martes, 5 de junio de 2018

Participle clauses

A present participle clause can express:
  • an action that happens at the same time as the action in the main clause:
    Tom lost his keys (while) walking through the park. (Tom lost his keys while he was walking through the park.)
    She left the room singing happily. (She left the room as she was singing happily.)
    The participle clause can come first in literary styles:
    (While) walking through the park, Tom lost his keys.
  • an action that happens just before another action:
    Opening the envelope, I found two concert tickets. (I opened the envelope and I found two concert tickets.)
  • an action that is the result of another action:
    Moments later a bomb exploded, leaving three people dead and twelve others injured.
    When I entered they all looked at me, making me feel uncomfortable.
  • a reason for the action in the main clause:
    Having nothing left to do, Paula went home. (Since Paula had nothing left to do, she went home.)
    Knowing a little Russian, I had no difficulty making myself understood. (As I knew a little Russian, I had no difficulty making myself understood.)
    Working as a sales rep, I get to travel a lot. (I travel a lot because I work as a sales rep.)
    Here the subjects of the two actions can be different:
    The weather being nice, we decided to go for a picnic. (As the weather was nice, we decided to go for a picnic.)
Perfect participle clauses
If we want to make it clear that an action happens before another one, we use a perfect participle for the earlier action:
Having washed the car, I noticed a small scratch on the front right fender. (After I washed the car, I noticed a small scratch on the front right fender.)
Here the present participle (washing the car) would mean "while I was washing the car".
If the two actions do not follow each other immediately or if the first action happens over a period of time, we use a perfect participle instead of a present participle for the earlier action:
Having seen the film before, I didn't want to go to the cinema.
Mark knew the town well, having lived there all his life.
Past participle clauses
Past participle clauses replace passive voice finite clauses:
Shocked by the explosion, the people ran for shelter. (The people were shocked by the explosion and ran for shelter.)
The musicians stood up, surrounded by thunderous applause. (The musicians stood up while they were surrounded by thunderous applause.)
If we want to emphasise that an action happens before another one, we use a passive perfect participle:
Having been nominated three times for an Oscar, he is one of today's most acclaimed film directors.
Participle clauses replacing a relative clause
A present participle clause can replace an active voice finite relative clause. The noun before the participle is the doer of the action:
The man driving the car was not injured. (The man who was driving the car was not injured.)
Present participle clauses are possible even with verbs which are not normally used in the continuous form (state verbs):
If you think you have received an e-mail containing a virus, you should delete it immediately. (If you think you have received an e-mail which contains a virus, delete it immediately.)
A past participle clause can replace a passive voice finite relative clause. The noun before the participle is its object:
This is the last photograph taken of my grandmother. (This is the last photograph that was taken of my grandmother.)

See also: 

Relative clauses

 A relative clause is one kind of dependent clause. It has a subject and verb, but can’t stand alone as a sentence. It is sometimes called an “adjective clause” because it functions like an adjective—it gives more information about a noun.
A relative clause always begins with a “relative pronoun,” which substitutes for a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun when sentences are combined.

The relative pronouns are:
whofor peoplecan substitute for subject nouns/pronouns (he, she, we, they)
whomfor peoplecan substitute for object nouns/pronouns (him, her, us, them)
whosefor peoplecan substitute for possessive nouns/pronouns (his, hers, our, their)
thatfor people or thingscan be either subject or object
can only be used in restrictive relative clauses (see below)
whichfor thingscan be either subject or object
can be used in non-restrictive relative clauses
can also be used in restrictive relative clauses, though some people don’t like this use
Relative pronoun as subject (in red):
I like the person. The person was nice to me.
I like the person who was nice to me.
I hate the dog. The dog bit me.
I hate the dog that bit me.
I am moving to Louisville, KY. It is home to the Muhammad Ali Museum.
I am moving to Louisville, KY, which is home to the Muhammad Ali Museum.
Relative pronoun as object (in red):
I like the bike. My father gave me the bike.
I like the bike that my father gave me.

