From lost to the river

Hi there everyone!

Happy spring! Even though you might not be able to tell by just looking through the window… yet! Better times are always ahead! 😀

Today we are going to look at some expressions in English! I’m sure you have noticed the title of this post “From lost to the river”, a very common expression in Spanish that we don’t know how to translate.

Hi there everyone!

Happy spring! Even though you might not be able to tell by just looking through the window… yet! Better times are always ahead! 😀

Today we are going to look at some expressions in English! I’m sure you have noticed the title of this post “From lost to the river”, a very common expression in Spanish that we don’t know how to translate.

Students often ask in class about these idioms so, well, let’s make it fun, shall we? Here I have prepared a quiz for you to choose the expression in English that you think belongs to the one in Spanish, but no cheating, eh?

1. “De perdidos al río”

A) From lost to the river

B) In for a penny in for a pound

C) All in

2. “Aprender algo de memoria”

A) To learn something by heart

B) To learn something by brain

C) To learn something by ear

3. “Estar en misa y replicando”

A) To have a finger in every pie

B) To be in the church and sleeping

C) In heaven and in hell

4. “Hablando del rey de Roma”

A) Speaking of Rome

B) Here comes Alexander The Great

C) Speak of the devil

5. “Está lloviendo a cántaros”

A) It’s raining cats and dogs

B) Noah’s calling

C) It’s raining jugs

6. “No es mi tipo”

A) It’s not my piece of cake

B) It’s not my cup of tea

C) It’s not my apple

7. “Me suena a chino”

A) It sounds Chinese to me

B) You’re talking Chinese to me

C) It  all sounds Greek to me

8. “Me estás tomando el pelo”

A) You’re pulling my leg

B) You’re making me bald

C) You’re pulling my hair

9. “Dios los cría y ellos se juntan”

A) Birds of a feather flock together

B) Created by God, joined by fate

C) From the same God, the same style

10. “Es la gota que colma el vaso”

A) It’s the last drop that makes you spill water

B) It’s the last straw that breaks the camel’s back

C) It’s the most ridiculous thing that makes you cringe

11. “Se cosecha lo que se siembra”

A) What goes around, comes around

B) What you grow you eat

C) If you give tomatoes don’t ask for gold

12. “Cuando el río suena, agua lleva”

A) When the river is full, it sounds

B) If people talk, words are they saying

C) Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

Are there any other expressions you would like to know the translation of? Anything that you want to express in English and you don’t know how? Leave us a comment below and we will solve that pickle! 😉

Don’t forget to check the answers in our next post!

😆

Pronunciation (-ed )

Hey guys!

How are you doing? In Euroschool we couldn’t be happier!!! We have been awarded with the Achievement Award 2016!!!

Do you know what that means? Well, in case you missed it last year, this is an award given by Cambridge English to the best Exam Preparation Centres. We are top notch! 🙂 And the best part is that it is not us saying it: it’s Cambridge! So before getting hands on with pronunciation we want to thank YOU: this wouldn’t have been possible without all your effort to pass.

Here’s the award:

PRONUNCIATION:

-ed pronunciation is usually an issue to students of all levels so, today’s post is going to be dedicated to helping you with this matter.

The first thing you need to understand is that the pronunciation of these endings is going to depend on the last sound of the word without the suffix. (If you are not familiar with the phonetic chart, check out this link: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/phonemic-chart )

For example:

“Watch” is pronounced /wɒtʃ/ and its last sound is /. This means that when adding the -ed suffix it will sound like this: /wɒtʃt/. You can see that a /t/ sound has been added at the end.

“Love” is pronounced /lov/ and its last sound is /v/. So in the past and past participle forms it will sound like this: /lovd/. Here, a /d/ sound has been added.

“Lift” is pronounced just as it is written: /lift/, with a final /t/ sound,  and in its -ed form is pronounced /liftid/

/t/, /d/ or /id/?

