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  1. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #1

    Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    The following is what I've seen from the textbook for teaching English named" Oxford English":
    One boy says: " That tree fell on the canteen in the storm last night."
    another says:"What a pity/shame!"
    My question : Is the sentence proper in such a situation? I thought only when someone feels disappointed, he or she may say: what a pity/shame. But here it is almost a disaster (a tree fell on the canteen). Doesn't it sound a little too careless?


    Another question: How do students at school address their teachers? Do they say: Mr... or Ms...? Is there a time when they directly address a teacher "teacher"? What if a student does not know the teacher's name? How does he address the teacher?

    Thanks for your patient replies!

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    The following is what I've seen from the textbook for teaching English named" Oxford English":
    One boy says: " That tree fell on the canteen in the storm last night."
    another says:"What a pity/shame!"
    My question : Is the sentence proper in such a situation? I thought only when someone feels disappointed, he or she may say: what a pity/shame. But here it is almost a disaster (a tree fell on the canteen). Doesn't it sound a little too careless?

    "What a pity" really doesn't sound dramatic enough for such a situation, in my opinion.


    Another question: How do students at school address their teachers? Do they say: Mr... or Ms...? Is there a time when they directly address a teacher "teacher"? What if a student does not know the teacher's name? How does he address the teacher?

    In my schooldays, teachers were referred to as "Mr xxx" or "Miss/Mrs xxxx". We always knew their names. When I went to Sixth Form College at the age of 16, some teachers asked us to address them by their first name, some as "Mr/Miss/Mrs xxxx". There was only one teachers at that college who insisted on being called "Sir". In the UK, that would be the address used if no name were involved. I don't know if calling a female teacher simply "Miss" is still done.

    Thanks for your patient replies!
    See above. For future reference, please put totally unconnected questions in two separate threads - the answers can get very confused with two different questions in one thread. Thanks.

  3. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    See above. For future reference, please put totally unconnected questions in two separate threads - the answers can get very confused with two different questions in one thread. Thanks.

    Thank your for your advice, and I will be careful about that in future.
    As for your reply to the address of the teacher, how come a student knows all the teachers' names in a school? So a student never calls a teacer "teacher" at school?

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    Thank your for your advice, and I will be careful about that in future.
    As for your reply to the address of the teacher, how come a student knows all the teachers' names in a school? So a student never calls a teacer "teacher" at school?
    To be honest, I have no recollection how we learnt all the teachers names at school. Maybe they wore name labels at my first two schools. Of course, when we first started a school, we couldn't know all their names so I think we called them "Miss" and "Sir" until we knew their names. I don't think (at my schools) anyone ever simply said "Teacher", no.

  5. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    To be honest, I have no recollection how we learnt all the teachers names at school. Maybe they wore name labels at my first two schools. Of course, when we first started a school, we couldn't know all their names so I think we called them "Miss" and "Sir" until we knew their names. I don't think (at my schools) anyone ever simply said "Teacher", no.

    You are really quick in replying! What if the student does not know a female teacher's name and this teacher happens to be married? Can the student still call her "Miss"?
    Last edited by roseriver1012; 16-Nov-2011 at 09:13.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Yes. If pupils don't use a female teacher's name, they always address her as 'Miss'.

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    #7

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    You might sometimes notice that the English have a strange idea about the seriousness of things. All part of the English love of understatement.

    As an example, a multi-car pile-up on the motorway might be described as 'a spot of bother on the way', but the fridge breaking down would be 'an absolute catastrophe!!'.

  7. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by waflob View Post
    You might sometimes notice that the English have a strange idea about the seriousness of things. All part of the English love of understatement.

    As an example, a multi-car pile-up on the motorway might be described as 'a spot of bother on the way', but the fridge breaking down would be 'an absolute catastrophe!!'.

    Then do you mean that "what a pity/shame" is ok to say in the situation I mentioned?

  8. roseriver1012's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Yes. If pupils don't use a female teacher's name, they always address her as 'Miss'.

    So can I safely say that Ms.is always used with names? Thanks for your reply.

  9. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Can I say"what a pity"in such a situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by roseriver1012 View Post
    So can I safely say that Ms. is always used with names?
    No. Nobody has suggested that.

    If you have been told the teacher's name, then you address her in the form you have been told: Dr Foster, Miss Construe, Mrs Jordan, Ms Francis.

    If you know the teacher's name, but do not know how she wishes to be addressed, then it is safest to use 'Ms': Ms Foster, Ms Construe, Ms Jordan, Ms Francis. The teacher will tell you if she wishes to be addressed in a different way.

    If you do not know the teacher's name, then you address her as 'Miss'.

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