Showing posts from May, 2011

Conditonal dictation

Here are six sentences that use either the first or second conditional. Write the sentences that you hear. Use the pause button and listen as many times as you like.

Christian the lion

Source: tigerpride (You Tube) kew words christian lion befriends

In 2008 a lion named Christian became an international sensation, thanks to the internet. “I think it’s absolutely wonderful how it has (1) the imagination of a whole new generation of people.” Christian’s amazing journey began in 1969. Two young Australians, Ace Bourke and John Rendall were soaking up the (2) and sounds of London. Around Christmas they wandered into Harrods department store and discovered a lion cub for sale in a (3). It is a practice that would shock most people today. Ace and John bought the lion and called him Christian. Christian was a friendly, outgoing cub. John and Ace took him all over London. The two men kept him in the furniture shop in which they worked. Christian needed plenty of (4) and they convinced a local vicar to let him romp in the gardens of a nearby church. “We had to be one step ahead of him all the time because he grew very quickly, his (5) and claws were very sharp. He, very quickly, he wa…

Nurses skirts against the constitution

You can't force a nurse to wear a skirt in Spain
The Spanish Constitutional Court has ruled that the obligation on nurses to wear skirts at the Pascual Clínicas in Spain is unconstitutional.

Consulting nurses and those on the wards have been ordered by the clinic to wear skirts, stockings and nurses cap, while their colleagues in theatre and male staff were allowed to use health pyjamas.

Source: BBC News

a hospital ward -
stockings -
to hand down -
a ruling -
therefore -
to overturn (a decision) -

What do you think of the court's decision?

Bloody scenes in Plaça de Catalunya

Spanish protesters clash with police over clean-up

Violence breaks out around Barcelona's Plaça de Catalunya, the first trouble after 12 days of protests

Source: Guardian
chocar -
una bala de goma -
imágenes -
desalojar -
multitudes -
una manifestación -
estallar -
un camion -
un colchón -
pegar -
ensangrentado -
una lona -
quitar -            /
en todas partes -

Dad burglar let out to be with kids

Jailed burglar Wayne Bishop freed to care for children
A burglar from Nottingham has been freed from jail on appeal so he can care for his five children.

Wayne Bishop, 33, was jailed for eight months for breaking into a rugby club and crashing into a police car.

Source: BBC News

a burglar -
on appeal -
to jail -
a judgement -
to breach -
to let off -
dead-end (adj) -
to clip -
to sentence -
overjoyed (adj) -
the spur of the moment -
to infringe -
sole (adj) -
to face (a difficult situation) -
aware (adj) -

Pre Int File 5 Grammar

Correct the following sentences that have mistakes:
He has just gone out for to buy some bread.I would like going to Cuba this summer.It's lovely to see you again.I hope to find a better job soon.I don't mind to get up early.I am thinking to join a gym after the summer holidays.Swimming is the best sport to keep fit.He hasn't to wear a suit on Fridays; he can go casual.You must to take off your hat when you enter a church.The mouse ran across the floor and out the kitchen.

It's up to you

If you say to someone "it's up to you"; you are telling them that they are the one to make the choice, that it is their decision or it depends on them

A: Do you think I should take the job?
B: That's up to you. You'd earn more but remember that you'd have a longer journey to work.

A: I can't make up my mind. Should I buy the red or black one?
B: It's up to you. You look great in both.

Electoral shift to right

Zapatero's Socialists defeated by People's party in regional elections
Results seen as protest vote against Spain's José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero's handling of economy since 2008
The PSOE socialist party of Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is licking its wounds after defeat by the conservative opposition People's party (PP) in municipal and regional elections.

Source: Guardian

to defeat:
to handle:
to lick your wounds:
aware (adj):
widely (adv) :
to eject:
a drubbing:
a backdrop:
sluggish (adj):
to struggle:
spoilt ballots:
overall turnout:
mainstream (adj):
to blame:
to plunge:
a U-turn:
to pledge:
to stick to (a plan):
a bond (finance):
a share (finance):
to urge:
to call an election:
a snap general election:
to be due:
left-wing (adj):
opinion polls:
to hang on:
to set (timetable):
regarded as:

Spanish Revolution ?

