Tag Archives: C2

Mission possible: Must, Might, Could

adrenaline junkieWe use the modal verbs: Must, Might and Could when we want to express a possibility. So, imagine that Pepé de Ronda is an adrenaline junkie who is very keen on rock climbing and we want to know where he is.

So we ask: Where is Pepé de Ronda?

  1. He MUST be rock climbing ( I am 100% sure)
  2. He MIGHT be white water rafting. ( I am 75% sure)
  3. He COULD be in the pub with Janette. ( 50% It’s a possible option)

Grammar Tip!  Please remember, if you use a modal verb, you have to use the bare infinitive in the following verbMODAL VERB+ BARE INFINITIVE (B.INF:without TO ) MUST BE, MIGHT BE, COULD BE

Education: What is it?

Education: what is it?

Well, it´s a word which uses all of the 5 English vowels. And, phonetically speaking,  it looks like this: /ɛdjʊˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/. In addition, it´s a word that politicians repeat to infinity and beyond during an election campaign.  Finally, it´s something that affects all of us.

OK Janette, but what does it mean?

Well, I have my opinions, but I think this guy has something more interesting to say than me.  If you check out this video, you will improve your English listening and comprehension skills, learn new vocabulary, and you will definitely think. Perfect; bring on the brain shake!

The influence of newspaper headlines

A lot of people say that it doesn´t matter what newspaper you read: the news is the news.  I would say: wake up and smell the coffee!

So, with this in mind, take a look at these newspaper headlines  from British newspapers.

To be held up

To be held up means to be delayed or detained.

For example: The plane was held up by bad weather. Or, I was held up by heavy traffic.

The happiness equation! Is someone pulling my leg?!

Recently, I blogged about how some kids defied Newton’s equation of the law of motion, and yesterday I read an article on the Internet which suggests that mathematically you can predict happiness.  Seriously!  Well, according to these researchers, the mathematical equation for happiness is as follows:

happiness equationAnd, based on this premise, if you can predict happiness, then logically speaking you can learn how to make yourself and others happy.

Ok, I get why so much time, effort and money is put into researching this idea. It’s obvious: ask most people what they want out of life and they say: ‘I want to be happy’. And, despite the fact that we know a lot about the consequences of this emotion, for instance it’s a well-known fact that happiness improves our mental and physical health and therefore our lives in general, generally speaking, we don’t have a clue about what makes us and keeps us happy. If we did, ‘Big Pharmaceutical’ would already be cashing in and ripping us off. magic_roundabout

(Ok, as an aside, for those of you who spent their university life popping ecstasy pills, eating magic mushrooms and watching re-runs of the TV kids show, The Magic Roundabout, this doesn’t count – yes, it’s true, these drugs usually make you feel happy but this type of happiness isn’t sustainable, nor practical if you want to function in the given constraints of modern society, i.e. you want to be a law-abiding citizen, and or, earn a living!)

So, if we have to exclude legal and illegal medication, what does this formula mean, and, how can we use it to have a happier life?

Well, according to the research, happiness and different levels of happiness is proportionately linked to the achievements of our expectations. So, for example, if you expect to achieve something and you don’t, then you are not going to be happy. However, if you expect to achieve something and you do, then you are happy, but, and most importantly, if you don’t expect to achieve something and you do, then you are over the moon with happiness and uncontrollable bliss.

scienceOk, I have 2 responses to this research:

  1. OBVIOUSLY, no shit Sherlock Holmes, Elementary my dear Watson!
  2. WHO funded this research? Moreover, why didn’t they pay me for some simple common sense?

In addition, I have one piece of practical advice for everyone who wants a happier life: Expect nothing and you will always be happy!

Seriously, that can’t be right!

Expect nothing, or lower your expectations and you’ll be happier. For example, according to this mathematical equation, if I think my boyfriend is a thoughtless waste of space, I’m always going to be happy with him because, well because if he does something, or once in a blue moon he engages his brain cells, then he has overachieved my expectations. Really, seriously, I’m sorry, but that’s just not acceptable!  Surely, happiness is much more complex than a correlation between expectation and reward.

