FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Click here and read the instructions to do the exercises on this blog. The instructions are in Spanish. To check your answers, click on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

Exercise: Complete the blanks with the following words related to food to complete the idioms: apple – beans – berry – cheese – cake – cream – cookie – cucumber – milk – nuts.

1) Mr. Hardcastle is a very demanding professor and I thought that the Physics exam he had prepared was going to be extremely difficult. However, much to my surprise, the exam turned out to be a piece of __________.

Picture by Vvstudio. Source: Freepik.com

2) “The One with Ross’s Tan” is one of my favourite episodes of the sitcom Friends. In this episode, Ross Geller goes to a tanning salon to get a spray-on-tan and comes out of the session as brown as a __________ because he fails to follow the simple instructions given by the tanning salon guy.

3) The graduates of the MIT School of Engineering are considered to be the __________ of the crop. According to some statistics, they can get the best paid jobs in the market today.

4) We’re going to throw a surprise birthday party for Sally next Saturday, so please don’t spill the __________. We have been organizing this party for a long time and we want everything to be perfect.

Picture by HypnoArt. Public Domain License.

5) Samantha, the meeting with our boss is next Friday at 10:00 o’clock. If you arrive late, Mr. McArthur will go __________. You know how crotchety and grumpy he is. So please make sure that you’re going to be at the office on time.

6) A: I can’t believe I have failed my driving test again! That’s not fair! B: Well, sweetheart.  I guess that’s the way the __________ crumbles.

7) The presidential candidate of the left party, Mr. Henri Levy Strauss, remained as cool as a __________ throughout the interview with the irreverent but witty journalists from the Live News programme.

Picture by Photoroyalty. Source: Freepik.com

8) I don’t think it’s a good idea to have Tommy and Sally working in the same group. They are as different as chalk and __________. I have the feeling that they’re going to be arguing all the time and the rest of the members of the group might feel uncomfortable with this situation.

9) Listen, guys. I know you’re pretty disappointed with the results of the game, but there’s no use crying over spilt __________. We just need to train harder for the next game!

10) Mr. O’Donnell is very proud of his eldest granddaughter because she has just graduated as a doctor. In fact, his eldest granddaughter is the __________ of his eye and the rest of his grandchildren are a little bit jealous of her.

Remember that you can check your answers by clicking on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

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THE JOEY SHOW

Click here and read the instructions to do the exercises on this blog. The instructions are in Spanish. To check your answers, click on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

VOCABULARY RELATED TO TV SERIES

Picture by Geralt. Public Domain License. 

Exercise: Fill in the blanks of the text with the following words related to TV series: role – season – sitcoms – episodes – spin-off – hit show – ratings – time slot – parent series – networks – premiered – broadcast – starred – aired – played. Then, match the words with the correct definitions published at the bottom of the exercise.

One of my favorite __________ (1) in the early 2000s was a __________ (2) of Friends called Joey, which __________ (3) Matt LeBlanc reprising his __________ (4) as Joey Tribbiani.

Plot summary: In the first __________ (5) of the show, Joey moves to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. There, he meets his sister Gina and his 20-year-old nephew Michael, who is a rocket scientist. Michael is Gina’s son and becomes Joey’s new roommate.

Joey __________ (6) on the NBC television network on September 9th, 2004 in the __________ (7) of Tuesdays at 8:00 pm. Based on the huge success of its __________ (8), many critics thought that Joey was going to be a __________ (9). However, this was not the case because the series was overshadowed in __________ (10) by the singing competition show American Idol, which was __________ (11) on Fox Network. As a consequence, NBC (National Broadcasting Company) decided to cancel the second season of the sitcom and did not __________ (12) the remaining __________ (13).

Fortunately, the rest of the episodes were shown on various other __________ (14) around the world and I could watch the whole second season. David Schwimmer, who __________ (15) Ross Geller on Friends, directed two episodes from the second season.

Picture by Geralt. Public Domain License.

DEFINITIONS

a) To broadcast or televise. _____

b) A successful TV programme. _____

c) An actor’s part in a play, film, TV series, etc. _____

d) A set or sequence of related TV programmes. _____

e) To show a film or a TV series for the first time. ______

f) To transmit a programme by radio or television. _____

g) A TV series from which another series is derived. _____  

h) To act the part of a character in a film, TV series, etc. _____

i) A list of TV programmes showing how popular they are. _____

j) The separate sections into which a TV programme is divided. _____

k) A TV programme involving characters from a previous programme. _____

l) To have someone as a principal performer in a play, film, TV show, etc. _____  

m) Telecommunications companies that produce radio or TV programmes. _____

n) A length of time allotted to a TV programme, especially in a broadcasting schedule. _____

o) A TV show about a group of characters who are involved in different funny situations. _____

Remember that you can check your answers by clicking on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

Picture by Geralt. Public Domain License.

