Your Questions and Queries

Are you preparing for an exam? You can’t find the answer to your question anywhere? Your boyfriend’s Scottish and you don’t know what to say to his mum? Ask me what you want to know…

¿Estas preparando un examen? No puedes encontrar la respuesta a tu duda? Tu novio es escocés, y no sabes que decir a su madre? . Preguntame lo que quieres saber….

If you provide an Email you will receive a message, once your Question is Answered.

First of all I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thank you! 1. April 2017

Sorry I’ve taken so long to answer you. I’ve been pretty busy recently with the end of term and writing a new book, so I haven’t paid so much attention to my website as I should!

The important thing is to have a clear structure in mind, preferably a structure that can be flexible enough to be used for many different topics.

  • Have a look at this post where different real life exam essays are compared:

  • For a PDF. Which gives you an easy to follow structure both for writing and speaking monologues, click here:


I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

Hello teacher, I’ve been searching for the differences between ( get rid of, ditch, walk out on, abandon… and some other which now I dont remember) and I did not find anything 18. March 2017

‘Walk out on / Ditch’ are more conversational ways of saying ‘abandon’ a job, a husband/girlfriend….

‘Split up with / Break up with’ can also be used for a sentimental relationship…

‘Get rid of’ is something a bit different. It is very useful and can be used in many situations but not this one:

I got rid of my car (Sold it? Took it to a breaker’s yard?)

The company will get rid of 20 employees (Sack them, Fire them)

In Spanish the translation is ‘deshacerse de…’

Is correctly written: “GEORGE`S CAKES” And what is the spanish translation 7. February 2017

“Los pasteles de George”and yes, it’s well written.

Have a look at this article:

Genitivo Sajón: ¿Sí o No?

What is the difference between shake, shiver and shudder?? There are slight differences, am I right? and I also forgot tremble cual, diferencia, difference, es, la, shake, shiver, shudder, the, tremble, whats - 2. February 2017

Difficult to explain! Shake is something you usually do to something else (a spray can, for example) although you can also shake from fear or cold, but it’s more metaphorical.

Shiver is from the cold, tremble is fear and shudder is very short, just a second or two – from disgust, usually. EXAMPLES:

  • You have to shake the packet before opening
  • We pulled Mary out from the car. She wasn’t hurt, but she was trembling/shaking.
  • I wasn’t wearing the right clothing, and by the time I got home I was shivering.
  • The sight of a snake makes me shudder.

Hola estoy muy contenta de haberte encontrado, me estas ayudando mucho.Hoy tengo examen de pasado perfecto y no encuentro ningún video relacionado, sabes donde puedo encontrar uno , que me explique bien? pasado, Past, perfect, perfecto - 1. February 2017

La verdad es que no se de ningun video. Lo apuntare en mi lista de quehaceres…

Te lo explico brevemente, ya que no es muy dificil.

1. Estas hablando en pasado. Cuentas lo que paso ayer en orden: “Me levante a las 8, luego me vesti y fui a trabajar…”

2. El PASADO PERFECTO se usa cuando te refieres a algo que paso antes de donde estas en la conversacion: “Como NO HABIA desayunado, enpece a tener hambre….”


I HADn’t HAD breakfast

Had he drunk anything before the accident?
They had never seen a giraffe until they went on safari.


Como se escribe “iba a conocer” en inglés? No conozco ese tiempo 11. December 2016

No problem! ‘IBA’ es pasado continuo. En presente continuo se usa ‘IS/ARE/AM GOING TO’:
I’m going to visit my gran = Voy a visitar a mi abuela.
Entonces en pasado:
I was going to visit my gran = Iba a visitar a mi abuela.

Asi que:

Nota la diferencia entre Pasado Simple y Pasado Continuo :
Last Saturday I went to London = Fuiste
Last Saturday I was going to London = Ibas (pero igual no llegaste)

Si necesitas mas información y práctica, tengo un videotutorial con ejercicios de listening y escrito. Pincha aquí!

l would like to study English , advise me please what should l do for it,what kind of exercises must I do) 10. December 2016

You haven’t told me what level of English you have, if you go to classes regulary, or what contact you have with the language. My answer would depend on these factors.

However, I’ll tell you my general opinion on the best way to learn English:

Little but often: Try to practise a bit every day, but establish a routine that you can maintain; 5 minutes of television in English, a short podcast in the car (BBC’s 6 minute English), 2-3 pages of a reading book (mine for example!) adapted to your level….

Grammar last! Don’t study grammar as a way of learning English in itself. Refer to grammar explanations and exercises when you have a doubt about something you have read, heard or spoken. That way you are putting it into practice, which is easier to remember.

Enjoy it! Think of your hobbies or what you are interested in, and join forums, facebook groups, youtube channels etc. in English. That way you can get into touch with other people and communicate with them in English.

Subscribe to my newsletter: If you haven’t done it yet- you get a free sample of my ebook, material and links, and the possibility of a free Skype class!

Let me know if you have any other questions!

buenas tardes. Hay alguna regla para saber cuando poner THE y cuando no en una oracion? 7. December 2016

Hola. Como no sé exactamente cual es el problema que tienes con ‘the’, te contaré la confusión que tiene la mayoría de los estudiantes. Mira este ejemplo:

ESPAÑOLHABLANTE: “I don’t like the children.”

NATIVO:”Who? Which children?”

E:”No, children in general.”

N:”Ah! You don’t like children. I like children in general, but I don’t like the children that live next door.”

Can you see the difference? If you are talking about something in general: cats, people, music, NO se pone ‘the’. Si te estas referiendo a algo especifico, si se pone.

The people son la gente que conociste ayer por la noche, the cats son aquellos que no te dejan dormir por la noche, y the music es la que toca tu grupo preferido.

Aparte de eso, se usa de una manera muy parecida que el Español.

Could you help me with this test? I tried two times but I failed! from Carlos Moncada 4. December 2016

It’s too much for this ‘Ask’ section! I’ll open a separate post with all of questions when I get some time. I’ll just give you the answers and then I’ll publish the post within a week or two.

In fact, you’ve given me some inspiration! I’ve just written a post to explain the punctuation, and I’m going to explain the other aspects in the test. Meanwhile, I’ll give you the answers straight out.

What level/test/exam is this?

4/40: D 5/40: D 6: E 7: B 8: A 9: C 10: A 11: C 12: D 13: D 14: A 15: B 16: B 17: A 18: C 19: D 20: A 21: D 22: C 23: B 24: E 25: B 26: B 27: D 28: A (D very common in everyday English) 29: C 30: B 31: B 32: A 33: D 34: C (This gave me a lot of problems! I think it’s C) 35: B 36: A (‘Whom’ is not very common in everyday English) 37: C 38: D 39: B 40: A

el verbo que aparece en esta oracion osea must :_he must be on time and make a good impression . es de obligation, possibility, low probability, rational probability, certain , ? 30. November 2016

Tengo que decir que este tipo de ejercicio no me gusta nada, porque si entiendes bien la frase, ¿que sentido tiene ponerle una etiqueta?

“El debe llegar a tiempo y hacer una buena impresión.” Ahora es la opinion de cada uno. Yo diría que es obligación, aunque si quisieras, podrías discutirlo (¿quien le obliga?), pero tiene más sentido que los otros.

APUNTE FINAL: Se suele pensar en la obligación cuando se usa ‘must’, olvidando que tanto en Español que en Inglés se usa para ‘adivinar’ o suponer algo:

There must be 50 people here in this party = Debe haber 50 personas aquí en la fiesta.
They must be on the plane now = Deben estar en el avión ya.

Para más información yejercicios sober MUST y otros modales, pincha aquí.

buen dia! queria preguntarte como identificar una oracion que lleve WHO de otra que lleva Who mas auxiliar, como logro saber cuando lleva aux y cuando no. podrias darme algunos ejemplos de oraciones?. muchas gracias 23. November 2016

Creo que sè lo que quieres decir-

WHO DID YOU SEE? = A quien viste (tu)?
WHO SAW YOU? = Quien te vio?

En la primera frase hay sujeto (YOU). Sabemos de quien estamos hablando. En la segunda no- es esa la pregunta.

WHO DID MR. HYDE KILL? = A quien mato Mr Hyde?
Hablamos de Mr. Hyde – si hay sujeto, hay auxiliar.
WHO KILLED BAMBI? = Quien mató a Bambi?
No sabemos de quien hablamos. No hay sujeto y por lo tanto no hay aux.


En estas preguntas no se puede poner auxiliar.

Good part of the day, dear Professor! I am preparing for passing C1/C2 exam. Could you please give me any advice on how to do it most successfully. I mean- what are the most effective methods of self-preparation? How would you prepare were you in my shoes? My best regards to you, Thanks a lot! 23. November 2016

I don’t know what you are thinking of taking. Cambridge Advanced? Proficiency? Another exam?

There are two things to take into account at this level. First: It's not enough to be 'good at English'. You need to prepare each part of the test and train yourself in certain exam strategies. There is a lot of material on Internet, and you can also get yourself a book to practise too.

At the same time (point two) I would not just focus on exam English. A lot of questions depend on what you know, on what 'sounds right'. You need to get the habit of reading newspaper articles, books and listening to series and news.

And patience! Try to establish a routine that you can keep. Good luck, and ask me if you have any questions.

Hello Jonathan: I’m Jose from Galicia and I would like to ask you your opinion about the Callan’s Method of English. I’m thinking to go to conversational classes and at the Univeristy of Santiago de Compostela there are these classes. I was watching a video on Youtube and honestly I think they speak very fast and the students haven’t almost time to think about what they are saying. I will be glad and very grateful if you can answer e about this. Finally I have to say that your classes and this website are amazing. Regards. Jose 18. November 2016

Hello Jose –

I’ll answer you quickly, and in a few days time I’ll answer with a bit more detail. Although I’ve heard of Callan’s English, I don’t know enough about it to give an opinion. I’m interested in what you have said, so if you give me a few days I’ll be able to tell you something…

OK Jose! (This is a joke*) I’ve watched some videos and I see what you mean. Everybody has their preferences, and there is no reason why my opinion is more valid than anyone else’s.

I like the emphasis on pronunciation, and that the grammar is taught through speaking, not through written exercises. For lower levels I can see that it could be very effective.

I haven’t seen videos for higher levels. My personal opinion is similar to yours – at all levels I like the students to create their own sentences, and I like to give them time to explain what they mean, and allowing them to make mistakes, just so that they get the habit of forming their own structures.

Having said that, I would encourage you to enroll (I have no idea of the price). In the end, it is a method based on speaking and listening, although some degree of student independence is missing, at least as I can see.

* In English, if you refuse or disagree with something, people often say ‘No Way José’. My ‘OK Jose’ is a variant.

Hello i am Sofía i m sixteen years los i m student in a big school my boyfriend is called Charlie and he is a fireman . I live in flandes , but I ‘m from Ibagué . My parents are in cartagena 11. November 2016



Hello I am Sofía. I’m sixteen years old. I’m A student in a big school. My boyfriend is called Charlie and he is a fireman . I live in flandes , but I ‘m from Ibagué . My parents are (l live?) in Cartagena.

Buen dia Profesor. Mi nombre es R***** soy de Argentina y estoy estudiando ingles, he visto su canal en youtube y me gusta su forma de enseñar, queria hacerle una pregunta sobre unos ejemplos que vi en un sitio de ingles y no lo entiendo quizas usted tenga un video explicativo sobre mi pregunta, lo que no entiendo es cuando una frase finaliza con TO  o con With por ejemplo: HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU LIVE WITH? WHAT SCHOOL DO YOU GO TO? WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO? preposicion, preposiciones, preposition - 8. November 2016

Buena pregunta!

Por suerte, la respuesta no es complicada. Simplemente, en Español la preposicion se pone al principio de la pregunta, y en Inglés al final:

A que colegio vas? = What school do you go TO?

CON quien vas? = Who are you going WITH?

DE que piensas? = What are you thinking OF?

Hola Profe como esta? Me podrías ayudar brindandome información acerca de cómo es la estructura de un “evaluation essay ” de 4 o 5 párrafos con un ejemplo para poder guiarme por favor. Muchas gracias. from Martin 28. October 2016


Es algo difícil decirte algo muy específico sin saber lo que tienes que evaluar – si un libro, un debate, un tema político o histórico, por ejemplo.

He escrito un artículo sobre este tema (Los llamo ‘Argumentative Compositions’), con ejemplos. Básicamente, examinas dos puntos y luego das tu opinión. Pincha aquí para leerlo.

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