Archives for March 2010

Recipe: the most tipical dish in Spain

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Emilio Emilio | 22:29 UK time, Tuesday, 30 March 2010

It's only my modest opinion, but I think that this is the most tipical dish in Spain; easy, cheap and mouth-watering. Their origin come from Navarra. Can you guess it?

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Emilio's homework task 27 March 2010

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Emilio Emilio | 23:10 UK time, Friday, 26 March 2010

COLOCATIONS

Can you choose the correct verb for each of these blanks? Choose from make, go, give, have, do or ask. Almost all these verbs should be in the past simple tense.

1. He _made_ a great presentation at the conference yesterday.
2. I told him to _went_ for it!
3. We _had_ a huge argument and now I'll have to apologise.
4. She _asked_ them a question about history.
5. They _gave_ her the correct answer.
6. She _did_ her homework last week.
7. But she _had_ a few mistakes in it.
8. I _gave_ a speech at my best friend's wedding a few years ago.
9. I'll _give_ this favour for you, but you have to buy me a coffee in return.
10. I said I'll _make_ the speaking if she looked after the technical side of the presentation


Not enough, too many and a few

After Nuala's explanations this expressions are clear.

[BAD] 11. Luckily for me there weren't enough people.
[CORRECTED ] 11. Luckily for me there were a few people.

Fear and trembling

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Nuala Nuala | 16:16 UK time, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Hi Emilio,

Your last blog was very interesting. I'm sure the fear you talked about struck a chord with lots of our blogging audience. I know it certainly rang true for me. I guess most of us would agree with this old line from the comedian Jerry Seinfeld:

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20 miles from Oxford Circus

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Rob Rob | 11:49 UK time, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Hello! I'm Rob and I'm new to the Learning English team. It's my first Blog too so I hope you like it!

Although I work at the BBC in London, I live outside the city in a village called Eynsford. It's a quiet, picturesque place, surrounded by fields and feels like a very different place from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, incredibly it's only 20 miles from Oxford Circus - that's right in the centre of London.

winter1000.jpg

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Public speaking

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Emilio Emilio | 20:27 UK time, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The past week I was a bit busy and worried about a public speaking I had to do. A colleague persuaded me to make the speaking although I haven't experience in these kind of activities, but I'd like to know how to make great presentations so I decided to head for it!

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Food, drink and memories

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Nuala Nuala | 12:36 UK time, Friday, 19 March 2010

Hi Emilio,

Thanks for your latest posting. Your dishes all looked mouth-watering. As a pescatarian, I thought the prawns were delicious looking. They really got my taste-buds going.

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Food and famous spanish chefs

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Emilio Emilio | 19:01 UK time, Thursday, 18 March 2010

Today I'll write about food and chefs, specially of Navarra and Basque Country. My advice to you before to read this post is the same that when you go to the supermarket. Eat a healthy snack or meal before you go to the supermarket read this post.

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One girl's rubbish is another girl's gold

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Rosie Rosie | 14:14 UK time, Thursday, 18 March 2010

My name's Rosie, and I'm fairly new to the Learning English team - I've been here since mid-December.

Carrie persuaded me to contribute to the staff blog, so here goes!

I thought I'd tell you about one of my favourite hobbies, which I call 'chazzering', but which is better known as shopping in charity shops.

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Emilio's homework task 15 March 2010

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Emilio Emilio | 14:18 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

USING CONTRACTIONS
1. Today I am going to speak about how I use some internet resources.
[Emilio's response]: Today I'm going to speak about how I use some internet resources.

2. I don't mean I will speak about ...
[Emilio's response]: I don't mean I'll speak about ...

3. If you do not have to write a blog ...
[Emilio's response]: If you don't have to write a blog ...

4. And I would like to listen to your feedback...
[Emilio's response]: And I'd like to listen to your feedback...

5. I hope you will enjoy reading it.
[Emilio's response]: I hope you'll enjoy reading it.

USING CAPITAL OR LOWERCASE LETTERS
6. How I use the Internet ...
[Emilio's response]: How I use the Internet
(in this sentence I have doubts because "internet" sometimes is written with capital letteres and sometines with lowercase.

7 In order to practise english ...
[Emilio's response]: In order to practise English ...

8 ... you could write in twitter.
[Emilio's response]: ... You could write in twitter.

9. ... got get help with english and Spanish vocabulary.
[Emilio's response]: got get help with English and Spanish vocabulary.

PUNCTUATIONS
10. ".... it's what Google says it is.".
[Emilio's response]: it's what Google says it is."

