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Learning to speak Spanish will open up many doors and bring many joys. As you may know, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, and speaking Spanish will allow you to connect with a wide range of people with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

It will also enrich your travels, access foreign media, and increase your diversity awareness.

There are many different routes you can take to acquire this beautiful language, from purchasing mobile apps to playing with traditional flashcards. You could attend often puzzling group classes or listen to dreary audiobooks while you commute.

The truth is that the easiest and most efficient way to master the Spanish language is to actually take one-on-one lessons with a trained teacher who is also a native speaker.

The best way to learn Spanish is through immersion

You’re busy, but need to learn Spanish. What you need is an instructor who adjusts to your busy schedule, adapts to your unique learning style, understands your personal needs and wants, follows your pace, develops a customized program, and is able to deliver the class wherever you are in the world.

How to learn Spanish

Learning Spanish with immersion education allows you to have a curriculum built just for you. This eliminates pressure to “keep up” and gives you consistent hands-on practice with speaking the language.

Immersion programs aim for academic achievement and bilingualism attainment through increased intercultural competence.

This means that at least 50% of the instruction is through the new language, which in this case is Spanish — you’re speaking it and listening to it, helping your brain to become accustomed to the language.

According to the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, some of the proven benefits of language immersion programs include better academic performance, a higher level of language proficiency and literacy.

This leads to improved cognitive skills such as divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving.

Languages are “alive” (meaning they evolve and have unique dialects and interpretations), thus there is always more than grammar and spelling rules to achieve Spanish language fluency.

Although the base language is the same in all Spanish speaking nations, the rhythms, patterns, and words vary from one to another.

At Live Lingua you will learn to speak Spanish from someone that already is at the top level of Spanish language proficiency — a native speaker — who possesses excellent teaching skills and an ample understanding of the use of the language within a set of social belief systems.

From day one you will dive into in the specifics of the Spanish language (such as accents, jargon, and proper expressions) in addition to the cultural highlights of the country you are most interested in visiting.

How to speak Spanish like a local

To speak Spanish like a local, you need full exposure to this language you aim to acquire.

In addition to the language classes to enhance your immersive practice, strive to augment the number of fields and topics you connect with. Aim to create a multi-sensory experience.

You can do this by reading digital newspapers, listening to music, and watching videos from various Spanish speaking countries.

To learn how Spanish native speakers communicate you may want to follow some of the activities suggested in the list below. These will deepen your comprehension of other societies as well as widen your vocabulary.

Pay attention, make notes, and try to enjoy the process. As you move forward in your language learning process, you will be able to understand more complex content.

Do not be discouraged even if you don’t understand a thing at the beginning. Your ear will slowly get attuned to the sounds and melodies; plus, if you learn the alphabet beforehand, you will be able to spot similar words, related terms, and repetitive patterns (aka spelling and grammar guidelines) through the written information.

When in doubt refer to the Diccionario de la Real Academia de la Lengua Española. The objective is to get familiar with the world of Spanish language, including gestures and other non-verbal forms of communication.

Pick up a good book

  • Check out these twenty titles from Classic Spanish literature.
  • Feel like taking a shortcut? Watch the readings of El Quijote on Youtube.
  • Take a peep at this list of twenty one Spanish novels from the 21st century.
  • If you are more into Latin American literature, pick from the work of prodigious writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz, and Julio Cortázar.

Survey online newspapers from Spanish speaking countries

Browse blogs or digital magazines in Spanish

  • The universe for both of these is immense and finding something worthy can become tiring. Select a subject matter that aligns with the purpose of your language learning efforts. For example, if you are learning Spanish for business purposes explore Entrepreneur to get acquainted with the professional slang.
  • Look at the blog comments if you like; there might be plenty of spelling and grammar mistakes, but pay no attention to them. If you feel confident make a comment!

Listen to original Spanish and Latin-American music genres

Software applications such as Spotify make this quite easy. Here are some artists to check out:

  1. Bachata
  2. Bossa nova
  3. Corrido
  4. Cumbia
  5. Flamenco
  6. Mambo
  7. Mariachi
  8. Merengue
  9. Music from the Andes
  10. Norteña
  11. Reggae
  12. Reggaeton
  13. Salsa
  14. Sevillana
  15. Tango
  16. Zamba
  17. Zarzuela
  18. Pin your ears back to online radio programs in Spanish:

Watch videos in Spanish

  • Enjoy Spanish and Latin-American films, documentaries, and T.V. series on Netflix. Feeling like a stay-at-home-binge-watching night? There are plenty Iberoamerican plots to choose from: Narcos, La Casa de las Flores, Luis Miguel, Club de Cuervos, Distrito Salvaje, El Chapo, Estocolmo, El tiempo entre costuras, Gran Hotel, and Las chicas del cable, amongst many others. Alternatively, turn on Spanish captions to your favorite programs.
  • Learn about local delicacies with cookery shows from El Gourmet. This is a great way to learn ingredients and measurements.
  • Even if you’re not a drama queen, the spectacle that is Mexican soap operas from Televisa are about as entertaining as TV can possible get.
  • Not so keen on phony acting? Then consider viewing a thought-provoking TED Talk en Español.

Have fun with Spanish language cultures

  • Join a Spanish speaking group.
  • Make a native Spanish speaking friend.
  • Eat at a restaurant that serves food from a Spanish speaking region.
  • Sign up to Cuban salsa or Spanish flamenco dance classes.
  • Travel to a Spanish speaking country.

Additionally, you could find a penpal and exchange postcards, emails or greeting cards in Spanish.

Conclusion: Learn to speak Spanish

All of these exercises should be fun and not heavy endeavors, so choose according to your personal interests. Nonetheless, do try to stretch out of your comfort zone as it will give you a much better appreciation of the Spanish language. Your efforts surely will pay off!

Immersive language lessons are the route to go in the modern world. Live Lingua is an online language school that can do all of that for you! Sign up today for a free Spanish language trial lesson.

The post How To Learn Spanish appeared first on Live Lingua.

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The role of Spanish Language in the Current World

Spanish is a major language spoken in 21 countries around the world, spoken by more than 577 million people, according to the Spanish newspaper El País and a report that gathered information from the Cervantes Institute’s published records.

