been vs gone

What is the difference between these two sentences?

Tom’s been on holiday.

Tom’s gone on holiday.


Let’s add some more information:

Tom’s been on holiday. He spent two weeks in the Lake District.

Tom’s gone on holiday. He’s in the Lake District.

In the sentence using been, Tom has now returned from his holiday whereas in the sentence using gone Tom is now on holiday.

Here are some more examples:

Lucy has been shopping – look at all those shopping bags!

Lucy has gone shopping, she’s not at home.

Mike has been to the beach, he’s got a lovely suntan.

Mike has gone to the beach to sunbathe.

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Man’s Best Friend

The 21st July marks International Dog Day. This day was set in 2004 to promote the adoption of rescue dogs and to celebrate our love for our loyal companions.

Did you know…?

  • 53% of American households are dog owners

  • Dogs are the most commonly owned pets in the UK

  • 1 in 4 Spanish households have a pet dog

So why are dogs man’s best friend?

“The only, absolute and best friend that a man has, in this selfish world, the only one that will not betray or deny him, is his DOG.” King Frederick of Prussia 1789.

 Dogs make great company and can reduce stress and feelings of loneliness. They are always happy to see us and will do incredible things for their family – there have been many cases of dogs saving humans from fires and medical emergencies.

They really do love their owners unconditionally and are extremely loyal. It is also suggested that owning a dog improves our mental health and keeps our hearts healthy.

 Do you have a dog?


Loyal = leal/fiel

Companion = compañero

Company = compañía

Loneliness = soledad







Summer Idioms

Summer days are here, time to enjoy the sunshine! This week we bring you some summer idioms…

Soak up the sun – disfrutar del sol

Let’s go to the pool and soak up the sun, it’s such a nice day!

The dog days of summer – los días más calurosos de verano

It’s sweltering – the dog days of summer are here!

Take it easy – relajarse

This summer I’m going to take it easy at the beach.

Catch some rays – tomar el sol

I’m going to the beach to catch some rays.

Burnt to a crisp – quemado por el sol

He spent all day in the sun and now he’s burnt to a crisp!


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LGBT Pride

June 28th marks the celebration of international LGBT day.

In fact, the whole month of June is LGBT pride month – in 1995 June became LGBT History Month and in 1999 Bill Clinton was the first US President to officially recognise Pride Month.

The New York Pride Parade is one of the largest and well-known with an estimated 2 million people taking part.

The first pride march was held in New York City on the 28th June 1970 a year after the Stonewall Uprising.

The Stonewall Uprising took place on 28th June 1969 when police raided a gay club in New York City named The Stonewall Inn – this lead to a riot as the police roughly threw people and employees out of the bar. This was followed by six days of protests and violent confrontations. As a result, the international gay rights movement was born.

Nowadays International LGBT Pride Day is celebrated with colourful parades, rainbow flags, concerts and cultural events.

The most well-known celebration in Europe is in Madrid with over a million people attending each year.


LGBT = Lesbianas, Gays, Bisexuales, Transgénero

Parade = desfile

Take part = participar

March = marcha (manifestación)

Riot = disturbio

Throw (someone) out = echar

Violent confrontations = enfrentamientos violentos

International gay rights movement = movimiento internacional de derechos gay

Flags = banderas




Suffixes: -er vs -ee

Employer or employee, trainer or trainee? What’s the difference?

We often use the suffixes –er and –ee with nouns to describe people and their positions.

An employer is the boss, the person who employs the staff.

An employee is a worker, they are employed by the boss.

A trainer gives training.

A trainee receives training.

If a noun takes the suffix –er it means that the person performs the verb as we have seen in the example of employer (the person employs others).

If a noun takes the suffix –ee it means that the person is the object or beneficiary of the verb as we have seen in the example of employee (the person who is employed).

Here are more examples:

  • Payer

  • Payee

  • Interviewer

  • Interviewee

Can you think of some more examples?




Dependent prepositions with verbs


Let’s continue looking at dependent prepositions!

A dependent preposition is a preposition which ALWAYS follows the same expression. Let’s look at a useful list of dependent prepositions with verbs (verb + preposition + complement):

Accuse of – He accused me of lying!

Apply for –Tim has applied for hundreds of jobs.

Approve of – My mum doesn’t approve of my new boyfriend.

Base on –The series is based on the book by Margaret Attwood.

Belong to –This jacket belongs to Phil – he’s forgotten it!

Depend on – I might go swimming later, it depends on what time I finish work.

Insist on – She insisted on repeating the rules again and again.

Invest in – I’m thinking of investing some money in virtual coins.

Listen to – Listen to the recording twice to check your answers.

Look forward to – I’m looking forward to the summer!

Pay for – Lisa paid for everyone’s lunch! It was very generous of her.

Prevent from –The police prevented people from entering the scene of the crime.

Rely on – I can always rely on my husband when I have a problem.

Shout at – Please don’t shout at me!

Smile at – That little girl is smiling at us! How cute!

Specialise in – Elena specialises in family law.

Spend (money) on – She spends a lot of money on eating out.

Suffer from – My grandma suffers from asthma.

Worry about – I’m worried about my son – he never studies.

Remember that dependent prepositions don’t follow a rule as to which preposition to use so we need to learn them and keep practising!


