El Blog de las academias Innova English School

“John and I” or “John and me”?

John and ‘I’ or John and ‘me’?


Should I use ‘I’ or ‘me’? This is a question many people ask when they have to include themselves into a sentence. Well here’s a trick:

According to Oxford Dictionaries, you should use ‘I’ when the pronoun is the subject of a verb:


‘John, Mary and I are going to have a coffee.’ (NOT: John, Mary and me are going to the cinema)


But use ‘me’ when the pronoun is the object of a verb:


‘After the cinema, Mary followed John and me home.’ (NOT: Mary followed John and I home.)


In other words, generally speaking, use I when it is BEFORE a verb and me when it is AFTER a verb.


To see more sentence examples with other pronouns or try some exercises, visit

Bizarre is confused

For those of you who are not so well versed in the comic world…

There is a villain known as Bizarre (since the original is in English).

Say hi, Bizarre!


However, here comes the problem. He received this extravagant name because he’s supposed to be the bizarre opposite of Superman and dictionaries agree, as we can see: markedly  unusual   in   appearance,   style,   or   general   character   and   often  involving   incongruous   or   unexpected   elements;   outrageously   or  whimsically   strange;   odd.
Even in French, Bizarre is more or less happy with his name, since he is still weird and odd (not as much as in English, though).
And then, we have Bizarro in Spanish, where he suddenly becomes brave and splendid, and consequently, confused…
Bizarro has become one of those words, like eventualmente, that ends up being mistranslated into Spanish. It’s not so weird to hear these sorts of things:
¡Qué película tan bizarra! Qué situación más bizarra!
 And of course, Bizarre gets confused…
According to the RAE bizarro has the following entry:

(De it. bizzarro, iracundo).


1. adj. valiente (‖ esforzado).

2. adj. Generoso, lucido, espléndido.

So, imagine how bizarre it is for a situation or a movie to suddenly become brave :)


Be careful. Next time you misuse it, Bizarre will come back for you! (either bravely or weirdly)

St. Patrick’s shamrock

It’s going to be St Patrick’s Day on March 17th…and I think (unless you’re Irish) here’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves sometime: What the heck is the difference between a CLOVER and a SHAMROCK? Well, even botanists have struggled to agree on what defines a shamrock and one thing is clear: while all shamrocks are clovers, not all clovers are shamrocks.

Check this out:

Comparatives and Superlatives: A review about smarphones

First Certificate Exams (Writing and Speaking Parts) are all about expressing your opinion. So I’ve asked my students to use comparatives and superlatives to write a review about smartphones.

After rounds of debates, here’s what our student, Adrián Fernández had chosen. He made a powerpoint too! We have converted it into images. Check it out:

5 Essential English Idioms for Sounding Like a Native Part I

So you’re in an American bar.

It’s loud, but you can make out what people are saying.

You hear a fellow drinker talking about hitting books…

…another is talking about twisting someone’s arm…

…and it sounds like someone’s been stabbed in the back.

What the heck is going on?

You scratch your head and wonder why you’re still lost even though you can translate the words.

Well, you’ve just had your first introduction to English idioms.



English idioms are a group of words which have a meaning which isn’t obvious from looking at the individual words.

They have developed over time and so they might seem random to you. English idioms often rely on analogies and metaphors.

Because they’re used so often in everyday English, if you don’t know them, it’s almost impossible to understand the context.


1. (To) Hit the books

Literally, hit the books means to physically hit, punch or slap your reading books. However, this is a common English idiom among students, especially American college students who have a lot of studying to do. It simply means “to study,” and is a way of telling your friends that you’re going to study. It could be for a final exam, a mid-term test or even an English exam.

 “Sorry but I can’t watch the game with you tonight, I have to hit the books. I have a huge exam next week!”

2. (To) Hit the sack

Just like the first idiom, the literal meaning of this would be physically hitting or beating a sack (a large bag usually used for carrying things in bulk such as flour, rice or even soil). But actually to hit the sack means to go to bed, and you’d use this to tell your friends or family that you’re really tired, so you’re going to sleep. Instead of saying hit the sack you can also say hit the hay.