Restrictive Relative Clauses

Restrictive relative clauses give information that defines the noun—information that’s necessary for complete identification of the noun. Use “that” or “which” for non-human nouns; use “that” or “who” for human nouns. Do not use commas.
I like the paintings. (Which paintings? We can’t clearly identify them without the relative clause.)
So we add the clause:
    The paintings hang in the SASB North lobby.
    I like the paintings that hang in the SASB North lobby.
    I like the paintings which hang in the SASB North lobby. (Again, this is acceptable, but some people object to using “which” in a restrictive relative clause. “That” is preferred.)
    Students who study hard will do well in my class. (Only this group of students will do well.)
    Students whose grades are low can drop one test score. (Only this group can drop a test score.)
When the noun is the object of the preposition, both the noun and the preposition move together to the front of the relative clause. In less formal English, it’s common to move only the pronoun to the front of the clause.
    I spent hours talking with a person last night. I hope to hear from her.
    I hope I hear from the person with whom I spent hours talking last night. (more formal)
    I hope to hear from the person whom I spent hours talking with last night. (less formal)

Non-restrictive Relative Clauses

This type of relative clause merely provides extra information. The information may be quite interesting and important to the larger conversation, but it is not essential for precise identification of the noun. “That” cannot be used as a relative pronoun in a non-restrictive relative clause. Commas are always used at the beginning and end of this type of relative clause.
A non-restrictive relative clause can modify a single noun, a noun phrase, or an entire proposition.
    My mother is thinking of opening a restaurant. My mother is an excellent cook.
“My mother” is already a clearly defined noun, so the second sentence becomes a non-restrictive relative clause set off by commas on both sides.
    My mother, who is an excellent cook, is thinking of opening a restaurant.
    I’m planning to grow roses. I find roses quite beautiful.
    I’m planning to grow roses, which I find quite beautiful.
    (not okay) I’m planning to grow roses, that I find quite beautiful.
    I’m driving across the country with three small children.
    Driving across the country with three small children is going to be stressful.
    I’m driving across the country with three small children, which is going to be stressful.

Reducing Relative Clauses

Some types of relative clauses can be “reduced”— the relative pronoun and maybe other words can be removed. You might reduce the clause to make your writing more concise or to add sentence variety. We’ll use the examples above to demonstrate how to reduce both restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.
Restrictive relative clauses can be reduced in two ways.
Subject pronouns can be deleted if –ing is added to the verb.
    I like the paintings that hang in the SASB North lobby.
    I like the paintings hanging in the SASB North lobby.
Object pronouns can be deleted.
    I like the bike that my father gave me.
    I like the bike my father gave me.
Non-restrictive relative clauses can be reduced in one way.
Subject pronouns with “be” verbs can be deleted in non-restrictive clauses.
    I am moving to Louisville, KY, which is home to the Muhammad Ali Museum.
    I am moving to Louisville, KY, home to the Muhammad Ali Museum.
    My mother, who is an excellent cook, is thinking of opening a restaurant.
    My mother, an excellent cook, is thinking of opening a restaurant.

Subject-Verb Agreement in Relative Clauses

Remember that the relative pronoun is substituting for a noun, which could be singular or plural before the substitution. The verb in the relative clause must agree with the original noun.
    People are lucky. People win the lottery.
    People who win the lottery are lucky. (plural verb)
    A person is lucky. She wins the lottery every year.
    A person who wins the lottery every year is lucky. (singular verb)
Agreement can be tricky in “one of the…” constructions. The key is to find which noun the relative pronoun is referring to.
    Homelessness is a problem. The problem needs to be addressed.
    Homelessness is a problem that needs to be addressed. (singular problem)
    Many problems need to be addressed. Homelessness is one of the problems.
    Homelessness is one of the problems that need to be addressed. (plural problems)

sábado, 7 de abril de 2018

Reported Speech

We use reported speech to give information about what people say or think.
Saying exactly what someone has said is called direct speech, what a person says appears within quotation marks. For example: She said, "I am going to the cinema tomorrow."
Indirect speech (or reported speech), doesn't use quotation marks and the tense usually changes. This is because when we use reported speech, we are usually talking about a time in the past and the verbs, therefore, have to be in the past too.
For example:
Direct speechIndirect speech
"I'm going to the cinema", he said.He said he was going to the cinema.
Direct speech
Indirect speech