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DAVID BOWIE: THE MAKING OF AN ARTIST

Click here and read the instructions to do the exercises on this blog. The instructions are in Spanish. To check your answers, click on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

David Bowie, also known as The Thin White Duke, was an English musician, singer, songwriter, painter and actor who was constantly pushing the boundaries of his own imagination and creativity. He was a revolutionary artist in the truest sense of the word and his a unique talent made him an icon in the world of music and fashion. In fact, he is considered the founder of the Glam Rock movement that started in the UK in the early 1970s. Some critics and fans believe that Bowie’s experimental approach to creating music and performing live expanded the concept of what a rock star or an entertainer could be on stage. And today, his legacy can still be found in many contemporary artists from a wide variety of fields: art, music, fashion and entertainment.

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Picture by Q Thomas Bower. Creative Commons Public License.

With the influence of American avant-garde artists and rock n’ roll musicians, a new youth movement emerged in London in the late 1960s. This special generation, characterised by its psychedelic charm and glamour, transformed the city’s culture and lifestyle for good. At that time, David Bowie was taking his first steps as a musician in the London scene and he became a member of a number of rock bands which didn’t last long. Even though music had always been Bowie’s greatest passion, in 1969 he decided to pursue acting in addition to music. That very same year, he started taking classes with performance actor Lindsey Kemp, who had been a student of the famous French mime Marcel Maceau. According to some biographers, Lindsey Kemp had a profound impact on Bowie’s career because through his lessons David acquired some theatrical skills that allowed him to explore his artistic talent and express himself in a more versatile way.

Bowie lightning

David Bowie was also a huge fan of American avant-garde artists, especially Andy Warhol. He was fascinated by Warhol’s revolutionary approach to creating art, so he decided to incorporate some aspects and techniques of this pop-art painter into his own works. Bowie had the ability to merge a number of separate artistic elements into a unique piece of work that would ultimately become innovative and original. Apart from being a musician, David Bowie was also an art school-trained person who produced some interesting paintings and drawings. As a matter of fact, the strong and deep connection that he developed with visual art eventually gave shape to the way he composed music and performed on stage. And, in the long run, this particular kind of artistic background was going to become the key to his unprecedented success.

Picture by Kristian Bjornard. (Adapted version). Creative Commons Public License.

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By the time he was 25 years old, the maverick artist had already had many failed attempts on his quest to become a famous musician and he was feeling rather disappointed. He thought that his dream of becoming an international rock star was slowly slipping away. In order to help her boyfriend, Angie Barnett suggested that David should adopt a more androgynous look to differentiate himself from the rest of the aspiring rock stars in London at that moment. Bowie followed Angie´s piece of advice and on the covers of his next albums The Man Who Sold The World and Hunky Dory he appeared wearing makeup and feminine clothes. This new shocking style immediately caught the attention of the press and the sales of the albums jumped significantly. The young artist realized that this media hype represented a great opportunity for him to launch his career as an international musician. Therefore, he carefully planned a stunning move that would eventually transform himself as an artist and change the world of rock n’ roll forever. He took all the elements he had learned from his acting classes and art lessons to create a fictional character from another planet called Ziggy Stardust. This extraterrestrial stage persona was strange, daring and glamorous. In other words, Ziggy Stardust was “out of this world”. Consequently, thousands of young people all over the world began to feel drawn to Ziggy and his flamboyant band called Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The release of the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was an international success and David Bowie, together with the androgynous space musicians from his band, inaugurated a new era in the history of rock n’ roll: the era of Glam Rock.

Picture by Fill. (Adapted version). Public Domain License. 

Exercise: Read the text and match the highlighted words in red with the following definitions.

1) Shocking or impressive.

2) Courageous; adventurous; bold in action or thought.

3) Real or imaginary lines that indicate the limits of something.

4) A famous person that represents a particular idea or a way of life.

5) A long search or pursuit; an attempt to achieve something difficult.

6) An independent person who often behaves differently from other people.

7) A situation that is discussed in the media a lot in order to attract people’s attention.

8) To combine or blend two or more things to form a single unity with its own identity.

9) Related to the experimental and unorthodox approach of some groups, especially in the fields of music, painting and literature.

10) A person who is very confident in behaviour and has the tendency to attract attention because of the way he/she dresses, talks, etc.

