lunes, 12 de mayo de 2014

Dislikes / Useful expressions

1. I'm not too keen on English food.
2. I'm not a big a fan of English food.
3. I can't work up any enthusiasm for it.
4. I'm not particularly fond of English food.
5. I can't stand it/I really hate it.
6. English food: I can take it or leave it.
7. English food leaves me cold.
8. I can't see what all the fuss is about.
9. I'm afraid it doesn't appeal to me.
10. I would rather cut off my right arm than...

How to use the language: 

Phrases 1 and 2 are quite informal phrases. The degree of dislike is not very strong. The speaker will probably agree to eat English food but won't enjoy it very much.

In phrases 3 and 4, the speaker is saying that she doesn't feel anything positive about English food. This is more formal.

The phrases in 5 are very strong. The speaker really does not want to ever eat English food again.

Phrases 6, 7 and 8 are quite informal and are saying that English food doesn't cause any emotions or reactions from the speaker. This is dismissive and considered quite negative.

Phrase 9 is more formal and is saying that the speaker doesn't enjoy English food. This is a reasonably polite way of saying that you don't like something.

Phrase 10 is an exaggerated and humorous way of saying the speaker really, really hates something. It can also be quite impolite if used at the wrong time.

Expressions when you are angry


1. I don't believe it!
2. What a pain!
3. It's driving me up the wall.
4. I've had it up to here with...
5. I've had all I can take of...
6. It really gets on my nerves.
7. I'm sick and tired of...
8. I'm fed up with it.
9. I could really do without it.
10. Is it possible?

How To Use These Phrases:

Phrases 1 and 2 are used immdeiately after something has made you angry.

Use phrases 3, 4 and 5 about a situation or a series of repeated actions that make you angry.

Phrase 6 is used about something that slowly makes you angry over a long time.

Use phrases 7 and 8 about something annoying that has continued for a long time.

Phrase 9 is often used when we have several pieces of bad luck and then one more bad thing happens.

Use phrase 10 to show disbelief that something so bad has happened or that one more bad thing has happened after several others.

Expressions .-

(used with 'stop' as an example verb)

1. I reckon you should stop now.
2. Why don't you stop now?
3. How about stopping now?
4. If I were you, I'd stop now.
5. I suggest you stop now.
6. You'd (really) better stop right now.
7. I would strongly advise you to stop.
8. My advice would be to stop now.
8. It might be a good idea to stop.
9. You might try stopping.

How To Use These Phrases:

Phrases 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the most informal.

Phrases 2 and 3 are less forceful. 

Phrase 4 is more forceful than the previous three phrases.

Phrase 5 is neutral. Note it can be used formally and informally. Using more stress on the 'gest' /JEST/ of 'suggest' makes it more tentative with more stress on the main verb (in this case 'stop') making it more forceful.

Phrase 6 is quite a forceful phrase and gives the impression that by not following the advice there will be negative consequences. 

Phrases 7 and 8 are quite formal in tone. Phrase 7 is really quite forceful but phrase 8 less so.

Phrases 9 and 10 are the least forceful phrases.

Phrase 10 sounds more informal than phrase 9.

Verbs Followed by Gerunds or Infinitives

Verbs Followed by Gerunds or Infinitives

When two verbs appear together, the first verb determines if the second verb will be in the gerund form (-ing form) or the infinitive form (to...). The only way to know is to memorize which verbs are followed by gerunds and which are followed by infinitives.

Example: The student needs to go to class early. The verb “need” can only be followed by an infinitive form (to...). The student doesn’t mind going to class early. The verb “do not mind” can only be followed by a gerund (-ing) verb.

Verbs Followed by Infinitives

Most verbs are followed by infinitives. If the verb is not found in the list below it is probably followed by an infinitive.

Verbs Followed by Gerunds

The verbs in the following table all need to be followed by gerunds. Example: The students don’t enjoy going over the same rules again and again.

admit (to)
get used to
look forward to
put off
be accustomed to
keep (on)
be used to
(not) mind
can’t help feel like

Verbs Followed by an Object Before the Second Infinitive Verb

Example: I advise you to go to school early today.

*would like

(Words with * can be used with or without an object.) *Some words can be used without an object as well as with an object. Example: I want him to go. I want to go.

Verbs Followed by Either Gerund or Infinitive

Sometimes the meaning changes according to the verb used.

Example: He doesn’t remember giving the homework to Mr. Young. He didn’t remember to give the homework to Mr. Young.

can (not) bear
can (not) stand

Verbs Followed Only by the Simple Form (no -ing or to)

Four verbs are called causative verbs. They are followed by an object; the verb after the object is always in the simple form:

let: They let him go on the trip (instead of “let him to go"). I let him take my book home for one night.
make: We made her do her chores first. I made my sister cry.
help: She helped her finish her homework. I helped him find the bookstore.
have: The teacher had him stay after school. I had my teacher explain the answers.