As mentioned above that will depend on the last sound of the word which  we know is sometimes difficult to identify. However, we have made this chart in which we categorise those sounds depending on the pronunciation of the -ed suffix.

(Please note that these are not phonemic symbols but an approximation of how they sound when we pronounce them)

/t/ /d/ /id/
/p/

/k/

/f/

/s/

/sh/

/tch/

/ks/

/b/

/g/

/v/

/z/

/dj/

/m/

/n/

/r/

/l/

/t/

/d/

This chart works not only for verbs but for any other word with -ed ending.

I know that phonetics are not very popular amongst Spanish students but I really encourage you to learn them! Your teacher at Euroschool can help you! Meanwhile, if you want to start digging around on your own, here is a great video to get started:

YouTube – British Council Phonemic Chart

As students, we usually think that our pronunciation has to be spot on and that we should know how to pronounce every word. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves! Well, maybe the following video will help you to be a bit more relaxed about it!

Check it out! It’s just hilarious! 😆

<a href="http://www.slideshare.net/EuroschoolOfEnglish/slideshelf“>http://www.slideshare.net/EuroschoolOfEnglish/slideshelf

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Deconstructing sentence transformation

Hello everyone!!!!

Today we have a very special post prepared by our Director of Studies about sentence transformation but, before that, you need the answers for the passives exercises, don’t you?  How do you think you did? Let’s take a look! 😉

Exercise 1:

1.- The game has been won by Manchester United

2.- The last piece of cake was had/taken by Mark and Kevin

3.- An umbrella is being carried by Jane

4.- My book has been stolen (we omit the agent)

5.- The police are being phoned by my neighbours.

Exercise 2:

1.- A message will be sent…

2.- … ball was kicked over the…

3.- … had clearly been broken…

4.- … have been met by…

5.- … being repaired by the technician…

And now… Welcome to the world of sentence transformations!!! Enjoy!!! 🙂

Deconstructing Transformations

Transformations can be found in various different Cambridge examinations and, for many students and candidates, they represent one of the greatest challenges in Use of English. One reason for this is that many transformations test not only a particular grammar point, but also vocabulary. Although the word limit differs, the same basic technique can be applied to FCE, CAE, CPE and to some extent, PET.

Technique: Deconstructing a transformation

Steps:

1. Read the instructions. Across the levels, the instructions are the same; complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first, using the word given (except PET, where no word is given). What changes is the word limit:

PET 1 – 3 words

FCE 2 – 5 words

CAE 3 – 6 words

CPE 3 – 8 words

Remember, a contraction (e.g don’t / he’s) counts as 2 words.

2. Read the original sentence in this example.

What is the time reference (past / present /future)?

Example: They are building a new supermarket in the town centre

(FCE) BEING (word given)

A ………………………………………………………….. in the town centre.

Answer: present.

3. Compare the 2 sentences. Underline the words which appear in both.

They are building a new supermarket in the town centre

BEING (word given)

A ………………………………………………………….. in the town centre.

By doing this, you focus on what exactly needs to be changed, ‘..are building a new supermarket..’

4. Compare the order of the words in both sentences. If the order differs, why do you think this is? In the example, the transformation does not begin with the subject pronoun ‘They’, but with the article ‘A’. This would suggest a passive form.

5. Look carefully at the word given. What kind of word is it?

BEING (_ing form of the verb ‘be’)

Could this be the first word you need to write? ‘A BEING……..’

No. This would not make sense in the context of this transformation, but why not?

The article ‘A’… means a countable noun is probably required. Is there a countable noun in the original sentence?

Yes: ‘…a new supermarket..?

Is the adjective ‘new’ necessary?

In any transformation, if you are not sure whether to include the adjective or not, check the word limit. If it can be used without exceeding the word limit, use it. Remember step one: the second sentence must as similar as possible as the first sentence.

A new supermarket …………………………………. In the town centre

6. Look again at the word given: BEING. Can this word be used next? No, but why not?

Which auxiliary verb is needed to form a continuous tense?

