Home Green Home: Fireplace Inserts


Writing tips – Compound nouns

Grammar – Indefinite Pronouns

Answers Sheet: “Women at Arms: Mother and Medic”

Home Green Home: Fireplace Inserts

Video podcast

Quote of the Day:


Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)

“If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.”





Find a way to put it to useTo employ for some purpose, put into service, make use of
FireplaceHearth, the part of a chimney that opens into a room and in which fuel is burned
Feel ambient warmthTo feel warmth in the surrounding environment
FurnaceA heating apparatus, heater
Furnace was kicking on more oftenThe furnace was turning on more often
You end up losing a lot of heat up your chimneyAs a result a lot of heat goes out through the chimney
Fireplace insertIs similar to a free-standing wood stove inserted into a fireplace
Rob heat from the houseSteals or sips the heat away from the house
Notoriously pollutingwidely and unfavourably known as a great pollutant
New tax credit shaved 30 per cent off our purchaseNew 30% tax credit discount offered by the federal government on purchases of fireplace insertsShaved off means reduced or deducted
How soon can this investment pay back to me?How soon can I expect to receive profit from this investment?
Get one third of your money back right off your batTo have 30% or 1/3 of your money returned right awayGet back – reimbursed, returned; right off the bat – right away, immediately
To file for a tax rebate in the springTo apply for a qualified tax return or reimbursement in the spring



Instructions for completing the listening exercise

Listen to the recording once and answer the questions below.

Read the Vocabulary, and listen to the recording the second time. Correct and complete your answers.

Read the Script and check your answers

  1. Why did Tom decide to replace his fireplace insert? What was wrong with Tom’s fireplace as it was?
  2. How did the government encourage households to improve their fireplaces?
  3. How quickly does Tom expect that his investment into purchasing of a new fireplace insert will pay back in the form of saved heating and electricity bills?


Summarize in 50 words or less the main point of the recording you have listened to.



Writing tips – Compound nouns

There are three forms of compound words:

The closed form, in which the words are melded together, such as firefly, secondhand, softball, childlike, crosstown, redhead, keyboard, makeup, notebook;

The hyphenated form, such as daughter-in-law, master-at-arms, over-the-counter, six-pack, six-year-old, mass-produced;

The open form, such as post office, real estate, middle class, full moon, half sister, attorney general.

Modifying compounds are often hyphenated to avoid confusion.

The New York Public Library’s Writer’s Guide points out that an old-furniture salesman clearly deals in old furniture, but an old furniture salesman would be an old man. We probably would not have the same ambiguity, however, about a used car dealer.

When compounded modifiers precede a noun, they are often hyphenated: part-time teacher, fifty-yard-wide field, fire-resistant curtains, high-speed chase.

When those same modifying words come after the noun, however, they are not hyphenated: a field fifty yards wide, curtains that are fire resistant, etc. The second-rate opera company gave a performance that was first rate.

When modifying a person with his or her age, the compounded phrase is hyphenated: my six-year-old son. However, when the age comes after the person, we don’t use a hyphen. My son is six years old. He is, however, a six-year-old.

Try it

Please correct the use of compound nouns in this paragraph.


Two and a half years ago, my fifty-two year-old brother-in-law, a highly-respected (and, might I add, well paid) vice president of a bank, moved to the forty-third floor of a high-rise apartment building in New York City. The building was brand-new and still about three-quarters empty. For us, this was unheard of luxury, and I remember standing in my in-laws’ living-room, looking out at all those sky-scrapers and down on Central Park under a full-moon in a coal-black sky, and thinking, “This is it! This is the best the twentieth-century has to offer!”

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Grammar – Indefinite Pronouns

Everyone and everybody certainly feel like more than one person and, therefore, students are sometimes tempted to use a plural verb with them. They are always singular, though.


Everyone has finished his or her homework.

You would always say, “Everybody is here.” This means that the word is singular and nothing will change that.

Each is often followed by a prepositional phrase ending in a plural word (Each of the cars), thus confusing the verb choice. Each, too, is always singular and requires a singular verb.

Each of the students is responsible for doing his or her work in the library.

Don’t let the word “students” confuse you; the subject is each and each is always singular — Each is responsible.

Use Some- (somebody, someone) in affirmative sentences (positive ones), offers and confirmations.

