Modifiers with gradable adjectives

Gradable adjectives are those that can have different degrees of intensity such as angry, bad, beautiful, big, cold, crowded, good, hungry and small.

My dog is very small.           →                       The modifier changes the intensity of                                                                                          the adjective

My dog is quite small.         →                        very small is smaller than quite small

The modifiers we can use with gradable adjectives are:









a bit

*We use rather with negative adjectives to mean bastante.

He was rather rude to me yesterday.

We use rather with positive adjectives to imply that it is surprisingly positive (sorprendentemente)

His performance was rather good.

You can review modifiers with gradable adjectives in C1.1 Unit 1





Carnival vocabulary

This week is Carnival week in many places around the world, although this year the events will be virtual. The most famous celebrations are in Brasil, Tenerife, Venice and New Orleans (Mardi Gras). These celebrations coincide with the beginning of Lent and traditionally people would celebrate with food and drink before fasting*.

Carnival is a colourful event with parades, beautifully decorated floats, dancers and of course costumes. Do you enjoy carnival? Do you dress up?

*fasting = el ayuno

Lent = cuaresma

I’m going to stop eating chocolate for Lent.

 Parades = desfiles

I would love to visit Brasil during carnival to watch the extravagant parades.

Floats = carrozas

During Mardi Gras, small gifts called throws (beads**, trinkets*** and small toys) are thrown from the floats into the crowds.

**beads – abalorios  *** trinkets – baratijas

Dancers = bailarines

Thousands of Samba dancers take part in the Brasil carnival.

Costumes = disfraces

My favourite part of the costumes in Venice are the beautiful masks.

Dress up = disfrazarse

Children always dress up for the school carnival parties here in Spain.

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Love is in the air…

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this Sunday (14th February), we bring you some love idioms. Can you think of any more?

Love at first sight = amor a primera vista

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Head over heels = enamoradísimo

Katy is head over heels with her new boyfriend – I’ve never seen her so in love!

Puppy love = amor de jóvenes

Look at those two! Isn’t puppy love so sweet?

A match made in heaven = hechos el uno para el otro

Tom and Rachel really are a match made in heaven! They are the perfect couple.

To have the hots for someone/to have a crush on someone = estar loco por

Jane has the hots for the new guy at the office! / Jane has a crush on the new guy at the office!

You can learn more about love and dating in B1.1 unit 9.





Super Bowl Sunday

This Sunday (7th February) is Super Bowl Sunday – the most watched American football event of the year! The Super Bowl is the championship game of the NFL and the winning team get the Lombardi trophy which is handcrafted by Tiffany & Co.

The Super Bowl isn’t only for football lovers either – the half-time show is as famous as the championship itself and has had many memorable performances from celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Prince, not to mention the iconic ads (commercials in US English) in which famous brands try to create the most impressive advertisements to reach the thousands of people watching.

Do you watch the Super Bowl? Can you think of a sporting event that is popular in Spain?

Championship = campeonato

I hope the Kansas City Chiefs win the championship! They’ve played so well this season!

 Trophy = trofeo

Did you know that the Lombardi Trophy is made of silver and is worth over $10,000?

 Half-time show = espectáculo durante el descanso

I loved Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s performance in the Super Bowl half-time show last year!

 Advertisements/commercials (ads) = anuncios

The big brands spend a lot of money on making great advertisements to be shown during sporting events.

You can learn more about sports in B1.2 unit 5.