The Fisherman and His Wife – English Fairy Tale

The Fisherman and His Wife – An English fairy tale by Brothers Grimm with a podcast and visual dictionary in context and text-to-speech to improve your English Source of story: Gutenberg Project at www.gutenberg.org Listen to the audiobook below. The Fisherman and His Wife There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a … Read more

This lesson was published on Jun 29, 2021 by

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4 comments on “The Fisherman and His Wife – English Fairy Tale”

  1. Hello Dr.Hariri. I have a few questions:
    1. ( All day long a-fishing) what does a-fishing mean here?
    2. (There is not near room enough for us.) what does near mean here?
    3. ( we ought to be easy with this cottage) what does (to be easy) here mean?
    4. What does this sentence mean? ( The least no larger than a small rushlight.)
    5. Why don’t the words king and pope have The before them?
    6. what does the word leave mean here? ( sun and moon rise without my leave)
    7. Started and fell out the bed. What does the word (start) mean here?
    8. What does this phrase mean? ( So away the fisherman)
    9. (The fish cannot make you a king?) Why here the author had used question mark?

    • Hi Armaghan. These are not a few questions, but several questions! A few means a couple of. I’m glad you’re asking a lot of questions as it shows that you’re paying enough attention and you’re learning. Keep doing that.
      1. a-gerund (verb + ing) is an old-fashioned style in English emphasizing the continuity of an action, which is fishing in this sentence.
      2. Near is an adverb here which means almost, practically, nearly or not quite. It means “almost we don’t have enough room or space here”.
      3. Easy here means comfortable and satisfied with what you already have.
      4. And on each side of her were two rows of burning lights, of all sizes, the greatest as large as the highest and biggest tower in the world, and the least no larger than a small rushlight.
      You need to go back to previous sentences and read them as well. An analogy is being made on the brightness and magnitude of the burning lights, the greatest, as high as towers, and the lowest and least of them almost at the same size of rush-lights, which were like lanterns in the past.
      5. First of all, the style of this story does not comply with modern English. Perhaps, the writers wanted to make it clear that they were not referring to the well-known pope and king. That’s why they omitted ‘the’ to make it indefinite or unknown.
      6. Leave here is a noun and it means permission or consent.
      7. Started here means jumped, recoiled and flinched due to fear.
      8. So = therefore. Therefore the fisherman went away from the fish as the fish had ordered him by saying, “Go home”.
      9. it must be connected to the previous question which doesn’t have any question mark. The two questions are connected to each other with a hyphen. Another explanation is that sometimes we pose rhetorical questions whose answers are already clear and the purpose of these rhetorical questions is to put emphasis on something.

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