Friday, March 29, 2013

Australian Slang (1)

English is an official language in 72 countries around the world, many of them belonging to the British Commonwealth, and Australia is one of the most well-known examples. Although English is widely spoken, with so many countries spread (esparcidos) all over the world, it is no surprise that there are a number of differences in the vocabulary, colloquialisms and slang (jerga) that you will hear in each place. Australian English and slang is distinct, but its roots (raices) can be traced back to the country’s history of British settlement (colonia). In fact, some of the words and phrases used today are the same as those that were used in the eighteenth century, and some are the same as the ones that you can hear in London right now! This month we look at how Australian slang evolved and see some examples in context to help you prepare for an encounter with an Australian or, even better, a trip to the Great Southern Land, Australia!
If you have the chance to visit Australia and mingle (mezclarse) with the locals, especially in more relaxed and social settings, you should be prepared to hear plenty of their colourful slang, or Strine as it’s also called there. You could, for example, overhear (oír por casualidad) some parents having a chinwag (a chat, a conversation)  and complaining about their ankle biters (a small child) and saying what hard yakka (hard work)  it can be looking after them, how bushed they feel at the end of the day and how stoked they’d be to have a night off! On the other hand, you could hear a couple of sheilas(woman) talking about the previous night out with some dinkum (genuine) friends down at the local pub having some tucker and a few tinnies (can of beer) . In fact, the only problem was when some yobbos (hooligans) rocked up,(approach/arrive) but thankfully they didn’t stay long. There’s often a price to pay for a great night out and after a bit too much grog (alcohol) they’re both feeling a bit crook (sick/ill) this arvo (afternoon) but what a beaut (beautiful/great) night, last night was! And then you might hear them say hooroo (goodbye). And I reckon (to think/to suppose) you’ll hear plenty of blokes (man) saying G’day mate!, Hello cobber (friend), and ta (thank you) for that, more times than you can count
Many slang words come from contracting words with two or more syllables (and then, often, adding the suffix –o) or making diminutive forms of the words, for example arvo, and tinnies from the table above. We get arvo from the shortening (acortamiento) of afternoon and adding -o, and tinnies is the diminutive form of tins (another word for cans). Sometimes slang words with an –ie (or –y) ending are not diminutives, but rather another preferred suffix used by Australians. Here are some more examples of the different types of slang words: SLANG

Aussie = Australian (person)
Ambo = ambulance

Biggie = big
Bizzo = business
Chokkie = chocolate
Bottlo = bottle shop (liquor store)
Footy = football
Journo = journalist
Goodies = nice things (e.g. presents)
Roo = kangaroo
Servo = petrol/service station

Happy Easter !

In Britain people give each other chocolate Easter eggs  (huevos de pascua) and Easter cards. They love giving cards! They have Easter cards , Birthday cards, Christmas cards, Mother's Day cards, get well cards (postales que se envían cuando alguien está enfermo deseándole que se mejore), Valentine's Day cards...a card for every occassion  ! But they don't have cards for Saint' Day ( el día del Santo) because they don't celebrate them  ! 

Another tradition at Easter is to paint hard-boiled eggs (huevos duros) . Parents usually hide (esconder) the eggs in the garden or in the house and the children have to try to find them. This game is called  "egg hunt "( la búsqueda del huevo .Eggs have been a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth  since ancient times . In Christian tradition the egg is a symbol of the resurrection.

"painted hard-boiled eggs "

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I don't wanna miss a thing

In this post, we take a closer look at the band who has been entertaining audiences for four decades. The band is one of America’s most popular heavy rock bands:  Aerosmith

I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing

Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you’re far away dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure


Don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
Cause I’d miss you baby
And I don’t want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I’d still miss you baby
And I don’t want to miss a thing

Lying close to you feeling your heart beating
And I’m wondering what you’re dreaming
Wondering if it’s me you’re seeing
Then I kiss your eyes
And thank God we’re together
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever
Forever and ever


I don’t want to miss one smile
I don’t want to miss one kiss
I just want to be with you
Right here with you, just like this
I just want to hold you close
Feel your heart so close to mine
And just stay here in this moment
For all the rest of time


Don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to fall asleep
I don’t want to miss a thing

