COMPLAINT

🔢  Extensión: FCE 140-190, CAE 220-260, CPE 280-320

👥  Registro: formal

✏️  Enfoque: personal

💯  Truco: lenguaje persuasivo y expresión muy formal

ESTRUCTURA


Introduction: explicamos la intención de la carta y decimos lo que esperamos conseguir

– Saludo: To whom it may concernDear Sir or Madam / Dear Mr… / Dear Madam…

– Motivo de la carta: I am writing to you to express my profound dissatisfaction as regards (asunto). Through this letter, not only do I intend to detail the reasons for it, but also reach a mutual understanding.

Body: explicamos las razones

– Contesta las preguntas y pon ejemplos. Importantísimo utilizar linkers para cada punto: firstly, I missed my flight to Bristol last Thursday because your airline misplaced my suitcase. Thus… Secondly, it took your staff a staggering three days to send it to me, so … Lastly, if it were not enough, my baggage was open, dirty and used.

Conclusion: resumen del body y qué esperas conseguir

– Resume del body: Hoping my letter has provided a comprehensive illustration of why your extremely poor management led to my missing one of the most important days of my life, I hope you take the necessary measures to make it up to me.

– Despedida: Yours faithfully / Yours sincerely,

– Tu nombre y apellido: Patricia de Pastors.

Ejemplo al final de la entrada.

FRASES HECHAS Y VOCABULARIO


Para expresar insatisfacción

I am utterly enraged due to: estoy absolutamente rabioso debido a.

⭐️ Your poor management has led to my missing: Su mala gestión ha llevado a que me pierda.

⭐️ Your staff showed the utmost incompetency: la más absoluta incompetencia.

Para sugerir formas de compensarte

⭐️ I firmly believe a refund is granted: creo que un reembolso se da por hecho. 

⭐️ I trust you/r company will take the necessary steps to properly compensate me: Confío en que usted/su compañía seguirá los pasos necesarios para compensarme como Dios manda.

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Example of CAE complaint letter

 

🎯  La diferencia entre el 9 y el 10: frases hechas, ejemplos originales y “not only”.

📞  Si quieres más apuntes, contáctame para clases.

Anuncios

SPEAKING

 

💯 Truco: lleva frases hechas avanzadas aprendidas y no te pares a pensar la idea perfecta.

🏆 La clave para un 10: pensar inmediatamente dos ideas y verbalizarlas de forma avanzada.

PART 1: PREGUNTAS PERSONALES


– Good morning. I’m Jane and this is my colleague Peter. He is just going to listen to us. 

– Can I have your mark sheets, please? Of course.

– Now, what’s your name? My name is Jaime.

– And what’s your name? My name is Patricia.

– Where do you live, Alberto? I live in Madrid, which is the capital of Spain.

– And, Patricia? So do I.

– Do you work or are you a student? I juggle both – I study Law and work as a teacher.

– How long have you been studying English? I have been studying English since I was 3.

– What do you like doing in your free time? I love meeting with friends, meditating…

PART 2: PICTURES TÚ SOLO


– Di lo que ves en cada foto (en CAE, selecciona dos de las tres):

In the first picture, we can see… While the second one shows…

– Responde a las pregunta/s que te hagan y usa un time-buyer para ganar tiempo: That’s an interest question. In fact, I often wonder about that myself.

– Usa muchos adjetivos: This image strikes me as positive, stressful, interesting, confusing…

– Para acabar: And that’s all in a nutshell.

PART 3: PICTURES EN PAREJA


– Distribución de los turnos: Shall I start or will you?

– Empiezo yo: I will start if you don’t mind.

– Empieza tú: You may start.

🤜🏼 What do you think about the first item? As I see it…

🤜🏿 What are your thoughts on this idea? It seems to me that…

🖖🏼 We see eye to eye / You have read my mind there / I couldn’t have put it better.

