Songs to learn

Imagine John Lennon

One of the most beautiful and inspiring songs of all time. Released in 1971, in the Vietnam War. It has become a classic anti-war .

Listen to the song and find the missing words. The missing words are in the key below

Imagine there’s no ➣(1)
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only

Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no ➣(3)
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no
➣ (4), too

Imagine all the people
Living life in


You may say I’m a ➣(6)
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no ➣(7)
➣(8) if you can
No need for greed or
➣(10) of man

Imagine all the people
➣(11) all the world


You may say I’m a ➣(12)
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Vocabulary. Match the words with the definitions:

Tick the right word for each definition

lower, under

to ask yourself

a religious belief in which souls are subjected to punitive suffering in the afterlife and the place where the devil lives and evil people go after they die

to put or bring together

to want something to happen

a religious belief in a place where the gods are and where the good go when they die

the cessation of war or violence

the atmosphere and outer space as viewed from the earth

in a higher position

a very strong wish to have and get more and more

Key to missing words

Therefore I Am Billie Eilish

Therefore I Am‘ is a powerful declaration of self-assertiveness and authenticity. The song is a clear message of self-affirmation and disdain towards those who try to take advantage of her image or associate with her for their own benefit. Eilish, vegan since she was 12, shows her contempt for those who judge and criticize her.

No soy tu amiga ni mucho menos
Maldita sea, te crees que eres el hombre
Pienso, luego soy

¡Para! ¿De qué estás hablando?
Saca mi nombre de tu boca
No somos iguales, con o sin eso
No hables de mí como si supieras cómo me siento
Estás en la cima del mundo, pero tu mundo no es real
Tu mundo es un ideal

Bueno, diviértete
En serio, me trae sin cuidado
Y puedes darles lo mejor de mí, pero que sepas

No soy tu amiga ni mucho menos
Maldita sea, te crees que eres el hombre
Pienso, luego soy


No quiero que la prensa ponga tu nombre junto al mío
Estamos en planos diferentes, así que yo
quiero ser lo bastante agradable, para que no se note mi farol
Porque odio encontrar
Artículos, artículos, artículos
Prefiero que sigas siendo irrelevante
(Tengo muchas) entrevistas, entrevistas, entrevistas
Cuando mencionan tu nombre, solo actúo confundida

¿Te divertiste?
En serio, me trae sin cuidado
Y puedes darles lo mejor de mí, pero que sepas

No soy tu amiga ni mucho menos
Maldita sea, te crees que eres el hombre
Pienso, luego soy


Lo siento
No he pillado tu nombre
Lo siento
No he pillado tu nombre

No soy tu amiga ni mucho menos
Maldita sea, te crees que eres el hombre (ellos quieren, pueden intentarlo)
Pienso, luego soy
No soy tu amiga ni nada
Maldita sea, te crees que eres el hombre
Pienso, luego soy

 Informal words:
  • outta: contraction of the preposition “out of mainly US (also outa)
  • ’bout: short form of “about
  • ’em: short form of “them
  • Wanna: short form of “want to
  • ‘Cause: short form of “because
  • lotta: slang for “lot of/lots of
  • I’m not your friend or anything / I think, therefore, I am is like a personal mantra repeated as the affirmation of her identity and her rejection to be underestimated or manipulated.
  • Top of the world, but your world isn’t real / Your world’s an ideal Billie criticizes the falsehood of the lifestyle of some celebrities , the hypersexualization of bodies, which in fact is very far from real lives.
  • “I don’t want press to put your name next to mine Billie considers her relationship with fame and the media, expressing her desire to stay out of the power games and superficiality of the entertainment industry.

Present Simple

Your daily routine and habits

En el vídeo un dibujo te muestra una rutina diaria con el nombre de la actividad escrita debajo, que puedes oír dos veces.

Las rutinas diarias para la primera sección son del mundo laboral Me despierto ➣apago la alarma ➣me levanto ➣me ducho ➣me visto ➣me peino ➣preparo el desayuno ➣desayuno ➣me cepillo los dientes ➣voy a trabajar ➣empiezo a trabajar a las 9 ➣respondo los correos electrónicos ➣almuerzo ➣trabajo con el ordenador ➣termino de trabajar a las 5 ➣voy a casa ➣llego a casa ➣le doy de comer al perro ➣preparo la cena ➣ceno ➣veo la televisión ➣leo un libro ➣me acuesto ➣me duermo

➫En la siguiente sección hay rutinas diarias del mundo escolar Voy a la escuela ➣hago clases ➣termino la escuela a las 3 ➣voy a casa ➣hago los deberes

➫La sección final es un ejercicio de práctica donde aparece en la pantalla un dibujo de una rutina con tres frases. Se debe elegir la frase que describe la actividad. La respuesta aparece después de 5 segundos.

Your daily routine in the morning

The Present Simple Tense

It is used for:

➣General truths and facts

Water boils at 100º

The sun rises in the east

Apes laugh like humans

The train leaves at 12

➣Regular events AND HABITs

We often use frequency adverbs always ➣usually ➣often ➣sometimes ➣never

I always have a holiday in the summer. I never work in August.

He never eats outside. He doesn’t like restaurants.

They often buy vegan food.


Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I work I do not work ✄don’tDo I work?
You  understand You do not understand Do you understand?
He sleeps He does not sleep doesn’tDoes he sleep?
She thinks She does not think Does she think?
It works It does not work Does it work?
We study We do not study Do we study?
You go together You do not go together Do you go together?
They learn They do not learn Do they learn?

3rd person ( -s, -es ) Spelling ChangesClick here for exercises

exercises 1 – exercises 2 – exercises 3 – exercises 4

Yes / No Questions exercise 1

Wh- Questions exercise 1

A day in the life of Robinson Crusoe

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Simple present Verb to be

I am vegan✄ I‘m vegan
You are a teacher✄ You‘re a teacher
He is my son✄ He‘s my son
She is late✄ She‘s late
It is dark✄ It‘s dark
We are cold✄ We‘re cold
You are all very quiet✄ You‘re all very quiet
They are in a hurry✄ They‘re in a hurry

Click here to practise AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCES

I am not with these people ✄ I‘m not with these people
You are not a real doctor ✄ You aren’t a real doctor
He is not my dog ✄ He isn’t my dog
She is not upset ✄ She isn’t upset
It is not sunny ✄ It isn’t sunny
We are not students ✄ We aren’t students
You are not together ✄ You aren’t together
They are not satisfied ✄ They aren’t satisfied

Click here to practise NEGATIVE SENTENCES

Am I right ?
Are you a nurse ?
Is he here ?
Is she OK ?
Is it convenient ?
Are we together in this ?
Are you tired ?
Are they vegan ?

Click here to practise yes/no questions

Clich here to practise WH questions

Click here for mixed sentences

Simple present Verb to have

El verbo have (tener) presenta alguna dificultad al poderse utilizar de dos maneras (full verb or contracted). It depends on the choice of the speaker. When the contracted form is used, GOT is necessary.

I have a dream
You have a bike
He has a cottage
She has a few friends
It has some holes in it
We have energy
You all have some homework
They have compassion


I’ve got a dream
You’ve got a bike
He’s got a cottage
She’s got a few friends
It’s got some holes in it
We’ve got energy
You’ve all got some homework
They’ve got compassion

Conversion to negative and interrogative

You have confidence

You do not have confidence

Do you have confidence?


You’ve got confidence

You haven’t got confidence

Have you got confidence?

He has moxie

He does not have moxie

Does he have moxie?


He’s got moxie

He hasn’t got moxie

Has he got moxie?

Short answers

  • Have you got any coins? – No, I haven’t. I haven’t got any.
  • Do you have any coins? – No, I don’t. I don’t have any. 

Be careful because the form –ve gots got is only used when have means possession.

These expressions are only used as a full verb. They have other meaning than have:

  • Have a meal ➢eat
  • Have breakfast – lunch – tea – dinner ➢eat
  • Have a bath or a shower ➢wash oneself
  • Have a drink ➢drink
  • Have an argument ➢argue, fight
  • Have a cold ➢suffer
  • Have a party ➢celebrate, hold
  • Have a look ➢look, gaze, glance, peer

So, ➬ He never has breakfast (meaning He never eats breakfast) No ➬ He’s never got breakfast

Do they have parties? (meaning Do they celebrate parties?) No ➬ Have they got parties?

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Present Continuous

It is used for actions which are happening now, at the moment of speakingWe are working at the moment

for temporary situations although the action isn’t happening at the moment of speaking She’s staying with her friend for a week

for very repeated habits She is always laughing

affirmative negative interrogative
I am studyingI am not studyingAm I studying?
You are standingYou are not standingAre you standing?
He/ She/ It is workingHe is not workingIs she working?
We are swimmingWe are not swimmingAre we swimming?
You are payingYou are not payingAre you paying?
They are drinkingThey are not drinkingAre they drinking?

What are you doing?

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Write the exercise like that:

Bernie is in the living room. He is reading a newspaper.

Sam and Ella are in the living room. They are watching TV.

The family is now in the living room. find and write who is
  • playing
  • opening
  • eating
  • reading
  • watching
  • drawing
  • writing
  • putting on
  • switching on
  • the light
  • the piano
  • their glasses
  • a letter
  • a novel
  • a doughnut
  • dolls
  • the door
  • TV

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Write the exercise like that:

Edna and Bernie are playing the piano.
James is switching on the light.

Reading ➳ 🎕 The Ghost of Mary Bell 🎕

referenceNew Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Learn Present Continuous with your favourite TV shows

Lesson and exercises

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Present Simple or Continuous


We use the present simple to talk about facts, routines, habits (the things you normally do or don’t do). We use the present continuous to talk about the things you are doing at the moment of speaking.

I always eat salad for lunch but I am eating pumpkin soup now.


