Saturday, November 29, 2014

Answers for hard-working learners

Can you translate these sentences back into German?

Translation practice (pg 16)
Superman Logo Royal Blue Pullover Hoodie1.       „Where’s/Where is my blue pullover ?“ „ In the wardrobe.“
            'Wo ist mein blauer Pullover? Im Kleiderschrank.'
2.       Amy sometimes sits on the floor.
           Amy sitzt manchmal auf dem Fussboden.
3.       Susans works in a bank in the city centre/in the centre of the city.
            Susan arbeitet in einer Bank im Zentrum der Stadt.
4.       In(the summer) we often sit on our balcony.
           Im Sommer sitzen wir oft auf unserem Balkon.
5.       When does your plane land?  I can pick you up at the airport.
            Wann landet deine Maschine? Ich kann dich am Flughafen abholen.
6.       Where’s/Where is David ?  He isn’t at his desk. Wo ist David?
            Er ist nicht an seinem Schreibtisch.
7.       We were in Spain in May and (we)swam in the sea.
            Wir waren im Mai in Spanien und haben im Meer gebadet.
8.       We waited a long time at the traffic lights. (oder) We waited at the 
            traffic lights for a long time.
          Wir haben lange in der Ampel gewartet.
9.       ‘How do you know that ?’ ‚I read it in the (newspaper) yesterday.‘
           Woher Weiss du das?  Ich habe es gestern in der Zeitung gelesen.
10.   The room is at the end of the corridor.
         Das Zimmer ist am Ende des Ganges.
11.   I saw an accident on the way/my way home.
         Ich habe auf dem Weg nach Hause einen Unfall gesehen.

Key        page 17
Grammar  Practice
3. What colour is it ?
4. What time did you get up ?
5. What type of music do you like ?
6. What kind of car do you want (to buy)?

3. Which
4. What
5. Which
6. What 
7. Which
8. Who
9. What
10. Which
11. What
How + high/long/often
2. How far is it to the station?
3. How old is Helen?
4. How often do the buses run?
5. How deep is the water in the pool?
6. How long have you lived here?


1. How tall are you?

2. How heavy is this box ?
3. How old are you ?
4. How much did you spend ?
5. How often do you watch TV?
6. How far is from  Paris to Moscow?

Translations: Now see if you can translate them back into German.

1.       What’s/What is that ?

2.       What colour is your car ?

3.       How old are your children ?

4.       How often do you go tt he theatre?

5.       What kind of/sort of films do you like?

6.       How tall is Michael?

7.       How far is it to the centre?

8.       There are two coats here.  Which is yours? (oder) Here are two coats….

9.       What’s/What ist he highest mountain in the world?

10.   Which do you like- the green or the red dress?

Friday, November 28, 2014

First Conditional.

What is it?

The first conditional talks about the future.

We are thinking about a particular condition or situation in the future, and the result of this condition. There is a real possibility that this condition will happen. For example, it is morning. You are at home. You plan to play tennis this afternoon. But there are some clouds in the sky. Imagine that it rains. What will you do?

present simpleWILL + base verb
Ifit rainsI will stay at home.

The important thing about the first conditional is that there is a real possibility that the condition will happen.

To practice and deep dive into the first conditional, play this game provided by ENGames. It's a fun way to get to know the tense. 

Here also a couple more examples, just in case!

present simpleWILL + base verb
IfI see MaryI will tell her.
IfTara is free tomorrowhe will invite her.
Ifthey do not pass their examtheir teacher will be sad.
Ifit rains tomorrowwill you stay at home?
Ifit rains tomorrowwhat will you do?

Verb Tense Practice


to practice a mixed bag of verb tenses.

Translation Practice Set 1

Translating from German to English can be very tricky.  It takes practice.  Why not give it a try? Next week you will find the key to these exercises here as well so you can check your answers.
 (Be careful in using google translators-they often make big mistakes!)

