A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. 

The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralised by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same period. It follows the lives of several characters through these events. 

A Tale of Two Cities was published in weekly instalments from April 1859 to November 1859 in Dickens's new literary periodical titled All the Year Round. All but three of Dickens's previous novels had appeared only as monthly installments.

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Conclusion Clauses


Used to introduce the logical result of sth that has just been mentioned: He's only 17 and therefore not eligible to vote. There is still much to discuss. We shall, therefore, return to this item at our next meeting.


In this way, like this: Many scholars have argued thus. The universities have expanded, thus allowing many more people the chance of higher education.
As a result of sth just mentioned. SYN hence, therefore: He is the eldest son and thus heir to the title. We do not own the building. Thus, it would be impossible for us to make any major changes to it.


(Formal) for this reason: We suspect they are trying to hide something, hence the need for an independent inquiry.
... days, weeks, etc. hence: (formal) a number of days, etc. from now: The true consequences will only be known several years hence.

Consequently - As a result

Consequently = As a result; therefore: This poses a threat to agriculture and the food chain, and consequently to human health.
As a Result
  • [C, U] result (of sth) a thing that is caused or produced because of sth else: She died as a result of her injuries. The failure of the company was a direct result of bad management. He made one big mistake, and, as a result, lost his job. The farm was flooded, with the result that most of the harvest was lost. The end result (= the final one) of her hard work was a place at medical school. This book is the result of 25 years of research.
  • [C] result (of sth) the Information that you get from a scientific test or piece of research: the result of an experiment [v] Result (from sth) to happen because of sth else that happened first: Job losses resulting from changes in production. When water levels rise, flooding results. It was a large explosion and the resulting damage was extensive.
Result in sth: to make sth happen. SYN lead to: The cyclone has resulted in many thousands of deaths. [+ _Ing] these policies resulted in many elderly people suffering hardship.

Comparative Sentences

Equal Comparion

We use the pattern "...as...as..." to say that things are equal. In a negative statement we use either "as...as..." or "...so...as..."
Form: S1 + TOBE/ V + AS + ADJ/ ADV + AS + S2 + ...
Ex: I don't drink as/ so much tea as you do. The tree is as tall as the house. The film isn't as/ so good as the book.

Comparative with "Than/ More than"

We often use "than" after a comparative. Ex: China is bigger than Vietnam. Flying is a lot quicker than going by train. Prices are higher than I expected.
Form: With one/ two syllable adjectives/ adverbs (Short adj/ adv)
S1 + TOBE/ V + ADJ/ ADV + "_ER" + THAN + S2 + ...
Short adj/ adv usually have a comparative form in "_er". Some take either "_er" or "more" such adj/ adv include: "clear, safe, fair, free, keen, proud, rude, sure, true, bored, pleased..."
Ex: It's warmer in here than outside. Our new flat is nicer. The story seemed more real in the film. I feel safer/ more safe on the cycle path.
Form: with more than two syllable adj/ adv (long adj/ adv).
S1 + TOBE/ V + MORE + ADJ/ ADV + THAN + S2 + ...
Long adj/ adv form the comparative with "more". Ex: Our new place is more central. Skiing is more difficult than it looks. You work harder than I do. If I help, we will finish the job sooner.
Note: these adj/ adv take "more":
  • Ending: "_ful, _less, _Ing, _ed ..." Ex: careful, hopeful, helpless, useless, boring, annoyed ..."
  • Some two-syllable adj/ adv take either "_er" or "more". They include: "able, clever, feeble, gentle, narrow, pleasant, polite, quiet, simple, stupid, tired..." We use "_er" with most tow-syllable adj/ adv ending in "_y": "happy, funny, angry..." Ex: In the countries are quieter/ more quiet than the cities. She is more clever/ cleverer than me. Life would be easier if I had a job. I got up earlier than usual. You can buy them cheaper/ more cheap on the internet.
Note: a pronoun on its own after "as" or "than" has the object form. Ex: I'm not as tall as him. It is formal to say: "I am not as tall as he". But we say: "I'm not as tall as he is".

Superlative Comparision

Form: with short adj/ adv
S + TOBE/ V + THE + ADJ/ ADV + "_EST" + ...
Short adj/ adv usually have a superlative form in "_est". Ex: this is the oldest building in the town. We should Use the simplest method. Where is the nearest post office? This jacket is the latest fashion.
Form: with long adj/ adv
S + TOBE/ V + THE MOST + ADJ/ADV + ...
Long adj/ adv form the superlative with "the most". Ex: health is the most important thing. She is the most irritating person I know. He is the most intelligent in my class.

