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My lesson "A"
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She picked up a book. The book was lying on the table.
a - an
You use a and an when you are talking about a person or thing for the first time. The second time you talk about the same person or thing, you use the.
We live in an old house in the country.
You can describe someone or something using "a" or "an" with an adjective and a noun.
She became a lawyer.
He is an architect.
When you say what someone's job is, use a or an in front of the same name of the job.
She told me about her job. I need to think about that.
You use about when you mention what someone is saying, writing, or thinking.
He was about to leave.
about to; Don't use an -ing form in sentences like these.
If you are about to do something, you are going to do it very soon.
He opened a cupboard above the sink. There was a mirror over the fireplace.
above - over: used to describe position
If something is higher than something else, you can use either above or over.
The temperature rose to over 40 degrees... everybody above five feet eight inches in height.
above - over: used to describe amounts and measurements
Above and over are both used to talk about a measurement or level of something that is higher than a particular amount.
It cost over 3 millions pounds. He saw more than 800 children there.
She had over thirty pairs of shoes. She had more than thirty pairs of shoes.
Don't use above in front of a number when you are talking about a quantity or number of things or people.
a height of over twelve thousand feet. Our relationship lasted for over a year.
to last: durar
You use over to say that a distance or period of time is longer than the one mentioned.
She never accepts presents from clients.
accept - except: don't confuse accept with except.
Accept is a verb. If someone offers something to you and you accept it, you agree to take it.
All the boys except Patrick started to laugh.
Except is a preposition or conjunction. It is used to show that you are not including a particular thing or person.
We booked our flights and accomodation three months before our holiday. There is plenty of student accomodation in London.
Accomodation is where you live or stay, especially when you are on holiday or when you are somewhere for a short amount of time.
The hotel provides cheap accomodations and good food.
In British English, accomodation is an uncountable noun. In American English, it is usually a countable noun.
According to Eva, the train is always late.
You can use according to when you want to report what someone said.
They drove away in a white van, according to a police report.
You can also use according to when you want to report the information in a book, newspaper or report.
In my opinion, all children should learn to swim.
If you want to say what your opinion is, you can say in my opinion.
According to Dr Hussein, John died of a heart attack. Dr Hussein's opinion is that John died of a heart attack.
Don't use according to and opinion together.
Some people think that Dave is a bad-tempered, but he is actually very kind.
You can use actually when you want to emphasize that something is true, especially if it is surprising or unexpected.
Lynne was a doctor for ten years. -Eleven years, actually.
You can use actually if you want to correct what someone says.
Shall we go to the cinema? -Actually, I'd rather go shopping.
If someone suggests something and you want to suggest something different, you can say actually, I'd rather or actually, I'd prefer to...
He's in a meeting at the moment.
Don't use actually when you want to say that something is happening now. Use currently, at the moment, or now
She promised to follow his advice.
advice - advise
Advice is a noun. If you give someone advice, you tell them what you think they should do.
Could I give you a piece of advice?
Advice is an uncountable noun. You can say a piece of advice.
He advised her to see a doctor.
Advise is a verb. If you advise someone to do something, you say that you think they should do it.
These problems could affect my work.
affect - effect
Affect is a verb. To affect someone or something means to cause them to change, often in a negative way.
They are still feeling the effects of the war.
Effect is a noun. An effect is something that happens or exists because something else has happened.
Her words had a strange effect on me.
You can say that something has an effect on something else.
It's too expensive - we can't afford it. When will we be able to afford a new TV?
If you can afford something, you have enough money to pay for it. If you can't afford something you do not have enough money to pay for it.
We need to build houses that people can afford.
You use afford with can, could, or be able to. Say that people can afford it.
The children were so afraid that they ran away. They felt frightened.
afraid - frightened
If you are afraid or frightened, you think that something bad will happen.
Tom is afraid of the dark. Lu was frightened of her father.
You can also say that you are afraid of something or someone, or frightened of something or someone.
a frightened boy
Don't use afraid in front of a noun.
see also topic: adjectives that cannot be used in front of nouns
Keira was afraid of being late for the meeting. I was afraid that nobody would believe me.
If you are worried about something, you can say that you are afraid of doing something wrong, or afraid that something will happen. You don't usually use frightened in this way.
Can you remember her name? - I'm afraid not. I'm afraid Sue isn't at her desk at the moment. Can I take a message?
If you have to tell someone something and you think it might upset or annoy them, you can politely say I'm afraid, I'm afraid so, or I'm afraid not. You can't use frightened in this way.
We met two years ago.
You use ago to say how much time has passed since something happened. For example, if it is now 2010 and something happened in 2005, it happened five years ago.
I did it a moment ago.
You use a verb in the past simple with ago.
He died two years ago. It is two weeks since I wrote to you.