  1. Es freut mich, Sie kennen zu lernen.  Das ist mein Bruder.

  1. Wie lautet die Telefonnummer Deiner Grosseltern? Ich weiss sie nicht.

  1. Sein Lieblingsfach ist Geschichte, aber auch Mathematik und Geographie gefällt ihm.

  1. Meine Mutter geht nie ins Schwimmbad, weil Sie schwimmen hasst.

  1. Darf ich Deine Zeitung anschauen?  Nein, tut mir leid. Ich muss gehen.

  1. Am Freitag feiern wir ein Fest.  Nein, wir feiern nicht ein Fest, wir gehen ins Theater.

  1. Julia hat am 12. März Geburtstag.

  1. Mein bester Freund hasst laufen (springen), aber ihm gefällt Schlittschuhlaufen.

  1. Der Sommer beginnt am 21. Juni.  Es ist meine bevorzugte Jahreszeit.

  1. Sie wohnt bei den Eltern.
SCROLL down for answer key
1.      It‘s nice to meet you.  This is my brother.
2.      What’s your grandparent’s phone number? I don’t know it.
3.      His favourite subject is history, but he likes maths and geography too.
4.      My mother never goes to the pool because she hates swimming.
5.      Can(may) I look at your newspaper? No, I’m sorry but I have to go.
6.      An Friday we are having a party.  No, we aren’t having a party, we are going to the theatre!
7.      Julia’s birthday is on the twelfth of March.(March twelfth)
8.      My best friend hates running but he loves ice skating.
9.      Summer begins on June twenty-first.  It’s my favourite season.
    10.  She lives with her parents

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Present Simple

    Correct the errors -

    1 He live in a house.

    2 You like football? Yes, I like. She no like it.

    3 She don't eat red meat.

    4 Does he lives here?

    5 You can speak English, isn't it?

    6 Do you can speak English?

    7 The people is no good.

    8 I'm think is good.

    9 She coming from Mexico.

    10 She comes always late to class.



    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    Words with Friends

    I am a big advocate of Scrabble. Not only is it tons of fun, but it´s also educational, and chilly evenings like tonight are always the best for board games with family and friends.

    However, as most of you probably won't have the physical board game, I have a guilty pleasure to share with you: Words with Friends. Although Words with Friends cannot provide the physical interaction with people, it can however, provide a little brain gym. 

    It is a fun, free social word game where your English language skills are tested and tried. You can find friends online, or sharpen your skills anytime and anywhere while you're offline.

    Now before getting started, there are several words you MUST know before playing - they will help you out in situations that you didn't know possible:

    It is one of the top five most played words in Words With Friends, but what does it mean? It’s a variant spelling of the word chi, the vital life force believed to circulate around the body and through the universe in Chinese medicine.

    Another conveniently short word, qatrefers to “an evergreen shrub, Catha edulis, of Arabia and Africa, the leaves of which are used as a narcotic when chewed or made into a beverage.” It can also be spelled kat or khat.

    Also spelled fakir and faquir, faqir is “a Muslim or Hindu religious ascetic or mendicant monk commonly considered a wonder-worker” or a “dervish.”

    This acronym was coined in the 1920s to describe the standard keyboard which began with these six letters at the top left.

    Qaid entered English in the mid-1800s and refers to “a tribal chief, judge, or senior official.” It stems from the Arabic word meaning “leader.” It’s sometimes spelled caid and shares a root with the Spanish word alcaidemeaning “a commander of a fortress” or “a warden.”

    Related to qaid, qadirefers to “a judge in a Muslim community.” It’s a useful variant when trying to stack words to play do or it.

    Also spelled shekel, sheqel is an ancient unit of weight equivalent to about a quarter or a half of an ounce. Today it is most commonly used to refer to the Israeli currency, though it is also a slang term meaning “money.”

    Another money-related term, qindar, also spelled qintar, is a monetary denomination, like the cent, in Albania that’s equivalent to 100th of a lek, the standard monetary unit.


    Though this word sounds like a cough, qoph is actually the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Who's there?

    These short English conversations focus on telephoning in English. 

    Here are five common situations used when telephoning in English. To begin with, each situation first presents the entire telephoning English conversation. Next, each situation has two separate versions with either caller 1 or caller 2 left blank. 

    Feel free to print out these telephoning English situations for use in class, or share the telephoning conversations with your friends online. For example, you could call your friend on Skype, navigate to a telephoning English practice page and practice together by each taking a role, exchanging roles, and practicing a few times. 

