martes, 16 de diciembre de 2014






martes, 2 de diciembre de 2014


Use of Passive BY

Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known, however, who or what is performing the action.

Example: My bike was stolen.
In the example above, the focus is on the fact that my bike was stolen. I do not know, however, who did it.
Sometimes a statement in passive is more polite than active voice, as the following example shows:

Example: A mistake was made.
In this case, I focus on the fact that a mistake was made, but I do not blame anyone (e.g. You have made a mistake.).

Form of Passive

Subject + finite form of to be + Past Participle (3rd column of irregular verbs)

Example: A letter was written.
When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:

  • the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence
  • the finite form of the verb is changed (to be + past participle)
  • the subject of the active sentence becomes the object of the passive sentence (or is dropped)

Examples of Passive Level 2

Tense Subject Verb Object
Simple Present Active: Ritawritesa letter.
Passive: A letteris writtenby Rita.
Simple Past Active: Ritawrotea letter.
Passive: A letterwas writtenby Rita.
Present Perfect Active: Ritahas writtena letter.
Passive: A letterhas been writtenby Rita.
Future I Active: Ritawill writea letter.
Passive: A letterwill be writtenby Rita.
Modal verb Active: Ritacan writea letter.
Passive: A lettercan be writtenby Rita.

Examples of Passive Level 4

Tense Subject Verb Object
Present Progressive Active: Ritais writinga letter.
Passive: A letteris being writtenby Rita.
Past Progressive Active: Ritawas writinga letter.
Passive: A letterwas being writtenby Rita.
Past Perfect Active: Ritahad writtena letter.
Passive: A letterhad been writtenby Rita.
Future II Active: Ritawill have writtena letter.
Passive: A letterwill have been writtenby Rita.
Conditional I Active: Ritawould writea letter.
Passive: A letterwould be writtenby Rita.
Conditional II Active: Ritawould have writtena letter.
Passive: A letterwould have been writtenby Rita.

Passive Sentences with Two Objects Level 3

Rewriting an active sentence with two objects in passive voice means that one of the two objects becomes the subject, the other one remains an object. Which object to transform into a subject depends on what you want to put the focus on.

Subject Verb Object 1 Object 2
Active: Ritawrotea letterto me.
Passive: A letterwas writtento meby Rita.
Passive: Iwas writtena letterby Rita.
. As you can see in the examples, adding by Rita does not sound very elegant. Thats why it is usually dropped.

Personal and Impersonal Passive

Personal Passive simply means that the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence. So every verb that needs an object (transitive verb) can form a personal passive.

Example: They build houses. – Houses are built.
Verbs without an object (intransitive verb) normally cannot form a personal passive sentence (as there is no object that can become the subject of the passive sentence). If you want to use an intransitive verb in passive voice, you need an impersonal construction – therefore this passive is called Impersonal Passive.

Example: he says – it is said
Impersonal Passive is not as common in English as in some other languages (e.g. German, Latin). In English, Impersonal Passive is only possible with verbs of perception (e. g. say, think, know).

Example: They say that women live longer than men. – It is said that women live longer than men.
Although Impersonal Passive is possible here, Personal Passive is more common.

Example: They say that women live longer than men. – Women are said to live longer than men.
The subject of the subordinate clause (women) goes to the beginning of the sentence; the verb of perception is put into passive voice. The rest of the sentence is added using an infinitive construction with 'to' (certain auxiliary verbs and that are dropped).
Sometimes the term Personal Passive is used in English lessons if the indirect object of an active sentence is to become the subject of the passive sentence.
Some other reporting verbs that can be used in this way are:
calculate, claim, consider, discover, estimate, expect, feel, hope, know, prove, report,
say, show, think, understand, etc.


jueves, 27 de noviembre de 2014



 The First Thanksgiving

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops. Native American groups throughout the Americas, including the Pueblo, Cherokee, Creek and many others organized harvest festivals, ceremonial dances, and other celebrations of thanks for centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America.

