Cómo escribir un artículo en inglés

How to write a fantastic article in English

In B2, C1 and C2 you may be given the option of writing an article, typically between 220-290 words depending on level. It can be aimed at a general audience, as well as young people or academic readers and often from your own experience. So how can you be sure your article merits a pass grade in the exam? By following some simple rules.


Before planning your article think about the following questions, and answers.

1. Who is the target reader and what is the appropriate register?
Young readers – relaxed semi-formal.
General public – semi formal.
Institutions – formal

2. What do you need to include in the article?
This will depend on the topic and task but should include specific vocabulary related to the topic.

Typical Topics include…
Environmental issues – volunteering as a conservationist, for example.
Lifestyle choices – living on the road, etc.
The economy – your shopping habits, etc.
Arts and entertainment – your favourite film or series, etc.
Society – working with homeless people, etc.

3. How will you make it interesting?
Be sure to use the following to a greater or lesser degree depending on the register –

– precise descriptive vocabulary, the sounds an animal might make for example.
– interesting verb phrases – cross my mind, get involved in, etc.
– neutral phrasal verbs – hand out, come across, etc.
– collocations – member of the public, on loan, dog tired etc.
– advanced adjectives and adverbs – sluggishly, haggard, misty etc.

As well as…
a. non defining relative clauses to add extra information
b. passive structures
c. simple and continuous tenses for relaxed semi formal/semi formal
d. perfect tenses, impersonal passives and inversions for formal

4. What style of language will you use?
This will depend on the task but is generally either,
– anecdotal – your own experience
– objective – a more factual account

Example texts

Look at the two texts below which are part of an answer to the following task.

You recently spent two weeks working as a volunteer on an organic farm as part of a project to familiarise young people from the city with country life. You have been asked to write an article for an environmental newsletter describing your duties and experience.

Text A
As I staggered outside sleepily at 6 a.m the sun was already up and the grass was sparkling with early morning dew. The cows were munching the grass and the sheep were roaming peacefully over a distant hillside. Other than that there was just peace and quiet. No traffic, no horns blaring, no people rushing to work. Yes my job was about to start but for now I had 5 minutes to enjoy the sounds and smells of the natural surroundings.

The target reader is young people and this type of highly descriptive, narrative style captures the imagination and should encourage them to read further. It also contrasts the difference between the lives they know in the city with the countryside and so offers an immediate connection in the first lines of the article. It uses very simple structures, no complex grammar, but uses a rich array of specific and non specific vocabulary.

Text B
I had decided to take part in a volunteer scheme for young people from the city to live and work on a farm for two weeks in the summer. Farm life had always attracted me and I also belonged to an environmental organisation so I had an interest in the growing of organic vegetables and in keeping livestock. So it was with lots of enthusiasm that we set off for the farm one day early in July. Little did I know what delights awaited me!

This is much more formal with past perfect and complex structures which together with its use of higher level nouns (livestock, for example) immediately puts it into semi formal territory. The use of semi formal structures and vocabulary limits the flow of the text, and other than factual information the reader is left with no idea of what an early morning in the countryside might be like.

My opinion
Text A is a fantastic example of a writer communicating well with their audience, young adults who have never experienced the countryside or life without the noise and din of the city. It’s narrative style suits the audience and the newsletter format perfectly.

Text B is dry, not as easy to read, factual and not as appealing or easy to read as Text A.

But of course this is only applicable to this specific task. A newsletter about carbon depletion for an academic journal would be totally different and text A would be completely unsuitable.


1. Understand your reader.
2. Check specific vocabulary.
3. Write a vocabulary list before your plan.
4. Write a short plan – 4/5 paragraphs.
5. Use your imagination.
6. Create a snappy or appropriate title
7. Enjoy it!

Expressing Purpose

to + inf. + something
I learn English to speak more fluently

so + obj./subj. pronoun + modal + clause
She trains hard so she can can win the race.

so that + obj./subj. pronoun + modal + clause
Carlos is on a diet so that he will lose weight.

so as + to + inf + clause
I finished work early so as to get home early.

so as not to + inf. + clause
I took an umbrella so as not to get wet in the rain.

to avoid + ing. + clause
I save money to avoid having money problems.

in order to + inf. + clause
She murders her husbands in order to inherit their money.

in order not to + inf. + clause
Clara doesn’t drink alcohol in order not to make a fool of herself at parties.

in case + subj. / obj. + clause
I am taking a coat in case it gets cold later.

Mixed Conditionals

The mixed conditional describes a hypothetical present result of an unreal past condition.

Conditionals are all about time.

2nd is in the present but uses the past to tell us it is hypothetical.
Condition – If I were younger, (present)
Result – I would look prettier (present).

3rd conditional is in the past and is again hypothetical.
Condition – If I had studied Medicine, (past)
Result – I would have been a Doctor. (past)

In mixed conditionals you can use any part of the conditional (condition/result) depending on when and what you are trying to say.


If I had studied Medicine, (3rd condition past) I would be a Doctor now (2nd result present).
If Raul we’re not so ugly, (2nd condition present) I would have married him (3rd result past).

Structure of Mixed Third/ Second Conditional
In this type of mixed conditional sentence, the tense in the ‘if‘ clause is the past perfect, and the tense in the main clause is the present conditional.

If + Past Perfect, Present Conditional (would/wouldn’t + Verb (bare form))

For example:
If I had listened to your advice, I wouldn’t be in the mess. (but I didn’t and I am)
If he had checked the map, he wouldn’t be lost. (but he didn’t and he is lost now)
If I had gone to university, I would be a doctor now. (but I didn’t and now I clean hotels)

Using the Mixed Third/ Second Conditional
We use the mixed third/ second conditional to express that if something had been different in the past there would be a present result.

For example:
If you had taken my advice, you wouldn’t be so unhappy now. (but you didn’t and you are still married to that horrible, lying, cheating evil bitch)

Mixed Second/ Third Conditional
The mixed conditional describes a hypothetical past result of an unreal present or continuing condition.

Structure of Mixed Second/ Third Conditional
In this second type of mixed conditional sentence, the tense in the ‘if‘ clause is the simple past, and the tense in the main clause is the perfect conditional.

If + Past Simple, Perfect Conditional (would/wouldn’t + have + Past Participle.

For example:
If I were a good cook, I would have invited them to dinner. (but I’m not and I didn’t)
If you weren’t such a poor dancer, you would have got a job in the chorus line in that musical. (but you are and you didn’t get the job)

Using the Mixed Second/ Third Conditional
We use the mixed second/ third conditional to express that due to certain present conditions something already happened in the past.

For example:
If you were a better cook, that meal would have been edible! (but you’re not and it was horrible)

In these mixed conditional sentences, you can also use modals in the main clause instead of would to express the degree of certainty, permission, or a recommendation about the outcome.

For example:
If he had enough money, he could have done this trip to Hawaii.
If he’d gone to university, he might have a better job.

Informal ways of speaking

Common phrases to ask how someone is:
What’s up?
What’s new?
What have you been up to lately?
How’s it going?
How are things?
How’s life?

Common phrases to say how you are:
I’m fine, thanks. How about you?
Pretty good.
Same as always
Not so great.
Could be better

Cant complain

Common phrases to say thank you:
I really appreciate it.
I’m really grateful
That’s so kind of you.
I owe you one. (this means you want/need to do a favor for the other person in the future)

Common phrases to respond to thank you:
No problem.
No worries
Don’t mention it.
My pleasure.

Common phrases to end a conversation politely:
It was nice chatting with you.
Anyway, I should get going.

Common phrases to ask for information:
Do you have any idea…?
Would you happen to know…?
I don’t suppose you (would) know…?

Common phrases to say I don’t know:
I have no idea/clue.
I can’t help you there.
(informal) Beats me.
I’m not really sure.
I’ve been wondering that, too.

Common phrases for not having an opinion:
I’ve never given it much thought.
I don’t have strong feelings either way.
It doesn’t make any difference to me.
I have no opinion on the matter.

Common phrases for agreeing:
That’s so true.
That’s for sure.
I agree 100%
I couldn’t agree with you more.
(informal) Tell me about it! / You’re telling me!
(informal) I’ll say!
I suppose so. (use this phrase for weak agreement – you agree, but reluctantly)

Common phrases for disagreeing:
I’m not so sure about that.
That’s not how I see it.
Not necessarily

Common phrases to respond to great news:
That’s great!
How wonderful!

Common phrases to respond to bad news:
Oh no…
That’s terrible.
Poor you. (Use this to respond to bad situations that are not too serious)
I’m so sorry to hear that.

Common phrases to invite someone somewhere:
Are you free… [Saturday night?]
Are you doing anything… [Saturday night?]
(informal) Do you wanna… [see a movie?]
(formal)Would you like to… [join me for dinner?]

Common phrases for food:
I’m starving! (= I’m very hungry)
Let’s grab a bite to eat.
How about eating out tonight? (eat out = eat at a restaurant)
I’ll have… (use this phrase for ordering in a restaurant)

Common phrases for price:
It cost a fortune.
It cost an arm and a leg.
That’s a rip-off. (= overpriced; far more expensive than it should be)
That’s a bit pricey.
That’s quite reasonable. (= it’s a good price)
That’s a good deal. (= a good value for the amount of money)
It was a real bargain.
It was dirt cheap. (= extremely inexpensive)
What’s the damage? (how much)

Common phrases for weather:
It’s a little chilly.
It’s freezing. (= extremely cold)
Make sure to bundle up. (bundle up = put on warm clothes for protection against the cold)

Common phrases for hot weather:
It’s absolutely boiling! (boiling = extremely hot)
it scorching hot outside

Common phrases for being tired:
I’m exhausted.
I’m dead tired.
I’m beat
I can hardly keep my eyes open
I’m gonna hit the sack. (hit the sack = go to bed)
I’m knackered.

Expressions with Time

a devil of a time: something difficult

a legend in one’s own time: one who gains renown within his or her lifetime (also inspired “a legend in (one’s) own mind,” referring to an egotistical person who believes himself or herself to be more significant than he or she actually is)

a matter/question of time: said in reference to a state that will soon change

a rare old time: an enjoyable experience

a race against time: said of trying to accomplish something critical in a short time frame

a stitch in time: the first half of a proverb (ending with “saves nine” and with an obscure origin) that refers to the wisdom of taking precaution

a whale of a (good) time: an especially exciting or fun experience
ahead of time: before the agreed time

ahead of (one’s) time: said of someone or something that has an innovative approach or style or one that the world is not ready for

all in good time: an expression that encourages patience

all the time in the world: an unlimited amount of time

all the time: in addition to referring to habitual or continuous occurrence, can refer to knowing about something throughout a given period

at a set time: at the agreed time

at all times: always

at no time: never

at the appointed time: at the agreed time

bad time: an inconvenient moment or an unfortunate experience

before (one’s) time: said of something that existed or occurred before one was born or when one was too young to recall that thing, or said in reference to someone’s unexpectedly early death

behind its time/the times: late, not keeping up, or obsolete

bide (one’s) time: be patient

big-time operator: someone who is or thinks he or she is important or influential

big-time spender: one who spends a lot of money, or said ironically about a frugal person

borrowed time: an uncertain amount of time, at the end of which something will no longer exist or occur

buy time: postpone an event for one’s advantage

by the time: said in reference to a time after something else has occurred

caught in a time warp: unchanged in an antiquated or obsolete way

crunch time: a critical period

face time: time spent in someone else’s company

for the time being: for now

from time to time: occasionally

do (the) time: serve time in jail or prison

down time: rest period

get the time: become available

give (one) a hard time: be critical

good-time Charlie: one who seeks pleasure

good times: pleasant experiences

hardly have time to breathe: said when one is busy

have a time of it: experience difficulty

having quite a time: having a pleasurable experience, or having difficulty

have time on (one’s side): don’t have to hurry

I’ll catch you some other time: I’ll talk to you later when it’s more convenient for you

in next to no time: almost instantly

in the fullness of time: after enough time passes

in the right place at the right time: in a figurative sense, fortuitously prepared for some eventuality; also, literally, located in a position that is advantageous or fortunate

it’s about time: said to express impatience, or relief that something has finally occurred (usually accompanied by an exclamation point)

it’s high time: it is the appropriate time; one has waited long enough

keep time: maintain the beat in music

lose no time: do something immediately

make good time: proceed quickly or in a reasonable amount of time

make time for: set aside a period of time to accommodate someone or something

make up for lost time: catch up on time wasted or as a result of going slowly or not going at all

mark time: wait

not able to call (one’s) time (one’s) own: too busy

old-time: old-fashioned

on time: punctual

once upon a time: long ago

out of time: said in reference to no longer having time to do something

pass the time (of day) with: chat with

pressed for time: lacking enough time to do something

run that by me one more time: say that again

sands of time: a poetic reference to the passage of time as represented by sand in an hourglass

the big time: said in reference to achieving prominence in some endeavor

the time has come: the occasion is appropriate

the time of (one’s) life: a memorable experience

time and tide wait for no man: the world makes no allowance for one being late

time bomb: something that will inevitably result in a negative consequence

time flies: a reference to the fleeting nature of time

time is money: time is important because using it wisely or unwisely affects one’s ability to earn money

time on (one’s) hands: spare time

time out: in sports, a short period when play ceases; by extension, a break from activity (also used as the announcement of a request for a time out, as is time by itself)

(stuck in a) time warp: said in reference to observing something that or someone who appears outdated

time was: there was a time when

time’s a-wastin’: time is running out

time to hit the road: time to depart

time works wonders: the passage of time resolves problems

when the time is ripe: when the time is appropriate

withstand the test of time: endure

wouldn’t give (one) the time of day to: ignored

Animal Idioms

Ant in one’s pants
People who have ants in their pants are very restless or excited about something.

