sábado, 16 de diciembre de 2017

Future forms

Future continuous (will be + ‘ing’ form)

We use the future continuous to talk about something that will be in progress at or around a time in the future.

  • This time tomorrow we’ll be sitting on the beach. I am so excited!
  • Tomorrow at eight we will be flying home.

    The following sentences are not about the future but we can use the future continuous to talk about what we assume is happening at the moment:

  • Don’t phone her now, she’ll be having dinner.
  • The kids are very quiet. They’ll be doing something wrong, I know it!

Future Perfect (will have + past participle)

We use the future perfect to say that something will be finished by a particular time in the future.

  • Do you think you will have finished it by next Thursday?
  • In 5 years time I’ll have finished university and I’ll be able to earn some money at last.

We often use the future perfect with ‘by’ or ‘in
  • I think astronauts will have landed on Mars by the year 2020.
  • I’ll have finished in an hour and then you can use the computer.

By’ means ‘not later than a particular time’ and ‘in’ means 'within a period of time’. We don’t know exactly when something will finish.
  • I promise I’ll have done all the work by next Saturday.
We don’t know exactly when he will finish the work – maybe Thursday, maybe Friday – but definitely before Saturday.

Future Perfect Continuous (will have been + past participle) 

We use it to express the duration of a future situations and also to express certainty about the cause of some future situation. 


We use this tense to express situations that will last for a specified period of time at a definite moment in the future. It is important that we expect these situations to last longer.
  • Before they come, we will have been cleaning the house for 5 hours.
  • By the next year, Ben and his wife will have been living together for 50 years. 

English speakers also use this tense when they want to express certainty about the cause of some future situation.
  • By this time, he will have been working for 12 hours, so he will be very tired.
  • We will be making a rest stop in half an hour, because you will have been driving the car for 6 hours by then. 

Learn more at:


martes, 5 de diciembre de 2017

Most common prefixes in English

Many of today's English words contain prefixes from Greek or Latin. Understanding the meanings of the most common prefixes can help us deduce the meanings of new words that we run across in our reading.

Still, we do need to be careful: the same prefix may be spelled in more than one way (pre- and pro-, for instance), and some prefixes (such as in-) have more than one meaning (in this case, "not" and "into"). Even so, being able to recognize prefixes can help us build our vocabularies.

a-, an-without, lack of, not amoral, acellular, abyss, achromatic, anhydrous 
ante-before, earlier, in front of antecedent, antedate, antemeridian, anterior  
anti-against, opposite ofanticlimax. antiaircraft, antiseptic, antibody
auto-self, sameautopilot, autobiography, automobile, autofocus
circum-around, aboutcircumvent, circumnavigate, circumscribe
co-with, togethercopilot, coworker, coexist, coauthor
com-, con-together, withcompanion, commingle, contact, concentrate
contra-, contro-against, oppositecontradict, contrast, contrary, controversy 
de-down, off, away fromdevalue, deactivate, debug, degrade, deduce
dis-not, apart, awaydisappear, disagreeable, disbar, dissect
en-put into, cover withenclose, entangle, enslave, encase 
ex-out of, from, formerextract, exhale, excavate, ex-president 
extra-beyond, outside, more than extracurricular, extramarital, extravagant
hetero-different, otherheterosexual, heterodox, heterogeneous
homo-, homeo-same, alikehomonymhomophone, homeostasis, homosexual
hyper-over, more, beyondhyperactive, hypersensitive, hypercritical
il-, im-, in-, ir-not, withoutillegal, immoral, inconsiderate, irresponsible
in-in, intoinsert, inspection, infiltrate
inter-between, amongintersect, interstellar, intervene, interpenetrate
intra-, intro-within, insideintravenous, intragalactic, introvert  
macro-large, prominentmacroeconomics, macrostructure, macrocosm
micro-very smallmicroscope, microcosm, microbe
mono-one, single, alonemonocle, monologue, monogamy, monotony  
non-not, withoutnonentity, nonaggressive, nonessential,nonfiction
omni-all, everyomniscient, omnivorous, omniscient, omnidirectional 
post-after, behindpostmortem, posterior, postscript, postoperative
pre-, pro-before, forwardprecede, predict, project, prologue
sub-under, lowersubmarine, subsidiary, substandard
sym-, syn-same time, togethersymmetry, symposium, synchronize, synapse 
trans-across, beyond, throughtransmit, transaction, translation, transfer
tri-three, every thirdtricycle, trimester, triangle, triathlon
un-not, lacking, opposite ofunfinished, unskilled, ungraceful, unfriendly
uni-one, singleunicorn, unicellular, unicycle, unilateral

lunes, 23 de octubre de 2017

Use, used to, be used to, get used to, would

Habitual Activity

BeGet used to
get accustomed to
+ noun / V gerund

The new employee of ours is getting used to using / is getting accustomed to using the new system.
(He / She is not fully ready but learning the new system)