Of those, 480 million people are native speakers of the Spanish language.

The language has taken hold in a number of non-native speaking countries, including the United States. According to Professor David Fernández Vítores of the University of Alcalá, there were 40 million Spanish speakers registered inside the United States of America in 2017.

If the growth tendency continues, in ten years more people will speak Spanish in the United States of America than they do in Spain!

For anyone considering learning a language, Spanish is and will continue among the most valuable in terms of both career and travel advantages.

What are the Days of the Week in Spanish?

Learning the Spanish days of the week is an easy entry point to the Spanish language because even though there are different spoken accents in each territory, these seven words remain unchanged through Spanish speaking nations.

ENGLISH SPANISH
Monday Lunes
Tuesday Martes
Wednesday Miércoles
Thursday Jueves
Friday Viernes
Saturday Sábado
Sunday Domingo

Other basic words and phrases related to Spanish days of the week:

ENGLISH SPANISH
Day Día
Week Semana
Month Mes
Year Año
Calendar Calendario
Weekday Entre semana
Weekend Fin de semana
Next week Siguiente semana
Days in Spanish and their Latin roots

Spanish is a Romance Language along with French and Italian, derived from Vulgar Latin. Hence there are many Latin roots across a wide range of Spanish vocabulary. Look at the following common word examples taken from the Dictionary of the Real Academy of the Spanish Language (Diccionario de la Real Academia de la Lengua Española).

ENGLISH SPANISH LATIN ROOT
Book Libro Liber
Apple Manzana Mattiāna
Door Puerta Porta
Write Escribir Scribĕre.
Eat Comer Comedĕre.
Open Abrir Aperīre

The table below shows the Latin words, either from Classic Latin or Vulgar Latin, from which the names for the days of the week in the Spanish language are derived.

ENGLISH SPANISH LATIN ROOT
Monday Lunes Dies Lunis
Tuesday Martes Dies Martis
Wednesday Miércoles Dies Mercŭris
Thursday Jueves Dies Lovis
Friday Viernes Dies Venĕris
Saturday Sábado Dies Sabbătum
Sunday Domingo Dies Dominĭcus 
Days of the Week in Spanish and the Romance Languages

As you may know, Romance languages belong to the Italic line of the Indo-European branch in the language family tree.

Therefore, if you already are a native speaker of French, Romanian or Italian or you have learnt some of these as a second language you will have an advantage over those who haven’t.

Take note of the next comparison table showing the days of the week in five Romance languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Catalan, and Romanian.

SPANISH FRENCH ITALIAN CATALAN ROMANIAN  CELESTIAL BODY
Domingo Dimanche Domenica Diumenge Duminică Sun
Lunes Lundi Lunedi Dilluns Luni Moon
Martes Mardi Mertedi Dimarts Marţi Mars
Miércoles Mercredi Mercoledi Dimecres Miercuri Mercury
Jueves Jeudi Giovedi Dijous Joi Jupiter
Viernes Vendredi Venerdi Divendres Vineri Venus
Sábado Samedi Sabato Dissabte Sâmbătă Saturn
The Roman Calendar and the Days in Spanish

There is a striking resemblance between the names for the days of the week in various Romance languages.

This is due to the fact that, during the span of the Roman Empire, the Latin language was spread across the conquered lands.

Vulgar Latin, from which French, Italian, and Spanish were formed, was actually spoken by soldiers, slaves, and common people.

Ancient Romans named the days of the week after the Sun, the Moon, and the five planets that were visible to them when they looked at the sky.

Interestingly enough, Sunday was originally derived from the “Sun’s Day,” although was later changed to the “Lord’s Day” once Christianity took hold.

Months of the Year in Spanish

Knowing the days in Spanish and the calendar months is very important for anyone learning the language.

The chart below highlights the similarities between the English and Spanish languages, along with the Latin root of the words from which they originated.

You may wish to use these relationships as cues to memorize the words in Spanish or at least to guess them if you spot them in writing.

ENGLISH SPANISH LATIN ROOT MEANING
January Enero   Lanuarius Month of the God Janus
February Febrero Fe- Februarius Month of expiration/purgation
March Marzo Mar- Martius Month of Mars
April Abril A- Aprīlis Month of Apru/Aphrodite
May Mayo May- Maius Month of Maia
June Junio Jun- Lunius Month of Juno
July Julio Jul- Lulius/Julius Julius Caesar
August Agosto A- Augustus Augustus Caesar
September Septiembre Sept- Septem Seven
October Octubre Oct- Octōber Eight
November Noviembre Nov- Novem Nine
December Diciembre D- Decem Ten
Expressions that include the days of the week in Spanish

The following are informal expressions that include the days of the week in Spanish used in some Spanish speaking countries.

México

SPANISH: Aplicó el “San lunes”.

ENGLISH: To apply the “San lunes.” Since Monday is the first day of the week, this phrase is used when someone skips a commitment such as turning up at work the day after a Bank Holiday or when a person lets you down the day you need them the most.

  • SPANISH: ¡Ya es “juebebes”!
  • ENGLISH: It is already Thurs-drinks-day! Because it is almost the weekend it is appropriate to have a drink. The word is formed combining the words jueves and bebes.
  • SPANISH: Salió con su domingo siete.
  • ENGLISH: She/he came out with her/his Sunday seven. It is intended to be malicious when referring to someone that has disappointed you.

Colombia and Venezuela

  • SPANISH: ¡Miércoles! Olvidé llamar a mi madre.
  • ENGLISH: Sh*t! I forgot to call my mother. The meaning of this one is pretty obvious.

Spain

  • SPANISH: Dar a alguien con la del martes.
  • ENGLISH: Even though there is no direct translation it means to cause moral or physical damage to another person.
  • SPANISH: Cosa del otro jueves.
  • ENGLISH: That happened on a prior Thursday. It is used to denote an extraordinary event or something that happened a long time ago.
Beyond learning the days of the week in Spanish

Whether you’re looking to travel to a Spanish-speaking country, give your professional resume a boost, or just take up a new challenge, learning Spanish is a smart move.

In fact, the British Council noted that Spanish is the most important foreign language to learn for residents of the United Kingdom.

