Sunday, May 31, 2009

Household items / Fixtures

Artículos en la Casa

air conditioner - el aire acondicionador
antenna - la antena
balcony - el balcón
baseboard - el rodapié, la cenefa
blind - la persiana
boiler, furnace - la caldera
brick - el ladrillo
burglar alarm - la alarma antirrobo
ceiling - el techo
(electrical) cord - el cordón (de la luz)
curtain - la cortina
doorknob, (door) handle - el puño, el tirador (de puerta)
doormat - el felpudo, la estera _
drain - el desagüe
electrical outlet - el enchufe
electricity - la electricidad
elevator - el ascensor
extension cord - el cable, el cordón(de la luz)
fan - el ventilador, el abanico
fire alarm - la alarma de incendio
fire extinguisher - el extintor de incendio
fireplace - la chimenea
floor - el suelo
garbage can el basurero, el cubo de basura
garbage disposal - la trituradora
gas - el gas
ground floor - la planta baja, el primer piso
handle (door) - el puño
handle (drawer) - el tirador, la manija
handle (pitcher) - el asa, el asidero
hearth - el hogar
heating system - la calefacción
key - la llave
keyhole - el ojo de la cerradura
lamp - la lámpara
lampshade - la pantalla de lámpara
lever - la palanca
light - la luz
light switch el interruptor
lightbulb la bombilla
lock - la cerradura
log - el leño
logs, firewood - la leña
mailbox - el buzón
mantelpiece - la repisa (de chimenea)
mat - la estera, la esterilla
mezzanine floor - la mezzanina, el entresuelo
passageway - el pasillo
pipe - la pipa
plug (electrical) - el enchufe
plug, stopper - el tapón
roof - el tejado, el techo
shelf - el estante
shutters - las contraventanas
skylight - el tragaluz, la claraboya
staircase, stairs - la escalera
step - el peldaño, el escalón,la grada
terrace - la terraza
tile (bathroom) - el azulejo
tile (floor) - la baldosa
tile (roof ) - la teja
toilet - el inodoro, el retrete
trash can - el cubo de basura
tray - la bandeja
view - la vista, el panorama
wastepaper basket - la papelera, la cesta
window - la ventana
windowpane - el vidrio, el cristal
windowsill - el alféizar, el antepecho
wire - el alambre
wiring - el alambrado
wood - la madera

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Personality descriptions

Las características de la personalidad

charming encantador/encantadora,
cheerful alegre
clever, sharp listo
disciplined disciplinado
evil malo
(un-)friendly (poco) amistoso
fun divertido
funny cómico, gracioso
generous generoso
good bueno
happy alegre
hardworking trabajador/trabajadora,
honorable honrado
intelligent inteligente
interesting interesante
kind amable, simpático
lazy perezoso, l ojo
mean, unkind antipático
optimistic optimista
pessimistic pesimista
pleasant agradable
(im-)polite (mal) educado, (des)cortés
respectful respetuoso
rude grosero, crudo
sensible sensato, prudente
serious serio
shy tímido
(un-)sociable (in)sociable
tactful discreto
tactless indiscreto
temperamental temperamental
trusting coni ado
warm cálido
wise sabio, prudente, cauteloso
witty ingenioso, agudo

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Some Thoughts on Food

I wrote this a couple days ago as part of my writing about Spain. It may be a bit difficult for some of you. I will put an easier essay about food below this article.

Valencia, Where You Really Are What You Eat

I have mentioned before that I live next door to the Ruzafa Market, one of the city’s biggest. I awake six days a week to the comings and goings there as trucks begin arriving before the sun rises and things don’t calm down until about 3 pm. It would be impossible for me to ignore food from the vantage point I have a couple of floors above all of this commotion. The whole of Spanish life is somewhat analogous to living next to this vast marketplace for vegetables, meat, seafood, and everything else you need to make just about any sort of Spanish meal you could imagine. Everyone must eat so to say that food is important to Spaniards doesn’t begin to define their attitude about cooking. It would be like saying that water is important to fish. There is a very strong bond that the Spanish have with cooking and it is something that I adopted very early in my residency here in Valencia.

One of the biggest tourist attractions here is the Central Market downtown. It is a big attraction not because there aren’t other noteworthy sites but because the Mercado Central is truly something to behold and its magnificence speaks volumes about the relationship Valencianos have with food. Some cities have a big mosque or a lavish cathedral; Valencia has the Central Market. Its worshippers are devout and extremely loyal bordering at times on the fanatical—if you don’t believe me just try to get between some Valencian granny and her seafood purchase. I’m not saying that violence is common in the markets here but you just need to learn to avoid certain situations, usually those involving an octogenarian, her shopping pushcart, and your rightful place in line. Not only do you have to keep your eye on the golden girls but quite often they have a Yorkshire terrier tied up at one of the exits which are ready to rip your throat out at their command. Survival in this environment requires working knowledge of the law of the jungle mixed with the samurai code.

