martes, 29 de septiembre de 2015

Agreeing and disagreeing

Expressing Opinions: English Vocabulary

Expressing Opinions

Below are some phrases that you can use to help express opinions. Some of these phrases are more appropriate for written English such as giving your opinion in an essay whereas some can also be used in spoken English.

Personal Point of View

We use these words and phrases to express a personal point of view:
  • In my experience…
  • As far as I'm concerned…
  • Speaking for myself…
  • In my opinion…
  • Personally, I think…
  • I'd say that…
  • I'd suggest that…
  • I'd like to point out that…
  • I believe that…
  • What I mean is…

General Point of View

We use these words and phrases to express a point of view that is generally thought by people:
  • It is thought that...
  • Some people say that...
  • It is considered...
  • It is generally accepted that...

Agreeing with an opinion

We use these words and phrases to agree with someone else's point of view:
  • Of course.
  • You're absolutely right.
  • Yes, I agree.
  • I think so too.
  • That's a good point.
  • Exactly.
  • I don't think so either.
  • So do I.
  • I'd go along with that.
  • That's true.
  • Neither do I.
  • I agree with you entirely.
  • That's just what I was thinking.
  • I couldn't agree more.

Disagreeing with an opinion

We use these words and phrases to disagree with someone else's point of view:
  • That's different.
  • I don't agree with you.
  • However…
  • That's not entirely true.
  • On the contrary…
  • I'm sorry to disagree with you, but…
  • Yes, but don't you think…
  • That's not the same thing at all.
  • I'm afraid I have to disagree.
  • I'm not so sure about that.
  • I must take issue with you on that.
  • It's unjustifiable to say that...

jueves, 24 de septiembre de 2015

Saxon Genitive ( 's ) - Possession

Saxon Genitive ( 's ) - Possession


 We use this form to express possession or relationship when talking about people.
Phoebe has a cat = This is Phoebe's cat
The leg of the chair
The leg of the sheep
Paul's leg

singular noun  My father's car
plural noun  My parents' house
singular ending in "s" or similar sound  Your boss's office / Alice's book (pronounced: /bɒsɪz/ /ælɪsɪz/)
plural not ending in "s"  The children's room

 The "Person" may be a phrase:
That is the man next door's wife  (Person= the man next door)
Paul and Mary's dog
Henry the Eighth's six wives
Paul and Mary's dog = Paul and Mary have a dog, his name is Tobby
Paul's and Mary's dogs = Paul has a dog called Tobby, and Mary has a dog called Dodo

     But if the "Person" is a long phrase or sentence, we prefer the construction with OF
         This is the office of Mary and her new boyfriend
         That's the house of the man who was talking to you at the party
     A Saxon genitive can also be the "Person" of another Saxon genitive
        This is Monica's son's toy    (the toy of Monica's son)
        My brother's wife's name is Karen

 Careful with the article!
We only use the article with the Person if the Person has an article:
That's THE BOSS  That's THE BOSS's car
That's PETER  That's PETER's car  (not: That's the Peter's car)

miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2015


Never ever be afraid to...


We use the present continuous (am/is/are + -ing) to talk about temporary things which have begun but haven't finished. They are often happening now, at this moment.
Here are some examples of things happening now.
I'm just uploading some photos to Facebook and I'm sending a message to Billie.
We're all riding camels and the sun's shining.
They're waiting for me to get off the phone!
- See more at:

martes, 22 de septiembre de 2015

EXTREME LIVING. Oymyakon, the Coldest Village on the Earth

A local woman enters Preobrazhensky Cathedral in a swirl of freezing mist.
Located in the heart of Siberia, the village of Oymyakon in Russia is widely considered to be the coldest inhabited place on Earth. A temperature of −90 °F (−67.7 °C) was recorded there back in 1933 — the lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited spot in the world.
New Zealand-based photographer Amos Chapple paid a visit to the 500-person village and captured a series of beautiful photographs showing what life is like inside this extreme village.

