Thursday, February 24, 2011

Barry White - My First My Last My Everything - Lyrics


If you like music, check out new section on WHAT'S COOL page update (up above). Beatles songs, videos and lyrics... Enjoy!

Class Reading Assignment: MORE ON ROALD DAHL'S_The Landlady

The Landlady-CONTEXT. PDF by BBC    
The Landlady-WORDWORK. PDF by BBC

The Landlady-KEY. PDF by BBC

Have a good one,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


That last, crumby triangle in a bag of potato chips
Finding money you didn’t even know you lost.
New form of currency

Sticks to the pageThe smell of crayons.

Talking about how much the meal you’ re eating would cost at a restaurant.              
A second callingSaying the same thing a sports commentator says just before they say it.                               
Taking your shoes off after a really long day.

The idea for this thread comes from a funny, witty, popular blog, launched 3 years ago which ended up being published as a Book in 2010. I was motivated by Miguel(5thA)when he recently posted a fun video on February 7th (check it out below) about the word "Awesome".

Here´s the deal:

Taking the statements with pictures above as examples, write something that is actually Awesome to you. It can be about anything, ie: Peeling an Orange in One Shot or When Your Boss Leaves Early for the Day or The Smell of Rain or Popping Bubble Wrap, etc...You can take a look at the TOP 1000 Awesome Things expressed by other people in that blog mentioned above by clicking here:

Mine goes:

1. "Suddenly waking up, thinking your alarm clock didn't go off, and realize it's Saturday."


C'mon you guys!

February 14th was the deadline and the story is unfinished...You have the chance to post what you write, just do it!
Mmmm...a bit disappointing...
Since there should always be something better to look forward to, my expectations for the second edition are still high :-)
And THANKS A TRILLION to those who collaborated: Mª Jesús, Stella, Carmen, Sebastian, Mª Ángeles, Mª José, Rocío...GREAT JOB, you rock!...I'm thrilled! ;-)


 Home. In it a lie had no place. In it a lie was unthinkable. In it speech was restricted to absolute truth, iron-bound truth, implacable and uncompromising truth, let the resulting consequences be what they might. At last, one day, under stress of circumstances, the darling of the house sullied her lips with a lie--and confessed it, with tears and self-upbraidings. There are not any words that can paint the consternation around her. It was as if the sky had crumpled up and collapsed and the earth had tumbled to ruin with a crash.
María Jesús said...
She felt miserable about it. How and Why had she lied? Was it rebelliousness or weakness?
lluvia said...
Maybe it was just a white lie...but even white lies have unexpected consequences. Maybe she wasn't aware of the incredible burden that a lie could have in their mutual understanding and confidence.
Mª Carmen Morales said...
It was rebelliousness and also weakness. She was really upset with her parents. They had been saying she would get her new bike but at Christmas, it didn’t happend. Her mother said: “Your father is unemployed”, “We don’t have enough money”..... And in the school, when Ms. Grey asked her for her present. She Immediately answered: “My new bicycle!”. It was imposible for her to say that her dreams were broken. Even Camile has her new doll.
sebastian said...
The problem is that when you tell a lie, you immediately have to make up others to avoid being discovered. You usually go into a spiral path that leads to disaster. When her classmate Peter told her to go together riding to the lake that evening, she couldn’t say no. She liked that tall blond boy and the opportunity was too good to be lost
Mª Angeles said...
Suddenly, she remembered that her little neighbour Alice had received an absolutely amazing present for Christmas:a new bright blue bike slept quietly in the Alice´s back door. She could see it every single afternoon while Alice went to the Dance Academy to have ballet lessons. She said to herself that if she would take the bike for a while, it wouldn´t be a theft, only a little loan.
lluvia said...
But nobody seems to understand her reasons, and at this point she was facing a whole trial at home, her family as the jury, and she as the accused. If only she had given it a second thought... but there was not turning back now.
Maria José said...
Poor child! All children lie now and again, it´s normal and even stimulate the development of their imagination. Their parents should play down her lie but are so strict. How to make them see reason?
Rocio said...
She knew it, She knew what will going to happend from the very first moment than she put her hand over the shiny blue bike trying to convince herself that everything would be all right, "it will be only for a little while, nobody will notice". But it wasn´t and she knew it. She knew it, since she arrived to the lake with her nice new summer dress, since she saw Nico waiting for her in the distance, throwing rocks at the lake. She had always been a perceptive girl, her grandmother used to say, and deep inside her, she trusted in her premonitions too. If only could turn back in time.... her mouth was dry fear....
María Jesús said...
When Matilda and Peter met Nico at the lake. She knew that they knew the forest well. Soon her worry became joy.They had something to show her,they had been building a house in a chestnut tree. She climbed up the tree as fast as a monkey. Peter and Nico accepted Matilda as a member of their club.They told her,"she should keep the secret".The tree house there were many tresaures: especially sticks, bows, arrows, beautiful stones...