“It’s time for me to hit the sack, I’m so tired.”

3. (To) Twist someone’s arm

To twist someone’s arm literally means to take a person’s arm and turn it around, which could be really painful if you take it exactly word for word. If your arm has been twisted it means that someone has done a great job of convincing you to do something you might not have wanted to to do.

And if you manage to twist someone else’s arm it means that you’re great at convincing them, and they’ve finally agreed to do something after you’ve been begging them.

Tom: Jake you should really come to the party tonight!

Jake: You know I can’t, I have to hit the books (study).

Tom: C’mon, you have to come! It’s going to be so much fun and there are going to be lots of girls there. Please come?

Jake: Pretty girls? Oh all right, you’ve twisted my arm, I’ll come!

4. (To be) Up in the air

When we think literally about something up in the air, we have the idea that something’s floating or flying in the sky, perhaps an airplane or a balloon. But really if someone tells you that things are up in the air it means that these things are uncertain or unsure; definite plans have not been made yet.

“Jen have you set a date for the wedding yet?”

“Not exactly, things are still up in the air and we’re not sure if our families can make it on the day we wanted. Hopefully we’ll know soon and we’ll let you know as soon as possible.”

5. (To) Stab someone in the back

If we take this idiom literally we could find ourselves in a whole lot of trouble with the police, as it would mean taking a knife or another sharp object and putting into a person’s back.

However, as an idiom, to stab someone in the back means to hurt someone who was close to us and trusted us by betraying them secretly and breaking their trust. We call the person who does this a back stabber.

“Did you hear that Sarah stabbed Kate in the back last week?”

“No! I thought they were best friends, what did she do?”

“She told their boss that Kate wasn’t interested in a promotion at work and Sarah got it instead.”

“Wow, that’s the ultimate betrayal! No wonder they’re not friends anymore.”








To pull someone’s leg


To pull someone’s leg

I remember a day, as I was a child, eating at home with my family… My dad told my younger (and only) sister something strange and then said: “c’mon, I’m just pulling your leg!”. So what did she do next? Well, she looked under the table because she didn’t feel any pulling. And we all laughed!! And here’s why (in case you don’t know this English idiom):

To pull someone’s leg = to tell someone something that is not true as a way of joking with the person, for example: Stop pulling my leg– you didn’t have lunch with Madonna!

(Definition of pull someone’s leg from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Check out for more:

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The Do’s, the Don’t’s and the Oh God Please Don’t’s of Eating Sushi

Many people love sushi; but, are we eating it the same way as the Japanese? Should I eat the ginger with sushi and mix the wasabi with soya sauce? How about ketchup, can I use ketchup?


Well the purpose of the pink ginger is actually for ‘washing’ your mouth between different kinds of sushi so you can taste the different flavour of fish!


This website has a simple guide (with pictures) to show you the Do’s, the Don’t’s and the Oh God Please Don’t’s of Eating Sushi. Here’s the Link.




FYI, for you information, 60 acrónimos en inglés

La lengua inglesa tiende a economizar escritura mucho más que la castellana, usando diversos métodos como las contracciones (ej.: it’s, we’re, what’s…), los clippings (ej.: exam – ination, math – ematics …) y por supuesto los acrónimos, con los que son capaces de reducir una frase entera a una sola palabra.

A continuación os dejo una pequeña lista con algunos de los más comunes con su significado.

¿Cuáles añadirías?