11. Then write about it!.
[Emilio's response]: Then write about it.!


In response to the interesting Nuala question: "Does a crowd really always know best?." My answer is: it doesn't but It's helpful in guiding you. At this particular case with the "I miss you" in Spanish, I found the correct answere on the RAE. It has plenty of resources to manage correctly the spanish language, the "te echo de menos" spanish sentence has it's own answer in form of FAQ.

FAQ comes from "Frequently Asked Questions" document. All projects on Internet have or must have a FAQ section. The BBC learning english it has his own FAQ section. The FAQ document can be one of the best investments a project makes in terms of payoff. And usually they are reactive documents. OK, that's all for now. I am going to think about my next blog post.

Regards

Cartoons and crowds

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Nuala Nuala | 17:17 UK time, Friday, 12 March 2010

Hi Emilio,

Another great posting from you, thanks. Your photo with the 'On the Internet, nobody knows you are a dog' caption got a huge laugh when we saw it in the BBC Learning English offices! Your posting also had lots of good advice, as well as some interesting questions about trust, faith and the power of numbers.

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Emilio's homework task 12 March 2010

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Emilio Emilio | 20:28 UK time, Thursday, 11 March 2010

[From Nuala reply Bikes and Books]
My homework is inline to see all of one homework task, along with the Nuala's comments in one place).

Hi Emilio,

Your energy amazes me! Doing a 60 kilometre bike ride is really impressive, especially for someone who hasn't been on a bike for almost six months. Well done you!

The pilgrimage to Navarre sounds fascinating, and the photos in your last blog were stunning. My favourite one was of the Sagrada Família. It's just such an incredible building, isn't it? I've been to Barcelona quite a few times and am always overawed by all the amazing architecture.

Thanks too for your reading recommendations. The last great Spanish book I read (in English!) was The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I've since bought the prequel - The Angel's Game - but haven't got round to reading it yet. Have you read any of his books? If you have, let me know what you think of them.

[EMILIO'S RESPONSE]: Thanks too Nuala for your reading recommendation. No, I hadn't read this book but the title it sounds familiar to me. In some place I had listen to speak about this book with good gossips. I take note to add to my to-read-list.!

I thought today we'd look at a few things - agreement, parallel structures and the future perfect.

Agreement
In English we don't have quite as many agreement rules as other languages (like Spanish for example) but we still need a few things to agree with a few other things to create correct English sentences.

A: Nouns and verbs - singular and plural nouns need to agree with the verbs they are paired with).
His bike is impressive. (singular)
His bikes are impressive. (plural)

B: Verbs and time - verbs have to agree with a time aspect. If you use yesterday in a sentence, then your verbs will most likely be in a past tense. For example:

Last year we went to Mexico and ate lots of fantastic food. (past tense verbs for past activities)
Every day she rides her bike to work. She thinks it keeps her fit. (present tense verbs for daily habits)

So, here's your first homework task. Can you find a way to correct the agreement mistake in this sentence from your blog?

1. Several people has requested...
[EMILIO'S RESPONSE]: Several people had requested...

Parallel structures
In English to make our writing flow smoothly we need to keep our structures parallel. What does that mean? Well, if we start a description with an adjective, we need to continue with adjectives if we add more to our description. For example, this structure isn't parallel:

The film was romantic and sadness.

Can you see why? Romantic is an adjective and sadness is a noun. To create a parallel structure you need to use two adjectives or two nouns, but not a mixture of the two. Here are two correct versions:

The film was romantic and sad. (adjectives)

The film had romance and sadness. (nouns)

Your second homework task combines aspects of agreement and parallel structure. Can you find a singular/plural and an adjective/noun mistake in this one sentence? Then, once you find them, can you fix them?

2. The people from this region of Spain is more friendly and openness.

[EMILIO'S RESPONSE]: The people from this regions of Spain are more friendly and outgoing.

Future perfect
The future perfect is a tense that we don't use that much in English, but sometimes it's just the right structure for what we want to express. We use the future perfect to say that a particular thing will be finished or completed by a certain time in the future. For example:

They will have watched 25 films by the time the film festival is over.
She will have written another novel by the end of the year.

We create the future perfect with will + have + past participle (or third part of the verb) drunk, sat, worked, thought, written etc. For example:

He will have eaten far too much ice-cream by the time the party has finished.
We will have known each other for a month by the end of March 2010.

There's also a continuous form of the present perfect that uses will + have + been + base verb. For example:

They will have been working together for 25 years by 2015.
She will have been teaching this class for a long time by the time she retires.

So, here's your third and final homework task. Can you figure out where the present perfect should go in this sentence?

3. ... this weekend [will be] the first time I will go on bike since October last year.