🖕🏿 I beg to differ / We seem to be at odds because… / I see your point, but… 

PART 4: CONVERSACIÓN EN LA QUE SE INVITA AL OTRO A PARTICIPAR


– Me hacen una pregunta: parafraseo el enunciado. Por ejemplo: “What is the difference between a traveller and a tourist? I would say the difference between a traveller and a tourist is that the former does it to experience another culture and the latter, to document their trip”.

– Le dicen al compañero “what do you think?”: elabora si está de acuerdo o no.

🖖🏼 We see eye to eye / You have read my mind there / I couldn’t have put it better.

🖕🏿 I beg to differ / We seem to be at odds because… / I see your point, but…

ESTRATEGIA “DE LAS DOS IDEAS” Y FRASES HECHAS AVANZADAS


Estrategia “de las dos ideas”

– “Do you think social networks have brought us closer or apart?”

– That’s an interest question. On the one hand, they help us… On the other hand, they…

 

Otras formas de decir “I think”

Personally, there is no doubt in my mind that…

As I see it and to sum up, one of the drawbacks of using mobile phones is…

As far as I am concerned…

For my part, I am convinced that…

Formas más avanzadas de decir…

Very: really, truly, utterly, completely, virtually, entirely, wholly.

A bit: slightly, rather, quite, fairly.

Important: determining, paramount, decisive, overriding, essential, key, significant.

Problem: issue, matter, concern, question.

Situation: scenario, outlook.

Solve: fix, give a solution, give an answer, aid, heal.

 

RECOMMENDATION

🔢  Extensión: FCE 140-190, CAE 220-260, CPE 280-320

👥  Registro: formal

✏️  Enfoque: personal

💯  Truco: persuasión y frases hechas avanzadas.

ESTRUCTURA


Introduction: ¿Por qué es Bob el candidato perfecto?

– Saludo: To whom it may concern,

– Motivo de la carta: I am writing to you to expound the reasons why I humbly feel Bob would do a great job as an invigilator: thorough preparation, vast experience, eagerness to learn and a deep knowledge of how examinations work at the British Council.

Body: argumentamos por qué sería el candidato perfecto 

– Párrafo 1: estudios. Firstly, the nature and demands of his degree in Business a have led him to develop…

– Párrafo 2: experiencia profesional. Secondly, his five years working as…

– Párrafo 3: idiomas/datos de interés. Thirdly, having taken Cambridge’s…

Conclusion: resumen del body y despedida formal

– Di qué esperas haber conseguido con la carta y que esperas noticias: Hoping my letter illustrates what Bob can contribute to join your institution, please receive my warmest regards.

– Despedida: Yours faithfully, yours sincerely…

– Tu nombre y apellido: Patricia de Pastors.

Ejemplos al final de la entrada.

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APPLICATION

🔢  Extensión: FCE 140-190, CAE 220-260, CPE 280-320

👥  Registro: formal

✏️  Enfoque: personal

💯  Truco: persuasión y frases hechas avanzadas.

ESTRUCTURA


Introduction: ¿Por qué somos el candidato perfecto?

– Saludo: To whom it may concern,

– Motivo de la carta: I am writing to you to expound the reasons why I humbly feel I would do a great job as an invigilator: thorough preparation, vast experience, eagerness to learn and a deep knowledge of how examinations work at the British Council.

Body: argumentamos por qué seríamos el candidato perfecto para 

– Párrafo 1: estudios. Firstly, the nature and demands of my degrees in Translation and Audiovisual Communication have led me to develop…

– Párrafo 2: experiencia profesional. Secondly, my five years working as…

– Párrafo 3: idiomas. Thirdly, having taken Cambridge’s…

Conclusion: resumen del body y despedida formal

– Di qué esperas haber conseguido con la carta y que esperas noticias: Hoping my letter illustrates what I can contribute and what an honour it would be to join your institution, I look forward to hearing from you.

– Despedida: Yours faithfully / Yours sincerely,

– Tu nombre y apellido: Patricia de Pastors

Ejemplos al final de la entrada.

