HAD BETTER (Give specific advice)

Had better ('d better)
We use “had better” plus the infinitive without “to” to give advice. Although “had” is the past form of “have”, we use “had better” to give advice about the present or future.

La fórmula sería Had better + verbo sin to: "you'd better study" para dar consejo. Pero el consejo sería específico, ya que para consejos en general, usamos Should.

•You'd better tell her everything.

•I'd better get back to work.

•We'd better meet early.

The negative form is “had better not”. La forma negativa tampoco va seguida de to:
You'd better not walk over the snake" (mejor no camines encima de la serpiente.)
•You'd better not say anything.

•I'd better not come.

•We'd better not miss the start of his presentation.

We use “had better” to give advice about specific situations, not general ones. If you want to talk about general situations, you must use “should”.

•You should brush your teeth before you go to bed.

•I shouldn't listen to negative people.

•He should dress more appropriately for the office.

When we give advice about specific situations, it is also possible to use “should”.

•You shouldn't say anything.

•I should get back to work.

•We should meet early.

However, when we use “had better” there is a suggestion that if the advice is not followed, that something bad will happen.

Cuando usamos "had better " da la sensación de que el consejo no va a ser seguido por quien lo recibe o que algo malo pasará.

•You'd better do what I say or else you will get into trouble.

•I'd better get back to work or my boss will be angry with me.

•We'd better get to the airport by five or else we may miss the flight.

Online activities to practice grammar:



ACTIVITY THREE (should  or  had better ? )


Singular nouns that refer to group of people agreement : The Government has or have?

The government have (or has?)

In English, we often use singular nouns that refer to groups of people (eg government, committee, team) as if they were plural. (This is less true in US English. )
This is because we often think of the group as people, doing things that people do (eating, wanting, feeling etc).
In such cases, we use:

- plural verb

- plural pronoun (they)

- who (not which)

Here are some examples:

- The committee want sandwiches for lunch. They aren't very hungry.

- My family, who don't see me often, have asked me home.

- The team hope to win next time.
Here are some examples of words and expressions that can be considered singular or plural:

choir, class, club, committee, company, family, government, jury, school, staff, team, union

the BBC, board of directors, the Conservative Party, Manchester United, the Ministry of Health

But when we consider the group as an impersonal unit, we use singular verbs and pronouns:

- The new company is the result of a merger.

- The average family consists of four people.

- The committee, which was formed in 1983, has ceased to exist.


Quatifiers: compounds nouns made with SOME and ANY ( Compuestos con some y any)

THE QUANTIFIERS: Compound nouns made with SOME, ANY and NO

Some + -thing -body -one -where

Any +

No +

Compound nouns with some- and any- are used in the same way as some and any.

Positive statements:
•Someone is sleeping in my bed.

•He saw something in the garden.

•I left my glasses somewhere in the house.

•Are you looking for someone? (= I'm sure you are)

•Have you lost something? (= I'm sure you have)

•Is there anything to eat? (real question)

•Did you go anywhere last night?

Negative statements:

•She didn't go anywhere last night.

•He doesn't know anybody here.

NOTICE that there is a difference in emphasis between nothing, nobody etc. and not ... anything, not ... anybody:

•I don't know anything about it. (= neutral, no emphasis)

•I know nothing about it (= more emphatic, maybe defensive)

More examples:

SOMETHING, SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE(algo, aguien, alguna parte)

a. I have something to tell you.

b. There is something to drink in the fridge.

c. He knows somebody in New York

d. Susie has somebody staying with her.

e. They want to go somewhere hot for their holidays.

f. Keith is looking for somewhere to live.

ANYBODY, ANYTHING, ANYWHERE (alguien, algo, algún lugar en ?; nadie, nada, ningún lugar en -)

a. Is there anybody who speaks English here?

b. Does anybody have the time?

c. Is there anything to eat?

d. Have you anything to say?

e. He doesn't have anything to stay tonight.

f. I wouldn't eat anything except at Maxim's.

NOBODY, NOTHING, NOWHERE (nadie, nada, ningún lugar)

a. There is nobody in the house at the moment

b. When I arrived there was nobody to meet me.

c. I have learnt nothing since I began the course.

d. There is nothing to eat.

e. There is nowhere as beautiful as Paris in the Spring.

f. Homeless people have nowhere to go at night.

ANY can also be used in positive statements to mean 'no matter which', 'no matter who', 'no matter what' (Any en oraciones afirmativas significa cualquiera) :
a. You can borrow any of my books.

b. They can choose anything from the menu.

c. You may invite anybody to dinner, I don't mind.



Frequently I am asked about if it is "a horrible" or "an horrible". Since I'm checking some Halloween essays and I constantly find this mistake. this is the explanation:

It's "a horrible" because if you say the word "horrible" out loud, then you realize the h  isn't silent. And even if a letter is silent you always say a unless the 1st letter of a word is a vowel.



THESE are the Forms and Uses of Perfect Modals:


ABILITY to have done something but in fact did not : COLUD+ HAVE+ PP

It was a stupid thing to do you COULD HAVE cut yourself

WILLINGNESS to have done something but in fact did not: WOULD + HAVE+ PP

I WOULD HAVE gone to the party, but I was too busy


Mary MAY/MIGHT HAVE taken the wrong bus

CERTAINTY that something didn't happen: COULD NOT+HAVE+ PP

Eric COULDN'T HAVE broken the vase. He wasn't at home

CERTAINLY something happened : MUST + HAVE +PP

I heard you've been to Scotland. That MUST HAVE been interesting


You SHOULD/OUGHT TO HAVE warned me earlier

I SHOULDN'T HAVE eaten so much



These notes are devoted to Modal perfects. If you have any doubt ask at the email or in class, (for those lucky students) i hope you find it useful.



This is a great chart to revise verb tenses uses and forms. I hope you like it.

Verb Tense Revision


Today, it's Raining cats and dogs


Raining very heavily. / Llover a cántaros o estar diluviando


This is an interesting phrase in that, although there's no definitive origin, there is a likely derivation. Before we get to that, let's get some of the fanciful proposed derivations out of the way.