Verbs Followed by Either the Simple Form or the Gerund (no to)

Some verbs are called verbs of perception and are followed by either the simple form or the -ing form.

see: I see him go. I see him going.
notice: I notice him run to school everyday. I notice him running to school everyday.
watch: I watch him struggle with his homework. I watch him struggling with his homework.
hear: I hear him sing. I hear him singing.

Others include: look at, observe, listen to, feel, smell.

Vocabulary for English Course

Vocabulary for English Course

Many people go to the UK in summer to study English. Typically, they enrol in a language school for a fortnight (=two weeks) or even longer, and attend language classes in the morning.

 In the afternoon, there is often a choice betweensupplementary (= extra) lessons, or social activities, such as trips to museums or places of local interest, or sport activities. The school will probably also book your accommodation.

Maybe you will stay with a local family on a full-board (= accommodation and all meals included) or half-board (= accommodation plus breakfast and dinner) basis, or perhaps you will stay in student accommodation, such as a hall of residence (= specially-built accommodation for students attending English universities).

Before you start your English course, you'll probably need to do a placement test, which will assess your language level. If you're attending a business English course, you'll probably also do a needs analysis, which pinpoints the areas of business English that you need to work on.
Most language schools offer a range of courses. For instance, you might decide to have your lessons in a small group, or you might prefer a one-to-one or individual course. Schools also offer exam-preparation courses (for the Cambridge or TOEFL exams) as well as YL (young learner = children) courses and ESP (English for Specific Purposes) courses.

Your teacher should be TEFL-qualified, which means that he or she has undergone specific training to teach English as a foreign language. He or she should be sensitive to your problems or needs, as well as able to manage the classroom effectively and to provide a range of learning activities.
However, it's also true to say that you "get out what you put in": the harder you study, and the more you take advantage of being in an English-speaking country, the faster you will improve your English.

More tips for learning English abroad

Practise as much as you can outside the school. Being in an English-speaking country gives you a great opportunity to try out your English. Don't just say "hello" or "goodbye" in shops, for example. Ask questions or ask for advice to get someone else to talk to you!

Learn about the culture as well. If you're staying with a host family, you have a chance to find out more about the traditions in their family, or community. Ask them about their likes and dislikes, hobbies or interests, or what they do on special occasions such as birthdays, or at New Year. You'll learn new vocabulary as well as other interesting information, and of course, you'll get another good opportunity to practise your speaking and listening skills.

Talk to other non-native English speaking people! Places like the UK attract lots of foreign visitors, giving you the chance to understand a much greater variety of accents and ways of speaking English. As English is spoken globally, it's important not to limit yourself to only trying to understand native English speakers.

Try out the bookshops. Although online book shopping is easy and convenient, going into a bookshop is a fantastic experience. The bigger shops in cities like London stock a huge range of English learning books, and you can browse other sections for books on your personal interests.

Improving your English Vocabulary

Improving your English Vocabulary

Having a great English vocabulary doesn't just mean that you can understand lots of words and phrases: it also means that you can use these words and phrases and that you can remember them when you need them.

This is the difference between an active and a passive vocabulary. Generally, most people's passive vocabulary is far bigger than their active vocabulary, and the secret is to try and "activate" passive knowledge.
There are a number of ways that you can activate your passive vocabulary in English, ranging from simple five-minute activities to longer periods of study. Most activities work best if a) you have a good dictionary and b) you keep a vocabulary notebook.

Good English dictionaries
A good English dictionary should be up-to-date (no more than five years old!) and should be easy to understand. Make sure that the definitions are written in clear English. Pictures also help you to understand some words. I strongly recommend the Longman range of dictionaries, as there is good coverage of spoken and written English, British and American English, as well as clear example sentences.

Vocabulary notebooks
When you come across a new English word or phrase, make a note of it! Look up the meaning in the dictionary, making sure you are aware of any grammatical information. (For instance, if you are looking up a verb, check to see if the verb can be used in a passive form, if it is followed by any particular preposition, and so on.) Check also for the pronunciation and use of a word. Is it particularly formal or informal, or used in certain word partnerships? For example, we say "do housework", but "make an effort".
When you find a new word, check to see if you can use it in other ways. English is a flexible language – nouns, verbs and adjectives often share the same stem. For example, a house, to house, housing policy, and so on.
When you write down your new word in your notebook, try to include an example sentence in English.
Some people find it helpful to organise notebooks into themes. So rather than having a list of words without any obvious connection, you divide your notebook into themes, with one page containing words to do with the house, another page with words to do with jobs, and so on.