FRASES HECHAS Y VOCABULARIO


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Actual (approved) letter to the British Council

🎯  La diferencia entre el 9 y el 10: frases hechas, ejemplos originales y “not only”.

📞  Si quieres más apuntes, contáctame para clases.

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS

Julia Louis-Dreyfus shares she has cancer and tears come to my eyes. That’s my selfish reality. This woman, who inexplicably keeps outdoing herself September after September with a character that’s walking joy, is overwhelmingly celebrated today for saddening reasons. An “undaunted spirit,” as HBO has accurately put it.

Naturally hysterical, refreshingly herself and the best comedic actress to ever live (numerical fact), the 56-year-old New Yorker who rised eyebrows as a youngster on Saturday Night Live and disarmed America as Elaine on Seinfeld, found potty-mouthed President Selina Meyer (Veep) “the role of a lifetime.”

I have only watched Veep, of all her work. Her name didn’t even ring a bell (I’m not American, okay?) until last year, when I watched her episode submission come Emmys time. Well, if you have seen “Mimaw” (S5 E4), you may agree it’s like having first watched Meryl in Kramer vs. Kramer. The natural comedic versatility astounded me because you can’t see the acting. If you haven’t watched (my HBO password is P*********), the episode juxtaposes President Meyer losing her mother… and the state of Nevada, which she needs to win the election. She couldn’t care less about her and is told about the Nevada loss, which implies the popular vote loss as well and hilariously/upsettingly breaks down. It’s comedy genius.

I was so moved today to see the whole of America wish her well because besides talented, she’s known to be a team player, down-to-earth and a girl’s girl. However, even more moving was the fact that she used her ––please, temporary–– darkness to shine a light on other women who have lost the battle to breast cancer and the need for universal healthcare. That’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a self-described “American patriot.”

Thank you Julia for such sheer joy. There are snarky Tinas, witty Amys, strong Melissas and versatile Kates, but laughter inhabits you and you have shared your gift to enthusiastically brighten up millions’ lives. That’s matchless, and you’ll make Emmy history again next year as the first actor to ever win seven consecutive trophies for the seventh and last Veep season. Unfathomable.

I love you and thanks for the courage ❤️

❤️

Julia made history ten days ago by winning her sixth consecutive Emmy. 6/6

 

TÉCNICAS Y TRUCOS

ACING MY CAMBRIDGE EXAM

Técnicas y trucos para sacar un diez en cada ejercicio.

  • Use of English
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Listening

USE OF ENGLISH

Multiple choice cloze

  1. Leer la mitad de las opciones y luego la mitad del texto (para que nos suene al ver el texto).
  2. Colocar las palabras.
  3. Hacer lo mismo con la segunda mitad.

Donde van a pillar: en las preposiciones. Mirar la palabra antes del hueco o el sentido.

Open cloze

  1. Leer el texto y poner en cada hueco qué tipo de palabra iría.
  2. Hacerlo entero seguido (para que por intuición tengamos más posibilidades de acertar).

Donde van a pillar: en las preposiciones. Mirar la palabra antes del hueco o el sentido. 

Word formation

  1. Poner en el hueco el tipo de palabra que iría.
  2. Mirar las palabras que nos dan y pensar en los prefijos y sufijos que podemos añadir.
  3. Hacer el texto.

Donde van a pillar: en que puede no ser adjetivo, sino verbo. (Success – successful – succeed).

Key word transformation

  1. Pensar que siempre piden dos cosas: estructura y vocabulario. (A pasiva y con un phrasal).
  2. Hacer la frase SIN CAMBIAR NI AÑADIR NADA: tiempo verbal, pronombres, número…

Donde van a pillar: hay que saber colocaciones y phrases y no cambiar nada.

WRITING

  1. Responder a todo lo que nos preguntan.
  2. Hacer referencia a todos los datos que nos proporcionan.
  3. Intentar usar gramática avanzada (pasiva, subjuntivo…).
  4. Repasar que no hayamos confundido singular con plural, empezar hablando en pasado y pasar a presente, poner colocaciones si es un texto formal, no pasarnos de palabras, usar las frases del blog, causar un efecto positivo en el lector (si teníamos que informar, haber dejado todo claro; si teníamos que recomendar, habernos posicionado; si hay que aconsejar, haber dado una lista de argumentos que podamos contar).

