Friday, December 16, 2011

A Funny Video about The Two Ronnies

If you want to have a good time have a look at this video and see how many problems can cause if you pronounce badly. Go to this link:
The Two Ronnies

You can find more videos about these comedians on YouTube. Enjoy them!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Using Conditionals (NI2)

There are several ways of the conditionals in English. Here you have a diagram:
Type 0
General truth; you can substitute if for when
If you boil water
it evaporates
Type 1
Possible condition; it is likely to happen
If I have time
I’ll go to the cinema
Type 2
Improbable condition; it is very hypothetical this could happen
Simple past
If I could buy a new car
Simple conditional
I’d take a van
Type 3
Impossible conditional; this is referred to the past and it is more connected with regrets
Past perfect
If I’d known you were coming
Perfect conditional
I would have made your favourite dish
The condition is a regret but the results are in the present
Past perfect
If I’d thought about that twice
Simple conditional
I wouldn’t have so many problems
When we talk about using present or future, it means that they might be in the simple, continuous, perfect or perfect continuous form, depending on the message.
Other forms instead of if
It means if by any chance…
You must replace if for should
Should you see John, can you give him a message?
The same as if but a bit more formal
Provided you leave, you’ll catch the train
The meaning is if … not
I won’t go to the doctor unless you come with me
on condition
This introduces a that-clause
On condition that we get the money, we’ll do it
as long as
It is the same as if
I don’t mind your coming as long as you keep quiet
Links for practising conditionals:
  • exercise 1: low intermediate; to start with
  • exercise 2: including some mixed conditionals
  • exercise 3: go to the video screen to play the game To Become a Billionaire; quite funny
  • exercise 4: another funny game
  • exercise 5 : higher level and there is a possibility of explanation in each sentence
· I hope you've got enough but remember there is more on the internet if you need it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Greetings and introductions (NI2 - NI1)

Here you have some listenings related to this topic we've alredy seen at the end of File 1. The level is not difficult and it's American English but it's a way of practising with models. Click here

About British accent you can find how to introduce and greet people in BBC Learning English. Go to this link here

I hope it'll help you. See you in class.

Native English: how to pronounce contractions (NI1-NI2)

We've already seen tenses for present, past and future. The problem is that when you speak you should do contractions but the way native speakers say them is not the same as we foreigners do. Here you have a link (in Spanish) which deals with the pronunciation of contractions. Click here

As I told you in class, it's very peculiar the way we use conditionals and their pronunciation is pretty difficult. The same blog has a post about this problem. Click here to see it.

Apart form these links, if you want to know how to pronounce something in particular you can come to this link, which works as a dictionary for pronunciation with audio:

See you in class.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Use of Adverbs (NI2)

If you want to know what an adverb is, types, usage and so on, please go to this link (there are exercises at the end of the text):

Here you can have a good summary for the 5 kinds of adverbs as well:

And in this site you have something about the placement of adverbs:

But what is really useful is to work with exercises to practise. Go to this link: quite a lot of exercises and/or explanations about adverbs and its usage.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Using Adverbs (NI2)

We have been working this week with adverbs and we have found out there are some which are particularly difficult. One of them es eventually. Here you have a link about this adverb and some other similar ones with a good exercise to practise. Click here to see it.
As you can see, eventually is similar to finally. I hope this exercise will help you. See you in class!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Using Podcasts to Learn English (NI1 and NI2)

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) :

  • 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.
  • : 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 or BBC Learning English. Have a look on the recommended links of this blog ( Useful Links the windows on the right).

See you in class!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Multi-word verbs (NI2)

We have studied phrasal verbs but I'd rather include them into the group of multi-word verbs. Here you have an explanation and some reference pages for further information and some practice.

Multi-word verbs are made from a verb plus another word or words. There are some differences among the three types of multi-word verbs, that is, phrasal verbs, prepositional verbs and phrasal-prepositional verbs.
Phrasal verbs are made of: VERB + ADVERB and they usually have a different meaning from the original verb; e.g. we use give up to indicate we don't do something any more. Phrasal verbs can be:
  • intransitive (no direct object): you can’t separate the particle from the verb; e.g. look for the keys, look for them.
  • transitive (with direct object): we can usually separate the direct object; e.g. turn on the light, turn the light on or turn it on. Notice the position of the pronoun is always between the verb and the particle.

A prepositional verb is made of VERB + PREPOSITION, with a slight difference of meaning; e.g. look at the window; look at it. As you can see in the example, these verbs are always followed by an object but you cannot separate the preposition from the verb.
Phrasal-prepositional verbs are made of VERB +ADVERB + PREPOSITION. The characteristic is that they are followed by an object but the particlescannot be separated; e.g. I can’t put up with football, I can’t put up with it.
To practise with multiword verbs you can go to these pages:

I hope this post will be useful for you. See you in class!