🇺🇸 Learn English the Hard Way with “Catching Fire”

Chances are you are looking for improving your English language comprehension through reading books.

I know the drill. Take me right to the sentences.

Feel like upping your game and start catching the slightest subtleties of English?

Look no further.

However, there is a catch.


Who is this article intended for?

For English language learners, as they, all too often, tend to skip a lot of subtleties while reading books / reading stories / reading comics / watching movies /watching game movies, thus slowing down and negating their language progress. I

The catch has to do with the “THE HARD WAY” of learning English, right?

I can’t promise improving your English through this article will be easy, but I promise it will be worth it, provided you work through ALL THE SENTENCES down below. And by the way, to make it even more challenging for you, no answers are given and you are to find them on your own. There’s a reason this article is called “Learn English the Hard Way”, don’t you think?

Still no clue what I’m supposed to do…

If you’re still not really sure what’s going on here, I highly recommend you read the description of “Learn English the Hard Way” challenge.

russia-flag Для чего эта статья и что нужно здесь делать?

По своему опыту могу сказать, что когда в освоении английского приходишь на всё готовенькое, то интеллектуально расслабляешься и не особо вникаешь в детали и тонкости языка.

А вот когда, мы “пропускаем язык через себя”…

  1. внимательное чтение книг, просмотр фильмов, т.д… не знаем, что то или то означает, почему так написано, вообще не догоняем, что происходит, значит отмечаем находку
  2. анализ “любопытных” предложений, конструкций, выражений (грамматика и прагматика наши лучшие друзья)
  3. прогонка проработанного материала через правое полушарие
  4. задействование “освоенных” предложений, конструкций, выражений на письме, в устной речи (идеально, с носителями языка)
    …то результаты будут совершенно иными, нежели чем “со всем готовеньким”.

А именно, выработка силы воли, языковой интуиции, внимательности, любопытства и реальное улучшение навыка английского языка.

Ниже представлены предложения, которые заинтриговали меня при прочтении книги / прочтении рассказа / прочтении комикса / просмотре фильма / просмотре игрофильма. То есть, я сделал первый пункт из четырех выше и поделился результатами с Вами. За Вами остаются остальные три.


If you feel like up to the challenge, then below is my list of the cherry-picked sentences with curious grammar and vocabulary findings from the book “Catching Fire”.

Study hard!

If I should drop dead right now, they would have to return to it

it was a warehouse to store coal, but when it fell into disuse, it became a meeting place for illegal trades

“That stuff’s too strong for you, girl.” He should know. Next to Haymitch, Cray drinks more than anyone I’ve ever met.

But you’ve got to go through it to get to the end of it.

that I would know all there was to know about his lips.

Gale had shattered some invisible barrier between us and, with it, any hope I had of resuming

President Snow’s eyes bore into me on the heels of his threat to kill Gale. How

Instead of acting with the extreme caution the situation called for, what have I done

“This tour will be your only chance to turn things around.”

Aim higher in case you fall short.

My mother hurries up with something cupped in her hand. “For good luck,” she says. It’s the pin Madge gave me before I left for the Games.

“I have to talk to you,” I whisper. “Now?” he says. I nod. “This better be good.”

And who knows who else will pay for my actions?

I wasn’t old enough to have any boyfriend at all. She followed this with a pointed look at Peeta. There was a lot of laughter and comments like “Somebody’s in trouble

The first question is who to tell, if anyone.

which is surprising, because that was the year District ‘s very own Haymitch Abernathy won the crown.

In a way, it’s a good thing Peeta and I will both be available

because it’s a sure bet that Haymitch will be wasted.

Who knows who I would be or what I would talk about if I’d been raised in the Capitol? Maybe my biggest regret would be having feathered costumes at my birthday party, too.

Lately we’ve been speaking a lot on the telephone that came with the house. It’s sort of a joke, because almost no one else we know owns one. There’s Peeta, but obviously I don’t call him

It can be anything, really, anything that they can interview you about.

You know, I think I show a lot of promise,

Get dressed, you worthless thing,

“You’ll read these off camera while they’re filming the clothes. Try to sound like you care.”

I don’t exaggerate when I say she shoves me out the door.