The phrase isn't related to the well-known antipathy between dogs and cats, which is exemplified in the phrase 'fight like cat and dog'. Nor is the phrase in any sense literal, i.e. it doesn't record an incident where cats and dogs fell from the sky. Small creatures, of the size of frogs or fish, do occasionally get carried skywards in freak weather. Impromptu involuntary flight must also happen to dogs or cats from time to time, but there's no record of groups of them being scooped up in that way and causing this phrase to be coined. Not that we need to study English meteorological records for that - it's plainly implausible.

One supposed origin is that the phrase derives from mythology. Dogs and wolves were attendants to Odin, the god of storms, and sailors associated them with rain. Witches, who often took the form of their familiars - cats, are supposed to have ridden the wind. Well, some evidence would be nice. There doesn't appear to be any to support this notion.

It has also been suggested that cats and dogs were washed from roofs during heavy weather. This is a widely repeated tale. It got a new lease of life with the e-mail message "Life in the 1500s", which began circulating on the Internet in 1999. Here's the relevant part of that:

I'll describe their houses a little. You've heard of thatch roofs, well that's all they were. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. They were the only place for the little animals to get warm. So all the pets; dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs, all lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery so sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Thus the saying, "it's raining cats and dogs."

This is nonsense of course. It hardly needs debunking but, lest there be any doubt, let's do that anyway. In order to believe this tale we would have to accept that dogs lived in thatched roofs, which, of course, they didn't. Even accepting that bizarre idea, for dogs to have slipped off when it rained they would have needed to be sitting on the outside of the thatch - hardly the place an animal would head for as shelter in bad weather.

Another suggestion is that 'raining cats and dogs' comes from a version of the French word 'catadoupe', meaning waterfall. Again, no evidence. If the phrase were just 'raining cats', or even if there also existed a French word 'dogadoupe', we might be going somewhere with this one. As there isn't, let's pass this by.

There's a similar phrase originating from the North of England - 'raining stair-rods'. No one has gone to the effort of speculating that this is from mythic reports of stairs being carried into the air in storms and falling on gullible peasants. It's just a rather expressive phrase giving a graphic impression of heavy rain - as is 'raining cats and dogs'.


BUSINESS ENGLISH with Visual Activities.

The following visual activities are great to learn lots of new terms related to office/business English.

Click on the activities and you'll learn essential terms related to that area of English language:

Things around the office/Business English 1

Things around the office/Business English 2

Things around the office/Business English 3

Things around the office/Business English 4

Things around the office/Business English 5



These activities are developed to help those students who need a revision about verb tenses. You can download the activities and the answers , but don't have a look at them before doing the exercises.

Cumulative Verb Tense Review


Find Out your English Level with this test / TEST NIVEL DE INGLÉS

We show this level test today to check your students' level or your own English level // Os presentamos este  test de Inglés de 100 preguntas muy útil para saber qué nivel de Inglés tenemos : Advanced, intermediate, etc...

Test de Nivel de INGLÉS


THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA. (Reading Comprehension) (CAE)

The Great Wall of China

Walls and wall building have played a very important role in Chinese culture. These people, from the dim mists of prehistory have been wall-conscious; from the Neolithic period – when ramparts of pounded earth were used - to the Communist Revolution, walls were an essential part of any village. Not only towns and villages; the houses and the temples within them were somehow walled, and the houses also had no windows overlooking the street, thus giving the feeling of wandering around a huge maze. The name for “city” in Chinese (ch’eng) means wall, and over these walled cities, villages, houses and temples presides the god of walls and mounts, whose duties were, and still are, to protect and be responsible for the welfare of the inhabitants. Thus a great and extremely laborious task such as constructing a wall, which was supposed to run throughout the country, must not have seemed such an absurdity.

However, it is indeed a common mistake to perceive the Great Wall as a single architectural structure, and it would also be erroneous to assume that it was built during a single dynasty. For the building of the wall spanned the various dynasties, and each of these dynasties somehow contributed to the refurbishing and the construction of a wall, whose foundations had been laid many centuries ago. It was during the fourth and third century B.C. that each warring state started building walls to protect their kingdoms, both against one another and against the northern nomads. Especially three of these states: the Ch’in, the Chao and the Yen, corresponding respectively to the modern provinces of Shensi, Shanzi and Hopei, over and above building walls that surrounded their kingdoms, also laid the foundations on which Ch’in Shih Huang Di would build his first continuous Great Wall.

The role that the Great Wall played in the growth of Chinese economy was an important one. Throughout the centuries many settlements were established along the new border. The garrison troops were instructed to reclaim wasteland and to plant crops on it, roads and canals were built, to mention just a few of the works carried out. All these undertakings greatly helped to increase the country’s trade and cultural exchanges with many remote areas and also with the southern, central and western parts of Asia – the formation of the Silk Route. Builders, garrisons, artisans, farmers and peasants left behind a trail of objects, including inscribed tablets, household articles, and written work, which have become extremely valuable archaeological evidence to the study of defence institutions of the Great Wall and the everyday life of these people who lived and died along the wall.

Q1 - Chinese cities resembled a maze

because they were walled.

because the houses has no external windows.

because the name for cities means 'wall'.

because walls have always been important there.

Q2 - Constructing a wall that ran the length of the country
honoured the god of walls and mounts.

was an absurdly laborious task.

may have made sense within Chinese culture.

made the country look like a huge maze.

Q3 - The Great Wall of China

was built in a single dynasty.

was refurbished in the fourth and third centuries BC.

used existing foundations.

was built by the Ch’in, the Chao and the Yen.

Q4 - Crops were planted

on wasteland.

to reclaim wasteland.

on reclaimed wasteland.

along the canals.

Q5 - The Great Wall

helped build trade only inside China.

helped build trade in China and abroad.

helped build trade only abroad.

helped build trade only to remote areas.

(las soluciones / keys as usually in the comments section)


DIRTY BRITAIN (Reading comprehension) CAE, Advanced Level

Dirty Britain

Before the grass has thickened on the roadside verges and leaves have started growing on the trees is a perfect time to look around and see just how dirty Britain has become. The pavements are stained with chewing gum that has been spat out and the gutters are full of discarded fast food cartons. Years ago I remember travelling abroad and being saddened by the plastic bags, discarded bottles and soiled nappies at the edge of every road. Nowadays, Britain seems to look at least as bad. What has
gone wrong?

