Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Last Friday, one of America’s legendary musicians, Gil Scott-Heron died at the age of 62. He was a poet, whose lyrics depicted the African-American reality. His most famous song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, was first recorded in 1970, is considered by some to be the first rap song. In homage of this artist and considering the recent protests of the so-called Revolution of the Outraged (indignados), and the role of internet in its spontaneous conception, I think it would be appropriate to give this song a listen. .

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in [1], turn on [2] and cop out [3].
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag [4],
and skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by
John Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws [5] confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you
by the Schaefer Award Theatre
and will not star Natalie Woods
and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs [6].
The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner,
because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs [7]
shooting down brothers in the instant replay [8].
There will be no pictures of pigs
shooting down brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young
being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life
of Roy Wilkens strolling through Watts
in a Red, Black and Green liberation jumpsuit
that he had been saving For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville Junction
will no longer be so damned [9] relevant,
and women will not care if Dick finally gets down
with Jane on Search for Tomorrow
because Black people will be in the street
looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights [10] on the eleven o'clock news
and no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists
and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones,
Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom,
a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.

The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.
The revolution will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run [11] brothers;
The revolution will be live [12].

[1] enchufar [2] encender [3] lavarse las manos [4] argot por heroína [5] forro del estomago de cerdo utilizado en la preparación de ciertos platos [6] bultos [7] argot peyorativo por policía [8] repetición de la jugada [9] maldito [10] los mas destacados [11] repetición de programa [12] en directo

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Person, Place, or Thing

Here's another grammar tune about nouns from the popular Saturday morning cartoons of the early 80's, called A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing. The lyrics are below.

Well every person you can know,
And every place that you can go,
And anything that you can show,
You know they're nouns.

A noun's a special kind of word,
It's any name you ever heard,
I find it quite interesting,
A noun's a person, place, or thing.

Oh I took a train, took a train to another state.
The flora and the fauna that I saw were really great.
When I saw some bandits chasin' the train.
I was wishin' I was back home again.
I took a train, took a train to another state.

Well, every person you can know (Like a bandit or an engineer)
And every place that you can go (Like a state or a home)
And anything that you can show (Like animals and plants or a train)
You know they're nouns - you know they're nouns, oh...

Mrs. Jones is a lady on Hudson Street.
She sent her dog to bark at my brother and me.
We gave her dog a big fat bone,
And now he barks at Mrs. Jones.
She's a lady who lives on Hudson Street.

Well, every person you can know (Mrs. Jones, a lady, or a brother)
And every place that you can go (Like a street or a corner)
And anything that you can show (Like a dog or a bone)
You know they're nouns - you know they're nouns, oh...

I took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
My best friend was waitin' there for me. (He took an early ferry.)
We went for a walk on the island you know,
And in the middle of summer it started to snow,
When I took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty.

Well every person you can know (Like a friend or the captain of a ship)
And every place that you can go (An island or a sea)
And anything that you can show (Like a statue, a ferry, or snow)
You know they're nouns - you know they're nouns.

Oh, I put a dime in the drugstore record machine.
Oldies goldies started playing if you know what I mean.
I heard Chubby Checker, he was doin' the twist
And the Beatles and the Monkees, it goes like this!
I put a dime in the drugstore record machine.

Well every person you can know (The Beatles and the Monkees, Chubby Checker)
And every place that you can go (Like a neighborhood or a store)
And anything that you can show (Like a dime or a record machine)
You know they're nouns.

A noun's a special kind of word,
It's any name you ever heard,
I find it quite interesting,
A noun's a person, place, or thing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Readers: The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde (Part 4)


by Oscar Wilde (Part 4)

But the children said that they didn’t know where he lived, and they had never seen him before. The Giant felt sad. Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, but he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. “How I would like to see him! “he used to say.

Years went by, and the Giant grew old and feeble. He couldn’t play with the children at their games, and admired his garden. “ I have a lot of beautiful flowers,” he said,” but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”

One Winter morning he looked out of his window as he was getting dressed. He didn’t hate Winter now, because he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder and looked and looked . It certainly as a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden there was a tree completely covered with lovely white blossoms .Its branches were golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and at the bottom of it was standing the little boy he had loved.

