miércoles, 23 de abril de 2014

The use of article

Although I've already talked about this many times, I'd rather explain it one more time. Apart from the explanation in your text book (p.91) you can use these simple rules.

We use the article in this way:
  • A / AN = one (1)    meaning one in a general way, like in these examples:
                                 I'm a student; I saw a cat; Can I have a biscuit?
  • THE = this / these , that is, to express this person, animal or thing is determinate, specific:
                                I took the book back to the library   (the book=that book)

  • NO ARTICLE = when it's used in a general plural or uncountable; let's see the examples:
                                I love animals   Sam doesn't like sugar very much

As I've told you this is a brief summary of all the rules connected to the use of articles; if you want to know more about this and do some practice go to these links:
  • a good but long explanation is here or this shorter one with exercises; click here
  • exercise 0 (very simple)    exercise 1    exercise 2     exercise 3    and if you want a list of exercises click here
  • as you have problems with the last/last and the next/next, go to this exercise to parctise.

martes, 22 de abril de 2014

The day of the Earth

Today it's the day to think about environment and what to do to protect our planet. This is a topic which is present in our book, in lesson 9.2. Let's work with this topic using some links:

  • this link is the one we've just used in class, with vocabulary and listening; click here
  • this link is about vocabulary but you have some other links at the end; click here
  • this is a blog with an entry on enviromental issues; there are exercises at the end and it's quite interesting; click here
Exercises about environment, especially about vocabulary: exercise 1    exercise 2    exercise 3

jueves, 10 de abril de 2014

Comparative and Superlative forms

There is an old post from 2011 about this grammar topic so click here if you want to see it and do exercises. Nevertheless, this is a short summary of what we saw in class. try to use comparatives to express preferences, give reasons, explain something or your opinion.

Comparing qualities
This is waht you do when you compare 2 things or people; you use an adjective and you should use the comparative form. Look at this chart:

1 syllable
2 syllable
3 or more syllable
You add -ER THAN

Clean = cleaner than
Big = bigger than yours
dry = drier than
Ending in -y = -IER THAN

easy = easier
friendly = friendlier
lovely = lovelier
You use MORE --- THAN

expensive = more expensive than
beautiful = more beautiful than

bored = more bored than
Ending in consonat = MORE --- THAN
careful = more careful than
boring = more boring than
Adverbs ending in -LY =
easily = more easily than

Comparing quantities
Uncountable (singular)
Countable (plural)
There is more water than ice
There are more people than I thought
There is less sugar than the amount I need
There are more places to visit than expected

Subordinate sentences:
  • SO + adjective + THAT = she's so nice that everybody likes her
  • SUCH + (modifier) noun + THAT = she's such a nice person that everybody likes her
    • Notice the changes for singular/plural and countable/uncountable: they are such nice boys; he is such a nice boy; it's such nice bread a = 1 (not 2,3,4...)

The meaning is very similar in both sentences, but the grammar form changes. 
If you want to practise eith this grammar point, go to these exercises:

martes, 1 de abril de 2014

Using intensifiers

An intensifier is an adverb which you use to give more emphasis to adjectives or other parts of speech. When we use a noun is called quantifier. Have a look to the examples:
  • Bill Gates is extremely rich (intenisfier: EXTREMELY)
  • Bill Gates has so much money that he can buy whatever he wants (quantifier: MUCH)
If you want to know more about intensifiers you can go to this link
Remember we have worked in class with the problem with TOO + adjective and TOO MUCH + singular  and TOO MANY + plural, as you can see in the example:

  • There were TOO MANY people, TOO MUCH noise and the music was TOO loud.

The other problem is the use of ENOUGH: you must use adjective + ENOUGH but ENOUGH + noun. Let's see the example:

  • There aren't ENOUGH books for everybody but there is ENOUGH time to find them if we are fast ENOUGH to bring them from the library.
I hope you won't have no more problems with these similar words. See you in class!

Multi-word verbs

MULTI-WORD VERBS are those verbs formed by 2 or more words. Here you have some examples:
  • I look forward to seeing you (3 words)
We should distinguish between two different verbs:
  • PREPOSITIONAL verbs: verbs followed by a preposition
    • Look at Peter! ---- Look at HIM!
  • PHRASAL verbs: verbs followed by an adverb
    • Look up the word in the dictionary ---- Look IT up in a dictionary
But what is important to know is the way they function, that is, if you must split the verb and the particle to introduce the pronoun, as you can see in the second example. The best way to learn them is in context and then keep in mind the verb used with a pronoun as you have seen above.

There are plenty of lists of multi-word verbs but I think it's better to learn by heart all those that you need in your daily life and increase your own list little by little. Then you should go through them from time to time to revise. This kind of verbs are really frequent in English and they mark the difference in your level of English.

If you want to start practise you can use the ones in the student's book or you can go to some links on the internet like these ones:

April's Fool Day

Today it's April's Fool so let's know something about it. It's the time for pranks and prankster. Go to this link to know something about this day, specially its history, click here.
But you should know some vocabulary about this day so you could go to this link; click here
I hope there aren't many prankters in my class...

Greetings from York

Hi, everybody! I'm in York, a beautiful city in the north of England. I'm in a course about intercultural communication but I also ...