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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

PHRASAL VERBS FOR NEW YEAR'S EVE


Today a list of phrasal verbs useful for New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

SURPRISING CURIOSITIES OF BRITISH HISTORY



"I NEVER KNEW THAT ABOUT BRITAIN" is a British TV programme series which explores surprising aspects of British history. Here's an episode in the series which answers the following questions:
- WHERE IS THE CENTRE OF LONDON?
- WHY DO THE BRITISH DRIVE ON THE LEFT?
- WHO INVENTED TRAFFIC LIGHTS?

Monday, 29 December 2014

PREPOSITIONS OF MOVEMENT



With this chart you can check on the meanings of the prepositions showing MOVEMENT.

Friday, 26 December 2014

26th DECEMBER: BOXING DAY/St. STEPHEN'S

Today is BOXING DAY or St. Stephen's Day in Great Britain. It's also an important day in Ireland, Catalonia... Here's some information about it from the Wikipedia.

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors.
The exact etymology of the term "boxing" is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive. The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen] which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.
In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.
St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Julian calendar used in secular contexts. It commemorates St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. It is an official public holiday in AustriaBalearic IslandsCataloniaCroatiaCzech RepublicGermanyIrelandItalyLuxembourgMacedoniaMontenegroNorwayDenmarkEstoniaSwedenFinlandRomaniaSerbiaSlovakia and Poland

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

50 WAYS TO TAKE A BREAK


Now that we're on holidays, here are some ideas of what to do and how to take a break, doing something different than usual.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

PASS THE SALT!


There's a time and a place for each and everything. And when we're eating, we shouldn't be typing. Have a look at this video, does it sound familiar? Remember for the following special Christmas dinner meetings... 

Video "PASS THE SALT":


Friday, 19 December 2014

HAVE A HAPPY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY 2014! (& SEE HOW TO WISH A MERRY XMAS IN 24 LANGUAGES)

Here's the post to wish you a really happy Christmas holiday 2014. And at the same time you can learn 24 different ways of greeting for a Merry Christmas, watch the video below.
Merry Christmas in 24 different languages, watch the video:


Galician version of this post @ ArquivosDoTrasno.

GRANNY O'GRIMM'S OWN CHRISTMAS GREETING


Granny O'Grim is an Irish cartoon character from the Dublin based animation studios Brown Bag, known by its TV series and short films. More information about Granny O'Grim at her website GRANNY O'GRIM. But here's her own personal Christmas greeting on video.

Video:


TIPS FOR A BRITISH CHRISTMAS


We're approaching Christmas, so it's good to check on what makes a real British Christmas compared to celebrations in other countries. Here's another Anglophenia video which gives the top ten of British Christmas traditions, confronting most of them with American ones. Take a look...

Check your understanding after watching & listening. Answer the following questions:

1) HOW DOES FATHER CHRISTMAS GET HIS LETTERS IN BRITAIN?

2) WHERE DO THE BRITISH HANG THE CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS?

3) WHAT IS A CHRISTMAS CRACKER?

4) WHAT MUST YOU DO WITH A CHRISTMAS HAT?

5) WHAT DO BRITISH HAVE FOR DINNER ON CHRISTMAS?

6) WHAT'S A CHRISTMAS PUDDING?

7) WHAT DOES THE QUEEN DO EVERY CHRISTMAS DAY?

8) WHAT'S BOXING DAY? WHY IS IT CALLED BOXING DAY?

9) WHAT HAPPENS ON BOXING DAY NOWADAYS?

10) WHEN SHOULD YOU TAKE DOWN THE CHRISTMAS TREES?

Video HOW TO HAVE A BRITISH CHRISTMAS:



More about Christmas in the video below:



More about it all: CHRISTMAS IS COMING (from English With a Twist)

ANSWERS TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS ON THE VIDEO:

1) In England, letters to Father Christmas aren't sent by post, instead they're burnt in fires which supposedly take them directly to the North Pole.

2) Christmas stockings are hung on the beds, close to the person sleeping.

3) Christmas crackers are a colourful cardboard tube filled with tiny prizes, a paper crown and/or jokes, which are pulled by each side to break.

