Volcanos in Colombia, Literal and Figurative

In Colombia and Latin America, we are experiencing a few eruptions right now.  Mexico is dealing with Popocatepetl located close to Mexico City.  Meanwhile Colombia is facing the rumblings of Nevado de Ruiz. Nevado de Ruiz has been causing problems for a few weeks now, and the language used to describe the volcano is rich with literal and figurative uses — erupt, explode, blow up, rumble... the list of colorful verbs goes on.

Volcano movie

Why do we use so much volcano vocabulary? Volcanos are very powerful forces in nature.  According to the above movie they could destroy the world.  Some say they did — the world of the dinosaurs was destroyed by volcanos according to some research. Volcanos are so powerful they have been thought to be the homes of gods.  A humerous movie with Tom Hanks captures this idea in Joe versus the Volcano. Volcanos are violent and unpredictable so volcano vocabulary is often related to angry actions.  So what volcano-related words and phrases can we use?

Rumble  – LITERALLY a deep, heavy, somewhat muffled, continuous sound [ruido sordo, el ruido de volcan]

The volcano rumbled ominously as they approached.

FIGURATIVELY a widespread murmur of discontent [murmullo de quejas]

The CEO noted there had been rumblings among the personnel about the change in coffee brands.

Barney Belches, The Simpsons

Barney belches because of beer.

Belch – to emit contents violently or spasmodically [eructar]

The volcano belched ash and sulferous gases into the air.

The boy belched loudly after drinking the Coca Cola.

Spew / vomit – to send or be sent out in a stream, sometimes in disgust or anger [vomitar, arrojar]

The volcano spewed lava through the night.

The angry words spewed from the employee without thought.

Erupt – to eject or burst forth suddenly and violently, as from restraint [entrar en erupción, estallar]

The volcano erupted without warning, covering Pompey in lava.

All of a sudden Mark Cuban erupted and began yelling at the referee.

Blow up / Explode – LITERALLY to burst, fly into pieces, break up violently with a loud report or noise [hacer explotar]

FIGURATIVELY to burst forth violently or emotionally, especially with noise,laughter, violent speech [explotar, estallar]

The volcano exploded like a bomb.

The boss blew up when he learned his employees were stealing.

Blow One's Top

Uh oh. He is blowing his top!

Blow one’s top / blow one’s stack – LITERALLY explode [hacer explotar]

FIGURATIVELY go crazy with rage, lose one’s composure, become insane [cabrearse, enfadarse muchisimo]

Here’s a great article by AOL News using ‘blow’s one’s top’ in relation to an unexpected action by a flight attendant.

People describe Steven Slater as a nice guy, but yesterday the flight attendant for JetBlue apparently totally lost control following an argument with a passenger.

Slater was working on a flight from Pittsburgh that had landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, when he was hit on the head by a bag a passenger was pulling out early from an overhead compartment.

According to the New York Daily News, words were exchanged and Slater’s reaction was to blow his top. He spewed profanity at stunned passengers, grabbed a beer and activated the plane’s emergency slide, then bolted off the plane.

Passengers told the News as part of his rant, Slater, 38, said he planned to quit the airline.

A JetBlue co-worker who was on the flight, calls Slater a working-class hero.

“It’s something we all fantasize about,” she tells the newspaper. “But we have kids and a mortgage or are just too chicken – or sane – to go through with [it].”

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Original definitions provided by Dictionary.com


Las Palabras Correctas para Negociar en inglés

…The Right Words to Negotiate in English

Negotiating Tactics


Business and business negotiation sometimes has very similar words in Spanish and English. Part of this is due to the Latin and French influences in English and part of this reflects the global nature of English and its importance worldwide. Below is a great list of vocabulary with Spanish definitions.

Need English for business? Contact Bogota Business English today.

Want more Business vocabulary? Check out our other blog posts.

