YESNYOU – Making the Most of the BBC

Hi everyone,

BBC news bannerJust a short blog this week. The BBC (or British Broadcasting Corporation for those who don’t like acronyms!) is the best news service in the world. There, I said it. It is THE BEST IN THE WORLD.

Of course, it has its problems: A 24 hour news cycle means that occasionally reporters are left reporting that there is nothing to report. A need to provide ‘balanced’ reporting means occasionally allowing lunatics to share their views alongside those of experts. They have an almost obsessive fascination with the weather.


BBC news planet


And the really good thing about it is that you can use it to improve your English!


BBC videoYou can watch the latest news in their video section.

It is updated 24 hours a day –

You can filter the news by region if you only want to read about Europe –

Or you can read about the whole world! –


BBC earthThey have featured articles on a massive range of subjects…

There’s this one about making paper from elephant poo –

Or this one about eagles trying to steal a policeman’s kangaroo –


BBC world service


And if you prefer the radio, the BBC World Service is exceptional –



You can also read about and watch short videos on sport, shopping, travel, money, culture, cars, food, future, nature, TV, music and so much more.


Get on there! And let us know when you find something interesting. You can leave a comment below, or write on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain).

Until next time,



Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – BETWEEN You and Me, We’re AMONG Friends

Hi everyone!

spy-among-us1Have you been to our facebook page recently? Vic has asked you a couple of questions.

When do we use BETWEEN or AMONG?

Some people think we use BETWEEN when there are two things, and AMONG when there are more than two, but that isn’t exactly true.

The truth is that they work differently in different situations. Let’s take a look at some of them now.


We use BETWEEN when we are talking about specific, named items or individuals. There can be more than two of them.




We use AMONG when talking about things that are not distinct items or individuals. These can be collections of things, like colleges, for example:

Ivy League

Or they can be groups of people:



We can also say something about location or direction by using either BETWEEN or AMONG. Look at these examples:



In the first example, we are given the impression that Phil is following a defined path or route. In the second, Phil is ambling in whatever direction he chooses.

Finally, what is the difference between AMONG and AMONGST?

Well, actually there isn’t one. Both words mean exactly the same thing. AMONGST is regarded as the more archaic form, and is typically used in British English.

Here’s an unusual song from Linkin Park, a band normally known for loud, metal music, to illustrate the use of BETWEEN.


And here’s an even more unusual song from Australia to illustrate the use of AMONG.



I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog. Please don’t forget to leave us a comment below or write something on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain).

Until next time,


Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – On One Condition…

Hi everyone,

Last week Vic made you smile with her infectious laughter, so this week I’m going to take you on an emotional journey through pop history. On the way we will see some examples of conditional sentences.

How many different conditionals are there?

There are four: zero, 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

They all have different functions, but they all follow more or less the same rules. This week we’re going to listen to some examples of the first, second and third conditionals.

So, if you’re ready, we’ll begin!

First up is the first conditional. It expresses a possible (real) condition and its probable result in the future.

This is its form:
1st conditional

Let’s listen to a song that features the 1st conditional.


Very emotional. If I listen to this song enough, I’ll start to cry! Will you?


Next, let’s look at the 2nd conditional. It expresses impossible (hypothetical) situations.

This is its form:

2nd conditional

Now let’s listen to a song that features the 2nd conditional.


If I was Beyoncé, I’d buy and island and never be seen again! What would you do?


Finally, let’s take a look at the 3rd conditional. It’s used to express actions that are impossible because they are in the past.

This is its form:

3rd conditional

Now let’s listen to a song that features the 3rd conditional.


If I’d known how hot the weather can be in Barcelona in the summer, I would have moved to Iceland! If you’d studied a different subject at school, what would it have been?


So, let’s review:

1st conditional

What they say: If you don’t know me by now, you will never never never know me.

What they really mean: “You’re probably never going to know me!”

2nd conditional

What they say: “If I were a boy, even just for a day, I’d roll out of bed in the morning and throw on what I wanted and go.

What they really mean: “I’m not a boy, and I can’t just get up lazily, put on clothes that I like, and go out. I’m a woman, and society pressures me to look a certain way.”

3rd conditional

What they say: …I would have made you leave your key, if I’d known for just one second that you’d be back to bother me!

What they really mean: “I didn’t make you leave your key because I didn’t think that you would be back, but here you are!”


Conditional sentences are not easy, but if you practise, you will definitely start to understand them! You wouldn’t study if you didn’t want to learn! And if you hadn’t studied then you wouldn’t have understood this blog! Keep up the good work!