Answer: is/are was/were

Remember step 2: time reference (in this case, present) = is/are

Is there a singular or plural reference? (in this case singular; ‘A new supermarket…) = is

A NEW SUPERMARKET IS BEING………………..in the town centre

By this point, 4 words have been used. If you have managed to get this far, you will know that this is a passive sentence so what is missing is a past participle. The original sentence uses the verb in its continuous form ‘building’. Is the verb ‘build’ a regular or an irregular verb?

Answer: irregular = BUILT

A NEW SUPERMARKET IS BEING BUILT in the town centre

This answer would receive 2 marks.

At FCE / CAE / CPE, each transformation is worth up to 2 marks. This means that if you have part of the transformation correct, you can still receive 1 mark. You do not lose marks for writing an incorrect answer, so always write something, using the word given, after all, 1 mark is better than 0!

Good Luck.

Andy (DOS)

Tune in, turn on or drop out!

Hello everyone!

It’s phrasal verb’s fun day!!! These multi-word verbs are usually feared by many students but, as I told you in the previous post, today we are going to have some fun with them!

There is a little poem by our Director Terence J. Paul (aka Terry) that I’m sure you’ll find challenging as well as extremely enjoyable! 😀

Students of English, please listen to my tale

of the birth of that child who makes you wail.

Her name was Hazel, his name was Herb

the fruit of their union – a Phrasal Verb.

No one could get it, none could stand

a child so tricky, so underhand.

They studied his meanings, so deep and obscure

but for a child so tricky there was no cure.

His meanings were multiple and arbitrary at that

his particle could change at the drop of a hat.

She’d say “make out” and mean “see a distance”

he’d say “make out” – “ligar” in this instance.

He’ll say “go through” and mean “check” or “assess”

nothing to do wirh “ir” and less with “a través”.

So, what can be done with such a troublesome child

to stop him from driving all students wild?

There has to be a system, a strategy, a plan

to help you to study as best as you can.

Now such a plan I’ll give you to make a new start.

To ease all your nightmares and put hope in your heart.

So do as I say and read what I write

and all the phrasal problems will vanish overnight.

Written by Terence James Paul (all rights reserved)

So, let’s take a look at those problems!

The most common problems:

  • The amount of phrasal verbs there are
  • They usually have more than one meaning (figurative vs literal)

Solutions:

  • Don’t let just a number overwhelm you. 🙂  Remember that you have started learning them most likely at the same time you started studying English. If you think about it, aren’t “get up” or “wake up” phrasal verbs?
  • Just look at them as words, just one more part of your vocabulary list, and how do you gain vocabulary? Read! Read every single article or piece of writing you run into. Having said this, it is true that figurative meaning phrasal verbs are hardly ever found in writings or books because they are considered too informal so, how can you become familiar with them? Well, how about films and series? I can assure you that we teachers can definitely tell when a student watches TV in English (even with English subtitles) due to his/her range of vocabulary, listening skills and pronounciation.

So, what are you waiting for? Turn your TV on or surf the Internet to watch a film or an episode of your favourite series in English! And remember that at Euroschool we are opening a Cinema Club you can also join!  I promise you’ll realise it makes a big difference! 🙂

Now clic the link below for some phrasal verb’s fun!

Macmillan Games

Until the next post folks! Go hard on those verbs! 😉

The history of English

Hi everyone!

Did you know that there are over one million words in English language whereas there are (roughly) half a million in Spanish? When I found out about this I started digging, looking for the reason why there are so many as most of them are not used in daily life! And then it hit me: could it be because of all the phrasal verbs they’ve got? Afetr all, the Cambridge Phrasal Verb Dictionary has 432 pages!!!! And there are new ones coming up every year so it doesn’t look like that dictionary is gonna get any shorter!

