Michael Toora's Blog

English/Spanish blog from somewhere in La Mancha / Blog en inglés y español de un lugar de La Mancha

Welcome / Bienvenidos

Thanks for visiting us.
Gracias por visitarnos.

Blog Archive

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Wild Flowers for Earth Day / Flores silvestres para el día de la tierra

Today is Earth Day and we are going to plant wild flowers.
/ Hoy es el Día de la Tierra y vamos a plantar flores silvestres. 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Pysanky / Pisankas

The kids are surprised and delighted by the mysterious decorated eggs hanging from a little branch of the Easter tree.

Los niños están sorprendidos y encantados con los misteriosos huevos decorados que cuelgan de una ramita del árbol de Pascua Florida.


Why haven´t you asked me if I painted those eggs? Think only the bad and never the good of Alpin. You didn´t hesitate to accuse me of stealing them, Thistle, you suspicious skinflint.

¿Por que no me has preguntado si yo pinté esos huevos? Pensad sólo lo malo y nunca lo bueno de Alpin. No dudaste en acusarme de robar esos huevos, Cardo, rácana desconfiada.


That will do. You´ve made your point. We are four and there are five eggs. One for each of us and one for the mysterious painter. You get to choose one first, Alpin. That should make you feel better.

¡Ya basta! Lo has dejado claro. Somos cuatro y hay cinco huevos. Uno para cada uno de nosotros y otro para el misterioso pintor. Tú serás el primero en elegir, Alpin. Eso debería hacer que te sientas mejor. 

Come on, choose!

 ¡Venga, escoge!


Be careful with those eggs. It would be enough that they are pretty, but they are also talismans meant to ward off evil.

Tened mucho cuidado con esos huevos. Bastaría con que sean bonitos, pero es que además son talismanes que ahuyentan el mal.  

It´s funny, what you´ve just said. Last night I dreamt that the world would exist only while eggs were painted. It would go with the last painted egg. A snake would swallow it. Oh, well. The night before that I dreamt I made good at the stock market. I didn´t even know what a stock market was before I dreamt about it. I guess I learn something new every night.
Es curioso que hayas dicho eso. Anoche soñé que el mundo sólo seguiría existiendo mientras se pintasen huevos. Se iría con el último huevo pintado. Una serpiente se lo tragaría. Bueno, anteanoche soñé que me fue bien en la bolsa. Yo ni sabía lo que era la bolsa hasta que soñé con ella. Supongo que cada noche aprendo algo nuevo.

  Kikicheeky / Kikimorrito
Keep painting eggs!

¡Seguid pintando huevos!

Happy Easter / ¡Feliz Pascua Florida!


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Say or Tell


This is something like are you saying this or are you telling it to me but a trifle more complicated. There are a few details you should bear in mind. 

Esto es algo así como me lo dices o me lo cuentas pero en bastante más complicado. Hay unos cuantos detalles que conviene recordar.

Para decir algo, usa “say.”
Para decirle algo a alguien, usa “tell.”
I said I was happy. / Dije que estaba contento.
I told you I was happy. / Te dije a ti que estaba contento.

Pero se puede decir algo a alguien con “say to…”
I said to her that I was happy. / Le dije a ella que estaba contento.
Es imprescindible el “to.” Y esto no siempre suena muy bien, aunque sea correcto.

Tell se usa para:
- contar un cuento /  tell a story
Susan told (us) a very funny story during lunch. / Susana (nos) contó una historia muy graciosa durante el almuerzo.
- contar un chiste / tell a joke
That comedian tells really funny jokes. / Ese cómico cuenta chistes realmente graciosos. 
- decir la verdad / tell the truth
Bill finally told (his wife) the truth about where he went last night. Guille por fin contó (a su mujer) la verdad sobre dónde estuvo anoche.
- contar o decir una mentira /  tell a lie
Peter tells (everybody) the most unbelievable lies. / Pedro cuenta (a todo el mundo) las mentiras más increibles.
- decir la hora / tell the time
Can you please tell me what time it is?
¿Puedes por favor decirme que hora es?
- predecir el futuro /  tell one´s fortune
The fortuneteller told Jane´s fortune.
La adivina predijo el futuro de Juana.

Say y tell se pueden usar en preguntas normalmente:
Did she say she was coming? / ¿Dijo que iba a venir?
Did she tell you she was coming? / ¿Te dijo a ti que iba a venir?
What did she say? / ¿Qué dijo?
When did she tell you that? / ¿Cuándo te dijo eso?

