Showing posts from November, 2014

An interview with Little Nicolás

Spain's 'high-society scammer' breaks silence
A 20-year-old student who infiltrated the inner circles of Spanish business and politics before being accused of a string of deception charges has claimed that he was arrested because he "knew too much".
Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias, popularly known in Spain as "Little Nicolás", was arrested in October on suspicion of swindling, forging documents and impersonating public officials.

Despite not holding any official public position, he had managed to meet and be photographed with members of the royal family, including King Felipe VI, and politicians in Spain's ruling Popular Party such as former Prime Minister José María Aznar.

Source: The Local Vocabulary:
a scam / a scammer -

a string of stg -

deception / to deceive -

a charge (criminal) -

to claim stg / a claim -

to arrest sb -

to swindle -

to forge stg -

to manage to do stg -

such as -

former (adj) -

brazen (adj) -

a knack for stg -

to broker (agreements) -

The woman with the most titles in the world but ...

Did the Queen of England really have to bow before the Duchess of Alba?
Yes, she was the woman with the most titles in the world. But no, the Queen of England did not have to curtsey to her.

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, who has died at the age of 88, was a duchess several times over, nearly 20 times a marchioness, another so many times a countess, and, what’s more, she was a viscountess, grand duchess and even a condestablesa. In total, she counted on more than 40 titles and held multiple decorations and honorary titles such as honorary citizen of Andalusia and of Seville. She was also awarded the gold medal of Madrid, and was the honorary mayoress of Liria.

Source: El País English Vocabulary:
to bow -

to curtsey -

several times over -

to hold (a title) -

to award -

for that matter -

as such -

Also read The Duchess of Alba: eight amazing factsSource: The Local 

Poll (6)

Which "ch" word has a /k/ sound?
headache (55%)     /ˈhedeɪk/purchase (0%)       /ˈpɜːtʃəs/chemist's (88%)    /ˈkemɪsts/character (100%)  /ˈkærəktər/chalk       (0%)     /tʃɔːk/stomach  (77%)   /ˈstʌmək/loch*        (44%)   /lɒk/ (English pronunciation - Scottish pronunciation is different - not /k/)chorus    (44%)   /ˈkɔːrəs/* In Scotland lakes are called lochs. So the correct pronunciation is not with /k/.

Which sentence(s) is / are grammatically wrong?

That was by far the best film we have seen this year. ✓ (83%)

by far + superlative + Present Perfect  (big difference with others)

It isn't nearly as warm as it was yesterday.  ✓  (33%)

nearly as + adjective + as     (almost the same)

Her English is a bit better than yours.   ✓   (16%)

a bit + comparative    (small difference)

The north is much expensive than the south.   ✘  (66%)

The north is much more expensive than the south.    ✓

much + comparative    (big difference)

My chocolate cake is just as good that hers.  ✘     (…

CAE vocabulary review

Complete the sentences with words that have come up in class:
I've been making _ n q _ _ r _ _ sinto the cost of train travel in the UK.Have another glass of wine. One more won't do you any h _ _ m.The idea of camping doesn't _ p p _ _ l to me at all. I'd rather pay for a nice hotel.Thirty business leaders will accompany the Prime Minister on his f _ _ _ h c _ _ _ _ g trip to the Far East.Some parents go to great l _ _ g _ _ s to get their children into the best schools.He says he had a pretty conventional _ p _ r _ _ g _ _ g despite having famous parents.Be careful what you say. Your words may come back to _ a u _ _ you.I've never heard such u _ _ _ r rubbish in all my life.She was quite hurt. I think you owe her an apology for that _ _ s _ _ s _ t _ _ e remark. I can't miss an episode. I'll cancel any appointments so that I can watch it. I think you could say that I'm h _ _ _ _ d.I think I need a refresher course. My computing skills have got a bit _ u…