English Test

Dearest 12º1,BeFunky_PopArt_10

As I could not find any other way of warning you about the room, I’m using the blog.

You’ll be doing your test in your usual classroom (A207).

Can you spread the word among you? I’d be grateful.

See you tomorrow.

Ana Maria Coelho


Phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbsphrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are quite common in everyday life as they are used in informal language.



They are composed of mainly two parts:

a base verb and one  particle (in some cases two).

With a common verb like go or get there are many combinations. Look at the examples:





Some of the particles are separable some are not.


There are many varieties, but we may organize them by using their common verb or their common particle.




Would you like to review the presentation we used in the class?

Click here: Multi-word_verbs_presentation1

Would you like a list? Click here.

A few more exercises?

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Relative clauses

relativesRelative clauses

Relative clauses are an ingenious way of connecting sentences so as to give more cohesion to a paragraph or a text.


Some of these clauses provide essential information and are called defining clauses, while others simply give the reader additional, but non-essential information about the subject. In that case they are non-defining.


The most common relative pronouns are the following:




How do you use them? Look at the table below.



To review the presentation we used in the class, click here: Relative Clauses_12º_2015

For further information use the following link:  http://wp.me/p2im1O-87

Reported speech



Reporting what other people said is a common situation both in the media and in our daily lives.

In both situations one should be as accurate as possible so as to convey the message intended by the speaker.

For that one can quote the speaker using his exact words, report his exact words or convey his general message.


In this case the interviewee’s question could be reported in two ways:

He asked if she would like to go out with him.


He invited her to go out with him.


The reporting verb makes all the difference, because the second one conveys not only the message, but also the intention of the speaker.


Reporting with specific verbs

Reporting with specific verbs can be a lot simpler, because one doesn’t need to translate all the words.

Look at the following examples:

late     –  I’m sorry about the delay. I won’t do it again.

    He apologised for his delay and promised not to do it again.


However, to do that one has to be aware of the different patterns of reporting verbs. There are three main ones.


Click on this link to check a full list of reporting verbs grouped according to their pattern – Reporting verbs list.

Watch this short vídeo:

Now try to report the following situations. Use some specific verbs from the list below.

threaten  announced   exclaimed   commented  thought  denied   refused   wondered  


reporting situations_11

Try a few more exercises:

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3


To review the presentation we used in the class: Reported Speech-12º


A Global Village5118345490_0b8604962c_z_500x495


Over time humankind spread across the globe and established contact with other local cultures. So far nothing new, right? For many years, decades, even centuries, this happened at a slow pace because travelling was difficult and the first media didn’t allow instant communication. However, more recently this scenario changed completely.
The advances of  technology and communications allowed this phenomenon to grow at an increasing speed and became almost uncontrollable.
Nowadays people, culture, money, goods, etc. move across the world very easily making trade and social interactions grow at an unprecedentend rate. The world suddenly became a small global village.
All these contacts, exchanges and  interdependence had a lot of impact in everyone’s lives. Individuals, communities, institutions   and countries have been affected by these transformations. The immage below provides a view of some of those changes.
While some argue those changes positive,  others view this process as road to poverty. Who’s right?
Well, you have to decide for yourself.


On the bright side, globalisation has brought some benefits, for example:

  • It promotes better understanding among different countries;
  • It allows more opportunities of cooperation among people, institutions, countries;
    pros and cons7
  • Consumers may have a wider variety of products to choose from;
  • Goods prices can be more competitive;
  • Companies have access to a wider market for their products;
  • There are more opportunities for investment;
  • Information and knowledge spreads more  widely and quickly;
  • etc.

                  As for the drawbacks, they are quite numerous as well:

 –  Loss of a culturally defined identity;
 – Less cultural diversity;
 – Potential loss of jobs;
 – Greater exploitation of labour;
 – Greater inequalities as richer nations benefit more than poorer ones;
  –  An economic or political crisis may spread to other countries in a chain reaction;
– Higher environmental costs;
– Multinational corporations may become too powerful.

Certainly you can think of a few more to add to each side of the debate. So now it’s up to you to decide if drawbacks outweigh the benefits or the other way round.

