With my red man-to-man student on Saturday, I covered the lesson on imperatives. I always get a kick out of the pictures in the Smith’s curriculum. In case of many of them, no imperative warning could possibly save the person shown from sure death or severe injury. A steel I-beam falling from above is shown a few meters above the person, I doubt if the warning “Look up!” will save him. Walking over a manhole, “Watch your step!” will be too little too late. My student also realized this and switched to using more effective warnings such as “Move!”, “Turn now!” and “Stop!”. We also covered the use of imperatives to effectively get someone to do the desired action. “Take this to the post office!” or “Be sure not to forget the meeting at 2:00!” allowed me to introduce the idiom, “No sweat!” which my student thoroughly enjoyed learning as it is a convenient way between co-workers to affirm that you will do something they have requested or commanded. “Of course, it might not be appropriate to use with your boss” I told her.
She is always so much fun to work with as she absorbs everything quickly and enjoys the chance to apply what she learns as soon as possible. I complimented her on her progress and she thanked me. I ended this particular lesson with a one point on the use of “having” vs. “to have” following the verb “appreciate” (D1) in the One-Point book. We covered a few more of these and she explained that Japanese students are taught these in high school as sets. Certain verbs must be followed by the infinitive form and certain ones by the gerund form. I told her that, as a native speaker, I was never taught this but somehow managed to learn it through experience hearing or reading it many times. She said that recently she has developed a feeling for which is correct and I told her that that was the way I now remember them. She indicated that she felt good to know that she is now learning more like a native speaker. Great lesson, great student, great fun always! This again reaffirms my belief that the Smith’s system is best for both the student and teacher.