14 - Grandmother offers to help



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I don't mind doing the dishes. Dot seems to have other plans.   


Thanks, Mother, but you should take it easy after such a long trip. Tom can help me with the dishes.  


Well, maybe you're right. I do feel a little tired.  


Lie down and rest. We'll have plenty of time to visit. 


But remember, I am going to help while I'm here.  


I don't mind doing the dishes. The verb mind here means "object to"; doing the dishes = washing the dishes. Note that an -ing form of a verb follows “mind”. Other examples: Do you mind helping me with this? We don't mind waiting. Do is one of the small verbs with many uses and meanings. Other uses in this sense here: She's doing her hair. They're doing a play. Do your homework.

Take it easy = rest and relax, not work hard. This is one of the common meanings of this idiom that is frequently used in informal speech.

I do feel ... The stressed auxiliary do adds emphasis to the statement. Note also I am going to help, where the sentence is made emphatic by putting the strong stress on the auxiliary am. Without this emphasis, the auxiliary would receive a weak stress, probably so weak that it would be a contraction: I'm going to help.  


Grandmother is all ready to "pitch in” and do her share of the housework. She does not want to cause extra work during her visit but to be useful around the house. Older people are not venerated in the United States as much as they are in some cultures, nor do they wish to be. Mother, while she wants Grandmother to rest now after her trip, will probably be only too glad to help her later on. Later, she and Grandmother will probably wash the dishes together sometimes, and have a good “visit” while they are doing it. Visit as used here is a colloquial expression meaning “talk” or “chat”.

Source: English Teaching Forum - Author: Julia Dobson

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