The beginning of the writing was adapted from Mark Twain's short story Was it Heaven? Or Hell?. You can read the whole text here: CLASSIC SHORT STORIES.COM

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grammar Tip # 3: Phrasal Verbs and Idioms

Need more practise? Here's a little present for those who mentioned needing "MORE TEST-LIKE" activities in class...A whole book (and for free! unlike so many things in life nowadays) on phrasal verbs and idioms, with matching, multiple choice and T/F exercises to practise... till exhaustion! 
Plus some other fun activities such as crosswords, wordsearch and a wonderful answer key to enhance your autonomous work!  ;-) Remember you can always ask questions in class about it if you find it necessary...
                                       phrasal verbs and idioms

Have fun practising!
phrasal verbs and idioms

Monday, February 7, 2011

Playing for Change --Stand by Me

Renowned musicians all over the world combined their talents to create this song. From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world.

Listen to English on FB

If you are Facebook users and want to make a more productive use of it, here's this link  for a group on their site:!/ListenToEnglish

A podcast a day, keeps the eardoctor away...
:)) lol, Inma.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

AUDIOSTORY: After the Tone, by Nadia Kingsley

Enjoy while practicing your listening with this audio short story.
Please do visit to hear more recorded stories by other authors. Great site.

Have a nice weekend.

The Writing Project

As I mentioned in class, our classmate Mª Ángeles Barea (5th A) came up with a great idea:  a common writing project. So, here we go! Thanks so much for your suggestion :-)

TASK: Building up a story by adding a paragraph, sentence, even a word. You can contribute as many times as you want, as long as you follow others' threads. Make sure you keep the writing style, but of course feel free to let your imagination and inspiration grow. Our deadline to "close" the story will be February 14th. At the end of it we'll all decide the most suitable title for it. So, join the project and happy writing!

Home. In it a lie had no place. In it a lie was unthinkable. In it speech was restricted to absolute truth, iron-bound truth, implacable and uncompromising truth, let the resulting consequences be what they might. At last, one day, under stress of circumstances, the darling of the house sullied her lips with a lie--and confessed it, with tears and self-upbraidings. There are not any words that can paint the consternation around her. It was as if the sky had crumpled up and collapsed and the earth had tumbled to ruin with a crash.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


What the science of human nature can teach us:

Article by David Brooks.
Comments are welcome, as usual.

Have a good week,


Grammar Tip # 2: Narrative Tenses

The Narrative Tenses

Narrative tenses are the grammatical structures that you use when telling a story, or talking about situations and activities which happened at a defined past time.
When narrating past events, DO NOT mix past and present tenses (avoid using the present perfect and present simple), as these will confuse the reader/listener about when things really happened.
Here are the most common narrative tenses and how they are used:

  • 1. The Simple Past Tense.

  • The past simple is used:

  • a) to express a completed action at a definite time in the past. The separate events which occur in sequence in a narrative are expressed using this tense.

  • Eg.
    I woke up (1) at half past seven yesterday, I had a shower (2) and ate some breakfast (3). I left for work (4) at quarter past eight.
    NOTE! The past simple is the most common tense after 'When?' in questions.

  • b) to express past habits. I went to school in São Paulo until my family moved to Rio.

  • NOTE! Used to + verb is often used to express past habits and states that happened in the past, but do not happen now. Used to can not be used for actions which only occured once.
    Eg. I used to work for Petrobrás. (I don't work for them now)
    I didn't use to like living in Ipanema. (I do like it now)
    Where did you use to go for lunch? (You don't go there now)
    Would (+ adverb of frequency) + verb can be used to express past habits which do not happen now.
    Eg. My grandfather would always read the newspaper at breakfast time. (He doesn't do it now)
    Using 'would' instead of 'used to' often gives an idea of nostalgia. However, if the adverb of frequency is stressed, it can give the idea that the habit was annoying.
    Eg. My dog would never do what I wanted it to do!