I can feel the steadiness that Peeta brings to everything. And I know I’m not alone.

Just want some fresh air. Only be a minute.

“Why? It’s too cold for anything to show,” I grumble. “Not in District Eleven,” says Effie.

“I’ve got to apologize to Effie first.” “Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick,” Peeta tells me.

Haymitch gives my shoulder a pat and says, “You could do a lot worse, you know.”

And wouldn’t it be something to see the child of not one but two victors chosen for the arena?

I can’t let President Snow condemn me to this. Even if it means taking my own life.

If I feel ragged, my prep team seems in worse condition, knocking back coffee

It will require at least an hour. This sends Effie into a state.

Everyone at the table stares at me, even Haymitch, who you’d think would be on my side in this matter since Effie drives him nuts.

It’ll be Haymitch, coming to chew me out.

And it wasn’t fair to hold you to anything that happened in the Games. I’m sorry

To her credit, Effie accepts graciously

Effie sniffs as the door clanks closed behind us. “Really, you’d think we were all criminals,” she says.

What’s going on, Haymitch?” “It will be better coming from you,” Haymitch says to me.

“Look, boy—” Haymitch begins. “Don’t bother, Haymitch. I know you had to choose one of us.

Both of you. With me,” says Haymitch. Peeta and I follow him, leaving the others behind

How it must have looked from Peeta’s perspective when I appeared in the arena having received burn medicine

You’ll see, the choices you’ll have to make

“And it isn’t as if I haven’t kept things from you in the past.”

There’s no point to it anymore, though, is there? Not being straight with each other?

The back-to-back appearances in and are their own special kind of awful.

I learn that his name was Marvel. How did I never know that?

“You’ll probably have to pass a new law,” I say with a giggle. “If that’s what it takes,

“Sorry,” he says. He should be. This is no place to be voicing such thoughts.

“Best wishes on your engagement, and good luck with your mother.” “I’ll need it,” I say

I can’t guess what form my punishment will take, how wide the net will be cast

Here’s what’s strange. The main thing I feel is a sense of relief.

Maybe if the whole country puts its mind to it, we can get you married before you’re thirty.”

Oh, the fun we two have together.

The party, held in the banquet room of President Snow’s mansion, has no equal

I suppose they look the same from the Capitol, but who would know? There’s always too much light from the city to see the stars here.

Peeta sets his back on the table with such precision you’d think it might detonate.

It’s just sometimes I can’t stand it anymore. To the point where… I’m

when I shot an arrow at the Gamemakers during the training session. Well, not really. I was shooting an apple out of their roast pig’s mouth

If anyone asks about me, say I’ve gone home to bed.

“Yes. Your secret’s safe with me,” I say

because he’s afraid someone will make a cheap, knockoff version. Only in the Capitol.

Bakers have come in from the kitchen especially to talk frosting with him,

and you can see them tripping over one another to answer his questions.

I pluck a chocolate flower from a cake with my fingers and nibble on it, so beyond worrying about manners.

“Time to say thank you and farewell!” trills Effie at my elbow. It’s one of those moments when I just love her compulsive punctuality

But Effie has this all down to a science, and at exactly one o’clock we are back on the train and it’s pulling out of the station

and clothes bore me to tears.

But after a few false starts, I realized she was dying to go into the woods

The audience must be sick to death of the star-crossed lovers from District . I know I am.

“Of course, you don’t know what’s happened,” I say. “Let’s have it,” he says

“Hazelle won’t refuse. She’ll see sense,” I say. “Suppose she doesn’t, Katniss. What then?” he demands.

“But I don’t think for a minute you will,” he says. I jerk my arm away. “Then you don’t know me. Be ready. It could be any time.

“Get out of here, girl.” “Only make it worse.” “What do you want to do? Get him killed?”

It’s a hike to the lake, no question.

After a couple of hours, I reach an old house near the edge of the lake. Maybe “house” is too big a word for it.

But it’s a good guess it includes both our families,

One second you’re proposing an escape plan and the next… you’re expected to deal with something like this.

I calm myself by thinking that rebellions don’t happen in a day

isn’t going to be interested in throwing it away with both hands.

No point in being in the woods after dark if you don’t have to.

