Animals feature strongly in idioms. This is logical if we consider the various habits and characteristics of animals that we have lived side-by-side with for centuries.

a sly fox / to be as sly as a fox

Someone who is very experienced and has acquired a lot of guile.
You can’t trust him; he’s as sly as a fox.

to let sleeping dogs lie

To leave well alone and refrain from starting trouble.
You must have known that mentioning his ex-wife would upset him. You should have let sleeping dogs lie.

as stubborn as a mule

Someone who is unwilling to listen to reason or change his mind.
It’s a waste of time trying to get him to change his mind; he’s as stubborn as a mule.

a dark horse

A person of unknown abilities or a person who has kept his abilities to himself and may surprise everybody. This is a racing metaphor which says that an unknown horse which could win the race unexpectedly.
Who would have thought George would win the competition? He’s a real dark horse.

no room to swing a cat

A very small, cramped place. The original phrase was probably ‘not room to swing a cat-o’nine-tails’, and dates from the time when sailors were flogged (whipped) on ships. The floggings took place on the deck because the cabins were too small.
This room’s not big enough to swing a cat in.

to put/set the cat among the pigeons

To provoke a quarrel.
You shouldn’t have criticised the boss in your speech; now you’ve really put the cat among the pigeons.

a dog’s-body

One who does the routine or mechanical work, especially that which no one else wants to do.
When I worked in the factory I was the dog’s-body; I was given all the worst jobs.

as weak as a kitten

Feeble, very weak, having no strength.
After her operation she felt as weak as a kitten.


LEARNING WITH SONGS: Say Something, A great big world

Today we learn English with songs. Hoy aprendemos con esta bella canción romántica.
Songs are extremely useful to improve your pronunciation and listening.
Esta canción es muy sencilla.
If you don't know the wods in bold, learn them! Si no sabes las palabras de colores apréndelas, son muy útiles.

Say something I'm giving up on you
I'll be the one if you want me too
Anywhere I would have followed you
Say something I'm giving up on you

And I am
Feeling so small
It was over my head
I know nothing at all

And I will
Stumble and fall
I'm still learning to love
Just starting to crawl

Say something I'm giving up on you
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
Anywhere I would have followed you
Say something I'm giving up on you

And I will swallow my pride
You're the one that I love
And I'm saying goodbye

Say something I'm giving up on you
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you
Anywhere I would have followed you

Say something I'm giving up on you
Say something I'm giving up on you
Say something.

Letra traducida en español
Diga algo que me estoy dando por vencido por ti
Yo seré el único si tú me quieres también
Donde quiera yo te hubiera seguido
Diga algo que me estoy dando por vencido por ti

Y me
Siento tan pequeño
Estaba sobre mi cabeza
Yo no sé nada en absoluto

Y voy
A tropezar y caer
Todavía estoy aprendiendo a amar
Apenas comenzando a gatear

Di algo que me estoy dando por vencido por ti
Lo siento por no poder tenerte
Donde quiera yo te hubiera seguido
Di algo que me estoy dando por vencido por ti

Y voy a tragarme mi orgullo
Tú eres a quien amo
Y estoy diciendo adiós

Di algo que me estoy dando por vencido por ti
Lo siento por no poder tenerte
Donde quiera yo te hubiera seguido

Di algo que me estoy dando por vencido por ti
Di algo que me estoy dando por vencido por ti
Di algo.



 Idioms are very important to sound natural in English, here are some food idioms, together with definitions and examples:


Las expresiones idiomáticas o "Frases Hechas" son muy importantes en Inglés, así sonaremos más natural al hablar. Estos son algunos divertidos "dichos" relacionados con la comida.

as cool as a cucumber

To be very relaxed and calm in a particular situation
The Swedish tennis player Bjorn Borg was known for always being as cool as a cucumber on court. He never looked nervous or stressed.

not my cup of tea

Something is not to your taste.
Beach holidays are not my cup of tea: I much prefer going sightseeing in cities.

don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Spread your risks; don’t depend on one thing
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by investing all your money in one company. Invest smaller amounts in several companies.

take something with a pinch of salt

Don’t automatically believe something / Don’t immediately assume that someone is telling the truth.
You should take what she says with a pinch of salt – she’s always exaggerating.

a bad egg

Someone who is often in trouble and is not to be trusted
My mum says that John Smith is a bad egg and she doesn’t want me to be his friend. She says he’ll get me in trouble.

have your cake and eat it

You can’t always have everything / you can’t have two opposing things or situations.
Mike loves his easy part-time job and all the free time he has, but he says he wants to be rich and successful. He can’t have his cake and eat it – if he wants more money he’ll have to get a full-time job.

the apple of my eye

To love and adore someone.
My daughter is the apple of my eye.


To be kitsch and / or without style
That film was so predictable and unoriginal – it was just a cheesy love story.

to butter someone up

To be especially nice to someone or give someone something in order to get what you want.
She doesn’t usually speak to me but yesterday she was buttering me up after she heard I had been promoted to a higher position at the company.

in a nutshell

Basically / to summarise.
He’s selfish, greedy and impolite. In a nutshell, he’s horrible.



Today I show you my second book for the English Readers Collection:

We thought we were asleep

LEVEL: A2-B1. 4ESO, 1 Bahillerato.
AUTHOR: Rafael Alcolea Harold 
Author's webpage: www.rafaelalcolea@blogspot.com.es
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult.
Pages: 20
Every year the goverments around the world give us a pill to sleep for some hours. The whole planet remains asleep at the same time, but... What would happen if you realise that you are not sleeping when you are supposed to be?
 The protagonist discovers a terrible secret hidden by the rulers of our world.
Will he escape from his fate?