Eager beaver
The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.

Bee in one’s bonnet
Someone who has a bee in their bonnet has an idea which constantly occupies their thoughts.

Birds of a feather flock together
If two people are birds of a feather, they are very similar in many ways, so they naturally spend time together.

A dark horse
Someone who is more clever or skilful than anyone expects

A lone wolf
Someone who is not very social with other people

A guinea pig
Someone who is part of an experiment or trial

The travel bug
A very strong desire to travel

To have butterflies in your stomach
To be nervous

An early bird
A person who gets up early in the morning, or who starts work earlier than others.

A home bird
Somebody who prefers to spend his social and free time at home.

A busy bee
A busy, active person who moves quickly from task to task.

A lone bird/ wolf
Someone who prefers his won company or who has little social contact with others.

An odd bird/ fish
An eccentric person whose behavior or way of life is regarded as strange.

A rare bird
Somebody or something of a kind that one seldom sees.

A dog in the manger
A person who selfishly prevent others from using, enjoying or profiting from something even though he/ she cannot use or enjoy it himself.

A cold fish
Somebody who is not often moved by emotions, who is regarded as being hard and unfeeling.

A dark horse
Someone whose past is a mystery; a person who keeps their interests and ideas secret, especially someone who has a surprising ability or skill.

A lame duck
A person or enterprise (often a business) that is not a success and that has to be helped.

A sitting duck
An easy target.

Narrative Facial Gestures – C2

his eyes widened
her eyes went round
her eyelids drooped
his eyes narrowed
his eyes lit up
his eyes darted
he squinted
she blinked
her eyes twinkled
his eyes gleamed
her eyes sparkled
his eyes flashed
his eyes glinted
his eyes burned with…
her eyes blazed with…
her eyes sparked with…
her eyes flickered with…
_ glowed in his eyes
the corners of his eyes crinkled
she rolled her eyes
he looked heavenward
she glanced up to the ceiling
she winked
tears filled her eyes
his eyes welled up
her eyes swam with tears
his eyes flooded with tears
her eyes were wet
his eyes glistened
tears shimmered in her eyes
tears shone in his eyes
her eyes were glossy
he was fighting back tears
tears ran down her cheeks
his eyes closed
she squeezed her eyes shut
he shut his eyes
his lashes fluttered
she batted her lashes
his brows knitted
her forehead creased
his forehead furrowed
her forehead puckered
a line appeared between her brows
his brows drew together
her brows snapped together
his eyebrows rose
she raised a brow
he lifted an eyebrow
his eyebrows waggled
she gave him a once-over
he sized her up
her eyes bored into him
she took in the sight of…
he glared
she peered
he gazed
she glanced
he stared
she scrutinized
he studied
she gaped
he observed
she surveyed
he gawked
he leered
his pupils (were) dilated
her pupils were huge
his pupils flared
her nose crinkled
his nose wrinkled
she sneered
his nostrils flared
she stuck her nose in the air
he sniffed
she sniffled
she smiled
he smirked
she grinned
he simpered
she beamed
her mouth curved into a smile
the corners of his mouth turned up
the corner of her mouth quirked up
a corner of his mouth lifted
his mouth twitched
he gave a half-smile
she gave a lopsided grin
his mouth twisted
she forced a smile
he faked a smile
her smile faded
his smile slipped
he pursed his lips
she pouted
his mouth snapped shut
her mouth set in a hard line
he pressed his lips together
she bit her lip
he drew his lower lip between his teeth
she nibbled on her bottom lip
he chewed on his bottom lip
his jaw set
her jaw clenched
his jaw tightened
a muscle in her jaw twitched
he ground his jaw
he snarled/his lips drew back in a snarl
her mouth fell open
his jaw dropped
her jaw went slack
he gritted his teeth
she gnashed her teeth
her lower lip trembled
his lower lip quivered
she paled
he blanched
she went white
the color drained out of his face
his face reddened
her cheeks turned pink
his face flushed
she blushed
he turned red
she turned scarlet
he turned crimson
a flush crept up her face
he screwed up his face
she scrunched up her face
he grimaced
she winced
she gave him a dirty look
he frowned
she scowled
he glowered
her whole face lit up
she brightened
his face went blank
her face contorted
his face twisted
her expression closed up
his expression dulled
her expression hardened
she went poker-faced
a vein popped out in his neck
awe transformed his face
fear crossed her face
sadness clouded his features
terror overtook his face
recognition dawned on her face

Narrative Gestures – C2

he lowered his head
she hung her head
he ducked
she bowed her head
he covered his eyes with a hand
she pressed her hands to her cheeks
she raised her chin
he lifted his chin
her hands squeezed into fists
his hands tightened into fists
she clenched her fists
she balled her fists
he unclenched his fists
her arms remained at her sides
he shrugged
she gave a half shrug
he lifted his shoulder in a half shrug
she gave a dismissive wave of her hand
she raised a hand in greeting
he waved
she held up her hands
he lifted his hands
she held up her palms
he threw his hands in the air
she brushed her palms together
he rubbed his hands together
she made a steeple of her fingers
he spread his hands
she gesticulated
he waved his hands
she clapped her hands
he snapped his fingers
she held up a finger
he pointed
she gestured with a thumb
he jerked his thumb toward…
she extended her middle finger toward him
he gave her the finger
she gave him the thumbs up
she put her hands on her hips
she shoved her hands in her pockets
he jammed his hands in his front pockets
she rested a hand on her hip
she jutted out her hip
she folded her arms
he crossed his arms over his chest
she hugged herself
he wrapped his arms around himself
she rocked back and forth
she spread her arms wide
he held out his arms
she held out her hand
he extended a hand
he shook his head
she nodded
he bobbed his head
she tilted her head
he cocked his head
she inclined her head
he jerked her head in the direction of…
she turned her face away
he looked away
his breaths quickened
0she panted
she was breathing hard
his chest rose and fell with rapid breaths
she took in a deep breath
he drew in a long breath
she took in a sharp breath
he gasped
she held her breath
he let out a harsh breath
she exhaled
0he blew out his cheeks
she huffed
he sighed
she snorted
she laughed
he giggled
she guffawed
he chuckled
she gave a bitter laugh
he gave mirthless laugh
she tittered
he cackled
she rubbed her shoulder
he kneaded his shoulder
he rolled his shoulders
she tensed her shoulders
he massaged the back of his neck
she rubbed her temples
she rubbed her hands on her thighs
she ran her hand through her hair
he threaded a hand through his hair
he raked his fingers through his hair
he shoved his hair back away from his face
she toyed with a lock of hair
she played with her hair
she twirled her hair
she wrapped a curl around her finger
she tucked a lock of hair behind her ear
she undid her ponytail and shook out her hair
she tossed her hair
he buried his hands in his hair
he stroked his beard
he scratched his beard
she tugged at her earlobe
he bit a nail
she chewed on a cuticle
she picked at her nails
she inspected her fingernails
he plucked at the cuff of his shirt
she picked a piece of lint from her sleeve
he adjusted the lapels of his jacket
she fiddled with her earring / bracelet
he twisted the wedding ring on his finger
she played with her cell phone
he tugged at his shirt collar
he adjusted his tie
she smoothed down her skirt
she scratched her nose
he scratched his head
he rubbed his forehead
she rubbed her eyes
she pinched the bridge of her nose
he held his nose
she slapped her forehead
he smacked his forehead
he facepalmed
he slapped a hand over her mouth
she covered her mouth with her hand
she pressed her fingers to her lips
he held his finger up to his lips
he rubbed his chin
she pressed a hand to her throat
he clutched his chest
he leaned against the wall
she bounced on her toes
she jumped up and down
he tapped his foot
she stomped her foot
she folded her hands in her lap
she drummed her fingers on the table
he tapped his fingers on the table
he slammed his hand on the table
she pounded her fist on the table
she set her palms down flat on the table
he rested his hands on the table
she set her hands on the table, palms up
he leaned back in his chair
she hooked her feet around the chair legs
he gripped the arm of the chair
she put her hands behind her head
he put his feet on the desk
he fidgeted
she jiggled her foot
he swung his leg
she crossed her legs
he uncrossed his legs
she crossed her ankles in front of her
she stretched out her legs in front of her
he sprawled out
he put his feet on the desk
she cringed
he shuddered
she flinched
he shivered
she trembled
his body shook
she cowered
he shrank from…
she huddled in the corner
he pulled away
she jerked away
he turned away
she jolted upright
he stiffened
she straightened
he tensed
he jumped
she jumped to her feet
he stood up
she rose from her seat
she relaxed
he hunched
she slouched
her shoulders sagged
his shoulders slumped
she wilted
he went limp
he rolled his shoulders
she squared her shoulders
she clasped her hands behind her back
he puffed out his chest
she thrust out her chest
he propped his chin on his hand
she rested her chin on her palm
he yawned
she stretched
he turned around
she whirled around
he pivoted
she reeled
she stepped away
she drew nearer
he leaned closer
she inched forward
he loomed closer
he paced
she shifted from one foot to the other
he swayed on his feet
she dragged her feet
she pumped a fist
he thrust his fists in the air
she punched the air

Cómo escribir un ensayo – parte dos

In the First exam the writing consists of two parts. Here we look at Part 1, the compulsory essay.

a – Read the task carefully and underline the keywords.
Ex. Write an opinion essay based on the statement – Experiments that cause suffering to animals can never be justified.

b – Make a note of the register you need to use – typically it will be semi-formal or neutral.

c – Write a short list of grammatical structures you should use.
Ex. passive, impersonal passive for general beliefs, perf. tenses for past, pres. simple for your opinion.

d – Write a short vocabulary list, try to include abstract nouns, fixed phrases and collocations.
Ex. experimentation, advances in medical research, human/clinical trials, medicine, play God.

e – Group ideas into 4 logical paragraphs. [see structure below]

f – Write an appropriate title. Rephrase the words in the task, use a question to engage the reader.
Ex. Is it ever justifiable to inflict suffering on animals for human benefit?

g – Begin your writing and remember to check that you are using the grammatical structures and vocabulary you made a note of earlier.

h – Read through your work and correct any errors with grammar, spelling and punctuation. Check verb patterns/dependent prepositions.
Ex. depends + on, look + into, appears + to

i – Ask yourself….
Do your ideas flow logically?
Have you answered the task and not gone off topic?