Traveling to the village usually involves a two-day drive from Yakutsk, a capital city of 300,000 people that has average winter temperatures of −30 °F (−34 °C), making it the coldest major city in the world.
Residents of Oymyakon deal with special challenges that most of the world can’t relate with: there’s very little indoor plumbing due to the frozen terrain, motor vehicles left outside heated garages must be continually running lest they go into deep freeze, and meat is the main food due to the area’s inability to grow crops.
Chapple says that one of the main challenges of shooting this project — aside from enduring in the fierce coldness — was operating his camera. Things were so cold that his lens’ focus and zoom rings would sometimes get frozen in place.
Frost-encrusted house in the city centre.
No-nonsense guard dog in the suburbs.
Summer shoes waiting out the winter in a shed in the suburbs.
You can find more of Chapple’s work over on his website.

Update: Not all the photographs above were captured in the village of Oymyakon. Some of them were shot in Yakutsk, the coldest major city on Earth.

lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015

miércoles, 16 de septiembre de 2015

Frequency Adverbs we use with the Present Simple and Present Continuous

Frequency Adverbs we use with the Present Simple
With the present simple we use these frequency adverbs:
(Notice that the adverb comes before the main verb in the sentence.)
Always: ‘I always read before I go to bed.’
Often: ‘Her sister often comes shopping with us.’
Frequently:‘Michael frequently visits his family.’
Sometimes:‘You sometimes go to the gym, don’t you?’
Occasionally:‘It occasionally rains in summer.’
Seldom:‘They seldom ask for help.’
Rarely: ‘He rarely goes out without his backpack.’
Hardly ever:‘I hardly ever eat pizza.’
Never: ‘Japanese people never wear shoes inside.’
Time Expressions we use with the Present Continuous
With the present continuous we use these time expressions:
(Notice that the time expression can come at the start or at the end of the sentence.)
At the moment: ‘I’m watching TV, at the moment.’
These days: ‘Paul’s living in Cardiff, these days.’
Now: ‘What are you doing, now?’
Nowadays: ‘I think you are smoking too much, nowadays.’

martes, 15 de septiembre de 2015

domingo, 13 de septiembre de 2015

European Day of Languages

Celebrities speaking foreign languages



What is the European Day of Languages?

The European Year of Languages 2001, jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union, was successful in involving millions of people across 45 participating countries. Its activities celebrated linguistic diversity in Europe and promoted language learning.
Following the success of the Year of Languages, the Council of Europe declared a European Day of Languages to be celebrated on 26th of September each year. The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are:
  1. Alerting the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
  2. Promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered;
  3. Encouraging lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs, for purposes of mobility or for pleasure and exchanges.
26 September 2011 marked the 10th anniversary of the European Day of Languages (EDL) celebrated at the Council of Europe and throughout its 47 member states.


The Council of Europe is hoping that this Day will be celebrated both by authorities in its member states and potential partners at the following levels:
  • among policy-makers (specific measures or discussions on language policy issues, for instance)
  • among the general public (awareness-raising on the overall objectives of the Day, including the importance of lifelong language learning, starting at any age, in educational establishments, at work, etc);
  • in the voluntary sector (specific actions by and/or for NGOs, associations, companies, etc).

Holidays and festivals in the UK and in the USA: ANGLOSAXON FESTIVITIES

Holidays and festivals in the UK, the USA

  • Holiday and festivals celebrated in both the UK and the USA
    • Christmas
    • New Year's Eve
    • Easter
    • Halloween
    • St. Valentine's Day

Christmas is the biggest festival of the year. Families usually come together to celebrate it. People put up decorations and decorate a Christmas tree.
In Britain people think that Father Christmas (also known as Santa Claus in the USA) brings presents for children on Christmas Eve (24th December). He is an old man with a white beard and a red suit who lives at the North Pole. On the night before Christmas he travels through the sky in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to bring children their presents. He comes down the chimney and leaves presents in the Christmas stockings which children hang up in their bedrooms before going to sleep on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day (25th December), the children wake up early and open the presents in their Christmas stockings. There are usually small presents such as sweets and small toys. Afterwards they rush downstairs to the living room to open the larger presents which are waiting for them under the Christmas tree. At noon people have their traditional Christmas dinner: roast turkey and Christmas pudding.
December 26th is called Boxing Day when people give presents to people who serve them (e.g. postmen, milkmen, etc.)

New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is the night of big parties. Many people stay up till midnight to toast in the New Year with the glass of champagne. At 12 o'clock people meet in squares, they wish each other “Happy New Year!“ and sing a traditional song called Auld Lang Syne.