The new employee of ours is used to using / is accustomed to using the new system.
(He / She already knows / has no problem with the new system)

Used To vs Would

"Used to" can be used with action and stative verbs but "would" can only be used with action verbs.

When I was young, I would go fishing every Sunday. (used to go / went)

When I was young I used to like milk. (would like, liked)

When my little sister was a kid, she used to be very annoying. (was)

When we were kids, my mother would wake us up every morning. (she was used to waking us up)

used to like Madonna. (would like)

Negative / Question form of "used to"

Did you use to go to there? 

No, I didn't use to go there.
I used to not go there.


  • Typical Behavior

  • It would start raining just whenever we went to picnic.
    He would smile every time I mentioned her name.
    We would have breakfast on the roof.

  • Past of "will"

  • Mary said that she would call me ASAP (as soon as possible).
    I don't know what happened, she said she would be here.
    I told you the bus would arrive on time.

  • Unreal Situations

  • You would look better with short hair.
    I would buy a lottery ticket if I were you.
    It would be great if we had money but unfortunately we don't.

    Exercise: http://www.grammarbank.com/used-to-vs-would-worksheet.html

    More explanations in Spanish:

    viernes, 6 de octubre de 2017

    The use of "THE"

    Articles are confusing because it’s not always necessary to use an article in English. Sometimes it’s easier to remember when NOT to use something instead of trying to memorize when to use something... so let´s start with those situations in which you don’t need to use "the":

    1. Things in general
    Cats are great pets!(You’re not talking about one specific cat or one specific pet. You’re talking about all cats and all pets in general.)
    I love reading books.
    Houses are expensive in that neighbourhood.
    Americans drive big cars.

    Use non-count nouns: I love listening to music. (You enjoy music in general, not any specific song or kind of music.)
    She’s afraid of heights, so we couldn’t go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
    I love chocolate!
    Have you eaten lunch yet?
    She’s a vegetarian. She doesn’t eat meat.

    2. Names
    Names of holidays, countries, companies, languages, etc. are all proper nouns. 

    a. Holidays
    I got a beautiful new dress for Christmas.
    I got my mom a necklace for Mother’s Day.

    b. Geography
    I live in Canada.
    I’m going to Europe next month on vacation.

    c. Companies
    I use Twitter and Facebook every day.
    Bill Gates founded Microsoft.

    d. Universities
    Her son graduated from Harvard.
    She goes to Oxford.

    e. Languages
    I am studying Russian.
    I speak French.

    3. Places, locations, streets

    I left my book at home.
    I have to go to work early tomorrow.
    NOTE: You don’t need an article for subjects you study at school: Maths, Geography, History, Science.
    Places where you DO need to use an article:
    I need to go to the bank.
    Let’s go to the movies.
    My dad is in the hospital.
    She works at the post office.
    What time do you have to be at the airport?
    Please drop me off at the bus stop.
    She doesn’t like to go to the doctor or the dentist.

    4. Sports and other physical activities :

    I love to go skiing in the winter.
    I play football every day after school.

    5. Noun + number

    The train to Paris leaves from platform 2.
    My English class is in room 6 on the first floor.
    6. Acronyms
    An acronym is an abbreviation (a short form) of a name. It uses the first letter of each word to form a new word.
    a. If the acronym is pronounced as a word, don’t use the.
    NATO ambassadors met to discuss the situation..
    UNESCO is the acronym used for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (UNESCO is pronounced as one word, /ju’nɛskoʊ/.)

    You need to use the before acronyms when the letters arepronounced individually, not as a word.
    The UN was created after the Second World War.