The Giant ran downstairs in great joy, and out into the garden. He hurried across the grass and came near the child. And when he was quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said ,” Who has dared to wound you ? “ Because on the palms of the little boy’s hands the Giant saw prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were also on his feet.

“Who has dared to wound you?” cried the Giant. ”Tell me, so I can take my big sword and kill him! “

“No,” answered the child.” These are wounds of Love .“

“Who are you?” asked the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt in front of the little child.

And the child smiled at the Giant and said to him,” You let me play once in your garden. Today you will come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”And when the children ran into the garden that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.


Pero los niños dijeron que no sabían dónde vivía y que no le habían visto nunca antes. El Gigante se sintió muy triste.

Todas las tardes , cuando había terminado el colegio, los niños iban y jugaban con el Gigante. Pero al niño pequeñito, que el gigante amaba, no se le volvió a ver nunca. El Gigante era muy bondadoso con todos los niño, pero echaba de menos a su primer amiguito, y a menudo hablaba de él. “¡Cuánto me gustaría verle! “ solía decir.

Pasaron los años. El Gigante envejeció y fue debilitándose. Ya no podía jugar más con los niños, así que estaba sentado en un gran sillón,miraba jugar a los niños y admiraba su jardín. “Tengo muchas flores bonitas “ , decía; “pero los niños son entre todas las flores las más bonitas”.

Una mañana de invierno miró por la ventana mientras se vestía. Ya no odiaba el invierno, porque sabía que no era nada más que la primavera dormida y que las flores estaban descansando.

De repente se frotó los ojos asombrado y miró atentamente. Era realmente una vista maravillosa. En el rincón más lejano del jardín había un árbol completamente cubierto de bonitas florecillas blancas. Sus ramas eran doradasy colgaban de ellas frutos de plata, y bajo el árbol estaba el muchacho a quién había amado.

El Gigante bajó corriendo con gran alegría y entró en el jardín. Corrió por la hierba y se acercó al niño. Y cuando estuvo muy cerca, su cara enrojeció de cólera y dijo: “ ¿Quién se ha atrevido a herirte ?” , exclamó el Gigante. “Dímelo, así yo puedo coger mi gran espada y matarle !”

“No” , respondió el niño . “Estas son heridas del amor”.

“¿Quién eres tú ? “ , preguntó al Gigante y un extraño temor le invadió y se arrodilló delante del pequeño. El niño sonrió al Gigante y le dijo: “ me dejaste una vez jugar en tu jardín.Hoy me acompañarás a mi jardín, que es el Paraíso.”.

Y cuando los niños entraron corriendo en el jardín aquella tarde, encontraron al Gigante tendido muerto bajo el árbol, cubierto de florecillas blancas.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Readers: The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde (Part 3)

by Oscar Wilde
(part 3)

He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and they were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and singing with delight, and flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing.
It was a lovely scene; only in one corner it was still Winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and a little boy was standing there. He was so small that he couldn’t reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering about, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it.” Climb up, little boy !” said the tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could ,but the boy was too tiny.
The Giant’s heart melted as he looked out.” How selfish I have been !” he said. “Now I know why the Spring didn’t come here. I will put that poor little boy on top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden will be the children’s playground forever and ever.” He was really sorry for what he had done.
So he went slowly and quietly downstairs and opened the front door softly, and went out into the garden.
But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy didn’t run away, because his eyes were so full of tears that he didn’t see the Giant coming. The Giant came up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his arm and threw them round the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children seeing that the Giant wasn’t wicked any longer ,came running back , and with them the Spring came.” It is your garden now, little children,” said the Giant, and he took a large hammer and knocked down the wall. When the people were going to market at twelve o’clock they found the Giant playing with children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.
They played all day long, and in the evening they came to say goodbye to the Giant.
“But where is your little friend?” he asked .”The boy I put into the tree?” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him. ”We don’t know,” answered the children .”He has gone away.” “You must tell him to be sure and come tomorrow,” said the Giant.


