Friday, October 27, 2017

NI1 - The use of simple past

In lesson 2 we are working with simple past. We have already seen the difference between regular and irregualr forms and we worked with the pronunciation in both. Then we saw different ways of learning/reviewing irregular past:
  • using the first letter: "Irregular verbs starting with... L" (much better if you do it as a competition with your partner or a friend)
  • using topics: verbs conneted with money (spend / buy / get / steal / lose / pay); with schooling (learn, teach, read, write, speak, do...); with ordenary actions (eat, drink, sleep, have, take, go, wear...) or senses (hear, see, other topics: verbs of senses / schooling and learning verbs / daily activities / movement...
  • according to the pattern: A-A-A, A-B-B, A-B-C or A-B-A (remember the photocopy I gave you in class) Here you are a video which explains the groups and it gives you the principal verbs as examples, and then this link with a list of verbs grouped by pattern.
Another problem is the rules of spelling. To review them, click here.

Just in case you lose the photocopy I gave you in class, here you are a traditional list (in alphabetical order) with the neaning in Spanish: click here or here (mind the phonetics in this last link!)

To finish with, here you are the typical questions you'll find in an oral exam to practise past tenses orally. If you do it alone, say it aloud and record your performance with your movile:
  • What did you do last weekend / yesterday? Try to be precise so tell us what you did on Friday night, on Saturday morning/evening and on Sunday. To speak about yesterday explain what you did in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.
  • Where did you go to last holiday? How did you get there? How long? Where did you stay?What did you do there? Did you do anything special?
  • Tell me an anecdote that happened to you and try to cover these questions: What happened? When? Where? What happened in the end? How did you feel? Why?

Monday, October 23, 2017

NA2 - How to learn idioms

This week we've been dealing with idioms and we've seen some of them. One of the most difficult things by using them is to do it in a natural, proper way. My recommendation is to start with those which are familiar to you because either they are in your mother tongue or because you use them a lot. Here you are some examples:

  • You can't judge a book by its cover  -  Hit the nail on the head  -  Give the benefit of the doubt  -  Taste of your own medicine  -  Curiosity killed the cat  -  Miss the boat  -  Kill two birds with one stone  -  A hot potato  -  A white lie  -  It's a losing battle  -  Flesh and bone
  • Out of the blue  -  Costs an arm and a leg  -  To hear it frm the horse's mouth  -  To make ends meet  -  Filling a bit under the weather  -  The last straw  -  Once in a blue moon
Here you are a couple of links to see more idioms: this is one and this is another

I include a listening exercise of filling the gaps to practise a little: click here

Saturday, October 21, 2017

NI1 - Present simple versus present continuous

In these first lessons of our book we are dealing with present tenses. Here you are some explanation and exercises to practise.

PRESENT SIMPLE or habitual present is used to speak about ordinary actions, something you usually do (habitual actions). That's the reason why this tense is normally related to frequency adverbs (usually, hardly ever, never, often, sometimes...) or similar expressions of time (once a week, from time to time, every Monday, every other week...)

PRESENT CONTINUOUS or present progressive is used for actions which are being performed at that moment or for a period of time (actions in progress). It also has a sense of future when you are very sure that the action is going to take place in a short time (dates, arrangements...)

Let's see some examples:
  • I always go to work by car but today I'm going by bus.
  • I usually play tennis with my friend Tom but tomorrow I'm playing with Susan.
Here you have some links to work with:  
  • this web page has a long but clear explanation and many exercises at the end: click here
  • this link has grammar points and some exercises: click here
  • try these exercises: exercise 1     exercise 2       exercise 3 
Hope this heps you. See you in class!

Friday, October 20, 2017

NI1 - The difference between HAVE and HAVE GOT

Some students asked me about this confusing point. Here you are some explanations and a couple of exercises to help you.

The main difference between them is that HAVE is a simple form and HAVE GOT is a compound or perfect form. This means that with HAVE you need an auxiliary, like any other verb, but with HAVE GOT the auxiliary is have.
Let's see these examples:
  • I have a dog  ----  I've got a dog
  • She DOESN'T have a car  ----  She HASN'T got a car  (a different auxiliary)
  • DO they have any children?  ----  HAVE they got any children?
  • No, they DON'T  ----  No, they HAVEN'T
The other difference is about meaning. HAVE is used for possession and as a sinonym of take, especially in American English but HAVE GOT is used only for possession in British English:
  • I've got a big house   but   I have a shower every morning (British English)
  • I have a big house    and   I have a shower every morning (American English: no difference)

But this works only in present simple because in the rest of the tenses this doesn't happen like that:
She is having a lot of problems She isn't having many problems Is she having any problem?
He has had a problem He hasn't had any problem up to now Has he had any problem up to now?
PAST SIMPLE I had a car I didn't have a bike Did you have a car?
With modals I can have a pet I shouldn't have a dog May I have a cat?

So if you check in the list of irregular verbs, you'll see that the three columns are like this:

HAVE / HAVE GOT           HAD         HAD        Tener, tomar, tener que

Here you are some links to practise with this grammar point:
exercise 1     exercise 2

Monday, October 16, 2017

Welcome to the school year 2017-2018!

Hi to everybody!

Here we are another year with this fantastic adventure: learning English at EOI. I'm delighted to be with you again for either those students I already know or those I've just met.

This blog is just a tool to help you in your learning, especially with grammar and vocabulary, but also with extra activities. If I find something interesting, I'd like to share it with you.

As you can see, every post will be targeted to the groups of students I'm teaching to but everybody is welcome to go to a higher or lower level if you like or you need it.

Hope to be useful and see you in class!