bigger, noisier drinking place and bar for a smaller, quieter one.

two- “If you’re lucky, you win money—the ‘jackpot’ as it’s called”

• In some kinds of 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.”

two- “They are more addictive than any other form of gambling.”

• ‘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 such as gambling are also called addicts, for example, ‘sex addicts’, ‘chess addicts’, ‘TV addicts’.)

three- “Pokies were illegal in Australia before 1992. Then the government legalized them.”

• ‘Illegal’ and ‘legalize’ are 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 the letter ‘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,’ ‘privatize’, ‘finalize’ ‘radicalize’. In British English this suffix is also spelled ‘ise,’ but ‘ize’ is also widely used.