Link Download for FREE: 

Note for teachers: You are allowed to use this material in class.
Aquellos profesores que quieran usar estos materiales en clase pueden hacerlo. Solo deberán indicar la autoría del libro.



Today, we present the first title of our collection of MyPlaceforEnglish's Readers in English:

Title: The Next Victim.
Author: R. Alcolea Harold.
Genre: Mystery, vampires.
Pages: 50.
Level: Intermediate (A2, B1) / Bachillerato (1,2)
Price: 0.89€ / $1.19
Link to buy the Ebook  at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/THE-NEXT-VICTIM-ebook/dp/B00DESIHXC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1371597773&sr=1-3&keywords=the+next+victim

This text is appropriate to be used in EFL Classroom. It includes questions for the understanding of the story and further activities to be carried out in class.

También podéis adquirirlo en Amazon España o cualquier país del mundo. Este libro es el primer título de la colección de lecturas para estudiantes de Inglés de nuestra web. Esperamos os guste. Se puede descargar y trabajar en clase por su económico precio.

Enlace de Amazon españa: http://www.amazon.es/THE-NEXT-VICTIM-ebook/dp/B00DESIHXC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1371597532&sr=1-3&keywords=rafael+alcolea



Here you are the Worksheet for Summer Paradise song by Simple Plan. The keys are in the second paper, but don't cheat and look before completing the blanks and listen to the song, if you don't have it you can watch the music video in the following link:


I hope you have as fun as we had today in class!!

(Si estáis aprendiendo Inglés, esta es una buena canción para empezar a mejorar vuestro Listening, y es muy divertida, fácil de seguir. Si no tenéis la canción pinchad en el enlace de arriba y podréis ver el video mientras completáis la letra de la canción. Las soluciones en la segunda hoja.)


Summer Paradise next song for our class

Summer is coming back so we'll practice our listening skill with this song in class. I leave the video as a starter, the lyrics and activities coming soon...

|Simple Plan lyric - Summer Paradise



Idioms can be confusing for non-native speakers. Someone might have said to you that you look a bit under the weather. Or perhaps you heard someone say they were snowed under. What did they mean
Well, they definitely weren’t speaking about the weather. They were using an idiom, i.e. a phrase whose collective meaning is different to the meaning of its individual words.
Here are six common weather idioms to impress your friends with.
Frases idiomáticas sobre el Tiempo meteorológico.

raining cats and dogs

This is used to describe very heavy rain.
It’s terrible weather outside; it’s raining cats and dogs.

to weather the storm

To get through a difficult time and survive.
The government is in a crisis but they look like they will weather the storm.

to be snowed under

To have too much work or things to do.
Oh, no! Not another new project. I’m already snowed under. I don’t have time to do any more.

every cloud has a silver lining

You can always find something positive in a bad situation.
Don’t worry about losing your job, it might be the best thing that’s happened to you. Remember, every cloud has a silver lining!

stormy waters

To be in trouble. To be going through a period of problems.
The government is in stormy waters over its new transportation policy.
I’m in stormy waters with my girlfriend; I didn’t get home till 2 o’clock this morning.

to be a bit under the weather

To feel ill, sick; not feeling completely well.
I’m taking the day off work today – I’m feeling a bit under the weather.
You look a bit under the weather, John. Aren’t you feeling well?




10 uncountable nouns / Nombres incontables que solemos confundir :

1. advice
2. news
4. equipment
5. luggage
6. experience
7. progress
8. traffic
9. trouble
Before uncountable nouns we often use some or any:
  • I need some advice.
  • We don’t have any news.
  • He doesn’t have much experience.
We can also use a lot of, a little, very little and much:
  • There is a lot of information.
  • They only have a little equipment.
  • They don’t have much luggage.
It is possible to make the following nouns countable by saying:
  • a piece of advice
  • two pieces of news
  • three pieces of information
  • four pieces of equipment
  • five pieces of luggage.
The nouns experience, progress, traffic, trouble and accommodation cannot be made countable in the above way.
N.B. Experience also exists as a countable noun, as in this sentence: ‘We had a lot of good experiences on our trip’.


Present Perfect vs Past Simple (Activity)

(You'll find the answers in the comments section of this post, but we have to check it in class first)


Seven tips for making idiomatic phrasal verbs easier to learn:

1. Be careful when checking for meaning in your dictionary – phrasal verbs often have more than one meaning. Study the context of the sentence in which you first saw the phrasal verb. From that context you may be able to tell which definition in the dictionary is the one you need.
2. If possible, ask a native speaker about the meaning of the phrasal verb.
3. Find out how common the phrasal verb is (again, a native speaker will be a big help). Focus on learning common phrasal verbs, not ones which are seldom used.
4. Learn the phrasal verb as part of a sentence or phrase (this helps you to remember it).
5. Double check that you can use the phrasal verb correctly. You can do this by inventing your own sentence containing the verb and again asking a native speaker if it’s correct. By doing this, for instance, you will see if you are putting the object of the verb in the correct place. Look at these examples: ‘I invite friends over’ and ‘I invited over friends’ are both correct because the position of the object is flexible with this verb. However, with the verb give up, we can say ‘I gave up smoking but not ‘I gave smoking up’.
6. Don’t try to learn every meaning of a phrasal verb: one is enough to start with. Learn the other meanings once you are sure you’ll remember the first.
7. Look out for phrasal verbs in your favourite songs. Pop music is full of them, and having a melody makes words much easier to remember.
How about starting with the songs at MYPLACEFORENGLISH  ?


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