El Blog de las academias Innova English School

Expressions with Bear, Lion and Monkey

A BEAR OF A  (difficult, unpleasant) problem, dilemma, winter

  • He travelled and left me with a bear of a difficult problem, to pay all his bills.


(a dirty and loud place)

  • It used to be a nice public square, but it became a bear garden.


(a strong and warm hug)

  • He was so glad to see me after so many years that he gave me a bear hug.


(when the stock prices are on the low side)

  • He profited a lot when he bought shares at the bear market.


    (famished, very hungry)

    • He is an athlete and always as hungry as a bear.


    (to be in a bad humour, grumpy)

    • Don’t go to see the boss now, he is like a bear with a sore head.


     (The best part)

    • They were five heirs, but John got the lion’s share.


    (to be quite courageous)

    • He is lion-hearted and volunteered to go to war.


    (an imaginary danger or difficulty)

    • Mary sees a lion in the way, because she is a very pessimistic person.


      (to expose oneself to danger in a reckless manner)

      • Hiding the thief you are putting your head in the lion’s mouth.


       (to leave someone in a vulnerable situation)

      • John knew of the danger, but threw his friend to the lions.


      (to badmouth the UK)

      • Never twist the lion’s tail if you want to be her friend.

        (dodgy or dishonest business)

        • He is not a reliable person, he is always involved in some monkey business.

        (to play pranks on someone)

        School children like to play monkey tricks on their teachers

        MONKEY NUT

        • Don’t forget to buy monkey nuts for the cocktail party.

        (to get angry)

        • He got my monkey up with his silly behavior.

        (to be dependent on illicit drugs)

        • Her youngest son has a monkey on his back.

        (to mock someone)

        • She mimicked his gait and made a monkey of him.

        (to be idle, to horse around, to do nothing, to loiter)

        • He is so lazy, all he does is to monkey around.

El japonés no da tanto miedo / Japanese is not that scary

¡Hola a todos!
Ha pasado bastante tiempo desde la última vez que posteé algo aquí, así que aprovecharé la ocasión para hacer la primera entrada para presentaros al japonés (japonés, ¡di hola!).
Lo primero es la escritura.
Lo que la mayoría de la gente piensa es que la escritura es como la del chino, un montón de complicados dibujitos. Y parcialmente tienen razón. Esto son algunos de los kanji (que son esteticamente como los chinos porque vienen de China)
Bonitos, ¿no? Y como podéis ver no son todos tan complicados…
Lo que no todos saben es que en realidad también tienen dos preciosos silabarios, que son como nuestro alfabeto, pero con sílabas.
Uno es el hiragana, que se utiliza para escribir las palabras japonesas
hiragana (1)
Y el otro es el katakana, que se utiliza para las palabras extranjeras como aisukuriimu (ice cream) o hamubaagaa (hamburguer). Veréis que si las leéis rápido se parecen vagamente al inglés.
Así pues, como podéis ver, uno de los grandes miedos del japonés tampoco es para tanto.
¡Que el japonés sea con vosotros!

Curious Expressions in English

The English language is full of interesting expressions and words. Take a look at the following  examples:

Dressed to the nines

Some think this refers to the 99th Regiment of Foot, whose uniforms were notably splendid, but the expression predates the British army. In Old English, the plural of “eye” was “eyne” and it is believed that “dressed to the nines” was once actually “dressed to the eyne” – in other words, making oneself look as pleasing as possible to the beholder.


It used to be believed that to hear private conversations going on inside a house, you should press yourself against the wall, just under the eaves of the roof. If anyone saw you, you could pretend you were just “dropping in” to visit.


In US cities in the late 19th century, it became customary to refer to out-of-towners as “jays”, after the bird of the same name that was commonly seen in rural areas. When motor vehicles first appeared, city dwellers soon learned caution when crossing the street. Their country cousins were less circumspect, so “jaywalking” came to mean wandering carelessly – and in the USA illegally – through traffic.


This comes from the old word eke, which meant “also”. If a person had an additional name, it was called an “eke name”. Over time, this gradually became a “neke name” and then eventually a nickname.


For many years it was believed that “posh” was an abbreviation for “port out, starboard home” – the preference of wealthy passengers on the voyage to India, as it meant a cooler cabin. This explanation is now discredited in favour of an older word poosh, sometimes spelled “push”, which meant smart and dandified. PG Wodehouse uses it in an early story from Tales of St Austin’s (1903) when a character describes a bright waistcoat as “quite the most push thing at Cambridge”.

Red carpet

Between New York and Chicago, there used to run a luxury train known as the 20th Century Limited. It was first-class only and from 1938, its wealthy passengers could walk the entire length of their departure platform on crimson carpeting. VIPs everywhere soon grew to expect the same treatment.

LIVING IN CANADA: Racoons – love them or hate them!