Para 1. Introduction with brief background.
General beliefs in past and in present about experimentation – in brief.

Para 2. Arguments for.
Advances in medical research and human health.

Para 3. Arguments against.
Animal welfare, animal rights, cruelty.

Para 4. Summary + your opinion
Use fixed phrases to summarise both for & against and state your opinion.

Language suggestions
Use strong adjectives for your opinions.
Ex. intolerable, inhuman, unjustifiable, wholly justifiable, perfectly acceptable

Use correct collocations,
Ex. conduct + experiments, research + findings, cause + suffering

You can easily check on Google
In Search enter > research + collocations – easy!

Examples of basic collocations
Advantage / Benefit (+) or Disadvantage / Drawback (-)
main / most obvious / key / the biggest / the greatest / the most important / the least important (dis)advantage of animal experimentation is…

another / a further / an additional / one more (dis)advantage of animal experimentation is…

Formas de hablar

speak: make use of words in a normal voice.
May I speak to George?

talk: speak to give information, say things.
What are they talking about?

hesitate: be slow to speak (or act) because one is uncertain or unwilling to talk.
He hesitated before answering my question.

whisper: speak softly, without vibrating the vocal cords, privately or secretly.
She whispered the secret word in my ear.

hiss: say something in a loud whisper. (Snakes also hiss).
‘Get out!’ she hissed at me furiously.

mumble: speak unclearly, so that others can’t hear.
He mumbled something at me which I didn’t understand.

mutter: speak in a low voice, which is hard to hear.
She was muttering something to herself as she went out.

murmur: speak in a soft, quiet voice that is difficult to hear clearly.
The classmates murmured during the test.

hum: make a low continuous sound, when you take a long time deciding what to say.
She hummed at the beginning of the oral exam.

grunt: make short sounds or say a few words in a rough voice, when you don’t want to talk. (Pigs also grunt).
She grunted a few words and left the table.

stammer: speak with pauses and repeating the same sound or syllable, habitually or from fear or excitement.
P-p-please give me the p-p-pen,’ he stammered.

stutter: stammer.
P-p-please give me the p-p-pen,’ he stuttered.

quaver: speak tremulously, because you are nervous or upset.
Her voice quavered for a moment but then she regained control.

lisp: speak with /th/ sounds instead of /s/ sounds.
You’re very thilly, Thimon. (You’re very silly, Simon.)

babble = gabble = gibber = jabber: talk foolishly, in a way difficult to understand.
Her fever made her babble without stopping.

ramble: talk continuously, in a confused way.
Stop rambling and get to the point, please!

slur: speak unclearly, without separating the words correctly.
He was so drunk that he slurred to the bartender for more.

chat: have a friendly informal conversation.
They chatted away in the corner.

chatter: talk quickly and at length about something unimportant.
Please stop chattering, I’m trying to listen to the TV!

gossip: talk about the affairs of other people.
She was gossiping about her neighbours all day.

call: speak in a loud clear voice, shout, cry.
They called for help.

shout: speak in a loud voice, in anger or to get attention.
He had to shout because the music was too loud.

whoop: shout loudly and happily.
The children whooped when we entered the fair.

cry (out): make a sharp noise, in pain or surprise.
She cried out in terror when the old man appeared suddenly.

yell: cry out loudly, in fear, pain or excitement.
She yelled in terror when she saw the dead cat.

scream: cry out very loudly on a high note, in fear, pain, anger or laughter.
The baby was screaming the whole day.

shriek: scream.
The men shrieked with laughter.

bellow: shout in a deep voice.
The captain bellowed orders at the crew.

squeak: speak in a high-pitched voice.
She squeaked out a few words nervously.

squeal: speak in a high-pitched voice, with longer and louder sounds than in a squeak.
Let me go!’ she squealed.

whine: complain in a sad, annoying voice about something.
I don’t want to go,’ whined Peter.

chirp / chirrup (UK): speak in a happy high voice.
All finished!’ she chirped.

cheer: shout because of happiness.
The public cheered when the team appeared.

croak: speak with a deep hoarse voice.
She had such a terrible cold that she could only croak.

blurt out: say something suddenly and tactlessly.
She blurted out the bad news before I could stop her.

snap: say something quickly in an angry way.
‘What do you want?’ the waiter snapped.

splutter: talk quickly in short confused phrases, in anger or surprise.
But… what… where… how could you?’ she spluttered.

bark (out): say something quickly in a loud voice.
‘What do you want?’ the shop assistant barked.

Ensayo de opinión en inglés – B2/C1

An opinion essay is often the first part of the writing in the B2/C1 Exam. Here’s some tips to help you.

How to structure your opinion essay

Para.1. Basic, simple background that reflects the title and that speaks directly to the reader using a question.

Para. 2. A few examples of current opinion and thinking about topic related issues.

Para. 3. Contrasting information to para.2.

Para. 4. Your opinion, either agreeing or disagreeing with points in paragraphs 2/3.

Para. 5. Closing sentence.

Example paragraphs from opinion essay on Global Warming

Para. 1
Glance at any newsstand, switch on the TV, or listen to the radio and it seems we are heading towards an environmental apocalypse. Stories of melting ice caps, extreme weather patterns, and even the extinction of the human species are, it seems, fodder for our politicians and the media. But how true are they?

Para. 2
Let us begin by looking at some specific examples, beginning with deforestation. It is widely reported that… 

Para. 3
A number of solutions have been tried to tackle the above problems. Furniture made from sustainable forests is commonplace within Europe, governments urge us to recycle our household waste, and cycling to work as well as car sharing is actively encouraged. But is this enough?

Para. 4
Having examined the above issues it is my opinion that….

Para. 5
With so many conflicting opinions and statistics it seems we must wait and see for ourselves if current measures will avert the impending environmental Armageddon promised by so many. But by then it might be too late for mankind.

Register and vocabulary for your essay

The above example uses a semi-formal/neutral register but as discussed in another post (here) the level of formality will depend on the intended reader of the essay. As a general rule in B2 use a semi-formal register but a more formal and impersonal style in C1.

Vocabulary plays a vital role in getting the register right and is not as simple as using as many long Latin based words as possible as this hinders the rhythm and flow of your writing and increases formality, which might not be your intention.

In general use a mixture of vocabulary if writing in a semi formal style, for example in the first sentence of the preceding paragraph I chose the word vital rather than important but then used the low level verb get in continuous as well as the verb hinder, another higher level word choice, in the same sentence. If I had used all high level words the formality would be too high, and if too many low levels words the formality would have been too low. Everything is about balance, especially in semi-formal.

Read this for more help.

Getting the grammar right in your essay

Again, this is discussed in detail here, but as a general rule (the same as with vocabulary) a balanced mix of high and low level structures will give you the best result for a semi-formal essay. If you need to write at a higher level of formality use complex structures such as inversions, impersonal passives and perfect tenses, as well as high level linkers and connectors. You can learn about these here.

If you are in doubt the internet is a wonderful source of example material, however be careful, there are many poorly written examples online so choose carefully from well known sources such as Cambridge or Pearson, or academic papers related to the subject of your essay. Don’t copy or emulate influencer’s blogs, they may be clever at marketing themselves to the public but their level of English might not be the best.

Cómo escribir un informe de inglés – B2

Here’s some basic advice about how to write a good report in English.

First, structure it into 4 paragraphs and subheading or subtitle for each paragraph.

1. introduction – why/purpose of report.

Begin with a fixed English phrase.
It is the aim/purpose/intention of this report to investigate/examine/look into the …

2. Current situation – including evidence (maybe results from a survey or assessment, using a bullet list).

Students and staff were canvassed for their opinions using a questionnaire… The results were as follows,
– lack of …
– need for…
– etc…
(there are rules for how to write a good bullet list which will be the subject of a later post)

3. Proposed solution – including pro’s and con’s’.

Whilst there are many advantages (see Current Situation), a potential and serious drawback is Staffing and Security within the IT Room… A possible solution would be…

4. Closing statement/Recommendation

After careful and due consideration it is the opinion of the author that...

In general, once you have named the subject, for example ‘students‘ use impersonal passives to speak about them.

Students were asked to complete a questionnaire and from their opinions a number of factors were evident. 24 hour access to the IT room was thought to be the most important …..

A tip about word usage.
Remember – Short verbs in English are usually Celtic based and informal.

Get – informal
Receive – formal
Buy – informal
Purchase – formal

An easy way to know a formal form is to check a short verb in a dictionary and find a longer synonym or one that you recognise from Spanish. Generally longer words are are Latin based and more formal and so ideal for a report.

Get – obtain, acquire, receive
Write – transcribe

Remember to use a variety of vocabulary and also specific vocabulary for the topic. Try to include synonyms rather than repeat a noun, verb or subject, and use abstract nouns to demonstrate concepts rather than only concrete facts. For example restitution, deconstruction, strength.

Use fixed phrases and expressions to sound natural but pay attention to prepositions.

In summary…
To sum up…
In light of…

A tip about grammar
Use the following structures to put distance/respect/formality into your writing.

passive/impersonal passive/impersonal passive infinitive
Students were asked to complete…

Had the facilities been accurately described…

Perfect tenses/Past perfect
Past forms of have had, will would, can could and should all add a subtle degree of formality to writing, so try to use them rather than short, present tense sentences which speak more directly to the reader.

Sprinkle a handful of appropriate linkers/connectors into your report to add another layer of formality depending on the reader. Do not go overboard, or put too many.

But, although, however, in spite of + ing, despite + ing, nevertheless, while, whilst, on the one hand/on the other… etc.

Here’s a photo of the whiteboard from a B2 adult class – note the vernacular/colloquial English in the top left hand corner…tut…tut

Cláusulas relativas y participios en inglés

There are some simple rules in English for how to use present participle/past participle and relative pronouns with relative clauses.

First, relative clauses.

Type : Defining
Purpose : defines noun
This is the shirt that I bought for €90, the rest were much cheaper.(that I bought for €90 identifies the shirt from many)

If the object of the verb in the clause (following the pronoun) is the same as the subject then the pronoun (and aux) can be taken out.
This is the shirt which is made for the typical tourist.

A non-defining relative clause is different.
Purpose: add extra info.
• between commas
• pronoun introduces clause
•• you cannot use that
Many people in Spain, who live on the coast, were contacted for their opinion.

Without the extra info the sentence still makes sense (remember to take out the commas!).
Many people in Spain who live on the coast were contacted for their opinion.

Participle clauses
We are used to past participle in the passive.
The book was written by JK Rowling, and was very successful.

But we can simplify the passive.
The book was written by JK Rowling and was very successful.
But there has to be a clause after the participle.

Many cakes were being eaten. ✓
Many cakes being eaten. X
Many cakes being eaten at the party were horrible. ✓

Present participle clauses
An ing form without the verb to be is usually referred to as the present participle .
Swimming (present participle) is great fun.

We use it in active clauses, and a lot in relative clauses.
Look at this sentence with its pronouns.

The film which starred Brad pit and that was filmed in Japan was a wonderful experience.

Using past/present participle
The film, (comma) starring (present participle) Brad pit and filmed (past participle) in Japan was a wonderful experience.

We use participles to keep sentences simple and more fluid rhythmically.

Conectores formales – B2

When writing a semi formal or formal essay, report or article use these connectors…

Moreover – additional supporting evidence.


Studies show a an increase in social isolation as well as impaired interpersonal skills. Moreover, an American study published evidence supporting previous studies…

In addition to/additionally – supporting evidence.


In addition to the survey’s findings it was also discovered that…

Therefore – consequence.


Evidence gathered from our Student Survey suggests that current technology within the classroom is inadequate. I therefore recommend that….

Likewise – additional information.


The study indicated a drop in intelligence. Likewise, exam results were also negatively affected.

Similarly – additional information.


The study indicated a drop in intelligence. Likewise, exam results were also negatively affected.

However – contrasting evidence.


The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young. However, family background and upbringing were equally important.

