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.

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.


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 *

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

1. My friend Alice is your new neighbour. She is from Bristol = My friend Alice, who is from Bristol, is your new neighbour. 2. -John will probably pass his driving licence tomorrow = John will be passed his driving licence the next day. 3. -My father is too old to understand computers. My father is not young enough to understand computers. 4. -Her daughter started living abroad ten years ago. My daughter has started living abroad ten years. Están bien estas frases? 3. June 2016

  1. Perfect
  2. No es correcto, pero no sé lo que quieren. John is likely to have passed his exam….(?) Que palabra(s) te dieron para hacer la frase?
  3. Politicamente correcto no es, pero gramaticamente sí.
  4. My/Her daughter HAS BEEN LIVING abroad FOR ten years. Es Presente Perfecto (Continuo). Más explicación aquí.

– To work abroad is OK for me. I don’t mind… -A mechanic repaired my car yesterday. I…… Hola, no entiendo como se forman estas frases 🙁 2. June 2016

I don’t mind (+ING)  = No me importa

I DON’T MIND workING abroad.


I had/got my car repaired… = Mira la explicación abajo.

Hola buenas!! Me podrías explicar el ‘Have something done’? Por más que quiero no lo pillo…jajaja gracias!! 2. June 2016

Or: ‘Get Something Done’

Imaginate que llegas a clase o trabajo o lo que sea, y dices: ‘Mira, me he cortado el pelo!’ Te dirían (si fueron Ingleses) ‘¿Pero te lo cortaste tu solo/a en el espejo?? Que bien te salió!’

Tendrías que explicarles que no te lo cortaste tu, sino que te lo cortaron. ¿Quien? ¡Que más da! Lo que importa es que:

‘I cut my hair’

I had/got my hair cut’

Lo mismo pasa cuando te arreglan el coche, te pintan la casa, y cosas así:

‘I can’t take you to the station. I’m having my car repaired.’

‘The house was a mess last week – I got my house painted.’

When was released the report? The report was released |more than twenty years ago|. Estaría bien hecha la pregunta? Lo que está entre | | es como si estuviera subrayado 2. June 2016

¡Casi! Solo tienes que recordar que el sujeto va entre el auxiliar y verbo, ya que es pregunta. Así que:

When was THE REPORT released?

Me corriges y ayudas con estas frases?? 1. “Did you play football with your cousin last week?” She asked him. (She asked him that she had played football with your cousin the previous week). 2.Despite the good weather, we did not enjoy the walk in the woods. (Although the good weather, we did not enjoy the walk in the woods) 3.I have never met a more attractive person than Jane. (Jane is person more attractive than I ever met?) 4.Who is picking her up at the airport tomorrow? (|John| is picking her up at the airport tomorrow.) Y estas 2 no las tengo claras como se hacen: 1. People think that Fito is a talented musician. Fito…. 2. My girlfriend was very tired. That is why she did not go to the party yesterday. If…. Un saludo!!!! Y gracias!!!! 2. June 2016

1. Necesitas repasar el Estilo Indirecto.

She asked him IF HE (la pregunta es para el, no ella) HAD PLAYED (estilo indirecto = un paso atras) football the previous week.

2. Despite = A pesar de.  Although = Aunque

Although the weather was good, we did not ……

Muchas veces ayuda pensar las cosas en Español, y hay una solución lógica

3. Mira el Presente Perfecto aquí.

Jane is the MOST ATTRACTIVE (adjectivo antes del sustantivo) person I HAVE (sigue siendo Presente Perfecto) ever met.

4. esta bien. ¿Solo es eso, verdad?

Y las ultimas 2:

1.  es Pasiva

Fito IS THOUGHT TO BE a very talented musician.

(Hay otro ejemplo casi igual más abajo)

2. Necesitas saber los Condicionales. Este es el Tercero (Pasado Hípotetico)

If my girlfriend hadn’t been tired, we would have gone to the party yesterday.

Hola!!! Tengo la selectividad a la vuelta de la esquina, y si me ayudas con 3 frases por favor… 1. They are building a new school near the church. A new school… 2. People think that the internet is very dangerous for children. The internet… 3.It is three years since my sister started to learn German. My sister… Muchas gracias 😊 1. June 2016

Primero: Suerte con la selectividad!!

Sujeto + BE en el tiempo verbal de la frase + Participio:

  1. A new school IS BEING BUILT near the church
  2. The Internet IS THOUGHT to be very dangerous for children (bastante difícil, ese!)

My sister HAS BEEN (=lleva) LEARNING German FOR (=desde hace) 3 years.

where is the pdf for practice? 29. May 2016

Good Question! 🙂

  • Go to any of the units of the videotutorial course:
  • I’m taking Unit 2.4 (How to describe people: Be vs. Have) as an example.
  • Can you see the link? Click here, and the pdf. will open in another window.
  • You can download and print it. It goes with the videotutorial and the listening exercises.


What would be the passive/active of this sentence (I don’t know if its in passive or active): They will paint the old houses by next week 28. May 2016

It’s active: Somebody (a subject) is painting the house.

It sounds better in passive: You don’t know / don’t care who is painting. What is important is that:


For a full explanation on passives, click here!

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