Present simpleShe said, "It's cold."
Past simple 
She said it was cold.
Present continuous 
She said, "I'm teaching English online."
Past continuous 
She said she was teaching English online.
Present perfect simple 
She said, "I've been on the web since 1999."
Past perfect simple 
She said she had been on the web since 1999.
Present perfect continuous 
She said, "I've been teaching English for seven years."
Past perfect continuous 
She said she had been teaching English for seven years.
Past simple 
She said, "I taught online yesterday."
Past perfect 
She said she had taught online yesterday.
Past continuous 
She said, "I was teaching earlier."
Past perfect continuous 
She said she had been teaching earlier.
Past perfect 
She said, "The lesson had already started when he arrived."
Past perfect 
NO CHANGE - She said the lesson had already started when he arrived.
Past perfect continuous
She said, "I'd already been teaching for five minutes."
Past perfect continuous 
NO CHANGE - She said she'd already been teaching for five minutes.

Modal verb forms also sometimes change
Direct speech

Indirect speech

She said, "I'll teach English online tomorrow."
She said she would teach English online tomorrow.
She said, "I can teach English online."
She said she could teach English online.
She said, "I must have a computer to teach English online."
had to 
She said she had to have a computer to teach English online.
She said, "What shall we learn today?"
She asked what we should learn today.
She said, "May I open a new browser?"
She asked if she might open a new browser.

 - There is no change to; could, would, should, might and ought to.

viernes, 26 de enero de 2018

Becoming a vegetarian

People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, concerns about animal welfare, a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources, religious convictions, or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock.
Becoming a vegetarian has become more appealing and accessible, thanks to the year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegetarian dining options, and the growing culinary influence of cultures with largely plant-based diets.
becoming a vegetarianApproximately six to eight million adults in the United States eat no meat, fish, or poultry  and several million more have eliminated red meat but still eat chicken or fish.
About two million have become vegans, forgoing not only animal flesh but also animal-based products such as milk, cheese, eggs, and gelatin.
Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses: "appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."
"Appropriately planned" is the operative term. Unless you follow recommended guidelines on nutrition, fat consumption, and weight control, becoming a vegetarian won't necessarily be good for you. A diet of soda, cheese pizza, and candy, after all, is technically "vegetarian." For health, it's important to make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It's also vital to replace saturated and trans fats with good fats, such as those found in nuts, olive oil, and canola oil. And always keep in mind that if you eat too many calories, even from nutritious, low-fat, plant-based foods, you'll gain weight. So it's also important to practice portion control, read food labels, and engage in regular physical activity.
You can get many of the health benefits of being vegetarian without going all the way. For example, a Mediterranean eating pattern — known to be associated with longer life and reduced risk of several chronic illnesses — features an emphasis on plant foods with a sparing use of meat. Even if you don't want to become a complete vegetarian, you can steer your diet in that direction with a few simple substitutions, such as plant-based sources of protein — beans or tofu, for example — or fish instead of meat a couple of times a week.
Only you can decide whether a vegetarian diet is right for you. If better health is your goal, here are some things to consider.

Varieties of vegetarians

Strictly speaking, vegetarians are people who don't eat meat, poultry, or seafood. But people with many different dietary patterns call themselves vegetarians, including the following:
Vegans (total vegetarians): Do not eat meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals, including eggs, dairy products, and gelatin.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.
Lacto vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products.
Ovo vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but do eat eggs.
Partial vegetarians: Avoid meat but may eat fish (pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian) or poultry (pollo-vegetarian).

lunes, 22 de enero de 2018

Aussie Slang

Some of the most common words Australians use:

  • Arvo – Afternoon
  • Bail – to cancel plans
  • Barbie – Barbecue
  • Bathers – Swimsuit
  • Beauty! – Great!
  • Billy – Teapot (In the Outback on the fire)
  • Brekky – Breakfast
  • Brolly – Umbrella
  • Cactus – Dead, Broken
  • Choc A Bloc – Full
  • Choccy Biccy – Chocolate Biscuit
  • Chrissie – Christmas
  • Cobber – Very good friend
  • Coppers – Policemen
  • Crook – Being ill or angry; ‘Don’t go crook on me for getting crook’
  • Deadset – True
  • Devo – Devastated
  • Dunny – Toilet
  • Fair dinkum – Honestly?
  • Frothy – Beer
  • G’day – Hello
  • Going off – busy, lots of people
  • Good On Ya – Good work
  • Hard yakka – Hard work
  • Heaps – loads, lots, many
  • Lollies – Sweets
  • Maccas – McDonalds
  • No Worries – it’s Ok
  • Pash – to kiss
  • Piece of Piss – easy
  • Reckon – for sure
  • Rooted, knackered – Tired
  • Runners – Trainers, Sneakers
  • Servo – Service Station
  • Snag – Sausage
  • Stoked – Happy, Pleased
  • Straya – Australia
  • Stubbie – a big Beer
  • Tea – Dinner
  • Thongs – Flip Flops.
  • Tucker – Food
  • Ya – You

    Other sources:

miércoles, 17 de enero de 2018

Women in the 21st century

JK Rowling
Joanne Rowling (born July 31, 1965), who goes by the pen name J.K. Rowling, is a British author and screenwriter best known for her seven-book Harry Potter children's book series. J.K. Rowling was living in Edinburgh, Scotland, and struggling to get by as a single mom before her first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, was published. The children's fantasy novel became an international hit and Rowling became an international literary sensation in 1999 when the first three installments of Harry Potter took over the top three slots of The New York Times best-seller list after achieving similar success in her native United Kingdom. The series has sold more than 450 million copies and was adapted into a blockbuster film franchise. Rowling published the novel The Casual Vacancy in 2012, followed by the crime novel Cuckoo Calling under the pen name Robert Galbraith in 2013. In 2016, she released a play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and a movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

1) The boy wizard Harry Potter and author JK Rowling share the same birthday: 31st July.

2) Rowling went from being unemployed and living on state benefits to becoming a multi-millionaire in five years. However, as a teenager she lived in a Grade II listed cottage in Gloucestershire, which she states was "not a particularly happy time in my life", due to her mother being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and a strained relationship with her father.

3) After the position of Head Girl at Wyedean School and College, she graduated from the University of Exeter with a BA in French and Classics, and then worked as a researcher for Amnesty International.-

4) Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression which she claims gave her inspiration to create the Dementors in the Potter series. She also suffers from insomnia which she puts down to working too late and reading things on which she has a strong opinion.

5) On a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990, Rowling wrote her initial Potter ideas on a napkin. She typed her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on a typewriter, often choosing to write in Edinburgh cafés, accompanied by baby daughter Jessica, now 19, named after Jessica Mitford, a heroine of Rowling's youth.

6) Rowling worked as an English teacher in Portugal during her brief marriage to television journalist Jorge Arantes, with whom she had Jessica. Despite her current fortune, she has no desire to stop working as she believes it sets a good example to her children - she now has another son and daughter with second husband, anaesthetist Neil Murray.

7) According to a recent interview, JK Rowling admits to buying her wedding dress for her second marriage to Neil Murray in disguise, to avoid being recognised - such was the price of fame.

8) Rowling's ambiguous pen name using the initials 'JK' was a publishing suggestion to make her identity anonymous, for fear that a wizarding story penned by a woman might be unpopular. 'K' is the initial of her grandmother's name 'Kathleen', since Rowling had no middle names of her own. As a result, a girl called Francesca Gray wrote Rowling her first fan letter addressing her as: 'Dear Sir...'

9) Twelve publishing houses rejected her original Harry Potter manuscripts, but eventually small publisher Bloomsbury gave her a chance with a small advance. Little did anyone know it would become the bestselling book series in history. Her seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows broke sales records as the fastest-selling book ever.

10) Rowling was awarded the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2000 and as an eminent philanthropist has contributed money and support to notable charities such as Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain and Lumos, amongst others.