Until next time,


Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – The TED Transformation

Hi everyone,

TED banner

Do you ever watch TED talks? Do you even know what they are? I often use TED talks in my classes, and I recently taught a class using a TED talk from one of our earliest blogs: Beautiful Unique Snowflakes. That blog was all about world population, and includes a clever clock that shows how many people there are in the world in real time!

Idea Light BulbTED began back in 1984 as a Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. Now it covers lots more topics – from science to business to global issues – in more than 100 languages. In their own words:

Our Mission: Spread ideas

TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. 

It’s a big, venerable goal.

What we mustn’t forget is that as well as being world-changing, TED talks can also be very entertaining and seriously funny. TED have created a playlist of 11 videos that are an introduction to this world. Click on the picture below and you will go straight to the playlist.

TED 101

The TED site is really easy to navigate. You can choose talks by topic, language or duration and sort them using different criteria, so you’ll always be able to find a TED that you will like. There are also playlists of videos on a similar theme or topic so that you can be sure that you’re getting the complete picture.

Best of all, 100s of the videos are subtitled, so if the English is a bit challenging you can always go back and check!

Here are three videos about language for you to try (the third one should be of particular interest to Spanish speakers…!):

Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English. He shares photos and audio of Chinese students practicing English — “the world’s second language” — in their thousands.

In this fun, short talk from TEDYouth, lexicographer Erin McKean encourages her audience to create new words when the existing ones aren’t god enough. She lists out 6 ways to make new words in English to make language better at expressing what we mean, and to create more ways for us to understand one another.

Why is ‘x’ the symbol for an unknown? In this short and funny talk, Terry Moore gives the surprising answer.

Please let me know what you’re watching by writing a message in the comments section below, writing a message on our facebook page (YES ‘N’ You Spain), or send us a message on twitter (@YESNYOU_es).

Until next time,



Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – Who Ate All The Pies?

Hi everyone!

Not the kind of Pi we mean.

Not the kind of Pi we mean.

The humble pie is a common component of some of the best British food that we have. Why? Because it is traditional.

Now the organisation Jus-Rol wants to celebrate this fantastic pastry-filled invention with British Pie Week, highlighting the best in pie-making from the steak pie to the apple pie, and every pie in between! The week lasts from March 7th – March 13th, but you can of course eat pies whenever you like. That’s the best thing about them!

Jus-Rol manufacture a wide range of baking solutions for the less adventurous chefs among us. On their website they say that 75% of Britons enjoy at least one pie every month, which means we get through A LOT of ready-to-use pastry!

In honour of British Pie Week David, Kate and I have chosen our favourite pies from Jus-Rol’s cookbook of Seven Perfect Pies. Here’s what we chose:

David says…

“I’m sure I would happily eat all of these pies, but if I could choose ANY pie I would have a steak and Guinness pie. Of this lot I’ll have the Pulled Pork & Scrumpy pie.”

Pork and ScrumpyKate says…

“Duck and cherries is a traditional combination of flavours – the acid of the cherry cuts through the fat of the duck. And having it shaped like something you could put in your bath only adds to the appeal.”

Duck and Wild Cherry

And I say…

“This is as close to a steak and Guinness pie as you can get on this list. I’m with David on this. Steak and Guinness is the best pie that has ever been made. Ooh, or maybe a chicken and mushroom pie. They’re really good too.”

Slow Ox Cheek Pie

“But what about Vic?” I hear you ask! Well, apparently pies like these aren’t so traditional in Venezuela, but she is very partial to an apple pie. Here’s the best picture of an apple pie that I could find:

Apple pie

Vic says…

“I hate cooking, but I’m very good at it. I promise to bring Al and David as many pies as they can eat every week from now on.”

At least I wish that’s what she’d said! Good luck making your pies this week. Let us know what you cook by leaving a comment below, writing a message on our facebook page (YES ‘N’ You Spain), or send us a message on twitter (@YESNYOU_es).

Until next time,


Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – And The Winner Is… The Oscars 2016 Part 2

Hi everyone,

So The Oscars have come and gone again for another year. Did you stay up late on Sunday night to watch the show? No, me neither! In case you missed them, here are the results:

Best Picture Winner


Did you predict any of these results? Unfortunately, Mad Max did not win the Best Picture Oscar, but it did win the most Oscars of any film on the night! Out of ten nominations, it won 6 awards. That is tremendous for a bombastic action movie. I thought that Spotlight, the winner, was an okay procedural movie with an important message, but ultimately I found it forgettable.







Best DirectorAlejandro González Iñárritu won his second Oscar for directing The Revenant. That makes it two wins in consecutive years, something that hasn’t happened since Joseph L. Mankiewicz did it all the way back in 1950.