Watch this film for quick review:


To review the presentation we used in the class: Globalisation


Inversion of Subject and Verb



As the title says we have an inversion when the normal subject-verb order is reversed and the verb comes before the subject of that sentence.



  • That happens in the interrogative form:









  • Another reason this structure may be adopted is for emphasis.









  • Inversion can also be used after  So / Neither / Nor  to express one’s agreement.

so neither








  • In conditional clauses when you omit if .


Should you decide to come earlier, call me.

Were I you, I would do the same.

Had I been in the same circumstances, I would have racted in the same way.




  • Finally, inversion is used after adverbials with a negative or restrictive meaning when they come at the beginning of the sentence.


negative adverbials


Never had I witnessed such an outrageous disrespect!

Hardly could I believe my eyes!

Under no circumstances would he accept those conditions.

Little did he know about the truth.

Scarcely had I begun to speak when I was interrupted.

No sooner had he left his home than the burglars broke in.

Not only did they take all the money they could find, but they also smashed the furniture.


Pink-Ask-a-Question-What-should-I-be-doing--Still some doubts?

Try this page and its exercises:





Short story NAMES

Extensive Reading

The short story “Names”






The author

Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928, Maya was an American author and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer”. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie.

in http://www.poemhunter.com/maya-angelou/(shortened)



Find some more poems here:


Watch this video that will give you a quick view of her life and career.



  • How many ‘defeats’ did she have to face in her life?
  • How did she manage to overcome them?
  • How many different occupations did she have?
  • How successful was she?






Marguerite at 10



One of her many stories about her childhood, this one focus on the period she lived with her maternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas, a typical Southern town in the late 1930s where Negros were tolerated as a source of cheap labour meant to make white domination last as long as possible.







 Watching the film “Twelve Years a Slave” might be a good introduction to study of Maya’s story.

How vital was slavery for Southern states’ economy?

How many different forms can racism take?

How important is/was someone’s name?





The context




See if you can complete this timeline regarding Black American History.


The Long Way to Freedom

1619 –   First blacks land in America

1763 -1837 – American War Independence.

1860 / 65 – ______________________.

1863 – Emancipation Proclamation is signed by _____________________.

1865 – 13th Amendment abolishes slavery in all US territory.

1868 – 14th Amendment granted blacks citizenship.

1866 – ____________________ (group/organisation) was created to defend white supremacy.

1870 – 15th Amendment guaranteed their right to vote.

Jim Crow laws passed in the Southern states segregating blacks and whites in most public places.

1939 / 45 – World War II – Black Americans are incorporated.

1954 – the United States Supreme Court outlawed segregation in the  nation’s school systems

1955 – Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her seat to a white on a segregated bus

  • Montgomery bus boycott led by ________________________________

1955 / 63 – Civil Rights Movement

1963 – March on Washington

1964 – Civil Rights Act signed.

1965 – ____________________ assassinated.

1968 – Martin Luther King is assassinated



The plot

Reorder the following episodes according to the structure of the story “NAMES”.

  • Margaret/Marguerite breaks Mrs Cullinan’s favourite china pieces.
  • The girl learned everything about the house.
  • Mrs Cullinan calls the girl the wrong name.
  • The girl exits Mrs Cullinan’s house leaving the door wide open.
  • A white man from Texas asks Maya about her roots.
  • Bailey helps her sister to think of a plan to get fired.
  • One of Mrs Cullinan’s friends suggests changing the girl’s name.
  • Margaret/Marguerite discovers her mistress is unable to have children.
  • Miss Glory is hit by a flying china shard.
  • Maya recalls the period when she worked as a housemaid.




The characters


Which adjectives describe these three characters psychologically?


sensitive  tolerant loyal  ingenuous unhappy  lively
selfish   critical  vindictive meticulous  friendly  perceptive  sympathetic  snobbish heartless  frustrated  influenceable submissive   tolerant  lonely 


Mrs Cullinan:


Miss Glory:




What is the main theme of the story?

What signs or evidence can you find in the story of that?





What kind of language  is used  in the short story?

Only one type?

Is there any class division visible in the language?