miércoles, 1 de junio de 2016

How to Close an Email

Emails, whether for business or social reasons, are usually written in a more informal style than letters. To close a personal email, you can use the same expressions as for informal letters.
The conventions for closing business emails vary. Phrases that can be used for both are listed below.

Business Email Closings

Best regards,
Cordially,
Good wishes,
Many thanks,
Most sincerely,
Regards,
Sincerely,
Thank you,
Kind regards,

Informal Email Closings

Blessings,
Bye for now,
Cheers,
God bless,
Have fun,
Health and happiness,
Hugs,
Later alligator,
Lots of love,
Love,
Love you,
Much love,
Over and out,
Peace, love & happiness,
Peace & blessings,
See ya,
Speak soon,
Take care,
Talk soon,
Toodles,
With love,
XOXO, (means hugs and kisses)
Your friend,
Yours,


viernes, 27 de mayo de 2016

Easy as Pie


Although they may seem intimidating at first, idioms are a fun way to learn more about the English language and a tool you can use to sound more like a Native Speaker! Here are 25 commonly used idioms and their meanings.

1. Easy as pie.
Meaning: something is very easy (same as "a piece of cake")
Example: He said it is a difficult problem, but I don't agree. It seems as easy as pie to me!

2. Be sick and tired of.
Meaning: I hate (also "can't stand")
Example: I'm sick and tired of doing nothing but work. Let's go out tonight and have fun.

3. Bend over backwards.
Meaning: to ry very hard (maybe too much!)
Example: He bent over backwards to please his new wife, but she never seemed satisfied.

4. Bite off more than one can chew.
Meaning: to take responsibility for more than one can manage.
Example: John is so far behind in his studies. Besides classes, he plays sports and works at a part-time job. It seems he has bitten off more than he can chew.

5. Broke
Meaning: to have no money.
Example: I have to borrow some money from my Dad. Right now, I'm broke.

6. Change one's mind
Meaning: to decide to do something different from what had been decided earlier.
Example: I was planning to work late tonight, but I changed my mind. I'll do extra work on the weekend instead.

7. Cut it out!
Meaning: to ask someone to stop doing something unpleasant.
Example: That noise is really annoying. Cut it out!

8. Drop someone a line
Meaning: send a letter or email to someone
Example: It was good to meet you and I hope we can see each other again. Drop me a line when you have time.

9. Figure something out
Meaning: come to understand a problem
Example: I don't understand how to do this problem. Take a look at it. Maybe you can figure it out.

10. Fill in for someone
Meaning: do their work while they are away.
Example: While I was away from the store, my brother filled in for me.

11. In ages
Meaning: for a very long time
Example: Have you seen Joe recently? I haven't seen him in ages.

12. Give someone a hand
Meaning: to help someone
Example: I want to move this desk to the next room. Can you give me a hand?

13. Hit the hay
Meaning: to go to bed
Example: It's after 12 o'clock. I think it's time to hit the hay.

14. In the black
Meaning: the business is making money, it is profitable.
Example: Our business is really improving. We've been in the black all year.

15. In the red
Meaning: the business is losing money, it is unprofitable.
Example: Business is really going poorly these days. We've been in the red for the past three months.

16. in the nick of time
Meaning: not too late, but very close.
Example: I got to the drugstore just in the nick of time. It's a good thing, because I really need this medicine!

17. Keep one's chin up
Meaning: remain brave and keep on trying.
Example: I know things have been difficult for you recently, but keep your chin up. It will get better soon.

18. Know something like the back of your hand
Meaning: to know something very, very well.
Example: If you get lost, just ask me for directions. I know this part of town like the back of my hand

19. Once in a while
Meaning: sometimes, not very often.
Example: Have you been to the new movie theater? No, only see movies once in a while. I usually stay home and watch TV.

20. Sharp
Meaning: exactly at a that time.
Example: I'll meet you at 9 o'clock sharp. If you're late, we'll be in trouble!

