Showing posts from 2013

Pre-Int Revision Files 1-4 Questions

Write a suitable question for the following answers:

eg ...?                  She's 21.

Answer: How old is your sister?

...?     Two. Spanish and English....?     No, I'm an only child....?     He's an engineer....?     Once or twice a year....?     Scotland but I grew up in London....?     Swimming and learning languages....?     He's quite tall and he has a beard....?     It was great. It even had a swimming pool....?     I'm looking for my keys. Have you seen them?...?     I was just remembering what happened. It was so funny....?     Nothing much. I just stayed at home and watched a film....?     Yes. We had so much fun. I'd love to go back....?     Around 7pm and then I went for a drink with my colleagues....?     I can't remember. I was probably in the office writing some e-mails....?     I don't know. I'd like to go to Budapest but my husband wants to go to Prague....?     Yes, I'd love to. What film are you going to see?...?     On Thursday…

Pre-Int Crossword - Files 3&4

You can click on the key symbol to get the answers.

If you do the crossword, write me a short comment. Did you get them all?

Pre Int Revision - Files 3&4

Each sentence has a missing word. Identify it and rewrite the sentences.

eg A: Where you from? B: Scotland.

answer: Where are you from? B: Scotland.

I'm hungry. What are we going to for dinner tonight?He going to drive. He's decided to take the train.Would you like see the new Spielberg film this weekend?A: I'm busy on Thursday.      B: What meeting on Friday?She's really worried the exam so she is studying every evening.Wait me. I'm just coming.We didn't arrive the hotel until very late.Dangerous is the opposite safe.A flight attendant is someone works on a plane.A: Are you ready to order?        B: Yes, I have the fish.A: Have you finished the report?         B: No, not.I've already to London. Let's go to Edinburgh.A: Where is David?     B: He's to the shops. Have you ever the train to Barcelona? It only takes three hours.We've tried Thai cuisine so we're going to that new Thai restaurant this weekend.I'm not going to the exam. I…

Zero comments 2013

Remember that you don't have to do just the recent posts. You can use the Labels and the Archive (look down the left hand side of the blog) to find previous posts.

Remember that if you read a post, I'd  really appreciate a "I've read it" comment. Otherwise, I will never know if  anyone has read the post.

Here is a list of posts with zero comments from 2013 (and there are others from previous years):

Circus VocabularyNight Caps are Bad for SleepHousehusbands on the RiseGovernment Faces Corruption AllegationsThink about how to use Think新年好!新年快乐!FCE Mock - U of EDon't believe what you read in the papers - especially todayTwitter recruitment"Suspended Coffee"Linkers for adding informationGo Vegetarian to Live LongerRoad Hogs BewareHospital EnglishFanastic Mrs FoxCan you do better than Botella?Historic ViolinPasapalabra - AdvancedPoll (4)Black FridayPoll (5)
Even creating this post took a lot of time. Imagine how I feel when I see zero comments. So please …

Nelson Mandela Quotes

Can you guess the words to complete these quotations from Nelson Mandela?
___ is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The ___ man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.It always seems ___ until it's done.After ___ing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to ___.Money won't create ___, the freedom to create it will.There can be no keener revelation of a society's ___ than the way in which it treats its children.To ___ people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.Unlike some politicians, I can admit to a ___.It is ___ to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is ___. Then people will appreciate your leadership.Any man or instituti…

Poll (5)

Which of the following is a job?
a flight assistant (50%)a cooker (30%)a scientific (20%)a political (0%)a librarian (0%) Nobody got the answer right.

The answer is a librarian. They work in a library - the place where you borrow books.

A flight attendant serves you drinks on a plane. Along with the pilots, they form part of the cabin crew. Someone who serves you in a shop is a shop assistant.

A cook works in the kitchen of a restaurant. The cooker is the gas or electrical appliance used for cooking.

A scientist does experiments and carries outscientific research. Scientific is an adjective.

A politican is involved in politics. Political is an adjective eg a political decision.

Which sentence requires a different verb?