Pero no se pueden usar ni say ni tell con preguntas indirectas. Hay que usar ask.
She asked (us) what we were doing in her house.
Nos preguntó (a nosotros) que estábamos haciendo nosotros en su casa.
I asked Mary why she was sad.
Le pregunté a María por qué estaba triste.
The cook asked Fred if he was hungry.
El cocinero le preguntó a Fede si estaba hambriento.

Test: Fill in with say, tell, or ask
1. The concierge ­­­____________ me a man was waiting for me in the hall.
2. Clara ____________ that she had received many beautiful birthday presents.
3. Don´t believe George. It´s clear he´s lying. Look how he´s laughing.  He is ____________ you a lie.
4. Jane ____________ that it was twelve o´clock when the phone rang.
5. Mary can´t ___________ us what time it is. She doesn´t have a watch either.
6. The teacher ___________ the pupils to keep their books.
7. Ralph always ___________ interesting stories.
8. They ____________ they had bought the red car.
9- Herbie _____________ that he liked our cookies.
10. “The Storyteller” is a TV show where an old man and his dog ___________ children´s stories.
11. My boss _____________ that I was a good employee.
12. Mr. White _____________ the maid to open the door.
13. Julia _____________ me if I had received her e-mail.
14. Mrs. Ellis __________ her daughter to remember to buy rice.
15.  The French boy ___________Alice that his name was Pierre.
16. She _____________ us not to forget to turn off the lights.
17. The policeman ____________ the little boy where he lived.
18.  Sylvia _______________ her boyfriend a terrible lie.
19. He ________________ that he had to leave.
20.  What did Bill ________________ Alice?
21. Paula ___________ me where she could buy a beautiful dress for little money.
22. Alfred ____________ if Jenna was at home.
23. Rita ___________ her husband if he still loved her.
24. Rita´s husband ___________ her that he still loved her.
25. Rita´s husband __________ that, yes, he still loved her.
26. Robert __________ his sister that she had to help him.
27. Robert __________ his sister to help him.
28. Charles is very honest. He always __________ the truth.
29. Use the tarot cards to _____________ Kay´s fortune.
30. Dr. Abu _________ Monica to take this medicine twice a day.
31. “Go away!” __________ Angela.
32. “Where is Alex?” __________ his sister.
33. “I want to buy some ice-cream,” Lorena _________ me.
34.  “Let me pay for the tickets,” _________ Matt.
35. “I´m awfully tired tonight,” _________ Paul.
36.-37.  ______ something funny. _________ us one of your jokes. 
38. Why are you ___________ me this?
39. Nell __________ me  some very interesting gossip. 
40. Abigail and Howie are always ___________ absurd stuff.
41. Don´t _________ me you forgot to fetch Keith!
42. They ________ Alanna is a very beautiful girl.
43. How must I __________ you that you can´t smoke here?
44. That sign _________ you can´t park here.
45. There is a poster on the wall that _________ we must keep calm and carry on.
46. If you´ve heard the latest news, __________ it to me. I have no idea what is going on in the world.
47. What did you _________ when they asked you for your passport?
48. Who _________ it is better to give than to receive?
49. I __________, what is happening here?
50. People _________ the food in that restaurant is very good.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Easter Egg Tree / El árbol de huevos de Pascua

The kids have hung the eggs they coloured with natural dyes from a tree in Titania´s garden. To their surprise, a mysterious someone else has hung some carefully decorated eggs from a little branch.

Los niños han colgado los huevos que colorearon con tintes naturales de un árbol en el jardín de Titania. Para su sorpresa, alguien más y muy misterioso ha colgado de una ramita unos huevos cuidadosamente decorados. 

 To be continued.  / Continuara.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Past Simple Test / Test del Pasado Simple


I – Fill in the blanks with the past simple.
1. Jane ____________ (have) a cold last week.
2. The boys ____________(not come) to school today.
3. Peter ____________(plant) pumpkins in a patch. (pedazo de terreno)
4. The hyacinths ___________ (bloom) beautifully.(florecer)
5. My grandfather ___________ (not drive) a  bus.
6. Robert´s barber ___________(cut) his hair  yesterday.
7. Last night, we ___________(dine) at a French restaruant.
8. Anne ___________ (celebrate) her birthday in our house.
9.-10. Jack ____________(not fix) Mary´s compuiter. Paul _______ (do).
11. Helen _________ (swim) very well.
12. Alfred __________ (not forget) to buy bread.
13. Marcello __________ (speak) Italian.
14. Pauline and her brother __________ (climb) up the hill.
15. Frank almost ___________(fall) from his motorcycle.

II – Write questions for these answers:
We played golf at the Country Club.

She received presents on Christmas Day and her birthday.

He painted the Easter eggs with natural dyes.

He painted the Easter Eggs with natural dyes.

I sent Mary an invitation because she is my cousin.

John´s horse won the race..
I found the Roman coins with a metal detector.

No, you didn´t hurt me.

Yes, she brought her little sister with her.

No, Picasso didn´t paint the Mona Lisa.

I shut the door.

Alfred spelled the words correctly.

They remembered it was Mother´s Day.

They hid the jewels in a cave.

Aloysius found the toy his son lost.

III – Fill in the blanks with the past simple.

Yesterday, Jane ____________ (go) to have her picture taken by the best photographer in town. She _____________ (want) to send the picture to her boyfriend, Earl, who was in Berlin. He ____________(have) to spend a year there and she ___________(be) afraid he might forget her if he _____________(not see) her face everyday. So she _____________ (decide) to send him a beautiful picture of herself. The photographer _____________ (take) three good pictures of Jane, but she _____________ (not like) any of  them. She ____________ (feel) she ______________ (not look) good enough in any of the three. The photographer __________ (tell) her to go to the beauty parlour and fix her hair. Jane _____________(not think) much of the new look the hairdresser created for her. She ___________(think)  she ____________ (look) awful. Finally, Jane __________ (buy) an airplane ticket to Berlin and ___________ (visit) her boyfriend in person.

IV - Write these sentences in English.
1. Ayer vimos a Ana en el supermercado.
2. Julia vendió el collar de oro.
3. Mi tío salio a pasear temprano esta mañana.
4. Pedro se sentó entre sus dos amigos.
5. Tú ganaste el concurso de cartas de amor.
6. El jueves pasado, Alicia y yo estudiamos juntas.
7. Anoche vimos la tele.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Every-,Some-, Any-, No- Test

Everything, Something, Anything, Nothing
Everything significa todo.
Something significa algo, usa esta palabra en oraciones afirmativas solamente de momento.
Anything también significa algo, pero úsala sólo en oraciones negativas e interrogativas por ahora.
Nothing es nada, pero como dos negativas no pueden ir juntas, sólo se puede usar en oraciones que parecen afirmativas.

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody y Nobody
Everybody significa todos. Úsala en afirmativas y siempre con el verbo en singular.
Somebody significa alguién. Úsala en afirmativas y también con el verbo en singular.
Anybody también es alguién, pero se usa en negativas e interrogativas y tambien con el verbo en singular.
Nobody significa nadie.Úsala en oraciones que parecen afirmativas con el verbo en singular.
Recuerda, todas se usan con el verbo en singular.

Everyone, Someone, Anyone, y No one
Estas son exactamente lo mismo que everybody, somebody, anybody y nobody. Y exactamente lo mismo significa que también se usan con el verbo en singular. Da igual usar una de las terminadas en one que usar una de las terminadas en body.

Everywhere, Somewhere, Anywhere, Nowhere
Everywhere significa en todas partes. Verbo en singular.
Somewhere significa en alguna parte. Se usa en afirmativas. Verbo en singular.
Anywhere es en alguna parte. Para negativas e interrogativas. Verbo en singular.
Nowhere significa en ninguna parte. Se usa en oraciones que parecen afirmativas. Verbo en singular.

Ojo: Como ves, todas estas palabras se usan con el verbo en singular.

Estas son las normas más básicas. Las excepciones y complicaciones con estas palabras las veremos en otra ocasión.

1. ____________ is already here. All the people you invited came.
2. ____________ ate my cookies.Who do you think ate them?
3. Is there ____________ in the office on Saturday?
4. ___________ wants to have problems. People want to be happy.
5. I don´t have my address book. I must have left it ___________.
6. I can´t find my address book ____________.
7. It is ____________ to be seen. I can´t see it. Can you?
8. I saw Jonathan ____________ yesterday. But I can´t remember where.
9. Is there a clothes shop ____________ in this neighborhood?
10. John lives ____________ in Alaska.
11. Is _____________ interested in learning French with Marie?
12. ____________ says Helen is very beautiful.
13. ____________ cooks as well as my grandmother cooks.
14. ____________ called you this afternoon. It was a woman, but she didnt say who she was.
15. I don´t want to speak with _____________ today.
16. I want to go to Australia. I don´t want to spend my vacations ____________ else.
17. Are you going _____________ this August?
18. Muskuslandia is ______________ on the map. Are you sure it exists?
19.- 20 _____________ wants to lose. _____________ wants to win.
21. I don´t want to have _____________ for dinner. I had too much to eat for lunch.
22. The children are hiding ____________ in the garden.
23. We can´t see ___________ in this contract that says you can´t buy a new car.
24. I won´t pay for _____________. Mark will invite me.
25. There is ____________ in the fridge. It´s empty.
26. Is ___________ happy? I want you all to have fun.
27. I don´t want to go that school. I don´t like ____________ in that class. 
28. John travels a lot. He has been _____________.
29. - 30. I´m bored. Let´s do _____________! Let´s go ___________!
31. It rained, so we didn't go ___________.
32. ___________ is ready. We can serve dinner.
33. I want to be ____________ someday. I want to be important.
34. I have a pencil ___________ in my bag. Here it is. 
35. I didn´t tell ___________ that Ida was coming to visit us. It´s a surprise.

