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Showing posts from 2011

The Office Christmas Party

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Source: videojug.com

In the above video you have some dos and donts for the office Christmas party. Check out www.videojug.com to listen to advice for all sorts of things.

Have you had your Christmas party yet? Is it something you look forward to or something you dread?
What advice would you give on how to behave at the party?


Check out your fellow passengers

KLM To Offer Mile-High Dating Via Facebook
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has taken blind-dating to new heights by launching an initiative that will allow customers to pick their seat-mates on Facebook.

The pilot programme is being praised for those people who are sick of being stuck next to crying babies or the passenger from hell - or for those simply looking for mile-high love.

The airline announced its plans to start a "meet and seat" service early next year that will link travellers' Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to their check-in information.


Source: Sky News

Vocabulary:
a blind date -
to take to new heights -
to pick (your seat-mate) -
to praise -
to be sick of stg -
to be stuck next to sb -
to check stg/sb out -
to turn to sb -
a recipe for disaster -
creepy (adj) -
matchmaking -
to stalk sb -
to work out -


What to you think of the idea? Would you like to pick the person you sit next to? Or would you prefer to keep your info private?

Int - Module 7 vocab

Complete the following sentences with a suitable word.

 I think bullfighting should be b_____. It’s cruel and barbaric.I am really stressed out. I need a holiday to u_____.The Rubik’s Cube was a c____ in the early 80s.I can give you a l___ to work until you get your car back from the mechanic’s.You don’t need to leave a t__ if you are unhappy with the service.A lot of men worry about going b___ as they get older.You should always s____ hands with the interviewer at the end of the interview.Can you p___ up my suit from the dry cleaner’s when you are there?I won’t k___ you. This will just take a couple of minutes.That’s me finished -I’m o__ home. See you tomorrow.You don’t need to pay. I’d prefer to s____ the bill.You look very smart but there’s no need to d____ up for me.I’m tired. I don’t f___ l___ going out tonight. I haven’t heard from her for a___. I wonder what she is up to.News quickly s_____ about his resignation. By the end of the morning everybody knew.

Lucky black cat

Italian cat inherits €10m fortune
Tommaso, a four-year-old, one-time stray from Rome, is thought to have become the world's richest cat.

Since the death of his 94-year-old mistress last month, he has become a property magnate — or perhaps mognate — with flats and houses worth an estimated €10m scattered from Milan in the north to Calabria in the south.

In a handwritten will, signed on 26 November, 2009, Tommaso's mistress — the childless widow of a successful builder — gave her lawyers the task of identifying "the animal welfare body or association to which to leave the inheritance and the task of looking after the cat Tommaso".


Source: Guardian

Vocabulary:
a stray -
to scatter -
a will -
a widow -
welfare (n) -
in the meantime -
frail (adj) -
a trustee -
to pale by comparison -


What's the situation in Spain? Can you leave your inheritance to whoever you want? Even a pet?

A black cat in Scotland is actually good luck.
Are you superstitious? What are symbols of good or b…

Dark clouds hang over monarchy

Spanish royal family hit by fraud scandal
The once squeaky-clean Spanish royal family has become immersed in a growing fraud scandal that reveals how members of King Juan Carlos's family may have cashed in on the monarchy's good name.

At the centre of the scandal is the king's son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic-medal-winning handball player who became the Duke of Palma after marrying Juan Carlos's sporty daughter, the infanta Cristina.

Source: Guardian


Vocabulary:

squeaky-clean (adj) -

to cash in on stg -

a leak -

to struggle -

to hold on to (popularity) -

to raid / a raid -

wrongdoing (n) -

to add fuel to stg -

to backtrack -

a ticking off -

beleaguered (adj) -

to set up (a company) -

to boast -

to land a contract -

a fee -

to siphon off (money) -

the sole aim -



Has this scandal changed your opinion of the royal family?

What do you predict will happen?

Don't feel guilty about having a lie-in!

Liking a lie-in in people's genes, researchers say

People who like a lie-in may now have an excuse - it is at least partly down to their genes, according to experts.

Experts, who studied more than 10,000 people across Europe, found those with the gene ABCC9 need around 30 minutes more sleep per night than those without the gene.