No Quiero Perderme Nada

Podría estar despierto sólo para escucharte respirar

Ver tu sonrisa mientras duermes

Mientras estás distante lejos soñando

Podría emplear mi vida en esta dulce entrega

Me podría perder en este instante eternamente

Cada momento que paso contigo para mi es muy preciado para mí


No quiero cerrar mis ojos

No quiero quedarme dormido

Porque te echaría de menos

Y no quiero perderme nada

Ya que incluso cuando sueño contigo

El más dulce de los sueños no sería suficiente

Aún te echaría de menos cariño

Y no quiero perderme nada

Echado Tumbado junto a ti sintiendo tu corazón latir

Y me pregunto qué estás soñando

Me pregunto si soy yo el que ves

Entonces beso tus ojos

Y doy gracias a Dios de que estamos juntos

Tan solo quiero estar contigo en este momento eternamente

Por siempre y para siempre


No quiero perderme ni una sonrisa

No quiero perderme ni un beso

Tan solo quiero estar contigo

Justo aquí contigo así

Tan solo quiero mantenerte tenerte cerca de mí

Sentir tu corazón tan cerca del mío

Y quedarme aquí en este momento

El resto de mis días

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thematic Phrasal Verbs Conversations

In the following mini conversations, we have selected 10 useful thematic phrasal verbs for situations on the phone and at work.

" hold on..."

1. Telephone Phrasal Verbs

Agnetha: Hello. Can I speak to Björn? He asked me to call him back yesterday.
Receptionist: Yes. Can you hold on?
Agnetha: Yes. No problem.
Receptionist: I’ll just put you through now.
Agnetha: Hi, Björn. It’s Agnetha. Can you talk?
Björn: Oh. Hi, Agnetha. I’m afraid ( me temo que) I have to hang up as I have a meeting in two minutes. I’ll ring you later this afternoon. Bye for now.
Agnetha: Bye.

To call someone back (to return a phone call)      
To hold on (to wait on the phone)
To put someone through (to transfer a phone call)   
To hang up (to finish the phone call)

2. Work Phrasal Verbs

Björn: Hi, Agnetha. I’m sorry I couldn’t speak to you earlier. I was very busy with various meetings. How are you?
Agnetha: OK, thanks. I’m now working as a news reporter for Sweden TV.
Björn: Congratulations! I’m so pleased for you. Was it difficult to get in?
Agnetha: Yes, it was. After filling out the application form, the hardest part was getting through all the entry tests.
Björn: Do you have to work long hours?
Agnetha: Oh, the hours are terrible. I have to work a 60-hour week.
Björn: Mmm. You should watch that. You could find work taking over your life!
Agnetha: Yes, I think you’re right. I need to slow down and work less. What worries me is the last two predecessors in this job were burnt out after working less than a year. Well, I’ve got to go now. I’ll see you later. Bye.
Björn: Bye.

To get in (to be accepted in a company)    
To fill out (to complete an application form)
To get through (to pass a test)      
To take over (to dominate)
To slow down (to work less)
To burn out (to be exhausted from working too much)
Phrasal Verb Test
Well, we hope you will be able to practise these phrasal verbs in your English conversations. Before you do, here is our phrasal verb test where you rewrite the sentences with the appropriate phrasal verb replacing the formal verb. 

1.His mum will phone him later.
2.I'll transfer your call now.
3.Did you pass all your exams at university?
4.James is working 12 hours a day. He needs to work less.
5.Sarah is completing an application form.

Solutions: 1. His mum will ring him back. / 2. I'll put you through now. / 3. Did you get through all your exams at university? / 4. James is working 12 hours a day. He needs to slow down. / 5. Sarah is filling out an application form. / 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food Up North

On this post we are going to look at some of the gastronomic experiences that the North of England offers – including the English breakfast and the pub lunch. Here you can find the traditional and the multicultural – from the universally famous Fish’n’Chips, to Hotpot (estofado) and Chicken Tikka Masala. Now you know what to ask for on holiday.

English Breakfast

People in the North of England love a big, hearty (abundante) breakfast, especially at the weekend. In fact they love it so much that some cafes serve “all-day breakfasts”! It normally consists of fried eggs, bacon and sausage. You can also add fried mushrooms,(setas) tomatoes and baked beans.(alubias en salsa de tomate) Serve it with toast and butter and a large cup of tea. Could there be a better way to start the day?
Pub Lunch