The Revenant









Best ActressBrie Larson, a relative unknown (at least to me) walked off with the Best Actress Oscar. It was a very good performance, but it was also the only film featuring a Best Actress nominee that I saw this year, so I can’t really comment on whether she deserved it or not. I’ll look out for her next film with great interest, though.Room








And Leonardo Best ActorDiCaprio finally won his Best Actor Oscar. There are so many broken memes on the internet right now. And he made a lovely speech, which you can see below.

So, the final word goes to Leo, who had a surprisingly environmental message for the viewers…






Well done to everyone involved, I look forward to another year of great movies!

Until next time,


Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – And The Winner Is… The Oscars 2016

Hi everyone,

OscarOn the 28th of February this year the best and brightest stars of the entertainment world will celebrate the 88th Academy Awards – better known as The Oscars. Now, despite the fact that I am a huge fan of films, I don’t really like award ceremonies. They seem like an opportunity for millionaires to pat themselves on the back while we all watch, jealously, from our sofas. But that is beside the point; the function of The Oscars (or The Golden Globes, BAFTAs, or any one of the hundred other awards ceremonies) is to highlight great films that can help you to improve your English!

Here’s the list of the Best Picture nominations for 2016

Best Picture


Have you seen any of these films? I currently haven’t seen The Big Short, Bridge of Spies or Brooklyn, but I will try to see them before the 28th. I like to guess which film is going to win before they announce the winner. This year, I would like Mad Max: Fury Road to win, but I don’t think it will. It would be great to see an action blockbuster win for something other than visual effects and sound editing.

The last time was in 2003 with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and before that were Gladiator (2000) and Braveheart (1995). Mad Max has received nominations in 10 catagories , which apparently puts it on a par with Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Cabaret (1972) and even Star Wars (1977)! High praise indeed!

Which film do you think will win?

Take a look at this video from FilmIsNow Movie Trailers and see if you agree with their choices for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director.




Do let us know what you think!

You can leave us a message (or a link to a youtube video) in the comments section below, or write on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain).

Until next time,



to pat (someone) on the back = felicitar a alguien

beside the point = irrelevante

put (something) on a par with = igual a

High praise indeed = grandes elogios

Etiquetado, , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – Funk: Then and Now

Hi everyone,

Funk bannerSome things just go together, and apart they’re just not the same. Imagine a fideuá without the alioli. Or a cheesecake without the biscuit base. It’s just unthinkable.

The same is true of me and The Funk. Some people call it Funk, but if you’ve got as much respect for it as I have, then you call it The Funk. Funk music is probably the only type of music that I can listen to without immediately praying for silence.

I Brown funk editThe Funk: Now

Last year Mark Ronson, a British music producer, released a song called Uptown Funk (featuring vocals from Bruno Mars). It was a great success and won a lot of awards. I knew it was popular.

But imagine my surprise when I went on YouTube today and saw that Uptown Funk has had more than 1.3 billion views! That’s as if 1/5 of the world’s population had seen the video! Or as if every man, woman and child in China got their funk on! So here it is (and you can click here for the lyrics):

James brown funkThe Funk: Then

At the end of the first verse Bruno Mars sings “Gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty”, which is an abbreviation of the phrase “I’ve got to kiss myself because I’m so pretty”. One of the first singers to use this expression in a song was James Brown in the song Super Bad. Now, James Brown is often called “Godfather of Soul” but he is also recognised as the “Founding Father of Funk”. Check out this amazing performance on Soul Train in 1970, and try to listen for the phrase “I jump back, I wanna kiss myself”.

Did you hear it? Or were you too busy watching the amazing dancer?! Click here to read the lyrics and then try again!

Darth funkWhich do you prefer? Old funk or new funk? They’re both bass-heavy, high-energy songs, and they’re the traditional mixture of soul, jazz and rhythm and blues (R&B) that defines funk music. In fact, there are a lot of different funky derivatives. If you don’t like the old-school funk of Sly and the Family Stone maybe you like the funk rock of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Or the funk metal of Living Colour. There’s even ‘Timba‘, a type of funky Cuban dance music, and many more styles. There’s funk for everyone!

It must be said that most funk lyrics are nonsensical. But then, lots of lyrics in songs make no sense at all. The important thing is the feeling that you get when you listen to the songs. You can also practice making the sounds of words, even when their meaning isn’t clear.

My favourite funk track of all time is The Message by Cymande. Unfortunately, they never made a music video for the track, but here it is in all its funky glory.

I love the simplicity of the song – there’s nothing better to do the washing up to! Now come on, reach out to me and let me know what your favourite funky tracks are. You can leave us a message (or a link to a youtube video) in the comments section below, write on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain), or send us a message on twitter (@YESNYOU_es).