21. Sleep on it.
Meaning: think about something before making a decision.
Example: That sounds like a good deal, but I'd like to sleep on it before I give you my final decision.

22. Take it easy.
Meaning: to relax
Example: I don't have any special plans for the summer. I think I'll just take it easy.

23. To get the ball rolling
Meaning: to start something, especially something big.
Example: We need to get this project started as soon as possible. I'm hoping you will help me get the ball rolling.

24. Up to the minute
Meaning: the most recent information.
Example: I wish I knew more about what is happening in the capital city. We need more up to the minute news.

25. Twenty-four/seven
Meaning every minute of every day, all the time.
Example: You can access our web site 24/7. It's very convenient!

These are some sample sentences using other English idioms from EC English. After you read the sentences, see if you can match each idiom with the definition.

1. After he was cut by the team, he turned over a new leaf and started working out.

2. I couldn't believe he actually passed himself off as a native speaker.

3. If you don't get there early, all the bargains will be snapped up.

4. Everybody has at least one skeleton in their closet.

5. I went over everything with a fine-tooth comb, and still couldn't find the mistake.

6. She really didn't enjoy going out with me. She called me a cold fish.

7. My wife stays home, and it's my job to bring home the bacon.

8. The bank was robbed to the tune of $500,000.00.

9. Those types of problems are just swept under the rug.

10. His idea went over like a lead balloon.

Meanings
a. take quickly
b. in the amount of
c. careful attention
d. to meet with disapproval
e. improve conduct
f. to dismiss casually
g. a boring person
h. to pretend to be
i. to support one's family
j. a shameful secret

miércoles, 25 de mayo de 2016

Text Talk

By Jessica

So, you've read the post I wrote about improving your English with Social Media and now you're chatting with people all over the world in English! Congratulations! Have you ever noticed that many people write on social media using abbreviations? Here are some of the most commonly used abbreviations that you'll see in "text speak" or online.
         
2moro - Tomorrow
2nite - Tonight
BRB - Be Right Back
BTW - By The Way
B4N - Bye For Now
BCNU - Be Seeing You
BFF - Best Friends Forever
GR8 - Great
ILY - I Love You
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
J/K - Just Kidding
L8R - Later
LMAO - Laughing My Ass Off
LOL - Laughing Out Loud -
NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard
NP - No Problem
OMG - Oh My God
OT - Off Topic
POV - Point Of View
RBTL - Read Between The Lines
ROTF - Rolling On The Floor (laughing)
RT - Real Time -or- ReTweet
THX or TX or THKS - Thanks
STBY - Sucks To Be You
SWAK - Sealed (or Sent) With A Kiss
TLC - Tender Loving Care
TMI - Too Much Information
TTYL - Talk To You Later -or- Type To You Later
TYVM - Thank You Very Much
VBG - Very Big Grin
WYWH - Wish You Were Here
XOXO - Hugs and Kisses

Often you will see young people using these abbreviations, but they are becoming more popular amongst adults too. Some people worry that because we spend so much time using abbreviations we are losing the ability to speak English well. What do you think? Can using abbreviations too much hurt a language?


martes, 24 de mayo de 2016

Five Ways Social Media Can Help You Learn English

Posted by Jessica

Social media can be a powerful tool in helping you to learn or improve your English. Want to know how?  

1. Facebook
Everyone has a Facebook account but have you ever thought of using it to help you with your English? Make new friends or follow teachers, businesses, even your favorite English speaking Rock Band on Facebook and take 10 minutes every day to read through their posts. This will help you learn slang, see how people speak naturally and maybe even find a language exchange pen pal!