Part of speech
Meaning (Spanish) Example Sentence
other options (alternativas) We can’t offer you the raise you requested, but let’s discuss some other alternatives.
expand; give more information (ampliar) Could you amplify on your proposal please.
conflict that is addressed by using a neutral third party (arbitraje) We’re better to settle this between us, because a formal arbitration will cost both of us money.
try to change a person’s mind by using various tactics (negociar) We bargained on the last issue for over an hour before we agreed to take a break.
the lowest one is willing to go (el mínimo posible resultado de negociar que una parte puede aceptar) I’ll accept a raise of one dollar per hour, but that’s my bottom-line.
together (conjunto, colectivo) This is a collective concern, and it isn’t fair to discuss it without Marie present.
make up for a loss (compensar) If you are willing to work ten extra hours a week we will compensate you by paying you overtime.
agree (acceder) I’d be willing to comply if you can offer me my own private office.
changing one’s mind/terms slightly in order to find a resolution (transar, transigir) We are willing to compromise on this issue because it means so much to you.
a thing that is granted or accepted (concesión) I think we can offer all of these concessions, but not all at once.
conflict resolution
general term for negotiations (resolución de conflictos) It is impossible to engage in conflict resolution when one of the parties refuses to listen.
present an issue to someone directly (afrontar, enfrentar) I confronted my boss about being undervalued, and we’re going to talk about things on Monday.
agreement by all (consenso) It would be great if we could come to a consensus by 5:00 P.M.
the working together (cooperación) I have appreciated your cooperation throughout these negotiations.
counter proposal
the offer/request which is presented second in response to the first proposal (contraoferta, contrapropuesta) In their counter proposal they suggested that we keep their company name rather than creating a new one.
present other side of an issue (contraataque) Before we could start our counterattack they suggested we sign a contract.
person on the other side of the negotiations (homólogo) I tried to close the discussions at noon, but my counterpart would not stop talking.
politely (cortésmente, cordialmente) In the past I have had little respect for that client, but today she spoke cordially and listened to my point of view.
needs/expectations that one side believes it deserves (exigencias) They had some last minute demands that were entirely unrealistic.
point where neither party will give in (punto muerto) When the discussions came to a deadlock we wrote up a letter of intent to continue the negotiations next week.
argument/conflict (disputa, conflicto) I was hoping to avoid discussing last year’s dispute, but Monica is still holding a grudge.
have the most control/stronger presence (dominar) Max has such a loud voice, he tends to dominate the conversations.
be deserving of (tener derecho a..) My contract says that I am entitled to full benefits after six months of employment.
open/willing to change (flexible) We have always been flexible in terms of your working hours.
get down to brass tacks
to get to the point or the details of a negotiation (ir al grano, ir al punto) Americans like to get down to brass tacks as quickly as possible.
arguing back and forth (often about prices) (regatear) We’ve been haggling over this issue for too long now.
long-term anger towards another (hostilidad) I want you to know that we don’t have any hostility towards your company despite last year’s mixup.
make a request that is much higher than you expect to receive (oferta o demanda más alta que las expectativas) I’m planning to high-ball my expectations when I open the discussion.
quick decision without thought or time (impulso, decisión sin pensar) I acted on impulse when I signed that six-month contract. Maybe that was bad.
has difficulty choosing/making a decision (indeciso) They were so indecisive we finally asked them to take a break and come back next week.
(bargaining power) something that gives one party a greater chance at succeeding over another (palanca) We have a little bit of leverage because we are the only stationary company in town.
trading one favour for another (intercambiar favores) After a bit of log-rolling we came to an agreement that pleased both of us.
offer something much lower than you think the opponent will ask for (oferta o demanda más baja que las expectativas) I was expecting my boss to low-ball in the initial offer, but he proposed a fair salary increase.
convince by altering or not telling the whole truth about something (inducir por error, engañar) They misled us into thinking that everything could be resolved today.
agreed by both or all (mutuo) The decision to call off the merger was mutual.
goal for the outcome (objetivo) My prime objective is to have my family members added to my benefits plan.
point of view
person’s ideas/ thoughts (punto de vista) From my point of view it makes more sense to wait another six months.
work hard to convince another of an idea (presión) He pressured me to accept the terms by using intimidation tactics.
argument to present (propuesta) While I listened to their proposal I noted each of their objectives.
open to/interested in an idea (receptivo) His positive body language demonstrated that he was receptive to our suggestions.
anger held onto from a previous conflict (resentimiento, rencor) Mary’s resentment stems from our not choosing her to head the project.
a display of opposition (resistencia) We didn’t expect so much resistance on the final issue.
end conflict, come to an agreement (resolver, aclarar) Before you can resolve your differences you’ll both need to calm down.
strategies used to get one’s goals met (táctica) There are certain tactics that all skillful negotiators employ.
feeling of stress/anxiety caused by heavy conflict (tensión, tirantez) There was a lot of tension in the room when George threatened to quit.
terms that are offered in return for something else (solución de compromiso) Lower payments over a longer period of time sounded like a fair trade-off until we asked about interest charges.
throw off
To throw or throw off, to distract (distraer) George was breathing fire and it really was starting to throw me off my game plan.
a final term that has serious consequences if not met (ultimátum) His ultimatum was that if I didn’t agree to give him the raise he asked for, he’d quit today without two week’s notice.
very unlikely to happen (poco realista) It’s unrealistic to think that we will have all of our demands met.
a win (victoria) We considered it a victory because they agreed to four of our five terms.
to give in to another’s requests (cedar) The client will only yield to our conditions, if we agree to work over Easter weekend.