Don't use ago and since together. Say It happened three years ago or it is three years since it happened.
That film was excellent. -I agree.
If someone says something and you say, I agree, you mean that you have the same opinion.
I agree with Mark. He agreed with my idea.
Don't say that you agree something, or you are agreed with it. Also don't use progressive forms.
You can also say that you agree with someone or agree with what they say.
She agreed to lend me her car.
If you agree to do something, you say that you will do it.
We had a meeting with our clients and we agreed on a price.
If people make a decision together, you can say that they agree on it.
We agreed to meet at 2 o'clock.
You can also say that people agree to do something together.
allow - let
If you allow someone to do something, or let someone do something, you give them permission to do it.
We allow the children to watch TV after school.
Allow is followed by an object and a to-infinitive
Visitors are not allowed to take photographs in the museum. Dogs are not allowed in the gardens.
You can say that people are not allowed to do something, or that something is not allowed.
I love sweets but my dad doesn't let me eat them very often.
Let is followed by an object and an infinitive without to.
You can't use a passive form of let.
I'll let you know what happened.
let ... know
If you let someone know something, you tell them about it.
Let me take your coat.
You can use let me when you are offering to do something for someone.
I wanted to be alone.
alone - lonely
If you are alone, you are not with any other person.
These holidays are popular with people on their own.
Don't use alone in front of a noun. Instead, say a woman on her own.
He was a lonely little boy. She must be very lonely here.
If you are lonely, you are unhappy because you do not have any friends or anyone to talk to. Lonely is used either in front of a noun or after a linking verb like be or feel.
Would you like some lunch? - No thanks, I've already eaten. The train has left already.
You use already when something happened earlier. Using already sometimes suggests that something happened earlier than you expected.
Speakers of British use already with a verb in a perfect form. They put already after have, has, or had, or at the end of a sentence.
I have already seen that film. British English.
I already saw that film or I saw that film already. American English.
Speakers of American English usually use the past simple with already.
Donald is 89 and he is still teaching. They haven't finished yet.
Use still when something that existed in the past continued and exists now. Use yet when something has not happened, although it probably will happen in the future.
Don't confuse already with still or yet.
also - too - as well
If you want to add information to something you have said, you use also, too, or as well.
Rebecca is very clever, and she is also hard-working. He loves football, and he also plays tennis.
You put also after the verb be, but in front of all other main verbs.
This computer is very modern and fast. Also, it's cheap.
You can put also at the begining of a sentence.
Don't put also at the end of a sentence.
It's cold outside, and it's raining, too. Could I have two coffees, please? And a slice of cake as well.
too and as well
You put too or as well at the end of a sentence.
Don't put too or as well at the beginning of a sentence.
always used to mean at all times or forever
If something always happens, it happens at all times. If it has always happened, or will always happened, it has happened forever or will happen forever.
When you use always with this meaning, don't use it with a verb in a progressive form
Talking to Harold always cheered her up
cheer up phrasal verb to become happier, or to make someone feel happier
If there is no auxiliary verb, always goes in front of the verb.
She was always in a hurry.
If the verb is be, you put always after it.
I've always been very careful.
If there is an auxiliary verb, you put always after it.
always used to talk about things that often happen
Why are you always interrupting me?
If you say that something is always hapenning, you mean that it happens often and that it annoys you. When you use always like this, you use it with a verb in a progressive form.
It's your wedding anniversary today... The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.
anniversary - birthday
an anniversary is a date when you remember something special that happened on that date in an earlier year.
Mum always sends David a present on his birthday.
You don't call the anniversary of the date when you were born your "anniversary". You call it your birthday.
Could I have another cup of coffee?
another used to mean one more
another thing or person means one more thing or person of the same kind. Another is usually followed by a singular countable noun.
The woman lived for another ten days.
You can use another with a number in front of a plural countable noun.
It all happened in another country.
another used to mean different
another thing or person also means a different thing or person.
They arrange things better in other countries. Other people had the same idea... toys, paints, books and other equipment.
Don't use another in front of a plural noun or an uncountable noun.
I'm not very good at chess, but I play it anyway.
You use anyway when you want to show that something is true despite something else that has been said.
He didn't hurt her any way. If I can help in any way, please ask.
anyway is different from any way. You usually use any way in the phrase in any way, which means in any respect or by any means.
Thanks. I really appreciate your help.
If you appreciate something that someone has done for you. you are grateful to them because of it.
We would really appreciate it if you could come.
You use appreciate with it and a clause beginning with if to say politely that you would like someone to do something.
You must use it in sentences like this.
They were flying around in a small plane. I spent a couple of hours driving round Richmond. Police walk about carrying guns.
around - round - about: talking about movement
When you are talking about movement in many different directions, you can use around, round or about.