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Vocabulary lists Snapshot Starter

    For exam preparation for Canton student learners in  the Snapshot Starter book, here is a link to the vocabulary list. Time to learn more!

    click here

    Monday, November 17, 2014

    The United States of...Literacy

    Seeing that yours truly is American, when I came across this article on the The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State, I couldn't help but feeling pride for my country - in todays´ day and age, that isn't a common expression.

    The United States of America is a federal republic consisting of 50 states, one federal district (Washington, D.C.), and one incorporated territory (Palmyra Atoll). The United States also possesses five major overseas territories: Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; and American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific. So, with cold, long winter days ahead of us, take a look at the compiled list of books, and may careful attention to Oregon!

    To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Le
    “This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.”

    Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
    “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

    Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
    “The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way.”

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
    “If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.” 

    CALIFORNIA (southern): 
    The White Boy Shuffle, Paul Beatty
    “I was the funny, cool black guy. In Santa Monica, like most predominantly white sanctuaries from urban blight, ‘cool black guy’ is a versatile identifier used to distinguish the harmless black male from the Caucasian juvenile while maintaining politically correct semiotics.”

    CALIFORNIA (northern): 
    Suicide Blonde, Darcey Steinke
    “You’ll see, there are a million ways to kill off the soft parts of yourself.”

    Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
    “Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.”

    Nine Stories, “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut,” J.D. Salinger
    “‘That dopey maid,’ Eloise said without moving from the couch. ‘I dropped two brand-new cartons in front of her nose about an hour ago. She’ll be in, any minute, to ask me what to do with them. Where the hell was I?’”

    The Good Lord Bird, James McBride
    “Some things in this world just ain’t meant to be, not in the times we want ‘em to, and the heart has to hold it in this world as a remembrance, a promise for the world that’s to come. There’s a prize at the end of all of it, but still, that’s a heavy load to bear.”

    Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
    “She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight.”


    Cane, Jean Toomer
    “Night winds in Georgia are vagrant poets, whispering.”

    The Descendants, Kaui Hart Hemmings
    “I bet in big cities you can walk down the street scrowling and no one will ask you what’s wrong or encourage you to smile, but everyone here has the attitude that we’re lucky to live in Hawaii; paradise reigns supreme. I think paradise can go fuck itself.”

    Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
    “He liked the grand size of things in the woods, the feeling of being lost and far away, and the sense he had that with so many trees as wardens, no danger could find him.”

    Native Son, Richard Wright
    “Goddamnit, look! We live here and they live there. We black and they white. They got things and we ain’t. They do things and we can’t. It’s just like livin’ in jail.”

    The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
    “It makes her shiver to think of it, how not one pair of eyes can see through the roof and walls of her house and regard her as she moves through her dreamlike days, bargaining from minute to minute with indolence, that tempter.”

    Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
    “There are two occasions when the sacred beauty of Creation becomes dazzlingly apparent, and they occur together. One is when we feel our mortal insufficiency to the world, and the other is when we feel the world’s mortal insufficiency to us.”


    In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
    “Then starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.”

    Beloved, Toni Morrison
    “It never looked as terrible as it was and it made her wonder if hell was a pretty place too. Fire and brimstone all right, but hidden in lacy groves.”

    All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
    “The air so still it aches like the place where the tooth was on the morning after you’ve been to the dentist or aches like your heart in the bosom when you stand on the street corner waiting for the light to change and happen to recollect how things once were and how they might have been yet if what happened had not happened.”

    Carrie, Stephen King
    “They had become a fixed star in the shifting firmament of the high school’s relationships, the acknowledged Romeo and Juliet. And she knew with sudden hatefulness that there was one couple like them in every white suburban high school in America.”

    Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Patterson
    “All my dreams of leaving, but beneath them I was afraid to go. I had clung to them, to Rass, yes, even to my grandmother, afraid that if I loosened my fingers an iota, I would find myself once more cold and clean in a forgotten basket.”

    The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
    “I wanted to be where nobody I knew could ever come.”

    Split Images, Elmore Leonard
    “Coming out of the City-County Building, walking east on Jefferson, they started over and spoke about the weather, looking off at the Ford Auditorium over on the riverfront, the fountain misting in Hart Plaza, Bryan saying it was a little too nice, it wasn’t like April, April in Detroit was miserable, wet and cold with dirty snow left over from the winter; Angela saying she lived in Arizona, Tuscon, and didn’t know much about weather, outside of weather in New York when you wanted a taxi; Bryan said he thought that should about do it for weather, though he could tell her how muggy it got in the summer if she wanted.”

    Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, Maud Hart Lovelace
    “Betsy was so full of joy that she had to be alone. She went upstairs to her bedroom and sat down on Uncle Keith’s trunk. Behind Tacy’s house the sun had set. A wind had sprung up and the trees, their color dimmed, moved under a brooding sky. All the stories she had told Tacy and Tib seemed to be dancing in those trees, along with all the stories she planned to write some day and all the stories she would read at the library. Good stories. Great stories. The classics. Not Rena’s novels.” 

    Long Division, Kiese Laymon
    “People always say change takes time. It’s true, but really it’s people who change people, and then those people have to decide if they really want to stay the new people that they’re changed into.”

    Stoner, John Williams
    “There was a softness around him, and a languor crept upon his limbs. A sense of his own identity came upon him with a sudden force, and he felt the power of it. He was himself, and he knew what he had been.”

    Legends of the Fall, Jim Harrison
    “Sitting on the stump under the burden of his father’s death and even the mortality inherent in the dying, wildly colored canopy of leaves, he somehow understood that life was only what one did every day…. Nothing was like anything else, including himself, and everything was changing all of the time. He knew he couldn’t perceive the change because he was changing too, along with everything else.”

    Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
    “Ever since the first day they’d met, Eleanor was always seeing him in unexpected places. It was like their lives were overlapping lines, like they had their own gravity. Usually, that serendipity felt like the nicest thing the universe had ever done for her.”

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
    “Hallucinations are bad enough. But after awhile you learn to cope with things like seeing your dead grandmother crawling up your leg with a knife in her teeth. Most acid fanciers can handle this sort of thing. But nobody can handle that other trip-the possibility that any freak with $1.98 can walk into the Circus-Circus and suddenly appear in the sky over downtown Las Vegas twelve times the size of God, howling anything that comes into his head. No, this is not a good town for psychedelic drugs.”

    A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
    “If you care about something you have to protect it; If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

    American Pastoral, Philip Roth
    “Yes, alone we are, deeply alone, and always, in store for us, a layer of loneliness even deeper. There is nothing we can do to dispose of that. No, loneliness shouldn’t surprise us, as astonishing to experience as it may be. You can try yourself inside out, but all you are then is inside out and lonely instead of inside in and lonely.”


    Leave Her to Heaven, Ben Ames Williams
    “To be lonely is one thing; to be alone is another. There is no loneliness so acute as that of a man upon a pillory, facing ten thousand eyes; but to be alone is to be free, free from eyes and tongues that watch and question and condemn.”

    Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, Joyce Carol Oates
    “Legs squinted up at the sky, the moon so bright you’d never think it could be merely rock like the earth’s common rock and lifeless, merely reflected light from an invisible sun and not a powerful living light of its own.”

    Daddy Was a Number Runner, Louise Meriwether
    “Lord, but that hallway was funky, all of those Harlem smells bumping together… The air outside wasn’t much better. It was a hot, stifling day, June 2, 1934. The curbs were lined with garbage cans overflowing into the gutters, and a droopy horse pulling a vegetable cart down the avenue had just deposited a steaming pile of manure in the middle of the street. The sudden heat had emptied the tenements. Kids too young for school played on the sidewalks while their mamas leaned out of their windows searching for a cool breeze or sat for a moment on the fire escape.”

    Look Homeward Angel, Thomas Wolfe
    “The mountains were his masters. They rimmed in life. They were the cup of reality, beyond growth, beyond struggle and death. They were his absolute unity in the midst of eternal change.”

    The Round House, Louise Erdrich
    “I stood there in the shadowed doorway thinking with my tears. Yes, tears can be thoughts, why not?” 

    The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison
    “Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live.”

    The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton
    “The dawn was coming then. All the lower valley was covered with mist, and sometimes little pieces of it broke off and floated away in small clouds. The sky was lighter in the east, and the horizon was a thin golden line. The clouds changed from gray to pink, and the mist was touched with gold. There was a silent moment when everything held its breath, and then the sun rose. It was beautiful.”

    No One Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July
    “Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. Stand up and face the east. Now praise the sky and praise the light within each person under the sky. It’s okay to be unsure. But praise, praise, praise.”

