2.en.32 Christmas reading: “the Canterville Ghost” by Oscar Wilde

So far, we have read many newspaper articles and web pages , but we haven’t read any books in English. In one of our sessions with Liz, we talked about steretypes. We focused on American versus English. The book you will have to read during Christmas is an adaptation of the original. It was written by Oscar Wilde. It draws on the stereotypes of America and English culture and it is also a parody of Gothic novels. We’ll discuss the representation of British and American and the clash between the two cultures as it is presented in the book. We shall also investigate on the writer, Oscar Wilde. How huch do you know about him?

What do you think of this quote? Oscar Wilde was very witty, so he is a never ending source for quote lovers.

During Chritmas vacation, you must read a short adaptation of a classic book The Canterville Ghost. The book is a parody of gothic novels but also a humorous picture of the culture clash between a sixteenth-century English ghost and a late nineteenth-century American family.

Last year we did lots of work with  Onomatopoeia. Do you remember?   if you had to produce a sound track for a gothic novel  you’d need to be able to produce...spooky sounds. Now, with you tube at hand, you would have an endless choice. Maybe you can contribute with some suggestions. But if you had to describe those sounds with words, what would you do? 

wind, especially howling rain, especially blowing
doors grating on rusty hinges sighs, moans, howls, eerie sounds
footsteps approaching clanking chains
lights in abandoned rooms gusts of wind blowing out lights
characters trapped in a room doors suddenly slamming shut
ruins of buildings baying of distant dogs (or wolves?)
thunder and lightning crazed laughter

You can download the text in pdf from hereYou can also read it directly in the site, and do the comprehension question exercises.

The site where this version of the Canterville Ghost is found, English on line grammar 4U,  is also very good to do some revision of verbal tenses and exercises.

I recommend you to do 4 sets of exercises:  simple presentpresent progressivesimple past and irregular verbs (levels 0,1 and 2). After Christmas, we shall start writing short narratives and you cannot make mistakes with these basic tenses.



Post to the blog the time you sit down to do the exercises and feed back on the ones you do. Remember to keep a record of the time it took you to do them.  After Christmas,  there will be a test on the Canterville Ghost. Further information on Oscar Wilde by clicking here.

You might try to read the beginning of the book. But try the original version, not the abridged one. It will  let you catch a glimpse of the irony, wit and richness of Oscar Wilde’s writing. Something which is lost in the abridged version.  In Amazon, you can read the first pages of most books. Let’s see if you manage to read the first page of The Canterville Ghost. Post feedback to the blog. Did you find it very difficult?
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26 Respostes to “2.en.32 Christmas reading: “the Canterville Ghost” by Oscar Wilde”

  1. claramulet Says:

    I spent one hour and 15 minuts to finish the exercices of grmmar.
    Part 3

    Write the verbs in simple past.

    1. After a while, the three bears returned’return’ is a regular verb (just add ‘ed’)(i) home.
    2. One look at their bowls and chairs and they started wondering. Something wasn’t’start’ is a regular verb (just add ‘ed’)
    negative sentences: was (because ‘something’ is third person singular) + not(i) right.
    3. They came into the bedroom. And there they saw’come’ is an irregular verb (come-came-come)
    ‘see’ is an irregular verb (see-saw-seen)(i) little Goldilocks in Baby Bear’s bed.
    4. The three bears watched her for a while and then they waked’watch’ is a regular verb (just add ‘ed’)
    ‘wake’ has an irregular past form (wake-woke-woken) and a regular past form (just add ‘ed’)(i) her up.
    5. Goldilocks opened’open’ is a regular verb (just add ‘ed’)(i) her eyes.
    6. She saw the bears, began to scream and as fast as she could, Goldilocks ranThese are all irregular verbs: see-saw-seen, begin-began-begun, can-could, run-ran-run(i) out of the bears’ house.
    7. The three bears followed’follow’ is a regular verb (just add ‘ed’)(i) her.
    8. But at the edge of the wood, the bears suddenly stopped’stop’ is a regular verb. Note, however: after a short stressed vowel (o) the final consonant (p) is doubled when adding ‘ed’.(i) .
    9. Frightened little Goldilocks, however, didn’t stopnegative sentences: did + not + infinitive (stop)(i) .
    10. She hurried’hurry’ is a regular verb. Note, however: final ‘y’ after a consonant (r) becomes ‘i’ when adding ‘ed'(i) home to her parents.
    11. And she never visited’visit’ is a regular verb (just add ‘ed’)(i) the bears’ house again.

