GE|Adults|Advanced|13. To say the same thing

Tell your teacher about one or more of the following books


  • A book that you started but couldn’t finish
  • A book that you decided to read after seeing the film
  • A book you feel you should have read but haven’t
  • A book that you were forced to read at school and hated
  • A book you couldn’t put down

Read the statements and do the task

Match the words with their synonyms


Look at the pictures below and make suggestions about the programmes the people are watching. Use the following words and add your own

  • entertaining
  • fast-moving
  • gripping
  • heavy going
  • implausible
  • intriguing
  • moving
  • haunting
  • thought-provoking
  • action-packed
  • dreary
  • creepy

🔹The literal meaning of grip = to hold something strongly.

🔹Haunt = literally, what a ghost does. Figuratively, it means keep coming to your mind.

🔹Implausible = not seeming likely to be true.

🔹heavy going = difficult to follow or understand and so becoming tiring/boring.

🔹Intriguing = interesting because it’s unusual and with an element of mystery.

Complete some comments with the adjectives from the list

Decide which books in the pictures above you would/wouldn’t like to read and why. Use the following constructions

Example: I think, Sten must be a fast-moving and gripping story. It would be nice to read it on the metro.

  • In my opinion,…
  • As far as I’m concerned…
  • It must/may/might be…
  • By no means…
  • I’d rather not…
  • For sure…
  • Not my type

The Sten Chronicles are a series of eight military science fiction novels by Chris Bunch and Allan Cole published from 1982 to 1993. The books follow Karl Sten, a young man born and raised on the dangerous factory world of Vulcan and saved from life as an outlaw by the head of Imperial Intelligence, Ian Mahoney.

Light Shining in the Forest by Paul Torday is a thriller, a dark tale about a failing politician and the search for two missing children.

Where the Sidewalk Ends is a 1974 children’s poetry collection written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein.

Ancient Greek Philosophy contains essays popularizing philosophical ideas of Plato [‘pleɪtəu] , Aristotle and other thinkers of the past.

Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond is a novel, a blend of modern-day circus tales, classically ill-fated love, and mystery.

Guess how Daniel Hahn describes his work process. Then read the article and check your answer


Choose your answer

✔️ He uses a computer translating program and then edits the text.

✔️ He translates the sentences word by word comparing several dictionaries’ entries.

✔️ He reads the text very attentively and rewrites it trying to keep the meaning and the style.

Read and say how you understand the highlighted phrases

Translation Diary

I’m translating a novel. It’s written in Portuguese, and it needs to be written in English. There is a Brazilian novelist at one end, and an American publisher at the other, and there’s me in the middle, tasked with giving the publisher exactly the same book the novelist has written, keeping it identical in absolutely every conceivable respect, except that I’ve got to change all the words. The novel is Blue Flowers by Carola Saavedra. Or, to be more accurate, the novel is still Flores Azuis, for now. Blue Flowers is what it’s got to be when I’m done with it. So I have to immerse myself in Carola’s book, in Portuguese, and write it again for the publishers in English. The process is both simple and impossible, and I’m going to be describing it on this blog.

Read the text making a pause after each paragraph to describe the changes

1. In this scene, A, the main woman character, describes the moment her lover leaves her:

Eu nao disse nada, nao chorei, nao pedi explicacoes, nao te implorei para ficar. Eu apenas permaneci ali, imovel, muda, deitada na cama, enquanto voce se vestia, pegava a mochila e ia embora.

A rough translation might be:

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t cry, I didn’t ask for explanations, I didn’t implore you to stay. I merely stayed there, immobile, mute, lying on the bed, while you dressed, took your rucksack and went away.

2. «Implore» isn’t quite right, is it? «Beg» would be better. And «immobile», similarly — I prefer «still» or «unmoving». In both cases my first quick version just used words that stayed close to the Portuguese («implore» for «implorei», «immobile» for «imovel»), but we need to move away a little further in order to arrive somewhere more like normal English. I think «merely» is a bit too formal for A’s voice here, too.