I am missing you so much. I wish you were here. (33%)

I've lost my keys. Have you seen them anywhere? (44%)

If we don't hurry up, we'll miss our flight. (11%)

The chemist's is on the left. You can't miss it. (11%)

People often confuse miss and lose.


Time to ban circuses with animals?

Circus tiger mauls tamer mid-act
A tamer was viciously attacked by the tiger he was performing with during a circus act in Madrid on Sunday.

Thirty-five-year-old Danny Gottani was rushed to hospital after sustaining serious cuts and bites to his throat, legs and back.

Just moments before, hundreds of spectators had watched in disbelief as the big cat pounced on the animal trainer and wouldn't let go of him.

Although part of the audience assumed the attack was part of the pair’s stage act, they soon realized the mauling was all too true when another circus member rushed to the scene and began striking the animal with a stick.

According to the Gottani Circus website, the animal trainer has been working with tigers since the age of 18 and never uses any whips or weapons to control the animals.

Madrid Health Services told Spanish news agency EFE that none of Gottani’s vital organs were damaged in the attack even though the cuts were “relatively deep”.

The tamer’s mother, a spe…

Crime and Punishment Crossword

You can click on the key symbol to get the answers.

If you do the crossword, write me a short comment. Did you get them all?

Scotland Quiz

Today is Saint Andrew's Day in Scotland.

So it's an opportunity to see how much you know about the country.

1. Which of the following is the Scottish flag? Do you recognise the other flags?

A:                                                                                        B:

C:                                                                                           D:

2. When will the vote for independence be held next year?

A: 25th January
B: 31st March
C: 18th September
D: 30th November

3. What is the capital of Scotland?

A: Edimburg
B: Edinburgh
C: Edinburger
D: Edimbhurg

4. Which of these castles is the Queen's summer residence? Do you know where they can be found?

A:                                                                                             B:                                 

Source: Wikipedia (Eusebius)
Source: Wikipedia (Wknight94)

C:                                                                                                     D:

Black Friday

Fights break out at Asda as shoppers descend on Black Friday deals US tradition of post-Thanksgiving discounts brings scrambles to stores in UK with customers eager for cut-price electrical goods
Shoppers desperate for bargains caused chaos in Asda stores on Friday as the Walmart-owned supermarket brought the US tradition of Black Friday to Britain.

Customers scrambled and pushed to snatch cut-price electrical goods after queueing for several hours outside Asda stores around the country.

Source: Guardian

to break out -

to descend on stg -

a deal (v, n) -

a scramble (v, n) -

eager (adj) -

cut-price (adj) -

goods -

a bargain -

to snatch -

to queue (v, n) -

to assault -

to arrest (v, n) -

a fracas -

frenzied (adj) -

a shelf -

to overrun -

a newswire -

bedlam -

jam-packed (adj) -

to ensure -

on this scale -

to take advantage of stg/sb -

a retailer -

to encourage -

up to 70% -

News from Spain

Why not start reading news about Spain in English?

If you know the story already, it will be much easier to understand the article.

Here are some links that you might find interesting:
El País in EnglishThe LocalMarca in English
Two British newspapers have pages for news from Spain:

Int 1 - Review of Units 4 - 6

Each sentence has a missing word. Identify it and rewrite the sentences.
Teachers have to wear a uniform. Many of them wear jeans in my school.You mustn't Whatsapp during the lesson. It's rude.Shhhh. What's that noise? Can you it too?Can you me to phone Laura this evening? I meant to phone her yesterday.It was absolutely. I don't think the temperature dropped below 40ºC.I use to like cucumber but I love it now.I am writing to you the advertisement for a position in the computing department.Think it and let me know what you decide by Friday.Pedro is by the best student in the class. The average mark in the exam was 60%. He got 88%.As as studying English, he is finishing his degree.He isn't in his office at the moment. Would you calling back later?A: What would you do if you your job?      B: I'd probably go abroad to look for work.

Pre-Int Crossword File 2

typo: 2. *** it was a long film, I really enjoyed it.