I work in a school ➫permanent situation

I’m working in a school ➫temporary situation

Be careful with the spanish translation!

¿Qué haces ahí? What are you doing there?

¿Qué miras? What are you looking at?

¿Qué comes? What are you eating?

¿Dónde vas?Where are you going?

¿Hablas conmigo? Are you talking to me?

¿Vienes con nosotros?Are you coming with us?

These actions are happening NOW in Spanish and in English


  • What are the girls’ names?
  • Where do they live?
  • What does each girl do every day?
  • Look at the pictures and write what the girls are doing

Answers at the bottom of the page

reference: Hotline Oxford University Press

Do you get confused with ➣I go ➣ I am going ?

Watch the video so you don’t make the mistake of mixing them up

Watch the video and choose the right tense ➣present simple or present continuous.

Aquí tienes el ejercicio del vídeo con las frases que aparecen y debajo la KEY (respuesta correcta)

1. He flies / is flying planes.

2. They fly / are flying a plane.                         

3. He speaks / is speaking right now.

4. He doesn’t speak / isn’t speaking at the moment.

5. She always goes / is going to bed at 8 o’clock.

6. The baby sleeps / is sleeping.

7. The father reads / is reading a book to his son every night.

8. The children walk / are walking to school now.

9. The sisters wear / are wearing uniforms to school every day.

10. The dog licks / is licking the boy’s face.

11. He loves / is loving his dog.

12. He plays / is playing video games for an hour every day.

13. He plays / is playing a computer game at the moment.

14. He studies / is studying many different subjects.

15. The boy studies / is studying for a test.

16. The dog wears / is wearing glasses.

17. He wears / is wearing glasses every day.

18. David Beckham has / is having three children.

19. They eat / are eating pizza for dinner.

20. The baby cries / is crying.

21. The elderly woman sings / is singing.

22. She has / is having extremely long hair.

23. The hairdresser cuts / is cutting a woman’s hair right now.

24. The fish lives / is living in a pond.

25. He owns / is owning a Mercedes Benz.

26. He drives / is driving at the moment.

27. He drives / is driving a taxi for a living.


1. He flies planes.

2. They are flying a plane.                                

3. He is speaking right now.

4. He isn’t speaking at the moment.

5. She always goes to bed at 8 o’clock.

6. The baby is sleeping.

7. The father reads a book to his son every night.

8. The children are walking to school now.

9. The sisters wear uniforms to school every day.

10. The dog is licking the boy’s face.

11. He loves his dog.

12. He plays video games for an hour every day.

13. He is playing a computer game at the moment.

14. He studies many different subjects.

15. The boy is studying for a test.

16. The dog is wearing glasses.

17. He wears glasses every day.

18. David Beckham has three children.

19. They are eating pizza for dinner.

20. The baby is crying.

21. The elderly woman is singing.

22. She has extremely long hair.

23. The hairdresser is cutting a woman’s hair right now.

24. The fish lives in a pond.

25. He owns a Mercedes Benz.

26. He is driving at the moment.

27. He drives a taxi for a living.


1.Kelly is waking up – 2.Kelly is having a shower – 3.Kelly is having breakfast – 4.Kelly is going to school by car – 5.Kelly is seeing a film at the cinema – 6.Selina is walking to the river to fetch some water – 7.Selina is getting up- 8.Selina is collecting some water from the river – 9.Selina is carrying some water- 10.Selina is helping her mother

Lesson and exercises

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Past Simple

It is used for finished actions, states or habits in the past with a past time reference ➣ yesterday ➣ last week ➣ at 2 o’clock ➣ in 2003 ➣ when I was born

Last week a new student from China joined our class. She came in, introduced herself, and began to talk about her country. She showed us in a map where she was from.


I workedI did not work
Did I work?
You understoodYou did not understandDid you understand?
He sleptHe did not sleep Did he sleep?
She thoughtShe did not thinkDid she think?
It workedIt did not workDid it work?
We studiedWe did not studyDid we study?
You went togetherYou did not go togetherDid you go together?
They learntThey did not learnDid they learn?

Famous people

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Listen to what happened to Tony last weekend

First choose a, b or c and then choose the right answer for the 7 sentences:

reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Here you have the script if you need to read it

Listen and put the pictures in chronological order

Here you have the script if you need to read it

answers: a 5 , b 4 , c 2 , d 6 , e 3 , f 1

reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Who were these people

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann


reference: English for Adults Burlington

Reading ➢ The Elephant Man

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Read the lesson and make the online exercises

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Past Continuous

The past continuous describes an action that was happening when another action interrupts

Last month a student from China joined our class. She came in, introduced herself, and began to talk about her country. She showed us where she was from on a map. While she was talking about her home town, the school bell suddenly rang.

I was writingI was not writingWas I writing?
You were skiingYou were not skiingWere you skiing?
He was readingHe wasn’t readingWas he reading?
We were tryingWe weren’t tryingWere we trying?
They were dyingThey weren’t dyingWere they dying?

Actions that were in progress at a particular time in the past and descriptions of habits

  • At midnight, we were still driving .
  • Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.
  • He was constantly talking. He annoyed everyone.
  • I didn’t like them because they were always complaining.

Parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past

When I walked into the office, several people were busily typing, some were talking on the phones, the boss was yelling directions, and customers were waiting to be helped. One customer was shouting at a secretary and waving his hands. Others were complaining to each other about the bad service.

Friday the 13th. Everything went wrong for Larry. Look at his misfortunes

Here there are some questions about the pictures. Try to answer them without looking at the texts
More and more things went wrong for Larry. Join the sentences according to the pictures
Write a short narration for each event. For example:

On Sunday Larry was swimming in the sea when his shorts came off in the water. He felt very embarrased because there were a lot of people on the beach. He had to wait inside the water until everyone left.

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford


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Present Perfect


I have worked ✄I’veI have not worked ✄I haven’tHave I worked?
You have sleptYou have not sleptHave you slept?
He has eaten peas ✄He’sHe has not eaten meat ✄He hasn’tHas he eaten nuts?
She has adopted a catShe has not bought a dogHas she adopted?
It has workedIt has not workedHas it worked?
We have understoodWe have not understoodHave we understood?
They have drunkThey have not drunkHave they drunk?

We use the present perfect:

  • for something that started in the past and continues in the present:

They have been friends for nearly fifty years.
She has lived in Liverpool all her life.

  • when we are talking about our experience up to the present:

Ive seen that film before.
He has written three books and he is working on another one.

For, since, already, yet, just, ever

Estas palabras se suelen emplear con el present perfect.

For: indica la duración de la acción.

She has lived here for two years.
Vive aquí desde hace dos años.
They haven’t eaten meat for decades
No han comido carne desde hace décadas
Since:  “desde”. Indica cuándo comenzó la acción.

I haven’t seen her since 2004.
No la he visto desde 2004.
Already: “ya”. Indica que la acción ya se ha realizado.

We have already sold our flat.
Ya hemos vendido nuestro piso.
Yet:  “todavía” en oraciones negativas, pero, “ya” en interrogativas. Al final de la oración.

They haven’t started yet.
Todavía no han empezado.
Have you called yet?
¿Ya has llamado?

Just: Indica que la acción justo acaba de realizarse.

I have just finished my homework.
Acabo de terminar los deberes.
Ever: pregunta por tu experiencia. Have you ever eaten a vegan burguer?
¿Has comido alguna vez una hamburguesa vegana?

past ⇆ present perfect

reference: Headway Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Which of these questions are referred to John or to Karl Marx?

Obviously the questions in the present (3) and present perfect (1,4,7) refer to John, as he is alive and the actions continue up to the present. The four questions in the past (2,5,6,8) refer to Marx, as he is dead.

Present Perfect Interrogative

Yes / No Questions and WH Questions

Present Perfect Exercises

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Past Perfect

The past perfect is used to state which action happened first. When we talk about something in the past and we want to mention something which happened before that past action we use the past perfect.

I have named it the past before the pastand in Spanish corresponds with ↪Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto I had finished Yo había terminado

She told me she had never eaten meatMe dijo que nunca había comido carne

The plants were dead because it had not rainedLas plantas estaban muertas porque no había llovido

If you had heard the shot you would have run off to call the police Si hubieras oído el disparo habrías ido corriendo a llamar a la policía

I had eaten ➫ I’d eatenI had not eaten ➫ I hadn’t eaten
You had stayed ➫ You’d stayedYou had not stayed ➫ You hadn’t stayed
She had gone ➫ She’d goneShe had not gone ➫ She hadn’t gone
They had grown ➫ They’d grownThey had not grown ➫ They hadn’t grown

La contracción de had es‘d Pero… ¿Cómo saber si ➣ ‘d es contracción de had o de would ? Muy fácil. Si el verbo está en infinitivo es would y si está en participio es had .

I’d like me gustaría I’d likedme había gustado

We’d goiríamosWe’d gonehabíamos/hubimos/hubiéramos/hubiésemos ido

Aesop, (Esopo in Spanish), was a Greek fabulist and storyteller who lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 B.C.  His tales are known as Aesop’s fables. They are characterized by animals, people or objects that speak, solve problems and lead to a moral lesson with a concise maxim or saying.

reference: Headway Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Audio The Bear and the Travellers

Choose one of the three sayings to summarize the moral of the fable

 “Friendship is like a glass ornament, once it is broken it can rarely be put back together exactly the same way.”

“A true friend is someone who is there for you when he would prefer to be anywhere else.”

“Friends are easy to make and difficult to keep.“

The Bear and the Travellers is a story of two friends walking through rough country who are suddenly confronted by a bear. One of the travellers saves himself by climbing up a tree while the other throws himself on the ground and pretends to be dead. The bear comes near him, sniffs him and leaves. Then the friend in the tree came down and laughing asked what the bear had said to him. “It was some good advice,” said his friend; “he told me never to trust someone who deserts you in need.”


