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The Ruined Maid

Goes like this ..


‘O ’Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?’ –
‘O didn’t you know I’d been ruined?’ said she.

– ‘You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you’ve gay bracelets and bright feathers three!’ –
‘Yes: that’s how we dress when we’re ruined,’ said she.

– ‘At home in the barton you said “thee” and “thou”,
And “thik oon”, and “theas oon”, and “t’other”; but now
Your talking quite fits ’ee for high compa-ny!’ –
‘Some polish is gained with one’s ruin,’ said she.

– ‘Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I’m bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!’ –
‘We never do work when we’re ruined,’ said she.

– ‘You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you’d sigh, and you’d sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!’ –
‘True. One’s pretty lively when ruined,’ said she.

– ‘I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!’ –
‘My dear – a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain’t ruined,’ said she.


The Present Perfect Tense

What’s it for?

There are about five main reasons for using the present perfect tense in English.

livia-bitton-jackson1. To talk about something that started in the past and is still going on: “I have lived a thousand years.”

2. When the time period has not finished: “More than 3,000 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean this year.”

3. To talk about actions repeated a number of times in the past and now: “I have died multiple times and the doctors have brought me back.”QA-Nile-Rodgers-008

4. To talk about things completed recently: “I have just knocked over a cat and killed it. What should I do?”

5. When the actual time of the action is not known or not important: “I have been to the mountain top.”

 How’s it constructed?

Use ‘have’ (or ‘has’) and the past participle of the main verb.

In a question, invert the auxiliary verb (‘have’ or ‘has’) with the subject pronoun, as usual with questions in English: “What have you knocked over?” “A cat!”

In the negative, put ‘not’ (or  ‘n’t’) after the ‘have’ or ‘has’: “I haven’t died yet.”


Is it ‘have’ or ‘has’?

How do you say (or spell) the past participle?

never and ever / since and for / just, already and yet

Why’s it difficult?

Hmm … some languages use it differently so the meaning can be confusing and there’s a bit to remember in its construction. Look here if you want some more detail.

How about this?

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?



  1. Work more and better
  2. work by a schedule
  3. wash teeth if any
  4. shave
  5. take bath
  6. eat good – fruit – vegetables – milk
  7. drink very scant, if any
  8. write a song a day
  9. wear clean clothes – look good
  10. shine shoes
  11. change socks
  12. change bed clothes often
  13. read lots good books
  14. listen to radio a lot
  15. learn people better
  16. keep rancho clean
  17. don’t get lonesome
  18. stay glad
  19. keep hoping machine running
  20. dream good
  21. bank all extra money
  22. save dough
  23. have company but don’t waste time
  24. send Mary and kids money
  25. play and sing good
  26. dance better
  27. help win war – beat fascism
  28. love mama
  29. love papa
  30. love Pete
  31. love everybody
  32. make up your mind
  33. wake up and fight

kerouac list

‘Science Is Proving Some Memories Are Passed Down From Our Ancestors’

Click on the image to read the article.

(A Vocabulary Expansion Session from The Safe House)

Click on the image if the title of this article has made you want to find out more.

You could take a closer look at the words in the title first, though …

• Science?
• Proving?
• Memories?
• Passed down?
• Ancestors?

What do they mean?

Do you know them in other languages?

What ‘type ‘ of words are they?

·         Science Noun Oo
·         Proving Present participle
·         Memories Noun (plural)
Oo (!) / Ooo
·         Passed down Phrasal verb
·         Ancestors Noun (plural)

What other words can you create that link to these?

Are there any examples in the text?

Complete this table:

Oo oO Ooo oOo ooO
Science (n)proving (PP)

memories (n/pl)



passed down (Ph v)
Scientist (n)Ancestors (n/pl)



Oooo oOoo ooOo oooO  
    Scientific (adj)    
Ooooo oOooo ooOoo oooOo ooooO
    Scientifically (adv)