Sometimes negotiation can be an arm-wrestling match. Careful, the bigger side usually wins.

Thanks to EnglishClub.com for their initial resource. Modifications and adaptations to Colombia made by BBE.

Start your practice negotiating in English with Bogota Business English!

¿Por qué aprendes inglés? 6 motivos para aprender

…Why Learn English? 6 Reasons to Learn

Hay varios motivos para aprender inglés.  Hablaremos de algunos a continuación  pero lo más importante es…

Motivo 1 Quieres aprender inglés.

Aprendemos algo porque lo deseamos

Dice en inglés Aprendemos algo porque lo deseamos

Si no tienes ganas de aprender inglés, ¡es muy complicado aprender el idioma!  Si el inglés es un requisito de trabajo pero no deseas aprenderlo, no vas a entender.  Necesitamos el deseo de aprender.  Si no lo tenemos, no aprendemos bien. Es como cuando vemos temas en el colegio o la universidad y no recordamos bien esos temas porque el estudio era forzado, es decir no era deseado.  Para muchos, el inglés era un requisito para matricularse o para obtener buenas notas pero no lo deseaban estudiar en ese momento.  Y al final cuanto aprenden? Poco o nada.

Entonces es importante que todos siempre tengamos este motivo principal… que deseemos aprender inglés.  Es excelente sí es así y te felicito, ya estas listo para estudiar inglés.  El estudio del  inglés es invertir en uno de los activos más importantes que tenemos, mejor dicho nosotros mismos.  El inglés es una herramienta invaluable para el negocio, la vida y pues nuestro futuro.

Motivo 2 Inglés es para negocios internacionales.

El inglés es y seguirá siendo el idioma común de negocios internacionales.  A pesar del desarrollo de poderes regionales y la potencia de China, el inglés es el idioma de los mercados financieros más grandes en el mundo y es el idioma del comprador más grande en el mundo, Estados Unidos.  En este momento Colombia desarrolla su capacidad importadora y exportadora a nivel mundial lo cual incluye tratados de libre comercio. Pronto Colombia tendrá la capacidad de comerciar sin aranceles con decenas de paises que hablan inglés lo que implica un cambio drástico en la necesidad de inglés.

Obama y Santos para TLC

Obama y Santos saben que los TLC vienen a Colombia!

¿Sabias? Colombia tiene o está realizando más que 15 tratados de libre comercio con socios comerciales tales como la Unión Europea (27 paises incluyendo Francia, Alemania y los países eslavos) , USA (se incluyen los estados de California y Nueva York los cuales tienen un PIB más grande que la mayoria de países en el mundo), Canadá, los países Caribeños (Belice, Jamaica y el resto de las colonias antiguas de Inglaterra y Holanda), los paises libres de Europa (incluyendo Suiza y Noruega el cual es rico con ingresos petroleros), Corea del Sur, Japon, Turquía, Jordania, entre otros.   Los negocios con estos países se realizan en inglés.

Motivo 3 Se utiliza inglés en las publicaciones científicas importantes.

