Posted in B1.2

Obligation, lack of obligation, advice and phone manners

What mustn’t you do when you’re on your phone? What should you avoid? What must you try doing?

There’s an etiquette for phone use, and as nowadays we’re using our phones for more and more things, it’s becoming even more necessary to have good phone manners. A good way to talk about reccomendations, prohibition and obligation is with the modal verbs must, mustn’t, should, ought to and the verbs  have to, don’t have to.

Here’s a gallery of what bad phone uses are, but I would like you to write on the comments sections about your own ideas.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Posted in B1.2

Dependent prepositions

I’ll bring you two types of materials in this post. On the one hand, a list of dependent prepositions to keep near, in case you need it.

On the other hand, a collection of web resources to keep practising. Practice makes perfect, so remember to use them frequently, and do related exercises.

Posted in B1.2

Colloquial expressions? Here’s a bunch!

To spice up your speaking contribution a little bit, some colloquial expressions can be used. You’ll sound more natural if they’re used at the correct moment and you don’t use too many. But be careful! Some of them are directly offensive (as you’ll be ablte to check with their translation), so you’ll sound aggressive and rude if you use them!

Have a look at these more than 200 list, pick your favourite ones and start using them.

  • In for a penny in for a pound– De perdidos al río (UK)
  • In for a dime in for a dollar– De perdidos al río (US)
  • In the altogether– En pelotas
  • Indeed– Ya lo creo
  • Inside out– Del revés
  • It’s cutting edge– Es el último grito/moda
  • It’s giving him hell– Le hace la vida imposible
  • It’s water under the bridge– Es agua pasada (cuando se hacen las paces por ejemplo)
  • It gives me the goosebumps/ It gives me the creeps– Me pone la piel de gallina (Hacemos un inciso, si bien es cierto que vienen a decir lo mismo, la connotación de ambas es distinta, es decir “It gives me the goosebumps” se dice cuando algo te pone la piel de gallina en el buen sentido de la frase; “This song gives me the goosebumps”, por el otro lado la frase “It gives me the creeps” tiene connotación negativa y hace referencia a algo que te da escalofríos o miedo)
  • It sounds Greek to me– Me suena a chino
  • It turns out that– Resulta que…
  • It’s a rip off– Es una estafa
  • It’s bullshit– Es una mierda / Es mentira
  • It’s finger licking good– Está para chuparse los dedos
  • It’s high time/About time– Ya es hora / Ya va siendo hora
  • It’s in the lap of the Gods– Que sea lo que Dios quiera
  • It’s my treat / It’s on me– Invito yo
  • It’s not a big deal / It’s not that of a big deal– No es para tanto
  • It’s on the house– Invita la casa/por cuenta de la casa
  • It’s raining cats and dogs– Llueve a cántaros
  • It’s up to you– Como tú quieras / Depende de ti (en tono amable)
  • It’s worthless– No vale nada
  • I’ve enough on my plate– No puedo más (en la vida)
  • Just in case– Por si acaso / Por si las moscas
  • Keep an eye on…– Vigila a…/Echa un ojo a…
  • Keep dreaming– Sigue soñando
  • Keep it up– Sigue así
  • Keep you hair on!– ¡Cálmate!
  • Kind of/Give or take– Más o menos
  • Kiss and make up– Borrón y cuenta nueva
  • Last but one– Penúltimo
  • Last night– Anoche
  • Lest you forget– Para que no (te) olvides
  • Like father, like son– De tal palo, tal astilla
  • Like water off duck’s back – Palabras necias, oídos sordos – British
  • Long story short…– Resumiendo…
  • Long time no see!– ¡Cuánto tiempo!
  • Look out!– ¡Cuidado!
  • Make my day– Alégrame el día
  • Make up your mind– Decídete / Decide tú
  • Make yourself at home– Estás en tu casa (expresión de cortesía)
  • Maybe– Tal vez/A lo mejor
  • Me neither– Yo tampoco (informal)
  • Meanwhile/In the meantime– Mientras tanto
  • Mind the gap– Cuidado con el hueco
