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Wednesday the 30th of September, 2009
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PANTS vs TROUSERS-1

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Good morning.

Today and tomorrow we look at another question that we received before summer, but didn't have time to answer until now. This time the question is from Francesca Facchini:

Please can you send something about the difference between pants and trousers (pantalones de mujer y de hombre)? Si en castellano digo "un par de pantalones",  quiero decir dos pantalones. Si quiero uno solo, diré "un pantalon". Is it the same in English? Thanks
-Francesca Facchini


Today we answer the first part of the question: the difference between pants and trousers. The difference is really dialectical. Study the following definitions, marked as standard US and/or standard UK English.

Trousers (UK/US): a piece of clothing that covers the body from the waist down and is divided into two parts to cover each leg separately (pantalones).

Pants (UK): a piece of men's underwear worn under their trousers; also underpants (calzoncillos). The female version would be knickers or panties (bragas).

Pants (US): another word for trousers.

So you see, Pants and Trousers are synonyms, depending on the dialect. And of course, the English-speaking world is very diverse, so you can find exceptions to the tendencies listed above.

Remember too that we have other synonyms like jeans (a type of pants/trousers made out of cotton denim) or slacks (in US English slacks are elegant pants/trousers that are not part of a suit), etc.

Example 1:
I've decided not to wear a suit for the wedding. I bought a nice shirt and some slacks, as well as some new shoes. I don't think the celebration will be too formal, so I think it will be okay to dress more casually.

Example 2:
David. Will you please put on a different pair of trousers! Those ones are so old!

Tomorrow we will finish answering Francesca's question.

I hope everyone has a good day.



Tuesday the 29th of September, 2009
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EXPRESSIONS WITH 'ALL'-5

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning.

Today we finish our review of expressions that use the English word all.

Today's first expression is: in all

Meaning: as a total.

Example 1:
Alice: How many people were at the meeting?
Mike: There were fifteen of us
in all.

Today's second expression is: all round

Meaning: in every way; in all respects.

Example 2:
Football coach: You did a great job team. Okay, we didn't win the championship, but you played very well all round. It was just bad luck.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post your comments by clicking on the "Add a Comment" button in the Daily Vitamin section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a good day.



Monday the 28th of September, 2009
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EXPRESSIONS WITH 'ALL'-4

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Good morning. I hope everyone had a good weekend.

Today we continue our review of expressions that use the English word all.

Today's first expression is: all in one

Meaning: having two or more uses or functions.

Example 1:
It's a corkscrew (sacacorchos) and a bottle-opener (abrebotellasall in one.

Today's second expression is: all or nothing

Meaning: a situation which will end either in total success or total failure.

Example 2:
Football coach: Okay boys. This is it... the final game. If we win, we're the champions; but if we lose, no one will remember that we had come this far. It's all or nothing.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post your comments by clicking on the "Add a Comment" button in the Daily Vitamin section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

I hope you have a nice day.



Friday the 25th of September, 2009
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VERBOS MODALES-1

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Good morning.

A lo largo de las próximas semanas, vamos a repasar los verbos modales en inglés (modal verbs).

En primer lugar, ¿qué son los verbos modales? Los modal verbs son unos verbos auxiliares que se combinan con un verbo infinitivo para añadir un "modo" o "actitud" diferente al significado del verbo central. Fíjate en la diferencia entre las siguientes dos frases.

Example 1:
I go to work Monday through Friday.
(Voy a trabajar de lunes a viernes.)

Example 2
I must go to work Monday through Friday.
(Tengo que ir a trabajar de lunes a viernes.)

En el primer ejemplo, el locutor declara que trabaja de lunes a viernes sin más, mientras que en la segunda frase indica que tiene la obligación de ir a trabajar cada día de la semana. El verbo modal must añade un importante significado o "actitud" adicional al verbo central, go: obligación. Una frase equivalente al segundo ejemplo sería "I'm obligated to go to work Monday through Friday." (Estoy obligado a trabajar de lunes a viernes.)

Fíjate que este verbo modal se combina con el infinitivo go sin incluir la partícula adverbial to. Nunca incluimos la partícula to después de un verbo modal...¡NUNCA! Entonces, no decimos ***"I must to go to work…"***  Es un error muy común entre los alumnos de inglés, así que recuerda que los verbos modales siempre acompañan a verbos infinitivos sin su partícula to... ¡SIEMPRE!

Tenemos mucho que repasar a lo largo de las siguientes semanas, pero de momento asegúrate que entiendas esta regla básica.

I hope you have a wonderful day and a great weekend!



Wednesday the 23rd of September, 2009
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EXPRESSIONS WITH 'ALL'-3

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Good morning.

Today we continue looking at expressions with the English word all. Tomorrow (Thursday) there will be no Daily Vitamin due to the fact that it is a holiday in Barcelona (La Mercè). Friday we will send the Essential Weekly Vitamin as usual.

Today's first expression is: all along

Meaning: all the time; from the beginning.

Example 1:
I had been looking for my keys for almost an hour when I realised that they were in my pocket all along. Of all the stupid things that I have done! Now I'm going to be late for the meeting.

Today's second expression is: all over

Meaning: everywhere

Example 2:
I looked all over for the keys, but I couldn't find them.

Example 3:
When we entered the house we saw things all over the place. Someone had been searching for something and left the place a complete disaster. 

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post your comments by clicking on the "Add a Comment" button in the Daily Vitamin section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a great day. For those of you who live in Barcelona, enjoy the Mercè.