You can click on the key symbol to get the answers.

If you do the crossword, write me a short comment. Did you get them all?

JFK assassination - 50 years on

Remembering a President (listening with transcript) Source: Learning English VOA news

Ich bin ein Berliner speechSource:

This Day in History (text) Source:

US remembers Kennedy (text and videos) Source: BBC News

Here is a selection of JFK's quotes. Choose the correct word(s) to complete them. 
If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few / the little who are rich.Too / too much  often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss / lose the future.My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can make / do for you, ask what you can make / do for your country.A nation that is afraid tolet its people to judge / judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.When written / wrote in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents dange…

Pre-Int Revision (File 1)

Each sentence has a missing word. Identify it and rewrite the sentences.

eg A: Where you from?    B: Scotland.

answer: Where are you from?      B: Scotland.

A: How do you your first name?      B: K-A-R-E-NI have any brothers or sisters.Where you born?A: Can you speak any other?     B: No, just Spanish and English.What kind of music do you listen?Where your wife work?A: How do you go to the theatre?     B: Maybe once a year.How many cups of coffee do you drink day?A: Where he go last summer?    B: I think he went to Paris.She's very but her husband is quiet.A: What does she like?      B: She's quite tall with long, fair hair.Some people say Spanish people very lazy.My girlfriend doesn't feel going out this weekend.He is jeans and a white shirt.He always in black - black shirt, black trousers, black everything!There is a vase next the telephone.A: Can I speak to Mr. Smith?      B: Certainly. I'll put you.She doesn't really get with her sister. They are completely diff…

And the winner of Word of the Year is...

'Selfie' named by Oxford Dictionaries as word of 2013
The word has evolved from a niche social media tag into a mainstream term for a self-portrait photograph, the editors said.

Research suggested its frequency in the English language had increased by 17,000% in the last year, they added. Other shortlisted words included "twerk" - a raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus - and "binge-watch" - meaning watching lots of TV. Source: BBC News

a niche -

a tag -

mainstream (adj) -

shortlisted (adj) -

raunchy -

binge -

tissue -

a chav -

the credit crunch -

a shambles -

to coin -

to upload -

to track -

to trace back -

an injury -

to trip over -

throughout (prep)

a hashtag -

widespread (adj) -

a source -

Read this previous post about new entries to Oxford dictionary.

Hotel reviews

Last weekend I stayed in the Parador in Fuente De - Picos de Europa. I thought it was a pleasant place and very reasonably priced.

Here are some of the reviews (I didn't read any of them before booking):

“A bit disappointing” Reviewed 1 week ago The location is amazing and can't be faulted. The hotel itself was satisfactory, but the receptionist was a bit dry and unfriendly. This may also sound petty but after asking where we could buy tickets for the cable car (thus making it obvious that we were going up the mountain), I later saw a sign in the lift saying that if we bought the tickets at the parador, they'd be at a discounted price. I'm unsure as to why we weren't told about this (we had gone up the stairs before so we hadn't seen the poster in the lift). Anyway, the room was fine and fairly clean and the car park is free. Not all rooms have a lovely view (we had a view of a tree and part of the inside car park). Bear in mind that if you stay here and want to …

BBC Learning English

Please make use of the links that you find in the left hand column.

The BBC is a wonderful source of useful material.

Not got much time? Then 6 minute English is perfect for you. Listen to a conversation about something in the news as well as learning some useful expressions.

I like the series The Flatmates.  You can listen to short conversations which are followed by an interactive vocabulary / grammar quiz.

English at Work, as the name suggests, is a series related more to English for the workplace.

You can listen to Phrasal Verbs in conversations divided into different topics at Funky Phrasals.


Poll (4)

Which sentence(s) is / are correct?

1. A:  Is he coming?    B: I think no. 62%      I don't think so.

2. A: Are you ready?   B: I hope yes.   0%   I hope so.

3. A: Have you finished?   B: I suppose so.  100%

4. A: Did they win?    B:  I'm afraid not.   37%

So only 3 and 4 were correct.