Vio un espectáculo sumamente maravilloso. Por un pequeño agujero en el muro, los niños se habían deslizado dentro y estaban sentados en las ramas de los árboles .En todos los árboles que alcanzaban a ver había un niño pequeño. Y los árboles se sentían tan dichosos de tener nuevamente a los niños que se habían cubierto de florecillas, y agitaban graciosamente sus brazos por encima de las cabezas de los niños. Los pájaros revoloteaban alrededor y cantaban de alegría , y las flores se asomaban por la hierba y se reían.
Era una escena bonita; solo en un rincón seguía siendo invierno.Era el rincón más lejano del jardín, y allí estaba de pie un niñito .Era tan pequeño que no podía alcanzar las ramas del árbol y se paseaba a su alrededor llorando amargamente. El pobre árbol todavía estaba cubierto de hielo y de nieve, y el Viento del Norte soplaba y rugía por encima de él.”¡ Sube chiquito! ” decía el árbol , e inclinaba sus ramas tan abajo como podía, pero el niño era demasiado diminuto.
El corazón del Gigante se enterneció mientras miraba fuera.”¡Qué egoísta he sido!”, dijo.”Ahora sé por qué la primavera no vino aquí. Pondré a ese pobre chiquillo en la copa del árbol; luego derribaré el muro y mi jardín será siempre el patio de juego de los niños”.Estaba realmente muy arrepentido de lo que había hecho . Así que bajó lenta y silenciosamente , abrió suavemente la puerta delantera y salió al jardín.
Pero cuando los niños le vieron , se quedaron tan asustados que huyeron, y el jardín volvió a ser invernal . Únicamente , el niño pequeñito no huyó, porque sus ojos estaban llenos de lágrimas que no vio venir al Gigante. El Gigante se acercó por detrás de él, lo cogió dulcemente con su mano y lo puso sobre el árbol. Y el árbol inmediatamente floreció y los pájaros vinieron y cantaron sobre él; el niñito extendió sus brazos y rodeó con ellos el cuello del Gigante y le besó. Y los otros niños, viendo que el Gigante no era malo , volvieron corriendo, y con ellos vino la primavera. “Ahora es vuestro jardín, pequeñuelos”, dijo el Gigante, cogió un gran martillo y derribó el muro.
Cuando la gente fue al mercado a las doce, encontraron al Gigante jugando con los niños en el jardín más hermoso que habían visto nunca. Jugaron todo el día, y por la tarde fueron a decir adiós al Gigante.
“Pero , ¿dónde está vuestro amiguito? “, preguntó. “¿El muchacho que puse en el árbol?“
El Gigante le amaba más que a nadie porque le había besado.
“No lo sabemos”, contestaron los niños. “Se ha ido”.
“Debés decirle que venga mañana sin falta” , dijo el Gigante.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Readers: The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde (Part2)

by Oscar Wilde (part 2)

“Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, ” so we will live here all the year round”. The Snow covered up the grass with her great white blanket, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He roared all day about the garden, and blew and blew. “ This is a delightful spot,” he said ,” we must ask the Hail to come and visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.
“ I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,” said the Selfish giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold, white garden. ”I hope there will be a change in weather ”.

But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruits to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden she didn’t give any. ”He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about the trees.
One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ear that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little bird singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind stopped roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open window.” I believe the Spring has come at last.” Said the Giant, and jumped out of bed and looked out.
What did he see ?


“La primavera se ha olvidado de este jardín.” Exclamaban; “así que nosotros viviremos aquí durante todo el año.”La Nieve cubrió la hierba con su gran manto y el Hielo pintó los árboles de plata. Luego invitaron al Viento del Norte a quedarse con ellos, y vino. Bramaba todo el día por el jardín soplaba y soplaba. “Este es un sitio delicioso”, dijo. “Debemos invitar al Granizo a venir.” Así que vino el Granizo.Todos los días , durante tres horas , golpeaba repetidaamente el techo del castillo hasta que rompió la mayor parte de las pizarras y, luego corría alrededor del jardín tan aprisa como podía como podía . Iba vestido de gris y su aliento era como hielo.