The English do not have a big lunch. They prefer to eat their main meal in the evening, between 6:00 and 7:30 pm. Most days they usually have a sandwich or a bowl of soup at midday. Sometimes they have a bigger meal and go to the pub for lunch. Here you can find home cooked food – roast beef or lamb (cordero) with vegetables or a plate of stew.(estofado) People usually have a pint of beer with their meal. Each town has its own brands.(marcas) Look for Boddington’s bitter (cerveza amarga) in Manchester and Tetley’s in Yorkshire. And try(16) to find a pub where you can have a hand-pulled pint.(surtidor natural)

Eating habits in England have changed in the last ten years. The Mediterranean diet is now considered as the healthy (saludable) option. and every day there are more fans of the Mediterranean diet. People use olive oil instead of butter, eat more vegetables and drink more wine. Some culinary traditions, however,(sin embargo) are still alive. For many people, no Friday night is complete without a visit to the chippy.(establecimiento de freiduría en el que se hacen fish’n’chips, entre otras cosas)
 Here you will find deep-fried cod (bacalao) or haddock (abadejo) in batter (rebozado) served with chips and mushy peas. Don’t be surprised if the chips are served in pages from yesterday’s newspaper rolled into a cone!(cucurucho)

Chicken Tikka Masala

The popularity of Indian and Pakistani cuisine has also changed eating habits in Britain. In fact, this food is so popular that a recent study survey (encuesta) found discovered that Chicken Tikka Masala was is now the most popular dish in the country! It is a classic Anglo-Indian dish: a combination of pieces of chicken that have been cooked in a clay oven plus a spicy sauce.(salsa picante). You can find excellent Chicken Tikka Masala in Manchester, Sheffield or Bradford, or anywhere there is an Indian or Pakistani community.

Lancashire Hotpot

You can understand why the English like sauces if you try one of the classic stews. Lancashire Hotpot is a dish from the North that will sustain you in the coldest winter. Originally it was a dish that miners took underground with them wrapped (envuelto) in a blanket (manta) or shepherds (pastores) took into the fields. Now it is served in many pubs and restaurants. If you are staying with a Northern family, you will probably have it for dinner. It is made with pieces of lamb, kidney,(riñones) onions and potatoes and baked in the oven. You will definitely want to have seconds!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Phrasal Verbs.Understanding and Learning Phrasal Verbs.

" A plane taking off "
Understanding Phrasal Verbs
Learners have problems with phrasal verbs as it is impossible to understand the meaning by looking at the individual words. For instance, the meaning of the phrasal verb take off is different from take or off on its own. Further ( más) complications occur when a phrasal verb has several meanings. In these circumstances, the meaning of the phrasal verb can only be deduced from the context it is used in.

Let’s examine three different meanings for take off.

1. The plane for Stockholm takes off in twenty minutes.
(take off = the plane begins to fly into the air)

2. When she saw me coming she took off in the opposite direction.
(take off = to leave a place, especially in a hurry)

3. David Bisbal’s singing career really took off after Operación Triunfo.
(take off = to become very successful or popular very quickly)

Learning Phrasal Verbs
The best way for learners to remember phrasal verbs is through the use of a context, as we have seen with the phrasal verb take off. It is not a good idea to learn lists of phrasal verbs without the context, as many of them have multiple meanings. If you make the effort to learn them, you will definitely sound more fluent in English. The good news is you only need to understand other people using phrasal verbs, but not necessarily use them yourself. If you have difficulties in using phrasal verbs, you can generally find another way of expressing yourself. For example, take off can be replaced by another verb in the following sentences.

1. The plane for Stockholm leaves in twenty minutes.
2. When she saw me coming she left in the opposite direction.
3. David Bisbal became a very popular singer after Operación Triunfo.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Trip to the North of England (2)

The Heavenly Lake District 

 Green meadows,(prados) cloud-capped (cubiertos) mountains and dozens of lovely lakes give the Lake District some of England’s most picturesque landscapes. The area receives more than 10 million visitors each year, and traffic jams (atascos) are frequent during the peak tourist season, which is why experts on the area will tell you to put on a pair of hiking boots (botas de montaña) and head into (dirigirse a) the more remote areas that are practically devoid (desprovisto) of traffic.
The Lake District consists of an area running from the north of Lancaster to the Scottish border. Rugged mountains contrast with green wooded (arboladas) areas, where sheep dogs happily chase after flocks (rebaños) of sheep in meadows enclosed by dry-stone walls.(muro de piedra sin argamasa)
Many famous writers and other personalities have been inspired by the beauty of the landscape, notably the poet William Wordsworth. Among the most popular attractions are Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, two places where Wordsworth lived, as well as the Wordsworth Museum.
The ultimate experience in the Lake District is going for a cruise on one of the lakes and the most famous cruise is the one around Lake Windermere. Some of the most relaxing towns include Bowness-on-Windermere, which has nice shops and hotels. There are several other quaint (pintoresco) towns, including Windermere and Hawkshead.
North of the Lake District before you reach the Scottish border you will find the lovely city of Carlisle, a former Roman camp and not far from Hadrian’s Wall. To get a glimpse (para vislumbrar) of the city’s historical legacy, a visit to the Tullie House Museum and Gallery is highly recommended.