Remember that you can check your answers by clicking on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

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THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT

Click here and read the instructions to do the exercises on this blog. The instructions are in Spanish. To check your answers, click on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

Fill in the blanks with the following expressions derived from sports: the ball is in his courttake a shotaced my first chemistry examwide of the marka can of worms – hit our strideshow the ropesdrop the ball.

Picture by Acagastya. Creative Commons License.

1) Michael, we’re relying on you to implement this marketing strategy successfully, so please don’t _________ on this. Otherwise, the company’s sales are going to plummet in the next few months.

2) I have recently been promoted to Human Resources Manager and one the responsibilities of my job is to _________ to the new employees so that they can acquire all the necessary skills for their positions as soon as possible.

3) I have never played golf before but I think I’ll _________ at it. I love the idea of doing an outdoor sport surrounded by a beautiful and peaceful landscape.

Picture by JanBaby. Public Domain License.

4) Many journalists predicted that Michael Truman was going to win the presidential elections, but their predictions were _________ because Mr. Truman came third in the final result of the general election.

5) The first semester of the year was very hard for our company because the sales of our traditional products dropped significantly. However, during the second semester, we managed to _________ after launching a new product into the market. Fortunately, the sales of our company increased by 20 % in the second half of the year.

6) I’ve offered Mr. Bowen 200,000 dollars to buy his house. Now,_________. I’m sure he’s going to accept my offer because he needs the money to pay off a lot of debts.

Picture by X Posid. Public Domain License.

7) If the CEO of the company only gives a pay rise to the employees of the Marketing Department, he’ll open up  _________ with the rest of the employees. Mark my words!

8) Hey Lucy! Guess what? I’ve just _________ at university. I’m so thrilled! I can’t wait to tell my family!

Remember that you can check your answers by clicking on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

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FUNNY AND WEIRD WORDS

Click here and read the instructions to do the exercises on this blog. The instructions are in Spanish. To check your answers, click on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

In English, there are some words that may sound strange or funny to a non-native speaker. So how about doing an exercise to learn some of these weird words? 

Picture by Sandy Brown Jensen. Creative Commons License.

Exercise: Read the sentences and complete the blanks with the following words: giggle – doodles – goggles – squabble – baffling – serendipity – hullabaloo – bumfuzzled – procrastination – flabbergasted. You will find the definition of the words at the end of each sentence.

1) Yesterday, when I was walking back home from work, I found $ 100 in the street. That was a fortunate stroke of __________. (The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident).   

2) Michael was __________ when I told him that he had won the lottery. As soon as I broke the news to him, he said that he was going to take a sabbatical year to travel around the world. (To shock or surprise someone).

3) The political debate between the two presidential candidates was very confusing and aggressive. The French people must be totally __________ at the moment. (To be confused).

4) Hey, Jimmy! Don’t forget to take your __________ if you’re going to the club to swim some lengths. (A type of thick glasses to protect your eyes from danger).

5) I can’t believe Tom and Linda are having a __________ about who is going to do the washing up after the meal. (An argument over a trivial matter)

6) The Maths class was so boring that some students started to draw funny __________ all over their textbooks while the teacher explained the exercises. (Rough drawings made absent-mindedly).

Picture by Sandy Brown Jensen. Creative Commons License.

7) Samantha is a very smart and enthusiastic employee, but her constant __________ is going to get her into big trouble. She definitely needs to work on that flaw. Otherwise, she’s going to be fired. (The act of delaying things that require immediate attention).

8) When Professor Hardcastle got into the classroom wearing a ridiculous cowboy hat, some students began to __________. He looked like an actor from a spaghetti western film. (To laugh to laugh in a nervous, excited, or silly way).   

9) Although the detectives and police officers have been looking into the robbery for almost two years, the crime is still a __________ mystery to them. (Difficult to understand).

10) There’s a huge crowd of angry workers making a real __________ outside the factory because they have been dismissed without receiving severance payment”. (A loud noise made by people who are angry or annoyed).

Remember that you can check your answers by clicking on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

“CREATIVITY IS INTELLIGENCE HAVING FUN.” Albert Einstein.

Video by John Spencer. Creative Commons License.

Related posts and exercises ➡ A burst of colour (exercise), Proverbs to remember (exercise)No way, José! (exercise), Gamifying education (post), Are you ready to go Edupunk? (post), Plucky and perky people (exercise)Way to go! (exercise).

