British Christmas Food

Christmas is the traditional time of year when families get together and share memories of the previous year, swap presents, and go crazy eating and drinking. There is an orgy of tastes, textures and smells as food is prepared and cocktails are mixed – there really is no other time like it!

Here’s some pictures of Christmas food… Be warned, you will be hungry after looking at them!

A hearty breakfast.
Christmas dinner… Delicious roast turkey, beef and pork with roasted seasonal vegetables and various sauces.
Christmas pudding, drenched in brandy and served with cream.
Mince pies… Delicious with cream or brandy butter.

Conectores formales – B2

When writing a semi formal or formal essay, report or article use these connectors…

Moreover – additional supporting evidence.

example

Studies show a an increase in social isolation as well as impaired interpersonal skills. Moreover, an American study published evidence supporting previous studies…

In addition to/additionally – supporting evidence.

example  

In addition to the survey’s findings it was also discovered that…

Therefore – consequence.

example  

Evidence gathered from our Student Survey suggests that current technology within the classroom is inadequate. I therefore recommend that….

Likewise – additional information.

example  

The study indicated a drop in intelligence. Likewise, exam results were also negatively affected.

Similarly – additional information.

example  

The study indicated a drop in intelligence. Likewise, exam results were also negatively affected.

However – contrasting evidence.

example  

The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young. However, family background and upbringing were equally important.

Although – contrasting evidence.

example  

The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, although family background and upbringing were equally important.

Whereas – contrasting evidence.

example  

Whereas the results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, it should be noted that they were not 100% reliable.

Despite/In spite of – contrasting evidence.

example  

Despite the results of the survey providing a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, family background and upbringing were found to be equally important.

In fact – statement of fact opinion.

example  

The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, in fact there could be no doubt about the results. 

Indeed – reinforcement of fact.

example

 The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, indeed there could be no doubt about the results. 

Vocabulario inglés – PET Speaking Part 3

​Here’s some advice about vocabulary for the photos in the individual turn, Part 3.
Remember the aim is to talk about the photo and not describe it and for this you need a good level of vocabulary.

Below is a short list of example themes that might be the subject of the photo, as well as a list of vocabulary for one of the themes, in this case Holidays.

You need to create a list of words for all themes, but in reality should memorise about 10 words, phrases from each list rather than try to remember them all!

To find vocabulary go to Google search, enter vocabulary shopping, for example.

Themes
Shopping (supermarkets, street markets, clothes, food)
Holidays (beach/city/countryside)
Family activity (eating, watching TV, cooking etc.)
Studies
Work

Example vocabulary
Holidays

All inclusive
Package holiday
Camping holiday
Cycling holiday
Weekend break
City break
Tropical paradise
Busy streets
Tourist attractions
Nightlife
Go for a get away
Go on holiday
Go on a cruise
Go sightseeing
Go hiking

Go camping

Adjectives
Stunning
Spectacular
Sun drenched
Palm fringed
Deserted
Crowded
Relaxing
Peaceful

You travel (verb) by train, plane, bus, coach, bike.
You go on or take a trip, excursion, voyage, holiday, weekend break, city break.
You go sightseeing (to see monuments, galleries etc.).
You can buy souvenirs, keepsakes.
At the beach you can sunbathe (verb), go for a swim, a paddle, a dip.
At the beach you need suncream, sunglasses, a parasol, a deckchair, a towel, a bucket and spade.
To fly you need to have your tickets, boarding pass.
At the airport you need to check in your luggage, suitcases and go shopping in duty free.

Vocabulario inglés – discutiendo

Arguing in English -vocabulary

You can have…

An argument
A disagreement
A fall/falling out
A quarrel
A slanging match
A tiff
A Lover’s tiff
A row
A blow up
A barny

A Punch up – with violence
A set to – with violence

You can also…
Say your peace
Speak your mind

Then you can…

Make up
Make it up
Kiss and make up
Make peace

Settle your differences
Offer an Olive branch
Forgive and forget

El personaje britanico – the British character

Excessive Politeness

Politeness is one thing, but the tendency to apologise every time you brush past someone on the street is another.

As pleasant as it is to shout “thank you driver” every time we leave the bus, and spend hours quibbling over who’s going to pay the restaurant bill, our civilities can surpass the limit at times.

Sarcasm

While the use of sarcasm isn’t an exclusively British thing, the subtleness and frequency with which we employ it is what differentiates us from the rest.

Many Brits will apply mockery and irony in everyday conversation almost subconsciously, and it’s something many just don’t get.

Self mockery

Brits are very good at mocking themselves. We’re continually saying things like “God, I’m an idiot” or “look at the state of me” in everyday conversation, while British comedians are forever inciting laughter about British traditions, at which we are the first to laugh.

