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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International Workers’ Day – 1st May

May Day or International Workers’ Day commemorates the struggles and gains made by workers over the years and is a public holiday (bank holiday) in over 80 countries. Some of the rights workers have fought for include: an 8-hour working day, paid holidays, paid sick leave, the minimum wage and occupational health and safety.

What do you think about working conditions nowadays? How have they improved and how could they be improved further?

Struggles = luchas

The daily struggles of miners included health problems, dangers such as explosions or falls and exhaustion.

Gains = ganancias

One of the most important gains of the trade unions was to end child labour.

A public holiday/ a bank holiday = un día festivo

1st May is a public holiday in the UK.

Paid sick leave = días renumeradas por enfermedad

Paid sick leave was introduced in the 1980s.

Minimum wage = salario mínimo

Many companies still pay minimum wage to their employees.

Occupational health and safety = salud y seguridad laboral

Occupational health and safety is very important in manual labour jobs.





The Queen’s Birthday

Happy 95th Birthday to Queen Elizabeth II! She is 95 years old today.

Why does the Queen have two birthdays?

The Queen’s real birthday is on the 21st April and the second – the official celebration – is on the second Saturday in June. This tradition started in 1748 with King George II – he wanted to be able to have a big public celebration but his birthday was in November when the weather is bad so he started the tradition of having a second birthday in June. As April is famous for its April Showers the Queen has continued this tradition with an official, public, outdoor birthday celebration in June.

What is Trooping the Colour?

The Trooping the Colour parade* marks the Queen’s official birthday celebration in June (although last year it was cancelled). This parade involves over 1400 soldiers wearing the iconic red tunics and bearskins, around 200 horses and 400 musicians. One of the main attractions is the RAF Red Arrows flying over Buckingham Palace.

*El desfile anual que celebra el cumpleaños oficial de la reina.

How does the Queen celebrate her real birthday?

Usually, there is a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21-gun salute in Windsor Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London on 21st April to mark the Queen’s birthday. The Queen celebrates her real birthday in private with her family.


Red tunics and bearskins = el uniforme típico de los soldados de Buckingham Palace – la túnica roja y el sombrero negro llamado bearskin porque está hecho con piel de oso canadiense.

RAF Red Arrows = son el grupo oficial de aviones acrobáticos y usan estelas de humo de colores, pertenecen al Royal Air Force (la fuerza aérea royal).

Gun salute = un saludo que se realiza disparando cañones como un honor militar. Se usa para varios acontecimientos reales.