Showing posts from May, 2009

Customer v client

What's the difference between a customer and a client?

A customer buys a good or service; something specific and tends to be a shorter "relationship" eg someone who buys something in a shop

A client is normally in business and looks to follow the advice and knowlege of a business leader. A protective, ongoing " relationship" is formed with a client. eg a lawyers has many clients.

I bet my life on it

Dying man wins bet he would live

A Buckinghamshire man diagnosed with terminal cancer is to collect a second winning payout of £5,000 afterbetting he would stay alive.

Jon Matthews, 59, from Milton Keynes, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos, in 2006 and told he had months to live.

He placedtwobets, each with a £100 stake at odds of 50/1, that he would be alive in June 2008 and in June 2009.

A third wager will earn him a further £10,000 if he lives until 1 June 2010.

The widower will collect his second lot of £5,000 winnings on Monday.

Mr Matthews said: "I think I'm the first person in the world to bet on my own life.

"When I was diagnosed I was told mesothelioma was a death sentence.

"I wasn't that fussed because everyone has to die some time.

"But the interesting thing for me was how long it would take - would it take weeks or years?"

Mr Matthews said he planned to give away most of his winnings to charities, including the ca…

BA blues

High costs fuel record loss at BA

British Airways has announced the biggest loss since the company was privatised in 1987.

BA reported a loss before tax of £401m for the year to 31 March, after seeing its results hit by a weak pound and higher fuel costs.

The airline made a revised profit of £922m in the previous year.

BA also offered staff the option of taking unpaid leave or working part-time. Chief executive Willie Walsh said he would work for no pay in July.

Mr Walsh said: "I certainly want to make a contribution in recognition of the extremely challenging position we face. This is no stunt. I do not easily give up anything I have earned."

Mr Walsh earns £735,000 a year.

Finance director Keith Williams, who is paid £440,000, will also forgo his pay for the month of July.

Fuel pressures

Although revenues increased to almost £9bn, BA faced a near-£3bn fuel bill.

Mr Walsh said he saw "no signs of recovery anywhere".

Fuel costs rose 44.5% after the price of oil soare…

critic & review

A review of a book or a film is a report that gives an opinion on it.
I usually read the critics before deciding what film to see. WRONGI usually read the reviews before deciding what film to see. RIGHTThe person who reviews the film or book is the critic.

Write a brief review of a film or a book that you would (or wouldn't) recommendseeing.

impressed & impressive

I was really impressed by her performance.

Does this mean that the performance was good or bad?

If you are impressed by something or someone, you admire it or them. It is a positive feeling.
If you are impressed by someone, it is their ability to do something that impresses you.
The Olympic Committee were impressedwith the progress for the Games in London in 2012.His speech didn't impress me much.Your big house and expensive car don't impress me at all.The thing or person that impresses you is impressive.
The restaurant had an impressivewine list.Wow! That was an impressiveperformance for such a young actor.There is an impressiveview from the top of the building.Impresionante can also be translated as amazing or incredibleor if extremely beautiful - stunning.
The actress looked impressive in her Versaci dress. WRONGThe actress looked stunning in her Versaci dress. RIGHTImpressed neverhas a negative sense, so:
I was really impressed, seeing the car crash. WRONGSeeing the car crash …

Franco "had one testicle"

A new book claims the Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco, may have had more in common with Adolf Hitler than previously known - having one testicle.

Much like the Nazi leader, Franco's loss stemmed from an *injury he suffered in battle, his doctor's granddaughter told the historian Jose Maria Zavala.

Franco was *wounded in the lower abdomen at El Biutz, near Ceuta, in June 1916.

Biographers have long speculated this affected the reproductive organs of the dictator, who ruled from 1939 to 1975.

However, he did have a daughter, Carmen Franco y Polo, in 1926.

Last year, documents came to light containing an account by a medic who treated Hitler during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Dr Johan Jambor told his priest that Hitler had been injured in the abdomen and had lost a testicle.

He said the first question Hitler had asked him was: "Will I be able to have children?"


In his new book, Mr Zavala quotes Dr Ana Puigvert as recalling that her gra…

Sunny Spain or rainy Britain?

The pain in Spain proves too much as expat Britons pack their bags
Janine Richmond was busy packing boxes this week, ready to leave her home near Marbella for the last time. After six years living on the Costa del Sol, Mrs Richmond and her husband, Nicholas, *reluctantly took the decision to return to Britain with their two young daughters.
“We just couldn’t make it work any more financially,” she said, as she prepared for an emotional farewell. “We would have loved to have stayed but things are too hard here for my husband and we cannot last any longer.”
The Richmonds, like a growing number of British expats, are heading home as the sunsets on their Spanish dream.
The low value of the pound, the end of Spain’s decade-long building bonanza and the global financial meltdown have conspired to make Britain a more attractive place to many expatriates, despite the deepening recession at home.
The Spanish sunshine and way of life cannot hide the dire recession into which Spain is falling.

