Posted in General, Grammar

Let’s be solidary


 

 

My dear friend (and colleague) Bea Lardon has told me to visit this page:  http://freerice.com/subjects.php?t=290240365400.

Each correct answer that you give, they donate 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. It is a fantastic way of being solidary and learning at the same time. You can try both the grammar and the vocabulary section, though there are many more…

Thank you very much Bea.

Posted in General

Professor Grammar


This professor is funny and useful at the same time. He is going to teach us something we find quite hard to learn.

Watch this video. Professor Grammar says “There’s a rule for everything”. Write a new entry in your blogs with the title: “There is a rule for everything” and answer these questions:

  1. What rule does Professor Grammar refer to?

  2. What does OPSHACOM stand for? (Each letter means one thing)

  3. Go to the following page (click here) and take the test.

Posted in General

Christmas in the United Kingdom


Read the text and answer the questions:

hopping-santa
hopping-santa

In English speaking countries, children don’t get their presents on Christmas Eve (24 December). Santa comes at night when everyone is asleep. Santa’s reindeer can fly and take him from house to house. They land on the roofs of the houses and then Santa climbs down the chimney to leave the presents under the Christmas tree.

In the morning of Christmas Day (25 December), children usually get up very early to unwrap their presents. Then they have plenty of time to play with their new toys.

Christmas dinner is served in the early afternoon. Most people eat turkey and sprouts and a Christmas pudding.

26 December is called Boxing Day. It hasn’t always been a holiday. People used to go back to work on that day where their bosses gave them little Christmas presents in small boxes. That’s why the day is called Boxing Day.

Questions on the text

Answer the questions according to the text.

  1. Santa’s sleigh lands … 
     in front of the house
     in the sitting room
     on top of the house
  2. Santa puts the presents … 
     under the tree
     in the chimney
     in his bag
  3. Why is 26 December called Boxing Day? 
     People used to fight for their presents on that day.
     People hang around all day watching TV.
     People received little gift boxes on that day.
Posted in Bachillerato, Grammar

Past Perfect


FORM

[had + past participle]

Examples:

  • You had studied English before you moved to New York.
  • Had you studied English before you moved to New York?
  • You had not studied English before you moved to New York.

Complete List of Past Perfect Forms

USE 1 Completed Action Before Something in the Past

The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.

Examples:

  • I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Kauai.
  • I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.
  • Tony knew Istanbul so well because he had visited the city several times.
  • Had Susan ever studied Thai before she moved to Thailand?
  • She only understood the movie because she had read the book.
  • Kristine had never been to an opera before last night.
  • We were not able to get a hotel room because we had not booked in advance.
  • A: Had you ever visited the U.S. before your trip in 2006?
    B: Yes, I had been to the U.S. once before.

USE 2 Duration Before Something in the Past (Non-Continuous Verbs)

With Non-Continuous Verbs and some non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Past Perfect to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action in the past.

Examples:

  • We had had that car for ten years before it broke down.
  • By the time Alex finished his studies, he had been in London for over eight years.
  • They felt bad about selling the house because they had owned it for more than forty years.

Although the above use of Past Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, the words “live,” “work,” “teach,” and “study” are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs.

IMPORTANT Specific Times with the Past Perfect

Unlike with the Present Perfect, it is possible to use specific time words or phrases with the Past Perfect. Although this is possible, it is usually not necessary.

Example:

  • She had visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.

MOREOVER

If the Past Perfect action did occur at a specific time, the Simple Past can be used instead of the Past Perfect when “before” or “after” is used in the sentence. The words “before” and “after” actually tell you what happens first, so the Past Perfect is optional. For this reason, both sentences below are correct.

Examples:

  • She had visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.
  • She visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.

HOWEVER

If the Past Perfect is not referring to an action at a specific time, Past Perfect is not optional. Compare the examples below. Here Past Perfect is referring to a lack of experience rather than an action at a specific time. For this reason, Simple Past cannot be used.

Examples:

  • She never saw a bear before she moved to Alaska. Not Correct
  • She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska. Correct
Posted in Songs

THE QUEST, by Bryn Christopher


 

If you like Grey’s Anatomy, you will probably remember this song. The artist, Bryn Cristopher, is one of the best soul singers nowadays. He can be compared with Amy Winehouse and Alice Russel. Watch the video and read the lyrics and enjoy it!!

