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Viajes para adultos
Un proyecto en desarrollo. El objetivo principal es que sea para todos los bolsillos.
Lots of complete exercises. Time to practise!
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1. "Enjoy Alicante!" said Margaret. "I'm not going on a holiday. I'm going on [-] business," replied David.

You go on a holiday. You go on holidays. [NOTE: This is much more complicated and requires more work!]

Business is uncountable. No a/an. You could use “some” (but that wasn’t a “valid” answer in this exercise!

2. "I'm not a wage-earner; I'm a self-employed man. I have a business of my own, said Alan. "Then you're not a worker; you're a capitalist pig!" retorted Philip.

All countable, singular nouns MUST have an article. (a/an/the/this/that/(my)) In sentence one, “business” was a concept. In this sentence it is an “enterprise”. “I'm a self-employed man” was one of MY options for the exercise.“I'm [-] self-employed” was the other: self-employed is an adjective (NO article!)

3. "In Spain we have an hour and a half for lunch and another hour for the/a siesta," commented Juan. "I only have [-]/a half an hour!" complained Paula, "It's hardly [-] time for a sandwich, a cigarette and a cup of coffee. An hour = One hour. “A” before “half” is obligatory in the expression “an hour and a half.” However, it is NOT necessary in “[-]/a half an hour” (only 30 minutes). Both “time” and “coffee” are uncountable nouns [NO articles], but when we go to a bar/restaurant we order “two cups of coffee” or, abbreviating, “two coffees”.

4. "My neighbour's daughter is [-] pregnant. She had a scan yesterday and knows it's going to be a girl. She's going to call her Madonna Barbara," said Mrs Smith. "That's an awful name to give to a/the child!" muttered Mrs Johnston.

”pregnant” (/preg (pronuncia esa “g”) nant/ NOT “preñant”, because that’s French! Well, pregnant is an adjective, so, no article. “A scan”, “a girl”, “a name”: countable, singular – MUST have an article. to give to a/the child! “a” means ANY child. “the” means that specific child.

5. "Paul, do you take [-] sugar in [-]/your coffee?" asked Majella. "Not now because I'm on a diet. I need to lose [-] weight.

“sugar”, “coffee” and weight” are all uncountables (No article). The expression is “to be on a diet.”

6. "She is [-] gluten intolerant. She never has [-] bread at her house; but she'll give you [-] rice cakes," said Anne. "Oh, no! The/[-] last time I had a rice cake, I got [-] very bad indigestion," replied Joan.

“Gluten intolerant”: adjective. “Bread”: uncountable. “Rice cakes”: PLURAL. “Last time”: “The last time” es lo correcto, pero, reconozco que la gente dice “Last time”. “A rice cake”: singular. “Very bad indigestion” Indigestion is uncountable in English. I don’t care if you say “Tuve tres malas indigestiones” in Spanish! In English you would have to say I had three very bad “bouts/attacks” of indigestion! Similar to “coffee” vs. “cups of coffee”

7. "We had [-] fish and [-] chips for [-] lunch," said Paul. "That doesn't sound like a very interesting lunch," replied Mary. “Fish”: uncountable. “Chips”: plural. The main expression is “You have breakfast/lunch/dinner.” (El nombre genérico de cada comida.) “You have fish and chips for breakfast/lunch/dinner.” You can talk about a SPECIFIC meal as “That was a lovely lunch. Thank you.” or “I have a lunch with friends on Saturday.”

8. A person who suffers from [-] arachnophobia has a fear of [-] spiders. My sister screams every time she finds a spider in the/a room.

“A person” means ANY person. [Any = Cualquiera. Y sí, se puede usar perfectamente en frases afirmativas (¿Adivinas de qué va el siguiente ejercicio?)] Arachnophobia is uncountable. A medical condition (Remember this for later!!!) Learn the expression: a fear of (X)” because “miedo” in Spanish is mostly used as uncountable in this expression, unless you want to exaggerate, “Tengo un miedo a las alturas que no veas.”

9. [At the scene of an accident] Don't give her a drink. She's suffering from [-] shock.

“A drink”: Do not give her anything to drink. [-] drink: means alcohol. Nobody in their right mind would give alcoholic drink to a person in an accident. {Right, Olga? - Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!} “Shock” = “Arachnophobia”: a medical concept. Uncountable.

10. Angela is in [-] bed. She has a sore throat and a/[-] headache. She's definitely got a cold, maybe the flu.

“In bed”: acostad@(s). “In the bed” = that sock you lost or the crumbs from the biscuits” Also any (cualquier) object that is not sleeping. This is also valid for husbands/wives/partners: I don’t want you in the bed with me (because you are not sleeping!) However, I don’t want you in bed with me! = I don’t love you anymore!

11. I can't believe they accused [-] Mr Smith of [-] dishonesty. He's an old customer and, I believe he is an honest man. A very honest man.

“El Sr. o La Sra.” is pure Spanish. There is NO “the” in English. “Dishonesty” (“h-mute”) uncountable. “Customer” and “man” are both singular.

12. I wouldn't climb [-] Mount Kilimanjaro for £1,000,000! I have a fear of [-] heights.

Mount X never has an article. (Lake Titicaca doesn’t either). The Danube does. “a fear of X” Do you remember this expression? “Heights” is plural!

13. My neighbour is a photographer; I want to ask him for [-] advice about digital cameras.

“Photographer” Countable/ Singular always has an article. “Advice” is UNCOUNTABLE! To “create” a countable version of “advice”, like “furniture”, we say “a piece of advice”

14. She didn't have an alibi. She was the prime suspect in the murder case. But the police didn't charge her with [-] murder. In the end, they only charged her with [-] manslaughter.

“An alibi”: “cualquier coartada” “The prime suspect”: “The murder case”: “The police”: The only ones that exist (in THIS case!) “To charge someone with murder or manslaughter: Uncountable concept. Learn the expression. OJ Simpson was charged with the murder of his wife. OJ Simpson was charged with murder.

15. She looked at me in [-] horror when I told her that I was a forensic scientist.

“Horror”:uncountable. “A forensic scientist”: Countable/Singular.

16. We had a lovely time and [-] great weather.

OK. In sentence 3 “time” was uncountable. Go and practise your Second Conditionals with “If I could save time in a bottle” by Jim Croce. “Si pudiera ahorrar/guardar el tiempo en una botella, la primera cosa que me gustaría hacer…” But, “weather” is uncountable. We do not say: “We had a horrible weather in Malaga.”

17. We need to go by [-] bus; if we can get a bus at this time of [-]/the night!

You travel by (vehicle)/on foot/horse/Shank’s pony (el coche de San Fernando). “A bus”: any bus! “At this time of night” (of the day/afternoon/evening) In this case, people also say “at this time of the night.”

18. What a horrible night; I only slept a little.

“A night”: OK it’s a specific night. Specific is usually “the”. But it’s the expression! What a horrible child! What a beautiful day! “I only slept a little” or “I slept very little”

19. You can get [-] information about [-] hotels on [-] Google.

“Information”: uncountable. Maybe you need a piece of information! “Hotels”: plural. And Google is Google. Do you say “La Mari” or “El Pepe”?

20. You'll get a shock if you touch a live wire with a metal object. You need a screwdriver with an insulated handle.

“Shock” is a medical condition. “A shock” is a bad surprise or an electrical discharge. “A wire”: an electric cable. Both “a screw-driver” and “a handle” are Countable/Singular.


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