El inglés se habla en la mayoría de negocios internacionales pero igual es utilizado en las ciencias.  Si quieres acceder a la comunidad científica más grande, necesitas saber inglés. A continuación hay algunos ejemplos.

Una de las publicaciones mas importantes de medicina,  el New England Journal of Medecine, está escrito en inglés.

El informe sobre la partícula más rápida que la luz ya está disponible en varios idiomas pero el anuncio inicial y el correspondiente informe era en inglés.

Uno de los mejores recursos de pensamiento empresarial, el Harvard Business Review, no publica sus estudios de caso en español.

El software está desarrollado en inglés y la mayoría de los recursos vanguardistas para programación y tecnología está escrita en inglés.

Los proyectos grandes y de las multinacionales de ingeniería son realizados en inglés.

Las clases de las universidades más superiores en el mundo tales como Yale, Princeton y Oxford no se enseñan en otros idiomas. Necesitas saber inglés para aprender ahí. (Y para estudiar ahi, necesitas buenos resultados en los exámenes TOEFL o IELTS, averigua más aqui sobre IELTS Y TOEFL!)

Motivo 4 El inglés aparece en las normas internacionales.

Los estándares internacionales están escritos en inglés. Los comités de normas a nivel mundial se ubican en Nueva York, Londres, Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea donde hablan inglés. Algunos ejemplos están a continuación.

Colombia se une los estándares internacionales de contabilidad (IFRS por sus siglas en inglés) los cuales definen las cuentas en inglés.  El inglés será muy importante para los contadores.

En arquitectura, las normas de construcción sustentable tales como la certificación LEED están escritas en inglés.

Los estándares de eficiencia como los de ISO están escritos en inglés.

Para competir con el resto del mundo, es necesario aprender inglés.

Motivo 5 El inglés para viajar.

Bien sea que vayas a Europa, Reino Unido, Estados Unidos, India o Asia, algún manejo de inglés va a enriquecer la experiencia y permitirte disfrutarla más. Es posible visitar EEUU sin hablar inglés pero te perderías la belleza y la experiencia verdadera de conocer el país. Para conocer un lugar y su cultura, hay que conocer la gente y eso solo será posible cuando hablas inglés.

Motivo 6 Mejorar tu español.

Parece raro pero cuando aprendes un segundo idioma, mejoras tu manejo de la lengua materna y la precisión de expresar ideas.  El estudio de idiomas revela que la misma idea se expresa con distintas imágenes y metáforas.  Aprenderás más de tu idioma nativo con el repaso de tiempos verbales, preposiciones, vocabulario y otras partes del discurso que usas diariamente sin pensar.

Se dice que los mejores escritores y poetas eran poliglotas: Gabriel Garcia MarquezJorge Luis Borges, Pablo NerudaOctavio Paz, entre otros.

¿Por qué aprendes el inglés? Dínos en facebook o twitter.

¿Quieres aprender inglés hoy? Contacta a Bogota Business English.

Oh What a Beautiful Morning, inspiración para empezar la semana

Este miércoles discutimos música en el club de conversación, de las 6 hasta las 8 en Authors Bookstore, calle 70, no 5 23.  Infórmate aquí. Vamos a escuchar una canción esta mañana para inspirarnos.

Attitude is Everything

The image says everything.

Se dice que la actitud es todo. Attitude is everything. Hoy es el inicio de la semana y debemos aprovecharlo. Sacamos el jugo de el dia de hoy.

Si piensas el dia es bueno, pues el dia es bueno.  Vamos a hacer un experimentado. Escucha esta canción con letra y piensa “it is a beautiful day, everything is going my way”  …la explicación está a continuación.

FYI : La canción viene de las obras musicales de Rodgers and Hammerstein.  Son muy interesantes a ver y escuchar. Youtube tiene bastante otras obras de ellos.

There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow

There’s a bright golden haze on  the meadow

The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye

And it looks like its climbing clear up to the sky

Oh, what a beautiful morning

Oh, what a beautiful day

I got a beautiful feeling

That everything’s going my way

Oh, the sounds of the earth are like music

Oh, the sounds of the earth are like music

The breeze is so busy it doesn’t miss a tree

And the weeping willow is laughing at me

Oh what a beautiful morning

Oh what a beautiful day

I got a beautiful feeling

That everything’s going my way.