Use Any- (anybody, anyone) in negative sentences and questions.

I saw somebody there.
I did not see anybody there.
Did you see anybody there?
Would you like something better?

Anybody, nobody and somebody mean the same as anyone, no-one and nobody respectively. No-one can also be written no one.


Try It

Fill in the gaps with somebody, anybody, nobody, something, anything, nothing, somewhere, anywhere or nowhere.

1. I know __________ about this issue that you may find interesting, but if I tell you, you must promise to keep it (a) secret.

2. __________ lives here. There is no water.

3. I spent the night __________ near the beach.

4. __________ could have jumped over this wall, and stole your rake. It’s very low.

5. __________ scares him. He’s very brave.

6. There is __________ to park here. Let’s go __________ else to park.

7. Would you like __________ to wash your hands?



Answers Sheet: “Women at Arms: Mother and Medic”


What challenges did Ms. Holschlag experience when she returned from her deployment in Iraq?

She felt that she failed her family. She had to cope with the posttraumatic stress disorder, rebuild a broken relationship with her two children and make the living on her own being a single mother.


When and why did Ms. Holschlag enlist as a medic in Iraq?

After the 9/11 terrorist attack in N.Y. and coming from a family with a military background, she felt compelled to serve her duty to the country.


How many single mothers have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001?



How long was Ms. Holschlag deployed in Iraq for the first time?

For 15 months


Why did Ms. Holschlag want to redeploy in Iraq after going through such a difficult come back?

She felt she was letting down her kids by being unable to provide for her family on her own, being constantly very stressed and irritated. A well-paid service in the Army seemed as a viable alternative.


What made Ms. Holschlag decide against her redeployment?

A simulated training course she had taken prior to her redeployment helped her recognize her traumatized mental behaviour and that any further separation from her family would inadvertently undermine her relationship with her children.




Write a 50 words or less summary of the recording you have listened to.

The aftermath of 9/11 attack led Ms. Holschlag to enlist as a medic in Iraq. The following 15 months’ separation from her children coupled with the posttraumatic mental disorder made her come back a real challenge for her as well as the rest of the family, subjecting her future career and role in the family.




Writing tips – Separating Coordinate Adjectives

Use “,” (comma) to separate coordinate adjectives.

For example,

“That tall, distinguished, good looking fellow”, as opposed to, “the little old lady”

If you can put an and or a but between the adjectives, a comma will probably belong there.

For example, “He is a tall and distinguished fellow” or “I live in a very old and run-down house.”

It is the same as, “He is a tall, distinguished man” and “I live in a very old, run-down house.”

But, you wouldn’t probably say, “She is a little and old lady,” or “I live in a little and purple house.” Commas would not appear between little and old or between little and purple.

Try it

The last book I read was interesting, exciting. (The last book I read was interesting and exciting.)


We went to a small Italian restaurant.


He bought a powerful, sporty car. (He bought a powerful and sporty car.)


A compact sporty car roared by like lighting.

Grammar – Present Perfect Simple and Present Perfect Continuous

Present Perfect Simple

Finished actions with current relevance

What happened, not when!

Key words: Just, Already, Yet


(has or have + 3rd form of the verb)

I have worked. He has worked. We have worked.

I haven’t worked. He hasn’t worked. We haven’t worked.

Present Perfect Continuous


(has or have been verb+ing)

I have been working. He has been working. We have been working.

I haven’t been working. He hasn’t been working. We haven’t been working.

Present Perfect Simple: John has just finished his report.

Present Perfect Continuous: John has been finishing his report all day.

Present Perfect Simple: Jane has already shopped at this supermarket.

Present Perfect Continuous: Jane has been shopping at this supermarket for 10 minutes.

Present Perfect Simple: I have not spoken with Jack today, yet.

Present Perfect Continuous: I have been speaking with Jack for five minutes.

Try It

Correct these sentences

We have walked ten kilometres.


We have been walking for three hours.


You have been walking too fast. That’s why you are tired.


He has eaten seven ice-creams.


He has been having dinner for half an hour.


I have picked up 5 apples.


I have been picking up apples since this morning.


Our team has performed very well since the beginning of the quarter.


Our team has generated 50 million in sales this month.


I have tried to pass this exam twice.


I have been studying for this exam for 5 days.

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