“No comprendo por qué tarda tanto en venir la primavera”, decía el Gigante egoísta cuando se sentaba en la ventana y veía fuera su jardín frío y blanco .”Espero que haya un cambio de tiempo.”
Pero la primavera no llegó nunca, ni el verano tampoco.El otoño trajo frutos dorados a todos los jardines , pero el jardín del Gigante no le dio ninguno.”Es demasiado egoísta”, dijo. Así que allí era siempre invierno y el Vientodel Norte , el Granizo, el Hielo y la Nieve danzaban en medio de los árboles.
Una mañana, el Gigante estaba acostado en su cama, despierto, cuando oyó una música deliciosa. Sonó tan dulce a su oído que pensó que debían ser los músicos del rey que pasaban por allí. En realidad era solamente un pajarito cantando fuera de su ventana, pero había pasado tanto tiempo desde que había oído a un pájaro cantando fuera de la ventana , pero había pasado tanto tiempo desde que había oído un pájaro en su jardín que le pareció la música más bella del mundo. Entonces , el Granizo dejó de bailar sobre su cabeza y el Viento del Norte dejó de rugir, y un perfume delicioso llegó hasta él por la ventana abierta.

“Creo que por fin ha llegado la primavera” , dijo el Gigante , y saltó de la cama y miró fuera. ¿Qué vio?.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Readers : The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde.

Graded Readers are stories specially prepared for language learners. Some are original short stories and some adaptations of classics. The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde is a classic short story which was originally intended to be read to children . We hope you enjoy it ! ( Encontrarás la traducción al español al final )

by Oscar Wilde

Every afternoon , as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.
It was a large, lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass there were beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach trees that in the springtime broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them.
“How happy we are here ! “ they cried to each other.
One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over, he had said all that he had to say, because his conversation was limited, and he decided to return to his own castle.
When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.
“What are you doing here ? “ he shouted in a very stern voice, and the children ran away.
“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant. “Anyone can understand that, and I don’t want anybody to play in it but myself. “ So, he built a high wall round it, and put up a notice:


He was a very selfish Giant.The poor children now had nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they didn’t like it. They used to wander round the high walls when their lessons were over, and they talked about the beautiful garden inside .”How happy we were there! “ they said to each other.
Then Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. But in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still Winter. The birds didn’t want to sing in it because there were no children, and trees, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once, a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice, it was sorry for the children, and it went back into the ground again and went to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost.


El Gigante Egoísta

Todas las tardes, mientras volvían del colegio, los niños solían ir a jugar al jardín del Gigante.Era un jardín grande y bonito, con un suave y verde césped. Aquí y allí, sobre la hierba, había hermosas flores como estrellas. Había doce melocotoneros que, en la primavera , se cubrían de florecitas de color rosa y perla,y, en el otoño,producían hermosa fruta. Los pájarose posaban en los árboles y cantaban tan dulcememnet que los niños solían parar sus juegos para escucharlos.
“Qué felices somos aquí “ , se decían unos a otros. Un día volvió el Gigante .Había ido a visitar a su amigo el ogro de Cornualles y había permanecido con él durante siete años. Pasados los siete años había dicho todo lo que tenía que decir, dado que su conversación era limitada, y decidió regresar a su propio castillo.Cuando llegó, vio a los niños jugando en el jardín. “¿Qué estáis haciendo aquí? ”, gritó con voz muy severa, y los niños huyeron.
“Mi propio jardín es mi propio jardín” , dijo el Gigante. “Cualquier persona puede comprenderlo, y yo no permitiré que nadie juegue en él salvo yo mismo”.
Así que lo cerró con un muro alto y puso un aviso:


Era un Gigante muy egoísta.Ahora, los pobres niños no tenía ningun sitio donde jugar.Intentaron jugar en la carretera, pero la carretera estaba muy polvorienta, llena de piedras y no les gustaba.Solían pasearse alrededor del muro alto cuando sus lecciones habían terminado , y hablaban del hermoso jardín de dentro.”¡Qué felices eramos allí ¡ “, se decian. Entoces llegó la primavera .Había florecillas y pajaritos por todo el país. Pero en el jardín del Gigante egoista seguía siendo invierno. Los pájaros no querian cantar en él porque no había niños, y los árboles se olvidaron de florecer. Una vez, una bonita flor asomó la cabeza por la hierba pero, cuando vio el aviso, tuvo pena por los niños, regresó bajo el suelo y se durmió.Los únicos que se alegraron fuero la nieve y el hielo.