Oh what a beautiful day.

Haze – a reduced visibility in the air as a result of condensed water vapor, dust, etc, sometimes shimmers due to reflecting light from particles [bruma, calima]

Everything is going my way – Life is going well for me, my life is lucky/blessed [me pasa bien, he tenido suerte en alguna esfuerza, he sido bendecido]

Weeping willow – a willow tree whose branches droop or bend toward the ground [un árbol como sauce llorón]

It’s a beautiful day to start English classes.  Personalized english classes from Bogota Business English are waiting for you, just a click away!

Qué significa work on? Job o Work?

…What does “work on” really mean? What about “job” versus “work?”

Hay una diferencia entre el verbo work y el verbo work on. También usamos job y work para distintas aplicaciones de la palabra trabajo. Sabías?

Hemos comentado con el sustantivo Fellow sobre el problema de aprender lenguaje de diccionarios o traductores.  No podemos llegar al uso común o nativo de las palabras.  Por eso recomendamos clases personalizadas con los excelentes profesores de Bogota Business English.

Bueno, miramos los significados, viniendo de FreeDictionary y ordenados por el uso más común. Hemos incluido algunos ejemplos del uso común:

Mr Cyan needs to work on his listening skills!

Mr Cyan needs to work on his listening skills!

Work on –  1) to exert effort in order to do, make, or perform something (trabajar en, realizar),

Jared from Subway works on losing weight by eating a sub sandwich.

2) to shape, form, or improve a material  (hacer, mejorar, realizar)

Judy works on her report.

3) to persuade or influence or attempt to persuade or influence (influir, persuadir)

The protestors worked on the media{s sympathy in order to get changes to the Transmilenio system.

Work (verb) – 1) To make, achieve, or pay for by work or effort (trabajar, hacer, lograr) 

Most people work to earn a living.

2) To cause to operate or function; actuate, use, or manage  (operar, usar, manejar)

I worked the door until it opened.
I worked the team to finish the project.

The men are at work.

The men are at work.

Work (noun) – 1) Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something (trabajo)

To shine shoes is work.

2) One’s place of employment (trabajo, lugar de empleo)

At my work we have a coffee machine.

3) A job; employment (trabajo, empleo)

In Colombia there are many people without work.

4) The part of a day devoted to an occupation or undertaking (jornada, trabajo)

During work, I don’t check facebook.

5) Something that has been produced or accomplished through the effort, activity, or agency of a person or thing (obra)

Van Gogh has many famous works.
The engineering works were completed by the Wood Group.


Your English is a work in progress.

Your English is a work in progress.

Job –  1) A regular activity performed in exchange for payment, especially as one’s trade, occupation, or profession. (trabajo, empleo)

I got a job to pay my rent.
My job is great! I really love what I do.
The best job in the world is working for Bogota Business English.

2) A specified duty or responsibility (tarea, trabajo)

What jobs are you working on right now?
I have a few jobs at the moment including the project for the English client.

Mira algunos videos sobre jobs, work, y working on escuchar inglés!

Work on your English with Bogota Business English personalized programs!


Sleeping at Work, Dormir en el trabajo

Asleep at work or just boxes?

Sleeping at Work, view 1. (HT The Clearly Dope)

Definitely asleep!

Sleeping at work, view 2. (HT The Clearly Dope)









It’s Friday.  Maybe we were out late celebrating International Women’s Day.  Maybe it is just a rough morning.  Maybe you are asking “How can I catch a few zzz’s?”  We have the box method above.  Also, check out this funny video on ways to sleep at work.

Not enough time in the day to sleep and travel blocks and kilometers to class? Take a personalized class that comes to your home or office.  Contact Bogota Business English.