Although – contrasting evidence.


The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, although family background and upbringing were equally important.

Whereas – contrasting evidence.


Whereas the results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, it should be noted that they were not 100% reliable.

Despite/In spite of – contrasting evidence.


Despite the results of the survey providing a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, family background and upbringing were found to be equally important.

In fact – statement of fact opinion.


The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, in fact there could be no doubt about the results. 

Indeed – reinforcement of fact.


 The results of the survey were analysed and provided a clear indication of the negative impact of technology on the young, indeed there could be no doubt about the results. 

Inmobiliaria -Vocabulario Inglés

vocabulario inglés por inmobiliaria

Buyer: that’s you!
Seller: someone who is selling their property, usually through an estate agent.
Vendor: this is another term for the seller.
First Time Buyer: an individual who has never bought or owned a property before. Renting a property does not count as buying or owning.
Freehold: a type of occupancy which means you own the building and the land it sits on.
Leasehold: this is where you own the property but not the land it is built on – for example, you may own a flat, but not the building it sits in.
Commonhold: an alternative system to leasehold usually in place in buildings or estates of multiple occupancy (such as a block of flats), whereby you own the freehold to your property, and all property owners collectively help manage the upkeep of the building or estate (such as all chipping in to repair part of the building).
Deposit: a set amount of money which acts to secure a purchase, usually at a low percentage of the full price. Paying this usually means you are committed to going through with a purchase and will pay the rest of the amount off later.
Mortgage: a loan of money used to pay for a property, which you pay back over time with interest to whoever lent you the money. The property itself is considered collateral, which means if you don’t keep up with your repayments, it can be seized and sold to make back the money.
Bridging loan: a temporary short-term loan which enables a buyer to purchase a property before selling their existing property.
Equity: equity, or capital, represents the amount of money a homeowner has put into a property. This value is built up over time as the owner pays off the mortgage and the market value of the property appreciates.
Surveyor: in the context of property, they are a qualified expert who specialises in examining and highlighting any potential issues or benefits within a property, that may affect its price or need fixing in future.
Building survey: a report into the physical state of the property, this is also sometimes referred to as a full structural survey.
Covenant: a covenant is a provision or promise that has been written into a deed which may affect or limit the use of the property or land. There are two different types of covenant, positive and restrictive. A positive covenant is an obligation which requires some form of action (such as maintain a fence or wall), whereas a restrictive covenant limits or prevents the use of land in a specified way.
Easement: an easement is the right of one landowner to make use of another nearby piece of land for the benefit of their own land, for example, a private right of way.
Chain: a chain is formed when several property sales and purchases are inter-dependent. A chain can be complicated but a good estate agent will be able to help keep it moving.
EPC: an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows the efficiency of a property and gives an indication of how much the energy bills will cost. It is displayed as two graphs – the energy efficiency, and the environmental impact of the property. Each is graded from A (the best) to G (the worst).
Under offer: if a property is under offer it means that the seller has accepted an offer from the buyer but the contracts have not yet been exchanged.
Gazumping: when a higher offer is made by another party and is accepted, sometimes even after the offer with the first buyer has been accepted.
Gazundering: when a buyer lowers their offer price, usually at the last minute, so the seller has to accept the lower price or reject and risk having to find another buyer.
Exchange of contracts: the point where both parties are committed to the transaction; both the buyer and seller can walk away at any point before the contracts have been exchanged.
Conveyancer: a solicitor specialising in the transfer of home ownership. They are required if you are using a mortgage and will cover every legal aspect of the home purchasing process.
Solicitor: someone who deals professionally with legal matters, also known as a lawyer, and holds a recognised qualification or degree in law.
Title: the legal right of owning a property or land.
Deeds: Documents that show who owns the title of a property or land, along with any burdens (obligations/responsibilities) on the property e.g. what you can/cannot alter on the property, any access and rights of way on the property. Usually held by the mortgage lender until you pay off your property, where it can then be held by you or your solicitor.
Land Registry: the Government’s database of who owns what property and land. Be aware that there are separate registries for Scotland, Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
New Build: usually this refers to a property that hasn’t been purchased or lived in yet and has recently been built. However different banks and lenders have different definitions, which can vary from whether the property has been lived in, but not bought, whether it has been converted or refurbished, or whether it has been finished within a certain amount of years.
Completion date: when the transaction is complete and ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer. Normally, the vendor’s solicitor will ask the estate agent to release the keys to the buyer at this time.
Snagging: snagging is where the developer of new build properties touches up paintwork, adjusts appliances and fixes any other faults within the property. A snagging survey is usually completed prior to the buyer moving in, in order to spot minor cosmetic issues and check the quality of workmanship.
Standard Security: in Scotland, this is the form that confirms to your mortgage lender that they can repossess your home if you don’t keep up with your payments.
Stamp Duty: a lump-sum tax that anyone buying a property or land over a certain price in England, Northern Ireland and Wales must pay. The current threshold for residential properties is £125,000 and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties, however, the rate you pay will vary depending on the overall purchase price.
Land Transaction Tax: land tax replaced Stamp Duty in Wales from April 2018. Buyers looking to purchase in Wales will be charged land transaction tax on any residential purchase above £180,000 and above £150,000 for non-residential purchases, however, the price you pay varies depending on the overall cost of the property.
Land & Building Transaction Tax: the tax you pay when purchasing land or property in Scotland. The current threshold is £145,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties, however the rate payable is subject to the total purchase cost. 
Base rate: the interest rate which is set by the Bank of England for lending to other banks. It is generally used as a benchmark for the interest rates banks charge when lending money to customers.
Fixed-rate mortgage: with a fixed-rate mortgage, you pay a set rate of interest on your mortgage for a fixed period, so you know exactly what you’ll be paying each month.
Tracker mortgage: this is a mortgage with an interest rate linked to the Bank of England rate or another base rate. The interest rate will go up and down depending on this rate, irrespective of the mortgage lender.
Variable-rate mortgage: with a variable rate mortgage, the interest rate can change at any time. They are partly influenced by the Bank of England base rate but other factors come into play as well. The interest rate you pay on a variable rate mortgage can change even without base rate moving and similarly base rate might come down but your mortgage rate stays the same

Frases fijas y transformando el inglés informal al formal

Fixed phrases in English are very important, especially in writing but they are often formal or semi formal and can’t be used in all writing tasks. Do not confuse fixed phrases with phrasal verbs, many websites state that they are the same – they are not. Phrasal verbs are usually informal and are totally different to a fixed phrase.

Examples of fixed phrases include:

look forward to hearing from
– in summary/conclusion
– in my opinion
– to whom it may concern etc

But be careful… Consider the following sentences…

Fixed phrase – It is the aim of this report

1. Typical student usage
It is the aim of this report to see problems with computers in our school for students.

This sentence has a small error (incorrect verb – see) and the rest of the sentence after the fixed phrase is too informal (personal pronoun – our). In other words the register is not consistent.

2. Correct usage
It is the aim of this report to examine current IT issues, and challenges, at school.

The register is now consistent, semi formal. Also, look at how simple it is. There are only 2 prepositions, and 1 conjunction. It is redundant to put for students – who else goes to school?

The student’s example is spoken, informal and unsuitable because the fixed phrase is semi formal but the remainder of the sentence is not..

Look at this sentence, a typical informal example from a student
We will look at problems teachers experience.

Let’s make it formal…
1. Make passive.
Problems experienced by teachers will be looked at by us.

Make impersonal.
Problems experienced by teachers will be looked at.

3. Change vocabulary.
Issues, experienced by teaching staff, will be examined.


Now do that with every sentence in your formal report, essay, article or proposal.

Cómo escribir una crítica en inglés

como escribo una revista en inglés

Review Subject : Favourite TV show.
Audience : general public
Register : relaxed semi formal
Vocabulary : television, humour, horror etc., feelings, adjectives, nouns, fixed phrases.
Key Points: this changes depending on the Review Subject. For example there is no point talking about the score (music) in my example using The Simpsons.

Paragraph 1 – Grab the reader’s attention and introduce the Subject. Use a rhetorical question to engage your audience.

Have you ever sat at work counting the minutes until you can go home to watch your favourite TV show? This is my Tuesday and Thursday ritual, a quick goodbye to work colleagues followed by a mad dash home and thirty minutes of top notch entertainment and escapism. So what is it that has me flouting (Google it) the speeding laws? Quite possibly the funniest programme on TV right now – the Simpsons.

Paragraph 2
A review always contains some factual information or background. It shows you know your subject.

Created by Matt Groenig the Simpsons offers up a feast of slapstick comedy as it portrays the ups and downs of a typical dysfunctional American family. What makes this zany American sitcom different is the fact that it’s an animation – yes, a cartoon.

paragraph 3 – give more detail about one or two characters and highlight the script or acting etc.

The superbly crafted script is packed with one liners and and squeezes every single last drop of comedy gold from each word. The matriarch Marge steals the show….

paragraph 4 – Opinion
Say you like it and why others should see it.

I can’t praise this show highly enough – it truly is a «must see» for anyone who enjoys superb comedy.

• Vocabulary is your best friend.
• Use nouns and fixed phrases, also compound nouns/adjectives, example : overnight success, page-turner.
•Use simple structures but make them complex using vocabulary, adverbs, adjectives etc.

It takes time to write well in another language. Some people find it hard to write well in their native language.

Cómo escribir informalmente en inglés

How to write a great informal email or message.

We often talk about semi formal and formal writing but seldom informal. So here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when writing an informal email, message or text

Do use idiomatic language, example raining cats and dogs
Do use colloquial vocabulary for objects, places, feelings.
Do use everyday adverbs, linkers etc, example but, also
Do use present tenses to keep your writing direct.
Do use past simple and past perfect to sequence a timeline of actions.
Do use paragraphs.
Do use contractions.
Do begin with Hi, and end with Bye!

Don’t use slang words, example innit, gunna. Though words like yeh, hi, nah are fine.
Don’t write overly long sentences with lots of commas.

Cómo escribir una propuesta en inglés

Vive la diferencia

The difference between a report and a proposal is in function rather than presentation. This is often referred to with a single sentence in class books, but it is very important and deserves more space.



The function of a report is to evaluate a current situation, including its pros and cons, and to formulate a recommendation or summary.

Imagine this as step 1 of a project.

A typical example.
The staff cafeteria in your company has become unpopular. Produce a report outlining any current issues and recommending relevant solutions.

Click here for more help with a report.


A proposal’s function is evaluate a future project, with reference to a current or previous situation.

Imagine this as step 2 in a project.

You recently compiled a report on current problems with your staff cafeteria and made certain recommendations. Produce a detailed proposal for how these recommendations can be put into practice.


A report and a proposal look very similar, typically 4-5 paragraphs, with headings and sub headings. They can also both use bullet points, though I would not use a numbered list in a proposal,

Examples of headings..
It is the aim of this report to investigate… Report
It is the purpose of this proposal to examine… Proposal
Current situation… Report
Background… Proposal

Style and language

Usually semi formal or formal. Language, grammar and vocabulary, should be appropriate. Click here for help.

cómo transformar oraciones en B1 PET y B2 FCE

Transforming sentences in English, for the Cambridge English exams, is very difficult, but a simple strategy really helps.

Certain word types are very important in B1 sentence transformations, such as adverbs and phrasal verbs, whilst in FCE dependent prepositions, verb patterns and high level grammatical structures are tested. Click here to access our free FCE Use of English Practice tests (students only).

With transformations you need to follow some simple steps to make sure the sentences mean the same.

Step 1

Deconstruct and understand the meaning of the first sentence. You cannot get a correct answer unless you understand the first sentence.

To understand the sentence is like running a short computer programme in your brain. You just need to use it and get used to it.

1. What is the time?
This is the most important thing you should be sure of. Only in reported speech will you need to change time in the second sentence. Your verb times must be exactly the same.

example (FCE)
David found it hard to concentrate. Time – past simple
David finds it hard to pay attention. Time – present simple NO
David found it hard to pay attention. Time – past simple YES

2. What is the grammar, vocabulary?
There are clues in the second sentence, in B1 PET is there a verb in the second sentence? If no then most likely you are being tested for grammar. If there is a verb then maybe you need vocabulary, a phrasal verb for example.