Spanish protesters head for standoff with police in Madrid square
Thousands of anti-government protesters in Madrid and other cities refuse to leave as interior minister warns of intervention
Thousands of protesters who are camped out in Madrid's central Puerta del Sol square and in dozens more Spanish cities have pledged to defy an order to pack up their tent cities and leave.

Source: Guardian
to gather:
to head for stg:
a standoff:
to pledge:
to defy:
to uphold the law:
a mattress:
to get rid of stg/sb:
to wheel out:
tarpaulin (n):
decked with:
crew (n):
an aim:
a cheer:
to tackle (a problem):
a perk:
as long as:

"The Angry Ones"

They’ve been dubbed the “Indignados” -- or “The Angry Ones.”

Youth-led protests in Spain continue to gain momentum just days before local elections-- as protesters take to the streets, angry about the nation’s 21% unemployment rate under the ruling Socialist Party.

Source: Newsy
to dub sb/stg:
youth led:
the unemployment rate:
an outpouring of stg:
to spread:
to make up for stg:
a lack of stg:
to be around the corner (an event):
to slash:
to shield:
wages (n):
to point out:
makeshift (adj):
a rally:
to go the way of sb:
in the prime of life:

Married women use net to find lovers

Spain website encouraging wives to have affairs angers husbands
Madrid advertisements prompt city's males to post angry comments on site's Facebook wall

An advertising campaign inviting married women to sign on to a website that will allow them to find men they can have affairs with has provoked an angry reaction in the Spanish capital Madrid.

Source: Guardian

to encourage:
to prompt:
to spice up (your life):
to claim:
to target:

Camped in Sol

Spanish youth rally in Madrid echoes Egypt protests
About 2,000 young people angry over high unemployment have spent the night camping in a famous square in Madrid as a political protest there grows.

A big canvas roof was stretched across Puerta del Sol square, protesters brought mattresses and sleeping bags and volunteers distributed food.
Source: BBC News

a rally:
to disperse:
a mattress:
to stretch:
a rate:
to handle (communications):
to set up:

Who was San Isidro?

One of the most celebrated holidays of Madrid is held on May 15, the Feast Day of San Isidro who is the city's patron saint as well as the patron saint of farmers. The traditional festival and feast are held in an open-air area known as the Pradera del Santo.

San Isidro was born in Madrid in 1082 and died in 1172. Legend has it that while the saint was praying, two angels ploughed the land for him. Amongst the miracles attributed to him, hagiographers say that once when he was building a well, his son fell in; but through his mediation he was miraculously brought back to the parapet when the water level rose causing the child to float.


to hold (an event):
as well as:
to plough:
a well:
to float:
a spring (water):
to gush:
legend has it...:
to bang:
a spot (place):
to date back to:
thronging (adj):
to play host to:
a peak:
to bless:
to spring up:
to shrink:
a bank (river):
a shrine:
to gather:
to live on:

Read this previous post on San Isidro.

Eurovision of yesterday

It's that time of year again. But it's not what it was.

Here are a couple of songs from my childhood that came out tops in the contest.

A winner from 1982, I remember singing this on stage at school:

Source: You Tube (evscevsc) Key Words: Nicole Eurovision Peace

A Little Peace - Nicole

Just like a flower when winter begins
Just like a candle blown out in the wind
Just like a bird that can no longer fly
I'm feeling that way some times

But then as I'm falling, weighed down by the load
I picture a light at the end of the road
And closing my eyes I can see through the dark
The dream that is in my heart

A little lovin', a little givin'
To build a dream for the world we live in
A little patience and understandin'
For our tomorrow, a little peace
A little sunshine, a sea of gladness
To wash away all the tears of sadness
A little hopin', a little prayin,
For our tomorrow, a little peace

I feel I'm a leaf in the mound on the snow
I fell to the g…

That hat on e-bay

Duncan Bannatyne bids on eBay for Princess Beatrice's royal wedding hat
Duncan Bannatyne has kicked off the bidding on eBay for the bizarre hat worn by Princess Beatrice at last month's royal wedding.