The problem is that the rubbish created by our increasingly mobile lives lasts a lot longer than before. If it is not cleared up and properly thrown away, it stays in the undergrowth for years; a semi-permanent reminder of what a tatty little country we have now.

Firstly, it is estimated that 10 billion plastic bags have been given to shoppers. These will take anything from 100 to 1,000 years to rot. However, it is not as if there is no solution to this. A few years ago, the Irish government introduced a tax on non-recyclable carrier bags and in three months reduced their use by 90%. When he was a minister, Michael Meacher attempted to introduce a similar arrangement in Britain. The plastics industry protested, of course. However, they need not have bothered; the idea was killed before it could draw breath, leaving supermarkets free to give away plastic bags.

What is clearly necessary right now is some sort of combined initiative, both individual and collective, before it is too late. The alternative is to continue sliding downhill until we have a country that looks like a vast municipal rubbish tip. We may well be at the tipping point. Yet we know that people respond to their environment. If things around them are clean and tidy, people behave cleanly and tidily. If they are surrounded by squalor, they behave squalidly. Now, much of Britain looks pretty squalid. What will it look like in five years?


Q1 - The writer says that it is a good time to see Britain before the trees have leaves because

Britain looks perfect.

you can see Britain at its dirtiest.

you can see how dirty Britain is now.

the grass has thickened on the verges.

Q2 - According to the writer, things used to be

worse abroad.

the same abroad.

better abroad.

worse, but now things are better abroad.

Q3 - For the writer, the problem is that

rubbish is not cleared up.

rubbish last longer than it used to.

our society is increasingly mobile.

Britain is a tatty country.

Q4 - Michael Meacher

followed the Irish example with a tax on plastic bags.

tried to follow the Irish example with a tax on plastic bags.

made no attempt to follow the Irish example with a tax on plastic bags.

had problems with the plastics industry who weren't bothered about the tax.

Q5 - The writer thinks

it is too late to do anything.

we are at the tipping point.

there is no alternative.

we need to work together to solve the problem.

Q6 - The writer thinks that

people are squalid.

people behave according to what they see around them.

people are clean and tidy.

people are like a vast municipal rubbish tip.


THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE ( Reading Comprehension) (FCE)

The Man Booker Prize

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded every year for a novel written by a writer from the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland and it aims to represent the very best in contemporary fiction. The prize was originally called the Booker-McConnell Prize, which was the name of the company that sponsored it, though it was better-known as simply the ‘Booker Prize’. In 2002, the Man Group became the sponsor and they chose the new name, keeping ‘Booker’.

Publishers can submit books for consideration for the prize, but the judges can also ask for books to be submitted they think should be included. Firstly, the Advisory Committee give advice if there have been any changes to the rules for the prize and selects the people who will judge the books. The judging panel changes every year and usually a person is only a judge once.

Great efforts are made to ensure that the judging panel is balanced in terms of gender and professions within the industry, so that a writer, a critic, an editor and an academic are chosen along with a well-known person from wider society. However, when the panel of judges has been finalized, they are left to make their own decisions without any further involvement or interference from the prize sponsor.

The Man Booker judges include critics, writers and academics to maintain the consistent quality of the prize and its influence is such that the winner will almost certainly see the sales increase considerably , in addition to the £50,000 that comes with the prize.


Q1 - The Republic of Ireland

is in the Commonwealth.
is not in the Commonwealth.
can't enter the Man Booker Prize.
joined the Booker prize in 2002.

Q2 - The Man group

was forced to keep the name 'Booker'.
decided to include the name 'Booker'.
decided to keep the name 'Booker-McConnell'.
decided to use only the name 'Booker'.

Q3 - Books can be submitted

by publishers.
by writers.
by judges.
by the sponsors.

Q4 - Who advises on changes to the rules?

The sponsors
The judging panel
The advisory panel

Q5 - The judging panel

doesn't include women.
includes only women.
is only chosen from representatives of the industry.
includes someone from outside the industry.

Q6 - The sponsors of the prize

are involved in choosing the winner.
are involved in choosing the judges.
are not involved at all.
choose the academic for the panel of judges.

Q7 - The consistent quality of the prize

is guaranteed by the prize money.
is guaranteed by the gender of the judges.
is guaranteed by the make-up of the panel of judges.
is guaranteed by the increase in sales of the winner.

Keys are in comments section.



Indicate the Language Functions in the following dialogues:

1.Kristin : Hello, Vijaya, Happy Deepavali to you and your family !
Vijaya : Thank you. Do come in. I'm glad you have come.

(A) To wish
(B) To request
(C) To welcome
(D) to inform

2. Keane : The race will start at 8 a.m., won't it ?
Clerk : That's right. After registration, you have to assemble at the starting line in the field.

(A) To inform
(B) To greet
(C) To request
(D) To describe

3. Lily : Lehman fell while climbing up the rambutan tree.
Rose : I shouldn't have asked him to pluck the rambutans.

(A) To complain
(B) To regret
(C) To apologize
(D) To advise
4. Ronnie : Our team played badly, especially I.
Mat : It's all your fault. You have let the team down.

(A) To advise
(B) To blame
(C) To warn
(D) To protest

5. David : Hello, Sam. You look worried. can I help you ?
Sam : Could you lend me twenty dollars ? I need it urgently.

(A) To inform
(B) To describe
(C) To offer
(D) To request

6. Billy : Why don't you borrow Aileen's bicycle ?
Sarah : Her bicycle has a flat tyre.

(A) To offer
(B) To explain
(C) To advise
(D) To instruct

Aswers / Keys : in the comments section.


Programmes , games and courses to improve your English !

Os presentamos unos interesantes programas, juegos y cursos para mejorar vuestro conocimiento y pronunciación del Inglés; así como el de vuestros alumn@s.

"Aprende la correcta pronunciación de las palabras en inglés”


ABA ENGLISH mini-course.

“Curso para aprender inglés, concretamente la gramática”

ABAEnglish MiniCourse


“Siete divertidos juegos para aprender cuatro idiomas”



“Traducción casi instantánea del inglés sin pulsar ni una tecla”


“Demuestra lo que sabes en este juego de preguntas y respuestas on-line”



English as a National Foreign Language in India. (READING COMPREHENSION TEXT) (CAE) C1

India has two national languages for central administrative purposes: Hindi and English. Hindi is the national, official, and main link language of India. English is an associate official language. The Indian Constitution also officially approves twenty-two regional languages for official purposes.

Dozens of distinctly different regional languages are spoken in India, which share many characteristics such as grammatical structure and vocabulary. Apart from these languages, Hindi is used for communication in India. The homeland of Hindi is mainly in the north of India, but it is spoken and widely understood in all urban centers of India. In the southern states of India, where people speak many different languages that are not much related to Hindi, there is more resistance to Hindi, which has allowed English to remain a lingua franca to a greater degree.

Since the early 1600s, the English language has had a toehold on the Indian subcontinent, when the East India Company established settlements in Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai, formerly Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay respectively. The historical background of India is never far away from everyday usage of English. India has had a longer exposure to English than any other country which uses it as a second language, its distinctive words, idioms, grammar and rhetoric spreading gradually to affect all places, habits and culture.

In India, English serves two purposes. First, it provides a linguistic tool for the administrative cohesiveness of the country, causing people who speak different languages to become united. Secondly, it serves as a language of wider communication, including a large variety of different people covering a vast area. It overlaps with local languages in certain spheres of influence and in public domains.

Generally, English is used among Indians as a ‘link’ language and it is the first language for many well-educated Indians. It is also the second language for many who speak more than one language in India. The English language is a tie that helps bind the many segments of our society together. Also, it is a linguistic bridge between the major countries of the world and India.

English has special national status in India. It has a special place in the parliament, judiciary, broadcasting, journalism, and in the education system. One can see a Hindi-speaking teacher giving their students instructions during an educational tour about where to meet and when their bus would leave, but all in English. It means that the language permeates daily life. It is unavoidable and is always expected, especially in the cities.

The importance of the ability to speak or write English has recently increased significantly because English has become the de facto standard. Learning English language has become popular for business, commerce and cultural reasons and especially for internet communications throughout the world. English is a language that has become a standard not because it has been approved by any ‘standards’ organization but because it is widely used by many information and technology industries and recognized as being standard. The call centre phenomenon has stimulated a huge expansion of internet-related activity, establishing the future of India as a cyber-technological super-power. Modern communications, videos, journals and newspapers on the internet use English and have made ‘knowing English’ indispensable.

The prevailing view seems to be that unless students learn English, they can only work in limited jobs. Those who do not have basic knowledge of English cannot obtain good quality jobs. They cannot communicate efficiently with others, and cannot have the benefit of India’s rich social and cultural life. Men and women who cannot comprehend and interpret instructions in English, even if educated, are unemployable. They cannot help with their children’s school homework everyday or decide their revenue options of the future.

A positive attitude to English as a national language is essential to the integration of people into Indian society. There would appear to be virtually no disagreement in the community about the importance of English language skills. Using English you will become a citizen of the world almost naturally. English plays a dominant role in the media. It has been used as a medium for inter-state communication and broadcasting both before and since India’s independence. India is, without a doubt, committed to English as a national language. The impact of English is not only continuing but increasing.


Q1 - According to the writer, the Indian constitution recognises

22 official languages.

Hindi as the national language.

2 national, official languages.

2 national languages.

Q2 - English's status as a lingua franca is helped by

its status in northern India.

the fact that it is widely understood in urban centres.

the fact that people from the south speak languages not much related to Hindi.

it shares many grammatical similarities with Hindi.

Q3 - In paragraph 3, 'toehold' means that English

dominated India.

changed the names of some cities in India.

has had a presence in India.

has been in India longer than any other language.

Q4 - Hindi-speaking teachers

might well be heard using English.

only use English.

only use English for instructions.

do not use English.

Q5 - In paragraph eight, it says 'the prevailing view', which suggests that

the view is correct.

the view is held by the majority.

the view is incorrect.

the view is held by the minority.

Q6 - English in India

is going to decrease.

has decreased since independence.

causes disagreement.

is going to have a greater importance.

the keys  are in the comments of this post!! (las soluciones están en los comentarios)



Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko, one of the greatest painters of the twentieth century, was born in Daugavpils, Latvia in 1903. His father emigrated to the United States, afraid that his sons would be drafted into the Czarist army. Mark stayed in Russia with his mother and older sister; they joined the family later, arriving in the winter of 1913, after a 12-day voyage.

Mark moved to New York in the autumn of 1923 and found employment in the garment trade and took up residence on the Upper West Side. It was while he was visiting someone at the Art Students League that he saw students sketching a nude model. According to him, this was the start of his life as an artist. He was twenty years old and had taken some art lessons at school, so his initial experience was far from an immediate calling.
In 1936, Mark Rothko began writing a book, which he never completed, about the similarities in the children's art and the work of modern painters. The work of modernists, which was influenced by primitive art, could, according to him, be compared to that of children in that "child art transforms itself into primitivism, which is only the child producing a mimicry of himself." In this same work, he said that "the fact that one usually begins with drawing is already academic. We start with colour."

It was not long before his multiforms developed into the style he is remembered for; in 1949 Rothko exhibited these new works at the Betty Parsons Gallery. For critic Harold Rosenberg, the paintings were a revelation. Rothko had, after painting his first multiform, secluded himself to his home in East Hampton on Long Island, only inviting a very few people, including Rosenberg, to view the new paintings. The discovery of his definitive form came at a period of great grief; his mother Kate died in October 1948 and it was at some point during that winter that Rothko chanced upon the striking symmetrical rectangular blocks of two to three opposing or contrasting, yet complementary colours. As part of this new uniformity of artistic vision, his paintings and drawings no longer had individual titles; from this point on they were simply untitled, numbered or dated. However, to assist in distinguishing one work from another, dealers would sometimes add the primary colours to the name. Additionally, for the next few years, Rothko painted in oil only on large vertical canvasses. This was done to overwhelm the viewer, or, in his words, to make the viewer feel enveloped within the picture.

On February 25, 1970, Oliver Steindecker, Rothko’s assistant, found him in his kitchen, lying on the floor in front of the sink, covered in blood. His arms had been cut open with a razor. The emergency doctor arrived on the scene minutes later to pronounce him dead as the result of suicide; it was discovered during the autopsy that he had also overdosed on anti-depressants. He was just 66 years old.


Q1 - Mark Rothko emigrated to the United States

with his father and elder sister.

with his mother and brothers.

with his mother and elder sister.

with all his family.

Q2 - Rothko wanted to be an artist

from his early childhood.

when he joined the Art Students League.

when he watched students drawing.

when he moved to the Upper West Side.

Q3 - Rothko thought that modern art

was primitive.

could be compared to children's pictures.

was already academic.

was childish.

Q4 - Rothko's distinctive style

was inspired by Rosenberg.

resulted from moving to Long Island.

resulted from his grief.

evolved in 1948.

Q5 - Who named paintings by their colours?








We are going to show a very useful list with the most important terms for your compositions in English!
Letter A

a corto plazo <> as soon as possible
a corto plazo <> in the short term
a decir verdad <> actually

a decir verdad <> as a matter of fact

a decir verdad <> in fact

a decir verdad <> to tell the truth

a deshora <> at an unusual time

a diario <> day in day out

a diario <> everyday

a estas alturas <> as late as this

a estas alturas <> at this point

a este respecto <> for that matter
a este respecto <> with regard to this matter

a fin de cuentas <> after all

a fin de cuentas <> all things considered

a fin de cuentas <> finally

a fin de cuentas <> in short

a fin de cuentas <> taking everything into account

a grandes rasgos <> briefly

a grandes rasgos <> in a few words

a grandes rasgos <> in a general way
a juzgar por las apariencias <> judging by appearances

a juzgar por las apariencias <> on the face of it

a la distancia <> in the distance

a la intemperie <> in the open air

a la intemperie <> out of doors

a la larga <> eventually

a la larga <> in the end

a la mayor brevedad posible <> as soon as possible

a la sazón <> at the time

a la ventura <> at random

a la ventura <> with no fixed plan

a la vez <> at the same time

a la vez <> together

a la vista de las dificultades <> in the light of the difficulties

a la vuelta de 6 años <> at the end of 6 years

a lo más <> at most

a lo más <> at the most

a lo mejor <> maybe

a lo mejor <> perhaps

a lo que parece <> apparently

a lo que parece <> to all appearances

a lo sumo <> at most

a los ojos de muchos <> in the judgement of many

a manera de ejemplo <> as an example

a manera de ejemplo <> as an illustration

a mi costa <> at my expense

a mi juicio <> in my opinion

a mi parecer <> in my view

a mi parecer <> to my way of thinking

a modo de ejemplo <> by way of example

a nivel popular (comunitario o local) <> at the grassroots

a ojo de buen cubero <> at a rough estimate
a pesar de <> despite

a pesar de <> in spite of

a pesar de todo <> in spite of everything

a pesar mío <> against my will

a pie juntillas <> firmly (believe)

a posta <> intentionally

a posta <> on purpose

a primera vista <> at first blush

a primera vista <> at first sight

a propósito <> by the way

a simple vista <> at a glance

a simple vista <> at first

a su debido tiempo <> in due time

a su tiempo <> at the right time

a su tiempo <> in due time

a tal efecto <> for the purpose
a tiempo <> on time

a toda costa <> at all costs

a todas luces <> obviously
a través <> through

a última hora <> at the eleventh hour

a última hora <> at the last minute

a veces <> at times

a veces <> sometimes

actualmente <> currently

además <> in addition

además <> moreover
ahora bien <> however

ahora bien <> nevertheless

al aire libre <> outdoors

al azar <> at random

al contrario <> on the contrary

al correr de los años <> as the years go by

al correr de los años <> as the years roll by

al efecto <> for that purpose

al fin <> at last

al fin <> eventually

al fin <> finally
al final <> after all

al final <> in conclusion
al pie de la letra <> exactly according to instructions

al pie de la letra <> literally

al pie de la letra <> to the letter

al pie de la letra <> word for word

al principio <> at the beginning

al principio <> at the outset

al principio <> at the start

al principio <> in the beginning

al pronto <> at first
al revés <> backwards

al revés <> in the opposite way

al revés <> in the reverse order

al revés <> inside out

al revés <> upside down

ambos (ninguno) <> both (neither)

ante <> before

ante mí <> in my presence

ante todo <> above all

ante todo <> first of all

antiguamente <> formerly

aparentemente <> apparently

aparte <> besides

aparte de esto <> apart from this

apresuradamente <> hastily

así <> as

así <> thus

así (que) <> so

así como <> as well as

así parece <> so it seems

aún <> still

aun a pesar de <> even though

aún así <> even so

aún así <> for all that

aunque <> although

aunque <> even though

aunque <> though

aunque no lo parezca <> incredible as it may seem

aunque parece extraño <> curiously enough

aunque sea cierto <> although this may be true


What are the basics of teaching English to non-native speakers?

You can’t be an ESL or EFL teacher just because you speak English as a mother tongue. This article explains some of the basics of teaching English to non-native speakers of English.

  • Get a grammar reference

Invest in a good grammar guide. If you are a native speaker, you will know how to speak and write good English. But knowing grammar rules is one thing; knowing how to explain those rules is quite another. When you buy a reference guide, try to get one especially designed for ESL / EFL students. Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage published by Oxford University Press is ideal for both teachers and learners. There are several other books too.

  • Keep It Simple

When teaching grammar to ESL students focus on one specific point at a time. Trying to teach too many rules at a time will only confuse your students. Say, for example, you are teaching the uses of the verb have. Have, as you probably know, has many rules. It can be used to form the perfect verb forms. It can be used to show possession. Have can be an auxiliary verb. It can also be a principal verb. Instead of teaching all of these uses of have at all once, focus on one at a time. Once you have taught those rules move to the next.

  • Slow down while speaking

Native English speakers often speak too quickly. Slow down, otherwise your students may find it difficult to follow what you are saying. Keep your vocabulary simple. Use words and phrases that your students are already familiar with.

  • Limit the use of idioms and phrasal verbs

Native speakers have no difficulty understanding idioms or phrasal verbs. It comes naturally to them. Most ESL learners, on the other hand, have a tough time understanding these peculiar word combinations. By limiting the use of idioms and phrasal verbs you can go a long way in helping students learn more effectively.



Let's learn some culture today and learn something about LONDON TUBE.