  2. claramulet Says:

    Correction: grammar.

  3. claramulet Says:

    I found the first page a little difficult.

  4. vladis890 Says:

    I spent one hour and 20 minuts to finish the grammar exercices.

    Once upon a time there were three bears: huge Papa Bear, ordinary Mama Bear and tiny little Baby Bear. They lived (only add ‘d) in a great big wood.
    One day, ordinary Mama Bear cooked a delicious porridge for her family and put (irregular verb “put-put-put”) it into bowls: a huge bowl for huge Papa Bear, an ordinary bowl for ordinary Mama Bear and a tiny little bowl for tiny little Baby Bear.
    To give the porridge some time to cool down, the three bears went (irregular verb “go-went-gone”)for a walk.
    Near the great big wood, there lived a little girl called Goldilocks.
    She was not allowed to go into the wood. But one day, she sneaked out of the house and ran (irregular verb “run-ran-run”) into the great big wood.
    After a while, she came (irregular verb “come-came-come”) to the house of the three bears.
    She knocked at the door. She looked through the windows. But nobody seemed (just add ‘ed) to be there.
    So, little Goldilocks stepped inside.

    Did you find it very difficult?
    -No, I didn’t.

  5. juliamulet Says:

    -I spend one hour and ten minuts.
    Simple Present
    Exercise on Affirmative Sentences
    Arrange the words to make sentences in simple present.
    I / to collect stamps – I collect stamps.
    we / to play card games – We play card games.
    he / to read comics – He reads comics.
    Chris / to sing in a band – Chris sings in a band.
    we / to have a hamster – We have a hamster.
    Andy and John / to like cola – Andy and John like cola.
    she / to be nice – She is nice.
    they / to help their parents – They help their parents.
    the children / to speak English – The children speak English.
    I / to buy a newspaper every Saturday – I buy a newspaper every Saturday.
    Did you find it very difficult?
    I find it a little difficult.

  6. vidalandreu98 Says:

    Some exercises were a little bit difficult at the beginning, but at the ending was more easy. I think that those exercises are very useful because now I can form sentences with safety.

  7. vidalsiquierj Says:

    I a little bit more than 1 hour. It’s not very difficult.

  8. janpacha100 Says:

    I used 2 hours more or less doing the grammar exercises and i found the exercises some difficult

    I / to collect stamps – I collect stamps.
    we / to play card games – We play card games.
    he / to read comics – He reads comics.
    Chris / to sing in a band – Chris sings in a band.
    we / to have a hamster – We have a hamster.
    Andy and John / to like cola – Andy and John like cola.
    she / to be nice – She is nice.
    they / to help their parents – They help their parents.
    the children / to speak English – The children speak English.
    I / to buy a newspaper every Saturday – I buy a newspaper every Saturday.

  9. ariadnaoliver Says:

    -I spend one hour and 45 minutes doing the grammar exercices.

    -Present progressive; affirmative sensences.
    1. I / to read a book – I am reading a book.
    2. it / to rain – It is raining.
    3. he / to repair his bike – He is repairing his bike.
    4. they / to watch a film – They are watching a film.
    5. the cat /to sleep on the chair – The cat is sleeping on the chair.
    6. Jane and Emily / to do their homework – Jane and Emily are doing their homework.
    7. Bill / to wait at the bus stop – Bill is waiting at the bus stop.
    8. we / to listen to the radio – We are listening to the radio.
    9. the children / to play a game – The children is playing a game.
    10. Laura / to walk the dog – Laura is walking the dog.

    -I found a little big difficult the original first page.

  10. elenaa98 Says:

    I spent one hour and five minuts doing the grammar exercises and I found them easy.