    The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon
    “I smoked and looked down at the bottom of Pittsburgh for a little while, watching the kids playing tiny baseball, the distant figures of dogs snatching at a little passing car, a miniature housewife on her back porch shaking out a snippet of red rug, and I made a sudden, frightened vow never to become that small, and to devote myself to getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”

    The Witches of Eastwick, John Updike
    “Some people find fall depressing, others hate spring. I’ve always been a spring person myself. All that growth, you can feel Nature groaning, the old bitch; she doesn’t want to do it, not again, no, anything but that, but she has to. It’s a fucking torture rack, all that budding and pushing, the sap up the tree trunks, the weeds and the insects getting set to fight it out once again, the seeds trying to remember how the hell the DNA is supposed to go, all that competition for a little bit of nitrogen; Christ, it’s cruel.”

    Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
    “Anney makes the best gravy in the county, the sweetest biscuits, and puts just enough vinegar in those greens. Glenn nodded, though the truth was he’d never had much of a taste for greens, and his well-educated mama had always told him that gravy was bad for the heart. So he was not ready for the moment when Mama pushed her short blond hair back and set that big plate of hot food down in front of his open hands. Glenn took a bite of gristly meat and gravy, and it melted between his teeth. The greens were salt sweet and fat rich. His tongue sang to his throat; his neck went loose, and his hair fell across his face. It was like sex, that food, too good to waste on the middle of the day and a roomful of men too tired to taste.” 

    Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
    “There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.”

    Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
    “The eastern sky was red as coals in a forge, lighting up the flats along the river. Dew had wet the million needles of the chaparral, and when the rim of the sun edged over the horizon the chaparral seemed to be spotted with diamonds. A bush in the backyard was filled with little rainbows as the sun touched the dew… The sun spread reddish-gold light through the shining bushes, among which a few goats wandered, bleating. Even when the sun rose above the low bluffs to the south, a layer of light lingered for a bit at the level of the chaparral, as if independent of its source. The the sun lifted clear, like an immense coin. The dew quickly died, and the light that filled the bushes like red dirt dispersed, leaving clear, slightly bluish air.”

    Child of God, Cormac McCarthy
    “Each leaf that brushed his face deepened his sadness and dread. Each leaf he passed he’d never pass again. They rode over his face like veils, already some yellow, their veins like slender bones where the sun shone through them. He had resolved himself to ride on for he could not turn back and the world that day was as lovely as any day that ever was and he was riding to his death.”

    The Executioner’s Song, Norman Mailer
    “[B]ut when the call came from Shirley Pedler to help in organizing the Utah Coalition Against the Death Penalty, she knew she would go out in the world again with her freaky blond hair, blond to everyone’s disbelief—at the age of fifty-four, go out in her denims and chin-length-hanging-down-straight vanilla hair to that Salt Lake world where nobody would ever make the mistake of thinking she was a native Utah lady inasmuch as Utah was the Beehive State. The girls went big for vertical hair-dos, pure monuments to shellac.”

    The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron
    “Surely mankind has yet to be born. Surely this is true! For only something blind and uncomprehending could exist in such a mean conjunction with its own flesh, its own kind. How else account for such faltering, clumsy, hateful cruelty?… Yes, it could be that mankind has yet to be born.”

    The Secret History, Donna Tartt
    “White Sky. Trees fading at the skyline, the mountains gone… I never got used to the way the horizon there could just erase itself and leave you marooned, adrift, in an incomplete dreamscape that was like a sketch for the world you knew—the outline of a single tree standing in for a grove, lamp-posts and chimneys floating up out of context before the surrounding canvas was filled in-an amnesia-land, a kind of skewed Heaven where the old landmarks were recognizable but spaced too far apart, and disarranged, and made terrible by the emptiness around them.”

    Close Range: Wyoming Stories “Brokeback Mountain,” E. Annie Proulx
    “He pressed his face into the fabric and breathed in slowly through his mouth and nose, hoping for the faintest smoke and mountain sage and salty sweet stink of Jack but there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain of which nothing was left but what he held in his hands.”

    The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
    “Each of us, deep down, believes that the whole world issues from his own precious body, like images projected from a tiny slide onto an earth-sized screen. And then, deeper down, each of us knows he’s wrong.”

