Rainbow in the Desert

Rainbow in the Desert

Rainbow in the desert

New idioms are “Take my breath away” and “La-la land.” The grammar focuses on Relative Clauses.

Adam: “Do you remember the rainbow we saw in the desert?”
Sean: “It took my breath away.”
Adam: “I never saw anything like that before.”
Sean: “Me neither. It was like something out of a dream.”
Adam: “And that lone cactus, do you remember? And mountains in the distance.”
Sean: “Snow-capped mountains. And a dirt road to La-La Land on the left.”
Adam: “Probably to Mexico. Were we facing south?”
Sean: “Yes, definitely Mexico. On the other side of the mountains.”


To take my breath away means, figuratively, to overwhelm someone with beauty or grandeur; amazing; impressive. See online Idioms Dictionary.
La-la land means a state of unrealistic and idealized fancy, beyond the realms of possibility. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Snow-capped means having tops which are covered with snow. See online Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Relative Clauses

“Do you remember the rainbow we saw in the desert?” In this sentence, the relative pronoun that has been omitted (it could be expressed as “the rainbow that we saw in the desert). Various studies have shown that the vast majority of restricted relative clauses (90% in academic prose) across all registers of spoken and written English retain the relative pronoun. In this sentence the object of the main clause (“the rainbow,” a NP) is modified (adjectivally) by the relative clause (“that we saw in the desert”).

Yes-No Questions: Notice that “Do you remember?” requires only do-support in the absence of an auxiliary or copula here.


New Idioms are “Once in a blue moon” and “Spot on.” The Grammar focus is on Adjectives.

Barack: “I still remember that moment in the desert.”
Terence: “Do you mean when we saw that rainbow? Against the mountain backdrop?”
Barack: “Absolutely. The kind of landscape you only see once in a blue moon.”
Terence: “I still think we should have gone down that road to Mexico. Who knows what was down there?”
Barack: “That’s spot on, except I didn’t have a spare tire, remember? You can’t just take off for Mexico on the spur of the moment like that.”
Terence: “I know, but you can still dream. Still imagine.”
Barack: “Unfortunately we could have dreamed ourselves into an iguana hole out in the middle of nowhere, with no way out.”
Terence: “That’s pretty scary.”
Barack: “But yeah, what a magical scene, with all those colors and the thunderstorms in the distance.”


Once in a blue moon means very rarely. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Spot on means exactly right, perfectly accurate. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Take off is a phrasal verb which means to go or leave. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Spur of the moment means occurring very suddenly, impulsively, without preparation beforehand. See online Idioms Dictionary.
In the middle of nowhere means in a very distant, remote, and isolated location. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Iguana means any of various large American lizards. See online Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Adjectives

“That’s pretty scary.” Here the Adjective Phrase, “pretty scary,” is in predicative position after the copula to be (“is”). We have the same placing of the idiom “spot on,” which functions adjectivally in the sentence “That’s spot on.” The other common placement for an adjective is before the noun, and is called the “attributive” position: “The colorful rainbow caught my eye.”

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