The London Underground (locally known as the Tube) is the biggest and oldest metro system in the world. It’s also one of the most convenient, serving about 20 hours on a daily basis. Each of the Underground lines has a different name and colour. This helps you easily follow your route on the map.

Upon your arrival at a station, you should have a look at the colour-coded signs that will direct you to the line you’re looking for. The London Underground system is divided into 6 different fare zones. The London city centre is of course in Zone 1. Your ticket price depends on the number of zones through which you travel. You can easily buy your ticket from an automatic ticket machine or alternatively at the ticket office at any station. Both single and return tickets are available and they are valid only on the date shown.

If you know where you want to go, I recommend you should use the ticket machines because they can save a lot of your time. The instructions are easy to follow. The ticket machines usually give change, but I would suggest that you use the correct money if possible. By doing this, you will help keep change for other passengers who really need it.

Most London Underground stations have ticket gates. You need to pass through them quite a few times throughout your journey. Upon your arrival, just insert your ticket into the slot of the machine through which the ticket will pass. You can then take it from a slot at the top and the gates will open to let you through. When you have completed your last journey, the gates will open and let you through but your ticket will be retained by the machine.

As far as I’m concerned, London’s Tube is probably one of the most famous in the world. However, I feel that there is something about being underground I am not very keen on. For instance, the massive crowds swarm towards the train platforms, rushing up and down stairs, following the signs and the annoying ‘Mind the gap’ thing. Based on my experience, the trains are also absolutely packed. I have so many times been pushed up against someone really stinky. It’s never easy to find yourself a seat, and you can hardly see anything. Having said that, I still believe it is the cheapest and quickest way to get around London though.

Don't forget to mind the gap!!!

To sum up, The London Underground is really easy to use so long as you are equipped with a map. To avoid wasting your time, simply validate your ticket and pass through the gates, stand on the right hand side of the steep escalators, or just walk down on the left if you are in a rush. The Tube normally arrives every few minutes so you don’t need to run. In summer the tube can be really hot and smelly, but again it is another part of travelling around the capital of England.


ESL Teaching Tips

  • Let them talk

Gaining better communication skills is the top priority for most ESL students. Pay careful attention to the most common errors your students make during an exercise. Once they have finished doing the exercise, correct them. If a teacher corrects every mistake the students make, they will become hesitant to speak because they are afraid of being corrected. Frequent correction will also disturb the natural flow of conversation. By correcting their mistakes after they have finished their exercise, you can give them more confidence.
  • Create the right setting

Setting the right mood is extremely essential because it helps students to concentrate. Many teachers recommend playing music in the class to improve the spirits of students.
  • Get your students more physically involved in the lesson.

Get your students physically involved in the lesson. Give them short breaks every now and then and ask them to get up and walk about. These short breaks will help rise their energy levels and improve learning.
  • Put special focus on developing communication skills.
Foreign students learn English because they want to be able to communicate in English. Each exercise should have a communicative aspect connected to it. For example, while teaching tenses, get students ask each other questions about their experiences. Ask them to use the specific tenses.
  • Keep a folder of great lessons
If you find a great lesson, make an extra photocopy for future use and keep it aside in a special folder.



Numbers in english are a bit confusing , these are some tips not to get lost! / Los números en inglés son un poco confusos y podemos perdernos, aquí tenéis alguna información útil.

Fractions and decimals

We say simple fractions like this:

1/8 = one eighth

5/7 = five sevenths

2/5 = two fifths

3/4 hour = three quarters of an hour

More complex fractions are usually expressed by using the word over.

218/576 = two hundred and eighteen over five hundred and seventy six

We say and write decimals like this:

0.278 = nought point two seven eight (US zero point two seven eight)

(NOT nought point two hundred and seventy eight)

Nought, zero, nil etc

The figure 0 is usually called nought in British English, and zero in American English. When we say numbers one figure at a time, 0 is often called oh.

My phone number is nine three two five oh six (= 932506)

In measurements of temperature , 0 is called zero in both British and American English.

Zero scores in team games are called nil. In tennis and similar games, the word love is used for zero.

And the score is: Brazil three, Italy nil.

Forty-love: Nadal to serve

Telephone numbers

Each figure is said separately. There is usually a pause after groups of three or four figures. If the same figure comes twice, British people usually say double.

657 4481 – six five seven, double four eight one (British)

- six five seven, four four eight one (US)

Roman numbers

The names of kings and queens are still written in Roman numbers.

It was built in the time of Louis XIV.

Queen Elizabeth II

Henry V

Cardinal and ordinal number

The numbers one, two, three, four etc., are called cardinal numbers

whereas the numbers first, second, third, fourth etc., are called ordinal numbers.

Ordinal numbers are used before nouns. After a noun, we use cardinal numbers.

the fourth chapter – chapter four

the third act – Act Three


THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE USA /El Sistema Educativo en los estados Unidos.

The Education System in the USA

In the USA, children start school when they are five or six years old. Depending on the state, schooling is compulsory until the age of 16 or 18. Children younger than five can go to a nursery school or preschool.

At the age of five or six, the children attend elementary school (also known as grade school or grammar school), which last six years. The fist year at elementary school is called kindergarten.

After elementary school, students attend middle school (also known as junior high school) for three years. Then they continue at high school. In some states, students have to stay in school until they are 18 years old. In other states they may leave school at 16 or 17 with parental permission.

Age School

< 5 nursery school / preschool

5-11 elementary school

11-14 middle school / junior high school

14-18 high school / senior high school

When students in the USA say what year they are in, they usually use ordinal numbers, e. g. ‘tenth grade’. (In the UK students would use cardinal numbers, e. g. ‘year ten’.)


At elementary school pupils primarily learn how to read, write and count. There are about 20 to 30 pupils in one class.

At junior and senior high school, mandatory subjects are English, maths, biology, chemistry, physics, physical education and history. Schools also offer optional courses from which the students can choose, e. g. art, modern languages, computers. Physical education is a very important subject in the United States – many students participate in sports programs.

Gifted and talented students can take advanced courses in their schools or attend additional courses at community colleges in the afternoons or during the holidays. Often such courses are later acknowledged by universities, and can facilitate early graduation.

Grading Scale

In the USA (as in other English speaking countries) letter grades are used in reports.

■A > 90 % (excellent)

■B > 80 % (very good)

■C > 70 % (improvement needed)

■D > 60 % (close fail)

■E > 50 % (fail)

■F < 50 % (fail)

In general, only grades A to C are a 'pass' – a plus (+) or minus (-) might be added (e. g. A-, B+).

Different Kinds of Schools

Most students in the USA are enrolled in public schools. These are financed through taxes, so parents do not have to pay for their children's education. About 10 % of US students attend private schools, where parents have to pay a yearly fee.

Another option is homeschooling: approximately 1-2 % of parents in the USA educate their children at home. Some reasons for homeschooling are religious views, special needs (e. g. handicapped children), or problems in traditional schools (bullying, drugs etc.). However, there is also opposition to homeschooling claiming that the students have difficulties socializing with others, that homeschooling (often carried out by the parents) is of a poor academic quality and that (especially concerning religion) extremist views might be encouraged.

School Uniforms

It is not common for students in the USA to wear school uniforms, but many schools have dress codes telling students what kind of clothing is or is not allowed in school. Some schools (especially private schools) have started to require their students to wear school uniforms in order to improve school discipline and avoid 'fashion cliques'.



Selectividad Examination June 2011


Advantages and challenges of teaching large classes

Teaching a small group of students is a whole lot easier than teaching a large group. But unfortunately due to budget and space constraints, many ESL schools only offer large classes that may consist of 50 or more students. No matter what the size of your class is, an ESL teacher has to come up with ideas and activities that will interest and engage his / her students. Fortunately, there are many coping skills and activities that will make your job easier.

Advantages of Teaching Large Classes

  • Classes with many students will be quite noisy. But they also offer a high energy setting that is more fun and exciting.

  • Classes will go by quickly when there are numerous students seeking your attention. In fact, while teaching a large class you will never find yourself looking at the clock. Lessons and activities will take longer to complete, so there will be no need for fillers.

Challenges of Teaching Large Classes

  • You may never to get to know your students as well as you would like to. You may also feel anxious about being outnumbered by your students.
  • Grading assignments and tests will take longer than you would like to them.

  • That you are teaching a large class doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get fatter pay checks than those teaching smaller classes.

More distractions

  • It is quite easy to get distracted in a large class. There will always be latecomers. You will also find plenty of students chatting while you are teaching and that can be pretty distressing.

From: Englishpractice.com


This activity seems to be easy , but it has its difficulty, DON'T RELAX!!
You can check your answers with the keys in the comments section of this post.

(Parece un ejercicio fácil de pasivas, pero cuidado! comprueba tus respuestas en los comentarios de la entrada)

1. Change the following sentences into passive voice.

1. I know him.

2. His conduct will surprise you.

3. His failure disgusted his parents.

4. One must endure what one cannot cure.

5. They say that honesty is the best policy.

6. He had to pay the fine.

7. What does this box contain?

8. I want you to do this.

9. I expect you to help her.

10. Women like men to adore them.

11. One should help the poor.

12. The farmer grows vegetables.


Words that are easily confused

Doubt and suspect

To doubt is to think that something is unlikely.

I doubt if he will come.

I doubt whether you can finish the work in time.

To suspect is to believe that somebody is guilty or something is true.

How could they suspect him of murder?

I suspect that my servant has stolen my watch.

Drown and sink

Drown means ‘die by immersion in water’. In British English, both active and passive forms of drown can be used to talk about accidental drowning.

He drowned while swimming across the river. OR He was drowned while swimming across the river.

In American English, only active forms are used to talk about accidental drowning.

To sink is to go beneath the surface of water.

The explosion sank the ship. (NOT The explosion drowned the ship.)

Facility and felicity

Facility means something with a particular function.

A wide range of facilities is available at the sports center.

Felicity means intense happiness.

Only the virtuous can experience true felicity.

Hard and hardly

Hard means difficult.

You have given me a very hard problem to solve.

Hardly means scarcely

She had hardly arrived when she was put to work.

Prescribe and proscribe

To prescribe is to recommend remedy

Doctors should be wary of prescribing antibiotics for minor infections.

To proscribe is to ban something.



This worksheet gives a general vision about the commonest English tenses. This quick guide is ideal for revising Grammar before your final exams.
(Esta ficha os permite tener una visión rápida y general de los tiempos verbales ingleses para exámenes finales de gramática.)

Review of English Tenses



This exam has been our proposal as a retaking examination in May. If you have a doubt about the keys for the exam, please send us an email and we'll provide them to you. Good luck!
You can get more exams in our book: English in SELECTIVIDAD

(Este exámen ha sido puesto en Mayo como exámen para recuperar; os puede servir para practicar SELECTIVIDAD, o para los que debéis recuperar en septiembre. Podéis adquirir más exámenes y una guía apra hacer el exámen de Selectividad adquiriendo nuestro libro : English in SELECTIVIDAD )

English Exam 2 Bachillerato


Rewrite the following sentences (2)

ACTIVITY ONE: Rewrite the following sentences, substituting the verb form for the words given in bold letters.

1. The manager sent no reply for a few days.

2. He accepted all of our proposals.

3. His story did not give me any amusement.

4. It is my belief that he does not mean what he says.

5. The cost of this bag is $10.

6. No invitation was sent to the Mayor.

7. I don’t think that he will be successful in his attempts.

1. The manager didn’t reply for a few days.

2. He accepted all that we proposed.

3. His story didn’t amuse me.

4. I don’t believe that he means what he says.

5. This bag costs $10.

6. The Mayor was not invited.

7. I don’t think that he will succeed in his attempts.

ACTIVITY  NUMBER 2: Rewrite the following sentences using the adjective form of the words italicized.

1. He succeeded in his attempt.

2. Fortunately we were well-armed to fight the enemy.

3. Francis Bacon was a man of remarkable industry and intelligence.

4. He takes much pride in his looks.

5. In all probability the meeting will take place today.

6. You can easily get the job if you try.

7. He who shuns labor cannot prosper.


1. He was successful in his attempt.

2. It was fortunate that we were well-armed to fight the enemy.

3. Francis Bacon was remarkably industrious and intelligent.

4. He is very proud of his looks.

5. It is probable that the meeting will take place today.

6. It is easy to get the job if you try.

7. He who shuns labor cannot be prosperous.

Rewrite sentences in English

Rewriting sentences in English is sometimes a harsh task, but it develops our communication in the English language. Try this activity and you'll guess your level.