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Dependent prepositions with adjectives

A dependent preposition is a preposition which ALWAYS follows the same expression. Let’s look at a useful list of dependent prepositions with adjectives (to be + adjective + preposition):

  • addicted to –  He’s addicted to smoking.

  • afraid of – I’m really afraid of snakes

  • ashamed of –  I’m very ashamed of my behaviour. Please forgive me.

  • aware ofAre you aware of the consequences?

  • different fromMy brother is totally different from me.

  • excited aboutI’m so excited about my birthday party!

  • familiar withAre you familiar with Excel?

  • famous forWhat is your city famous for?

  • fond ofMy grandmother is very fond of her little dog.

  • frightened ofAll the pupils are frightened of Mr Jones.

  • interested inI’m interested in ancient history.

  • jealous ofClaire is jealous of Jen because Jen always does better in exams.

  • keen onI’m not keen on horror films.

  • married toDid you know that she’s married to Tim?

  • obsessed withMy daughter is obsessed with TikTok.

  • proud ofWe are all so proud of you for getting your degree.

  • responsible forAt work, I’m responsible for arranging meetings.

  • similar toThis report is very similar to John’s report.

  • worried aboutI’m worried about the meeting with my boss

Remember that dependent prepositions don’t follow a rule as to which preposition to use so we need to learn them and keep practising!

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World bee day (20th May)

Did you know that 1/3 of the food we eat is pollinated by bees?

Without bees we would lose:

  • 100% almonds (almendras)
  • 90% apples (manzanas)
  • 90% onions (cebollas)
  • 90% blueberries (arandanos)
  • 90% cucumbers (pepinos)
  • 90% carrots (zanahorias)

(Source: Renee Johnson, Congressional Research Service 2010)

Bees are vital to our ecosystem and food crops – in the USA bees have declined around 33% and in Europe around 12%. This is bad news for farmers, governments and us – if it continues it will mean less variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables which would lead to an imbalanced diet.

Why are bees declining?

  • Use of pesticides – pesticides are highly toxic for bees
  • Urbanisation – this means loss of habitat for bees – long grass, trees and wild flowers
  • Climate change – some bees can only survive in very specific temperatures

What can we do?

  • Plant flowers such as lavender, mint, poppies and native flowers which bloom at different times of the year in our gardens or terraces
  • Buy raw honey from local farmers
  • Buy organic fruit and vegetables
  • Avoid using pesticides in our gardens
  • Leave a bowl of water outside with pebbles or twigs in for bees to perch on and rehydrate themselves


Pollinate – polinizar

Ecosystem – ecosistema

Crop – cultivo/cosecha

Decline – decaer

An imbalanced diet – una dieta no equilibrada

Pesticide – pesticida

Lavender – lavanda

Mint – menta

Poppies – amapolas

Bloom – florecer

Raw honey – miel cruda

Organic – ecológico

Pebble – piedrita/guijarro

Twig – ramita

Perch – posarse


Make vs do

Make and do can be confusing… when do we use make or do in English if in Spanish they both mean hacer? Don’t worry! That’s English will help you!

We make the bed in the morning and we make lunch…. but we do homework and we do yoga. Can you see the difference? We could say that do focuses on the action or process, whereas make focuses on the outcome or final product.

  • Make es algo que elaboras o fabricas, también se usa para reacciones y planes. Se enfoca en el producto final o el resultado.

  • Do es para acciones, trabajos y actividades. Se enfoca en la acción o proceso.

Here is a helpful list for you to see more collocations with make and do:


·         a cake/cookies

·         a cup of tea

·         breakfast/lunch/dinner

·         a mistake

·         a profit

·         a phone call

·         plans

·         someone cry/happy/angry

·         a suggestion

·         a noise


·         housework

·         the washing up

·         the shopping

·         something right/wrong

·         nothing/something/anything

·         a favour

·         your job

·         business (with)

·         a report/ a project

·         some work

Spring cleaning

Spring cleaning is when you do a deep clean of your house, including things you don’t often clean such as the fridge or the curtains and you also get rid of things you don’t need anymore.

How often do you spring clean? Are there any chores that you hate doing?

Cleaning vocabulary:

Deep clean – limpieza profunda

I need to do a deep clean of the kitchen this weekend – the oven and fridge are filthy!

Get rid of – deshacerse de

I usually get rid of old clothes when I do a spring clean.

Chores – tareas domésticas

The chores I hate doing are ironing and washing up!

Dust – quitar el polvo

Don’t forget to dust around the TV!

Vacuum/hoover – pasar la aspiradora

I vacuum/hoover the bedrooms once a week.

Mop – pasar la fregona

I always mop the kitchen floor after dinner.

Tidy up – recoger

What a mess – tidy up!

Declutter – despejar/organizar

A good way to declutter your wardrobe is to sell clothes you don’t wear.

Do the washing – hacer la colada

I forgot to do the washing yesterday and I don’t have any clean clothes!

Do the washing up – lavar los platos

My husband cooks and does the washing up.


  • Do the washing refiere a la ropa, no a los platos.
  • Dust, vacuum y mop son verbos y sustantivos – mop significa la fregona y pasar la fregona.


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