It is celebrated in April. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and Easter Sunday commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The egg is the traditional symbol of Easter. Eggs are usually made of chocolate, they symbolize new life. People sometimes organize an egg hunt – parents hide eggs somewhere in the house or garden and children look for it.

It is celebrated on 31st October. It is the eve of All Saints' Day.
It has become a celebration of witches, ghosts, goblins and candy which is especially attractive to children. They dress up to the costumes with masks on their faces. They go by house to house and say “Trick or treat”, which means give us a treat or we will play a trick on you. Treats are usually sweets, fruit, money and the most common trick is a soaping window or spill the flour on the stairs.
Many homes are decorated and lit by jack-o'-lantern, pumpkins with horrible faces carved in them. There is a candle inside.

St. Valentine's Day
It is celebrated on 14th February. It is lovers' day. Young people send Valentine cards to a person they like – usually anonymously.

  • Holiday and festivals celebrated in the UK
    • St. Patrick's Day
    • Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night)
    • All Fools' Day
    • Remembrance Day (Poppy Day)
    • Bank holidays
St. Patrick's Day
It is celebrated on 17th March. Patrick was the Ireland patron. He became the bishop in Europe and he returned to convert people in Ireland to Christianity. St. Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Ireland, people wear shamrock on that day.

Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night)
It is celebrated on 5th November. It is the anniversary of the Gunpowder plot in 1605. Radical catholic group, including Guy Fawkes, wanted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and the king James I. The plot was discovered and Guy Fawkes was executed.
Nowadays, this day is celebrated by fireworks and burning of guys.

All Fools' Day
It is celebrated on 1st April. On this day people play jokes on the others.

Remembrance Day (Poppy Day)
It is celebrated on the second Sunday in November and it honours veterans. Red paper poppies are sold by the British Legion to raise money for veterans.
There is the ceremony in the Cenotaph in Whitehall in which two minutes of silence honours those killed in the two world wars.

Bank holidays
Banks and other businesses close down on these days. It includes New Year's Eve, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and May Day – 1st Monday of May (festival of children).

  • Holiday and festivals celebrated in the USA
    • Thanksgiving
    • Independence Day
    • Columbus Day
    • Memorial Day
    • Veterans Day
    • Presidents' Day
    • Martin Luther King's Day

It is celebrated on last Thursday in November (a feast of giving thanks to God).
Originally, the first feast was celebrated by the Pilgrim settlers of Plymouth colony in 1621. They celebrated the first harvest (and its share with Native Americans).
Nowadays, the whole family gets together and people enjoy a four-day holiday. This celebration is famous for its traditional dinner – roast turkey.

Independence Day
It is celebrated on 4th July. This day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence (1776; the United States proclaimed its freedom from Britain).
Nowadays, it is celebrated by fireworks, barbecues, picnics and patriotic music.

Columbus Day
It is celebrated on 12th October. It is the anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Memorial Day
It is celebrated on 30th May. It honours those who died during the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) and later those who died in all American wars. The flowers and flags are placed on the graves of the dead.

Veterans Day
It is celebrated on 11th November. It honours all veterans of all American wars.

Presidents' Day
It is celebrated on the third Monday in February. People celebrate the memory of America's first president – George Washington and its 16th president – Abraham Lincoln.

Martin Luther King's Day
It is celebrated on the third Monday in January. Martin Luther King fought for the civil rights for Blacks, against racism, discrimination and segregation. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was assassinated in 1968.

After reading; Questions:

Do you celebrate any of these festivities in your country?
Do you know any other festivals from other countries?
Have you ever heard about the “Tomato battle” or the “Chasing the Cheese” festivals?
What special dishes are served at Christmas all over the world?
Which traditions, customs and festival do you like and which ones you dislike?


 16th of October: World Food day (tries to fight hunger to reduce poverty); 
17th of October: the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
20th of November: World Day of Prevention of Child Abuse and the Rights of Boys and Girls
1st of December: World AIDS Day
 6th of December: Anniversary of the Spanish Constitution
10th of December: Human Rights World Day
30th of January: School Day of No-violence and Peace; 
8th of March: International Women’s day
15th of March: World Consumer Rights Day
21st of March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
7th of April: The World Health Day
5th of June: World Environment Day.