Something that is difficult for Americans to understand, or at least something that is completely different from our own way of life, is just how much food defines Valencianos, even more so than people from other parts of Spain. We Americans have our national flag and Valencianos have paella. Last year when Valencia Club de Fútbol was in the final of the Copa del Rey their fans laid siege to the area around the stadium in Madrid by making paellas during the tailgating parties, or whatever the hell you call them in Spanish. Paella became the battle standard of the Valencia contingent. I don’t think any other region of Spain has a dish that is quite as iconoclastic as paella Valenciana. As far as the local identity is concerned, food plays almost as big a role as the language, whether that is Spanish or Valenciano.

Once you realize this you may forgive the people here for guarding their recipes for jealously. Change one single ingredient in paella or baked rice and you’ll never hear the end of it from your local friends. You can improvise all you want, just don’t call it by the name they use for that dish. This doesn’t mean that I don’t tease my Valencian friends half to death whenever I cook something. I like to invent enormously elaborate names for the dishes I cook if they detour from the local recipes that are written in stone. “I call this ‘dish rice made in a style remarkably similar to paella but I wouldn’t dare call it paella for fear that some old Valencian grandmother would drop dead if she even got a hint that some immigrant was calling a dish paella when he profaned this venerable recipe by adding a bit of sausage.’” I usually keep going on and on until someone tells me to shut up, and that the point is taken.

Improvisation and variation in cooking are fine but you need to know the basics which provide you with the true north on your gourmet compass. I take great pains when I first learn to make one of the local dishes so that I am as close to the traditional recipe as possible. You will find a certain amount of variation from one person’s version to the next here but they are usually fairly similar. When I set out to make a local dish I compare several recipes and boil my version down from all of them assuring that what I make is pure, 100% Valencia.

And now something that I think will be easier.

I have a couple of teachers to help me learn Valencian cooking. One of them is la cocina de Juanry. I think he is about as authentic as you can get. He’s like the Valencian grandmother I never had although I don’t know how he would feel about this relationship.

To be a good cook you need a good teacher and then you have to practice a lot. I try to cook a Valencian dish at least once a week and usually more often. My favorite dish is arroz al horno. I usually make this dish almost every Sunday in the winter months. It is very satisfying and is perfect for a cold, wet day in January.

I have a very nice kitchen with every utensil necessary to cook just about anything from Japanese sushi to Mexican pozole. I like cooking food from all of the places I have lived or visited. Besides Spanish food my favorites are dishes from Mexico and Greece.

Most people think that we only eat hamburgers in America but we have a lot of very good food of our own. I think my favorite American dish is fried chicken. Since we are a country of immigrants we have food from all over the world. In Seattle there are restaurants with food from China, Viet Nam, Mexico, Thailand, India, Pakistan, India, France, Italy but I don't think we have a Spanish restaurant. I remember seeing a chalkboard in front of a restaurant in Seattle announcing that the special for the day was tortilla de patatas. I was very excited because I had just returned from a visit to Madrid. I order the tortilla but they served me scrambled eggs with potatoes mixed in. I guess that none of the cooks in that restaurant had ever visited Spain.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lengths and Shapes

As I have said many times, vocabulary is the essential key to learning English. Most of you already know enough grammar to get by; now you need to learn a lot of words.

angle el ángulo
area el área, la superficie
center el centro
degree (temperature) el grado
depth la profundidad
diameter el diámetro
distance la distancia
height la altura
horizon el horizonte
length la longitud, la largura
line la línea
point el punto
prism el prisma
radius el radio
room (space) el espacio, el sitio
ruler la regla
shape la forma, la i gura
side el lado
size el tamaño, la talla, la medida
surface la superi cie
width la anchura


acute agudo
bent encorvado, torcido
concave cóncavo
convex convexo
curved curvo
deep hondo, profundo
dense denso
diagonal diagonal
high alto
horizontal horizontal
long largo
low bajo
narrow estrecho
obtuse obtuso
parallel paralelo
perpendicular perpendicular
round redondo
short (height) bajo
short (length) corto
small pequeño
straight derecho
tall alto
thick grueso, espeso
thin l aco, delgado
twisted torcido
wide ancho
circle el círculo
circumference la circunferencia
cube el cubo
cylinder el cilindro
diamond el diamante
hexagon el hexágono
octagon el octágono
pentagon el pentágono
polygon el polígono
pyramid la pirámide
rectangle el rectángulo
rhombus el rombo
sphere la esfera
square el cuadrado
triangle el triángulo