  • Mofo– Modo abreviado y vulgar (más aún) de decir motherfucker
  • Moreover– Además
  • Much to my dismay– Para mi desgracia
  • My bad– Culpa mía (USA)
  • My goodness!– ¡Madre mía!
  • Never again– Nunca más
  • Never mind– No importa (tono amable)
  • New brush sweeps clean but old broom knows all the corners– Mejor malo conocido que bueno por conocer – British
  • No bother– No te preocupes / no es molestia
  • No brainer– Sin duda
  • No way– Ni hablar / De ninguna manera
  • No wonder– No me extraña
  • No worries– Sin problema / no te preocupes
  • Nor/neither do I– Yo tampoco
  • Not a chance / No way in hell– Ninguna posibilidad / Ni de coña
  • Not at all/You’re welcome/It’s Ok– De nada (tras agradecimiento)
  • Not Bad– No está mal
  • Not for nothing– No es por nada
  • Not half!– ¡Ya lo creo! / ¡Por supuesto! (Do you fancy a beer? not half – ¿te apetece una cerveza?, ya lo creo)
  • Not my bussiness– No es asunto mío
  • Not my cup of tea– No es lo mío – British
  • Not worth a penny/red cent– No vale un duro
  • Not worth a shit– No vale una mierda
  • Off the top of my head– Así, de cabeza… | Creo recordar que…
  • Oh dear!– ¡Oh Dios! / ¡Dios mio!
  • Oh my Gosh– Forma políticamente correcta de decir “Oh my God”
  • On one hand… on the other hand– Por un lado … por otro lado
  • On the face of it– Según las apariencias
  • On your bike!– Vete por ahí  /no me cuentes milongas/no me cuentes historias
  • Once in a lifetime– Una vez en la vida
  • Once in a while/from time to time– De vez en cuando
  • Out of the blue– Como caído del cielo
  • Over and over again– Una y otra vez
  • Paint from the same brush– Distinto perro, mismo collar – British
  • Pardon my French– Perdón por lo que voy a decir/acabo de decir (palabras malsonantes)
  • Peanut bladder– (Vejiga del tamaño de un cacahuete)… para los que  no paran de ir al baño
  • Phony baloney– Cuento chino
  • Piece of cake!– ¡Está chupado!
  • Piss off– Mandar a la mierda a alguien o cabrear alguien
  • Pleasure/Bless you– Jesús (para cuando alguien estornuda)
  • Point taken– Te entiendo (el punto de vista)
  • Raining cat and dogs– Lloviendo a cantaros
  • Really?– ¿En serio?
  • Rings a bell– Me suena
  • Say when– Cuando sirves algo dices “say when” para que te digan cuando parar
  • See you anon– Te veo luego
  • Seen– Ya/’aham’ (forma de asentir en UK)
  • Shake/show a leg!– ¡Espabila! / ¡levántate! / ¡muévete!
  • Shame on you!– Vergüenza debería darte
  • She turns me on– Me pone (cachondo, a tono…)
  • Shoot the breeze– Darle a la lengua
  • Shut the fuck up!– ¡Cállate de una puta vez!
  • Shut up!– ¡Cállate!
  • So bad/badly– Mucho / Un montón (I love you so bad)
  • So do I– Como yo / Yo también
  • So long– Hasta la vista
  • Some other time– Otra vez será
  • Speaking of which– Hablando de lo cual…
  • Start froom scratch– Empezar de cero
  • Stick someone’s nose up at someone– Mirar por encima del hombro – British
  • Stop Messing around– Deja de hacer el tonto
  • Such is life/That’s life/Life’s like that– Así es la vida
  • Suck it up– Te aguantas / Te jodes
  • Take it easy– Tómatelo con calma
  • Talking of the devil– Hablando del rey de Roma
  • Thanks in advance– Gracias por adelantado
  • That’s quite dodgy– Eso es muy cutre
  • That’s the straw that brokes the camel’s back– Esta es la gota que colma el vaso
  • That’s what I mean – A eso me refiero
  • That’s what matters/That’s all that matters– Eso es lo que cuenta
  • The more the merrier– Cuanto más, mejor
  • The seal is broken– Me estoy meando. Lo usan sobre todo las chicas
  • The sooner the better– Cuanto antes, mejor
  • Think twice– Piénsalo dos veces
  • This is my bread and butter– Con esto me gano la vida
  • This is not rocket science– No es tan difícil (si alguien está intentando hacer algo fácil y no sabe cómo)
  • To ask for the moon– Pedir peras al olmo
  • To bang/screw [alguien]– Tirarse a alguien