Historians have also recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Berkeley Plantation, Virginia. At this site near the Charles River in December of 1619, a group of British settlers led by Captain John Woodlief knelt in prayer and pledged "Thanksgiving" to God for their healthy arrival after a long voyage across the Atlantic. This event has been acknowledged by some scholars and writers as the official first Thanksgiving among European settlers on record. Whether at Plymouth, Berkeley Plantation, or throughout the Americas, celebrations of thanks have held great meaning and importance over time. The legacy of thanks, and particularly of the feast, have survived the centuries as people throughout the United States gather family, friends, and enormous amounts of food for their yearly Thanksgiving meal.


Carrying the Can for San Andrés (The Fiesta of San Andrés in Tenerife)
The 30th November is a day worthy of celebration in Tenerife; firstly, it’s the Fiesta of San Andrés or Saint Andrew as he’s better known to Scots. Secondly, it’s the day the wine cellars throw open their doors for the tasting of the new wines. Although on the face of it these two happy events appear to having nothing more in common than their place on the calendar, popular tales speak of a much stronger link.
The big noise in town
29th November, the Eve of the Fiesta of San Andrés, sees Puerto de la Cruz staging the ‘Arrastre los Cacharros’ or ‘run with pots and pans’. As the afternoon turns to evening, children drag pots, pans, tins and assorted metal containers through the streets on lengths of string, with the intention of making as much noise as possible. As the evening progresses, so the age of the participants and the weight of the metal increases as groups of teenage boys appear, dragging vast chariots of empty oil drums, old washing machine drums, exhaust pipes and even old microwave ovens on great lengths of rope.
To the untrained eye, Arrastre los Cacharros looks like an attempt to engage the young in environmental sustainability through the re-cycling of tins, but in fact its origins are rooted in tradition, some practical, others more fanciful. One of the nicest tales is that when San Andrés arrived on Tenerife he was already late (the rest of the Saints having arrived on 1st November – All Saints’ Day) and, to add insult to injury, he discovered the new wine, partook liberally of its medicinal properties and fell asleep in the street. Whereupon, local children tied pots and pans to his clothes so that every time he tried to turn over he’d wake up.
Roll out the barrel
Whatever the legends about the origins of the Fiesta of San Andrés, his feast day falls fortuitously in line with the year’s wine harvest and the more practical explanation for the tradition of Arrastre los Cacharros is the practice of rolling barrels down to the sea to wash them.
The toboggan run
While in Puerto de la Cruz it’s the children who play, in Icod de los Vinos and La Guancha wooden sledges are constructed from heartwood and waxed with resin before being ridden down the near vertical streets at breakneck speed. The faster the sledge, the greater the impact and the louder the applause; needless to say, the Red Cross are on hand in case anyone’s judgment goes seriously awry.
The practice of riding the boards (Arrastre de las Tablas) in Icod and La Guancha originates from the seventeenth century, when the wine was transported down to the coast for export on sledges drawn by bullocks. The barrels rested on wooden planks and a helmsman would stand on the boards at the back, steering the sledge with the use of a wooden oar. The sound of the barrels riding the cobbled streets meant that the cellars were open for tasting.
Whatever the origins, one thing is clear; the Fiesta of San Andrés is cause for celebration and it would be nothing less than impolite not to drink a toast to the man himself with the new vino del país; fruity, light and lethal if drunk in large quantities but perfect accompanied by a bag of hot roasted castañas (chestnuts), a pincho (small skewer of marinated pork) and a piece of anis bread while sitting on the harbour trying to ignore all that noise.


jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2014


What Is an Adverb? By

An adverb can be added to a verb to modify its meaning. Usually, an adverb tells you when, where, how, in what manner, or to what extent an action is performed.

Many adverbs end in ly — particularly those that are used to express how an action is performed.

Although many adverbs end ly, lots do not, e.g., fast, never, well, very, most, least, more, less, now, far, and there.