South of the Lake District, on the Irish Sea coast, sits the old port city of Lancaster. Lancaster’s history goes back to the Roman period. Its importance as a seaport can be appreciated in the Lancaster Maritime Museum. It also contains the Norman Lancaster Castle, which is officially owned by the Queen of England and has a functioning prison. Near Lancaster you will find some picturesque seaside resorts such as Blackpool, which has its own tower that imitates the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The “Wall” – A Must-See

There is nothing like the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall to give you a sense of the history of the North of England, and how much fighting and struggle (lucha) it entailed (suponer) The wall was built by the Romans in the second century AD to keep out invaders from the north. It ran across the whole width of Britain, for about 120 kilometres, from the mouth of the Solway Firth waterway in the west to the Tyne River near Newcastle in the east.

Today, you can visit some forts that were placed at regular intervals along the Wall, as well as museums and visitor’s centres where you can see remains (restos) and objects that the Romans left behind.

If you want to see Hadrian’s Wall from east to west you can walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path which runs along the Wall, or you can take the Hadrian’s Wall Bus, which takes you along the whole length of the Wall from coast to coast.

 Northumbria (The Northeast)

Northumbria traces its beginnings back to 604, when two Anglo-Saxon kingdoms – Deira and Bernicia – were united. The name Northumbria derives from the fact that this portion of England lies to the north of the River Humber. Historians and dreamers will be happy in the Northumbria region, also known as the Northeast. This area is full of castles and battlefields used during centuries of fighting with Scottish neighbours. Over the centuries, the area has also been a centre for religious scholarship and artistic creation. It became part of England after William the Conqueror’s invasion in 1066, yet it retains many of its own customs and traditions, which can be seen in its unique sword (espada) dance and the Northumbrian smallpipes (similar to Scottish bagpipes).(gaitas)

The largest city in the region is Newcastle, originally constructed by the Normans in the second century AD. Once a centre for the coal industry (industria del carbón), it is now known for its neoclassical architecture and beautiful urban streets, many of which wind (serpentea) along the River Tyne, as well as some spectacularly constructed modern bridges across the river. The locals are known as “Geordies”, and are renowned for their sociability and love of sport. The St. James’ Park Stadium, home to the Newcastle United football team, is the predominate structure in the south of the city.

As you can see, there are many interesting places to visit in the North of England, where you can discover everything from the country’s Roman and Saxon heritage to the post-industrial renaissance of cities like Manchester. Wherever you are, you are never far from the countryside and some of the most beautiful national parks in Britain. You cannot guarantee good weather, so be prepared for a little rain at any time of the year – but you will definitely not be bored by a trip up North.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Best Jobs In The World

Would you like to work on the Great Reef and get paid a A$ 100,000  salary ? Sounds too good to be true. Well, it IS true! Australia's "Best job in the world" campaign is back and this time there are 6 jobs up for grabs. ( disponibles. informal)
These are the positions available: chief funster , taste master, wildlife caretaker, outback adventurer , lifestyle photographer and park ranger. Watch the video below for a more detailed job description.

Each job comes with a six-month contract and a package worth A$100k.( A$50,000 salary, A$50,000 living expenses  plus a free jar of vegemite!   ) .
"..a jar of vegemite..."

 Visit to start your application now, it could change your life forever .Good luck !

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Trip to the North of England (1)

Have you arranged you Easter holidays yet? Here you have some recommendations of an interesting trip.
England, one of the world’s top tourist destinations, has so much to offer. Yet (Sin embargo) many foreign visitors limit their holiday tours to the South, spending most of their time enjoying the endless array (variedad) of museums and cultural offerings in London, perhaps complimented with a visit to the university town of Oxford. The North of England, on the other hand, has often had to overcome (superar) its reputation as being too industrial and dreary (aburrido) to be considered a worthy (que merece la pena) tourist destination. However, significant urban renewal projects in cities like Manchester and Liverpool are helping the region to shake off (deshacerse de) its “industrial” reputation. There is also the remote Lake District, charming historical cities such as York and fascinating ancient sites like Hadrian’s Wall, all of which give the visitor a good reason to discover this complex and fascinating corner of Europe.
The North of England is generally considered as consisting of the three of England’s nine historical regions that are nearest to the Scottish border: the Northwest of England, Northumbria and Yorkshire and Humber.