The entrepreneur and Dragons' Den star offered the £5,000 starting price for the flamboyantPhilip Treacy creation, which is being auctioned for charity.

Bannatyne, a Unicef UK ambassador, said: "Whatever anyone thinks of the hat it's fantastic that Princess Beatrice is doing this for Unicef and Children in Crisis. Good for her!

Source: Daily Telegraph

to bid for stg:              a bid:
a charity:
flamboyant (adj):
an entrepreneur:
to auction stg:           an auction:
to encourage:
to raise (money):
a deal:
to be billed as:
mirth (n):
utter (adj):
bafflement (n):
headgear (n):
outlandish (adj):
glad (adj):
to split:
flattered (adj):
overwhelming (adj):
delighted (adj):
to beat:
to take off your hat to sb:

Source: ITNnews (You Tube) kew words beatrice hat royal wedding

Fatal tremor in Lorca

Spain earthquake: Thousands in Lorca sleep out in fear
Thousands of people have spent the night outdoors in the southern Spanish town of Lorca after an earthquake which killed at least eight people.

The magnitude-5.2 tremor toppled several buildings after striking at a depth of just 10km (six miles), 120km south-west of Alicante.

Lines of cars lay crushed under tonnes of rubble after Spain's worst earthquake for 50 years.

Source: bbc news

to topple:
to crush:
to lay:
to strike:
rubble (n):
the death toll:
to rush:
to gather:
to deploy:
the edge:
a shelter:
to set up:
a basketball court:
a blanket:
to huddle:

Source: dzproton (You Tube) key words: lorca earthquake

Drunk driver gets away with it

Drunk driver aquitted because of the skill in which he fled police
The Murcia Provincial Court has described a year's ban imposed by a lower court as 'absurd'.

 A drunk driver has been acquitted in Spain because of the skill in which he fled the police.

It happened in Murcia on April 8 where the driver jumped an alcohol control, driving off, jumping red lights, and skidding on the curves but he did so ‘driving skilfully at speed’. When he was finally caught he gave a level of 0.45 grams of alcohol per litre of blood.

The legal level in Spain is 0.25 grams, and above 0.60 grams is considered a crime.

The magistrates in the third section of the Murcia Provincial Court have overturned an earlier sentence from the Penal Court 1 in Murcia, which had been for a year’s driving ban, a 1,080 € fine, and 33 days community work.

The judges in the higher court considered that sentence was ‘absurd’ because it makes no sense that if he was drunk, how was he capable of controlling…

Halt money to Catholic Church

Left wing calls for Church's money to spent on the unemployed

Spain gives 10 billion Euro to the Catholic Church every year
Left wing grouping I.U. leader, Cayo Lara, has proposed that the state funding which normally goes to the Catholic Church in Spain be diverted to create employment.

‘To the church to pray, and to the school to learn’, he said speaking in Alicante on Monday. He called for a fully secular state and said the 10 billion € which Spain gives to the Church each year would create 400,000 stable jobs, describing the idea as a ‘simple revision’.

Lara was supporting the left wing candidate for the Valencia region, Marga Sanz. She criticised the Socialists for their religious policy, saying that although the Constitution expected state funding of the Church it was wrong to finance Bishops’ campaigns against fundamental freedoms and rights.

Source: typicallyspanish

Disaster to hit Rome today?

Rome braces for 'prophet-predicted quake'
Thousands of people are reported to be staying out of Rome for the next few days, over fears the city will be hit by a huge earthquake.
The panic was sparked by rumours that seismologist Raffaele Bendandi, who died in 1979, predicted the city would be devastated by a quake on 11 May.

Officials have insisted quakes cannot be predicted and special programmes have run on state TV calling for calm.

Experts also say there is no evidence Bendandi even made the prediction.

But many people said they were leaving the city to be on the safe side.

There are reports of an 18% increase in the number of city employees planning to stay away from work.

"I'm going to tell the boss I've got a medical appointment and take the day off," barman Fabio Mengarelli told Reuters.