So, if you want to read more about happiness, then click here. On the other hand, an easier solution might be to go out and drink a beer.

Are you yellow, red, blue or teal?

doer thinkerFancy watching a video about the psychology of colour and personalities? You will improve your listening comprehension, and perhaps  learn something new and interesting at the same time. It´s the perfect plan!
Click here:

Film Directors: Love them or loathe them!

Have you ever wondered who your favourite film director is? No?!

romeoWell, the brilliant, Australian director, Baz Lurhmann, really ‘floats my boat’. This is very curious because in general I can’t stand musicals. It’s just not normal to be walking down the street and then start singing a tune.

On the whole, I think these kinds of movies are a sandwich short of a picnic. Luckily, Baz Luhrmann has, up to a point, changed my mind as one of my all time favourite films is his musical: Romeo and Juliet. Although his version is based on Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, the film is set in modern times and the tragedy of the star-crossed lovers unfolds against a backdrop of guns, drugs and fast convertibles.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, then I suggest that you see it immediately. Check out the official trailer here.
tango

So, despite the fact that musicals aren’t my cup of tea, music is definitely a part of my life that I couldn’t give up. With that in mind, when I first watched Moulin Rouge, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Yes, it’s a musical, and blow me over, yes, it’s that good! Seriously, the soundtrack is second-to-none and in my opinion mixing the song Roxanne by The Police with the Tango to emphasize the raw emotions of love, passion, betrayal, jealousy and suspicion was a stroke of genius. Not seen it? Click here

The main characters, Christian and Satine, are played by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman; and their acting is priceless. So, although this love story didn’t break my heart of stone it definitely caused a mini crack.

An Interview with Film Director: Baz Luhrmann

Baz LuhrmannClick here to listen to the Australian director talking about the film industry, the critics who don’t rate him, the pressure of creative risk-taking and the changing way Australia treats celebrities.

What do you think of the Ozzy accent? Is it easier to understand than the British accent?

Film Reviews

filmReviewLogoImagine you recently saw this advert in a local English language lifestyle magazine.

Reviews Needed!

  • We are hoping to add a Film section to our magazine. We would like you to write a review about your favourite film of all time. Describe the film and explain why you would recommend it to others.
  • Get writing as the best review will win £500 and free tickets to the cinema.

Not sure how to start? Well, think about the following 5-step structure to help you organise your ideas. In addition, there is a sample example in the Reading section of DOWNLOADS.  Remember you will need to use the password.

1) Title: Short and Catchy: For example: ‘Sophie’s Choice – Not a Dry Eye in the House’

2) Introduction:

  • General information: the name of the film, genre, the name of the director, the main stars, any awards won.
  • Include overall opinion about the film, for example: ‘This fast-paced, action-packed thriller is a must see’.
  • Try to write a strong expression or a phrase that will catch the reader’s attention

3) Paragraph 1

  • Where and when it was set. A brief summary of the plot, with comments on the acting

4) Paragraph 2

  • Additional aspects of the film: special effects, the musical score, supporting roles
  • If appropriate, you might include some negative opinions here ( either general / personal)

5) Conclusion

  • Personal recommendation with reasons
  • Consider using a direct question, or a memorable expression at the end

Making and dealing with complaints

complaining dvd
Customer Service

 Role One: You are a customer.

Last week you bought a DVD player on sale. When you tried to set it up at home, you discovered that it did not work. Today you take it back to the shop and explain the situation to the manager.

Invent the details of the situation and decide what course of action you will take (you would like to get a refund). Try to come to an agreement.

Role Two: You are the manager of an electrical equipment store.

A customer has come in to complain about a product that does not work. Your shop has a no-refund policy for things bought during the sales.

Listen to the customer, explain your shop’s sales policy and offer alternative solutions. Try to come to an agreement.