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Friday, January 18, 2019


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I was wondering what is the best way to contact you.

I was wondering what the best is to contact you.

Hi, Simon,
I am just confused about a sentence.
'I went to see it with a friend who is thinking of moving to Manchester', I wonder why you use 'is thinking' instead of 'was thinking'. I also found some similiar words and sentences in your paragraph such as 'as far as I remember'. As I think it was your memory, so all the paragraph should be using the past tense. What do you think?


The first sentence is fine, but I think you've missed the word 'way' in the second.



This is a good example of how 'real speech' gets complicated and seems to break some rules. I wrote "is thinking" because I wanted to communicate the idea that my friend "was and still is" thinking about moving to Manchester. My brain is thinking in past and present at the same time because the event is so recent.

Is the sentence "the walls were an off-white colour" right? Because a wall is not a colour, but a wall has a colour or a wall is painted white or red.

I think it makes sense to say that "The walls are off-white", "The walls are off-white coloured" or "The walls are painted off-white.

Thanks very much, Simon,
I am thinking about your answer. And I can better understand about the 'real speech'. So in the 'real speech', we can involve different tenses in order to show what we used to think, what we are thinking, what we will do. Before your answer, I always thought it must be using the past tense in a story, now I know it is not. If it is the person's memories, it could be the past tense, if it still exists, it would be probably the present tense.
I make it more clearly and I am so happy. Thanks again!

I also got a question about your last sentence. I knew the 'glimpse' means 'a quick look', but I could not find any example sentences about 'glimpse into', so the sentence means... from this apartment, I can see what the future apartment may embedded with a lot of up-to-the-minute technology. Do I get the right meaning? Also, why you use 'into' instead of other preposition?

he li,

In spoken English "the walls were an off-white colour" is very normal. It really means ""the walls were painted an off-white colour"


I haven't visited any apartment in my whole life, can I just talk about the kind of apartment that was on my mind? something that would be interesting for me.


Hi Simon,
Many thanks for this excellent lesson.
I have a question about the tense.
You mostly used past tense here, but I wonder if I can use simple present tense when describing the apartment.

"From the outside, the apartment is in a tall, shiny glass building - nothing too remarkable. On the inside, as far as I remember, there aren’t many different colours: the walls were an off-white colour, the floors are done in whitish tiles, and the kitchen appliances are all silver metal coloured. I think the kitchen surfaces are made from dark grey granite. The main feature, in terms of the look of the apartment, is the huge floor-to-ceiling window in the living room, which allows the sunlight to flood in."

The reason is that I think the look of this apartment is constant and doesn't change.

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