The Christmas holiday now seems like a distant dream for Reza and Craig. Reza had a good family Christmas in Belfast with food, drink and naps (siestas).
Craig had a lovely trip to Burma. He had a black bean fish curry for Christmas dinner and saw lots of temples.
If you are a new listener, If this is your first time here, welcome! Reza and I are going to help you improve your English and take it to the next level.
Hi, I´ve just listened to your last podcast and it´s fantastic. Your help about pronunciation is really good because to know the thin (small / slight) differences between the sounds is essential to be able to understand them.
Besides, the others explanations about particular things in all kinds of matters are very useful for me to improve my English.
Thanks for your dedication sharing your time with us (unknown listeners).
Hello Craig and Reza
Here I am again.. I’m Mamen from Biescas, Pyrenees
I’m writing you two to say thanks again for your podcasts and specially for your good sense of humour,you’re always in a good mood, I love it! your’re amazing!
And of course, wish you a merry Christmas or happy holidays if you are not a christmas fan:))
I would like to ask you for some advice for practicing my writing, I think maybe reading English books is a good way to learn it, but I wonder if you could recommend me some books.
(It’s difficult to recommend books to improve your writing in general. There are specific books to practice writing in order to pass an exam like the Cambridge FCE, CAE etc.
You could write on blogs and post things in English on websites that you like. You could write film reviews, book reviews on Amazon.com, emails etc.
Reading is good to improve your writing style, but be careful of particular works of literature which break the writing style and have an unusual or dated style.)
If you want to improve your writing for a specific purpose or exam, send us an email on our contact page and we will try to recommend specific books.
Anyway, as you suggest in the podcast I’d like to tell you about one tradition from the place that I live, (we asked you to send us any Christmas or New Year traditions)
and that I think this is from all over the north of Aragon as well. Maybe you know it but just in case you don’t. I like to share it with you because it’s a nice tradition.
It’s a drink called “PONCHO” and is made of burned redwine and a lot of fruit, raisins, cinnamon and sugar/honey inside.
To do it, first you have to burn the redwine, that’s the best part, at home my partner does it and it’s awesome because it’s like we were doing sorcery… if you want to share it with children you burn it until there isn’t any alcohol, when you finish burning it, you have to get some dried fruit? (frutos secos), peel of some orange and lemon, raisin, and sugar or/and honey into the burned wine, then, you have to let it rest for 24 hours.
We usually take (have) it with Christmas sweets after the meal, and it’s a tradition that everyone does in his or her own house in a big red pan, and shares (it) with his or her guests.
In the past, people made it in (over a) the fire (al fuego)
I hope someday I can share with you two :))
Grammar: Infinitives – be going, have gone etc.
Reza is going to talk about infinitives – “to talk” is an infinitive.
An infinitive is the base form of the verb with ‘to’ before it: to go, to write, to read, to love, to be (or not to be!), to drink, to be merry
Some structures in English require an infinitive with ‘to’, and some require an infinitive without ‘to’ (the base form).
“Reza’s going to the bank…….to withdraw some money.” (to withdraw = to take out – sacar)
This is the infinitive of purpose. Why is Reza going to the bank? What’s the reason? – to withdraw some money.
“Tomorrow I want….to publish a podcast.” After the verb ‘want’ use an infinitive with ‘to’ – I want TO PUBLISH
“I’m too fat. I really must….lose weight / do more exercise.”
MUST + base form (lose / do) the infinitive WITHOUT ‘TO’.
You can also use nouns or noun phrases after these structures: “I want…….more chocolate.”, for example.
Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “It’s better to have loved and (have) lost than never to have loved at all.”
This is an example of the perfect infinitive: TO + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE (to have loved / to have lost)
You must be Peter (MUST + BE – base form of the verb)
“Yesterday I met someone. It must have been Peter.” (MUST + HAVE + BEEN – perfect infinitive)
Be careful of the weak pronunciation of the perfect infinitive in connected speech, “It must’ve been Peter.”
Active infinitive – to eat
Passive infinitive – to be eaten
Active infinitive – to call
Passive infinitive – to be called
Active infinitive – to bear
Passive infinitive – to be born
“Reza was born in Belfast.”
I born in MadridX is not correct. Use the passive, “I was born in Madrid.”
“To be born” is the passive infinitive
Reza was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Craig was born in Twickenham in the South of London.
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
Listen to the song:
“To be lying on a beach right now.” – “To be lying” is the progressive or continuous infinitive; to be eating, to be running, to be drinking etc.
Reza wants to be lying on a beach right now!
Yesterday at five o’clock, Reza wanted to be lying on a beach.
Craig would rather be drinking a cocktail in Cuba than recording this podcast.
Reza would like to be drinking a Pina Colada on a beach in Cuba and recording this podcast.
GP (General Practitioner) – family doctor – médico de cabecera
to practise medicine
Make an appointment – pedir una cita
Go for a check up – una revisión médica
revisión del coche / mantenimiento – to take your car for “a service”
reflex – reflejo
Prescription – receta
recipe (for food) – receta
Chemist’s (UK), pharmacy, drugstore (US) – farmacia
Take a pill – tomar una pastilla
Blood pressure – presión/tensión arterial – to get/have your blood pressure taken (by a nurse)
to bleed – sangrar
I’m sick, I’m ill, I don’t feel well, I’m not well, I’m under the weather – estoy enfermo
I have a cold – estoy resfriado
to be sick / to vomit / to throw up – vomitar
to be / feel well, to be healthy, to be in good health – bien de salud
How are you? – I’m fine, I’m well
Resfriado – Cold – To get/catch a cold, I’ve got a bad cold.
Gripe – Flu – to go/come down with the flu / to get over the flu – to recover from the flu
disease / sickness / illness – enfermedad
The words are often interchangeable. A disease can sometimes be more serious and long-term
tos – cough – toser – to cough – I have a cough
estornudo – sneeze – estornudar – to sneeze
Bless you! – !Jesus¡
Chichón – Bump (on the head)
A bruise – moréton
cicatriz – scar – Scarface (Al Pacino) Have you got any scars?
doloroso – painful
dolor – ache/pain
dolor de cabeza – headache
dolor de garganta – a sore throat
More useful medical vocabulary
A doctor, nurse – Enfermera, specialist
Cirujano – Surgeon – cirugía – surgery (doctor’s surgery and to do (‘perform’) surgery in an operating ‘theatre’.
To go for a test (blood test), x-ray, scan
Alergia – Allergy – I’m allergic to…..
Ataque al corazón/Infarto – Heart attack
Fiebre – Fever – to take your temperature, to have a high temperature
Estar mareado – To feel dizzy
to feel weak, to have aches and pains
Contagio/Infección – Infection – to be/become infected – Contagioso/Infeccioso – Infectious
Derrame cerebral – Stroke
Desmayarse – To faint
Herida – Wound, Injury
Enfermedad – Disease/Illness
Enfermo/a – Sick, ill, Poorly, Under the weather
Erupción/Sarpullido – Rash
Esguince/Torcedura – Sprain, Twist
If you need help with a question about grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation or anything related to English, send us an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also leave us a voice message on the website at inglespodcast.com.
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The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’.