Summer grammar: rest, relaxation
In the United States, summer is a time for students to have fun, rest and Relax – at least those who do not attend the summer school.
In many countries around the world, summer is also the time to take long vacations or short trips to beautiful places.
In today’s one Everyday grammar, we will explore the grammar of rest, relaxation and summer pleasures. You will learn how the verb to have plays a central role in the description of moments of pleasure.
Let’s start with some important ideas.
Have is an unusual verb. It can act as a main verb, as in:
We had fun!
Or he can act as a auxiliary verb, a sin:
I have visited this place several times.
For today’s report, let’s explore only having in its use as the primary verb.
A common structure is have + a nominal group. A noun phrase is a group of words that act like a noun in a sentence.
Have + a nominal group can mean to own or own something.
But it can also have other meanings which are very commonly used. Many of these meanings express pleasure and relaxation.
Meals and drinks
When people go on trips, or even have time to relax at home, they often take more care in preparing and eating their meals.
Students who don’t have to rush to school may be more likely to have a heavy breakfast. Or maybe traveling families are more careful about having big dinners.
In all these cases, the structure have + a nominal group can mean to eat or drink something.
For example, a person might say any of the following:
Do you want to have lunch?
I would like to have a nibble.
To enjoy something
Have + a nominal group can also take other meanings.
One meaning is to enjoy something.
Thus, young people could describe a situation in which they had fun, or had a good time, or even had a blast.
The three statements have roughly the same meaning, with have fun being the strongest statement of all.
Consider this example:
Parent: How was your day? Have you played with your friends?
Child: Yes! I went to Teddy’s and we had a great time!
Parent: What did you do?
Child: We set a …
Parent: What did you do?
Child: Just kidding!
Have a chance or the time to do something
On summer trips, families and others finally get the chance to do something fun or different.
This brings us to the final meaning of have + a nominal group: to have a chance or the time to do something. The most common expressions are have a chance or to have time.
Consider these two examples:
When I go on summer vacation, I will have the opportunity to read books and play video games.
When I take a vacation from work, I will have time to see friends and go hiking!
While the examples we’ve explored today are for vacation or summer travel, you can use these structures to talk about all kinds of fun and relaxing times and activities. English grammar can be fun… especially when you use grammar lessons to talk about good times!
I am John Russell.
John Russell wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.
Words in this story
Relax – v. spend time resting and having fun
auxiliary verb – not. Grammar: a verb (like have, be, may, do, shall, will, can or must) which is used with another verb to show the tense of the verb, to form a question, etc.
nibble – not. a small amount of food eaten between meals