1 -b 2 -e 3 -a 4 -f 5 -c 6 -d

Let’s see how it works in Spanish:

1 Cuando llegué,

… ella hizo la cena.

… estaba haciendo la cena.

… había hecho la cena.

2 Ella hablaba buen francés porque

… vivía en Francia.

… había vivido en Francia.

3 Yo escuchaba música

… mientras hacía los deberes.

… cuando hube hecho los deberes.

4 Cuando llegué a casa,

… los niños se acostaron.

… los niños se habían acostado.

5 Ella me dio un libro,

… para que lo leyera.

… pero ya lo había leído.

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Future Tenses

To express future we use WILL for:

A sudden decision

  • Ok, I‘ll go with you
  • Yes, I will marry you

A voluntary action, an offering

  • I‘ll make some sandwiches
  • They will do it

A request

  • Will you help me?
  • Will you make dinner?

A promise

  • Don’t worry, I‘ll be careful
  • I promise I won’t tell anyone

A prediction

  • I think it will rain
  • We will probably come back tomorrow

A conditional clauses type I

  • If he phones me, I won’t answer
Afirmative ➣ Plants will grow
Negative ➣ The planet will not / won’t survive
Interrogative ➣ Will wild animals die out?

No obstante, igual que en español podemos expresar el futuro de tres maneras diferentes:
Mañana lo haré (decisión más espontánea)

willI will do it tomorrow

Mañana lo voy a hacer (decisión más planeada)

going toI am going to do it tomorrow

Mañana lo hago (el presente también puede indicar futuro)

CAREFUL  present continuous I am doing it tomorrow

The future in your hands

Palmistry. Do you believe it is possible to tell a person’s future by studying their hands? Do you know how to do it? Look at the palm of the hand you write with. Then look at the picture below. Find the 5 lines. A palmist believes that each line tells us something about our future.

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann


reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Exercises will

Exercises will

Exercises will

Mixed sentences

Exercise – Future Mix

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1st conditionalfuture real situations

2nd conditionalpresent or future unreal situations

3rd conditionalpast unreal situations

So …➟

Type I – First Conditional

Se forma con el presente y el futurowill If + present simple … will + infinitive.

Para hablar de situaciones reales, probables o muy factibles.

If you come this weekend, I will stay Si vienes el fin de semana, me quedaré.

If you park here, you will get a fine ➣ Si aparcas aquí, te van a multar.

If he saves enough money, he will buy a new laptop ➣ Si ahorra suficiente, se comprará un portátil.

Type II – Second conditional

Se forma con el pasado y el condicionalwouldIf + past simple … would + infinitive.

Para hablar de cosas que no es probable que ocurran o directamente imposibles

If I won the lottery, I would spend my life travelling ➣ Si ganara la lotería, me pasaría la vida viajando.

If I were younger, I would travel more ➣ Si fuese más joven, viajaría más.

If you didn’t work so much, we would do more things ➣ Si no trabajaras tanto, haríamos más cosas.

Type III – Third conditional

Se forma con el past perfect y el condicional perfectoIf + past perfect … would have + past participle.

Para hablar de una situación que no sucedió y de sus consecuencias. De situaciones hipotéticas y que ya no hay forma de cambiar para bien o para mal.

If I had got up earlier, I would have arrived on time ➣ Si me hubiera levantado antes, habría llegado a tiempo.

If she hadn’t taken the risk, she would have lost a great opportunity ➣ Si no se hubiese arriesgado, habría perdido una gran oportunidad.

Summing up. El condicional en inglés funciona exactamente igual que en español. La traducción es literal

Si lo veolo compraréIf I see itI will buy it
Si lo vieselo compraríaIf I saw it I would buy it
Si lo hubiese vistolo habría compradoIf I had seen itI would have bought it

Practise first conditional

As global warming increases, the Earth will die out unless we go on a plant-based diet

She won’t have that flamboyant coat unless sixty minks, two hundred squirrels or forty foxes are killed

Practise second conditional

What would you do if you were in these situations?

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Practise third conditional

reference: English for Life Intermediate Oxford

Conditional Exercises

Conditional sentences-English Grammar Exercises

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Modal verbs

Modals are auxiliary verbs that indicate modality. Modality is the attitude or the connotation we want to express.

Modal verbs are used to express: ability, advice, obigation, prohibition, permission, possibility…..

Ability  – can  / could (in the past)

Obligation  – must  / have to

Prohibition  – mustn’t  / can’t 

Absence of obligation  – don’t have to  / needn’t

Advice  should  / ought to

Permission  – may  / can / could

Certainty  – must 

Probability  – may / might / can / could 


  • Ability  ➣He can speak several languages ➣I could jump when I was younger
  • Obligation   ➣You must stop at a red traffic light ➣I have to work
  • Prohibition    ➣We mustn’t tell him ➣You can’t smoke here
  • Absence of obligation  ➣She doesn’t have to do that ➣He needn’t buy it
  • Advice  ➣He should study more ➣She ought to eat less
  • Permission  ➣Can we come? May I go to the toilet?
  • Certainty  ➣He must be very tired. He has been working hard
  • Probability   ➣It may / might rain tomorrow  ➣This can / could be dangerous

reference: Valid Choice Burlington


A 1. has to2. must3. can4. mustn’t5. should6. might

B 1. mustn’t2. should3. don’t have to4. could5. might

C 1. You should compare prices... – 2. He might not know…3. They can’t help us. – 4. I couldn’t see… – 5. You don’t have to arrive…

Modal Perfect

Used to express situations in the past in a hypothetical way. The opportunity was not taken and the situation did not occur.

Form: modal verb + have + past participle
modal perfects

modal verbs in the past reference: Valid Choice Burlington


D 1. may have2. should have 3. could have4. must have5. shouldn’t have

E 1. b2. b3. a4. a5. a

F 1. could have stayed2. should see3. couldn’t find4. ought to have checked5. should have come6. must have left7. could go8. must be

Modals verbs exercises

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The Passive voice. Passive tenses

The passive voice is used to show interest in who or which experiences the action, rather than who or which performs the action

The important thing or person becomes the subject of the sentence:

This road is used frequently    interest in the road, not in who uses it

The house was built in 1900    interest in the house, not in who built it

Kira will be adopted soon    interest in the dog, not in who will adopt her

The passive voice is used because:

the subject of the verb is the recipient of the action of the verb, not the agent
The subject is unknown or unimportant or common knowledge



Humans- enslave- animals



Animals- are- enslaved- by- humans

PRESENT English is spoken all over the world

PAST French was studied everywhere

FUTURE Spanish will be accepted as an international language

PRESENT continuous   Animals are being mistreated

PAST continuous  Animals were being mistreated

FUTURE continuous  Animals will be being mistreated

PRESENT perfect  Animal abuse has been banned 

PAST perfect  Animal abuse had been banned 

  FUTURE perfect  Animal abuse will have been banned

zoos prison for animals

CONDITIONAL  Zoos would be closed if there were no visitors

CONDITIONAL  continuous  Zoos would be being closed if there were no visitors

CONDITIONAL  perfect   Zoos would have been closed if there were no visitors


Birds can be saved

Bees have to be saved

Insects must be saved

Birds mustn’t be shot

Birds shouldn’t be put in a cage

Hunters ought to be punished


Nightingales might have been shot    

A goldfinch may have been shot

Larks should have been saved    

Geese could have been saved

Ducks must have been saved

Passive with phrasal verbs  


They called off the meeting

His grandma looked after him

They will send him away to school

His aunt brought him up


The meeting was called off

He was looked after by his grandmother

He will be sent away to school

He was brought up by his aunt

The indirect object can be the subject of a passive verb:


They offered me a new job

Someone told us an amazing story 

I gave my son a book

Someone sent her flowers for her birthday                                   


I was offered a new job

We were told an amazing story

My son was given a book                    

She was sent flowers for her birthday                                   

These verbs are frequently used in the passive and followed by the infinitive

be supposed tobe expected tobe asked tobe told to
 be allowed tobe invited tobe ordered to

You are supposed to protect animal lives

We are expected to take care of  animals

I have been asked to volunteer 

They were told not to go to the aquarium



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Reported / indirect speech

We use the reported or indirect speech when we want to tell or report what someone said.

So, direct speech is what someone says, the actual words :

I am vegan

and we report using a reporting verbsaytell and changing the tense (one step back) of what was actually said :

➣She said that she was vegan

Apart from changing the tense of the verb, there is also a change of pronoun :

I becomesShe

Backshift changes – one step back

Backshift refers to the changes we make in indirect speech because time has passed between the moment of speaking and the time of the report. So:

Present simplebecomes
Past simple
Past simplebecomes

Past perfect

Present continuousbecomes

Past continuous
Present perfect becomes

Past perfect
Present perfect continuousbecomes

Past perfect continuous
Past continuousbecomes

Past perfect continuous
Past perfectbecomes

Past perfect (does not shift back)


“We are vegan”
They said they were vegan
“They adopted a cat”
They told me they had adopted a cat
“I will fight for animals!”
He promised that he would fight for animals
“I am freeing birds from cages”
Ariadna declared that she was freeing birds from cages
“I have never been to a zoo!”
John stated that he had never been to a zoo
“We have been helping wild animals”
They claimed that they had been helping wild animals
“I was feeding them”
He mentioned he had been feeding them
“You had never loved me!”
My partner complained that I had never loved him
In these examples, the present (are) has become the past (were), the past (adopted) has become the past perfect (had adopted) and the future (will) has become the conditional (would). The tenses have ‘shifted’ or ‘moved back’ in time. NOTE! THAT is frequently omitted 

more examples

“Animals do not deserve being held in captivity”
The scientist explained that animals did not deserve being held in captivity
“Men did not abolish slavery until as recently as 1963″
Obama reminded that men had not abolished slavery until as recently as 1963
“Forgive me!! I won’t lie to you again”
He promised that he wouldn’t lie to me again
We aren’t using fossil fuels”
The activists boasted that they weren’t using fossil fuels
PETA hasn’t stopped advocating for animal rights”
He denied that PETA had stopped advocating for animal rights

Reporting imperatives

The infinitive is used to report imperatives or commands

The mum told her child to be nice

The mum told her child not to cry

Saytell and ask are the most common reporting verbs for commands. Promiseremindwarnadviserecommendencourage or order are also used

Direct speech : ‘Be quiet!’

