Human calendar


Archive for janvier, 2010

Exprimer le but – 1ES

dimanche, janvier 31st, 2010

What do we live for?
Creative Commons License photo credit: quinn.anya

On exprime le but le plus souvent grâce à to + verbe, ou dans un style plus formel in order to + verbe ou so as to + verbe. Dans ce cas, les deux verbes de l’énoncé ont le même sujet.

He went to England (in order )to learn to speak English.

Il est allé en Angleterre pour apprendre à parler anglais.

He took a taxi so as to arrive on time.

Il a pris un taxi pour arriver à l’heure.

Dans les phrases négatives, la négation not se place juste avant le to :

I woke up early (in order) not to be late.

Je me suis réveillé tôt pour ne pas être en retard.

Lorsqu’on a deux sujets différents (un sujet dans la principale et un autre dans la subordonnée), on utilise les structures so that ou for… to.

She spoke more slowly so that he could understand her.

She spoke more slowly for him to understand her.

Elle a parlé plus lentement pour qu’il puisse la comprendre.

Pour poser une question qui porte sur le but, on utilise What…for?, comme sur la photo d’illustration. La préposition for se place en fin de question:

What do we live for?

Une réponse possible: to fulfil our dreams!

West Side Story

vendredi, janvier 29th, 2010

Creative Commons License photo credit: moniquewingard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

West Side Story
West Side 001.jpg

West Side Story is an American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical’s plot is based on William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet.

Set in New York City in the mid-1950s, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The members of the Sharks are first-generation Americans from Puerto Rico taunted by the Jets, a white  group who consider themselves the true Americans. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein’s score for the musical has become extremely popular; it includes « Something’s Coming », « Maria« , « America« , « Somewhere« , « Tonight« , « Jet Song », « I Feel Pretty », « One Hand, One Heart », and « Cool« .


Discours indirect – exercice

mercredi, janvier 27th, 2010

Voici un exercice pour vous entraîner: (la correction est sous l’exercice)

(Vous pouvez revoir le cours avec l’article du 20 janvier – cliquez sur ‘Grammar’)

1- “I’ve bought a new dress today”. She…

2- “You must leave now”. He…

3- “I will write next week”. He …

4- “We were in Paris two days ago”. They…

5- “When we visited Paris, we saw the Eiffel Tower”. They…

6- “Don’t come tomorrow!” She…

7- “If you met her, you would understand”. We…

8- “I am staying here”. I…

9- “Do you understand me?” He…

10- “Why was he waiting for me yesterday?” She…

Attention aux  tempspronoms/adjectifsmarqueurs de temps ou de lieu, à l’inversion qui disparait à la forme indirecte. Rajouter if/whether dans les Yes/No questions. Variez les verbes qui servent à rapporter le discours.

1- She declared (that) she had bought a new dress that day.

2- He announced (that) I/ they… must leave (/ had to leave) then.

3- He promised (that) he would write the following week.

4- They admitted (that) they were in Paris two days before. (verbe d’état)

5- They added (that) they had seen the Eiffel Tower when they visited Paris. (subordonnée de temps)

6- She ordered me not to come the following day.

7- We whispered (that) if she/ he… met her, she/he… would understand. (prétérit de l’irréel)

8- I confirmed (that) I was staying there.

9- He asked me if/ whether I understood him.

10- She wondered why he was waiting for her the day before.

Music: Playing for Change

lundi, janvier 25th, 2010

Listen to an international version of ‘Stand by Me’, the famous song originally sung by Ben E. King in 1961. The version you are going to hear was recorded for the music project Playing for Change.


And here is the version of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’:


The Gift of the Magi

dimanche, janvier 24th, 2010

Read this famous short story by O. Henri (the pen name of American writer William Sydney Porter who was born in 1862 and died in 1910). O. Henry’s stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred to as an « O. Henry ending. » His stories are also well known for witty narration. Most of O. Henry’s stories are set in his own time, the early years of the 20th century. Many take place in New York City, and deal for the most part with ordinary people: clerks, policemen, waitresses.

The Gift of the Magi is a classic. It is studied in American schools and has been copied, re-worked, parodied, and re-told countless times in the century since it was written. You can read a version that has been adapted for English learners on Many Things. You can listen to the text while you read it. It lasts about 15 minutes.

You can also watch this black and white adaptation of the short story:




Puerto Rico

samedi, janvier 23rd, 2010

Creative Commons License photo credit: Good Bokeh

Information from Wikipedia.

Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,with 4 million inhabitants, is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States. The island is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands.

The capital of Puerto Rico is San Juan.

Plaza Colón off calle de San Francisco
Creative Commons License photo credit: BostonTx

Since 1917, people born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens. However, federal electoral law does not grant a vote to any citizen who does not live in, or qualify as an absentee resident in, one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Thus, people who have always lived in Puerto Rico cannot vote in federal elections, but people born in Puerto Rico and living in a state or in DC can vote.

