viernes, 17 de abril de 2009

Improve your writing.
It is quite important to know and use the punctuation marks in a correct way in order to write good compositions. I am going to explain the punctuation rules in English and provide you some activities.
Punctuation is the use of marks and signs to separate words into sentences, clauses, and phrases in order to clarify meaning. When you speak, you can pause, stop, or change your tone
of voice to make your meaning clear. When writing, you must use punctuation marks such as
commas and question marks to make you be understood clearly.
Each punctuation mark can be used in many ways.
Period or stop(.)
- Use a period at the end of a declarative sentence.
I like fish and chips.
- Use a period to end an abbreviation.Mrs.
Johnson is our new neighbour.
Comma (,)
- Use a comma to separate three or more items in a series.
My favourite subjects are history, maths and French.
- Use a comma to separate independent clauses in a sentence.
Susan likes the beach, but Tom prefers the mountains.
- Use a comma to set off dates and addresses.
I was born on July 2nd, 1965.
Semicolon (;)
- Use a semicolon when two independent clauses in a sentence are not separated by a conjunction .
I got good marks in English; my sister failed.
- Use a semicolon between independent clauses in a sentence that are separated by any of the following transitional words or phrases: accordingly, consequently, for example, for instance, furthermore, however, instead, moreover, nevertheless, otherwise, and therefore.
We decided to have a picnic; however, it rained and we couldn´t go.
Colon (:)
- Use a colon before a list.
We have to buy: apples, bread, milk, biscuits.
- Use a colon to divide hours from minutes.
I have an appointment at 12:30.
Question Mark (?)
-Use a question mark at the end of an interrogative sentence.
Does she live in London?
Exclamation Mark (!)
- Use an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence to show strong emotion.
It’s delicious!
- Use an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence for emphasis.
You have to study harder!
- Use an exclamation mark after an interjection.
Apostrophe (')
- Use an apostrophe to indicate a missing letter or letters in a contraction.
It’s a beautiful girl.
- Use an apostrophe plus the letter "s" to show possession. When the noun finishes in an -s, it is only added the apostrophe.
That’s my father’s car.

Click on the websites to find writing activit¡es and improve your written Emglish.

miércoles, 15 de abril de 2009

This is a reading comprehension activity for my students of 1st of ESO and PCPI.

Nasreddin Goes Shopping
One day Nasreddin went to town to buy new clothes. First he tried on a pair of trousers. He didn't like the trousers, so he gave them back to the shopkeeper. Then he tried a robe which had the same price as the trousers. Nasreddin was pleased with the robe, and he left the shop. Before he climbed on his donkey to ride home, the shopkeeper and the shop-assistant ran out. "You didn't pay for the robe!" said the shopkeeper."But I gave you the trousers in exchange for the robe, didn't I?" replied Nasreddin. "Yes, but you didn't pay for the trousers, either!" said the shopkeeper. "But I didn't buy the trousers," replied Nasreddin. "I am not so stupid as to pay for something which I never bought."
Click on the correct answer
1 How did Nasreddin get to the shop?
-on foot
-by camel
-by donkey
-the story doesn't say
2 What did Nasreddin do first in the shop?
-He tried on some trousers.
-He tried on a robe.
-He tried on a hat.
-He greeted the shopkeeper.
3 What did Nasreddin try on next?
-a robe
-a pair of trousers
-a hat
4 Which item did Nasreddin like best?
-the robe
-the hat
-the trousers
5 How many people were working in the shop?
6 Why was the shopkeeper angry when Nasreddin left?
-He didn't take the trousers.
-He didn't pay for the robe.
-He didn't say goodbye.
7 What did Nasreddin actually pay for?
-the robe
-the trousers

miércoles, 1 de abril de 2009


We all know, teachers and students, how difficult the pronunciation of regular past simple is.
-ed ending
The past simple tense and past participle of all regular verbs end in -ed.
For example:
base form past simple past participle
work worked worked

In addition, many adjectives are made from the past participle and so end in -ed.
For example:
I like painted furniture.

The question is: How do we pronounce the -ed?

The answer is: In 3 ways - / Id/ or / t/ or / d/

If the base verb ends in one of these sounds /t/, /d/
unvoiced /t/
for example : want wanted / Id/
voiced /d/
for example : end ended /Id/
If the base verb end in an unvoiced sound /t/
for example
/p/ hope hoped
/f/ laugh laughed
/s/ fax faxed
/S/ wash washed
/tS/ watch watched
/k/ like liked

If the verb ends in a voiced sound /d/
for example
vowels play played
/r/return returned
/g/beg begged
/l/ travelled
/m/ dreamed

It is important to notice that it is the sound that is important, not the letter or spelling. For example, "fax" ends in the letter "x" but the sound /s/; "like" ends in the letter "e" but the sound /k/.

The following -ed words used as adjectives are pronounced with /Id/:
aged, blessed, crooked, dogged, learned, naked, ragged, wicked, wretched.

To practise the pronunciation you can click on the following links:

The origin of the English word Easter probably comes from Eostre, who was the pagan goddess of spring. The pagans celebrated the arrival of spring. When the Christianity was introduced in Britain the two festivals were mixed. Although the Christian festivity replaced to the pagan one, some symbols of the spring festival remained, such as flowers, eggs, rabbits and bunnies, the pagans offered their eggs in grass baskets to the goddess Eostre.
Easter is the most important festival in the Christian church year. It begins with Good Friday. The Romans killed Jesus Christ in Jerusalem about two thousand years ago. Christians believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion.Why is Easter on a different day each year? This is because Easter Sunday is the Sunday after the first full moon after the first day of spring (21 March). Easter eggs, Easter Rabbit (Easter Bunny) and sending Easter cards are tradition not only in Britain. The cards are often in green or yellow or show baby animals, because lots of animals are born in spring. This tradition goes back to the 19th century. Nowadays, in Britain and in the USA Christian families attend to a church service in the morning, there is special music. People also send postcards to friends and relatives. They wear something new to celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring.
Before Easter British and American children decorate eggs with bright colours and beautiful designs. This tradition comes from Middle Ages in England and in ancient times eggs where the symbol of fertility and life.
On Easter Day in the USA there is the traditional Easter egg hunt, which was introduced by German immigrants long ago. Families go to the park and parents tell their children that the Easter Bunny hid many eggs in the park and they must find them and put them in colourful Easter baskets. As in all competitions the child who has found the biggest number of eggs is the winner.
Egg rolling is an ancient Easter tradition. On Monday children roll their eggs down a hill, the first egg that reaches the bottom of the hill without breaking is the winner. In the USA, the president invites children to roll eggs on the lawn of the White House in Washington DC.
There are chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies and sugar eggs in all sweet shops. Hot Cross buns are a special Easter food. They are small sweet cakes with a cross on top. They are eaten on Good Friday in Britain.
There is a story of a widow whose son was a sailor. He asked his mother to bake him hot cross buns on his return on Good Friday. But he never came back. Every Good Friday his mother made a new bun for him and hoped that he would come back. She collected all the buns in a net. When she died her old cottage was replaced by a pub - "The Widow's Son" where the buns can be seen today. Every year a sailor adds a new bun to the collection in the net. Sailors from around Britain come to the pub and sing and pray for the widow.
Hot cross buns, hot cross buns,
one a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons,
one a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns.

Now it is time to have some fun. Try to find the eggs.