Reported command : The teacher ordered the students to be quiet

Policeman in full tactical gear riot police officer with shield

Direct speech : ‘Go home! It’s going to get nasty’

Reported command : The officer warned/ advised/ recommended us to go home because it was going to get nasty

Reporting questions

Reporting yes/no questions

The reported clause is introduced by if or whether (interchangeably)

Direct question : Are you vegan?

Reported question : She asked me if I was vegan

Direct question : Did you eat chickpeas or kidney beans?

Reported question : He asked me whether I had eaten chickpeas or kidney beans

Reporting wh-questions

The reported clause is introduced by a wh-word :

who, what, which, when, where, why, how

Direct question : What kind of beans will you eat?

Reported question : The cook asked me what kind of beans I would eat

Direct question : How did you make them?

Reported question : The dinner guests asked me how I had made them

Typical errors in indirect questions

🔀The word order in indirect wh-questions is the same as in statements ➬ subject + verb—————so …⚡ there is no inversion ⚡

➬”Where is it?” ☛ I asked where it was ( subject + verb )

Not: I asked her where was it

➬ “Why is our dog barking?” ☛ My son asked why our dog was barking

Not: why was our dog barking

➬ “Why did you invite him?” ☛ She asked why we had invited him

Not:  why had we invited him

➬ “Where do your parents live?” ☛ She wanted to know where my parents lived

🔀 A question mark isn’t used when reporting questions

They asked what it was ?

🔀 When who is the subject of the sentence ➫

Direct question : “Who lives there?

Reported question : The neighbours asked who lived there

Direct question : “Who will give the lecture?

Reported question : The audience wondered who would give the lecture 

Direct question : “Who came to our house?

Reported question : Our parents inquired who had come to their house

Reporting modal verbs

Some modal verbs shift back in indirect speech

can feed the dogs too’ He added that he could feed the dogs too
can becomes could
Shall I walk them?’ She asked if she should walk them
shall becomes should
Sue may become vegan’
May I go to the toilet?
Her friends told me that Sue might become vegan
He asked if he could go to the toilet
may (possibility) becomes might
may (permission) becomes could
‘All animals must be respected’

It must be awful to spend
your life in a cage’
They explained that all animals had to be respected
They agreed that it must be awful to to spend your life in a cage
must (obligation) usually becomes had to must (certainty) does not change
‘We could adopt this blind kittenThey suggested they could adopt that blind kitten
there is no change
We should adopt her immediately’ They proposed they should adopt her immediately
there is no change
It might rain soonHe warned that it might rain soon
there is no change

Sometimes, depending on the situation, the modal perfect is used to report a direct statement with a modal verb:

Direct speech: ‘It might be Juan at the door’

Reported probability in the past: They said it might have been Juan at the door

more examples

No backshift. There is no change in:
You needn’t come
with me’
I told her she needn’t come with me
I used to eat fish
and meat before!’
She exclaimed that she used to eat fish and meat before
 ‘You ought to leave
the premises
The guard advised us that we ought to leave the premises
OR —————-☞☞The guard advised us to leave the premises

Changes in pronouns

Pronouns have to change if the person reporting the speech is not the same person who said the actual words (direct speech)


I don’t want to hurt animals’  my son said My son said he didn’t want to hurt animals
different speakers (I changes to he)

I’ll take care of the cats,’ I said ☞I said I would take care of the cats
same speaker (no change)

Changes in demonstratives and adverbs

yesterdaythe day before
tomorrowthe next or the following day
two weeks agotwo weeks before


direct speech————————————-indirect speech
‘I saw you here
in the mall yesterday
I told him I saw him there in the mall the day before
‘We will go to the pound
She told us we would go to the pound the next day / the following day
I want to have dinner 
She said he wanted to have dinner then / at that moment
I finished my homework 
three days ago!!
The boy protested that he had finished his homework three days before

summing up

Irregular Verbs

Una de las asignaturas pendientes es la lista de verbos irregulares

Los verbos irregulares, aunque se llamen irregulares, siguen unos patrones que se repiten:

Infinitivo, pasado y participio son iguales o diferentes

Pasado y participio son iguales y acabados en T o en EN

Infinitivo y participio son iguales. Al participio se le añade una N.

En este vídeo se agrupan bajo unas pautas para estudiarlos y ayudar a memorizarlos.

Grammar Exercises – Simple Past Tense

Do the exercises on the simple past tense and click on the button to check your answers here

(Before doing the exercises you can read the lesson on the simple past tense)

Past participle – Exercises: irregular verbs

Choose the correct form here

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The English Tenses

The English Tenses
The English Tenses. Perfect and Continuous.

Table of Tenses All English Tenses

Present SimplePresent ContinuousPast SimplePast Continuous
She eatsYou are eatingShe ateYou were eating
She does not eatYou are not eatingShe did not eatYou were not eating
Does she eat?Are you eating?Did she eat?Were you eating?

Future SimpleConditional SimplePresent PerfectPast Perfect
I will eatI would eatHe has eatenHe had eaten
I will not eatI would not eatHe has not eatenHe had not eaten
Will I eat?Would I eat?Has he eaten?Had he eaten?

Michelin star awarded to a vegan restaurant in France for the first timeThe Week

Present Perfect Continuous I have been eating
Past Perfect Continuous I had been eating
Future Continuous I will be eating
Future Perfect I will have eaten
Future Perfect Continuous I will have been eating
Conditional Continuous I would be eating
Conditional Perfect I would have eaten
Conditional Perfect Continuous I would have been eating

He has been eating
He has not been eating
Has he been eating?
putting emphasis on the duration (not the result) action that recently stopped or is still going on/ finished action that influences the present
He had been eating
He had not been eating
Had he been eating?
action taking place before a certain time in the past interchangeable with past perfect
(emphasis on the duration)
He is going to eat
He is not going to eat
Is he going to eat?
planned decision or conclusion with regard
to the future
He will be eating
He will not be eating
Will he be eating?

action that is going on at a certain time in the future action that is sure to happen in the near future
He will have eaten
He will not have eaten
Will he have eaten?

action that will be finished at a certain time in the future
He will have been
He will not have been
Will he have been

action taking place before a certain time in the future putting emphasis on the course of an action
He would have
He would not have
Would he have

action that might have taken place in the past
third conditional:
If I had seen that, I would have helped


He would have been
He would not have
been eating
Would he have
been eating?
third conditional
unfulfilled result of the

action in the if-clause

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Comparative and superlative adjectives

Comparative adjectives compare differences between the two elements they modify (larger, smaller, faster, more difficult).

  • Her flat is larger than ours
  • This tablet is smaller than the one I lost
  • You walk faster than me

Superlative adjectives indicate the greatest degree of a quality (the tallest, the smallest, the most vulnerable).

  • Juan is the tallest student in our class
  • He is the kindest cat I know
  • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world

Forming comparatives and superlatives depends on the number of syllables of the adjective, that is, whether it is a short or a long word.


Add -er for the comparative and -est for the superlative: ➯ NICE ➣ nicer ➣ the nicest . If the adjective has a consonant + single vowel + consonant, the final consonant doubles.

fatfatterthe fattest
bigbiggerthe biggest
sadsadderthe saddest
hothotterthe hottest
madmadderthe maddest
wetwetterthe wettest

More than one syllable” adjectives

They can form the comparative either by adding -er or by preceeding the adjective with more. They can form the superlative either by adding -est or by preceeding the adjective with most. In many cases, both forms are used, but more and most are more frequently used.

Adjectives ending iny change to an i , and must change ➯ ➣ er ➣ est , as in ➯ BUSY ➣ busier ➣ the busiest

happyhappierthe happiest
lazylazierthe laziest
cleverclevererthe cleverest
whitewhiterthe whitest
strangestrangerthe strangest

Long adjectives

They always form the comparative with more and the superlative with most.

importantmore importantthe most important
expensivemore expensivethe most expensive
dangerousmore dangerousthe most dangerous

Irregular comparatives and superlatives

goodbetterthe best
badworsethe worst
littlelessthe least
muchmorethe most
farfurther / fartherthe furthest / farthest
  • My bike is better than yours
  • Your bike is less striking than mine
  • This is the best large cylinder bike in the store
  • That is the least spectacular bike in the store
  • I am far from home, but you are even farther
  • For further details, visit website
  • The furthest corners of the human mind may be horrifying

reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Make sentences comparing the two elements:

Dogs are friendlier than cats
The radio is sometimes more interesting than TV

MAKE SENTENCES in the superlative:

Maths is the worst school subject
Prepositions are the most difficult thing in english

Read and listen about Scotland

reference: English for Life Beginner Oxford

Read the lesson and make the exercises



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Read and listen to these adjectives and do the exercise

Say how he feels. EX. He is bored

reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Adjectives ending in ‘-ed’ and ‘-ing’

Do you know the difference between bored and boring?

Adjectives that end in -ed boredinterested and adjectives that end in -ing boringinteresting are often confused.

-ed adjectives

Adjectives that end in -ed generally describe emotions ➫ they tell us how people feel.

