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Showing posts from January, 2013

Househusbands on the rise

Rise in stay-at-home fathers fuelled by growing numbers of female breadwinners The number of stay-at-home fathers reached a record high last year, new figures show, as families saw a rise in female breadwinners.
Men now make up nearly 10 per cent of those who care for children while their partner goes out to work, official employment statistics revealed today.
There were 227,000 men staying at home to look after family between September and November last year, a rise of 19,000 compared to the same period in 2011 and the highest increase since figures began in 1993.
Experts suggested that the shift was down to men losing their jobs in the recession and either failing to find new employment or deciding that it did not make financial sense for them to return to work if their partner was a high earner. Source: Daily Telegraph Vocabulary: to fuel - a breadwinner - el sostén de familia to make up - componer to reveal - demostrar, poner de manifiesto an increase  (a rise)-un aumento

Night caps are bad for sleep

Alcohol-fuelled sleep 'less satisfying' A tipple before bedtime may get you off to sleep faster but it can disrupt your night's slumber, say researchers who have reviewed the evidence.
The London Sleep Centre team says studies show alcohol upsets our normal sleep cycles.

While it cuts the time it takes to first nod off and sends us into a deep sleep, it also robs us of one of our most satisfying types of sleep, where dreams occur.

Used too often, it can cause insomnia.

Many advocate a nightcap - nursing homes and hospital wards have even been known to serve alcohol - but Dr Irshaad Ebrahim and his team advise against it.

Source: BBC News Vocabulary:

alcohol-fuelled -

a tipple -

to get off to sleep -

slumber (n) -

to nod off -

to rob sb of stg -

a nightcap -

a hospital ward -

in the short term -

to wear off -

to snore -

to breathe -

to drop off -

on the whole -

to indulge -

to play havoc with -

to fall asleep -

the loo -


What advice do you have for a good night's sleep…

Wishes - The Nicest Thing

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Source: Thomas Teo(You Tube)Key Words: Kate Nash Nicest Thing Kate Nash - The Nicest Thing All I know is that you're so nice
You're the nicest thing I've seen
I wish that we could (1) it a go
See if we could be something

I wish I (2) your favourite girl
I wish you (3) I was the reason you are in the world
I wish my smile (4) your favourite kind of smile
I wish the way that I (5) was your favourite kind of style

I wish you couldn't (6) me out
But you always wanna know what I was about
I wish you'd (7) my hand
When I was upset
I wish you'd never (8)
The look on my face when we first met

I wish you (9) a favourite beauty spot
That you loved secretly
'Cause it was on a hidden bit
That nobody else could see
Basically, I wish that you (10) me
I wish that you (11) me
I wish that you (12) when I said two sugars,
Actually I meant three

I wish that without me your heart would (13)
I wish that without me you'd be (14) the rest of your nights awake
I wish that without me you couldn't (…

Fruit and Veg expressions

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cucumbers Source: Wikipedia
I am planning to become a vegetarian.

I know it'll be difficult but I'm going to give it a go.

I went to a vegetarian restaurant yesterday to see if I could get any ideas for recipes. I wasn't really impressed. Vegetarian meals, on the whole, don't look very appetizing.


Here is a list of idioms that contain fruit or vegetables. Can you guess the meanings?

(a) His youngest daughter was the apple of his eye.

(b) I don't want to upset the apple cart now by asking you to change the date of the meeting.

(c) One bad apple spoils the barrel. Now we all have to suffer because of what he did.

(d) Your Dad is going to go bananas when he sees this mess.

(e) They're nice kids but they are so full of beans that it gets a bit tiring.

(f) Why did they suddenly break up? Come on! Spill the beans!

(g) He went beetroot/ went as red as a beetroot when he realized that he had said something stupid.

(h) Sometimes I just have to resort to the carrot and st…

FCE - Use of English (Part 2)

Part 2 is Open Cloze - a gap filling exercise. The missing word is usually a grammatical one, so they are all simple words. However, many students find this a tricky exercise (and if I'm honest, I am puzzled occasionally too).



Among the twelve possible points, there could be examples of:

Linkers: as well as, unless, even though, in spite of...

Prepositions: afraid of flying, for ten years, arrive at the station...

Articles: he's a teacher, I loved the film...

Quantifiers: much, no, some, few...

Personal Pronouns: it, you, them, us...

Indefinite Pronouns: anyone, everywhere, whatever...

Relative Pronouns / Question Words: who, why, which, where...

