Simple past, part I: form

mar 09, 2011 No Comments by

It’s been a while since I last posted about verbs tenses, so let’s talk about Simple past today. We’ll see how it is formed, and in future posts I’ll talk about the uses. Regular verbs are formed by adding -ed to the base form: talked, walked, touched. For irregular verbs we use the past form […]

Blog Read more

Make and Do

mar 02, 2011 2 Comments by

Make and do are verbs that usually have the same translation in Portuguese: fazer. So it’s very common for students to confuse them. There are a few rules, but in general the best thing to do is try to memorize some fixed expressions. Let’s take a look at some basic make and do expressions: Make […]

Blog Read more

Phrasal verbs: go

fev 23, 2011 No Comments by

Let’s talk about another incredibly common verb that can have various meanings depending on the particle that is added to it: go. Take a look at some of the phrasal verbs with it: 1. go through: experience an unpleasant or difficult situation Amelia has been going through a difficult time at work. 2. go through: […]

Blog Read more

Things and stuff

fev 23, 2011 No Comments by

These two words are widely used in spoken English. Even though they have similar meanings and uses, it’s important to notice that thing is countable and stuff is uncountable (no plural form, then). Thing Thing is a general noun which is used to refer to physical objects, abstractions such as ideas and statements, and situations, […]

Blog Read more

Proverbs and their meanings

fev 23, 2011 No Comments by

Proverbs are universal – every language has its own and many are shared. I find them very interesting and I love to use them in classes. Many proverbs, even if the words in English are different from those in Portuguese, can be easily understood, and my students seem to enjoy this exercise of trying to […]

Blog Read more

Phrasal verbs: come

fev 23, 2011 No Comments by

I think that Phrasal verbs, along with Present Perfect, is one of the subjects that Brazilian students are most afraid of when learning English. Which is totally understandable, since these are structures that are not (or hardly ever) used in Portuguese, so it’s hard to relate to their own language. A phrasal verb is a […]

Blog Read more

Confusing verbs: come and go

fev 23, 2011 2 Comments by

Let’s study two verbs that are often confused: come and go. As you’ll see, most of the times we can relate it to Portuguese vir (come) and ir (go). Take a look. To understand the difference between come and go, it is important to observe how the direction of the action relates to the speaker […]

Blog Read more

Present time, part III: Simple past referring to present

fev 23, 2011 No Comments by

It’s possible to use the past tense to refer to present time in certain situations (very similar to what we do in Portuguese – Eu queria saber qual o horário do próximo ônibus). For reasons of indirectness and politeness, the past simple and the past continuous may sometimes be used with present-time reference, especially with […]

Blog Read more

More slang: "B"

fev 23, 2011 No Comments by

Now moving on to the slang with the letter B: Baby/babe: querido(a), benzinho Let’s go, babe. It’s time to go home. Vamos, querido(a). É hora de ir para casa. Balls: testículos, saco; coragem, nervos, peito He doesn’t have the balls to do that. Ele não tem peito para fazer isso. To bitch (about): reclamar, falar […]

Blog Read more

English Listening Online

fev 23, 2011 1 Comment by

Here’s another website tip for those who like to use technology to improve their English: http://www.elllo.org/ – English Listening Online. This website is absolutely full of resources, such as videos, songs, and a variety of audio recordings (with transcript) – they have dialogues, different people speaking about a topic, and even activities for students who are preparing for tests such […]

Blog Read more