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How to write professional e-mails in English

It’s essential to communicate effectively in the workplace and today e-mails are one of the key ways we communicate with others. Following is a guideline of how to write professional e-mails in English: Read more

Words in the English language that cause CONFUSION to students

There are many words in the English language that cause CONFUSION to students as they are similar in meaning to other words in English or they are “false friends” (false cognates) which are pairs of words in two languages that look or sound similar, but have very different meanings. Read more

Main differences in vocabulary between British and American English

This list highlights some of the main differences in vocabulary between British and American English. Depending on the region of the U.K. and the United States, speakers may choose certain terms. British English American English Spanish Autumn Fall, autumn Otoño Bill Check, bill Cuenta, factura Biscuit Cookie Galleta Bonnet (car) Hood Capó Boot (car) Trunk … Read more

New Year’s Reflections

The New Year has always been a time to look back throughout the last year and remember the good (and not so good) times we’ve had. Maybe you had an amazing experience in 2013, such as having a baby, getting married or travelling to an exciting destination. Then again, maybe there are few things you’d … Read more

Do American and British people celebrate Christmas in the same way?

While the two countries share many holiday spirited traditions such as decorating the house with a Christmas tree, family gatherings on Christmas Day, singing Christmas carols and gift giving, there ARE some important differences. Let’s take a look at the different traditions in the USA and the UK: Read more

Where does Halloween come from?

Every year on October 31st children (and some adults) dress up in costumes to celebrate Halloween. Houses are decorated with Jack-o-Lanterns, artificial spiders and cobwebs, pretend witches and ghosts and other frightening objects that symbolize this special day. On the evening of Halloween, in North America and many other countries around the world, groups of children can be seen walking the streets wearing costumes and visiting their neighbors’houses to receive candy. Typical festive Halloween activities include Trick-or-Treating (going house to house to receive sweets or food), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted houses, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. But where does Halloween come from? Read more

What do you think when you see the AUDI logo? Or the NIKE logo?

Do you like to buy certain brands of clothing, electronics or appliances because you think they guarentee quality or because they are the popular brands nowadays? Do you save up your money to buy some of the most “in style” brands of clothing or shoes thinking they will make you seem more attractive to others? Are all brands worth the money? Read more

Is the shop open? Or is it closed? Does it frustrate you that you can’t go shopping on Sunday?

The liberalisation of shop opening hours has been a controversial topic in Europe and has caused debate between shop owners, business people, institutions and consumers. The legislation regarding the opening hours of shops differs between countries and it is usually left to the local governments to define. “Sunday shopping” refers to the ability of retailers to operate stores on Sunday, a day that Christian tradition typically recognises as a “day of rest”. Rules governing Sunday shopping vary around the world but some countries continue to ban “Sunday shopping”. Read more

What do you do to take care of our planet?

What do you do to take care of our planet? You can help reduce the Greenhouse gases and the negative impact they are having on our environment. Here are 10 easy ways to live a “greener” life and help with this cause! 1. Recycle– not only will that glass bottle become a new glass bottle, but you’ll also help to reduce pollution and create jobs! 2. Reuse– wrapping paper, unbroken bags and bows for future gifts or art projects with the kids; donate clothes and toys you aren´t using to those who need them. And we can convert something that we aren´t using into something useful; for example use a shoe box to store pencils, crayons and stickers. Read more

The most common NATURAL DISASTERS on our planet

A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the Earth. A natural disaster can be devastating and can kill humans and animals, often damages or destroys homes and can leave agricultural destruction and economic damage in its wake. Following is a list of the most common NATURAL DISASTERS on our planet: Read more

40% of English words have cognates in Spanish (False Friends)

Learning English for Spanish speakers can seem quite simple at first because as much as 40% of English words have cognates in Spanish. Cognates are words that sound similar, have similar spelling and have the same meaning in the two languages. Examples of cognates are: teléfono-telephone; persona- person; invitar-invite. However, there are many words called FALSE COGNATES or FALSE FRIENDS. In the case of False Friends, the English word sounds like a word in Spanish but the two words do NOT have the same meaning. Here is a list of FALSE COGNATES with translations of the words in Spanish and English: Read more

A Christmas Poem

Clement C Moore (1779-1863) is widely regarded as the very poet of Christmas Eve. Much of the way we have come to celebrate Christmas, in English speaking countries, is based on Moore’s portrayal of a jolly Santa, who along with his team of reindeer, brings happiness to children and joy to the world. “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was orginally published in the New York Troy Sentinal Newspaper in 1823. It has become the most famous poem in the English language. “Twas the Night before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there. Read more

Is there anything that drives you crazy, gets on your nerves or you frankly can’t stand?

