Grammar by pengxuezhi


                         Creating Wealth and Achieving a Better Future with English!

                                          Living in America

Functions:Tips for foreigners staying in America.


Training, course, city, decide, New York, furnished, bungalow, studio, apartment, internship, attend,

career, intensive, engineer, financial director, schedule, weekends, research, gigantic, economic, power,

contact, obvious, finance, relationship, superficial, depend on, outmatch.


What city do you decide to live in?

New York. / Washington. / San Francisco.

I live in a furnished room.

A three-room apartment.

What do you most enjoy in the United States?

The way the people welcome you.

The gigantic size of this country.

The economic power.

Do you find relationships superficial?

It depends on the person.

1. Friends Forever?

In general, people who were born outside the U.S. complain a lot about a different concept of

"friendship" which exists in this country. People who know each other only superficially call each other

"friends." A student from Indonesia defined a friend as "someone who is a brother not related to you by

blood." That's a deep sense of commitment which in general takes a lot of time to develop in the U.S.

2. Number one complaint.

Perhaps the number one complaint I hear from international people is that "Americans are too busy.

They don't have time for me." The Northern European (including American) fixation with time, with going

from task to task with un-relented passion, bother some people. It seems that one has to at least
                         Creating Wealth and Achieving a Better Future with English!
"appear" busy, even when one does not have to be running. Many people say that Americans miss out

big time on "down time," especially with extended family members.

3. "Show me the money!"

On the other hand, Americans are an extremely generous people. "I will send the money but please don't

ask for my time" seems to be the motto for some. Europeans marvel at the annual twenty billion dollars

and more given to charity in this country. Is this a way Americans "buy" time away from people or just an

expression of pure generosity?


The USA is home to several of the world's most exciting cities, some truly mind-blowing landscapes, a

strong sense of regionalism, a trenchant mythology, more history than the country gives itself credit for

and, arguably, some of the most approachable natives in the world.

The US was fashioned from an incredibly disparate population who, with little in common apart from a

desire to choose their own paths to wealth or heaven, rallied around the ennobling ideals of the

Declaration of Independence to forge the richest, most inventive and most powerful country on earth.

So much of the country has been filmed, photographed, painted and written about that you need to peel

back layers of representation to stop it from looking like a stage setting. This can make the country seem

strangely familiar when you first encounter novelties like 24-hour shopping, bottomless cups of coffee,

'have a nice day', drive-thru banks, TV evangelists, cheap gasoline and newspapers tossed onto lawns.

But you'd be foolish to read too much into this surface familiarity, since you only have to watch Oprah for

half an hour to realize that the rituals and currents of American life are as complex, seductive and

bewildering as the most alien of cultures.

                                             Money & Costs

If you camp or stay in hostels, catch buses and cook your own food, you could feasibly explore the

country on around 50.00 a day. Staying in motels and eating at modest cafes will mean you'll hit the

100.00 mark, and enjoying the convenience of a rental car will push your daily budget up to 150.00.

Tipping is expected in cafes, restaurants and better hotels. The going rate in restaurants is 15% or more

of the bill; never tip in a fast-food or self-service environment. Taxi drivers, bartenders and hairdressers

depend on similar-sized gratuities. Sales taxes vary from state to state but are typically 5-8%, though

some states have no sales taxes at all. Top-end accommodation also often attracts a bed tax, which can

                          Creating Wealth and Achieving a Better Future with English!
be as high as 15%. It's worth checking whether quoted prices for lodging include all relevant taxes.


The continental US stretches across North America 'from sea to shining sea'. There are three major

mountain ranges: the Appalachians in the east, the titanic Rocky Mountains in the west and the Sierra

Nevada along the border of Nevada and California. The country has abundant natural resources and

vast swathes of fertile soil.

The Atlantic Coast is the most heavily populated area and retains strong traces of its European heritage.

This is where the oldest American cities such as Boston, New York, Washington and Philadelphia are

located, and where most of the major events in early American history took place. The central northeast

is marked by the humongous Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario), which occupy

an area larger than most European countries. The rivers and canals linking the lakes to the Atlantic

Ocean made virtual seaports out of midwestern cities like Chicago and Detroit.

The central area drained by the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers is the grain basket of the country.

Farther west, on the Great Plains, are the country's chief grazing areas. This is cowboy country, though

today the trusty steeds tend to be battered pickup trucks rather than hi-ho Silvers. Desert predominates

in the southwest, where the climate and degraded soils keep population density to a minimum, and

where you really don't need much of a wind to see tumbleweed bouncing across the highway. Cross the

Sierra Nevada and you're on the West Coast, which was settled by Americans only 150 years ago but

has been on a headlong rush into the future ever since.

The USA borders Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. Alaska juts out from northwestern

Canada; Hawaii lies 2500 miles (4000km) off the country's western coast, in the middle of the Pacific.

With such varied topography, the US has extremely diverse ecosystems. The most impressive flora are

the huge sequoias of the West Coast, some of which are believed to be the oldest living things on earth.

The eastern states are home to leafy hardwood forests of maple, oak and elm, which burst into colour in


The largest land mammals, such as black and grizzly bears, elk and deer, roam the northwestern states.

The southern states are home to some of the most interesting fauna, including the marsupial opossum

and the alligator. Beasties to avoid include rattlesnakes, bears, wild boar, alligators and Hank, a gas

station attendant from Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

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The USA is a federal system, and powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution

are retained by the states. Nevertheless, the powers of the central government have increased over the

years relative to those of state governments. Each state has its own constitution and a government that

generally mirrors that of the federal government. The governor is the state's chief executive, and a state

senate and a house delegation enact state laws (Nebraska alone has a unicameral state government),

and a state police and court system enforce them. Among other things, states are responsible for

education, criminal justice, prisons, hospitals, administration of elections, regulation of commerce and

maintenance of highways. Many of these things are now done in cooperation with federal government,

especially for funding purposes.

The states are further divided into counties, boroughs, parishes, cities, towns, school districts and/or

special districts that provide services like police, sanitation, schools and so on. Local government units

often combine to administer a large urban area as a single unit, as in the five boroughs of New York City.

                                          Getting There & Away

Your main option for getting to the US is either by air or, from the closer countries, by road or train. The

main international airports are in Boston, New York, Washington, Miami, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth,

Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with hundreds of smaller airports

dotted all over the country.

For those travelling into the US from Canada and Mexico, you have the option of driving, catching a bus

or an Amtrak train.

Most visitors arrive by air, and heavy competition on popular routes means that inexpensive flights are

often available. The main international airports are in Boston, New York, Washington, Miami, Chicago,

Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. There are

connecting flights from these airports to hundreds of other US cities.

                                             Getting Around

The choices for traversing this massive country are myriad, be it via subway, bus, rail, bike or your own

two feet.

The number of domestic airlines, competition on popular routes and frequent discounting makes flying in

the US a relatively inexpensive proposition (though fares can be high on less popular routes).


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