circular circular
cubic cúbico
cylindrical cilíndrico
hexagonal hexagonal
octagonal octagonal
pentagonal pentagonal
capacity la capacidad, el volumen
cubic capacity la capacidad cúbica
decrease la disminución
dif erence la diferencia
growth, increase el aumento
measuring tape la cinta métrica
number el número
part la parte
quality la calidad
quantity la cantidad
slice el trozo, la tajada
volume el volumen
whole la totalidad, el todo

to contain contener
to decrease disminuir
to empty vaciar
to fill llenar
to increase aumentar

Adjectives and expressions
a little (amount) un poco
a lot (of) mucho (de)
about alrededor (de),aproximadamente
almost, nearly casi
approximate aproximado
approximately aproximadamente
as tan (adjetivo)
as como
as much tanto
(noun) as (sustantivo) como
at least al menos, por lo menos
empty vacío
enough bastante, suficiente
full (of) lleno (de)
more más
square feet los pies cuadrados
still, yet todavía
suficient sui ciente
too (much) demasiado

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Reasons for Learning English: Part 1 & 2

So that you can read fun web sites like Urban Dictionary. Urban Dictionary is a dictionary/glossary of current slang written by the readers. The definitions are mostly sarcastic or ironic and each word has examples of the term used in a sentence. Like this one:

Life Password(contraseña de la vida)

The password that you use for every website, email account, facebook, twitter, everything. Having a "life password" is not a good idea, but everyone does it.

My friend found out my life password and wrecked my facebook account, stole all my paypal money and emailed offensive images to my mother.

Or The Onion which calls itself "America’s finest news source" and is one of the funniest web sites on the internet. From The Onion:

Concert Security Guard Would Willingly Give His Life To Protect Coldplay

CHULA VISTA, CA—Twenty-four-year-old security guard Ian Moran told reporters Tuesday that he would gladly lay down his life to protect the members of Coldplay during their upcoming show at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. "I hope it doesn't come to that, but if [lead singer] Chris [Martin] is in danger, it's my job to take a bullet for him if I have to," said Moran, who has been struck in the head by beer bottles on three separate occasions while protecting Good Charlotte, Ozzy Osbourne, and Sheryl Crow, respectively. "A secure Coldplay concert is bigger than just one man." Coworkers said Moran started taking his responsibilities very seriously after a 2006 show at which he was unable to prevent overzealous fans from stealing Tim McGraw's cowboy hat, an incident for which he has never forgiven himself.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Beverly Hillbillies

English isn’t just the language of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens; it is also the language of a vast body of popular culture which includes music, movies, books, and television. This television program, stupid to the point of being surreal, was a part of my childhood, whether I want to admit that fact or not. The theme song was part of the soundtrack of my youth. It has been parodied millions of times and for that reason it deserves a place here.

The Beverly Hillbillies

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shooting at some food,
And up through the ground came a bubbling crude.

Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

Well the first thing you know ol Jed's a millionaire,
Kinfolk said "Jed move away from there"
Said "California is the place you ought to be"
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.

Well now it’s time to say goodbye to Jed and all his kin (family).
And they would like to thank you folks for kindly dropping in.
You're all invited back again to this locality
To have a heaping helping (ración) of their hospitality

Hillybilly that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?. (Something hicks say.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Revised American Dream

Queen Anne style house

The City versus Country Life
“The American dream” is an idea that has attracted people from almost every country in the world to come to the United States. As an American, this idea has never interested me, at least not what most people consider to be the American dream. To most people, the American dream means a house in the suburbs with a big yard and a garage big enough to fit at least two cars. I think that this ideal has been destructive and wasteful. Americans depend too much on the automobile and most people have to drive everywhere they go. As gasoline prices rise more and more people in the USA are beginning to move back to cites so that they don’t have to drive as much (as before). The American dream is becoming too expensive in this era of high oil prices.

I grew up in a neighborhood of large Queen Anne style* homes built at the beginning of the 20th century. There was a huge park with woods directly across the street from my house where I spent a good part of my childhood playing. I knew everyone in my neighborhood. I walked to school or rode my bike. It was a city of about 60,000 inhabitants.