 

READING & LISTENING

  1. Leer las preguntas y poner una palabra clave al lado de cada una.
  2. Leer el texto y subrayar palabras clave (muchas veces, sinónimos de las preguntas).
  3. Hacer el ejercicio y repasar.

Donde van a pillar: ponen dos repuestas “que pueden ser”, pero solo una coincide 100%

SPEAKING

  1. Pensar automáticamente en dos ideas cuando te pregunten de un tema. (Firstly, secondly…)
  2. Beber un poco de agua antes y llevarse un boli para tener las manos quietas.
  3. Ser muy educado con los examinadores, mirar a los ojos.
  4. Dar respuestas originales y poner ejemplos. (I spend my summers abroad. This year…).
  5. Usar time-buyers para ganar tiempo. (That’s a great question. Well…).
  6. Usar adjetivos buenos ya que es difícil meter una pasiva sobre la marcha.
  7. Seguir las estrategias de las fotos y preguntas.
  8. Ojo con inventarse cosas. Pueden volver a preguntarte sobre eso luego y te pillan.

Y SOBRE TODO… REPASAR Y PENSAR QUE LO ESTAMOS HACIENDO TODO BIEN 🏆🏅

FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN

Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon walk into a bar and sign a ‘yes’ for Ryan Murphy. Some months later, 7 Emmy nominations ––including both leads–– and unanimously rave reviews come flying through the exquisitely crafted set. Feud: Bette and Joan gits us with the guilty pleasure of seeing the why and how of the renowned rivalry between eternal camp icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

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Sarandon and Lange as Davis and Crawford on the set of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)

Set in 1962, Feud begins with Crawfoard personally approaching the redhead thespian to be her co-star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in hopes of getting her respect and keeping her career alive. (Cc: misogyny, ageism.) Davis eventually accepts because at 54, offers weren’t exactly piling up, either. And so, the divas embark on the shooting that resulted in the legendary feud the press would viciously thrive on, Hedda Hopper and all. However, the peak of this series is arguably the fifth episode, that infamous Oscar night where Davis loses for Baby Jane and Crawford maliciously accepts the award on behalf of Anne Bancroft while voting against her co-star to prevent her from becoming the first actor to ever receive three Academy Awards.

 

Jessica Lange is stellar and heart-wrenching as the ever-dissatisfied Crawford. The struggles of a loveless childhood and extenuating adulthood leave the “most beautiful girl in the world” anxiously unemployed. Likewise, Susan Sarandon gives one of her career’s best turns as the ambitious legend who once named Meryl Streep her “worthy successor.” Bossy because she could and miserable because she chose to, Davis worked relentlessly to stay artistically alive: she did theatre, film, television and even defiantly published an ad on a newspaper to get a part.

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Next Emmy winner Susan Sarandon?

Feud does justice to both divas, taking us into the ladies’ tragic truths with Ryan Murphy’s characteristic attention to detail. Judy Davis as the vile columnist Hedda Hopper, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Davis’s pal Olivia de Havilland and Kathy Bates are a treat and a casting triumph, offering some insight and gossip backstage for a documentary being made on Joan’s life. Script and direction excel, with the discrimination that came with being a woman in the 60s shining through every line with notable pain but not pity. The costume design is spot-on ––every fur, diamond and feather in place–– and production design hits the nail on the head. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if it walked home with an Emmy.

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Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis) getting trash talk from Joan

All in all, although some of the more carping critics have slated its untangled nature, it remains true that few showrunners offer such variety of pleasures as Ryan Murphy and his associates. For its screenplay, cast and sheer attention to detail, I highly recommend this mesmerizing piece on the most timeless of Hollywood feuds.

Genre: Dark dramedy.