  • To be a bellend – Ser un capullo
  • To be a cunt – Ser un capullo/gilipollas – British
  • To be a dickhead – Ser un capullo/gilipollas (se pronuncia dicked)
  • To be between the devil and the deep/between a rock and a hard place– Estar entre la espada y la pared
  • To be caught between a rock and a hard place – Entre la espada y la pared – British
  • To be down to fuck– Querer un polvo
  • To be high/stone– Estar colocado/ciego/borracho
  • To be on the ball– Estar en la onda/al día
  • To be/sit on the fence– Dudar
  • To be over the moon– Estar feliz, contento
  • To be such a [adjetivo]– Ser un auténtico [adjetivo]
  • To be wasted/blackout/legless– Estar bastante borracho
  • To be/feel under the weather– Sentirse mal/enfermo
  • To blackmail– Chantajear
  • To call it a day– Dar algo por terminado
  • To cheat on– Poner los cuernos
  • To chew the carpet– Tragarse el orgullo
  • To clutch straws– Agarrarse a un clavo ardiendo
  • To cut the cheese– Tirarse un pedo
  • To do [alguien]– Liarse (con alguien, plan folleteo)
  • To feel blue– Estar deprimido, de capa caída…
  • To get along– Llevarse bien
  • To get by– Para ir tirando/Para arreglárselas
  • To get frisky– Ponerse juguetón (en sentido sexual)
  • To get laid– Acostarse, tener sexo con alguien, echar un polvo
  • To get rid of [algo/alguien– Librarse de [algo/alguien]
  • To get the hang of it– Pillarle el truco
  • To give somebody a lift– Llevar a alguien (en coche, en moto…)
  • To go all out– Hacer todo lo posible / Darlo todo
  • To hang around– Andar por ahí
  • To hang up– Colgar (teléfono)
  • To have a blast– Pasarlo bien / divertirse / pasarlo pipa
  • To have a bone to pick (with someone)– Tener cuentas que ajustar (con alguien)
  • To have a finger in every pie– Estar en misa y repicando / Intentar estar en todo a la vez
  • To have a thing about [something]– Estar loco, obsesionado por algo
  • To have an argue– Tener una discusión
  • To have forty winks– Dar una cabezadita
  • To have the face…– Estar de morros
  • To keep at bay– Mantener a raya
  • To make a point– Querer dejar clara una cosa
  • To make do– Conformarse
  • To make out– Enrollarse (pareja)
  • To make out– Entender
  • To murder something– Modo informal de decir que te apetece comer o beber algo
  • To run an errand– Hacer un recado
  • To see eye to eye with somebody– Tener el mismo punto de vista / Ver de la misma manera
  • To set the (whole) world on fire– Comerse el mundo
  • To shag/press– Follar – British
  • To snog– Morrearse
  • To sow your wild oats– Ir de flor en flor
  • To spoil [somebody] rotten– Malcriar/mimar/consentir a alguien
  • To sum up…– En resumen…
  • To take [something] with a pinch of salt– Coger algo con pinzas (sobre algo que te han dicho)
  • To tan somebody’s hide– Darle una paliza a alguien
  • Toff/Posh– Pijo
  • Train bound for– Tren con destino a..
  • Upside down– Boca abajo / patas arriba / del revés / invertido (dado la vuelta)
  • Watch out!– ¡Cuidado!
  • We’re even– Estamos en paz
  • What a drag!– Vaya coñazo
  • What a horse’s ass– ¡Vaya imbécil!
  • What a palaver!– ¡Menudo follón!
  • What a pity– Qué pena
  • What a rip off!– ¡Vaya/menuda estafa!
  • What a shame!– ¡Qué vergüenza!/¡Que pena!/¡Qué lástima!
  • What the fuck?– ¿Qué cojones…?
  • What does it have to do with…– Qué tiene que ver esto con…
  • What were you up to?– ¿Qué estabas haciendo?
  • Whatever– Lo que sea (resignado)
  • Who is this?– ¿Quién es? (al responder una llamada de teléfono)
  • Who on earth….?– ¿Quién coño…?
  • Without any doubt– Sin ninguna duda
  • You and what army?– ¿Tú y cuantos más?
  • You are on your own– Estás solo en esto
  • You never know– Nunca se sabe
  • You rock!– ¡Tú molas!
  • You’ve got another thing coming– Lo tienes claro¡La llevas clara! (connotación irónica)
  • You’re fit– Estás en forma / Estás bueno – British
  • You’re hot– Estás bueno/a
  • You’re on thin ice– Te la estás jugando

