Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Things to say about...

About being overweight:
He’s a roly-poly old man.1
I look a bit chubby2 in this dress. 
He is a real elephant, isn’t he?3
What a tub of lard!4


About being too thin:
He’s as thin as a rake5
He’s a real skinnymalink.6
I’m a bit of a pencil-neck.7

He’s a long streak of piss. 8

(1)   Es una manera suave y graciosa de decir que alguien es un poco gordo. Es parecido al adjetivo en español ‘rellenito’. A veces se usa para describir a Papa Noel!
(2)   Chubby – gordinflón/a
(3)   Elephant significa elefante, así que el origen de la frase es fácil de adivinar.
(4)   Lard es manteca de cerdo, tub es una tina, así que la frase quiere decir que alguien es como una tina de manteca de cerdo (contiene mucha grasa). Es una frase bastante ofensiva.
(5)   Literalmente “es tan delgado como un rastrillo”, pero se usa como la frase en español “flaco/a como un fideo”.
(6)   Esta palabra es una variación irlandesa de la palabra ‘skinny’ que significa delgado.
(7)   Pencil es lápiz; neck es cuello, así que la frase quiere decir que uno tiene el cuello muy delgado, como un lápiz. También se usa en EEUU para hablar de alguien muy débil, como la frase española “enclenque”. Ambas maneras de usar la frase son un poco ofensivas.
(8)   Es un insulto normalmente hacía un hombre que es alto y delgado; alguien que la gente percibe como débil. Literalmente significa un chorro largo de pipí.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Useful phrases to use in a restaurant

Waiter ,please! ¡Camarero, por favor !
Do you have a table for two? ¿Tienes una mesa para dos personas?
I have a table reserved for John Tengo una reserva para John
What would you like to eat? ¿Qué quieres comer?
Are you hungry? ¿Tienes hambre?
What would you like to drink? ¿Qué quieres beber?
Would you like something to drink? ¿Quieres tomar algo?
What do you recommend? ¿Qué nos recomienda?
I would like to order dinner now .Quiero pedir  la cena ahora
The menu, please! La carta, por favor / El menú, por favor
Can I have a clean fork please?  ¿Me puedes traer un tenedor limpio,por favor?
Well done  muy hecha
Rare poco hecha
Sweet dulce
Tasteless soso
Fried frito
Savoury salado
This is not what I ordered Esto no es lo que he pedido
The bill please La cuenta, por favor
A beer please/two beers please Una cerveza, por favor/dos cervezas, por favor

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Animal Expressions 2

Sea Animals 
Charlie is academically very bright and believes that the world is his oyster following a first class honours degree in International Law at Cambridge University. He also had a whale of time, particularly with the famous Footlights Theatre Group, where he performed a number of Shakespeare plays in theatres in and around Cambridge. After the performances they would all drink like a fish and order pint after pint of bitter.
This has been a difficult week for Charlie for two reasons. Firstly, his least favourite Aaunt has been staying in his flat for over a week. Eventually, he had the idea of a red herring to get his aunt to leave in subtle way by asking his next-door neighbour to mention there was a serious cockroach problem that would affect his flat soon. Amazingly, his plan worked as his aunt left after lunch.
The second problem is that Charlie was very miserable after splitting up with his girlfriend, Suzie. However, his older sister, Fiona, helped him to forget her by convincing him that there’s plenty of fish in the sea. He agreed and replied that he would be able to survive without Susie. Besides, he had better bigger fish to fry, at this point of his life, like getting a job with a large multinational company to pay his overdraft. 


Below are the Spanish equivalents for some of the expressions cited above:

Sea Animal Expressions
Spanish Translation
Literal Translation
the world is his oyster
tiene el mundo a sus pies
world = mundo
oyster = ostra
to have a whale of a time
pasárselo bomba
whale = ballena
to drinks like a fish
beber como un cosaco
fish = pez
a red herring
pista falsa, señuelo
herring = arenque
There’s plenty of fish in the sea
hay mucho donde elegir
plenty = mucho
sea = mar
 to have better bigger fish to fry 
tener cosas más importantes que hacer
to fry = freír

Friday, September 19, 2014

Independence Referendum: Scotland voted "No ".

Scotland has voted " No " to independence in a referendum, meaning its 300-year old union with the UK will continue. So how did the No campaign win ?

Escocia  ha votado  "No"  a la independencia en un referendum, por lo que los  300 años  de unión con el Reino Unidad seguirán. Pero  ¿ Cómo   ha ganado la campaña del No  ? Aquí te damos las claves.

1. They were always the favourites

The No camp had a head start (ventaja) . When the Edinburgh Agreement was signed on 15 October 2012,  polls (las encuestas)  suggested about a third of Scotland's 4.2m voters wanted independence .

 2. The Scottish feel British

 The number of people living in Scotland who chose British as their national identity rose  (ascendió) from 15% in 2011 to 23% in 2014. The number of people who chose Scottish fell (cayó ) from 75% to 65% over the same period.
Almost one third of Scots now say they are "equally Scottish and British" - the highest proportion since former Labour PM Tony Blair came to office (llegó al poder in 1997 Less than one in four describe themselves as "Scottish not British".

3. The risk factor

The No vote suggests Better Together  ( Mejor Juntos) was successful in drawing people back (retirar a la gente)  from the prospect of taking a risk that was not necessary  Just two days ahead of the polls, voters were twice as likely (49%) to regard independence as a risk than staying in the Union (25%). 
Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Scottish voters it was his "duty" to warn them  (su obligación advertirlos ) of the  costs of a "painful divorce ".