There are two lions at the zoo.
The zoo has two lions.

In B2 FCE look at the word given, if it’s a preposition then most likely you need a phrasal verb. If it’s a verb then a verb pattern or grammar point is being tested.

My dad collected me from the airport.
My dad picked me up from the airport.

3. What is the subject/object?
This is often not important, except if being tested for reported speech or the passive.

4. What is duplicated?
You must do this as it will tell you only the words you need to transform, see the example below to understand what to do.

5. Is your answer logical?
Does your answer follow the typical structures in English? Is there a missing preposition? Do not try to translate it into Spanish – think only in English and remember the basics!

If the answer to 5 is No then go back to question 1 and do it all again.

If the answer is yes then you probably have it correct.

So here’s a simple B2 FCE transformation.

I don’t spend much money on clothes.
I ____________________ money on clothes.

1. Time = present simple
2. Grammar = active Vocabulary = adverb usage (any)
3. Subject/Object = irrelevant/same
4. Duplication = words to transform = don’t spend much (aux + negation + verb + adverb)

Now you know what is being tested (adverbs) check to see if there is a grammar/vocabulary connection to the first sentence.

In the first sentence much = adverb and in the second sentence you need to use the same type of adverb, any.

Both of these adverbs are neutral, they can be affirmative, or negative if used with not, as in the example.

Think about how to use the grammar. Simplify it.
You cannot only change the adverb as below :

I don’t spend much money on clothes = I spend some money
I don’t spend any money on clothes. = I spend no money NO

Think again! It is impossible to use not in the second sentence because not + any = nothing, nada!

So is there another type of adverb that is negative and can replace not but still = some?Yes – hardly, and a particular adverbial phrase hardly any .

Now test your theory.
spend + hardly + any = some
I (subject) + spend (verb, present simple) + hardly any (adverbial phrase) + money on clothes.

That’s it – the meaning is exactly the same.

I don’t spend much money on clothes.
I spend hardly any money on clothes.

This is something you can do for all grammar. However if you haven’t studied the grammar, asked about doubts in class then you won’t get it right!

Vocabulario Inglés – dinero

When you have money


You can…
Live the high life
Have a high standard of living
Lead a jetset lifestyle
Be a jetsetter
Be a self-made millionaire/billionaire
Be a self-made man/woman

You can also be …
Rolling in money
Have money to burn
Be a cash magnet

Adjectives for people with a lot of money

You can be…
Well off
Comfortably off/well off
Filthy rich
Stinking rich
Rolling in it

Adjectives for people with little or no money

You ca be…
Hard up
Poverty stricken

Idioms for people with little or no money

You can be…
On the bones of your arse
On a tight budget
On the breadline
Living on a shoestring
Find it hard to live within your means
Be a little short
Find it hard to make ends meet

Shopping and spending idioms

You can…
Spend money like water
Fritter money away
Be a spendaholic
Be a shopaholic
Indulge in retail therapy
Shop till you drop
Go window shoppingGo on a shopping trip/excursion/spree

You can…
Pay in cash
Pay by credit card
Put it on the plastic
Buy on the never never
Take out Hire Purchase
Pay in instalments
Take out a loan

Personal characteristics

You can be…

Tight fisted

Nouns for money

Greenbacks (USA)

Specific amounts in English
1 GBP – a quid
5 GBP – a fiver
10 GBP – a tenner
100 GBP – a ton
1000 GBP – a grand

Vocabulario inglés – stupidity

Fool word family

fool concrete noun / verb
foolishness noun
foolish adjective
foolishly adverb

Fool idioms and compounds

Tom foolery
Play the fool
Fool around ( + with – sexual in meaning)
Fools rush in where angles fear to tread

Idiocy word family

Idiot concrete noun
idiocy noun
idiotic adjective
Idiotically adverb

Idiocy idioms and compounds

Village idiot

Retard word family

retard concrete noun / verb
retardation noun
retarded adjective

Other nouns and idioms

Twit concrete noun
Imbecile concrete noun
Daft as a brush
Soft in the head
A penny short
Not the brightest button in the box
Dumb (adj.)
Thick (adj.)
Thick as two short planks
Thick as pigshit
Brainless (adj.)
Gormless (adj.)
Bit of a Boris
Bit of a Trump

Linkers en inglés B2 FCE/C1 CAE

Contrast linkers in English

In spite of / Despite 
Link two contrasting ideas. Followed by a noun phrase.
Despite leaving early we missed the train
We enjoyed the holiday in spite of the rain.

Although / (Even) though 
Link two contrasting ideas. Followed by a sentence. 
Even though many scientists believe in quantum theory, a small group disagree.

However / Nevertheless / Still /Yet / Even so / On the contrary / In contrast to
Introduce a new idea which marks a contrast with previously stated ideas. Introduced by a comma. 
In contrast to popular opinion, it seems likely that our extinction is close at hand.

On the one hand … On the other hand.
Links two contrasting ideas / paragraphs. 

Link two contrasting ideas. Not separated by commas. 
I like boys whereas Pedro likes girls.

Reason and Cause

Because / As / Since / Seeing that 
Introduce a concept, idea, rebuff.
Since it is well known that English is an important language, many people study it.

Because of / On account of / Owing to / Due to.
Introduce a noun phrase, consequence. 
Flights have been cancelled due to the weather.


In order to / So as to 
Introduce an infinitive of purpose/reason.
A questionnaire was created so as to gather opinions.


Consequently / As a consequence / As a result / Therefore / As a consequence of / As a result of – Followed by a noun phrase. 
As a consequence of recent weather all local trains have been cancelled.


Moreover / Furthermore / In addition / Besides / What’s more 
Used after a strong pause and separated from the sentences. They are introduced by a comma. 
Most people dislike politics, what’s more many actively disengage from it.

As well as / In addition to / Besides 
Used to add  one more piece of information. Followed by a noun phrase. 
As well as questioning students, teachers and other members of staff were approached.


For example / For instance 
Introduces an example referring to previously stated ideas. 

Such as 
Introduces an example referring to the last idea.
I like lots of types of music, such as rap.


Vocabulario inglés – discutiendo

Arguing in English -vocabulary

You can have…

An argument
A disagreement
A fall/falling out
A quarrel
A slanging match
A tiff
A Lover’s tiff
A row
A blow up
A barny

A Punch up – with violence
A set to – with violence

You can also…
Say your peace
Speak your mind

Then you can…

Make up
Make it up
Kiss and make up
Make peace

Settle your differences
Offer an Olive branch
Forgive and forget

Vocabulario para la muerte

Words connected with death

Get over + something (-), examples – a death, a shock, a tragedy, a divorce a cold, the flu

Expressions meaning to calm down when over emotional.
Get over yourself
Pull yourself together

Chill out

There are lots of vocabulary for death and bereavement.
Death (noun)
Deathly (adverb)
Dead (the) (noun)
Dead (adj.)
Deathless (adj.)
Die (verb)

Compound adj.  noun + verb
Death defying – to survive death
Compound adj. verb + adverb
Die hard – difficult to die

Come to terms with a death.’

Bereavement (noun)
Bereaved (c. noun)
Bereaved (adj.)
‘Get over a bereavement.’

Grief (noun)
Grieve (verb)
Grieving (adj.)
Grieved (adj.)
Aggrieved (adj.)

Be stricken with, struggle with, cope with, overcome grief.

Mourning (noun)
Mourner (noun)
Mourn (verb)
Be in/out of mourning.

We have many many expressions connected with death, as in most cultures.

Cómo aprender más palabras en inglés – todos niveles

Learning new English words is essential not only for the exam, but to help your speech sound more natural and fluent. The wrong word, or word form, dropped by mistake into a conversation can be at best confusing, and at worst embarrassing.

Reading books for pleasure and learning English
All English is here…

Secret to success!


Whether in the classroom or in everyday life the printed page is a treasure trove of vocabulary of all types. If your teacher sets a reading exercise for homework don’t simply answer the task questions, use the opportunity to look up any words that you don’t recognise and pay attention to other structures such as verb/noun patterns, collocations etc.

Vocabulary can be split into certain groups, and keeping a written record of these groups will really help when it comes to revision for an exam or any occasion when you need to communicate in English.

Word groups

Keep groups simple so it is easier to remember them, and group them as follows.

GeneralTopic based nouns/verbs/phrasal verbs – examples,
Topic – Technology, online forum, download, look up etc.

General – object nouns – examples, power tool, blusher, waistband etc.

General – phrasal verbs/idioms/collocations – examples, set out, talk of the town, bitter disappointment etc

Word Families – examples, memory (n), memorise (v), memorable (adj.) etc.

Verb Patterns – examples, depend on + ing., decide + inf., used to + ing., etc.

Noun Patterns – examples, difference between, contrast to, etc.

Connectors/Linkers – examples, in spite of + ing/noun, nevertheless + ing etc.

All of these types are found in all forms of written English, but to find as many new words as possible read different types of text, for example scientific articles, fashion magazine articles, narrative fiction, newspapers stories, technical instructions, etc. In the classroom most reading exercises are taken from a wide variety of sources, but you can help yourself and use the internet which has billions of texts, for free.

How to quickly check the meaning of a word, phrasal verb or idiom in English

Very easily, simply enter the word followed by definition into Google and you should be given not only the definition but also synonyms, antonyms etc.

For an even easier way to check the meaning of a general noun simply type the word into Google search followed by the word images.

gerund o infinitivo en inglés B1 y B2

Understanding verb patterns in English

First we need to understand the infinitive and what it is in English.

1. Bare infinitive
Example – play
2. Full infinitive
Example – to play

Some verbs in English always require the following verb to be either 1 or 2 but never both.

Example want, offer, decide to do something.

Verb + object + full/bare inf.
Example tell, ask someone to do something.

Other verbs require an ing verb.
Example – enjoy, detest swimming.

Prepositions also require it.
Example, in, at, on, by etc Crazy about swimming.

Time words such as before or after.

Other verbs can be used with full/bare infinitive or ing
Example – like, love to swim/swimming.

So how can we learn verb patterns?

Easy, Pay attention when doing readings! Write down any verb plus preposition or the form of the verb after the preceding verb, or noun.

Examples – want + to play, depend + on + learning, aware + of + poverty

What is the difference between ing and infinitive?

Again we first need to understand that infinitives represent 3 things in English – reason, purpose, intention. Infinitives do not describe an action in progress or a completed action, merely a fact about an event.

Ing forms represent actions in progress and completed actions.

Verbs like start, stop, begin, finish – words that describe the state of an action/verb can be confusing.

My mum started to dial his number but couldn’t remember it.
No action completed – only intention.

My mum started dialing his number but couldn’t remember it.
No action completed – only intention.

There is no real difference between the sentences.

Why? Because of the verb start. Start always refers forwards to an imminent/future action.


My mum stopped (an unknown action) to speak to her friend (purpose).

My mum stopped speaking (completed action) to her friend.

Totally different – why?

The verb stop tells us that an action finishes – and so usually refers backwards to a previous action, but it can also refer forwards to introduce a future action.

When a verb like stop is followed by the infinitive it tells us the reason/purpose/intention of the next action.

So I know there is a previous unknown, maybe unimportant, action which was interrupted, even if I don’t state it.

When stop is followed by a verb+ing it refers to an ongoing action.

The verb refers backwards or forwards depending on what the writer wants to emphasise or how important different events are.

Pay attention when reading, all patterns are there!

Gramática Inglés – inversiones

Inversions in English
In English, inversions are used in formal writing and are very easy to use.

Their most typical usage is to replace if in conditional structures.

The structure is very simple, and writing an inversion very easy.

Typical structure – subject + aux. + verb
Inversion aux. + subj. + verb

If I had known Ricardo was stupid I wouldn’t have married him.

Had I known Ricardo was stupid I wouldn’t have married him.