Source: BBC News


Vocabulary:
sleep patterns -

to work shifts -

to run in the family -

an insight -

to unravel -

to obey -



Do you like a lie-in?

Do you set an alarm? How long do you usually need to get up? Have you ever overslept?



Int module 7 - right or wrong?

Are the following sentences right or wrong? Correct them if needed.
Could you borrow me the car for the weekend? I'll drive carefully.Would you mind to close the window? It's a bit cold in here.I'm going to relax at home this weekend. I've had a tiring week.A: Do you mind if I sit here? B: No, not at all.Do you feel like going to the theatre on Saturday evening?A: Damn! I've broken my watch. B: Let me have a look. I'm going to try to fix it.What are you doing for Christmas?It's normal for colleagues going for a drink after work.Young people tend don't to dress up when they go to the opera.Graham: I want to speak to your superior. Telefonica operator: Ok, he will call you back later today.

Question dictation

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Listen to the ten questions. Then listen again, pause between each one and write them down. Repeat as often as necessary. Finally answer the 10 questions.

Revision - Intermediate

Correct the sentences if they are wrong.
I am going on holiday on September this year.I'm sorry. I didn't understand. Can you say me again please?We were thinking of going to Thailand but at the end we decided to go to the USA.He wants that I start work at 9 tomorrow.A: How is Scotland like? B: It's an amazing country with some beautiful scenery.I had a great time but I didn't like the hot.What time did you get to home last night?A: He's never been to London. B: Neither I have.A: I love cooking. B: Do you? I thought you hated it.Mark works a lot, doesn't he?
Complete the sentences with a word.
A: What are you going to do with your day off tomorrow? B: I'm so tired that I'm going to have a long l__-__.I try to escape the stresses of Madrid now and a____. A: How long has he been u_________? B: He hasn't worked since 2009.Maybe we should postpone the journey. I heard a weather w______ on the radio that said the snow would make driving conditions very dang…

The Basque Country - some welcome news

Basque group Eta says armed campaign is over
The Basque separatist group Eta says it has called a "definitive cessation" to its campaign of bombings and shootings.

In a statement provided to the BBC, Eta called on the Spanish and French governments to respond with "a process of direct dialogue".

The declaration, if followed through, would bring an end to Eta's campaign of violence, which has lasted more than 40 years and killed more than 800 people.


Source: BBC News

Vocabulary:

to follow stg through:
on behalf of sb:
to weaken:
a crackdown:
to lay down arms:
widely (anticipated, considered):
to carry out (an attack):
a ceasefire:
a truce:
to jail sb:


What do you see happening next?
Listen to this report on the news (newsy.com)


We invented football - then why are we no good at it?

Scottish football 'more than 500 years old'
"Organised" football was being played in castle courtyards in Scotland more than 500 years ago, experts have found.
Documents show a set of accounts from the court of King James IV indicating he paid two shillings for a bag of "fut ballis" in April 1497.

The world's oldest surviving football dates back to 1540 and was found behind panelling in Stirling Castle.


Source: BBC News

Vocabulary:
a courtyard -

to date back to -
a set of accounts -
a shilling -

rather than ... -

to flee (fled, fled) -

amusement (n) -

foul play -

bad tempered (adj) -

to lead to stg -

a clash -

a threat -



Poll (2)

Which is the most difficult for you?

A: Pronunciation (20%)

B: Writing (20%)

C: Grammar (0%)

D: Listening (60%)


I think it would be a good idea to keep a note of  all the words that are difficult to pronounce, just as you do with new vocabulary.

Try to read aloud. This might seem silly but it can help with your pronunciation.


Very few people like writing in English, but it can help you improve your grammar and vocabulary at the same time. The blog gives you the perfect opportunity to improve your writing skills.


Students tend to worry too much about grammar and this can impede their speaking skills.


The more that you listen to things in English, the easier it gets. Honest.


Check out the links in the blog to websites which can help you improve all four skills.




Which sentence(s) is / are wrong?

A: I don't have time enough. 5 (100%)

B: They are too much noisy. (80%)

C: I think she has much money. (40%)

D: We have quite a lot of friends. (0%)


The only grammatically correct senten…

No more long bank holiday weekends?

