There is always a proverb for that

Esta semana os traemos una recopilación de algunos proverbios en inglés. ¡Un poco de sabiduría popular siempre viene bien!

What are proverbs?

Every culture has a collection of wise sayings that offer advice about how to live your life. These sayings are called «proverbs».

How can you use proverbs to learn English?

It’s good to know the really common English proverbs because you hear them come up in conversation all the time. Sometimes people say the entire proverb to give advice to a friend. More often, someone will say just part of a proverb like this:

You know what they say: when the going gets tough…

(Read #5 below to learn the rest of this proverb and what it means.)

Learning proverbs can also help you to understand the way that people in English-speaking cultures think about the world.

Proverbs can also give you good example sentences which you can memorize and use as models for building your own sentences.

The most important English Proverbs

This is a list of some of the most important and well-known English proverbs. Below each one, there’s a simple explanation.

The meanings of some of these phrases have shifted over the years, so a proverb might have originally had a different meaning than the one I explain.

  • «Two wrongs don’t make a right.» When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.
  • «The pen is mightier than the sword.» Trying to convince people with ideas and words is more effective than trying to force people to do what you want.
  • «When in Rome, do as the Romans.» Act the way that the people around you are acting. This phrase might come in handy when you’re traveling abroad notice that people do things differently than you’re used to.
  • «The squeaky wheel gets the grease.» You can get better service if you complain about something. If you wait patiently, no one’s going to help you.
  • «When the going gets tough, the tough get going.» Strong people don’t give up when they come across challenges. They just work harder.
  • «No man is an island.» You can’t live completely independently. Everyone needs help from other people.
  • «Fortune favors the bold.» People who bravely go after what they want are more successful than people who try to live safely.
  • «People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.» Don’t criticize other people if you’re not perfect yourself.
  • «Better late than never.» It’s best to do something on time. But if you can’t do it on time, do it late.

Aprende la diferencia entre “fun” y “funny”

Saber diferenciar entre estos dos adjetivos es muy sencillo con una buena explicación

Los adjetivos fun y funny a menudo se confunden porque se parecen. Sin embargo, tienen significados diferentes.

La palabra “fun” significa divertido. Se usa en inglés para describir lo bien que pasaste haciendo una actividad.

Pero la palabra “funny” significa gracioso. Lo usamos para referirnos a cualquier persona, objeto o situación que nos hace reír.

Ejemplos:

  • Playing football can be fun.

          Jugar a fútbol puede ser divertido

  • I went to Port Aventura, and it was fun.

          Fui a Port Aventura y era divertido

  •  Comedies are very funny.

          Las comedias son muy graciosas.

  • The clown did things that were funny.

          El payaso hizo cosas que eran graciosas.

Un error común

¿Cuál es la frase correcta: “Simón is fun” o “Simón is funny”?

Todo depende del contexto.

Por ejemplo, si lo que quieres decir es que lo pasas bien con Simón, lo correcto sería:

  • Simon is fun”.

            ¿Por qué? Porque das a extender que Simón no es una persona aburrida. Las personas disfrutan de su compañía.

Pero si Simón cuenta chistes o hace cosas que te hacen reír, entonces la frase correcta sería:

  • Simón is funny”.

            ¿Por qué? Porque Simón hace o dice cosas graciosas que producen la risa.

AT, IN & ON to express location

Hoy publicamos la continuación del post de la semana pasada sobre las preposiciones AT, IN y ON para expresiones de tiempo. En la publicación de este lunes, veremos cómo se usan para expresar una ubicación.

Este tema es un poco más complejo que el anterior pero ten paciencia, ¡todo se aprende!

Tabla resumen del uso de preposiciones de ubicación en inglés

Aquí tienes otra tabla-resumen. A veces, la diferencia de uso entre algunas de las preposiciones no es muy clara. La mejor manera, pues, de aprenderla es practicar tanto como sea posible.