    Present progressive.
    Exercise on questions with interrogative particles.

    Ashley is going to a restaurant. – Where is Ashley going?
    Gareth is reading the paper. – Who is reading the paper?
    Stacey is playing in the garden. – Where is Stacey playing?
    She is wearing a red dress. – Who is wearing a red dress?
    Britney is doing her homework. – What is Britney doing?
    Mandy is leaving at nine. – When is Mandy leaving?
    Joe is repairing his bike. – What is Joe repairing?
    Amanda is going out with Dan. – Who is going out with Dan?
    They are meeting at two o’clock. – When are they meeting?
    Sandy is looking for Phil. – What is Sandy doing?

  11. marinaescarpa11 Says:

    I spent one hour and a half to do the grammar and searh the vocabulary.
    Exercise on Simple Past
    Exercise Was or Were?
    *I was happy
    *You were angry
    *She was in London last week.
    *He was on holiday.
    *It was cold.
    *We were at school
    *You were at the cinema
    *They were at home.
    *The cat was on the roof
    *The children were in the garden.

  12. jospomar Says:

    It took me about one hour and a half doing the gramar exercises.It was more or less easy

  13. isidelatorre Says:

    I spend one hour and ten minuts more or less doing the grammar exercises and I found it a little bit difficult.

    Exercise on affirmative sentences
    Use the words below to make sentences in present progressive.

    I / to read a book – I am reading a book.
    it / to rain – It is raining.
    he / to repair his bike – He is repairing his bike.
    they / to watch a film – They are watching a film.
    the cat /to sleep on the chair – The cat is sleeping on the chair.
    Jane and Emily / to do their homework – Jane and Emily are doing their homework.
    Bill / to wait at the bus stop – Bill is waiting at the bus stop.
    we / to listen to the radio – We are listening to the radio.
    the children / to play a game – The children are playing a game.
    Laura / to walk the dog – Laura is walking the dog.

  14. merysantos1998 Says:

    I spent 30 minuts to do all the grammar exercices. I found easy this task.

  15. tonitorner Says:

    I spent one hour and ten minutes to do the grammar exercices. I found the irregular verbs a little bit difficuld and the other exercices easy.

    Present Progressive – Form
    Exercise on questions I

    Peter / to go / to the cinema – Is Peter going to the cinema?
    they / to play / a game – Are they playing a game?
    she / to listen /to the radio – Is she listening to the radio?
    I / to dream – Am I dreaming?
    they / to pack / their bags – Are they packing their bags?
    you / to do / the washing-up – Are you doing the washing-up?
    we / to talk / too fast – Are we talking too fast?
    they / to clean / the windows – Are they cleaning the windows?
    she / to watch / the news – Is she watching the news?
    you / to pull / my leg – Are you pulling my leg?

  16. tomasGD Says:

    I spent one hour and fifty minutes to do the grammar exercices. I found that the exercise of irregular verbs a bit difficult.

  17. margaabauza Says:

    I spent 1 hour to do the grammar exercices.

  18. andreafr98 Says:

    *I spent one hour and a half to do the grammar exercices.

  19. jhazminmarmol Says:

    I spent approximately one hour to do the grammar exercises.

  20. marinabarcenas Says:

    I spent more or less 1 hour and half to do the grammar exercises

  21. paulinguigs Says:

    I spent approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to do all the grammar exercises.

  22. psocies Says:

    I spent 1 hour for the gramma exercises

  23. sergiomr226 Says:

    I spent one hour doing the grammar exercises. I think there are a little bir easy.

    Present Progressive – Form

    Form:

    affirmative negative question
    I I am working. I am not working. Am I working?
    you You are jumping. You are not jumping. Are you jumping?
    he He is dreaming. He is not dreaming. Is he dreaming?
    she She is sleeping. She is not sleeping. Is she sleeping?
    it It is snowing. It is not snowing. Is it snowing
    we We are singing. We are not singing. Are we singing?
    you You are fighting. You are not fighting. Are you fighting?
    they They are reading. They are not reading. Are they reading?


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