El Blog de las academias Innova English School

Famous British Inventions

Britain is a nation of inventors, from the worlwide web to the electric vacuum cleaner. Here is a rundown of the most influential innovations:

Light bulb was invented in 1880

LIGHT BULB (invented by Joseph Swan in 1880)

Cheap and reliable electric lighting was a holy grail for 19th-century inventors. But didn’t Thomas Edison get there first? No! He was beaten by to it by Britain’s very own Joseph Swan. Swan got his patent – and started manufacturing and selling his bulbs – in 1880. The first bulbs lasted little more than 12 hours but, unlike gas lamps, there was no flame or dirty smoke and they soon caught on.

CHOCOLATE BAR (invented by JS Fry & Sons in 1847)

The first chocolate bar was created by JS Fry & Sons of Bristol in 1847. It was sold to the public as chocolate delicieux a manger – delicious to eat – because, until this point, chocolate had been exclusively consumed as a drink. Fry’s mixed cocoa powder with sugar and cocoa butter, making a product which stays solid at room temperature but melts in the mouth… yum!

WORLDWIDE WEB (invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989)

Not to be confused with the internet, which is a system of linked computer networks, the worldwide web was invented by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. He created the first server in late 1990 and, on 6 August 1991, the web went live, with the first page explaining how to search and how to set up a site. Berners-Lee gave his invention to the world for free.

Tim Berners-Lee

SODA WATER (invented by Joseph Priestley in 1772)

18th century clergyman and scientist Priestley invented carbonated water when he suspended a bowl of water above a beer vat at a brewery near his home in Leeds. In 1772 he published a description of how to make carbonated water and just a few years later Johann Schweppe set up Schweppes and began manufacturing fizzy drinks using Priestley’s method.

TELEPHONE (invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876)

Alexander Graham Bell patented his telephone model just hours before a rival inventor. The telephone came about thanks to a discovery that a thin metal sheet vibrating in an electromagnetic field produces an electrical waveform that corresponds to the vibration. The invention was first publically demonstrated in 1876 at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.

Graham Bell

Graham Bell

TELEVISION (invented by John Logie Baird by 1925)

  It’s hard to credit just one person with the invention of television, but it’s indisputable that John     Logie Baird was the first to transmit moving pictures in October 1925. But his mechanical system ultimately failed – with a rival being developed at the same time able to produce a visibly superior picture. Baird, it was said at the time, was “doomed to be the man who sows the seed but does not reap the harvest”.



TOOTHBRUSH (invented by William Addis by 1770)

William Addis was a rag trader who was sent to prison in 1770. While there, he decided that the way people were brushing their teeth (rubbing soot and salt over them with a rag), could be improved. He saved a small animal bone from a meal, made a hole and tied some bristles through it. After his release, Addis set up a business to mass-produce toothbrushes. His company, Wisdom Toothbrushes, still exists.

CEMENT (invented by Joseph Aspdin by 1824)

In 1824, Leeds bricklayer Joseph Aspdin invented and patented a method of making what he called Portland Cement – the type that’s most widely used today. The process involved burning limestone, mixing it with clay and burning it again; the burning produced a much stronger cement than just mixing limestone and clay. Aspdin called it “Portland” as he claimed the set mortar resembled the best limestone quarried from Portland in Dorset.

PHOTOGRAPHY (invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1835)

It’s hard to say who was the inventor of photography – the first fixed image was made by Joseph Niépce in 1826 but took eight hours to expose. In 1835, Fox Talbot (right) made another breakthrough by using silver iodide on paper and found a way to produce a translucent negative that could be used to make any number of positives by contact printing – a system used until the advent of digital cameras.

ATM (invented by John Sheperd-Barron in 1967)

John Shepherd-Barron first hit on the idea of a cash dispenser in the bath and secured a meeting with Barclays who signed up, installing the first ATM outside their Enfield branch in 1967. It gave out a maximum of £10 after customers inserted special cheques that the machine could recognise alongside a four-digit PIN number that’s still in use today.

John Sheperd-Barron invented it in 1967

ELECTRIC VACUUM CLEANER (invented by Hubert Cecil Booth in 1901)

Hubert Cecil Booth was watching a railway carriage being cleaned by a machine that blew the dust away when he had the idea for a machine that sucked the dust up instead. To test his theory, he placed a handkerchief on a chair and sucked through it, finding that dust collected on either side. He set up a cleaning service using hoses from vans on the street going through the windows of buildings. 

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!

Professions and Suffixes: -or, -er, ist, -anic, -ie, – ess

Professions or occupations in English may be written with distinct suffixes. There are some of them which present no suffixes at all. Let’s take a look:


Actor, Orator,Administrator, Advisor, Conductor, Translator, Legislator, Sculptor, Pastor, Author, Doctor, Senator, Governor


Adviser, Carpenter, Retailer, Teacher, Photographer, Gardener, Landscaper, Drummer, Lawyer, Writer, Banker, Baker, Engineer, Financier, Dancer, Choreographer, Lecturer, Butler, Stenographer, Singer, Composer‎


Typist, Florist, Horticulturist, Linguist, Manicurist, Archeologist, Artist, Pianist‎, Biologist, Chemist, Cyclist, Dentist, Journalist, Machinist, Nutritionist, Pharmacist, Therapist, Scientist, Specialist


Librarian, Theologian, Technician‎, Politician, Mortician, Magician, Electrician, Mathematician, Musician






Actress, Stewardess, Hostess, Waitress

No suffix at all:

Nurse, Guide, Attorney, Agent, Cook, Chef, Priest, Nun, Athlete ‎

FATHER’S DAY – AT/ON/IN Prepositions of time.


This photo from:

On March 19th it’s going to be Father’s Day in Spain (Portugal, Andorra, Belgium, Mozambique, Bolivia, Honduras, Croatia, Italy and Liechtenstein). But this date is not the same around the world!

Apparently in India and Denmark (among others) it’s celebrated in June, in Russia it’s in February, in Australia in September and so on…

Anyhow, no matter at what time of the year it’s celebrated: HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all those dads in the planet who love their sons, daughters and families!

Here’s some history:

And here’s a graphic for the use of prepositions AT-ON-IN:


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:

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:

Sentence of the week

❝If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.❞
‒Nelson Mandela
Siempre hay esos días en los que estudiando un idioma extranjero tan de moda como el japonés o el chino este se te atora y piensas: ¿Por qué me estoy rompiendo la cabeza aprendiendo un idioma tan complicado como este si me pueden entender en inglés?
Como muy sabiamente dijo Nelson Mandela, cuando hablas a alguien en su propio idioma, le llega al corazón. Y para qué quiere uno saber idiomas si no para poder comunicarse, crear nuevos vínculos y poder medrar como persona. El trabajo viene y va pero los amigos que hagas sabiendo otros idiomas, si dios quiere, serán para toda la vida. Los idiomas pueden ser complicados en ocasiones, pero no os deis por vencidos; la recompensa merece la pena.