As an adult I have lived in large cities: Athens, Miami, Washington D.C., Seattle, and now Valencia. I much prefer city life to living in the country or in small towns. I like to be near restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and shopping. I don’t like to depend on the automobile for everything as is the case if you live in the suburbs or in the country. I think that the automobile was the biggest technological mistake of the 20th century. Cars not only use a lot of natural resources but they are also extremely dangerous. Over 40,000 people die in car accidents every year in the USA and over one million are injured. And then there is the problem of pollution from automobile emissions. The roads necessary for cars are very expensive to build and to maintain. Cars themselves are very expensive to buy and maintain and you also have to pay for insurance.

The bicycle and the train are both 19th century inventions and are much better methods of transportation. Traveling by train is much better than driving, in my opinion. When you take the train you can relax with a book, watch a movie, sleep, or talk to people in the club (café) car. Trains are much more civilized than cars or airplanes. When people get on airplanes they act like complete assholes (capullos). Planes are like those experiments in which scientists put a lot of rats in a small cage and the rats kill each other. Flying in a plane reminds me of being in grade school. You have to have ask the teacher’s (the flight attendant) permission to go to the bathroom. You have to ask to get up from your seat.

In my neighborhood of Ruzafa (the center of the known universe, as I call it) I can walk everywhere. There are markets, stores, bars, restaurants, barber shops, book stores, and everything else you might need, all within a few blocks. On my block, without even crossing the street, there are over 40 businesses as well as a church. Without crossing a street I could be baptized, have my first communion, get married, raise a family, and then have my funeral. My block is like an island that has everything you need for human existence.

I think that we need to change the American dream to better reflect our need to be more conscious of the environment. Instead of a big house in the suburbs with a huge yard, the new dream should be a small apartment in the city. Instead of families needing two and three cars, the new dream will have families riding bikes together in the city on bike paths and walking.

Means of transportation

modos de transporte

Mass transportation, public transportation - transporte público
airplane - avión
airport - aeropuerto
bicycle, bike - la bicicleta, bici
bus - el autobús
boat - el barco
car - el coche, el carro
company car - el coche de la empresa, el carro de la empresa
foot - el pie
to go on foot, to walk caminar
limousine - la limusina
motorcycle - la motocicleta
rental car - el coche alquilado,el carro alquilado
ship - el buque
ferry - transbordador, el ferry
car ferry (ferry that carries cars)
subway, metro, underground - el metro
taxi - el taxi
train - el tren
trolley, tram - el tranvía
to ride a bike - montar en bicicleta
to ride a horse - montar en caballo
bike path, bike lane - carril bici
crosswalk - cruce peatonal
intersection (of streets) - cruce
traffic light - semáforo
right-of-way - derecho de paso
pedestrian - peatón
bike rack - estacionamiento para bicicleta
bike lock - candado, cadena
bus stop, metro stop - parada
downtown - centro
suburbs – las afueras, extrarradios (Highland Park is a suburb of Chicago)
highway – carretera
sidewalk – acera
street cleaner – barredora
traffic jam - atasco
shopping mall – centro commercial
parking – aparcamiento
(on signs) no parking – prohibido aparcar

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Phrasal Verbs

Come across.
a) To seem, to be considered, to be perceived. Nathan comes across as rude, but he's really
just shy.
b) To find, especially in an unexpected way. / was cleaning out the closet when I came across
this old photo album.

Come along.
To accompany. You can come along. We'd love to have you join us.

Come around.
a) To visit or frequent a place. Ever since Josh broke up with Mary, he doesn't
come around anymore.
b) To change one's mind or attitude in a positive or favorable way. Don't worry about Greg;
he'll come around soon enough and agree with you.
Come back.
To return. Bring your family when you come back.

Come by.
a) To visit for a short time. Come by when you're in the neighborhood.
b) To receive, to get something, usually of value. How did you come by that expensive

Come down.
a) To decrease, such as a price. The price on that house has come down a lot. They were
asking about $45,000 more.
b) To visit an area considered geographically lower or further south. /'// be in New York
that week, but I'll see if I can come down to Philadelphia.

Come down on.
To punish severely. Used with "hard." When her parents caught Jessica smoking, they
really came down hard on her.

Come in.
a) To enter. The door's open, so just come in.
b) To be received as a signal, as in a television, radio, or cell phone. / love this station, but
it doesn't come in very well outside the city.

Come into.
To receive something valuable, especially inherited money. Kevin came into some
money, so he paid off all of his debts.

Come on.
To request that someone do something, often pronounced c'mon. Come on. I'd really
like you to come to the movie with me.