I was so bored in that lesson, I almost fell asleep.
➣ He was surprised to see Helen after all those years.
➣ She was really tired and went to bed early.

-ing adjectives

Adjectives that end in -ing generally describe the thing that causes the emotion ➫ a boring lesson makes you feel bored.

Have you seen that film? It’s really frightening.
➣ I could listen to her for hours. She’s so interesting.
➣ I can’t sleep! That noise is really annoying!

➬ Here are some adjectives that can have both an -ed and an -ing form.


Choose the -ED or -ING adjective

1)  My son was (amused / amusing) by the joke.
2)  It’s so (frustrated / frustrating) when you fail the test!
3)  Mathematics is extremely (bored / boring), I prefer Arts.
4)  I am utterly (depressed / depressing), so I am going to bed and read Eva Luna.
5)  Your idea was absolutely (fascinated / fascinating).
6)  This map is so (confused / confusing). I can’t read it.
7)  The lecture was quite (amused / amusing).
8)  They are (exhausted / exhausting). They never stop showing off and bragging.
9)  The plane started shaking in a rather (alarmed / alarming) way.
10)  She was (frightened / frightening) when she saw that man.
11)  I was really (embarrassed / embarrassing) when I could not remember her name.
12)  That movie was entirely (depressed / depressing), no happy ending whatsoever.
13)  I can’t go out tonight. I’m (exhausted / exhausting).
14)  We are going abroad. How (excited / exciting)!
15)  It’s (embarrassed / embarrassing) when people take selfies.
16) He is (bored / boring). Whenever I see him I begin to yawn. 
17) My sister is so (excited / exciting) because she is starting a new job.
18)  I hate long films. I’m always (bored / boring).
19)  She seemed (confused / confusing) when I told her the truth.
20)  He was (fascinated / fascinating) with the country. He decided to learn the language and now he speaks it fluently.


1)  amused
2)  frustrating
3)  boring
4) depressed
5)  fascinating
6)  confusing
7)  amusing
8)  exhausting
9)   alarming
10) frightened
11) embarrassed
12) depressing
13)  exhausted
14)  exciting
15)  embarrassing
16)  boring
17)  excited
18)  bored
19)  confused
20)  fascinated


1) interesting
2)  bored
3)  tired
4) annoying
5)  frightening
6)  embarrasing
7)  excited
8)  confusing

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The adverbs and the adjectives in English

Adjectives qualify nouns.

Adverbs qualify actions. Adverbs can modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.

Eva is a careful girl ➫ adjectiveEva drives carefullyadverb

Difference between an adjective and an adverb

I am a slow driver ⮞ How am I? ➱ slow ➫ adjective
I drive slowly ⮞ How do I drive? ➱ slowly ➫ adverb

Adjective when you indicate something about the noun

Adverb when you indicate something about the verb

reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford

NOTE : After the verbs ➣ be ➣ look ➣ taste ➣ sound ➫there is an adjectiveNOT an adverb

The meal was perfectNOT perfectly

It sounded terribleNOT terribly

Adverbs and adjectives that have the same form


Form: Adjective + -ly


BE CAREFUL He is a good cat but he does not feel well

BE CAREFUL NOT all words ending in -ly are adverbs:

  • adjectives ending in -ly: curly, chilly, friendly, elderly, silly, lonely, ugly, lovely, lively
  • nouns, ending in -ly: butterfly, family, jelly, ally, bully, melancholy
  • verbs, ending in -ly: apply, rely, reply, supply, comply, imply


➣ to modify verbs

The team played badly.

I want to live intensely.

➣ to modify adjectives

It was an extremely bad match.

I feel rather ashamed.

➣to modify adverbs

Mark behaves utterly well.

There are quite a lot of people.

➣ to modify sentences

Unfortunately, the flight has been cancelled.

Suddenly, the lights went out.


Adverbs of frequency

They answer how often something happens.

  • always
  • frequently
  • usually
  • often
  • sometimes
  • occasionally
  • rarely
  • hardly ever
  • seldom
  • never

These adverbs go before the verb.

Subjectauxiliaryadverb of frequencyverb
He nevergets up early
Theycanoftendo it
I do notalwaysgo there

BUT after verb to be

Subjectverb to beadverb of frequency
Sueisseldom late

Adverbs of time

They answer when something happens.

nowdailysoon sinceeventually
thenweeklyearly just finally
todayfortnightlylate alreadylately
tonightmonthlylast yetformerly
tomorrowyearlyfirst stillrecently
yesterdayannuallynext previously

Adverbs of place

They answer where something happens.

Adverbs of manner

They answer how something happens.

Adverbs of degree

They answer how much something happens.

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What is a pronoun?

Pronouns are some of the most useful words in the English language. They are used in the place of a noun to avoid it having to be named twice.

Definition of Pronoun

In English, the part of speech used as a substitute for an antecedent noun that is clearly understood, and with which it agrees in person, number, and gender.

Pronouns are classified as

Personal or Subject Pronouns ➭used before the verb

I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they

I am a vegan

Object Pronouns ➭used after a verb or a preposition

me, you, him, her, it, us, you, them

Look at me

Possessive Adjectives ➭always used with a noun

my, your, his, her, its, our, your, their

That is my salad

Possessive Pronouns ➭replace the noun

mine, yours, his, hers, ours, yours, theirs

This coffee is mine

Reflexive Pronouns ➭the subject and the object of the verb are the same

myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves

I ask myself how you can do that

Demonstratives ➭point to the object according to the distance

this, these, that, those

Relatives ➭add information and relate back to what was previously mentioned

that, which, who, whom, whose, when, where, why

The teacher that/who speaks Russian is from Spain

The teacher whose parents speak Russian is from Spain

This is where I was born

Interrogatives ➭used to ask questions

what, who, which, when, where, why, how, whose, whom

What are you eating?

Why do they put birds in a cage?

  • What qué 🠾asks about a thing
  • Who quién 🠾asks about a person
  • Which cuál 🠾asks about a choice
  • When cuándo 🠾asks about a time
  • Where  ➮dónde 🠾asks about a place
  • Why por qué 🠾asks about a reason
  • How cómo 🠾asks about a manner
  • Whosede quién 🠾asks about ownership
  • Whoma quién 🠾formal
  • How many cats are here?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How often do you see her?
  • How long is the film?
  • How old are you?
  • How far is Madrid?
  • How fast can you run?
  • How big/tall/high is it?
  • How wide/deep is the well?

Indefinites ➭indicate an indeterminate quantity or identity

As the word indefinite suggests, they do not specify the identity of their referents. They are more imprecise:

➣everybody ➣everyone ➣everything ➣all

➣some ➣any

➣many ➣much ➣few ➣little

➣one ➣other ➣another ➣others

➣both ➣several

Subject and Object Pronouns Exercise 1

Possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns exercise 1

Choose the correct subject pronouns, object pronouns, possessive pronouns, possessive adjectives

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Spelling Bee

ejemplo condicionales

Welcome to the Spelling Bee quiz

Spelling difficult words

You just have to choose the correct word
Have fun and  be lucky!

Linking words

➫They are used to link or connect words or sentences.

We can use linking words to give examples ➣add information ➣summarise ➣sequence information ➣give a reason or result ➣to contrast ideas.

This is another famous Aesop’s fables. Read it and choose the correct connector:

reference: Headway Pre-Intermediate Oxford

AUDIO The Boy who Cried Wolf

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Make / Do

➣En español sólo hay un verbo hacer, por lo que suele ser un enigma cuándo utilizar uno u otro. Let’s try.

We use ‘make’ when we create or construct something. For example:

She made a vegan birthday cake.
Then she made us some coffee.
Did she really make these napkins too?

Recipe Vegan Birthday Cake

We use ‘do’ for general activities. ‘Do‘ is often used with ‘something’, ‘nothing’, ‘anything’ or ‘everything’:

  • I didn’t do anything special.
  • She cannot do everything herself. She needs some help.
  • Are you doing anything interesting during the holidays?
  • What did you do at the weekend?
    • BUT ••• ➼ What do you do? What’s your job/profession?

Expressions with make and do

➣ But they don’t follow any rules, so you have to learn them by heart.


30 mph (miles per hour)Drivers do more than 30 mph near the school. It’s very dangerous.
badlyShe did very badly, so she’ll have to retake the test.
your bestDon’t worry about the test. Just do your best.
businessIt’s been a pleasure doing business with you.
choresI have to go home and do some chores.
a courseJohn has decided to do a course in computing this autumn.
a crosswordShe sat on the sofa, doing a crossword.
damageThe storm has done a lot of damage to the house.
the dishes / the washing upI really hate doing the dishes. I must buy a dishwasher.
a drawingAlba spent hours doing a drawing.
your dutyEngland expects that every man will do his duty.
an examI have to do an exam and write an essay this week.
exerciseJuan likes doing exercise, especially running.
an exerciseThe teacher made us do a lot of grammar exercises.
someone a favourMy friend did me a huge favour taking care of the cats.
the gardeningWe often spend Sundays doing gardening.
goodShe helps stray dogs trying to do good.
you goodYou should eat more veggies. They’ll do you good!
your hairHe spends ages doing his hair!
harmI spilt coffee and tried to wipe it, but I did more harm than good.
homeworkHave you finished doing your homework?
houseworkLet’s do the housework quickly, then we can go out.
the ironingLuis does the ironing while he listens to the radio.
a jobI think the activists did a great job with the fur farms.
the laundry / the washingHe did the laundry and hung the clothes out. 
your nailsDo you do your nails?
a paintingThere was an old man sitting on the bank of the river, doing a painting.
paperworkDoes everybody hate doing paperwork?
researchI’m doing some research for my thesis at the moment.
the shoppingI’ll do the shopping tomorrow. We need oat milk, fruit and rice.
time (= be in prison)The robbers broke into a bank, were caught by the police, and now they are doing time.
wellMy sister is doing well in her new job.
workI have to do a lot of work this weekend.
your worstWe must not let him do his worst. He has been reported for  animal abuse.


