Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping

Two friends discuss Christmas shopping. The English Grammar focuses on the Present Progressive.

Halo: “Hi Naima, what are you doing?”
Naima: “Going Christmas shopping. I’m going to buy some boots for my brother.
Halo: “Good idea. I assume you know his size.”
Naima: “All my life. My brother and I are pretty close.”
Halo: “Wish I had a brother like that.”
Naima: “Ya, I’m lucky, I know it. He watches out for me.”
Halo: “Wow, that’s really something. Wish he would do that for me.”
Naima: “He doesn’t even know you!”
Halo: “I realize that. I wish I had somebody like that, however.”
Naima: “My father died young. He made my brother promise to take care of me.”
Halo: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that.”
Naima: “It’s okay, it happened a long time ago.”


Watch out for means to watch over and care for someone. See online Idioms Dictionary.
That’s really something means it is particularly noteworthy, remarkable, special, or impressive. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Present Progressive

“I’m going to buy some boots for my brother.” The present progressive here “I’m going to buy” expresses the future when an event is planned. This occurs usually with a future-time adverbial but may be an event that is seen to be in progress, as we have here in our Dialogue.


New Idioms are “Barrel of laughs” and “Sitting pretty.” The English Grammar focus is on the Stative Verb “look.”

Gary: “Those shoes look a little big for you.”
Susan: “I’ve been doing some early Christmas shopping for my brother.”
Gary: “What size does he wear, anyway?”
Susan: “He wears a 12E, he has really wide feet. And a high arch.”
Gary: “Is that size hard to find?”
Susan: “Not really, there’s a store right near the mall that caters to big men.”
Gary: “Sometimes I realize we’re so lucky we don’t live in the 12th century.”
Susan: “I know, I think about it all the time.”
Gary: “You’re funny, you know that?”
Susan: “I’m a barrel of laughs. But truly, we’re in clover compared to back then. Even fifty years ago there was no Internet.”
Gary: “And no Android phones.”
Susan: “Yep, we’re sitting pretty compared to the past.”
Gary: “Definitely compared to the 12th century. No worries about being burned at the stake, for example.”
Susan: “But we still have plagues.”
Gary: “Life isn’t perfect yet, but we’re working on it!”


Barrel of laughs means funny, pleasant, a source of fun or amusement. See the online Idioms Dictionary.
In clover as an idiom means living a carefree life of ease, comfort or prosperity. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Sitting pretty means in an ideal living situation or advantageous position. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Stative Verbs

Stative Verbs describe a state or stable situation, probably continuing indefinitely. They are often broken into subcategories: Mental and Sensory Perception, Possession, Emotions and Opinions, Description, and Measurement. In Description we have such verbs as be, appear, seem, look, and resemble. In Emotions we have like, love, desire, feel, want, and doubt. Stative verbs are said to be incompatible with the progressive aspect, but this is not always true.

In the illustrative sentence “Those shoes look a little big for you.” the shoes look big, the verb belongs to the Descriptive category and the situation may be thought of as continuing indefinitely. The progressive, “Those shoes are looking a little big for you,” would generally be disallowed but only possible in unusual circumstances, as “look” is a stative verb.

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