Friday, May 13, 2011

English accents

English isn’t spoken in the same way in all the world. There are many different accents among native English speakers. In the video below actress Amy Walker introduces herself in 21 different accents . Which one do you think is her real accent ? Is she from London, Belfast, Toronto or perhaps Moscow ? Have you ever tried doing a different accent in your native language? Why not try doing this in English ? It’s fun !

Monday, May 9, 2011

In, On or At Time

As we've already mentioned recently, in, on or at are prepositions that are often confused, when talking about places. And they are often confused when talking about time too! You see, while in means en in Spanish, en doesn't always mean in in English! Now, let's take a look at how we use in, on and at with time.

IN + intervals of time
He always does the housework in the morning.
The final game is in May.
She met her husband in 1990.

ON + days / dates
I get paid on the last Thursday of the month.
We arrived here on the first of May.
I’m always happy on my birthday.

AT + specific point in time / night / weekends
I have to wake up at 7 o'clock every morning.
The ghosts come out at night!
They get up late at the weekend.

Now, it's time for another quiz! The answers are in the comments below.
I went to the Pyrenees __ holiday for a week __ the end of December. We skied all morning. We stopped __ noon for lunch. __ the afternoon, we went skiing again. __ night, we went to the bar and socialized with other skiers. __ New Year's Eve, we had a party in the hotel lounge. We all talked about our highs and lows __ 2010, and what our expectations for the new year were. __ midnight, we uncorked the champagne. The next day, we woke up late. Everyone had hangovers. So nobody went skiing __ the first day of the year!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A short history of Britain. Part 6.

The Norman Conquest of 1066

" The Bayeux Tapestry" illustrates the Norman invasion and the Battle of Hastings.

There was already a strong French influence in England before the conquest : pious Edward "The Confessor" (King between 1046-1066) was half Norman and offended many by fillling his court (la corte) with Norman friends. Perhaps the most visible legacy of his reign (reinado) is Westminster Cathedral. All monarchs since then have been crowned there. But a more immediate legacy was the mess the dithering king left behind (el embrollo que el indeciso rey dejó atrás ) by not resolving who would succeed him on the throne.

Following Edward's death Harold (Saxon) and William (Norman) battled out ( lucharon hasta el final)their rival claims to the throne near Hastings. The Normans demonstrated their superiority in military techniques , for they had the new heavy cavalry while the Anglo-Saxon still fought ( pasado de "fight" ) on foot, in the old Germanic style behind a wall of round shields (escudos) . The English lost the battle with Harold getting killed by a Norman arrow hitting him in the eye. William the Conqueror was then crowned King of England.

The Conquest had a profound influence on the English language .For some centuries French was the language of the governing classes so anybody who wanted to get on in the world (progresar en la vida) had to learn French .

When English became again the language of the whole country it had changed a lot under the influence of the language of the conquerors. Many of the French loan words ( palabras prestadas) reflect this cultural and political dominance : they are often words to do with titles of rank (sovereign, prince,duke, marquis, count, baron), with law ( justice, court,judge, prison, crime ), with ecclesiatical matters (religion, virgin, saint, abbey, sermon), with war (armour, castle) and with arts and fashion (dress, fashion, art, colour, music, poem, paint).

As Scott pointed out in Ivanhoe , the domestic animals kept their English names in the fields (calf,ox,swine,sheep) but were given French names when they appeared on the Norman lord's table ( veal, beef, pork, mutton).

Source: C.L Barber ,The History of Language .(London, 1972).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In, On or At Places

In, on or at are prepositions that are often confused, when talking about places and time. Although in means en in Spanish, en doesn't always mean in in English! Let's take a look at how we use in, on and at with places.

IN + places with boundaries
She lives in London.
I like milk in my coffee.
Mum’s in the living room.

ON + surfaces
The blanket is on the bed.
The picture is on the wall.
The movie is playing on screen 3.

AT + position at a point
I’ll see you at the cinema tonight.
Let’s meet at the National Gallery at 10:30.
I've been waiting at the bus stop for half an hour.

Now, a trick quiz! The answers are in the comments below.
We had a horrible meal __ the restaurant! There was a fly __ my bowl and a hair __ my plate!
I spent the whole weekend __ home, reading __ bed or watching TV __ the couch!
There were lots of forms __ my desk waiting for me __ work today. I just put them __ the drawer and ignored them.