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This site is for all students of English as a Foreign Language at the Piedralaves E.O.I.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When to use ‘the’ with country names (+ lakes, rivers, and more)

Below is a list of countries which use the definite article. In English, we use "the" if a country has a political title in its name, or if it refers a group of islands. There are also countries, such as the Netherlands, which people commonly attach the definite article to even though it does not follow the two rules above.
For bodies of water, we frequently add the definite article to rivers, oceans, and seas.
For single mountains, we don’t typically add the definite article. However, for groups of mountains, we do.
You’ll find many examples of these rules below, as well as a list of other geographical features which use the definite article. You can do an exercise  HERE  


  • the Bahamas
  • the Cayman Islands
  • the Central African Republic
  • the Channel Islands
  • the Comoros
  • the Czech Republic
  • the Dominican Republic
  • the Falkland Islands
  • the Gambia
  • the Isle of Man
  • the Ivory Coast
  • the Leeward Islands
  • the Maldives (the Maldive Islands)
  • the Marshall Islands
  • the Netherlands
  • the Netherlands Antilles
  • the Philippines
  • the Solomon Islands
  • the Turks and Caicos Islands
  • the United Arab Emirates
  • the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
  • the United States (of America)
  • the Virgin Islands


  • the Amazon
  • the Colorado
  • the Columbia
  • the Danube
  • the Don
  • the Euphrates
  • the Ganges
  • the Huang
  • the Hudson
  • the Indus
  • the Jordan
  • the Lena
  • the Mackenzie
  • the Mekong
  • the Mississippi
  • the Missouri
  • the Niger
  • the Nile
  • the Ob
  • the Ohio
  • the Orinoco
  • the Po
  • the Rhine
  • the Rhone
  • the Rio Grande
  • the St. Lawrence
  • the Seine
  • the Tagus
  • the Thames
  • the Tiber
  • the Tigris
  • the Volga
  • the Yangtze

    Gulfs, Oceans, Seas, Straits

  • the Adriatic Sea
  • the Aegean Sea
  • the Arabian Sea
  • the Arctic Ocean
  • the Atlantic (Ocean)
  • the Baltic (Sea)
  • the Black Sea
  • the Caribbean (Sea)
  • the Caspian (Sea)
  • the Coral Sea
  • the Gulf of Aden
  • the Gulf of Mexico
  • the Gulf of Oman

    Mountain Ranges

  • the Alps
  • the Andes
  • the Appalachians
  • the Atlas Mountains
  • the Caucasus
  • the Himalayas
  • the Pyrenees
  • the Rockies (the Rocky Mountains)
  • the Urals

    Other Features

  • the equator
  • the Far East
  • the Gobi (desert)
  • the Kalahari (desert)
  • the Middle East
  • the Near East
  • the North Pole
  • the Occident
  • the Orient
  • the Panama Canal
  • the Sahara (desert)
  • the South Pole
  • the Suez Canal
  • the Tropic of Cancer
  • the Tropic of Capricorn

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Study Tip – Beginner English Online Resources

by MELANIE on DECEMBER 10, 2012
(Photo by Paojus)

If you are a beginner, if you know someone who is a beginner, or if you teach beginners, here are some free resources that may be useful to you. All of these resources are in English.
Hungry for English [American]
“We want you to learn to speak English in the same way that we all learned to speak our native languages as babies – by hearing it instead of reading it.”
JenniferESL [American]
“English for Beginners! No scripts. No actors. Real lessons. Real learning.”
Jennifer is an English teacher who is teaching her friend Natasha to speak English. This is an ongoing series of lessons, so check the list often for new lessons!
Mister Duncan [British]
This list of video lessons is more for elementary & intermediate students, but they are a great way to learn new vocabulary. All his videos include subtitles (text).
Vocabulary & Grammar
ESOL Courses – Online course for beginners [British]
ESOL Courses – Online English lessons, exercises, games and quizzes for beginners [British]
Helping You Learn English – English course for beginners [American]
Learn English Online – Online course for beginners [British]
The Most Common English Words
100 most common words in English (video)
1000 most common words in English: [Esl.about.com] 1-250251-500501-750751-1000
1000 most common words in English (in alphabetical order)
Verb Forms
Perfect English Grammar – Memorize the past simple & past participle forms of irregular verbs
Macmillan Dictionary – Test your knowledge of irregular verb forms with the ‘Irregular Verb Wheel Game’
Read Theory – Read, listen, & answer questions
Super Easy Reading – Read, listen, & do activities
Simple English Wikipedia – 90,000 articles written in simple English!




