TESOL/Constructing a narrative

Telling a story, or constructing a narrative, as it's known technically, is an essential language ability. Being able to tell a story is what beginning second language learners strive for and marks fluency in a language.

Sequential eventsEdit

Events rapidly following each otherEdit

The words scarcely, hardly, and no sooner are used to indicate that events happen quickly after each other. The words connecting the following event are set and cannot be exchanged.

  • I had hardly come in when/before the phone rang. I had hardly come in than the phone rang.
  • She had no sooner eaten the salad than she began to feel sick. She had no sooner eaten when she began to feel sick
  • He had scarcely finished talking when/before the reporters began shouting questions. He had scarcely finished talking than the reporters began shouting questions.

CompletionEdit

The word once is sometimes a conjunction indicating that one event comes to completion before the next event starts.

  • Once we got to our camp, we started to make our tent.
  • I understood it clearly once she explained it to me.
  • I can come to your house once my mom lets me.

EndingEdit

FinallyEdit

Finally is used to indicate that something happens after a long wait, and using it suggests that the speaker was impatient.