1. Look at this sentence: ‘She is sad about leaving.’ The word ‘about‘ is a preposition here, and the object of this preposition is ‘leaving‘. ‘Leaving‘ here is a kind of noun called a gerund.

Look at this sentence: ‘Don’t talk about my friends!‘ The object of the preposition is the noun phrase, ‘my friends‘.

Often, the object of a preposition is a gerund or a noun phrase.

2. Look at this extract from The Cook (Chapter 6). Find sentences with prepositions (and objects of prepositions):

It was now 2.30pm. Lunch finished an hour ago and she still felt happy about watching all the children eat her food. She took off her apron: now it was time to talk to the headmistress. She said goodbye to the dishwashers and left the kitchen. Soon, she was in the headmistress’s office outside her door. She knocked and went in.

3. Choose a suitable preposition to complete these sentences. What are the objects of the prepositions?

a. Candy slept  ______ a park last night.

b. The boys were arguing  ______ football.

c. The headmistress gave some money ______ Candy.

d. Candy sat ______ an all-night cafe.

e. Everyone stared _____ the knife ______ Candy’s hand.

f. Candy was unhappy ______ where she slept.

Grammar for The Cook (Chapter 6)

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1. Referents such as ‘he, it, they, one, the other, them, her‘ are important in reading (and writing). These are words that refer to something or someone mentioned previously.

2. Look at this extract from The Cook (Chapter 5) and find the referents. Decide what the referents refer to.

She looked at her own hand. In it was the heavy knife for cutting vegetables. It shone in the sunlight. She looked at the two boys. One had short, blonde hair and a grin on his face. The other was tall with ginger hair and glasses. She watched a trickle of blood run down the tall boy’s nose and drip onto the ground. No one moved or said a word. Then a door slammed and someone came out the staffroom.

3. Choose suitable referents for these sentences where the word is underlined

i. Candy slept on a bench in a park. Candy wasn’t very comfortable, but Candy slept for a little while.

ii. Candy tried to open the kitchen door, but the kitchen door was closed.

iii. Candy asked the cleaning staff to let her in, and the cleaning staff unlocked the door.

iv. Candy went to see the headmistress in her office, but the headmistress wasn’t in her office.

v. Candy gave Collins a handkerchief. Collins used a handkerchief to wipe Collins’s face.

Grammar for The Cook (Chapter 5)

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1. There are a number of ways that ‘ing‘ is used in English. Sometimes ‘ing‘ is used to form a gerund. A gerund has an ‘ing‘ ending and it acts like a noun. Gerunds can be the subject or object of sentences. For example, in the sentence ‘I enjoy swimming‘, the object is ‘swimming‘ and it is a gerund. The ‘ing‘ ending is also used to form the present continuous. For example, the sentence ‘I am writing‘ describes an action that I might be doing now or around now.

2. Look at this extract from The Cook (Chapter 5) and find the ‘ing‘ structures. Decide if they are gerunds or part of the present continuous

Suddenly, shouting filled the air. She looked out the kitchen window: a fight. ‘No!’ she called, ‘Stop!’

The two dishwashers turned and stared at her.

‘They’re fighting,’ she said and pointed to two boys in the playground. The dishwashers continued to drink their tea. One said, ‘It happens all the time, dear. Don’t worry about it.’ She looked out the window again. Now there was a crowd around the two boys. ‘Don’t go out there,’ said the other dishwasher, ‘it’s not safe.’

 3. Look at these sentences and decide if the underlined words are gerunds or part of the present progressive

a. Driving a car and talking on a phone at the same time is illegal in many countries.

b. Look at him: he’s driving and talking on his phone at the same time.

c. Talking and chewing food at the same time is rude!

d. Looking at someone’s answers in an exam is cheating.

e. Look! He’s doing it again – he’s copying her answers!



Grammar for The Cook (Chapter 5)

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