Other Kinds of Comparision

  • "...Adj/ adv + "er" + and + adj/ adv + "er" or "more and more" (with "more" we do not repeat the adj/adv): this pattern expresses a continuing change. Ex: the plant grew taller and taller. The air gets more and more polluted. There is more and more traffic.
  • We can also use "less". Ex: I felt less and less keen on the idea.
  • "Less, least" are the opposites of "more, most". Ex: the place is less busy on a Sunday. This is the least expensive model.
  • A pattern with "the...the..." links a change in one thing to a change in another. Ex: the further you go; the more you pay. The later I get up, the more tired I feel. The older you get, the harder it becomes to start a new career.

Clauses of Result

Although: Unexpected result

Used for introducing a statement that makes the main statement in a sentence seem surprising SYN though: Although the sun was shining it wasn't very warm. Although small, the kitchen is well designed.
Used to mean "but" or "however" when you are commenting on a statement: I felt he was wrong, although I didn't say so at the time.

Although / even though / though
You can use these words to show contrast between two clauses or two sentences. "Though" is used more in spoken than in written English. You can use although, even though and though at the beginning of a sentence or clause that has a verb. Notice where the commas go: Although/Even though/Though everyone played well, we lost the game. We lost the game, although / even though / though everyone played well.
You cannot use even on its own at the beginning of: a sentence or clause instead of although, even though or though:
  • Despite the fact that. SYN although: Anne was fond of Tim, though he often annoyed her. Though she gave no sign, I was sure she had seen me. His clothes, though old and worn, looked clean and of good quality. Strange though it may sound, I was pleased it was over.
  • Used to add a fact or an opinion that makes the previous statement less strong or less important: They're very different, though they did seem to get on well when they met. He'll probably say no, though it's worth asking.
Used especially at the end of a sentence to add a fact or an opinion that makes the previous statement less strong or less important: Our team lost. It was a good game though. "Have you ever been to Australia? No. I'd like to, though."


For the reason that: I did it because he told me to. Just because I don't complain, people think I'm satisfied.
Because of: preposition: They are here because of us. He walked slowly because of his bad leg. Because of his wife ('s) being there, I said nothing about it.


(Used with the present perfect or past perfect tense) from a time in the past until a later past time, or until now: She's been off work since Tuesday. We've lived here since 1994. I haven't eaten since breakfast. He's been working in a bank since leaving school. Since the party she had only spoken to him once. "They've split up. Since when?" That was years ago. I've changed jobs since then.
Use for, not since, with a period of time: I've been learning English for five years.
Since when? Used when you are showing that you are angry about sth: Since when did he ever listen to me?
  • (used with the present perfect, past perfect or simple present tense in the main clause) from an event in the past until a later past event, or until now: Cathy hasn't phoned since she went to Berlin. It was the first time I'd had visitors since I'd moved to London. It's twenty years since I've seen her. How long is it since we last went to the theatre? She had been worrying ever since the letter arrived.
  • Because, as: We thought that, since we were in the area, we'd stop by and see them.
(Used with the present, perfect or past perfect tense)
  • From a time in the past until a later past time, or until now: He left home two weeks ago and we haven't heard from him since. The original building has long since (= long before now) been demolished.
  • At a time after a particular time in the past: We were divorced two years ago and she has since remarried.

Clauses of Contrast


Used to compare or contrast: Some of the studies show positive results, whereas others do not.


Used to show that sth happened or is true although sth else might have happened to prevent it. SYN in spite of: Despite applying for hundreds of jobs, he is still out of work. She was good at physics despite the fact that she found it boring.
Despite yourself used to show that sb did not intend to do the thing mentioned. SYN in spite of: He had to laugh despite himself.

In spite of

In spite of sth: if you say that sb did sth in spite of a fact, you mean it is surprising that that fact did not prevent them from doing it. SYN despite: In spite of his age, he still leads an active life. They went swimming in spite of all the danger signs. English became the official language for business in spite of the fact that the population was largely Chinese.
In spite of yourself: if you do sth in spite of yourself, you do it although you did not intend or expect to: He fell asleep, in spite of himself.