2. Instagram
Instagram is another good tool for learning. Here you can read captions and many of the jokes and quotes that English speakers follow. It's a great way to read many of the "idioms" we use in the English language and many ESL teachers also have accounts with tips and lessons you can follow. Search for the hashtags #learnenglish #esl #english 

3. LiveMocha
In a Facebook like fashion, your personal profile appears with your picture and your friends list. You build your own profile and indicate which languages you want to learn and which languages you already know. Live chat is available with anyone that is online and people use the chat to practice their language of choice. Earning points gives a huge incentive for learning as well. Users can earn Mocha points by being engaged in the site and completing coursework. You can earn Teacher points by helping other members with submission reviews, flashcards, and translations. If you earn enough teacher points, you can also earn free coarse sessions. 

4. Second Life 
Second Life is an online world in which you have a character that can walk around and meet people. It is a social networking site that has very similar functions to Facebook. You can send friends invitations, talk to individuals, talk to groups of people and use learning applications or games. 

5. YouTube
 Because YouTube is a global video community, it has become a great place to learn languages, converse with other fans of language learning, and practice listening to people speaking in other languages with a variety of accents. Want to practice phrasal verbs or past tense? There's a video for those! 

There is also Twitter! That's another great source of information and a wonderful way to practice. What other sites or social media tools have you used to help you learn? Tell me about them in the comments below.

jueves, 12 de mayo de 2016

Everything Happens for a Reason



Posted by Jessica

"Everything happens for a reason."

Have you heard this expression before? It´s a very popular expression used frequently in American English. It is often used when we are looking back on events that have happened in our lives. Maybe these were good events, such as meeting a man or woman that we fall in love with, or maybe there unhappy events, such as not getting a job we wanted, or having someone we love die. This expression is used as something we can say to ourselves, or offer to a friend as advice. Often we use it when times are difficult or when we want to understand the past.

 Marilyn Monroe once said: “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Go to Instagram and search for the hastag #everythinghappensforareason and you will find almost 20,000 posts. Many of the posts talk about understanding the past, thinking about it in a positive manner or finding a way to have faith in the direction of our lives.

There are other expressions we use in English that have a similar meaning.  Some of these are:

"When one door closes another one opens."

"Everthing is as it was meant to be."

"Nothing happens by accident."

Have you heard any of these before or can you guess what they mean? Put your ideas in the comments below!


miércoles, 11 de mayo de 2016

British vs. American English

Posted by Jessica

There are many terms and expressions that American and Canadians use that are different than you will hear used amongst British speakers. Below I have listed ten examples. Can you think of any more that you have heard used by your teachers?

1. lift/elevator
If you need to get up to the fourth floor in the States you´ll want to take the elevator, not the lift.

2. at the weekend/on the weekend
Making plans for Saturday? American friends will ask you what you are doing on the weekend, not at.

3. flat/apartment
In Canada and the US, you´ll be looking for an apartment to live in, not a flat.

4. queue/line
If you wait behind other people at a Supermarket in New York, you are in a line. In London, it´s a queue.

5. wardrobe/closet
Where do you hang up your clothes? If you are in North America, you put them in the closet.

6. trousers/pants
If  you go to H&M in Los Angeles, you´ll want to ask where the pants are located in the store.

7. footpath/sidewalk
We walk on the sidewalk in the States. Footpaths are only found on hiking trails.

8. motorway/freeway
If you´re driving from Dallas to Houston you´ll take the freeway to get there.

9. timetable/schedule
Trying to find out when the next train or bus leaves the station in Vancouver? Ask for the schedule.

10. rubber/eraser
If you´ve made a mistake in your English workbook, you´ll use an eraser to remove the wrong answer.

jueves, 30 de abril de 2015

USEFUL EXPRESSIONS FOR VISITING THE DOCTOR


Some useful phrases for visiting the doctor. I hope you dont have to use them!

I'd like to see a doctor
do you have an appointment?
is it urgent?
I'd like to make an appointment to see Dr …


do you have any doctors who speak Spanish…?
have you got a European Health Insurance card?
do you have private medical insurance?
I've got a …
temperature
sore throat
headache
rash
OLIVER

jueves, 26 de febrero de 2015

FUNNY SCHOOL NAMES

Some schools have really weird (=strange) names. Would you consider going to any of the ones below?