Quick English vocabulary booster activities

1. An English word a day
Choose a new word or phrase from your notebook and try to use it as often as possible in one day. Think of situations where you would need to use it, and write down a couple of example sentences. Go back to this word or phrase after a week, to make sure you still remember it.
Some people find index cards useful. You can write down the word on the card and carry it around with you for a day, taking it out of your pocket whenever you have a moment and trying to put it into a sentence.

2. Review
The next time you have a spare couple of minutes, flick through your notebook. You'll be surprised how much comes back to you! Choose a page where you have already stored a number of words and expressions, cover the page, and try to remember what you wrote. Then look at the page and see how many you remember.

3. One word at a time
When you read a page of a book or newspaper, decide you will only look up one word in a dictionary. When you write it down in your notebook, also make a note of any synonyms (words that mean the same) or the opposite of the new word.

4. English word building
Take a prefix (such as "en", or "pre") and make a list of all the words that can follow. (For example, encircle, enclose, enlist; prenatal, premature, pre-war.) Here are some more prefixes you can use:
dis, il, im, ir, pro, anti, de, un, con, re

Longer English vocabulary learning activities

1. Read
Read something that interests you. It could be a newspaper, a novel, a magazine, or even an English graded reader (a simplified book). Working page by page, underline the words or phrases that you don't know. Look up only those that are important for understanding, or which are repeated. Use a good dictionary, and make a note in your English vocabulary notebook.

2. Blitz
Focus on a theme, such as sport. Divide one page of your notebook into three columns. In the first column write down as many sports as you can think of. In the second, write down all the equipment you need for the sport. In the third, write down the scoring systems. You might end up with something that looks like this:
tennis racquet, ball, net umpire, love, linesman
football pitch, ball, goal posts referee, offside, penalty
You can use this method for many different themes: houses (rooms of house, furniture, styles); jobs (names of jobs, places where these jobs are done, characteristics of the job) and so on.

3. Word association
Write a key word in the middle of a page and draw a bubble around it. Then draw lines out from this word connected to smaller bubbles. In the smaller bubbles you can add words associated with the main word.
For example, you could write "email" in the middle of a page. Then the smaller bubbles could contain words such as "write", "compose", "receive", "delete", "reply" and so on.

How to keep an English Conversation Going

How to keep an English conversation going

It can be difficult to keep a conversation going. Even if you understand what the other person is saying, you can feel "blocked" or "frozen" when it's your turn to speak. The words or phrases you need don't often come quickly enough to mind.

The more opportunities you can get to use and speak English, the easier it is to find the right words when you need them. Take every chance you get to use your English!

Sounding fluent and confident in a few words

Here are some useful ways to keep the conversation going. The "secret" is that you don't actually need many words to do this!

1. Show interest in the other speaker
You don't need to say much. Often just one word is needed to show you are interested and listening. Try "Really?" (with a rising intonation), "Right" or "Sure". You could even show you are listening with a non-word such as "Mmm" or Uh-huh".
"I hate watching rubbish on the TV."

2. Use a short phrase to show your feelings
For example, "How awful", "Oh no!", "You're joking", "What a pity" etc.
"My neighbour had a car accident yesterday."
"Oh no!"
"Yes, but thankfully he wasn't hurt."

3. Ask a short question 
You can use an auxiliary verb to make a short question which will encourage the other speaker to keep talking:
"We tried out the new Chinese restaurant last night."
"Did you?"
"I'm going to Barbados next week on holiday."
"Are you? Lucky you!"
"It's snowing again."
"Is it?"

4. Repeat what the other person said
Do this especially if the other person has said something surprising.
"He won £200 on the lottery."
"I'm going to Barbados next week."

Other ways to avoid silence

Here are some more tips to help you say something – even if you haven't understood the other person or there's nothing else to say.

If you don't understand
"Sorry, I don't understand."
"Sorry, could you repeat that?"
"Sorry? I didn't get that."

If you don't know the word
"I can't find the word I'm looking for…"
"I'm not sure that this is the right word, but…"
"What I want to say is…"

If you can't find the word immediately
You don't want to be completely silent, but you need time to find the words.
You can even make some "noises"

Agreeing with the other person
You want to show that you agree, but you don't have anything else to say.

Changing the subject
Everyone in the conversation has given an opinion, and now you want to talk about something else.
"Well, as I was saying…"
"So, back to …"
"So, we were saying …"


Sometimes we say things that other people don't understand, or we give the wrong impression. Here are some expressions you can use to say something again.

"What I meant to say was…"
"Let me rephrase that…"
"Let me put this another way…"
"Perhaps I'm not making myself clear…"

Go back to the beginning
If you're explaining something, and you realise that the other person doesn't understand, you can use the following phrases:
"If we go back to the beginning…"
"The basic idea is…"
"One way of looking at it is…"
"Another way of looking at it is…"