This page shows you how to use the prepositions onin, and at in different contexts.

1. Transportation

PrepositionExample NounsExample Sentences
incar, truckI went to Vancouver in my car.
onbus, train, ship, plane, bicycleI went downtown on the bus.
We travelled to Toronto on the train.

2. Time

PrepositionExample NounsExample Sentences
inJanuary, February, March
1987, 1988, 1989
two minutes, three days
She arrived in February.
I was born in 1988.
I'll be home in three days.
onWednesday, Thursday
The party is on Thursday.
He left on the weekend.
at7:00, 7:30, 8 o'clock, noonI'll call you at 7.30.

3. Communications

PrepositionExample NounsExample Sentences
radio, television
I spoke to him on the telephone yesterday.
I read about it on the Internet.
I heard the news on the radio.

4. Where prepositions are NOT used

We don't use prepositions with certain words and phrases:
NO PrepositionWords and PhrasesExample Sentences
in, on, athome
this morning
this afternoon
every week
last Tuesday
next year
Sally went home.
I met my classmates this morning.
We will arrive this afternoon.
We have an exam every week.
Neil did his laundry last Tuesday.
Betty will return next year.
When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercise.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Here is an exercise for you to put the words in the right order. Great practise!


Hello guys, I found this chart to help you with your pronunciation. You can click on every sound and listen to its pronunciation with three different words. You can also download it for your iPad.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


1. Double cream pie
For the cream:
300 g. of sugar
4 egg yolks
50 g. of flour
½ litre of milk
2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
The rest of the ingredients are ½ a litre of whipping cream, 3 sheets of puff pastry, 200 g. of confectioner’s sugar and some cinnamon. 

Preheat the oven to 180. Mix the ingredients in a blender to make the cream. Pour the mixture in a pan and heat it up slowly until it thickens. Set aside. Put the sheets of puff pastry in the oven until they are cooked. Whip the cream until desired consistency. Take one sheet of puff pastry and put the cream on top. Close it with another sheet of puff pastry and top it with whipped cream. Set the last piece of puff pastry on top and dust with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.

2. Mushroom and cheese pie ****WINNER****

·        250 g of mushrooms.
·        100g of bacon.
·        1 onion.
·        100 g of  grated emmental cheese.
·        50 g. of goat cheese.
·        2 sheets of puff pastry.

Cut the onion is small pieces and cook it in a pan with a little oil. When cooked, add the mushrooms and the bacon (also cut). Once cooked, set it away from the heat and add the grated cheese. In a baking tray, set down a sheet of pastry, put all the mixture in and put the other sheet of pastry on top. Close the edges and cook it in a preheated oven at 180 for about 20 minutes until done.

3. Chocolate Muffins

       230 gr wheat flour
       50 gr pure non-fat powdered cocoa (no sugar) 
       150 gr of sugar
       1 packet of yeast
       2 Greek yoghurts
       80 gr sunflower oil
       2 eggs
       4 tablespoons of milk
       100 gr chocolate chips
       50 gr chocolate topping

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Put the flour, cocoa, sugar and yeast in a bowl and mix all together. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, oil and the yoghurts. Add this to the dry ingredients and beat it all together. Add the chocolate chips and mix.
Divide the mixture into paper molds (12 more or less) and put them on a metal baking try. Introduce the muffins in  the oven for 25 minutes, remenber at 180ºC.
To finish, add the chocolate topping and ready to eat!