Used to state what the result would be if sth did not happen or if the situation were different: My parents lent me the money. Otherwise, I couldn't have afforded the trip. Shut the window, otherwise it'll get too cold in here.
Apart from that: There was some music playing upstairs. Otherwise the house was silent. He was slightly bruised but otherwise unhurt.
In a different way to the way mentioned, differently: It is not permitted to sell or otherwise distribute copies of past examination papers. You know what this is about. Why pretend otherwise (= that you do not)? I wanted to see him but he was otherwise engaged (= doing sth else).
Or otherwise: used to refer to sth that is different from or the opposite of what has just been mentioned: It was necessary to discover the truth or otherwise of these statements. We insure against all damage, accidental or otherwise.


And / or conjunction: (Informal) used when you say that two situations exist together, or as an alternative to each other: There is no help for those with lots of luggage and / or small children.

Modal Verb: Can & Could

Used to say that it is possible for sb/sth to do sth, or for sth to happen: Can you call back tomorrow? He couldn't answer the question. The stadium can be emptied in four minutes.
Used to say that sb knows how to do sth: She can speak Spanish. Can he cook?
Used with the verbs "feel, hear, see, smell, taste": She could feel a lump in her breast. I can hear music.
Used to show that sb is allowed to do sth: You can take the car, if you want. We can't wear jeans at work.
Used to ask permission to do sth: Can I read your newspaper? Can I take you home?
(Informal) used to ask sb to help you: Can you help me with this box? Can you feed the cat, please?
Used in the negative for saying that you are sure sth is not true: That can't be Mary - she's in New York. He can't have slept through all that noise.
Used to express doubt or surprise: What can they be doing? Can he be serious? Where can she have put it?
Used to say what sb/sth is often like: It can be quite cold here in winter.
Used to make suggestions: We can eat in a restaurant, if you like. I can take the car if necessary.
Used to say that sb must do sth, usually when you are angry: You can shut up or get out!

Can't be doing with sth: (Informal) used to say that you do not like sth and are unwilling to accept it: I can't be doing with people who complain all the time.
No can do: (Informal) used to say that you are not able or willing to do sth: Sorry, no can do. I just don't have the time.

Can - may
Can and cannot (or can't) are the most common words used for asking for, giving or refusing permission: Can I borrow your calculator? You can come with us if you want to. You can't park your car there.
May (negative may not) is used as a polite and fairly formal way to ask for or give permission: May I borrow your newspaper? You may come if you wish. It is often used in official signs and rules: Visitors may use the swimming pool between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The form mayn't is almost never used in modern English.

Can - could - be able to - manage
Can is used to say that somebody knows how to do something: Can you play the piano? It is also used with verbs of seeing, noticing, etc.: I can hear someone calling and with passive Infinitives: The DVD can be rented from your local store.
Can or be able to: are used to say that something is possible or that somebody has the opportunity to do something: Can you / are you able to come on Saturday?
You use: "be able to" to form the future and perfect tenses and the Infinitive: You'll be able to get a taxi outside the station. I haven't been able to get much work done today.
Could is used to talk about what someone was generally able to do in the past: Our daughter could walk when she was nine months old.
You use "was / were able to / manage" (but not could) when you are saying that something was possible on a particular occasion in the past: I was able to / managed to find some useful books in the library. In negative sentences, "could not" can also be used: We weren't able to / didn't manage to / couldn't get there in time. Could is also used with this meaning with verbs of seeing, noticing, understanding, etc.: I could see there was something wrong.
Could have is used when you are saying that it was possible for somebody to do something in the past but they did not try: I could have won the game but decided to let her win.


Used as the past tense of "can": She said that she couldn't come. I couldn't hear what they were saying. Sorry, I couldn't get any more.Note at can.
Used to ask if you can do sth: Could I use your phone, please? Could we stop by next week?
Used to politely ask sb to do sth for you: Could you baby-sit for us on Friday?
Used to show that sth is or might be possible: I could do it now, if you like. Don't worry - they could have just forgotten to call. You couldn't have left it on the bus, could you? "Have some more cake. Oh, I couldn't, thank you (= I'm too full)."
Used to suggest sth: We could write a letter to the director.
Used to show that you are annoyed that sb did not do sth: They could have let me know they were going to be late!
(Informal) used to emphasize how strongly you want to express your feelings: I'm so fed up I could scream!