If she studied she would pass the exam.

Were she to study she would pass the exam.

We also use inversions with certain words such as seldom, rarely, never, hardly, scarcely, etc.

She had seldom seen such a handsome man.

Seldom had she seen such a handsome man.

Using inversions is so simple, there really is no excuse not to use them in a report, formal essay, etc. Try them.

Phrasal Verbs – relationships

​Two people who have a good relationship are often said to get on (well/great/badly) with: I get on really well with both of my brothers.

Meanwhile, people who stop being friends after an argument are frequently said to fall out: The brothers fell out over money.

Our relationships are very important to us so we talk about them a lot. Often, to describe the way we feel about a person, or something that has happened to a relationship, we use phrasal verbs.

Some are used for talking about romantic relationships and others relate to friends and family members. All are common.

Let’s start with the first time we meet another person. If we like them, we may say that we take to them and if, (as sometimes happens), we decide that we do not like them, we may say that we take against them: I hadn’t met Jamie’s girlfriend before but I really took to her – I thought she was lovely./Tom took against Rebecca because she said something bad about his friend.

If we very much like someone that we have just met and become friendly immediately, we sometimes use the informal phrasal verb hit it off: I introduced Jake to Ollie and they really hit it off. (Notice that ‘it’ is always part of this phrase. This is true for a small group of phrasal verbs.)

If one particular thing about a person you have just met makes you not like them, you may say that it puts you off them: Kate’s husband was very rude to our waiter and it put me off him a bit.

Looking now at phrasal verbs that relate to romance, if we suddenly have strong romantic feelings for someone, we may say that we fall for them: Dan was good-looking and charming and I just fell for him.

A common way to say that two people are having a romantic relationship is to say that they are going out (together): Ava and Isaac have been going out for over a year now.

Sadly, not all romantic relationships last. If a couple start arguing a lot, you might say they go through difficulties, (often in the phrase ‘go through a bad patch’): Charles and Sophie went through a bad patch a while back, but I think they’re over it now.

If, over time, a couple gradually become less close until the point when the relationship ends, you may say that they drift apart: There was no big argument – we just gradually drifted apart.

If a married couple or a couple who are going out split up or break up, they end their relationship.
Let’s remember that people who fall out can sometimes make up (= forgive each other and become friends or lovers again).

Bullet lists – inglés

How to create a bullet or numbered list in English.

There are some simple rules about bullet and numbered lists in English, and how to write them well.

You should not write a long or complex sentence after a bullet or numbered list, use between 1 – 5 words only. Brevity or is key.

The first word form following each bullet  in your list must be consistent, but depends on the preceding sentence and word form that introduces the list, and also depending on the verb pattern normally used.


Verb + object = articles
Students reported :
– a lack of space
– an inability to focus
– a clumsy login procedure

Verb + pattern (ing)
Students suggested:
– recycling more paper
– saving water
– reducing heating times

Verb + noun
Students considered the following as important:
– Freedom to experiment
– Enforcement of school policies
– Reciprocation of shared resources

Verb + pattern (infinitive)
Students expressed a desire to:
– Share resources
– Exchange information
– Practice more speaking

Escritura formal en inglés – B2, C1 y C2

Writing formal English made easy.

Tips for writing a semi formal or formal Report in English


The most common mistake non-native speakers make when writing is with articles, and specifically the definitive article, the. Typical mistakes are with abstract nouns, for example…

The education is important. Incorrect
Education is an abstract, uncountable noun.

Education is important. Correct

Here’s a tip.
If you write a noun that finishes with…
• tion – ex. separation
• ment – ex. excitement
• ness – ex. happiness
• ism – ex. communism
• ality – ex. formality
• ity – ex. stupidity
• ogy – ex. technology

Think carefully – they are abstract!

You can use the with an abstract noun if you add a countable or more specific noun.

The education system. Correct

Converting active to passive

Another simple trick is to convert active informal sentences into passive formal structures or using more formal word forms.

You told me.
I was informed

I asked for.
I requested

He gave me.
I was given

Everyone agreed.
It was the general consensus

We decided.
It was agreed.

How to transform a paragraph’s register

Transforming a basic informal paragraph into a formal paragraph is also very easy. Below is an example from a Report.

I gave students a questionnaire which they completed. I asked for their opinions and feedback on the situation at school. They responded,
• lack of space
• old software

Students were given (passive) a questionnaire to complete (infinitive of purpose). Questions were designed (passive) to solicit (infinitive of purpose / no pronouns) opinions and feedback on the current situation (colocation) at school. Responses (direct subject) were as follows: (fixed phrase/correct punctuation)
• lack of space ✓
outdated software (word choice).

Creating a professional bullet list

Creating a bullet or numbered list
There are some simple rules about bullet and numbered lists.

You should not write a sentence after a bullet or numbered list, use between 1 – 5 words only.

The first word form in your list must be consistent, but depends on the preceding sentence and word form that introduces the list, depending on the verb pattern normally used.

Students reported : (articles)
– a lack of space
– an inability to focus
– a clumsy login procedure

Students suggested: (present participle)
– recycling more paper
– saving water
– reducing heating times

Students considered the following as important: (abstract nouns)
– Freedom to experiment
– Enforcement of school policies
– Reciprocation of shared resources

Students expressed a desire to: (infinitive)
– Share resources
– Exchange information
– Practice more speaking

Vocabulario inglés – el cuerpo – B2/C1

Below are adjectives and nouns in English to describe people and how they look.

Body Type

Obese, fat, chubby, corpulent, slim, slender, sinuous, lithe, svelte, thin, skinny, muscular, big, big boned, stocky, rotund, pot-bellied, small-framed, small-boned, petite, short, tal


Beautiful, handsome, pretty, stunning, striking, distinguished, gorgeous; drop dead gorgeous, elfen, boyish, hideous, grotesque, repugnant, baby faced


Short haired, long haired, fair haired, dark haired, thinning, balding, receding, unruly, neat, tidy, fine, fly away, frizzy, curly, wavey, straight, wispy, thick, glossy, dull


A stunner +
A babe +
A dreamboat +
A hottie +
A pig
A dog
A looker +
A hunk +
A beefcake +

Vocabulario inglés – celebrity

English vocabulary for Celebrity, B2 level.

Infamy (-)
Role model
Gold digger

Phrases and expressions
boy band/girl group
a male/female band who often just sing and dance

to be destined for stardom
to have a high chance of becoming famous

rising star
becoming famous

talent shows
contests involving people with skills like singers

to have a bright future ahead of them
their later life will be positive

to be an overnight success
to become famous very quickly and gain lots of attention

to become famous almost overnight
to get fame very quickly

to be a household name
a famous person whose name is well-known

at his/her peak
when he/she was most famous/creative/productive

newspaper gossip columns
sections in a newspaper for rumours about famous people

the rumour mill
when gossip is spread

to dry up
work, talent to decrease to zero

time will tell
the result/conclusion can only be seen at a later date in a career

big break
to be discovered and become famous

one trick pony/one hit wonder
able to do only one thing

victim of own success
to have problems because of fame

claim to fame
reason for fame

Used to y would – B1

In English, to describe routines and states in the past we use would and used to.

* would – only affirmative
* Mainly used with action verbs

subj + used to/would + infinitive
I used to/would play tennis on Fridays when I was younger.
I didn’t use to play tennis..
Did you use to play tennis…?

only used to is possible
be, have, like, enjoy, hate, know, believe etc

I used to be a ballerina before the car accident.
I used to hate cycling.

Getting/becoming used to – to describe process
Same in all forms

subj + be + getting/becoming used to + verb + ing
I’m getting used to living in Alicante.

Used to – to describe present routine
same in all forms

subj + be + used to + verb + ing
I’m used to waking up early every morning.
I’m not used to waking up early every morning.
Are you used to waking up early every morning?

Vocabulario y escritura inglés – Climate change essay

Here are some ideas related to the environment, that you can use in the writing or speaking part of your Cambridge English exam.

Talking about the size of the problem

Climate change is a crisis that cannot be ignored by governments.

record levels/amount
Despite the claims of some scientists, we are now producing record levels of CO2 and there is no dispute about the connection this and global warming.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the effects of global warming are disastrous.

Although some areas are relatively unaffected now, climate change is a global problem.

The major concern is that the effects of our actions on the climate will be irreversible.

The effects of our use of fossil fuels today may last for generations and it is almost certain to have long-term consequences for humanity.

Negative Effects

This group of climate change vocabulary gives you language to explain what the effects are. As you read through the examples note the different language I use for effects and probability.

It sometimes goes unnoticed that there is a clear connection between climate change and ill-health.

One result of the rising temperatures is that floods and rainstorms are now a frequent occurrence.

the Polar ice cap
One major concern is that rising temperatures in the Arctic are causing the Polar ice cap to melt, which in turn is leading to rising sea levels.

heatwaves and droughts
Most experts agree that there is an increased risk of heatwaves and other extreme weather conditions.

the natural world
Climate change will not only have a severe impact on people, but also devastate the natural world and lead to the extinction of important species.

food shortages
We are already seeing in many parts of the world that climate change is leading to food shortages as a direct consequence of extreme weather conditions.

One side-effect of rising sea levels is that more and more people who live by the coast will become homeless.

If no action is taken on climate change, then it is likely that there will be more conflicts between nations, especially over water supplies.

It has been shown that any delay in making emission cuts will increase the cost of reducing carbon dioxide by almost 50%.


You may also need to discuss the causes of climate change too. You don’t need any very technical knowledge and this vocabulary should be enough. Again, note the cause language.

human activity
It is no longer possible to say that human activity does not affect weather conditions.

greenhouse gas emissions
If we are to halt climate change, we need to make substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

power stations
One of the leading causes of climate change is the number of dirty power stations using fossil fuels.

carbon emissions
Carbon emissions are still rising year by year and are at record levels.

illegal logging and deforestation
It should not be forgotten that illegal logging in the Amazon Basin is still a major factor in climate change.

burning fossil fuels
Individuals can make a small contribution by not burning wood and other fossil fuels.

The root cause of much global warming is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Possible solutions

These words and phrases show different kinds of solutions. Some show what should be done (use more renewable energy and invest money), others show how it should be done (quickly and together).

wind and solar power
An obvious solution is to deploy much more wind and solar power.

renewable energy
Wind farms and other sources of renewable energy will help to reduce Co2 emissions to an acceptable level.

international action/cooperation
International action on climate change could have a significant impact.

quick/immediate action
Any action should be immediate because this is not a problem that can be delayed.

There should be greater incentives to invest in renewables and to reduce the current reliance on fossil fuels.

decommission power stations
It goes without saying that coal-fuelled power stations should be decommissioned.

Individuals can help force governments to act by taking part in legal protests against the continuing use of fossil fuels.

energy efficiency and waste
A greater emphasis on energy efficiency and reducing waste would undoubtedly mean that less fuel was consumed.

Ways of taking action

Climate change is a problem – that almost everyone can agree on. When you have a problem, you need to take action. These words and phrases give you a variety of ways of saying that. Note the different structures used with these verbs.

It is clear that national governments are no longer able to cope by themselves with the problem.

A global solution is necessary as only international bodies will be able to tackle climate change.

Investment in renewable energy will help avert the impact of the CO2 emissions.

The only way to prevent a disaster is to reduce these emissions to zero.

act/take action
Governments should take decisive action to halt global warming.

A way needs to be found to make combatting global warmingthat is affordable.

sustainable and affordable
The key is to ensure that all countries around the world have the chance to adopt energy

How individuals can help

You may be asked what we as individuals can do about climate change. Here are some ideas – there are plenty of them:

lobby MPs
If enough of us lobbied our MPs and other elected representatives then they would have to bring in legislation.

participate in peaceful protests
Another possibility is to take part in marches and other peaceful protests to apply pressure on governments and raise awareness of the issue..

community projects
In some areas there are small-scale community projects to encourage local residents to install solar panels and, in some places, help pay for them.

share transport
We also have the responsibility to consider how we contribute to global warming by making unnecessary car journeys. We can always cycle to work, have a joint school run with other parents and even share a car on the daily commute to work.

diet and our carbon footprint
Reducing food wastage is perhaps the way individuals can minimise their carbon footprint and so help global warming.

energy-efficient lightbulbs
Another small way in which we can use less energy is to switch to energy efficient lightbulbs.

solar panels
There are an increasing number of solar panels on the market and these can not only reduce energy bills but also mean that less carbon fuel is consumed.

heat insulation
Likewise, it is important that people insulate their houses well so that less gas and electricity is consumed.