Spanish opens the door to an array of cultures around the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

With immersive language lessons from Live Lingua, you can start Spanish language lessons today.

Are you ready to begin?

The post Spanish Days of the Week appeared first on Live Lingua.

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El Poblado neighborhood, Medellin. Photo credit: Tim Wenger

Colombia is a country that captivates everyone who comes. It’s a place possessing an irresistible appeal that’s difficult to pinpoint.

For me, one of the reasons I came was the language. I studied Spanish for three years in high school, but never spent more time than that. By living in Colombia for five months, I hoped to improve.

When I arrived in Medellin, the city I chose to call home, I didn’t take language lessons the moment I arrived. But even without them, it didn’t take me long to pick up the basics.

Every taxi ride, restaurant order, and grocery visit put me in the thick of speaking Spanish. There’s no better way to learn a language than through immersion.

If you’re looking for somewhere to learn Spanish, Colombia is a great place to go. Here’s why.

Colombia Is Affordable

At the time of this writing, $1 US dollar is worth a little more than $3,000 Colombian pesos. A visit to Colombia won’t break the bank if you’re coming from the western world.

If you stay long term, you can rent a furnished room in a shared apartment or house for less than $400 a month. One of the places I stayed, found in the Stadium neighborhood of Medellin, cost only $300-330 USD a month. Amenities included my own private bathroom as well as a housekeeper.

Meals are cheap, too. Many restaurants serve lunch specials that won’t cost more than $4 USD.

The menu del día often consists of a soup, salad, and side of rice accompanied with a main dish like chicken, beef, or pork. Drinks also come included.

Colombia Is Diverse

You’d think a country with only 50 million people wouldn’t have much diversity. But in fact, it does.

Are you a fan of beaches and tropical weather? Then head to Santa Marta, on the Caribbean coast. There you’ll discover strong influences of African culture.

Or, do you prefer a place with cooler climate? Then, head to Bogota. It has a burgeoning restaurant scene that draws foodies worldwide.

But if you want something just right, consider Medellin. Located close to the equator, the city of Eternal Spring has temperate climate all year round.

Because of the rich diversity, each region around Colombia speaks Spanish in its own way. There are phrases, expressions, and colloquialisms that are unique to each area.

The Regional Differences of Colombian Spanish

I spent most of my time in Medellin, but was fortunate to befriend a few people from Bogota. I also visited the Caribbean coast for an extended time. Since those are the areas I’m most familiar with, this section focuses on them.

But before diving into regional specifics, I’d like to fill you in on one universal expression. “No dar papaya” is a colloquialism translated in English that means “don’t give papaya”. But this phrase has nothing to do with the fruit. Instead, it’s a useful metaphor to know for anyone that visits.

Though Colombia has moved forward from its checkered past, petty crime still happens. This doesn’t mean that Colombia is unsafe. Rather, it means that visitors should be careful about what they carry.

Hide from plainview expensive things like smartphones and jewelry. As long as you’re aware and conduct yourself low-key, you won’t worry about giving away any papaya.

Now, onto the regional differences.

Rolo Spanish

This is the Spanish dialect of Bogota. When most people think of Colombian Spanish, the Rolo dialect is what comes to mind. Rolos speak more formal, and often place accents at the end of each word. As a result, phrases in Rolo Spanish can sound like questions.

Words and Expressions to Know
  • Bizcocho is a word that means dessert. But it’s also used in the context of describing someone that’s good looking.
  • Desgualetado describes someone that doesn’t dress well. If someone from Bogota calls you this, that person doesn’t consider you fashionable.
  • Chevere is like saying cool or nice in English. It’s usually preceded by the word “qué” to form a phrase.
Paisa Spanish

The Spanish spoken in the northwest region of Colombia falls under the Paisa dialect. In this part of Colombia, the manner of speech is melodic and singsongy. Paisas also pronounce double l’s like j’s instead of y’s. For example, the pronunciation of Medellin becomes Mede-jean in Paisa Spanish. It’s also one of the more understandable types of Spanish spoken in Colombian. Paisa Spanish is vanilla, which makes the region great  for learning and practicing.

Words and Expressions to Know
  • “¿Qué más?” is a phrase used as an informal greeting. In English, it’s like saying “what’s up?” or “how are you?”.
  • Parce is a nonchalant way of addressing another person. The English equal of parce are the words dude, bro, or buddy. Parcero or parcera are alternatives to the word used for addressing men or women.
  • Chimba is like the word chevere in meaning and usage. But the difference is that it’s used mostly by Paisas.
Costeño Spanish

Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta are popular places on the Caribbean coast. If you visit them, prepare to listen carefully. That’s because people from the Caribbean speak very fast. Their rapid speech makes them challenging to understand for many Spanish novices. Costeño Spanish has a choppy quality to it as well. Last parts of words aren’t often pronounced, which adds to the challenge of trying to learn.

Words and Expressions to Know
  • Pupi is word that describes someone who’s rich or comes from wealth. This word is like the English term “well-off”.
  • Friquimondi is the opposite of pupi. People who are friquimondi have no money. “Broke” is the English equal to this word.
  • Bacano is the Caribbean equal to chimba for Paisas and and chevere for Rolos.

For many travelers, Colombia is a country that flies under the radar. But with its affordability and diversity, Colombia won’t go unnoticed for much longer. If learning Spanish is your dream, then Colombia is a wonderful place to make it a reality.


Jonathan Santiago is a freelance writer. He covers a variety of topics including marketing, career, travel, lifestyle, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

The post The Subtle Qualities of Colombian Spanish appeared first on Live Lingua.

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Overview of how to successfully introduce yourself in an interview

Attending an interview can be nerve-racking.

Whether you are speed-dating, applying for your first job, or perhaps a remarkable scholarship, being on the candidate’s side of the table makes us feel exposed and even somewhat vulnerable.

This is especially true if the dialogue occurs in a language other than your native tongue, or online via a platform like Skype.

However, there are many simple steps to help you prepare in advance, increasing your ability to show up with heaps of self-confidence and knock-the interview out of the park. It all starts with one important skill — the ability to gracefully introduce yourself.

In addition to consciously creating a remarkable first impression, the initial introduction and the conversation that immediately follows is your opportunity to show the interviewer beyond any doubt, that you are the perfect candidate.

This happens when the questioner asks you to talk about yourself. This generally feared moment is your golden chance to highlight the information you want to focus on and to set up the tone for the rest of the conversation.

Fear no more. The following advice will make you feel more secure and provide the tools you need to accomplish your goals.

Victorious first impressions

Every time you meet a new person, whether it be a potential romantic partner or a business acquaintance, it is an opportunity to make a good and memorable first impression arise.

Dressing up appropriately, eloquently expressing concepts, and holding a straight posture are cues that the observer collects to create an initial mental image of you.

You can favorably influence an individual’s notion of who you truly are by taking an active role in preparing for the meeting.

The greeting is the first point of contact. Create a positive rapport with the interviewer by smiling and standing up to meet them. Lean towards them and offer a firm handshake. Make total eye contact. Be polite, friendly, and formal.

You can optimize this opportunity by doing a bit of research beforehand. Identify any possible cultural differences and pay attention to greeting customs, particularly if you are in a foreign country or meeting with someone who speaks a different language.

Observe personal space, seating arrangements, and other non-verbal communication norms.

Basic steps to prepare for a professional interview

Consider the time and setting of the interview, as well as the organization’s values, brand image, and personality. This will inform you in making initial decisions such as choosing your outfit.

Some companies have tight dress-code policies, while others have a more relaxed atmosphere. If you are not a fitness instructor or a devoted yogi, do not rock up with your sweat pants, unless you know you will be asked to showcase a training session and rightly break a sweat.

Neat attire with polished shoes and combed hair wins more points. Always keep a professional look — your appearance is the first way you introduce yourself in an interview.

Beyond physical attire, research the company and the industry it serves. Nothing shows that you are interested in winning the position more than actually knowing about what they do and how they do it — and how you fit into the fray.

If the interview will be carried out in another language, prepare yourself in advance by reading journals, magazines, blogs, and other commercial data to get familiarized with the trade’s terminology.

Revise your job application, your CV, and your portfolio, making sure you’ve memorized important dates and figures so that your answers are coherent with the information you previously provided. Employers will be sure to point out any inconsistencies.

An awesome self-introduction is your personal elevator pitch

In marketing speak, an elevator pitch is known as a succinct and persuasive sales pitch, that is as short as a trip in an elevator.

Your self-introduction is the equivalent to the elevator pitch because you have a couple of minutes to sway the interviewer by sparking curiosity, creating an emotional connection, and leaving him or her yearning for more details about you.

Try to match your pitch to whatever the interviewer is looking for (without lying of course). You can gather these bits and pieces of information from various sources, such as the vacancy’s requirements, the press advertisement, social media profiles, or the public announcement.

A handy trick is to look up the person interviewing you and see if they have any media out there that might highlight their way of thinking and their needs.

Podcast interviews are great for this, as are magazine or newspaper interviews or, perhaps best of all, a personal blog.

Alternatively, when it comes to job hunting, you can speak to key personnel from the employment agency or the Human Resources department. Ultimately, the person who knows most about the position in question is someone that currently holds that spot, works with the person who does, or someone who has a similar work situation in another company.

Before you introduce yourself in an interview, it is appropriate to thank them for the opportunity. Then, state the purpose of your visit. Then include the following details to craft your awe-inspiring self-introduction.

Add to or subtract the following items accordingly, depending on each situation. Arrange the material in a coherent manner. Aim to evoke emotions and portray a constructive version of yourself.

Most importantly — focus on what there is and not in what you are lacking of. Introduce yourself in an interview with the following:

  1. Your name and place of origin.
  2. Family background.
  3. How you will add value to the individual’s life or the organization he or she represents.
  4. Education qualifications and notable awards.
  5. Career goals, previous experiences, whether in that field or a different one. Also, trade certifications, specialized wisdom (aka know-how), and notable achievements.
  6. Professional motivation and evidence of your willingness to work hard and succeed from the angle of the company or project, as much as for yourself personally.
  7. Your unique set of skills and personality traits. Be bold, there is no other person like you!
  8. Your inner drive, life aspirations, and future dreams. What inspires you and what vision of the world do you hold in your soul?

Prior to the interview, compose a first draft. Then write-off anything that you don’t feel will add real value to the conversation.

You only have a few minutes so everything you say must be affirmative, significant, and pertinent to the interview.

Keep the positive vibes flowing after you introduce yourself in an interview
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something, and generally don’t be shy about asking questions. This shows interest and the ability to take direction. That is much more admirable trait than acting like you know it all.
  • Do not interrupt the other person.
  • Be aware of your body language. Scratching your head, pulling your ear. bouncing your knees, fiddling your fingers. Fidgeting with a pen, or crossing your arms — these are interpreted as nervousness. Some nervousness is unavoidable and the interviewer knows that you’re only human, just like them. Just try to be conscious of how you look in their view.
  • Close the interview with courtesy.

Ten things to remember when you introduce yourself:

Preparation is the key to success. We suggest that you write your introduction out on paper or on your computer, rehearse it with a friend or colleague, (one that will be straightforward, but not cruel), make notes, and keep adjusting until you nail it.

Before you introduce yourself in an interview, always keep these ten golden rules in mind:

  1. Be polite and show your manners.
  2. Be respectful at all times and to all people.
  3. Remain honest about everything.
  4. Be aware of your body language.
  5. Be confident, know your strengths, and recognize your areas of opportunity.
  6. Maintain grace, mentioning accomplishments or praise with a humble and grateful attitude.
  7. Listen attentively and speak clearly with a calm tone of voice.
  8. Trust your intuition.
  9. Walk your talk.
  10. Dress for the occasion.

Good luck! With enough preparation you can introduce yourself in an interview with poise and purpose — and that’s how you’ll land that perfect opportunity.

The post How To Introduce Yourself in an Interview appeared first on Live Lingua.

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Why should you learn common numbers in Spanish early on in your language learning process?

You can always rely on your fingers to do the math and deploy the universal language of pointing whilst gesticulating as much as you possibly can.

But knowing how to say and write the numbers in Spanish will enable you to communicate in a more efficient way, conversing confidently and saving you from the entirely awkward moment of misunderstanding.

Firstly, Spanish is ranked as one of the easier language to learn for native English speakers, according to a language difficulty ranking chart created by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Studies.

With a dedicated effort, it should take about 24 weeks for an American, a Brit, or an Aussie to achieve a professional level of proficiency in Spanish.

Secondly, Spanish is a phonetic language, meaning that if you can sound out the individual letters you can pronounce the words (even if you don´t know what they mean!).

Therefore, once you´ve learned the alphabet you are capable of reading almost everything. Luckily, Spanish and English are written with the same Latin alphabet, with the additional –Ññ letter!

Finally, needless to say, numbers are a key piece of knowledge, especially in business environments, but even as a simple and innocent tourist, you don’t want either to get your theater ticket seat numbers wrong or to be ripped off at the market.

Ordering food, booking a table or a hotel room, getting a telephone number or finding the right address, figures are truly essential bits of information. That is why we recommend you put the effort in memorizing them!

Spanish numbers 1-100

How to count in Spanish? Let’s make a start with the cardinal numbers noting the basic digits from zero to ten.

If you already speak Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, or French, you may notices similarities in the numbers in Spanish, both written and spoken.

This is because each of these languages belong to the Romance branch of the Indo-European language family and are developed from Vulgar Latin.

Now, observe the –ce ending pattern from eleven to fifteen as well as the prefix –die (derived from –diez) from sixteen to nineteen, meaning ‘ten plus’ the following numeral.

From twenty to thirty figures are also written as one word:

However, from thirty one to ninety nine numbers are written as two words using the conjunction –y, which means ‘and’, denoting an obvious mathematical addition.

For example thirty-two is –treinta y dos in Spanish, which literally translates to ‘thirty and two units’.

Here are Spanish numbers 1-100 in multiples of ten:

If you pay attention closely you may find some handy clues that will ease the process of counting in Spanish:

These are the multiples of one hundred in Spanish:

And the multiples of one thousand in Spanish:

Feminine and Masculine in Spanish Numbers

When using number one please note that it changes to equal the gender of the noun that it is describing. For example:

Un cafe por favor.

Mesa para uno por favor.

Una cerveza por favor.

This rule also applies to multiples of one hundred, particularly when referring to amounts from two hundred (doscientas cervezas) to nine hundred (novecientas cervezas). 

How to Write Spanish Ordinal Numbers

First, second, third… Ordinal numbers are also important to be learned by heart. Spot how they are formed using the basic digits and observe how feminine and masculine are also applied fittingly.

From eleventh to twentieth:

Spanish ordinal numbers for multiples of ten:

Counting in Spanish: Why It Matters

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and the most common foreign language in the United States of America. So imagine how many opportunities you will have to practice counting in Spanish.! If you are well-traveled, the possibilities are endless!

Spanish is spoken over 30 countries on our lovely blue planet. You can check this awesome graphic about world languages published in the South China Morning Post to see which Spanish speaking territories you fancy visiting the most.

And if you really want to up your language game sign up today for a free trial online Spanish lesson at Live Lingua.

The post Numbers In Spanish appeared first on Live Lingua.

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One of the best ways to learn a language is to travel and immerse yourself in the local culture. While you might have the time to travel, a lack of money might be preventing you from turning your travel dreams into a reality.

Maybe you want to visit Mexico City or fly to the other side of the globe. Practicing these travel hacking basics can help you save thousands of dollars on your next trip.

Below are a few of the best ways to earn and redeem travel rewards points.

Earning Points

You should focus on earning frequent flyer miles and hotel points first as these are usually the most common travel expenses. As a result, you have more ways to redeem your points.

Join Travel Loyalty Programs

A good starting point is maximizing the airline and hotel loyalty programs you use most often. It’s free to join these programs and you earn points each time you travel with that particular airline or hotel.

You can earn bonus points when supporting their travel, dining, and shopping partners. For instance, you can earn bonus Delta SkyMiles on Lyft rides and eating at select restaurants.

Earn Credit Card Bonuses

The quickest way to master travel hacking is getting a travel rewards credit card. New cardmember bonuses can be worth as much as $1,000 in award travel after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Other rewards credit cards have smaller bonus values and spending requirements although you can expect most bonuses to be worth at least $500.

Airline and Hotel Credit Cards vs Flexible Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Co-brand airline and hotel credit cards usually have the lowest spending requirements, but your points can only be used for that particular travel provider. If you already earn points on a regular basis with their loyalty program, getting their rewards credit card can be a smart move.

Flexible travel rewards credit cards earn points you can use for a variety of travel purchases. If you’re not loyal to a certain airline or hotel, this can be a better credit card option. However, the minimum spending requirements to earn the signup bonus can be higher than co-brand cards.

Besides the initial bonus, you earn rewards points on every card purchase. Several credit cards let you transfer rewards points directly to airline and hotel loyalty programs. Two of the best programs for point transfers are Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards.

Utilize Credit Card Travel Benefits

Your travel rewards credit card may also come with additional benefits to help you travel for free. Airline credit cards offer free checked bags.  Hotel credit cards may provide a free night award each year.

Flexible credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Platinum Card from American Express offer annual travel credits that reimburse your first travel purchases each year. Your card may also offer complimentary airport lounge access and free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

To access these benefits, you do have to pay an annual fee but the value of the benefits can easily exceed the annual fee.   

Redeeming Your Points

The redemption value for each point can be as important as how you earn your points. You will usually find the best value in booking award flights with points. Lucky for you, international travel is one of the most lucrative forms of travel hacking.

In most cases, you will redeem your points directly through the airline or hotel loyalty program to book free travel. Although you will need to pay their current rate, there are a few tricks to flying the same airlines and staying at the same hotels with fewer points.

Be Flexible

Rule #1 for booking award travel is to be flexible. For instance, it will usually cost more points to travel on peak travel days. Being able to adapt your travel schedule to fly on less busy days, with different airlines, or from alternate airports can help you get the best redemption rates.

Avoid Fuel Surcharges

When traveling abroad, some airlines charge fuel surcharges to your award ticket price. Even though you pay for your seat with points (and save thousands of dollars), you may have to shell out as much as $1500 in fuel surcharges alone when flying first class roundtrip on an international flight.

To avoid carrier-imposed fuel surcharges, you might book flights operated by United Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Aer Lingus and Singapore Airlines to name a few.

Look For Redemption Bonuses

Some flexible travel rewards credit cards may offer travel redemption bonuses. Below are a few examples:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Points are worth 25% more when booking any award travel on the Chase travel portal.
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus: Redeem your points for a travel purchase statement credit and get 5% back for a second redemption.

These bonuses can be better than redeeming your points directly through the airline, hotel or rental car company.    

Travel Hacking Summary

Travel hacking is different for each person because our travel plans are different. If you already have a destination in mind, you can easily calculate how many points you need to travel. Your next step is to join the loyalty programs and discover all the ways you can earn bonus points by maximizing your daily habits.  

The post 6 Travel Hacking Basics To Save Thousands in International Travel appeared first on Live Lingua.

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Skype is a fantastic application software owned by Microsoft that enables you to connect with your friends, family members, classmates, and coworkers over the internet. You create your own personalized username, and can chat, message, and videoconference.

Once you have an account, you can:

  • Make free one-to-one video and voice calls.
  • Make free group video and voice calls.
  • Send instant messages.
  • Share and exchange files, videos, contacts, and images through the chat message board.
  • Share your computer screen.

From your mobile, computer or tablet!

How does Skype work?

Skype is unique because the service is designed to allow its users to communicate by making phone calls and video calls in three different ways:

  1. Calling/messaging another Skype account
  2. Calling/messaging a landline
  3. Calling/messaging a mobile number

Skype-to-Skype calls are generally free, whether or not you choose to use video or the audio-only format. You can use your account to call a person’s phone number, which costs a small fee.

Who can use Skype?

Millions of individuals and businesses around the world already use this service. You can have online spoken conversations with virtually anyone, anywhere!

Besides staying in touch with those that you care about the most, you can connect with an array of professionals that live and work in a different location to yours.

Lecturers, life coaches, health providers, certified language teachers, fitness instructors, and many other experts from diverse career fields choose Skype as a reliable platform to connect with their clients and deliver their services from a distance.

That’s right! For example, you can attend a customized Spanish language lesson, holding a work meeting with your entire team, or having a face-to-face conversation with your “long time, no see” friend who lives on the other side of the world.

How to use Skype?
  1. Install Skype onto your preferred device.
  2. Create a free account.
  3. Sign in.
  4. Add a contact.
  5. Start connecting!

If you already have an account but you can’t remember your login information, you may wish to read this article.

On a Mac:

Most modern iOS operating systems can both make and receive Skype video calls. If you have an iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini, or iPod touch 4th generation or later, you should be good to go.

For video chatting, find the contact of the person you’d like to call, as we discussed above. In the Mac app, choose File > New Conversation and find the contact in the window that appears. Click the Add button and then choose to place a video or voice call.

To add other participants, click the Add Contact button after you’ve already selected the first participant.

Text messaging is similar to what you’re used to on a phone. Once you have the contact selected, you can type them a message in the bar at the bottom of your screen, and then press the send button.

On a PC:

The latest version of Skype for windows will be available in the Microsoft store. Once you’ve found it, download the program and follow the instructions to install.

After you’ve done this, the Skype icon will allow you access to the program each time you’d like to call or message one of your contacts.

When you’re ready to make the call, find the contact you’d like to call and select their profile. Then, click the Video call button on your screen. The window now shows your friend’s profile picture as the program dials your contact. Once they answer, you can chat away.

The process of sending text messages is similar to that on a phone or Mac device. Text messaging is similar to what you’re used to on a phone. Once you have the contact selected, you can type them a message in the bar at the bottom of your screen, and then press the send button.

Where can I download the application?
  1. App Store
  2. Google Play Store
  3. Microsoft Store
  4. The brand’s dedicated website
How much does Skype cost?

Skype is free to download and very easy to use.

Free features available on version 8 include:

  • Audio and HD video calling.
  • Instant messages with reactions and use of @mentions.
  • Call recording.
  • Live subtitles.
  • Screen sharing.
  • Send files and images.

Screen sharing is a great tool for online collaboration, whether you are planning a family trip to an exotic destination or drafting a final pitch to a high-end client, screen sharing enables instant team work, saving you time and money.

There are additional products and services that you can acquire for an extra charge.

  • Call landlines and mobile phones at low rates.
  • Get a local phone number (available in 26 regions of the world).
  • Send SMS text messages from your account.
What devices support Skype?

You can download the program to the following electronic devices:

  1. Desktop: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  2. Smart mobile phones: Android, iPhone, Windows 10 Mobile.
  3. Tablet: iPad, Android, Windows, and Kindle Fire HD.
  4. Xbox One.
  5. Amazon Echo devices: Alexa.

To find out more about the system requirements and what platforms Skype is available on please check out Skype Support.

How do I make a call in Skype?

Calling another Skype account is free of charge, but if you are planning to call a landline or a mobile phone number, you need to purchase some credit.

Now, first you have to make sure that the person you are calling already has an account with the service. Secondly, you may wish to add him or her to your contacts list. All you have to do to add a contact is search for a person in the search box, send a message, and your new contact will be added automatically to your list (unless the person rejects your message request!)

To call another account:

Find the person you want to call:

  • From your contacts list.
  • Or from the search results. You can look for other people using their Name or account ID, as well as their email address.

Then, select the audio or video call button. To make a group call add other participants.

At the end of the call simply use the hang up button.

It’s that simple!

Are you ready to give it a go? Sign up for a free trial language lesson via Live Lingua today!

The post What Is Skype? appeared first on Live Lingua.

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This article looks at English past tense, which you may also hear referred to as simple past tense or past simple. We’ll start with the basics, and then dive into irregularities and other things to look out for.

What is Past Simple?

The past simple or simple past tense refers to a verb tense of the English language that denotes an action that happened in a period of time before the very moment the person is speaking or writing. Simple past is constructed differently with regular or irregular verbs.

Simple Past with Regular Verbs

To construct the past simple with regular verbs you always have to add an –ed at the end of the simple form of the verb, also known as the infinitive form or the root form. Contrary to simple present tense, it doesn’t change depending on the grammatical person — it remains the same for all pronouns.

However, there are a few exceptions, so you must use your memory to learn these spelling rules by heart!

  • If the verb ends in –e you only add a –d.
  • If the verb ends in a vowel followed by a consonant, and the syllable stress is on the final syllable, the consonant is usually doubled before adding the –ed.

On the contrary, listenned and orbitted would be incorrect because the syllable stress is on the first syllable and not the last one.

  1. If the verb ends in a consonant followed by a –y you substitute the –y for –i before adding the –ed.

But, if the verb ends in a vowel followed by a –y you just add the –ed.

  1. If the verb ends in –c add a –k before adding the –ed.

Please note that in British English, if the verb ends with a vowel followed by a –l, the –l is doubled before adding the –ed. This would be the case of travel changing to travelled instead of traveled as it is in American English.

Simple Past with Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs don’t follow an exact pattern and therefore you will need to memorize each of them. Fortunately, some irregular verbs show conjugation similarities, and can therefore be grouped together, making it easier to memorize them.

Below you can find a list of some common irregular verbs in their simple past form:

How to Use Past Simple?

According to the British Council, you may use the simple past tense to talk or write about the following situations:

  1. Something that previously happened: Last year we organized a surprise party for my husband and he almost had a heart attack when he came in and saw everybody in our living room.
  2. Something that happened repeatedly in the past: A long time ago, when I was in college, I always took the bus to get to the campus. I prefer to take a stroll, nowadays I actually walk to work, but the city where I studied is quite big and it really wasn´t within a viable walking distance.
  3. Something that was true for a certain period of time: My daughter loved to play the piano at the Christmas Shows during her primary school days, but then she became shy and didn’t want to continue appearing in any musical performances or school shows. In fact, she quit playing all string instruments in her teens, which is a shame, because she had a natural talent for music and we spent a lot of money on piano lessons. I hope she will pick it up again in the future.
Simple Past Negative

To construct a negative in the simple past tense you have to add –did not before the verb in its root form. It is important to notice that –did not can be abbreviated as –didn’t.

Did + not + root form of verb

Didn’t + root form of verb

Examples:

  • I liked the film. | I did not like the film.
  • She moved to Los Angeles last week. | She didn’t move to Los Angeles last week.
  • We saw your uncle at the bus stop. | We did not see your uncle at the bus stop.
  • You went to school with Mrs. Smith’s son, you probably remember him? | You didn’t go to school with Mrs. Smith’s son, you probably don’t remember him.
  • My boyfriend wrote me a beautiful card on Valentine’s Day, he did not forget. | My boyfriend did not write me a beautiful card on Valentine’s Day, he forgot.
How to formulate questions in past tense?

To ask a question you need to add –did at the beginning of the sentence followed by the subject or pronoun and then the verb in its root form, finishing with the question mark.

Did + subject + root form of verb (?)

Did not + subject + root form of verb (?)

Examples:

  • Did you make your bed this morning?
  • Did she like her present?
  • Did it hurt?
  • Did we close the door?

Negatives:

  • Didn’t you tell her that you were leaving work early?
  • Didn’t he mention my name?
  • Didn’t I say I was born in India?

Formulating questions with –who is easier because you use the simple past form of the verb straight after.

Examples:

  • Who wrote that novel?
  • Who made it to the final match?
  • Who skipped math class?
  • Who was at the party last night?

Remember that for irregular verbs the root form (infinitive tense) and the simple past tense may change, so you should always check whether it is a regular or an irregular verb you are using.

Finally, for the verb –to be you start the question using –were or –was, depending on the pronoun.

Examples:

  • I was at the place where the speech took place. | Was I at the place where the speech took place?
  • It was terrible. | Was it terrible?
  • You were behind me. | Were you behind me?
  • We were upset. | Were we upset?

Keen to learn English? Sign up today for a free trial class at Live Lingua.

Think you have this figured out? Put your skills to the test with this downloadable quiz!

The post English Past Tense appeared first on Live Lingua.

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Writing is an essential part in communication despite the language used. Writing skills are better displayed when a writer is familiar with their native language and thus there is need to develop skills in writing in foreign language as well. Learning any language requires practice to avoid mistakes which make a writer lose confidence in their writing skills.

This article aims at analyzing some essential tips on how to master writing in a foreign language. Reading books that provide grammatical and vocabulary instructions on foreign language strengthen the writer’s writing skills.

Essential tips include:

Understand the basic rules of the target language

Every language has basic rules of writing in terms of sentence structure, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. Understanding these basics assists the writer in grasping the aspects of the language which they need to understand first.

Mastering the alphabet is necessary as it provides the root to pronunciation and ultimately, to spelling the letters. Some foreign languages rely on characters rather than letters and learning how to write these letters requires basic knowledge on how to form them.

Understanding the grammar of the language is the foundation of learning the language hence developing great writing skills. Making mistakes is part of the learning process and a writer should focus on improving on the corrections.

Keep practicing

Writing in foreign language requires the writer to continually practice through videos, audios and books. Reply back to interviews and speak out loud to friends, family and colleagues who can help in making corrections.

Listen attentively to new words and write them down to ensure that they are not forgotten. Writing down continually is a basic learning skill as it puts the mind into regular practice and eventually the writer becomes great at their skill.

Additionally, practice ensures that the writer memorizes the format, sentence structure and the work organization which consequently leads to a piece of writing that is appreciated by the audience.

Read books

Reading is a practice that improves writing tremendously as the writer is able to improve on their vocabulary and grammatical skills.

Reading physical books provide the writer with the opportunity to observe how sentences are punctuated, the use of idioms and phrases and the stylistic techniques that can be used to enhance the creativity of the work.

Through reading, the student is also able to comprehend different genres of texts that they may be interested in and different structures they can reflect on when writing.

In academic writing, for example, the writer is able to understand that papers such as explanatory essays or journals have specific outlines to them and they require different grammatical forms of text.

A writer is able to observe the referencing formats and use the required structures as per the instructions; for example, the APA outline which requires an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

Since a foreign language is used for communicative purposes, it is essential for writers to comprehend knowledge from different books on how they can communicate effectively when writing.

Get and accept corrections on your writing

After acquiring the basics of the foreign language and practicing through reading, spelling and writing, the writer should ensure that their work is checked for correction.

They can use the help of a private tutor or an expert in the target language who can explain their mistakes and how they can incorporate their corrections.

Mistakes should not be taken negatively as they offer a stepping stone for the writer to improve their writing skills. The writer might end up being quite embarrassed but they should view mistakes as opportunities instead.

They help a writer identify their weaknesses and the areas they should practice more in, so to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

The article exhaustively explains some of the effective tips that writers can implement to improve their writing.

Constant practice, accepting mistakes, reading books and mastering the basic language rules are some of the ways writers can understand the grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, and common phrases that the language uses in order to connect with the intended audience.

Allowing the language experts to go through the writing ensures that they highlight mistakes which will enable the writer to improve on their weaknesses. This is the key to writing in a foreign language.

Author Bio

Paul Bates is a professional writer contributing to multiple educational platforms such as Paper-Research.com and SwiftPapers.com. He also works as an editor at Essay Task Blog.

The post Essential Tips on How to Master Writing in a Foreign Language appeared first on Live Lingua.

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What is Present Simple?

The present simple or simple present tense refers to a verb tense of the English language that denotes action in the current moment. It is simple because it is constructed with the base form of the verb: I love you. Many refer to this tense as English Present Tense or simple present tense, and we’re going to break it down for you here.

Examples of Simple Present Tense with Common Regular and Irregular Verbs

Here are a few basic examples of English Present Tense in situations of someone talking about themselves:

Regular verbPresent simple phrase
To liveI live in California.
To likeI like Italian food.
To workI work as a Graphic Designer in London.
Irregular verbPresent simple phrase
To driveI drive slowly.
To bringI bring my dog with me to work every day.
To seeI see your shadow through the window.
How to form the Simple Present Tense?

In English, as in other languages, the verb forms depending on the person — the subject — and this denotes the speakers’ relation to the participant.

Let’s review! These are the subject pronouns that are used to conjugate verbs:

PronounGrammatical person
IFirst-person singular
WeFirst-person plural
YouSecond-person singular and second-person plural
HeThird-person masculine singular
SheThird-person feminine singular
ItThird-person neuter singular
TheyThird-person plural

This is how you form the simple present:

Ieat
Weeat
Youeat
Heeats
Sheeats
It eats
Theyeat
Present simple, third-person:

Did you notice that when you use the third-person singular (she, he, and it) in the simple present tense an –S is added at the end of the verb in its plain form.

Examples:

Regular verbThird-person present simple
To liveShe lives in San Francisco Bay.
To likeHe likes long walks at the beach.
To workIt works on multiple platforms.
Irregular verbThird-person present simple
To driveShe drives me crazy.
To standIt stands on three legs.
To seeHe sees his friends at the school cafe.

There are a few verb exceptions where the third-person singular form ends in –eS instead of –S. This is usually the case of verbs that end in o, y, ch, sh, th, ss, gh, or z. A rule here to be aware of is that ch, sh, ss and z go with -es (and are pronounced as such) because the ending sounds of the verbs are too close to the -s sound, and then you cannot hear when someone is speaking in the third person singular.

Image trying to say:

He watchs
She wishs
It blesss

Impossible…

Examples:

PronounYCHSHSS
Iflywatchwishbless
Weflywatchwishbless
Youflywatchwishbless
Heflieswatcheswishesblesses
Sheflieswatcheswishesblesses
Itflieswatcheswishesblesses
Theyflywatchwishbless

In addition, please be aware that the verbs have, be, do, and go have irregular forms throughout the present tense depending on the grammatical person.

PronounHaveBeDoGo
Ihaveamdogo
Wehavearedogo
Youhavearedogo
Hehasisdoesgoes
Shehasisdoesgoes
Ithasisdoesgoes
Theyhavearedogo
How to Use the Simple Present?

The British Council suggests the simple present tense — English present tense — in the following circumstances:

  1. To describe something that is true in the present moment:
    I am nineteen years old.
  2. To describe something that happens on a regular basis in the present:
    He plays football every Sunday.
  3. To describe something that is always true:
    Spring comes after winter.
  4. To talk about something that is fixed in the future:
    My flight leaves from Heathrow Airport tomorrow at 6:00am.
  5. To refer to something in the future after time words such as when, after, and before:
    We will save time when they finish the new roundabout and the flyover.
  6. To describe something after the words if and unless:
    She likes to bake a cake for her kids on their birthday if it’s a small party; otherwise she orders one from the cake shop.
  7. To summarize a film, a book or anecdote:
    Batman is a superhero with a black cape and a super cool car that fights villains in order to protect Gotham City.
How to Make Present Simple Negative?

To make a simple present verb negative, follow this formula:

Do/does + not + root form of verb

PronounDo not/does notRoot verb
Ido notwant
Wedo notwant
Youdo notwant
Hedoes notwant
Shedoes notwant
Itdoes notwant
Theydo notwant

Note how the contraction doesn’t can also be used for the third-person singular and don’t for the others.

  • At the moment they don’t accept credit cards because their point-of-sale terminal doesn’t work, but unfortunately I don’t have any cash with me today.
How to Formulate Questions in Simple Present?

When you ask questions in the simple present tense you use do and does in the same way for the grammatical persons. However, the formula is different:

Do/does + subject + root form of verb (?)

Examples:

Do/DoesSubjectRoot verb
DoIdrive?
Dowedrive?
Doyoudrive?
Does  hedrive?
Does  shedrive?
Does  itdrive?
Dotheydrive?

Here is a final illustration of what we’ve covered about present simple today:

  • Do you believe in a higher power? I am an atheist and my husband was raised as a Roman Catholic. He doesn’t attend mass but his mother helps at their local church on Sunday mornings. It is a beautiful Gothic building. I think that, since you are an architect, you may enjoy a tour inside the cathedral. We have been in it a couple of times before they refurbished the façade. In fact, we will be able to see the choir’s recital if we get there before five o’clock. How does it sound to you? Are you up for it? You don’t have to answer right now. Let me know what you think after we finish our cup of coffee!

Keen to learn English? Sign up today for a free trial class at Live Lingua.

Think you have this stuff figured out? Put your skills to the test with this downloadable quiz!

The post English Present Tense appeared first on Live Lingua.

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