15. so / such (2) + articles

15. so / such (2) + articles

Tim's a hero

Main Practice: so  /  such (2) - articles

so and such emphasize what follows.

be + so + adjective
  • The garden was so beautiful.
  • The food was so bad that we won't go to that restaurant again.

be + such a/an + adjective + noun
  • It was such a beautiful garden.
  • This is such an easy test

such + adjective + plural or uncountable noun 
  • We had such lovely weather on our holiday.
  • He tells such terrible jokes no one ever laughs.

such + noun  (informal - again, giving stronger meaning to the following noun)
He's such a fool.
She talks such *nonsense.
That hotel is such a **dump.
You're such a hero.

It's such a mystery; we really don't know what happened.
 * nonsense - silly talk
** a dump -   a boring, unpleasant place; also: a place where rubbish is left.

There are many aspects to articles. Here, we are concerned with:
a / an 
to talk about something not mentioned before, i.e. 
I saw a car crash yesterday.
There's a new restaurant in the High Street.

with expressions: such a... what a..., i.e.
We had such a great holiday.
What a fantastic film that was.

To refer to things mentioned before, i.e.

  • Yesterday, I bought an antique table, a new sofa, and two armchairs. The table was made in the seventeenth century.

When we know what is being talked about, i.e.
  • I went to the gym yesterday. 
  • She works at the university
  • The old man in the coffee shop was very rude to a customer this morning.

To refer to groups of people, organisations, institutions, i.e.
  • The police in the UK do not routinely carry guns.
  • I think the media concentrate too much on celebrities.
  • The civil service is a bureaucracy that supports the UK government.
  • The army are recruiting now.

    No article
    To talk about something in general, or refer to general examples, i.e.
  • History is a fascinating subject.
  • Technolgy has greatly changed our lives in the last twenty years.
  • Electric cars will be everywhere soon.
  • People are choosing grey more than any other colour for their new car.

    But once the topic is specific, then:
  • The history of India is fascinating.
  • The technolgy used in the new phones is very advanced. 


(a) hero  -  people 
who show courage and / or achieve great things, (see example below).

 to interview someone -  when a journalist asks someone questions about their job or         
                                                   an experience they've had. Also, when you're questioned
                                                   about your
suitablity for a certain job. 

in the end  -  
eventually, i.e.

  • It took me a long time to decide which university to go to. In the end, I chose Liverpool.
  • I complained to the hotel manager five times. In the end, I got a 30% discount on my bill.

(an) issue  -  an important subject that needs to be talked about, i.e.
  • Global warming is one of the most important issues today.
  • Homelessness is a big issue in the UK.

(a) kagool  -  a lightweight raincoat

(to) persuade  -  to try to make someone do or believe something by discussion or argument,

  • He didn't really want to do it but I persuaded Rob to drive me to the airport.
  • As soon as she passed her driving test she persuaded her parents to buy her a car.

proud - feeling pleased or satisfied by what you or someone else has done, i.e.
  • Our daughter studied hard to get into medical school. Now she's a doctor. We're very proud of her.
  • He ran into the burning house several times to rescue people. He's a hero and the whole town is proud of him.

reckless  -  acting irresponsibly without care for the results of an action, i.e.
  • You were driving much too fast; it was very reckless of you.
  • It was reckless of him to take tourists up the mountain without warm clothing and food supplies when he knew there might be a storm.

(to) refuse  -  to say 'no'; that you cannot accept something, i.e.
  • She refused to work weekends when her boss asked her to.
  • I refuse to believe my brother is a thief. There must be some mistake.

a spectacle  -  an impressive performance or display of some kind, i.e.
The re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings was a great spectacle.

 -  very important, absolutely necessary, i.e.

  • It's vital that we get food and fresh water into the towns hit by the earthquake.
  • Clean air is vital for everyone's health, especially for children.
Tim is back home after climbing a tree to save it from being cut down by the town Council. The tree has been saved and Tim is now a local hero.

Complete the sentences.

Katie:    My brother's a hero.

Bill:       And reckless. Tim, you could've fallen out of that tree.

Tim:      But I didn't. And tree's going to be saved.

Katie:    And it's beautiful tree; how could anyone want to cut it down?

Tim:       I think all trees are beautiful. 

Sam:      And it wasn't reckless, Bill: Tim planned it well. 

Tim:       That's right. I had sandwiches, fruit juice, and a rope to tie myself to tree. 

Bill:        Well, you're lucky it's nice weather today. 

Tim:       Yes, but I had a kagool in my bag in case it rained.

Bill:        You're also lucky police didn't arrest you. When media arrived they 
                 filled road and stopped all traffic.

Sam:       Well, I'm proud of Tim; trees are vital for the health of our planet and 
                 they need to be protected. 

Katie:     Tim, look, you're on local TV news.

Bill:         God, look at that crowd.

Sam:        Yes, people love a spectacle and Tim was certainly a spectacle today.

Tim:         Wait, let's listen to what he's saying....

TV News:  Today, Tim Taylor saved tree when he climbed up it and refused to move. Even
                    police and Mayor of Downhaven could not persuade Tim to come down.
                    In the end, after Tim's mother, journalist, Sam Taylor, and TV crews arrived and
                    Mayor promised to save tree, Tim came down. Tim was interviewed
                    by South News...

Tim:            Well, environmental issues are very important today and we need all
                      trees we have. For example, we know that trees help to cut
                      air pollution, which is a huge problem in our towns and cities.


Complete the sentences with the languages you've practised.

1.  There's a lot of snow I can't get the car out of the garage. 

2.  They say that forests are the lungs of planet Earth.

3.  A long time ago there were wolves and bears in forests of Europe.

4.  This village is beautiful I want to stay here for another week. 

5.  This is a beautful village I want to stay here for another week.

6.  There used to be cinema in town but it closed three years ago. I miss it. It was    
        lovely old building; there was cafe upstairs where you could get really good
      coffee and cake before watching the film. Now, nearest cinema is in Studley, which is
      twenty miles away. I haven't got a car and * public transport is bad that going to
      see  film now takes me all day. 

*the because it is the public transport specific to the speaker's area.