Keeping Quiet

Harking back to our excessive politeness, British people have a tendency to remain quiet and deal with it when it comes to uncomfortable or unpleasant situations. A good thing, you may think, but it only increases the extent to which we moan about the horror we endured afterwards.

Drinking tea

This is the most common giveaway, especially if a Brit ever finds themselves surrounded by people who only seem to believe in drinking herbal tea. Rather a builder’s brew any day, thanks.

Awkwardness

Only a Brit would avoid getting on a bus purely because they see someone on there who they’ll have to make small talk with, or run from a room the minute they feel uncomfortable.

We so easily feel ‘awkward’, and we dedicate a lot of our lives to trying to escape from these situations.

Boozing

There’s no doubt about it, we are the world’s booziest nation. While Europeans will enjoy a night out on a few glasses and Americans tend to save it for house parties, Brits drink with the sole object of getting wasted, and aren’t afraid to make it a wholly public affair.

Fibbing

Brits are often somehow incapable of revealing what we are really thinking. Things like “no offence, but…” and “I’ll bear it in mind” are prime examples of phrases that we often say when we actually mean something very different. The all-too-common “I’m fine” line is another classic lie.

Holidays

We love our all-inclusives. Pay one sum of money over the Internet and get the whole lot: flights, seedy hotel, unlimited alcohol and a whole load of other sunburnt Brits to sunbathe, drink and eat too much with. Oh, how cultured we are.

Aversion to PDA

The British struggle with public displays of affection. Fondling lovers are cringy and unwelcome at all times, and the commonplace reaction is to tell them to “get a room” as soon as a couple so much as hugs.

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre los niveles de inglés?

​I’m often asked what the difference is between the different levels in English, for example B1 & B2. So here’s my opinion.

KET A2

Pre-intermediate
A2 is very, very basic.  You are expected to be able to understand very simple instructions and information when reading or listening. 

Writing is also easy with a limited expectation of vocabulary and the most basic of grammar, for example present and past simple, continuous, and future simple. 

Speaking is judged on your ability to answer questions from an information sheet, have the most basic of interaction, as well as being able to pronounce the alphabet. 

Students who take B1 and are given A2 really must have performed badly in the exam to score so very low.

PET B1

Intermediate
In my opinion B1 is quite a low level and adds maybe 30% to what you learn in A2.

Unlike A2 in B1 you are expected to be able to understand basic spoken and written information and also context. This means a larger vocabulary and better skills with listening and reading. Vocabulary is mainly basic word forms, a handful of phrasal verbs and mainly Celtic based words, for example put, take, give etc. These are extremely important for the 5 parts of Reading (synonyms, modals etc.) and the 3 parts of writing, particularly the sentence transformations in part 1.  

The grammar is also a little more complex with reported speech, zero, first and second conditionals, passives, comparatives etc, and again these are mainly tested in the 3 parts of writing.  

Writing is still quite simple with informal emails and short stories, but speaking is very different. You need to be able to describe, exchange opinions, hypothesise and interact conversationally. We have an in-depth post about the speaking part. 

FCE B2

Upper intermediate 
Overall B2 is not very different to B1 but the level of required understanding is much higher. It adds about 25% more to what you learn in B1. 

Grammar is very similar but you are expected to know the subtle differences in meaning between verb forms, verb and noun patterns, dependent prepositions, collocations etc. You need greater vocabulary and knowledge of phrasal verbs, set expressions, idioms etc. In B2 you have more abstract word forms and particularly Latin based words (though these are the same in Spanish, in 90% of cases). 

Listening is quite different, questions are more subtle and people speak much quicker and with different accents. Again, we have a post dedicated to Listening (B1, B2, C1).

The biggest difference is writing – you are expected to be able to write informally, semi formally and formally for letters, articles, reviews, reports etc. This requires extensive use of complex grammatical structures, for example perfect tenses, participle clauses etc.

Use of English is a separate unit in the exam and is very difficult as it requires a good knowledge of word forms, dependent prepositions, collocations, etc.

There are some badly educated English people who would struggle to produce a good example of writing, Use of English or speaking at this level.

CAE C1

Advanced 
Advanced is the hardest level in my opinion. It adds 70% more to what you are taught in all lower levels. You cannot study and pass this level quickly.

Complex grammar and thousands of new words/idioms etc make this level very dense.

Listening is very very difficult with natural speech, very subtle tricks and at fast speeds.

Speaking is similar to B2 but themes are more abstract and you are expected to be able to hypothesise about abstract concepts and themes.. 

Writing and use of English are similar to B2 but at a much higher level. Complex grammatical structures are expected, especially in semi/formal writing such as reports, articles etc. These include inversions, 3rd conditional structures and many fixed phrases and idioms, 

Reading is very difficult with a required level of vocabulary that cannot be compared to other lower levels. Reading can be narrative, academic, scientific, or business orientated.