  1. AFAIK / As Far As I Know – Por lo que yo sé
  2. AFTK / Away From The Keyboard – Lejos del teclado
  3. AKA / Also Known As – También conocido como
  4. AIUI / As I understand it – como yo lo entiendo
  5. OTA / All Of The Above – Para todo lo anterior
  6. ASAP / As Soon As Possible – Tan pronto como sea posible
  7. BBL / Be Back Later – Vuelvo más tarde
  8. B&B / Bed and breakfast – pensión con desayuno
  9. BRB / Be Right Back – Vuelvo ahora mismo
  10. BTW / By The Way – Por cierto
  11. COB / Close Of Business – Al final del día de trabajo
  12. CU / See You – Nos vemos
  13. CYL / See You Later – Nos vemos luego
  14. CUZ / Because – Porque
  15. DIY / Do It Yourself – Hazlo tu mismo
  16. F2F / Face to Face – Cara a cara
  17. FYI / For Your Information – Para tu información
  18. GJ / Good Job – Buen trabajo
  19. GA / Go Ahead – Seguir adelante
  20. HAGD / Have A Good Day – Que tengas un buen día
  21. IAC / In Any Case – En todo caso
  22. ID / Identification – identificación
  23. IDK / I Don’t Know – No lo sé
  24. IIRC / If I recall correctly – si mal no recuerdo
  25. IMHO / In My Humble/Honest Opinion – En my humilde/honesta opinión
  26. IMO / In My Opinion – En mi opinión
  27. JIT / Just in time – justo a tiempo
  28. JK / Just Kidding – Sólo bromeaba
  29. JTC / Just To Confirm – Sólo para confirmarlo
  30. JTLYK / Just To Let You Know – Sólo para que lo sepas
  31. K THX BYE / Okay, Thanks, Bye – Vale, gracias, adiós
  32. KIT / Keep In Touch – Estamos en contacto
  33. LMAO / Laughing My Ass Off – Partiéndome el culo de risa
  34. LOL / Laugh Out Loud – Reirse a carcajadas
  35. N1 / Nice One – Buena jugada
  36. NIM / Not In the Mood – No estoy de humor
  37. NP / No Problem – No hay problema, de nada
  38. NW / No Way! – No hay manera posible
  39. OMDB / Over My Dead Body – Por encima de mi cadáver
  40. OMG / Oh My God – ¡Dios mío!
  41. PIC / Picture – Imagen
  42. POV / Point Of View – Punto de vista
  43. ROTF / Rolling On The Floor – Muriéndose de risa
  44. SPST / Same Place Same Time – Mismo sitio misma hora
  45. TBA / To Be Announced – Pendiente de ser anunciado
  46. TBC / To Be Confirmed – Pendiente de ser confirmado
  47. TBD / To Be Defined – Pendiente de ser definido
  48. THX / Thanks – Gracias
  49. TIA / Thanks in Advance – Gracias por adelantado
  50. TMI / Too Much Information – Demasiada información
  51. UFO / Unidentified Flying Object – Objeto volador no identificado
  52. VIP / Very Important Person – Persona muy importante
  53. WAD / Without A Doubt – Sin lugar a dudas
  54. WB / Welcome Back – Bienvenido de nuevo
  55. WDYT / What Do You Think? – ¿Qué piensas tú?
  56. WFM / Works For Me – Para mí está bien así
  57. WTF / What The Fuck? – ¿¡Qué coño!?
  58. XOXO / Hugs and kisses – Besos y abrazos
  59. YOYO / You’re On Your Own – Estas solo en esto
  60. YVW / You’re Very Welcome – De nada (con énfasis)


Ya no hay excusas

Muchas veces, cuando le pregunto a alguien por qué no se anima a aprender inglés escucho cosas como “es que a mi edad… de mayores ya no aprendemos igual” o  “¡Los idiomas se me dan fatal!”.

El vídeo a continuación tira por tierra todas estas teorías y debería animarte animarte a intentarlo ¡sólo hacen falta ganas! Nosotros ponemos el resto.

Además, ahora que viene el otoño y tenemos que cumplir los propósitos que nos hicimos en  verano… ¿cuál es tu excusa? ;)

*Aprovechamos esta entrada para recomendaros TED, a global community dedicada a la difusión de ideas. En su web encontrarás infinidad de talks sobre todos los temas que puedas imaginar (tecnología, entretenimiento, psicología…). Nosotros de vez en cuando publicaremos los mejores.