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March 22, 2016

Reviewing some tenses

  1. We use the past simple for past events or actions which have no connection to the present.
  2. We use the present perfect for actions which started in the past and are still happening now OR for finished actions which have a connection to the present.
  3. We CAN'T use the present perfect with a finished time word:
    • NOT: I've been to the museum yesterday.
Choose between Simple present and Simple future:
Verb Tense Exercise 22
Verb Tense Exercise 21Simple Present and Simple Future

March 21, 2016

Big Issue seller marries woman he met when asking for change

Jack Richardson asked Toni Osborne to help him out but ended up giving her 50p for electricity, starting an unlikely romance

Toni Osborne and Jack Richardson in Bristol on their wedding dayA romance began when a homeless man gave a passerby 50p for her electricity meter – now the couple have pledged to spend the rest of their lives together. Jack Richardson met Toni Osborne two-and-a-half years ago. She said she did not have any spare change and explained her own parlous situation, and Richardson gave her money for electricity so she would not have to spend Christmas in the dark. Over the next year Osborne regularly walked past Richardson and they became friends. When the squat he was living in was boarded up, Osborne put him up.

Their friendship developed into love and Richardson, 37, now a Big Issue seller, proposed to her on the spot where he had given her the 50p. The pair married at St Paul’s church in Clifton, Bristol. Friends and well-wishers donated the wedding rings, as well as clothes, wine and a cake. Richardson said: “I’m 10 miles high. I’m the proudest man on the planet. I’ve been humbled by people’s generosity. I wanted to give my beloved the wedding she deserved and I just wasn’t able to. Because of the kindness of everybody it’s made it real. I feel like I’m living in a fairytale.”

Toni Osborne and Jack Richardson in Bristol on their wedding dayOsborne, 47, said she was “fit to burst”. She said: “I love how it’s touched people’s hearts. We’ve had people say: ‘I never thought I’d fall in love but I heard your story and now it gives me hope for the future.' They cannot afford a honeymoon but guests have donated money so Richardson can take time off selling the Big Issue to be with his wife. He said: “I was in a really bad place when I met Toni. I was having to beg every day just to get enough money for a night in a bed and breakfast. “It was coming up to Christmas 2013 and I wandered up to this woman to ask her for money and she just burst into tears. She had bought everything ready for Christmas and thought she had saved enough money for the meter, but when she put it in it wasn’t enough. “She was a couple of pennies away from spending Christmas in the dark. Even though I was begging, I gave her the 50p to put her lights back on.

“We began talking to each other every few weeks as she walked by. At first it was trivial stuff, but then we began sharing a lot and becoming quite close. When I went to stay with her we fell for each other.” He added: “Every day used to be a struggle. I had considered ending my own life. I couldn’t see any way out of the situation and it just seemed to keep getting harder. I couldn’t see any future. But now I have someone stable who I love and who loves me. I’m able to look to the future.”

Osborne, who is unable to work due to health issues, added: “Jack has always said that I saw through the homeless person and saw the person underneath. I have had people ask me for money before, and when I couldn’t afford to give them any I would get upset. “But Jack went into his pocket and gave me what I needed. Someone without a roof over his head had enough money to help me. He had dignity. It just really blew me away. I was so thrown, I gave him a hug. “The next time I bumped into him, he had his Big Issue badge. I kept seeing him, and the more I did, the more I liked him. Before, I was bumbling around on my own. He has changed my outlook on everything completely. It has been one mad love story.”

The couple had initially planned a registry office ceremony until a vicar Richardson met at a soup kitchen offered to do the service free of charge. Richardson is studying for an Open University degree in psychology and sociology and hopes to help people get off the streets when he graduates. He said: “If we had planned it, it couldn’t have turned out better."

March 19, 2016

Conditional and relative sentences

You can get extra practice on conditionals and relative clauses in Perfect English Grammar website:

  • The man who / that phoned is my brother.
  • The camera which / that costs £100 is over there.

  • The woman (who / that) my brother loves is from Mexico.
  • The doctor (who / that) my grandmother liked lives in New York.

    "If" vs. "When"

    March 18, 2016

    Working at home


    Find homework assignment for the spring vacation below:

    Write down an essay on an enviromental issue (p 65 from Coursebook) such as air pollution; cutting down forests; electric cars; taking too many fish from the sea or wasting food.

    The Canterville Ghost:
    p 7 -> ex 1
    p 10-> ex 1, 2
    p 19 -> ex 1
    p 20 -> ex 3
    p 22-3 -> ex 4, 5
    p 24-5 -> ex 8, 1, 2

    March 17, 2016

    Easter bunny jokes!