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t cry, I didn’t ask for explanations, I didn’t beg you to stay. I just stayed there, unmoving, mute, lying on the bed, while you dressed, took your rucksack and went away.

3. There are an awful lot of «I»s in that first sentence, aren’t there?
In Portuguese there’s an «Eu» («I») at the beginning of the first sentence and an «Eu» at the beginning of the second, so the sentences are perfectly balanced. As you can see, I’ve removed a pair of «I»s. And we have a «rucksack» which should probably be a «backpack», to minimize how UK-ish it sounds to US readers.

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t cry, didn’t ask for explanations, didn’t beg you to stay. I just stayed there, unmoving, mute, lying on the bed, while you dressed, took your backpack and went away.

4. Now, that first sentence ends on the word «stay» — which would be fine…except that «stay» appears again, three words later. Hmm, so now I’ve got to change that, too. One option is «I didn’t beg you not to go», which helps because we imagine A saying «Please don’t go!» rather than «Please stay!», which isn’t quite the same.

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t cry, didn’t ask for explanations, didn’t beg you not to go.

5. I’ve also got to decide if the man is dressing, or getting dressed, or getting himself dressed, and my decision will be as much about the rhythm of the sentence as anything else. And I don’t like the ending — «went away» is very weak. I’d rather end solidly on one word — just «left».

I just stayed there, unmoving, mute, lying on the bed, while you got dressed, took your backpack and left.

6. Right. So — we’re done now, surely? Um, not quite… I’d prefer «picked up your backpack» to just «took your backpack» — I think the latter might sound as though he’s taking it from her? And I’m not sure about «mute», either. I think «silent» would do. So how about this, then?

I didn’t say anything, I didn’t cry, didn’t ask for explanations, didn’t beg you not to go. I just stayed there, unmoving, silent, lying on the bed, while you got dressed, picked up your backpack and left.


Mark the sentences true or false

Replace the words in the brackets with the synonyms that the translator considers for them


Put the synonyms to the four very common words into the table

Read the grammar rules

Adding emphasis: Inversion


Not only is he arrogant, but he is also rude! Never have I met such an unpleasant person




No sooner had we come home than we had to leave again.

At no point in time did I have any suspicions about his sincerity.

Such a scandal had Irene’s affair caused that it was impossible to cover the story up.

Under no circumstances should you open this door!

Walking up and down the street were the grey, tired people from the local office centres.


Adverb / an adverbial phrase Example
Barely (… when) Barely did I have time to think when he asked me to give him an answer.
Hardly (…when) Hardly had we solved one problem when another one appeared.
No sooner (… than) No sooner had we left the house than it started raining.
Never Never have I seen such beautiful mountains!
Not Not a sound did we hear from the room.
Not only Not only was the water dirty, but it was cold as well.
Only Only in case of a fire should you call the fire department.
Only when Only when it’s dark am I allowed to turn the light on.
Only after Only after the guests had left could we finally take a break.
Not until Not until the end of the survey will we know the results.
In no way In no way are you responsible for other people’s actions.
At no point/stage/time At no stage did I realise who he really was.
On no account On no account should you eat poisonous plants.
Little Little did we know that we had the winning lottery ticket.
Rarely Rarely do I go to the cinema on my own.
Seldom Seldom do teenagers listen to their parents.
Under no circumstances Under no circumstances are you allowed to talk to the prisoner.
So (that…) So delicious was the food that we kept asking for more.
Such (that…) Such interest has the story provoked that the news spent months covering it.
Here Here comes the principal now.
There There lies the Grand Canyon.
Participle clauses Sleeping in the crib was a sweet little baby with a head of soft golden hair.

❗ Because Not until and Only when require additional clauses to follow them, it is important to be careful to invert the subject and verb in the main clause.

Not until you learn to be responsible will you be ready to live on your own.

❗ When the verb to be inverted is negative, we put not after the subject.

In no way should you not tell the truth to your doctor.

❗ We can also invert conditional sentences.