AT IN ON
When we think of a place as a point (including at home; at school; at work; at university) – We have to get off the bus at the next stop. – Turn left at the traffic Lights – Who is that man standing at the door? – Let’s meet at Jenna’s house – I’ll be at work until 5.30  When we think of a place as an area – When we were in Italy we spent a few days in Venice – There were some people swimming in the pool  To talk about a position in contact with an area – I sat on the beach – You’ll find details of TV programmes on page seven – Have you seen the notice on the notice board?
To talk about an event with a number of people – We went to a concert at the National Concert Hall – The meeting took place at the company’s head office in Frankfurt For cars and taxis – Laura arrived in a taxi – Come on; get in the car! With means of transport (apart from cars and taxis) – The bus was very full. There were too many people on it.
For addresses – The party is at 367 Wood Avenue Normally with class; hospital; prison; court (in class; in hospital…) – Anna’s mother is in hospital With coast; road to; the outskirts of; the edge of; border; the way to/from; etc. – We stopped to buy some things in a shop on the way home – The town where you live? Is it on the coast or inland?
At the top (of) I at the bottom (of) I at the end (of) – Write your name at the top of the page – Jane’s house is at the other end of the street With people or things that form lines (in a line; in a row; in a queue) – When I go to the cinema; I like to sit in the front row For technology – He’s been on the phone for hours – I found out about it on Facebook
For the world; the sky; the country; the countryside – There isn’t a cloud in the sky With left/right – In Britain we drive on the left / on the left-hand side
For enclosed spaces – There’s no-one in the room – What have you got in your hand? – All the rooms in the hotel have air Conditioning – There is a TV in the corner of the room (* but we say at/on the corner of a street) With premises; farm; floor; island – The hotel is on a small island in the middle of a lake – She lives and works on a farm – Our office is on the first floor
In a book / in a paper (= newspaper) / in a magazine / in a letter – Have you seen this picture in today’s paper? On a menu / on a map / on a list – Here’s a shopping list. Don’t buy anything that’s not on the list!
At the front / at the back of a building / theatre / group of people… – The garden is at the back of the house – Let’s sit at the front (of the cinema) In the front / in the back of a car – I was sitting in the back of the car when we crashed On the front / on the back of a letter / piece of paper… – I wrote the date on the back of the photo

Y ahora, toca practicar.

Ahora, es momento de practicar con estos ejercicios (las soluciones están a continuación).

  1. Look at those people swimming … the river
  2. There’s something wrong with the car. We’d better stop … the next petrol station.
  3. There’s nobody living … that island.
  4. There was an accident … the crossroads this morning.
  5. I like that picture hanging … the wall … the kitchen.
  6. We went to the theatre last We had seats … the front row.
  7. I don’t have your address. Could you write it … the back of this card?
  8. San Francisco is … the west coast of the United States.
  9. What is the tallest Building … the world?
  10. I couldn’t hear the She spoke quietly and I was sitting … the back of the class.
  11. … the end of the street, there is a path leading to the river.
  12. I don’t like cities. I’d much prefer to live … the country.
  13. We walked to the restaurant, but we went home … a taxi.
  14. The exhibition … the Museum of Modern Art finishes on
  15. My parents live … a small village about 50 miles from

 


Here are the answers

  1. In
  2. At
  3. On
  4. At
  5. On/in
  6. In
  7. On
  8. On
  9. In
  10. At
  11. At
  12. In
  13. In
  14. At
  15. In

Exercises from R. Murphy (2012): English Grammar in Use, 4th Ed, Cambridge University Press

AT, IN & ON in time expressions

Nuestros alumnos de las academias de inglés l’Ametlla del Vallès y La Garriga suelen tener dudas a la hora de utilizar las preposiciones AT, IN y ON, conocidas como «time expressions».

Por eso el post de hoy lo dedicamos a este tema: veremos el uso de estas preposiciones en inglés.

Tabla resumen del uso de preposiciones en inglés

Primero, echa un vistazo a esta tabla-resumen. Aquí encontrarás los usos de las preposiciones ilustrados con ejemplos.

AT IN ON
With points of time – The class starts at 9 o’clock – The exam will be at the end of the lesson – I woke up at midnight With periods of time – My parents got married in 1983 – Her birthday is in April – America was discovered in the 15th century With particular dates – He was born on July 14th – Christmas Day is on the 25th of December
With mealtimes – Why don’t we meet at lunchtime? With parts of the day – Children go to school in the morning With days and the word “weekday(s)” – The shop is closed on Tuesdays – If you want to avoid the crowds; it’s best to come on a weekday
With the word “night” (but not a particular night) – My sister prefers to study at night because it’s quieter To say the period of time before something happens – Arnold will be in Argentina in 6 days’ time – I’ll be there in a moment With parts of days – They always have a meeting on Monday morning – Why don’t we go to the cinema on Saturday night?
With the words “weekend(s)”; “Christmas” (as a period of time) & “Easter” – My wife works at the weekends – Children in my country don’t go to school at Christmas – They usually have a walking holiday at Easter To say how long something takes – She did the exercises in just three minutes! With types of days – My parents got married on a sunny day in 1983
With the expressions “at the moment/at present” & “at the same time” – I’m sorry but Mr Jones is busy at the moment – Our telephones rang at the same time!

Y ahora, toca practicar.

Aquí tienes unas cuantas frases que debes completar con la preposición correcta. Al final del ejercicio encontrarás las soluciones para que puedas corregirlas.