4) Paper crowns must be worn on your heads.

5) Turkey, pork sausages, roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts are the typical food eaten at the Christmas dinner.

6) A Christmas pudding is a dense boiled cake of dried fruits, spices and soaked in alcohol and made months before Christmas.

7) She gives her yearly speech about the year's past events on TV.

8) Boxing Day is the day after Christmas. It's called so either because workers used to receive presents from their bosses or because people had to prepare them in boxes for the poor.

9) It's a holiday now and people go shopping for bargains.

10) The British say that the Christmas tree and decorations should be taken down within 12 days after Christmas to be lucky.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

SAM SMITH, "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS"


Every Christmas, pop artists take up an oldie or brand new Christmas song to try to become the nº1 single in the Christmas charts. In previous years, we've shown famous artists with their Christmas songs and covers.
This year, up to now, we've only found this song by Sam Smith, who covers an old Christmas classic "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS". Just his voice and a piano. You'll surely recognize the song.





Video "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS", Sam Smith:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

THE SIMPSONS ARE 25, TOO


Others that are celebrating their 25th anniversary are the Simpsons. The TV-cartoon family are celebrating exactly today, December 17th, the anniversary of the broadcast of their first ever episode on American TV, since then they have become a worldwide TV phenomenon.

so, HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY, SIMPSONS!


More about the Simpsons on the Wikipedia.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

PASSIVE WITH MODALS


This post is to check on how to make the passive when using modal verbs. Always follow this pattern:

MODAL VERB + BE + past participle

You can see examples in the charts above and below.


More posts about PASSIVE: HERE.

Monday, 15 December 2014

CHRISTMAS IN BRITAIN


Another post devoted to how Christmas is celebrated in Britain. Sally and Jack show us different traditions to celebrate Christmas there.

Video:


Sunday, 14 December 2014

RIPPLE


Another video about giving... An act of kindness can make someone's day. For him, it lasts a lifetime. This story is about a man who wants to pay tribute to a stranger's good deed that moved him decades ago.

Video:

Saturday, 13 December 2014

GIVING


Approaching Christmas, which is time to give and think about the others. This is a Thailandese TV-ad which has gone viral on the web, with more than 12 and a half million views on YouTube. The power of giving without expecting anything back. Here's the video with English subtitles.

Video "GIVING"

Thursday, 11 December 2014

PRONOUNCING THE NAMES OF SOME BRITISH PLACES



You all know how difficult is pronunciation in English, there aren't many rules. But pronunciarion even becomes more difficult with proper names, like names of towns, villages and cities. Here's a list of British places and how they are pronounced. Check them.