Here’s how Wikipedia defines them:
The raccoon, colloquially known as coon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The raccoon has a body length of 40 to 70 cm and a body weight of 3.5 to 9 kg. Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates against cold weather. Two of the raccoon’s most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws and its facial mask, which are themes in the mythology of several Native American tribes. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for up to three years. The diet of the omnivorous raccoon, which is usually nocturnal, consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant foods, and 27% vertebrates.
The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas, where some homeowners consider them to be pests. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across the European mainland, the Caucasus region and Japan.
Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behaviour. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares (7 acres) for females in cities to 50 km2 (20 sq mi) for males in prairies. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as “kits”, are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall. Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their average life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many are-as, hunting and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death.

Now, welcome to read more about the urban raccoon:

Are you sitting too much?

This post has been proposed by our teacher Grace Wong.

We all know that sitting too much is bad for you. But how bad exactly?  A backache at the end of the day or something longer and does more damages to your health in the long run? Here’s a funny and easy to follow ‘whiteboard’ video for you to watch from AsapScience.

 I called it a ‘whiteboard’ video because it is the kind of video where they speak and draw at the same time, addling keywords on the board, making it easier for English learners to follow.  

Turns out that even two hours of gym a day doesn’t compensate 6 hours of sitting at your desk! And I doubt most people even go to the gym everyday and 6 hours of sitting is an understatement…

Did you know…? Facts about tea

¿Sabías que…?
Hay 4 tipos principales de té: “blanco”, “oolong”, “verde” y “negro”, pero dependiendo de la influencia cultural estos 4 tipos pueden convertirse en miles de variedades
Es la segunda bebida más consumida en el mundo. Siendo el agua la primera, por supuesto.
Té puede ayudar a disminuir el apetito.
Y además, el té puede luchar contra las caries!

¡No esperes más y prepara una buena taza de té!

Did you know…?
There are 4 main types of tea: white, oolong, green and black.
But depending on the influence of culture, these 4 types can turn into thousands of varieties!
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, the first being water of course.
Tea can help decrease your appetite.
Also, tea can fight cavities!

Don’t wait more, and let’s have a good cup of tea!


Después de la derrota de la selección española ante la selección suiza, todos estábamos expectantes sobre lo que ocurriría en el partido del lunes día 21 de junio ante la selección de Honduras.

Tanto es así, que en una presentación de una marca de vodka realizada por el actor Bruce Willis, una reportera de un conocido programa de la Sexta, no dudó en preguntarle por el partido que se celebraría esa noche.

Bruce Willis, sin dudarlo ni un momento, contestó serio y tajante que la selección española ganaría 2 a 0, tal y como sucedió horas más tarde, ¡Increíble!

Pinchad aquí y veréis las preguntas intrépidas que le realizó la reportera, cómo las contestó y finalmente como predijo la victoria de la selección encabezada por Vicente del Bosque.

Diferencias entre acentos

Una de las grandes dificultades con las que se encuentran la mayoría de las personas con un nivel medio de inglés al viajar es la diferencia de acentos. No es lo mismo el acento de un americano que el acento de un irlandés. Por este motivo, hay personas que entienden, por ejemplo, a un londinense pero se quedan en blanco al hablarles un australiano.

Para que veáis con mayor detalle hasta que punto puede dificultar el entendimiento de un idioma el tener un acento u otro, os dejamos este curioso vídeo.

Y, para que podáis entrenar un poco mejor el oído a los diferentes acentos, os dejamos una página bastante útil. Elegís una palabra y decidís que acento queréis escuchar, os irán repitiendo la misma palabra desde los diferentes países que vayáis eligiendo.

Frases y expresiones coloquiales

Cuando nos enseñan inglés, los profesores siempre tienden a centrarse en la gramática y en el vocabulario mínimo que hay que saber para poder mantener una conversación con alguien, pero… ¿cómo le decimos a alguien que corte el rollo, o que no nos importa ni un pimiento lo que nos está diciendo o, ¡Venga ya! Cuando no nos creemos lo que nos están contando?

A continuación, os dejamos un enlace con muchas expresiones de este tipo…

Nosotros nos hemos quedado con “Goggle box”, ¿queréis saber lo que significa? Pues sólo tenéis que clickear en el siguiente enlace.

Y, para todos aquellos que están pensando en irse a Estados Unidos este verano, os dejamos otro enlace con expresiones coloquiales en inglés americano. Por ejemplo, ¿sabíais que “ace” es lo mismo que “very good”? Entrad en el siguiente enlace y descubriréis muchas más palabras.

¿Qué expresiones os han gustado o sorprendido más? Esperamos vuestros comentarios.

Time Magazine

La revista “Time Magazine” acaba de publicar su lista  anual de “The 100 most influential people in the world”.  En ella hace una clasificación de “Líderes”, “Héroes”, “Artistas” y “Pensadores”.  En este vínculo podéis leer un artículo de la revista en inglés sobre esta lista y además podéis ver a la derecha quiénes son los seleccionados y una pequeña biografía de cada uno por si no sabéis quienes son. Os llamará la atención, como a nosotros la mínima presencia de apellidos hispanos que en ella hay…Pero bueno, nos sirve para practicar la lectura en inglés.