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ESL Lesson: Saying It Twice

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Saying it twice or "Save our animals"

There are several pairs of rhyming words that have come into the language with the job of emphasising and strengthening the meaning of one of the words. I have written a short story where I have used as many of these couplets as possible and after each one I have put the meaning in brackets (). When you are finished reading the story you can take the three tests below to check your knowledge.

English Grammar through Stories (PDF)Improving your grammar is much easier than you think
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Save our Animals

From a very early age Cathy had been passionate about looking after animals. She used to hob nob (socialise) with people who thought the same way as she did. These people were not all fuddy duddy (uninteresting) or indeed hoity toity (supercilious) and their main interest in life was to ensure that all animals were treated well. She soon got to know one of the local big wigs (important people) in a local organisation aimed at stopping cruelty to animals. He had been in his hey day (at his most successful time) an important figure in a government department for agriculture. In fact because he had refused to kow tow to (accept without question) some of the official regulations, he had been forced to take early retirement. But as far as Cathy was concerned he was the bee''s knees (someone to admire) and when she left school, she went to work as his assistant in the Society for the Protection of Animals. Her parents however were not all that pleased about where she had decided to work. They lived in a des res (very attractive house) and her father, John Fortune, who was reallya bit of a fat cat (wealthy business man) thought that all this animal business was a lot of hocus pocus (nonsense). Cathy and her father had several pow wows (conversations) about her decision but it usually ended up with a lot of argy bargy (arguments).

What her mother and father objected to most was the endless tittle tattle (gossip) in the village about a young woman working for this hot shot (well known entrepreneur) who was also regarded by some as a bit of a wheeler dealer (someone who does business in an underhand way). Cathy didn''t believe any of this and was delighted to be working for Geoffrey Winton if for no other reason than that living at home was very hum drum (boring). The rest of the organisation thought that she and Winton were a dream team (ideal partners) because she was enthusiastic and he was very experienced. After all she thought her brother was enjoying himself and had gone abroad to work in America as a result of the brain drain (talented people leaving their own country to work for better pay in another).

One morning there was quite a hubbub (loud noise and activity) in the Fortune household when Cathy came rushing into the sitting room helter skelter (running at a great speed) and announced what she thought was a cheerful earful (a good piece of news) and that was she had been invited to attend a demonstration in the capital. As far as her father was concerned this was simply double trouble (two problems - first working for Fortune and now getting involved in a demonstration) . As far as he was concerned this would be a waste of time because the speakers at the rally would simply talk mumbo jumbo (rubbish). But Cathy had made up her mind to go and the next morning wham bam (very quickly) she caught the early train and went off to the rally. On the train journey she began to think about what her father had said with his reference to the rag bag (muddled collection) of ideas in her organisation. And if she was really honest with herself, she was beginning to have a teenie weenie (very small) feeling of doubt as to whether she was doing the right thing. She just wished that her father could try and be even steven (fair) about her side of the argument. But as soon as she reached the meeting point for the rally, there was no time for day dreaming. She was straight into the hurly burly (the excited activity) of the meeting. At the beginning it was a bit harum scarum (disorganised) and people were running higgledy piggledy (in different and chaotic directions) but soon everything settled down and people who had been running about pell mell (in confusion) were now standing still and listening to the speeches. She felt reassured and was pleased she had come to the demonstration.

And then one incident at the end of the rally convinced her that she had taken the right decision to work for the organisation. A police officer on horseback was controlling the crowds and she found herself being gently moved along by the horse. As it drew near she found she was asking herself aloud whether she had done the right thing. She looked at the horse and it was actually nodding its head and she could have sworn it said okie dokie (all right).

Now, you should be able to take these three tests:

Save Our Animals - Test (1)
Save Our Animals - Test (2)
Save Our Animals - Test (3)

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Next:ESL Lesson: Colour Idioms

Author: Alan Townend

English Grammar through Stories (PDF)
English Grammar through Stories could be your saviour — it shows you a completely new way of learning. Forget about old-fashioned text books with difficult explanations and boring sample sentences. You can improve your grammar very fast if you know how. The answer is a few clicks away: Read these unique short stories by Alan Townend and absorb the patterns of English grammar automatically. You can only learn if you enjoy what you are doing. You will love the funny characters in English Grammar through Stories because they show the strengths and weaknesses of human nature. On top of all that, each story concentrates on one particular grammar item so all you have to do is read the book and have fun. You will be amazed at how easily you can improve your grammar.

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