Were they to ever leave the town, it would become very lonely.

Should the recession continue, many people might lose their jobs.

Had we not studied first aid at school, we might not have been able to help our friend.


Because the English language has a very strict sentence word order, it is possible to make certain information more emphatic through inversion, which involves rearranging the information in a sentence in a way that puts more important information in focus.

We can use inversion for:


Only after you have dinner, can you eat sweets.

Given to the students was the task so difficult that even the teachers had troubles with it.

Dramatic purpose

Never in my life have I been so shocked!

Not only was the room dirty, but it was also cold as ice!


Should you need anything, report to the front desk.

Under no circumstances are you allowed to take off your helmet and safety goggles during working hours.

Rewrite the sentences to make them more emphatic, changing the word order



Choose the topic you would like to discuss. Use the following words from the lesson


🔹What does the reading process mean to you?

🔹What are your favourite genres?

🔹Who are your favourite authors?

🔹What was the last book you really enjoyed reading? What was it about? Why was it important for you?

🔹What film was it? Who made it? What book is it based on?

🔹What was it about? Why was it important for you?

🔹What was special about that film?

🔹Who would you recommend it to?

🔹What pros and cons of the translator’s work can you think of?

🔹Why is a good translation important?

🔹What is the most difficult about translating?

🔹Do you think you could be a good translator? Why/Why not?


Put the suitable adjective into each gap

Complete the sentences writing the adverbial expressions from the list


Reconstruct the quotes using inversion

Read the text and tick the best answer


Lionel Shriver

On how not to read

The most stupid childhood vow I ever made was to finish every book I started. Maintained well into adulthood, this policy turned reading the first page of any volume into a miniature death sentence. I imagined my compulsive completion to be a sign of adult seriousness. In truth, it was a vanity — a poorly thought — out and typically adolescent whim.

As a consequence of this inane commitment, I reserve a special loathing for many books that I shouldn’t have been reading in the first place. I remember working as a summer camp councillor in my 20s and absolutely despising poor Russell Banks’ Book of Jamaica. Yet I never allowed myself to read something else because I had already started it. I say «poor» Russell Banks, because I love his other books, and the fact that I forced myself to keep reading a book for which I was not remotely in the mood was not his fault.

I have occasionally heard from a reader who is furious because he or she did not enjoy one of my novels yet still read to its bitter end. I reject this fury out of hand. For pity’s sake, if you don’t take a shine to a novel, there are loads more in the world; read something else. Continue suffering and it’s not the author’s fault. It’s yours.

Granted, it’s a good idea to give some books a chance even if they don’t grab you at first, especially if they come recommended by someone you trust. But 50 pages is plenty. With some books I have an allergic reaction after two or three.

Reading time is precious. Don’t waste it. Reading bad books, or books that are wrong for a certain time in your life, can dangerously put you off the activity altogether. The sign that I don’t like the book I’m reading is finding myself watching reruns of Come Dine With Me.


Come Dine With Me a popular British reality TV show that has been running since 2005.

Try to guess the meaning of the highlighted idioms and phrasal verbs. Check in your dictionary, then use them to complete the sentences

Prepare your three-minute speech about the latest film based on a book you saw

Cover the following points:

  • What film was it? Who is the director? Who is starring?
  • What book is it based on? Have you read the book?
  • Were the filmmakers faithful to the book?
  • Were they able to bring the original spirit of the book to the screen?
  • Are there any special effects in the film that you’d like to mention?
  • How could you describe the film in general? How did it make you feel?
  • Do you think it is a successful adaptation? Would you recommend it to your friends?

Allow your browser access to your microphone, press the button «Record» and record the speech you have prepared

Урок Homework Курс
  • Books, books
  • Say more, put it better
  • Judge by the cover
  • The translator's blog
  • More useful words
  • Adding emphasis: Inversion
  • Grammar practice
  • Personalization
  • Bookworm's vocabulary
  • More dramatic!
  • Quotes
  • Reading habits
  • Tell a story!