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When I arrived
in England I thought I knew English. After
I’d been here an hour I realized that I
did not understand one word. In the first
week I picked up a tolerable working knowledge
of the language and the next seven years
convinced me gradually but thoroughly that
I A , let alone perfectly. This is
sad. My only consolation being that nobody
speaks English perfectly.
Remember that those five hundred words an
average Englishman uses are B. You may learn another
five hundred and another five thousand and
yet another fifty thousand and still you
may come across a further fifty thousand
If you live here long enough you will find
out to your greatest amazement that the
adjective nice is not the only
adjective the language possesses, in spite
of the fact that D . You can say that the weather
is nice, a restaurant is nice, Mr. Soandso
is nice, Mrs. Soandso’s clothes are nice,
you had a nice time, E .
Then you have to decide on your accent.
The easiest way to give the impression of
having a good accent or no foreign accent
at all is to hold an unlit pipe in your
mouth, to mutter between your teeth and
finish all your sentences with the question:
“isn’t it?” People will not understand much,
but they are accustomed to that and they
will get a F .
whatever it costs 2. most excellent impression 3. you have never heard
of before, and nobody else either 4. in the first three years
you do not need to learn or use any other
adjectives 5. would never know it
really well 6. far from being the whole
vocabulary of the language 7. and all this will be