Rewrite Sentences


We show our new book about SELECTIVIDAD

We feel really proud of our guide for spanish Selectividad ( English test to apply for a University in Spain).
This book contains the knowledge acquired by teachers throughout years , after checking hundreds of Selectividad exams. You will find 15 real exams from different communities. they include the keys for the exams, explanations for the composition, possible answers for the reading comprehension, etc.
Besides, it also includes guidance about the Selectividad exam itself and the different parts of this examination. On the other hand, you will find vocabulary, antonyms, synonyms, common prefixes, semantic fields, false friends, etc. This book constitutes the best help for teachers in class and for students to study at home and when they run over before the day of the exam.

You can download a pdf copy of the book or get a physical copy in the cover of the book. Thank you!


Os presentamos nuestro nuevo libro: Inglés en Selectividad, totalmente actualizado y adaptado a la prueba de selectividad 2011. El libro incluye 15 exámenes resueltos de diversas comunidades, para que el alumno se autoevalue, o el profesorado lo pueda usar en clase. El libro incluye además consejos y orientaciones deprofesorado corrector de la prueba de Inglés; analizando cada parte del exámen. Del mismo modo, incluímos unas recomendaciones a la hora de realizar la redacción, y numerosos anexos de vocabulario que incluyen: False friends, sinónimos y antónimos, prefijos, campos semánticos etc. Esperamos os sea de gran ayuda. podéis adquirirlo haciendo click sobre la portada del libro en Ebook con descarga pdf por sólo 4 euros o en libro físico . 



This list is an extension of another post about Acronyms we've puplished some time ago. they are useful in every day English.
Have a look!
(Esta lista de abreviaturas del Inglés es muy útil en clase y fuera en la calle, ya que son muy utilizadas por los anglófonos)




The best way to memorize words, according to scientific studies, is to write in English and Spanish several times, saying them while writing. However, there are people who can not tolerate, this automatic process. We recommend you put aside your anger and try to do what is proven to work. If you insist on doing otherwise is your choice, just make sure you are memorizing the word.

Become robots! this way isn't funny but it's fast!

Cómo memorizar vocabulario en inglés:

La mejor manera de memorizar palabras, según estudios científicos, es escribirla en inglés y en español varias veces, diciéndolas mientras las escribes. Sin embargo, hay gente que no tolera bien este proceso automático. Te recomendamos que pongas a un lado tu disgusto y que intentes hacer lo que está demostrado que funciona. Si insistes en hacerlo de otra manera es tu elección, sólo asegúrate de que estás memorizando la palabra.
Learning like a robot isn't fun... but it's fast!

Así que, escribe cada palabra con su traducción cinco veces. Sin embargo, después de cinco palabras (cada una copiada cinco veces), tómate un respiro y comprueba tu progreso mediante un test rápido de las palabras. (Si escribes las veinte palabras totales, copiadas cinco veces una después de la otra, será demasiada información para ser asimilada y acabarás con dolor de cabeza y sin progreso alguno).

Y no hagas columnas (los adolescentes siempre intentan hacerlo así). En otras palabras, no escribas la palabra inglesa cinco veces seguidas en una columna, una debajo de la otra, y después su traducción al español. Escribe la palabra inglesa y su traducción en la misma línea una vez y luego repite esto cinco veces.
Cuando haya terminado, trate de repetir la palabra en  Inglés y su significado en su lengua varias veces  en voz alta. Aunque al principio te sentirás ridículo, esta es la mejor actividad para mejorar tu confianza en la lengua extranjera.

So, write each word five times its translation. However, after five words (each copied five times), take a break and check your progress at a rapid test of words. (If you write twenty words total, copied five times one after the other, it will be too much information to be assimilated and end up with a headache and no progress).

And do not make columns (teens always try to do so). In other words, do not write the word five times in a column, one above the other, and then translated into Spanish. Write the word and its translation into the same line once and then repeated this five times.

When you finish, try to repeat the english word and its meaning in your language several times ( it's OK) aloud. Although at first you'll feel ridiculous, This is the best activity to improve your confidence in the foreign language.




We are going to read the following dialogue which includes sentences in 3rd conditional type. We will identify their structure and we can translate it into our own language.
(Este diálogo contiene ejemplos de 3er tipo de condicional)

Susan: Has it ever occurred to you that if you hadn’t been giving a class in Pepsi on the day I was visiting the marketing department, we never would have become friends?
Jack: Of course it’s occurred to me… and if we hadn’t become friends then we wouldn’t have fallen in love.
Susan: And if we hadn’t fallen in love you wouldn’t have escaped your empty life.
Jack: Hey… hold on a minute… I don’t remember that part.
Susan: That’s what you wrote on my Facebook page when we 10 started going out.
Jack: Yeah…I was probably just trying to get you in bed.
Susan: But you’d already got me in bed.
Jack: In that case I must have been trying to keep you in bed. But, anyway…yeah…none of us’ll forget that in a hurry. It was through Facebook that my ex found out I was in a new relationship. She went nuts. If I hadn’t written that message she never would have found out and she never would have gone to your office.


The students will memorize the dialogue in pairs and they'll perform it in front of the class. This is an excellent practice to eliminate the shiness in the students.


You have 10 sentences in the structure of the third conditional. Try to translate into your own language and identify their parts.

(las respuestas en castellano para la traducción están en los comentarios)

1. If you hadn’t told them the story they wouldn’t have found out.

2. We wouldn’t have been poor if you hadn’t lent money to your brother.
3. If we hadn’t brought the radio we wouldn’t have heard the news.
4. If I hadn’t received the bill I would have forgotten to pay it.
5. If we hadn’t applied for the papers we would have been thrown out of the country.
6. If he hadn’t stabilized the situation everything would have turned out bad.
7. If Euskatel had bought Vodafone we would have been in another reality.
8. If they had advised them, they would have attended.
9. If Camaron had been born in London he would have been a punk.
10. If Camaron had been punk, he would have sung ‘soy punk’ instead of ‘soy gitano’.