Monday, September 28, 2009

Either and Neither

"Either" and "neither" are both singular adjectives meaning "one or the other of two." "Neither" of course means "not the first one and not the second one."
In formal writing, we usually use a singular verb because "either" and "neither" signal that one of the following nouns is the subject, but not both:
Either Bill or Bob is going to the conference. (One or the other is going, but not both.)

Neither Joan nor Jane likes sushi. (= Joan doesn't like sushi. Jane doesn't like sushi either!)

Notice that we say "either...or" and "neither...nor." In informal English, most people would say "Neither Joan OR Jane LIKE sushi." That's all right in conversation, but in formal documents you should prefer the formal usage.
Of course we have a confusing exception to this rule. You can use a plural verb if you have a plural noun next to the verb:

Either Joan or the Kennedys are going to the conference.

But put the singular noun closer to the verb, and it goes back to singular!

Either the Kennedys or Joan is going to the conference.
And it's the same with "neither":

Neither Jane nor her brothers like sushi.
Neither her brothers nor Jane likes sushi.

Of course the verb will be plural if both nouns are plural:

Either the Smiths or the Robinsons are meeting us at the station.
Neither the Canadians nor the Americans are interested in this problem.

Más Ejemplos:

I like neither of them.
No me gusta ninguno.

Neither of you will go and that's it!
¡Ninguno de ustedes irá y eso es todo!

a.- Peter can't read
b.- Neither can Bob.

a.- Peter no puede leer.
b.- Bob tampoco.

También tiende a usarse en conjunción con 'nor', lo que vendría siendo "ni____ni..."

Neither this or that one, both are awful.
Ni éste ni aquel, ambos son horribles.

They will neither stay nor help the rest of the class.
Ellos ni se quedarán ni ayudarán al resto de la clase.

Ten en cuenta que "neither” es una palabra negativa de por sí y no puede usarse en oraciones que ya son negativas; recuerda que “neither” convierte las oraciones positivas en negativas.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Phrasal Verbs with "Look"

Abajo hay una lista de phrasal verbs con look con sus significados. Despues hay un ejemplo.

Look after – cuidar
She looks after her mother who is very old.

Look into – investigar
I am looking into buying an apartment in this neighborhood.

Look up to – admirar
Most young boys look up to football players.

Look down on – despreciar
Most people look down on food from McDonald’s.

Look forward to - tener ganas
I am looking forward to my vacation in August.

Look up - buscar información
I had to look up the number for a plumber in the phone book.

Look for - buscar algo ó alguien
I looked for my car keys all morning.

Look out! – ¡cuidado!
Look out! A car is coming!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The and A

El uso de a, the o una frase sin artículos:

Martha is not at the office. She went home. She is in the garden. She works in the garden every day.

I am studying Spanish and Arabic. Arabic is very hard. It is a hard language to learn.

I see a dog across the street. The dog is named Spot. Do you have a dog? Dogs are good pets. The dogs on my street bark at night. A dog was barking. Dogs bark, cats meow, birds chirp, pigs oink, tigers growl, lions roar, wolves howl, and cows moo.

I went to the café and had a coffee. The coffee at the café near my house is very good. People drink a lot of coffee in Spain. I drink coffee every day. I drink a cup of coffee every day.

I looked at the clock in the church tower and I knew that it would be difficult to arrive at the train station for the train at 10:00. I like trains. I hate cars. I love bikes. It was a beautiful day so I rode my bike instead of taking the train. The road was empty. There were no cars. There was a boy on a blue bicycle in front of me. I went past him at the corner of the next street. I have a white bike. I have a water bottle for my bike. The water bottle is white. I have a red shirt. The shirt is new. A bus crossed the street in front of me. The bus was full of people. The people on the bus were reading. People like to read on the bus.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. Hollywood

This is part of a series of beginner books with audio from the Oxford Bookworm series. They can be purchased here.