Spanish Businessmen call for an end to the 'Puente' long weekend
The CEOE employers organisations wants midweek fiestas to be moved to Monday or Friday
Spanish businessmen from the employers’ organisation CEOE have come up with an idea to improve the country’s productivity. They want to eliminate any fiestas or bank holidays which fall during the week so that the famous custom of forming ‘Puente’ or ‘Acueducto’ extra long bank holiday weekends can be ended.


Source: typicallyspanish



What do you think of this idea?
Do you think any government will dare to implement it?
What do you think people's reaction will be?


Here is a longer article in El País that presents arguements for and against keeping the "puentes".







The wedding of the year

Spain's Duchess of Alba remarries at 85 in Seville
The Duchess of Alba, one of Spain's richest and most flamboyant women, has got married again at the age of 85 to a civil servant 24 years her junior.

The aristocrat married Alfonso Diez Carabantes at a palace in Seville, emerging to throw her wedding bouquet into the crowd and dance flamenco.


Source: BBC News
Vocabulary:

superar:

según:

la multitud:

una faja:

calcular:

riqueza:

un invitado:

la novia:

una boda:

extravagante:

valer:

hasta (un número):

enviudada:

enfrentarse a:

difícil:

dar un paso atrás:

disipar:

renunciar a:

según se informa:

no tener nada que ver con algo:

con tal de que / siempre que:


Duchess of Alba marries toyboy(Daily Mail)


Duchess of Alba wedding - 10 must know facts(Telegraph)


What is your opinion about the marriage?

Do you think they married for love?

Do you know any other "oldies" who have got married?

A remarkable re-encounter

Carjacked couple spot criminals on holiday 1,200 miles away
A Belgian couple on holiday in Spain spotted the armed criminals who had carjacked them at gunpoint a month previously in Liege, 1,200 miles away.
The unnamed pair saw Luc Jadoul, 47, and his girlfriend Gaëlle Deloge, 20, on a beach in Alicante.

Mr Jadoul and Miss Deloge had threatened the couple with a gun and hijacked their Nissan SUV while making a dramatic escape from a Belgian courthouse just four weeks before.


Source: Daily Telegraph

Vocabulary:

to spot sb/stg:

to carjack:

to hijack:

to threaten:

a courthouse:

to keep your head:

a yard(measurement):

a tyre:

to let down(a tyre):

to praise:

to pimp:

to hold sb:

a warrant:

to face (a problem):

to plead:

to hug:

to embrace:

to be due to stg:

to flee:

to grab:

to stage stg:

at gunpoint:



Do you know of any other chance meetings?

Mistakes this week

All people go on holiday in August. WRONG
Everyone/everybody goes on holiday in August. RIGHT

I'm not IN THE MOOD FOR explainING this one now. It's not that I don't know :D , it's just that it'd take too long.

everyone/everybody = singular (present: verb + "s")
person (sing) , people (plural) so:
People are, people go ...




I watch too much films. WRONG
I watch too many films. RIGHT (grammatically) but possibly WRONG (in meaning)

too, too much and too many are negative concepts:

It is too hot in here.  (I don't like it - open the window)
She talks too much.  (I hate it - she should talk less)
We bought too much food. (We didn't need to buy so much - it's a waste!)
There are too many people in this class. (I won't learn so much with so many classmates)

If we simply talk about the degree/quantity without the negative concept , we'd say:

It is very hot in here.
She talks a lot.
We bought a lot of food.
There are a lot of people in this clas…

More summer stories

London Riots Spreading: Cameron Calls Emergency Session
Prime Minister David Cameron has called an emergency session of Parliament after violent riots continued into their third night.

Since Saturday, police have arrested more than 500 people and one person has died. It is the worst rioting in Britain since the 1980s.

Source: newsy.com

Facebook Users Land in Jail for UK Riots
“Two Facebook users in their early twenties have been jailed for four years for inciting riots. Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan set up pages on the social networking site encouraging people to join in with the violence that spread across England more than one week ago.”

So what’s the big deal? Well, the riots they were charged with “inciting” never actually happened.


Source: newsy.com

The above headline is factually incorrect - the riots were only in English cities. If the riots had happened only in Scotland, the media would not have labelled them UK riots.


