lunes, 19 de mayo de 2014

Reported Speech and Conditionals

Reported speech is when you explain what other people say so there are some typical changes, related to pronouns, verbs and time/place references. I think it's much more natural than what you could expect and that's the reason why you should use it in your own speech. Let's see an example:
"Yesterday I phoned my mother and she told me she didn't feel well and she asked me to go with her the following day to visit the doctor. I told her I had an important meeting at 9,30 but I was free after that time and I said I was picking her up at 10. She said she was going to make the appointment at that moment to be sure we could have the right time".
You must pay attention to the difference between TELL and SAY: the first one is used with personal complement while the second goes without it as you can see in these examples:
  • Tom told her/Susan he had to work until late
  • Tom said he had to work until late
Here you are some exercises to work with this: exercise 1   exercise 2    exercise 3
Remember the exception with TELL without personal pronoun: to tell the truth, to tell a lie, to tell a story/a tale, to tell a joke.

Indirect speech is related to conditionals: let's see these examples:

  • she asked: Do you smoke?  ----  she asked me if I smoked
  • he said: If you need money, I'll lend you some  --- he told me if I needed money he would lend some  (first conditional into second conditional)

jueves, 15 de mayo de 2014

Using First and Second Conditioal Sentences

There are several ways of conditional sentences in English. Here you have a diagram

Type 0 or
General truth; you can substitute if for when

If you boil water
it evaporates
Type 1 or 
Possible condition; it is likely to happen

If I have time
if you have finished your homework
I’ll go to the cinema
I`ll give you a present/you can play with the computer
Type 2 or
Improbable condition; it is very hypothetical that this could happen

Simple past
If I could buy a new car
If I had the money
Simple conditional
I’d take a van
I wouldn't buy a Ferrari

Let's work with some exercises:
There is another link which is not explained in the book but it's imortant to know: UNLESS
This form is the same as if...not; for example: I won't go unless you invite me or You'll have problems unless you do it carefully. If you want to practise, you can use this exercise; click here

Although the second conditional (hypothetical) is mentioned above, we are not going to use them now but in a higher level unless you use it in this way: If I were you, I'd stay at home or If I were Peter, I wouldn't tell her the truth. 

To finish with, here you have the song When a Man Loves a Woman to see examples of what it's been explainded here; click here

martes, 13 de mayo de 2014

Using ALREADY, YET and JUST with present perfect.

We've ALREADY seen present perfect this course but we haven't practised with some adverbs YET. I've JUST explained the use of these adverbs in class and I think we're ready to use them. Generally speaking, we use these adverbs in this way:
  • JUST: the action has been done short time ago. I've just seen Peter downstairs; he looks great.
  • ALREADY: it indicates the action is finished, and before than expected. My teacher has already corrected the exams.
  • YET: this shows that the action is not finished or you don't know if it's finished. I haven't seen Susan yet. Has she called you yet?
For a further explanation you can go to these links: the British Council; this one is with "ever" and "never" included, click hereNevertheless, if you have problems to understand the difference you can use this webpage in Spanish; click here
As usual, the best way it to do some exercises to practise:

I hope this will be helpful.

Coming back form Finland!

Hi! I've just come back from Finland and I'm delighted. It's a wonderful country, with a lot of things to see, to learn and to enjoy; but the most surprising thing has been the people. They were extremely kind to us and we had a great time there thanks to them. I really recommend you to visit that country... but avoid going there in winter!
Here you are a very interesting link about facts in Finland, the one we saw in class; click here

martes, 6 de mayo de 2014

Preparing the final exam

We are nearly finishing the course and we should think of the final exam. Remember you must pass an exam for every skill: reading, listening, writing and speaking. Let's practice with this type of exams. There are some sample (examples) on the internet and we must start with the one given by Madrid. Here you are the exams of Comunidad de Madrid; clikc here
If you want to see more examples, here you are the one from Valencia; click here and then choose English. And this site has a lot of information about this type of exams; clikc here
See you next week!