Come out.
To divulge something about oneself or one's identity, especially sexual orientation.
None of Dan's friends was surprised when he came out; they knew he was gay.

Come through.
To help or perform something according to expectation. / wasn't sure if he'd be able to
lend me the money, but Jack really came through for me.

Come to.
a) To arrive at. (Used with "conclusion,""realization,"etc.) I've just come to the conclusion
that I'd like to go to school.
b) To awaken after having been unconscious. When Mary came to, she discovered that
someone had moved her to the sofa.

Come up.
a) To visit an area considered geographically higher or further north. /'// come up and visit
you when you go to the mountains this summer.
b) To rise socially, economically, or professionally. Bob's really come up since he became
the president of the company.

Come up with.
a) To get an idea. (Used with "idea,""solution,""proposal,"etc.) Where did you come up with
the idea that the director was quitting?
Drop off.
To deliver something or someone to a specific location. Can you drop this package off
at the post office?

Get back.
To receive again. / got back the message I sent Kevin, so he must have gotten a new e-mail

Get back to.
To return a call or respond to a message. Sorry, I can't talk now. I'll get back to you later.

Get out.
To put something in the mail. Did you get that package out yet? It needs to be in the
mail by 5:00 PM.
Get to.
To arrive somewhere. I'm just calling to see if the letter I sent has gotten to you yet.

Give out.
To issue, to give something to many people at the same time. Meredith is giving out
invitations to her birthday party.

Go out.
To leave, as by mail. Has the mail gone out yet?

Hand out.
To distribute something by hand. /'// hand out the tests after you put all your
books away.

Mail out.
To put something in the mail. Have you mailed out the bills yet?

Pass out.
To distribute to many people at the same time, similar to hand out. Look at this book they
passed out to everyone at the last workshop I went to.

Pick up.
a) To get or obtain something. You can come and pick up your new security ID
after Tuesday.
b) To become infected by something. Walt must have picked up a cold or something at work,
because he feels awful today.
c) To get something from a store, to buy. Can you pick up a few things from the grocery store
on the way home from school?
d) To learn, to absorb knowledge. Isn't it amazing the way children pick up languages?

Pick up on.
To understand. Terry's young, but she picks up on everything, so be careful what you say
in front of her.

Send off for.
To order through the mail. Oh, I like this skirt. I'm going to send off for it as soon as I get

Send out for.
To (call and) request a delivery, usually food. Since we have to work late, we'd better send
out for some dinner.


accident el accidente
announcement el anuncio
arrival la llegada
assistance la ayuda
bag la bolsa
baggage el equipaje, las maletas
booking/reservation office la oficina de reservaciones
briefcase el maletín
business trip el viaje de negocios
class la clase
connection el trasbordo
delay el retraso
departure la salida
destination el destino
direction la dirección
discount el descuento, la rebaja
distance la distancia
documents los documentos
driver el conductor /la conductora
emergency call la llamada de emergencia, la llamada de urgencia
emergency stop la parada de emergencia
entrance la entrada
exit la salida
extra charge, el recargo,
surcharge el suplemento
fare la tarifa
fare reduction la reducción de tarifa
help la ayuda, el socorro
honeymoon la luna de miel
inquiry la pregunta
insurance (travel) el seguro (de viaje)
lost and found office la oficina de objetos perdidos
loudspeaker el altavoz,el altoparlante
luggage el equipaje, las maletas
message el mensaje, el recado
nonsmoker el no fumador / la no fumadora
nonsmoking section la sección de no fumar
one-way ticket el billete de ida
passenger el pasajero / la pasajera
passport el pasaporte
porter (airport, station) el mozo
porter (apartment, hotel) el portero, el conserje
reduced fare la tarifa reducida
reduction el descuento, la rebaja
rescue el rescate
reservation la reserva, la reservación
resort el centro turístico
restroom el servicio
return la vuelta
round-trip ticket el billete de ida y vuelta
safety la seguridad
schedule, timetable el horario
seat el asiento
seatbelt el cinturón de seguridad
signal la señal
smoking section la sección de fumar
speed la velocidad
staf el personal
stop la parada
ticket el billete
ticket counter la taquilla
ticket office la oifcina de billetes,el despacho de billetes,la taquilla
ticket window la ventanilla
travel el viajar
travel agency la agencia de viajes
travel agent el/la agente de viajes
travel documents los documentos de viajes
travel information la información de viajes
travel sickness el mareo
traveler el viajero / la viajera
trip, journey el viaje
tunnel el túnel
turn el giro, la vuelta
visitor el/la visitante
warning el aviso
way in la entrada
way out la salida
weekdays los días de semana
weekend el i n de semana
notice el aviso
nuisance la molestia
window seat el asiento junto a la ventana