  • Anita placed the vase carefully on the shelf.
  • (The word carefully is an adverb. It shows how the vase was placed.)
  • Tara walks gracefully.
  • (The word gracefully is an adverb. It modifies the verb to walk.)
  • He runs fast.
  • (The word fast is an adverb. It modifies the verb to run.)
  • You can set your watch by him. He always leaves at 5 o'clock.
  • (The word always is an adverb. It modifies the verb to leave.)
  • The dinner guests arrived early.
  • (early modifies to arrive)
  • She sometimes helps us.
  • (sometimes modifies to help)
  • I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly. (Oscar Wilde)
  • (thoroughly modifies to know

Types of Adverbs

Although there are thousands of adverbs, each adverb can usually be categorized in one of the following groupings:

Adverbs of Time

  • Press the button now.
  • (now - adverb of time)
  • I have never been.
  • (never - adverb of time)
  • I tell him daily.
  • (daily - adverb of time)

Adverbs of Place

  • Daisies grow everywhere.
  • (everywhere - adverb of place)
  • I did not put it there.
  • (there - adverb of place)

Adverbs of Manner

  • He passed the re-sit easily.
  • (easily - adverb of manner)
  • The lion crawled stealthily.
  • (stealthily - adverb of manner)

Adverbs of Degree

  • That is the farthest I have ever jumped.
  • (farthest - adverb of degree)
  • He boxed more cleverly.
  • (more cleverly - adverb of degree and manner.) 

Adverbs Can Modify Adjectives and Other Adverbs

Although the term adverb implies that they are only used with verbs, adverbs can also modify adjectives and other adverbs. For example:

  • The horridly grotesque gargoyle was undamaged by the debris.
  • (The adverb horridly modifies the adjective grotesque .)
  • Peter had an extremely ashen face.
  • (The adverb extremely modifies the adjective ashen.)
  • Badly trained dogs that fail the test will become pets.
  • (The adverb badly modifies the adjective trained.)
    (Note: The adjective trained is an adjective formed from the verb to train. It is called a participle.)
  • She wore a beautifully designed dress.
  • (The adverb beautifully modifies the adjective designed.)
  • Peter Jackson finished his assignment remarkably quickly.
  • (The adverb quickly modifies the verb to finish. The adverb remarkably modifies the adverb quickly.)

jueves, 13 de noviembre de 2014

martes, 11 de noviembre de 2014


Copyright EOI de Mieres, Asturias

1. The Past Simple
The Past Simple is used to narrate past events in chronological order:

Alice left her family home in the morning and moved to the big city. What a busy day it was! She sat and looked at the cosy living room around her. At last the house was hers. She gazed out at the London skyline with awe.

2. The Past Perfect
The Past Perfect is used to express an action that happened before a definite time in the past.
A writer can use it to re-order the events of a narrative for dramatic effect:

Alice sat and looked at the cosy living room around her. At last the house was hers. What a
busy day it had been! She had left her family home in the morning and had moved to the big
city. She gazed at the London skyline with awe.
Notice that had need not be repeated if the subject of both verbs is the same:

She had said goodbye to her mother and (had) caught the train to London.
It is not always essential to use the Past Perfect. If it is clear that the events described in the time clause took place before the one in the main clause, the Past Simple can be used.
After she said goodbye to her mother, she caught the train to London.
If it is important to show that the first action was completed before the second one began, the Past Perfect must be used.

When she had raised sufficient capital, she put in an offer on the house.
For reasons of style, it is unwise (and unnecessary) to have to many verbs in the Past Perfect one after another. Once the time aspect of 'past in the past' has been established, the Past Simple can be used as long as there is no ambiguity.

The furniture suited the room perfectly. She had been to auction rooms looking for just the right period pieces, and had found some excellent examples of Regency workmanship. She bought them at good prices, and didn't pay more than five hundred pounds for anything.
3. The Past Continuous and the Past Perfect Continuous.
The Past Continuous and the Past Perfect Continuous (as with all continuous tenses) express
ideas of activity in progress or repeated activity.
She was wearing a green velvet dress.
She was hoping the phone would ring.
She had been arranging and rearranging the rooms for weeks.
4. Past Simple, used to, and would for past habits
Used to can be used to express past habits and states:
We used to go out a lot. (habit)
He used to be very short tempered. (state)

Would can express typical behaviour. Whereas used to is quite factual, would looks at past
habits rather nostalgically.
We had some lovely holidays by the sea when I was young. We'd spend the day collecting seashells, or we'd go for long walks on the cliffs.
Would can not be used to express past states.(We cannot say *He'd live in a lovely cottage .)
If the past action happened only once (and is therefore not a habit), the Simple Past must be used.