amendsI’m so sorry that I upset you. How can I make amends?
an appointmentShe had toothache, so she made an appointment with the dentist for the following day.
arrangementsAs we’re going on holiday soon, let’s make some arrangements. I’ll find a hotel, and you can look at flights.
an attemptWe might not save the kitten, but let’s at least make an attempt to take him to the vet.
believeThe children’s favourite game is to make believe that they are the Ogre and the Donkey from Shrek.
certainI think it opens at six, but let’s make certain.
a changeI’ve made some changes to the document.
a choiceWhich one are you going to buy? You need to make a choice.
a commentMy son made a comment about my flip flops.
a complaintThe medical attention was so bad that we made a complaint to the hospital.
a confessionI’d like to make a confession. I used to eat animals.
a dateLet’s make a date to have a meal.
a decisionI’ve made a decision. I’m going to go vegan.
a differenceGoing vegan has really made a difference to how I feel.
a discoveryAlba made a discovery. Vegan food is awesome!
an effortYou’re not trying hard enough! Make an effort!
an errorHe made several errors on the essay, and the teacher told him to rewrite it.
your escapeThe bank robbers were able to make their escape.
an exceptionThe stray cat is not allowed inside the house but I made an exception because it is freezing.
an excuseWhy was Alba late? Did she make an excuse?
a faceThe child bit into the lemon and made a face.
a fireWe put up our tent, made a fire, and had a sandwich.
a fool of yourselfYou shouldn’t say those silly things in public! You’ll make a fool of yourself.
a fortuneLorna made a fortune when she sold her company. Now she doesn’t have to work.
friendsShe made lots of friends at college.
fun ofPeople shouldn’t make fun of imprisoned animals. It is cruel and disgusting.
a fussI’m fine, it’s just a cough. Don’t make a fuss!
an impressionYou certainly made an impression last night! All my friends are asking about you.
a jokeIt was a tense situation at the beginning, but then Juan made a joke, and after that it was much more relaxed.
a journeyBecause of the snow, try not to make any journeys which are not absolutely essential.
a listFirst, I must make a list of all the things I have to do.
a lossTheir business made a loss the first year, but did much better after that.
loveWe used to make love practically every day.
a messWhat a mess you’ve made! Clean it up!
a mistakeShe made a huge mistake and now she regrets it.
moneyJohn made a lot of money and was able to retire at 55.
a moveLook how late it is! Let’s make a move.
a noisePlease try not to make a noise when you come home.
an observationMay I make an observation? I don’t think you should eat foie gras.
an offerShe made an offer on a house. She’ll find out today if it has been accepted.
a paymentI’d like to make a credit card payment, please.
a phone callI’m going outside to make a phone call. It’s too noisy in here.
plansJuan is making plans to move to Canada.
a pointThe activist used lots of examples to make his point.
a predictionThe journalist made a prediction about the economy, but in the end it wasn’t correct.
a profitHis business made a profit from the beginning.
progress The country has made significant progress in animal rights.
a promiseI made a promise to myself that I would never hurt any creature.
a remarkJuan was in trouble because he made a negative remark about his police corporal.
a reservationCould you call the restaurant and make a reservation for tonight?
a sceneHe made a scene in the school. He shouted at all the staff and demanded to speak to the principal.
a soundDon’t make a sound! We need to be completely quiet.
a speechHe made an emotive speech at her funeral.
a suggestionCan I make a suggestion? How about the vegan burger?
sureI don’t think I left the gate open, but I’m going to make sure.
the bedI never make the bed. I just stretch the duvet.
time (=find time to do something)You have to make time to get a diploma or you will never get the job.
troubleThe headmistress in our school always makes trouble. She is always slandering and maligning.
a visitI need to make a visit to that dog pound.
your mind upWhat do you want? Make your mind up quickly!
your wayAfter work, I make my way to the animal shelter.

And click here for ‘make’ or ‘do’ exercise 1.

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Graded readings

ReadingDiscriminatory language ➣Download Descarga

ReadingLeisure with animals ➣Download Descarga

ReadingElementaryPresent Tense

reading easy  lectura fácil

reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

ReadingElementaryPresent Tense

Read about Tomas from ViennaAnswer True/False questions


ReadingElementaryPast Tense

Martin’s Vacation Question/Answer Match


Reading – Full text ➣ Texto íntegro

four extracts from two autobiographies, a play and a dystopia


I was to go to school. I was now seven years old,…I was also excited and agitated by this great change in my life. I thought in spite of the lessons, it would be fun living with so many other boys, and that we should make friends together and have great adventures. Also I was told that ‘school days were the happiest time in one’s life.’

The school my parents had selected for my education was one of the most fashionable and expensive in the country. It modelled itself upon Eton and aimed at being preparatory for that Public School above all others. It was supposed to be the very last thing in schools. Only ten boys in a class; electric light (then a wonder); a swimming pond; spacious football and cricket grounds; two or three school treats, or ‘expeditions’ as they were called, every term; the masters all M.A.’s in gowns and mortar-boards; a chapel of its own; no hampers allowed; everything provided by the authorities. It was a dark November afternoon when we arrived at this establishment. We had tea with the Headmaster, with whom my mother conversed in the most easy manner. I was preoccupied with the fear of spilling my cup and so making ‘a bad start.’ I was also miserable at the idea of being left alone among all these strangers in this great, fierce, formidable place. After all I was only seven, and I had been so happy in my nursery with all my toys. I had such wonderful toys: a real steam engine, a magic lantern, and a collection of soldiers already nearly a thousand strong. Now it was to be all lessons. Seven or eight hours of lessons every day except half-holidays, and football or cricket in addition.

When the last sound of my mother’s departing wheels had died away, the Headmaster invited me to hand over any money I had in my possession. I produced my three half-crowns, which were duly entered in a book, and I was told that from time to time there would be a ‘shop’ at the school with all sorts of things which one would like to have, and that I could choose what I liked up to the limit of the seven and sixpence. Then we quitted the Headmaster’s parlour and the comfortable private side of the house, and entered the more bleak apartments reserved for the instruction and accommodation of the pupils. I was taken into a Form Room and told to sit at a desk. All the other boys were out of doors, and I was alone with the Form Master. He produced a thin greeny-brown, covered book filled with words in different types of print.

‘You have never done any Latin before, have you?‘ he said.

‘No, sir.’

‘This is a Latin grammar.’ He opened it at a well-thumbed page. ‘You must learn this,’ he said, pointing to a number of words in a frame of lines. ‘I will come back in half an hour and see what you know.’

Behold me then on a gloomy evening, with an aching heart, seated in front of the First Declension.

  •   Mensa        ➮ a table                 
  •   Mensa        ➮ O table                   
  •   Mensam      ➮ a table                   
  •   Mensae      ➮ of a table                
  •   Mensae      ➮ to or for a table         
  •   Mensa        ➮ by, with or from a table  

What on earth did it mean? Where was the sense in it? It seemed absolute rigmarole to me. However, there was one thing I could always do: I could learn by heart. And I thereupon proceeded, as far as my private sorrows would allow, to memorise the acrostic-looking task which had been set me.

In due course the Master returned.

‘Have you learnt it?’ he asked.

‘I think I can say it, sir,’ I replied; and I gabbled it off.

He seemed so satisfied with this that I was emboldened to ask a question.

‘What does it mean, sir?’

‘It means what it says. Mensa, a table. Mensa is a noun of the First Declension. There are five declensions. You have learnt the singular of the First Declension.’

‘But,’ I repeated, ‘what does it mean?’

‘Mensa means a table,‘ he answered.

Then why does mensa also mean O table,’ I enquired, ‘and what does O table mean?’

‘Mensa, O table, is the vocative case,’ he replied.

‘But why O table?’ I persisted in genuine curiosity.

‘O table,—you would use that in addressing a table, in invoking a table.‘ And then seeing he was not carrying me with him, ‘You would use it in speaking to a table.’

‘But I never do,’ I blurted out in honest amazement.

‘If you are impertinent, you will be punished, and punished, let me tell you, very severely,’ was his conclusive rejoinder.

Such was my first introduction to the classics from which, I have been told, many of our cleverest men have derived so much solace and profit.

Birrete de graduación adulto (Birretes)

the masters all M.A.’s in gowns and mortar-boards ➣los profesores todos licenciados con sus togas y birretes.

no hampers allowed ➣no se permitían cestas de comida

It seemed absolute rigmarole to me ➣me pareció un perfecto galimatías

I could learn by heart ➣lo podía aprender de memoria

I was emboldened to ask a question ➣me envalentoné para formular una pregunta

Memories of a Catholic Girlhood  by Mary McCarthy

Published in 1957, this autobiography begins with McCarthy’s recollections of an indulgent, idyllic childhood tragically altered by the death of her parents in the influenza epidemic of 1918. She and her three younger brothers, and all four grandparents survived. In the 1918 pandemic, a disproportionate percentage of victims were young adults. The narration is imbued with a passionate sense of justice and the portrayal of her ghastly Cinderella childhood.

Whenever we children came to stay at my grandmother’s house, we were put to sleep in the sewing room, a bleak, shabby, utilitarian rectangle, more office than bedroom, more attic than office, that played to the hierarchy of chambers the role of a poor relation.

It was a room seldom entered by the other members of the family, seldom swept by the maid, a room without pride; the old sewing machine, some cast-off chairs, a shadeless lamp, rolls of wrapping paper, piles of cardboard boxes that might someday come in handy, papers of pins, and remnants of material united with the iron folding cots put out for our use and the bare floor boards to give an impression of ruthless temporality.