Los verbos (Verbs)

to accelerate acelerar
to arrive (at) llegar (a)
to ask for assistance pedir (e _ i) ayuda
to be delayed tener retraso, estar retrasado
to be en route estar en ruta
to book reservar
to buy a ticket comprar un billete
to cancel cancelar
to carry llevar
to catch (a train, bus) coger
to conifrm (a reservation) confirmar
to cross cruzar
to depart salir
to fill out a form rellenar un formulario
to inquire, ask of preguntar, pedir (e _ i)información
to leave (someone) dejar a
to leave (something) dejar
to leave, depart for (a place) salir para
to leave, depart from (a place) salir de
to miss (a train) perder
to pack one’s suitcase hacer la maleta
to reserve reservar
to return volver, regresar
to set out for (a place) salir para
to slow down reducir la velocidad
to start from salir de
to stay quedarse
to stop parar
to take (a train, bus) coger
to travel viajar
to turn girar, dar la vuelta
to unpack one’s suitcase deshacer la maleta
to welcome dar la bienvenida (a)

Los adjetivos (Adjectives)

direct directo
disabled, handicapped minusválido
early temprano
fast rápido
free gratis
helpful útil
invalid inválido
late tarde
lost perdido
occupied ocupado
on board a bordo
on strike de huelga
on time a tiempo
safe seguro
slow lento
useless inútil
valid válido

Las frases y las palabras importantes (Phrases and important words)
one-way only ida sólo
via, through a través de, por
Welcome! ¡Bienvenido! / ¡Bienvenida!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Animal Kingdom

En la granja y en la casa (On the farm and in the house)

bird el pájaro
bull el toro
cat el gato
chicken el pollo
cow la vaca
deer el ciervo, el venado
dog el perro
duck el pato
gerbil el gerbo
goat la cabra
goldfish el pez de colores
goose el ganso
gopher el geomís
hamster el hámster
hedgehog el erizo
hen la gallina
horse el caballo
lamb el cordero
mare la yegua
mouse el ratón
owl el búho
ox el buey
pig el cerdo
rabbit el conejo
raccoon el mapache
rat la rata
rooster el gallo
sheep la oveja
skunk la mofeta
turkey el pavo

En el mar (In the sea)

alligator el caimán
crab el cangrejo
crocodile el cocodrilo
dolphin el delfín
fish el pez
octopus el pulpo
penguin el pingüino
seal la foca
shark el tiburón
snail el caracol
starfish la estrella de mar
turtle, tortoise la tortuga
whale la ballena

En el zoológico (In the zoo)

(grizzly) bear el oso (gris)
chimpanzee el chimpancé
elephant el elefante
giraf e la jirafa
gorilla la gorila
kangaroo el canguro
lion el león
monkey el mono
seal la foca
snake la culebra, la serpiente
tiger el tigre
wolf el lobo



Hola. Hi. / Hello. Howdy
Buenos días. Good day. / Good morning.
Buenas tardes. Good afternoon.
Buenas noches. Good evening. / Good night.
Adios. Good-bye.
Adiosito. Bye-bye.
Chau. Bye
Hasta luego. See you later.
Hasta manana. See you tomorrow.
¿Qué tal? What’s up?
¿Qué pasa? What’s happening? / What’s up?
¿Qué es nuevo? What’s new?
Nada mucho. Nothing much.
¿Cómo estás? How are you? (informal sing.)
¿Cómo está? How are you?
¿Cómo están? How are you? (pl.)
Bien, gracias. Fine, thanks.
Más o menos. So-so. / OK.
Asi asi. So-so. / OK.
¿Cómo te llamas? What is your name? (informal sing.)
¿Cómo se llama? What is your name? (formal sing.)
Me llamo . My name is .
Se llama . His/Her name is .

Los días de la semana (The days of the week)

Monday el lunes
Tuesday el martes
Wednesday el miércoles
Thursday el jueves
Friday el viernes
Saturday el sábado
Sunday el domingo

Los meses del año (The months of the year)

January enero July julio
February febrero August agosto
March marzo September septiembre
April abril October octubre
May mayo November noviembre
June junio December diciembre

The Simple Past Tense

Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.

• I saw a movie yesterday.
• I didn't see a play yesterday.
• Last year, I traveled to Japan.
• Last year, I didn't travel to Korea.
• Did you have dinner last night?
• She washed her new car.
• He didn't wash his old car.

We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.