Original release: February 19 – April 2, 2017.

Country: United States.

Awards: 16 Emmy nominations.

Grade: A-

All images are taken from Google.

 

BIG LITTLE LIES

Visceral, queasy, intriguing, sexy, painfully realistic. And with a whopping 16 Emmy nominations including all the relevant performers, David E. Kelley’s limited series is O.J.’s O.J. in many’s eyes.

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Jane, Madeline and Celeste get to know each other at Tom’s Monterey café

 

‘Big Little Lies’ is human nature at its rawest, an emotional punch in the gut if you will. The kind of show set amongst people who own pool houses built on cliff edges, as Vulture artfully put it. It shines a flashlight into the lives of three women whose children attend the same public school in Monterey, California. With their own troubled pasts apparently behind them, Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman) and Jane Chapman (Sheilene Woodley) each embody multiple dark corners: control freakness, sexual abuse and PTDS. Co-starring are a brilliant Laura Dern as the bitchy CEO Renata Klein, Alexander Skarsgård as Wright’s violent husband and Adam Scott  as Mackenzie’s mild-ish man.

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The heart-wrenching series finale, where all the pieces connect

Nicole Kidman gives a career-defining performance as the top lawyer, delving deep into Celeste’s layers to show the sheer turmoil of an abused spouse dominated by self-delusion. Such were the lengths she went to that Kidman, who would leave the set with actual bruises, described the experience as insidious and admitted: “It disturbed my psyche. It was manifesting deep in my body, not knowing the difference between what was real and not real. My brain tells me ‘I’m an actor.’ My body tells me this is the same: A equals B. I had to express it and cry and go home […] Physically and mentally, it took a toll. Art costs you things.” But will win you an Emmy in 12 days.

Witherspoon and Woodley, whose roles were significantly more banal, are great as the control freak gal pal and the shy outsider who have to deal with past personal demons. Alexander Skarsgård’s Perry feels scarily real, with insecurity and aggressivity at his sleeve. Laura Dern as the bitchy CEO you secretly love and Zoë Kravitz as Madeline’s ex-husband’s new wife are a casting triumph. And, maybe, the best breakout role goes to Robin Weigert as the couple’s therapist. Her sheer understanding, concern and pity shine through a perfectly-calibrated performance that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The writing is superb, adapting such entangled issues with spectacular intelligence and subtlety that gives us lines ringing new and true at the same time. “Worse! I’m the fucking CEO, which deems me a bitch,” “They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet” or “It was interesting how you could say things when you were walking that you might not otherwise have said with the pressure of eye contact across a table.” But even better that the script, Vallée’s direction is sublime, letting dialogue drop while having the women reach frightening conclusions without speaking and inviting the audience to imagine rather than explaining.

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The three women with kids Chloe, Ziggy, Max and Josh

Vallée, though, was not a casual choice. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman teamed up to partner the rights to Liane Moriarty’s original novel, with the Australian actress personally approaching her at a coffee shop in Sydney to promise it’d get made. Next, according to Indiewire, Witherspoon’s then-partner Bruna Papandrea –– who discovered the book –– developed the series with veteran writer David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal”) and HBO. And it was then when Witherspoon got the Québecoise director on board, who had worked with her in her last Oscar nominated role, Wild (2014). No artificial light, digital camera in hand and long takes being his signature style, the Monterey cinematography generously accommodated to let the ladies grab the adjective smashing.

Technically, it’s a show to savor and analyze. Compare it to your life and thank the Gods yours looks painfully boring in comparison. Full of nuance, mystery and details. But it’s the human element lying behind it, the kinship based on gender that ends up forming teams that is delightful. Not rushed, obvious or demanded and no-freaking-agenda. Just differences that fade to show the almost animalistic power females can attain when sticking together. However, even more fabulous (which is saying a lot) than the message, the plot. The separate stories that end up needing the other to create a common, gasps-for-air finale, and which HBO should value enough not to fall prey to a sequel. Next and past Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus confessed to being “glued to the TV” on the finale, with Ellen, Octavia Spencer and Mindy Kaling all describing it as “wonderful.”