    Other acronyms that need the: The EU, The US, The CIA, The FBI

    b. The is not used before university acronyms:
    John Smith got his MBA at UCLA.
    She has a Ph.D. from MIT.

    miércoles, 27 de septiembre de 2017

    Make or Do????

    We use 'make' when we create or construct something. For example:
    • She made a cake.
    • I've made us some coffee.
    • Did you really make those trousers?
    We use 'do' for general activities. It is often used with 'something', 'nothing', 'anything' or 'everything':
    • What did you do at the weekend?
    • I didn't do anything yesterday.
    • She's fed up with doing everything herself. She needs some help.
    • Are you doing anything interesting during the holidays?
    NOTE: 'What do you do?' means 'what's your job?' 

    There are many, many fixed expressions with 'make' and 'do'. Unfortunately, they don't really follow any useful rules, so you have to learn them. 

    Click to see the list     Click to download      Exercises

    The do or make rap is here!!!

    jueves, 4 de mayo de 2017

    Useful expressions for your essays

    General explaining:

    1. In order to

    Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument.
    Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

    2. In other words

    Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point.
    Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

    3. To put it another way

    Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance.
    Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

    4. That is to say

    Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise.
    Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

    5. To that end

    Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”.
    Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

    jueves, 30 de marzo de 2017

    Failed inventions....

    1. Did you know that in the 1970s, Henry Smolinski and Harold Blake invented the AVE Mizar, a flying Ford Pinto? It could fly up to 12,000 feet and reach up to 130 miles an hour. One minor problem was the car's right wing, it failed one trial run in 1973, then it failed later again that year in a crash that killed both inventors. And that is the first of many failed inventions, either practically or commercially,..
    2. , Mattel's game console Intellivision was released in 1979 to compete with the Atari 2600.
    The invention itself wasn't bad, it has since been named number 14 on IGN's list of greatest game consoles of all time, but it wasn't successful. 
    Within four years of its release, Mattel had lost 394 million dollars and was on the brink of bankruptcy.

    lunes, 13 de marzo de 2017

    Modal verbs

    The modal verbs include can, must, may, might, will, would, should. They are used with other verbs to express ability, obligation, possibility, and so on. Below is a list showing the most useful modals and their most common meanings:

    canto express abilitycan speak a little Russian.
    canto request permissionCan I open the window?
    mayto express possibilitymay be home late.
    mayto request permissionMay I sit down, please?
    mustto express obligationmust go now.
    mustto express strong beliefShe must be over 90 years old.
    shouldto give adviceYou should stop smoking.
    wouldto request or offerWould you like a cup of tea?
    wouldin if-sentencesIf I were you, I would say sorry.

    Modal verbs are unlike other verbs. They do not change their form (spelling) and they have no infinitive or participle (past/present). 
    The modals must and can need substitute verbs to express obligation or ability in the different tenses. Here are some examples:

    Past simpleSorry I'm late. I had to finish my math test.
    Present perfectShe's had to return to Korea at short notice.
    FutureYou'll have to work hard if you want to pass the exams.
    InfinitiveI don't want to have to go.
    Past simpleI couldn't/wasn't able to walk until I was 3 years old.
    Present perfectI haven't been able to solve this problem. Can you help?
    FutureI'm not sure if I will be able to come to your party.
    InfinitiveI would love to be able to play the piano.

    Modals are auxiliary verbs. They do not need an additional auxiliary in negatives or questions. For example: Must I come? (Do I must come?), or: He shouldn't smoke (He doesn't should smoke).

    A quiz on modals:

    lunes, 13 de febrero de 2017

    A recipe: Pizza Salad


    - Two red tomatoes
    - A piece of Mozzarela or Tofu cheese
    - Half an onion
    - Some olive oil
    - A piece of bread (a roll sliced in two or two toasts)
    - A bit of oregano and/or basil


    Chop the tomatoes in small cubes and put in a bowl.
    Then chop some cheese into smaller pieces.
    Cut very thin slices of onion and add them.
    Pour some olive oil over the mixed ingredients.
    Season with oregano and a bit of salt.
    Mix everything gently and spread on top of the toast.
    Grill for a couple of minutes in the oven if you want to...


    chop: cortar
    slice: rodaja
    season: sazonar
    thin: fino
    add: añadir
    mix: mezclar
    piece: trozo
    spread: untar, extender 

    Do you want to try more recipes? 
    Have a look here: