Say, tell, speak, or talk

Verb Definition and use Example
SAY

 

To

Ø  Utter words to share information

Ø  To express in words

 

Most often used without a personal object.  If PO is used, ‘to’ is necessary.

 

Used with direct and indirect speech.

 

Tina said she might come to class this afternoon.

 

Carlos said, “Hi” to a stranger in the street.

 

I say to my best friend how much I appreciate her.

TELL

 

 

Ø  Communicate information to someone

Ø  To instruct or inform

Ø

After tell we usually say WHO is told (tell someone something).

 

Tell someone TO DO something.

 

Not used before objects.

 

Do not normally use it after tell to refer to a fact.

 

Repeat something to someone.

 

Use with lies, stories, the truth.

 

Used with direct and indirect speech.

 

 

Jenny told her that she should study more.

 

Ilana will tell her mom about the car accident.

 

The actor was told that he needed to cry harder in the scene.

 

I cannot believe that he would tell lies to his wife.

 

NOT

Mary told them “Goodbye.”

 

I will tell you it tomorrow.

 

Peter told a bad word.

SPEAK

 

To / With / About / Of

Ø  Have a conversation

Ø  Communicate, answer or address

Ø  Say something in order to express information or feelings

 

One-way communication.

 

For exchanges in formal or serious situations.

 

Used to refer to languages or knowledge.

 

More emphasis is place on the other person involved in the conversation.

How many different languages can you speak?

 

Everyone spoke about the wonderful performance the next day.

 

Maybe you should speak to your boss about a pay raise.

 

To be in a good relationship, one should speak with their partner openly.

TALK

 

To / With / About

Ø  Speak to give information or express feelings or ideas

Ø  Communicate by spoken words

Ø  Have the power of speech

Ø  Gossip

 

More common word to refer to informal communication and conversational exchanges.

 

More emphasis is placed on the topic of the spoken exchange.

We need to talk about setting a budget for the month.

 

If Wilma talks to me tomorrow, I will tell you.

 

Good parents talk with their children daily.

 

WITH

 

Discussion between two or more participants

TO

 

One-sided conversation

ABOUT

 

General discussion

OF

 

Describe something definite that you know or have experienced

Share

10 Libros para leer en inglés. Nivel B2

¿Te estas preparando para el certificado B2 (FCE)?, si es así este listado de recomendaciones te servirá de gran utilidad y te ayudará a mejorar tu vocabulario, grammar y writing. Este listado de 10 libros en inglés para nivel B2 podría haber sido más extenso, hay muchos más libros que te podría recomendar pero he preferido dejarlo para otro post.

Este es el listado que suelo recomendar a mis alumnos de First (B2) en la academia Let’s Talk en Valencia, mis favoritos los he puesto en las primeras posiciones, espero que disfrutes de estos títulos y mejores tu inglés.

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime

Autor: Mark Haddon

Libro muy recomendable por su originalidad, al ser narrado por un joven de 15 años, el vocabulario no es demasiado complicado, perfecto para un nivel b2 sin dejar de ser una historia muy interesante para jóvenes y adultos.

 

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.”

 

 

A Long Way Down

Autor: Nick Hornby

Es uno de los libros más entretenidos de este famoso autor. Recomendaría este libro en particular porque es la historia de varias personas que viven una situación en común y todos ellos hablan de situaciones cotidianas por lo que es muy útil para aprender inglés y el lector se puede sentir identificado.

 

“Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year’s Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper’s House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives.
In four distinct and riveting first-person voices, Nick Hornby tells a story of four individuals confronting the limits of choice, circumstance, and their own mortality…“

 

 

The Great Automatic Grammatizator and Other Stories

Autor: Roald Dahl

Famoso por libros para niños como Matilda o Charlie y la Fábrica de Chocolate, para mi Dahl es uno de los mejores escritores de relatos cortos para adultos. Sea cual sea el género que te guste, en esta pequeña lista de libros de R. Dahl encontrarás algo que te llame la atención.

 

“A collection of thirteen short stories written by British author Roald Dahl. The stories were selected for teenagers from Dahl’s adult works. All the stories included were published elsewhere originally; their sources are noted below. The stories, with the exception of the war story “Katina”, possess a deadpanironic, bizarre, or even macabre sense of humor. They generally end with unexpected plot twists.”

 

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life

Autor: Roald Dahl

 

 

“Roald Dahl brings to life stories of everyday country folk and their strange passions.  Whether it is taking a troublesome cow to be mated  with a prime bull, dealing with a rat-infested hayrick, learning the ways and means of maggot farming, or describing the fine art of poaching pheasants using nothing but raisins and sleeping pills.”

Kiss, Kiss

Autor: Roald Dahl

 

 

“A collection of short stories for adults, Kiss Kiss serves up the unexpected. Eleven disturbing, sinister tales from the master of the twist in the tale. These classic tales from Roald Dahl, explore desire, deceit and the macabre with shocking results.”

Over to You

Autor: Roald Dahl

 

 

“It brings together 10 of Roald Dahl’s earliest stories, many of them set during the Second World War and drawing on his own experiences as a fighter pilot. It includes his first paid piece of writing, the short story A Piece of Cake, which was originally published in 1942 in American magazine The Saturday Evening Post under the title Shot Down Over Libya. “

 

 

 

 

Animal Farm

Autor: George Orwell. “All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

Después de la sobredosis de títulos de Roal Dahl, seguimos con G. Orwell. ¡No te puedes perder este clásico!. Historia de una revolución que no salió como se esperaba, una sátira brillante sobre cómo la fuerza de corrupción del poder. Es un libro corto, entretenido y muy sarcástico. Sin duda una de las obras maestras de la historia de la literatura. Si te ha gustado gusta este, no te puedes perder “1984”, del mismo autor, ambos libros perfectamente asequibles para un nivel B2.

“Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges. . .”

 

 

GRADED READERS (Oxford Bookworms)

Para terminar con la lista de lecturas recomendadas en inglés para nivel B2, aquí van algunas recomendaciones de “readers”, perfectos para estudiantes de B2 porque están adaptados al nivel B2 y puedes descargar el audio y así mejorar tu pronunciación de forma considerable a la vez que  amplias tu vocabulario. Existe una amplia colección de la editorial Oxford, algunos de mis preferidos que puedes encontrar en la librería inglesa especializada de Let’s Talk English Centre son:

Thirty nine steps (level 4)

I turned on the light, but there was nobody there. Then I saw something in the corner that made my blood turn cold. Scudder was lying on his back. There was a long knife through his heart, pinning him to the floor.’ Soon Richard Hannay is running for his life across the hills of Scotland. The police are chasing him for a murder he did not do, and another, more dangerous enemy is chasing him as well – the mysterious ‘Black Stone’. Who are these people? And why do they want Hannay dead?

 

The Great Gatsby (level 5)

Gatsby’s mansion on Long Island blazes with light, and the beautiful, the wealthy, and the famous drive out from New York to drink Gatsby’s champagne and to party all night long. But Jay Gatsby, the owner of all this wealth, wants only one thing – to find again the woman of his dreams, the woman he has held in his heart and his memory for five long years. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, is one of the great American novels of the twentieth century. It captures perfectly the Jazz Age of the 1920s, and goes deep into the hollow heart of the American Dream

 

This Rough Magic (level 5)

The Greek island of Corfu lies like a jewel, green and gold, in the Ionian sea, where dolphins swim in the sparkling blue water. What better place for an out-ofwork actress to relax for a few weeks? But the island is full of danger and mysteries, and Lucy Waring’s holiday is far from peaceful. She meets a rude young man, who seems to have something to hide. Then there is a death by drowning, and then another…

 

 

 

Share

FCE TOP TIP. Exam Timing

 

¡TIME IS MONEY!

¿Cuánto tiempo debes dedicarle a cada parte del examen?

Como ya sabrás, Cambridge es muy generoso con los fantásticos “phrasal verbs” pero no lo es tanto con el tiempo y esto puede llegar a ser un problema si no te entrenas bien antes de la prueba oficial. Cada persona tiene dificultades en diferentes partes y puede tardar más o menos pero, en general, ésta sería una buena guía para tener el tiempo bajo control:

 

READING AND USE OF ENGLISH (1hour 15 minutes)

Use of English 1 (Multiple Choice) 5 minutos

Use of English 2 (Open Cloze) 5 minutos

Use of English 3 (Word formation) 5 minutos

Use of English 4 (Key Word Transformation) 10 minutos

Puedes tardar un poco más o menos pero intenta no superar los 25’, ya que vas a necesitar tiempo para copiar las respuestas!

Reading

Dedica unos 15 minutos por parte. 45 minutos en total

De esta forma, necesitaremos unos 25 minutos para el use of English y 45 minutos para el Reading + unos 5 minutos para copiar las respuestas.

¡GOOD LUCK!

Share

FCE TOP TIP OF THE WEEK. Phrasal verbs

En la parte 4 del libro “Use of English” vemos que en la frase:

The climbers continued to go up the mountain even though it was snowing.

CARRIED

The climbers ………………………………………… the mountain even though it was snowing.

Encontramos que tenemos que cambiar “continued to go up” pero hemos de usar el verbo “carried”. Eso significa que vamos a necesitar una preposición para formar un phrasal verb que significa “continued”. ¿La tienes ya? Efectivamente, es “ON”.

“Carried on” es sinonimo de “continued”.  ¡Ya tenemos 1 punto por vocabulario!, pero no te confíes, todavía hay que completar la respuesta. Aquí va la parte gramatical. En este caso están poniendo a prueba los “verb patterns”, es decir, verbos seguidos de (to) Infinitive o de V-ing).  “Continue” necesita un infinitivo (CONTINUED TO GO UP) pero los phrasal verbs van seguidos del verbo con –ing (CARRIED ON GOING UP). Ya tienes tus dos puntos en esta frase!

Es MUY importante analizar las frases parte por parte y saber qué es lo que te piden.  La semana que viene veremos otro consejo para que superar esta parte del examen te resulte mucho más fácil! 😉

¿Te atreves con ésta?

“There has been a rise of over ten per cent in the price of the tickets”, said Sue.

GONE

Sue said that the price of the tickets ……………………………….. than ten per cent this year.

Share

Nippy out, isn’t it?

For advanced learners, one of the most difficult challenges is to speak using the vocabulary you learn in class.  Speaking doesn’t allow you to think and your speech level automatically is reduced to a comfort-zone in which you know you will commit no mistakes.   I always tell my students that the trick to appearing as if you have a higher level of English is just to memorize some alternate vocabulary words to replace those you overuse.

For example:

  • Instead of saying It’s cold.  You can replace the word “cold” with  nippy, chilly, or freezing
  • Instead of saying, It’s raining.   Why not try,  It’s pouring!  It’s a downpour!  It’s really coming down!  It’s sprinkling….
  • Instead of saying, It’s humid.   Try instead,  It’s muggy.  It’s clammy.  It’s sticky.

Work on word replacement when writing:

  • It was a hot, sunny day.  The wind was blowing hard.  It was really humid.
  • It was an oppressive, sunny day.  It was really breezy and muggy.

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Stress is something that unfortunately isn’t frequently taught in the classroom, but makes all the difference when you want to make yourself understood and you want to understand the underlying meaning that is being conveyed to you.  Not many english-language learners realize, but by the way we stress a word we alter the meaning of the sentence.

To stress a word is to:

1) Make it sound louder
2) Use a different pitch for the word

For example:

I had pizza last night.  (by stressing “pizza” you mean that you had “pizza” instead of what you normally eat)

I had pizza last night.  (by stressing “last” you mean that you “already had pizza and probably don’t want it again)

If you are a language learner of any level you should try incorporating these speech patterns into your sentence structure.  Try it and you’ll quickly see how your language level improves.

 

Share

Libros para preparar el First

 

A la hora de elegir el material adecuado para preparar el FCE, es importante tener en cuenta varios factores. Entre ellos, si eres autodidacta o asistes a clases en grupo y por otra parte, el tiempo que tengas para dedicarle.

FIRST EN ACADEMIAS

Si estás asistiendo a clases guiadas por un profesor, él/ella seguramente elegirá el material a usar en clase.

  • Nosotros aquí en Let’s Talk English Center Valencia solemos trabajar con el Gold First Coursebook (Pearson) para cursos académicos de 8 meses.
  • Para cursos semi-académicos de 5-6 meses elegimos el Compact First, el cual es perfecto para trabajar en este período de tiempo. Ambos cursos están complementamos con recursos adicionales de vocabulario, listening, actividades de speaking y vídeos.
  • En cursos intensivos nuestro libro predilecto es el FCE Trainer (Cambridge University Press), el cual consta de 6 exámenes completos, dos de ellos con un entrenamiento previo para cada una de las partes.

 

FIRST POR TU CUENTA

Si eres más bien autodidacta y tienes que elegir tu propio material, tienes que tener en cuenta el nivel des del que partes.

  • Si ya has hecho algún curso de B2/FCE antes y tienes un nivel alto, lo más recomendable es que refuerces técnica de examen. Para esto el FCE Trainer es perfecto, combinado con Grammar and Vocabulary for First Certificate. Ambos incluyen las respuestas y el audio.
  • Si dispones de más tiempo, lo mejor es que adquieras el Gold First + Gold Exam Maximiser de Pearson o el Complete First de Cambridge. Recuerda hacer exámenes completos de forma periódica para seguir tu evolución y reforzar tus puntos más débiles. Tampoco olvides de practicar la parte del Speaking con alguien, te ayudará a ir mejor preparado y relajado al examen oficial.
Share

How good are your english conversation skills?

Students often ask what they can do outside class in order to continue practicing and improving. As a teacher and student myself, I think it is important to put the theory and grammar into action as much as you can, through listening and speaking, in a more personally productive way. It is one thing to read and repeat what is written on a printed page in front of you, but it is altogether a much different ability to produce spoken language by yourself.

english conversation skills

For students with a lower A1 or A2 level it is more important to build a strong grammatical and lexical base with some short sporadic practice of listening and speaking. However, once you are past the A2 stage, you need to step away a little from the more passive elements of language acquisition and learn to keep a conversation moving on a range of themes. This not only requires knowledge of the language but also imagination and creative thinking or in other words “conversation skills” both for examinations but also in your day to day life.

It is thought that nowadays, due to an over reliance on mobile phone messaging and social networks, that people are losing this fundamental ability of thinking on their toes, not only when speaking a foreign language but even in their native tongue. In a messaging conversation, you have several minutes or hours to think, before answering a message, whereas in an exam and in real life you need to be able to answer on the spot!

By not exercising this vital skill, students tend to get even more nervous when speaking in groups and even more so in an exam situation. With some encouragement from a teacher and personal initiative, you need to adopt the philosophy of “you can’t make an omelet, without breaking a few eggs”.

Attending a conversation class is one way in which you can overcome this fear and grab the bull by the horns. Once you have a high A2 level, you should be exercising this skill at least twice a week. You shouldn’t worry initially about a lack of participation during your first few lessons as you will always be practicing your listening skills to begin with and learning linkers and vocabulary from both your teacher and fellow classmates. The one thing you should worry the least about is making errors, as your main objective should be simply to increase participation and improve your listening in a live conversational situation. You also need to be open minded and be prepared to talk on a variety of themes by looking for the advantage and disadvantage on each of these.

You will be using the same set of skills during any examination or conversation. You can practice this at home by simply brainstorming the pros and cons of any issue by making a short list of bullet points. It can be in assessing anything from such generic themes like the weather “winter and summer” or “homemade food and fast food” to slightly more in depth conversations on “consumerism” or “sexism”. You are always working the same basic skills of linkers, to create contrast in your opinions and weigh up the pros and cons of that topic. In addition to expressing your opinions, the other objective is to keep the conversation moving forward, just as you would do in any other aspect of your life such as having coffee with a friend.

You should gradually try to step up your interjections as you gain confidence. Usually your teacher will step in, if she or he feels you aren’t participating enough. Remember that everyone in the class makes the same kind of errors as you and that everyone has the same purpose, to improve real time fluency.

With all this in mind I look forward to seeing you at Let’s Talk English Centre in Valencia!

Share

La Consellería convalidará el nivel B2 de inglés del Marco Común Europeo de Referencia para las Lenguas con otros títulos que en la práctica, reflejan el mismo nivel. Según el DOCV, el IELTS (International English Language Testing System) será válido para convalidar los siguientes niveles:

Puntos IELTS CEFR Cambridge ESOL
5,5 a 6,5 B2 FCE
6,5 a 7 C1 CAE
7,5 a 9 C2 CPE

 

¿Cómo funciona IELTS?

ieltsPara poder convalidar tu certificado de IELTS, tienes la posibilidad de hacer el IELTS General Training, el cual mide tu nivel de inglés en un contexto funcional y totalmente práctico, usando situaciones de la vida cotidiana como escenarios en todas las partes del examen.

¿Cuáles son estas partes y qué puntuación necesito en cada una de ellas?

IELTS es una prueba de nivel así que no puedes aprobar o suspender. Los candidatos reciben una nota en cada una de las partes. La media de dichas notas por separado será el resultado final del examen.

Preparación IELTS en Valencia: https://www.letstalk.es/ingles-valencia/cursos-ielts

Mas informacion sobre IELTS: http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/es/exams/ielts/

Share