Keep it funky until next time,



Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – Extra-curricular English Activities

Hi everyone!

Hiroshi Sugimoto is an unusual guy, but a knockout photographer

Hiroshi Sugimoto

How do you use your English? Do you watch TV series? Or read the news online? Or perhaps you write poetry?

Well, here’s another thing you can do with your English…

As well as being an English teacher I also have a second job. Can you guess what it is? I’ll give you a clue

You can hear me, but you can’t see me.

Do you know what my second job is? Okay, another clue…

You would listen to my voice while you do something else.

Any ideas? Okay, one last clue…

You can find me in galleries and museums all over the world.

Do you give up? Fine, I’ll tell you then.

When I’m not teaching English I record audio guides for museums and galleries! I have recorded guides for El Prado in Madrid, CaixaForum in Barcelona, The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg and Le Louvre in Paris. I’m so cosmopolitan!

This week I did an audio guide for the Sala Fundación MAPFRE all about a Japanese photographer called Hiroshi Sugimoto. The exhibition is called “Black Box” and will run from the 19th of February until the 8th of May. If you are in Barcelona, or if you fancy a visit, I recommend taking the audio tour!

Here are some examples of Sugimoto’s work.

Sugimoto - Diorama

What can you see here? An amazing photograph taken on safari?

Actually, no. In 1976 Sugimoto started photographing wildlife diaramas in natural history museums.

Sugimoto - cinema screen

Sugimoto doesn’t use digital cameras. His Theatre series from 1978 consists of photographs of cinema screens. He would expose the film in his camera for the duration of the movie, effectively capturing an entire movie in one frame.

He said “Different movies give different brightnesses. If it’s an optimistic story, I usually end up with a bright screen; if it’s a sad story, it’s a dark screen. Occult movie? Very dark.”

Sugimoto - Sea and sky

In 1980 he started photographing the sea and its horizon in various locations all over the world. They are all the same size and all exactly half sea, half sky. They remind me of Rothko paintings.

Sugimoto - Lightning

What’s this? Lightning? Well, sort of. It’s actually electrical discharge across a dry photographic plate, but  they’re more or less the same. The effect is electric, anyway!

What kinds of exhibitions do you like? Is there anything you can recommend? You can leave us a message in the comments section below, write on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain), or send us a message on twitter (@YESNYOU_es).

Oh, and do let me know if you find yourself listening to me on an audio guide!

Until next time,



Clue = Pista

Audio guides = Guia de audio

If you fancy a visit = Si te apetece una visita

Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario

YESNYOU – Takeaway Give Away 3: Going Abroad

Hi everyone,

A Pocket Guide to Going Abroad

Last week I asked you about your New Year’s Resolutions and suggested some things that you could do if you won the Christmas lottery. Winning the lottery isn’t very likely, so how about making some more realistic plans for the future? Do you like to travel? I do.

This week I’d like to share with you a chuleta (or cheat sheet in English) all about travelling. It has some very useful vocabulary and phrases that you can use the next time you want to get away to a country where Spanish isn’t the first language.

Click on the link (or the picture on the left) to access your printable Takeaway (so convenient it fits in your pocket!) so you won’t find yourself tongue tied the next time you’re far from home.

A Pocket Guide to Going Abroad

So, where are you going to go? Here are a few suggestions of some lovely places to visit that won’t break the bank.

CambodiaCambodia – okay, so it’s not as cheap as it was 10 years ago, but with a little saving it’s still an affordable choice. However, finding the less-visited places is getting harder and harder and that’s where the bargains are. Don’t forget to take a look at Angkor Wat for unrivalled temple greatness.

Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church, Lake Bled, Slovenia

Slovenia – now is the time to get up close and personal with eastern Europe’s rustic charms, before everyone hears about it and we ruin it forever. Slovenia is just a pretty as Austria, Italy or Switzerland but at a fraction of the cost.

Portland-oregonPortland, Oregon – for a predominantly English speaking experience get yourself out to this progressive American city. You’ll find food carts, independent bookstores, farmers markets, rain and lots and lots of bicycles. What’s not to like?

Don’t forget to let us know what your travel plans are for the year! You can leave us a message in the comments section below, write on our facebook wall (YES ‘N’ You Spain), or send us a message on twitter (@YESNYOU_es).

Until next time,


Here are a couple of links to the first two free Takeaways we sent out a while ago. Enjoy!

The first of two free downloadable pocket guides to English – Social English

The second free downloadable pocket guide to English – British vs American English

Etiquetado, , , , , , , , , , | Dejar un comentario