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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Edgar Allan Poe

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”
― Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer. He was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. He died in Baltimore on October 7, 1849. 

Poe is considered a central figure of Romanticism and the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He wrote poems and short stories and he is famous for his tales of mystery and the macabre.

Poe's best known fiction works are Gothic. His most recurring themes deal with questions of death and the reanimation of the dead.

Some of his most famous works are: the Raven, the Fall of the House of Usher, Ligeia, The Black Cat and the Tell-tale heart.

I recommend you to read Poe’s work if you like bizarre characters, gothic castles, and mystery...

If you want to read Poe's stories and poems, click HERE.

Click the video below to watch the Fall of the House of Usher trailer 

 Click the video below to watch the Raven.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Zombies and monsters may lurk in the dark, 
jesters and vampires may even embark, 
but if you are ghoulish and ghostly wherever you’re seen, you’re sure to have such a wonderful Halloween!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Active Voice & Passive Voice

* The passive voice is used:
a) when we do not know or we are not interested in or we can easily guess who did something
Her jewels were stolen. / Coffee is grown in Brazil. / The thief was arrested.
b)when we are more interested in the action than the doer (for example in newspaper headlines, articles, announcements, advertisements, instructions)
The car has been damaged.
c)when we do not want to mention who did something because we want to be polite
It hasn't been cleaned!
* The passive voice is used more in the written form than in the oral speech.

Transitive verbs (verbs with objects) have both active and passive voice.
The passive voice is formed with the verb to be with a past participle.

The verb to be

Simple Present
Present Continuous
am/is/are being
Simple Past
Past Continuous
was/were being
Present Perfect
have/has been
Past Perfect
had been
Simple Future
will be
Simple Future Perfect
will have been
Be going to
am/is/are going to be
Modal Verb
Modal verb + be
Four Steps from the Active to the Passive Voice

When rewriting active sentences in passive voice, note the following:

1) the object of the active sentence becomes the subject of the passive sentence.
2) use the verb to be in the tense of the main verb
3) use the past participle of the main verb
4) the subject of the active sentence becomes the agent of the passive sentence. The agent is introduced with the preposition by+person or with + thing / tool / instrument / material / ingredient. The agent is not mentioned when the subject of the active sentence is 'people', 'one', 'someone', 'somebody', 'they', 'he' etc.

                      Subject            Verb            Object
Active Voice: The company employs eighty people.

                                       1         2       3              4
Passive Voice: Eighty people are  employed by the company.

1) When the object of the active sentence is an object pronoun (me, you, him, them etc) becomes a subject pronoun in the passive voice.
Mark told me. ð I was told by Mark.

2)Verbs with TWO objects: direct and indirect (bring, tell, send, show, teach, promise, buy, throw, write, award, hand, sell, owe, grant, allow, feed, pass, post, read, take, offer, give, pay, lend) can form the passive voice in two ways.
Mrs Brown teaches us English. * We are taught English by Mrs Brown. (more common)
                                                    * English is taught to us by Mrs Brown.

3)When the verb is followed by a preposition, the preposition remains in the passive voice.
A baby-sitter looks after my baby.  * My baby is looked after by a baby-sitter.

4) Verbs of saying/believing/perception (agree, assume, believe, consider, expect, feel, find, hope, know, report, say, suppose, think, understand). These verbs can form the passive in two ways:
a) personal construction - it is used more frequently than impersonal construction
He is said to play tennis well.
b) impersonal construction
It is said that he plays tennis well.
The passive is formed with the verb of saying or believing in the passive form followed by the 'to-infinitive' of the verb.

5)The verbs help, make, see, hear are followed by bare infinitive in the active voice and by full infinitive in the passive voice.
He made me tell lies! * I was made to tell lies!

6) Let + bare infinitive  * Let+reflexive pronoun+bare passive infinitive
Tom lets people cheat him. * Tom lets himself be cheated.

Active Voice
Passive Voice
Present Simple
Tina waters the plants twice a week.
 The plants are watered twice a week.
Present Continuous
Mary is decorating her flat.
 The flat is being decorated.
Past Simple
Graham Bell invented the telephone.
 The telephone was invented by Graham Bell.
Past Continuous
He was delivering the letters.
 The letters were being delivered.
Present Perfect
She has broken the vase.
 The vase has been broken.
Past Perfect
The cleaner had cleaned the windows.
 The windows had been cleaned.
Future Simple
I will buy new carpets.
 New carpets will be bought.
Future Perfect
Tom will have painted the walls.
 The walls will have been painted.
Be going to
The gardener is going to plant some trees.
 Some trees are going to be planted.
She should clean her room.
 Her room should be cleaned.

I can't stand people asking me questions.
 I can't stand being asked questions.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Conditional Sentences

Conditional Sentences

Main clause


Zero Conditional
If + Present
Simple Present
General truths
Real present

If + Present

Future, Imperative, ought to, should, had better, must, may, can + BARE INFINITIVE,
*Likely to happen in the present or the future
Unreal present
If + Past

Would, could, should, might + BARE INFINITIVE
*The supposition is contrary to known facts
*We do not expect the action in the if-clause to take place

Unreal past
If + Past Perfect
Would, could, might +have + past participle
*The condition can not be fulfilled, because the action of the if-clause did not happen


  • Conditional sentences have two parts: one part contains the if-clause/hypothesis and usually begins with if, and the other part, which contains the main clause, contains the result of the if-clause.

  • The if-clause either precedes or follows the main clause. When the if-clause precedes the main clause, we put a comma between the two clauses. When it follows, there is no comma.
     Ex. If I were you, I would eat less.  I would eat less if I were you.

  • In Zero Conditionals, “if” can be substituted by “when”.
     Ex. If/When water reaches 100 C, it boils.

  • In the Second Conditional, “were” is more common than “was”.

  • WE NEVER USE FUTURE IN THE IF-CLAUSE. (look at special uses below)

  • Other words that introduce if-clauses are: unless, suppose/supposing, what if, provided (that), in case, but for (+gerund/noun), otherwise, on condition that, given, even if/though, whether, otherwise, or else, as long as, since, as.
    Ex. Even though you aren’t ready, you must leave tomorrow.
    You must go in time, otherwise you won’t get the job.
         But for the car breaking down, we would have come early.
    You can use my car, provided that you drive carefully.
    Supposing he’s late, will you punish him?
    Unless I get the job, I will buy a car.(=If I don’t get the job, I won’t buy a car.)

  • Special Uses of will/would: they can be used in the if-clauses of type 1 to express: polite requests, willingness or unwillingness, obstinate insistence.
     Ex. If you would help me, I would be grateful to you.
     If she will work harder, she will obtain a better salary.
     If you will go on asking silly questions, I’ll think very poorly of you

  • Special Uses of should: It is used only in type 1 if-clauses to express an action for which there is only a slight possibility that it will happen.
    Ex. If you should see a creature from another planet, what would you do? (=Should you see a creature from another planet, what would you do?)
  • Inversion
When there is should, had, were in the if-clause, the subject and the auxiliary verb can be inverted and if should be omitted.
Ex. Had I heard the burglars, I would have called the police. (= If I had heard the burglars, I would have called the police.)

Mixed Conditionals
Conditionals can be mixed. Any tense is possible if the sense and the text permit it.


Type 1
If you are rich,
you should have paid me by now.
Type 3
Type 2
If he didn’t study hard,
he won’t pass his exam.
Type 1
Type 2
If you were kind,
you wouldn’t have talked to me like that.
Type 3
Type 3
If I had married her,
I would be rich now.
Type 2