4.  Stuffed omelette
4 potatoes
6 eggs
1 onion
A few slices of York ham
Some slices of sandwich cheese
Olive oil

5. Tuna pie with vegetables.

1 onion.
3 peppers, 2 green, 1red.
4 tomatoes
200 ml olive oil
275 gr of frozen puff pastry
150 gr tuna in oil
1 egg

Preheat the oven at 200 degrees. Cut de vegetables in pieces and put them with olive oil in the frying pan. You must cook them very slowly. To remove the skin of the tomatoes, scald them first and then peel them. Next, cut them and add to the other vegetables. Add some salt to taste. Drain the tuna. Extend the puff pastry onto a baking tray and put the vegetables with the tuna on it but only in half the pastry.  Fold it close and seal the edges. Beat the egg and paint the pastry with it. Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes, until it’s cooked.
6. Smarties cake (Thermomix)
8 eggs.
240 gr sugar
200 gr flour
1 pack of Smarties of 180 gr.
1 jar and a half of Nutella
11 packages of Kit-Kat
lemon peel from 2 lemons
700 gr water.
200 gr sugar.
A cinnamon stick

1. Prepare the syrup first thing. It has to be cold (we can do it the previous day). Put in a glass of water 700 gr , 500 of sugar , the lemon peel and a cinnamon stick. Schedule 10 minutes varoma at speed 2 and it’s ready.
2. Preheat the oven to 200º Preparation of the cake.
3. Put the butterfly in the glass of the Thermomix, take four eggs and half the sugar and program 6 minutes, 37º,speed 3 and a half and when it  finishes,  another 6 program minutes without temperature and at the same speed.
4. Add half the flour and mix for 4 seconds in speed 3 .Pour into a greased mold. Lower the oven temperature to 180 degrees and bake for 25 minutes or less.
5. Once baked, remove the mold and let cool on a rack. Cut the cake in half.
1-     Dip half the cake in the syrup generously.
2-   Put a layer of Nutella, sides included
3-   Dip the other half in the syrup.
4-   Cover it in Nutella as well and put the two halves together.
5-    Now open the Kit-Kat packaging and separate the bars. Put them around the cake, upright.
6-   Top with the Smarties.
7-    And finally put a bow around the Kit-kat.

7.  Nougat cake
300 ml double cream 
1 tablet Jijona nougat
50 ml of milk
1 packet of lemon jelly
5 eggs
A few drops of lemon juice
A pinch of salt

1-.Put the nougat in the Thermomix and shred for 20 seconds on speed 8, helping with the spatula.
2-Next we toss in all other ingredients.
3-Program 8 minutes 70º, speed 5.
4-Pour into a mold.
5-Place in the refrigerator to set.
6-Finally unmold and decorate to taste.

8. Boletus surprise ****WINNER****

1. pastry dough
2. boletus
3. homemade white sauce (bechamel)
4. 1 onion
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Cut the onions and the boletus in small pieces and sauté the onion with the boletus. Add the bechamel sauce. Take a teaspoon of the vegetable mixture and place it in the middle of a piece of pastry dough. Close it as if it were a little bag and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until done.

9. Cheese, dates and York ham pie


Puff pastry
York Ham to taste
Cheese to taste
Dates to taste
One egg


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Take the one sheet of puff pastry and lay it on a baking tray. Layer the ingredients on top of the pastry generously. Place the date in between the cheese and the ham. Place the other sheet of pastry on top and seal the borders with your finger. Take the egg, beat it and brush the pastry with it. Place the pie in the oven until it’s golden and crunchy. You can eat it cold or warm.  

