Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

by Bruce Lee

jueves, 31 de diciembre de 2015

Past tenses for the good old days and good old rockers' songs!!!

Let's make a revision of the past tenses (for further information about tenses, click here):

Past Simple
  • completed actions or events that happened in the past at a specific time. (We wrote 4 compositions in the first term).
  • things which happened with a certain frequency in the past (They often played in the park).
  • past states (He was very happy with his exam results).
  • habits in past which are no longer true in the present situation (We used to play football in the streets because there weren't many cars. Chilren can no longer do it because of the heavy traffic).
 Past Continuous
  • actions in progress at a specific time in the past. (I was working yesterday evening at 9 o'clock).
  • past actions interrupted by other actions, most of the times using WHEN (They were playing when the accident happened).
  • two parallel actions in progress using WHILE (I was having a shower while my sister was doing the washing up).
 Past Perfect Simple/Continuous
  • actions or states that happened before other past actions. (I had already had dinner when you arrived home).
  • the continuous form is used when there is an emphasis on the action, as it happened with the Present Perfect Continuous (I had been working for more than five hours by the time you arrived home = Llevaba trabajando más de 5 horas para cuando llegaste a casa).

Long, long time ago when I was younger and I used to dance at discos (when discos were a place for dancing) to the rhythm of Baby Jane by Rod Stewart. I no longer go to discos, but I still listen to some good old rockers' songs such as: Way Back Home (have a look at the lyrics), Love is & Please .

However, there are still wonderful songs to listen to. Let me introduce you to Mr. Brian Culbertson and his song Our Love.  

Now it is time for you to send me your favourite songs.

I wish you all the best for the coming year!!!!

sábado, 26 de diciembre de 2015

Superlatives and wishing

It is Christmas time and it is time to wish everybody the best. Let's revise then what we know about wishing and the superlatives:

SUPERLATIVES  (click here for further information)  >>>

  1. Remember the difference between  'oldest' and 'eldest' (remember: an elderly lady). Although both of them are possible to use for relatives, it is better to say 'My eldest brother works as a civil engineer in New Zealand'.
  2. Remember the difference between the  RELATIVE SUPERLATIVE , that is, a superlative used regarding a specific group (for instance: "He is the tallest boy in the class"), and the  ABSOLUTE SUPERLATIVE meaning 'very' and which does not make reference to any specific group (for example: "The book you lent me was most interesting.")    
  3. Finally, after superlatives we use in with places (the longest river in the world) and of for a period of time (the happiest day of my life)

WISHES AND REGRETS  (click here for further information)  >>>

- wishes for change in the present  (I wish + PAST SIMPLE / PAST CONTINUOUS)   
I wish I were rich / we were spending our holidays in Honolulu this year. 
- regrets about something in the past (I wish + PAST PERFECT)         
I wish At Madrid had defeated Real Madrid in the Champions League Final in 2014.
- complaints about a thing or situation and that you would like it to change in the future.         
I wish my students would listen to me (Actually they don't do it, but I would like them to do it).

And you can also visit this blog: MY ENGLISH CLASS for more details.

Listening exercise to do: Christmas kindness (BBC Learning English - 6 Minute English)

LINGOHACK: Episode 151223 / 23 Dec 2015  >>>  Expressions presented: confront, reinforces & stepping down.

miércoles, 23 de diciembre de 2015

FREE WILLY!!!! What would you do?

Is it possible that Japan resumes Anctartic whale hunt (listening exercise)? What does 'resume' mean?

Articles to read and videos to watch about the issue:

Have you seen the film Free Willy? Here's a video about this kind of whales. Do you know what their name is?

Here's a song by Michael Jackson:

Learn about the different uses of WOULD (BBC Learning English)

domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2015

Student life: Star wars or the Eden?

      We have almost finished our first term at school and it has been probably the hardest part of the school year as we had to start the engine and get used to many new things: new subjects, new contents, new teachers... and, what's really important, more and more demanding and challenging. So, is it student life all good? (listening exercise) especially when you go to university and you have to move from home. What big changes have you gone through so far this school year?

Related articles:

     In my humble opinion, it is just like in the film Star Wars (listening exercise), a life full of experiences, dangers, risks, full of moments of success, failure, disappointment, love, sadness... By the way, what is your opinion about the film and all the big hustle organised around the film premiere? 



Related articles to read about the film:

And if you haven't had enough with risks, here's this listening exercise: Why do we take risks?  


  Episode 151216 / 16 Dec 2015   >>>   Expressions presented: plant, broke new ground & to renovate.

Interesting blog to visit: Idioms with people's names 

lunes, 14 de diciembre de 2015

Our Christmas carols' hit parade

Christmas is close and it is time to sing!!!


Here's our list of traditional Christmas carols:

and here's our list of modern Christmas carols:

 You can send me your hints.

domingo, 13 de diciembre de 2015

New That's English: Module 11 (links to the episodes)

GOOD NEWS for those who are preparing for the B2!!!!

They are beginning to upload brand new That's English episodes (Module 11) onto YOUTUBE. You've got all the links on my site.

jueves, 10 de diciembre de 2015

What 35 long years!!!!

35 years have passed since the murder of John Lennon. This and all the gender-based violence cases we hear everyday on the news have reminded me of this beautiful song by John Lennon.

Which are the songs by Lennon you like most?

Can you tell me anything about his murder?

Pay attention to the exclamative sentence used for the heading of the post. Here's another example: How Bizarre!

Paris: World Climate Summit 2015


Beijing smog (listening exercise)   >>> Do you still think that pollution isn't a most prominent issue nowadays in our planet? (Air pollution in China)

What does 'smog' mean? 

Related articles to read: "Smog in China closes schools..."  (CNN) & "Beijing issues first pollution red alert..." (The Guardian)

The United Nations is organizing a conference on climate change to come to certain minimum agreements about what we can do about it.

PARIS 2015

What do you think we should do as nations and as individuals?

Articles to read:

  Listening exercise: Global waste: Food for thought (6 Minute English)  and related article to read: One third of world's food is wasted (BBC)

Debating climate change: here's a link to a series of podcasts on BBC World Service Radio.


viernes, 4 de diciembre de 2015

Robin Hood and James Bond

In our real world, do we still have this kind of characters? Tell me about someone who may be similar either to Robin Hood or James Bond.

What do you know about Robin Hood? Here is a good listening exercise to discover this character, but if you want to have further details about him and the city of Nottingham at the end of this That's English programme: Module 9 / 8b. (Remember you've got a page on my site with all the links to the different chapters).

Here's another interesting listening exercise about James Bond: Licence to kiss .

And finally, what about listening to two songs connected with these two fictional characters? 
'(Everything I do) I do it for you' by Bryan Adams and 'Skyfall' by Adele.