Describing Your Favorite Book 

In a recent Everyday Grammar story, we asked our online listeners and fans to tell us about their favorite books. We have received many great messages from our audience around the world. Thanks everyone for the wonderful exchange.

In today’s report, we’ll take a closer look at one of these observations. Language teacher Orhan Elena wrote from Iran where he teaches Turkish.

Orhan described an important day and book in his life.

Orhan’s message

he wrote:

I am Orhan from Iran.

When I was 20 years old, I was visiting my father’s family in Tabriz which I saw cousin He was reading a book in Turkish.

We suggest removing “that” and splitting the sentence into two shorter sentences. The sentence can also use the past simple – ‘visited’ instead of ‘was visiting’.

The updated The sentence could be something like this:

When I was twenty, I visited my father’s family in Tabriz and saw my cousin reading a book in Turkish.

Orhan’s next line gives more detail about why Turkish writers are interested in him:

despite of Being millions of Turkish speakers in Iran, our mother tongue, Turkish, is not Official And there are no schools that teach in Turkish so I haven’t seen a Turkish book until that day.

We suggest breaking the sentence into shorter individual sentences and then rearranging the ideas. Let’s put the sentence, “I’ve never seen a Turkish book before that day,” first. It flows well from the sentence immediately preceding, “…and I saw my cousin reading a book in Turkish.”

There are some grammatical changes we might make as well. For example, “…there are no schools…” should be “there are no schools….”

We also suggest replacing ‘in spite of’ with ‘in spite of’.

Updated sentences may be as follows:

I had never seen a Turkish book before that day.

Although there are millions of Turkish speakers in Iran, Turkish is not an official language. There are no schools that teach in Turkish.

Then Orhan wrote:

At my request, my cousin gave me this Turkish book.

The sentence can be simplified to the following:

My cousin gave me this Turkish book.

Orhan then explained the effect the book had on his life.

I have learned Grammar By reading this book and taking an interest in Turkish literature, I went to Turkey to study Turkish literature.

We suggest using “Turkish Grammar” instead of “Turkish Grammar”. Updated sentences may be as follows:

I learned Turkish grammar by reading this book. She became interested in Turkish literature, so she went to Turkey to study the subject.

Orhan ends his article with:

This delicate book is my favorite book and has changed my entire life.

The closing words – “changed my whole life” – are the most important. They can stand as their own punishment, as in:

This gentle book is my favorite book. It changed my whole life.

concluding thoughts

Here is Orhan’s message with suggested changes:

I am Orhan from Iran.

When I was twenty, I visited my father’s family in Tabriz and saw my cousin reading a book in Turkish. I had never seen a Turkish book before that day.

Although there are millions of Turkish speakers in Iran, Turkish is not an official language. There are no schools that teach in Turkish.

My cousin gave me this Turkish book. I learned Turkish grammar by reading it. She became interested in Turkish literature, so she went to Turkey to study the subject.

This gentle book is my favorite book. It changed my whole life.

We thank Orhan for his message and wish him continued success in his education and in his studies of the English language.

If you want to receive written advice, write us a short message of 4-6 sentences. Talk about your favorite movie – when you watched it, what it means to you. Perhaps your message will be chosen for our next writing exploration daily rules.

I’m John Russell.

John Russell wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.

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The words in this story

Modernization – v. To change (something) by including the most recent information

Grammar – n. Complete system and language structure

cousin – n. A child from his uncle or aunt

despite of – to equip. In spite of

Official By following an established form, custom or rule

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