Could do with sth: (Informal) used to say that you need or would like to have sth: I could do with a drink! Her hair could have done with a wash.

Articles: "A/ AN/ THE"

Indefinite Articles: A/AN

The form "a" is used before consonant sounds and the form an before vowel sounds. When saying abbreviations like "FM" or "UN", use "a" or "an" according to how the first letter is said. For example, F is a consonant, but begins with the sound /e/ and so you say: an FM radio. U is a vowel but begins with /j/ and so you say: a UN declaration. The names of letters: "f, h, l, m, n, s, x" begin with vowel sounds, so abbreviations that begin with one of these letters are treated as stating with a vowel. Ex: an MP, an HGV...
"A or an" is usually followed by a singular countable noun.
  • Used before countable or singular nouns referring to people or things that have not already been mentioned: There's a visitor for you. She's a friend of my father's (= one of my father's friends).
  • Used before uncountable nouns when these have an adjective in front of them, or phrase following them: A good knowledge of French a sadness that won't go away.
  • Any, every: A lion is a dangerous animal.
  • Used to show that sb/sth is a member of a group or profession: Their new car's a BMW. She's a Buddhist. He's a teacher. Is that a Monet (= a painting by Monet)?
  • Used in front of two nouns that are seen as a single unit: A knife and fork.
  • Used instead of one before some numbers: A thousand people were there.
  • Used when talking about prices, quantities and rates. SYN per: They cost 50p a kilo. I can type 50 words a minute. He was driving at 50 miles an hour.
  • A person like sb: She's a little Hitler. Used before the name of the famous person to mean someone else with abilities, appearance, or character: Already he is being hailed as a young Albert Einstein.
  • Used before sb's name to show that the speaker does not know the person: There's a Mrs Green to see you.
  • Used before the names of days of the week to talk about one particular day: She died on a Tuesday.
  • Used before the name of drinks to mean a cup or glass of that drink: I will just have a beer. Have you got time for a coffee?

Definite Article: THE

  • Used to refer to sb/sth that has already been mentioned or is easily understood: There were three questions. The first two were relatively easy but the third one was hard.
  • Used to refer to sb/sth that is the only, normal or obvious one of their kind: The Mona Lisa, the Nile the Queen. What's the matter? The phone rang. I patted her on the back.
  • Used when explaining which person or thing you mean: The house at the end of the street. The people I met there were very friendly. It was the best day of my life. You're the third person to ask me that. Friday the thirteenth. Alexander the Great.
  • Used to refer to a thing in general rather than a particular example: He taught himself to play the violin. The dolphin is an intelligent animal. They placed the African elephant on their endangered list. I'm usually out during the day. I heard it on the radio.
  • Used with adjectives to refer to a thing or a group of people described by the adjective: With him, you should always expect the unexpected. The unemployed, the French
  • Used before the plural of sb's last name to refer to a whole family or a married couple: Don't forget to invite the Jordan.
  • Enough of sth for a particular purpose: I wanted it but I didn't have the money.
  • Used with a unit of measurement to mean "every": My car does forty miles to the gallon. You get paid by the hour.
  • Used with a unit of time to mean "the present": Why not have the dishes of the day? She's flavour of the month with him.
  • Used, stressing the, to show that the person or thing referred to is famous or important: Sheryl Crow? Not "the Sheryl Crow? At that time London was the place to be.
  • Use "the" before words such as "school, university, and prison" when you are referring to a particular building: Inspectors will be visiting the school next week. In American English, however, "the" is used with "hospital" for referring to the institution in general: She was admitted to the hospital with minor head injuries.
Note: DON'T use "the"
  • When you are referring to the institution in general: her husband has been sent to prison for 3 years.
  • When you are talking about travelling by a particular form of transport: We went by plane.
  • When you are referring to things or people in a general way: Children need love and attention.
  • Before the names of individual mountains, the names of streets, towns, counties, states, or continents: Mount Everest. My parents live in Surrey. There are a few exceptions: The Sudan, the USA, The Hague.
  • Before a person's name when it is used in the possessive: The car was parked in front of Jim's house.
  • Before the names of meals: Dinner is at 7:30. What are we having for lunch?
The more, the less, etc. ..., the more, the less, etc. ...: Used to show that two things change to the same degree: The more she thought about it, the more depressed she became. The less said about the whole thing, the happier I'll be.

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