Thin white spreads, of the kind used in hospitals and charity institutions, and naked blinds at the windows reminded us of our orphaned condition and of the ephemeral character of our visit; there was nothing here to encourage us to consider this our home.

Poor Roy’s children, as commiseration damply styled us, could not afford illusions, in the family opinion. Our father had put us beyond the pale by dying suddenly of influenza and taking our young mother with him, a defection that was remarked on with horror and grief commingled, as though our mother had been a pretty secretary with whom he had wantonly absconded into the irresponsible paradise of the hereafter. Our reputation was clouded by this misfortune.


we were put to sleep in the sewing room ➣ nos ponían a dormir en el cuarto de la costura

that played to the hierarchy of chambers the role of a poor relation (habitación) que, dentro de la jerarquía de las piezas de la casa, desempeñaba el papel de pariente pobre

could not afford illusions ➣ no nos podíamos permitir tener ilusiones

had put us beyond the pale ➣ nos había dejado en la estacada

defection ➣deserción

as though our mother had been a pretty secretary with whom he had wantonly absconded into the irresponsible paradise of the hereafter. ➣ como si nuestra madre hubiera sido una guapa secretaria con la que él se hubiese fugado impúdicamente al irresponsable paraíso del más allá.

The Importance of Being Earnest A Trivial Comedy for Serious People BY Oscar Wilde


Lady Bracknell. [Pencil and note-book in hand.] I feel bound to tell you that you are not down on my list of eligible young men, although I have the same list as the dear Duchess of Bolton has. We work together, in fact. However, I am quite ready to enter your name, should your answers be what a really affectionate mother requires. Do you smoke?

Jack. Well, yes, I must admit I smoke.

Lady Bracknell. I am glad to hear it. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. There are far too many idle men in London as it is. How old are you?

Jack. Twenty-nine.

Lady Bracknell. A very good age to be married at. I have always been of opinion that a man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing. Which do you know?

Jack. [After some hesitation.] I know nothing, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Bracknell. I am pleased to hear it. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. The whole theory of modern education is radically unsound. Fortunately in England, at any rate, education produces no effect whatsoever. If it did, it would prove a serious danger to the upper classes, and probably lead to acts of violence in Grosvenor Square. What is your income?

Jack. Between seven and eight thousand a year.

Lady Bracknell. [Makes a note in her book.] In land, or in investments?

Jack. In investments, chiefly.

Lady Bracknell. That is satisfactory. What between the duties expected of one during one’s lifetime, and the duties exacted from one after one’s death, land has ceased to be either a profit or a pleasure. It gives one position, and prevents one from keeping it up. That’s all that can be said about land.

(Entre los deberes que se esperan de uno en la vida y los deberes que se le exigen después de la muerte, la tierra ha dejado de ser en todo caso un beneficio o un placer. Proporciona a uno posición pero le impide mantenerla. Eso es todo lo que puede decirse de la tierra).

Jack. I have a country house with some land, of course, attached to it, about fifteen hundred acres, I believe; but I don’t depend on that for my real income. In fact, as far as I can make out, the poachers are the only people who make anything out of it.

Lady Bracknell. A country house! How many bedrooms? Well, that point can be cleared up afterwards. You have a town house, I hope? A girl with a simple, unspoiled nature, like Gwendolen, could hardly be expected to reside in the country.

Jack. Well, I own a house in Belgrave Square, but it is let by the year to Lady Bloxham. Of course, I can get it back whenever I like, at six months’ notice.

Lady Bracknell. Lady Bloxham? I don’t know her.

Jack. Oh, she goes about very little. She is a lady considerably advanced in years.

Lady Bracknell. Ah, nowadays that is no guarantee of respectability of character. What number in Belgrave Square?

Jack. 149.

Lady Bracknell. [Shaking her head.] The unfashionable side. I thought there was something. However, that could easily be altered.

Jack. Do you mean the fashion, or the side?

Lady Bracknell. [Sternly.] Both, if necessary, I presume. What are your politics?

Jack. Well, I am afraid I really have none. I am a Liberal Unionist.

Lady Bracknell. Oh, they count as Tories. They dine with us. Or come in the evening, at any rate. Now to minor matters. Are your parents living?

Jack. I have lost both my parents.

Lady Bracknell. To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. Who was your father? He was evidently a man of some wealth. Was he born in what the Radical papers call the purple of commerce, or did he rise from the ranks of the aristocracy?

Jack. I am afraid I really don’t know. The fact is, Lady Bracknell, I said I had lost my parents. It would be nearer the truth to say that my parents seem to have lost me . . . I don’t actually know who I am by birth. I was . . . well, I was found.

Lady Bracknell. Found!

Jack. The late Mr. Thomas Cardew, an old gentleman of a very charitable and kindly disposition, found me, and gave me the name of Worthing, because he happened to have a first-class ticket for Worthing in his pocket at the time. Worthing is a place in Sussex. It is a seaside resort.

Lady Bracknell. Where did the charitable gentleman who had a first-class ticket for this seaside resort find you?

Jack. [Gravely.] In a hand-bag.

Lady Bracknell. A hand-bag?

Jack. [Very seriously.] Yes, Lady Bracknell. I was in a hand-bag–a somewhat large, black leather hand-bag, with handles to it–an ordinary hand-bag in fact.

Lady Bracknell. In what locality did this Mr. James, or Thomas, Cardew come across this ordinary hand-bag?

Jack. In the cloak-room at Victoria Station. It was given to him in mistake for his own.

Lady Bracknell. The cloak-room at Victoria Station?

Jack. Yes. The Brighton line.

Lady Bracknell. The line is immaterial. Mr. Worthing, I confess I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to? As for the particular locality in which the hand-bag was found, a cloak-room at a railway station might serve to conceal a social indiscretion–has probably, indeed, been used for that purpose before now–but it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a recognised position in good society.

Jack. May I ask you then what you would advise me to do? I need hardly say I would do anything in the world to ensure Gwendolen’s happiness.

Lady Bracknell. I would strongly advise you, Mr. Worthing, to try and acquire some relations as soon as possible, and to make a definite effort to produce at any rate one parent, of either sex, before the season is quite over.

Jack. Well, I don’t see how I could possibly manage to do that. I can produce the hand-bag at any moment. It is in my dressing-room at home. I really think that should satisfy you, Lady Bracknell.

Lady Bracknell. Me, sir! What has it to do with me? You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter–a girl brought up with the utmost care–to marry into a cloakroom, and form an alliance with a parcel? Good morning, Mr. Worthing!   

 [Lady Bracknell sweeps out in majestic indignation.]

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


First published in 1985, The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader is unable to forget its images and its forecast. With more than two million copies in print, it is Margaret Atwood‘s most popular and compelling novel. Set in the near future, it describes life in what once was the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead. Reacting to social unrest, and a sharply declining birthrate, the new regime has reverted to — even gone beyond — the repressive tolerance of the original Puritans. Offred is a Handmaid who may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant because she is only valued as long as her ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now. Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.



We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. The floor was of varnished wood, with stripes and circles painted on it, for the games that were formerly played there; the hoops for the basketball nets were still in place, though the nets were gone. A balcony ran around the room, for the spectators, and I thought I could smell, faintly like an afterimage, the pungent scent of sweat, shot through with the sweet taint of chewing gum and perfume from the watching girls, felt-skirted as I knew from pictures, later in miniskirts, then pants, then in one earring, spiky green-streaked hair. Dances would have been held there; the music lingered, a palimpsest of unheard sound, style upon style, an undercurrent of drums, a forlorn wail, garlands made of tissue-paper flowers, cardboard devils, a revolving ball of mirrors, powdering the dancers with a snow of light.

margin note “I could smell, […] the pungent scent of sweat, […] with the sweet taint of chewing gum and perfume from the watching girls” El sentido del olfato, sense of smell, muy presente en esta situación angustiosa, in this distressing situation.

margin notefelt-skirted […] mini-skirted […] spiky green hair” – These female fashions represent the fifties, sixties and seventies respectively. Offred is about thirty years old in the 1980s.

There was old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name. I remember that yearning, for something that was always about to happen and was never the same as the hands that were on us there and then, in the small of the back, or out back, in the parking lot, or in the television room with the sound turned down and only the pictures flickering over lifting flesh.

We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability? It was in the air; and it was still in the air, an after-thought, as we tried to sleep, in the army cots that had been set up in rows, with spaces between so we could not talk. We had flannelette sheets, like children’s, and army-issue blankets, old ones that still said U.S. We folded our clothes neatly and laid them on the stools at the ends of the beds. The lights were turned down but not out. Aunt Sara and Aunt Elizabeth patrolled; they had electric cattle prods slung on thongs from their leather belts.

cattle prod

No guns though, even they could not be trusted with guns. Guns were for the guards, specially picked from the Angels. The guards weren’t allowed inside the building except when called, and we weren’t allowed out, except for our walks, twice daily, two by two around the football field, which was enclosed now by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. The Angels stood outside it with their backs to us. They were objects of fear to us, but of something else as well. If only they would look. If only we could talk to them. Something could be exchanged, we thought, some deal made, some tradeoff, we still had our bodies. That was our fantasy.

enclosed by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire

We learned to whisper almost without sound. In the semi-darkness we could stretch out our arms, when the Aunts weren’t looking, and touch each other’s hands across space. We learned to lip-read, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching each other’s mouths. In this way we exchanged names, from bed to bed: Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June.



A chair, a table, a lamp. Above, on the white ceiling, a relief ornament in the shape of a wreath, and in the center of it a blank space, plastered over, like the place in a face where the eye has been taken out. There must have been a chandelier, once. They’ve removed anything you could tie a rope to.