    Eg. I would live in São Paulo. IS WRONG!

  • 2. The Past Continuous Tense. As with all continuous tenses, the past continuous gives the idea of activity and duration.
    The past continuous is used:
    a) To describe the situation in which the events of the narrative occurred.
    When I saw her (1), she was wearing (2) a blue dress and was driving (2) a Mercedes.
    b) to express an activity in progress at a time in the past.
    What were you doing (1) when I phoned you?
    NOTE! The past continuous is the most common tense after 'while' in questions and statements.
    The past continuous also expresses the idea of:
    An interrupted activity
    Eg. She was cooking dinner when the door bell rang. (She cooked dinner = she finished it)
    An unfinished activity
    Eg. I was reading a book yesterday. (I read a book... = I finished reading the whole book)
    A repeated action
    Eg. They were shooting at the enemy. (They shot.... = They fired the gun one time only)
    A temporary situation
    Eg. He was standing on the corner waiting for a bus. (It stood on the corner. = Permanent situation)
    NOTE! The past continuous can also be used as 'future in the past'. This will be explained later.
    3. The Past Perfect Simple Tense.
    The past perfect simple is used
    a) to show that an action or situation happened BEFORE the events in the narrative described in the simple past.

  • I woke up (1) at half past seven yesterday. I had slept very badly (2) because there had been a power cut (3) during the night.
    NOTE! It is bad style to use too many verbs in the past perfect . As soon as it is clear that the events happened before the time that the narrative is set, use the simple past.
    Eg. I woke up at half past seven yesterday. I had slept very badly because there'd been a power cut during the night. When the electricity went off, I was watching the Brazilian national team playing football against the USA.
    NOTE! If the subject of two verbs is the same, you don't have to repeat the 'had' auxiliary.
    Eg. When I arrived, he'd finished his dinner and left the room.

  • b) Making a narrative more interesting to read.

  • It is generally seen as bad literary style to have too many verbs in the same tense. In English it is always best to avoid repetition where possible.
    Look again at the example used to illustrate the simple past tense.
    This same sentence could be improved for dramatic effect by using the past perfect simple.
    Eg. I woke up (1) at half past seven yesterday. When I had had a shower (2) and eaten some breakfast (3), I left for work (4).
    CONJUNCTIONS (After, As soon as, Before, By the time, Once, till, When, Unless, Until)
    With these conjunctions of time, the past perfect shows that the first action MUST BE COMPLETED before the second action begins, otherwise the past simple is used.
    Eg. After....she finished, they left / she had finished, they left. (She had to finish first)
    As soon as...we arrived she said "hello". / I had done it, I sent it to her. (I had to do it first)
    She wouldn't sign the contract before.... seeing it / she had seen it. (She had to see it first)
    They wouldn't go unless....she came with them / they had seen it was safe.
    (It was important to finish checking that it was safe before going)
    For more information on conjunctions of time, see the worksheet called: When do I use the perfect tenses?.

  • 4. The Past Perfect Continuous Tense. a) The past perfect continuous is used for longer activities that were happening continuously up until a specified time in the past.

  • He looked very tired (1), he had been working very hard (2) over the past three weeks.
    As with the past continuous, the past perfect continuous can show the following:
    Unfinished activity
    Eg. He hadn't heard the telephone ring because he'd been reading.
    Repeated activity
    Eg. I was tired. I'd been cutting wood all day.
    With the past perfect simple, the focus is on the completed activity.
    Eg. He'd read three reports that morning.
    He'd cut a huge pile of wood.
    Back to narrative tenses ex. 1

  • 5. The Future in the Past.

  • The future in the past is used to look into the future from a point of time in the past. However, this "future" event still occurred at a time before the present time.
    I woke up (1) at half past seven yesterday. I was meeting my boss (2) at ten o'clock that morning, so I wouldn't be able to have lunch (3) with Susan. I wasn't going to get home (4) again until late that night.
    Depending on the situation, the following tenses are used in the future in the past:
    The past simple (a timetabled event) The past continuous (an arrangement)
    Would (a prediction) Was going to (a plan)
    Would be doing (an action at a specific time) Would have done (action completed before
    a specified time)

    Back to narrative tenses ex. 2
    Back to Grammar worksheets