Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it's a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. Thanksgiving is a North American holiday with the dates and whereabouts of the first Thanksgiving celebration a topic of modest contention. It has generally become a national secular holiday with religious origins. Though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida, the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621.

Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members. (From Wikipedia)

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Monday, 24 November 2008

25th November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

By resolution 54/134 of 17 December 1999, the General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on that day. Women's activists have marked 25 November as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).

On 20 December 1993 the General Assembly adopted Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (A/RES/48/104).
Click here for the source.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Phrasal verbs

What is a phrasal verb?

A phrasal verb consists of a verb and a preposition or adverb that modifies or changes the meaning; 'give up' is a phrasal verb that means 'stop doing' something, which is very different from 'give'. The word or words that modify a verb in this manner can also go under the name particle. Phrasal verbs are widely used in both written and spoken English.

Phrasal verbs can be divided into different groups:

Intransitive verbs: These don't take an object.

They had an argument, but they've made up now.

Inseparable verbs: The object must come after the particle.

They are looking after their grandchildren.

Separable verbs: With some separable verbs, the object must come between the verb and the particle.

The quality of their work sets them apart from their rivals.

With some separable verbs, the object can before or after the particle, though when a pronoun is used it comes before the particle.

Turn the TV off.Turn off the TV.Turn it off.

Phrasal verbs list.
Phrasal verbs quizzes.
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Explanation and activities.

Main source:

Friday, 14 November 2008

Used to, Be used to, Get used to.

'Used to' is different from 'be used to' and 'get used to'. Let's see:
  • We use "used to" + the base form of the verb:
- For something that happened regularly in the past but no longer happens:

Affirmative: I used to go to the park with my friends every day.
Negative: I didn't use to go to the park with my friends every day.
Interrogative: Did you use to go to the park with your friends every day?

- For something that was true but no longer is:

There used to be a theatre in this town but now there isn't.

  • We use " be used to" + the present participle of a verb (-ing form):

- To say that something is normal, not unusual:

I am used to living on my own. I've done it for quite a long time.

  • We use " get used to" + the present participle of a verb (-ing form):

- To talk about the process of something becoming normal for us.

I have always lived in the country but now I'm beginning to get used to living in the city.

- Exercise 1
- Exercise 2
- Exercise 3
- Exercise 4
- Exercise 5

Source: English Grammar Secrets.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night, 5th November

Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night, Cracker Night, Fireworks Night) is an annual celebration on the evening of the 5th of November. It celebrates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of the 5th of November 1605 in which a number of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, England.

It is primarily marked in the United Kingdom where it was compulsory, by Royal Decree, to celebrate the deliverance of the King until 1859, but also in former British colonies including New Zealand, parts of Canada, and parts of the British Caribbean. Festivities are centred on the use of fireworks and the lighting of bonfires.
(From Wikipedia)
Guy Fawkes Day (treasure hunt).

"Change, we can believe in"

Finally, Barack Obama could do it, he is the new President-Elect of the United States. Obama will assume office in January 2009.

"I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you."

Barack Obama, Election Night 2008

This is a fragment of Obama's speech after winning the presidential election. To read and watch the video of the full speech, click on this link.

Monday, 3 November 2008

United States Presidential Election 2008

The United States presidential election of 2008, scheduled for Tuesday November 4, 2008, will be the 56th consecutive quadrennial United States presidential election and will select the President and the Vice President of the United States.

The Republican Party has chosen John McCain, the senior United States Senator from Arizona as its nominee; the Democratic Party has chosen Barack Obama, the junior United States Senator from Illinois, as its nominee. The Libertarian Party has nominated former Congressman Bob Barr, the Constitution Party has nominated pastor and radio talk show host Chuck Baldwin, and the Green Party has nominated former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Ralph Nader declined to seek the Green Party nomination and is running as an independent candidate.

The 2008 election is particularly notable because it is the first time in U.S. history that two sitting senators will run against each other for president, and because it is the first time an African American is a presidential nominee for a major party, as well as the first time both major candidates were born outside the continental United States—Hawaii for Obama and the Panama Canal Zone for McCain. Since the Republican nominee for vice-president is a woman, Governor Sarah Heath Palin, the eventual winning ticket is very likely to be historic, as neither an African American nor a female has achieved either office. In addition, the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, would be the oldest first-term president and the Democratic nominee for vice-president, Senator Joseph Biden, would be the first Roman Catholic vice president.
Source and more information: Wikipedia.
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