Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas!!!

Hee Haa Haa!! Click here and smile!

'used to' and 'would'

So confusing!!! Let's look at this a little more carefully.

Past habit – used to/would/past simple
When we talk about things that happened in the past but don’t happen anymore we can do it in different ways.

Used to
• We used to live in New York when I was a kid.
• There didn’t use to be a petrol station there. When was it built?
We can use ‘used to’ to talk about past states ….
• I used to go swimming every Thursday when I was at school.
• I used to smoke but I gave up a few years ago.
… or we can use ‘used to’ to talk about repeated past actions

Remember that ‘used to’ is only for past states/actions that don’t happen now – we can’t use it for things that still happen now. Also, ‘used to + infinitive’ should not be confused with ‘be/get used to + ‘ing’ form’ – this is covered in a separate section.

• Every Saturday I would go on a long bike ride.
• My teachers would always say “Sit down and shut up!”
We can use ‘would’ to talk about repeated past actions.

Often either ‘would’ or ‘used to’ is possible. Both of these sentences are possible.
• Every Saturday, I would go on a long bike ride.
• Every Saturday I used to go on a long bike ride.
However, only ‘used to’ is possible when we talk about past states.
• We used to live in New York when I was a kid.
• We would live in New York when I was a kid.
Past simple
• We went/used to go/would go to the same beach every summer.
We can use the past simple in the same way as ‘used to’ and ‘would’ to talk about repeated past actions.
• I had/used to have a dog called Charlie.
We can also use the past simple for past states.
• I went to Egypt in 1988.
However, if something happened only once we can’t use ‘used to’ or ‘would’ – we must use the past simple.

Some of the sentences below contain common verb form mistakes. Find the sentences with errors and correct them using either "Simple Past," "Used to" or "Would Always."
used to
A) I would always be unhealthy as a child.

1. When I was a child, I rode my bike everyday.

2. She would always be beautiful when she was young.

3. I used to go to the beach yesterday.

4. Margie loves horses because she used to have one as a child.

5. James would always have a very important test last week.

6. Jerry always used to cook dinner for himself, but now his wife prepares dinner.

7. Jamie would always have a dog when she was a child, but now she has a cat.

8. Laura would always bake cookies for us when we were kids.

9. I used to graduate from Georgetown University in 1992.

10. He would constantly embarrass himself by asking stupid questions in class.

11. They would spend Easter with us every year until we moved.

12. They used to spend Easter with us every year until we moved.

13. They spent Easter with us every year until we moved.

14. I used to be fat, but I lost a lot of weight in high school.

15. I would always be fat, but I lost a lot of weight in high school.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Twas the night before Christmas....

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Report Writing for First

Report Writing for FCE

A report includes an
main body,
recommendation or
a conclusion
(based on the task given).

Before writing
You have to make your writing plan. Spend around 5 minutes to make your plan which consists of an introduction, main body and recommendation.If the assignment does not ask for a recommendation, a conclusion is necessary.

Choose a fact so that the person who reads it will get the information about report.

- Don’t begin and end your report with Dear Sir/Madam, like a letter.
- Do say how you collected the information

Main body
- Do use headings because this makes it easier for the reader to find the main information.
- Do include two or three points under each heading. Make sure all your points fit with the headings.
- Do use a range of specific vocabulary or set phrases (e.g. some thought this was a good idea… /other students said they preferred…)
- Don’t use lots of adjectives and dramatic language as you do in a story. A report gives factual information.
- Don’t include irrelevant details or description.

- Do use formal language
- Do express opinions impersonally. Don’t express recommendations or opinions until the conclusion.
- Check your tense forms, the spelling, singular/plurals
Useful language
You have to make sure that your language is formal.

- The aim of this report is to…
- This report is intended to…

Reporting results
- Most people seem to feel that...
- Several people said/told me/suggested/thought that…
- It can be noted that...

Presenting a list
- The gave/suggested the following reasons:
- They made the following points: 1… 2 …

Making recommendations/conclusion
- I would therefore recommend (that we expand the library/installing a new coffee machine)
- It would seem that (banning mobile phones) is the best idea.
- In conclusion (green technologies are becoming..)