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Friday the 31st of October, 2008
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2008

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good Morning everybody. Happy Halloween!

Hoy acabamos la semana dándoos un poco de información sobre la fiesta de Halloween. A continuación incluimos:

1. Halloween vocabulary (vocabulario de Halloween)
2. A brief history of Halloween (una historia breve de Halloween)

1. HALLOWEEN VOCABULARY
Existen muchos términos que puedes utilizar para la noche de Halloween. A continuación listamos algunos de los más utilizados:

Pumpkin (calabaza)
Candle (vela)
Witch (bruja)
Bat (murciélago)
Ghost (fantasma)
Bonfire (hoguera)
Fear (miedo)
Fright (susto)
Sweets-UK; Candy-US (dulces/golosinas)

Ahora, intenta entender el siguiente texto donde aplicamos algunas de estas palabras.

On the night of October 31, children dress up (disfrazarse), often as witches or ghosts, and go from door to door asking for candy and saying "trick or treat".

2. THE HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN
Halloween (deletreado a veces Hallowe'en, sobre todo en ingles británico) es considerada una fiesta típica americana, aunque sus orígenes se encuentran en Europa.

La palabra Halloween es una derivación de la expresión inglesa All Hallow's Eve (Víspera del Día de los Santos). Se celebraba en los países anglosajones, principalmente en Canadá, Estados Unidos, Irlanda y el Reino Unido. Pero actualmente se celebra en casi todos los países occidentales con mayor o menor presencia.

Sus orígenes se remontan a los celtas; y la fiesta fue exportada a los Estados Unidos por emigrantes sobre todo irlandeses en el siglo XIX, más o menos hacia 1846. La fuerza expansiva de la cultura de EEUU ha hecho que Halloween se haya popularizado también en otros países. El día de Halloween, en tiempos modernos, se considera una fiesta estadounidense.

La historia del Halloween se remonta a hace más de 2.500 años, cuando el año celta terminaba al final del verano, precisamente el día 31 de octubre de nuestro calendario. El ganado era llevado de los prados a los establos para el invierno. Ese último día, se suponía que los espíritus podían salir de los cementerios y apoderarse de los cuerpos de los vivos para resucitar. Para evitarlo, los poblados celtas ensuciaban las casas y las "decoraban" con huesos, calaveras y demás cosas desagradables, de forma que los muertos pasaran de largo asustados. De ahí viene la tradición de decorar con motivos siniestros las casas en la actual víspera de todos los santos y también los disfraces.

Este información vino de Wikipedia (ver enlaces a continuación):
1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween (in English)
2) http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween (in Spanish)

Si tienes cualquier duda sobre el contenido de la vitamina de hoy, puedes preguntarnos a través del foro de la sección Daily Vitamin Plus! en nuestra página web (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a nice day and a great weekend!



Thursday the 30th of October, 2008
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TERRIFYING vs. TERRIFIC

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Good morning.

Today we continue our Halloween theme of looking at words and expressions that mean to scare or to frighten. However, today we look at a false friend that students often think means terrifying or frightening, but it does NOT.

Today's word is: terrific (adjective)

It means: very good or interesting; wonderful.

Example 1:
I am having a terrific day!

Example 2:
Janet has a terrific personality.

This adjective is a false friend; it has nothing to do with the Spanish word terrorifico. To express this Spanish word, which is negative, in English you would use the words terrifying or frightening.

Remember that tomorrow (Friday) we will send the Essential Weekly Vitamin, designed for beginner Spanish-speaking students of English.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a terrific day!



Wednesday the 29th of October, 2008
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TO SCARE SOMEONE INTO SOMETHING

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Good morning.

Today we continue our look at different English expressions that express to scare or to frighten.

Today's 1st expression is: to frighten / to scare someone into doing something

Meaning: To frighten someone in order to make them do something.

Example 1:
The mafia scared local businesses into paying a protection tax.

Today's 2nd expression is: to frighten someone/something away from something

Meaning: To make a person or an animal go away by making them feel afraid.  

Example 2:
He frightened the animals away from the rubbish bins by shooting his rifle into the air.

Example 3:
The credit crisis has frightened many small businesses away from investing in new equipment.

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, please post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

Have a great day!



Tuesday the 28th of October, 2008
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TO SCARE SOMEONE TO DEATH

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning.

Today we begin our look at English expressions that mean to scare or to frighten.

Today's 1st expression is: to frighten / to scare someone to death

Meaning: To frighten someone very much.

Example 1:
David...please don't walk in the street. You're frightening me to death. You might get hit by a car!

Another very colloquial (!!slang!!) version of this expression is the following.

Today's 2nd expression is: to scare the shit out of someone

Meaning: To frighten someone very much.

This should NOT be used in church, in front or your grandmother or in formal situations. "Shit" (mierda) is an offensive word in English. We also sometimes use the word "hell" (infierno), which is still slang, but slightly less offensive

Example 2:
-I was only two blocks away from the car bomb when it exploded. It scared the SHIT out of me!

-I was only two blocks away from the car bomb when it exploded. It scared the HELL out of me!

To avoid using vulgar language, use today's first expression, or substitute the words "shit" and "hell" with daylights or life.

Example 2 (bis):
-I was only two blocks away from the car bomb when it exploded. It scared the daylights out of me!

-I was only two blocks away from the car bomb when it exploded. It scared the life out of me!

If you have any questions about today's Daily Vitamin, don't be scared...just post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

I hope you have a nice day.



Monday the 27th of October, 2008
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TO SCARE or TO FRIGHTEN

LISTEN TO THE DAILY VITAMIN HERE:

Good morning everyone.

This Friday is Halloween, so this week we are going to look at some common (sometimes informal and colloquial) expressions that we use to mean to scare or to frighten.

To frighten: to make someone suddenly feel afraid (Span = asustar)
To scare: to frighten someone

From these verbs we have adjectives like frightening/frightened (making you feel afraid), scary/scared (=frightening/frightened).

Example 1:
You scared me when you suddenly entered the room. Please warn me next time!

Example 2:
It's frightening to think that she could become Vice President, or even worse...President!

And of course, there are lots of synonyms of these verbs (and their adjectives) which can be used in different contexts:

-To startle / startling / startled
-To terrify / terrifying / terrified
-To shock / shocking / shocked
-To alarm / alarming / alarmed

Over the next few days we will look at some more creative ways of saying to scare or to frighten in English.

If anyone has any queries about today's Daily Vitamin, they should post them in the Daily Vitamin Plus! forum section on our website (www.ziggurat.es).

I hope you have a good day.