To sleep = the state of unconciousness that recharges the body, usually at night. [dormir]

To be asleep = a descriptive but passive way of describing someone/something sleeping. [estar dormido]

To catch zzz’s = to sleep

To catch some shuteye = to sleep

To nod off = to go to sleep [empezar a dormir]

A Rough Morning = a difficult morning [una mañana dura]

To be out late = to be having fun or party to a late hour [salir hasta la madrugada]

To stay up late = to not go to sleep until a late hour [no acostarse hasta la madrugada]

To not sleep well = to have difficulty with the right amount or the right quality of sleep [no dormir bien]

A good night’s rest = sleeping well for the right amount or right quality of sleep [una noche de dormir bien]


NOTE: Bogota Business English does not endorse sleeping at work!! We recommend you get a good night’s rest and a full breakfast in order to be as productive as possible. 🙂

Bogota Business English has well-rested, passionate andfun teachers that keep students active and interested in learning.  Don’t fall asleep in another class again! Contact Bogota Business English.

JFK My Fellow Citizens

JFK Visits Bogota

JFK Visits Bogota

It’s Monday.  Let’s get inspired!

Politicians, as much as they lie, cheat and steal, often have some pretty inspiring speeches.  Here one of America’s (and Bogota’s) favorite US Presidents calls us Americans and citizens of the world to do good, and be the change in their lives they wish to see in others.

Below is the video with text and vocabulary. Enjoy!

President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address, January 20th 1961.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.
Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah — to “undo the heavy burdens … and to let the oppressed go free.”
And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavour, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.
All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our cause. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.
Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” — a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.
Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility — I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavour will light our country and all who serve it — and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.

wonders – great, amazing things [maravillas]

tap – (in this case) open up/reach into for the purpose of using the resources [aprovechar/explotar]

heed – to give attention to something [prestar atención]

beachhead – landing spot or a place to begin [cabeza de puente / cabeza de playa]

grave – a place of interment / a place to bury the dead [tumba] 

summons – a formal call to action [llamada formal para hacer algo]

bear – 1. carry [llevar] 2. endure [aguantar]

arms – 1. weapons [armas] 2. limbs that start at the shoulder and end with the hand [brazos]

tyranny – dictatorship or harsh oppression [tiranía]

fellow – see our previous post

endeavour – an attempt or strenuous effort [esfuerzo]

reward – a prize or earnings for work done [recompensa]

Wow that speech was inspiring!  If you feel inspired to improve your English, don’t hesitate to contact Bogota Business English.

Qué es un Fellow?

My Fellow Earthicans - Futurama - Richard NixonQué es un “fellow”?  Usamos la palabra en inglés con mucha frecuencia en situaciones formales, en educación y en las peliculas del siglo 1800.  Explicamos a continuación.

Qué dice Google translator? Pues, demasiado y no suficiente.

Puchicas! La traducción es complicada.  Necesitamos definir la palabra en inglés.  Podemos leer un diccionario pero igual, los diccionarios son demasiados especificos.  Mira lo que salió en dictionary.com. Es demasiado largo y complicado además no nos dice los usos más comunes.
1. a man or boy: a fine old fellow; a nice little fellow.
2. Informal . beau; suitor: Mary had her fellow over to meet herfolks.
3. Informal . person; one: They don’t treat a fellow very wellhere.
4. a person of small worth or no esteem.
5.a companion; comrade; associate: They have been fellowssince childhood.
6. a person belonging to the same rank or class; equal; peer:The doctor conferred with his fellows.
7. one of a pair; mate; match: a shoe without its fellow.
8. Education.
a. a graduate student of a university or college to whoman allowance is granted for special study.
b. British . an incorporated member of a college, entitled tocertain privileges.
c. a member of the corporation or board of trustees of certain universities or colleges.
9. a member of any of certain learned societies: a fellow of the British Academy.
10. Obsolete . a partner.
Como un nativo de EEUU, puedo decir que hay tres significados de “fellow” debería notar:
  • Alguién del mismo grupo social como el sujeto o hablador de una oración.
    • My fellow Bogotanos, do you agree the traffic is bad?
  • Alguién recibiendo una beca para estudiar en detalle algo, usualmente por una universidad pero a veces por un programa especial de gobierno
    • Many Fulbright Fellows are studying in Colombia.
  • Jerga para un chico/tipo que estaba usado en los otros siglos. A veces todavia escuchamos la versión corrupta de la palabra como “fella” en inglés informal
    • Look at that fella, he sure is tall!
Ahora puedes decir a tus compañeros de clase…
Fellow classmates, English is great!
‘FELLOW’ …Uso formal (con Richard Nixon)
‘FELLA’ …Uso informal (con Jack Nicholson!)

