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How to tell a story

2014-03-07 17:23[BBC] 来源: 浏览: 次 评论:
Callum: Hello, I’m Callum Robertson and this is How to …

Last night I was having a chat with one of my cousins about a recent business trip she had to Japan. She was telling me about a meeting she’d had during that trip. What was interesting was the language she used when talking about that meeting. And it made me think that would be an interesting topic for How to. So today we’re going to look at a particular kind of language you can use for telling or an anecdote or a story.

What is unusual about the language we use for this is that it doesn’t seem to follow the rules of grammar. Now to help me out in this I need the assistance of my colleague William. Hello William.

   mp3下载 [www.enbus.cn 免费英语学习网站]
William: Hello Callum.

Callum: Now William had an interesting experience last night and I’m going to ask him to tell us about it but I want you to listen very carefully to what he says. Listen particularly for the verb forms. OK, William, tell us what happened to you last night.

William: yes. I was in the cinema and I was watching a film and half way through the person next to me, their mobile phone rang and this person answered it and began to have a conversation. And lots of people were looking round and tutting and then the manager came in and he told me to leave. He thought it’d been me on the phone. So I had to go out and explain to him that it hadn’t been me, it’d been the man next to me. He apologised and because of the inconvenience he gave me

some free tickets. And so actually it was OK because I hadn’t really been enjoying the film anyway.

Callum: OK, Well thanks William. Now William has just told us about something that happened to him last night. You heard him using the past simple and past continuous.

William: Last night I was in the cinema, lots of people were turning round and tutting, I had to go out.

Callum: And also the past perfect.

William: He thought it’d been me on the phone.

Callum: This is perfectly correct. It’s accurate and natural. But sometimes when we are telling a story about something surprising or unexpected that happens to us we don’t use the grammar that you might expect. Have a listen to this version of the same story. What’s the difference? Again, listen out particularly for the verb forms.

William: Well, last night I’m in the cinema, watching this film and half way through the person next to me, their mobile phone starts ringing. He answers it and he begins to have this conversation. And lots of people are turning round and they’re looking and tutting and then in comes the manager and tells me to leave. He thinks it was me on the phone. So I have to go out and explain to him that it wasn’t me, it was the man next to me. And he apologises and because of the inconvenience he gives me some free tickets. And actually that was OK because I wasn’t really enjoying the film anyway.

Callum: Did you hear the difference? In this version, William uses different verb forms to tell the story of what happened to him. Instead of using past forms, he uses present forms:

William: Last night I’m in the cinema … and lots of people are turning round and tutting … I have to go out.

Callum: And instead of using past perfect forms he uses past simple forms.

William: He thought it was me on the phone.

Callum: So how can we use present verb forms to talk about something that’s happened in the past? William, what do you think?

William: It’s very engaging and it makes people who are listening to, it makes your conversation partner feel like he or she is there with you an that it’s happening now. So it’s a very engaging way of talking and of telling a story.

Callum: Yes, you’re exactly right. This technique is very common in spoken English when you’re telling stories and anecdotes because it’s very engaging. It sounds more immediate, more interesting and really involves the listener in the story.

We also use some other unusual grammatical forms when we’re telling anecdotes and stories. Listen to this part of the original story:

William: And then the manager came in ….

Callum: Now listen to how this sentence is constructed in the new version:

William: And then in comes the manager …..

Callum: The verb and particle have been reversed and put before the subject. Listen again, first, the original:

William: And then the manager comes in.

【看这里~】

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