1 Confusing Words! Let s try to sort them out Read the following examples in English and in Portuguese. Notice that the 2 different words have different meanings Like a travelling library. Como uma biblioteca itinerante. So I got her to write down the names of some books for me, to get from the library. Então pedi-lhe que escrevesse num papel os títulos de alguns livros para eu ir buscar à biblioteca. Mother lay surrounded by magazines and library books, but I never saw her reading. A mãe costumava estar rodeada de revistas e livros da biblioteca, mas nunca a vi ler. We went out to the bookshop to buy the latest novels. Fomos à livraria comprar os últimos romances... Library is a false friend! A the place where you can borrow books, not the place where you can buy them that place is a!
2 Now complete the following sentences with the most suitable word: Library or bookshop: 1. You will probably be able to buy it in your local. 2. Today the service is the most used of all county council facilities. 3. The student identity number used by the Registry is the basis of the 's borrower number. 4. You will probably be able to buy it in your local. 5. You should be able to buy these books at a or borrow them from a. 2. Read the following sentences in English and in Portuguese. Pay special attention to how the words child and children are translated. She's not a woman, she's a child. Ela não é uma mulher, é uma criança. You were only a child in Eras uma criança nessa altura, em In other rooms his three children are also asleep. Nos outros quartos, os três filhos deles também estão a dormir. What about the children, though? Mas e as crianças? Child is the form and children is the form. So children is an irregular plural form, it doesn t end in S!
3 The same happens with the words: man/men and woman/women. Look at the following examples: He is a tall, thin, stooped man, with silvery grey hair, deeply receding at the temples, curling over his collar at the back. É um homem alto, magro e curvado, com o cabelo grisalho a rarear nas fontes e formando caracóis atrás, sobre o colarinho. -Is this man entitled to speak? -he demanded. -Esse homem está autorizado a falar? perguntou. Eventually we'll need more men, not fewer. Eventualmente, vamos precisar de mais homens e não de menos. The noises of men talking and laughing and the sound of champagne corks popping filter out into the corridor. O ruído de homens a falarem e a rirem e o som de rolhas de champanhe a saltarem chegam ao corredor Priscilla: She's not a woman, she's a child. Priscilla: Ela não é uma mulher, é uma criança ainda. «Thanks,» said the woman. «Obrigada,» disse a mulher. A few feet away two women seemed to be doing the same thing. A poucos passos, duas senhoras pareciam fazer a mesma coisa. Men want women, but women want children. Os homens querem as mulheres, mas as mulheres querem filhos.
4 Now that you know all about confusing irregular plurals, try them out: Child or children? 1. The don't understand the language. 2. He went that way! - said the younger, a heavily-freckled girl who looked about twelve years old. 3. She was an only too and she'd never known her father. 4. He told her he had five and would send one of the boys to work in her garden. 5. If the need eggs, I bring you more eggs. Man or men? 1. The was fast asleep. 2. What kind of is he? 3. In this respect both were characteristic of the educational systems they had passed through. 4. He feels as if he is the only awake in the entire world. 5. Both were lost to their own thoughts. 6. The are very strong rowers. Woman or women? 1. I have this theory that every in America is on a diet. 2. Philip blinks up at the young who has stopped in the aisle. 3. The young were silenced. 4. Two were embroidering the fabrics. 5. The who marries him is getting a good deal! 6. The have their work. 3. Are there any words you don t understand in the examples and exercises? Underline them and check their meaning in a dictionary.
5 Modal verb Must and 2 of its different meanings 1. Read the following sentences and notice 2 different meanings for the same modal verb: Must 1. Last night, Laura was allowed to leave hospital. But she must attend a clinic twice a week. Laura still needs several month treatment and her parents do not want to leave her side. 2. New food safety laws say sandwiches must be kept refrigerated in delivery vans and shops. 3. Surely there must be a job somewhere for someone with his ability. 4. One entire building is on fire. There must be hundreds of people living there. Must is used to express in numbers 1 and 2 (meaning the same as have to). Must is used to express in numbers 3 and 4.
6 Now consider the following sentences and choose those where must means the same as have to: 1. We must generally curb our excesses, get back to nature and question the use of anything which threatens the environment. 2. Sorry, but I must go to work. 3. Sheila and John think the burglar must have been in the house when they returned from a night out. 4. Pupils must master the grammatical knowledge if they are to become effective writers. 5. It must have been a great game to watch. 6. He must report to police again on May What he has said is so stupid. He must be a mosquito brain to say that. 8. The tickets must be for travel between 30 October and 14 December and between 2 January and 8 February. 9. This car must be in LA in seven days, now sign here please, and go. 10. It can t be true. He must have said it as a joke. 11. She must be told to appear before the Committee or be forced to take the consequences. 12. He said that apart from booking 21 days in advance, passengers must stay a minimum of seven days. 13. I think the dogs must have eaten it. 14. It was my fault Mum got ill. I must have done something to deserve this. 15. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, all pit bulls must be registered, neutered, and have an identification number tattooed on their inner rear. 16. The judge ruled Mr Maul must pay 550 damages for trespass and damage to trees. Sentences taken from: Davies, Mark. (2004-) BYU-BNC: The British National Corpus. Available online at
7 Young and new are the same?! I don t think so Read the following passages carefully and notice the differences: My young brother Ken immigrated to Australia in the early seventies, when it was easier than it is now, and never made a better decision in his life. O meu irmão mais novo, o Ken, emigrou para a Austrália no princípio dos anos 70, quando era mais fácil do que actualmente, e foi a melhor decisão que tomou na vida. I whispered to Peter, I didn't realize she was so young! Sussurrei a Peter: Não fazia ideia que fosse tão nova. Well, she needs a new pair of shoes... Bem, ela precisa de sapatos novos... Think we could do with some new chairs in here? Não acham que precisamos de cadeiras novas? 2. In English young is usually used for and new is usually used for, but they are both translated into Portuguese by.
8 3. Remember: they are both, so they have the same form for feminine/masculine and for singular/plural, but in Portuguese isn t the same! 4. Now that you know all about them, complete with the most suitable: young or new: 1. She was rather when she married. 2. That is a word to me. 3. He was learning a lot of things. 4. He does look for his age. 5. They were queuing for gallery seats at the Globe theatre to see Graham Greene's play. 6. Two women stood in the corner. 7. The apartment was on the fourth floor of a building without an elevator. 8. He was a healthy man of thirty-two, and she was between twenty-seven and twenty-eight. 9. After all, what he had always wanted was just that: to know places. 10. But she's so, your sister I accompanied him, wearing my white gloves and with my hair curled. 5. But be careful!!! Young or old people can also be new: 1. You're new in the building and I thought...
9 2. This week alone four new clients walked in off the street, and you don't want to hear about it. 3. Wilmer's new secretary was in the corridor when I left. 4. The boy trusted his new friend. 5. Zoe was Judy's new flatmate. 6. When Rosa called to pick up some small personal possessions the new owners were there. 7. The guard is a new member of staff. 8. Three or four days from now I shall go present my congratulations to the new minister of foreign affairs. 9. But the boy never took his eye off his new friend. 10. Have you found a new girlfriend? Wear your thinking cap, think about these examples and discuss them in class! Sentences taken from: BNC simple search available online at
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