  • Alciston, East Sussex – Aston
  • Alfriston, East Sussex – All-Friston
  • Allerton, Bradford, West Yorkshire – Ollerton
  • Alnmouth – Allenmouth
  • Alnwick (Northumberland) – Anic
  • Althorp (where Princess Diana is buried) The village is pronounced Olthorpe but the House is pronounced Orltrop (notice the reversal of the O and the R!)
  • Ansty, West Sussex An-Sty
  • Ardingly (Sussex) – Ardingl-eye
  • Bamburgh (Northumberland) – Bambruff or Bambro?
  • Beaconsfield – Bekonsfield
  • Beaulieu – Bewley
  • Bedworth – Bedduth
  • Belvoir – Beever
  • Berwick on Tweed – Berik on Tweed
  • Bicester – Bister
  • Boughton, Lincolnshire – Bootun
  • Brough, East Yorkshire – Bruff
  • Burpham, Surrey or West Sussex  Ber-Fam
  • Chippenham (see comments at top of page) – Chipnam, Chipenum 
  • Chiswick, London – Chizzik
  • Cholmondeston, Cheshire – Chumston
  • Cholmondley – Chumly
  • Edinburgh – Edinboro or Edinburah (just NOT Edinburg)
  • Eltham, SE London – El-tum
  • Etchilhampton  (near Devizes Wilts) – Eyeshalton
  • Fowey (Cornwall) Foy
  • Frome – Froom
  • Gillingham, Kent – Jillingham
  • Gillingham, Norfolk & Dorset – Gillingham (hard sounding “g” as in girl)
  • Gotham, Nottinghamshire – Goat’am
  • Glasgow – Glazga
  • Gloucester – Gloster
  • Greenwich – Grenich
  • Grosmont, North Yorkshire – Grow-mont
  • Grosvenor – Grovenor
  • Harrogate – Harrowget
  • Hastings, Sussex – Haystings
  • Holborn, Central London – Hoe-burn
  • Hunstanton (Norfolk) – Hunston
  • Keswick, Cumbria, England – Kezik
  • Kettering (Northamptonshire) Ke’-rin – Apostrophe indicated glottal stop
  • Launceston (UK) – Lawnston
  • Leadenham, Lincolnshire – Led’nam
  • Leicester – Lester
  • Leominster – Lemster
  • Lewes, East Sussex – Loowis
  • Mildenhall (Wilthsire) – Minal  (to rhyme with spinal)
  • Milton Keynes – Milton Keens
  • Mousehole, Cornwall – Mowzel
  • Norwich – NORRich
  • Penistone – Penny -stun
  • Plymouth – Plimuth
  • Ruislip – Ryeslip
  • Salisbury, England – Sawlsbry
  • Scone, Perth, Scotland – Skoon
  • Shrewsbury – Shrowsberry
  • Slough – Slow (to rhyme with how/now)
  • Southwark – Suthuk
  • Truro, Cornwall – Tru-row
  • Warwick – Warrick
  • Welwyn – Wellin
  • Weymouth, Dorset – Waymuth
  • Worcester – Wooster 
Video practice:

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

SOME FALSE FRIENDS


Here's a quick reference list of common false friends, that is, English words which are similar to other Spanish ones, but actually don't mean what they seem to.
  1. abstract abstracto, but also resumen.
  2. to achieve lograr alcanzar, not archivar.
  3. to assist ayudar, not acudir =  to attend.
  4. accommodation = alojamiento, not acomodamiento = arrangement
  5. actual = real, not actual
  6. advice = consejo, not aviso
  7. actually en realidad, not actualmente.
  8. advertise = anunciar, not advertir = to warn.
  9. apt = propenso apropiado, not apto = qualified or able.
  10. argument discusión, not argumento =  plot.
  11. carpet = alfombra, not carpeta = file, folder
  12. casual  = fortuito, informal, ocasional…, not casual
  13. constipated = estreñido, not constipado = (have) a cold
  14. to compromise cederaceptar o poner en peligro, not comprometer(se) = to (get) involve,  to get engaged,
  15. dessert  postre. For desierto = desert
  16. diversion = desvío, not diversión = fun, amusement
  17. embarrased = avergonzado, not embarazada = pregnant
  18. exit = salida, not éxito = success, not suceso 
  19. grocery  tienda que vende comestibles, not  grosería = rudeness
  20. hardly apenas, difícilmente. not duramente
  21. by heart de memoria, not de corazón
  22. large = grande, not largo = long
  23. lecture = conferencia, not lectura =  reading
  24. library = biblioteca, not librería = book-shop/store
  25. miserable = triste, destrozado, abatido, deprimido, horrible, terrible, not miserable = mean
  26. parent(s) = padres (padre+madre), not pariente, familiares = relatives
  27. petrol = gasolina, not petróleo = oil
  28. to presume  suponer, not presumir = to show off
  29. to pretend = simular, fingir, not pretender = hope, expect
  30. prize = premio, not precio = price
  31. quiet = silencioso, tranquilo, not quieto = still
  32. quote = cita textual or presupuesto, not cuota =  fee.
  33. to rape violar, not rapar =  to shave.
  34. regular = medio, de tamaño normal, not regular, ‘no muy bien’ = bad, not so good
  35. rope =  cuerda, soga, not ropa = clothes
  36. rude =maleducado, descortés.not rudo, bruto, basto = rough
  37. salad = ensalada, not salado = salty.
  38. sale venta, not salir = to exit, to go out
  39. sensible = sensato, not sensible = sensitive
  40. succeed = tener éxito, not suceder = happen
  41. ultimately = a la larga, not últimamente = lately, recently.

Link to other false friends.

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