Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Participle clauses

Having promised this long ago, I now provide some further example.

Stand-alone participle clases (present '-ing' and past '-ed') - [brief notes & exercises]

Other than in this absolute, stand-alone construction (not having the -ed or -ing clause introduced by a conjunction), we can also find participle clauses following after, before, when, while, since...

-ing and -ed clauses with and without conjunctions 

Generally speaking, participle clauses are more formal, more likely to appear in writing. These are also called non-finite verb forms (non-finite porque en realidad no están conjugadas --a diferencia de los tiempos normales, finite forms-- y por lo tanto no tienen marca de tiempo, aunque sí pueden llevar a veces su propio sujeto).

Practice on non-finite clauses - transformation exercises

Anyways, remember grammar explanations are for fun... and grammar drilling for learning :)

Update: I link here a famous poem with a couple of examples.

Happy drilling!

to be to

A form of future which is constructed not so much as a regular verb tense but as a particular usage of the verb 'to be':

to be to (notes and exercises)

The syntax is quite like our "ir a", not so much the usage.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Modals: Certainty and necessity

Hi guys,

Some notes on the usage of must/can't for certainty, as we have been reviewing recently.

Advanced: difference between "can't" and "must not"

And a brief review of this other usage, mustn't/don't have to for necessity:


Verbs followed by as

There are not so many of them, but some are quite common and we need to learn them.

Verbs + as

Notice how this is different from using "as" as a conjunction, meaning "while" or :

As a conjunction and more sample sentences

It's not such a poignant moment.

The video linked below appeared in a piece of news in  the online newspaper 20minutos. It shows the encounter of an organ recipient with the family of an organ donor held in the U.S..

It is entitled 'poignant moment' but it struck me differently. I found it quite disturbing and creepy that they -hear +heard the heart of their dead son beating inside someone else.

The reporter says they agreed to do this so as to encourage people to become organ donors. Yet, I think there might be other ways of doing -it +this without showing the public the -hard +[tough / grave / ... ] rather than moving situation this family went through.

In the Unites States, there is the possibility +[of not maintaining anonymity], if both sides agree, -[of not maintaining anonymity,] which I consider wrong. Only altruistic motives -must +should lead people to donate organs. And anonymity +prevents -preserves -all +any possibility of damaging that gesture by obtaining, willingly or unintentionally, some sort of reward.

Link To The Video

Ta, Charles, very nice!

A wonderful world

Hi! I'm not sure if this is the right email 

Well, I'm Jorge, the new student in advanced level (Mondays and wednesdays). Here it is my Have your say contribution: 

The vocaroo link is this one: http://vocaroo.com/i/s1UCzpzhsWZF

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Elderly People

-The last day, I read in the newspaper about an eighty-five year old woman -which +who was losing her house.

Her son +had asked for a loan putting -[at risk] -the +his mother’s house +[at risk].

Her grandchild was trying to sort out this situation, demanding a -social +[subsided / below-market] rent -with +from the moneylender but he had denied the offer, +thus chasing her out her house.

For this reason, I felt totally overawed and uneasy about the situation +, because it is unacceptable.

How can +[an old woman] make -[an old woman] do with a minimum pension and +still manage -for +a living?

In this country there are laws which protect the children but, who -protect +-protects the elders from -these +this outrage?

From time to time, we listen -as +how -elder +elderly people -loss +lose their houses, pensions and resources +when/while/whilst helping their families due to this crisis -situation -[and meanwhile] +[. Meanwhile] the government prefers to help -to the banks instead of helping such -a vulnerable people or +[to give up] -[giving up] -[social protection houses] +[public housing] to private companies which are raising the rent and chasing people out.

In my opinion, -[The Institutions] +[the government/administration] should commit to -sort +sorting out -this +these problems and -finish +[(to) finishing] with -this +these abuses, allowing -to people who can’t pay their mortgage to -give +[relinquish/surrender] their houses as payment +[in order] to cancel the debt and +[,] if they are old people +[,] to -[give up] +[providing them with a] social rent -[for living] +[to live] there according to their pension.