 

Posted in B1.2

Reading is learning

The importance of reading is vital: to know other cultures and visit different places from home, let your imagination fly away, dream, learn… And when we’re learning a new language, obviously the importance of reading is no exception. This course you have absolute freedom to choose a book to read, but this doesn’t mean you don’t need to read one! It’s absolutely necessary to read as many as you can. That’s why I would like you to pick one for the Christmas holidays (in case you haven’t started yet). This is a guide on what level to choose:

Intermediate level (1,400 – 2,600 headwords)

  • Oxford bookworms, stage 4 (1,400 headwords)
  • Macmillan Intermediate (1,600 headwords)
  • Pearson Penguin Readers, level 4 (1,650 headwords)
  • Oxford bookworms, stage 5 (1,800 headwords)
  • Richmond Readers, level 4 (1,800 headwords)
  • Cambridge English Readers, level 4 (1,900 headwords)
  • MacMillan Upper level (2,200 headwords)
  • Oxford bookworms, stage 6 (2,500 headwords)
  • Richmond Readers, level 5 (2,600 headwords)

 

If you need more inspiration, check the 20 books list from El Blog de Idiomas.

Get started soon and enjoy the pleasure of reading!

Posted in B1.2

Present perfect continuous

It’s time to move on from the present perfect simple to its continuous form, which  is similar in use but emphasizes different information, such as the duration of the actions involved.

 

Revise and study the present perfect continuous with the slides and some online activities from different websites that you’ll find below.

  • Link to EnglishPage. After the explanation, on the bottom, you’ll find several links with online activities.
  • BBC Learn English also includes an online exercise.
  • English Grammar Online. Explanation and activities.
  • Present perfect 2: a worksheet with answers that compares and gives practice about the present perfect simple and continuous.
Posted in B1.2

Talking about the future

What will the future hold for you?

Better late than never, I bring you today the slides to revise the future tenses.

As an example of using will for predictions, enjoy this extract from the TV series Friends, a show that I strongly recommend you to watch if you haven’t yet.

Posted in B1.2

How long have you liked English?

Hello! I hope you’re keeping your work up-to-date these days. So that it’s easier for you to revise and study, here go again the grammar slides; this time the ones revising the present perfect simple.

Also, find some autonomous practice with this worksheet that includes the answer keys:

Remember to check from time to time the section where the keys from the book are uploaded, as more practice will be included.

Posted in B1.2

A modern family

Family comes first, as one famous cinema character would say.

“Family” or “family relationships” is one of the important topics in the course, so you know what it means: take all this vocabulary related to it and revise so you become an expert on family matters.

Therefore, here to help you I bring you some material:

Training our listening skills is also important. Have some further practice then with these podcasts and activities:

  • What is a non-traditional family?. Find out more about non-traditional families in this video. It shows closed caption subtitles.
  • He takes after me. A BBC Learning English activity to listen and do related activities.
  • Important people. This is the activity we did in class. Listen again if you want to revise the vocabulary and sharpen your listening skill.

Take care!

Posted in B1.2

Food and drink

We all love a good meal! Pizza, rice, pasta, cake… So we’ll try to enjoy learning vocabulary related to food and drink. Food, eating and diets is one of the topics that will appear on the certification exam, so make sure that you acquire enough vocabulary to face this topic!

Remember that while doing your exam, you must prove that you have a B1 level. And how can you do that? Well, one important way is by showing off all this vocabulary you’ve studied.

That’s why in this post you’ll find useful vocabulary and also a BBC podcast, to revise and study.

Bon appétit!

Posted in B1.2

Welcome!

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So this is the course blog which we’ll use to upload class material besides some extra sources so that you can keep practising.

It’s a work under progress, so I’ll keep improving it little by little and adding new things. Suggestions are welcome and I hope you find it useful!