Showing posts from March, 2012

Good news for chocaholics

Image Source
Chocolate 'may help keep people slim'
People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner, new research suggests.

The findings come from a study of nearly 1,000 US people that looked at diet, calorie intake and body mass index (BMI) - a measure of obesity.

It found those who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it occasionally.

Source: BBC News

to tend to -

findings (n) -

calorie intake -

loaded with -

weight loss -

rather than -

to boost -

to lower -

by chance -

a link -

proof (n) -

to mop up -

harmful (adj) -

to damage -

to feed (fed,fed) -

a trial -

a chocolate bar -

there's no harm in stg -

a treat -

likely to -

Grammar Point: Even though chocolate is loaded with calories, it contains ingredients that may favour weight loss.
Despite boosting calorie intake, regular chocolate consumption was related to lower BMI in the study.

Even though and despite are both linkers that are used to contrast two ideas.

Even though + cl…

Viva "Eurovegas"

Spain's dilemmas over 'Eurovegas' mega casino plans
Spain's two great rival cities, Barcelona and Madrid, are vying to attract a mega casino project planned by US multi-billionaire mogul Sheldon Adelson. Dubbed "Eurovegas", the vast 16bn euro ($21bn; £13bn) complex of hotels and casinos will, say Spanish officials, generate up to 200,000 jobs.
For a country with a struggling economy and high jobless rate, the temptations are clear. But Mr Adelson's investment comes with conditions, and some argue he should have to play by the same rules as others in Spain.

The contest to win over the 14th richest man in the world has become a casino version of the El Clasico derby that Spaniards are more used to witnessing on the football pitch.

Source: BBC News

to vye -
up to 200,000 jobs -
struggling (adj) -
jobless rate -
to win over sb -
to witness -
a football pitch -
to dock -
a tax haven -
slightly (+ comparative) -
unemployment stands at 23% -
main (adj…

Lottery ticket dishonesty

You've won £10, shopkeepers told Lotto winner... then they claimed his £157,000 prize for themselves
When Gwyn Badham-Davies checked his lottery ticket at his local newsagent’s, he was delighted to hear he had won £10.

But the hearty congratulations offered by shopkeeper Anne Jeevarajah as she handed over the cash concealed a cynical plot to steal the small fortune he had actually won.

Jeevarajah had discovered her loyal customer’s ticket carried five winning numbers and the bonus ball – worth £156,659.

Source: Daily Mail


delighted (adj) -

hearty congratulations -

a cynical plot -

worth £ -

to claim the prize -

to jail -

theft (n) -

flagrant (adj) -

a breach of trust -

to be dealt with seriously -

to forgive (forgave, forgiven) -

upset (adj) -

a ban -

a betrayal -

to spoil -

ongoing (adj) -

to take over (a business) -

to be due to happen -

a six figure windfall -

goodwill (n) -

unforgiveable (adj) -

to purchase -

to scan (a ticket) -

trust (n) -

to hand down a sentence -

Word games (1)

Image source

Add a letter to  "_ear" to male a word that fits the following sentences:

eg There are usually 365 days in a _ear. 2012 is a leap _ear so it has 366 days.
answer: year

eg A _ear is a greenish-coloured fruit.
     If a plan goes _ear-shaped, it fails. I had planned to go away at Easter but it all went _ear-shaped.
answer: pear

1.  The _ear is the symbol of Madrid. There is a statue of one in Puerta del Sol.
     I can't _ear the suspense. Please tell me if I've passed.

2.  I have a _ear of heights. What are you afraid of? 

3.  You should be in fifth _ear when you are driving at 100kph.

4.  That was a _ear miss - you almost hit the bicycle.

5.   _ear Rachel,
      I'm sorry I haven't written before now.
      I like the restaurant but it is very _ear. The one next to the office is less expensive.

6.  Speak up. I can't _ear you.

7. You have to _ear a seat belt in the back seat too.
    Don't worry. The effects of the drug will _ear off ver…

International Women's Day

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Today many countries around the world celebrate Women's Day.

I was made aware of the date in class this morning and my first reaction was to ask when International Men's Day was. Nobody had an answer and I suppose, like me, everyone thought such a day didn't exist. But I've just discovered that it is celebrated on 19th November every year.

International Women's Day highlights hurdles obstruction equality

Domestic violence against women, pay inequality and abortion rights among issues raised
International Women's Day was marked amid a mood of anger that the struggle for equality is far from being won.

Source: Guardian


to raise an issue -

amid -

a struggle -

the mood -

to stage -

a bruise -

to march -

a bra -

under threat -

due -

the frontrunner -

a pay gap -

controversy -

to strike out -

on-demand -

to pledge -

to claim -

on average -

tough (adj) -

to fine -

to draw attention to stg -

to be held (in a prison) -

to strip-search -

to beat -

to blindfold -


Egypt here I come

Source: You Tube (tatosha delfina) Key Words: Egyptian Bangles

Walk like an Egyptian - The Bangles

All the old paintings on the tombs
They do the sand dance, dont you know
If they move too quick (oh whey oh)
They're falling down like a domino.

All the bazaar men by the Nile
They got their money on a bet
Gold crocodiles (oh whey oh)
They snaptheir teeth on your cigarette.

Foreign types with the hookah pipes say:
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian.

The blonde waitresses take their trays
They spin around and they cross the floor
They've got the moves (oh whey oh)
They drop your drink, then they bring you more.

All the school kids so sick of books
They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They're walking like an Egyptian.

All the kids in the market place say:
Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh
Walk like an Egyptian.

Slide your feet up the street, bend your back
Shift your arm, then you pull it back
Life is hard, you know (oh whey oh)
So st…

On-line dictionaries

What on-line dictionary do you use to look up a new English word?

I bet that it is a bilingual English-Spanish one.

Am I right?

Well, you should really be using a monolingual English-English dictionary too.

It helps to see how to use the word you have looked up correctly.

I think you are  more likely to remember the word if you read the definition in English. The more time you spend with the word, the more you absorb it.

Don't worry if you don't understand a word in the definition - click on it and you will see its definition too.

Let's take a look at some of the dictionaries you can find on-line.


It has a Learner's dictionary (simpler definitions), British and American English dictionaries, a Business English dictionary and a Span-Eng dictionary.

2. Oxford

The usage notes at the end of the definitions are particularly useful.

3. Merriam-webster

It also has a thesaurus and an English-Spanish dictionary.

4. Reverso

It offers the possibility of simpler defin…