My housing provider is renovating the building

We were thoroughly underwhelmed by the movie we went to watch yesterday

December 05, 2022 10:30 am | Updated 10:30 am IST

Know your English

Know your English | Photo Credit: Getty Images

“What are you doing here? I thought you were going on a picnic with your friends.”

“Are you crazy? How can you expect us to go on a picnic in this weather? It’s been pouring since yesterday. Why don’t we watch the movie that I’d recommended last week?”

“Like you, many of my friends were raving about the movie. So, I saw it yesterday. To tell you the truth, I was underwhelmed by it.”

“Underwhelmed? Does the word even exist?”

“It exists all right! When you say that you were ‘underwhelmed by something’, what you mean is that you weren’t really impressed by it.”

“In other words, in your case, the movie didn’t really excite you. It failed to make an impact on you”

“Yes, that’s right! It didn’t excite me at all. In fact, I was disappointed by it. Here’s another example. We went with a lot of expectations. But most of us were underwhelmed by the former Vice Chancellor’s speech.”

“My friend went to buy a new phone. But he was underwhelmed by what was on offer.”

“One thing to remember is that ‘underwhelmed’ is used in informal contexts. It’s mostly used humorously.”

“Did you stay up late to watch the film?”

“No, I spent most of yesterday helping Geetha move into her new apartment.”

“Geetha didn’t tell me she was moving. But why did she? She loved the old place.”

“Yes, she really loved the place. But her home provider wanted her to…”

“Home provider?”

“Home provider and housing provider are the terms used nowadays to refer to a landlord. As you know, English is trying to be as gender neutral as possible. So, …”

“Home provider can be used to refer to both — landlord and landlady.”

“Very good! Geetha’s new home provider is a nice old lady. Very helpful.”

“That’s how most home providers are in the beginning. After some time, they’ll stop listening to your problems. Did anyone else help Geetha move?”

“Quite a few of her friends did. Geetha, together with some of her friends, is planning to go to Darjeeling during the Christmas break.”

“Shouldn’t it be, Geetha, together with her friends, are planning to go to Darjeeling?”

“No, there’s a difference between ‘together with’ and ‘and’. Adding ‘together with’ to a noun doesn’t make the subject plural.”

“In other words, what you’re saying is that the main sentence is ‘Geetha is planning to go to Darjeeling’.”

“That’s right! If you’d used ‘and’, then you would have said, Sujatha and her friends are going to Darjeeling.”

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