Present continuous used for describing pictures

Click here to practise your present progressive and picture description skills.

Describing a picture

Describing Pictures

Picture Description


How would you describe the picture below? Click on the photo for some useful tips.

What about this one? Look at the picture carefully and then do the activities below.

To express your impressions you can use :look + adjective
Look like + (a) noun
Look as if + sentence

Expressing degrees of certainty.
Study the examples and then do the exercise below:
I'm sure it's a dog- It must be a dog
I'm sure it isn't a dog- It can't be a dog
Perhaps it is a dog- It could/might be a dog


  • You have to draw a picture. Listen to the recording and draw the picture described.

  • Identify the fathers and mothers with their sons and daughters.

Past Simple

Use of English
Click on the Full Screen option below to see the chart properly.

English Irregular verbs

Homework for 2nd Year Intermediate Level students

Conditional Clauses

Time Clauses

Reported Speech

Modal Verbs

Past Modals

Verb Forms

Listening Comprehension

Reading Comprehension



Desde aquí puede acceder a muestras de ejercicios de los exámenes de certificación de las convocatorias de 2011 y 2012. Recuerde que estos ejercicios son sólo un ejemplo del tipo de tareas de las que constan los exámenes de certificación. Para saber con más detalle qué tipo de ejercicios puede encontrar, consulte la Guía del Candidato 2013. Esta guía estará disponible en esta web al menos un mes antes del comienzo de las pruebas.
Puede descargar los archivos y guardarlos en su equipo.
Los ejemplos de Comprensión Oral y de Comprensión de Lectura incluyen las correspondientes respuestas.

Telling Stories

We thought it'd never come but it's winter again.
Days are shorter, darker and colder; however we can't deny each season has its charm and we have to try and make the most of these long dark nights.

A winter pleasure I absolutely love is reading a good story on a cold stormy night, specially those with a touch of mystery; what's more, if they are somewhat gothic and scary, much better.

I know that many of you like Stephanie Meyer's saga, so why don't you have a go at the real thing, with vampires who are not so squeamish and know the appeal of red blood?

You may like Edward and all those gentle 'Twilight' vampires, but there is something about Count Dracula, with his sinister elegance, that you should not miss; something worth experiencing form the safety of your sofa, so far away from Transilvania. After all, he has first attracted and then scared the hell out of hundreds of people throughout the years; there really must be something worth discovering about him.

To start with, you can click here and read an extract from Bram Stoker's 'Dracula', but you'll have to do some work choosing the right tenses for the narration.
After doing the exercise, you may feel more curious about the count's story.

A completely different option for a stormy night reading could be 'Tales of the Unexpected', a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl.
This is a terrific book, with some of the author's best stories, all of which are suprising, clever, twisted and, of course, completely unexpected. Dahl has an incredible ablility to make the macabre laughable and the stories never fail to shock and amuse the reader.

If you click here, you'll find an extract from 'Lamb to the Slaughter', one of the stories from the collection, and you can practise the use of narrative tenses with it.

Well, last but not least, I have another suggestion for you: 'Misery' , by Stephen king, a master at scaring readers. I must admit I haven't read this book myself. I've seen the film ,though, so I think it's high time I read something by S.K. just to know first hand if he is as good as they say.

Click here to do some practice with your narrative skills. This time the excerpt is from 'Misery'.
Well, now it's your turn, I'd be deligted to know about your favourite mystery stories or tales. I'd be great if we could share our experiences as adventurous readers, curled up under a blanket with a good book in our hands on a spooky night, fighting demons, vampires or any other monsters which dare try to scare us. They may succeed at first but eventually we'll win and enjoy the ride, that's for sure.
You can send your recommendations if you click here :
You can also add them to the reading section in the forum
By the way, why don't you do a crossword on monsters in literature and culture? It'll be fun!

Book Review

During the second therm, you will have to write a book review( 150-200 words) and your writing  should be organized somewhat like this:

Introduction, which gives facts and background information concerning the book and its author.
Main body, usually made up of three parts. The first giving a concise outline of the plot, the second mentioning the main characters and their role in the story and thirdly any relevant themes the book touches upon while it unravels.
Conclusion, which should include any general comments and opinion as well as a positive or negative recommendation supported by reasons.
The style of your review or oral presentation very much depends on your audience, therefore it can either be formal or semi-formal. Present tenses are normally used as well as a variety of adjectives to make the speech more interesting.

Useful language
· It’s well worth reading
· It will change the way you think of….
· I wouldn’t recommend it because….
· It’s bound to be on the best sellers list
· I highly/strongly recommend it
· It’s a highly entertaining read
· It’s a bore to read
· It’s certainly at the top of my list of favourites
· Fans of this author will no doubt be thrilled with this latest edition
· It’s a must!
· Don’t bother with this one
· I definitely recommend that you add this to your collection!

Choose the vocabulary according to your level using adjectives and expressions like the ones below:
ELEMENTARY: amusing, boring, brilliant, enjoyable, exciting, funny, great, romantic, simple.
INTERMEDIATE: dull, entertaining, hilarious, moving, predictable, remarkable, shocking, surprising, tragic, unpredictable, violent, a cliffhanger, blackly funny, breathtaking, deeply moving, dull, heart warming...

Your can read the whole post giving advice about book reviews at our Library Blog, About Reading. Thanks to Mª José and Alison for their excellent tips.
If you feel like giving voice to your writings or to the texts you are reading, you can use this tool. It does not sound very natural, but it is not bad either. You can give it a try and see if you like it.

You will find more interesting reading material at English Story Reading Room. All the books there are available for free.

Christmas Wishes

I wish a merry Christmas for all of us and lots of nice surprises for next year.

After all, 2014 must be better than 2013, I can't see how it can be worse. And no , we don't want to see if things can go worse, we want a nice holiday to share with our family and friends , lots of presents , happiness and prosperity for next year, as usual.
Oh, I forgot, we'd like to win a good lottery prize just for once!



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It'd be nice if you wrote your own Chistmas greetings and sent them as comments. You just have to click on the comment icon below. Come on, Xmas is coming again; it's time to celebrate!

If you need some ideas, you can find them here.

How to Pronounce -ed in English

There are three ways to pronounce the final -ed of regular verbs in the simple past tense. This pronunciation is determined by the final sound* of the verb in the infinitive: Is it a voiced consonant, an unvoiced consonant, or a vowel sound?

  1. For verbs ending in d and t the final -ed is pronounced /Id/ as in the final two letters of the word did. Note that here the -e is not silent and this final -ed sound adds another syllable to the end of the verb.

  2. After unvoiced sounds such as/ p, k, f, s, , ,θ/ the final -ed is pronounced like /t/ as in the word cat. Note that the -e remains silent.

  3. After voiced consonants such as /b, , g, v, z, , , m, n, ŋ, l, r/ the final -ed sound is pronounced like /d/ as in good. Note that the -e remains silent. The final -ed is also pronounced like the d in good after all vowel sounds (the -e remains silent too).
This chart may help you remember the rules above.

Click here to see some examples and listen to the past tense verbs.
Now you are ready to do these listening activities (1, 2, 3).

*If you need to revise the phonemic symbols in English, click here.

You can do some more practice with this game. Have a go! It's fun!
If you like this game, you can find more at Chiew's site. You just have to click on the logo below.
Thanks, Chiew for your nice games!

Games for Education

Narrative Tenses

Practise the use of narrative tenses with the exercises below:

Past simple/Past continuous 1,2,3,4,
Past Perfect Simple 1,2,3,4

Tenses Revision exercises

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