4. They stemmed (detuvieron) the Yes surge

The Sunday Times YOUGOV polls  which put the Yes camp in the lead 10 days ago led to a surge of momentum, and increased mobilisation, in the Yes camp. Suddenly the prospect of a victory was in sight.(a la vista). The response of the No camp was swift.(fué rápida Mr Cameron and labour leader Ed Miliband skipped their weekly Prime Minister's Question time  to travel to Scotland. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg went, too.  Then came the "vow" (la promesa)  to devolve more powers   if Scotland voted No.

5. For richer, for poorer?

 This was one of the biggest questions for voters, if not the biggest question.
Both sides battled hard over the economy,  The No vote suggests Scots were not convinced that an independent Scotland would be better off.(le  iría mejor económicamente) . The pound was also at the heart of the disagreement.

6. Their voters voted

Turnout  (la participación ) - which was 84.5% across Scotland - was generally higher in No areas than Yes areas.
 Relatively fewer people went to the polls in the urban strongholds where Yes Scotland was relying upon large numbers of supporters to vote - such as Glasgow, where the turnout was 75%, and Dundee, where the turnout was 78.8%. They voted in favour of independence by 53.49% and 57.35% respectively.

Adaptado del artículo "How the NO side won de referendum "  (BBC News) 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Animal Expressions

Have you ever been on a stag night (despedida de soltero) or a hen party (despedida de soltera)
Have you drunk like a fish and had a whale of a time (pasárselo bomba)? You probably had but maybe you don't know what this expressions mean. As you will discoverthe English language uses many animal expressions in informal situations so it's interesting to learn a few animal expressions in order to sound a more natural ina conversation with native speakers.  In this post, we'll look at the various expressions concerning mammals, birds, fish and insects, ilustrate them with examples and then challlenge you to use the correct animals in various situations. 

Mammal Expression
Spanish Translation
to go on a stag night
ir a una despedida de soltero
to go on a hen night
ir a una despedida de soltera
bull market
mercado bursátil al alza
bear market
mercado bursátil a la baja
the lion’s share
la parte del león (la mayor parte)
 to wolf whistle
silbar a las chicas
 like a bull in a china shop
como un caballo en una cacharrería
Wild horses wouldn’t drag him back to London
No volvería a Londres por nada del mundo 
the black sheep of the family
la oveja negra de la familia
 not to give a monkey’s about something
no importarle un rábano 
a game of cat and mouse
el juego del gato y el ratón
donkey work
trabajo más duro

Friday, September 12, 2014


Casablanca is an American romantic drama film from 1942 starring (protagonizada por )  Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Isla Lund. The film reaped (cosechó)   incredibly good reviews and has grown (crecido)  in popularity over the years, becoming one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. Casablanca was nominated to 16 Academy Awards, of which it won three: Outstanding Motion Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. One of the most famous quotations  from the film is “Play it again, Sam”, when Isla first sees Rick playing piano in a club in Casablanca. 

The plot is as follows : Rick Blain is an American expatriate living in Casablanca. He owns (es el dueño de )  and runs (dirige) the popular nightclub “Rick’s Café Américain”. Blaine comes into the possession of two letters (cartas) . When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the police Captain Renault does what he can to please ( agradarle)  him, including detaining Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo.

Laszlo’s only hope for escape is Rick Blaine, who risks  his neck ( arriega/se juega el cuello for no one—especially Laszlo and his wife, Ilsa, Rick’s ex-lover who broke his heart when she abandoned him in Paris. But when he learns she had good reason to escape, they plan to run away (escapar)  together again using the letters.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The World of English: accents.

English contains many variations of accent and even dialect , but unlike Italian or German, the dialects are rarely different enough to make comprehension impossible. True, a London Cockney would have a very difficult time in a conversation with a steel worker (trabajador del acero) in Glasgow, and a Carolina cotton picker (recolector de algodón) might find it difficult to understand and be understood by a sheep farmer from Australia, but a businessman from, say Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A  would have few problems dealing with (tratando con)  a businessman from Dublin, Ireland or Sydney, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand, Liverpool in England , Johannesburg ,South Africa  or Kingston, Jamaica. A reasonably educated standard English allows comprehension and communication all over the English speaking world.

Take a quick  tour through the British Isles in this video where comedian Siobhan Thompson performs 17 British accents – and the celebrities that speak with them,!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jokes in English

It's time for most of us to go back to work, after our summer holidays, we know it is hard, so from Home English we would like to cheer you up in this post today, with some  funny jokes. Enjoy them!

Baby or monkey?
A lady and her baby get on a bus. The bus driver looks at the lady, and then at her baby, and then screams, “Ah! That’s the ugliest (el más feo) child I’ve ever seen in my life!”
The lady then, totally disgusted, marches up to the back of the bus to sit down. As she was sitting there absolutely furious, a man asks, “Are you ok?”
The lady replies, “I’m so angry, because the bus driver insulted me.”
The man says, “You go back up there (vuelva allí) and tell the bus driver what you think about him, and I’ll watch (vigilaré) your monkey.”

The dogs playing chess?
A man went to visit a friend and find him playing chess with his dog.
He watched the game in astonishment (con sorpresa)  for a while. He exclaimed:
     -   I can hardly believe my eyes! That’s the smartest (el más listo) dog I’ve ever seen.
 The friend replied:
- Nah, he’s not so smart,..He’s only won two games out of five.

Presidents on a plane
Five presidents are on a plane: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. George Washington says, “I will make someone happy!” and throws a dollar bill off the plane.
Then Abraham Lincoln says, “I will make five people happy!” and throws 5 one dollar bills (billetes de dolar) off the plane.
Then Thomas Jefferson says, “I will make 500 people happy!” and throws 500 one dollar bills off the plane.
Then Bill Clinton says, “I will make the whole world happy!” and throws George W. Bush off the plane.