Malala Yousafzai

At 17 years old, Malala is is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize since its inception in 1901.
In 2009, Malala started blogging about living under Taliban rule for the BBC. She later became a national figure in her country, appearing on television as a spokesperson for girls’ education.
Malala was aboard a bus in 2012, campaigning for education of girls in Pakistan, when the Taliban reportedly hijacked the bus and singled her out, shooting her in the head and the neck.
Malala spoke of “the right of education of every child” on July 12th, 2013.
In August 2014, “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World” was published in the United States and is a #1 seller on Amazon.
She has been living in England since being treated for her gunshot wounds.
Since her increased visibility, Malala has changed her career focus to politics.
Ziauddin Yousafzai ran one of the last schools to defy the Taliban’s orders to not educate girls. He has reportedly encouraged his daughter to be outspoken from a young age.
Malala will be splitting the prize money, $1.1 million, with her 60-year-old co-recipient, Kailash Satyarthi, a human rights advocate from India.
Malala was shot on October 9th, 2012. She was reported to be in critical condition and not expected to survive.

1. She’s a minor.

2. She’s been advocating for girls’ education since she was 11.

3. She was only 15 years old when she was shot by the Taliban.

4. She addressed the United Nations on her 16th birthday.

5. She has already published a memoir.

6. She was pulled out of class in Birmingham, England to be informed of her award.

7. She originally wanted to be a doctor.

8. Her father used to be a schoolmaster.

9. She was just awarded over half a million dollars.

10. She’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize nearly two years to the day that she was shot.

Margarita Salas 

She has done a lot for science in Spain. In fact, apart from spending many years doing research in the United States, she decided to come back to her country of origin (1967) considering that in Spain there was still a lot to do in science. Together with Eladio Viñuela, husband and tireless co-worker, they launched a research race that has finally ended up with the production of a school. This school has made her to be recognized globally: she has become a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), an honour not many can enjoy. Also, she is the first Spanish woman being part of the cited Academy.

Margarita Salas's curriculum is really broad, difficult to summarize in only a few paragraphs, as her professional career, very linked to the personal, has been truly large.  With a degree in chemical sciences from the Universitat Complutense de Madrid, she subsequently carried out a doctoral thesis in biochemistry under the order of  Alberto Sols (1961), to later venture to New York to work on a postdoctoral project. The proposal to leave came from Severo Ochoa directly.

Her stay at the department of Alberto Sols changed her life, as she met again with Eladio Viñuela, whom she eventually married. From this moment on, the professional and personal life of Margarita Salas would be linked to  Eladio Viñuela's. After her Ph.D., both packed their suitcases and went to do research at the department Severo Ochoa in New York where they stayed for three years. 

In 1967 the couple decided to try their luck in Spain. Thanks to the financing of the United States they started a new researching stage at the Biological Research Centre of the CSIC. And they were lucky. Soon the state subsidies for scientific research started to come and the difficult task they launched started to give results. They had students, they could do research and most important, they found things. Salas considers that the great contribution they made was the finding of the DNA polymerase.

Salas and Viñuela began to be important. And with this prestige, a new stage of administrative scientific posts started. Margarita Salas agreed to chair many societies and centres. The first was the presidency of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry (1988). Then, a number of more appointments. Amongst them, the management of the Molecular Biology Centre Severo Ochoa (1992), as well as being part of several academies and societies:  member of the Governing Board of the CSIC and, since 1997, of its Governing Council, of the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, of the Spanish Royal Academy of Language, of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the American Academy of Microbiology, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and president of theFoundation Severo Ochoa.

Throughout her life, Salas has had two fights. On the one hand, the fight to turn Spain into a country where science is one of its bases for its development. On the other hand, and more linked to her career, the fact of being a woman, which has brought more than just one important personal conflict. However, Margarita Salas has achieved what many women of her time would have wished for: a relevant role in a world considered for men. Luckily, things have currently changed.  

viernes, 5 de enero de 2018

Silent letters in English

  • Silent A - Artistically, logically, musically, stoically
  • Silent E - When added to the end of a word, it changes the pronunciation of the word, but is in itself, silent.
  • Silent F - halfpenny
  • Silent I- business
  • Silent P- corps, coup, pneumonia, pseudo, psychology, ptomaine, receipt
  • Silent R - butter, finger, garden, here
  • Silent S - aisle, apropos, bourgeois, debris, fracas, island, isle, viscount

Thanks to: