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.

Hi ! I don’t really know how to translate the verb ” to be to do sth” into Spanish. Everytime I come across a sentence with it, I translate it as the verb ” to have to ” . What do you think about it? am I wrong or right? Thanks ! 25. June 2016

You have to give a example because I don’t see the confusion.

Be = Ser/Estar
There + Be = Hay

Do = Hacer

To have to = Tener que

Do you mean “I am to do the shopping”? In this case you would say “I am GOING to do the shopping” = Voy a hacer la compra.


en la frase nominal “fresh water resourcers magament” cual es el nucleo? 25. June 2016

Fresh Water Resources Management?

Para mi el nucleo es Management. En que trabajas? En Gestion (Management). Gestion de que? Recursos. Que tipo de Recursos? Agua. Todo tipo de agua? No, agua fresca.

Management es lo mas importante. Lo demas es detalle añadida, funcionando como adjectivo.


Good afternoon ! I would like to know why when using the past simple, people usually say “just” before the verb in past simple. For instance : The British passport just lost most of its worth ( a headline from The Independent). What’s the meaning of “just” in this case in Spanish? If I dind’t say it , would it make change the meaning of sentences ? Thanks a lot ! 25. June 2016

This structure is more US English than British English, and personally I would never teach it.

‘The Independent’ is a UK newspaper, but headlines often omit words, so they are not good examples of grammar. “DOG BITES QUEEN” is an example.

In British English you use ‘just’ with the Present Perfect (not Past Simple) to mean very recently (in spanish = acaba de pasar)

I’ve just seen a ghost = Acabo de ver una fantasma.

The Present Perfect is not so commonly used in US English, but the meaning is the same, so you would hear:

“I just saw a ghost”.


Good morning! I would like to know the difference in meaning between the verb ‘To face something’ and ‘To face up to something’. For instance , If you don’t co-operate, you will have to face the consequences . Another example, It’s time that I learn to face up to this on my own. Thanks a lot !. 19. June 2016

First of all, ‘FACE’ can be used in a physical sense, as in ‘looking towards’:

The TV faces the sofa in my living room.

….but I don’t think that’s your problem. I think a better example would be:

‘She’s FACING a problem’
‘She’s FACING UP TO a problem.’
The second suggests an attitude towards the problem – she’s brave, she’s taking responsibility, and she’s not trying to hide. The first simply means that there is a problem in front of her.


Good afternoon ! I would like to know why you say ” short sleeved T-shirt” or one-armed man” ending in “-ed” both the word sleeve and arm. Could you please tell the rules to form this kind of structure? when do we have to form ir and when not? Thank you very much ! 16. June 2016

This is a fairly common way of using a noun as an adjective for parts of the body:

Brown-eyed girl (Van Morrison)
Red haired boy
Three-legged race (when you tie the right leg of one child to the left leg of another, and they race against others. It’s a lot of fun!)

The dash ( – ) is optional, although I prefer it.

But you can’t say:

One-eared man
Nine-brained octopus
etc.

…..so there’s no fixed rule!


Thanks so much, I will try to improve this and I will follow your recommendations. Thanks again. 10. June 2016

No problem – that’s my job! 🙂


Buenas. ¿Me podrías corregir este writing? : What can you do to have a healthy lifestyle?. Healthy living is a long term commitment, but at first, as with everything, it is difficult. However, there are steps to make today and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow. Firstly, we should make a note healthy foods before going to market and we should make a planning foods that will be performed during the purchase is advisable to opt for fresh products such as fruit and vegetables. Secondly, we have to increase physical activity either go on a hike or walk with friends. Experts in this case recommends that adults get at least two and a half hours per week of moderate activity. Finally and no less important, a healthy living includes emotional wellness and adequate rest (sleep for seven or eight hours at night). In addiction, we must forget addictions such as smoking. 7. June 2016

It’s very well written. However, it always depends on the criteria of the person who is marking. What’s more important – Not making mistakes, or being ambitious with grammar and vocab? The language you use, or the message you want to express?

Healthy living is a long term commitment, but at first, as with everything, it is difficult. However, there are steps to make today and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow. Firstly, we should make a note OF healthy foods before going to THE market and we should make a planning foods FOOD PLAN that will be performed during the purchase . IT is advisable to opt for fresh products such as fruit and vegetables. Secondly, we have to increase physical activity , either goING on a hike or walkING with friends. Experts in this case recommends that adults get at least two and a half hours per week of moderate activity. Finally and no less important, a healthy living includes emotional wellness and adequate rest (sleep for seven or eight hours at night). In addiction, we must forget addictions such as smoking.

Grammatically it is a very solid essay. It has a good range of vocabulary, without repetition. Some expressions a little clumsy (‘perform a food plan’) but as it is an ambitious attempt this deserves credit.

Two aspects I think you could improve – There is no clear organisation. I refer especially to the ending. There is no real conclusion. Secondly, I would prefer to see more variety of tenses and structures – Past and Perfect tenses, Conditionals, Passives, etc. but remember that this is my criteria.

Look at this article for more ideas.


Hola, que tal? Me podrías explicar Gerundio e infinitivo. No consigo entenderlo por mas que lo estuido 7. June 2016

No lo entiendes porque no hay nada que entender! Desgraciadamente, a veces es uno y a veces otro.

La buena noticia es que te tengo un articulo para ayudarte, pero no esperes milagros – es uno de los puntos más complicados de la gramática.

Pincha Aquí


Helio, me encanta tu página, sigue con ello muchos años más! Me preguntaba si me podrías explicar los ‘Linkers’ 7. June 2016

Muchas gracias!    🙂

Me tienes que dejar que haga un mini-class con eso cuando tenga el tiempo (O sea, ahora no!), porque es una pregunta muy abierta y necesita algo de trabajo…

Lo pongo en mi ‘To-Do List’.


Como saber utilizar bien el wish/if only????? 7. June 2016

As a simple explanation, use it with the subjunctive (= Past), the same as ‘Ojalá’ in Spanish:

  • I wish/If only I had a helicopter
  • I wish/If only I didn’t have any homework

I will now stop putting ‘I wish/If only’: They are completely interchangeable.

  • I wish it wasn’t raining
  • I wish I could fly

This is for Hypothetical Situations. If you want to use it in the past, to express regret, for example, use HAD + Participle:

  • I wish I hadn’t said that!
  • I wish we had known
  • I wish you had studied more

There is a third option: I wish + WOULD + Infinitive. Es muy parecido al primero, y en muchos casos se puede intercambiar sin problemas (acabo de darme cuenta que me preguntaste en Español), pero generalmente cuando hablas de situaciones que te molestan:

  • I wish you would shut up and listen to me!
  • I wish they would stop smoking.

Apart from this, ‘Wish’ as ‘Te Deseo’, i.e. ‘I wish you a Merry Christmas’ is more traditional and only used in set phrases.


Buenas. Como sabes que una frase es pasiva? Y de reported speech? estilo, indirecto, pasiva, passive, reported, speech - 5. June 2016

No se si refieres a cuando ves la frase en Español, para poder traducirla, o cuando lo ves en Inglés, para identificarla.

Empezamos con el Reported Speech, porque se parece mucho al Español. Normalmente se consigue entender traduciendo sin mas:

He told me he had been sleeping = Me dijo que había estado durmiendo.

You said they would win = Dijiste que ganarían

El resultado es algo mas formal que en Español, pero se entiende.

La Pasiva se identifica cuando ves SUJETO + BE (en cualquier tiempo verbal) + PARTICIPIO (3° Columna). Traducido puede sonar algo raro a veces:

I have been told that the exam is difficult = Yo he sido dicho (= Me han dicho)

We’ll be given the marks tomorrow = Seremos dados las notas mañana (= nos darán)

Si vas a la sección de gramatica desdee el menu principal, veras los articulos completos sobre estos temas


Hola! Te contesto a una pregunta de antes. Lo único que me dan en la frase es ‘John’. La frase era John will probably pasa his driving licence tomorrow. ¿No seria de la pasiva? 5. June 2016

Vale, pues intentamos:

The driving test (si tu pregunta.pone ‘licence’, pues licence, pero no es tan logico – se aprueba un examen, y se consigue -get- un carné) will probaably be passed by John.

Puede ser ‘John MIGHT pass his driving test’ pero eso significa que tal vez apruebe, no probablemente.


Good afternoon! I would like to know when we can use both ‘anything’ and ‘whatever’ as subjects of sentence , as sometimes it is used of them and the other one doesn’t fit in the sentence. Thanks a lot! 5. June 2016

There’s not a big difference. It’s more a question of tone than meaning.

In Spanish I would say that ‘anything’ is ‘cualquier cosa’ and ‘whatever’ is ‘lo que sea’. So:

‘What would you like for dinner?’
‘Oh, I don’t mind – anything!/whatever!’

Of course, anything as a interrogative/negative form of something has far more uses.


Hi Jonathan! I’m having a look at CPE writing part 1 and I find it quite difficult . I don’t know whether you have told us about it or not. Would you be so kind as to tell me how to succeed in it? I have read lots of samples on the internet but, to be honest, I can’t even speak in Spanish like that LOL . I have had my CAE for 2 years and on this ocassion, I think this is by far the hardest part. I’m beset with doubts! Thank you very much. 5. June 2016

Thanks for your message.

Ignore what I wrote below the line – I didn’t read your question properly. You were referring to the writing part exclusively.

I understand you perfectly. I consider my Spanish to be adequate, but it would be difficult for me to write an academic answer to a CAE equivalent-question.

Why? Basically, lack of practice. As you say, you would have some doubts yourself writing in Spanish for the same reason. CAE is an academic exam, and so it goes beyond everyday English.

The answer is : Practice! No secret trick I’m afraid. Over summer I will try to write an article about CAE/CPE level writing, with an option for you to write in, and for me to correct. Meanwhile, you could try with the FCE exercise I’ve left you!

Ah, and remember to read the question properly, not like me! 😉

______________________________________
To be honest, it’s quite difficult to answer that question.

As we are talking about quite complicated levels it’s not enough just to prepare with textbooks exercises, etc.

There are questions which are meant to show the level you have of ‘instinctive’ English. Questions where you either know or you don’t.

In other words, if it’s too difficult, it’s too early to think about this exam. Keep reading books in English, keep listening to films,shows and news, keep practising your speaking as much as possible, and…..patience!


Un truco o consejo para hacer bien un writing? 4. June 2016

Unos cuantos!   🙂    Pincha Aquí

En el primero puedes hacer un escrito. Te lo corrijo y pongo nota.

Screenshot_2


Estoy ya casi en selectividad. Me podias decir estas frases en pasiva? Son de selectividad: ‘Nobody has recorded an exact explanation for it so far.’ Ahora, en voz activa: ‘The invention of the telephone in the late 19th century changed world communications.’ 3. June 2016

Echa un vistazo en mi articulo de la Pasiva.

SUJETO + BE (en el tiempo verbal correspondiente) + VERBO (en forma Participio) + Resto del Frase

  1. ‘An exact explanation for it – has not been – recorded – so far.’

La segunda es Activa ya. Empieza con el agente (La invención del teléfono) que afecta al objeto (World Communications), igual que: ‘The dog bit me’ (El perro me mordió). La Pasiva sería:

2. ‘World communications – were  – changed – * by the invention of the telephone *

* ‘…..in the 19th Century.’ puede ponerse en los dos sitios.


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