    The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie
    “Seems like the cold would never go away and winter would be like the bottom of my feet but then it is gone in one night and in its place comes the sun so large and laughable.”

    You Are One of Them, Elliot Holt
    ”It does no good to see everything as a struggle between opposing factions. Few things are that simple.”

    The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
    “Those shining stars, he liked to point out, were one of the special treats for people like us who lived out in the wilderness. Rich city folks, he’d say, lived in fancy apartments, but their air was so polluted they couldn’t even see the stars. We’d have to be out of our minds to want to trade places with any of them.”

    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Holiday Quizzes

    With the holiday season right around the corner, lots of talk is centring around who is going where. So, lets practice and see just how much we know about the world around us.

    1. What continent has the most world heritage sites?
    a. Asia
    b. Europe
    c. America
    d. Asia

    Europe has the lion's share of World Heritage sites; most are cultural sites, such as cathedrals, castles, Roman and Greek ruins, and historic city centers. Recent selections recognize modern sites like the Essen coal region in Germany and cultural landscapes such as the Douro wine country of Portugal.

    2. The Swiss towns of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle were added to the World Heritage List in 2009 for what cultural distinction?
    a. Traditional cheesemaking
    b. Their town planning
    c. A Roman aqueduct
    d. Twin monasteries

    Answer: Their town planning
    These small cities in the remote Jura Mountains were designated as World Heritage sites because of their unique town planning. Centers of the Swiss watchmaking industry, La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle were laid out explicitly for the single goal of manufacturing watches.

    3. What is the Vredefort Dome, a World Heritage site in South Africa?
    a. The world´s largest asteroid impact site
    b. An 11th century stadium
    c. A historic gold mine
    d. A volcanic crater

    Answer: The worlds largest asteroid impact site
    The Vredefort Dome, southwest of Johannesburg, is part of the largest known asteroid impact site on Earth. The astrobleme, or scar, stretches 186 miles (300 kilometers) wide and is estimated to be some two billion years old. It was added to the World Heritage List in 2005.

    4. Which of these sites was in the first group added to the World Heritage List?
    a. Historic Cairo, Egypt
    b. Old Havana, Cuba
    c. Yellowstone National Park, USA
    d. Venice, Italy

    Answer: Yellowstone National Park, USA
    In 1978, the first 12 sites were inscribed to the World Heritage List. Among them was Yellowstone National Park, recognized for its natural beauty, biodiversity, and geological processes. Also in the first batch: the Galápagos; Senegal's Island of Gorée; the historic center of Krakow, Poland; and the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia.

    5. How many countries have adhered to the World Heritage Convention?
    a. 37
    b.  88
    c.  120
    d.  187

    Answer: 187
    As of June 2010, there are 187 States Parties, or countries that have adhered to the World Heritage Convention. This means they agree to protect the sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, among other duties.

    6. Which of these U.S. sites is on the World Heritage List?
    a. Los Alamos, New Mexico
    b. Jimi Hendrix's birthplace in Seattle, Washington
    c. Statue of Liberty, New York
    d. The White House, Washington DC

    Answer: Statue of Liberty, New York
    America's iconic Statue of Liberty was added to the World Heritage List in 1984. The 151-foot-tall (46-meter-tall) monument stands on a pedestal at the entrance to New York Harbor, where it has welcomed millions of arriving immigrants.

    7. Only two countries have ever had a World Heritage site removed from the list. What are they?
    a. Ecuador and Cape Verde
    b. China and Lithuania
    c. Iraq and Laos
    d. Germany and Oman

    Answer:  Germany and Oman
    Germany and Oman are the only countries that have suffered the embarrassment of having a site removed from the World Heritage List. Germany's Dresden Elbe Valley was delisted in 2009 because of the construction of a bridge through the valley. In 2007, Oman's Arabian Onyx Sanctuary was delisted when the size of the preserve was reduced by 90 percent after oil was discovered there.

    8. Which of the following is a World Heritage site?
    a. Hiroshima Peace Memoria, Japan
    b. Sydney Opera House, Australia
    c. Sewell Mining Town, Chile
    d. All of the above

    Answer: All of the above
    As of November 2010, UNESCO's World Heritage List included 911 sites—including these three. The list's sites cover the spectrum from the natural (Skocjan Caves in Slovenia) to the man-made (the Milan church that includes "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci).