    Here are some Easter Bunny jokes. Match each question (1 to 12) with each answer (A-L). A “hare” is a large rabbit. It is pronounced the same as “hair”. Listen: Hare – hair. Afterwards, check your answers on the CD. How many were correct? 

    easter-bunny I1. How does the Easter Bunny keep his fur neat? = __D__ (with a “hare” brush)
    2. How did the wet Easter Bunny dry himself?
    3. How does a rabbit keep his fur looking good?
    4. What did the Easter Bunny get at the hairdresser’s?
    5. What did the Easter Bunny study at university?
    6. What do you call an Easter Bunny with no fur?
    7. Why was the Easter Bunny so upset?
    8. What do rabbits do after their wedding?
    9. How do you catch the Easter Bunny?
    10. How many chocolate bunnies can you put into an empty Easter basket?
    11. What do you call a rabbit that tells good jokes?
    12. How do bunnies stay healthy?

    easter-bunny IIA: Hare dressing.
    B: Hide in the trees and make a noise like a carrot.
    C: Eggsercise
    D: With a hare-brush.
    E: Hare less.
    F: None – it won’t be empty if you put something in it.
    G: A hare cut.
    H: A funny bunny!
    I: They go on a bunnymoon.
    J: With hare spray.
    K: With a hare dryer.
    L: He was having a bad hare day.


    bunny: (used by or when or talking to children) a rabbit
    • fur n = the hair that animals have on their bodies• to dry yourself exp = to use a towel or warm air to take water off your body/hair, etc
    • the hairdresser’s n = a shop where they cut your hair
    • upset adj = angry and sad
    • a “bunnymoon” n = a honeymoon – the holiday people have after they get married
    • a bad “hare” day n = a bad hair day – a day when everything goes badly

    Download the free MP3 file for this lesson: Listen: MP3 audio file

    Source: Hot English Magazine

    March 14, 2016

    February breaks global temperature records by 'shocking' amount

    Warnings of climate emergency after surface temperatures 1.35C warmer than average temperature for the month

    Global temperatures in February smashed previous monthly records by an unprecedented amount, according to Nasa data, sparking warnings of a climate emergency.
    The result was “a true shocker, and yet another reminder of the incessant long-term rise in global temperature resulting from human-produced greenhouse gases”, wrote Jeff Masters and Bob Henson in a blog on the Weather Underground, which analysed the data released on Saturday.

    It confirms preliminary analysis from earlier in March, indicating the record-breaking temperatures. The global surface temperatures across land and ocean in February were 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month, from the baseline period of 1951-1980. The global record was set just one month earlier, with January already beating the average for that month by 1.15C above the average for the baseline period.

    Although the temperatures have been spurred on by a very large El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, the temperature smashed records set during the last large El Niño from 1998, which was at least as strong as the current one.
    The month did not break the record for hottest month, since that is only likely to happen during a northern hemisphere summer, when most of the world’s land mass heats up.
    “We are in a kind of climate emergency now,” Stefan Rahmstorf, from Germany’s Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research and a visiting professorial fellow at the University of New South Wales, told Fairfax Media.
    “This is really quite stunning ... it’s completely unprecedented,” he said.
    The Guardian

    March 09, 2016

    March 08, 2016

    The Canterville Ghost


    This is the reader we are going to start working on next week: The Canterville Ghost + cd. Vicens Vives. Black Cat Reading and Training. B1.2 level.
    ISBN 978-84-316-8887-5
    Book + CD
    pp. 112

    Audio Book

    Women that blazed a trail

    Today I'd like to post a link to a Spanish map that shows schools with the name of women who blazed a trail and should be included in history books.
    Would you like to write a composition about any of these pioneers?

    March 06, 2016

    March 04, 2016

    Different types of learners

    When you are next in a classroom ask yourself these questions to think about how you learn:

    • When I hear a new word do I need to see it written down to know how it’s spelt?
    • Am I interested in grammar and how English tenses are put together?
    • Are my notes kept neatly in a methodical way?
    • Do I keep a personal dictionary of newly learnt words?
    • Does my personal dictionary help me to remember the words?
    • How easy do I find it to hear differences in sounds?
    • Does drawing pictures of new words help me to remember them in English?
    • Does touching an object help me to remember what it’s called?
    • Do I enjoy listening to the teacher and taking notes?
    • Do I prefer working on my own or with other people?
    • Do I know why I’m learning English?

    This list of questions is obviously limited but it’s a good start towards becoming a more effective learner. The more you are aware about your dominant intelligences in the learning process the more you can exploit them to make learning a more enjoyable and rewarding journey. - See more at:

    March 02, 2016

    If you feel your smartphone is hurting your health or relationships, the answer may be yes

    You check it in the bathroom. You check it at the movies. You check it when you’re having dinner with your friends. But you wouldn’t say you’re addicted—and most experts would agree with you.

    “Only a small percentage of people qualify as addicted,” says Dr. David Greenfield, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut and founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. “But many people overuse their smartphones.”

    The line between overuse and addiction is gray. But Greenfield says you’re moving into addiction territory when you can’t stop using your phone even when it’s harming your life. Whether you’re in a work meeting or behind the wheel, “if you can’t help being on it even when you know you shouldn’t be, that loss of control is the hallmark of an addiction,” he says.

    Guided visit

    As a reminder for those attending the exhibition,