Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NA1 - Lesson 5B: I wish

In the previous lesson we worked with if-clauses and this grammar point is a bit similar because of the use of tenses but in another context: I wish + WOULD / PAST SIMPLE /PAST PERFECT
Although you've got a grammar explanation on the book, let's see these links, which are quite useful, about how to use this structure
  • Here you are a short summary but without exercises: click here
  • This link from the British Council with an exercise: click here
  • A very clear summary with different exercises at the end (except for the song): click here
  • Exercises: exercise 1    exercise 2    exercise 3 (this is a mix of exercises and explanation; quite long but it's worth visiting the link)
To finish with here you are some songs about this construction. There are a lot but these are just a few. Enjoy them!
  • I wish I could: dedicated to parents, especially for fathers (March 19th): click here
  • I wish it would rain down by Phil Collins: click here
  • I wish I knew how by LihgtHouse: click here

Monday, February 23, 2015

Common Writing Mistakes

Although this post is focused on NI1 students of other levels might find it interesting. Here you are soem of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
  • Every verb needs a subject: She doesn't like that skirt because x is too short. In this sentence you don't know the second subject and it could be read in two ways: a) because SHE is too short  or b) because IT is too short 
  • Don't shift the tense of the verbs unless it is necessary: if you are using past tenses don't change to present if you don't need it. If this happens, pay attention to the reference of time. An example: Peter went to the cinema with Susan but they don't like the film. Maybe you wanted to say: ...but they didn't like the film because it was a western and they are not keen on that kind of films.
  • Adjectives don't have plural forms, except for some exceptions, but generally they use the singular form: The British and the Americans (right) are quite differents (wrong).
  • Mind the spelling, especially the use of capital letters and the double consonant. Capital letters are used with I (not with It), days of the week, months, nationalities but never use If unless it is after a period. A typical misspelling is this: I tried to pass the exam last saturday but It was very difficult and I failed; I'll sit the exam again next july If I can. For double consonat, keep in mind how to pronounce the word and the rules for -ED and -ING form. For example: you don't use writting as you don't say likking.
  • Organise your writing in a logical way to be understood better and remember that what it is in your head can't be read, but what it is written on the paper.Use paragraphs with ONE idea in each one,and keep in mind that a paragraph is longer than a sentence but it shouldn't be too long either. If it is so, it is likely you have included more than one single idea in the paragraph. 
To finish with, here you are some links to help you to improve your writing skills:
  • A link with typical mistakes according to the level: click here
  • Exercises of correcting mistakes: click here
  • A list of mistakes comparing two similar words like between vs. among and it incluses some other frequent mistakes:click here
  • This is about how to avoid some mistakes for "formal" writing: click here

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day

On the last Tuesday of Carnivals, there is a special feast called Shrove Tuesday, and the following day Lent starts. Here you are some links to know a bit more about this feast:

  • a video about Pancake Races in London: click here
  • a video with an explanation about Shrove Tuesday: click here
  • if you need a recipe for pancakes, try this one (vocabulary): click here
Here you are the link with the good comments about how to use How come; click here. Remember that it's similar to the expression in Spanish  ¿como es que...? I hope this will help you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Saint Valentine's Day

This post is a "romantic" contribution to Saint Valentine's Day. Here you are some short stories and some quotes about love. I hope you'll enjoy them.
  • short romantic stories: click here
  • romantic messages: click here
If you want to know something about Saint Valentine's Day here you have some videos:
  • Saint Valentine's day in America: click here
  • This is another video with some interested facts; clic here
If you want to work with usually and used to here you are an exercise or this one with used to. If you think you can go further, try this exercise with to be used to+ -ing; click here or this one with the three forms