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Friday the 29th of October, 2004
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2004

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Good morning everybody. Once again, it's almost Halloween (October the 31st). So, Happy Halloween!

The word Halloween comes from hallowed and evening (hallowed means sacred). Halloween is sometimes referred to as All Saint's Eve because it occurs before All Saint's Day (November the 1st), when many countries celebrate and honour their dead.

A. TODAY'S HALLOWEEN EXPRESSIONS

1) To dress up

Meaning: to wear a costume (disfrazarse).

Example 1:
On Holloween I am going to dress up like a witch (bruja).

1) Haunted

Meaning: inhabited by ghosts or spirits.

Example 2:
In the Amenabar film 'The Others,' the house was haunted by a family.

B. THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN

Halloween (also spelled Hallowe'en, especially in UK English) is generally considered to be a typical 'U.S. Holiday.' However, its origins are European.

There is lots of disagreement as to the exact origin of Halloween, but most believe that the modern celebration of Halloween is a VERY distant descendant of the ancient Celtic fire festival called Samhain (pronounced 'sow-in'). It was the biggest and most significant holiday of the Celtic year. The Celts (pronounced 'Kelts') lived more than 2,000 years ago in what is now Great Britain, Ireland, and France. Their new year began on November 1.

Here is a website that you can visit for more information about the history of Halloween:

1) The history of Halloween (in Spanish)

For more websites, simply type 'Halloween' in the Google Search Engine and you will get millions of options.

Have an excellent long weekend and a scary Halloween,


Thursday the 28th of October, 2004
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NEWS

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Good morning. Today's word is: news It means: information about something that has happened recently. News can be personal or general. It is an uncountable noun and is often used with the article the: the news, some news, any news. Example 1: Have you heard the news? Harry and Sally are getting married! Example 2: I can't watch the news. It always depresses me. Some other related expressions to news are: Newsflash: an important piece of news that interrupts a regular television or radio broadcast; it's usually only a few minutes long. Example 3: Last night they interrupted all of the television programming with a newsflash about a hurricane warning. Newsstand: a place in the street where you can buy newspapers and magazines. Example 4: I've noticed that there are many more newsstands in Spain than in Canada. If you want to practice more English, perhaps there are English newspapers on sale at your local newsstand. If you have any questions about this word, please contact me. Have an excellent day!

Wednesday the 27th of October, 2004
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NOTICE-2

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Good morning. Yesterday we looked at the word notice in its noun form. Today we will look at the verb. Today's word is: to notice (verb) It means: to become aware or conscious of something after hearing, seeing or feeling it. Example 1: Before today, I had never noticed that the window doesn't close properly. I wonder how long it has been like this. Example 2: When I'm learning a new language, I try to notice new words when I am listening to people speak. Then I look them up in my dictionary. We hope you will also notice any new English words around you! If you have any questions about this verb, please don't hesitate to contact me. Have a great day!

Tuesday the 26th of October, 2004
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NOTICE-1

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Good morning. Today's word is: notice (noun) It means: a sign or a piece of paper, usually in a public place, that announces something or warns people about something. Example 1: The town council put up several notices around town about the annual Christmas festival. Example 2: The notice says that it's not safe to swim here. This word is sometimes confused with the word news because of the incorrect translation "noticia." We will look at the word news in another Daily Vitamin (the day after tomorrow). We sometimes put up notices about Ziggurat activities on our webpage www.ziggurat.es, if you are interested! If you have any questions about this noun, please don't hesitate to contact me. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Monday the 25th of October, 2004
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PHRASAL VERB QUESTION FROM A READER-2

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Good morning everybody. I hope you had a good weekend! Today we finish Albert E.'s question about phrasal verbs that use the particles off and out. Today's First Phrasal Verbs are: be off / go off / drive off / walk off, etc. They mean: to leave a place. Difference between UK and US English: Again, these expressions are not considered British or American English but the expression be off is, perhaps, more common in UK English. Examples (1) John was off as soon as it was 5 o'clock. (= John left at 5 o'clock.) (2) Alice has gone off to buy a newspaper. (= Alice has left to buy a newspaper.) (3) They were very angry when they drove off. (= They were angry when they left in their car.) (4) Don't walk off while I'm speaking to you! (= Don't leave!) Today's Second Phrasal Verb is: to be out of somewhere. It means: to say that someone is no longer in a place. Difference between UK and US English: Again, Albert, in this case there is no difference between US and UK English. Example 1 Martin is out of hospital, but you can visit him at home. (= He's not in hospital now.) Example 2 The children are out of school for the summer holidays. (= They aren't at school now.) This verb phrase is used very colloquially in American English to mean "I'm leaving!" or "I'm going." Example 3 I'm in a hurry to get home. I'm out of here! (often pronounced "outta here.") The particles off and out are used in many more expressions, but I hope this answers your question Albert. If anyone has any questions about these expressions, please don't hesitate to contact me. Have a great day!