Chocolate Could Help to Lower the Risk of He…

Spanish stories from over the summer

Zapatero calls early Spain election amid economic woes
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has called a general election for November, four months earlier than expected.

He said this would enable a new government to confront Spain's economic problems from January.

Hours earlier, a credit rating agency warned it might downgrade Spain's rating due to weak growth prospects.

Source: BBC News


Pope in Spain: Pilgrims in Madrid's protest square
Young Catholics have been pouring into the Spanish capital all week and Pope Benedict XVI is to join them on a four-day visit to Madrid.

The pilgrims have made their way from 193 countries. For days, they have packed the sweltering city streets sporting matching rucksacks and floppy sun hats. The metro is full of groups singing hymns in loud harmony as they ride.

They are here for World Youth Day - actually a week of activities - which culminates in an open-air Sunday Mass con-celebrated by the Pope. But there has been gr…

What a surprise - Beckhams give daughter unusual name

David Beckham has posted a video on Facebook in which he describes his joy at the arrival of his first daughter with wife Victoria.

The couple has called the baby Harper Seven.

Click here to continue reading article and watch video of Beckham.

Source: Sky News


Vocabulary:
(adj) be very much in love with stg or sb - s______
a expression often used by parents to refer to their baby - a b_____ of j__
to fail to satisfy - d_________
the most important (adj) - m___
an object that creates a feeling of admiration - a w_____
a zebra is a black and white s______ animal (adj)
to e_______ - to print or decorate sth in a noticeable way
oldest child in a family (adj) - e_____
the characteristic speech of a region - a t____


Grammar Point:
"You have to be more delicate with girls than boys and I am not used to that."
The above structure: to be (not) used to + noun / verbING ...

... is used to show that you are accustomed to stg / doing stg


Read and do activities fromprevious posts on be/get u…

Scots couple win biggest ever Euromillions

A couple from Largs in Ayrshire have been named as the winners of the £161m Euromillions jackpot.

Chris Weir said she and her husband Colin were "tickled pink" when they realised they had scooped Tuesday's jackpot.

Source: BBC News


Vocabulary:
ganar / llevar - (inf)
el sorteo -
ostentoso -
no acostarse -
riqueza -
con éxito -

una ganancia inesperada -

a los pies de -

el gordo -

un paso -

Eso ocurre cuando nadie gana la lottería de una semana y el premio de la semana siguiente es más grande.

Es un verbo que significa que todos los numeros que tienes, son iguales con los numeros que han sido sorteado.

Eso significa que limitan algo, que no se puede pasar un cierto numero.

I am not sure about the translation of the last three words. Give me the word in Spanish as well as in English. At the same time, you could correct any mistakes in my Spanish.


Grammar Point:
"If the winner of Tuesday's draw had been a single player, he or she would instantly have been placed 430th in thi…

What a waste of wine!

Image
Image Source: BigSus @ Wkikpedia
La Rioja's wine battle
Thousands of litres of wine are needed every June for the San Pedro festival which is held the end of the month in the town of Haro, in the north west of the wine region of La Rioja. Some of it is drunk, but the vast majority is used as ammunition for Haro’s ‘Batalla del Vino’, the ‘Wine Battle’ which is held every June 29.

Source: typicallyspanish .com

Would you like to go to the Wine Battle?

Have you ever been to or heard of a strange festival?


Vocabulary:

a p______ - a person who goes on a journey to a holy place / a p________ - the religious journey

to r____ sth - to increase or to put sth to a higher position

to d__ - to give sth or sb a paricular name

to b___ - to put a dead body in the ground / a b_____

to t____ - to send sth through the air, using your arm / t____ (past) which has the same pronunciation as t______ (prep), t_____ (past part)

to c____ (inf) - means the same as the previous verb but in a careless way

a b____…

Wouldn't we all be guilty of this "crime"?

Mijas teenager charged with misappropriation for eating chocolates sent to her house by error
The 14 year old ate half the chocolates in the box after the courier de livered them to the wrong address.

A fourteen year old girl from Mijas, Málaga, has been charged with misappropriation for eating a gift of chocolates which was delivered to her house in error.