  1. Mozart was born in Salzburg … 1756.
  2. I’ve been invited to a wedding … 14 February.
  3. Electricity prices are going up … October.
  4. … weekends, we often go for long walks in the country.
  5. I haven’t seen Kate for a few days. I last saw her … Tuesday.
  6. Jonathan is 63. He’ll be retiring from his job … two years’ time.
  7. There are usually a lot of parties … New Year’s Eve.
  8. I don’t like driving … night.
  9. My car is being repaired at the garage. It will be ready … two hours.
  10. My phone and the doorbell rang … the same time.
  11. My brother is an engineer, but he doesn’t have a job … the moment.
  12. Mary and David always go out for dinner … their wedding anniversary.
  13. It was a short book and easy to read. I read it … a day.
  14. … Saturday night I went to bed … midnight.
  15. We travelled overnight and arrived … 5 o’clock … the morning.
  16. The course begins … 7 January and ends sometime … April.
  17. I might not be at home … Tuesday morning, but I’ll be there … the afternoon.

 


Here are the answers

  1. in
  2. on
  3. in
  4. at
  5. on
  6. in
  7. on
  8. at
  9. in
  10. at
  11. at
  12. on
  13. in
  14. on/at
  15. at/in
  16. on/in
  17. on/in

Exercises from R. Murphy (2012): English Grammar in Use, 4th Ed, Cambridge University

The perfect dictionary for you

THE VALUE OF A GOOD DICTIONARY

By Joseph A. Salazar

Teacher at AIT Language School

Do you find it hard to understand some of the words you read in English? Would you like to express yourself more clearly and convincingly? Would you like to improve your vocabulary? If so, what you need is a good dictionary.  But which kind of dictionary should you choose?

Basically, there are three types of dictionary:

  1. The compact dictionary;
  2. The historical dictionary;
  3. The general purpose dictionary.

The compact, or pocket, dictionary is small and therefore limited in what it offers. At the other end of the scales is the historical, or exhaustive, dictionary. It explains the history of words, where they come from and how and when they acquired their present meanings. But probably the most practical dictionary is one that offers a compromise—the general-purpose type, often called desk, concise, or collegiate dictionary. Here are just some of the features that make it so useful.

Definitions

Perhaps the most important feature of a dictionary is word definition. Many words have more than one meaning. For example, the word “lead” can be used as a verb to mean direct or go in front. But as a noun, “lead” is also the name of a metal. A dictionary will clarify both meanings. Some dictionaries actually give specimen phrases to explain the typical use of a word. For example, take the word “control.” Specimen phrases would include: control a country, control one’s emotions, control a fire, border control, control panel, under control, out of control.

Pronunciation

As the letters of an alphabet cannot represent all the sounds used in spoken language—there are at least 47 such sounds in English—dictionary compilers have to devise ways of explaining how to pronounce words. Among the various systems is one that respells the words to match the sound as closely as possible and supplements this with diacritical marks. Whatever system your dictionary uses to distinguish sounds, it will provide an explanatory table. The dictionary will also show what syllables take the stress.

Derivations

A fascinating feature of a dictionary is etymology—the roots, or origins from which words are derived. English is particularly rich in this respect because it has borrowed from many languages, such as Latin, Greek and Anglo-Saxon. By using a dictionary, you can become familiar with words or parts of words most frequently drawn from those languages. As you remember them, your vocabulary will grow.

Latin has made a great contribution to the English language. To take one example: We have many words arising from the Latin verb jacere (to throw). Consider the basic meaning of these verbs: project—throw forward; inject—throw in; eject—throw out; subject—throw under; reject—throw back; deject—throw down; object—throw against; and interject—throw between. So by knowing the root, jacere, and a few everyday prefixes, many words become instantly recognizable.

Many English words have come directly from Greek. Philanthropist (from philos, friend, and anthropos, man) means a friend of mankind. Photograph (from phos, light, and graphein, to write) literally means to write with light. Cacophony (from kakos, bad, and phōnē, sound) means a harsh, discordant sound. So, by becoming familiar with the derivations of words, it is possible to identify others.

It is not likely that you will remember all these things about every word you look up in a dictionary, nor should you try. Some words are not commonly used. But try to memorise those you feel you can and should use. Select words that will help you to communicate better. As your vocabulary improves you will find that you will become less dependent on a dictionary. Your reading will become more enjoyable and your speech will definitely improve.

Short Answers with AprendeInglesToday

In English, when a question begins with a verb, the answer is usually “yes” or “no”.

For example: Are you married? Does he like Spanish food? Can they speak German? Will it rain tomorrow?

English people will normally give a short answer by using the same subject and the same verb used at the beginning of the question. If the answer is “no”, the verb will be negative.

Are you a teacher? Yes, I am.

Does he like Italian food? No, he doesn’t.

Can they speak German? Yes, they can.

Will it rain tomorrow? No, it won’t.

Remember that simply answering “yes” or “no” to these questions sounds dry and rather unfriendly. So, why not try to use short answers.

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