    9. A World Heritage site added in 2006 recognizes what in Mexico?
    a. Its tequila-producing area
    b. The Zona Rosa neighbourhood of Mexico City
    c. A bullring in Acapulco
    d. Artist Diego Rivera´s murals

    Answer: Its tequila-producing area
    The 2006 addition recognizes the agave landscape and ancient industrial facilities of the Tequila area in Mexico. The spiny agave plant has been fermented and distilled into the spirit called tequila for centuries.

    10. China's Qionglai and Jiajin Mountains are home to a World Heritage site that protects what endangered animal?
    a. Red panda
    b. Snow leopard
    c. Giant panda
    d. All of the above

    Answer: All of the above
    The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries provide the largest remaining contiguous habitat for the highly endangered giant panda, found only in China. The sanctuaries are also home to the red panda, snow leopard, and clouded leopard, all endangered.

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    British English vs. American English

    Let the battle begin!

    While there are certainly many more varieties of English, American English and British English are the two varieties that are taught in most ESL/EFL programs. Generally, it is agreed that no one version is "correct" however, there are certainly preferences in use.

    The three major differences between between American and British English are:

    Pronunciation - differences in both vowel and consonants, as well as stress and intonation
    Vocabulary - differences in nouns and verbs, especially phrasal verb usage
    Spelling - differences are generally found in certain prefix and suffix forms

    The most important rule of thumb is to try to be consistent in your usage. If you decide that you want to use American English spellings then be consistent in your spelling (i.e. The color of the orange is also its flavour - color is American spelling and flavour is British), this is of course not always easy - or possible. The following guide is meant to point out the principal differences between these two varieties of English.

    Use of the Present Perfect

    In British English the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment. For example:

    I've lost my key. Can you help me look for it?
    In American English the following is also possible:
    I lost my key. Can you help me look for it?

    In British English the above would be considered incorrect. However, both forms are generally accepted in standard American English. Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in British English and simple past in American English includealready, just and yet.

    British English:

    I've just had lunch
    I've already seen that film
    Have you finished your homework yet?

    American English:

    I just had lunch OR I've just had lunch
    I've already seen that film OR I already saw that film.
    Have your finished your homework yet? OR Did you finish your homework yet?


    There are two forms to express possession in English. Have or Have got

    Do you have a car?
    Have you got a car?
    He hasn't got any friends.
    He doesn't have any friends.
    She has a beautiful new home.
    She's got a beautiful new home.

    While both forms are correct (and accepted in both British and American English), have got (have you got, he hasn't got, etc.) is generally the preferred form in British English while most speakers of American English employ the have (do you have, he doesn't have etc.)

    The Verb Get

    The past participle of the verb get is gotten in American English. Example He's gotten much better at playing tennis. British English - He's got much better at playing tennis.


    Probably the major differences between British and American English lies in the choice of vocabulary. Some words mean different things in the two varieties for example:

    Mean: (American English - angry, bad humored, British English - not generous, tight fisted)

    Rubber: (American English - condom, British English - tool used to erase pencil markings)

    There are many more examples (too many for me to list here). If there is a difference in usage, your dictionary will note the different meanings in its definition of the term. Many vocabulary items are also used in one form and not in the other. One of the best examples of this is the terminology used for automobiles.

    American English - hood
    British English - bonnet

    American English - trunk
    British English - boot

    American English - truck
    British English - lorry

    Once again, your dictionary should list whether the term is used in British English or American English.

    For a more complete list of the vocabulary differences between British and American English use this British vs. American English vocabulary tool.


    There are also a few differences in preposition use including the following:

    American English - on the weekend
    British English - at the weekend

    American English - on a team
    British English - in a team

    American English - please write me soon
    British English - please write to me soon

    Past Simple/Past Participles

    The following verbs have two acceptable forms of the past simple/past participle in both American and British English, however, the irregular form is generally more common in British English (the first form of the two) and the regular form is more common to American English.