The Egg Thief / El ladrón de huevos

Although it is still very cold outside, the kids are impatient and are already painting eggs for Easter with many kinds of natural dyes. 

Aunque todavía hace mucho frío fuera, los niños están impacientes y ya están pintando huevos para Pascua con muchas clases de pinturas naturales.


Pass me the blue, please. Are you still having inexplicable nightmares, Heather? 

Pásame el azul, por favor. ¿Sigues teniendo pesadillas inexplicables, Brezo?


Yes, and I have made a drawing of my last two dreams so I won´t forget them.

Sí, y he hecho un dibujo de mis dos últimos sueños para no olvidarlos.

Last night I dreamt I was a seal ring. My profile got stamped on paper after paper. I felt awfully hot because of the sealing wax I sank into when I slammed against a piece of paper and the table under it. I couldn´t stop myself from sealing everything I saw because that was going to save the world. The strangest thing was that the face I saw on the seal wasn´t mine. I only felt like it was.  
Anoche soñé que yo era un anillo con un sello. Mi perfil quedaba estampado en papel tras papel. Sentía mucho calor por la cera en la que me hundía antes de darme la torta contra el papel y la mesa que había debajo.  Yo no podía dejar de sellar todo lo que veía porque eso iba a salvar el mundo. Lo más extraño es que la cara que yo veía en el sello en ese sueño no era la mía. Sólo me sentía como si lo fuese. 

Which world were you saving?

¿Qué mundo estabas salvando?


I have no idea. The night before that, I dreamt I was climbing up a paper ladder all the way to somewhere up in the highest part of the sky. The steps were paper files, folders full of documents. Whenever I felt like I was almost there a couple of shooting stars would come flying by in opposite directions and collide and turn into a new folder. That dream was kind of pretty. Many colorful lights like fireworks and stuff. Ah! And there was a soundtrack of celestial music. But I forgot to put that in the picture,

No tengo ni idea. La noche anterior a esa soñé que estaba subiendo una escalera de papel que iba a alguna parte en lo más alto del cielo. Los escalones eran carpetas con documentos. Cuando me parecía que iba a llegar, un par de estrellas fugaces venían volando en dirección contraria y se convertían en una nueva carpeta al chocar. Ese sueño era casi bonito. Muchas luces tipo fuegos artificiales y eso. ¡Ah! Y había una banda sonora de música celestial.Pero se me olvido meter eso en el dibujo.


What if I make an appointment for you with Dr. Freud? He helped me with my nightmares.

¿Y si te pido una cita con el Dr. Freud? Me ayudó con mis pesadillas. 

Poor Heather. I can only hope these dreams aren't foretelling anything. Imagine if it does happen to be up to you to save the world. What a bummer!

Pobre Brezo. Sólo puedo desear que estos no sean sueños premonitorios. ¡Mira que como te toque salvar el mundo! ¡Menudo engorro!

Shut your mouth, Alpin. And while you are at it, stop eating the eggs we're painting!

Cierra la boca, Alpin.  ¡Y mientras estás en ello, deja de comerte los huevos que estamos pintando!

Ha! I swear I haven´t eaten a single egg aside from the hundred you set aside for me to sate my hunger with. 

¡Ja! Juro que no me he comido ni un sólo huevo aparte de los cien que habíais apartado para mí para saciar mi hambre. 



Well, they are disappearing, you liar.

Pues están desapareciendo, mentiroso.


Ask your evil doll for accounts.

Pídele cuentas a tu muñeco diabólico.


What? I haven´t got an evil doll.  

¿Qué? Yo no tengo un muñeco diabólico.


Well, then who is that who's jumping all over the place?

Pues entonces, ¿quién es ese que está saltando por todas partes?

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