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The Proposal

Question 1:

1. This play has been translated into English from the Russian original. Are there any expressions or ways of speaking that strike you as more Russian than English? For example, would an adult man be addressed by an older man as my darling or my treasure in an English play?

Read through the play carefully, and find expressions that you think are not used in contemporary English, and contrast these with idiomatic modern English expressions that also occur in the play.

3. Look up the following phrases in a dictionary to find out their meaning, and then use each in a sentence of your own.

(i) You may take it that

(ii) He seems to be coming round

(iii) My foot’s gone to sleep

Answer:

1. Expressions not used in contemporary English

1. “my darling”, “my beauty”, “my precious”, “my angel”, “my beloved” (here, an older man is addressing an adult man)

2. “…and so on…” (here, it is used after a sentence in order to complete it)

3. “…and all that sort of thing.” (not explaining what it is, just leaving it as it is)

4. “...and all that.” (again leaving the sentence as it is)

5. “the scarecrow”, “the stuffed s...

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