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Friday the 31st of May, 2013
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Good morning! Espero que hayas tenido una buena semana.

Hoy empezamos una serie de Essential Weekly Vitamins sobre grupos de verbos relacionados con medios de transporte.

Today's verbs are related to: CARS and DRIVING
(Los verbos de hoy tienen que ver con: coches y conducir)

GET IN --> to enter a car (subir a un coche)
GET OUT OF --> to exit a car (bajar de un coche)
--> to turn on the engine (arrancar el motor)
--> to stop the car by putting your foot on the brake pedal (parar el coche pisando el pedal de frenos)
PULL OUT --> to exit a parking space (salir de una plaza de aparcamiento)
--> to move the car to the side of the road (hacerse a un lado; acercarse a la acera)
--> to move the car backwards (dar marcha atrás)
--> to stop the car in a designated area (aparcar)
--> to put on / take off your seatbelt (ponerse/quitarse el cinturón)

Example Dialogue:
Driving Teacher (DT): Are you ready for your lesson, Carey? Time to get in the car. Remember to fasten your seatbelt.
(¿Estás preparada para tu clase, Carey? Es hora de subir al coche. Recuerda ponerte el cinturón.)
Carey: Okay... I'm starting the car... I'm looking both ways... I'm pulling out of the parking lot. How am I doing?
(Vale...estoy arrancando el coche...miro en ambas direcciones... salgo del aparcamiento. ¿Cómo voy?)
DT: Fine, keep going. Remember to brake at the corner. Then continue to the end of the street. Today we're going to practice how to park. All right, do you see that space? I want you to pull over. Then you will reverse slowly into the parking space.
(Bien. Sigue. Recuerda frenar en la esquina. Luego continúa hasta el final de la calle. Hoy vamos a practicar cómo aparcar. De acuerdo, ¿ves esa plaza? Quiero que te acerques a la acera. Luego vete marcha atrás lentamente, entrando en la plaza de parquin.
Carey: What? You want me to back into the space? That's difficult! How will I see what I'm doing?
(¿Qué? ¿Quieres que dé marcha atrás para meterme en la plaza de parquin? ¡Eso es difícil! ¿Cómo voy a ver qué estoy haciendo?)
DT: Check the mirrors. If necessary, you can unfasten your seatbelt while you are parking so that you can turn around. Go slowly, slowly... BRAKE! Now adjust and continue.
(Mira los retrovisores. Si es necesario, puedes desabrochar tu cinturón mientras estás aparcando para que puedas darte la vuelta. Vete poco a poco...¡Frena! Ahora ajusta y continúa.)
Carey: Okay... how did I do?
(Vale...¿Cómo lo he hecho?)
DT: Not bad for your first time. Let's try again. Pull out and we'll continue.
(No está mal para la primera vez. Vamos a intentarlo otra vez. Sal y continuaremos.)

Si tienes alguna pregunta sobre el contenido de la Essential Weekly Vitamin de hoy, por favor escribe un comentario en la sección de la Daily Vitamin, clicando en el botón "Add a Comment".

Have a good day and an excellent weekend!

Thursday the 30th of May, 2013
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Good morning!

Today we finish our series on expressions with MIDDLE.

Today's expression is

It means: when you are between two opposing points or opinions. 

Example 1:
When my two best friends began a romantic relationship, I was really happy for them. But then they broke up and they didn't want to see each other. I really felt stuck in the middle because both of them are good friends.

Example 2:
Kathy feels like she's caught in the middle of the bad relationship between her sister and brother. They can't stand to be in the same room together and Kathy feels that she always has to make peace in the family.

This ends our short series of words and expressions with the word MIDDLE. I hope you will go out and practice them. The Ziggurat Facebook Page is a great opportunity! Meanwhile, remember that tomorrow we present the Essential Weekly Vitamin for Spanish-speaking students of English.

Have a great day!

Wednesday the 29th of May, 2013
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Good morning!

Today's word is: MIDDLEMAN

It means: a person or a company that buys goods from the company that makes them and sells them to somebody else. It can also be a person who helps to arrange things between people who do not want to talk directly to each other.

Example 1:
Our suppliers, Whammo Ltd., have just raised their prices; since they are just the middleman, I suggest we contact the producer directly to see if we can get a better price.

Example 2:
We buy so many different products that we can't get them all from one producer. Let's find a middleman to care for our needs. It may cost more but we won't have as many problems with ordering and delivery from all of these different companies.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday the 28th of May, 2013
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Good morning!

Today we continue our series of MIDDLE expressions.

Today's expression is: MIDDLE GROUND

It means: when two people or groups are in disagreement and they negotiate to a point that is between the two opinions and that is satisfactory for everybody. We can also use this expression to talk about finding a satisfactory balance between two extremes. This expression is often used with the verbs to reach or to find.

Example 1:
The neighbours could not agree on whether or not to install a lift in the building. Luckily, with the help of a mediator, they were able to reach middle-ground and decide on a plan. 

Example 2:
Mark and Joe have such opposing opinions about politics that they will never find middle ground unless they are both willing to listen to each other more. 

Example 3:
My life was really crazy. I worked 14 hours a day in a law firm and I was sleeping around 5 hours a night. I was so stressed that I quit and became a stay-at-home father. But that didn't make me happy either. So now, I've found a job which also allows me to spend time with my family. I finally feel like I have found some middle ground in my life.

Have a great day!

Monday the 27th of May, 2013
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Good morning!

Last week our Daily Vitamins were dedicated to the word START and we explained several expressions with this word. This week we are going to look at some expressions with the word MIDDLE

Today's expression is: MIDDLE-AGED (adjective)

It means: the age range after becoming a young adult but before you enter old age, so approximately between 40 and 60 years of age. MIDDLE AGE is the noun form, and it refers to these years.

Example 1:
Harry has decided to have a big party for his 40th birthday. He is calling it the "Welcome-To-My-Middle-Age Party". 

Example 2:
Many adults begin new projects when they are middle-aged, after their children have left home. However, some people have a mid-life crisis
* because they do not want to leave their youth and don't accept becoming middle-aged.

*mid-life crisis means a period of existential anxiety, usually in your 40s, due to becoming older.

Tomorrow we will look at another expression with the word MIDDLE.

Have a wonderful day!