The Northwest

Stretching (extendendiéndose) long the Irish Sea coast from the Manchester-Liverpool areas to the Scottish border, this is probably the most diverse region in the North of England – there is no comparison between the bustling (bulliciosas) urban areas of Manchester and Liverpool and the remoteness of Cumbria and the Lake District.

Manchester went from being a textile giant at the centre of the eighteenth century industrial revolution to being the epitome typical example of industrial decline in the latter part of the twentieth century. After an IRA bomb destroyed part of the city’s financial district in 1996, a major replanning and rebuilding project gave the city an much-needed boost.(estímulo) In 2002 it hosted (albergó) the Commonwealth Games, and its world-famous Manchester United is now the richest and perhaps most glamorous football club in the UK. The City has world-class museums, art galleries and music venues, including the Bridgewater Hall, home to the Hallé orchestra. There is also a vibrant city centre, not to mention an important international airport. Manchester has excellent universities and the largest student population in Britain as well. For these reasons, and others, many people believe Manchester has replaced Birmingham as England’s second city.

Liverpool is now mostly known as the home of the Beatles, and their worldwide fame now brings thousands and thousands of visitors to the city every year. Other popular tourist activities include the famous Mersey ferry, the huge Albert Dock complex that houses (alberga) “The Beatles Story”, a very worthwhile (que vale la pena) Maritime Museum and the renowned Tate Gallery. Those who appreciate Georgian architecture will find splendidly built houses scattered (dispersadas) throughout the city.

To the south of Manchester and Liverpool is the town of Chester. The walls that enclose (cierran) the city were first erected by the Romans, who built them around AD 70 to protect the city from the Welsh. To simulate the feel of Roman times, a street has been reconstructed over the ruins of the Dewa Roman fortress so we can see what it would have been like during that period, it’s called the Dewa Roman Experience. For something more authentic, the ruins of a 7,000-seat Roman amphitheatre are located just outside the central part of town.    

Friday, March 1, 2013

Phrasal Verbs . What are Phrasal Verbs ?

Phrasal verbs are old acquaintances ( viejo conocidos ) of any English learner. Throughout ( durante todo) the learning process, students run across ( encuentran) dozens of phrasal verbs, from the familiar get on / get off of the early stages to the more sophisticated put up with or look down on of the higher levels. As an English learner, you’ve probably noticed that the more you hang out ( relacionarse ) with these “old friends”, the more comfortable you feel with them. Let's look into (examinar ) various types of phrasal verbs . Are you ready to start off ? (empezar ) .

What are Phrasal Verbs?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary a Phrasal verbs is " a phrase which consists of a verb in combination with a preposition or adverb or both, the meaning of which is different from the meaning of its separate parts" so get up (levantarse) , go away (marcharse) or make up for ( compensar por) are all phrasal verbs.

Depending on the phrasal verb, the particle can be either separable or inseparable from the verb. This means that a noun or noun phrase can come either immediately after the phrasal verb or split ( dividir ) the phrasal verb in two parts.  Check the following examples:

Separable phrasal verb: pick up 
Pick up the phone.
  Pick the phone up.

Inseparable phrasal verb: stick to
 Stick to your ideas.
                    BUT NOT Stick your ideas to.

Notice that in separable phrasal verbs, if the object is a pronoun, you must always separate the verb and the particle. Compare these examples:

With an object noun phrase: 
 Pick the phone up. / Pick up the phone.
I turned my mobile on. / I turned on my mobile.

With an object pronoun:
Pick it up. / BUT NOT Pick up it.
I turned it on. NOT I turned on it.

And finally, there are phrasal verbs that consist of three words, where the verb is followed by two particles. These expressions are always inseparable.

Verb + Adverb + Preposition (inseparable only)

She’s looking forward to meeting Stefan Edberg.

If you do not know if a phrasal verb is separable or not, you can check it in the following website:
An emergency trick ( truco) to use phrasal verbs correctly when you don’t have a grammar book at hand is to use the phrasal verb with a noun or noun phrase and not to separate it !!!  Good luck and have fun!