domingo, 24 de octubre de 2010

Halloween Stories

An old celt story says that, on the 31st of November, the spirits of all those who had died along the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess . It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to mix with the living.

Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on that night, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily parade around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.

The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, it was assimilated into other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.

In Greek mythology, goddesses of the underworld were often used to invoke the Samhain. Popular Greek Goddess costumes portray Hecate and Medusa. Today, Hecate is often referred to as the goddess of witches.

The practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine.

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viernes, 22 de octubre de 2010

Halloween Vocabulary

Halloween Vocabulary

Match the Halloween related words with their definitions.

1. mummy, 2. ghost, 3. spell, 4. mask, 5. costume, 6. vampire,

7. warlock, 8. carve, 9. goblin, 10. monster, 11. zombie (zombi),

12. pumpkin, 13. bat, 14. haunted, 15. scary, 16. potion, 17. witch.

a) inhabited or visited by ghosts.

b) a large, roundish, gourdlike orange.

c) a phrase used to bewitch or enchant; charm; incantation.

d) a legendary being that sucks out people´s blood.

e) night-flying mammals that have wings covered with membranes.

f) a mythical creature with features of two different animals.

g) to form or inscribe by cutting:

h) a covering for all or part of the face.

i) a mixture for drinking supposed to have magical effects.

j) a force that can enter a corpse and control its actions.

k) causing fear; frightening.

l) an ugly creature that does evil or mischief to humans.

m) the spirit of someone who has died.

n) a corpse preserved in the manner of the Old Egyptians.

o) a woman who practices occult magic; sorceress.

p) a man who practices witchcraft or magic arts; sorcerer.

q) a set of clothes suited to a particular season, or activity.

miércoles, 6 de octubre de 2010

Frequency Adverbs

Frequency adverbs tell HOW OFTEN something happens.

always 100% (Siempre)
nearly/almost always 90% (Casi siempre)
usually 80% (Normalmente)
very often/frequently 70% (Frecuentemente)
often 60% (a menudo)
sometimes 50% (a veces)
occasionally 40% (en ocasiones)
hardly ever 20% (casi nunca)
seldom/almost never 10% (rara vez)
never 0% (nunca)

Frequency adverbs can go in the following positions in a sentence:

Before the main verb:
Subject + adverb + verb + object, etc.
He never eats vegetables.I often buy foreign periodicals.They frequently visit us.I always read commercial news.They rarely watch sports channels.I sometimes watch English films.

After the verb "to be":
Subject + be + adverb + complement, etc.

He is always late for office.We are never invited to dinner parties.I am always worried about my finances.He is sometimes consulted by investors.You are seldom anxious about my health.

Between the auxiliary and the principal verb:
He has always done justice to all.I have often thought of starting a business.I have never forgotten those unfortunate events.I have sometimes managed to hoodwink others.We could hardly ever appreciate his conduct.We shall never seek such favors.They will always regret having done this.They will usually take such big risks.

Some frequency adverbs (e.g. usually, normally, often, frequently, sometimes and occasionally) can also go in the beginning or end of a sentence.

Some other examples are: generally, seldom, rarely