🇺🇸 Learn English the Hard Way with “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater”

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 “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater”.

Study hard!

on June 1, 1964, to pick a day

And the baroque masterpiece of legal folderol that was the charter of the Rosewater Foundation declared, in effect, that

He was the youngest, the shortest, and by all odds the least Anglo-Saxon male employee in the firm.

so Noah priced his merchandise in scale with the national tragedy

And Noah begat Samuel, who married Geraldine Ames Rockefeller

And Eliot married Sylvia DuVrais Zetterling, a Parisienne beauty who came to hate him

And Eliot became a drunkard, a Utopian dreamer, a tinhorn saint, an aimless fool

“I want to ask Him something I never was able to find out down here.”

What’s that?” she said, strapping him in.

Eliot’s benefactions covered the full eleemosynary spectrum from a birth control clinic in Detroit to an El Greco for Tampa, Florida

You’re the only ones zany enough to agonize over time and distances without limit

Eliot admitted later on that science-fiction writers couldn’t write for sour apples, but he declared that it didn’t matter

The closest he had ever come to that was during his annual childhood visits to Rosewater County, to the family fief

And you know who‘ll take to the woods with hunting knives and Springfields, who’ll go on fighting for a hundred years, by God? The volunteer firemen, that’s who.

one night, and in New Egypt, New Jersey, the next.

“He’s got fiber, he’s got spine,”

This great humanitarian, and he was a humanitarian in the profoundest sense of the word

atheism, extortion, slander, and theft were the height of fashion

and he enforced those unenforceable laws with a police force that was cruel and unsmiling

In summation: he said, I see two alternatives before us.

He was resigning the case because, in his taut Viennese opinion, Eliot was untreatable

Maybe I flatter myself when I think that I have things in common with Hamlet

is going somewhere, no doubt to die.

right around my phone booth, for a distance of about fifteen miles in any direction you care to go, the Foundation owns almost everything

has left the booming night-crawler business wide open

about eighteen years old, is strolling insouciantly past my phone booth now

One more kid rotten-spoiled by postwar abundance, one more princeling with goose-berry eyes

They were now scattered to the winds, like the worthless papers that represented their equity in the canal

The spires had lightning-rods. The sky was filled with cherubim.

was a Parthenon built of honest red brick, columns and all

To the east of the courthouse was the Samuel Rosewater Veterans’ Memorial Park. It had a flagpole and an honor roll.

the social-climbing technocrats of Avondale were able to bear the theory that the Rosewaters snubbed them because the Rosewaters felt superior to them.

began to throw lavish banquets for morons, perverts, starvelings and the unemployed.

Yahooism, drinking, cuckolding, and self-esteem all took sharp upturns

Norman Mushari now read Dr. Brown’s treatise, which was also in the confidential files of McAllister

I made it the goal of my treatments, then, to keep her conscience imprisoned, but to lift the lid of the oubliette ever so slightly, so that the howls of the prisoner might be very faintly heard.

So a logical person might conclude that I have been guilty of balderdash in announcing a new disease, samaritrophia

when it is virtually as common among healthy Americans as noses, say.

samaritrophia is only a disease, and a violent one, too.

Mrs. Z, having been treated and cured in our health emporium, expressed a wish to, “… go out and have some fun for a change, to live it up …” before her looks were gone.

were marked by lines of affection unlimited, which she no longer deserved

and he told me when the plane was a speck in the sky that he would never see her again

He had used the word “certainly” twice. It grated.

The tone of the meeting was frank, sentimental, forgiving, sometimes hilarious, and fundamentally tragic always.

Eliot doesn’t love those awful people out there any more than I do.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This is basically a booze problem.

How puffy and pasty he looks these days

He was swaddled in the elephant wrinkles of war-surplus long underwear

“Tell me one good thing about those people Eliot helps.”

I can’t.”

I thought not.”

This would be a mighty sad town, dear, if that ever happened

Nothing nice ever happened to me. How could it? I was behind the door when the good Lord passed out the brains.

“You must have realized pretty early in the game that you had a nut on your hands.”

There was the drinking.”

“He’s a poet himself,” said Sylvia.

That’s news to me,” said the Senator. “I never saw any of it”

For want of a better word, could I go on using the old one—just for tonight?”

I’m an old futz, and the theory is that an old futz can’t be hurt very much by anything anybody says

“There’s plenty for everybody in this country, if we’ll only share more.”

“And just what do you think that would do to incentive?”

“Can’t we skip that news?” This was not a flippant suggestion. It was a tragic one. The tragedy was beyond discussion.

Hippity hop,” said Eliot emptily.

A man would slice through a rubber band, making it a strand rather than a loop

A well-hit fly would often be vaporized, accounting for the peculiar color of Eliot’s walls and woodwork, which was largely dried fly purée

“Better red than dead,” another opines.

The claim is unchallenged, nor are challenges from the parties insulted likely.

Many’s the time I passed you out on the street and looked the other way

Life is hard enough, without people having to worry themselves sick about money, too.

‘Go where the rich and the powerful are,’ I’d tell him, ‘and learn their ways.

I just wish there didn’t have to be this acrimony, this tension, every time we talk.

Poor, lugubrious Fred spent his mornings seeking insurance prospects in the drugstore

said the not-very-clean idiot girl behind the counter

a national weekly dealing with murder, sex, pets, and children—mutilated children, more often than not.

His cavorting with the sailboat rajahs next door was bluster, bluff.

I wouldn’t be anything without my bride, and I know it.

whether he was related to the famous Senator Rosewater. Fred’s self-effacing, ignorant reply was along the lines of, “Somewhere, somehow, I guess

Fletcher Moon kept up his end of the deal to the utmost of his ability.

Really now—” he said to her, “who are the idiots who read this garbage, anyway?”

Men and women confessed there that they were looking for love, marriage, and monkeyshines.

On the facing page was a large coupon on which a reader was invited to write an ad of his own. Fred sort of hankered to.

Her face was piebald with sunburn and tan and freckles and pink new skin.

Harry was middle-aged and bandy-legged

At thirteen, she was Pisquontuit’s leading dealer in smut.

“You’re a Phi Beta Kappa, too?”

Do you mind?


LILA BUNTLINE PEDDLED her bicycle through the muffled beauty of Pisquontuit’s Utopian lanes

Every house she passed was a very expensive dream come true.

Foresight and the ability to reason have simply atrophied from long neglect

These sentiments were coals to Newcastle as far as Stewart Buntline was concerned.

You come from a family that is congenitally unable to fail to earn its way and then some

History tells us this, my dear young Mr. Buntline, if it tells us nothing else: Giving away a fortune is a futile and destructive thing.

had not a soft-headed ancestor piddled a fortune away

Until Bunny came down from New Bedford and opened his restaurant, Pisquontuit had nothing to do with whaling—ever.

Bunny went from table to table, explaining with gusto and expertise what they were doing, and why

While they were twittering in this wise, Bunny’s hand tightened on Amanita’s shoulder to the point where she complained

Another time, Daddy, she took me out to watch a sailboat race in Mr. Buntline’s big motorboat

About the kitchen: an electric chair would not have seemed out of place in it.

“I’m leaving,” said Peach. “I know when I’m not wanted.”

averting his eyes from the obscene and ineffectual ablutions

six were behind bars for fraud or income-tax evasion, four were under indictment for one thing or another

or unless he gets everything all his way and nothing big goes wrong, that thing inside of him is going to run down like a wind-up toy

You should have been a public relations man! You could make lockjaw sound good for the community! What was a man with your talents doing in a stamp redemption center?

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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