Butts Road Primary School

Your butt is the part of your body you sit on :)

Governor Dummer Academy

You're not supossed to get dumber by going to school!

EPIC School

This school must be a lot of fun! (other words for 'epic'  are: awesome, amazing, cool, sweet, great, legendary, fantastic)

Kirsten

miércoles, 21 de enero de 2015

NSISR (NOT SURE IF SPELLED RIGHT)

Do you abbreviate your words (= make your words shorter) when you write a text message or an email to one of your friends? Be careful to not forget how a word is spelled :-)



CUL8R ,
Kirsten

jueves, 8 de enero de 2015

TOO AND ENOUGH

Difference between “too” and “enough”

OLIVER

TOO - Excess

too + adjective This shirt is too expensive. It costs $30 and I have only $25.
too much + uncountable noun I drank too much water; now I really need to go to the bathroom!
too many + countable noun She put too many eggs into the cake. The recipe said 3 and she used 5.
verb + too much He complains too much. He has such a negative attitude.

 

 ENOUGH- Sufficiant 


enough + noun (countable or uncountable) We don’t have enough people for a soccer team.We have 8 people and a team needs at least 11.
adjective + enough Sorry kid, you’re not old enough to buy alcohol. You’re 19 and the minimum age is 21.
verb + enough I don’t exercise enough. I need to go to the gym more than once a month.

viernes, 10 de octubre de 2014

A BASKETBALL GAME

This week we have been focusing on activities that we do in our free time. Many of you said you played a lot of basketball at the weekends. Here are step by step instructions of how to play Around the World, my favourite game.

http://s.hswstatic.com/gif/5-basketball-variations-2.jpg
Requirements:

Two or more players
a basketball
a net


1-First, players decide how many spots, or stops, to mark for shots. Five to seven is typical.

2-Player No. 1 begins by taking a shot from the first stop, which is to the right of the basket near the corner. If she makes the shot, she moves to the second stop and shoots, continuing to advance every time she completes a shot.

3-If she misses a shot, she has two choices. She can stay where she is and it becomes Player No. 2's turn. Or she can call "chance" and take a second shot. If she completes the second shot, she continues shooting. But if she misses it, she has to return to the first stop and start over when it's her turn again.

4-The first player to complete all shots in order -- around the arc and then back again -- is the winner.

OLIVER 























domingo, 5 de octubre de 2014

ORIGAMI

Would you like to start introducing yourselves into origami's art? Let's get started!!

1. First of all, make a square



2. Fold the paper like in the photos.



3. Fold it again.


4. Fold the top of the snake and then turn it.



5. Fold it like an accordion.

6. Then fold it following the pictures 


7. Finally, decorate it as you want.

Ana







lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2014

AN EXERCISE ON THE PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE AND CONTINUOUS

This week we have been looking at the difference between the past perfect simple and continuous. Here is a good supplementary exercise to check your understanding.

Fill in the gaps

                 

1-               (they/arrive) already?
2) Lucy  (run) 2000 metres today.

3) I  (clean) all morning - I'm fed up!

4) How long  (you/know) Simon?

5) I  (drink) more water recently, and I feel better.

6) Sorry about the mess! I  (bake)..
7) How many times  (you/take) this exam?

8) He  (eat) six bars of chocolate today.

9) Julie  (cook) dinner. Let's go and eat!.

10) The students  (finish) their exams. They're very happy.