She interrupted the punishment of a confessed criminal.” Everything about this man, his commanding voice, his odd accent, warns of an unknown and dangerous threat. Where has he come from? From the Capitol itself? “I don’t care if she blew up the blasted Justice Building

He grabbed Thread’s arm and Thread hit him in the head with the butt of the whip. Nothing good waiting for him,

Ever so gently, she begins to clean the mutilated flesh on Gale’s back

and can only hope that Gale remains unconscious. Of course, that’s too much to ask for.

Who’d have thought we’d ever be sorry to see old Cray go?”

What am I angry about, though? Not that she has brought the medicine, surely.

my mother sends them home to bed as well. She knows it’s pointless to try this with me and leaves me to tend Gale while she and Prim rest.

What a pair we were—fatherless, frightened, but fiercely committed, too, to keeping our families alive

The trouble is, I don’t know exactly what was going on inside me at that moment.

“Peeta. About what I said yesterday, about running—” I begin. “I know,” he says. “There’s nothing to explain.”

“I’m sorry. About screaming at you yesterday.” “I’ve heard worse,” she says. “You’ve seen how people are, when someone they love is in pain.”

“I want to start an uprising,” I say. Haymitch just laughs. It’s not even a mean laugh, which is more troubling. It shows he can’t even take me seriously. “Well, I want a drink. You let me know how that works out for you, though,” he says.

The Capitol has no end of creative ways to kill people.

I need only to think of Prim and all my resolve disintegrates.

Probably have to wait until after the weather calms down,

Nothing much will happen during the blizzard. That’s what Peeta and I had agreed. But we couldn’t have been more wrong.

What‘s he want that for?

And avoiding a stroll by the Hob… that’s going to fix things for me?

Is it for the benefit of those in the Capitol? A wedding was promised, a wedding will be given.

Perhaps they have orders to bring me in alive so they can torture me into incriminating every person I ever knew. Yeah, good luck with that, I think.

“Yes, that’s why we had to get out,” says Twill. “Well, you’re good and out now. What are you going to do?”

“We think they believe we were killed in a factory explosion,” says Twill. “Only a fluke that we weren’t.

They scraped together what provisions they could

And suddenly I hate this imaginary underground city of District and those who sit by, watching us die. They’re no better than the Capitol.

“None of you deserves candy!” I say. “What, because we’re right?

So if I don’t show up, worry they will.

I thought no one saw me sneak under the fence, but who knows? There are always eyes for hire.

Even if I could find another, which is doubtful, who knows what I’d be jumping into?

can walk, though, so I get moving, trying to hide my limp as best I can.

“Here she is, just in time for dinner,” she says a little too brightly.

I’m sure we’ll all sleep a little more soundly now that security has addressed that lapse.

I’m pushing things, I know it, but the comment gives me a sense of satisfaction.

“Don’t go yet. Not until I fall asleep,”

and if Thread will figure out how I got back in and arrest me. It’s funny, because he could just arrest me, anyway

I wasn’t expecting them for another three weeks.

Effie’s having a fine time ordering everybody around

Prim, who came home from school in time to see the last two dresses, chatters on about them with my mother

“Then I’ll turn you both in. Let you sober up in the stocks,” says Peeta. “What’s the point to this?” asks Haymitch. “The point is that two of us are coming home from the Capitol.

Shame isn’t a strong enough word for what I feel.

isn’t ready for that. If anything, they’re less ready than before the Quarter Quell announcement

“How about it, Haymitch?” “Yeah, whatever,” says Haymitch

He didn’t have to reach far for that, did he?” I say.

“They’re playing with you because you’re so… you know.” “No, I don’t know,” I say

Then Haymitch’s face grows hard. What did I do now?

so that he can’t technically be called naked, but he’s about as close as you can get

They would lure you into their Capitol ways and you’d be lost entirely.

hear the roar of the crowd. “Shall we?” He holds out a hand to help me into the chariot.

I wrong? Or do I see the president fixated on me as well?

“They’re something of a joke to the others.” “Why does that not surprise me?

Wouldn’t be an Avox. And more specifically, wouldn’t be my Avox, because President Snow has so obviously had him placed here for my benefit.

