13.4. General English.

Dear Katrina.

How are you? The travel/journey/trip (As this is a short ‘visit’ to England, ‘trip’ would be the most appropriate. ‘Travel’ is only normally used as a verb. ‘Journey’ refers to the action of getting to a place, and is therefore not completely appropriate.) so far has been really strange/rare. (‘Rare’ is used to talk about the collector’s objects that are not common, such as antiques. It is not used for situations or people.)

England is not that bad. It’s a bit dirty, but there are some nice places. We haven’t known/visited (How many times do I have to explain this to you. ‘Know’ is for knowledge of subjects or people, but not for countries or tourist places.) any of them yet, because our teacher Zak Washington, seems determined to take us to these horrible pubs and cafés. I don’t mind this so much, but what I can’t stand are the other students.

Whatever made me decide to come and study in England? It’s been a bit of a nightmare.


The other students are not much better. There’s this filthy/gorgeous/stunning (Ahmet, as you should know, dresses badly, smells terrible, and looks worse. ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘stunning’ both mean ‘extremely good-looking’ and are, therefore, no good.) guy called Ahmet who is bald, fat and never washes, that tried to touch me in a night-club. He spends his whole time with Zak Washington, chasing the girls and drinking. There is this Chilean girl who is really stupid; in fact that is not a strong enough word to describe her lack of intelligence. She is worse than ‘stupid’; she’s thin/thick.(‘Thin’ is ‘not fat’. ‘Thick’ can sometimes mean ‘fat’, in the case of a thick book or a thick wall; but it can also mean ‘incredibly stupid or unintelligent.)


All the men think she’s really sexy, because she is a bit ‘curvy’. Personally, I think that she is just fat. There are two others who are quite nice. Giovanni, he’s sweet and Anja, a Dutch//Deutche/Hollander (Someone from Amsterdam is Dutch!) woman from Amsterdam. She’s lovely. If it wasn’t for those two, I’d have gone insane by now. I’ve got to admit that I’m looking forward to coming back home.

I hadn’t better/had better not/didn’t better (When giving advice, remember that the negative of ‘had better’ is ‘had better not’. Don’t forget that this has nothing to do with the past, in spite of containing the word ‘had’.) continue writting/writing (The correct answer is ‘writing’. The past simple is ‘wrote’ and the past participle is ‘written’.) for too long, because we are going out now. Today we are going to a jumble sale. Apparently, it’s some kind of second hand sale. I’ll be in touch.


            Love, Sophie.