CPE C2

C2 really only adds a layer of vocabulary onto C1. It is very language heavy with very little grammar because 99% if it is covered in C1. 

It is the icing on the cake for those who have C1 but as a native speaker I personally don’t think it deserves its reputation for fluency – it means you are proficient or very very good in a language but not to the same extent as a born native. Language is not only a collection of structures and words, it is cultural and in the blood. Having said that, C2 remains the ultimate level a student can reach in any language test.

Compras – vocabulario en inglés B2 FCE C1 CAE

vocabulario por compras en Inglés. B2 y C1

  • advertising campaign: a series of advertisements to persuade people to buy something
  • big brand names: large well-known companies or product names
  • to be careful with money: to not over-spend
  • carrier bag: bags (usually plastic) supplied by shops
  • customer service: the degree to which customers are treated well
  • to get into debt: to owe money
  • to give someone the hard sell: to put pressure on someone to buy something
  • high street names: well-known shops
  • independent stores: small shops independent of large companies
  • local shops: community shops
  • loyalty card: a card issued by a shop to allow customers to save money on the basis of what they spend
  • must-have product: a product that is very popular that a lot of people want to have
  • to be on a tight budget: to have a limited amount of money to spend
  • to be on commission: to pay someone in relation to the amount they sell
  • a pay in cash: to pay for something using coins or paper money
  • to pay the full price: to pay the full amount for something
  • to pick up a bargain: to buy something much cheaper than the normal price
  • to run up a credit card bill: to owe money on a credit card
  • to shop around: to try different shops to find the best deal
  • shop assistant: the person who serves customers
  • to shop until you drop: to do a lot of shopping
  • to slash prices: to reduce prices a great deal
  • to snap up a bargain: to buy something quickly that is being sold cheaply
  • summer sales: a period in the year when things are sold cheaply
  • to try something on: to see if an item of clothing fits or is suitable
  • to be value for money: to be worth the cost
  • window shopping: to visit a store to look at items without the intention of buying anything

Adverbios Inglés – B2 C1

adverbios en Inglés para B2 y C1

In my opinion adverbs are equally as important as the verbs they describe.

A verb contains no information other than if it’s a fact about an action/state or the action/state in progress.

Only an adverb can give the details needed for how that action or state is done. Without them the language is boring, sterile.

Adverbs fall into 3 main categories.
Frequency
To tell us how often the action is performed or state is reached.
Used in all tenses.
example
She always feels sick when we travel by car.

Intensity
To tell us about the action/state’s strength, depth, impact and importance
Used in all tenses
example
He walked slowly to the door.

Narrative
To tell us emotional, metaphorical information about the action/state.
Used in all tenses
example
He walked painfully to the car.

Mixed adverbs add more impact and information.
example
He walked slowly, painfully towards the door.

Order
This is very complex and I would recommend that you put the adverb after the verb. There are some intensifying adverbs that must go before the verb, for example hardly.

There are many verbs that cannot go before the verb but this is because of the nature of the verb and usage.
example
The bell rang loudly. Yes
The bell loudly rang. Grammatically Yes. Usage No.

Some adverbs can be put both before and after the verb but there is a shift of emphasis.
example
They quickly kissed. = the time before they kissed was very short.
They kissed quickly. = the kiss was very short.

Adverbs that are also adjectives.
A good example of this is hard/hardly.

Hard as an adjective describes difficulty.
example
The exam was hard.

Hard as an adverb is an intensifier.
example
He studied hard for the exam.

Hardly is an intensifying adverb meaning very little.
example
He hardly studied for his exam.

Irregular adverbs
Most adverbs are formed by adding the suffix ly to an adjective but not all.

For example – good/well

Adverbs + Adjectives
We tend to use intensifiers a lot with adjectives. They always go before the adjective.
example
She is suitably skilled for the job.

The only problem is understanding that you cannot use all intensifying adverbs with every adjective. Because of this we have extreme adjectives and extreme intensifiers.

0-90% intensity
A little, Quite, Fairly, Rather, Very, Incredibly

90-100% intensity
Completely, Totally, Absolutely

These adverbs must then be used with the correct adjective depending on the adjectives own intensity.

For example – with heat
0-90%
warm, hot
It was a rather hot day90-100%
boiling, roasting, sweltering, scorching
It was scorching weather.

Really
Really is an exception and can be used to intensify all adjectives.

Some adverbs can be tricky to use because their function changes depending on context and even intonation.
For example.
A bit
Positivequantifier
example
A bit of milk. = some milk

Positive intensifier
example
A bit special. = very special

Negative – intensifier
example
A bit expensive. = very expensive.


Intonation/emphasis
I’d rather you pay it personally. = emphasis on you making payment.
I’d rather you pay it personally. = emphasis on my opinion.