fire and light

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If you want to light a cigarette, don’t ask for fire.

Say Can you give me a light?  Have you got a light or a lighter?

Fire is fuego but it is also incendio.

Electricity bill (la factura de la luz) is for more than just light. And if there are roadworks in the street outside your house, you might have all of your electricity cut off, not just the light.

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This means well-known. Its meaning is not associated with family.


A familiar place/ a well-known place

A familiar person/ a well-known person

I’m not familiar with this place.

You can use the word family as an adjective.


family holiday

family finances

family day

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Explain me. – No, I can’t. I can’t explain you. But I can explain why I was late for the class.  In this example, me here functions as DIRECT OBJECT. Direct object is the thing you need to explain.

In the example above, the speaker meant me as the INDIRECT OBJECT, hence, it should have been “to me” NOT meExplain to me. 

Concrete example:

Explícame la persona. Explain the person to me/ Explain (the person) to me.

Person is the DIRECT OBJECT- the thing/object you need to explain.

Me is the INDIRECT OBJECT- means ...

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Mis padres – parents (NOT fathers)

Most people in the world only have one father but Spanish people have more than one- when they say mis padres  as my fathers. This is a common mistake for Spanish people.

If you ask a British person “Do you have brothers?” (¿Tienes hermanos?), he might say Yes I have two not mentioning the sisters he has, because you only ask about brothers.

This is the correct one:

¿Tienes hermanos?  = Do you have brothers and sisters or Do you have siblings (NOT Do you ...

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mío/mía/míos/mías = mine (NOT the mine or mines or the mines)

tuyo/tuya/tuyos/tuyas = yours (NOT your or the your or the yours)

nuestro/nuestra/nuestros/nuestras = ours (NOT our or the our or the ours)

vuestro/vuestra/vuestros/vuestras = yours (NOT your or the your or the yours)

de él = his

de ella = hers

de ellos = theirs



¿De quién es este reloj? = Whose is this watch?

Es mío. = It’s mine.

¿Es tuyo? = Is it yours?

Sí, es mío. = Yes, it’s mine.

¿De quién son estas fotos? = Whose are these photos?

Son nuestras. = They’re ours.

¿Estás seguro de que ...

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El “present continuous” se emplea para referirse a a planes o acuerdos sobre eventos futuros. Conlleva la sugerencia de que más de una persona está implicada en ellos y que ya se ha dado cierto grado de preparación previa, por ejemplo:

I’m meeting Jim at the airport = Jim y yo hemos quedado en eso.
I am leaving tomorrow. = Ya he comprado el billete de tren.
We’re having a staff meeting next Monday = se ha comunicado a todos los ...

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