• I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
• He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.
• Did you add flour, pour in the milk, and then add the eggs?

The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.

• I lived in Seattle for eight years.
• Jane studied Spanish for five years.
• They sat at the beach all day.
• They did not stay at the party.
• We talked on the phone for one hour.
• A: How long did you wait for them?
B: We waited for ten minutes.

The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used to." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.

• I studied French when I was in high school.
• He played the piano.
• He didn't play the piano.
• Did you play a musical instrument when you were a child?
• She worked in a restaurant after school.
• They never went to school, they always skipped class.

The Simple Past can also be used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true. This use of the Simple Past is quite similar to the expression "used to."

• She was shy as a child, but now she is very outgoing.
• He didn't like tomatoes but now he does.
• Did you live in Madrid when you were a younger?
• People paid much more to make cell phone calls in the past.

To Be
I was here. You were here. They were here. He was here. We were here yesterday.
Were you here yesterday? Was he here? Was I here? Wee they here yesterday?

Regular Verbs
It rained yesterday. It did not rain yesterday. It didn’t rain yesterday.
I drove to work yesterday. I didn’t drive to work.
I understood the problem. I didn’t understand it.
Did you go to work yesterday? Yes, I went to work. No, I didn’t go.
I was five years old when I started school. How old were you when you started?
Robert ate lunch with his family. Robert didn’t eat lunch. Did Robert eat with his family?
I paid attention in class when the teacher talked about King Henry VIII.
Did you learn anything? Yes, I learned a lot.
I walked to school every day when I was a boy.
He told me his name when I met him.
I sat down in a chair. Did you sit down?
(Some verbs don’t change)
He hit the ball. What did he hit?
Mary cut the cloth. What did Mary cut?
(some verbs change a lot)
He caught the ball. What did he catch?
Ann brought her dog. What did Ann bring?
I taught one class yesterday. What did I teach?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food and Drink

La comida y las bebidas (Food and drink)

La carne roja (Red meat)
bacon el tocino
beef la carne de vaca
chop la chuleta
ham el jamón
hamburger la hamburguesa
hot dog el perrito caliente
kidney (kidneys) el riñón (los riñones)
lamb el cordero
lamb chop la chuleta de cordero
liver el hígado
meat la carne
meatballs las albóndigas
mutton la carne de cordero
pate el paté
pork la carne de cerdo, el cerdo
pork chop la chuleta de cerdo
rabbit el conejo
salami el salami
sausage la salchicha
sirloin el solomillo
steak el i lete
stew el guiso, el estofado
veal la (carne de) ternera _

La carne de ave (Poultry)
capon el capón
chicken el pollo
duck el pato
egg el huevo
goose el ganso
pheasant el faisán
quail la codorniz
turkey el pavo

Los mariscos (Seafood)
anchovy la anchoa
clam la almeja
cod el bacalao
crab el cangrejo
eel la anguila
fish (prepared) el pescado
herring el arenque
lobster la langosta
mussel el mejillón
octopus el pulpo
oyster la ostra
salmon el salmón
sardine la sardina
scallop la venera
shelli sh el crustáceo, los mariscos
shrimp el camarón
snail el caracol
squid el calamar
swordfish el pez espada
trout la trucha
tuna el atún

Las verduras (Vegetables)
artichoke la alcachofa
asparagus el espárrago
beans las judías, las habas
beet la remolacha
broccoli el brócoli, el brécol
Brussels sprout(s) la col de Bruselas
cabbage la col, el repollo
carrot la zanahoria
caulil ower la colil or
celery el apio
corn el maíz
cucumber el pepino
eggplant, aubergine la berenjena
French fries, chips las papas fritas
garlic el ajo
leek el puerro
lentil la lenteja
lettuce la lechuga
mushroom el champiñón, el hongo
onion la cebolla
parsley el perejil
pea el guisante
pepper (red, green) el pimiento (rojo, verde)
potato la patata, la papa
pumpkin la calabaza
radish el rábano
spinach la espinaca
tomato el tomate
turnip el nabo
watercress el berro
zucchini el calabacín

Los granos (Grains)
amaranth el amaranto
barley la cebada
bran el salvado
bread el pan
buckwheat el trigo negro
oat(s) la avena
rice el arroz
wheat el trigo