In short, I can’t recommend a binge-watch highly enough. It’s a series for smart, classy people to dive right into. Appreciate the acting. Oscar winners and nominees galore. The master class in writing and direction. And marvel at how complicated we are as individuals. How beauty, strength, pain, insecurity and fear can all be squeezed by artists offscreen and combined for the best on. Don’t miss ‘Big Little Lies.’ Nicole Kidman seamlessly creates and destroys layers people in front of our noses. Duh.

Genre: Dark dramedy.

Original release: February 19 – April 2, 2017.

Country: United States.

Awards: 16 Emmy nominations.

Grade: A+

All images are taken from Google.

INFORMAL

🔢  Extensión: FCE 140-190, CAE 220-260, CPE 280-320

👥  Registro: informal

✏️  Enfoque: personal

💯  Truco: incluir al lector con preguntas retóricas

ESTRUCTURA


Introduction: explicamos la intención de la carta y decimos lo que esperamos conseguir

– Saludo: Hi Amy,

– Motivo de la carta: It’s been ages since we last wrote to each other! I hope things are going great. Since you’re coming to LA, I thought I’d drop you a line to share some clothing and food tips that may come in handy to you. (Incluir todos los detalles que nos den del destinatario).

Body: explicamos las cosas que nos han pedido

– Contesta las preguntas y pon ejemplos. Importantísimo utilizar linkers para cada punto: for starters, LA being the city of the sun, some shorts and shades are a must especially if you plan to visit at the end of the summer. Tanktops, flip-flops, a swimsuit and sandals will sure be used. It rarely rains, so I wouldn’t bring umbrellas or raincoats –– but check the weather first! As for food, LA is not the cheapest place to eat out so I recommend getting fruit, water and sandwiches every morning in Walgreens and packing them with you for the day. If you want to try a restaurant once or twice, though, there are lots of fabulous options: Mexican, Italian, Japanese… Nobu Malibu has the best sushi in California –– I swear you won’t want to try anything else! 

Conclusion: resumen del body y cerramos de forma amigable

– Resume brevemente el body y da tu opinión: Anyway, don’t let me run my mouth. Pack your best tanktops, shorts and sunglasses and although I’d try saving when it comes to food, treat yourself to a good dinner at least once! Call me when you get this, we are going to have a blast.

– Proporciona datos de contacto por si fuera necesario: If you need more info, hit me up or write anytime!

– Despedida: Take care / See you soon / love / (Kisses and) hugs / All the best / Best wishes,

– Tu nombre: Patricia

Ejemplo al final de la entrada.

FRASES HECHAS Y VOCABULARIO


Para la introducción: “he pensado escribirte para…”

⭐️ It’s been ages since we last wrote to each other. I hope things are going great. Since you’re coming to LA, I thought I’d drop you a line: hace mil años que no nos escribimos. Espero que todo vaya genial. Ya que vienes a LA, se me ha ocurrido escribirte para…

And I said to myself: “go write her an e-mail!”. Y me he dicho: “escríbele un correo!”.

Para el body: preguntas retóricas

“For starters” en vez de “first of all” y “as for…” en vez de “secondly”.

⭐️ Sorry to hear your flight was cancelled –– what a bummer! Qué faena!

⭐️ I won two tickets to Hamilton –– can you believe it?

Treat yourself to a good massage in that spa –– I swear it’s worth the money!

Don’t miss Rockefeller Center in New York City –– you won’t want to leave the building.

Para la despedida: tono amigable y estamos aquí por si necesitan algo más

⭐️ Anyway, don’t let me run my mouth: bueno, no me enrollo más.

⭐️ If you need more info, hit me up or write anytime! ¡Llámame o escribe cuando quieras!

🎯  La diferencia entre el 9 y el 10: preguntas retóricas, elementos informales, “If I were you…”

📞  Si quieres más apuntes, contáctame para clases.