before Hellmans filled their pool

Discussion in 'English Only' started by propolis, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. propolis New Member

    Polish
    Recently I've started reading 'Lust' by Susan Minot, but I can't figure out what's going on in this sentence:

    In the spring before Hellmans filled their pool, we'd go down there in the deep end, with baby oil, and like that
    .

    Hellmans filled their pool -> is it a swimming pool or something? Who's Hellman? I would be grateful if somebody could give me a clue.
     
  2. Franco-filly Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - Southern England
    The quote I found say "before the Hellmans filled their pool" which would suggest it is a swimming pool (as it has a deep end) owned by the Hellman family - presumably close neighbours of whoever is speaking.
     
  3. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    I think it should be emphasised that in English the definite and indefinite articles are very important for conveying the meaning of a sentence. It must be difficult for mother-tongue speakers of Slavonic languages to grasp that we who are used to the articles can often not understand sentences in which they are lacking. 'Hellmans' (usually with an apostrophe 's', admittedly) is a type of mayonnaise, and at first I imagined a swimming pool that was going to be filled with mayonnaise! :)
     

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