Visit his homepage here: http://www.brynchristopher.com/index.php

 

 

 

 

’m leaving tonight
Going somewhere deep inside my mind
I close my eyes slowly
Flowin’ away slowly
But I know I’ll be alright
It’s coming stronger to me
And I know someone is out there
Lead the way
Lead the way
Show me the answers I need to know

What I’m gonna live for
What I’m gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can’t answer that

All my life/love it is
It is all my love
All my life/love it is
I know it is a life to live lately
From above I hear
I hear the sound of them sinkin’
I feel numb, I’m alive
I know I’m getting closer

What I’m gonna live for
What I’m gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can’t answer that

My life has had it’s share of troubles
And now I found a place to go
I’ve said goodbye to all my troubles
’cause now I’ve find my place to go

What I’m gonna live for
What I’m gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can’t answer that

What I’m gonna live for
What I’m gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can’t answer that

What I’m gonna live for
What I’m gonna die for
Who you gonna fight for
I can’t answer that

Live for
Die for
Fight for

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bachillerato, Grammar

Present Perfect


USE 1 Unspecified Time Before Now

We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.

Examples:

  • have seen that movie twenty times.
  • I think I have met him once before.
  • There have been many earthquakes in California.
  • People have traveled to the Moon.
  • People have not traveled to Mars.
  • Have you read the book yet?
  • Nobody has ever climbed that mountain.
  • A: Has there ever been a war in the United States?
    B: Yes, there has been a war in the United States.

How Do You Actually Use the Present Perfect?

The concept of “unspecified time” can be very confusing to English learners. It is best to associate Present Perfect with the following topics:

TOPIC 1 Experience

You can use the Present Perfect to describe your experience. It is like saying, “I have the experience of…” You can also use this tense to say that you have never had a certain experience. The Present Perfect is NOT used to describe a specific event.

Examples:

  • have been to France.
    This sentence means that you have had the experience of being in France. Maybe you have been there once, or several times.
  • have been to France three times.
    You can add the number of times at the end of the sentence.
  • have never been to France.
    This sentence means that you have not had the experience of going to France.
  • I think I have seen that movie before.
  • He has never traveled by train.
  • Joan has studied two foreign languages.
  • A: Have you ever met him?
    B: No, I have not met him.

TOPIC 2 Change Over Time

We often use the Present Perfect to talk about change that has happened over a period of time.

Examples:

  • You have grown since the last time I saw you.
  • The government has become more interested in arts education.
  • Japanese has become one of the most popular courses at the university since the Asian studies program was established.
  • My English has really improved since I moved to Australia.

TOPIC 3 Accomplishments

We often use the Present Perfect to list the accomplishments of individuals and humanity. You cannot mention a specific time.

Examples:

  • Man has walked on the Moon.
  • Our son has learned how to read.
  • Doctors have cured many deadly diseases.
  • Scientists have split the atom.

TOPIC 4 An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting

We often use the Present Perfect to say that an action which we expected has not happened. Using the Present Perfect suggests that we are still waiting for the action to happen.

Examples:

  • James has not finished his homework yet.
  • Susan hasn’t mastered Japanese, but she can communicate.
  • Bill has still not arrived.
  • The rain hasn’t stopped.

TOPIC 5 Multiple Actions at Different Times

We also use the Present Perfect to talk about several different actions which have occurred in the past at different times. Present Perfect suggests the process is not complete and more actions are possible.

Examples:

  • The army has attacked that city five times.
  • have had four quizzes and five tests so far this semester.
  • We have had many major problems while working on this project.
  • She has talked to several specialists about her problem, but nobody knows why she is sick.

Time Expressions with Present Perfect

When we use the Present Perfect it means that something has happened at some point in our lives before now. Remember, the exact time the action happened is not important.

Sometimes, we want to limit the time we are looking in for an experience. We can do this with expressions such as: in the last week, in the last year, this week, this month, so far, up to now, etc.

Examples:

  • Have you been to Mexico in the last year?
  • have seen that movie six times in the last month.
  • They have had three tests in the last week.
  • She graduated from university less than three years ago. She has worked for three different companies so far.
  • My car has broken down three times this week.

NOTICE

“Last year” and “in the last year” are very different in meaning. “Last year” means the year before now, and it is considered a specific time which requires Simple Past. “In the last year” means from 365 days ago until now. It is not considered a specific time, so it requires Present Perfect.

Examples:

  • went to Mexico last year.
    I went to Mexico in the calendar year before this one.
  • have been to Mexico in the last year.
    I have been to Mexico at least once at some point between 365 days ago and now.

USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

With Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Present Perfect to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. “For five minutes,” “for two weeks,” and “since Tuesday” are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect.

Examples:

  • have had a cold for two weeks.
  • She has been in England for six months.
  • Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl.

Although the above use of Present Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, the words “live,” “work,” “teach,” and “study” are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs.