Lie / Lay / Lying / Laying (Students' doubts)

Lie is an intransitive verb (one that does not take an object), meaning "to recline." Its principal parts are lie (base form), lay (past tense), lain (past participal), and lying (present participle).

[Lie meaning "to tell an untruth" uses lied for both the past tense and past participle, with lying as the present participle.]

Lay is a transitive verb (one that takes an object), meaning "to put" or "to place." Its principal parts are lay (base form), laid (past tense), laid (past participle), and laying (present participle).

The two words have different meanings and are not interchangeable. Although lay also serves as the past tense of lie (to recline) – as in, "He lay down for a nap an hour ago" – lay (or laying) may not otherwise be used to denote reclining. It is not correct to say or write, "I will lay down for nap" or "He is laying down for a nap." The misuse of lay or laying in the sense of "to recline" (which requires lie or lying) is the most common error involving the confusion of these two words.

> Once you lay (put or place) a book on the desk, it is lying (reclining, resting) there, not laying there.

> When you go to Bermuda for your vacation, you spend your time lying (not laying) on the beach (unless, of course, you are engaged in sexual activity and are, in the vernacular, laying someone on the beach).

> You lie down on the sofa to watch TV and spend the entire evening lying there; you do not lay down on the sofa to watch TV and spend the entire evening laying there.

> If you see something lying on the ground, it is just resting there; if you see something laying on the ground, it must be doing something else, such as laying eggs.


REWRITING AND REPHRASING HANDBOOK (reescribe y parafrasea en Inglés)

This book is perfect to improve your Grammar at an intermediate or advanced level,  and revise all grammar points in English: indirect speech, modals, passives, conditionals, phrasal verbs... More than 150 activities to test your acuracy in English!

 Presentamos un libro realizado por nuestra  web www.myplaceforenglish.tk muy útil tanto para el profesorado de Educación Secundaria, como para el  profesorado de EOI.

A su vez este volumen nos permite repasar si somos alumnos toda la gramática a través de una técnica muy temida: el reescribir una frase en otro idioma o parafrasear la frase para que conserve el mismo significado.

Este volumen se compone de más de 150 ejemplos resueltos para poner a prueba nuestra gramática. Ideal para repasar ante exámenes de nivel intermedio: B1, B2 de EOI , o antes de Selectividad, o durante el Bachillerato.

Para Descargar el libro , click aquí.
Download here!


Who was St Patrick? Celebrate St. Patrick's Day. March 17th

Who Was Saint Patrick?

Even though Saint Patrick the patron saint of Ireland and one of the most celebrated religious figures around the world, the factual information about his life and times is quite vague. Most information about St. Patrick has been twisted, embellished, or simply made up over centuries by storytellers, causing much ambiguity about the real life of St. Patrick. However, there are a some elements of his story about which most scholars accept to be true.

According to Coilin Owens, Irish literature expert and Professor Emeritus of English at George Mason University, Saint Patrick is traditionally thought to have lived "between 432-461 A.D., but more recent scholarship moves the dates up a bit." At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped from his native land of the Roman British Isles by a band pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six years of slavery he escaped to the Irish coast and fled home to Britain.

While back in his homeland, Patrick decided to become a priest and then decided to return to Ireland after dreaming that the voices of the Irish people were calling him to convert them to Christianity.

After studying and preparing for several years, Patrick traveled back to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Although there were already some Christians living in Ireland, St. Patrick was able to bring upon a massive religious shift to Christianity by converting people of power. Says Prof. Owens, "[St. Patrick] is credited with converting the nobles; who set an example which the people followed."

But Patrick's desire to spread of Christianity was not met without mighty opposition. Prof. Owens explains, "Patrick ran into trouble with the local pagan priesthood, the druids: and there are many stories about his arguments with them as well as his survival of plots against them." He laid the groundwork for the establishment of hundreds of monasteries and churches that eventually popped up across the Irish country to promote Christianity.

Saint Patrick is also credited with bringing written word to Ireland through the promotion of the study of legal texts and the Bible, says Prof. Owens. Previous to Patrick, storytelling and history were reliant on memory and orally passing down stories.

Patrick's mission in Ireland is said to have lasted for thirty years. It is believe he died in the 5th century on March 17, which is the day St. Patrick's Day is commemorated each year.

The first year St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in America in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. The first official St. Patrick's Day parade was held in New York City in 1766. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades.



Printers are sent from hell!

These are the reasons why we hate printers! (Motivos por los que odiar las impresoras)




This is a difficult question because most of the times we can use both of them.

Both these forms are used to talk about past events, but there is sometimes a difference in use. When we say that someone needn't have done something, it means that they did it, but it was not necessary. Didn't need to is also sometimes used in this way:
You needn't have washed the dishes. I would've put them in the dishwasher.
You didn't need to wash the dishes. I would've put them in the dishwasher.
But we also use didn't need to to say that something was not necessary under circumstances where it was not done:
The sun came out so we didn't need to take any rainwear on the trip.

There is also a difference in use when these verbs are used to describe present situations. We can use both needn't and don't need to to give permission to someone not to do something in the immediate future.
You don't need to water the garden this evening. It's going to rain tonight.
You needn't water the garden this evening. It's going to rain tonight.
However, when we are talking about general necessity, we normally use don't need to:
You don't need to pay for medical care in National Health Service hospitals.

NEED can either act as a modal verb or as an ordinary verb. When it acts as a modal auxiliary verb it is nearly always used in negative sentences, as the above examples illustrate.

Para resumir: (en Español)

-Usamos Needn't y don't need to para dar permiso en el futuro inmediato.
- Pero sólo usamos Don't need to cuando hablamos de una necesidad general, no personal, algo común a todos.
- Usamos Needn't o  Didn't need to en el pasado para expresar la no necesidad de haber hecho algo en el pasado, pero que sí hicimos.
-Pero sólo usamos Didn't need to en el pasado para expresar que no tuvimos la necesidad de hacer algo en el pasado finalmente.


TO BE WORTH IT (vale la pena)

La expresión " To be worth it" es un tanto estraña para el hispano hablante. Significa que merece o vale la pena.

Si yo digo : " It is worth it!"  vale la pena!
Si en cambio digo  "it is not worth it" No vale la pena!
Para preguntar sería: " Is it woth it?" ¿ merece la pena?

Is it worth it to study so hard? ¿Merece la pena estudiar tanto?


What is SMALL TALK ?

In most English-speaking countries, it is normal and necessary to make "small talk" in certain situations.

Small talk is a casual form of conversation that "breaks the ice" or fills an awkward silence between people. Even though you may feel shy using your second language, it is sometimes considered rude to say nothing. Just as there are certain times when small talk is appropriate, there are also certain topics that people often discuss during these moments.


Passive sentences with two objects / oraciones pasivas con dos objetos

This kind of passives are a nightmare for my students . Above all the one in which the subject is the Indirect Object, which souns weird for the "spanish ears".

Here you are some examples: ( el objeto indirecto en rojo y el directo en verde)

1) Kevin asked Dennis a question. (active )

Dennis was asked a question by Kevin.

( En este caso el O.indirecto es el sujeto, verb to be en pasado como en la oración activa seguido de part. p.; el O. directo y finalmente el agente introducido con by, que era el sujeto en la activa)

A question was asked to Dennis by Kevin .

(Este ejemplo en el que el Objeto directo es sujeto de la pasiva es más españolizado, y menos frecuente en Inglés, pero gramaticalmente correcto.)

2) She gives him a box.

He is given a box.

(el sujeto es el OI; como el pronombre personal es dativo , lo cambiamos a sujeto por eso el pronombre personal sujeto de 3ªpers. sing es He y no him. )

A box is given to him.

( El sujeto es el Objeto directo. En ninguna d elas dos pasivas utilizamos el agente introducido por "by" ya que el sujeto es un mero pronombre. La pasiva en si se utiliza para obviar el sujeto, lo que nos interesa es la acción; encima si ni siquiera sabemos quien la realizó( she, they, somebody,,,) no lo ponemos en la pasiva.

Transforma estas frases a pasiva en las dos formas:
Transform these sentences into the passive voice, it's your turn!

3) The waiter brought Fred a big steak.

4) The teacher told us a joke.

5) Michael has not sent me a text message.

Have a look to the comments to find out the answers!!

(las soluciones en los comentarios, pero hazlas primero en un papel!!)