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Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts Of Grammar

Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

By RosePublished about a year ago 5 min read
Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts Of Grammar
Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

Long ago, there was a man named Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was a very rich man, but he wasn’t a very good man. He loved money, but he hated everything else. He hated love. He hated happiness. He hated laughing. He hated dancing. He hated dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, pandas, and children.

Most of all, Scrooge hated Christmas.

Scrooge was a boss. He had a worker named Bob Cratchit. Bob Cratchit was poor. He had many children. He loved his children, and he loved Christmas. Bob’s little son, Tiny Tim, also loved Christmas. Tiny Tim was very sick. He walked with a crutch.

By Lance Grandahl on Unsplash

On Christmas Day, Bob wanted to stay home with his family. This made Scrooge angry.

“You’re so lazy!” said Scrooge.

“It’s Christmas!” said Bob. “People should be with their families on Christmas.”

“You can go home one hour early, but I will not give you any money for your work today.”

Poor Bob had no choice but to agree. He worked very hard all day. Scrooge didn’t give him any money. Scrooge was happy, because Bob was sad. He was also happy to have more money.

That night, while Scrooge was sleeping, he was visited by his friend Jacob. This was a little strange, because Jacob was dead.

Jacob was very white and scary looking. He was covered in chains.

By Aida L on Unsplash

“Tonight you will be visited by many ghosts. They will teach you about the most important thing in life.”

Scrooge laughed. “The most important thing in life is money,” Scrooge said.

“No!” shouted Jacob. “Some things are more important than money. If you do not learn your lessons well, your chains will be heavier than mine.”

Jacob flew out the window.

“Good!” said Scrooge. “Now I can go back to sleep and dream about money.”

Scrooge closed his eyes. He heard a strange sound.


Scrooge opened his eyes. Another ghost was standing in front of his bed! This ghost was a pretty woman with long blonde hair.

“I am the ghost of Christmas Present Continuous!” said the ghost. “I add the letters ING to the end of verbs! I talk about things that are happening now!”

“What is happening now?” asked Scrooge.

The ghost laughed. “You are sitting in your bed. You are looking at me. You are thinking about money. Bob Cratchit is in his home. He isn’t thinking about money. He’s thinking about his family. Bob and Tiny Tim are laughing and dancing. They aren’t eating, because you didn’t make give them enough money for food.”

“I never give people money,” said Scrooge.

Suddenly, another ghost appeared.

“Oh!” said the ghost of Christmas Present Continuous. “This is my sister.”

This new ghost looked a lot like the Ghost of Christmas Present Continuous, but she had curly black hair.

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Present Simple. I talk about habits and things that are always true. You always think about money. You never think about Christmas. You always work. You never play. You never help Bob Cratchit.”

Scrooge was angry. “Bob Cratchit never help himself! He never work! He always play! He like Christmas too much!”

The Ghost of Christmas Present Simple was angrier than Scrooge. “Scrooge!” she shouted. “Scrooge! SCROOGE! Your heart is bad and so is your grammar! When you are talking about somebody in the third person singular, you must add S or ES. Bob Cratchit always helpS himself and he always helpS you. Bob Cratchit workS every day! Bob Cratchit rarely playS, because you never give him time or money. Bob Cratchit doesn’t just like Christmas. He loveS Christmas!

“Bah Humbug!” said Scrooge.

The two ghosts shook their heads. They could not help Scrooge. He needed a scarier ghost. They disappeared.

The next ghost to arrive was the Ghost of Christmas Past. He was a fat and happy man, with a big brown beard.

“In English, the past tense is usually made by adding the letters ED to the end of a verb,” said the ghost. “However, many verbs are irregular. You have to learn and remember those.”

“I’m not interested in verbs,” said Scrooge.

“Okay. Perhaps you are interested in yourself. Do you remember when you were young?” the Ghost of Christmas Past asked.

“I only remember that I was stupid,” said Scrooge. “I didn’t love money. I loved a pretty girl named Sally.”

“Yes,” said the Ghost of Christmas Past. “You loved her very much. You were happy together. You asked her to marry you, and she said yes. You sang together. You ate together. You laughed together. You made plans. What happened?”

“I wanted to make money to buy Sally a large house. However, the more I worked, the more I forgot about Sally.”

“It’s not too late,” said the Ghost of Christmas Past. “You can still find her.”

“I’d rather make more money,” said Scrooge.

“I see that you will need another ghost to help you change into a good man,” said the Ghost of Christmas Past. He disappeared, just like the other ghosts had.

The Ghost of Christmas Future was the next to arrive. This ghost was the scariest ghost of all. He wore a long black coat and a black hood, which covered most of his face. He had glowing red eyes that looked like they were made of fire.

By Tengyart on Unsplash

“Are you the Ghost of Christmas Future?” asked Scrooge.

The ghost didn’t answer.

“Bah humbug! You are going to tell me that the future tense in English is formed by putting the words ‘will’ or ‘be going to’ in front of the verb. You ghosts are all so boring.”

The ghost didn’t answer.

“I guess that the ghost of Christmas Present Perfect Simple will be coming next? Or perhaps the Ghost of Christmas Present Perfect Continuous? Why do only verb tenses get ghosts? When will I meet the Ghost of Superlative Adjectives? What about the Ghosts of Countable and Uncountable Nouns? I’m tired of English grammar! I want a new ghost to come and teach me how to speak Chinese or Spanish, so I can make money all over the world.”

The ghost didn’t answer.


The ghost did some magic. Suddenly Scrooge and the Ghost Of Christmas Future were in a graveyard. There was a grave in front of Scrooge’s feet. There was a name on the grave. The name was Tiny Tim.

By Yaopey Yong on Unsplash

“Bob Cratchit’s son?” asked Scrooge. “Is he going to die?”

The ghost didn’t answer. He pointed to another grave. This grave also had a name on it. The name was Scrooge.

“Will I die?” asked Scrooge.

The ghost did not answer.

“If I die, nobody will cry,” said Scrooge. “Perhaps they will be happy. No! No! This will not happen. Tomorrow, I will go to Bob Cratchit’s house. I will give his family lots of money and food. They will live, and I will live. English grammar is important, but it’s not the most important lesson in life. The most important lesson in life is to be a good person. Thank you for teaching me.”

The Ghost of Christmas Future did not answer, but he smiled.

Scrooge woke up in his bed. It was all a dream, but the changes in Scrooge were real. He went to Bob Cratchit’s house. He gave him lots of food and money. Bob was happy, and Scrooge was happy too. Everybody had a merry Christmas.

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