Vocabulario – B1/B2 Concerts

Here you can find English vocabulary related to concerts and performance. It is useful for both the speaking and writing parts of the exam, and of course in everyday life.

Recording artist
(Record label, record deal)

Open air concert
Music festival
A spectacle
An extravaganza

Concert goers

Backstage pass/VIP pass
Sound engineer
Lighting engineer
Sound check
Run through

inglés B1 PET – Have/Get something done

To say that we have employed a professional to do something for us.

Have/get + something + participle
I’m having/getting my hair cut today.
They just had their house repainted.
Note – get is very informal.

To say that we had to persuade someone to do something or that it is a favour.

get + someone + to + infinitive
I got my brother to do my homework or I was going to tell mum that he has started smoking.
She’s getting get friend to bake a cake for her wedding.

Adverbs & Adjectives for interest


Remember the order of adjectives is very important in English.

Opinion | age | size | colour | material

I just bought a beautiful new, small, blue, cotton dress.

Also remember that in English an adjective cannot exist without a noun – it is not an object. So never use a plural form adjective.

There are two yellows chairs. x

There are two yellow chairs. √

Advanced conditionals

These conditional structures are all hypothetical to a greater or lesser degree.

If + subj + (should) happen + to + inf

If you (should) happen to see Maria tell her I will call her later.

if + subj + was/were to + inf

If you were to win the lottery how would you spend it?

supposing/imagine + (that) + subj + past simple/past perfect

Imagine you won the lottery what would you do?

Inversions are used in formal writing and are very easy to use.

The structure is very simple. We take out if, invert the position of the aux and subject, and begin with the aux.


If I had known Ricardo was stupid I wouldn’t have married him.

Had I known Ricardo was stupid I wouldn’t have married him.

Vocabulary – describing people advanced

Some adjectives in English are irregular and very specific – they either describe how we feel emotionally or physically, or both.

We usually use this structure…
Subject + feel/s + adjective
example – I feel fabulous.

Here are some adjectives and expressions.

‘The dogs bollocks’ – both
‘Top dog’ – both
Awesome – both
Fantastic – both
Destroyed – both

Annihilated – physical
Crap – physical
Crappy – physical
Stupendous – physical
Amazing – physical
Fabulous – physical
‘Fighting fit’ – physical
‘Fit as a butcher’s dog’ – physical

‘On cloud nine’ – emotional
‘On top of the world’ – emotional
Invincible – emotional
Untouchable – emotional
Superior – emotional
Deflated – emotional
Let-down – emotional
Inferior – emotional
Small – emotional
Insignificant – emotional
Empty – emotional
Defeated – emotional
Elated – emotional
Euphoric – emotional..

Compras – vocabulario en inglés B2 FCE C1 CAE

vocabulario por compras en Inglés. B2 y C1

  • advertising campaign: a series of advertisements to persuade people to buy something
  • big brand names: large well-known companies or product names
  • to be careful with money: to not over-spend
  • carrier bag: bags (usually plastic) supplied by shops
  • customer service: the degree to which customers are treated well
  • to get into debt: to owe money
  • to give someone the hard sell: to put pressure on someone to buy something
  • high street names: well-known shops
  • independent stores: small shops independent of large companies
  • local shops: community shops
  • loyalty card: a card issued by a shop to allow customers to save money on the basis of what they spend
  • must-have product: a product that is very popular that a lot of people want to have
  • to be on a tight budget: to have a limited amount of money to spend
  • to be on commission: to pay someone in relation to the amount they sell
  • a pay in cash: to pay for something using coins or paper money
  • to pay the full price: to pay the full amount for something
  • to pick up a bargain: to buy something much cheaper than the normal price
  • to run up a credit card bill: to owe money on a credit card
  • to shop around: to try different shops to find the best deal
  • shop assistant: the person who serves customers
  • to shop until you drop: to do a lot of shopping
  • to slash prices: to reduce prices a great deal
  • to snap up a bargain: to buy something quickly that is being sold cheaply
  • summer sales: a period in the year when things are sold cheaply
  • to try something on: to see if an item of clothing fits or is suitable
  • to be value for money: to be worth the cost
  • window shopping: to visit a store to look at items without the intention of buying anything

Adverbios Inglés – B2 C1

adverbios en Inglés para B2 y C1

In my opinion adverbs are equally as important as the verbs they describe.

A verb contains no information other than if it’s a fact about an action/state or the action/state in progress.

Only an adverb can give the details needed for how that action or state is done. Without them the language is boring, sterile.

Adverbs fall into 3 main categories.
To tell us how often the action is performed or state is reached.
Used in all tenses.
She always feels sick when we travel by car.

To tell us about the action/state’s strength, depth, impact and importance
Used in all tenses
He walked slowly to the door.

To tell us emotional, metaphorical information about the action/state.
Used in all tenses
He walked painfully to the car.

Mixed adverbs add more impact and information.
He walked slowly, painfully towards the door.

This is very complex and I would recommend that you put the adverb after the verb. There are some intensifying adverbs that must go before the verb, for example hardly.

There are many verbs that cannot go before the verb but this is because of the nature of the verb and usage.
The bell rang loudly. Yes
The bell loudly rang. Grammatically Yes. Usage No.

Some adverbs can be put both before and after the verb but there is a shift of emphasis.
They quickly kissed. = the time before they kissed was very short.
They kissed quickly. = the kiss was very short.

Adverbs that are also adjectives.
A good example of this is hard/hardly.

Hard as an adjective describes difficulty.
The exam was hard.

Hard as an adverb is an intensifier.
He studied hard for the exam.

Hardly is an intensifying adverb meaning very little.
He hardly studied for his exam.

Irregular adverbs
Most adverbs are formed by adding the suffix ly to an adjective but not all.

For example – good/well

Adverbs + Adjectives
We tend to use intensifiers a lot with adjectives. They always go before the adjective.
She is suitably skilled for the job.

The only problem is understanding that you cannot use all intensifying adverbs with every adjective. Because of this we have extreme adjectives and extreme intensifiers.

0-90% intensity
A little, Quite, Fairly, Rather, Very, Incredibly

90-100% intensity
Completely, Totally, Absolutely

These adverbs must then be used with the correct adjective depending on the adjectives own intensity.

For example – with heat
warm, hot
It was a rather hot day90-100%
boiling, roasting, sweltering, scorching
It was scorching weather.

Really is an exception and can be used to intensify all adjectives.

Some adverbs can be tricky to use because their function changes depending on context and even intonation.
For example.
A bit
A bit of milk. = some milk

Positive intensifier
A bit special. = very special

Negative – intensifier
A bit expensive. = very expensive.

I’d rather you pay it personally. = emphasis on you making payment.
I’d rather you pay it personally. = emphasis on my opinion.

Vocabulary – walking

​Walk – usually with purpose

I’ll walk to/from the shop.

Stroll – with/without purpose

I’ll stroll to the shop/about/around the town.

Meander – usually without purpose

I’ll have a meander about/around the town 

Wander – usually without purpose

I’ll have a wander about/around the town.

Amble – with/without purpose

I’ll amble to the shop/about around the town.

Mooch – usually without purpose

I’ll mooch about/around the town.

Vocabulary – sleep

Sleepiness – noun
Sleep – noun/verb
Sleepily – adverb
Sleepy – adjective
Asleep – adjective

Verb & adjective collocations
Fall asleep
Drift asleep
Lull asleep (lullaby – a song sung to babies to help them fall asleep)

Phrasal verbs
Nod off
Doze off

Adjective – noun collocations
Heavy sleep / heavy sleeper
Light sleep / light sleeper

Adjective – adjective collocations
sound asleep

​Adverbs Just, Yet, Already

Usage – perfect tenses

*Yet is always negative.

subj. + have + participle + yet
I haven’t eaten dinner yet.


subj. + have + adverb + infinitive
I have yet to eat dinner (this is very formal and not a perfect tense structure)

Just, already

subj. + have + adverb + participle
I have just eaten dinner.
I have already eaten dinner.

​Expressions with mind…

Never mind = don’t worry, forget it…
«Mum I failed my exam».
» Never mind, you can try again.»

On my mind = something you are worried about…
«The exam has been on my mind.»

Out of my mind = worried, drugged…
«I’ve been out of my mind with worry over the exam.»

Never you mind = for someone else to forget, not worry about something.
» Mum, why did uncle Carlos touch your bottom?»

«Never you mind,» says mum.

To describe personality…
Narrow minded
Broad minded
Open minded
Closed minded

Direct and Indirect questions

The main types of question forms with examples. For B1 and above.


The structure depends on the type of question.

Question Word
Who, whose, what, where, when, why, how

Question word or wh- words that begin a direct question usually have the structure…

question word + aux + subject/+verb
how old are you?
where do you live?

Remember we use the verbs do, be, have as auxiliaries.

Subject = Question word
When the subject of the question is the question word we use the following structure.

question word + verb + object
What makes you happy?
Who said that?

If the answer to a question can only be yes or no then we use the aux and this structure.

aux + subj + verb
Do you like paella?
Have you eaten dinner?

We cannot use the auxillary DO in indirect questions. They can be divided into 2 clauses, the polite expression, and the question. The structure is…

expression + question word + subject + verb
– May I ask what time the film starts?

Would you tell me if/whether you like fish?
(not, do you like..)

Expressions include..
May I ask…
Would you tell me…
Can/could you tell me…
Would you mind telling me…

Here’s some examples…
How short is the book?
Would you tell me how short the book is?
Has she finished her exam?
May I ask if/whether she has finished her exam?

Formal letter of complaint

Writing a formal letter of complaint. 

Formality is used to put distance between the writer and reader.

1. Remember to begin your letter,
To whom it may concern,

2. Finish it with,
I await your response and solution to the problem.

3. Don’t use contractions.

4. Use formal verbs, example…
Get – receive
Want – expect
Buy – purchase
Work/Play – function

5. Use passive structures.
When I opened the box I found that the player was damaged.

6. Use inversions. Example…
Had I known it was defective.

7. Keep it simple and clear.

8. Use more formal adjectives and adverbs to strengthen your feelings.

The level of service was outrageous.
I would very much appreciate.

Here’s an example of a short letter of complaint. The first of each paragraph is informal, the second (in italics) is corrected and is formal.

To whom it may concern,

The other day I bought a new mobile phone from you.
I recently, Tuesday the 7th of March,  purchased a mobile phone from your Regents Street store, London.

The assistant told me that it was easy to use and I could use the internet.
I was assured by a member of staff that it was both simple to operate and Internet enabled.

When I got home and tried it I was unhappy because the instructions were complicated and not like he said.
However, upon arriving home and attempting to power on the device, I found it simply would not function.

After trying to connect to the Internet I couldn’t.
I was therefore unable to access either the telephone or the internet. Outrageous!

The assistant didn’t tell me the truth and I am not happy about it. I want to bring it back and get a refund. Tell me how.
I was completely misled by the assistant, and the entire experience has left me bitterly disappointed.

I expect full recompense and await a swift response.

Yours sincerely.
Good day.

wish & regret

​Sentence transformation and hypothetical meaning with Wish and Regret.


When speaking hypothetically about a present or future situation with Wish or Regret we put either the auxiliary or the main verb into a past tense. We do not put both if there is an auxillary and a main verb – only the auxiliary.

Present with Wish

I wish he studied more. 

I wish he was studying more.

I wish he would study more.

I wish he didn’t make so many mistakes.

Past with Wish

If we are talking about a past situation we use past perfect.

I wish he had studied more.

I wish he hadn’t made so many mistakes.


We don’t use past perfect continuous.


The rule for Regret is different.

In present 

This is used for formal announcements and only with certain verbs, for example inform, tell, say.

I regret to tell you that you have not got the job.

In past 

We can use either verb+ing or present perfect continuous to talk about the past.

I regret telling her.

I regret having told her.

Environment vocabulary


Decimation of flora and fauna

Slash and burn

Human encroachment

Soil erosion
Global warming

Ozone depletion

Greenhouse effect

Greenhouse gases

Polar melt

Rising sea levels

Coastal erosion

Climate change

Fossil fuels – coal, oil, shale

Carbon footprint

Carbon tax

Renewables – tidal, solar, wind

Biofuels – plant derived energy

Energy efficient


Car sharing
Natural disaster

Environmental catastrophe


Passive Sentences

Passive voice verbs are used in writing much more often than in speech, and they are used in some types of writing much more often than in others. Passives are used more in journalism (newspapers, magazines) than in fiction (novels, stories), but most journalists and fiction writers use far more active than passive sentences. However, passives are very common in all types of scientific and technical writing. Scientific articles often contain more passive than active sentences. You should not use passive voice verbs unless you have a good reason.

  1. Relationship between active and passive:
  2. The objectof the active verb is the subject of the passive verb (“English” in the example sentences below). Therefore, verbs which cannot be followed by objects (intransitive verbscannot be used in passive voice.

These are some common intransitive verbs: appear, arrive, come, cry, die, go, happen, occur, rain, sleep, stay, walk. These verbs cannot be used in passive voice.

  1. The passive verb always contains a form of the auxiliary verb be. The form of bein the passive verb phrase corresponds to the form of the main verb in the active verb phrase (see the underlined words in the example sentences below). That is, if the active main verb is simple present tense, then a simple present tense form of be is used in the passive verb phrase; if the active main verb is -ING, then the -ING form of be is used in the passive verb phrase; and so on.
  2. The main verb in a passive predicate verb phrase is always the participleform of the verb.
  3. Some examplesof active and passive sentences:

ACTIVE: They speak English.
PASSIVE: English is spoken.

ACTIVE: They spoke English.
PASSIVE: English was spoken.

ACTIVE: They will speak English.
PASSIVE: English will be spoken.

ACTIVE: They are going to speak English.
PASSIVE: English is going to be spoken.

ACTIVE: They are speaking English.
PASSIVE: English is being spoken.

ACTIVE: They were speaking English.
PASSIVE: English was being spoken.

ACTIVE: They have spoken English.
PASSIVE: English has been spoken.

ACTIVE: They had spoken English.
PASSIVE: English had been spoken.

ACTIVE: They will have spoken English.
PASSIVE: English will have been spoken.

  1. Perfect progressiveverb forms are generally used in active voice only. That is, these are good English sentences:

ACTIVE: They have been speaking English.
ACTIVE: They had been speaking English.
ACTIVE: They will have been speaking English.

But sentences like these are rarely used:

PASSIVE: English has been being spoken.
PASSIVE: English had been being spoken.
PASSIVE: English will have been being spoken.

  1. Most passive sentences do not contain an agent; all active sentences contain an agent.
  2. An agentis the subject of the active verb. In the example sentences above, the agent is “they” in all the active sentences; the passive sentences do not contain an agent.
  3. When a passive sentence contains an agent, it is in a prepositional phrase following the verb. For example:

English is spoken by them.

In the following sentences, the noun “teachers” is the agent in both sentences. “Teachers” is also the subject of the active verb, but “exams” is the subject of the passive verb.

ACTIVE: Teachers prepare exams.

PASSIVE: Exams are prepared by teachers.

  1. You should not use passive voice unless you have a good reason.

Here are some good reasons for using passive voice:

  1. Passive voice is often used when the agent(the doer of an action; the subject of an active verb) is obvious, unknown, or unnecessary:

Oranges are grown in California.
Toyotas are made in Japan.
Her purse was stolen.

  1. Passive voice is often used when the agentis known, but the speaker/writer doesn’t want to mention it:

She was given bad advice.
A mistake has been made.

  1. Passive voice is often used when the agentis very general such as people or somebody.

English is spoken here.
The door should be locked.

  1. Passive voice is often used when the speaker/writer wants to emphasize a result:

Several thousand people were killed by the earthquake.

  1. Passive voice is often used when the speaker/writer wants to keep the same subjectfor two or more verbs but this would not be possible if both verbs were the same voice (active or passive).

For example, in a conversation about George, a speaker would probably use sentence a below rather than sentence b (both sentences are correct).

  1. George hadseveral interviews before he was hired by a software company.
    b. George had several interviews before a software company hired him.

Writing – adding atmosphere

Creating atmosphere when writing is easy.

That speak to the senses, colour, texture, sound, smell, space.

The rancid stench of death enveloped me in its rank and rotting embrace.

That describe emotion-  caused by action, nervously, anxiously, worryingly, confidently.

He looked around nervously, his mind whirling out of control into a neverending spiral of despair and raw fear.

Non defining clauses
Add extra atmosphere with short non defining clauses.

He held her by the throat, his fingers digging deep into the sinews of her neck, and he knew at that moment she had to die. There was no way back from this place, from this moment…

Pace and timing
e.g. suddenly, instantly, meanwhile, throughout, just then, later, moments later etc.

She pushed herself from the ledge without hesitation, her bare feet suddenly leaving reassuring rock and into the uncertainty of air.

Sentence fragments
Sentence fragments, or short sentences sometimes say more than longer ones, especially when used after complex sentences that focus on detail. They instantly change the pace.

She pushed herself from the ledge without hesitation, her bare feet suddenly leaving reassuring rock and into the uncertainty of air. Nothingness. Emptiness. Breathlessness as freefall reached into her lungs and drew it from her like…

Writing – adding interest

​Making your writing more interesting is easy – use adjectives and adverbs.

Remember the order of adjectives – use more than one.

Examples – B1

I’ve just bought a lovely, green, silk dress.

We stayed in the cutest little guesthouse by the sea.


Use adverbs to talk about time and to give more information about an action.

You know me, forever forgetting things!

I spent all day at home lazily watching TV.


Use Time to add interest – but only if you’re confident with time.

The example is B2/C1

As it turned out I’d spent the previous week worrying over nothing. I’d passed the exam but didn’t know it until yesterday. Now I’m so incredibly happy I could burst!

Forming Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

One-syllable adjectives.
Form the comparative and superlative forms of a one-syllable adjective by adding – er for the comparative form and –est for the superlative.

One-Syllable Adjective
Comparative Form Superlative Form

tall taller tallest
old older oldest
long longer longest

 Mary is taller than Max.
 Mary is the tallest of all the students.
 Max is older than John.
 Of the three students, Max is the oldest.
 My hair is longer than your hair.
 Max’s story is the longest story I’ve ever heard.

If the one-syllable adjective ends with an e, just add –r for the comparative form and –st for the superlative form.

One-Syllable Adjective with Final -e
Comparative Form Superlative Form

large larger largest
wise wiser wisest

 Mary’s car is larger than Max’s car.
 Mary’s house is the tallest of all the houses on the block.
 Max is wiser than his brother.
 Max is the wisest person I know.

If the one-syllable adjective ends with a single consonant with a vowel before it, double the consonant and add –er for the comparative form; and double the consonant and add –est for the superlative form.

One-Syllable Adjective ending with a Single Consonant with a Single vowel before it
Comparative Form Superlative Form

big bigger biggest
thin thinner thinnest
fat fatter fattest

 My dog is bigger than your dog.
 My dog is the biggest of all the dogs in the neighborhood.
 Max is thinner than John.
 Of all the students in the class, Max is the thinnest.
 My mother is fatter than your mother.
 Mary is the fattest person I’ve ever seen.

Two-syllable adjectives.
With most two-syllable adjectives, you form the comparative with more and the superlative with most.

Two-Syllable Adjective Comparative Form Superlative Form

peaceful more peaceful most peaceful
pleasant more pleasant most pleasant
careful more careful most careful
thoughtful more thoughtful most thoughtful

 This morning is more peaceful than yesterday morning.
 Max’s house in the mountains is the most peaceful in the world.
 Max is more careful than Mike.
 Of all the taxi drivers, Jack is the most careful.
 Jill is more thoughtful than your sister.
 Mary is the most thoughtful person I’ve ever met.

If the two-syllable adjectives ends with –y, change the y to i and add –er for the comparative form. For the superlative form change the y to i and add –est.

Two-Syllable Adjective ending with -y
Comparative Form Superlative Form

happy happier happiest
angry angrier angriest
busy busier busiest

 John is happier today than he was yesterday.
 John is the happiest boy in the world.
 Max is angrier than Mary.
 Of all of John’s victims, Max is the angriest.
 Mary is busier than Max.
 Mary is the busiest person I’ve ever met.

Two-syllable adjectives ending in –er, -le, or –ow take –er and –est to form the comparative and superlative forms.

Two-Syllable Adjective ending with -er, -le, or -ow

Comparative Form Superlative Form

narrow narrower narrowest
gentle gentler gentlest

 The roads in this town are narrower than the roads in the city.
 This road is the narrowest of all the roads in California.
 Big dogs are gentler than small dogs.
 Of all the dogs in the world, English Mastiffs are the gentlest.

Adjectives with three or more syllables.
For adjectives with three syllables or more, you form the comparative with more and
the superlative with most.

Adjective with Three or More Syllables

Comparative Form Superlative Form

generous more generous most generous
important more important most important
intelligent more intelligent most intelligent

 John is more generous than Jack.
 John is the most generous of all the people I know.
 Health is more important than money.
 Of all the people I know, Max is the most important.
 Women are more intelligent than men.
 Mary is the most intelligent person I’ve ever met.

Irregular adjectives.
Irregular Adjective Comparative Form Superlative Form

good better best
bad worse worst
far farther farthest
little less least
many more most

 Italian food is better than American food.
 My dog is the best dog in the world.
 My mother’s cooking is worse than your mother’s cooking.
 Of all the students in the class, Max is the worst.

Two-syllable adjectives that follow two rules. These adjectives can be used with -er
and -est and with more and most.

Two-Syllable Adjective Comparative Form Superlative Form

clever cleverer cleverest
clever more clever most clever
gentle gentler gentlest
gentle more gentle most gentle
friendly friendlier friendliest
friendly more friendly most friendly
quiet quieter quietest
quiet more quiet most quiet
simple simpler simplest
simple more simple most simple

 Big dogs are gentler than small dogs.
 Of all the dogs in the world, English Mastiffs are the gentlest.
 Big dogs are more gentle than small dogs.
 Of all the dogs in the world, English Mastiffs are the most gentle.

B2 Writing a review in depth

Writing a review is an option in both FCE, CAE and CPE. It’s an excellent option as you are able to choose the subject, and so the vocabulary you are familiar with. Here are some basic pointers.

1. Say something in the simplest way. Formal writing is almost always concise and to the point.

2. Try to use only one tense in each sentence. Change tense when you change sentence. If you must have a tense change in mid sentence then introduce it with a comma.

3. Don’t overuse one word for the subject, vary with nouns and pronouns, and synonyms.
He – can introduce a sentence
His – can introduce a sentence
Name (Carlos) can introduce a sentence

In your task the subject is movie, vary it with Film, cinematic offering.

Get basic vocabulary right.

4. Choose words you recognise when checking in a dictionary or with the translator.

5. Think about how you would feel in the same situation and try to express with the words you choose.

Here’s an example, well the first few paragraphs…

Have you ever felt nostalgic, reminisced over bygone days?

I imagine everyone has, at one time or another. But remembering the tiny details and the atmosphere of the past isn’t so easy, and it takes genius to translate this into celluloid.

Thankfully we have Radio Days, a supremely engaging film by Woody Allen, which transports you back in time to 1940’s America, and will satisfy any craving you might have for happier days gone by. Both touching and hilariously funny at the same time it….

More basic tips