Starting around 1950, there was heavy migration from Puerto Rico to the Continental United States, particularly New York City, in search of better economic conditions. As of 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more people of Puerto Rican birth or ancestry live in the U.S. than in Puerto Rico.


Tourism is an important component of Puerto Rican economy supplying an approximate $1.8 billion. In 1999, an estimated 5 million tourists visited the island, most from the U.S. Nearly a third of these are cruise ship passengers.

The official languages are Spanish and English with Spanish being the primary language. English is taught as a second language in public and private schools from elementary levels to high school and in universities.

Creative Commons License photo credit: batgeek

Puerto Rican culture is a mix of four cultures, African (from the slaves), Taíno (Amerindians), Spanish, and more recently, North American. From Africans, the Puerto Ricans have obtained the « bomba and plena« , a type of music and dance including percussions and maracas. From the Amerindians (Taínos), they kept many names for their municipalities, foods, musical instruments like the güiro and maracas. Many words and other objects have originated from their localized language. From the Spanish they received the Spanish language, the Catholic religion and the vast majority of their cultural and moral values and traditions. From the United States they received the English language, the university system and the adoption of some holidays and practices.


Discours indirect

mercredi, janvier 20th, 2010

Voici un petit récapitulatif sur le discours indirect, si cela vous pose encore des problèmes:

1-      Pensez à décaler les temps dans le passé quand le discours est rapporté à l’aide d’un verbe au prétérit :

“I am here!”, he said. Présent simple

He said that he was therePrétérit simple


“I am leaving now”, he said. Présent en be+ing.

He said he was leaving then. Prétérit en be+ing.


“I will come tomorrow”, he said. Futur.

He said he would come the following day. Conditionnel.


“I have seen her this morning”, he said. Présent perfect.

He said that he had seen her that morning. Pluperfect.


Don’t be shy!”, he said. Impératif.

He told her not to be shy. Infinitif.


“ You may leave”, he said. Modal.

He said he might leave. Forme prétérit du modal.


“You must do your homework”, he said. Must qui indique une obligation.

He said I must / had to do my homework.  On garde ‘must’ ou on utilise son équivalent ‘have to’ au prétérit.


“He must be rich”, he said. Le modal ‘must’ sert à faire une hypothèse.

He said he must be rich. On garde ‘must’.


“They came last week”, he said. Prétérit.

He said they had come the week before. Pluperfect.


4 exceptions pour lesquelles le prétérit ne se transforme pas en pluperfect:

–         Quand on a un verbe d’état :

“I was ill two days ago”, he said.

He said he was ill two days before.

–          Avec le prétérit modal/ prétérit de l’irréel:

“If you came tomorrow, I would be very happy”, he said.

He said that he would be very happy if I came the following day.

–          Dans les subordonnées de temps (après when, until, as soon as, once…)

“When I was young, I was very talkative”, he said.

He said that he was very talkative when he was young. (subordonnée de temps + verbe d’état).

–          Avec les habitudes (avec often) :

“I often went to London when I lived in England”, he said.

He said he often went to London when he lived in England. (habitude + subordonnée de temps)


2- Les marqueurs de temps et de lieu changent (en bleu dans les exemples précédents + voir le cours)


3- Les pronoms personnels, les adjectifs et pronoms possessifs changent:

He told her: « You will be late! »

He told her she would be late.


4- Pour introduire le discours, vous avez le choix entre de très nombreux verbes. Pensez à varier ces verbes. Attention, certains verbes ont une construction particulière (verbes prépositionnels, verbes suivis de ‘to’)

« I am sorry I’m late », he said.

He apologized for being late.


Dans les questions directes, on a une inversion: auxiliaire + sujet + verbe. Au discours indirect, cette inversion disparait, on a alors le sujet (+ l’auxiliaire) + le verbe.

« Where do you live? » he asked me.

He asked me where I lived. (le présent devient du prétérit, l’inversion disparait donc on a ‘sujet’ + ‘verbe’


Pour les Yes/ No questions, on rajoute ‘if’ ou son synonyme ‘whether’:

« Will you come tomorrow? », he asked me.

He asked me if / whether I would come the following day.


Vous pouvez trouver des exercices sur le discours indirect à la fin du manuel p.240

Subjonctif / subjunctive – TL

mercredi, janvier 20th, 2010

Pour compléter le cours sur le subjonctif, je vous propose d’aller faire un petit tour sur le site: Anglocom.

The BBC’s top 100 books

lundi, janvier 18th, 2010

Shakespeare and Co.
Creative Commons License photo credit: craigfinlay

If you like reading, have a look at the BBC’s top 100 books on their webpages: The Big Read.

Discours indirect / reported speech

dimanche, janvier 17th, 2010

Pour revoir les règles du discours indirect et vous entraîner avec des exercices, vous pouvez aller voir les sites English-4u (leçon de base + 7 exercices) ou e-anglais.