Chapter 8: The Meeting

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Swedish Again: Chapter-By-Chapter Guide

Questions for Understanding

  1. What type of friend was Marie?
  2. Who attended the meeting?
  3. What happened to Rory as a result of the meeting?
  4. What type of online form did Anna fill out after the meeting?

Questions for Group Reflection and Discussion

  1. On page 82, Anna says that “if you gave life an inch, it took a mile.” In this case, what did she mean? Did she want to become a Swedish citizen again? If not, what did she want?
  2. Describe Sinead’s personality. In what ways do you think it will be challenging to parent her? In what ways could it be easy?

Ideas for Further Consideration

  • In this situation, Anna decides to take a year off from work and take care of the children. Have you ever taken time off from work to do something specific? What types of things might cause you to willingly interrupt your regular life pattern?
  • Have you ever attended a meeting that completely changed your life? If so, what type of meeting was it, and how did your life change?
  • The last section of this chapter refers to online dangers. In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of social media and its possible dangers?

Especially for English Language Learners

Key Words and Expressions:

“…pay the HOA fees…” = This means the Home Owners Association fees, which means Anna’s home is a condominium. She owns it, but it is part of a community of homes. (p. 80)

“the long-awaited meeting” = something (here, a meeting) someone has waited for for a long time (p. 80)

“if you gave life an inch, it took a mile” = This means that if you give a little concession (compromise), it will encourage someone to take much more. For example, if you give a small thing to someone, they will become greedy and try to get more and more. (p. 82)

“…she was quite a conversationalist.” = Sinead was good at talking and holding conversations with people; she was friendly and outgoing. (p. 84)

“…a lot of coined phrases…” = It means she was using expressions which she had probably heard from other people. She was copying expressions from somewhere. (p.84)

“Easier said than done.” = This is something which is easy to talk about but hard to accomplish. (p.86)

Grammar Focus:

Reported Speech

Sometimes we can expression speech without using quotation marks. This is called “reported speech” and has some grammar rules.

  1. It is common to use “said that” or “told me that” to begin a reported speech phrase. It is less common to use “said to me that,” but that’s also an option.
  2. The phrase will usually be in past tense, following the word “said” or “told.” It can also be in past perfect tense to emphasize that the action happened before the report of it. It is not usually in present tense even if the quote is present tense. In casual talking, however, it can be in present tense, too.

Examples and “translations” into quotes:

“Lars and Lena recounted how (that) they had accompanied the children to the hospital…” (p. 81)

= quote: “We accompanied the children to the hospital.”

“…and Sean said that crowds made him nervous…” (p. 81)

= quote: “Crowds make me nervous.”

“…she told me again and again how much her dad loved her and did everything for her…” (p. 84)

= quote: “My dad loved (or loves) me, and he did everything for me!”

“…once she mentioned to Marie that someone had threatened her.” (p. 86)

= quote: “Someone threatened her.”

Answers to Part 1

  1. She was energetic and always on the go. She was a good friend.
  2. Lars and Lena Kivi, Marie, Anna, and some social workers attended. The children did not attend.
  3. He went to live with the Kivi family. They became his foster parents.
  4. She filled out a form to get her Swedish citizenship back.

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