Subtitles for Scottish sensation Subo

Oprah show subtitles Susan Boyle
American TV bosses subtitled Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show so viewers could understand her.

A production crew from the daytime US talk show descended on Ms Boyle's home in Blackburn, West Lothian.

They spent several hours being given a guided tour by the singing hopeful, and interviewed her neighbours.

Ms Boyle later told chat show queen Oprah that the global fame she had achieved was "like a dream come true".

The subtitles appeared on screen during a pre-recorded piece, but were dropped when Ms Boyle spoke live to Oprah.

Ms Boyle's rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables on ITV1 show Britain's Got Talent turnedher into a global phenomenon after being posted on YouTube.

Vocal talents

The special episode of Oprah also featured other acts from some of the 40 countries where the talent show is filmed.

Speaking via a video link from her home in Scotland, 47-year-old Ms …

Controversial cup final

TV man sacked in Spain booing row
Spain's national television broadcaster has sacked its director of sports for censoring jeering during the national anthem before the national cup final.

Julian Reyes chose to show reporters in Bilbao and Barcelona instead of the events at Valencia's Mestalla stadium, which King Juan Carlos was *attending.

TVE later replayed the anthem at half-time, blaming "human error", but this time with the booingedited out.

On Thursday, TVE said Mr Reyes had taken responsibility for the incident.

The broadcaster's directors also said an investigation would be launched into why it had repeatedly blamed human error for not showing the anthem live.

Supporters of both Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao were said to be responsible for the boos, jeers and whistles which greeted the anthem on Wednesday night. Barcelona eventually won the Copa del Rey 4-1.

The clubs hail from Catalonia and the Basque Country, two provinces which have *demanded greater reg…

Teddy bear banned

Easyjet stops girl, six, taking teddy bear on flightA mother has criticised Easyjet for stopping her six-year-old daughter taking her teddy bear on a flight because it was classed as "excess baggage".
Alba Aprciado-Peris was told by a check-in worker that Bebe the bear was banned from joining her on the flight from Glasgow to Stansted.

The bear, which was given to Alba as a present, was wrapped up in a carrier bag which the check-in attendant classed as an extra piece of luggage.

The worker then told Alba's mother Amparo Peris-Bordes, 38, she would have to pay £9 to put the teddy in the hold.

After a *heated discussion Ms Peris-Bordes decided to post Bebe to their house in Willingham, Cambridgeshire.

She said the incident had ruined a weekend break in Scotland earlier this month.

"I was totally stunned when they said Alba couldn't have the bear in the cabin with her," said Ms Peris-Bordes, a publisher who moved from Spain to Britain several years ago.


like to do v like doing

What's the difference between:

I like getting up early and I like to get up early ?

This is a difficult question especially as they are often interchangeable.

"I like getting up early" is more common on its own whereas "I like to get up early" is more often used with some additional context - "I like to get up early at weekends because I have many things to do."

"I like teaching" refers to the general activity whereas "I like to teach in the afternoons" describes a particular preference.

Does that clear up any doubts?

Write some of your own examples with the two different forms.

Confusing words - proof

Proof is evidence that something is true.
The police don't have any proof that he is guilty of the crime.You need proof of identity, your passport or driving licence, before they will let you in.The verb is prove and means to show something is true.
I can't prove anything but I think she is lying.If you really love me, then prove it.I'm sure that I am right. Can you prove that I am wrong?Proof is an uncountable noun.
You need a proof to show that he is guilty. WRONGYou need proof/some proof........... RIGHTWhere are the proofs? WRONGWhere is the proof? RIGHTVamos a hacer la prueba : Let's try.
Tienes que hacer una prueba de nivel : You have to do a level test.
El médico me hizo más pruebas : The doctor did some more tests on me.
El nuevo secretario está a prueba : The new secretary is on a trial period/on trial.
El actor tuvo que hacer muchas pruebas : The actor had to do many auditions.
Prueba un poco de este pescado : Try/taste a bit of this fish
Déjame que pruebe yo : L…

Who could have won?

Lottery officials continue search for owner of £110m ticket
• Madrid shop sold ticket for biggest single lottery prize
• EuroMillions winner may be tourist, says seller

Lottery officials across Europe were searching today for one of the continent's richest people, who may still be unaware that they possess a lottery ticket worth £110m.