ANSWERS


Have they arrived

's run

've been cleaning

have you known

've been drinking

've been baking

have you taken

's eaten

's cooked

have finished

viernes, 26 de septiembre de 2014

VOCABULARY FOR ROOMS IN A HOUSE



Attic People store things in the attic. Ballroom A room in stately homes where rich people dance and concerts are held. Box Room A small room used for storage. Cellar Underneath the house. Cloakroom A small room where people put their coats. Conservatory A greenhouse attached to a house for the display of plants. Dining Room A room where people eat (see eating at home). Drawing Room A room in stately homes where rich people entertain. Games Room A room in large houses where games are played. Hall The entrance passage to a house. Larder A small room used for the storage of food. Library A room where books are kept. Lounge Another name for living room. Music Room A room where people play music. Office A room where people work. Pantry A small room used to store kitchen and dining items. Parlour Old fashioned word for living room. Sitting Room Another name for living room. Spare Room/
Guest Room A room where guests sleep. Toilet A room where people go to the toilet (often known as WC) Utility Room A room where appliances such as washing machines are used. - See more at: http://www.learnenglish.de/vocabulary/rooms.html#sthash.eVzBQNDk.dpuf
Attic People store things in the attic. Ballroom A room in stately homes where rich people dance and concerts are held. Box Room A small room used for storage. Cellar Underneath the house. Cloakroom A small room where people put their coats. Conservatory A greenhouse attached to a house for the display of plants. Dining Room A room where people eat (see eating at home). Drawing Room A room in stately homes where rich people entertain. Games Room A room in large houses where games are played. Hall The entrance passage to a house. Larder A small room used for the storage of food. Library A room where books are kept. Lounge Another name for living room. Music Room A room where people play music. Office A room where people work. Pantry A small room used to store kitchen and dining items. Parlour Old fashioned word for living room. Sitting Room Another name for living room. Spare Room/
Guest Room A room where guests sleep. Toilet A room where people go to the toilet (often known as WC) Utility Room A room where appliances such as washing machines are used. - See more at: http://www.learnenglish.de/vocabulary/rooms.html#sthash.eVzBQNDk.dpuf

 http://www.spanishlanguageguide.com/images/spanish-house.jpg
 This week we have been looking at vocabulary for rooms you find in a house. Try and match the names of the rooms below to the picture.
  • attic
  • basement
  • bathroom
  • bedroom
  • dining room
  • garage
  • hall
  • kitchen
  • living room
  • bedroom
  • office
  • patio
  • porch
  • staircase
  • study

Other Rooms

Attic People store things in the attic.
Ballroom A room in stately homes where rich people dance and concerts are held.
Box Room A small room used for storage.
Cellar Underneath the house.
Cloakroom A small room where people put their coats.
Conservatory A greenhouse attached to a house for the display of plants.
Dining Room A room where people eat (see eating at home).
Drawing Room A room in stately homes where rich people entertain.
Games Room A room in large houses where games are played.
Hall The entrance passage to a house.
Larder A small room used for the storage of food.
Library A room where books are kept.
Lounge Another name for living room.
Music Room A room where people play music.
Office A room where people work.
Pantry A small room used to store kitchen and dining items.
Parlour Old fashioned word for living room.
Sitting Room Another name for living room.
Spare Room/
Guest Room
A room where guests sleep.
Toilet A room where people go to the toilet (often known as WC)
Utility Room A room where appliances such as washing machines are used.
- See more at: http://www.learnenglish.de/vocabulary/rooms.html#sthash.eVzBQNDk.dpuf

viernes, 19 de septiembre de 2014

MODAL VERBS



 

After summer, it's possible that you have forgotten some (important) parts of English grammar. Time for a revision!

What do you remember about modal verbs?
Modals verbs are auxiliary verbs that express different meanings and have different functions.They can talk about: ability (can), advising (should, ought to), obligation (ought to, should), hypothetical meaning (would, could, might), logical deduction (will, must, should, ought to) & suggesting (could).

Things to remember about modal verbs:
·         They are always followed by infinitive without ‘to’
·         They are the same for all pronouns (there is no third person 's')
·         They do not need auxiliaries. They take direct negative and question forms
·         They never combine with other modal verbs

Need some practice?
Here’s a great exercise to refresh your memory:
http://www.englishexercises.org/makeagame/viewgame.asp?id=2229

Kirsten