[EMILIO'S RESPONSE]: this weekend will have been the first time since October last year that I will have ridden on bike

Your homework from last time
Thanks for doing your last homework task so well. I've just got a couple of comments to make about it - which I've marked as Nuala says:
[Wrong] 1. ... a perfect excuse to have a dinner.
[OK] 1. ... a perfect excuse to have dinner.
Nuala says: Excellent!

[Wrong] 3. ... the bull has showed an exceptional performance and being brave
[OK] 3. ... the bull has shown an exceptional performance and was brave
Nuala says: Good try. But it should be (present perfect):
... the bull has shown an exceptional performance and has been brave

[Wrong] 4. ...villages have ... festivals in honour to his patron saint.
[OK] 4. ...villages have ... festivals in honour to its patron saint.
Nuala says: Again, good try but it should be (plural pronoun to match villages):
...villages have ... festivals in honour to their patron saints.

[Wrong] 5. In Tudela ... Santa Ana is his patron saint.
[OK] 5. In Tudela ... Santa Ana is her patron saint.
Nuala says: Actually we don't usually use she for cities - although we do for countries. I know - English! Where's the logic?. It should be:
In Tudela ... Santa Ana is its patron saint.

I liked this correction:
"We've known each other since we were 17 years old"
Nuala says: Perfect!

I made a silly mistake with the New York sentence.
"New York possibly was the city we enjoyed [the most]."
Nuala says: Exactly (though to make it sound even better, you could say 'New York was possibly the city we enjoyed the most.')

That's all for now. Looking forward to your next blog.

Nuala

Vocabulary
stunning - extremely beautiful or attractive
overawed - overwhelmed or impressed
prequel - if a film or book tells a main story or film, a prequel tells the story that happened before the main or first one
express - say or show

Bikes and books

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Nuala Nuala | 15:39 UK time, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Hi Emilio,

Your energy amazes me! Doing a 60 kilometre bike ride is really impressive, especially for someone who hasn't been on a bike for almost six months. Well done you!

The pilgrimage to Navarre sounds fascinating, and the photos in your last blog were stunning. My favourite one was of the Sagrada Família. It's just such an incredible building, isn't it? I've been to Barcelona quite a few times and am always overawed by all the amazing architecture.

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How do you use Internet?

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Emilio Emilio | 22:36 UK time, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Today, I am going to speak about how I use some Internet resources. I don't mean I will speak about the BBC guides to using Internet instead I am going to tell you how I usually use Internet in some special way. And I would like listen feedback from your way of using Internet.

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The month of the JAVIERADA and some Spain secrets

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Emilio Emilio | 21:47 UK time, Friday, 5 March 2010

March is the month of the Javierada in Navarre. Thoushands of people walk in pilgrimage from Pamplona and anywhere place of the region to the castle where Saint Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Navarre, was born in 1506.

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A rose by any other name....

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Carrie Carrie | 16:36 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Hi everyone,

Do you recognise the quote above? It's from Romeo and Juliet and the full quote is:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Basically, what it means is that what matters is what something is, not what it is called.

rose.jpg

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Saints and monsters

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Nuala Nuala | 12:58 UK time, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Hi Emilio,

Thanks for your posting telling us more about bullfighting and the running of the bulls. Your photos are lovely too. In the comments, Konstantyn R guessed that you were in at least one of the photos. Don't forget to tell us if that's true or not. I just hope you're not the guy in the wig in the third photo who's yawning!

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"First of January, second of February, third of March...

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Emilio Emilio | 22:36 UK time, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

fourth of April, fifth of May, six of June, seven of July San Fermin. To Pamplona we will go, with tights, with tights. To Pamplona we will go, with a tight and a shock."

The above are the lyrics of the very famous song of Sanfermines. These days of the months are a perfect excuse to have a dinner between friends in order to celebrate the coming festival. I have started this post in this way remembering today is third of March!.

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Bulls and dogs

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Nuala Nuala | 08:00 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Hi Emilio,

Welcome to our new-look blogs! It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm looking forward to learning more about you, the city of The Sun Also Rises and life with your lovely mutt Urko. Today we'll look at some common verb patterns, as well as looking at some of the differences between the past simple and the present perfect.

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Improving english with Internet

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Emilio Emilio | 08:00 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Two months after I sended my request to become blogger for a month, I receive an e-mail from Learning English and some names I had seen in different english resources materials from BBC. What a great surprise!

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Welcome to the new blogs

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Callum Callum | 08:00 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Hi everyone and welcome to the new blogs for BBC Learning English!

This is just a quick blog to let you know about our new system and why we have changed it.

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