1) Mystery Girl

It all began on a beautiful spring morning in a village called Whistler in Canada—a pretty little village in the mountains of British Columbia.

There was a café in the village, with tables outside, and at one of these tables sat a young man. He finished his breakfast, drank his coffee, and looked up into the blue sky, and felt the warm sun on his face. Nick Lortz was a happy man.

The waiter came up to his table, “More coffee?” he asked.
“Yeah, great,” said Nick. He gave the waiter his coffee cup.

The waiter looked at the camera on the table. “On vacation?” he said. “Where are you from.?”
“San Francisco,” Nick said. He laughed. “But I’m not on vacation—I’m working. I’m a travel writer and I’m doing a book on the mountains in North America. I’ve got some great pictures of your mountain.

The two men looked up at Whistler Mountain behind the village. It looked very beautiful in the morning.
“Do you travel a lot, then?” asked the waiter.
“All the time,” Nick said. “I write books and I write for travel magazines. I write about everything: different countries, towns, villages, rivers, mountains, people…”

The waiter looked over Nick’s head. “There’s a girl across the street,” he said. “Do you know her?”

Nick turned his head and looked. “No, I don’t.”
“Well, she knows you, I think.” The waiter said. “She’s watching you very carefully.” He gave Nick a smile. Have a nice day.” He went away, back into the café.
Nick looked at the girl across the street. She was about twenty-five and she was very pretty. “She is watching me,” Nick thought. Then the girl turned and looked in one of the shop windows. After a second or two she looked back at Nick again.

Nick watched her. “She looks worried,” he thought. “What ‘s she doing? Is she waiting for somebody?”

Suddenly, the girl smiled. Then she walked across the street, came up to Nick’s table, and sat down. She put her bag down on the table. The bag was half-open.

“Hi. I’m Jan,” she said. “Do you remember me? We met at a party in Toronto.”

“Hi, Jan,” said Nick. He smiled. “I’m Nick. But we didn’t meet at a party in Toronto. I don’t go to parties very often, and never in Toronto.”

“Oh,” the girl said. But she didn’t get up or move away.
“Have some coffee,” Nick said. The story about the party in Toronto wasn’t true, but it was a beautiful morning and she was a pretty girl. “Maybe it was a party in Montréal or New York.”

The girl laughed. “OK, maybe it was. And yes, I’d love some coffee.”
When she had her coffee Nick asked, “What are you doing in Whistler? Or do you live here?”
“Oh no,” she said. “I’m just, er, just travelling through. And what are you doing here?”
“I’m a travel writer,” said Nick, “and I’m writing a book about famous mountains.”
“That’s interesting,” she said. But her face was worried, not interested, and she looked across the road again.

A man with very short, white hair walked across the road. He was about sixty years old, and he was tall and thin. The girl watched him.

“Are you waiting for someone?” asked Nick.
“No,” she said quickly. The she asked, “Where are you going next, Nick?”
“To Vancouver, for three or four days,” he said.
“When are you going?” she asked
“Later this morning,” he said. There was a letter in the top of the girl’s half-open bag. Nick could see some of the writing, and he read it because he saw the word
“Vancouver”…and "we can meet at the Empress Hotel, Victoria, Vancouver Island, on Friday afternoon…"
“So she’s going to Vancouver, too,” Nick thought.

Suddenly the girl said, “Do you like movies?”

“Movies? Yes, I love movies,” he said. “Why?”
“I know a man and he…he loves movies and going to the cinema,” she said slowly. “People call him ‘Mr. Hollywood’.” She smiled at Nick. “Can I call you Mr. Hollywood, Too?”

Nick laughed. “OK,” he said. “And what can I call you?”
She smiled again. “Call me Mystery Girl,” she said.
“That’s a good name for you,” said Nick.

Just then the man with the white hair came into the café. He did not look at Nick or the girl, but he sat at a table near them. He asked the waiter for some breakfast, then he began to read a magazine.

“Do you know him?” Nick asked her.
“No,” she said. Shefinished her coffee quickly and got up. “I must go now,” she said.