But let’s go back to why, why does the English language have so many words? I have found a youtube video which will shed some light on this matter. Just clic on one of the links below and check it out! 😉

The history of English language in 10 minutes (with subtitles)

The history of English language in 10 minutes (without subtitles)

Awesome, isn’t it? What struck the most was the very few things the evolution of English language has in common with Spanish. Here in Spain RAE chooses the new words to be included in the dictionary very carefully whereas in English it seems, if they like a word they just add it!

That’s all for today guys! But I know some of you may be thinking: “So, why were phrasal verbs mentioned and highlighted before? What do they have to do with this post?” Well, they are related, sure, but phrasal verbs are something we will have some fun with in our next entry, keep your eyes peeled!

We're back!!!!!

Hi people!!!

How is the summer going? It is September already!

In Euroschool we’re already preparing the new school year and today we would like to show you a little bit more about us. So let’s get started with a few words from our Director!

`April is the cruelest month……….´or at least that´s what the esteemed poet Thomas Stearns Eliot believed. I´m not sure if schoolchildren around the world  who are now returning to their desks or adults who are returning to their respective jobs would agree. September….they may argue, seems a much crueler deal. After a month or more of enjoying the long, lazy “glorious” days of summer, it is once more unto the breach and no more onto the beach (to paraphrase good ol´Henry V).

Fortunately, here at Euroschool we face no such dilemma. Now that the school is open all year round each day seems like a good day and while each term brings its own challenges we take great pride in being able to offer our services to  those who need them….when they need them.

Speaking of which, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers and students who worked tirelessly throughout the summer and offer my Congratulations to those students who were successful in their exams and my commiserations to those who fell short. Indeed, we are all immensely proud of the June Exam Results in which we managed to maintain our overall pass rate of 85%.

Congrats and thanks must also go to all our teachers and students who took part in our off – site summer courses : England, Southsea; Manzaneda, Galicia and The Big, Fat, Fun Urban Camp, Los Castros. The feedback has been incredibly positive and for that we are eternally grateful.

And so to THE FUTURE. I´m sure you´re all anxious to know what we have planned next. Well, more of the same for one thing and MORE of the new for another. Plans are afoot to relaunch our cinema club, open a conversation club and put into practice any of the ideas you may come up with. So put your thinking caps on and get ready for another GREAT YEAR at EUROSCOOL.

Remember: What we achieve tomorrow depends on what we do today.

Excelsior.

Terence James Paul.

Now, do you want to take a look at our school? Well, you know you just have to ask!


This is us!

Image result for arrow down

Euroschool of English, because “What we achieve tomorrow, depends on what we do today”

So go ahead and contact us via the comments section on this very page, web (www.euroschoolofenglish.com), Facebook, phone (981140024) or just come and visit (Fernando Macías Nº13), we’ll be more than happy to help and welcome you aboard!

I’m sure we’ll see each other very soon! 😉



Have you got plans for the summer?

Hi everyone!

Summer is here and in Euroschool we have thought of the perfect plan for all of you, regardless of your age! Take a look at our options:

For children we have three different types of experiences:

– Summer camp in Manzaneda.

– City explorer summer camp in the United Kingdom.

La Coruña urban summer camp.

Now, we know that some of our students not only need to learn English but learn it fast because of their jobs. Well, we heard you! That’s why we are offering summer courses in the UK for adults completely adapted to your needs as we have several types of courses (from conversation ones to First Certificate B2 courses so you can finally get your certificate!).

Click in the pictures to enlarge them.

Not sure? Click the link below to see a video of our summer camps!

Summer_with_Euroschool

Have a great summer!!! 🙂

Reading and Use of English Paper (Word formation)

EXAM COUNTDOWN – STRATEGIES AND ADVICE

PAPER 1:  Reading and Use of English  PART 3:  Word Formation

*This is a task with eight gaps, based on a text of between 150-170 words

WHAT’S TESTED?

This is a test of your ability in word formation.  The focus is on vocabulary and the formation of words from a root, using prefixes and suffixes, internal changes and compound words.  There may also be a grammatical element (such as plural forms, verb tenses and participles) to the changes that need to be made.  Some of the words you have to form may be part of fixed expressions or collocations.