10. Santa Claus’ savoury truffles

400 g camembert cheese
15 "quesitos" (small portions of melted cheese)
3 tablespoons of cream and a small amount of whipped cream
dried figs
salt and pepper
mixed  nuts (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
red peppers

With a knife, take the white rind off the camembert cheese. Mix the cheeses and the cream in a bowl until you get a homogeneous dough. Season with salt and pepper. Mince the nuts in a bowl. Cut the dried figs into pieces. Wrap each piece of fig with the cheese mixture and shape into a ball. Put the balls in the bowl of nuts and cover entirely.
Garnish each ball with a cap made with red pepper and add two halves of raisins like eyes. You can put a small ball of whipped cream on the top of the cap. Refrigerate al least half an hour. Serve cold.

11. Savoury Cake


300 Gr. Flour
5 eggs
1 glass of milk
½ glass of cream
½ glass of oil
1 packet of yeast
150 Gr. of grated cheese

150 Gr. of ham into strips

1 spring onion



1st.Beat the eggs and mix with the flour
2nd Add the oil, the milk and the cream and mix
3rd Add the cheese, the ham and half sautéed onion
4th Add salt and taste it.
5th Add the yeast
6th Pour it into a mold (I made it with a silicone Crown mold)
7th Cook in the preheated oven at 180 °, top and bottom heat for  about 45 minutes.

It is the same preparation as a sponge cake; you can change the ham by tuna, vegetables…Sometimes I put in a stock cube. You can eat it either hot or cold. These are the pictures of my last savoury cake.

12. Savoury elephant ears

 Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Extend the puff pastry and cover with the slices of cheese and slices of ham. Then, roll the left side to the center until you get to the middle and after do the same with the right side. Now, cut slices of about 3centimeters thick and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Put it in the oven, for about 20 minutes approximately. Enjoy!

13. Coconut biscuits

- 1 or 2 packets of biscuits (bizcochos de soletilla)
- 1 nutella jar
- 1 little bag of shredded coconut
- milk
 - A teaspoon of rum or anise to add to the milk (optional)
We spread all the slices with Nutella. We paired them together and cut them in half. After we wet them with a lot of milk. Immediately we dip them in the shredded coconut, until they are well covered. If you want to put a teaspoon of rum  or anise, you must mix it with the milk.

14. Carbonara, turkey&apple, tomato&hazelnut sandwiches.

15. Marta’s chocolate lollipops
- chocolate to melt
- sticks
-  acetate paper or transparent lining

Chop the chocolate, pour it into a bowl and heat it in the microwave. When completely melted, pour into a pastry bag.
Put on the acetate paper on a tray and pour small amounts of chocolate, leaving distance between them. Put the stick in the middle of the chocolate.  Then put another acetate paper over it and crush gently until the desired shape.Finally cool in the fridge.

16. Sweet fried dough

1 liter of olive oil
½ liter of sweet anise
100 g of sugar
The zest of 1 lemon
1.5 kg. of flour


Preheat the oven to 150. Heat up the oil until it starts smoking. Pour the flour into an earthenware bowl. Add the oil slowly and mix it carefully so that the flour cooks. Let it cool and pour the anise and the lemon zest. Mix it well and cool completely. Take a little bit of dough (the size of a walnut) and shape it first into a stripe and then into a number 8. Place them into the baking tray and bake at 150 until golden. Take them out and dust generously with sugar.

17. Chocolate crepes
18. Stuffed croissants
19. Yolanda’s truffles

20. Goat cheese and chocolate lollipops ****WINNER****
200 g. of Roquefort cheese
200 g. of goat cheese
100 g. of butter
250 g. of fodue chocolate
White chocolate
Combine all the cheeses and butter together and place the mixture in the refrigerator so that it hardens a bit. Shape into small balls and skewer them. Place in the freezer to harden. Heat up the chocolate and add the minced walnuts. Dip the cheese balls in the chocolate and place quickly in the fridge. You can also melt some white chocolate and sprinkle it on top to garnish. Place everything again in the ice box. Enjoy!

21. Champagne Jelly