5. 'At the beginning', 'In the end' etc.
The words and expressions that tell us when something happens in a story are not all used in quite the same way.
At the beginning (of the story) tells us the chronological point.
In the beginning and at first suggest a contrast later. We expect to hear but later the
circumstances changed.
At the end of (the story) tells us the chronological point.
In the end suggests a contrast earlier. Before, there were problems and uncertainty.
Finally and eventually suggest a long wait. (Finally usually comes before the verb.) The
outcome may be positive or negative.
At last suggests a very long wait. The outcome is positive.

jueves, 6 de noviembre de 2014

Articles (Languages, Countries & Nationalities)

We DO use the definite article the when referring to people from a particular country as a whole: the Spanish, the British, the French, the Irish, the Dutch, the Finnish, the Swiss, the Vietnamese
  • The British are very good at queueing.
  • The Irish like to dance.
We generally DO NOT use ‘the’ with nationalities ending in ‘s: Americans, Canadians, Russians, Australians, Danes, South Africans, Jamaicans, Mexicans
  • Americans speak English differently to the British.
  • South Africans are very tall, similar to the Dutch.
NOTE: The Americans were drinking Coke.(that particular group of Americans)

So GENERALLY we can say:
people’s names
people’s names with titles
title with no names
people in the plural (families and nationalities, except where the nationality ends in an ‘s’)

jueves, 30 de octubre de 2014


Copyright British Council

Sometimes we use more than one adjective in front of a noun:

He was a nice intelligent young man.
She had a small round black wooden box.

Opinion adjectives:

Some adjectives give a general opinion. We can use these adjectives to describe almost any noun:
good bad lovely  strange
beautiful nice brilliant excellent
awful important wonderful nasty

Some adjectives give a specific opinion. We only use these adjectives to describe particular kinds of noun:
Food: tasty; delicious
Furniture, buildings: comfortable; uncomfortable
People, animals: clever; intelligent; friendly
We usually put a general opinion in front of a specific opinion:
Nice tasty soup.
A nasty uncomfortable armchair
A lovely intelligent animal
Usually we put an adjective that gives an opinion in front of an adjective that is descriptive:
a nice red dress; a silly old man; those horrible yellow curtains
We often have two adjectives in front of a noun:
a handsome young man; a big black car; that horrible big dog
Sometimes we have three adjectives, but this is unusual:
a nice handsome young man;
a big black American car;
that horrible big fierce dog
It is very unusual to have more than three adjectives.

Adjectives usually come in this order:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Size  Shape Age  Colour Nationality Material

We use some adjectives only after a link verb:

afraid alive alone asleep
content glad  ill ready
sorry sure unable well
ome of the commonest -ed adjectives are normally used only after a link verb:
annoyed;  finished;  bored; pleased; thrilled
We say:
Our teacher was ill.
My uncle was very glad when he heard the news.
The policeman seemed to be very annoyed
but we do not say:
We had an ill teacher.
When he heard the news he was a very glad uncle
He seemed to be a very annoyed policeman
A few adjectives are used only in front of a noun:

We say:
He lives in the eastern district.
There were countless problems with the new machinery.
but we do not say:
The district he lives in is eastern
The problems with the new machinery were countless.
Try these tasks to improve your adjective ordering.


jueves, 9 de octubre de 2014




We use echo questions to show interest or surprise. For this purpose, the listener makes a short
question using the auxiliar or helping verb of the statement the speaker has just said.
S: She is visiting relatives at this moment.
L. Is she?
S: They bought a new Television set last week.
L.    Did they?
S: I live in the centre of New York.
L. Do you?
S: Alan´s got a job as a lifeguard.
L. Has he?


These short questions are used to check information. We use a positive statement followed by a negative tag when we expect the answer YES.
E.g. "You are American, aren't you?"
We use a negative statement followed by a positive tag when we expect the answer NO. E.g. "They haven't arrived yet, have they?"

I told you, didn't I?
It'll be sunny tomorrow, won't it?
He can't dive, can he?
They don't eat meat, do they?
She cooks well, doesn't she?
I am slim, aren't I?