Oil Painting

Oil Painting

oil painting

Friends discuss oil painting in a small studio. The English Grammar focus is on Conditionals.

Sergio: “This is your studio?”
Detlef: “Yes, I print over there on the floor. That space is only for printing.”
Sergio: “And I guess you draw anywhere.”
Detlef: “Pretty much. If I need a special lamp, then I put it here.
Sergio: “But most of your work is painting, isn’t it?”
Detlef: “Yes, of course. Oils are my specialty.”
Sergio: “The whole space here looks so clean!”
Detlef: “That’s just the way I work. I throw down a tarp if I’m going to make a mess.”
Sergio: “Even your rags look organized.”
Detlef: “I’m anal retentive. I know my art is messy but I have to keep it all organized and clean.”
Sergio: “That’s just extra work, isn’t it?”
Detlef: “I couldn’t stand it otherwise.”


Pretty much means for the most part, mostly. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Make a mess means to leave something in a state of disarray, clutter, or dirtiness. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Anal retentive means indicating personality traits, such as extreme fastidiousness, stinginess and obstinacy, supposed by psychoanalytic theory to originate during the anal stage in habits, attitudes or values associated with infantile pleasure in retention of feces. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Conditionals

“If I need a special lamp, then I put it here.” The if-clause expresses the condition, the main clause is the outcome. This is a standard so-called “Factual Conditional” sentence.


New Idioms are “Stretch out” and “Truth be told.” The Grammar focus is on the various meanings and uses of the Conjunction “so.”

Lillian: “Show me your studio.”
Giselle: “It’s not huge. I do most of my painting in this room, over here.”
Lillian: “Wow! I’m blown away. I thought it would be larger.”
Giselle: “Sometimes I get a model who wants more space, wants to stretch out more. Then we use the back room.”
Lillian: “But this here is where you do all your main work?”
Giselle: “Ya, I don’t need much. Palette and palette knives, colored pencils and stuff you can see on that table. Spray bottles, sponges.”
Lillian: “I imagined that between paintings you might fly around more in your space, with music on or something.”
Giselle: “Truth be told, I go out dancing when I want to do that.”
Lillian: “More power to you!”


Blown away means thoroughly impressed, overwhelmed, or excited by something. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Fly around means to soar or float aloft randomly. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Stretch out means to extend and stretch one’s body to its full length. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Truth be told means I must admit, to be honest, in actuality. See online Idioms Dictionary.
More power to you! means good for you, well done, may you find success! See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: The Conjunction “so.”

In the dialogue we have Lillian’s statement “I’ve seen so much of your work.” What is the meaning of the conjunction “so”?

“So” can mean many things in English, and can be used in many different ways. One way is as an adverb of degree, e.g. “He was so sure of himself” or “They were so upset when their dog died.” This is how it is used in Lillian’s statement. A reasonable synonym is “very.”

Another meaning is as a discourse marker, when the speaker wants to indicate that one phase of the conversation is over and either another will begin, or perhaps conclusions will follow. For example, in a meeting with journalists: “Those were all the events leading up to June 16. So now, you can ask questions about all of it, if you want.”

One of the most common usages of “so” is as an inferential marker between two clauses. The first clause may present a proposition, followed by “so” and then the second clause with an inference or conclusion. For example: “She was there when the store was robbed, so she knows exactly what happened.”

This summary only partially analyzes the uses and meanings of the conjunction “so.” English students are invited to do further research.

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