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I LOOK UP TO YOU

Click here and read the instructions to do the exercises on this blog. The instructions are in Spanish. To check your answers, click on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

Exercise: Read the sentences and fill in the blanks with the following phrasal verbs: look through – look forward to – look into – look afterlook for – look up – look in on – look down on – look out – look up to.

1) Hey Jimmy, guess what? I’m travelling to California next month. So how about getting together for a few drinks? I’m really _________ meeting you again after such a long time.   

Picture by Gerd Leonhard. Creative Commons License.

2) Mum, I promise I will _________ grandma on my way back home to make sure she’s alright. I will call you as soon as I get there, but please bear in mind that I might arrive at her house after 7:00 pm because the rush-hour traffic has been chaotic lately.

3) To be honest, I have never heard the word “serendipity” before, so I’m afraid I will have to _____ it _____ in the dictionary. It’s a funny sounding word, isn’t it?

4) My new boss is such a snob! He _________ his colleagues and employees because he thinks he’s much more intelligent than they are. I’m really not used to working with big-headed people.

Picture by Geralt. Public Domain License. 

5) Listen, Johnny! I have just _________ your report and I have found some grammar mistakes. Please, go over the document and correct all the mistakes. I need you to have it ready by 2:00 o’clock. 

6) Michael really _________ his grandfather because he is a very hardworking man who has managed to build a real estate empire from scratch. Also, he has always got along with his partners and employees.

7) Last Monday I had a meeting with Mr. O’Farrell, the Headmaster of Saint Andrew’s School, and I told him that my son was pretty upset because he had been bullied by his classmates. He promised me that he was going to _________ the matter immediately and contact me as soon as he had any news.

8) Sorry, Julia! But I can’t go to your birthday party next Saturday because I have to _________ my little brother. My parents are travelling to Wales next weekend to celebrate their wedding anniversary.   

9) When I was in New York last year, I was surprised to find in some pubs posters hanging from the walls with the following message: Keep calm and _________ for your belongings!

Picture by Wesley Fryer. Creative Commons License. 

10) Tim is picking me up in ten minutes to go to the cinema and I can’t find the new earrings I bought this morning. Can you help me _________ them?

Remember that you can check your answers by clicking on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

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A BURST OF COLOUR

Click here and read the instructions to do the exercises on this blog. The instructions are in Spanish. To check your answers, click on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

Exercise: Fill in the blanks with the following colours  red, blue, green, white and pink to complete the highlighted expressions. You will need to use each colour twice.

1) Last Monday Michael called me out of the _________ to ask me out. He said he wanted to go to the cinema with me to watch “La La Land”. I’m thrilled! I´ve been told that this movie is just awesome!

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Picture by Arturo Espinosa. Creative Commons License.

2)  The day my brother graduated as an engineer was a _________ -letter day for the whole family. After the graduation ceremony, we organized a surprise party for him with all his friends from primary and secondary school. We had such a blast!

3) Have you heard the latest news? Marcos has been caught _________ -handed stealing money from Melisa’s handbag. Rumour has it that he´s going to be given the sack pretty soon.

4) I was tickled _________  when my mother told me that we were going to go to the UK on holidays. She said she had already booked a 10-day tour through Scotland, England and Wales.

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Picture by Mirjana Veljovic. Creative Commons License. 

5) Anthony, are you feeling alright? You’re as _________  as a sheet! What’s the matter, dude? Shall I take you to the hospital? We can get there in less than 10 minutes. I´ve got my car parked just one block from here. 

6) I´ve been married for ten years and I must say that my husband is definitely not the romantic type! He brings me flowers once in a _________ moon and we hardly ever have a romantic dinner in a restaurant. However, he’s the funniest person I’ve ever met. That’s why I’m still in love with him!

7) I have been given the _________ light by my boss to launch the advertising campaign for the new product of the company. If the campaign is successful, I might get promoted by the end of the year.

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Picture by Arturo Espinosa. Creative Commons License. 

8)  Drusilla Rosswell is the most selfish woman I´ve ever met. When she learnt that I had been chosen as the leading actress for the next film directed by Damien Chazelle, she was _________  with envy.   

9) My grandfather has always done lots of sports. Now, he is nearly ninety and he is in the _________  of condition. I wish I were as methodical and disciplined as he is!

10) I´ve just sent a WhatsApp message to Mark telling him that I can´t go to his birthday party because I´m going to go to a rock concert with Simon. Well, between you and me, this is just a _________ lie. The truth is that Mark´s parties are kind of boring and I´m not in the mood to meet his nerdy friends.

Remember that you can check your answers by clicking on the “Comments” section at the bottom of the post.

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