He might’ve known Darius to nod hello, but Peeta wasn’t Hob the way the rest of us were

Make your own pack if you’d rather.

No. Well, we lost a couple of weeks when they brought in a new Head Peacekeeper and his crew, but nothing major,

“Well, there aren’t very many of us in Twelve,” I say. “Not that you’d know it nowadays by the size of the Peacekeeping force

“But maybe Haymitch is right,” I say. “Don’t tell him I said so, but he usually is, where the Games are concerned.”

and makes bad jokes a lot, most of them are at his own expense.

Suddenly I remember how she volunteered to replace the young, hysterical woman in her district. It couldn’t be because she thought she had any chance of winning.

Haymitch said to surprise them if we could, but I’m fresh out of ideas.

His friendly manner has no place here.

“Then I won’t be responsible for you killing off any of my friends with your stupidity,” he says. “That’s just what we were thinking,” I tell him.

“I’m sorry if I made things worse,” I say. “No worse than I did.

It’s too bad we can’t go somewhere,” I say wistfully. “Who says we can’t?” he asks.

StillI can’t say I’m sorry I did it.

I’m not sure. I just wanted to hold them accountable, if only for a moment

And, Haymitch?” says Peeta. “We decided we don’t want any other allies in the arena.”

And I’m not saying I’m not going to try. To get you home, I mean

But while I know I’ll never leave that arena alive, I’m still holding on to the hope that Peeta will

The significance of my fiery transformation will not be lost on President Snow.

There. He’s done it again. Dropped a bomb that wipes out the efforts of every tribute who came before him.

We victors staged our own uprising, and maybe, just maybe, the Capitol won’t be able to contain this one.

“Where did you learn that in District Twelve?” “We have a big bathtub,” I answer. “You must,” he says. “You like the arena?”

“Better not exert yourself. Not in your condition,” he says, and reaches down and pats my abdomen. Oh, right. I’m supposed to be pregnant, I think.

Still I climb beyond good sense because there’s something I have to see.

At least the tightly woven grass offers some protection from whatever slinks across the jungle floor after hours.

Use your brain if you have one. What is it?

I move it this way and that,

Like everything here, the water’s on the warm side, but this is no time to be picky.

He shouts encouragement, trying to move us along, and the sound of his voice acts as a guide, though little more.

“She’s got Wiress and Beetee.” “Nuts and Volts?” says Peeta, equally puzzled. “I’ve got to hear how this happened.

He saved Peeta and let Mags die and I don’t know why. Only that I can never settle the balance owed between us

All I can do at the moment is go to sleep and let him grieve in peace. And so I do.

I sit up and see that Finnick’s hands have not been idle. Two woven bowls are filled with fresh water

Hey, Haymitch, if you’re not too drunk, we could use a little something for our skin.

It takes a moment to place Blight. I think he was Johanna’s male counterpart from District ,

Oh, goody, she’s back

At the time, I was no more a tribute in these Games than he was.

There is no question about it. For reasons completely unfathomable to me, some of the other victors are trying to keep him alive

I don’t know what it is with Finnick and bread, but he seems obsessed with handling it

I don’t like the plan any more than Peeta does.

He had already signed off on life.

Wow, it seems you’ve made it to the end of this new-vocabulary-grammar-intensive article… But did you actually work through all the findings?  No shirking? Sweet! That’s what I call being persistent at mastering English!


russia-flag Вы дочитали и проработали статью до конца? Так держать!

Если Вы дочитали до конца эту статью, то я уверен, что Вы узнали много нового про английский язык (при условии, что Вы действительно проработали предложения выше).

Проработать так много материала это совсем не шутки, а вполне серьёзный подход к делу.

Теперь же дело за малым: эффективно всё перенести в речевой актив и начать всласть применять новые знания на практике (пункт 3 и 4, соответсвенно).

Спасибо за то, что уделили время.

Удачи в Вашем языковом путешествии!


I am crazy enough to do the whole nine-yards over again. Please bring me to the beginning of the sentences. Yeah!

Did you know that you are more than encouraged to go ahead and tell me in the comments section below how the whole process went?

With that, thanks for taking your time accepting the challenge, reading and working through the article.

Until next time!


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