Por Qué Inglés es Tan Complicado?

…or Why is English so Complicated?

Si necesitas clases de ingles, contacta Bogota Business English hoy para un programa personalizado de aprender inglés.

USA es una mezcla de gente

A melting pot or mix

They call the USA a melting pot country because to many diferent nationalities, ethnicities and types of people live there.

The same can be said for the English language.  Take ten minutes to listen to this great youtube series on the English language’s origin.  English has bits or small parts of German, Scandinavian, French, Church Latin, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic in its common structure and vocabulary.  These days American English is also including many Spanish words (pronounced Gringo-style).

There is a great youtube video series out there on this origin.  We’ll start with part 1 of 10.  The narrator or speaker has a very fast pronunciation so we’re reproducing the sections each week with text.

The History of English in 10 minutes

Chapter 1 Anglo Saxon, or whatever happened to the Jutes

The English language begins with the phrase “Up yours Ceasar!” as the Romans leave Britain and a lot of Germanic tribes start flooding in.

Tribes such as the Angles and Saxons,  who together give us the term “anglo-saxon” and the Jutes, who didn’t.

The Romans left some very straight roads behind but not much of their language.  The Anglo-saxon vocab was much more useful as it was mainly words for simple, everyday things such as house, woman, cliff and werewolf.

Four of our days of the week were named for the Anglo saxon gods. They didn’t bother with Saturday, Sunday, and Monday as they had all gone off for a long weekend.

While they were away, Christian missionaries stole in bringing with them leaflets about jumble sales, all in latin.

Christianity was a hit with the locals and made them much happier to take on funky new words from latin like martyr, bishop and font.

Along came the Vikings with their action-man words drag, ransack, thrust and die.  They may have raped and pillaged but they were also into give and take. 2 of around 2000 words they gave english, as well as the phrase: “Watch out for that man with the enormous axe.”

Whew! Good job! Check back next week for part 2. Or follow us on Facebook and receive updates on this blog and others. Click here.

If English is still very dificult for you or you need to improve your pronunciation or conversation skills, why don’t you contact Bogota Business English for personalized classes.

At y to, las preposiciones en ingles parte 2

…English Prepositions: 

At and to, part 2

Too often I hear errors with at and to when talking with Bogotanos.  We’re going to  try to help fix these errors with this second post on prepositions at and to. We’ll break it down from the easy to the hard.  We covered the easy here.  Now on to…


Just because English wants to give you nightmares, it is possible sometimes but now always to exchange  for at.

To can be used for some verbs of perception just like at. Sometimes to is the only correct preposition, sometimes to changes the meaning of the phrase and sometimes at and to are interchangabe.  Its okay if you are cursing right now.  But let’s start looking at this:

  • When you are in trouble, look to your parents for help. (When you are in trouble, turn to your parents for help.) MEANING CHANGED
  • She waved to me. (She waved at me.) INTERCHANGABLE
  • He smiled to himself when he guessed the correct answer.  (**Special exception to smile at which we only use for the reflexive case) ONLY TO USED WHEN REFLEXIVE, NOT AT.

To can also be used for some action verbs such as throw and shout.  We use to when we want to emphasize the action connects to the recipient. In effect, we’re changing the meaning of the verb with the preposition.

  • Don’t throw food to the animals. (Do not throw food so that the animals get it) MEANING CHANGED
  • Could you shout to James and tell him we are leaving? (Please shout at James, but so that he hears you) MEANING CHANGED

At this point we have to acknowledge that the verb+AT or verb+TO combination when not following our EASY and MEDIUM DIFFICULTY rules. must be memorized because a single rule no longer applies.  We’re referring to meaning changes and special exceptions.  To help you with your memorization, here is a list of special cases we use to:

adapt to

add to

adjust to

admit to

agree to

belong to

cater to

confess to

consent to

contribute to

drink to

happen to

listen to

look forward to

nod to

object to

react to

reply to

respond to

subscribe to

toast to

talk to

turn to

Did you find this lesson difficult? Need to practice your verb+prepositions with an experienced teacher? Check out Bogota Business English and their personalized programs.