You may be given a noun and have to transform it into a verb, or produce an adjective from a noun.  It is important that you know the meaning and the functions of the many different prefixes (e.g. un/in/dis/re-) and suffixes (e.g. -ally/ion/able/ment) and that you are familiar with compounds (e.g. worldwide/outcome/downsize).

STRATEGY

Always read the title and the whole text carefully, ignoring the gaps for the moment, to get an overview of the topic and to understand the main points of each paragraph or group of sentences.

SYNTAX

Use your knowledge of grammar to understand what part of speech the missing word is (e.g. noun, verb, adjective, adverb) and think through the range of possible affixes, negative prefixes and suffixes.

SEMANTICS

Look carefully at the way the sentence is constructed to decide whether the missing word should be positive or negative.  Look for evidence of two opposing ideas.  When the root presents several possible derivatives, look at the context carefully to check that you have the derivative with the correct meaning.  Remember that more than one change to the stem word can often be required.

EXAMPLES

Let’s look at the verb DECIDE and it’s derivatives. Look at these two sentences and think about syntax.

  1. The people couldn’t believe that once again their Prime Minister was shown to be a weak  and ___________ leader.

  1. Even after she had asked her friends and family for advice, Nadine was still ____________ whether to go to college or not.

In both sentences we need an adjective.  Here are the possibilities……

decided

undecided

decisive

indecisive

deciding

….now think about semantics.  We can see from the meaning and construction of the sentences that we need a negative adjective in both.  Now check the meaning of both derivatives.

a) undecided: (not before a noun) not having made a decision about something important

b) indecisive: 1. unable to make clear decisions or choices 2. not having a clear result

ANSWERS 1(b)   2(a)

Now look at these two sentences and think about syntax:

  1. Due to internal disagreement there were weeks of __________ about who would get the promotion and when.
  2. It was a maddening trait of his, this __________, which in his case was complicated by his extreme politeness.

This time we need a noun in both sentences.  Here are the possibilities:

decision(s)

indecision

decisiveness

indecisiveness

…The semantics tell us that we need a negative noun in both sentences.

a) indecision: the state of being unable to decide what to do

b) indecisiveness: describing a person’s inability to make clear decisions or choices

ANSWERS 1(a)   2(b)

To sum up, don’t forget these TOP TIPS:

1)      Analyse the text on two levels:  SYNTAX and SEMANTICS

2)      Check to see if the word is plural or singular

3)      Remember the root word ALWAYS has to be changed

4)      Brainstorm the root word to see how many forms you can think of…

5)      Remember….TIMING.  Don’t let the clock tick away for the want of ONE WORD. Take an educated guess.

The most exciting thing happened in Euroschool!

What a great way to start a new category!!! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, no one better than our director and owner of Euroschool of English Terence J. Paul (aka Terry)  to tell you the great news!

Dear Red Lobster Reader,

I hope you are well and truly immersed in this new aspect of Euroschool. As you should know, we at ES are always trying to develop new ways of improving the service we provide. The Red Lobster blog is just one of the many innovations we hope to introduce over the next few terms. Keep your eyes peeled!

Indeed, we are very proud to announce that Euroschool has recently been selected as a premium preparation centre for Cambridge Examinations and presented with a 2015 Achievement Award by Cambridge English. The award is given to those centres which have excelled in the preparation of candidates for Cambridge English Examinations.

Euroschool was awarded not simply for the exceedingly high number of candidates it prepares but mainly for the extremely elevated pass rate (successful candidates) that it has achieved over the years.

For this we thank our administration staff, our teachers and most importantly, our students. It is your commitment and success that keeps Euroschool at the top of its game.

Here’s to more success and the next award!

Excelsior

Not much more to add guys! Just to remind you to keep an eye on the Red Lobster because our next post will be…. how can I say it? Well, it’s just gonna blow your mind! 😉