A window, two white curtains. Under the window, a window seat with a little cushion. When the window is partly open — it only opens partly — the air can come in and make the curtains move. I can sit in the chair, or on the window seat, hands folded, and watch this. Sunlight comes in through the window too, and falls on the floor, which is made of wood, in narrow strips, highly polished. I can smell the polish. There’s a rug on the floor, oval, of braided rags. This is the kind of touch they like: folk art, archaic, made by women, in their spare time, from things that have no further use. A return to traditional values. Waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want?

margin noteA return to traditional values”: This was a catchphrase of 1980s conservatism. It was particularly associated in America with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, and in the U.K. with Margaret Thatcher. In the U.S.A., an important aspect to the movement was an alliance between the political right wing and Evangelical Christianity.

On the wall above the chair, a picture, framed but with no glass: a print of flowers, blue irises, watercolor. Flowers are still allowed, Does each of us have the same print, the same chair, the same white curtains, I wonder? Government issue?

Think of it as being in the army, said Aunt Lydia.

A bed. Single, mattress medium-hard, covered with a flocked white spread. Nothing takes place in the bed but sleep; or no sleep. I try not to think too much. Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There’s a lot that doesn’t bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last. I know why there is no glass, in front of the watercolor picture of blue irises, and why the window opens only partly and why the glass in it is shatterproof. It isn’t running away they’re afraid of. We wouldn’t get far. It’s those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge.

So. Apart from these details, this could be a college guest room, for the less distinguished visitors; or a room in a rooming house, of former times, for ladies in reduced circumstances. That is what we are now. The circumstances have been reduced; for those of us who still have circumstances.

  margin note“ladies in reduced circumstances”: Unmarried pregnant women

But a chair, sunlight, flowers: these are not to be dismissed. I am alive, I live, I breathe, I put my hand out, unfolded, into the sunlight. Where I am is not a prison but a privilege, as Aunt Lydia said, who was in love with either/or.

margin note “who was in love with either/or.” : Aunt Lydia saw things in either black or white, there is no gray area, either you behave, or you will be punished.

The bell that measures time is ringing. Time here is measured by bells, as once in nunneries. As in a nunnery too, there are few mirrors.

I get up out of the chair, advance my feet into the sunlight, in their red shoes, flat-heeled to save the spine and not for dancing. The red gloves are lying on the bed. I pick them up, pull them onto my hands, finger by finger. Everything except the wings around my face is red: the color of blood, which defines us. The skirt is ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat yoke that extends over the breasts, the sleeves are full. The white wings too are prescribed issue; they are to keep us from seeing, but also from being seen. I never looked good in red, it’s not my color. I pick up the shopping basket, put it over my arm.

The door of the room — not my room, I refuse to say my — is not locked. In fact it doesn’t shut properly. I go out into the polished hallway, which has a runner down the center, dusty pink. Like a path through the forest, like a carpet for royalty, it shows me the way.

The carpet bends and goes down the front staircase and I go with it, one hand on the banister, once a tree, turned in another century, rubbed to a warm gloss. Late Victorian, the house is, a family house, built for a large rich family. There’s a grandfather clock in the hallway, which doles out time, and then the door to the motherly front sitting room, with its flesh tones and hints. A sitting room in which I never sit, but stand or kneel only. At the end of the hallway, above the front door, is a fanlight of colored glass: flowers, red and blue.

There remains a mirror, on the hall wall. If I turn my head so that the white wings framing my face direct my vision towards it, I can see it as I go down the stairs, round, convex, a pier glass, like the eye of a fish, and myself in it like a distorted shadow, a parody of something, some fairy-tale figure in a red cloak, descending towards a moment of carelessness that is the same as danger. A Sister, dipped in blood.

At the bottom of the stairs there’s a hat-and-umbrella stand, the bentwood kind, long rounded rungs of wood curving gently up into hooks shaped like the opening fronds of a fern. There are several umbrellas in it: black, for the Commander, blue, for the Commander’s Wife, and the one assigned to me, which is red. I leave the red umbrella where it is, because I know from the window that the day is sunny. I wonder whether or not the Commander’s wife is in the sitting room. She doesn’t always sit. Sometimes I can hear her pacing back and forth, a heavy step and then a light one, and the soft tap of her cane on the dusty-rose carpet.

I walk along the hallway, past the sitting room door and the door that leads into the dining room, and open the door at the end of the hall and go through into the kitchen. Here the smell is no longer of furniture polish. Rita is in here, standing at the kitchen table, which has a top of chipped white enamel. She’s in her usual Martha’s dress, which is dull green, like a surgeon’s gown of the time before. The dress is much like mine in shape, long and concealing, but with a bib apron over it and without the white wings and the veil. She puts on the veil to go outside, but nobody much cares who sees the face of a Martha. Her sleeves are rolled to the elbow, showing her brown arms. She’s making bread, throwing the loaves for the final brief kneading and then the shaping.

Rita sees me and nods, whether in greeting or in simple acknowledgment of my presence it’s hard to say, and wipes her floury hands on her apron and rummages in the kitchen drawer for the token book. Frowning, she tears out three tokens and hands them to me. Her face might be kindly if she would smile. But the frown isn’t personal: it’s the red dress she disapproves of, and what it stands for. She thinks I may be catching, like a disease or any form of bad luck.

Sometimes I listen outside closed doors, a thing I never would have done in the time before. I don’t listen long, because I don’t want to be caught doing it. Once, though, I heard Rita say to Cora that she wouldn’t debase herself like that.

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Test your reading

reference: Thumbs up! Oxford University Press

Online dating

with audio

reference: English for Life Pre-Intermediate Oxford

Calamity JaneThe Wildest Woman in the West

Check answers at the bottom

ShipwreckDisaster at sea


reference: New Generation Colin Granger Heinemann

Answers exercise E Part two Calamity Jane

1 c – 2 i – 3 f – 4 j – 5 e – 6 a – 7 g – 8 b – 9 h – 10 d

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Test your grammar

Test #1: Read the sentences, choose and click the right option

Have fun and  be lucky!

Test #2: Read the text, choose and write the right word

Most humans believe (1) animals (2) things or instruments at (3) service. They think that humans can use, exploit, torture and kill (4) and that animals do not deserve care or attention.

But today this idea is starting to change. More and more people (5) the world (6) differently. It is a wave that does not stop growing. More and more people know that animals are beings that (7) and suffer, and that is why we (8) respect and defend them.

(9) people claim that animal (10) matter.

Test #3: Read the text, choose and write the correct word

Leisure with animals

Swimming with dolphins, horse (1) ,feeding a giraffe, trekking on a camel or an elephant, taking photos with a hawk…

People may do all these things and never question these acts. Nevertheless, we should question ourselves (2) this is abuse.

Animals forced to carry out activities that go against their own nature end up psychologically wrecked and with their health impaired.

What (3) of moral conscience leads us to accept the slavery of animals, (4) in captivity (5) their will?

What idea do we get about the real needs of dolphins (mammals capable of diving up to 100 meters deep in search of food) confined in small pools?

What image is left of us when we see birds that should be flying in flocks in forests and jungles, with (6) wings cut off or locked in cages so that they can pose in photographs?

Do we really want to see an elephant (in nature he lives in large herds and walks up to 50 km a day) alone and chained?

Leisure or tourism with wild animals is an industry that profits from their suffering and transmits a great (7) : that animals in captivity are happy and that forced contact with people is positive for (8) .

In Thailand, Thong Bai is a star. Over the years, he has (9) the symbol of omnipotence. He has been in movies and commercials. The problem is that Thong Bai (10) for it. He never wanted to become a star, he never wanted to be a symbol; because Thong Bai (11) his entire life mutilated, abused, chained. All his life!!

(12) an animal to a life in captivity for our amusement (zoos, circuses, dolphin tanks, aquariums) dehumanizes people and numbs society to the effects of the cruelty and degradation we inflict upon them.

(You can see the text in here for correction)

Try this oher one

Confusing words

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Test your veganism

What is your level of veganism?

 Do this simple test to check

Do you visit zoos, aquariums, or animal shows?

Have you ever bought vegan milk, yogurt or ice cream?

Do you eat dairy and eggs?

What is your consumption of meat or fish?

What do you feel when you see a truck transporting live animals on the road?

Do you use animals to ride them (horse, elephant, camel) or have you taken a “selfie” with them?

Bullfighting and hunting is:

Are you trying to buy cruelty free products not tested on animals?

Do the test in Spanish


Talking About Your Home

➣ Describe your home in English, the inside and the outside ➣ Where do you live? ➣ What’s your home like? ➣ What about your neighbourhood?


1. Introducing where you live 0:21

2. Describing the inside of your home 3:10

3. Saying what you like or dislike about your home 4:33

4. Saying who you live with 6:47

5. Talking about your neighbourhood 7:25

6. Review and practice 8:40

You can learn:

➣ English vocabulary to talk about different types of home.

➣ How to make your speaking more natural and interesting by adding details.

➣ How to make longer answers when talking about your home in English.

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Talking About Your Family

In this lesson, you can learn how to talk about your family in English.

Do you have a big family?

What do you like doing when you spend time with your family?

Talking about family can be a good way to start a conversation in English, so it’s useful if you know what to say and have some questions to ask.


1. Introducing Your Family 0:29

2. Talking About Brothers and Sisters 1:15

3. Talking About Your Immediate/Extended Family 2:02

4. Talking About Your Children 3:06

5. Talking About Your Relationship with Your Family 4:00

6. Making a Longer Answer 5:04

You can learn:

➣ How to introduce your family in a simple way.

➣ How to talk about your immediate and your extended family.

➣ How to talk about your brothers and sisters.

➣ How to talk about your children when you’re talking about your family in English.

➣ How to talk about your relationship with your family, and what you like to do together.

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