Nick stood up, too. “Nice to…” he began.
But the girl suddenly took his face between her hands, and kissed him on the mouth. “Drive carefully, Mr. Hollywood. Goodbye,” she said, with a big beautiful smile. Then she turned and walked quickly away.
“Now what was that all about?” thought Nick.

The man with the white hair watched Nick and waited. After four or five minutes Nick finished his coffee, took his books and his camera, and left the café. His car was just outside the girl’s hotel, and he walked slowly along the street to it.
The man with the white hair waited a second then quickly followed Nick.

From a window high up in the hotel the girl looked down into the road. She saw Nick and the man with the white hair about fifty yards behind him. Nick got into his car, and the man with the white hair walked quickly to a red car across the street. Five seconds later Nick drove away in his blue car, and the red car began to follow him.
When the girl saw this she smiled, then went to put things in her travel bag.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Green Eggs and Ham

I am Sam
Sam I am
That Sam-I-am!
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like that Sam-I-am!
Do you like
green eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
Would you like them
here or there?
I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
Would you like them in a house?
Would you like them with a mouse?
I do not like them
in a house.
I do not like them
with a mouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them,
Would you eat them
in a box?
Would you eat them
with a fox?
Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
I would not eat them
here or there.
I would not eat them anywhere.
I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Listening and Talking (escuchar y hablar)

Los sustantivos (Nouns)

accent … el acento
consonant … el consonante
conversation … la conversación
dialect … el dialecto
diction … la dicción
dictionary … el diccionario
expression … la expresión
fluency …la fluidez, la soltura,la facilidad
idiom … la expresión idiomática
interpreter … el/la intérprete
intonation … la entonación
jargon … la jerga
lexicon … el léxico
lisp … el ceceo
listener … el oyente
listening … la audición
listening skills … las habilidades para audición
mispronunciation … el error de pronunciación
phrase book … el libro de frases
pun … el retruécano, el juego de palabras
quote … la citación
rhythm … el ritmo
sentence … la frase
sound … el sonido
slang … el argot
speaker … el/la hablante
speaking skills … las habilidades verbales, las habilidades para hablar
speech … el discurso
speed … la velocidad
spoken language … el lenguaje hablado
stress … la entonación
syllable … la sílaba
vowel … la vocal
wisdom … la sabiduría
wit … el ingenio, la agudeza
wordplay … el juego de palabras

Los verbos (Verbs)

to articulate … articular
to communicate … comunicar
to converse … conversar, hablar
to express oneself … expresarse
to interpret … interpretar
to lisp … cecear
to listen (to) (a person) … escuchar (a)
to mispronounce … pronunciar mal
to pronounce … pronunciar
to pun … hacer retruécanos
to sound … sonar
to speak … hablar
to spell … deletrear
to stutter … tartamudear
to swear (at) … maldecir

Los adjetivos (Adjectives)

articulate … elocuente
clear … claro
clever … agudo
fluent … fluido
idiomatic … idiomático
stressed … acentuado
unpronounceable … impronunciable
unstressed … inacentuado
witty … gracioso, chistoso, estar listo

Winston Churchill Quotes & Stories

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
(Un fanatico es uno que no puede cambiar la mente y nunca cambia el topico de la

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
(Él tiene todas las virtudes que no me gustan y ninguno de los vicios que admiro)

Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
(La democracia es la peor forma del gobierno, excepto todas las otras formas que tratamos de vez en cuando)

When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.
(Cuando viajo nunca critico mi gobierno de mi país. Cuando vuelvo repongo el tiempo perdido.)

A woman in the street said to Churchill, “Sir, you are very drunk—very drunk.” Churchill replied, “And you, my dear are very ugly but tomorrow I will wake up sober.”
( Mujer en la calle: “Señor, usted esta borracho—muy, muy borracho”. Churchill: “Señora,usted es fea muy pero en la mañana, voy a estar sobrio)”