    Burnt OR burned

    dreamt OR dreamed

    leant OR leaned

    learnt OR learned

    smelt OR smelled

    spelt OR spelled

    spilt OR spilled

    spoilt OR spoiled


    Here are some general differences between British and American spellings:

    Words ending in -or (American) -our (British) color, colour, humor, humour, flavor, flavour etc.
    Words ending in -ize (American) -ise (British) recognize, recognise, patronize, patronise etc.

    The best way to make sure that you are being consistent in your spelling is to use the spell check on your word processor (if you are using the computer of course) and choose which variety of English you would like. As you can see, there are really very few differences between standard British English and standard American English. However, the largest difference is probably that of the choice of vocabulary and pronunciation.

    You can also check out the free UK / US translator here

    For more information, please visit the original website here.

    Adjectives Adverbs

    Complete the following exercise with the correct form of the words.
    1. That pitbull looks __________. (angry)

    2. She spoke __________. (quiet)

    3. Erica listened to her mother __________. (careful)

    4. Mary makes __________ mistakes. (careless)

    5. Children grow __________. (quick)

    6. He is very __________ today. (happy)

    7. It's raining __________. (heavy)

    8. Morgan was __________ hurt in a car accident. (serious)

    9. His situation was very __________. (serious)

    1. angry
    2. quietly
    3. carefully
    4. careless
    5. quickly
    6. happy
    7. heavily
    8. seriously
    9. serious

    Saturday, November 1, 2014

    Halloween Jokes

    In lieu of Halloween, let's have some fun. Jokes are a great way to help understand the language. 

    Q: What do ghosts eat for supper?
    A: Spooketi

    Q: What do you do when 50 zombies surround your house?
    A: Hope it’s Halloween!!

    Q: What is the most important subject a witch learns in school?
    A: Spelling.

    Q: Why didn’t the skeleton want to go to school?
    A: His heart wasn’t in it.

    Q: Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?
    A: He didn’t have any guts!

    Q: Why did the skeleton cross the road?
    A: To get to the body shop.

    Q: Why didn’t the skeleton go to the ball?
    A: Because he had no BODY to go with.

    Q: What did the little girl say when she had to choose between a tricycle and a candy bar?
    A: “Trike or Treat”?

    Q: What do you call a fat pumpkin?
    A: A plumpkin.

    Q: What room does a ghost not need?
    A: A living room!

    Q: Why are ghosts so bad at lying?
    A: Because you can see right through them!

    Q: Who did Frankenstein take to the dance?
    A: His “ghoul” friend!

    Q: Why is Superman’s costume so tight?
    A: Because he wears a size “S”.

    Q: What do ghosts use to wash their hair?
    A: Shamboo!

    Frankenstein: Witch can you make me a lemonade?
    Witch: Poof you are a lemonade!

    Q: What do you get when you cross a witch with sand?
    A: A sandwich!

    Q: What is a vampire’s favorite fruit?
    A: A nectarine!

    “Mommy, everyone says I look like a werewolf.”
    “Please be quiet and comb your face.”

    Q: What kind of dessert does a ghost like?
    A: I scream!

    Q: When is it bad luck to be followed by a black cat?
    A: When you’re a mouse.

    Q: What do birds say on Halloween?
    A: Twick o tweet

    Q: What do you get when you cross a Cocker Spaniel,
    A: A cocker poodle boo.

    Q: What do moms dress up as on Halloween?
    A: Mummies!

    Q: What is a ghost’s favorite fruit?
    A: Booberries!

    Q: What does a skeleton say before dinner?
    A: Bone appetit!

    Q: What does a witch use to keep her hair up?
    A: Scarespray!

    Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
    A: Frostbite.

    Q: What kind of pants do ghosts wear?
    A: Boo-Jeans.

    Q: Why do ghosts make good cheerleaders?
    A: Because they have a lot of spirit.

    Q: What did one owl say to the other owl?
    A: Happy Owl-ween!

    Q: Why is a skeleton so mean?
    A: He doesn’t have a heart.

    Q: What goes around a haunted house and never stops?
    A: A fence.

    Q: What did the ghost say to the other ghost?
    A: Do you believe in humans?

    Q: What do vampires take when they are sick?
    A: Coffin drops!

    Q: What do you get when you cross a duck with a vampire?
    A: Count Quackula!

    Q: What is a ghost’s favorite pie?
    A: Booberry pie!

    Q: Where do ghosts buy their food?
    A: At the ghost-ery store!