The teenager was unable to resist the temptation when she opened up the package after it was delivered to her house by courier and found pieces of chocolate *laid out inside the box to form the words, ‘Feliz cumpleaños’ – ‘Happy birthday’.

The error in the delivery was discovered when the true recipient contacted the courier service enquiring about a package his wife had sent to his office in Fuengirola. The courier went back to the Mijas address and, despite finding on arrival that half the chocolates had been eaten, took away what remained and they were sent on to their destination.

ABC newspaper reports that the recipient place…

Penguin far from home

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Ailing penguin offered a lift home
The bird arrived on Peka Peka Beach, about 40 miles north-west of Wellington on Monday, the first time in 44 years that an emperor penguin has been spotted in the wild in New Zealand. Typically, emperors spend their entire lives in and around Antarctica.

At first it seemed fine, but as the week progressed, it became more lethargic. It ate a lot of sand, apparently mistaking it for snow, which emperor penguins eat in Antarctica to hydrate themselves during the frozen winters.
Source: Scottish Daily Express


What do you think should happen to the penguin?

Why do you think stories like these make the news?

Do you remember any similar story?

Vocabulary:
to s___ - to notice or to see something
f_____  (adj) - extremely cold  /  to f_____
to w_____ - the opposite of improve = to get w____
to h____ - when a baby bird comes out of the egg

to give sb a l___ somewhere - to take sb in your car to a place
a s________ - a person on holiday who visits interesting place…

Airline dress code controversy

A man who ignited a row about airline dress codes after he was allowed to wear skimpywomen's panties and mid-thigh stockings on a U.S. Airways flight has said that he does it to make business travel more fun.

The 65-year-old Phoenix man, who works as a business consultant and flies several times a month as a preferred customer on the airline, said that he has flown inscantyfemale clothing for several years.

A dispute erupted after pictures emerged of the man dressed in a blue bathing suit andheels on a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, days before a college football player was arrested on a flight following a row over his baggy pants.

Source: Daily Mail

Do you think the football player should have been taken off the flight?

Do you think the cross-dresser should have been allowed on the flight?

What do you wear when you fly?

Vocabulary:

to have a r__ - a noisy arguement

at s____ - when sth of value is in danger of being lost

to f___ charges - to officially accuse sb in a court of la…

BeautifulPeople.com suffers "ugly invasion"

A social networking site for ''beautiful people'' has been hit by a ''Shrek'' virus which allowed tens of thousands of ''ugly'' applicants to sign up.
Members of BeautifulPeople.com must traditionally pass a strict ''rating'' stage where existing users vote on whether someone is attractive enough to be accepted into the online community.


But this screening process was brought down last month, allowing anyone to join, regardlessof their looks.

Owners today apologised to more than 30,000 ''unfortunate'' people who were ''wrongly admitted'' to the site and subsequently banished.


Source: Daily Telegraph
What do you think of this website and the people who want to join it?

How do you think the people who were kicked out feel?

Would you ever try to join such a club?

Don't you think it is all just a publicity stunt?

Vocabulary:
to s___ __ - to become involved in an orgnized activity
to c___ to t__…

EFile Pre Int Units 1 - 6 Revision

Correct the sentences that are wrong:
She was born in the third of April.How much costs a ticket to Malaga?He likes go to the countryside at the weekends.Who did say "veni, vidi, vici"?We haven't to get up early tomorrow.I'd like seeing that film.I think they win the match. They are playing well at the moment.Where do you go for your holiday this summer?The weather is worse this week that last week.Did you write to your grandmother yet?She taked the bus to work yesterday.They bought the house ago two years.If you will come with us to the party, you will meet a lot of people.You shouldn't to talk to your father like that.I might don't go to work tomorrow.Madrid isn't as expensive as Paris and the people are friendlier.Have you ever forgot your wife's birthday?I going to look for a new flat after the summer holidays.She lived in London when she met her husband.I am thinking to go to the theatre this weekend.A washing machine is something where cleans you…

Winehouse booed by angry concert-goers

They tried to make her go to rehab -- and she did.

But perhaps Amy Winehouse should’ve stay in rehab a little longer.


