🇺🇸 Learn English the Hard Way with “The Metamorphosis”

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 “Hope to Die”.

Study hard!

He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated

the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely

but it could not be done, for he was accustomed to sleep on his right side and in his present condition he could not turn himself over.

irregular meals, casual acquaintances that are always new and never become intimate friends. The devil take it all!

For instance, when I come back to the hotel of a morning to write up the orders I’ve got, these others are only sitting down to the breakfast. Let me just try that with my chief; I’d be sacked on the spot. Anyhow, that might be quite a good thing for me, who can tell?

because of my parents I’d have given notice long ago

I’d have gone to the chief and told him exactly what I think of him. That would knock him endways from his desk!

Well, there’s still hope; once I’ve saved enough money to pay back my parents’ debts to him—that should take another five or six years—I’ll do it without fail.

Well, he had not slept quietly, yet apparently all the more soundly for that

Heavenly Father! he thought. It was half-past six o’clock

to catch that he would need to hurry like mad

Well, supposing he were to say he was sick?

during his five years’ employment he had not been ill once.

the insurance doctor, who of course regarded all mankind as perfectly healthy malingerers. And would he be so far wrong on this occasion?

As all this was running through his mind at top speed without his being able to decide to leave his bed

unmistakably his own voice, it was true, but with a persistent horrible twittering squeak behind it like an undertone

Gregor, open the door, do.

a standing ailment of commercial travelers, he had not the least possible doubt.

To get rid of the quilt was quite easy; he had only to inflate himself a little and it fell off by itself.

he gathered his forces together and thrust out recklessly

and watched his little legs struggling against each other more wildly than ever, if that were possible,

the most sensible course was to risk everything for the smallest hope of getting away from it.

And he set himself to rocking his whole body at once in a regular rhythm, with the idea of swinging it out of the bed.

Two strong people—he thought of his father and the servant girl—would be amply sufficient

“They’re not going to open the door,” said Gregor to himself, catching at some kind of irrational hope.

Wouldn’t it really have been sufficient to send an apprentice to inquire—if any inquiry were necessary at all

His fall was broken to some extent by the carpet

It makes me almost cross the way he never goes out in the evenings

The only amusement he gets is doing fretwork

and because the chief would begin dunning his parents again for the old debts

what’s the matter with you? Here you are, barricading yourself in your room, giving only ‘yes’ and ‘no’ for answers

and now all at once you seem bent on making a disgraceful exhibition of yourself

I’m getting out of bed now. Just give me a moment or two longer!

Only last night I was quite well, my parents can tell you, or rather I did have a slight presentiment.

all this was tumbling out pell-mell and Gregor hardly knew what he was saying

He had to edge himself slowly around the near half of the double door, and to do it very carefully if he was not to fall plump upon his back just on the threshold.

Don’t make things any worse for me than they are.

Travelers are not popular there, I know. People think they earn sacks of money and just have a good time. A prejudice there’s no particular reason for revising.

yet only an inch at a time, as if obeying some secret injunction to leave the room.

He had merely the fixed idea of driving Gregor back into his room as quickly as possible.

and Gregor thrust himself—come what might—into the doorway

his father gave him a strong push which was literally a deliverance

Not until it was twilight did Gregor awake out of a deep sleep, more like a swoon than a sleep.

to meditate at his leisure on how he was to arrange his life afresh

and his success was immediately translated into good round coin

she who was still a child of seventeen and whose life hitherto had been so pleasant, consisting as it did in dressing herself nicely, sleeping long, helping in the housekeeping

Or he nerved himself to the great effort of pushing an armchair to the window

the hospital across the street, which he used to execrate for being all too often before his eyes, was now quite beyond his range of vision

This determination was not, of course, merely the outcome of childish recalcitrance and of the self-confidence

Although Gregor kept reassuring himself that nothing out of the way was happening

Her intentions were clear enough to Gregor, she wanted to bestow her mother in safety and then chase him down from the wall. Well, just let her try it!

Gregor came to a stop in alarm

family duty required the suppression of disgust and the exercise of patience, nothing but patience

his sister, who had taken a job as a salesgirl, was learning shorthand and French in the evenings on the chance of bettering herself.

With a kind of mulishness his father persisted in keeping his uniform on even in the house

Who could find time, in this overworked and tired-out family, to bother about Gregor more than was absolutely needful

but instead of helping him and his family they were one and all unapproachable and he was glad when they vanished.

His sister no longer took thought to bring him what might especially please him

And yet, with a touchiness that was new to her, which seemed anyhow to have infected the whole family

she rushed in high dudgeon into the living room and, despite the imploringly raised hands of her mother

because not one of them thought of shutting the door to spare him such a spectacle and so much noise.

“Look at the old dung beetle, then!”

To such allocutions Gregor made no answer, but stayed motionless where he was

Instead of being allowed to disturb him so senselessly whenever the whim took her,

Superfluous, not to say dirty, objects they could not bear.

many things could be dispensed with that it was no use trying to sell but that should not be thrown away either. All of them found their way into Gregor’s room. The ash can likewise and the kitchen garbage can.

The lodgers all stood up and murmured something in their beards.

How these lodgers are stuffing themselves, and here am I dying of starvation!

Indeed, they were making it more than obvious that they had been disappointed in their expectation of hearing good or enjoyable violin-playing

she should stay with him of her own free will

but the marked jerkings of his head, which were as if uncontrollable

Gregor’s sister merely shrugged her shoulders to indicate the feeling of helplessness that had now overmastered her during her weeping fit

Yet Gregor had not the slightest intention of frightening anyone, far less his sister.

When the charwoman arrived early in the morning—what between her strength and her impatience she slammed all the doors so loudly

Mrs. Samsa in nothing but her nightgown

“Well,” said Mr. Samsa, “now thanks be to God.”

“Leave my house at once!”

What do you mean by that?

I mean just what I say,” answered Mr. Samsa

she had bloomed into a pretty girl with a good figure

at the end of their journey their daughter sprang to her feet first and stretched her young body.

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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