Auxiliary Verbs: is, were, have, has, being, having...

Comparatives / Superlatives: as, less, than, most...

Multi-Word / Phrasal Verbs: take part in, give up smoking...

Other determiners: one, both, either, this, these...




The problem is that there are many possibilities but if you do lots of practice, you will see that words are often repeated.




FCE - Use of English (Part 3)

Part 3 is Word Formation. Most students find this the easiest part of the Use of English. However, you could lose valuable points by making *silly mistakes.


First you should determine what kind of word you need.

Among the 10 possible points, there may be:

· conversions from VERB to NOUN (achieve to achievement)

· conversions from NOUN to ADJECTIVE (danger to dangerous)

· conversions  from ADJECTIVE to ADVERB (easy to easily)

· conversions from NOUN to VERB (courage to encourage)

· conversions from ADJECTIVE to NOUN (popular to popularity)

· conversions from VERB to ADJECTIVE  (impress to impressive)

· conversions from a POSTIVE MEANING to a NEGATIVE MEANING (able to unable)

· an internal change (choose to choice)




Sometimes there are two nouns:

· survive (v) to survivor (n) or survival (n)

Sometimes there are two adjectives:

· amaze (v) to amazed (adj) or amazing (adj)

Sometimes you need to add a prefix and a suffix:

· fortunate (adj) to unfortunately (adv)



*Be careful:

If the missing…

Pasapalabra - character adjectives

Translate the following character adjectives and complete the sentences with one from the list. Then write some sentences of your own that demonstrate the meaning.


a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - cariñoso

b _ _ _ _ _ - listo

c _ _ _ _ _ - torpe

d _ _ _ - soso

e _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ _ - despreocupado / relajado

f _ _ _ _ - quisquilloso / exigente

g _ _ _ _ _ - gruñon

h _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - trabajador

i _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - maleducado

j _ _ _ _ _ _ - envidioso

k _ _ _ - amable

l _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - agradable

m _ _ _ _ - de humor variable

n _ _ _ _ _ _ - travieso

o _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - extrovertido

p _ _ _ _ - orgulloso

q _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - temperamental

r _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - fiable

s _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - testarudo

t _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - considerado

u _ _ _ _ _ - desordenado

v _ _ _ - presumido

w _ _ _ - sabio

_ _ _ _x _ _ _ _ - insoportable

_ _ _ _ _ y - tacaño

_ _ z _ - vago


I'm so ______ . I'm always dropping and breaking things.He's a ________ guy. If he says he'll do something, you can be …

Circus vocabulary

a balancing act - un juego de malabares / a difficult situation when you try to achieve different things at the same time. She had to perform a balancing/juggling act between work and family

a cage - una jaula

(to do) a cartwheel -  dar una voltereta lateral

a clown - un payaso

a custard pie - una tarta de crema pastelera / thrown in the face of a clown to make people laugh

(to do) a handstand - hacer el pino (only hands touch the ground)

(to do) a headstand - hacer el pino (head touches the ground)

a hoop - un aro

to juggle / a juggler - hacer juegos malabares / un malabarista She had to juggle her career with looking after her two young children.

a knife thrower - un lanzador de cuchillas

the ring - la pista

a rope ladder - una escalera de cuerda

a safety net -una red de seguridad

a somersault - una voltereta

(to walk on) stilts - caminar con zancos

a stunt - una escena peligrosa

a sword swallower - un tragador de sables

tame (adj/v) / a lion tamer - manso / domar / un domador de le…

New Year, new you?

Traditional New Year resolutions shunned in favour of reading and saving money New technology and healthier lifestyles mean three quarters of Britons have scrapped "old fashioned" vows relating to smoking, alcohol and exercise.
Current top resolutions are reading more books and saving money, the poll of 2,000 people found.
The third biggest aim is losing weight while redecorating the house came fourth. In fifth place was taking better photographs on iPhones or iPads.
Quitting smoking and drinking less were only ranked as the 22nd and 26th most popular resolutions for 2013. Source: Daily Telegraph Vocabulary: a New Year resolution - un propósito to shun (ignore, reject) - rechazar to save money - ahorrar dinero such as (like) - como to quit smoking (give up, stop) - dejar de fumar to replace - sostituir to scrap (abandon) - desechar a vow (a promise) v/n - un voto / prometer current (adj) - actual a poll - una encuesta an aim - un objectivo to come first, fourth ... - quedar …