Source: newsy.com
How would you have reacted if you had seen her give such a performance?
Why do you think so many stars have to go to rehab?
Have you ever been to a concert that you didn't enjoy? Why?
Vocabulary:

w____ - the money that you receive from your work at the end of the month

to s_______ - to have difficulty doing something

k______ - the time when an activity starts eg football

to b__ - to make a noise that shows disapproval

the s____ - the place where actors are in the theatre

to w_____ - to walk around slowly without any clear purpose or direction

to s____ ___ - to express opinions forcefully

upcoming (adj)

to shell out -

a week's worth -

a mouthpiece -

shortly afterwards -

needless to say -

a comeback tour -

sober (adj) -



Grammar point:

"...spending most of the time wandering around the stage"

How much time do you spend watching TV each day…

Man is dogs' worst enemy

Jerusalem rabbis 'condemn dog to death by stoning' 
A Jewish rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a stray dog it feared was the reincarnation of a lawyer who insulted its judges, reports say.

The dog entered the Jerusalem financial court several weeks ago and would not leave, reports Israeli website Ynet.

It reminded a judge of a curse passed on a now deceased secular lawyer about 20 years ago, when judges bid his spirit to enter the body of a dog.

The animal is said to have escaped before the sentence was carried out. One of the judges at the court in the city's ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighbourhood had reportedly asked local children to carry out the sentence.

An animal welfare organisation filed a complaint with the police against a court official, who denied reports that judges had ordered the dog's stoning, according to Ynet.

But a court manager told Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot the stoning had been ordered as "as an appropriate way to 'get…

Hooligans at Royal Ascot

A drunken brawl, a celebrity call girl and tattooed men (and women)... whatever happened to a genteel day out at Ascot?

For 300 years, it has been the highlight of the summer calendar for the well-off and well-connected.

But these days, it seems, the enclosures and stands of Royal Ascot are becoming increasingly popular with a much less distinguished breed of racegoer.


Source: Daily Mail

What does this say about British society?
What is the poshest event you have been to?


Vocabulary:

a b____ - a particular type of animal eg dog, in some cases a type of person

k_______ (adj) - given the title "sir"

vice (n) - illegal and immoral activity, usually connected to sex

a g___ - a long woman's dress worn at formal occasions

f___ t__ - a substance that you put on your skin to make it appear that you have been in the sun

a p____ - a danger / p_______ (adj)

a b____  = a f_____ - a noisy, uncontrolled fight

to s____ - to push forcefully

a s_____ - a place where horses are kept

to e__ s…

Saudi women defy driving ban

Saudi Facebook campaign sees women drive cars
The call to defy the ban that spread through the social networking sites is the largest en masse action since November 1990, when a group of 47 Saudi women were arrested and severely punished after demonstrating in cars.


"We've just returned from the supermarket. My wife decided to start the day by driving to the store and back," said columnist Tawfiq Alsaif on his Twitter page.


Source: Daily Telegraph




Vocabulary:
to t_____ - to cause sth (eg a governement, a statue) to lose balance and fall down
b______ (adv) - for a short time
f______ (unc n) - a piece of film that shows an event
to d___ - to refuse to obey a law, a person etc / to do sth in d_______
a s______ d___ - someone who is very easy for an enemy to shoot at or attack
from h___ to t__ - completely covering your body
a p_______ - a thin book of only a few pages which gives some kind of information
a w____ - a prostitute
to h___ an event - to make an event happen / h___…

Gay girl in Damascus

When the world caught wind last week of the disappearance of an out lesbian blogger in Syria -- journalists and activists went on the hunt.

CNN, JUNE 6, 2011: “A well-known female blogger has allegedly been abducted in Syria. Relatives of Amina Abdullah say she hasn't been seen since she wasbundled into a car yesterday. Her blog, ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ has made her an icon of the Syrian uprising, often challenging the al Assad regime. Her disappearance has prompted thousands to join online campaigns on Facebook and Twitter demanding her release.”

Only -- the Gay Girl in Damascus -- was actually a heterosexual man in Scotland.

Source: newsy.com

Have you ever read blogs of people from other countries?
Do you doubt what you read in the news?
How do you think this deception will affect gays in countries where homosexuality is against the law?


Vocabulary:
to c____ w___ of sth - to hear a piece of information that someone else was trying to keep secret
to h___ - to do damage sth or to hurt…