"If I have to die, I want to die with my wife and kids, and masses of people will do the same as me."
Another Roman, Tania Cotorobai, told Reuters s…

Intermediate Revision

Write the questions for the following answers:
....? Yes, I have. Two brothers and a sister.....? A suit and tie.....? I either go to see a film or I invite some friends for dinner.....? No, the Scottish are much friendlier than the English.....? No, never but I'd like to go.....? Zaragoza, but I grew up in Madrid.....? Two years ago. I need a holiday this year.....? since we were at university.....? for about 10 years. She got divorced 2 years ago.....? No, I'd prefer you didn't.....? She's quite tall with long, dark hair.....? Yes, but I don't like it anymore. Infact, I hate it.....? No, thanks. I've just had one.....? I think I'd run away as fast as I could.....? He's really nice. He's the best boss I've ever had.
Are the following sentences right or wrong? Correct any mistakes.
A. I've got a terrible headache. B. I'm sorry, I haven't an aspirin.He spends a lot of time playing football but he's not very good at it.They've nev…

She might be Spanish but he looks English

A. What does she look like? How old is she? Where's she from?

B. What does he look like? Does he look friendly? What does he do? C. What does she do? Does she look like her famous mother? How old is she? Where's she from?
D. Where's he from? What does he do? Does he look like a politician?
E. How old is he? What does he look like? Does he look like his famous sister? F. Where's he from? Does he look Spanish? What does he do?
G. Where's she from? How old do you think she is? What does she do? H. Does he look English? Does he look like his famous sister? What do you think his job is?

I. How old do you think he is? Could he be French? Does he look like his famous daughter?

We use "look" and "look like" to talk about appearances.
"look" is followed by an adjective: She looks tired.You look wonderful tonight.He looks Italian. "look like" is followed by a noun: She looks like a kind lady.I look like a gangster in this photo.He looks like a…

Have you ever ....?

We use the Present Perfect form (have + past participle) to talk about our experiences. We do not specify the time of the action(s). I have been to Florida. RIGHTI have been to Florida last year. WRONG I went to Florida last year. RIGHT
He's worked for some of the top companies. RIGHTWe've seen this film three or four times. RIGHTWe saw this film three or four times. WRONGThey've met the King of Spain. RIGHTThey've met the King of Spain when he visited Cantabria. WRONGShe's lived in a few different countries. RIGHTHave you eaten in this restaurant before? RIGHTIn the above examples we only talk about the experiences without specifying when the action(s) happened.

We can use "ever" in a question to ask about life experiences:
Have you ever ridden a horse?Has she ever studied languages?Has anyone ever climbed that mountain?We use "never" to say that we don't have the experience:
She's never been to the opera.They've never flown before.I ha…

American leaves dentist with British accent

Would you ever believe that an American woman from Portland, Oregon who talks like this:

“Hi this is Karen, sorry I can’t come to the phone at the moment.” (Video: KATU)

Could leave a dentist appointment sounding like this?

“Oh where are you from, where did you get that accent? Well I got it from my dentist in Toledo!” (Video: WEWS)

Karen Butler suffers from an extremely rare disorder, Foreign Accent Syndrome.


to suffer from:
a stroke:
to blame:
puzzled (adj):
to point out:
an oddity:
a backlash:
a great deal of stg:
outgoing (adj):

Advanced revision

Are the following sentence right or wrong? Correct those that are wrong.

1.  My car has broken down again. It's high time to buy a new one.

2.  I wish I would never started watching this film.

3.  I regret not to go to university. It's much more difficult to find a job without a degree.

4.  I would have forgotten if you wouldn't have reminded me.

5.  We have met before, don't we?

6. He use to play football with his colleagues on a Friday evening.

7.  Would you mind to keep your voices down, please?

8.  Could you tell me which platform does the train leave from?

9.  I wish she wouldn't tell off me in front of everyone.

10.  My teacher suggested me to read this book.

11. I don't think I'd ever be used to live in a noisy neighbourhood.

12. She apologized to everyone in causing so much worry.

Choose A B C or D to complete the following sentences.

13. I must get _____ to phoning her. I haven't heard from her for ages.

A. over               B. up
C. round …