Shakespeare, Dickens and more... Britain's literary history is world class, and Richard speaks to experts about some of the country's greatest writers.

Task 1

Which of these things does Richard do?

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Task 2

Which sentences are true?

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Task 3

Make sentences from the video by putting the words in the correct order.

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Task 4

Use must/can/might + present tense for present possibilities, and must/might/can + have + past participle to talk about possibility in the past. Use the negative if you need it.

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Yes, I read Classic books. I've read some Shakespeare plays at university. I also love crime books like Conan Doyle's and Dorothy L. Sawyers's books but my favorite author is Agatha Christie.
Here in Brazil We have many famous writers but the greatest of all time is probably Machado de Assis. Nowadays, Paulo Coelho is probably the most famous writer because I've heard that he is very well-known outside of Brazil.

I have read mainly technical books, a few classical in my language as "100 years of Solitude", of colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from my country I have read some books of Mario Vargas Llosa, I like of positive literature as "Your erroneous zone", " the sky's the limit" and many other of Wayne Dyer, the last one that I have read was "Unlimited power" of Tony Robbins, it seems marvelous, I like this type of literature.

I like the classic authors. I like Robert Louis Stevenson and Conan Doyle (which is not classic, but is good anyway). I'm from Brazil, and here the most important writer we had was Machado de Assis. He lived in the 1800'.

Hello everyone..
☆ Do you read classic books?
- I like reading classic books. I think through classic literatures we can find the root of many modern cultures and they might even serve as inspiration for you to make your own art.
☆ Which other English writers do you know?
- I know English writer like Lord Byron, one of the greatest British poets. He was a 19th century, Romantic famous for writing the poem 'Don Juan'.
His biography are bizarre, interesting and often involve petty insults.
☆ Who are the great authors in your language?
- One of the most famous writers with great literature in my language is Chairul Anwar. To talk about Mr. Anwar is to talk about brilliance. His impact and influence in the world of poetry and the political situation in Indonesia is deep. To Indonesian people, his image strongly symbolizes an example of someone who will fight for his beliefs. Even though he often faced danger because of his bravery, he still pressed on.

I usually read technical books, but i like Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter written by Conan Doyle and J K Rowling.

As I remember when I was in a childhood I didn't like reading at all. Well, now I have absolutely opposite opinion - I am really love reading classic books. But unfortunately there is so little time to do it.
As for English writers I like novels which were written by Jane Ostin. Besides, Brontë sisters are great - one of my favorite books is Jane Eyre. But not only novels attract me - novels-dystopias written by George Orwell and Aldous Huxley are unforgettable.
The greatest writer in my language is undoubtedly Alexsander Pushkin. But his is not the only one - Lev Tolsltoy, Fedor Dostoevskiy, Maxim Gorkiy and many others are significant persins in russian literature.

Why do you say "Dickens was popular in his day, but his work has never gone out of print." His novels were printed during his life. Or I do not understand something?

Hello OlgaM,

Dickens is no longer alive and so 'his day' here refers to a finished time period; therefore the past simple is used ('was').

The phrase 'be in print' means that they are available to buy and read. Sometimes a book is no longer selling well so the publisher decides not to print any new copies, and then we can say that the book 'is out of print'. This means that the second clause refers to an unfinished time period ('never' - a time which is still continuing), describing the whole time since the books were first printed up to and including the present moment. Therefore the present perfect is used ('have never gone').

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank You, PeterM! I have understood about the verb tenses, but I don't understand why but. Dickens was very popular at his time. His books were published in his time and are publishing now. Why but?

Hello OlgaM,

We often see people who were popular in their day but who then become less popular as time goes by. DIckens is a writer who does not fit this pattern because he is still popular today. It would be fine to use 'and' here instead of 'but'. It all depends upon whether or not you think it is surprising that Dickens' popularity has remained high after his death.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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