Here is a list of things that tend to annoy people: 1. People making noise when they eat 2. Stepping on dog poo 3. Stepping on chewing gum 4. Bad drivers 5. Forgetting what you were going to do 6. When it starts to rain and you don’t have an umbrella 7. Getting lost when … Read more

Are you an optimistic person or do you tend to see life in a pessimistic way?

Are you an optimistic person or do you tend to see life in a pessimistic way? Is the glass half empty or half full? The definition of an optimist is “someone who is generally hopeful or who tends to expect the best possible outcome”. But are optimists naive, ingenuous or even dreamers? Life is filled with good and bad moments, challenges, difficulties and decisions and optimists tend to tackle these situations with a positive attitude. They look for the light at the end of the tunnel in difficult times. Read more

Where English is spoken?

There are approximately 300 million native English speakers on our planet today, another 300 million who use English as a second language and a further 100 million who use it as a foreign language. English is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee. It is … Read more

Ways to find a job

Are you out of work? Or maybe you have never had a job and you would like to start working? Where do you start when you want to find work? Here is our list of tips on WAYS TO FIND A JOB: 1. Look on the internet for job postings. Go to the websites that … Read more

I realizad it was only….. a dream

I went on a trip To a faraway land Surrounded by blue sea And covered with sand I walked and I walked ´Til my legs were all sore I stopped and rested Then I walked some more Finally, it looked like civilization Was in the far distance A group of thatch huts Could I find some assistance? Read more

Starting to learn a foreign language when you are over the age of 18 is infinitely more difficult than if you start as a young child or better yet, a baby. Why is this?

Small children learn languages more easily and more quickly than adults do. Starting to learn a foreign language when you are over the age of 18 is infinitely more difficult than if you start as a young child or better yet, a baby. Why is this? Babies start to pick up on sounds of a language while in the womb. They listen to the “song” of the language(s) being spoken around them, the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech, which linguists call prosody. If you hum a sentence in English the sound of that is the prosody. If someone then hums a sentence in Spanish, Russian or Chinese the prosody of each language will sound different. Of course, babies that are exposed to more than one language while in utero, and thus more than one prosody, have a head start on being bilingual or even trilingual later in life. Read more

English expressions regarding the passing of time with explanations and examples

The time is here! Set your clock and get ready! Today’s post is about expressions and idioms related to TIME. The following list contains some of the most commonly used English expressions regarding the passing of time with explanations and examples to make them clearer. AGAINST THE CLOCK– in a hurry or with very little time. They are working against the clock to have the house ready for the guests arriving Saturday. A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT– something that comes too late and isn’t worthwhile economically. Yesterday we bought a used car after searching for weeks. Then today my uncle said we could have had his, but that it needs repairs. A day late and a dollar short! AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR– something that happens at the last minute, almost at the end. The opposing team scored a goal at the eleventh hour and won the game! BETTER LATE THAN NEVER– it is better to do or have something late than not at all. We wanted to give her the birthday present at her party but it wasn’t delivered until 3 days later. Well, better late than never! DONKEY’S YEARS– for a very long time. He’s been living in Spain for donkey’s years! It must be 30 years now! Read more

Homophones: How do you pronounce these two words: BLUE and BLEW?

Which of these two grows in a garden: FLOWER or FLOUR? Have you ever read a word in English and you are not sure how it is pronounced? Or you need to write a word in English but you can’t remember how it’s spelled? Homophones are two words that have the same pronunciation but have different spellings and different meanings. The English language has many homophones and they often cause a lot of confusion to English learners. Here is a list of some of the more commonly used homophones and some examples to help you understand the different meanings: Allowed-Aloud Children, you are not allowed to stand up on the chairs! Don’t say it aloud, it’s a secret! Read more

El desempleo en España- ¡aprende inglés!

Unemployment in Spain has reached a record-breaking high of over 6 million unemployed. That means that up to 27% of eligible workers are currently without a regular income. And for young adults in Spain the situation is looking more difficult than ever with unemployment levels of over 57%. The statistics are shocking in this article about the current situation of Spanish unemployment in El País in English. Read more

Greengrocer vocabulary

Welcome back to the Curso-Inglés blog. Newsflash from our website…there is a new lesson on Curso de inglés for all those interested English language learners out there! Where do you shop for fruit and vegetables? Can you name your favorite fruits and vegetables in English? And if you work in a Greengrocer’s or supermarket can you serve your costumers in English? Read more


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