The EuroMillions jackpot is theworld'sbiggest ever single lottery prize, but the Madrid lottery shop that sold the ticket has so far* been unable to trace the buyer. If found, he or she would shoot into the club of the richest people in Europe. Ifthe winnerwereBritish, itwould meanjoining the Sunday Times rich list at No 492 — tied with the Bee Gees brothers Barry and Robin Gibb.

A sign pinned to the window of the Black Cat lottery shop, just off Madrid's central Plaza de Cibeles, boasted today that this was the place where the €126m ticket had been sold.

The shop's owner, Paloma Cateleiro, said that she had no idea who had bought the ticke…

Indirect Questions

Look at the following examples of DIRECT and INDIRECT questions.
Excuse me! Where is the post office? DIRECTExcuse me! Do you know where the post office is? INDIRECTHow old are you? DIRECTCan I ask you how old you are? INDIRECT
An INDIRECT question is politer (first example) and softens a difficult question to ask (second example). In the INDIRECT form, there are really two questions.
The INDIRECT question follows this form:
First question + (question word/if) + Subject + verb ?
Do you know what time the bank opens ?Can you remember where we went for our holidays last year?Can I ask you how much you earn?Can you tell me if there is a bus to Vigo? The DIRECT form of the above questions:
What time does the bank open?Where did we go for our holidays last year?How much do you earn?Is there a bus to Vigo? Compare the two forms. Notice:
The INDIRECT form does not use - do , does , or did.The verb in the INDIRECT question shows the 3rd person "s" or the past.We use "if" when…


Here is an ad, in reaction to the flu pandemic, which shows how easily a virus is spread.

What do you think about the whole Swine flu thing? Do you think we are over-reacting or should we be doing more to combat it? Are you ready?

What's the difference between ill and sick? This is a difficult one because there is sometimes little difference but I'll try to explain.

Illimplies a more serious condition that lasts longer.

He's been veryill. (He was off work for a long time)As soon as I started to feelill, I went to the doctor (I had symptoms and the doctor told me what I had)I gotill while I was on holiday. ( I discovered what I had when i returned from holiday)

Sickimplies a less serious condition that doesn't last long. It can also mean to vomit.
He'soffsick today. He'll be back tomorrow. (He didn't come to work)If you don't feel well, you should call in sick. (Phone your work to tell them you are not going to work today)I think I'm going to besick. (=…


Not feeling well? Here are a few useful expressions:

What's the matter?

I have the flu.

I have a cold*.

Put a warm jacket on otherwise you'll catcha cold.

I can't stopsneezing.

I can't stop coughing.

I have a runny nose.

I am choked.

I have a temperature.

I have a headache*.

I have a sore*throat.

My leg hurts*.

I have a pain in my knee.

*Confusing words:
I have a cold : Estoy constipado.I am constipated : Estoy estreñido.

* an ache (noun):

I have:

a headachea stomachacheearachetoothachebackache
But no nouns exist for other parts of the body so we use sore (adjective):

I have a sore foot.My knee is really sore.
or we use hurt (verb):

My feet hurt.My neck hurts.

What's the best cure for
a headache?a sore throat?stomachache?a cold?a sore back?What aches and pains do you usually have?

What's the difference between a disease and an illness? Both translate as enfermedad.

This is a difficult one to explain. Let me try.

A disease is a specific condition or a diagnosable probl…

May Day unrest

Police battle May Day protesters
Clashes have broken out in a number of countries as unions used traditional May Day marches* to protest against the handling of the global economic crisis.

In the Turkish city of Istanbul, riot police fired tear gas and water cannon as protesters threw petrol bombs and attacked banks and shops.

Police made dozens of arrests in the German capital, Berlin, where protesters set fire to cars.

Greek police battled to quell rioters in Athens after banks were attacked.

There have also been marches in France and Russia, as well as the Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong, where demonstrators called on the authorities to do more to protect jobs.

Major demonstrations were also planned in Spain, Italy and Cuba.

"Workers are reiterating their demand that the government should find a way to stop mass lay-offs of workers and it should provide decent jobs, not short-lived jobs, not jobs for three months," said Leody de Guzman, of the Union of Filipino Workers.


Confusing words - career

Your career is only related to your professional life. It has nothing to do with university. Está haciendo la carrera de Derecho : He's doing a degree in law.Está en primero de carrera : She's in her first year at university.No sabe que hará cuando termine la carrera : He doesn't know what he will do when he finishes university.Quiere que sus hijos estudien una carrera: She wants her children to go to university.I need a career change : Necesito un cambio de trabajo.He made a career for himself in advertising : desarolló su carrera profesional en el campo de la publicidad.Do you have a degree? Is your degree relevant to your career?

What did you do after you got your degree?

Would you like to have studied something different at uni?

Would you like a change in career?

If you could choose a different career, what would it be? Why?