jueves, 15 de diciembre de 2011

Comparative Forms

Here you have a summary of what we have seen in class. Remember that although this grammar point is not in this lesson of aour text book, we have alredy seen it in class. At the end you have links with exercises to do. I hope this will be helpful.

The comparative (and superlative) is formed depending on how many syllables the adjectives or adverbs have. Look at the chart below:
·         The comparative form:   -ER THAN     or     MORE + adjective+ THAN
She is taller than me                           He isn’t more handsome than Peter                               That dog was funnier
The box is more beautiful than mine                              My car is more expensive than yours

1 syllable
2 syllables
3 syllables
Old  -- older (than me)
Fat  --- fatter (than Susan)
Nice  ---nicer (than Tony)
Adjectives ending in-Y
Funny  ---  funnier than TV
Lovely  ---  lovelier than mine
Expensive  ---  more expensive than this one
Beautiful  ---  more beautiful than yours
Easily done  ---  more easily done than hers

The rest of 2-syllable adjectives
handsome --- more handsome
Boring  ---  more boring than TV

·         The superlative form:   -EST IN     or     THE MOST + adjective+ IN
They are the most important people in the room                         This is the easiest exercise in the test

1 syllable
2 syllables
3 syllables
Old  --- the oldest
Fat  --- the fattest
Nice  --- the nicest
Adjectives ending in-Y
Funny  ---  the funniest in TV
Lovely  ---  the loveliest
Expensive  ---  the most expensive in the shop
Beautiful  ---  the most beautiful in my house
Easily done  ---  the most easily done in my job

The rest of 2-syllable adjectives
handsome --- the most handsome
Boring  --- the most boring

Spelling rules
1)  If the adjective ends in CONSONANT + STRESSED VOWEL + CONSONANT = you double the consonant. For example:  
big  ---  bigger ; the biggest     or     thin  ---  thinner ; the thinnest
2)  If the adjective ends in –E, you drop the –E and add –ER or –EST .E. g :  white  ---  whiter ; the whitest
3)  If the adjective ends in –Y and you add –ER you have to change it into –IER, or –IEST like in the following examples: 
pretty  ---  prettier ; the prettiest                       easy  ---  easier; the easiest

Inferiority form: LESS and THE LEAST
This form is not very frequent but you can use it in certain occasions; the forms LESS and THE LEAST is the same for all the adjectives and adverbs because it doesn’t change. For example:
My car is bigger but less expensive and less fast than my father’s           She’s the least shy of all my children

Comparison with AS ..... AS
You use this form to say that two things or people have the same quality; e.g.: Susan is as tall as Mary

·         http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/330/grammar/regcom.htm : an explanation with exercises
·         http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/adjektive_steig.htm :  a large explanation and some pages for exercises 
·         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fleok757P90 : a video explaining comparatives
·         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pwwrF0UBQQ&feature=player_embedded#at=40 : a simple video with comparatives
·         http://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/45.html : a bit longer but still easy to do
·         http://www.saberingles.com.ar/curso/lesson12/05.html : this page is in Spanish and at the end you can go to the following exercise with superlative adjectives or click this: http://www.saberingles.com.ar/curso/lesson12/06.html
·         http://www.autoenglish.org/gr.comp.i.htm : it has the three forms of comparative

Cooking at Christmas

Last coursse we published this post about cooking for Christmas with these recipes of very traditional dishes. If you can have a try, here you have the links again.

Do you like cooking? Are you good at cooking?
Here you are some recipes to try to make delicious things to eat at Christmas.
But if you have difficulties to understand the directions of these recipes, try to see these videos to practise your English... and your cooking!
Enjoy your cooking with your family and have nice holidays.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

martes, 15 de noviembre de 2011

Present Perfect

We have started studying this tense in class. Present perfect is formed by:

HAVE / HAS + _______-ED or 3rd column of irregular verbs

The verb TO HAVE is in present and it is the auxiliary for this tense such as in these examples:
  • She has studied English for three years or She's studied English for three years
  • He hasn't met her parents up to now
  • Have they finished yet?
The problem with this tense is to distinguish it from the past tense. The best way is to focus on the reference of time:
  • PRESENT PERFECT: anything indiating UP TO NOW such as ever, ust, already, yet, since, for and so on.
  • PAST SIMPLE: there is an explicit reference to past such as yesterday, last ___, ___ ago, in ____ and so on. (Check the fotocopy about past simple I gave you in class)
If you need more details and you want to pratise, here you have some good links to do it so:
  1. grammar summary with exercises at the end
  2. grammar and exercises
  3. grammar : a bit long but quite complete; exercises at the end
  4. an exercise on line
  5. in Spanish, just in case you need any help
There is a previous post in this blog about present perfect versus past simple (published in February 2010); click here to see it.

domingo, 6 de noviembre de 2011

How to practise reading skills

Reading is very useful to enlarge your vocabulary, to fix grammar structures and to improve your English in general. As the library is not available, here you have some links to practise reading on the internet. There are a lot of levels but from my point of view these are the most suitable for you:

  • http://www.eslfast.com/#A: here you have a larger list of stories (including most of the previous ones) with video. For intermediate students. American English.
I hope you'll find something to read. See you in class!

miércoles, 26 de octubre de 2011

Using Podcasts to Learn English

A podcast is a digital audio file (it can be a video as well) that you can download as an mp3 audio so you can listen to it on your portable device (mp3, mp4, mp5 or iPod) or by using your own computer.
It usually has a topic and the ones I've chosen are related to Learning English. Here you have some of them (click on the link directly) :

  • http://a4esl.org/podcasts/: a list of podcasts with the text (click on Read the Web Page) but without exercises, as usual; however, they are quite easy to understand. Some are longer than others and some are more difficult.
  • http://www.podcastsinenglish.com/index.shtml : this is a good site with a lot of podcasts divided in levels and with activities but to use these activities you have to be a member, that is, you must pay for it. However, you can use the podcasts to practise on your own.
So here you have a lot of material to practise with listening. Remember there are many more listening comprehensions with proper activities on www.elllo.org, BBC Learning English or in la mansión en inglés. Have a look on the recommended links of this blog ( Useful Links the blue windows on the right).

Have a nice long weekend. See you in class!

More tips for the exam

Writing: here you are an exa mple of an email with some tips or this one and this example Listening: again go to this link to practise...