I think so.                   I don't think so.

I suppose so.              I suppose not.

I guess so.                  I guess not.

I hope so.                   I hope not.

I'm afraid so.              I'm afraid not.

Which phrasal verb uses a different preposition?

1. There are rumours in the press that the princess and her husband have split up.      12%

2. The factory is closing down with the loss of  50 jobs.   50%

3. He has a degree in law but he ended up working at his father in law's store.    25%

4.  I wish he'd speak up. I can hardly hear him.    12%

split up = break up = separate

close down = stop operating

end up = finally be in a particlar place or situation

speak up = …

Noisy neighbour faces the music

Pianist faces jail term over “psychological damage” caused to neighbor
A professional pianist is facing a seven-and-a-half-year jail sentence for playing her instrument eight hours a day, five days a week, according to her former neighbor in Puigcerdà, Girona. Prosecutors are seeking the sentence for crimes against the environment — acoustic contamination — and the psychological damage caused to Sonia B. between 2003 and 2007. Defense lawyers for the musician, Laia M., have asked that the case be thrown out, describing the complaint as “completely disproportionate.”

Source: El País in English Vocabulary:

to face -

a jail term -

a sentence -

according to -

former (adj) -

to throw out -

a complaint -

a defendant -

to deny -

a claim -

in turn -

to restrain -

a charge -

to soundproof -

in addition to -

to ban -

a fine -

damages -

a trial -

Grammar Points:

"Not only did Laia M.’s mother enter her apartment and concur that the sound of the piano was louder there than in her own home, but also that Lai…

Pasapalabra - advanced

What A does a plan go when it goes badly?

What B describes memories that are both good and bad?

What C is a phrasal verb which we use for someone who is approaching retirement?

What D is the opposite of "look forward to stg" or you feel sick at the thought of doing something?

What E means that you have become involved in a difficult situation?

What F do you use to say that you like somebody or something in a special way?

What G describes a book or a film that is thrilling?

What H is a verb that you use with "a situation" similar to "cope with" or "manage"?

What I describes someone who feels extremely uncomfortable with a particular situation?

What J is a phrasal verb which means that you make notes?

Contains a K. What do you say when you try to discourage someone from giving up?  - .... with it.

Contains L. What adjective is used to say it is uncomfortably hot?

What M is a phrasal verb which means that you plan something in detail?

Contains an

Poll (3)

Which sentence(s) is / are wrong?

A: Can you explain me that again? I'm not sure if I understand. (36%)

B: Promise me that you will phone when you get there. (9%)

C: He suggested us to visit Toledo but we didn't have enough time. (54%)

D: She accused her husband of lying. She didn't believe his excuses. (45%)

A is wrong.

In Spanish you can explain sb stg but in English you can't - it's explain stg (to sb) or explain how to.

Can you explain that to me again?

I've already explained how to do it.

B is right.

There are two possible constructions - promise sb (that...) or promise sb to do stg (for sb)

"I'll do my best" he said.

He promised that he would do his best.

He promised to do his best.

C is wrong.

In Spanish you can suggest sb but in English you can't. It's -
suggest + verb+ingsuggest that + subject + verbsuggest that + subject + should + verb
"Why don't you visit Toledo?"

He suggested visiting Toledo.

He suggested that we vis…

Trick or treat

Source: Wikipedia (Toby Ord) Halloween, as you know it in Spain, is an American import. However, it has it roots in Celtic culture.

The saying Trick or Treat is translated as Truco o Trato. I think this is a mistake.

Trato should be translated as a deal or an agreement not treat.

A treat is something special you do or buy for someone else. In the case of Halloween, the treat would be the sweets that the children are given. I'm not sure but I think you'd translate it as gusto or invitación. Treat is also a verb. I was feeling a bit down so I treated myself to some chocolate biscuits. He treated his wife to a weekend away in Paris. If you behave, as a special treat, I'll take you to the park to feed the ducks. When did you last treat yourself to something? When did someone last treat you to something? Did you celebrate Halloween? What did you dress up as?