She was wearing a scarf round her head. The lady turned around angrily.
used as a preposition or adverb
Around and round are used as prepositions and adverbs, and have the same meaning.
Around is more common in American English than in British English.
He's about forty.
About is used to mean approximately.
He owns around 200 acres. I've been here for round about ten years.
Around and round about are also used to mean approximately in conversation.
Don't use round like this.
I'll tell Professor Hogan you've arrived. He reached Bath in the late afternoon. We got to the hospital at midnight.
arrive - reach -get to
You use arrive, reach and get to to say that someone comes to a place at the end of a journey.
We arrived at Victoria Station.
You usually say that someone arrives at a place.
at a place
He arrived in France on Tuesday.
However, you say that someone arrives in a country or city.
arrive in a country or city
I arrived here yesterday. They arrived home before us.
Don't use arrive at or arrive in in front of home, here or there.
It was dark by the time I reached their house.
Reach always comes in front of a noun.
You're just as bad as your sister. I can't run as fast as you can.
as... as: in comparisons
When you are comparing one person or thing to another, you can use as followed by an adjective or adverb followed by another as.
You are as old as I am. Roger is nearly as tall as his father.
After these expressions, you can use either a noun phrase and a verb, or a noun phrase on its own.
He looked about as old as me.
Use the pronouns me, him, her, us or them after as... as
The teacher is just as happy as they are.
However, if the pronoun is followed by a verb, use I, he, she, we or they.
Linda is not as clever as Louise.
as... as: used with negatives
You can also use words like not and never in front of as... as to make negative sentences.
... volcanoes twice as high as Everest.
as... as: used to describe size or amount
You can use expressions such as twice, three times, or half in front of as... as to compare the size or amount of something with something else.
He upset Dad, and he feels a bit ashamed.
ashamed - embarrassed: ashamed
If you are ashamed, you feel sorry about something you did wrong.
Jen feels ashamed of the lies she told. I was ashamed of myself for getting so angry.
You can say that someone is ashamed of something, or ashamed of themselves.
He looked a bit embarrassed when he noticed his mistake.
If you are embarrassed, you are worried that people will laugh at you or think you are foolish.
I was really embarrassed about singing in public. He seemed embarrassed by the question.
You can say that someone is embarrassed by something or embarrassed about it.
Don't use of in sentences like these.
The police officer asked me lots of questions.
You say that someone asks a question, or asks someone a question.
Don't use to when you talk about asking someone a question.
We asked her if she spoke French. I asked Tom where he lived.
You also use as when you are reporting questions.
How are you? he asked.
You can use ask when you are directly reporting a question.
You use ask for
when you want to report a request. For example, if a man says to a waiter "Can I have a cup of tea?", you can say "He asked for a cup of tea" or "He asked the waiter for a cup of tea".
He asked me to open the window.
You can also report a request by saying that someone asks someone to do something.
We may be able to assist with the tuition fees.
assist - be present
If you assist someone, you help them. Assist is a formal word.
There was no need for me to be present.
If you want to say that someone is there when something happens, you say that someone is present.
As soon as we get the tickets we'll send them to you.
as soon as
You use as soon as to say that something will happen immediately after something else has happened.
Ask him to come as soon as he arrives.
Don't use a future form after as soon as. Say: I will call you as soon as I get back.
As soon as she got out of bed the telephone stopped ringing. As soon as she had gone, he started eating the cake.
When you are talking about the past, you use the past simple or the past perfect form after as soon as.
There was a staircase at the end of the hall.
at: place or position
At is used to talk about where something is or where something happens.
I was sitting at my desk reading.
You say that someone sits at a table or desk, for example when they are eating or writing.
We had dinner at a restaurant in Attleborough.
At is used to talk about building where something is or where something happens.
Mike and Anne first met each other at a dinner party.
You say that something happens at an event such as a meeting or a party.
At 2.30 a.m. he returned.
You use at to talk about when something happened or will happen.
She always sends a card at Christmas.
You say that something happens at Christmas or at Easter.
They played cricket on Christmas Day.
However, you say that something happens on a particular day during Christmas or Easter.
I went home at the weekend.
In British English, at is used with weekend.
I had a class on the weekend.
American speakers usually use on or over with weekend.
Durban is over 300 kilometres away. The camp is hundreds of miles away from the border.
away - far
If you want to state the distance of a particular place from where you are, you say that it is that distance away.
Don't use far when you are stating a distance.
How far is it to York?
You use how far when you are asking about a distance.
Tell us about your cottage. Is it far? It isn't far from here.
You also use far in questions and negative sentences to mean "a long distance".
The lightning was far away. His house is quite a long way away from here.
Don't use far like this in positive sentences. Say that a place is far away or a long way away.
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tengo razón ↑
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