PROBLEMS TRANSLATING ‘BAR’:

Most of our Skype English students translate ‘bar’ with ‘pub’. Most of the time this is wrong since a ‘bar’ in a non-English speaking country is rarely similar to a ‘pub’ in appearance and ambience. So you want to translate the word ‘bar’ with ‘bar’ unless the establishment in question is actually an ‘Irish/Scottish/Australlian/English… pub’, in which case you can use the word ‘pub’ as a translation of ‘bar’. To help understanding, the first image in this post is a ‘pub’, the second would be typical of a ‘bar’.

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COMMON ERROR FROM OUR SKYPE ENGLISH CLASSES: ‘BEFORE’, ‘AFTER’ AND ‘WITHOUT’ MUST BE FOLLOWED BY THE GERUND:

This is a common problem in our English Skype classes. If you want to use a verb after ‘before’, ‘after’ or ‘without’ it must be in the gerund form (ing) and not in infinitive. Thus, to say ‘antes de ir al evento necesito comer’ would be ‘before going to the event, I need to eat’. Definately don’t say ‘before to go…’. Similarly, we’d say ‘without/after going to the event…’. Hope that helps. Have a great day.

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gerund

ARE YOU DOING YOUR BEST TO INCREASE YOUR ENGLISH LEVEL?

Learning a language such as English to your desired level doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think. Like most significant goals discipline, patience and determination is required. What also assists enormously, what makes it a whole lot easier… is ‘having fun’. If you are enjoying the learning experience then it becomes far easier to maintain the upward process. Have fun learning by going to language exchanges, watching your favourite films or documentaries in English, playing video games in English, reading articles of your interest in English, taking Skype classes etc. When I started studying Spanish whilst unemployed in the south of France, I bought the same 400 page book in Spanish that I had already read several times in French. I was fluent in French at the time. The subject of this book was one of my passions. So with my low level of Spanish at that time (A2), it didn’t matter if it took me 20 minutes to read each page initially. I stayed motivated because I was having fun. So making progress was really quite easy despite my low level at that time.

Also, remember before it was much more difficult to learn a language compared to nowadays. You know, a generation ago people learning languages did not have all these technological resources at their fingertips like you do! I’m talking about resources online. There are so many options and free options to make learning English such an enjoyable past time online… So come on! Make learning English as fun as it possibly can be and the inevitable significant advance will happen!

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United Kingdom language. Abstract human tongue.

COMMON ERROR FROM OUR SKYPE ENGLISH CLASSES: ‘UN POLITICO’ IS NOT ‘A POLITIC’

Many students in our skype English classes translate ‘un politico’ wrong. The correct word would be ‘a politician’. For example, ‘the politician was forced to resign due to the corruption scandal’. Remember, ‘politics’ is the subject, a noun. The adjective is ‘political’. Hope this helps.

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british_houses_of_parliament

DAYS OF EASTER:

In our Skype English classes online, students often don’t know some terms related to Easter. So of course ‘Easter’ is the name we give for ‘Semana Santa’ or ‘Pâques’. ‘Viernes Santo’ is called ‘good Friday’. 2 days after is the culmination of lent (cuaresma/carême) called ‘Easter Sunday’ and then ‘Easter Monday’. A popular tradition in the UK at Easter is chocolate egg hunting. Happy Easter!

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easter

 

‘CARRERA’ IS A FALSE FRIEND:

‘CARRERA’ IS A FALSE FRIEND:

In our Skype English online classesSpanish students often wrongly translate ‘carrera’. One of the meanings of ‘carrera’ in Spanish refers to studies which are done at university whilst this is not the case in English. ‘Career’ refers to your professional working life which is normally carried out after university, school or college is finished. It does not refer to studies done at university in English. When you study at university this is often called in the UK a ‘degree course’ a ‘degree’ or simply your ‘studies’. Happy New Year!

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3D Gradute

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFTER AND AFTERWARDS:

In our online English classes some students are confused between ‘after’ and ‘afterwards’. The word ‘after’ is used in the sense of ‘when something or someone has happened or will happen’ as in the sentences:

1. They will arrive after 18h.
2. She will get his chance after Melanie gets her opportunity.

In both sentences you can find that the word ‘after’ is used in the sense of ‘when something has happened or will happen or if someone has done or will do something’ and thus the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘They will arrive once 18h will happen/has happened’. The meaning of the second sentence could be ‘she will get his chance once Melanie’s opportunity has happened’.

However, the word ‘afterwards’ means ‘after that’ or ‘after something happens’ but it is used when no object follows. For example:

1. The concert finishes at 17h. I will arrive afterwards (after that/after ‘the concert’ happens).
2. She forgot to arrive on time. She made an apology afterwards (after that/after ‘her unpunctuality’ happens).

Remember that ‘afterwards’ cannot take an object, ever! So we cannot say ‘I will see you afterwards the concert’ or ‘she will have lunch afterwards giving the speech’. In these cases we’d use ‘after’, thus:

‘I will see you after the concert’ or ‘she will have lunch after giving the speech’.

Unfortunately, with native speakers, there is no doubt that many speakers readily also use after without an object too. So some people will say ‘I will arrive after’ or ‘she made an apology after’. We would say that it’s more correct to use ‘afterwards’ here.

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