Las nueces (Nuts)
Brazil nut la nuez de Brasil
cashew el anacardo
chestnut la castaña
hazelnut, i lbert la avellana
Las frutas (Fruit)
apple la manzana
apricot el albaricoque
avocado el aguacate
banana el plátano
berry la baya
blackberry la mora, la zarzamora
cranberry el arándano
date el dátil
Fig el higo
grape la uva
grapefruit la toronja, el pomelo
kiwi el kiwi
lemon el limón
lime la lima
melon el melón
olive la aceituna, el olivo
orange la naranja
peach el melocotón
pear la pera
pineapple la piña
plum la ciruela
pomegranate la granada
prune la ciruela seca
raisin la pasa
raspberry la frambuesa
rhubarb el ruibarbo
strawberry la fresa
tangerine la mandarina

Las bebidas alcohólicas (Alcoholic drinks)
beer la cerveza
brandy el brandy, el coñac
champagne la champaña
cocktail el cóctel
gin la ginebra
rum el ron
scotch el escocés
sherry el (vino de) jerez
vodka la vodka
whiskey el whisky
wine el vino

Las bebidas sin alcohol (Nonalcoholic drinks)
cider la cidra
coffee el café
cola la cola
juice el jugo, el zumo
lemonade la limonada
milk la leche
milkshake el batido, la malteada
mineral water el agua mineral
orange juice el jugo de naranja,
el zumo de naranja
soda la soda
tea el té
tonic el tónico
water el agua

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

To Borrow, To Lend

Borrow means to take something from someone, with permission and with the intention of giving it back. The past participle is borrowed.
Borrow: To take and use something that belongs to someone else. I'd like to borrow your umbrella.
Can I borrow the car?
You can borrow a pen from him.
I need to borrow some money.
What happened to the books I borrowed from the library?

Lend is just the opposite - it means to give something to something, with the expectation that s/he will return it. The past participle is lent.
Lend: To give something to someone that belongs to you. I can lend you my umbrella.
Yes, I'll lend you the car.
He'll be happy to lend you a pen.
I can't afford to lend you any money.
The library lent me those books three weeks ago.
Lend can also be used figuratively, to mean to contribute, impart, or offer:
The yellow wall will lend a feeling of warmth.
Your story lends itself to numerous interpretations.

Loan is a synonym for lend, used by Americans, but only for the concrete meaning (the opposite of borrow), not the figurative one. The past participle is loaned.
Yes, I'll loan you the car.
He'll be happy to loan you a pen.
I can't afford to loan you any money.
The library loaned me those books three weeks ago.
Loan is also a noun, which indicates whatever object was loaned.
I'll have to get a loan to buy this house.
The loan of my car was on condition that you fill it with gas.

The Bottom Line *
Borrow means "to take," while lend and loan mean "to give." If you continue to have trouble with this, try substituting "take" for borrow and "give" for lend or loan - the correct word will immediately be clear.
You can only borrow something from someone: Loan (or lend) me a pen is correct, "Borrow me a pen" is not. (Just as "give me a pen" is right, but "take me a pen" isn't.)

After I got caught in the rain, Clare lent me some dry clothes.

Could you lend me your calculator, please?
Has someone borrowed my stapler without asking?
Could I borrow your calculator, please?
Mom offered to lend us some money toward a new car.
Mr. Jones always borrows money off people.
Jason asked me if he could borrow my camera but I said no.
You wouldn't lend me a1,000 Euros, would you?
She never gave me back the 100 Euros she borrowed off me.
Don't lend him the money. He should ask the bank, not you.
Can I borrow your mobile phone for a minute, please?
Sometimes Dad lends me his car for the weekend.

My computer isn’t working well. Could I ____________ yours?
If you need some money, I can ____________ you some.
I would like to ________ this chair for a moment. Is that alright? I’ve run out of paper.
Could I ____________ some of yours? I forgot to buy a newspaper today.
Could you ____________ me yours so I can read the headlines?
The bank has agreed to ____________ us the money we need to finance our new house.
We don't have the money so we will have to ____________ it.
Do you have a coffee mug I could____________? All of the mugs are being used right now.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to ____________ your phone for just a minute.
1. Could you lend me some money, please?
2. Some pupils can borrow books from their school.
3. Will you lend me your umbrella till tomorrow?
4. Should I lend him my football?
5. You can borrow my bike, but be careful.
6. Could I borrow your cup?
7. You can loan your book to Steve.
8. Why do students borrow so much money from their parents?
9. Peter won't lend his car to anyone.
10. Will your mother loan you some money?

*The bottom line (definition)
1. The line in a financial statement that shows net income or loss.
2. The final result or statement; upshot: “The bottom line, however, is that he has escaped” (David Wise).
3. The main or essential point: “A lot can happen between now and December, but the bottom line—for now—is that the city is still heading toward default” (New York).